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Oh my stars, what a wonderful week here in the office! Thank y’all so so so much for the amazing feedback on our latest issue and for encouraging us through the years. I just don’t have words big enough to say thank you to you, dear readers, for helping us grow like wild honeysuckle! We’re all feeling so grateful as we finish this exciting week!

If you are new around these parts, welcome! We’re so glad to have you and hope you’ll sit a spell with us. If you just picked up your first copy of Southern Weddings on newsstands this week or got one of our many pre-orders via the hilarious and hard-workin’ SWPS, you may know there is a little biscuit in my oven. I’ve reached the nine-months mark, so Baby Grace is set to arrive any day now! The current view from my desk…

I’m about to set off into maternity leave land, so I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you! As a tiny office, all of your warm words and encouragement really do mean the world to us. We truly love y’all and love dreaming up new fun things to inspire your big day plans! There are so many exciting things in the works while I’m on maternity leave. Emily, Whitney, Marissa, Nicole and Sierra have all sorts of Southern surprises in store!

Photo above by my dear friend, Nancy Ray. It’s been a blessed nine months, y’all! And this week, feeling so much love from you all about our office baby, V4, has been the cherry on top! The wonderful SW ladies will fill you in when Grace arrives and you can always stay posted on my personal blog, daily tumblr and twitter. Thank you to the moon and back!

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
9 Comments
  1. avatar Desiree reply

    Oh, Lara. from my end – thank you! It is a true pleasure to be a fan of Southern Weddings (print and online), a fan of your staff & all your beloved vendors, and a fan of you! My dear, you make it pretty darn easy to love ya right back!

    I wish you a happy and healthy delivery – I will be praying for you, your hubby, and baby Grace the whole way through. Enjoy your leave and enjoy your newest joy in life!
    1 Samuel 1:27

    May God pour out a blessing that you just cannot contain! :)
    xoxo,
    Desiree

    • avatar Lara reply

      What wonderful words, Desiree!! We love you so much! Thank you thank you! Lots ot love to you!

  2. avatar Laura Leslie reply

    Yah! What a sweet treat to end with after the wonderful and exciting week you ladies had.

  3. avatar Madelynne Miller reply

    Your blog brings me absolute joy every week, both Lara Casey’s blog and Southern Weddings. I think my new dream job is to work with you all. You just can’t even begin to realize how much positive energy, happiness, and inspiration y’all spread to all us ladies out here! Keep up the good work!

    • avatar Lara reply

      Thank you so much, Madelynne! We love what we do and genuinely love working together. Thank you for the encouragement!!

  4. avatar Amber J reply

    Where oh where did you get your “Let her sleep” print? I must have one!

    • avatar Lara reply

      Hi Amber!! I designed it myself and printed it on my home printer. But, I’ve seen lots of pretty prints like this on places like Etsy. Happy decorating!

  5. avatar Video Update from the Southern Weddings Office! « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] me. I’m savoring my last day in the office with the wonderful SW ladies before I head out on maternity leave. Seriously, y’all, I’m so sad thinking about not seeing Emily, Whitney, Marissa, Sierra […]

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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Belles and beaus, I couldn’t be more excited to type this post!  Someone start the drumroll!  Break out your best boots and slice the red velvet!  Get up from your desk and get ready to tear up the pea patch!

WE JUST SENT V4 TO THE PRINTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my stars, it’s so beautiful and BIG and full of all sorts of surprises!  V4 is over 100 pages fatter than our last gorgeous issue.  I keep joking that V4 is pregnant too, but really…. I think it is.  We’re talking over a half an inch thick, friends.  It’s so fat, we’ll only be able to send one copy per envelope this time!   I think this officially takes us from the best “stocking stuffer” to the best full-on Christmas gift for your favorite person under the tree this year!

Emily, Sierra, Marissa, Nicole, Whitney and I have been hard at work here in the SW office over the last two weeks putting all the finishing touches on this issue.  It’s been a very exciting adventure!   But, even though we’re excited, the work isn’t over yet.   A little behind-the-scenes info for you…

Right now, we’re uploading the final files to the printer.  They get the files and make “color proofs” from them, which are giant sheets with several pages printed on each (about 16).  They’ll mail us these giant sheets likely on Friday, and then we get to the hard work of proofing them.  This means we check everything with a fine tooth comb to be sure all the color is perfect and everything is just right.  Even the tiniest change means we need to see another color proof, so the pressure is on!  Once we finally approve all the files, we send them off to print, likely late next week.  Printing takes about two weeks, shipping takes two weeks to go to warehouses all over the country and then to your local bookstores and then, voila!  V4 launches on October 25!  …just days before I have my first baby : )  Such an exciting time here!

We are so thrilled to share all the goodness with you in a few short weeks when Southern Weddings V4 hits newsstands nationwide.  Be sure to pre-order your copy so you get all the goodness right to your doorstep.

GIVEAWAY:  And to celebrate, I’m very excited to giveaway the first copy of V4 that comes hot-off-the-press to one very lucky reader (I’m already jealous of you!).  Just leave a comment here with your excitement and you’ll be entered to win.  YEEEHAW!!!  Time to celebrate, y’all!

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
135 Comments
  1. avatar Jeff Frandsen reply

    in the words of Rebecca Black “WE SO EXCITED”!

  2. avatar Becca reply

    Just preordered my copy!!! SO excited!! Can’t wait to see it in all its large + lovely glory!!

  3. avatar Bethany Aleshire reply

    Woohoo!!! Congrats to all y’all on your hard work! I can’t wait to see it!

  4. avatar Katie reply

    Can’t wait to feature this one on my coffee table!

  5. avatar Aviv reply

    Can’t wait to see it!! Another volume to add to my collection :)

  6. avatar Samantha reply

    I am SOOO excited for the 4th issue of Southern Weddings! Hands down one of the best wedding publications out there. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

  7. avatar Cyn @ Cyn Kain Photography reply

    WOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  8. avatar Samantha reply

    I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of this new issue! I love my wedding magazines and my, oh, my do I love Southern Weddings:)

  9. avatar Erin L. reply

    Ahhh!! Can’t wait to see it!! It’s going to be fabulous!

  10. avatar Katrina reply

    I cannot wait!! Pre-ordered my copy 3 weeks ago :) yeehaw!

  11. avatar Allyson L. reply

    I can’t wait for the new issue! Good luck getting through all the editing in the next couple of weeks!

  12. avatar Desiree reply

    I wouldn’t dare take a free copy of V4 – you ladies have worked too hard! But you are sooo sweet for offering – give to a girl who maybe never has seen a Southern Weddings magazine in person before – and ask her to film her face when she opens that envelope for the first time ;o) priceless, I’m certain!

  13. avatar Jenna Kate reply

    OMG SO EXCITED!!! I missed V3 and I would LOOOOOOOOVE to get a surprise copy of V4!!!!!!!! WOO HOO!!!!!

  14. avatar Lora reply

    Can’t wait to add to my collection of paper wedding planning aids! :)

  15. avatar Sarah reply

    I’m a fraternity house mom and I have every version of SW magazine! I cannot wait till V4 hits the stands! Pre-order here I come ya’ll! This will look fabulous next to V1,2,&3 on my coffee table!

  16. avatar Chelsea reply

    Woo hoo!! Can’t wait!!!!!

  17. avatar Lauren Jolly reply

    Gah! I can’t even tell you how excited I am!! It is so awesome to see SWM get so popular so quickly! Can’t wait for V4!!!!!!!

  18. avatar Sierra reply

    Yippee-ki-yay!

  19. avatar Jacqueline reply

    So psyched to see V4! Can’t wait. Congrats to all of you for your hard work!!!

  20. avatar Leslie reply

    SW Mag – I finally found a magazine that reflects my taste, style and wedding price point. You really helped shape and encourage ideas for my wedding in t-minus 10 days! Thank you for showing us warm, darling and personalized weddings that can be DIY.

    • avatar Lara reply

      Leslie: Oh my stars, Leslie! Your sweet words made my day. Thank YOU for the awesome encouragement. And I’m doing a little happy dance right now for your wedding in 10 days!! YAYAYAY!

  21. avatar Lora reply

    Can’t wait to read!

  22. avatar Kristen reply

    I really don’t think I can contain my EXCITEMENT for this huge issue of SW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  23. avatar Rebecca reply

    I can’t WAIT to see the beautiful magazine! I know a lot of vendors who submitted so I can’t wait to see what makes it inside the gorgeous magazine!!!!

  24. avatar sarah g reply

    can’t wait!! my wedding is exactly 4 days after the launch date, so even though it’ll be a little too late for last minute ideas, i still can’t wait to get my hands on it!

    • avatar Lara reply

      sarah g: Yeehaw, Sarah! You’re wedding is right around the corner! If you’re like most of us, you’ll have the wedding bug long after the big day : ) I can’t wait to hear your wedding details!

  25. avatar natalieG reply

    I am soooo excited to have the V4 edition in my hands!!!! Over the past few months I have been pouring over the gorgeous wedding details that you sweet ladies share and I have fallen head over heals for Southern Weddings!!! My wedding is next June and I can’t wait to see all the sweet details come to life!!!! Love ya’ll!!!!! xoxo

  26. avatar Heather Gardner reply

    Woo to the WOOT WOOT! So wonderfully excited for you guys. What a labor of love and I KNOW it will be fantastic.

  27. avatar duchessbelle reply

    How exciting!

  28. avatar rachael J reply

    YEEEHAWWW is right!

  29. avatar Megan H reply

    Countin my lucky stars for the first copy!! Y’all are amazing:) can’t wait to see all the goodness!!

  30. avatar Caroline reply

    Eeeeeeeeeek! Cannot even wait to get mine in the mail- and the postcard with V3 was the nicest touch ever.

  31. avatar Lauren McLeod reply

    So excited! I always get so much inspiration from your magazine, it’s such a breath of fresh magazine publishing air :). I would wish you luck on it when it hits the stands, but I know you’ll do better than fine!

  32. avatar Bethany Ann reply

    Last year, I won a free copy of V3 on my answer to Lara’s twitter question, What’s Your Favorite Southern Food? My answer was Fried Pickles! :) When it arrived, I was getting married that Saturday, October 15th. I devoured it, of course! As the approach of V4 comes along, it reminds me that I’ve almost been married a year. That’s crazy!!! It’s been a great year for me, and it appears that it’s been a great year for SW & all of the SW ladies, too. I can’t wait to devour this ‘pregnant’ issue of V4! :)

    • avatar Lara reply

      Oh, Bethany Ann! I’m so happy to see your name here! You’re about to come up on your one year anniversary, then! You are wonderful! Thank you so much for being such a loyal reader. We’re so grateful for you!

  33. avatar Rachel reply

    I cannot wait to get my hot little hands on a copy of V4! I know that it is going to be gorgeous!

  34. avatar megan reply

    i’m excited!

  35. avatar Alison reply

    I am SO excited to see what you have worked so hard on this year! I would LOVE to receive the first copy!

  36. avatar Brooke reply

    Congratulations on sending it to the printer! I bet it’s just beautiful, and I can’t wait to see it!

  37. avatar Sandryte reply

    I’d love to have a look at the new issue!

  38. avatar Kelsey reply

    I can’t wait to see the issue!! I’m a loyal reader of iloveswmag.com but this would be my first copy of the magazine!

  39. avatar Hannah Montgomery reply

    Cannot wait to see what cute ideas will be in the magazine! Im planning for my Texas wedding in April and ready to be inspired :)

  40. avatar Katie Lamb Photography reply

    love everything yall do! Excited about this one! :)

  41. avatar Jen Creed reply

    Yay!! So exciting!

  42. avatar Lauren Wiebe reply

    Oooh, how fun! We can’t wait to see it over at our office! We’re in the wedding industry and with half of our girls recently married and the other half engaged or almost engaged, we are off our seats just waiting!! Good luck with the proofing!

  43. avatar Mariel reply

    So excited to see it!!

  44. avatar Samantha reply

    WOO HOO! Can’t wait for V4! I love the teaser images.

  45. avatar Winnie Halliday reply

    I’m not even a bride anymore but my sister has gotten engaged this year and I keep sending her your articles ! Even if I don’t win – I’ll be purchasing one for her for christmas :o)
    Loving you guys from Australia !

  46. avatar Megan reply

    Lord help me–only 29 days until that beautiful graces the USPS with its presence?! Hooray! It’ll be the last wedding magazine I get before my own wedding in November. I can’t wait!

  47. avatar jessica sellers reply

    Commence the count-down!! Hallelujah, it’s almost October!! ;) My favorite magazine is almost in print!!!!!!!!!!!

  48. avatar Lydia reply

    So cannot wait to see it!!!

  49. avatar Sarah Lightfoot reply

    AHH!! I’m totally excited about this magazine! I’m sure it’s filled with TONS of fantabulous inspiration and ideas for my big day! I can’t wait to grab up this magazine. :-)

  50. avatar Brooke reply

    I seriously cannot wait for V4! If the blog is anything of a teaser, I’ll be sure to be oh-ing and aw-ing!

  51. avatar kimber reply

    AHH! I’m so excited I can’t stand it y’all! With V4 coming out in October, it will give me 9 more months to add details to our July wedding!!

  52. avatar Rebecca reply

    So excited for V4! And love your site. Congrats!

  53. avatar Meg reply

    Congrats on making v4 happen! So excited to read and take in all the beauty :)

  54. avatar Katiuska reply

    From the moment I first saw your magazine, I WAS HOOKED!

    *fan for life*

  55. avatar Kate E reply

    GAHHH I am so excited!! I actually added a iCal post to remind me! Can’t wait for it to arrive, ladies :)

  56. avatar Chelsea reply

    I absolutely can’t wait for this issue! I would LOVE to win it :)

  57. avatar Courtney reply

    I am super excited for V4. I love all things Southern Weddings, even though I live in MI and am planning my wedding here as well!

  58. avatar Whitley reply

    SO excited to see the newest issue! Reading iloveswmag.com is part of my daily routine!

  59. avatar Kristy reply

    I’m so excited and happy for the SW Ladies! I can’t wait for October 25th : )

  60. avatar Tiffany reply

    I’m so excited for V4!!!!! I hope to get a copy soon! Yay!

  61. avatar Ilana reply

    I bout V3 last January just after getting engaged, and we are planning our wedding for next May in beautiful Charleston, SC! I am SOO excited to see what delicious treats await us in V4! I will be at the bookstore first thing Oct 25 for the newest issue!

  62. avatar Katie S. reply

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I cannot wait to begin stalking my postman in just a few short weeks!

  63. avatar Brittany R reply

    Cannot.wait.to.see.this.gorgeousness!! Congrats, lovelies!

  64. avatar Jamie Montgomery reply

    I am OH SO EXCITED about the V4 SW!!! The 1st issue came out when I was engaged and I fell in love instantly with southern wedding. I was so inspired by the we bought a tandem bike to ride off on after our reception and just to have to take pictures with. I have several friends who are newly engaged and I have all my SW’s loaned out to them write now…. :-) I can’t wait to see the V4 issue.

  65. avatar Laura reply

    Oh my goodness, you girls work so hard! I bet this issue will be amazing!

  66. avatar Jackie G reply

    OMG! I’m SUPER excited for V4! V3 sold out so quickly :( Lesson learned!

  67. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Friday, lovelies! This week was BIG for us because we sent a full-of-wedding-awesome-and-more V4 to the printers! We couldn’t be more excited to share it with you and we’re anxiously counting down the […]

  68. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up | Gift Registry News reply

    […] Friday, lovelies! This week was BIG for us because we sent a full-of-wedding-awesome-and-more V4 to the printers! We couldn’t be more excited to share it with you and we’re anxiously counting down the […]

  69. avatar Brittany reply

    I want a copy!

  70. avatar Sergio reply

    My wife would love one!!!

  71. avatar Jackie G reply

    I missed out buying V3 because it sold out so quick! I would love to win a copy of V4! I’m soooo excited for it! I can’t wait to see it! :D

  72. avatar Southern Weddings V4 is 100% DONE and Printing!!! « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] in the South, we’re as happy as hogs in slop right now!!  You may remember last week when we announced that we sent our print files off for proofing.  Well, after many rounds of color proofs and edits, our next gorgeous issue is now 100% DONE!  I […]

  73. avatar April Cenora reply

    OMG I can’t wait!

  74. avatar Emilia Jane reply

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot wait to see the gorgeousness. So excited :-D

  75. avatar Emilie reply

    Yay!!! I can’t wait to get my copy of SW V4!!!!

  76. avatar Becca Caniglia reply

    Oh my goodness! I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of V4!!! I have been waiting for it since the day I got V3 and was done reading it within the hour!

  77. avatar Amy reply

    Can’t wait for V4!!!! SW is my favorite, and each day it’s my first stop online everyday!

  78. avatar Samantha reply

    Can’t wait for V4 to come out! I’ve been trying to pre-order but having difficulty. Winning would be awesome!

  79. avatar Jackie reply

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I follow this site daily and am so excited to see V4 come to fruition!

  80. avatar Sarah Carson reply

    Words cannot express my excitement for Volume 4! My mom surprised me with Volume 2 and 3 last Christmas, and it was by far the best gift I have ever received! When I get engaged, hopefully in the next few months :) , I plan to make my wedding as Southern as can be! Maybe I’ll even make the blog! I’ll keep yall updated ;) Keep up the great work!

  81. avatar Chris cornwell reply

    My SW magazines are my wedding bibles!! I never get tired of them! So much inspiration to lust over…oh I simply can’t wait!!

  82. avatar Ashton reply

    Good Lord, it’s about time! I’ve been waiting for this day to come. Your V3 edition was just so inspiring, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a new one. Y’all have done such a great job with the magazine and blog, I know the V4 will be the most fabulous wedding magazine ever! This time around, it’s even more special around my house since my roommate and best friend is engaged and getting married in GA this December! I can’t wait to read it over with her.

  83. avatar Southern Weddings V4 is 100% DONE and Printing!!! | Gift Registry News reply

    […] in the South, we’re as happy as hogs in slop right now!!  You may remember last week when we announced that we sent our print files off for proofing.  Well, after many rounds of color proofs and edits, our next gorgeous issue is now 100% DONE!  I […]

  84. avatar Erin reply

    I’m SO excited for V4 of Souther Weddings!! Seriously, of all the bridal magazines I’ve read (or collected!), Souther Weddings is my far my favorite. There’s so much time and thought put in to every article, photo shoot, suggestion, etc., and it’s something I truly appreciate. I know I’ll be reading SW long after I’m a bride just to keep up with you ladies!! <3 <3 <3 Thanks for all your hard (and amazing!) work!

  85. avatar Brittani reply

    I’d love to get the first copy! Otherwise I’ll be ordering it…so either way I can’t wait to get mine!!

  86. avatar Emily reply

    Oh my stars, yes please!

  87. avatar Ashley reply

    I am so excited for this! I am pretty new to the Southern Weddings Mag blog but have fallen in love with everything you gals post about! I would be thrilled to win a copy of this magazine!!! Congratulations to all you wonderful ladies I’m sure it’s wonderful!!!!!

  88. avatar Cameron reply

    Yay!!! Can’t wait to get a copy in hand!

  89. avatar matthew @ a fine press reply

    Can’t wait!!!

  90. avatar Meghan reply

    Can’t wait! SO excited! Love reading the blog, so I can’t imagine how wonderful V4 will be!

  91. avatar megan reply

    i’m so excited for the new issue!

  92. avatar Ashley Daniell Photography reply

    I am in LOVE with Southern Weddings! After a lot of thought, I made the difficult decision to hold off on advertising in V4 because my new brand wasn’t complete. :-( BUT, I’ve got my sights on V5!!!! My ideal bride is a loyal SW reader and I would love to have a copy of the newest edition to display in my studio for my couples to flip through when they come to visit!!

  93. avatar Lauren Elizabeth reply

    Ahhh, I love SW Mag! My favorite wedding mag! I’m getting married in November, but I’m still buying it! The last time I can have an excuse to buy a wedding mag…:O)

  94. avatar marisa reply

    Woo hoo! So excited to read it!

  95. avatar Olivia Pennington reply

    Being from Kentucky I gotta have my SW mag!! I love love all the inspirations and ideas! :) keep it up gals!

  96. avatar Justin reply

    Can’t wait to see it, Lara. It’s sure to be another amazing issue.

  97. avatar Lea Hanna Bertram reply

    I am SO excited about SWV4!!! Y’all have outdone yourselves again I’m sure! I can’t wait to see all the loveliness!

    • avatar Nicole B. reply

      I would love to win a copy. It looks amazing from what I’ve seen so far.

  98. avatar Geomyra reply

    Can’t wait to dive in!

  99. avatar Meghan reply

    I would looooooooooove to win!! I have V3, special ordered V2 and unfortunately missed V1 before it was sold out! I have been waiting for V4 for what seems like forever, and cannot wait to see it!! It is by far the best bridal magazine out there and I would be sooooo lucky to win the first copy! Thank you for putting out such a wonderful magazine!!

  100. avatar Kristi reply

    As an Alabama stuck in Maryland, I need a good dose of Southern with V4. I’m in the home stretch of planning my own wedding and need some really great ideas for flowers and reception decor!

  101. avatar Anna reply

    I cannot wait to see what new new issue has to offer! You ladies are such an inspiration, and I can’t wait to see all the beautiful images this issue will bring! <3

  102. avatar Kyndra Robbins reply

    Can’t wait to read this issue! Hoping to use some good ideas for my wedding next November!

    xoxo.

  103. avatar Cara reply

    I can’t wait for the next issue of SW! I loved both V2 and V3 — and I’m still bummed I missed out on V1.

  104. avatar Sarah Torrens reply

    While buttered biscuits with peach preserves sound like heaven, nothing sounds better than the FIRST copy of Southern Weddings V4! I’d be the happiest bride-to-be in south Florida if I won!

  105. avatar Alex C reply

    I can’t wait to see the new issue!!!! This is the best magazine for bridal inspiration I have found!

  106. avatar Brianna reply

    Can’t wait!

  107. avatar Kristin reply

    I LOVE Southern Weddings Magazine! As a Spring 2012 Bride, I’m elated with all your beautiful and unique ideas!!! Perfect for the true SOUTHERN BRIDE!!! I cannot wait for this issue!!! ~*~Just might be better than the first snowfall on Christmas morning!!! ~*~

  108. avatar Nicole reply

    I am so excited about this version! I just got engaged in August and missed out on your last issue! Would LOVE a copy ! Love your website already :)

  109. avatar Deedie Springer reply

    I LOVE your magazine!!! I love checking out your website/blog!!! Y’all have such a fun and creative way of showing brides how traditional and personalization can come together to make it YOUR own wedding!! LOVE all of your great ideas and I cannot wait to get my fingers on a copy of your magazine!! Somehow I keep missing it in stores. I MUST preorder a magazine!! LOVE IT!! I am a florist and I love sharing your blog with my clients…y’all do an amazing job!! I am very appreciative of all your hard work!! Thank you!!

  110. avatar Morgan Carwile reply

    Love to win a copy of number 4! Favorite wedding mag!!

  111. avatar Briana reply

    I’m getting married in June of next year and trying so hard to plan my wedding while being a first year medical student! SWMag is my lifeline for wedding inspiration, since all I have is a few minutes here and there to look at wedding things!!! I LOVE SW Mag!!!

  112. avatar Kailey-Michelle reply

    Can’t wait to see! I bet it’s the biggest, juiciest and loveliest if them all!! Yahoo! Congrats ladies xo

  113. avatar Sammie reply

    I’m so excited!!! :) I only have one, but, I check the site all the time! I LOVE SOUTHERN WEDDINGS!!

  114. avatar Ashley reply

    Can’t wait to see all the pretty pages!!! drool……

  115. avatar CALLIE reply

    I cannot wait to see this! I’m a budding wedding and event planner, and I am EXCITED about seeing all the southern wedding ideas. :)

  116. avatar Kelly reply

    I am planning the details for my wedding and I’ve been waiting for SW4 to come out before I make any final decisions! Can’t wait!

  117. avatar alyssa reply

    So EXCITED for V4 to come out!! Would love to win a copy, but if not :) I’ll for sure be picking myself up one real soon!

  118. avatar Kristin reply

    Whoo hoo! I am so excited…my mom and I can’t wait for exciting wedding ideas for my MAY 18, 2012 wedding to MY “coastie” ~definition: Coast Guard Fiance! <3

  119. avatar Emilee H. reply

    I have to admit…I’m already smitten with V4 and I haven’t even gotten my hands on it yet!! SO looking forward to whipping up some biscuits and berry jam for my date with SWM in just 14 days!!

  120. avatar Dana Laymon reply

    They just keep getting better and better and i can’t wait to read this one! I might just do a little giveaway myself because I want everyone to have this!

  121. avatar kellykaysen reply

    Southern Weddings 4…so stoked!!!

  122. avatar Georgina Longoria reply

    I need! I need! Gimme Gimme Gimme :D

  123. avatar Jessica reply

    Yay! New magazines and new babies!! I remember the first time I found out about SW mag…I was in a bookstore looking through wedding magazines and I happened across SW. As I looked through it, I COULDN’T BELIEVE how amazing it was!! Definitely my favorite wedding magazine. I can’t wait to look through the new issue!! — xoxo

  124. avatar ELISA b reply

    Can’t wait to see all the loveliness – especially now that I’ve seen the cover!

  125. avatar Kallie B reply

    Wahoo!! So excited to add V4 to my collection! Southern Weddings has become by far my favorite wedding magazine, over Martha, which is hard to say! I’ve been an honored to be a part of your online edition, and cannot wait to see beautiful images that will grace the print! You ladies are taking over!

  126. avatar Marisol reply

    Oh my! I am sure it will be a lovely issue! Keeping fingers crossed!

  127. avatar Ashley Horton reply

    YEEHHHHAWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!

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There aren’t too many holidays that are as potentially romantic as the Fourth of July, y’all. Watching fireworks with your sweetie on a blanket in a field or out of the back of a pick-up or on a sandy Southern coastline – oh my! Take me there! I’m headed down to Florida this weekend with my hubs to be with the fam and soak up some pool time and BBQ… and fireworks of course. Growing up in the South, I remember so many brilliant sparkling nights with a sky full of bright colored explosions, sweet tea in hand. We all sit out by the pool and laugh as my mom gets a ridiculously big kick out of her once-a-year pyro fun! It all stems from a great old Southern tradition of lighting firecrackers on Christmas morning.  What can I say?  The woman loves her fireworks!  Photo below by Paul Johnson.

This week, I want to know about the moment you first felt those heart explosions with The One… the moment you just knew that this was going to be forever.  The kind of fireworks that take your breath away and sweep you off your feet.  You know what I mean, friends!   It’s a feeling inside our gut that says, “This is IT!” Maybe it was a first date when he opened all the doors for you and you locked eyes… fireworks!  Maybe it was having him meet your mom for the first time and hearing their laughter together… fireworks!  Maybe it was that time he cared for you when you were so sick you couldn’t get out of bed.  He tried to make you a comforting grilled cheese – just like your mom used to do – and he maaaaay have burned it.  But, somehow it was the greatest meal you’ve ever had… fireworks!  Perhaps it was that time he knew just what to say just when you needed it most… FIREWORKS!  Photo below by Caroline Ghetes.

For me, it was when Ari met my dad.  They were two peas in a pod.  I knew I found a keeper!  Just five months after meeting, we were married.  In Vegas, no less.  And here we are over five years later with a little Biscuit in my oven, happy as two bees in a honeysuckle field!  Whatever those fireworks were for you, fill us in, ladies!  How did you know? Spill the beans! Photo below by Benj Haisch.

GIVEAWAY: Four (yes, 4!) lucky winners will get one of our favorite Fab Finds from our last issue: heart or love sparklers from Tops MalibuJust leave a comment telling us about those heart explosions.

P.S. Congrats to last post’s winner, Amanda Noel.  Oh wow, all of the comments on that post were so inspiring!  I can’t wait for all of your weddings!  Amanda, email us your mailing address and we’ll get your gorgeous Paloma’s Nest Ring Bearer Bowl right to you.

Wishing you all a lifetime of fireworks ahead and a fantastic weekend under these gorgeous Southern skies!

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
33 Comments
  1. avatar Bethany Ann Stuart reply

    Love this post! My ‘heart explosions’ happened on the very first day I met my now-husband. He was a teacher’s assistant in my first college course. Don’t worry – he was a student too! Just an assistant for a scholarship. Well, he walked in the room that very first day and literally took my breath away! It was the weirdest feeling EVER. However, we didn’t start dating until that next semester – after the course ended. I never forgot that feeling and we married last fall. :) Thanks for letting me relive that moment!!! Happy 4th of July, y’all!!

  2. avatar Tiffany Whitsitt reply

    Oh my gosh!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE those sparklers! Too cute!

  3. avatar Kelly reply

    I knew he was the one on our first date…..we doubled with a good friend of mine and her boyfriend. We went to a fun local bar and and were hanging out, next thing I knew the bartender tapped me on the shoulder and said “We are closing up if y’all don’t want to spend the night, it is time to leave” What? Where did those 3 hours go….everyone had left the bar (including my friend) and there we were completely unaware of everything around us. As he was walking me to my car and gave my hand a squeeze, something inside me knew we would always be together. We were married 10 months later and have been madly in love for over 18 years….after all these years, he can look at me across a room and I still get butterflies in my stomach. I thank God for him every day!

    • avatar Lara reply

      I so know the feeling! Ari and I had the same thing happen on one of our first dates. Time flies when you are feeling those fireworks! Love it, Kelly.

  4. avatar Heather Gardner reply

    Great post Lara….

    Looking back, it’s hard to believe that the hubs and I have been married for 4 years. We met on a blind date courtesy of e-Harmony (yep!). Sitting next to him, hearing how he spoke, how his eyes lit up like a little kid on Christmas when he talked about his grandfather, and the *gut feeling* I had for him – at that moment, I knew I was going to marry him. I had never had that feeling before with any other…and 6 months later we were engaged!

    • avatar Lara reply

      Heather, I love your story! I hear so many great e-Harmony matches. So wonderful!

  5. avatar Linden reply

    It’s funny because the moment HE first knew was actually last year at the 4th of july… we were on my family’s boat watching fireworks and it was perfect… he even wrote me a poem about it (cheesy, i know!). the moment i first knew was way less romantic but just as special. he wrote me this letter that proved to me how empathetic he is and how he realized (very early on… I think we’d known each other 6 weeks at this point!) how much his words and actions affected me. he proved to me that he’d always be careful with my feelings.

    • avatar Lara reply

      Linden, I love this. I’m excited for you two to relive the fireworks this weekend!

  6. avatar allison reply

    When my now-fiance met my family!

  7. avatar madelynne miller reply

    The first time I ever felt fireworks for my fiance Corey was about a week after I met him. I asked to share head phones with him in the computer lab so I could listen to his music. He was playing “Italian Leather Sofa” by CAKE and I was quietly singing it to myself. He looked at me and said “You know CAKE and you know this SONG?!” And I said “Yes, of course, I grew up listening to CAKE.” And that was it. Indie music obsessed man and I fell in love.

  8. avatar Jennifer reply

    My fiance and I are getting married in exactly one month today! To celebrate we’re headed to our town’s beach to watch the Canada Day Fireworks over the lake! My hearts been doubling over itself all day I’m so excited!

    I knew my fiance was the one when he had my name tattooed across his chest…

    JUST KIDDING, Y’ALL!

    Really though…

    I tore my tutu during the dress rehearsal the night before the opening performance of a production of Swan Lake I was in, and my fiance stayed up past midnight to help me fix my tutu. I didn’t even know he could sew, but I’ll never forget the way he smiled at me and said ” I can’t stand it when something makes you sad… and I’m just happy that this is something I CAN fix for you. Pass me the kit and stand still!”

    I’ll love this man forever.

    • avatar Lara reply

      HAHA!!! Thanks for the good laugh, Jennifer! Your story wins bonus points. He fixed your tutu!? Amazing! Love it! And congrats on your upcoming wedding – YAY!!!!

  9. avatar Amanda Zerra reply

    Loving this post, just thinking back to all of the ‘fireworks’ we’ve shared over the years gives me butterflies! The first time I felt the sparks between my now husband and I was back in High School (8 years ago.. wow) we went to the beach on one of our first dates to check out the stars. Me, being the bad influence I was decided we should go past the locked gate and sit on the sand near the water. After about 20 minutes of kissing under the stars a policeman came shining his mag lite on us and yelled at us to leave. I kept my cool knowing we hadn’t done anything wrong and we’d simply be on our way. My now husband however, being the goody two shoes he was freaked out, ran to the cop to apologize. Needless to say this startled the police officer. All was fine, I just remember thinking back then how opposite we were and how much his cute innocence made me laugh, and still does! On the drive home we laughed over our evening and I told him I loved him. Neither of us has changed! :) Happy 4th everybody! God Bless America!

  10. avatar Mandy reply

    The first time I knew was way back when I was in high school after prom when he and a few others spent the night at my house. We weren’t dating at the time (my choice), but we managed to find some time away from the others spending the night and go sit out on my front porch swing. It was really late at night and slightly chilly outside. I’m stubborn as all get out, but I didn’t want to go in and I was cold. Since he didn’t have a jacket to offer me, he pulled me close and put his arm around me. We didn’t say much… just sat in the dark, looking up at the stars, but that’s when I knew. I didn’t know much about how it was going to work out, but I knew that if I were to marry it would be to him and that he would be the perfect one for me. It’s been 7 years since that night and now we are engaged. So much for not dating him!

  11. avatar Lori reply

    We’ve had many sparks and fireworks over the last year and a half, but I’d say the most memorable was on our 2nd date. Bobby had just finished law school at University of Tennessee and on a beautiful summer night, he took me around campus and downtown Knoxville. As we were walking past Market Square and through a small park and gardens, he led me to the old courthouse and explained to me its history and significance. We held eachother’s gaze for what seemed like forever and he leaned down and gave me the most powerful and electric kiss of my life! I have never been one for PDA, but I just couldn’t pull away! We still talk about that kiss and how that’s when we knew we had something very special.

    • avatar Lori reply

      Lori: I forgot to mention that while we were kissing, a car full of college guys drove past and hooped and hollered at us. Haha. Memories.

  12. avatar linda d reply

    It’s so crazy to look back and realize that fireworks happened the moment that we met. We met at a bar in the most lucky of coincidences in terms of time and place. He had just started living in the area and his sister had invited him out to happy hour. One of his sister’s friends had also invited me out. I walked in and sat next to him and so started our story. If for some reason either of us had not gone that night, it was pretty likely that we would have never met and our lives would never have changed. It was the weirdest feeling that we connected so well so quickly. Everyone else there tells me it was so obvious that we were in our own world at that point. Of course we’ve had other fireworks since then, including the surprise proposal! But I will never forget that feeling of the first time. :)

  13. avatar Taylor reply

    After my boyfriend and I had spent 2 moths apart doing mission work during our first year of dating, seeing him walk up the stairs in the airport made my heart EXPLODE! I was in the Dominican Republic, and he was in Jordan. The Lord’s will was our focus and we knew we’d make it through. After serving for so long, our hearts rejoiced together.

  14. avatar AshleyHH reply

    Being a Florida girl, born and raised…. the 4th of July is my favorite holiday (other than Christmas of course!) Fireworks are my absolute favorite and I am so excited to spend this 4th with my sweetie and his family down in the Keys… although I am gonna miss my family out at the lake! When my honey and I first started hanging out, I was very unsure of the whole thing, I knew I liked him, he was just so different than I had remembered him from high school 5 (now 6) years ago. Our first few dates were spent on the beach, swimming at sunset, wishing on stars, sharing life ambitions, and maybe even stealing a kiss or two. ;-) I had surgery on my foot 3 days after we started hanging out (we hung out every night) and he came to see me and take care of me right away. Met my parents right away and got along with them right away. But something inside me was still unsure. And then, when I told him of my insecurities, I felt those fireworks when he gave me his response. He told me, ” If I am not the last guy you date, I hope that I at least set the bar very high for anyone else who might come into your life.” And I melted and realized I didn’t want anyone else to come into my life. We have made it through almost a year of long distance, and now I get to move back to be closer to him tomorrow!!!! Yay!

    • avatar Maddison Lee reply

      AshleyHH: If she doesn’t win, then she better have set the standard! Haha! Love that! Happy moving! No, I don’t know this girl.

  15. avatar Erin B. reply

    My guy does “explosion stuff” all the time…..over the last year for a period of a least 6 months there he was bringing me fresh flowers at least once a week (and I am such a sucker for flowers!!). He loves me so much I can just look into his eyes and see it and THAT is what gives me the explosions!! Although, the flowers are nice too:)
    And I am ready for my firework exit at the wedding!!! These would be great!!

  16. avatar Rachael J reply

    I knew he was “the one” after dating for in high school for two years, I moved two hours south for college. He drove over 500 miles in one weekend because I was all alone my new apartment! It was something he did not have to do by any means but it meant the world to me. Three years later, we are getting married :)

  17. avatar Amanda Noel reply

    I am so excited about the Ring Bearer Bowl! Thank you!

  18. avatar Autumn Goehring reply

    Right from the beggining he was different. At first I didnt know that was a good thing. I was at a point in my life when for the first time, I wanted nothing to do with any “boyfriend”. I met Todd on his birthday. He was coming on WAY too strong. From that night on he did not give up. I pushed him away, and he pushed right back. He knew something I did not. I am so grateful that he did not give up on me, that he sucked up the humiliation of repeated rejection. One night I was alone and he crossed my mind, over and over, the pressure built until I finally let all my pride and emotion go. In one brilliant exlosion of love I realized he was the one. He didnt give up on me. We were together that night and have been ever since. I love my man for who he is and the lesson he taught me.

  19. avatar Brittany Mayer reply

    The first time I experienced fireworks with my fiance Adam, was a little unconventional as I was with another beau at the time, but you just can’t stop love I guess! There was a large group of us all on a camping trip at a lake in North Carolina. I had only met Adam a few times and didn’t know him all too well, but as I got to know him that day I realized what a great person he was. Well that night we all went down onto the beach at our camp site. There was the most amazing meteor shower I have ever seen! Thousands of shooting stars fell across the sky as I stood next to Adam. Of course being the romantic I am I made a wish to find that one person I was meant for, as I have always wished since I was a little girl. And all of a sudden watching those falling stars I just knew it was him. Talk about fireworks! Love is blind and unexpected that way I guess! I will always thank my lucky stars I found him

  20. avatar Amanda R reply

    The moment I knew my man was the one for me was while we weren’t even together or dating! We dated in college, but went separate ways to pursue careers and further education. Long story short, I got a phone call one Memorial Day weekend that he had broken his neck and could possibly be paralyzed. Upon hearing that news and thinking that I could have lost him forever, the heartbreak and feelings that immediately sprung inside of me were so strong that I knew I had more love for him than I ever realized was possible. We gave love a second chance and we are getting married next June!

  21. avatar Angela Alpaugh reply

    The moment I knew was when we saw each other for the first time across a room. It was a true Tony and Maria moment from “West Side Story” when they see each other across the room and everyone else in the room fades away. My New Yorker husband was working at a hospital in my home state of Oklahoma and visited my home church. We were married last month at that same church, Northside Southern Baptist Church. In keeping with true Southern tradition, it is where my parents were married in 1972 and my maternal grandparents began their married life together in 1948. To top it all off, he proposed last 4th of July and we are returning this 4th to the place he proposed: his family’s beach house on Long Beach Island, NJ.

  22. avatar Natalie reply

    My “Heart Explosions” are all the time my fiance goes above and beyond the call of duty just because he loves me so, so much. One of many examples is this past week. I was gone on a mission trip with the church I work for and he was a hero, getting things done for the wedding, trying to help arrange for my mom to visit me so I can finally pick out a wedding dress, and to top it all of cooking dinner for me on the evening I got back. He does so much to make my life easier and better. I love him so much and appreciate all the love he showers me with each and every day!

  23. avatar cleesmile reply

    the heart sparklers would make a beautiful lit-up addition to a bright wedding that we’re trying to have!

  24. avatar Kristyn M reply

    Part of me knew as soon as I met him that he was the one. But that was about 10 months before this moment. Jeff and I met at the dog park but started dating via facebook. I was working for the summer at a law firm in Florida and he was back in North Carolina when we started dating. I was driving the 2.5 hours to Seaside Beach, FL to spend a weekend with a dear friend and her family (now my maid of honor and her daughter is my flower girl.) I talked to Jeff the entire way there but didn’t want to be rude so we hung up once I arrived. I was sitting on the porch of this beautiful beachfront house telling my friend all about Jeff. During this time he sent me a text message saying something about what he was doing that day. Immediately following I got a picture message from him with a picture of fireworks and text that said “and this is how you make me feel :)” I immediately showed my friend and we both got tears in our eyes. I knew he was the one for me at that moment.

    It wasn’t until a few weeks later that we shared our first hug, first kiss and first date. Its proof that you can know before anything physical takes place. It was an emotional connection that I don’t share with anyone but him.

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