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There is nothing like a classic Southern wedding to welcome you back from the weekend! From the beautifully renovated 1830s bridal suite to the long driveway lined with oak trees leading up to the perfectly Southern plantation, I can personally attest to how absolutely gorgeous The Oaks Plantation is. My sister-in-law was married there and it’s even more dreamy in person! Together with their planner, Southern Posies, Mallory and Andy added stunning florals and meaningful details to the venue that not only made their day even more beautiful, but also honored their families. And, those mini pecan pies and peach cobblers topped with vanilla ice cream? M + A, y’all should have saved one for me!

We’re sure glad Erika Tracy of Kim Box Photography was on hand to capture such a lovely day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom and sister went with me to try on dresses, and I found my wedding dress at J. Andrews Bridal in Peachtree City. I tried on about 10 dresses and fell in love with two of them. While I was trying to decide between the two that I loved, a girl next to me put on the most beautiful dress. I asked the lady who was helping me if I could try on that dress, and once I put it on, we all knew it was the one. It wasn’t anything like what I had pictured, but I loved it so much, we bought it that day!

Our wedding flowers were my favorite thing about our wedding! I don’t know much about the different types of flowers, but I knew I wanted pastel colors to match my bridesmaids’ dresses. For my bouquet, I wanted slightly cascading flowers that were loosely pulled together. I described my vision to my wedding planner, Crystal Strickland, who also did all of the flowers, and she truly brought it to life. At the end of the altar, we had a large wooden cross that was covered with flowers. We dedicated the cross in memory of our loved ones who couldn’t be there with us.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we chose to do a first look for several reasons. I wanted to have a special moment for just the two of us, and I knew that if I waited until the ceremony to see him, I probably would have cried the entire ceremony. When we saw each other, sure enough, we both cried! I also wanted this time to exchange gifts that we had gotten each other. He surprised me with a second band, and I got him a study Bible with his name engraved on it–I knew he had been wanting it for a while. I am very glad he and I had this private time with each other prior to the ceremony.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We didn’t have any readings during our ceremony, but our pastor made the ceremony very personal. Prior to the ceremony, he asked Andy and I some personal questions about each other, like what was your first thought when you met each other, what do you love the most about each other, what is the funniest memory you have of one another, etc. He incorporated both of our answers during the ceremony, making it very special to both of us.

When our wedding planner took my mom and I to visit The Oaks, I discovered that the pictures that I had previously seen of it did not do the venue justice! The long driveway lined with oak trees leading up to the plantation truly took our breath away. The landscape is what sealed the deal–I knew I wanted an outdoor wedding and could only imagine how beautiful it would be there. We decided that the wedding ceremony would take place in the front yard under a huge oak tree and the reception would be in the back under a tent. I loved the idea of having our rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, and reception all at the same place. The Oaks was the perfect venue for us!

Describe your wedding cake and dessert. I wanted our wedding cake to be simple and classic. We also had mini pecan pies placed in small skillets, along with mason jars filled with peach cobbler and topped with vanilla ice cream.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met on Memorial Day at a party at Gant Lake, not too far from where we both live and attended school. I went with one of my close friends, who was dating Andy’s younger brother at the time. I knew who Andy was, but we had never officially met before that night. Andy has always been very outgoing; he walked right up to us almost immediately after entering the party and my friend introduced us. He instantly struck up a conversation with me, and by the end of the night, he asked me to dance. We have been together almost every day since then.
Tell us all about the proposal! A few months before Andy proposed, he surprised me with a golden retriever puppy named Baylee. We try to spend as much time as we can outside with her, allowing her to run and play. This particular Friday was no different than any other Friday–when we got home from work, he asked if I wanted to take Baylee on a ride and let her play. When we got in the car, we started talking about the different places we could take her. He told me he would like to go to his friend’s family’s land outside of town. When we made it, we got out of the car and played with Baylee. We could see storm clouds rolling in, so I suggested we leave before it started raining. I could tell Andy didn’t want to, but couldn’t figure out why. While I was trying to get Baylee into the car, he told me he had a surprise for me in the back of his truck, so he walked over to get it. He pulled out a big brown paper bag and told me to close my eyes. When I opened my eyes, he was down on one knee with a ring box in his hand. Needless to say, I was in complete shock! Of course, I said yes, and kept asking “Do my parents know? Does my sister know?” Earlier that day, he had gone to Montgomery to ask my dad if he could marry me, to Eufaula to pick up the ring, and back to Troy to propose. He had had a very busy day, to say the least!
When did y’all get married? May 9, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We wanted use our programs to include all of our family members who weren’t able to be with us. We also wanted to do something special in memory of Andy’s dad, who passed away several years ago. We set up a table with a picture of him and a framed quote. It was important to us to include him on our special day.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I couldn’t imagine my wedding without my wedding planner. She made sure every detail was perfect during my experience, not only the day of the wedding, but during the planning process as well.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are looking forward to decorating and settling into our first home together. We are excited to share our first holidays together as husband and wife, and look forward to making new memories together!

Photographer: Erika Tracy of Kim Box Photography / Planner and Florist: Southern Posies / Venue: The Oaks Plantation / Baker: Peggy McKinney / Caterer: A Catered Affair / Rentals: Brendle Rentals / DJ: Moon Dance / Ceremony Sound Tech: Chris McCoy / Violinist: Beth Hoener / Paper Products: Kwik Kopy / Bride’s Gown: Watters / Hair and Makeup: Beauty By Jess / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Love Lane Collection at Bella Bridesmaid / Menswear: Mr. Burch Formal Wear

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Wedding Venues reply

    All the pastel colours, light sun and natural venue create stunnig effect. And their story is so lovely

  2. avatar Elizabeth L. reply

    Perfectly Southern, I love it! Those sweet treats have my mouth watering and her flowers are simply stunning!

  3. avatar Elizabeth F. reply

    Everything about this wedding is perfection.

  4. avatar Linda Murdock reply

    who designed and printed the beautiful invitations?

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It’s always so much fun to see sweet people in the wedding industry tie the knot! Kara (of Kara Anne Paper) knew from the day that she and William carved their initials into a tree at her father’s lake house that they’d be married there someday. Sure enough, it proved the perfect place to become husband and wife nine years later. Family is clearly so important to this couple, and I love the way they went back to their roots and the very beginning of their love story for their Alabama wedding!

We’re so glad Kara’s friend Kim Box Photography was on hand to capture every special moment of this day!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at a pool party at my father’s home in Pike Road, Alabama. It was the summer of William’s senior year and my junior year of high school, and it was love at first sight. We carved our initials into a tree that overlooks the pond, where we would stand nine years later to exchange vows. After high school, we continued to see each other throughout college and over many miles. With William off to school on the West Coast and me staying in-state, we agreed we never wanted to be apart from each other again, and decided to make Alabama our home.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always dreamed of having a simple, beautiful, backyard wedding at the home where I grew up swimming, fishing, and riding horses. William and I met at a pool party there one summer and the rest was history. When we carved our initials into one of the trees right in front of the dock that overlooks the pond, I knew that it would be the place where we would one day exchange our vows.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? From the beginning of the planning process, I knew I wanted to stay true to our Southern roots! We had a backyard ceremony in front of the pond and dock, with our horses grazing in the background. A white fence lines the property of the Southern-style home, and we had ferns hanging on the front porch. It doesn’t get any more Southern than that!

I loved working with our florist, Crystal Strickland of Southern Posies. After lots of inspiration boards and late night emails, Crystal made my vision come to life! We had soft, whimsical arrangements filled with lush greenery, white and pale blush and coral flowers, and a hint of bright pink in my bouquet and at the reception. One of my favorite things she created were the beautiful ferns that hung on the fence post around the pool area and on the front porch. We also placed ferns all around the island of the pond.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Kara: My most memorable moment was when William recited his vows. The love and emotion was so powerful and evident that everyone was in tears! It was truly the most special moment I’ve ever experienced. From William: My most memorable moment was seeing Kara at our first look. I was so careful not to see any pictures of her in her gown or even the gown itself, so I was truly surprised, and her beauty was amazing.

We were so pleased with our wedding vendors! Being in the wedding business, I have formed many great relationships with others in the business. I was fortunate to get to work with my good friends! It was so special to have Kim Box Photography, the 1717 Wedding Cinema team and the girls from Southern Posies with us on our wedding day. Hiring people I trusted and who shared my vision allowed William and I to sit back, relax, and just enjoy our wedding day!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to “Moonlight Mile” by The Rolling Stones. I really love the instrumental version, and we had a classical guitar and violinist play the procession. Our first dance was to Van Morrison’s “These are the Days” because the lyrics really connected with us. My dad and I danced to Bruce Springsteen’s “When you Need Me.” My father is a huge Springsteen fan, and again, the lyrics really captured our relationship–my father is always there for me.

Tell us all about the proposal! Our family is the most important thing in our lives and we wanted to make sure they were included in the moment. Surrounded by family and friends, William decided that dinner at the country club on his birthday was the perfect opportunity for him to pop the question. He stood up during dinner to thank everyone for being there and began to speak about the importance of family. He then asked if I would join him in starting our life as a family together! Of course, I said “yes!” My grandparents were in town and William even flew in my twin sister and mother, who live in Pennsylvania, as a surprise.
When did y’all get married? May 2, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did our first look before the ceremony. William’s back was turned at one end of the dock. As I walked closer to the pond, he turned around, and we met in the middle of the dock for a big hug and a kiss! It was the perfect moment! We wanted to have a private first look so we could take all of our pictures before the ceremony. After the ceremony, it was time to party!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something borrowed was my mother-in-law’s beautiful pear-shaped diamond earrings. My something old was a lace embroidered handkerchief that my great-grandmother gave me as a gift. My something new was the beautiful wedding shoes that my mother gave me the day of the wedding. They were so elegant and the perfect touch!
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? I am in the custom paper and stationery business, and I specialize in wedding designs. I was able to save on design fees for our paper goods, as well as work out deals with other vendors in the business with whom I have working relationships.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? My advice is to hire professionals! Having vendors who know what they are doing is so important! It will allow you to relax and know that everything is in good hands. Don’t stress over the small things. Even if you think they’re a big deal, I can promise you that others will never even notice! The week of the wedding gets really busy, so try your best to have all errands done and all the little things finished by Wednesday before the wedding–that way, you can relax and just enjoy your friends and family!

Photographer: Kim Box Photography / Videographer: 1717 Wedding Cinema / Planner and Florist: Southern Posies / Reception Venue and Caterer: Wynlakes Country Club / Wedding Cake Baker: Vickie Kyser / Rentals: Brendle Rentals / Lighting: Elite Ovations Lighting and Southern Posies / Band: The Main Attraction Band / Special Details: Custom Flag and Details / Paper Products: Kara Anne Paper / Bride’s Gown: Essence of Australia / Hair Stylist: Erin Ryser / Bride’s Shoes: Klub Nico / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “G834U” in Ice by AMSALE / Groom’s Attire: Marvin Harrell at MH Custom Clothiers / Custom Shirtings: John Armstrong Clothiers / Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Ashton Dreyer reply

    The flowers are stunning!

  2. avatar Nina reply

    Kara is completely amazing. Not only does she have flawless taste with her design work, but flawless taste in LIFE! Congratulations, my sweet Kara! You deserve it! XOXO

  3. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    So pretty! I love the bridesmaid dresses!

  4. avatar Dana reply

    the seating paintings are amazing! and her invites are beautiful!

  5. avatar Christina reply

    Love the monogrammed flag! Where can I get that?

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Oh my word, y’all! Though all of our Best of 2012 posts were hard to narrow down, this category might have been the very hardest. When you feature as many gorgeous, heartfelt, carefully planned Southern weddings as we do, there is no end to the meaningful details! Here, ten of our very favorites.

A porch swing covered in a family quilt at the reception: photo by Cali Ashton from Sydney + Lucas’s wedding.

A gigantic red heart done up with calligraphy: photo by Adam Barnes from Blair + Luke’s wedding (obviously!).

Burlap gone chic (a Pinterest favorite!): photo by Kristyn Hogan from Kristal + Johnny’s wedding.

A guest book fashioned from a family Bible: photo by Paige Newton from Alison + Brent’s wedding.

A lush monogrammed hay bale! Photo by Kim Box from Crystal + Trip’s wedding.

Preppy striped linens and coral crackers: photo by Justin DeMutiis from Blair + Brian’s wedding (which has popped up in several of these year end posts!).

We had seen monogrammed guest books, but never a guest book that WAS a monogram before this! Photo by Brett Heidebrecht from Lauren + Justin’s wedding.

Sweet wedding cornhole board: photo by The Reason from Melanie + Cale’s wedding.

Chair wreaths with a favorite country song line (we loved this so much we included it in print!): photo by Paula O’Hara from Alise + Conor’s wedding.

Yep, that about sums it up. Photo by Brett Heidebrecht from Claire + Nathan’s wedding.

Adam Barnes and Justin DeMutiis are fabulous members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Sharon @ Red Poppy | Pink Peony reply

    I love the giant red heart, and the Bible and monogram guest book ideas!

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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