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I feel a special connection to today’s beautiful couple, Nina and Nick–their story started in Singapore, where I spent part of my childhood too! If there’s one thing I learned growing up abroad, it’s that the world is so small–you never know when you might cross paths with someone again. That was exactly the case for Nina and Nick, who reconnected in college at SMU, and started falling in love before the school year even started. Four years later, they began planning their Texas vineyard wedding with the help of Elixir Events, being careful to only include details that really meant something to them. As a result, the whole day was focused on their love and the joining of their families. What a perfect way to begin married life!

Thanks so much to Tracy Enoch for sharing Nina and Nick’s wedding with us!

The weekend after Nick proposed, my mom was in town, so we decided to take advantage of this trip and go wedding dress shopping. With no intention of finding my perfect dress yet, we set off to just have some fun. Browsing the racks of the Blushing Bride Boutique, we picked up a handful of dresses for me to try. After many vetoes, my eyes turned to what the boutique called the “vine dress.” Although it was beautiful, it was not the silhouette I had imagined myself in. I slipped into the dress, not overly enthused, and turned to stare at myself in the mirror…and this was the one, I knew it! Instead of breaking down and bawling, I was surprisingly calm, thoughtful, and logical. My mom couldn’t believe it! I knew it was the right dress because I made my decision in the calm, logical way that Nick would have. That is when the tears started rolling, because it wasn’t until then that I realized how much this man had impacted me for the better.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look. It was very important to both of us that we saw each other for the first time when I was walking down the aisle. We wanted to feel that magic!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We think that having our wedding outdoors added a Southern element. We also had both a bride’s and groom’s cake. All of the bridesmaids wore a simple gold necklace with a pearl that I gave each of them, and Nick’s aunt hosted a bridal luncheon for me and the ladies closest to me.

Everyone says it’s good luck if it rains on your wedding day–well, we got extra lucky! The morning of our wedding day, the rain came down hard and we ended up having to move our ceremony to a different area of the vineyard. At the time, it was hard for me to gain perspective after we had been planning for so long, but in the end, it could not have worked out more perfectly. It ended up being more than we could have hoped for–we say it was meant to be!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Mitas Hill made such a good first impression on us that we both immediately felt it was meant to be. It is such a rarity to find a vineyard in North Texas, and it was perfect for our outdoor wedding.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We saved money by keeping things simple. We thought about what was really important to us, and then let everything else fall away. We wanted our wedding to be all about the joining of our two families and celebrating our love, and that is exactly what it was!

We really struggled to find a song that would be appropriate for our first dance. Finally, a week before the wedding, my angel of a sister shared the song “Forever Like That” by Ben Rector. It couldn’t have been more perfect–the words spoke to us, and it has become so special to us.

We went with a simple and elegant design for the bride’s cake, and incorporated beautiful vines to accent the vineyard around us. The groom’s cake, on the other hand, was inspired by one of our favorite TV shows, Game of Thrones. It was amazing!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From Nick: Our paths first crossed in Singapore. We had been living internationally for most of our lives due to our parents’ careers, and it just so happened that we both ended up at the Singapore American School at the same time. Most people would assume our relationship started there, but we were both too afraid to make a move. Circumstances brought us together again, however, with each of us deciding to attend Southern Methodist University one year apart. We officially met at SMU, and I, in an act of uncharacteristic social prowess, managed to score a date with Nina before the school year had even begun. This headstart proved unnecessary, as our relationship quickly blossomed into a whirlwind romance. From Greek formals and SMU Boulevards, to music festivals and road trips, we quickly grew to be more than just great friends, and realized we shared a lot more than a common history of growing up overseas. Four years later would be the real test of our relationship upon my moving after graduation. However, distance, as they say, makes the heart grow fonder, and in this case, showed us what was truly important: each other.
Tell us all about the proposal! For almost a year after his graduation, Nick and I maintained a long distance relationship, with him living in Houston for his job while I finished my degree at SMU. Nick was visiting for one of his long weekend trips, and that Saturday morning, while I thought he was hanging out with his best friend and nursing a hangover, he was actually putting in motion the plan to ask me to spend the rest of our lives together. Towards the end of the day, he told me to make my way back to the Tri Delta sorority house for a belated surprise, as my birthday had been earlier that week. Waiting for me was one of my dear friends, who helped me get ready before I was whisked away to the first of many destinations. I first stopped in front of the Sig Ep house (Nick’s fraternity), where we had first made eyes at each other four years before. There, I was handed a letter written by Nick, which, among the heartfelt and romantic thoughts, gave me my first clue as to where to start the scavenger hunt down memory lane. After following the clues to places that hold special memories for us, I finally found Nick waiting for me at White Rock Lake, where he had planned a sunset picnic for Valentine’s Day just months before. I couldn’t breathe as I drove up in my little red Jeep. There he was, the man of my dreams, standing in the middle of the small bridge overlooking the lake. I finally caught my breath and made my way to his side. Taking my hands, Nick reminded me of memories from our four years together. After a deep breath, he got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of our lives together! It was the best day of my life!
When did y’all get married? June 13, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 220
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We chose 1 Corinthians 13:4 because both of our parents had used this reading at their weddings.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There were so many amazing moments from our wedding. For us, the most memorable were the quiet moments we were able to share together amongst the craziness. When we were able to take even just a few seconds to look into each other’s eyes and acknowledge exactly what was happening around us and how much we loved each other, that was the best!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? We didn’t have the luxury of being together during our engagement–we were over 3,000 miles apart. Don’t take one second together for granted. Enjoy every little detail and moment you have, because you only get to do this once. Don’t let the little things stress you out. Remember what the day is really about and the person you will get to spend the rest of your life with!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Next for us is saying goodbye to the USA and hello to St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Nick has already been living there for about a year, and now, it’s my turn to pick up and move to be with my guy. Having both lived overseas, we know our adventures are just beginning, and we can’t wait!

Photographer: Tracy Enoch Photography / Videographer: Landon Whinery / Planner, Florist, Rentals, Lighting, and Special Details: Elixir Events / Venue and Caterer: Mitas Hill Vineyard / Cake Baker: Flour Child Cakery / Music: Peter Nicholas / Paper Products: The Magic Pen and Party / Bride’s Gown: Lillian West / Bridal Salon and Accessories: The Blushing Bride Boutique / Hair Stylist: Reah Meier of Be Youtiful Hair Designs / Makeup Artist: Hannah Baylong / Bride’s Shoes: Michael Kors / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Andrew Adela / Menswear: Vera Wang

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Nina Lesiuk reply

    Thank you so much for helping us share our love story. It is just incredible that you lived in Singapore too, it really is such a small world!

    • avatar Lisa reply

      It’s our pleasure! I couldn’t believe it when I read your interview–such a small world! Thank you for sharing with us and our sweet readers! Xoxo

  2. avatar liam smith photography reply

    beautiful photographs Tracy

  3. avatar Tracy reply

    Thank you so much for featuring this sweet couple and their wedding!!

  4. avatar Dana reply

    they are darling! love the cake!

  5. avatar 2017 Trends: Organic Olive Branch Inspired Wedding Ideas | Stylish Wedd Blog reply

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    […] Bride: Wedding Sparrow, Reception: Greg Fink via Brit & Co, Cake: Tracy Enoch via Southern Weddings, Bridesmaids: Graham Terhune via Mod Wedding, Plant Favor: Gina and Ryan via Mod Wedding, Groom: […]

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When you combine a dreamy blush Monique Lhuillier gown, an abundance of pastel blooms, a garden that serendipitously shares the groom’s last name, and a couple who is clearly smitten with each other, you know a wedding is going to be incredible! With the help of Sage Nines Event Production, Ellen and Brad loved planning their spring nuptials in the Wills Perennial Garden at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, a place they visited often during their dating years. Besides the lovely, spring-inspired details, the highlight of their wedding was without a doubt the love of their community that surrounded them–their most memorable moment is sweet as can be!

Hugs to Mary Rosenbaum for sending Ellen and Brad’s lovely day our way!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. The weekend of dress shopping was so much fun. My sister flew in from LA and several of my bridesmaids were able to come as well. We scheduled the weekend around a Monique Lhuillier trunk show at The Bride Room. Mine was the third dress I tried on, and as soon as I had it on, we all knew it was the one. I called my dad over for the final opinion, and he loved it. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room!

My bridal bouquet was a hand-tied bouquet of fresh lavender and lilac, pale pink garden roses, blush astilbe, white lisianthus, light blue delphinium, dusty miller, and light pink ranunculus. The bouquet was very loose and wildflower-inspired. Our centerpieces were in gold mercury glass bottles and goblets and consisted of lavender, stock, light pink spray roses, light pink sweet peas, ivory garden roses, light pink astilbe, light blue delphinium, and light blue hydrangea. They were so elegant and lovely!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a string quartet playing songs by The Beatles for the ceremony. I walked down the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun,” which was perfect, as we could not have asked for a better day. Brad and the groomsmen came down the aisle to “With a Little Help from My Friends,” a song we thought was fitting for them. Walking back up the aisle, the string quartet played “All You Need is Love.”

Cheekwood Botanical Garden is very near our house, and we would often wind up there when Brad would come to visit our family in Nashville. Cheekwood has such beautiful gardens, and I really wanted a garden wedding and reception. We chose the Wills Perennial Garden (of course, since I was becoming a Wills!) and then tented the back of the mansion for the reception.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? That is such a hard question, as our day turned out practically perfect. But the food was especially unbelievable–Kristen Winston went above and beyond! We still hear about how good the food was at our wedding!

Our cake was a simple, textured buttercream cake, accented with lavender. One layer was chocolate chip cake with chocolate buttercream and ganache, one layer was European butter with vanilla buttercream, fresh strawberries, and lemon curd, and one layer of cinnamon red velvet with three layers of vanilla buttercream. AMAZING! The groom’s cake was made by a family friend, Chelle Baldwin of SweetAbility Bakery, who incorporated several of Brad’s hobbies and interests into an unbelievable cake!

Since Brad is from Georgia, he and his mom danced to “Georgia on My Mind.” My father and I danced to “Unforgettable.” The first dance was to an Ingrid Michaelson song, “The Way I Am.” The song is about how some of our flaws end up bringing us closer together!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment was when the band played “Home” as the last song. Brad and I stood at the front of the dance floor and basically sang the song to the crowd. Fortunately, they didn’t actually give us the mic! It felt like everyone there was on the dance floor, jumping up and down in unison, and having an amazing time. It was very surreal and symbolic, and we will never forget it.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Brad and I met very early in college, when we were in the same small group class. There was also a brief period when we were biology lab partners. We went through most of college seeing each other here and there, but did not really start talking again until senior year. At first I rejected Brad’s dates, but his persistence paid off, and here we are!
Tell us all about the proposal! Since we met at Sewanee, it was the perfect place to get engaged. We planned a weekend trip there to celebrate his birthday, including a hike out to KA Point, a beautiful overlook we’d been to many times before. When we arrived, he pulled roses and a book out from his backpack. He had asked several of our friends to write “proposals” to me and created a book of all of them. On the last page was a picture of Brad on one knee, and when I looked up, there he was on one knee in real life. Both sets of parents met us at the cabin afterwards for a celebratory lunch. The only thing he hadn’t planned for was the three inches of snow!
When did y’all get married? May 3, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No first look for us! At the wedding, I would be coming down a flight of stone steps into the garden, and I think we all wanted that moment to be extra special.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My Aunt Salley read Song of Solomon 2, which Brad picked out especially for us.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We met with our minister several times while planning the wedding to discuss our expectations of marriage and address potential problems. We found it extremely helpful and would encourage everyone to do it!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Try and stay calm and remember that the most important thing is that you are getting married to the person you love!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? After an amazing honeymoon in Switzerland, we moved to Birmingham, where we are doing a medical residency. I am a resident in internal medicine and Brad is in orthopedic surgery. We were in a long distance relationship prior to this residency, as we were at different medical schools, so we are most looking forward to living together and being able to see each other every day!

Photographer: Mary Rosenbaum / Videographer: Full Frame Digital Cinema / Planner: Sage Nines Event Productions / Venue: Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art / Florist: Enchanted Florist / Cake Baker: Dulce Desserts / Caterer: Kristen Winston Catering / Rentals: Liberty Party Rental and Music City Tents and Events / Lighting: Bright Event Productions / Band: The Downtown Band / Paper Products: Deirdre Zimon of Lennah Press / Bride’s Gown: “Candy” in Blush Tulle by Monique Lhuillier / Hair Stylist: Ashlea Mullins / Makeup Artist: Shannon Wright / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan / Menswear: “Classic Black Tuxedo” by Calvin Klein

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Dana reply

    her dress and flowers and stunning!!!

  2. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Beautiful wedding! I love her dress!

  3. avatar Abbey Angelle reply

    What is the round gold monogrammed item in the first picture?

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Emily and I couldn’t help but giggle at the story of how Elise and Paul met. Her first memory of him was when he walked up to her and her best friend…to invite her best friend to homecoming! Needless to say, Paul did ultimately come around, and he and Elise dated through the rest of high school and college, tying the knot a few weeks after Elise graduated. Since planning a wedding during such a busy season proved to be a bit overwhelming, the incredibly talented Ginny Au helped bring their vision of a romantic, classic, loft celebration to life. I’m sure y’all will agree, the result was completely lovely, and Elise and Paul’s joy is contagious!

Thank you so much to Mandy Busby for sharing this beautiful day with us!

I think our vendors are what made the entire wedding planning process so easy and fun. Our wedding planner, Ginny Au, introduced us to almost all of our vendors, who worked so well together. From the moment I met Ginny, I felt confident and comfortable with all of her ideas. Our calligrapher, Holly Hollon, was so personable and easy to work with. The way she designed our save the dates and invitations fit our style so perfectly, we looked for different ways to incorporate her work into our wedding day as well.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I decided from the beginning that I wanted my wedding dress to be a secret from my friends, so just my mom and I went to find it. We had gone to one or two other places before we went to Diane’s Formal Affair. I didn’t really know what I was looking for, but I knew right away that my dress was the one when I put it on!

Katie did a beautiful job with our flowers! She used olive branches, Claire de Lune peonies, Sarah Bernhardt peonies, white lisianthus, white tuberose, oak leaf hydrangea, viburnum, dusty miller, and a variety of garden roses. She tied them up in beautiful Frou Frou Chic ribbon. My bouquet was so heavy, my arm was sore the next day! It was definitely worth it because it was the most beautiful bouquet I’ve ever seen–not to mention, it smelled fantastic.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Paul and I chose not to see each other before the ceremony. Although we always thought we would have a first look, we changed our minds during the planning process. Ginny and Mandy both encouraged us to save the first look for when I walked down the aisle. It wasn’t as private as a first look would have been, but looking back, we’re so thankful we followed through with this tradition. It’s a memory filled with so much emotion, and we’ll never forget it.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Instead of a first look, Paul and I met around a door to talk and exchange wedding day gifts before the ceremony. I remember feeling so nervous and giddy. I think this stands out as the most memorable moment because it was the last moment we shared before becoming husband and wife.

If we had to choose one detail from our wedding that was our favorite, it would be our wedding video. Watching it for the first time was like reliving the whole day–I cried all over again! The Film Poets did such a wonderful job capturing the entire day. Parts of that day were a blur because we were so overwhelmed with happiness, and Matt and Pacey created such a special keepsake to help us relieve those emotions and memories every day!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose to have our ceremony at Advent, which is where my family attends church. For the reception, Paul and I were looking for something with a loft feel, rather than a country club. I loved Bridgestreet because it had so much character. It was also close to our ceremony venue, so it worked out perfectly!

Dreamcakes did our cakes and they were delicious. Mine was their vanilla flavor cake with vanilla icing. It had four tiers and was tinted to match the blue color we used throughout the wedding. It was decorated with fondant flowers and our monogram. Paul did a chocolate cake with chocolate icing for the groom’s cake, which was decorated with chocolate shavings.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Paul and I met in high school. My first memory of him is from the lunchroom, when he walked up to my best friend and I to ask her to the homecoming dance. He doesn’t remember me being there, but I definitely was! We started talking in algebra class during our sophomore year, and made it official on May 23, 2008. He proposed to me in the spring of our junior year of college. We were married the next May, three weeks after my college graduation!
Tell us all about the proposal! I’m not easy to surprise, so Paul knew his proposal would have to be well thought out. It took a couple of white lies, but he got me to his parents’ house and surprised me with a dinner on their back porch. It was set up exactly like our first (and my favorite) Valentine’s Day date, which had been in that same spot. After a delicious dinner, Paul went inside to get dessert. When he came back outside, the next thing I knew, he was on one knee, proposing! I was so surprised; Paul had a hard time understanding me through all my tears. Our families were anxiously awaiting the phone call at my parents’ house, where they had gathered to celebrate with us. It was a perfect night!
When did y’all get married? May 24, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 325
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We read traditional vows that followed the Book of Common Prayer in the Episcopal Church.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Besides marriage counseling with our pastor, Paul and I spent our engagement reading “This Momentary Marriage” by Tim Keller. We would read it on our own and then spend time together each week to talk about what we read. Even though we thought we knew all there was to know about each other, Paul and I learned a lot about what the other expected in our marriage. It was a great time to talk and pray for our future as husband and wife.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge for me was probably all the change that was happening. May brought a lot of new adventures, including college graduation, getting married, and moving into our first home as husband and wife. It could be a little overwhelming!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy every day! My mom and I had such a great time planning mine and Paul’s wedding, and I was truly sad when it was over. I look back on it and only have good memories of the whole process! My advice would just be to stay focused on the bigger picture. It is such a beautiful time in your life and you will never have it back!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Paul and I have been living in Tuscaloosa, but are planning to move back to Birmingham this summer. I will continue to teach elementary school and Paul will finish up his undergrad at UA, where he is working to become a mechanical engineer. We are looking forward to year two of marriage and all that it brings our way!

Photographer: Mandy Busby / Videographer: The Film Poets / Planner: Ginny Au / Ceremony Venue: Cathedral Church of the Advent / Reception Venue: Bridgestreet Gallery and Loft / Florist: Cloth of Gold / Paper Goods: Holly Hollon / Cake Baker: Dream Cakes / Caterer: The Happy Catering Company / Band: The Fountain City Players / Bridal Salon: Diane’s Formal Affair / Hair and Makeup: Holly Caffee / Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar liam smith reply

    Amazing bridesmaid reaction shot

  2. avatar Lindsay Colvin reply

    Such a unique and beautiful cake, love it! Also, that bridesmaid shot is such a precious moment.

  3. avatar Emily reply

    Love the sweet decals they included at their reception venue! Such a small detail, but really lovely!

  4. avatar Laura reply

    Beautiful wedding! I love everything from the invitations to the florals to the bride’s dress.

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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