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I already knew I was going to love Catherine and William’s wedding when Emily snuck me a peek of Catherine’s custom Heidi Elnora ball gown, their snowy portraits, and their twinkling opera house reception, but all of my expectations were blown out of the water when I read Catherine’s interview. I think she said it best when she wrote, “I think what makes a wedding Southern is how a couple thoughtfully incorporates faith, family, tradition, and hospitality in meaningful ways throughout the day to celebrate their love story and the people who brought them to where they are.” Catherine and William stuck to this sentiment so thoroughly throughout their engagement, and with the help of Catherine’s talented mama, every moment and detail of this Missouri celebration expressed their love story and their hearts. Even after all of the magic of the day, one of Catherine and William’s favorite moments was the end of the night when they poured a glass of champagne at their hotel room and excitedly recapped the entire wedding. I’m positive that with their sweet attitudes and their hearts for what matters most, there are so many more celebrations in Catherine and William’s future!

Thank you so much to Mike Cassimatis of MNC Photography for sending this sparkly day our way!

P.S. Y’all, I just HAVE to mention this…but how perfect is it that Catherine and William incorporated a few nods to their British heritages into their wedding, AND they share names with the beloved royal couple? Clearly, they were meant to be ;)

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We were both law students at Vanderbilt, but we hadn’t met yet my first semester (or so I thought). Fortunately, we both had friends who convinced us at the last minute to come back to Nashville early for a New Year’s Eve party at a mutual friend’s house. When Will started talking to me, I thought it was rude that he didn’t properly introduce himself. Well, as it turns out, we had already met at a Christmas party at the same house, but I didn’t remember him! I left to go to another party, got on a friend for “giving my number out to random guys,” and told Will I couldn’t go out with him because my mom was coming into town on the 2nd for a girls’ week. Well, folks, I underestimated Will’s determination and found myself sipping an Old Fashioned with him at Whiskey Kitchen the very next night. A Tim McGraw sing-a-long later, and on the 2nd, I was telling my mom what a nice guy I had met!

My something borrowed was my favorite piece of my grandmother’s jewelry, a diamond bangle my grandfather gave her on their fifteenth wedding anniversary. My something old was a fur my grandfather on the other side gave my mom years ago, and my something new was my brand new Heidi Elnora dress. I was supposed to wear a blue garter but forgot to put it on!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did. We wanted to have that private moment between just the two of us, and we wanted to be able to relax and celebrate after the ceremony. It was really nice to see each other for the first time without any distractions, and we had so much fun spending our wedding day together with our wedding party!

My mom and I planned an epic dress quest across the South with appointments in Nashville, Huntsville, Birmingham and Atlanta. I tried on so many beautiful gowns, but with each one that got close, I kept asking, “Can we change the lace?” or “Can we add a bow?” or “Can we lower the waistline?” Nothing seemed exactly right. We walked into the Heidi Elnora Atelier at the very end of the day, exhausted and not expecting much until Heidi herself came out and changed everything! She is such a sweet, strong, spunky Southern woman. She started from scratch asking me about my vision and nailing down a silhouette. From there, we created a custom gown that was so very me! It was my favorite part of the wedding planning process by far, and I cherished my trips to Birmingham to visit with Heidi and her team and watch my gown come to life. The first thing Will said when he saw me in the dress was, “It’s so you!”

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I’m a farmer’s daughter originally from a very small town in Southeast Missouri, but I always knew I wanted to get married in St. Louis and take photos at my alma mater (Washington University). We both love tradition and any excuse to dress up, so we dreamed up a classic (and sparkly!) black-tie evening with British touches to reflect both of our family heritages. I was initially disappointed to hear that we couldn’t get married at the church I attended during college, but when we heard Memorial Presbyterian was available, we couldn’t believe how perfect it was. It is next door to Wash U, is our denomination, and had the perfect grand, Gothic ambiance for our English-inspired ceremony.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The whole ceremony! Our pastor gave a beautiful charge about God’s purpose for marriage, and at one point, asked us to turn and face the congregation. The room was glowing with loved ones’ faces. We just smiled at each other and soaked in that coziest, happiest moment.

We chose a brass quartet for the ceremony music because Will grew up playing the trumpet, and we thought it would be fun to bring his love of brass into our wedding day! For the ceremony music, we decided to stick mostly to our favorite classic hymns. I walked down the aisle to “O God Beyond All Praising,” which we sing all the time at our church in Nashville. The congregation sang two hymns during the ceremony (thanks, friends!), “Be Thou my Vision” and “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” A bagpiper played through the snow as we exited the church in traditional British fashion

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? As my poor friends and family can tell you, I was an absolute mess stressing out about snow and ice, starting around Thanksgiving. The weather in St. Louis can really be anything anytime, and I was completely convinced that a huge blizzard would befall us and no one would make it to our wedding. I tried to convince Will and my mom that we needed to move the date, and when that failed, that we needed to make a special trip to St. Louis to bury the bourbon. They just shook their heads, so I had my small group praying for the weather for weeks! Well, when the sparkly snowflakes started to fall during our photo shoot, I laughed and exclaimed, “Thank you, Jesus, for the snow!” I could not imagine a more romantic finishing touch for our winter wedding, and the snowy photos are my absolute favorite reminders that God’s plans are better than mine. It made me think of how much I love the way snow slows life down and gives you time to just be still, which is how I wanted our wedding day to feel. Sure, our antique getaway car became an SUV, and guests’ flights home were canceled on Sunday, but boy did the snow look beautiful coming down out the windows of our reception!

For our reception, it was important to us to find a space with character and significance that wasn’t exclusively a reception venue. We joked that if each of us could choose our favorite non-geographical location, Will would choose a courtroom and I would choose a theater. (I was a theater major in college and worked in theater management in New York before law school.) Naturally, I won, and the 1934 Peabody Opera House was a dream! We fell in love with its opulent ceilings, gilded accents and cozy-but-stately feel. It screams black-tie winter wedding!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? A detail that was so special to me was that once the dancing got underway, I changed into the 1981 Priscilla of Boston gown my mom married my dad in. The only alteration we made was to remove the train, and it was perfect for dancing! I added a flower crown to look just like she did, and it was a really special moment. My dad was thrilled, and other relatives enjoyed telling me “I know that dress!” Some little details that I thought really added to the day included the strung lights that added ambiance over our reception, the couches that lined the dance floor for guests to take a break without leaving the action, and the band that had our guests dancing all night long!

Our décor was mostly ivory and gold, so we wanted to bring in some subtle blush pinks with the flowers. My favorite flowers are hydrangeas (which Will wrote down very early in our relationship), so we used a lot of them, along with roses, snapdragons, garden roses, and ranunculus. Our florist created an amazing canopy of elevated flowers hanging above our 34-person head table!

We had a traditional tiered cake with alternating layers of vanilla and caramel decorated with gold, and a groom’s cake with alternating layers of chocolate and red velvet, which is Will’s favorite. For a late night treat, we served my favorite St. Louis specialty: Ted Drewe’s Frozen Custard!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I’m not going to tell you not to stress about wedding planning, because let’s be real, it will inevitably be stressful. However, try to spend the weekend itself focusing on the people around you who love you enough to be there on your special day (and maybe even stand outside with sparklers at 11:00 P.M. in the snow!). All those people will never be in the same room with you again, and spending time with them is so much more important than the little details that go awry.

Tell us all about the proposal! We were in the middle of finals when Will suggested that we go for a hike before church the next morning to watch the sun rise over downtown Nashville. I thought it was a little suspicious when he kept changing the time that he wanted to pick me up, but with his hardest exam on Monday, I thought it would be the last day he would pick to propose. As we climbed the steep hill to Love Circle, I saw a picnic blanket with roses, photos of us, and my favorite breakfast sandwiches. I didn’t know what to do! Of course, I started crying, and as the sun rose behind us, Will took my hands and said a bunch of nice things I don’t remember until he got to “Catherine Elizabeth Moreton, will you marry me?” Our friend Ellen was there to capture the whole thing, and it was so much fun to share our news with our wonderful Nashville church family and then celebrate with worship and Sunday brunch.
When did y’all get married? February 28, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we did memorize our vows! We wanted to make the same commitments that so many great couples before us have made to each other, but we also wanted the vows to feel more personal, so we bravely opted not to repeat after our pastor. Thankfully, we remembered them!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think what makes a wedding Southern is how a couple thoughtfully incorporates faith, family, tradition, and hospitality in meaningful ways throughout the day to celebrate their love story and the people who brought them to where they are. I hope we accomplished that, because we tried! To start, my beautiful bridesmaids wore gold sequins to look similar to my gold sequined New Year’s Eve dress that caught Will’s eye the night we met. Our signature drinks were a “Make-her-Marks” Old Fashioned, because that is what we had on our first date in Nashville; and “Seaside Bride” champagne, because we went to Seaside for our honeymoon. One of the reasons for the date was that we met and fell in love in the winter. We tried to bring as much of our lives in Nashville into the day as possible, starting with having our pastor from Nashville marry us. That was a nice way to bring our church home to Missouri. We also served shrimp and grits at the cocktail hour, and included Will’s darling cousins from North Carolina to hand out programs and be our flower girl and ring bearer. Our invitations were hand-pressed at the Hound Dog Press in Louisville, Kentucky, where my mom and I had a great weekend designing everything with Nick on his antique machines. The gifts exchanged during the day also had a lot of Southern touches and meaning to us. On Friday night, my uncle gave Will his name carved out of wood to hang up with all the rest of the family names that hang on the porch of our lake house in Kentucky. I gave Will a journal I had been writing in to him since 2002. On our wedding day, he gave me a signet ring with my new monogram engraved on it, and I gave him a family Bible with our wedding as the first entry (as well as an in-progress needlepoint belt that is, unfortunately, still a work in progress). I gave my mom an engraved frame thanking her for everything, and my dad and brother got embroidered handkerchiefs.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We had great marriage counseling meetings with our pastor in Nashville, and we had marriage books all over our apartments, on tape in the car, everywhere! Tim Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage” is such a blessing, honestly. We also had a great workbook that helped us talk through our plans and ideas about what we want our marriage to look like. We had fun with endless “1,001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married” types of books, especially on road trips!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We enlisted the talents of my incredible mama! She is a wedding coordinator and calligrapher, so we didn’t have to hire either. I knew the macro-level planning was in good hands with her at the helm, and she lovingly addressed all 250+ save the dates and 250+ invitations.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Besides the ceremony itself, Will and I both agree our favorite moment of the day was when we got back to our suite at the Ritz, collapsed onto the couch, poured a glass of champagne, and rehashed the entire day. Questions included: “Were you freezing waiting for me for the first look?” “What was your favorite part?” “What were you thinking when I was walking down the aisle?” It was our first moment of normalcy as a married couple, and we will never forget how thrilled we were!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are so excited to deck our Arlington, Virginia apartment out for Christmas (multiple trees!) and establish some Marks family Christmas traditions!

Photographer: Mike Cassimatis / Videographer: Lovebird Studios / Planner: Nancy Moreton (Bride’s mother) / Ceremony Venue: Memorial Presbyterian Church / Reception Venue and Caterer: Peabody Opera House / Florist: Lisa Molitor / Cake Baker: Sarah’s Cake Shop / Rentals: Amerevent Group / Lighting: Exclusive Events / Band: Griffin and the Gargoyles / Signage: Buffy Weddings / Party Favors: Trophy House Treasures / Paper Products: Hound Dog Press / Bride’s Gown and Veil: Heidi Elnora / Hair Accessories: Jennifer Behr and Enchanted Atelier by Liv Hart / Hair Stylist: Christy Parsons / Makeup Artist: Emily Miller Makeup / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Blouson Bodice Sequin Mesh Gown in Gold by JS Collections / Attendant Dresses: Alfred Sung / Bridesmaid Furs: Tulip Bridal / Groom’s Attire: The Knot Standard / Flower Girl and Ring Bearer Attire: J. Crew / Getting Ready Location: The Ritz Carlton / Ceremony Musicians: Clarion Brass / Girls’ Getting Ready Robes: Just Cottons / Custom Invitation Design: Sarah Hanna / Wedding Logo Design: Folisi Design Studio / Photo Booth: Photography and Video Innovations / Late Night Snack: Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

lisa Written with love by Lisa
11 Comments
  1. avatar Alexandra reply

    Wow oh wow! This is such a beautiful wedding! I love all the personal touches throughout — it seems so personal. Thanks for sharing.

  2. avatar Meredith Sledge reply

    WOW! Phenomenal images!!

  3. avatar Bubbling Brides reply

    The sparkle accents are amazing. The sequin bridesmaid dresses are the best!

    XoXo,
    The Bubbling Brides Team
    Bubbling Brides

  4. avatar kelly reply

    oh i agree, this interview hands down is one of the very best!

  5. avatar Catherine reply

    We’re so honored to be included in the Southern Weddings family, and it was so fun to relive the day! Thank you so much Lisa and Emily!

  6. avatar Dana reply

    This is quite the royal looking winter wedding!

  7. avatar Wedding Wednesday No. 1: Our Proposal Story – Classic Catherine reply

    […] Once that nerve-wracking bit had passed and the surreal feeling of being engaged started to set in, everything comes back into sharper focus in my memory. Then, of course, it was time to check out that ring! I LOVE SPARKLY THINGS. […]

  8. avatar Baby’s First Snow! – Attention to Darling reply

    […] both featured on Southern Weddings. So happy she did! See their GORGEOUS winter wedding here and our home feature here. Finally, just for perspective, here’s a before picture […]

  9. avatar Big News, Big Praise, and Big Gratitude: I've Joined the Southern Weddings and Cultivate What Matters Team! – Classic Catherine reply

    […] Fast forward to sometime in the spring of 2015 when I received my wedding photos and asked our photographer if I could submit them to Southern Weddings for consideration for publication. I knew it was a very long shot, as Missouri is not technically one of the states included in SW’s list of Southeastern states (reeeeally tempted to throw my plug in here, but this post is going to be too long already), but to my surprise, Emily emailed me right back to accept! […]

  10. avatar Jules reply

    What a stunningly beautiful wedding.

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One of the best things about weddings is their ability to take people away from their everyday lives, inviting them into the most special moments of a couple’s story, and reminding them that what truly matters, more than anything else, is love and family. This was certainly the case at Anne Sydney and Jesse’s wedding, where they literally transported their guests up a mountain, overlooking their beloved hometown. The setting was breathtaking, and dotted with sweet details in honor of their Kentucky roots, it was a magical place for these childhood sweethearts to celebrate their marriage!

We’re so grateful that Melanie Mauer and Jaclyn Journey shared this gorgeous day with us in V7!

Tell us all the basics of your wedding! The wedding was on June 29, 2013 at 5:30 P.M. at the First Baptist Church in Pikeville, Kentucky. The location was chosen because it was the church that we attended as children and both of our families were active in membership. We share many memories of our younger years there, as we participated in church plays, musicals, vacation Bible school, and other church-related activities together.

Our welcome boxes for our guests included macarons, sour hard candies, and M&M’s, all in our wedding colors. We also included a fun folded map and directional guide, which also included information on local restaurants and other attractions. For logistical purposes, we had all the guests bused up to the mountain after the ceremony. We included custom-made “bus tickets” with the ceremony programs, proclaiming that it was “Time to Celebrate Y’all,” and that this was their “Ticket to Ride.”

What was your favorite detail of the wedding? I was surrounded by ladies who played large roles at different stages in my life. Whether they were from high school, college, or my family, they were there to support me on the most important day of my life as my bridesmaids and maids and matrons of honor.

We wanted the flowers to reflect the feeling of the event–classic, laid back, sweet, fun, and beautiful. We chose white and ivory garden roses and mixed in some pops of peaches and corals, plus some dusty miller and lamb’s ear to bring in the greyed jade tone of the bridesmaids’ dresses. We used ivory Jeanne Moreau garden roses, caramel antique garden roses, white ranunculus, peachy coral Romantic Antique garden roses, peach and coral ranunculus, peach Juliet David Austin garden roses, dusty miller, and white peonies.

Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? From Jesse: My grandfather on my father’s side. The Saturday before, he had buried my grandmother and his wife of over 60 years. I knew he was still reeling from the loss, but his presence in the front row of the church was a reassuring presence on our big day.

Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: While not planned to intentionally coincide, our wedding date was also my parents’ 39th anniversary. In addition, our rehearsal dinner and wedding ceremony were at the same country club and church where my parents tied the knot all those years ago. It was a special feeling to know that nearly 40 years ago to the day, my father and mother were standing in the same place, committing themselves to each other.

The mountaintop venue inspired quite a lot of the design. We knew from the beginning that we wanted a sailcloth tent because we love the soft, illuminated feel that they bring. We had it set up at the edge of the mountain so that guests would have an incredible view. We wanted everything to feel soft, sweet, and classic. One of my favorite details was the custom wooden bars my brother-in-law built especially for our wedding. We also included a few pieces of polished coal on top of the bars, as well as affixing coal on push pins to secure the calligraphed seating charts to their display boards, as a nod to our Eastern Kentucky roots.

Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? We did! The all-female bluegrass band, Coaltown Dixie, provided the music for the al fresco, café-lit event, which was immediately next to the sailcloth tent, facing the town of Pikeville below.

Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? My maternal grandmother made wedding mints for all her five children’s wedding receptions, as well as many other church weddings. It was fitting that a dear family friend used her recipe and made them for our wedding reception.

Dinner was served once all guests had arrived at the reception site. The meal was fully prepared at the remote location by the caterer and was simply some of the best food that we have ever eaten. Next on the agenda was dancing under the tent to music by the Jump Street Band. They were fantastic, playing a mixture of old and new, fast and slow tunes, keeping the dance floor overflowing from the time they began playing until the night was done. Late in the evening, late night snacks of warm beignets and mini coffee milkshakes were passed to guests.

After exiting the winding road to the beautiful mountaintop venue, we did not want the night to end yet, so we ended the evening by driving though our small hometown, being chauffeured by my father-in-law, reflecting on the tremendous day that we had just enjoyed.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. From Jesse: It was so long ago that I’m not sure either of us truly remembers. Our families went to the same church when we were kids. We think our first meeting was in a children’s Sunday school class. In any event, Anne Sydney’s family moved into town when she was in 6th grade and we went to school together thereafter.
Describe the proposal: From Jesse: It was the Thursday night before Memorial Day in 2012. We were planning to be apart that weekend so Anne Sydney could attend her friend’s bachelorette party. Little did she know, she wasn’t making the trip. In anticipation of our days apart, we had dinner at our favorite restaurant in downtown Lexington. My initial plan was to pop the question on our walk home from dinner down the historic and quaint South Mill Street. This idea was frustrated by the un-concealable size of the little blue box. Instead, we walked in the door to my home, and as Anne Sydney started up the stairs, I fell to a knee. The next morning, we traveled to the Greenbrier Resort to meet our parents and begin to plan for the great time ahead.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Magical, surreal, and breathtaking.
How many guests attended your wedding? About 470
What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? Logistics–the site offering beautiful mountaintop views was not equipped with water, power, sewer, or any other modern convenience. The degree of planning to pull it off was immense. All of the needs of the over 450 guests had to be anticipated and provided for the 4+ hours that they were to be on the mountain celebrating with us. Luckily, my father is an engineer and was able to speak the language to the vendors and suppliers to pull off the event without a hitch.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I, my mother, my future mother-in-law, and my mother’s best friend traveled to NYC for appointments. After numerous fittings and rejections at Kleinfeld, I reluctantly took the advice of the consultant assisting me and tried a strapless Peter Langner gown. At first sight of me wearing this dress, everyone in the traveling party said in unison that this was it!! We kept our other scheduled appointments and learned that Mark Ingram Atelier carried Peter Langner gowns. Late that night, my mother went online and discovered that Mark Ingram was currently hosting Langner’s trunk show. She called at the first opportunity the next day, scoring an appointment for that same day. We later discovered that it normally takes six months for an appointment at this salon. I knew at that point that this was the dress that was meant for me!!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? During the planning process, be sure to spend time with each other and make an attempt to not discuss wedding plans! It’s difficult, but planning a large celebration can become very overwhelming and stressful, and it is easy to lose sight of the true purpose of the celebration!

Photographer: Melanie Mauer / Videographer: Blueberry Creative / Planner: Weekend Wedding Warrior / Designer, Florist, and Decor: Jaclyn Journey / Ceremony Venue: First Baptist Church / Caterer: Apiary Fine Catering & Events / Cake Baker: Martine’s Pastries / Bride’s Gown: “Puccini” by Peter Langner / Bridal Salon: Mark Ingram Atelier /Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bride’s Earrings: Marco Bicego and “Paisley” by Justine M. Couture /Bride’s Veil: Peter Langner / Bridesmaid Dresses: “Kylie,” “Sinclair,” and “Louisa” in Dusty Shale by J. Crew / Bridesmaids’ Earrings: Kendra Scott / Flower Girl Dress: Isabel Garreton / Guest Books and Pens: Blue Sky Papers / Ribbons: M & J Trimming and The Ribbon Jar / Vintage Postage: Verde Studio / Favors: The Little Candy Cake Company / Ceremony Music: Highland Chamber Players / Cocktail Hour Band: Coaltown Dixie / Reception Music: The Jump Street Band from East Coast Entertainment / Pyrotechnics: Louisville Wedding Fireworks / Hair Stylist: Justin Greer and Ryan Reeves of Lux Hair Bar / Makeup Artist: Ana Crane of Applied Cosmetic Services / Men’s Suits: Jos. A. Bank / Men’s Shirts: Brooks Brothers / Men’s Ties: Collared Greens / Paper Goods: Hound Dog Press / Calligrapher: Rachel Fisher Calligraphy / Rentals and Lighting: Camargo Rentals / Linens: La Tavola and Wildflower Linens / Transportation: Bluegrass Tours

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Yours Truly Wedding Albums reply

    Love the color palette! Great moments! Love the fireworks after the party!

  2. avatar melanie mauer reply

    this family is among the gems on the planet…it’s difficult to articulate *just* how amazing they are. and they’re humble about it. this day was nothing short of m-a-g-i-c – i’m so grateful to southern weddings for sharing it so other brides can be inspired! warmly, -melanie-

  3. avatar katie reply

    *teary eyed* how cute are they! what a memorable day :)

  4. avatar Fresh and unique spring wedding bouquet ideas for springtime brides – Wedding Party reply

    […] Melanie Mauer via Southern Weddings  […]

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