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When we set out to create Southern Weddings V8, one of the shoots we were most excited about was this one: The Fabric of a Southern Belle. We’ve never really done a “fashion” shoot before, and naturally, we wanted to put our own SW spin on this one–hopefully, inspiring y’all in a deeper way than just with pretty gowns. Conversations in our office and on Instagram led us to our inspiration: what is it exactly that makes a Southern belle? We all know it’s more than just an address–it’s a way of life and of looking at the world, and in honor of the belles in our own lives that we admire and look up to, we dove into the qualities that make Southern belles so special. With the help of seven Southern designers, seven darling reader models, and a tremendously talented team, we created a look for each gal that personified one of the qualities we find most prominent–we hope you see a little bit of yourself and the ladies you love in each one!

The Southern belle is gracious. She has a servant’s heart and is the first to lend a hand. Sydni looked fabulous in “Brooke Mason” by Alabama designer Heidi Elnora!

The Southern belle is elegant. While more can be more, she prefers just enough. How gorgeous is Anne Louise in “The Woodlands” by Texas designer Lela Rose?

The Southern belle is confident. She doesn’t need the approval of others, but stands firm in the truths of which she can be sure. Our own Emily’s sister, Kimberly, rocked “Barrymore” by Charleston designer Kate McDonald, and it was so much fun having her at the shoot!

The Southern belle is romantic. She believes in love at first sight, summer romances, and marriages that are strong as a Southern oak. Claire looked lovely in Style 5885 by Miami designer, Liancarlo.

The Southern belle is fun. She isn’t afraid to play, to dance, or to laugh with her head thrown back. We couldn’t get enough of our darling cover gal, Alexandra, in the “Kian” corset and “Priya” skirt by Texas designer Watters!

The Southern belle is warm. Her doors are always open and her front porch always full. Kimberly looked amazing in “Jenny” by Georgia designer, Anne Barge!

The Southern belle is strong. She exemplifies both femininity and inner fortitude. The “Bridgette” gown by Nashville designer Olia Zavozina was so striking on Megan!

Thank you SO much to the talented team and reader models who made this day possible! To see more from this shoot, pick up a copy of Southern Weddings V8, now on news stands across the Southeast, or order online in the Southern Weddings Shop.

Keep an eye out for more Southern Weddings V8 editorials coming up on the blog in the coming weeks! In the meantime, we’d love to know, which of these qualities do you most identify with? Does it match your favorite gown? I’m a “romantic” at heart, but the “elegant” gown is one of my favorites in this issue!

Photography: Eric Kelley / Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab / Venue: Tuckahoe Plantation / Stylist and Florals: Mallory Joyce / Hair and Makeup: Heidi Marie Garrett

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Victoria reply

    LOVED this feature!! The “southern belle is gracious” look with the magnolias just stopped me in my tracks- SO beautiful!

  2. avatar Stephanie Scholl reply

    This entire feature is pure PERFECTION. I can’t possibly choose a favorite look or favorite characteristic – every detail is exquisite and so beautifully represents a Southern belle. I’m so in love with this whole shoot.

  3. avatar Erin | Elizabeth Anne Designs reply

    the gowns… the brides… all gorgeous!

  4. avatar Dana reply

    So glad you added more photos from this shoot here! Love it even more now!

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Sweet friends, I could not be more overjoyed to introduce you to…the Southern Weddings V8 cover!!

Isn’t she gorgeous? And even better, though you can’t tell from the image above… the flag is the most beautiful rose gold foil!

In this issue, we really honed in on the stories behind our editorials. Each one starts with a couple and a love story we dreamed up, because we wanted to demonstrate how you too can be inspired by your own story while planning for your wedding–the kick-off to the adventure of married life. Along with that, we also thought long and hard about YOU, our dear reader. More than anything, we’re passionate about equipping you with the very BEST information and tools to plan your wedding. We want you to enter into married life joyfully and confidently, knowing that you lived your engagement with intention and planned a truly purposeful wedding–pointing yourself, your groom, and your guests to the true meaning of the day.

We thought about your families and the traditions you hold dear. We thought about the lessons you’ve learned from the generations before you, the heirlooms you’ll pass down someday, and the elements of the South that fill your heart and make you feel most at home. We’re so honored to have you as our reader, and to walk with you on this sweet journey into your forever marriage. It’s only fitting, then, that we wanted our cover to represent YOU!

Our cover girl, Alexandra, is a reader model who flew from Alabama to Virginia one day this summer to join us at a shoot that was all about celebrating what it means to be a Southern belle. Our longtime friend Eric Kelley photographed her at Tuckahoe Plantation, while Heidi Marie Garrett gave her an adorable top knot and fresh makeup, Mallory Joyce lent her styling eye, and Watters (a designer based in Texas) provided her fun gown. We love the fact that this cover is reminiscent of V3: Alexandra has the sweet approachability and joy that Paulina, our V3 cover gal, did, but Alexandra’s look is completely modern and perfect for a Southern belle in 2015!

Our official release is Thursday, but if history is any indication, copies may begin to pop up on news stands any day now! Be sure to snap a pic of yourself with your copy and hashtag #SouthernWeddingsV8 on Instagram or Twitter–we LOVE seeing your smiling faces!! If you live outside the South, you can always find a copy in our shop. Preorders are shipping this week!

We can’t WAIT to hear what you think of this issue and this darling cover!! Honestly, y’all, it’s my all-time favorite, and I know I’m not the only one in the SW office :) Comment below and let us know if you love it as much as we do!!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
6 Comments
  1. avatar Kati Mallory reply

    Absolutely LOVE it! Great job girls – can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

  2. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    Oh my stars this is beautiful ladies!! :)

  3. avatar Dana reply

    I picture myself very similarly on my wedding day. Though, do I dare eat a peach? This cover is PERFECT and I can’t wait to get the magazine!!!!!

  4. avatar Stephanie Scholl reply

    Ya’ll. I CAN’T EVEN!!!!!! So, so, so good – and it’s true, it’s even more beautiful in person!!!

  5. avatar Carrie Joy reply

    Oh my goodness – this is just STUNNING! Y’all have outdone yourself yet again! I can’t wait to see it in person :-) And I love how it has that similar quality to V3 – the first issue I got my hands on & where my love of Southern Weddings began! Y’all are amazing!

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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