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One of the sweetest parts of planning a wedding is the opportunity to show your guests what you and your beau hold most dear in your life together. For Nicole and Martin, those things are their Christian faith and their Southern roots, so their Atlanta wedding day was filled to the brim with prayer, meaningful moments, gestures of hospitality, and their favorite Southern delicacies! Their families also played a huge role in making their celebration so special–their grandfathers officiated the ceremony together, and Nicole and Martin were especially excited to display family wedding photos at their reception “to honor the long line of loving marriages that have been examples for our own marriage.”

Thank you so much to Danielle Nichol for sharing this lovely day with us!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Prayer was incorporated at different moments throughout our entire wedding day. Each of those precious moments will forever hold a special place in my heart. Before my mother helped me into my dress, she held my hands and poured out her heart to God over me and my marriage. Each of our grandfathers prayed over us during the ceremony. In the car riding to the reception, Martin prayed over our new marriage–that it would glorify God and be led by Him. And before the night of dancing began at the reception, my father prayed the most meaningful of blessings over us. These prayers were a testament to the love and support of our family, and we hope to create as powerful a Christian legacy as they have.

A few weeks after our engagement, my parents drove to Atlanta for a weekend of wedding planning. My parents and I started the dress hunt at White Magnolia in Buckhead, which I’m so thankful my mother-in-law had suggested. It was the perfect dress shopping experience! The girls were very attentive and listened to what I envisioned on my wedding day. It was a blast! While browsing around the store, I noticed a dress on display in the window and immediately told my mother “It’s the perfect dress!” I quickly peeked at the dress price and my heart fell–it was over the budget. When I walked into the dressing room later, I noticed the “perfect” dress hanging in the room, and was told by the girl that my dad had requested it to be pulled regardless of price. Needless to say, as soon as I put the dress on, it resulted in a few happy tears–including my father’s!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did, and it was the best decision that we made regarding the wedding! It was both Martin’s and my most memorable moment of the day. It not only allowed us to enjoy that special moment alone, but it also calmed our nerves before the ceremony. Being able to take pictures beforehand and having more time to spend with guests at the reception were a huge plus as well!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Martin’s grandfather, who is an Episcopal priest, as well as my grandfather, who is a Baptist minister, were able to conduct the ceremony together! It was such a sweet memory having both of our grandfathers pour out their love for Jesus over us and our marriage. We wanted the ceremony to feel like a worship service, and for all of our guests to witness our love for Christ and our desire for Him to lead us throughout our lives together.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We are both very traditional and used the traditional Christian vows! However, no matter how many times we had heard the same words at other weddings or in movies, the moment I put Martin’s ring on his hand and promised him my heart forever was the most emotional and overwhelming moment of the entire wedding. It was a moment that we will cherish forever.

Tim at Petals A Florist was able to translate my every dream for the reception and bring them to life. He named his design concept for our wedding a “beautiful mess.” I wanted to bring the soft and romantic feel of an English garden into the ballroom with asymmetrical styling and flowing greenery. The garland used on the tables, as well as the large mirror that was placed at the entrance of the room, was by far my favorite touch! We chose shades of white and ivory colored flowers with a touch of blush pink in the arrangements. The flowers were a mixture of ranunculus, O’Hara roses, English garden roses, and English stock. Tim was even able to insert a few peonies (my favorite flower) into the bouquets without breaking the budget. The greenery used in the wedding was Southern smilax, which happens to be a vine that my mother and I have used many times to decorate at Christmas!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Martin and I wanted Southern hospitality and charm to be the main theme of our wedding! Our goal was to have everyone feel welcome, comfortable, and appreciated for supporting us throughout our relationship, and now marriage. Our menu consisted of all Southern foods, including pimento cheese crackers, chicken and waffles, barbecue sandwiches, and a grits bar. Since I’m from Alabama and Martin is from Georgia, he wanted to incorporate local craft beers from each of our home states into the bar menu. The South loves heritage, so we were able to display our parents’ and grandparents’ weddings pictures to honor the long line of loving marriages that have been examples for our own marriage. To cool our guests off during the band’s break, we served King of Pops, which is a local popsicle company here in Georgia. We received many thanks from our guests over this decision. For our send-off, we ran through Auburn shakers…and a few loud Auburn cheers, as well!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. It was fall of my sophomore year at Auburn University (War Eagle!) and my best friend and sorority sister, Mackenzie, invited me over for a party at her apartment. While there, I met this tall, quiet, and extremely handsome guy who happened to be one of her best guy friends. Over the next few months, I saw Martin occasionally, and each time, my attraction grew, as did my quietness. Spring semester came and Martin’s fraternity held a dinner party for my sorority. So convenient! Of course, I saw Martin that night and decided that being shy wasn’t going to show him I was interested–it was time to cue the flirting. By the end of the evening, he had invited me to a date party, and by that Sunday, he had called and asked me to go on our first date that evening! I knew that night when he got out of the car to open my door that I was sold–this was a true Southern gentleman. He took me to eat at a local pizza restaurant where he learned my first quirk, eating pizza with a fork and knife! He stills teases me over that habit. It was the perfect first date, and from there, the rest was history. I was head over heels!
Tell us all about the proposal! From Martin: Since we had talked about marriage, I knew that I wanted to make the proposal as much of a surprise as possible for her. I teamed up with her mom and closest friends in order to get that done. I asked all of them to give “accidental” hints like saying “Oh, we will be in Atlanta that weekend,” even though there was no reason for them to be visiting. She fell for the bait and was sure that she had figured it all out. Nicole had mentioned a few times that she wanted to have her nails done, but I needed to make that happen without raising any flags. Nicole’s parents were in town the weekend prior (we got engaged on a Monday), so she thought there was a chance it was happening that Sunday. Her mom decided that they should go get their nails done, which immediately sent up a red flag in Nicole’s mind. She was noticeably excited and anxious all weekend, and then somewhat let down when her parents “left” that Monday morning. After nailing down all the details, it came down to the big day. I picked Nicole up from her apartment, all the while trying not to look incredibly nervous in front of her. On our way to dinner, I told her I thought I had left one of my golf clubs on the course while playing the day before and that we had to go look for it. It took a little convincing, but eventually, she played along. I carefully “looked” for my missing golf club while Nicole followed along. Once we got to the spot, and I sloppily went through the speech I had been running through my head all day, and asked the woman of my dreams to marry me. She said yes!
When did y’all get married? April 9, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? The decisions we have made as a couple throughout our relationship have been based on our faith in Christ. We seek to find His will, and strive to be an example of His unconditional love. With the excitement of the engagement and rush of planning a wedding, we consciously chose to place planning for our future together at the forefront. We attended premarital counseling sessions with our church over our ten-month engagement. We also set aside time together every Tuesday night to read a chapter of Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, a book we highly recommend to couples!
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’ve always enjoyed playing around with different styles of handwriting, and my great-grandmother always taught me that a handwritten note held more meaning and sentiment than any other form of communication. I took that advice to heart, and a year ago, decided to start Vine & Olive Design, a calligraphy design company. With our wedding, I had the opportunity to not only complete all the calligraphy for the wedding invitations and other details, but I was also able to design our own save the date, invitation suite, and monogram! It was great experience and marketing for Vine & Olive, and it cut a large amount of cost for our paper products! We also received multiple praises from guests on the sentimentality of the personal touches.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just purchased a home here in Atlanta and love being able to finally live together with our adorable golden retriever, Palmer. It’s a wonderful feeling waking up next to your husband every morning, and not having to leave at the end of the night! With life beginning to settle down after the wedding excitement, we now have time to decorate the house! We’re looking forward to starting the next phase in life as “newlyweds” while enjoying time with each other and friends, and supporting each other as we work towards our dreams. I’ve decided that life is definitely more fun when you’re married to your best friend!

Photographer: Danielle Nichol Photography | Videographer: Ryan Lindsey with Imagine Video Productions | Ceremony Venue: All Saints’ Episcopal Church | Reception Venue: Piedmont Driving Club | Florist: Petals A Florist | Lighting: Up Lighting America | Band: Tayo Reed Band | Paper Products and Calligraphy: Vine & Olive Design | Bride’s Gown: “Ginny” by Modern Trousseau | Bride’s Earrings and Bracelet: J. Crew | Hair and Makeup: Courtney Clifton | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Azazie in Mint Chiffon | Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers | Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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  1. avatar Uplighting Rental reply

    Absolutely love the photos, great job!

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We’re back with part two of Samantha and Samuel’s beautiful Austin wedding (see part one here)! After the sweet ceremony, guests headed to cocktail hour to check out the margarita bar, and then joined the newly married Sam and Sam for an al fresco dinner under the chandeliers. The perfect end to the night? A killer dance party on the monogrammed dance floor!

Thanks so much to The Nichols and Lovely Little Details for sharing Samantha and Samuel’s special day with us in V7!

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? Since I study and work in interior design, the aesthetics of our wedding were really important to me. I grew up following my mother to antique stores and estate sales, so I have had a love of found objects for most of my life. I knew that I wanted a touch of antique design to weave throughout the wedding; however, I wanted to keep the feel romantic and fresh, rather than overly whimsical or rustic. Vintage brass candlesticks, French settees, and whitewash Chiavari chairs helped to bring in this classic feel. We also added a few custom touches that Sam and I brainstormed with the help of our planner, Jacin, like the gray and white painted bars and the gold calligraphy “Cheers” sign behind the main bar. We kept our color palette soft so that it wouldn’t distract from the beauty of the large oak trees covered in string lights and lush green surroundings: blush, gold, champagne, ivory, and soft blue, with pops of coral. The evening was all about taking the beauty of the outdoor landscape and enhancing it, rather than distracting from it.

We were taking photos during the cocktail hour, but we wanted to keep our guests entertained and enjoying the night. We had an open bar as well as a margarita bar, to incorporate one of our favorite drinks! Guests could choose from a variety of margarita combinations, from a blueberry jalapeno margarita to a classic lime margarita garnished with cotton candy! Sam and I also both chose to have a signature cocktail. The Mrs. Sam was a champagne cocktail with St-Germain elderflower liquor. The Mr. Sam was a classic Manhattan.

Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: I loved our setting for dinner. We did a family-style table set up for our guests with long tables, rather than round ones. The florals, place settings, and candlesticks were some of my favorite items to pick out with Jacin, and I was so thrilled with the look we created! I wanted to have the dinner underneath the stars to enjoy the beautiful evening, but at the same time, I thought it would be so romantic to dine under chandeliers. To incorporate both of these elements, we used a tent frame to enclose the dinner tables and to hang the chandeliers from. Leaving the tent frame open allowed guests to look up and see the beautiful night sky. While Sam and I were having our first dance before dinner, I remember glancing up and seeing the gorgeous sky and just soaking in the beauty of the night and that moment.

What was Southern about your wedding? I did a cake pull during my bridesmaids’ brunch! It was so fun to read the girls their fortunes and incorporate this tradition. We also incorporated many Southern touches throughout the wedding, as my family has roots in Texas and Oklahoma. We served mint juleps and a margarita bar, in true Tex-Mex style. We also utilized family heirlooms in the décor–pottery that has been passed down through my mom’s side of the family held florals and decorated the guest book table. We also had a cigar roller during the reception that created cigars for our guests to enjoy.

We wanted to carry the soft, romantic feel of the ceremony and dinner into the reception aesthetic, while also adding a bit more drama. We had our monogram (created by Moya Minns) projected onto the dance floor, and set up three outdoor lounges next to the dance floor that incorporated French settees, tufted ottomans, and throw pillows with our monogram on them.

As we made our way out to our awaiting getaway car, our amazing band, Matchmaker Band, performed a New Orleans-style procession out through the main grand entrance to Green Pastures. The best man and maid of honor led the procession out down the hedge-lined path as our guests waved both Australian and American flags to send us off. As we rode off in our vintage Bentley, we couldn’t believe how amazing a night it was–we felt like the luckiest couple alive.

Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: You mean beside my wife’s dress and all the fun we had?! We were able to incorporate so many Australian hints throughout the wedding, some subtle, some not as much, which made for such an amazing experience. Aside from Samantha and I uniting, bringing together all of our favorite people from all our different walks of life and seeing everyone enjoy themselves was amazing.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? We both agree the BEST decision we made was hiring a wedding planner! Jacin of Lovely Little Details was an absolute delight to work with, and made the entire wedding planning process so fun and stress-free. Knowing that she was on top of all the tiny details made it possible for us to enjoy the fun that comes with being engaged and putting together a day to celebrate the merging of two families!
What are you most looking forward to about marriage? I am just looking forward to doing life with Sam. He’s such an incredible person: hilarious, kind, sensitive, supportive, and strong. I know that no matter what we might face, having him by my side will be a comfort.

Photographer: The Nichols / Videographer: Elysium Productions / Planner, Designer, and Florist: Jacin Fitzgerald of Lovely Little Details / Venue, Caterer, and Cake: Green Pastures Restaurant / Bride’s Gown: “5844” by Liancarlo / Bridal Salon: Ivory Bridal Atelier / Bride’s Shoes: “Hangisi Satin Pumps” in Light Pink by Manolo Blahnik / Bride’s Veil: “9849” by Liancarlo / Bridesmaid Dresses: “G560C,” “G629C,” and G425C in Blush by Amsale / Hair Stylist: Katie Sullivan of Azur West Salon and Jeni Hoover / Makeup Artist: Kristin Daniell Makeup Artistry / Groom’s Tuxedo: Burberry / Groomsmen’s Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse / Invitations: Southern Fried Paper / Calligraphy: Moya Minns of MM Ink / Watercolors and Bridesmaids’ Brunch Invitations: Momental Designs / Rentals: Marquee Event Group, Loot Vintage Rentals, and Townsley Designs / Linens: La Tavola Linen / Guest Shuttles: R&R Limo Bus / Getaway Car: Antique Limousines of Austin / Lighting: Ilios Lighting / Cigar Roller: Bobalu

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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What do you get when an interior designer and blogger bride teams up with the talented Jacin of Lovely Little Details in one of the most unique and creative cities in the South? You get Samantha and Samuel’s Austin wedding, and while I may be a little biased about the location, I guarantee there is plenty to love about this beautiful day–so much so that we split it into two posts! After drawing inspiration from their hometowns in Oklahoma and Australia, Sam and Sam brought their loved ones together at a meaningful celebration that represented of each of them individually, as well as the home that they had found in each other. We’re tickled pink that The Nichols and Lovely Little Details shared this gorgeous day with us for V7!

Labor Day 2011 is where it all began. I was enjoying a “staycation” with girlfriends at a local boutique hotel in Houston, Hotel Zaza. On Labor Day Monday, around 3 P.M., we thought we would catch the last few hours of sun before ending our weekend. Meanwhile, Sam had just landed in Houston from Australia to begin a new job at Macquarie Energy the following day. His apartment wasn’t quite ready, so at the recommendation of a fellow Aussie friend already in Houston, he checked into Hotel Zaza for a few days. Jet-lagged, all he wanted to do was go to sleep, but he wanted to get his body clock on track for his new job, so he decided to go lounge by the hotel pool instead. When Sam walked out to the pool to look for a lounge chair, I spotted him from afar and immediately thought he was attractive. Fatefully, the only available lounge chair poolside with any sun exposure was right next to me! He hesitantly sat down, and we slowly began a conversation. Being new to town, Sam didn’t even have a cell phone at this point. After an hour or so of casually chatting, he asked me to write down my phone number on a cocktail napkin. I have horrible handwriting, so Sam misread the number when trying to get in contact with me and contacted the wrong person. Thinking he had been blown off, he was embarrassed, but he managed to track me down via Facebook, thanks to the fact that I wrote my first AND last name down when sharing my phone number. I knew he was interested when he added me on Facebook only seven hours after meeting (isn’t modern technology great?!). We had our first date at a sushi restaurant two weeks later, and I was sold when Sam let it slip over edamame and sake that he was an “old-fashioned romantic.”

What is one thing that made your wedding different from anyone else’s wedding? I felt like we worked so closely with our planner to really get creative input from both Sam and me. Having someone who had experience with the Australian culture and all the idiosyncrasies that come with being an Aussie really allowed us to bring in some amazing touches all throughout the event, whether it be in the floral arrangements (including king proteas) or in the welcome bags /favors (Australian and Texan sweets), everything felt like it had a personal touch and significance to both of us.

I found my Liancarlo wedding dress at Ivory Bridal Atelier in Houston. It was such a special moment to share with my mom! I had secretly dreamed about trying on wedding dresses for years. We went to Ivory Bridal for our very first appointment of the morning, and I tried on a few all-lace gowns first, because I always thought that’s what I would want to wear on my wedding day! However, at the prompting of the girls at Ivory, I tried on some different styles too, just to see what I liked. When I spotted the detailed French lace on the Liancarlo, combined with the romantic tulle, I had to try it on. I had never seen the type of lace that was on the dress—it was so special and different! When I put the dress on and walked out to the mirrors, my mom started to tear up. I loved the fit and knew this was “the dress.” The dress was strapless, and I had always wanted to do a gown with straps and a keyhole back, so thankfully, Carlos Ramirez, the designer behind Liancarlo, worked to create a gorgeous build-up that made my gown feel so special!

Briefly describe your wedding flowers: Soft and feminine with an ethereal feel. We wanted to create a romantic, lush backdrop with the flowers, consisting of Japanese ranunculus, garden roses of all kinds, peonies, sweet peas, and hints of dusty miller to bring the sage gray color into the mix. The flowers were all shades of pink mixed with creams and whites.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? From Samuel: Definitely the task of coordinating a group of groomsmen that spanned five countries across three continents!

What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? From Samuel: The first look will always be a moment I will never forget. Laying my eyes on my bride for the first time, hearing her shoes on the sandstone as she approached, and the overwhelming happiness that overcame me at that point will never be replicated throughout my life.

Three adjectives that describe the day are: Romantic, personal, joyful–the day really was a real-life “fairy tale” for us both. Having our closest friends and family from all over the world in one place was unforgettable. The day was romantic and intimate for us both, while also being a joyful, lively celebration. Bringing together a mix of Australians, Oklahomans, Texans, Scots, and Germans made for an incredible party.

We chose to write our own vows, which made reading them to one another in front of our loved ones so special. I loved walking towards Sam down the aisle. That is a moment you dream about your whole life, and it was so special to walk towards him and see so many of our friends and family surrounding us with their support and love. One funny moment was that I could feel my veil slipping out of my hair as I got further and further down the aisle, because it was so long. It finally fell out completely, and I kind of just stood there and smiled, not knowing what to do! Luckily, my mom and a few family friends sitting on the ends of the pews stepped out and helped me get my veil situated back into my updo. It was a funny moment that helped lighten the mood!

Describe the proposal: On Sunday, May 16, 2013, Sam and I met for a casual dinner at one of our favorite local Tex-Mex restaurants, Torchy’s Tacos. Once we were finished, we decided to meet back at my house to watch a movie. Before I could even process what was happening, Sam jumped up and practically raced to his car as he said goodbye to me. Realizing he hadn’t said he loved me, he raced back to where I sat, kissed me quickly, and said, “I love you.” I was a little confused as to why he was in such a rush, but I didn’t think too much about it and took my time getting home. When I walked inside my house, I found a pathway of tea candles and rose petals lining our winding staircase. I followed the path all the way up to our rooftop deck, which overlooked the beautiful Houston skyline, lit up in the night. Sam was there waiting for me, surrounded by more candles and rose petals. He took my hands and told me all the reasons he loved me, and how blessed he felt to have found a home with me in a city once so foreign to him. Although he grew up in Australia and I grew up in Oklahoma, together, we had made Texas our home–the place where we met and eventually fell in love. Having the Texas skyline as a backdrop for Sam’s proposal was perfect and so romantic!
When did y’all get married? March 21, 2014
How many guests attended your wedding? 125
Did you try anything new or nontraditional? At the end of our ceremony, just after our officiant announced us as husband and wife and before our processional, we had an a capella group that were sitting as “guests” in the congregation stand up and sing the Beatles’ song, “Love.” It was a surprise for all of our guests, and seeing their reaction as we stood looking out from the altar was so fun!
What are you most looking forward to about marriage? I am just looking forward to doing life with Sam. He’s such an incredible person: hilarious, kind, sensitive, supportive, and strong. I know that no matter what we might face, having him by my side will be a comfort.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? We both agree the BEST decision we made was hiring a wedding planner! Jacin of Lovely Little Details was an absolute delight to work with, and made the entire wedding planning process so fun and stress-free. Knowing that she was on top of all the tiny details made it possible for us to enjoy the fun that comes with being engaged and putting together a day to celebrate the merging of two families!

Photographer: The Nichols / Videographer: Elysium Productions / Planner, Designer, and Florist: Jacin Fitzgerald of Lovely Little Details / Venue, Caterer, and Cake: Green Pastures Restaurant / Bride’s Gown: “5844” by Liancarlo / Bridal Salon: Ivory Bridal Atelier / Bride’s Shoes: “Hangisi Satin Pumps” in Light Pink by Manolo Blahnik / Bride’s Veil: “9849” by Liancarlo / Bridesmaid Dresses: “G560C,” “G629C,” and G425C in Blush by Amsale / Hair Stylist: Katie Sullivan of Azur West Salon and Jeni Hoover / Makeup Artist: Kristin Daniell Makeup Artistry / Groom’s Tuxedo: Burberry / Groomsmen’s Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse / Invitations: Southern Fried Paper / Calligraphy: Moya Minns of MM Ink / Watercolors and Bridesmaids’ Brunch Invitations: Momental Designs / Rentals: Marquee Event Group, Loot Vintage Rentals, and Townsley Designs / Linens: La Tavola Linen / Guest Shuttles: R&R Limo Bus / Getaway Car: Antique Limousines of Austin / Lighting: Ilios Lighting / Cigar Roller: Bobalu

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Dana reply

    love the venue and the flowers!!! also, the fact he proposed after buying her torchys was genius!

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