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Peaches are such a beloved staple in Southern agriculture and cuisine, and for couples like Ashlee and Tom, who live right in the heart of Georgia’s peach country, they take on an extra special meaning. From bridesmaids outfitted in mismatched peachy hues to the flavor of the ice cream Ashlee and Tom enjoyed during their first look, peaches played an important role in inspiring the look and feel of every detail of this sweet celebration. Ashlee said it best when she said, “Our goal was for our guests to be able to take a bite of a peach and to taste the peach ice cream, and, if just for a moment, be taken back to a time when life was much more simple than it is now.”

We’re so grateful to Haley Sheffield for sharing Ashlee and Tom’s beautiful wedding with us!

My first memory of Tom is from an Easter party in second grade; I’d found the “prize egg” during the hunt, and Tom came up behind me and stole the egg from my basket. Thankfully, one of the other guys in our grade wrestled it back from him. Tom swears he stole it because he had a crush on me, but I’m not quite sure if I believe that. We still laugh about it! Years later, when I told my parents that I was going on a date with Tom, my mom’s first reaction was, “the punk that stole your Easter egg?!” My parents adore Tom now, but he did have a reputation to overcome. Tom and I dated for eight years before we got engaged in June 2013.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, Tom and I did a first look and I’m so happy that we did. Our ceremony was at 7:30 P.M., so we wanted to do our photos before the official festivities began. I also wanted the first glimpse to be private and secluded, instead of in front of a large crowd. We saw each other on the front porch of the Lee Pope House and spent an hour walking through the peach orchard and venturing over to Pearson Farm to get peach ice cream, which is one of our favorite things to do together.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We wrote our vows together and repeated them after our officiant and close friend, Zack. My favorite phrase from our vows would have to be, “I vow to reach for your hand through any crisis and to turn to Christ through any trials.” I love how that phrase unites us with the Lord and is a gentle reminder that although we may lean upon each other, we ultimately look to Christ above all.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The music at the ceremony was one of my priorities. I chose to walk in to “Baleen Morning” by Balmorhea, which moved me to tears the first time I heard it a few years before our wedding. We also asked our guests to sing along with us to Steve Moakler’s song, “Holiday at Sea.” The lyrics to that song hold a deep meaning to us and remind us that this earth is only our temporary home.

Three days before our wedding, my lab, Odie, suddenly passed away. I was devastated and worried that I wouldn’t be able to put on a happy face through all the festivities that were about to take place. On our wedding day, I found comfort in the ordinary. Instead of anxiety, I looked at the crowd spread across the lawn at Lee Pope and I saw love. Instead of imperfect details, I saw the countless hours that everyone had pitched in to make that day perfect. I felt calm in the gentle breeze that day. I took deep breaths for the first time in months and felt thankful for the unseasonably cool temperature. As Tom and I slipped away, hand in hand, to share some peach ice cream, I found contentment in the simplicity of it all. For the first time of our 14-month engagement, I was able to see what that day was truly about. Although it was by far the most challenging part of our wedding and something most brides hopefully won’t have to face, I am grateful that it gave me the vulnerability to realize what a sacred day our wedding day was. I’d become so wrapped up in every detail being perfect that I’d neglected to focus on the real meaning behind the day.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Our ceremony venue and reception venue both hold a very special place in our hearts. Our ceremony venue is a house near our family’s farm that holds so much farming history. I have a special connection with the Lee Pope House, and I knew immediately that there was no place I’d rather join our lives at than there. Tom and our families spent over a year fixing up our barn for the reception.

Tom is a farmer and I wanted our entire wedding to represent that tradition. Our wedding was centered around peaches–what this small county in Middle Georgia is famous for. Our goal was for our guests to be able to take a bite of a peach and to taste the peach ice cream, and, if just for a moment, be taken back to a time when life was much more simple than it is now.

Don’t miss Ashlee + Tom’s video from Hampton Road Studios!

Tell us all about the proposal! I was in North Carolina photographing a wedding and Tom decided to come with me. He mentioned that he’d like to stay an extra day, which I found odd, because Tom is usually itching to get back to work on the farm. We went to visit Tom’s brother-in-law, Stephen, who is also a photographer. Stephen told me that he was “rebranding” and that he needed a new headshot for his website. The three of us went to a mountainside park close to Stephen’s house and I began taking photos. After we were done, Stephen somehow convinced me to let him take a few photos of Tom and me. He positioned Tom a few feet behind me in the background and then told me to look towards Tom. Tom was down on one knee holding the most beautiful ring, and all I remember was telling him he was “making a scene.” Those pictures are so special to us.
When did y’all get married? August 2, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I wanted my dress hunt to be very simple and relaxed. I took only my mom with me and we made a fun girls’ day out of it. We found my dress at the first shop we visited, The Sentimentalist in Atlanta. I loved how light and breathable it was. I’m a very low key person, so I wanted simplicity as well as comfort, and the Elizabeth Dye gown provided both. I selected a gold scalloped belt to accent the waistline.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Directly after the ceremony, Tom, Haley (our photographer), Aphid (our dog), and I snuck away for about 20 minutes. Tom took us to the edge of a field that overlooked the entire county–a gorgeous view. We caught the tail end of the sunset and it was the first time we’d gotten to be alone that entire month, really. It was so quiet and I felt so at peace at that moment.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We purchased a 100-year-old farmhouse and are knee-deep in renovations. Married life is so fun. I love not having to say goodbye at night. When he leaves for work in the morning, he kisses me on the forehead–he thinks I’m still asleep, but I’m not. I love that. I just love sharing this life with him.

Photographer: Haley Sheffield / Videographer: Hampton Road Studios / Planner: Molly McKinley Designs / Venue: Private residence / Florist: Lindsay Coletta Designs / Cake Baker: Jan McCord Catering / Caterer: Leon Holloway / Rentals: Southern Vintage / Band: Celebration Band / Paper Products: Emma Torrence / Bride’s Gown: “Tempest” by Elizabeth Dye / Bridal Salon: The Sentimentalist / Hair and Makeup: Sarah Elisabeth Makeup Artistry / Bride’s Shoes: “On the Floor” by Seychelles

Haley Sheffield is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Atlanta Wedding Planner & Designer | Peach-Inspired | Atlanta Wedding Planning & Design reply

    […] special thank you to Southern Weddings for featuring this sweet fete. You can view their feature here. Also, make sure to check out their amazing wedding day […]

  2. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    Those wedding videos get me teary every time! I really like how they incorporated a line from Oceans into their day :)

  3. avatar Victoria reply

    Hello!

    I’m a bride who is looking for mix and match dresses, and these bridesmaids dresses are gorgeous! I know that they are most likely no longer on sale, but I just have no idea where to look for this kind of style. Comfortable, breathable, and slightly more casual. Could you direct me to a place where I could find that? Thanks!

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First looks are not for everyone (we love tradition!), but one of the benefits of them is that a bride and groom can say exactly what’s on their mind when they see each other for the first time. Especially if a videographer will be on hand, like Hampton Road Studios was at Lauren and Josh’s first look, having the sweet, honest words spoken in that moment captured forever is priceless! Please enjoy this beautiful video, and be sure to watch all the way to the end!

From the bride:

In the South, family and friends are the most important people to us. We were surrounded by those we loved all day on our wedding day, and my grandfather officiated our unity ceremony. The most memorable moment of our wedding day was the first time we saw each other. I was reluctant to do a first look because I wanted Josh to see me for the first time as I walked down the aisle, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world now. I had pre-wedding jitters, and seeing Josh gave me such a sense of calm and peace. It was perfect.

Videographer: Hampton Road Studios / Photographer: SheHeWe Photography / Venue: Private estate / Planner: Vanessa Pitts / Catering & Cakes: Vintage Cakes & Catering / DJ: Spangler Entertainment / Hair & Makeup: Parlour 3 / Florist: Jan Giordano / Vocalist: Mackenzie Wasner / Musicians: Chuck Callahan, Rose Rodgers, Clint Hutchinson, Ben Johnson

See more of our wedding films here!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Ashley Hampton reply

    We absolutely loved capturing Lauren and Josh’s wedding day! I still get teary-eyed every single time I watch their film! :) Thank you for featuring their story!

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With an artist groom, it’s no surprise that Cara and Major’s wedding was filled with thoughtful decisions, handcrafted details, and joyful, genuine emotion. For example, take note of the handcrafted leather belts Major presented to his groomsmen: each was customized with a hand-carved scene of their “bonding moment,” and Major made sure to talk about what each meant with each groomsman. Despite braving freezing temps and blowing winds, the love oozing out of these two and their family and friends shines through in this film from Hampton Road Studios!

P.S. Make sure to read below for Cara’s thoughts on hiring a videographer — I agree wholeheartedly with what she had to say!

A few words from the bride:

If I’m to be honest, I was way more excited about being married than the wedding day, as I had never put a great deal of thought into the day itself. However, when the day was upon us, I was thrilled and overjoyed with excitement. Major and I really wanted it to be a celebration of the Lord’s providence and gracious love He had given us by blessing us with each other. We wanted to keep the day sacred, but we also wanted to show how excited we were in joining our lives together, which I think we did in music and laid back decor.

My first most memorable moment is when Major saw me for the first time, before the ceremony. It was incredible. He cried. Well, not just cried, more like wept, and it was the sweetest thing. Our wedding coordinator had given us some awesome advice when we were deciding whether to do a first look. She said, “Why would you not see your best friend on what could be the most stressful day of your life? The one who knows you best and will give you great comfort?” We had a very special moment together, and great joy and relief was had for sure! My other most memorable moment was my dance with my dad. He chose two wonderful songs, and we had the DJ mix them together. We just let all our cares go and danced like no one was watching. It was an extremely special moment for me.

My advice? HIRE HAMPTON ROAD STUDIOS! Or the videographer of your choice. It’s been so amazing to go back and see all aspects of our day — I saw what Major’s day was like, and he got to see what mine was like, as well. We have watched our film over and over again, and I truly believe it is an investment in our marriage. Even at our three-month anniversary, it was so wonderful to remember our vows and bring us back to center. Life isn’t easy, and it helps to have a tangible gift like our DVD to re-focus our hearts.

See all of our past wedding films here!

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    The love and joy so evident in this wedding is breathtaking!

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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