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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.

  25. avatar New Year’s Eve Wedding Fireworks | The Destination Wedding Blog – Jet Fete by Bridal Bar reply

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Every spring, my mom and dad trot off like spring chickens into a thick field, big empty baskets in hand, to pick a sweet fruit that has become a part of our family.

Soon after, the house is filled with the divine smell of brewing Southern dewberries and friends and family are happily enjoying a delicious Mason-jar-housed treat on biscuits and toast.   I’ll let mom tell you, though.  She tells the story of the dewberry best…

As the days begin to warm from the chill of winter, small soft white flowers appear oddly out of place in their surroundings.  Fragile circles of rose-like petals, tinged with pink, pop up among the craggy vines and brown grasses.  Anchored low to the ground, the blossoms flutter gently in the breezes.  The message is simple.  Spring is not far away; the dewberries are blooming.  But the message is also rich and vivid, interlaced with memories of wild dewberry patches of the past, the carefree abandon of childhood, and the traditions making cobbler and jam.

Growing up in the South, we picked dewberries every spring.  The southern dewberry, Rubus trivialis, is a member of the rose family and a close relative of the blackberry.  Abounding with tiny thorns, the low trailing vines intertwine and entangle themselves and everything that grows among them.  As the flowers fade, the hard green berries begin to appear.  Over the next month, they turn red and tart, finally swelling quickly as they ripen into a shiny deep black burgundy. Although commonly referred to as blackberries, dewberries usually ripen several weeks earlier in May, and are larger, juicier and sweeter. Eaten by birds that spread their seeds, they grow wild along the roadways, in fields and empty lots, almost anywhere.  The naked berry is picked by rolling it slightly away from the stem, keeping it from being crushed and leaving the bud stem on the vine.  You can count on having purple tattooed fingertips and the lingering sting of tiny thorns.  A just picked dewberry, musty and sweet, and warm from the sun releases a burst of juice and a flood of memories.

When I pick the berries, I think of my dad.  One of seven children and the son of an Alabama sharecropper, he delighted in the local gifts of nature – scuppernongs, huckleberries, mayhaws and dewberries.  I can hear his voice warning me to watch out for snakes.  “You know that the snakes wait for the birds that come to eat the berries.”  Although I have never seen a snake in the berry patch, I still heed his advice. He taught me to carry a stick and make some noise in the vines – a prelude warning of our presence.  We would move about slowly and cautiously, not only to avoid a surprise snake sighting, but quick movements in the low thorny vines could painfully ensnare an ankle. With itchy stained hands, bug bitten and sunburned, we quickly forgot these hazards as we proudly admired our baskets of shiny berries.

My mother’s cobbler in the oven filled the house with fragrant drafts of warm, sweet dewberries baking under a blanket of tender spoon crust.  Another supper dessert would be fresh berries and whipped cream – simple, elegant, perfect.  And of course, there was jam, lots of jam. Tricky to make with just the right consistency, not too thin and not too firm, the jam was allowed to thicken naturally.  A mixture of ripe and under ripe red berries and an entire chopped lemon would provide the needed natural pectin.  Sealed in hot glass jars, stacked and beautiful, the sweet dewberries would last throughout the year.


It is that comforting ritual of jam and cobbler making that I continue in my kitchen today.  From the sightings of the first blooms, to the memories of past berry patches, the dewberry, gleaned with both fear and pleasure transforms me to the vestiges of my childhood.  The vivid memories of the past blend with the present.  As a child in the dewberry patch, I’m still there.  I never left.

Our pantry eagerly awaits new jars of dewberry jam from mom every year.  When Ari was deployed, the sweet little dewberry even made it’s way to Iraq in a care page or two!  If Ari and I ever did a vow renewal, you can guess what would be a part of our celebration.  There are dozens of empty Mason jars lining our cabinets now, all still ripe with memories of each season we enjoyed their contents.  If you saw a Mason jar on my wedding tables, this story would go right along with them.  There is a history that makes my heart sing!  There is a “meaning behind the Mason”.

There is nothing I love more in a wedding than seeing an authentic love story come to life through every photograph – from the love in the couples’ eyes to the special details that reflect their unique path.    No random pretties just because they are pretty.  No details just for detail sake.   Not to pick on the poor Mason jar, but we see them too often used as… here come my least favorite words… a wedding “trend” with no meaning.  Southern brides, you know what I mean!  Mason jars aren’t “vintage”, they are part of our history.  Our aunts and grandmothers and great grandmothers spent long hours in the kitchen canning to preserve the harvest crop through winter.  What a delightful history that little jar has!  When a wedding is infused with history, tradition and special meaning behind those little touches, your love is center-stage.  Magic happens on the big day!  Your guests are transported, inspired and you become closer to your nearest and dearest through the celebration of your wedding.  Your wedding tells your authentic love story and you create memories that you will never ever forget.  [P.S. – if anyone knows where that lovely photo above is from, can you let me know?  I would love to credit this beauty!]

So, what is your love story and how are you telling it in your special details?  Perhaps it’s as simple as using the same flower variety that your mother had in her bouquet or having your maids in Carolina Blue for your alma mater where you and your sweetie spent your first years of courtship.  Perhaps it’s a little photo locket tied to your bouquet with pics of those closest to your heart, cupcakes baked from your aunt’s favorite recipe, a favorite fabric you found on a romantic weekend trip to Savannah with your man (that special trip when he first said the three special words… I love you!) on your cake table or a special love quote on your programs that your grandmother always echoed.   Perhaps it’s the simple Mason jar… the same jars that were once filled with the poetic and perfect dewberry that are now filled with daffodils from your mother’s garden.  Whatever it is, tell your beautiful love story in the details.  Have fun with it and you may even get to know something new about your fiance and families in the process! [photo above source]

GIVEAWAY: Sound off!  Tell us about some of your special wedding details and the meaning behind them.  One lucky commenter will win a beautiful Ring Bearer Bowl from Paloma’s Nest!  This beautiful bowl is sure to become a family heirloom that you can pass to your kids one day, too!

P.S. Congrats to the last post’s Father of the Bride gushfest winner Courtney Christian.  All of your comments made my heart melt…  OK OK!…  there were some tears shed, too!  Email us your mailing address, Courtney, and we’ll get your prize right to you.

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
32 Comments
  1. avatar Natalie reply

    We are trying to make everything very personal for our wedding. We started by hand making our save the dates and invitations. So, there are tons of little details we are including to make everything special. For example, I will carry the same handkerchief with me that my grandmother had on her wedding day. We will cut the cake with the same knife my grandmother used for her wedding. We will have pictures of our parents and grandparents on a table. And we will be spending an entire weekend with close friends and family as we celebrate the beginning of our married life. We can’t wait!
    04/29/2012

  2. avatar Amber reply

    My grandmother passed away earlier this year and in her honor, we are serving mini pecan pies, just like the ones she used to make specially for me. I can’t wait to share that with our loved ones.

  3. avatar madelynne miller reply

    My favorite details are
    1. The pearl earrings my grandmother bought for my mom in Guam when my grandparents were stationed there in the military decades ago – I’ll be wearing them with the pearl necklace I got from my parents for my 16th birthday

    2. Third Presbyterian Church – The same church my grandmother married my grandfather in 1954

    3. The bride’s table – I’ll have framed photos of my sister, mom, and grandmothers on their wedding day

  4. avatar Hannah reply

    Back in 1982, my parents got married at The Breakers in West Palm Beach. Nearly 30 years later, I am lucky enough to get married there too! It was my mom’s suggestion and of course I couldn’t say no to the sentiment and such a beautiful location. I plan on having their photo of the cake cutting right by our cake too :)

    • avatar Lara reply

      I LOVE The Breakers! Such a perfect wedding location with such rich history! Be sure to send us pics, Hannah. SO thrilled for you!

    • avatar hannah reply

      Lara: Thank you, Lara! So excited too…the wedding will be March 2012, and I will be sure to send pictures. My fiance is from North Carolina and I am from South Florida, so we are combining the two and having a Southern Shabby Chic Wedding by the Beach!!!

  5. avatar Anne reply

    We’ll be incorporating a Chinese tea ceremony into our wedding day. My parents gave up everything they knew to start over in a new country for their children, so this is my way of honoring them and all they’ve given to me.

  6. avatar Nicole reply

    We have several details we’re incorporating into our wedding that has special meaning to us. For one, we’re getting married in Savannah, it’s not only where I was born and raised, but it’s where we had our first date. We were in a long distance relationship when we first started dating and he drove from Atlanta to Savannah to take me out on a fabulous first date complete with a horse drawn carriage ride around downtown. We’re having our rehearsal dinner at Vic’s on the River, where we ate on our first date. We’re even having the same shrimp and grits there that we had on our first date!

    I plan to wear a gardenia in my hair. My grandmother was famous for wearing this flower in her hair every day when she was young.

    Another detail we plan to incorporate is our collections – I have a collection of milk glass and together we have a collection of vintage cameras. I, too, hate the word “trend” but it has special meaning to us so we’re using them. I always like to be different. We both collected cameras before we even met so we just combined our collections together when we got engaged. He’s a videographer and I used to be an aspiring photographer so that is why we each started collecting them. Not to mention we love all things vintage!

    • avatar Sierra reply

      I love the idea of incorporating the camera collection and that it’s not just something vintage but has meaning for you and your fiance. My father is a photographer, now professor, that collects old cameras. When I was a little girl, he gave me this 1957 Girl Scout camera. Needless to say, I loved it! http://pinterest.com/pin/12425083/

  7. avatar Janice reply

    When we first met, my then-just-friend was about to be shipped off for training with the Army. We kept in touch by writing letters to one another. He wrote to me every day. It felt like WW2 as I excitedly checked the mailbox every day to see if another letter came from him! We got to know one another through these letters, and when he came back for holiday leave, we began dating.

    Since the letters were our only form of communication, they became a very important part of our relationship and we decided that when we get married we will have a love letter themed wedding! We are designing the invitations with a romantic font and a (fake) postmark to appear like a hand written love letter, tied together with twine to give the invitation suite a vintage look! Our table numbers will be table-top frames, matted with vintage stamps. Though not completely thought out yet, some other ideas include: giving letter openers as favors, giving guests a chance to write love notes to us, and using a vintage looking typewriter as part of the decor.

    • avatar Lauren Frances reply

      Janice: I adore your love letter theme! Such beautiful memories to be shared! I think it would be so sweet if you set up a table with sheets of paper (echoing your colors) for the guests to type up love letters to you and your new husband on your typewriter and then have them place the notes inside an old mailbox (maybe painted a certain color with the flag up, would a heart instead of a flag be too silly?). Good luck with all your ideas!

    • avatar Janice reply

      Lauren Frances: What a cute idea! Hmm…I think maybe the heart thing could be pulled off. Thanks for the reply! Keep them coming!

  8. avatar Cheryl reply

    Love this! One thing I’m really excited for is I am using my grandmothers Belgic Lace kerchief on my special day. I’m a crier, and when I mentioned it she almost teared up just with the idea of me using it, as she used it on her own wedding day 50+ years ago.

  9. avatar Lauren Frances reply

    Our wedding is filled with personal touches. I’m creating the invitations and all other paper goods, the favors, and the decorations. My mother will be arranging the flowers and baking the cake. One important part of the wedding will be wearing Justin’s Great Aunt Minnie’s engagement ring on my right hand as I walk down the aisle. The ring has a sad story; Minnie’s fiance JT proposed before leaving for WWII and although he fought the good fight he was killed in action in the Pacific months shy of the war’s end. Because the ring never made it down the aisle in their lifetimes I will be honored to wear it on our wedding day in Minnie and JT’s memory.

  10. avatar Sheila reply

    There are a few different things that I am incorporating into our special day that are meaningful to us. 1. Growing up, when I would go visit my grandparents (Grandmommie and Dee) I would run straight into my grandmother’s room and put on make-up and her jewelry. One day when I was about to leave, and as I was taking her jewelry off to put it away, she told me I could keep one ring. It ended up being my grandfather’s sister’s wedding ring. On the inside it was inscribed C.N.P. to M.C.M. 5-8-28. His sister’s husband’s initials and hers, and they day they were married. I am planning on wearing the ring or attaching it to my bouquet as my something old, so that Grandmommie and DeeDee can be there with me in some way because they have since passed away. 2. My mom and her mom both carried a bouquet of long stemmed Calla Lillies in their weddings, and I will carry a bouquet with miniature Calla Lillies in it to keep the tradition. 3. This past weekend I went gown shopping. My fiance had an arrangement of a dozen roses sent to my last appointment that was waiting for me when I got there. It was the sweetest thing ever, and I ended up buying my dress there which made it even more special. In the arrangement there were 3 peacock feathers. I am going to have my mom make my garter, and attach one of the tops of the feathers onto it. 4. My fiance’s little brother’s life was taken a year and a half ago, so he is leaving his Best Man spot open because it was supposed to be his brother standing there.

  11. avatar Allyson L. reply

    We are getting married October 2012 so we don’t have all the details finalized yet but some of the special details include that I will carry my grandmother’s handkerchief with me. Possibly wrapped around my bouquet with a broach from my mom. My grandmother passed away when I was young so it’s very important to have a part of her with me on that day. When I got engaged my parents gave me her engagement and wedding rings and I will be having my wedding band made from hers. It’s very important for me to do this because my engagement ring is from my fiance’s great grandmother’s engagement and wedding rings. It will be so special to have a symbol of our families coming together with the two rings I will be wearing. We will also be toasting with my parent’s champagne flutes from their wedding. My fiance is from Texas and we got engaged in his hometown, along with my engagement ring he bought me a pair of cowboy boots for Christmas. They are beautiful and I am so excited to wear them on our wedding day. I hope that our wedding day is filled with many special details and that it is really a reflection of who we are. I can’t wait!

  12. avatar Clara G reply

    I am hoping to fill our wedding with tons of personal touches from growing up in small town Alabama to falling in love at The University of Alabama. My favorite aspect is a shout out to my grandmother. Nana has a very special place in my heart. I was her only grandchild for 16 years, so I was completely spoiled and share a million memories with her. To honor her, I am wearing her wedding dress in my engagement pictures. It is a 50s style knee-length eyelet dress. When I get married, there will be my engagement picture next to her wedding picture, and I will be wearing a special ring that she gave me. There a ton of other sentimental touches, but to describe it all would cause me to write a billion paragraphs! :)

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  14. avatar Amanda reply

    I posted several of the traditions and memories to be incorporated into my wedding on the Father’s Day post, but I want to reiterate them again:
    My daddy passed away when I was 16 years old from complications from lung cancer, and as most every girl’s dream is to walk down the aisle with her father, I will have to let the details of the wedding fill that void so that everyone sees how special he was to me and my family. We will be getting married in the church I grew up and was baptized in, and the reception will be on the farm I was raised on and where daddy raised cattle my entire life. I am wearing the veil my mother wore when she married my daddy almost 50 years ago. My Godfather – also my dad’s best friend since the Vietnam war – will walk me down the aisle. In honor of my daddy, my Godfather and I will dance to the “Tennessee Waltz” because I went to every Tennessee football game with my daddy since I was old enough to walk and that’s also where he taught me to whistle with my fingers. Instead of a groom’s cake, we are serving my grandmother’s blackberry cobbler recipe, a la mode. My dad’s cousin is decorating the reception and also designing the floral arrangements and bouquets. My fiance is designing our Save the Dates and my brother is designing/making our wedding invitations. With almost a year left to plan, I am sure we will incorporate more traditions as we get deeper into planning the big day…

  15. avatar Whitney G. reply

    Hands down, the most special wedding detail is the date. We are getting married 04.28.12. My grandparents, with whom I am extremely close, were married on 04.28.51; so it would have been their 61st anniversary. My grandfather passed away March 2010, so it means a lot to me to share this date with them. Another special detail is our reception venue. We booked our reception in a venue downtown. When I told my grandmother she informed me that my grandparents went to prom together at that venue. Another special (unexpected) detail for our wedding day!

  16. avatar Sharon reply

    My favorite wedding detail was spending about 45 minutes at AT&T Park (where the SF Giants play) with our photographers taking photos. We’re huge baseball fans, and there was so much magic in the air, with people having beers and lots of fun. It’s something we’ll never get to do again, and I know it’s something my husband really wanted to do. It really made us feel like we were celebs for a day. Baseball til we die!

  17. avatar Amanda Noel reply

    My wedding will be in May 2012 so we still have a lot of individual details to go, but there are 2 we already set that really touch my heart. First, I knew I wanted a paper flower bouquet long before this style became all the rage. The detail that tells our love story is that the bouquet will contain pages from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. We met going to grad school for Shakespeare in Performance and the first night we met we went and saw Much Ado together. The bouquet will contain script pages of all the beautiful love scenes in that play!
    Another detail that many guests may not even know about is Dan’s wedding ring. Dan’s mother passed away when he was in undergrad and he actually found out his father passed away the day he proposed to me (in his proposal he asked me to make the saddest day of his life the happiest. amazing.) In memory of them and as a testament to how madly his parents were in love with each other, we are making his wedding band by melting down and uniting their two wedding bands and adding a single emerald since that is my birthstone (my wedding band is a ring of sapphires, his birthstone). I can’t wait to put this incredibly meaningful ring on his finger and take a moment to think of my mother and father in law who can only be there in spirit.
    We can’t wait to brainstorm more personal details and share them with our family and friends as we start the next chapter of our love story!

  18. avatar Amanda Zerra reply

    I have so many favorite details! My goal was to define our wedding using the words ‘sentimental’ and ‘family oriented’. We did just that!
    Pictures are in my blog in the link connected to my name regarding all of the following :0)

    My absolute favorite wedding detail was my brooch bouquet! I saw a few on certain wedding blogs a couple years back and instantly fell in love with the idea. I knew I would have to have one created for our wedding. Months before we were even engaged I started collecting brooches from thrift stores and most importantly family members. It was important for me to have a display of each and every person important to me in my bouquet. Especially my Grandmother & Grandfather who passed away before our wedding. In my bouquet I had my Grandfather’s ‘Knights of Columbus’ pin, my Grandmother’s favorite costume jewelery, including an antique locket and her ‘Colombiette’s’ pin. I was in the Girl Scouts for 14 years and included my ‘Gold Award’ Pin which was awarded to me by my Mother who was also my Girl Scout Leader. My husband and I met in High School, so I included a sparkly bobcat paw pin, our High School Mascot. My husband gave me his ‘Navy Wings’ to put on display as he is a Navy Pilot. My in-laws also helped me with my brooch collection by gifting me some of their prized family heirlooms. I was able to re-purpose my mothers wedding gown and use the lace from her dress as the ruffles underneath the bouquet itself. We also used the buttons from her sleeves to line the stem. The process of gathering the brooch’s was a joy for everyone. My family members and future family members could not wait to spot their brooch ‘donations’ in the finished product. It was to die for and my absolute prized possession!

    My husband’s Alma Matter is the University of South Florida. After we were announced husband and wife, I surprised him by flashing my leg with my ‘USF Bulls’ garter. He was smiling from ear to ear. I am not good at keeping secrets and this was one I kept until the very end!

    Both my father and my father in law are huge ‘Godfather’ fans, whenever the family’s are together they are either watching it on TV or quoting every movie line. With that said, my husband and I decided to hire a violinist to play during our ceremony for the main purpose of surprising our guests with the ‘Godfather Theme’ as soon as we were announced Husband & Wife. It was such a surprise for everyone! *Another secret we kept* It is hilarious to replay our video and see our guests faces, some with confusion and most with laughter!

    My mother surprised me with my ‘something blue’ by re-purposing my late Grandmothers Diamond earrings with blue sapphires. They are stunning and sparkled on my ears on my wedding day.

    Speaking of jewelery I was honored to wear our family heirloom which we call ‘The Lavalier’. This necklace has been worn by every woman on their wedding day in my family on my Father’s side starting with my mother, my 3 Aunts, my Paternal Grandmother, her sister, their mother and dating back to my Great Grandmother. It was so meaningful for my dad to place this necklace on me before I walked down the aisle. We both could not stop smiling!

    My husband is obsessed with Back to the Future! He literally knows every single world to the entire trilogy and anyone who knows him, knows this! His Aunt and one of our Groomsmen and I were in cahoots to surprise him with a DeLorean for wedding photo’s. He was in shock! The pictures came out great and it is just added to the meaning and overall feel to our wedding day.

    On to my absolute favorite detail the entire wedding, which was a complete surprise to me. My husband is in the Navy and I was in the Coast Guard, the Military has been a huge part of the both of our lives beginning in our High School days where we both attended ROTC. In ROTC we would take road trips to many competitions a year, during each road trip the group would pass time on the bus either watching ‘Top Gun’ on DVD or singing along to the Soundtrack. No this is not a joke! Every High School student on that bus knew the words to ‘You’ve lost that Loving Feeling’. Coincidentally one of the pilot’s from my husband’s squadron asked the DJ to play the song so all of the Pilot’s could serenade me before my husband removed the toss garter. Here I am sitting in a chair on the dance floor as my husband, his Navy friends and our High School ROTC friends & Instructor sang ….”You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips….” I have goosebumps writing this.

    Our entire wedding was amazing. Everyone had a blast including the Bride & Groom. As you can see in my blog (where all of this is photo-documented by the way), I note that, IT IS ALL IN THE DETAILS!

  19. avatar Jen reply

    This is a such a lovely post! The ‘This is how our story begins sign’ is from etsy.com seller ssanchez (http://www.etsy.com/listing/71069860/this-is-how-our-story-begins-rustic). Hope that helps :-)

  20. avatar Jeannine @ Small & Chic reply

    I’ve been admiring Paloma’s bowls forever! I’d love to have one of my own!

  21. avatar Jillian reply

    My fiance and I have been together for so long– 10 years, since when we were 14– that we are incorporating a lot of special details into the wedding so we can really celebrate the long journey to our wedding day. Three of our details for our upcoming wedding on 8/20/11 stick out in my mind:

    Each of our tables will be numbered 2000 through 2011 for each year we’ve been together and will feature a picture of us from that year. We got engaged in Venice in 2009, so we are serving prosecco for our toast and a bellini as the signature drink. I’m also going to be attaching my mom’s wedding ring (who passed away in 2009) and my grandma’s wedding ring (who passed away in 2010) to my bouquet so I can have them both there with me.

  22. avatar linda d reply

    We are incorporating a couple of details that mean a lot to us in our wedding. The first thing is that I will be wearing the dress that my mom wore to her reception during our rehearsal dinner. It’s this beautiful maroon color 1970’s style halter dress that my mom sewed herself in place of a typical red dress for Chinese weddings. Since there was no way I could wear her wedding dress, this will be my way of honoring my mother. I will also switch to a traditional Chinese red dress during the last half of the rehearsal dinner to honor my new family. My fiancees favorite books growing up were Shel Silverstein so we are planning to incorporate images from the books in our wedding, for now its the cake topper, buttons, and in our program. But who knows, we may come up with some more details in the remaining time we have left!

  23. avatar Stacy reply

    We are having a cookie bar baked by his grandmother…bc she bakes a million italian cookies very Christmas…

  24. avatar Mandy reply

    The one detail I am most excited about is the new cupcake fad that my fiancé and I will be incorporating into our reception. He does not like cake and I babysit for a living. Obviously, kids and little things go together quite well. But to top if off, we are planning on making our own cupcakes based on cakes my fiancé does like… Boston cream, tres leche. So excited about this!

    As for me, I am interested in photography and graphic design, so I will be making all of the invitations, programs, save-the-dates, etc… I also spent a whole month looking for a photographer. My fiancé and I will be spending a good 2 extra hours with the photographer doing a unique family shoot and a bridal shoot before the reception.

  25. avatar Regina reply

    We had a few special details at our wedding to honor members of our families and as representations of us. First, my husband became interested in photography at a very young age, following in the footsteps of his mother. He is now in art school and credits the creative encouragement from his mother as a way for him to pursue a career in photography and video design. We knew we had to incorporate vintage cameras as a result and so they were sprinkled around tables at our wedding reception as a special symbol of his relationship with his mother. Also, my late grandmother has a special place in my heart and in my mother’s heart and we both miss her greatly. We couldn’t imagine simply placing a flower in her “place” at our wedding. We wanted to honor her in a way that made us feel more connected with her. My mother surprised me on my wedding day with a gift of a pearl bracelet. She actually had my grandmother’s long pearl necklace made into a pearl bracelet and another, shorter length pearl necklace. I wore the pearl bracelet and my mom wore the pearl necklace on my wedding day. We truly felt my grandmother’s presence with us the entire day. It was such a special part of our wedding, and something I treasure every day.

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Annie: What? What’s that face?
George: It’s nothing.
Annie: Oh, this is going cost you more money.
George: No. It’s just… I know I’ll remember this moment, for the rest of my life.

Aaaaand let the Father of the Bride gushfest ensue!  Best. Movie. Ever.  I may have seen it more times than the years I’ve been on earth.  I’m 31, y’all.  I love this movie.  I know you love it, too.  Don’t try to deny it.  I know you still watch it with the same belly laughs about Franck’s hilarious dialogue as I do!

Franck Eggelhoffer: Uh-oh, I bring the wrong color thread. I assumed you’d be wearing a black “tuxado.”
George: It is a black “tuxado.”
Franck Eggelhoffer: I don’t think so, babe. This tux is “nuffy” blue. No doubt about it.
George: What’re you talking about? Armani doesn’t make a blue tuxedo.
Franck Eggelhoffer: Armani don’t also make “polyaster.”

Haha! Love the 1950’s version with Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor, too!

In the South, we all know the typical story of the overbearing dad who pulls out the foreboding shotgun when the boyfriend comes to ask for your hand in marriage.  Dads can be overprotective, but deep down there is some love as wide as Texas behind that shotgun facade!  As Father’s Day draws closer, I get a little sentimental about my dear dad.  He taught me to ride a bike, how to make a three-point turn for my driving test (Well, the second time around he taught me that. I failed my driving test the first time because he forgot that part in my lessons! Ha!), how to bake muffins (Yep, Dad can bake a mean blueberry bran!), how to swim, what the word “conundrum” means as well as many other vocabulary beauties, how to pick Alabama blueberries, how to dream BIG, work hard and go after what’s true to my heart every single day, how to throw a ball better than the neighborhood boys, and – among a million other things – how important true love really is.  OK, blame the prego hormones, but I’m already getting teary writing this post!  Love this below from Amelia Lyon.  What a moment!

One of my favorite moments in a wedding is the Father-Daughter dance.  It’s dad’s (or step-dad’s, or big brother’s, or whoever is giving you away!) chance to shine and have a moment all to himself with you.  A moment of honor and love.  Like you two are the only hearts in the room.  I fell head over heels for this image below from Palos Studio.  Wow.

So, how are you honoring the special father figures in your life on the big day, or what did you do? A first dance?  A special gift?  Is he walking you down the aisle?  Do you have a special family tradition that you are incorporating for dad into the wedding?  A favorite song?  A reading he is doing?  Is he wearing a special tie or flower? One of my favorite photographs below from Katharine’s wedding shot by Bryan Johnson:

GIVEAWAY: In honor of Father’s Day, were giving away a copy of none other than Father of the Bride…  on DVD, not the VHS version I watched back in the day a million times!  Just weigh in here and tell us what you are doing to honor that special dad, step-dad, uncle, big bro or honorary gentleman that you love so dearly. Happy Father’s Day week, y’all!

P.S. Congrats to last post’s winners Brittany M, Ashley B and Cheryl EEmail us your mailing address and we’ll get your prizes right to you!

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
36 Comments
  1. avatar Kristi reply

    My dad is my best friend, plain and simple. We haven’t decided whether or not we’re going to do a father/daughter dance (both of us are rhythmically challenged), but I will be incorporating one of his favorite songs, “Tennessee Waltz,” into the ceremony. He loves this song so much that I learned to play it on the piano when I was younger so I could play it for him for Fathers’ Day.

  2. avatar jules reply

    unfortunately, my daddy is 8 hours away! but he is coming to mobile for the 4th of july weekend for the first time since i moved here a year ago! i haven’t seen him since thanksgiving and i am too excited! i plan on taking him for a drive to see the beautiful old homes lined with oak trees and moss. i will take him to my favorite brunch spot for a sweet, belated father’s day brunch. then, on to the river for a boat ride and dinner at the rivershack with my mom and boyfriend. i miss him so much! but, i am excited to show him the town he will be spending a lot of money in, since this is where my boyfriend and i plan to get married!

    • avatar Lara reply

      Jules, he is going to LOVE that visit… and truly never forget it! Love it!!!

  3. avatar Stephanie reply

    I LOVE this movie. My father and I had a date to watch it when I was in elementary school. It’s one of my favorite memories ever.

    My father will be walking me down the aisle and we’ll be dancing at the reception! I cannot wait for the day.

  4. avatar Kristen reply

    For Father’s Day, we’ve usually just spent the day together as a family (the same for Mother’s Day). Rather than buying something they don’t need, this is a funner alternative. We’ll probably end up BBQ-ing and relaxing by the pool (if the weather is nice!).

  5. avatar Erin reply

    My dad, like my my grandfaters (on both sides), served in the military, and my fiance does, too. To honor them all we are donating to the USO rather than giving favors at our wedding. Since we’re not having music at our teeny, tiny backyard wedding, there won’t be a dad-daughter dance, but we have ensured that my dad will be the only toast-giver at the wedding. He’s a great public speaker, and I can’t wait to hear what stories he shares with our closest family and friends.

  6. avatar KatieB reply

    After much deliberation about the location for our wedding reception – I decided to have it in my parent’s backyard at my childhood home. My dad worked so hard to get ready for the big day. He painted the house, re-did the driveway, and even built a stage for the band among many many other things. It was truely a labor of love – and it turned our more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. I felt so loved and so poud to be his daughter as he walked me down the aisle, and at the reception we danced to his favorite song – “Fields of Gold” by Sting. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him!

    • avatar Lara reply

      Oh wow, that is true love. What a wonderful devoted dad! Love that song too, Katie!

  7. avatar Courtnee Christian reply

    Not many men would marry a woman with a one-year old daughter. And not many would raise a child that wasn’t his totally as his own, pay for her schooling, and then for her wedding. My Dad didn’t have to be my Dad, but chose to be, and called my mom and I his “package deal.” Never once has he used the word “step” in our relationship and to honor all that he has done, I’m choosing him to walk me down the aisle! That’s the one way I can show him how much he’s done for me and how much I love him!

    • avatar Lara reply

      OK these amazing comments are choking me up again! I love your DAD!!!! I can’t wait to see pics of you two on your wedding day!

  8. avatar Elle reply

    I’m such a daddy’s girl. My dad thinks this movie(and the sequel) are hysterical! I was married in April. One thing we did is in addition to having a “first look” with my husband, I also did a first look with my dad. He only saw the dress once before–the day I found it, I took a pic with my phone and sent it to him so it didn’t really fit and there was bad lighting–and avoided looking at it or me in it(I may have pranced around the house once or twice) before that day. I actually think I was more nervous to see him than my husband for their reaction! He also picked the song we danced to–Johnny Cash’s cover of “Forever Young”.

  9. avatar Laura reply

    I call myself the son my father never had. We girls were raised by a true DIY-er. My dad taught us to do for ourselves and fix practically anything and, if I can’t do it, my first thought is usually to call my daddy. And yet, that same fix-all man turns to mush when he watches Sleepless in Seattle or the Father of the Bride. This year, Father’s Day falls on the same day as my parents’ 29th anniversary, so we get to celebrate both of my parents and the many years they’ve spent, teaching and loving us. And it makes me proud to say that I’ve married a man just like my father.

  10. avatar Kailey-Michelle reply

    My mom left my biological father when I was weeks old. She was a business professional in a job that had little respect or flexibility for mothers. Her best friend stepped up to the plate to take care of me. He rocked me at 6pm everynight when my collic set in, he bought food for not only me, but for her. He taught me how to say his name( “kong” was the closest I got to “Tom” for many years) and he proved that being a dad was far more than the phyical act. He took me to my first ballet class at 3 and never stopped until I was 18. Every class, rehearsal and competition, he was there. At five, over icecream he asked my permission to marry my mom. My response: “of course, silly!” He has never been my moms best friend or my step father. As i told many at 5 on their wedding day, “kong” is my “real dad” not my”biological” dad. And on my wedding day, he will walk me down the aisle to “I hope you dance”.

  11. avatar Gili reply

    I just got married two 1/2 weeks ago over Memorial Day weekend. My stepdad married my mom 3 years ago and my real father, while he has been around all my life, has been very distant in the past several years and lives in Poland. We all knew he wasn’t going to be there for the wedding, nor participate by helping financially or anything. Meanwhile, my stepdad did everything from picking out fabric swatches, getting the entire backyard of my parents’ house (where we had the wedding) landscaped, was part of almost the entire decision-making process, bartered with bands, caterers and bartenders…anything you can think of!

    In Jewish tradition, both parents walk the bride down the aisle, so I had both my stepdad and mom walk me, however, I was going to have my grandfather, my mom’s dad, dance with me. As a way of showing my gratitude for my stepdad, after I danced with my grandfather, I surprised my stepdad by asking him to dance with me to Lulu’s “To Sir, With Love”. While we were dancing, he told me that he had called my father in Poland to ask him if he could pass along a message to me, because he wanted my dad to feel included in the wedding, too. What a guy! I am truly blessed, y’all!

  12. avatar Desiree reply

    Well, this past week, ive spent time in the Abacos, Bahamas…and my dad has watched my chocolate lab for me. Needless to say, I think I win this trade off. So to pay my pops back he’s getting a nice box of cubans….just don’t tell customs.

  13. avatar Brittany reply

    My dad has been wrapped around my finger for as long as I can recall. I think he dreams about my wedding day (whenever that may be) more than I do. At night, he will sit at his computer and YouTube songs he wants to play at my wedding as well as potential father/ daughter dance songs. On my wedding day, I plan on sitting with my dad and actually watching Father of the Bride (90’s version). I got the idea after looking at a Real Wedding featured on your website. I absolutely fell in love with the idea considering it is my favorite movie. For Father’s Day, my dad is receiving a hand painted coffee mug made by myself featuring both of our favorite colors.

  14. avatar Abby reply

    I’m lucky enough to have my Dad marry us, as he’s been a pastor for 40 years. To have him give the message and do our vows is so special to us. And he can tell the real truth about us when he gives the toast at the reception!

    • avatar Lara reply

      Oh that gives me chills! I’m so excited for your wedding! What a gift!

  15. avatar Ashleyhh reply

    My “Daddy Bill” passed away when I was five years old from cancer. I have a few memories of him that I cherish above all. I have always planned to have a seat with a rose/flower on it to represent where he would have sat at my wedding. Just a way I can honor him.

    My Dad married my mom when I was about 6, but I had known him my whole life. He took me and my little sister in as his own and I have never know him to be my “Step” dad. My mom looks at me with wonder sometimes, asking herself how I am not truly his… I guess he has rubbed off on me through the years… nature vs nurture anyone?? =) I don’t know exactly what will happen on my wedding day outside of the traditional father/daughter dance, I might take the idea from @Elle and do a first look with him before I see my future husband. LOVE that idea… and I know my dad would love it too!!

  16. avatar Brittany R reply

    Oh man, Lara. This post made me laugh out LOUD! I just love Franck and every interaction he has with George. Thanks for the great reminder of this classic movie!

  17. avatar Meredith reply

    I will be getting married in March 2012. My dad will not only be walking me down the aisle, but will be marrying us as well! I’ve grown up watching him perform marriage ceremonies and always dreamt of the day that it would be for me and my future husband. I talk to my dad on the phone almost every day, and I love how excited he is about the wedding. I know with him doing the ceremony it is going to be so personal and beautiful. I can’t wait!!

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  19. avatar Amanda reply

    My husband and I were recently married on February 26th of this year. My father played a huge role in our wedding. Not only was he our financial guru, hehe (Thank God for him!) My daddy also gave the most touching 8 page speech at our wedding! And ladies this man is more the silent type! My dad is a cancer survivor who was once told he had 3 months to live. This seems irrelevant to this post, however when my husband and I were 18 (8 years ago) I asked him if he would marry me back then just so my dad could have his chance to walk me down the aisle. That is how important it was to the both of us. Luckily my father made it through his battle with cancer and he was able to walk me down the aisle 4 months ago. He incorporated this thoughtful time in his speech. :-)

    Anywho for Fathers Day my wonderful dad wants to go on a 52 mile bike ride for his 52nd Birthday which was on June 8th. We will be in the Keys for the weekend riding from Marathon Key all the way to Key Largo! Normally I am the complainer on these excruciating bike rides but I would do anything for my dad just like he has done for our family! I will be right there next to him, biting my tongue the entire 52 miles!

    My Dad & I on my wedding day… http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OphO4WyfgCg/TbHOqwzA1GI/AAAAAAAAAis/YExCFa_poTg/s1600/A%2526J-Wedding-129.jpg

    • avatar Lara reply

      That is one happy daddy in that pic! And hello – Go dad GO! 52 miles!? Amazing! We’ll be rooting for him!!!

  20. avatar Brooke reply

    The past two months have been a huge challenge for my family. Having said that, after 26 years of marriage, my dad is a newly single man. He is in Florida, while I reside in Alabama. I have always been a “daddy’s girl” and growing up he and I ALWAYS watched FOB I and II together. He always tells me he is going to make me have the “chipper chicken” at my reception. He is my best friend and my rock. Although he is miles away, we talk on the phone every day. He is coming to stay with me for Father’s Day and I can’t wait to spend the weekend honoring a man who has set the standard for my future husband.

    • avatar Lara reply

      I will be thinking about you this weekend, Brooke! I know he will relish his time with you!

  21. avatar Lauren Hunt reply

    For father’s day, I ordered my dad and future father-in-law live lobsters from Maine, sent overnight to their doorsteps! They are going to be THRILLED, especially since we can’t be there to celebrate with them.

  22. avatar Amber Reeves reply

    LOOOOOVVVVVEEE Father of the Bride! My Dad and I are very close. He is always looking out for me and we get lunch at least three times a week! My mother is out of the country, so my Dad has been helping me plan the wedding. He helped me pick the dress, the wedding band, even the flowers! Without him I would be lost, and NOT just because of the wedding. Today we have another one of our “lunches” scheduled. I cannot wait!

  23. avatar Natalie reply

    Had an amazing dinner with my daddy!

  24. avatar Amanda reply

    I will be getting married next June 9th and there will be a huge void without my daddy there. My daddy passed away when I was 16 years old from complications from lung cancer, due to his exposure to Agent Orange while he served in the army in Vietnam. Without ranting and raving endlessly about what a wonderful father and person he was, I will just say that he was my absolute hero. Ever since my fiance and I got engaged at the end of February, I have struggled with the thought of my daddy not being there on my wedding day. It will be very important to me to incorporate his personality and tributes to him into the wedding day. We will be getting married in the church I grew up in, while the reception will be on the farm I was raised on. Jonathan and I both want to be married in a church, but it was very important to me that the reception be held on the farm because it will ensure that my daddy will be there in spirit. My Godfather – also my dad’s best friend since the Vietnam war – will walk me down the aisle. My Godfather is a big softy, so I am sure we will both cry all the way to the altar. I am trying to find a first dance song that is not too sappy or sad because I want to try and have a dry eye at some point in the wedding day! The song I chose to play at my daddy’s funeral was “Wind Beneath My Wings,” but I can’t even say the name without crying, so I don’t think that is good idea… I have also thought about dancing to the “Tennessee Waltz” because I went to every Tennessee football game with my daddy since I was old enough to walk and that’s also where he taught me to whistle with my fingers loud enough to be heard on the opposite end of Neyland Stadium after a Tennessee touchdown! Whatever song my Godfather and I choose, during that dance I plan on having a picture of my daddy and me projected on a wall at the reception. It is a picture of the two of us dancing at my cousin’s debutante ball when I was 8 years old and it is so doggone cute.

  25. avatar Nicole W. reply

    My father daughter dance is a little unconventional and also a surprise for my father. We’ll start out dancing to Loudin Wainwright’s “Daughter” with a transition to “Jump” by the Pointer Sisters. You see, one of the earliest memories I have with my dad is him holding me up on his shoulder dancing and bouncing around to his Pointer Sisters record before he’d put me to sleep. (That may be why I never slept.) He’d have the stereo on full blast, and I remember my mom getting angry and insisting he stop because the music was too loud and she was sure I’d throw up. I just remember giggling up a storm at the whole ordeal. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know I remember it so vividly, but when I think of my dad, I think of that song.

  26. avatar Melissa M reply

    My dad is going to walk me down the aisle, and my step father is getting ordained and he will perform the ceremony. This way the man who helped create me and the man who raised me will both be a part of our special day :)

  27. avatar Your Love Story in the Wedding Details + GIVEAWAY « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] sure to become a family heirloom that you can pass to your kids one day, too! P.S. Congrats to the last post’s Father of the Bride gushfest winner Courtney Christian.  All of your comments made my heart melt…  OK OK!…  there […]

  28. avatar Erin McLean reply

    Love this!!!

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