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One (very true) realization that I’ve come to over the years is this: You can’t have every wedding on every budget, but you can have a wedding on any budget. With less than $10,000 to spend and 200 beloved family members and friends attending, Haylee + Frank crafted a wedding that was perfect for them: sweet, simple, homemade, and Southern. Camp Shenandoah Springs in Virginia was a beautiful backdrop to the humble celebration, and Sarah Matozzi was there to capture the fun.

Haylee’s ladies all chose their own neutral dress to wear for the day, and brightened the overall look with colorful accessories. As for Haylee, she stumbled upon the online shop Grace Loves Lace a few months before the wedding. When she locked eyes on the “Emme” style, she instantly knew it was the something different and special she had been looking for.

Frank and I took communion during our ceremony. It was one of my favorite parts of the wedding — a special moment for me and my husband to honor the one who brought us together. I walked down the aisle to “A Place Only You Can Go” by Needtobreathe, and while we prayed together we had “Beautiful Things” by Gungor playing. Both songs were performed by talented friends of mine.

That’s their first kiss ever, folks – pretty sweet.

I wanted our cake to look simple but beautiful, and to taste delicious, and that’s what we got! We also served little pies in mason jars and caramel-dipped apples made by Frank’s Aunt Cheri.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Frank went to high school with my best friend and sister-in law Olivia. It wasn’t until about a year after graduation that she got to thinking we might get along great. We started talking online when I was 16 and he was 18 (when Myspace was cool!). Right away, we began to fall in love. Shortly after that, he came to my church to meet me, and we’ve been together ever since!
Describe the proposal. After four years together, the time had come! Frank, my sister Emily and I went hiking one Saturday. After a long hike, we reached the top, where Frank pointed out a huge rock, noting it would be a good spot for a picture. I, being the fan of heights that I am, said NO WAY am I climbing up there! After a bit of persuasion, he pulled me up onto the giant boulder. I was scared to death and clinging onto him, but we posed for a picture, taken by my sister. After that, I begin inching my way back down when he said, “wait, wait, don’t you want to think about how you’re going to get down?” I stood back up, turned around, and saw him getting down on one knee! My sister got great pictures, and I couldn’t have been happier with the way he asked.
In what month did you get married? May
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did not do a first look. We both were so looking forward to that moment when we would see each other down the aisle.
Describe your wedding flowers: Wildflowers all the way! I wanted them to look freshly picked.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The venue was very Southern. It went perfectly with our Southern décor, which included vintage hankies as napkins, and mason jars and all different colors and sizes of vases filled with fresh and dried flowers. We had fresh raspberries on our cake, burlap table squares, and vintage table cloths.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Bridesmaids dresses. There were so many girls I wanted by my side that day, and we were all on a budget! I wanted them all to love what they were wearing, and for it to be practical. I’m so happy with what we decided on, as they all looked stunning!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Kissing my husband for the first time.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Relax and enjoy this time with family and friends. It will all come together in the end! I’m so thankful I was able to have such a joyous wedding day without stressing, but it was because I chose not to.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Starting a family and living happily ever after with my best friend.

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar tammy reply

    love, love, love this wedding!! How very precious to save thier first kiss. Love the sweet and beautiful loveliness of it all!! Thank you so much for sharing this wedding with us.

  2. avatar Megan {Bayside Bride} reply

    What a sweet wedding! Love the bride’s dress, the lace adds beautiful detail!

  3. avatar Sarah reply

    I am so honored to have shot this wedding and to be featured on this beautiful blog, thank you for sharing, Emily! :)

  4. avatar Melissa Vause reply

    That little boy (in the first kiss pic) is precious! Great moment captured :-D

  5. avatar Inspiration from Anywhere… Camp Nuptials | True Event | Event Design and Planning | New England Event Planner | Weddings, Social Occasions, Private Events and Corporate Events reply

    […] (1/2/3/4/5/6) […]

  6. avatar Jennifer reply

    This is more like me. I loved her wedding and im trying to plan mine. We dont have much for a big wedding. but our love for each other and our family love and bond. We are both humble and we want our love lo shine in our special day just like your or theirs did. Love it. God bless them always

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Oh my gosh, y’all. You know reading proposal stories is one of my favorite parts about writing these posts. Bethany + Caleb did not disappoint! Imagine Bethany’s surprise when Caleb popped the question in the middle of a shoot with Jose Villa and Joy Thigpen for OnceWed! (You can see it all here and here. It’s just too sweet.) It’s no surprise that this adorable couple would have an equally adorable wedding. Their colorful invitations and programs set the scene for a whimsical wedding in Freedom Park. Bethany looked lovely in her flowing Claire Pettibone dress and butterfly pinned to her hair, while Caleb looked smashing in suspenders and a mustard yellow bow tie. The couple exchanged vows under a willow tree in front of friends and family. Big thanks to Susan Dean for sharing!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. I was sitting at the dinner table at my aunts while playing an oh-so-competitive game of Phase 10 when my aunt says, “I know someone who’s so perfect for you. He goes to Liberty, sings and plays guitar, and wants to be a youth pastor.” It was my exact list from when I was a little girl of what I wanted in a husband! I sent Caleb a friend request on Facebook with a message telling him how my aunt and uncle loved him and we proceeded to message back and forth. I worked my schedule so I could go to his church that night. I walked in, saw him and sat down in a back pew reading my Bible as if I didn’t see him. (From the groom) I saw her walk in and sit down in the back. She pretended not to notice me but I noticed her. As I walked up to her, my heart began to race. I hadn’t even said hello to her but for some reason my heart started coming out of my chest, as if I had found THE girl. We said “Hi” and went to hug each other instead of shaking hands, which I thought was pretty genuine. As I walked on stage to get things rolling, I said to my drummer, “DAG ON, that girl is CUTE.” (From the bride) That week, I fell in love with him during a walk on the beach when he told me, “All the girls in my past were just trying to be what you are. I wake up thinking of you, can’t get you off my mind throughout the day, and go to sleep dreaming of you. You are the one I want to be with for the rest of my life.” I finally understood what my mom had always told me, “When you know, you know.”
Describe the proposal. We arrive at a shoot in California with Jose Villa. Talk about torture/complete fairy tale when given a wedding dress to wear with a smokin’ hot boyfriend who you want to marry and it’s all pretend. While Joy Thigpen and the rest of the ladies went to set up the next shoot, Jose, Caleb and I stayed at this amazing field with the prettiest sunset I’ve ever seen. Jose gives me a love note to hold that I think is so precious for a prop. We then sit down as he tells Caleb to “genuinely pass the love note to her and then open it.” In my head, I thought, “There’s actually a letter on it, wonder what it says. This looks like Caleb’s handwriting. This says my name! He’s pulling something out of his pocket…Omgosh, he’s proposing!” I jumped up as he bent to his knee and said YES!!!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Cheerful, whimsical, eclectic
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: It was Claire Pettibone, couture, detailed, lace, vintage-inspired and romantic. What more to say!? I found the pre-owned dress on OnceWed.
Describe your wedding flowers: I loved peonies and my favorite flowers are billy balls so what better to do than combine them? I picked a sea foam green fabric at Hong Kong Vintage store and my bridesmaids and I put them together leaving the stems long for more of a “picked them from the wild” feel.

Photographer: Susan Dean // Videographer: Adam Hobbs // Day of Planner: Favor Me Events // Venue: Freedom Park // Florist: Gallery of Flowers // Wedding Cake Baker: Cake Lady Jill // Caterer: Chef Henry Catering // Paper Products: handmade by the bride // Bride’s Dress: Claire Pettibone // Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil: butterfly from Hobby Lobby // Bride’s Shoes: Hong Kong Vintage, shoe clips from BHLDN // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: handmade

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

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  2. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up | Gift Registry News reply

    […] with an adorable proposal story. Their North Carolina wedding was laid back and stylish. See it here and […]

  3. avatar Corinne reply

    I was also wondering who designed these invites? Really cute stuff!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Corinne! For this wedding, the bride designed them all herself! Impressive, I know!

  4. avatar Featured on Southern Weddings reply

    […] FeaturedBethany and Caleb – Southern Weddings Part I Bethany and Caleb – Southern Weddings Part II Betty and Anthony – Santa Barbara Wedding […]

  5. avatar Lewis reply

    I am going to be a grooms man soon for a wedding, and I was wondering where the men got their outfit at. Especially the bow ties.

  6. avatar Wedding Bunting Ideas, Bunting Decor, Stationery and Cake-toppers reply

    […] left): How About Orange;  A Bird and a Bee;  A Bird and a Bee; Letter C Design via Etsy: Susan Dean via Southern Weddings;  Studio Seed.For a diy touch you could take plainer wedding invitations […]

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    […] Amy Merrick| Invitations: oh my deer| Bride: Ivy and Aster| Groom: Susan Dean Photography via Southern Weddings| Striped and polka dot straws: Joielala Photographie via Style Me Pretty| Tacos: Lily Red Studio […]

  8. avatar Linda reply

    What a beautiful looking wedding. Lovely dress too.

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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