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I spent Christmas and New Year’s in my home state of Texas, and I must admit, I miss it already! Thankfully, I have Lauryl and Langdon’s lovely Pilot Point wedding to admire from afar and give me a little dose of the Lone Star State in North Carolina today. This sweet couple was inspired by the natural beauty of their venue (White Oaks Ranch, which you may recognize from this V7 editorial!), and with the help of their planner, After Yes Weddings, and florist, Coco Fleur, they celebrated their marriage with a wedding that struck the loveliest balance between rustic and elegant.

Thank you so much to Apryl Ann for sharing this beautiful wedding with us!

My something borrowed was the beautiful long veil I wore, loaned to me by my matron of honor. Putting the veil on for the first time was one of my most emotional moments of the day. My something old was my ring, which had belonged to Lang’s grandmother, who passed away before we met.

Describe your wedding flowers. White Oaks is so lush and green, so I really wanted to keep the flowers minimal and let the natural greenery be the star. Our invitations incorporated ferns, so I asked our florist to do the same, which she did beautifully.

I loved the altar covered with ferns. Our florist left empty vases on it for each of our mothers to put their bouquets in. We then combined their bouquets with mine during the ceremony to create a unity bouquet!

The ceremony featured acoustic guitar renditions of some favorite songs, including “Here Comes the Sun” by George Harrison for our parents, “Best Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes for the wedding party, “Rise” by Eddie Vedder for my walk down the aisle, and “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz for the recessional.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I’ve spent a lot of time in Pilot Point with my parents, riding their horses on the local trails, so I already loved the area. I wanted a casual outdoor ranch wedding, and Lang wanted a more traditional, formal wedding. The outdoor pavilion at White Oaks was the perfect mix of traditional elegance and a very natural, outdoor setting. I also loved the 100-year-old tree where we held the ceremony.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had a toasted meringue-covered Quatros Leches Cake from La Duni. We love La Duni, and I loved the simplicity and color of the meringue.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We both wore our cowboy boots and encouraged our wedding party, family, and guests to do the same with their black tie attire. We also had the band play lots of classic George Jones and Don Williams!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at a karaoke dive bar in Dallas with a large group of mutual friends. A friend wanted to introduce us because we had the same last name. Lang sang several songs that night, the highlight being Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore,” which became the song he would always sing to me at karaoke bars.
Tell us all about the proposal! We were on vacation with my family at Lake Tahoe over Christmas. Lang had asked my dad for his blessing before the trip, so everyone knew his plans except for me. After a day on the slopes at Squaw Valley, Lang sat down next to me at the top of the mountain as I was putting on my snowboard and proposed. He’d bravely kept the ring in his pocket all day while skiing!
When did y’all get married? May 3, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to our favorite slow song, Keith Whitley’s classic “When You Say Nothing at All.” We ended the night with all the guests swaying arm-in-arm in a big circle to Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore.”
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I have graphic resources through my work, so I opted to purchase artwork files from the invitation designer and then sourced a local letterpresser to do the printing, formatting, and assembling of everything. I also recruited the help of crafty friends and family for the frames, signs, and table numbers.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our band, The Revolvers. We received so many compliments on them from our guests, and they learned countless new songs for us. They really made the night special for us!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? If you can hire planners, even for just the day or month of, it’s well worth it. I could not have imagined a more stress-free wedding week or weekend. Amanda Connolly with After Yes was wonderful to work with through every step of the planning process.

Photographer: Apryl Ann / Planner: After Yes Weddings / Venue: White Oaks Ranch / Florist: Coco Fleur / Wedding Cake: La Duni / Caterer: Gil’s Elegant Catering/ Rentals: Ducky Bobs / Lighting: Absolute Lighting / Band: The Revolvers / Invitation Design: Antiquaria / Invitation Letterpress Printing: Elefant Press / Bride’s Gown: Allure / Hair Stylist: Rachel Andonian / Makeup Artist: Rachel Andonian and Rebecca Longmire / Bride’s Shoes: Lucchese / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Photo Booth: Photobooth Love Notes

lisa Written with love by Lisa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Anastasia reply

    I adore her paper goods! The ferns in the envelope are gorgeous, as is her dress! Love!

  2. avatar Dana reply

    pretty cowgirl boots!!!

  3. avatar Caitlin Sullivan reply

    Every detail in this wedding is absolutely stunning! And it looks like it all starts with the venue and the lace dress!!

  4. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    Look at all the beautiful greenery and florals. The greens are so rich, it really compliments her the white flowers.

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It took exactly one year for Kimberly and Jason to go from their first date to their wedding day. As someone who never would have imagined I’d get engaged just eight months after starting to date my now-fiancé, I could not agree more with Kimberly’s sentiment: when you know, you know! These two couldn’t resist tying the knot on the same occasion that fell on their first date, the Kentucky Derby. Drawing from this beloved Southern sporting event for inspiration, as well as Kimberly’s passion for all things equestrian, Kimberly and Jason set out to plan a sweet spring wedding, complete with fabulous hats and an abundance of mint juleps. Marilisa of Chancey Charm Weddings was on hand to ensure the day went off seamlessly, and our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Chris Isham, captured every special moment and detail!

On Saturday, May 4, 2013, a dark bay colt named Itsmyluckyday ran in the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Unfortunately for him, it was not his lucky day, as he finished near the end of the pack, but for Jason and me, that day changed our lives forever. It was the day we sat in a corner booth at The Capital Grille in Atlanta for over four hours on our first date. Less than a week later, we had a second dinner date that lasted over five hours, and by our third date, we both finally understood what the phrase “you will just know” meant. We both felt that all the years leading up to us meeting were years that God had used to mold and shape us to be ready for each other.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? The layout of our wedding day was a bit unusual in that we wanted to keep the ceremony very small and intimate, with only our families and extended families in attendance. Following the ceremony, we had a cocktail hour so that our ceremony guests could mingle, and the other 200+ guests who were invited to the reception arrived. We decided to do a first look before the ceremony, as we wanted a moment that was all ours to read the vows that we had written for each other. This was the most intimate moment of the day, and one we will never forget!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? When my dear friend, client, and business partner offered her farm to us as a wedding venue, the decision was a no-brainer–it is immaculately kept and so very serene! My horse is boarded at the farm, and I train clients’ horses, so I am there most days of the week. The farm is like heaven on earth to me! You could truly feel the presence of God at the farm on our wedding day.

I knew that our ceremony was going to be an emotional time, so we added a little comic relief by having my dog, Zhou, as our ring bearer! He goes to work with me every day, so he knows his way around the farm. He did perfectly coming down the aisle and sitting with us, but I guess he got a little bored, because he started rolling around in the grass at my feet. It was a great laugh!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Jason and I both agree that when our photographer took us to the pasture to have some photos taken between the ceremony and reception, we were truly able to breathe in the atmosphere. The reception guests had arrived, and the band was starting up, so from a distance, we were able to let everything sink in for a moment.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The Kentucky Derby theme was a lot of fun! It was quite significant considering our first date and wedding day were both on Derby Day. I have also ridden my entire life and have made my career training horses, so it fit my personality and passions. Our guests seemed to really enjoy the Derby attire, and everyone looked so posh! We wanted the overall feel to be elegant, yet comfortable, and I think the Derby theme helped us achieve this. From the Derby props in the photo booth to the lavender mint juleps, it was so much fun!

We wanted an environment that encouraged our guest to be up, moving and mingling. We had enough seating/tables for about half our guests, so those who wanted to sit had the option, but we also had a bunch of high tables set out for those wanting to stand. Mac the Cheese was the perfect fit for our desire to have people “grazing” on the Southern fixins’. They set up a couple of Southern food stations, and also served off the truck. We made sure to have plenty of sweet tea as well!

Jason and I discussed eloping right after we got engaged because neither of us considered ourselves “wedding” people, but it was so important for us to have our family there. I was not a girl who grew up dreaming of a fairy tale wedding, so I had to mentally break things down and think of it like planning a big party. In the end, it all turned out to be a fairy tale wedding, and we were so happy that we didn’t elope.

Don’t miss their teaser from Remedy Wedding Films!

Tell us about the proposal! On a Wednesday evening in early October, after having dinner in Chattanooga, Jason and I took a walk across the Walnut Street Bridge. While sitting on a bench overlooking the Tennessee River, Jason asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. We chose May 3, 2014 for our wedding date, and the 140th Kentucky Derby ran as our friends and families celebrated our union, exactly one year from our first date!
When did y’all get married? May 3, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 75 at the ceremony, about 275 at the reception
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Finding my dress was one of the easiest parts of wedding planning! I thought it might be a daunting task, as I am not much of a shopper, and I had never thought about my future wedding dress. I made three appointments on one day and invited my mom and sister to join me. My second appointment was almost cut short, as I did not want to dig through the hundreds of dresses on the racks at Bridals by Lori, but my sister jumped at the opportunity and started bringing dresses to me in the fitting room. I tried on a few that were beautiful, but the fourth or fifth dress brought a tear to my eye when I walked out to show my mom. The dress was so unique and had so many different elements to it. It was a perfect fit for my personality!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? For the ceremony, we wanted all the glory to be given to God. A childhood friend of mine, who is now an ordained minister, told our story of how God brought us together, and we took communion. We also put a unity cross together to represent two becoming one. We had scripture read, as well as praise and worship music played.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was a hair clip that my sister (my matron of honor) had worn in her wedding. For my something blue, I had fabric that belonged to my late grandmother (a seamstress) sewn in the underside of my dress. My something old was an old Italian handkerchief given to me from our mentor couple on our wedding day. I wrapped it around my bouquet under the diamond horseshoe brooch that I had pinned to the stems.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Breathe…your engagement should be about the marriage, not the wedding. We attend North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, and we were blessed to go through their premarital mentoring program. It was time well spent leading up to the biggest decision of our lives. We loved our mentor couple and continue to seek their wisdom and guidance!

Photographer: Chris Isham Photography / Videographer: Remedy Wedding Films / Planner: Chancey Charm / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Serenity Farm / Florist: Bloomin’ Bouquets / Cake Baker: Cakes by Darcy / Caterer: Mac the Cheese / Rentals and Lighting: Classic Party Rentals / Band: Az Izz / Photo Booth: Wow Photo Booth / Paper Products: Ecru Stationery & Design / Bridal Salon, Bride’s Accessories, and Men’s Attire: Bridals by Lori / Hair Stylist: Studio Todd G / Makeup Artist: The Moore Agency / Bride’s Shoes: Benjamin Adams and Stuart Weiztman / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bravura / Monogram Throw Pillows: I Do Linens / Transportation: Easy Ride Golf Carts

Chris Isham is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
8 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Love that their wedding was able to take place at such a special spot for them!

  2. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    I think the small ceremony was a great alternative to just eloping. Beautiful wedding!

  3. avatar Charmaine (Rustic Folk Weddings) reply

    Love how the couple incorporated the cross at the altar. Beautiful wedding!

  4. avatar Marilisa reply

    Such a blessing to have worked with this amazing couple! Their sincere focus on the marriage more than just the wedding details was refreshing and obviously radiates in their love for one another in the photos :) Thanks SW ladies for sharing!!

  5. avatar Rachel Nordgren reply

    As someone who LOVES horses, this looks like the most darling wedding! What a beautiful location, and I adore that they had their dog in the ceremony!

  6. avatar Sarah Chancey reply

    This wedding was such a blessing to be a part of!

  7. avatar Chris Isham reply

    Y’all are the best! Thanks so much for sharing this wedding!! :)

  8. avatar 5 Gorgeous Rustic Romantic and Elegant Wedding Ideas & Color Palettes – Elegantweddinginvites.com Blog reply

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I don’t even know where to start with today’s wedding because there is just so much that I absolutely love about it! Sweet, classic couple? Check. Sentimental venue with amazing views? Yes ma’am. An elegant reception and Southern details for days? You got it. Emily and Justin’s wedding was beautiful, no doubt about it, but what I love most about these two is the fact that they were so intentional in their wedding planning. They fulfilled some of Emily’s longtime wedding dreams (don’t miss the story about her dress!), built lots of meaningful moments into their timeline, and soaked in every second of the day once it arrived. We’re so happy that Genya of Vue Photography was on hand to capture it all so beautifully and then share it with us!

I actually found my wedding dress back in 2004! I was shopping for my debutante dress when I saw a sketch of a Carolina Herrera gown on the wall of the bridal salon. It was gorgeous and I begged my mom to let me try that dress on if they actually had it in the store, which they did! I still loved it years later and we went back to the same bridal salon to have it altered a little bit–I changed from a lace bolero-style top at the ceremony to a beautiful top with pearl and crystal accents for the reception.

Describe your wedding flowers. Beyond my wildest expectations! I am a very detail-oriented person, but have very little experience with flowers, so it was difficult for me to communicate what I wanted. I knew I wanted full arrangements in mostly white with green accents, and silver vases. I also had my heart set on a magnolia garland lining the back row of the chairs at the ceremony. Leon (our florist and caterer) did an amazing job.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Justin’s sister, Kristen, read Romans 12:9-18, and our friend, Heather, read an excerpt from a letter John Steinbeck wrote to his son in 1958, after his son told him he had fallen in love. Justin came across the letter in a book my dad had given me, and we love it so, so much. “First – if you are in love – that’s a good thing – that’s about the best that that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you. Second – There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you – of kindness and consideration and respect – not only the social aspect of manners, but the greater respect, which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak, but the second can release in you strength and courage and goodness, and even wisdom you didn’t know you had. Glory in it and be very glad and grateful for it.”

Kolomoki Farm is my family’s farm in southwest Georgia, and it is where I have wanted to get married ever since I first started to think about my future wedding! I know I’m biased, but I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful place for a wedding. We timed our ceremony so that the sun would set during cocktail hour; it’s so gorgeous out there, and we wanted our guests to be able to enjoy it. Kolomoki is also where Justin proposed!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Justin and I both really loved having a private dinner by the lake during our cocktail hour. It was a hard decision, because we weren’t sure we wanted to miss that time with our guests, but it ended up being very special. We ate on our wedding china, relished in the fact that we were married (!), and had a moment to look over at everyone and take it all in. Walking through the tent at the start of the reception for our first dance was also an incredible moment. Seeing everyone that you love around you is such a surreal feeling.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I had a great time putting together our welcome bags and loved including special details–peanuts from our farm, UNC Tarheel-shaped cookies from Southern Seasons for Justin, bottled Coca-Cola just like we drink during quail hunting breaks, the welcome letter my dad helped me craft. I was also so proud of our escort cards–we had to think creatively so that they wouldn’t blow away in case it was windy, so I worked with Erin at Hi Note to create little cards that we tied with ribbon around champagne glasses for all of our guests. I loved that we got the party started that way!

I’m from Georgia and Justin is from North Carolina, so we are Southern through and through. We were married on my family’s quail-hunting farm in Southwest Georgia. Our food was incredible–we served boiled peanuts on all of the bars, pimento cheese and candied bacon at cocktail hour, and grilled quail, shrimp and grits, and a biscuit bar at the reception. We also incorporated lots of monograms! Justin and his groomsmen monogrammed their cummerbunds from High Cotton Ties, my mom had our cake knife and silver toasting goblets engraved, and we had our monogram embroidered on pillows that sat in rocking chairs during cocktail hour. Justin also wants to add that my wedding day gift to him was a shotgun, and that “there’s nothing more Southern than that!”

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We actually met at work! I thought Justin was really cute when I first met him, and I referred to him as the “hot, old guy at work” to my friends for several months before we ever went on a date (Note: he’s only four years older than me, but I guess 26 sounded so mature to my 22-year-old self at the time!). The morning after our first kiss, I called and texted my then-roommate–who was out of town–so many times that her boyfriend pulled her out of the shower, exclaiming “It’s Emily and Hot Old Guy!” She was one of my bridesmaids and hilariously re-told the story during her toast at our rehearsal dinner.
Tell us all about the proposal! Justin had the ring shipped to his parents’ house in North Carolina first, and told his mom to overnight it to him at work. The next weekend, we were down at my family’s farm (where we ended up getting married). Apparently, Justin had thought about proposing that Friday night, but my dad was in Montana at the time without cell phone service, and Justin wanted to talk to him beforehand. Then, he planned to pop the question while we were out riding horses, but I decided that I didn’t want to ride after all. Next, we were going to shoot skeet over the lake and he wanted to put the ring in one of the shotgun shell boxes, but we were out of clays, so we nixed those plans, too! Finally, later that night, Justin convinced me to go outside to watch the sunset, and when I finally got outside, he proposed by the lake behind our house!
When did y’all get married? October 26, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Living in Atlanta and planning our wedding in rural Georgia meant we had to do a little extra legwork in looking for vendors who wouldn’t have to travel so far to work with us. We also spent a good amount of time figuring out transportation and accommodations for our guests, since almost everyone was coming from out of town.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? A couple of my friends gave me two pieces of advice that really stuck with us throughout the planning process and on our wedding day. First, hire people you love. You spend so much time with some of your vendors–your wedding planner, photographer, everyone–that it makes sense to surround yourself with people that you genuinely like. Second, try to stay together throughout your reception. We tried to spend the engagement parties, showers, and rehearsal dinner chatting with guests so that when we were at our wedding reception, we wouldn’t feel pressured to split up in order to speak to everyone. We wanted to experience it together and have the same memories! Finally, bury the bourbon!! It worked for us.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We bought a house in the cutest neighborhood in Atlanta a couple of months before our wedding, so we are settling into life here with our dog. It’s been fun to move on to the next project–decorating! :)

Photographer: Vue Photography / Videographer: Anchor Heart Films / Planner: Amy DiLoreti of A Flawless Event / Venue: Kolomoki Farm / Florist: Leon Holloway of Gatewood’s Flower Shop / Wedding Cake: Cakes, Cakes, Cakes / Caterer: Leon Holloway of Cousins Catering / Rentals and Lighting: Rental Depot / Band: Yacht Rock Revue / Paper Products: hi note / Bride’s Gown: Carolina Herrera / Bridal Salon and Veil: Joan Pillow Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Natalie Teasley / Bride’s Shoes: “Shalyn” by Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Aidan” by Jenny Yoo / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids / Men’s Cummerbunds and Bow Ties: High Cotton Ties / Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Calligraphy: Penny Greer / Transportation: Capital Trailways / Koozies: Middle Georgia Embroidery / Ceremony Musicians: Auburn String Quartet / Cake Table Linens: I Do Linens

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Maria reply

    This is definitely a Southern wedding through and through. Gorgeous photos. My favorites are the ones with her dad. Precious!

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