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I’ve never been a big fan of flowers (crazy, right?). I’ve always thought they were beautiful, mind you, but after reading about the incredibly sweet and personal blooms in Taylor + Chris’ wedding, I think I might be having a change of heart. Taylor and her sister/maid of honor’s bouquets were wrapped with trim from their mother’s wedding gown; the centerpieces were held by family heirlooms; and Chris’ boutonniere including a calla lilly, the same flower his late grandmother carried down the aisle on her wedding day. Unsurprisingly, the flowers weren’t the only thing that had special family ties in this wedding: all the linens were vintage and borrowed from family members, and even Taylor’s going away dress was constructed from her mama’s own wedding gown! Heavens, I love weddings in the South!

We’re tickled pink that three Blue Ribbon Vendors contributed to this wedding — special thanks to Theo Milo, Social Butterfly Events, and Heirloom Vintage China!

I went shopping for my dress with my mom and sister, and the moment I put on my dress, I knew it was the right one for me. There were no tears or drama, I just felt very much like myself when I was wearing it. I never expected to select a lace dress, but the unique, crochet-like quality to the lace appealed to me instantly, and I love that I was able to customize it with a low back and buttons.

I must admit, I LOVE the bows on Taylor’s shoes! So cute!

Our flowers were completely perfect. I didn’t give much direction besides “lush, romantic, and peonies,” but my mom and our floral designer worked together to create stunning arrangements and bouquets that were more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. I also love that our florals incorporated personal touches: my bouquet and my sister/maid of honor’s bouquet were wrapped with trim from the dress my mother wore for my parents’ wedding in 1972, and Chris’s boutonniere included a calla lily, which is the flower his late grandmother carried in her own wedding in 1944. The reception floral centerpieces were arranged in antique silver serving pieces belonging to my parents and their friends, including a large punch bowl, dessert trays, and even a cocktail shaker!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look. It was important to both of us that our first glimpses of each other on our wedding day occurred as I was walking down the aisle. As a wedding guest, I’ve always found the moment when the groom sees his bride for the first time so romantic, and I’m glad we experienced it for ourselves surrounded by our friends and family.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our wedding could not have been the beautiful and special day it was without special touches contributed by our friends and family, and the very, very hard work that my mom put in to bringing them all together with our wedding planner. All of the linens (napkins, tablecloths, etc.) were vintage pieces that belonged to my grandparents, Chris’ grandparents, and my godparents’ family. My mom also constructed a beautiful going away dress for me out of the wedding dress that she wore when she married my dad in 1972.

Incorporating personal family touches made our wedding feel very Southern and traditional, without feeling stuffy or cookie-cutter. We used heirloom linens loaned by family members, arranged the floral centerpieces in vintage silver serving pieces, and my mom made my going away dress out of her own wedding dress from 1972. Guests were served a family-style meal on mismatched vintage china at oversized wooden farm tables. Chris and I met in college at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, and it was so fun for our college friends to dance together to “Wagon Wheel” and other country songs that became anthems for our friends when we called the South our home.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Chris and I met during freshmen orientation at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. We had both been assigned to Babcock residence hall, and he caught my eye while playing lacrosse on the lawn in front of the building. I mistook his shyness for disinterest, so I was stuck in the “friend zone,” but after getting to know each other for a few weeks, we had our first kiss on Babcock’s roof, with the campus and its iconic Wait Chapel in the distance. We’ve been together ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! In the spring of 2012, Chris and I were living in Charlotte, NC and preparing to move to New York City. During a trip to New York to look for an apartment in the city, Chris and I found the perfect place, signed a lease, and went off in search of a drink to celebrate. Chris suggested we visit the High Line, a linear park on the west side of Manhattan built on a section of what used to be an elevated railroad. While looking out over the Hudson River, Chris completely surprised me with a beautiful proposal and stunning engagement ring. It was the perfect beginning to our new life in our new city.
When did y’all get married? May 26, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My godmother read a passage from Louis de Bernieres’ novel, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and Chris’s father read Colossians 3:12-17.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The guitarist and saxophonist from our reception band, GrooveTown, performed acoustically for our ceremony and cocktail hour. Most of the ceremony music was traditional, but once we were pronounced husband and wife, we recessed down the aisle to an instrumental version of “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray Lamontagne, which set a celebratory tone the evening. GrooveTown absolutely brought down the house during the reception, and played excellent covers of “FM” by Steely Dan for the father/daughter dance, “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack for the mother/son dance, and “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by Otis Redding for our first dance as husband as wife. GrooveTown played a great mix of our favorite oldies/Motown songs and more contemporary pop and country songs, and we had a blast dancing the night away with our closest friends and family.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our white cake with strawberry and lemon filling was simply decorated with white buttercream frosting and fresh flowers.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I can say with all honesty that we were incredibly impressed with all of our vendors, but we were so thrilled with the family-style meal that Christi and her team from Pine Valley Market prepared and executed. We also absolutely adored our stunning venue, Brooklyn Arts Center at St. Andrews. I also have to mention my photographer, Theo Milo. Obviously his photos speak for themselves, but Chris and I adored working with him during our wedding and our engagement session in NYC.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Dancing for hours on end with all of our very favorite people under one roof.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Chris and I are still living in Manhattan, in the East Village apartment we found the day we got engaged. We’re enjoying our city with our friends and our sweet, goofy black lab, and looking forward to facing together whatever life throws at us next!

Photographer: Theo Milo Photography / Videographer: 7 Season Films / Planner: Charyl Williams of Social Butterfly Events / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Brooklyn Arts Center At St. Andrews / Florist: Verzaal’s / Wedding Cake: Apple Annie’s Bake Shop / Caterer: Pine Valley Market / Rentals: Heirloom For Hire / Band: Groovetown / Bride’s Gown: “Quinn” by Modern Trousseau / Going-Away Dress: Handmade by Mother of the Bride / Paper Products: Heather Ivady / Bride and Bridesmaids’ Monogram Bracelets: Marinette Jewelry on Etsy / Hair Stylist: Nsalo / Makeup Artist: Maari Wohlhueter / Bride’s Shoes: Valentino / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Aiden” by Jenny Yoo / Groom’s Attire: Bespoke Tuxedo by Suit Supply SoHo / Groomsmen Attire: Their own

Theo Milo, Social Butterfly Events, and Heirloom are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    LOVE her style–her dress, shoes, bouquet, all of it!–and their romantic NYC proposal story!

  2. avatar Lasting Bridal Couture reply

    Loving the lace work on the brides gown. The flowers are beautiful and go perfectly with the decor. A very sweet wedding.

  3. avatar /2013/10/04/simple-north-carolina-wedding-by-theo-milo/ | Heirloom Vintage China Hire reply

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  4. avatar msdressshop reply

    The dress is very beautiful. The fabric is very smooth and it is very shining.

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Tradition is BIG in the South. It’s woven throughout our lives, from how we make our beds to how we design our homes (with wide front porches, obviously!). Nowhere is it more present, though, than when we’re planning our weddings. Whether we’re toasting with the same flutes our grandparents did, carrying a hankie embroidered with the initials of all of our siblings, or cutting our cake with a knife engraved with three generations of wedding dates, the past has a way of making itself known on the day we say “I do.” We filled this shoot with ways — both new and old — to honor your past and celebrate your future. Add in the abundance of gardenias and graceful Spanish moss, and you’ve got the inspiration for a sweetly Southern soiree.

Nancy Ray photographed all the beautiful details, including this stationery suite by Regas. I adore the magnolia envelope liner!

We were lucky to have sweet readers standing in for our models this time around. Stacie and Nick, newlyweds themselves, posed as our bride and groom, and Alex and Ashley stood in as bridesmaids.

This lovely gown is the “Blossoming Weir” from BHLDN. With detailing like that, you’d hardly need any jewelry at all.

I love this alternative ring pillow!

As soon as we saw the City Club at de Rosset in Wilmington, we knew it would be just perfect for this particular shoot — after all, the shutters were the exact shade of green we were incorporating elsewhere! We adored the wide front porch and all the silver details.

Aren’t these notes the sweetest? Hardink Calligraphy penned them for us, and we think they’d be such a lovely addition to a small wedding. Your guests would certainly feel welcomed and loved, no matter how good (or bad!) your own handwriting is!

Gardenias are a notoriously fragile flower, which is why we love the clay version from DK Designs. They’re a perfect takeaway for guests, and look lovely gracing a dinner plate or napkin!

This gorgeous cake pull set is available from Weddings Etc. Read more about the cake pull tradition here!

That about sums it up, does it not? Beautiful work by Hardink Calligraphy! Be sure to pick up your copy of V5 to see even more goodness from this shoot!

Nancy Ray and Hardink Calligraphy are fabulous members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Jessica Thornton reply

    We had magnolia leaves in the sanctuary for our wedding ceremony! Being from Mississippi, we love our state flower!

  2. avatar Megan reply

    Hi! I have a question for yall! I’m wanting to get an embroidered patch of my initials and wedding day put on the inside of my wedding dress. Do I use my maiden monogram or my new monogram?

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Megan! I’m so excited to hear you’re going to do a monogram inside your wedding dress. Traditionally one puts their maiden monogram inside their wedding dress. This was done long ago as a way to identify who wore the gown when it had been passed down. Wishing you all the best! xx

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    Gorgeous calligraphy and magnolias…two of my weaknesses!

  4. avatar Dee Shore reply

    Gosh I love that BHLDN gown. It’s so understated, yet so pretty. The cake is STUNNING. It’s my new obsession ruffled cakes.

  5. avatar Kate Collison reply

    Ahhh! I’ve been collecting charms for weeks for the charm pull we’ll have at our wedding! Hydrangeas will be everywhere. I love this shoot! It’s so classic and relates to “real-life” brides very well! Thank you!

  6. avatar Kristyn M reply

    Can we buy that print at the very end? I want to frame it for my home! Its perfect!

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  8. avatar Cameron reply

    Oh my goodness, this shoot is beautiful! The calligraphy and the classy southern touches….wonderful! Can’t wait for the V5 to be in my hands so I can swoon over this some more! Thanks for the Spring inspiration….there’ s so many great ideas here!!

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