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Small towns and the South go together like biscuits and honey–they each seem to bring out the best in one another, don’t you think? Since Abigail and Adam’s love story began in their neighboring North Carolina mountain towns, there was no place like home for their rustic fall wedding. With limited venue options in her small hometown, Abigail and her family set out to help restore an abandoned produce packing warehouse. Not only did it become the perfect industrial space for her and Adam to celebrate with all their loved ones, it also now serves as an event space for the whole community. What an incredible legacy to leave!

Thank you so much to Michelle Lyerly for sharing this special day with us!

My mother, mother-in-law, and sisters came to Charlotte to help me find a dress. When I walked out in the dress I eventually bought, no one said a thing until we heard my best friend, who we called over Facetime, quietly say, “Oh, Abby!” We collectively started crying at that point and got right to work on the alterations.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? It was important to us both that the moment when I started walking toward him to become his wife happened in front of all of our friends and family, who had and would continue to support us as a couple.

Adam and I grew up in neighboring small towns in the mountains of North Carolina. Our love story started there and so much of who we are and what we love came from growing up together in that part of the state. We knew we wanted to be surrounded by the love of our hometowns on our wedding day. We also knew that many of our friends from college and work wanted to experience our small town firsthand!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Choosing a venue that wasn’t actually a venue yet! Murphy, North Carolina is a small place, so the choices for an event are limited. We ended up taking a risk and choosing an abandoned produce packaging warehouse in the center of town, built around 1911, as the venue. The exposed white brick courtyard sold me on the place! Our families worked with the owner of the building to clean, renovate, and re-purpose the building for the reception within six months. It was a challenge to bring the building up to code and make it suitable for not just a party, but a wedding reception, within such a short time frame! It ended up being stunning. The building now serves as an event venue, and it’s wonderful to see the community using the facility!

We kept the flowers to a minimum. The church and reception venue were styled using collected antique silver pieces, handmade antler flower crowns, hundreds of candles, a custom lighted marquee, collected oushak rugs, and white and green pumpkins from a local farm. Baby’s breath, white and pink roses, and greenery covered the tables and bars. Original iron window frames from the building were covered in fresh magnolia branches and suspended from the ceiling.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The whole town got involved! People stopped by on a regular basis to check in on the status of the reception venue’s restoration. Our families pitched in and built the tables (out of wooden beams recovered from the venue) and bars (collected wooden shipping pallets). When word got out that my sister was collecting antique silver pieces for the wedding, people started showing up at our house with pieces they found at yard sales or from their own personal collections. My uncle hand-stitched over 500 feet of white flag pennants for the courtyard, and my sister made amazing antler flower crowns. We even had people stop by the reception and join in on the fun. It was truly a hometown wedding!

The wedding cake was a three-tiered lemon pound cake with buttercream icing. We also had a dessert bar of cakes lovingly made by family friends. There wasn’t a single slice left at the end of the day!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? A local bluegrass band from the John C. Campbell Folk School. They played on the outdoor stage during the reception’s cocktail hour, greeting everyone with soulful Appalachian music. The outdoor stage was decorated with antique oushak rugs, an antique iron candelabra, and cascading pumpkins from a nearby farm. It was magical and felt just like home.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We were so young! We first met with a group of friends outside the two-screen cinema in Adam’s hometown of Andrews, North Carolina. As is the case with most 13-year-olds, we weren’t so much dating as just seeing each other at group events or ball games. Adam went to my eighth grade dance with me, and from that point on, we’ve grown up together. So many times, young love is seen as irrational or unwise, and while it is certainly unpredictable, it’s amazing when it works out. I’m so thankful to know that Adam understands every part of me: my past, my present, and my future.
Tell us all about the proposal! I was in the middle of studying for spring exams when Adam showed up with an Easter basket. Easter is my favorite holiday, so I thought he was just making a sweet gesture. Each egg in the basket held gift certificates for my favorite things, but one light blue egg held the best gift: my engagement ring! Adam and I had dated for so long, I wasn’t sure if he would be able to surprise me when the time came, but this took my breath away. It was simple, creative, and thoughtful. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
When did y’all get married? October 25, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our families are very close, so the passage from Ruth 1 was meaningful and true.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I have so many! To name a few, a very good friend of mine gave me a watercolor she painted of our dog, Franklin, and his new last name as an engagement present. We had the image printed on the cake napkins, which was a wonderful way for Franklin to be a part of the celebration. We still use the leftover napkins for our bar cart at home! We also loved our dance floor. An old circular plant holder was used to suspend a disco ball, wrapped with a garland of greenery, over the black and white dance floor, and the stage was back lit by a custom designed marquee that said A+A. It set the tone for the party! Finally, a 1971 Minnie Winnebago, renovated by my father, served mini corndogs (my favorite), Coca-Cola bottles, and homemade potato chips as the night concluded.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We met with my former youth pastor and the minister for the wedding, Danny Byers, for premarital counseling. No matter how well you know a person, it’s so important to make sure your goals, values, and thoughts on faith work well together.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We used a lot of florals and greenery that we could collect ourselves: magnolia leaves, dried hydrangeas, and baby’s breath. We also worked with many local vendors, which cut down on shipping and transportation costs. My sisters really went above and beyond to make every detail special, so we were able to work without an event planner and just hired a day-of coordinator.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Your wedding needs to be true to who you are as a couple. The small details that represent you and your life together will make all the difference. I would also add, don’t take yourself or your wedding too seriously. The details I loved the most were the ones that made me laugh, like the deer with the bow tie that hung in the restroom, or the ones that created a buzz–when the trucker hats hit the dance floor, people let loose!

Photographer: Michelle Lyerly / Videographer: Brian Johnson / Planner: Brittney Forrister / Ceremony Venue: Murphy First Baptist / Reception Venue: The Hackney Warehouse / Florist: Occasions Florist / Cake Baker: Tara Dockery / Caterer: Herb’s Pit Bar-B-Que / Rentals: Elegance / Band: The Root Doctors / Matchbooks and Drink Stirrers: For Your Party / Koozies: Custom Ink / Invitation Suite: Reaves Engraving / Bride’s Gown: Tara Keely / Bridal Salon and Hair Accessories: Hayden Olivia / Hair and Makeup: Salon El Khouri / Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan / Suits: Michael Kors / Bow Ties: Brackish Bow Ties / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / Dance Floor Props: Oriental Trading / Dance Floor Lights: Flashing Blinky Lights / Tambourines and Hats: Custom Ink / Watercolor Artist: Sara Bozarth / Special Details: Kendall Simmons

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

    Really huge fan of a dessert bar made by family and friends – so personal and functional. The triangular banners sewn by her grandpa…icing on the cake!

  2. avatar Dana reply

    the dress, the bunting flags, the dog napkins–what is not to love about this wedding?!

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While they might have hit a little bump in the road when they first met (be sure to read their interview to get my silly pun!), Monica and Jerrod’s wedding day was as sweet as their amaretto cake. Together with their planner, Meagan Warren, and the talented team at Fern, Monica and Jerrod took the blank space of 701 Whaley and turned it into a pretty, preppy celebration full of pink dogwoods and puffy peonies. I love the juxtaposition of the renovated industrial building and the feminine details!

Thanks to Joshua Aaron for sending this striped day our way!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met on St. Patrick’s Day in Five Points (a local festival in Columbia, South Carolina) through mutual friends. After chatting that evening, Jerrod offered to drive me home. We were sitting at a traffic light talking when Jerrod leaned over to give me a kiss–just as he accidentally took his foot off the brake and bumped into the car in front of us!! After that, we did not see each other for several years, and one night, Jerrod liked a photo I put up on Facebook. I had not seen or spoken to him in so long, so I sent him a message asking him how he was doing. We ended up going out and catching up, and from that night on, we have been together, having fun and creating memories. And there have not been any more fender benders! :)

I went dress shopping in Charleston, South Carolina at a place called Maddison Row. After a couple of dresses, I tried on “THE” dress, and I loved it immediately. I loved the buttons that went down the back of the dress. The fact that my father loved the dress as well sealed the deal!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a bagpiper play “Ode to Joy” by Beethoven when I walked down the aisle with my dad. When Jerrod and I walked back up the aisle, he played “Highland Cathedral” by Roever and Korb along with the organ.

We were married at Mt. Horeb United Methodist, which is the church that Jerrod’s mother’s side of the family attends. Our reception venue was 701 Whaley–I really liked the open floor plan and the uniqueness of the renovated building. We could really make it our own.

Describe your wedding flowers. My wedding flowers were beautiful and colorful. There were pink dogwoods in large vases on the tables at the venue. I love peonies, and had the most beautiful peonies at the wedding. I wanted a colorful palette, and it was beyond what I could have imagined.

Describe your wedding cake. The wedding cake was four tiers in amaretto and lemon flavors, and it had real flowers cascading down the side. It was so good, we only had a few pieces left to take home.

Tell us all about the proposal! I am a nurse and I was coming home from a day shift at the hospital. I usually talk to Jerrod on the way home from work to let him know I’m on the way home. When I pull up to the house, he is usually sitting out on our front porch with my dog, a french bulldog named Bella. Bella always runs to greet me when I am getting out of the car. Just like every other day, Jerrod and Bella were outside and Bella ran to greet me. Jerrod was standing on the porch and came walking towards me. We hugged each other and he said “Say hey to Bella.” As I turned around to look at Bella, the sun hit something on her collar. I then realized what it was and turned around to see Jerrod on one knee. He asked me if I would marry him, and I, of course, said yes!!
When did y’all get married? April 18, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? A little more than 200
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My old and blue item is very special to me. My Aunt Tina made a garter belt for me out of an old blue tie of my Opa’s (which means grandpa in German). He passed away a few years ago and he was definitely there in spirit at my wedding. I borrowed my mom’s diamond tennis bracelet and I had new earrings that were made especially for me.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had koozies made for our guests. We served fried green tomatoes and corn dip, which was amazing. We all sang along to “Family Tradition” by Hank Williams, Jr.–I don’t know if it gets more Southern than that!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I would suggest hiring a wedding planner if you are able. This takes so much stress off of you and lets you enjoy the wedding planning experience!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Our home is being built and we will be moving at the end of summer 2015. We are also looking forward to expanding our family and having children.

Photographer: Joshua Aaron / Planner: Meagan Warren / Ceremony Venue: Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church / Reception Venue: 701 Whaley / Florist: Fern / Cake Baker: Parkland Cakes / Caterer: Southern Way / Rentals: Party Reflections / Lighting: Ambient Media / DJ: Jason Book with Party Time DJs / Paper Products: Byfarr / Bridal Salon: Maddison Row / Hair Stylist: Keri Bailes / Makeup Artist: Daniel Price / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Sarah Svendsen reply

    What vibrant colors! I’m in love with the teal blue bridesmaid dresses and how the bride mixes in the coral flowers. I also love the asymmetrical dresses, though I’m partial (I had similar bridesmaid dresses but in nude at my own wedding) :) Great work, SW!

  2. avatar Meagan Warren reply

    Thank you for showcasing one of my FAVORITE weddings we have planned! Loved working with Monica and Jerrod… dream couple to work with. Thank you Southern Weddings and Joshua Aaron Photography! xoxo, Meagan Warren
    Meagan Warren Weddings

  3. avatar Monica reply

    Hi! Was this just submitted online or in one of your actual magazines?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Monica! This wedding was featured online, not in the magazine! :)

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