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I’ll be honest, when I learn that a couple meets at a philanthropic event for children, I’m going to have high hopes that their wedding is sweeter than sugar. Allison and Patrick did not disappoint! With the help of their planner, Molly McKinley, these two University of Florida alum (I see that chop, y’all!) planned a traditional wedding with plenty of heart. Allison and Patrick realized that this may be the only day where every person they love was in one room, so they wanted to take advantage of the chance to make each and every guest feel loved and important. They even took the time to write a personalized note to each of their guests, filled with words of love, gratitude, and memories, that was incorporated into their place settings. Such a kind gesture that I’m sure guests were touched by!

Big SW hugs to Morning Light by Michelle Landreau for sharing this lovely day with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old was gold and pearl drop earrings that once belonging to my Italian great-grandmother, Nonni Catherine. Our something new was a set of beautiful coupe toasting glasses given as a gift to us from our wedding planner. We borrowed the cake cutter Patrick’s parents had used at their wedding. My something blue was a sorority tradition, a knotted turquoise ribbon, sewn into my dress.

There were many aspects of our wedding that we wanted to remain very traditional with, including not having a first look. We both wanted the traditional moment of seeing each other for the first time during our ceremony. It was even more special to us because all our friends and family were able to be a part of that moment too.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We used traditional vows, but our ceremony was very personalized because it was officiated by a college friend, Joe, who was in seminary school at the time. He also happens to be married to the mutual friend who first introduced Patrick and I. Joe added many personal touches (we made vows both to God and each other) and tailored the sermon to our favorite Bible verses (Romans 12). He also read Louis Evan’s wedding prayer–a personal favorite of mine–which includes beautiful advice for a Christian marriage, such as, “May they never take each other’s love for granted, but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims: Out of all this world, you have chosen me!”

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It was really important to us that every single one of our guests knew how much it meant to have them celebrating with us on our wedding day. We realized that our wedding day may be the only day in our lives where every person we love was in one room. We spent the weeks leading up to the wedding writing personalized notes to each of our guests containing words of love, gratitude, and memories. Those notes were then placed in hand-calligraphed envelopes and incorporated into each of the guests’ place settings.

Our wedding cake was composed of alternating tiers of almond cake with raspberry filling and cinnamon cake with cream cheese filling. It was covered in fresh flowers and rough buttercream frosting. We also had wedding favors of raspberry and coconut French macarons. While the only bite of cake we ate was during the cake cutting, we arrived home from our honeymoon to a freezer full of macarons and were eating them for months!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Patrick and I met through Dance Marathon at the University of Florida, a philanthropy benefiting Children’s Miracle Network.
When did y’all get married? August 15, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? In my opinion, part of being Southern is an emphasis on food, family, and the Lord. Each was highlighted in some way throughout our wedding day. I’d also have to say the way in which our wedding date was chosen adhered to some strict Southern norms. We only had August or December to choose from because we knew that holding a Saturday evening wedding during football season, would result in some pretty angry (and distracted) friends and family!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Instead of having a professional photo booth vendor, we provided polaroid cameras for the guests to take photographs with. Our family and friends had a lot of fun capturing moments throughout the cocktail hour and reception. The photos were either taped into our guest book or taken home by guests as sweet mementos.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We loved every single vendor who was a part of our wedding, but hiring our wedding planner, Molly McKinley, was the best decision we made. I wrestled back and forth over whether I needed a professional planner for the year leading up to the wedding, but looking back, I literally could not be happier with our decision. I can’t imagine the planning process without Molly. She is an advisor, artist, and friend, all in one. Every other vendor who exceeded our expectations were by her suggestion. She spun my ideas into a reality that was even better than I had imagined.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t get so wrapped up in planning the wedding that you forget to plan for the marriage. The wedding is one day. The marriage lasts all the rest. Surround yourself with people who can not only give you advice and guidance, but also some loving perspective when you need it.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We currently live in Atlanta, Georgia (with our cat Lilly) and are loving newlywed life. Every day is an adventure and we look forward to growing our love for each other for many years to come. We both look forward to all the little things that come with living with your best friend, such as trips to the farmer’s market, lazy Friday nights, and learning more about each other. Marriage is a wonderful gift and we’re thankful to be sharing it with each other.

Photographer: Morning Light by Michelle Landreau | Planner: Molly McKinley | Venue: Foxhall Sporting Club | Florist: Bloomin’ Bouquets | Cake Baker: Confection Perfection | Caterer: Home.Made | Rentals: Unlimited Party and Event Rentals, Event Rentals Unlimited, and Southern Vintage | DJ: Black Tie Events | Paper Products: Plain Jane Designs | Bride’s Gown: Style L318 by Legends by Romona Keveza | Bride’s Veil: The Sentimentalist | Hair and Makeup: Jennifer C Nieman | Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy in Topaz | Linens: I Do Linens | Calligraphy: Lydia Whitener

marissa Written with love by Marissa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Elizabeth reply

    Everything about this wedding is elegant, simple, with details in all the right places. Truly swoon-worthy, (& pin worthy!)

  2. avatar Elle reply

    So very soft and beautiful!

  3. avatar Casey reply

    I live in Georgia and I am looking for this exact dress, where did you find a retailer around this area that carried the designer?

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Casey! Romona Keveza Legends (the designer of this gown) is available at two Georgia salons: Bridals by Lori and BlueBell Bridal. I hope you find your dress! xx, MAK

  4. avatar Allison & Patrick: The Wedding at Foxhall Resort – Fine Art Wedding & Portrait Photography Serving Atlanta & Destinations Worldwide reply

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Today is the fifth and final day of our Bridal Market recaps, and gracious, it has been so much fun sharing our experience and favorite moments! If you’re just tuning in, catch up on Parts One, Two, Three, and Four. We’re so grateful to Briana of Divine Light Photography for capturing our experience and all of these gorgeous gowns so that we could share them with y’all this week!

Our final day of Market started on the loveliest note–Breakfast with BHLDN! We are longtime fans of BHLDN’s vintage-inspired dresses and heirloom-worthy accessories, so it was a treat to see their new collection in person, especially in such a fun space. Even though we were there to see the gowns, we couldn’t help but gush a little over the amazing florals they had tucked into every corner, too!

Our outfits for the day! I’m wearing a Loft shirt, J. Crew Factory skirt, and Badgley Mischka heels, and Emily is wearing a J. Crew Factory shirt, Francesca’s skirt, and Sole Society heels.

After we finished our mini yogurt parfaits at BHLDN, we walked over to Rockefeller Center to visit the gorgeous new Romona Keveza space and see their Fall 2015 Legends collection. We had so much fun admiring these gowns–all inspired by classic style icons. Can you spot the design inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s dress in Funny Face, or the one modeled after Grace Kelly’s wedding gown? (These photos are courtesy of Romona Keveza.)

We had to dodge a Columbus Day parade to get to our next presentation–Sarah Janks at the iconic St. Regis hotel. In case you’re wondering how we lasted every day in heels, here’s a little secret: we didn’t! Our photographer, Briana, captured this funny moment outside before we headed up the elevator. Neither of us was very familiar with the Australian-based Sarah Janks line before we saw her presentation, and we were so impressed by the elegant, romantic gowns!

Our next stop was our last runway show of the weekend–Southern gal, Carol Hannah. Her collection was flowy, ethereal, and Egyptian-inspired with a few unexpected touches. We loved catching up with our sweet friends from The Sentimentalist after the show!

We couldn’t leave Bridal Market without stopping by The Knot Couture show to check in with some of our very favorite designers. First, the rainbow of darling bridesmaid dresses at Donna Morgan–we couldn’t get enough of their new silk shantung dresses, or the prettiest new floral print they’ve introduced! P.S. They have a handful of adorable little white dresses too, perfect for bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, and getaway outfits.

Heidi Elnora is a dear friend of Southern Weddings, and there was literally not a thing we didn’t love about her collection! Her gowns are the epitome of sweet and Southern–plus, they all have double names, like Lonna Belle and Marissa Ellen. Love!

After leaving the Knot Couture show, we loved getting a peek at the new Monique Lhuillier collection. The showroom was designed to look like the inside of Monique’s jewelry box, and the sherbert-hued gowns covered in gorgeous embellishments brought it all to life! (These photos are courtesy of Monique Lhuillier.)

We could not have imagined a more amazing way to close these four days than with the Carolina Herrera presentation. What an experience! It was set up more like a cocktail party than a traditional presentation, and the atmosphere was as chic as can be–complete with boxwood arrangements, black and white striped furniture, and models mingling with the crowd. We could not stop whispering with excitement over how much we loved the gowns, the hair, the makeup…just everything! The cherry on top was meeting Carolina Herrera herself. She was so gracious and elegant, and we were honored to talk to her about how much we loved the collection!

We finished the weekend at the ever-so-glamorous Martha Stewart Weddings 20th Anniversary Party at the Pierre Hotel. We were so grateful to Rent the Runway for outfitting us in dresses that perfectly matched the “platinum” theme–Emily rocked a sparkly cocktail dress by Badgley Mischka and I wore a white dress with silver embroidery by Erin Fetherston (who we then met at the party! So crazy!). We had the best time chatting with friends, sampling Peter Callahan delicacies, and dancing in the flip book photo booth.

The next morning, we were on the plane bright and early to head back to NC–exhausted, happy, and ready to hug our beaus and celebrate sending V7 to the printer with the rest of the SW gals! To see even more photos of our NYC adventure, be sure to check out our #SWBridalMarket hashtag on Instagram.

We’d love to know! Which of these gowns is your favorite?

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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Just 22 more days until V5 arrives! Y’all are going to love it!

Happy Monday, dear readers! Y’all are in for a treat to kick off your week! As you may know, last weekend, Kristin and I packed our chicest black flats and our fully charged iPhones and hit the Big Apple to preview some of our favorite designers’ newest collections. We saw way more lace than should be allowed in one weekend, and gushed over each and every piece of it! Join us as we share these beauties from behind the lens of our awesome photographer, Kat Harris!

We kicked off our Saturday morning with our first show, the Romona Keveza Collection! Even the venue (the St Regis Hotel) was glamorous! Inspired by the traveling tale of James Bond, the collection paid homage to the luxurious lifestyle that is Bond’s signature. We saw the classic Romona lace gowns, but we also were delighted to see lots and lots of color, from lime green to Romona red to classic navy. We even saw pink + peplum!

We then rushed to snag a cab and headed to Pier 94 for the Claire Pettibone show! We were greeted with gourmet cookies and fabulous swag bags filled with hand-painted goodness from our friend Kristy Rice.

Yes, I am holding my iPhone and Kristin is holding her iPad. We were all over that Insta/Tweet coverage for y’all! We didn’t want you to miss a thing!

The Claire Pettibone show always feels like I’ve been transported to another land. A glamorous land of flowers and lace! Claire’s show was effortless luxury mixed with sun drenched colors, and embroidered embellishments. One of the most striking parts of the collection was the incredibly intricate backs. Not only were the gowns gorgeous from the front, but the backs were equally, if not more, beautiful!

I’m so glad Kat was able to sneak backstage and snag a few behind-the-scene shots of the amazing hair at Christos! Talk about the Southern bump! These ladies took big Southern hair up a notch, and I couldn’t have loved it more!

Y’all, I have to tell you that the Christos Collection may have contained my and Kristin’s very favorite back of any dress at Market (the fourth one down in this post)! French lace, an embroidered keyhole back with a giant lace flower/bow — oh my stars!

We actually couldn’t help but swoon over this entire collection! It was filled with soft silhouettes with airy tulle layered with French Alencon lace. We also loved the sheer tops with petal appliqués transforming the strapless gown into a modest illusion neckline.

The Kenneth Pool Collection was up next, and it took quite a dramatic spin on classic gowns! We saw lots of glamour with this one! Form-fitting sheaths were met with exuberant volume with the KP fit and flair gowns. Rich satin took the place of demur lace and crystal beading made for a luxurious finish to each dress!

Woah! Imagine, that’s just a portion of all the fabulous gowns we saw on Saturday (I know, woe is me)! All images from our amazing photographer Kat Harris. Thanks so much, Kat!

Check back soon because this is just the beginning of all the gorgeousness you’re going to see this week. Now let’s play the favorite game — tell me your favorite gown from the post, or, if you can’t decide, choose one from each collection!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    You know I’ll play along! From Romona, I adored the v-neck, cap sleeve lace number. Claire, the one with streamers, and I also loved the back of the last one. I fell in love with the third dress in the Christos section, the one with the round open back, and for KP, I’m also going to go with the open back one!

    • avatar Kristin reply

      Emily! I wish you could have seen those beautiful Christos gowns in person. The backs were simply breath-taking with all the detail!! Oh-my-goodness. I don’t know how to pick a favorite but if I must I pick the keyhole ballgown with the box pleats from Kenneth Poole. It was stunning!

  2. avatar Madi Reid reply

    So many gorgeous gowns! I’d die to wear the lace overlay gown (4th row, column 2) in the selections from Romona Keveza! So pretty!!!
    And my, oh my! Those Southern Bumps! LOVE!

  3. avatar Madelynne Moulton reply

    LOVE the Romona single strap gown and the DRAMA of dress row 3 of Kenneth, although I like almost all of those A LOT. EVERY single Christos one is amazing.

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