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Our Instagram family continues to grow and grow–over 236,000 friends have spent time with us over the last year. Y’all have swooned over sweet moments and lovely wedding details and laughed along with the behind-the-scenes peeks into life in our office. We don’t use the word family lightly, as we love being able to interact with y’all through the power of social sharing. It’s always fun to see what y’all like the most and which details or moments lead to the most conversation. Here are ten of our most-liked Instagram posts from 2016!

The stunning tented reception space at Emily and Jim’s wedding

Hope and Michael’s darling newlywed home tour with some impressive before-and-after renovation peeks

A breathtaking setting for Erica and John’s wedding ceremony.

Maggie’s magnificent and perfectly pink bouquet

Amanda’s stylish Hayley Paige gown and classic up-do

Brent and Graham’s elegant (and cozy) wedding portrait

This sweet bride’s stunning veil

It is quite possible that this is one of my favorite looks of any #SouthernWeddings editorial. A bold statement, I know. But I’m a classic Southern bride through and through, so when you combine my very favorite style elements (big Southern hair, bows, and pearls!) I’m all in a tizzy! Plus, being married to a born and raised Montgomery boy, I can’t help but love our Montgomery bride just a little extra. Link in profile to see the all our beautiful South city styles. Photo by #BlueRibbonVendor @KatelynJames, hair by @AshandCoBridalHair, makeup by @BellelinaStudio, dress by @MiraZwillinger, bouquet by @StephanieGibbsEvents, jewelry by @Croghans, at @KSHGEvents. – @MarissaKloess P.S. Insta has a zoom now, so you can see how gorgeous this gown is! ? /2016/12/13/favorite-wedding-dresses-southern-brides/

A photo posted by Southern Weddings Magazine (@southernweddings) on

Our Montgomery bride and her perfect bow-backed gown

Peyton and her maids (and their magical winter wedding day style)

kristin Written with love by Kristin

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Since we only publish one issue a year, it’s hard for us to share every wedding fashion trend that comes across our desks. And truly, that’s okay, because we want to stay focused on encouraging you to find a wedding dress that’s perfect for YOU, not just one that’s currently buzzy! But, we do love fashion, and we know you do, too, so for the last two years, we’ve had fun putting our own twist on the traditional magazine fashion spread.

Last year, we chose seven gowns that represented virtues of a Southern belle. This year, we dressed eight real Southern belles in gowns inspired by iconic Southern cities. Shopping for your own gown? Don’t be afraid to look outside of your venue’s zip code — we promise each of these beauties would look right at home anywhere in the South!

We’re so grateful to Blue Ribbon Vendor Katelyn James for these gorgeous photos! She made all of our models feel oh-so-comfortable and beautiful on the day of the shoot :)

Unique and cool, the Austin bride embraces a look that’s all her own. Her biggest priority for her dress is that it makes her feel the best version of herself, and this one’s scalloped lace and flowy layer will do just that…and keep her cool in the Texas heat. Sandra is wearing “Iver” by Daughters of Simone with a bouquet by Stephanie Gibbs Events.

The higher the hair, the closer to heaven…and the bigger the bow, the happier the Montgomery bride! Drawing inspiration from sources like Steel Magnolias, she and her groom begin their marriage with a hearty helping of Southern hospitality and style. Jordan is wearing “Chloelis” by Mira Zwillinger with a bouquet by Stephanie Gibbs Events.

Their accents may be peachy sweet, but Atlanta brides have spirits as bold and sparkling as their city’s skyline. This silk faille fluted gown makes a statement from any angle, and would be right at home in any of the city’s dazzling ballrooms. Martine is wearing “Artemis” by Sareh Nouri with a bouquet by Gathering Events.

The Nashville bride can often be found twirling to her favorite country song, and she plans to spend her wedding the exact same way! The slit in this fun lace sheath dress is just right for showing off her beloved boots–she can’t imagine walking down the aisle without them. LaBruce is wearing “Bedford” by Sarah Seven with a bouquet by Stephanie Gibbs Events.

A classic look never fails in one of the South’s most historic destinations. The Williamsburg bride stuns in a satin ball gown, and much like the nooks and corners of this Colonial town, this dress is even lovelier up close–the fabric is embossed with a subtle floral motif. Arch is wearing “Gala” by Modern Trousseau with a bouquet by Branch Design Studio.

Even in a city where unique architecture, jazzy music, and festive traditions can be found around every corner, an ornate, long-sleeved gown will still be the most memorable part of a New Orleans wedding. Layered tulle and re-embroidered lace keep guests’ eyes on the NOLA bride long after the sun sets over the French Quarter. Megan is wearing “Prairie Rose” by Claire Pettibone with a bouquet by Branch Design Studio.

One might call Charleston the quintessential Southern city, so a few Southern belle staples–pearls, scalloped edges, and tulle–are musts for the Charleston bride! Timeless but never dull, she isn’t afraid to put her own spin on traditional elements. Emily is wearing “Lacey Williams” by Heidi Elnora with a bouquet by Gathering Events.

The Florida sun is only outshone by the Palm Beach bride’s wedding day joy! Posing next to bridesmaid outfitted in bright shift dresses, she’s still sure to stand out in a layered gown accented with unexpected and delightful pops of color. Jordan is wearing “Paige” by Hayley Paige with a bouquet by Gathering Events.

I’d love to hear which look is your favorite, and whether we did a good job capturing your favorite Southern city! :)

Venue: The Gadsden House | Hair: Ash & Co. Bridal Hair | Makeup: Bellelina | Jewelry: Croghan’s Jewel Box

Katelyn James and Bellelina are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory. Sarah Seven and Heidi Elnora are wonderful Southern Weddings sponsors.

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar India Hill reply

    I literally teared up when I saw that last dress! It’s the most beautiful dress I’ve ever seen!

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It’s safe to say that when it comes to hospitality, Southerners have a knack for taking things up a notch! One of my very favorite memories from Bridal Market last year was when Alabama-based designer Heidi Elnora invited Kristin and I to see her new collection. Instead of seating us at a runway show, she had us over at the AirBNB she and her team were staying in for the week, offered us PB&J sandwiches and M&Ms, and let us spend as much time as we wanted admiring each and every gown. After days of running around the city in our highest heels, it was such a breath of fresh air to experience such gracious Southern hospitality! This is one of SO many reasons we were thrilled to learn about Heidi’s latest and greatest project: the heidi elnora Atelier, located right in the heart of Birmingham. She poured her heart into turning this downtown warehouse into the ultimate destination for brides, and I’m completely confident that any gal would feel comfortable and confident while dress shopping at the gorgeous space she created!

Tell us about the beginnings of the heidi elnora Atelier—why did you want to open the atelier, and how did you get started?
Ever since I started heidi elnora 10 years ago, I have dreamed of owning my own building. It was one of the many items on my bucket list. Last summer, after my reality show aired on TLC, I decided to start looking for a permanent place to set up shop. Lo and behold, there she was, an empty brick box that was built in 1891 on the most perfect cobblestone street, Morris Avenue, in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. I immediately contacted my husband and my real estate agent, and within a few days, we were under contract!

Tell us about the renovation process! How did you find the space and transform it to fit your vision?
I basically bought an 8,000 sq. ft. empty box (no plumbing, electrical or HVAC), but to me, it was the perfect canvas to begin creating my atelier. I basically became a general contractor for seven months, making sure that every wall, plug, paint color, and detail was perfection. I would literally be at the building every morning to discuss the daily plans with my builder, and every night, I was on Pinterest and Houzz, pulling ideas and additional details together. The majority of the goods used in the building were sourced locally from wood mills, iron workers, local artisans, and even a rock quarry from Alabama for a specific local marble for the mini bar in the bridal suites. (Yep, we have a mini bar in the bridal suites–you never know when you need to celebrate with rosé!)

Just for fun, here are a few before pictures!

Tell us about what y’all offer to brides and gals.
We offer everything, from our 70+ wedding gowns from our three collections (heidi elnora, Build-a-Bride, and Hello Darling), to creating a couture gown from scratch (brides fly in from all over the country for this), to buying your bridal lingerie (For Love and Lemons), wedding shoes (Harriet Wilde and Badgley Mischka), veils, accessories, garters, rehearsal dinner dresses, and bridesmaid and hostess gifts. The heidi elnora Atelier can dress you from head to toe and everywhere in between!

What sets the heidi elnora Atelier experience apart from other bridal salons?
What sets the heidi elnora Atelier apart from other bridal salons is that I took the BEST pieces and practices from all the stores that I sell to or have visited and incorporated them into the atelier, creating the ULTIMATE bridal experience. I call the atelier the “Barbie dream bridal boutique” because it is just that–it’s EVERYTHING!

What is your single best tip for a bride about to start shopping for her wedding gown?
Stay true to who you are. Do not allow friends, family, or a bridal stylist to persuade you into wearing something that doesn’t make your heart smile. You have to LOVE your dress…almost as much as you love your fiancé :)

Do you have a favorite memory of the heidi elnora Atelier?
It’s probably people’s expressions when they see it for the first time. It’s truly lovely–all 8,000 sq. ft. of it.

What is your current favorite wedding dress in the store? If you were to get married tomorrow, what dress would you wear?
I would probably have to go with one of the dresses from my Hello Darling line. They are more relaxed in terms of fitm and very lightweight. They are light-hearted and full of whimsy, and that is where I am now being a mother of two little boys.

What is your favorite memory from your own wedding day?
Seeing my sweet fiancé/now-husband, Jeff, at the end of the aisle, and knowing that I was getting to spend the rest of my life with him.

What is the single greatest lesson you’ve learned in business?
That God has got this. All of my worrying does nothing to move things faster, or make things happen more efficiently.

Name three items every gal should have in her closet.
A great pair of comfy black jeans with the knees cut out, a chandelier, and an organized shoe closet with lots of year-round boots.

Thank you so much, Heidi! Be sure to follow along with her and her gorgeous atelier here:

Website | Atelier website | Facebook | Twitter | Heidi’s Instagram | heidi elnora Atelier Instagram

This post is brought to you by heidi elnora Atelier–thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

lisa Written with love by Lisa

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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