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While I know spring tends to get most of the love from brides thanks to the blooms and the weather, as a December bride myself, I might be a tad bit partial to winter weddings, especially ones that take advantage of already-in-place Christmas decor. From the big red bow-accented garlands to the twinkle lights, there is something so magical about classic holiday decor that makes everything feel extra special! I love than Anne and Nick chose the beautiful Carolina Inn for their December celebration because of its rich history and central location to their families. This sweet couple then took full advantage of the Inn’s gorgeous holiday decor and added just the right amount of their personalities and meaningful details. And y’all, how classic and lovely is Anne’s all-white bouquet, accented with magnolia greenery? So dreamy!

I’m so glad our friend and Blue Ribbon Vendor Robyn Van Dyke was on hand to capture this joyful day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I am a really decisive person when it comes to clothes, and my wedding dress was no exception! I had an amazing time looking at dresses with my mom, thinking about Nick and my special day, and playing dress up! We looked at Diva’s Bridal Boutique in Greensboro and almost immediately decided on a gown. I had actually put on the gown and wasn’t crazy about it, but when they made it “fit me” (i.e. pulled it back so that I had a waist, etc.), I just knew. I loved it, my mother loved it, and I knew it was right.

Describe your wedding flowers. I knew from the start that I wanted to use whites and greens. Kathy at The Purple Puddle turned that desire into something beautiful. I loved the use of magnolia greenery, white hydrangeas, roses, and gardenias. They were so beautiful and fragrant!

The first look was the best decision Nick and I made about our wedding! We were guided by our amazing photographer, Robyn Van Dyke, to consider a first look because the light level was low on our wedding day. We fully trusted the Van Dykes and realized very quickly that this was a special opportunity to be together on our wedding day in the midst of the chaos. The moment was just what we had hoped for–better even! We saw each other for the first time that day surrounded by our friends, we had time together to pray, talk, and process what that day meant, and it was the most special and memorable moment of all of the wedding festivities!

Our wedding music was special from the start. Music is such a beautiful part of worship, and we wanted to glorify the Lord through the music we chose. Not all of it was Christian, but most was, and all was classic. A dear friend from dental school played the violin and the organist for CUMC played the organ and the piano. Nick and I each met multiple times with the organist to discuss our musical selections, hear his input and interpretation, and decide on the final selections. Our favorite hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” was selected as a special song. It was a time of transition in our service and meant so much to both Nick and me. We do not take for granted our many blessings–family, education, calling to service, friends–and the musical interpretation by Gentry (our violinist) and the pianist brought us to tears. We both pray our marriage brings us closer to the Lord and gives us the opportunity (and the challenge!) to glorify Him. It was just so special.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We love Chapel Hill! Both of our families have a history in this area, we met and fell in love here, and it was a central location for our loved ones. Christ United Methodist Church has a kind wedding ministry, and everything about the church began to line up with our values. The music was lovely, the services were classic, and the structure of the wedding ceremony was everything we could have hoped for. It was perfect! The Carolina Inn has everything perfected–it was so easy to coordinate with our vendors because just about everyone had worked at the historic inn before. We quickly realized that December 20 was the perfect weekend to have a wedding there–the inn is decorated beautifully for Christmas, and it is a relatively calm time for them. The Carolina Inn is a gorgeous, well-oiled machine, a classic Chapel Hill landmark, and extremely reliable. It was a dream come true!

At our reception, Nick and I danced to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.” We first heard this when we were apart over the summer of 2014–I was in Utah and Nick was in Africa. We heard it, both teared up, and knew it was the right song for our first dance. In particular, the line, “Honey, your soul can never grown old, it’s evergreen,” spoke to us. We couldn’t help but see how special our parents’ and grandparents’ marriages were and hope for a lifetime of devotion to one another.

Sweet Memories made the most delicious cake! We had two flavors: sweet potato spiced cake with caramel and white chocolate filling, and lemon cake with white chocolate mouse and raspberry puree. Both were incredible!!!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in dental school! Nick was a first year and I was a second year. We went to medical school prom with friends and became inseparable. We spent about two weeks together before I called my mom and dad and told them I was in love (so crazy!)! Nick and I began officially dating on Easter Sunday 2013 and were engaged less than a year later!
Tell us all about the proposal! Nick and I love time when we can be alone together, laughing and talking. We had planned a spring break trip to camp in Death Valley and Joshua Tree and spend a night in Vegas. On the way to the airport, Nick pulled off the road and said, “Let’s go on a walk; it’s a beautiful day!” I suspected what was about to happen and noticed that both of us were shaking! It was hilarious and awesome and absolutely perfect. We arrived to a quad on UNC’s campus where we had enjoyed many picnic dinners during our courtship. I had no makeup on, and we were just completely relaxed at the beginning of an amazing week together. It was more perfect than I had ever imagined!
When did y’all get married? December 20, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 175
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We said classic vows, which was a very intentional decision. We wanted everything to be traditional.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I loved wearing my mother’s earrings and the same veil that both of my sisters wore in their weddings. I also wore the bracelet that Nick’s grandmother, mother, and sisters wore in their weddings and the pearl bobby pins that once belonged to my grandmother. It all made me feel like these women were with me throughout the day, which meant so much!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? I think the reason that wedding planning was so fun was because we were focusing on preparing for our marriage! We read several books, including “The Five Love Languages,” “Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts,” and “Things I Wish I’d Known Before I got Married.” We also met for premarital counseling several times with the pastor at CUMC. We had conversations over dinner about our hopes, dreams, short-term and long-term goals, and aspirations, and made sure we let each other know why we loved one another. We prayed quite a bit and sought wise counsel from family and friends who are married. All of these things really added to the depth and meaning of our engagement.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We decided on the things that really mattered (venue, great food) vs. the things that didn’t (buffet vs. plated dinner, monogrammed vs. non-monogrammed napkins) and allocated funds according to those decisions. We also knew that for our crew, beer and wine were sufficient. We did all of the toasts at the rehearsal dinner, so there was not champagne at our reception; instead, we served spiked cider during our cocktail hour.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Robyn Van Dyke!!! We LOVE our photos and were thrilled to have our day documented by friends. They did an amazing job, and I still can’t believe we were so blessed to have them as such a major part of our wedding day. They really were perfect.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are so looking forward to having control over our time so that we can travel together! We are excited for Nick to graduate from dental school and for me to hopefully match at the pediatric dental residency of my choice. We are on the brink of major changes and professional growth, which is thrilling! We are also excited to have children one day, although that will have to wait a few years. :)

Photographer: Robyn Van Dyke Photography | Planner: Carly of Events by La Fete | Ceremony Venue: Christ United Methodist Church | Reception Venue and Catering: The Carolina Inn | Florist: The Purple Puddle | Cake Baker: Sweet Memories Bakery | DJ: McSound Productions | Paper Products: Reaves Engraving Inc. | Bride’s Gown: Martina Liana | Bridal Salon: Diva’s Bridal and Boutique | Hair Stylist: Becca of Salon 135 | Makeup Artist: Stephanie Sevilla | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Sung | Menswear: Tom Dixon at The Executive’s Cutting Edge

Robyn Van Dyke is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Erica reply

    Beautiful tray! I would love to feature this in my kitchen!

  2. avatar featured: southern weddings » Robyn Van Dyke Photography Blog reply

    […] to share that Anne & Nick’s gorgeous winter wedding at The Carolina Inn was featured on Southern Weddings during the week of Christmas! The joy from this wedding day will always make it one of my all-time […]

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As a young girl, Sam never imagined her wedding, but she did spend hours on her grandparents’ peanut farm, daydreaming about moving to a big city and falling in love. When that dream came true, she and Jamie chose Hidden Valley Farms as their wedding venue–it combined their appreciation for the city that brought them together (Nashville) with Sam’s childhood dreams. Their venue was not the only meaningful detail–Sam and Jamie’s goal was a wedding celebration that represented “our heritage and our hearts.” Isn’t that the most precious way to combine two so very important aspects of life? There is so much more beauty than meets the eye in this lovely wedding, from decor collected from family, the most incredible something borrowed (don’t miss that story!), and florals inspired by Sam’s late grandmother.

Gracious alive, I’m glad Rachel Moore was there to bring it all to life for us through these photos!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I wore my grandmother Bobbie’s pearl earrings and diamond tennis bracelet as my something old, and my dress and veil were new. My something blue was a keepsake box that belonged to my great-grandmother, and my new sister-in-law gave me a silver sixpence for my shoe. My something borrowed was such a surprise. On the morning of our wedding, my aunt and my grandmother came by to share a piece of family history with me, and they let me borrow several trinkets, including my great-great-grandparents’ copper wedding rings. My great-great-grandparents immigrated to the United States from Italy in the mid-1890s, and they were madly in love, but had to come overseas at different times for financial reasons, so they were married by proxy. One of the rings says “Amore” which means love in Italian. I felt so honored to pin those rings to my bouquet along with the other family heirlooms.

Finding my wedding dress was such a special experience. I had just finished writing all of my final papers for graduate school when my mom and my two younger sisters traveled all the way to Nashville to go dress shopping with me. After several stores and several dresses, we went back to see the third dress I had tried on at the first store. I felt so effortlessly “me” as soon as I put it on, and knew it was what I was looking for. My dress was classic and comfortable, while also being unique and romantic, which is very much in line with my style.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look and we were glad that we did. We are both pretty private people and I don’t like to be the center of attention, so as the day progressed, I became a bit anxious. Right after we saw each other, it felt like everything else disappeared in an irreplaceable moment that just the two of us shared, and it is a memory we will cherish forever.

We decided to recite traditional vows. I was not expecting to be so emotional when my eyes locked with Jamie’s as we were joined as husband and wife, but I’ll never forget him wiping away my tears while I said my vows. We had so many guests comment on how sweet and reverent our wedding ceremony was, and that was our main objective.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? As a young girl, I never really imagined what my wedding day would be like; instead, I would spend hours on my grandparents’ peanut farm, looking up at the blue sky over hundreds of acres of land, while imagining what it would be like to one day move to a big city and fall in love. We had our wedding on a middle Tennessee farm to combine our appreciation for the city that brought us together with my childhood daydreams of falling in love on my grandparents’ south Alabama land.

Our flowers were picked to honor my late grandmother Bobbie, who was an Alabama Master Gardener and my hero. She could find beauty in any flower growing wild on the side of the road, and her perennials still blossom every spring, so I carried her small garden spade in my bouquet to have a piece of her with me. We worked with a farmer florist to pick the most elegant and natural flowers that were in season. All of our flowers were locally grown and free flowing, just like I wanted them.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail might be the one hundred candles we had in the barn. The brass candlesticks were a last minute addition and they not only took our breath away, but also added such an intimate and cozy feeling to the rainy day.

We had a three-tiered wedding cake with red velvet, vanilla buttercream, and carrot cake layers to cover all of our favorite flavors. We placed two gold “love birds” as toppers on the cake because Jamie’s nickname in his family is J-Bird, and his nephews call him Uncle Bird. We also had an incredible pie table with pumpkin, coconut cream, key lime, and blueberry pies. At Thanksgiving, my great-aunt Betty always has a quaint pie table that my family gathers around after the meal to enjoy time together, and I loved having a subtle nod to this tradition.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We both joined Teach for America as corps members in 2011 and were placed in Nashville. We met the day we moved and spent that summer in the Mississippi Delta teaching summer school and becoming friends. We tried to stay just friends, but we couldn’t deny that there was something special between us for very long. On one fateful August afternoon, Jamie was going to the Nashville Public Library to do some work for school and asked me if I wanted to go, too. The two of us have been a happy pair and by each other’s sides ever since that first “date” at the library.
Tell us all about the proposal! After celebrating three years of dating, Jamie proposed on August 22, 2014. His birthday fell on a Tuesday, so I kept telling him to pick out a restaurant to go to for a nice Friday night dinner. Friday came and he hadn’t picked a place yet, but he called me that morning to say that we had reservations at one of our favorite little cafes in Sylvan Park. When I came home later that day to white rose petals on my front steps, I certainly suspected a proposal. I walked in and there he was, holding a colorful bouquet in the candlelight. He said the most beautiful words and got down on one knee in the kitchen. Before he could even finish the question, I exclaimed the happiest “Yes!” with the happiest tears. We decided that we wanted to wait to call our families until a little later in order to take in the moments of only us knowing. As we walked up to the restaurant, all of a sudden, I heard a group say “Congratulations!” I looked closer to see my sisters, Jamie’s brother and sister-in-law, and both sets of our parents, all of whom had never met each other before that night. It was the perfect private proposal on a regular Friday afternoon, and then the most charmed evening with our closest loved ones.
When did y’all get married? October 3, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? When a North Carolina groom marries an Alabama bride, it is bound to be inherently Southern. Aside from that, we wanted our wedding celebration to represent our heritage and our hearts. We collected old photographs to showcase our beautiful families. My grandfather Sammy worked tirelessly for months leading up to our wedding to cut down a dying oak tree on his farm to make the wood slabs for our reception centerpieces, and my uncle let us borrow bottles that he had collected for decades to sit atop the wood. We had a very Southern menu of barbeque, macaroni and cheese, shrimp and grits, veggies, and biscuits, served with local jams and honey. Sammy is an important person in my life, so it was an honor to have him say the most touching blessing before our reception meal. It felt just like home.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? With all of the anticipation leading up to our wedding day, we knew that laying the foundation for a strong marriage was the most important part. We read books together, prayed together, and attended premarital counseling courses together. We genuinely enjoyed the season of engagement because we viewed it as a time to prepare for marriage.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Looking at each other during the ceremony and reciting our vows was the most memorable moment. We had the dreariest weather on our wedding day, but only joyful tears came down my cheeks during our intimate ceremony. Although our outdoor ceremony was quickly moved indoors, we could have been anywhere in the world, and all that mattered was that we were publicly committing our lives to one other in the presence of God and everyone we loved.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Breathe before and on the day of your wedding; be completely present and take in both the small and monumental moments. Understand that the best is yet to come, but do your best to savor the time that is fleeting.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Right now, we are soaking in being newlyweds and we love it. It still blows us away that we get to spend the rest of our lives together. We love coming home and just being married, as simple as that sounds. We are currently saving up to buy our first home. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for us!

Photographer: Rachel Moore Photography | Planner: Modern Vintage Events | Venue: Green Door Gourmet at Hidden Valley Farms | Florist: Basil and Bergamot | Caterer and Cake: Whole Foods Catering | Rentals: Southern Events Party Rentals | Lighting: Bright Event Productions | Band: 24/7 | Paper Products: Marked | Bride’s Gown: Ti Adora Style 7451 by Alvina Valenta | Hair and Makeup: Katie Russo Beauty | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan | Menswear: Jos. A. Bank | Musicians: Mockingbird Musicians | Getaway Car: Matchless Transportation

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Nashville Wedding Planners: Sam + Jamie’s Tennessee Farm wedding | Modern Vintage Events reply

    […] heartfelt and beyond lovely. We were thrilled when their wedding was chosen to be featured by Southern Weddings Blog. Congratulations again, Sam and Jamie and here’s to many beautiful years […]

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My heart fills right to the brim thinking about the Texas Sweethearts editorial in Southern Weddings V8. The story we dreamed up for this shoot–an undeniably charming Texan wedding uniting a pair of high school sweethearts who fell in love under Friday night lights–was one of our first ideas for V8, and we immediately knew it would hold a special place in our new issue. Everything came together so naturally, from the tremendously talented team who came onboard to help us bring our vision to life, to the too-perfect-for-words venue, Star Hill Ranch, to our incredible group of reader models (including a bride and groom who are real life Texan high school sweethearts–the journal in these shots is really hers!), to even the weather, which was as lovely of a Texan spring day as you can ask for. I’m the SW office’s resident Texan, so I had fun helping to bring the Lone Star State into this shoot in really unique ways–frito pies, a nod to homecoming mums, and the colors of the flowers (inspired by the magical Hill Country sunsets), to name a few. We hope y’all loved seeing the results of this meaningful editorial in V8–here are a few more of the beautiful photos by our Blue Ribbon Vendor Kristen Kilpatrick!

P.S. If there are any fellow Friday Night Lights fans out there (the SW gals are obsessed), see if you can spot a few nods to our favorite show! FNL played a big role in helping us hone in on this shoot’s feel and aesthetic :)

It was a only fitting for these high school sweethearts to include a few details from their dating days into their wedding–her journal and their class rings, to name a few. As a wedding gift, she gave him a dapper pocket watch engraved with his former jersey number!

We wanted our bride, groom, and bridal party to look stylish, but still right at home in the Texas landscape. A dapper blue suit and chambray for the gents, plus a gown and bridesmaid dresses with great texture were just right…paired with cowboy boots across the board, of course!

This was one of our favorite details from this shoot–as a nod to the oh so Texan tradition of homecoming mums, our groom gifted his bride with a single bloom to add to her bouquet. Homecoming mums originated as single chrysanthemums, so this sweet twist on the tradition (perfect for couples who are former homecoming dates!) was both appropriate and elegant.

The chapel at Star Hill Ranch is too adorable for words, and we jumped at the chance to stage an indoor ceremony for an editorial! Katy of Without Wax, Katy gussied up the space with candles, gorgeous greenery, and a few statement blooms.

Does it get much sweeter than this? We tried to rein ourselves in when it came to literal Friday Night Lights details, but this tugs-at-your-heartstrings catch phrase was too perfect to pass up–Southern Fried Paper did an amazing job creating the chambray signage for us!

Like many corners of the South, Texas claims a few culinary specialties, and we knew we had to include them as a tribute to our bride and groom’s Texas roots. Cornbread, pimento jalapeno Texas toast, and even an upscale take on frito pie were on hand, many thanks to Pink Avocado Catering.

We loved working with Without Wax, Katy on this editorial, and her styling eye really shined as we set the table! Exposed wood, chambray, pewter, blue glass, and navy velvet created a gorgeous, rich tablescape that fit in so well with the Hill Country landscape. The colors of the flowers were inspired by the vibrant sunsets in Texas–we were even treated to a sunset that matched the blooms perfectly as we wrapped up our shoot!

Y’all, don’t you want to dig right into that luscious chocolate cake? It was the perfect pairing with yet another Texan favorite: Blue Bell ice cream, made right down US 290 in Brenham, Texas.

This shot is one of our absolute favorites from the shoot, if not from the whole magazine–it’s definitely one for the SW history books!! It almost didn’t happen, since we couldn’t get a hold of the perfect truck ahead of time, but turns out, they had one that was just right on hand at Star Hill Ranch. It was meant to be!

Stay tuned to see the behind the scenes photos from this shoot day next! And be sure to pick up a copy of Southern Weddings V8 to see the gorgeous spread–it’s now on news stands across the Southeast, as well as online here.

Photographer: Kristen Kilpatrick Photography | Film Processing: PhotoVision | Designer, Stylist, Props, and Florals: Without Wax, Katy | Venue: Star Hill Ranch | Caterer: Pink Avocado | Cake: Polkadots Cupcake Factory | Paper Goods and Fabric Signage: Southern Fried Paper | Calligraphy: The Left Handed Calligrapher | Hair Stylist: Andrea Juarez | Makeup Artist: Makenzi Laine | Rentals: Loot Vintage Rentals | Pewter China: Match | Bride’s Gown: “Indigo” by Modern Trousseau | Veil: BHLDN | Bridesmaid Dresses: Eva Franco for Lover.ly | Ties: Noose Neckwear | Pocket Watch: RC Personalized Gifts

Kristen Kilpatrick and Southern Fried Paper are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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  1. avatar Kelly reply

    Oh I just love Victoria! Seriously the sweetest and this editorial was hands down my fav! I’m also a FNL fan and loved the touches! Great editorial ladies! Y’all knocked this out of the park!! Xoxo

  2. avatar Kristina reply

    I love all things Friday Night Lights so this editorial is hands down my favorite! Y’all did an amazing job as always :)

  3. avatar Southern Weddings Magazine Feature – Texas Wedding Calligrapher reply

    […] is always a joy working on content to be featured in the Southern Weddings Magazine.  Those girls have a keen eye and know how to organize a thoughtful, inspirational event for […]

  4. avatar Maureen reply

    So cute and love seeing Victoria’s smiling face!

  5. avatar Abby Opersteny reply

    Completely swooning over all the FNL-inspired details! One of your darling reader models is a sorority sister of mine, and we have just raved over this shoot. Job well done!

  6. avatar Dana reply

    obsessed with all of this!

  7. avatar Tomasz reply

    amazing style!

  8. avatar Southern Weddings Magazine Feature – Texas Wedding Calligrapher | Left Handed Calligrapher reply

    […] is always a joy working on content to be featured in the Southern Weddings Magazine.  Those girls have a keen eye and know how to organize a thoughtful, inspirational event for […]

  9. avatar Darek Novak reply

    Great colours. love the analog feel.

  10. avatar Happy 10th Anniversary Southern Weddings! My 10 Favorite Editorials – Kyla Mary reply

    […] The blue, the florals, the small-town setting, and the inspiration are so dreamy! The SW gals pulled their inspiration from Friday Night Lights, and a sweet fellow blogger modeled with her husband. I guest posted for Victoria earlier this year and she and her husband Ben are the perfect Texas couple for this editorial! View the original post here. […]

  11. avatar Happy 10th Anniversary Southern Weddings! My 10 Favorite Editorials – Kyla Mary reply

    […] The blue, the florals, the small-town setting, and the inspiration are so dreamy! The SW gals pulled their inspiration from Friday Night Lights, and a sweet fellow blogger modeled with her husband. I guest posted for Victoria earlier this year and she and her husband Ben are the perfect Texas couple for this editorial! View the original post here. […]

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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