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I already knew I was going to love Catherine and William’s wedding when Emily snuck me a peek of Catherine’s custom Heidi Elnora ball gown, their snowy portraits, and their twinkling opera house reception, but all of my expectations were blown out of the water when I read Catherine’s interview. I think she said it best when she wrote, “I think what makes a wedding Southern is how a couple thoughtfully incorporates faith, family, tradition, and hospitality in meaningful ways throughout the day to celebrate their love story and the people who brought them to where they are.” Catherine and William stuck to this sentiment so thoroughly throughout their engagement, and with the help of Catherine’s talented mama, every moment and detail of this Missouri celebration expressed their love story and their hearts. Even after all of the magic of the day, one of Catherine and William’s favorite moments was the end of the night when they poured a glass of champagne at their hotel room and excitedly recapped the entire wedding. I’m positive that with their sweet attitudes and their hearts for what matters most, there are so many more celebrations in Catherine and William’s future!

Thank you so much to Mike Cassimatis of MNC Photography for sending this sparkly day our way!

P.S. Y’all, I just HAVE to mention this…but how perfect is it that Catherine and William incorporated a few nods to their British heritages into their wedding, AND they share names with the beloved royal couple? Clearly, they were meant to be ;)

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We were both law students at Vanderbilt, but we hadn’t met yet my first semester (or so I thought). Fortunately, we both had friends who convinced us at the last minute to come back to Nashville early for a New Year’s Eve party at a mutual friend’s house. When Will started talking to me, I thought it was rude that he didn’t properly introduce himself. Well, as it turns out, we had already met at a Christmas party at the same house, but I didn’t remember him! I left to go to another party, got on a friend for “giving my number out to random guys,” and told Will I couldn’t go out with him because my mom was coming into town on the 2nd for a girls’ week. Well, folks, I underestimated Will’s determination and found myself sipping an Old Fashioned with him at Whiskey Kitchen the very next night. A Tim McGraw sing-a-long later, and on the 2nd, I was telling my mom what a nice guy I had met!

My something borrowed was my favorite piece of my grandmother’s jewelry, a diamond bangle my grandfather gave her on their fifteenth wedding anniversary. My something old was a fur my grandfather on the other side gave my mom years ago, and my something new was my brand new Heidi Elnora dress. I was supposed to wear a blue garter but forgot to put it on!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did. We wanted to have that private moment between just the two of us, and we wanted to be able to relax and celebrate after the ceremony. It was really nice to see each other for the first time without any distractions, and we had so much fun spending our wedding day together with our wedding party!

My mom and I planned an epic dress quest across the South with appointments in Nashville, Huntsville, Birmingham and Atlanta. I tried on so many beautiful gowns, but with each one that got close, I kept asking, “Can we change the lace?” or “Can we add a bow?” or “Can we lower the waistline?” Nothing seemed exactly right. We walked into the Heidi Elnora Atelier at the very end of the day, exhausted and not expecting much until Heidi herself came out and changed everything! She is such a sweet, strong, spunky Southern woman. She started from scratch asking me about my vision and nailing down a silhouette. From there, we created a custom gown that was so very me! It was my favorite part of the wedding planning process by far, and I cherished my trips to Birmingham to visit with Heidi and her team and watch my gown come to life. The first thing Will said when he saw me in the dress was, “It’s so you!”

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I’m a farmer’s daughter originally from a very small town in Southeast Missouri, but I always knew I wanted to get married in St. Louis and take photos at my alma mater (Washington University). We both love tradition and any excuse to dress up, so we dreamed up a classic (and sparkly!) black-tie evening with British touches to reflect both of our family heritages. I was initially disappointed to hear that we couldn’t get married at the church I attended during college, but when we heard Memorial Presbyterian was available, we couldn’t believe how perfect it was. It is next door to Wash U, is our denomination, and had the perfect grand, Gothic ambiance for our English-inspired ceremony.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The whole ceremony! Our pastor gave a beautiful charge about God’s purpose for marriage, and at one point, asked us to turn and face the congregation. The room was glowing with loved ones’ faces. We just smiled at each other and soaked in that coziest, happiest moment.

We chose a brass quartet for the ceremony music because Will grew up playing the trumpet, and we thought it would be fun to bring his love of brass into our wedding day! For the ceremony music, we decided to stick mostly to our favorite classic hymns. I walked down the aisle to “O God Beyond All Praising,” which we sing all the time at our church in Nashville. The congregation sang two hymns during the ceremony (thanks, friends!), “Be Thou my Vision” and “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” A bagpiper played through the snow as we exited the church in traditional British fashion

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? As my poor friends and family can tell you, I was an absolute mess stressing out about snow and ice, starting around Thanksgiving. The weather in St. Louis can really be anything anytime, and I was completely convinced that a huge blizzard would befall us and no one would make it to our wedding. I tried to convince Will and my mom that we needed to move the date, and when that failed, that we needed to make a special trip to St. Louis to bury the bourbon. They just shook their heads, so I had my small group praying for the weather for weeks! Well, when the sparkly snowflakes started to fall during our photo shoot, I laughed and exclaimed, “Thank you, Jesus, for the snow!” I could not imagine a more romantic finishing touch for our winter wedding, and the snowy photos are my absolute favorite reminders that God’s plans are better than mine. It made me think of how much I love the way snow slows life down and gives you time to just be still, which is how I wanted our wedding day to feel. Sure, our antique getaway car became an SUV, and guests’ flights home were canceled on Sunday, but boy did the snow look beautiful coming down out the windows of our reception!

For our reception, it was important to us to find a space with character and significance that wasn’t exclusively a reception venue. We joked that if each of us could choose our favorite non-geographical location, Will would choose a courtroom and I would choose a theater. (I was a theater major in college and worked in theater management in New York before law school.) Naturally, I won, and the 1934 Peabody Opera House was a dream! We fell in love with its opulent ceilings, gilded accents and cozy-but-stately feel. It screams black-tie winter wedding!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? A detail that was so special to me was that once the dancing got underway, I changed into the 1981 Priscilla of Boston gown my mom married my dad in. The only alteration we made was to remove the train, and it was perfect for dancing! I added a flower crown to look just like she did, and it was a really special moment. My dad was thrilled, and other relatives enjoyed telling me “I know that dress!” Some little details that I thought really added to the day included the strung lights that added ambiance over our reception, the couches that lined the dance floor for guests to take a break without leaving the action, and the band that had our guests dancing all night long!

Our décor was mostly ivory and gold, so we wanted to bring in some subtle blush pinks with the flowers. My favorite flowers are hydrangeas (which Will wrote down very early in our relationship), so we used a lot of them, along with roses, snapdragons, garden roses, and ranunculus. Our florist created an amazing canopy of elevated flowers hanging above our 34-person head table!

We had a traditional tiered cake with alternating layers of vanilla and caramel decorated with gold, and a groom’s cake with alternating layers of chocolate and red velvet, which is Will’s favorite. For a late night treat, we served my favorite St. Louis specialty: Ted Drewe’s Frozen Custard!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I’m not going to tell you not to stress about wedding planning, because let’s be real, it will inevitably be stressful. However, try to spend the weekend itself focusing on the people around you who love you enough to be there on your special day (and maybe even stand outside with sparklers at 11:00 P.M. in the snow!). All those people will never be in the same room with you again, and spending time with them is so much more important than the little details that go awry.

Tell us all about the proposal! We were in the middle of finals when Will suggested that we go for a hike before church the next morning to watch the sun rise over downtown Nashville. I thought it was a little suspicious when he kept changing the time that he wanted to pick me up, but with his hardest exam on Monday, I thought it would be the last day he would pick to propose. As we climbed the steep hill to Love Circle, I saw a picnic blanket with roses, photos of us, and my favorite breakfast sandwiches. I didn’t know what to do! Of course, I started crying, and as the sun rose behind us, Will took my hands and said a bunch of nice things I don’t remember until he got to “Catherine Elizabeth Moreton, will you marry me?” Our friend Ellen was there to capture the whole thing, and it was so much fun to share our news with our wonderful Nashville church family and then celebrate with worship and Sunday brunch.
When did y’all get married? February 28, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we did memorize our vows! We wanted to make the same commitments that so many great couples before us have made to each other, but we also wanted the vows to feel more personal, so we bravely opted not to repeat after our pastor. Thankfully, we remembered them!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think what makes a wedding Southern is how a couple thoughtfully incorporates faith, family, tradition, and hospitality in meaningful ways throughout the day to celebrate their love story and the people who brought them to where they are. I hope we accomplished that, because we tried! To start, my beautiful bridesmaids wore gold sequins to look similar to my gold sequined New Year’s Eve dress that caught Will’s eye the night we met. Our signature drinks were a “Make-her-Marks” Old Fashioned, because that is what we had on our first date in Nashville; and “Seaside Bride” champagne, because we went to Seaside for our honeymoon. One of the reasons for the date was that we met and fell in love in the winter. We tried to bring as much of our lives in Nashville into the day as possible, starting with having our pastor from Nashville marry us. That was a nice way to bring our church home to Missouri. We also served shrimp and grits at the cocktail hour, and included Will’s darling cousins from North Carolina to hand out programs and be our flower girl and ring bearer. Our invitations were hand-pressed at the Hound Dog Press in Louisville, Kentucky, where my mom and I had a great weekend designing everything with Nick on his antique machines. The gifts exchanged during the day also had a lot of Southern touches and meaning to us. On Friday night, my uncle gave Will his name carved out of wood to hang up with all the rest of the family names that hang on the porch of our lake house in Kentucky. I gave Will a journal I had been writing in to him since 2002. On our wedding day, he gave me a signet ring with my new monogram engraved on it, and I gave him a family Bible with our wedding as the first entry (as well as an in-progress needlepoint belt that is, unfortunately, still a work in progress). I gave my mom an engraved frame thanking her for everything, and my dad and brother got embroidered handkerchiefs.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We had great marriage counseling meetings with our pastor in Nashville, and we had marriage books all over our apartments, on tape in the car, everywhere! Tim Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage” is such a blessing, honestly. We also had a great workbook that helped us talk through our plans and ideas about what we want our marriage to look like. We had fun with endless “1,001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married” types of books, especially on road trips!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We enlisted the talents of my incredible mama! She is a wedding coordinator and calligrapher, so we didn’t have to hire either. I knew the macro-level planning was in good hands with her at the helm, and she lovingly addressed all 250+ save the dates and 250+ invitations.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Besides the ceremony itself, Will and I both agree our favorite moment of the day was when we got back to our suite at the Ritz, collapsed onto the couch, poured a glass of champagne, and rehashed the entire day. Questions included: “Were you freezing waiting for me for the first look?” “What was your favorite part?” “What were you thinking when I was walking down the aisle?” It was our first moment of normalcy as a married couple, and we will never forget how thrilled we were!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are so excited to deck our Arlington, Virginia apartment out for Christmas (multiple trees!) and establish some Marks family Christmas traditions!

Photographer: Mike Cassimatis / Videographer: Lovebird Studios / Planner: Nancy Moreton (Bride’s mother) / Ceremony Venue: Memorial Presbyterian Church / Reception Venue and Caterer: Peabody Opera House / Florist: Lisa Molitor / Cake Baker: Sarah’s Cake Shop / Rentals: Amerevent Group / Lighting: Exclusive Events / Band: Griffin and the Gargoyles / Signage: Buffy Weddings / Party Favors: Trophy House Treasures / Paper Products: Hound Dog Press / Bride’s Gown and Veil: Heidi Elnora / Hair Accessories: Jennifer Behr and Enchanted Atelier by Liv Hart / Hair Stylist: Christy Parsons / Makeup Artist: Emily Miller Makeup / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Blouson Bodice Sequin Mesh Gown in Gold by JS Collections / Attendant Dresses: Alfred Sung / Bridesmaid Furs: Tulip Bridal / Groom’s Attire: The Knot Standard / Flower Girl and Ring Bearer Attire: J. Crew / Getting Ready Location: The Ritz Carlton / Ceremony Musicians: Clarion Brass / Girls’ Getting Ready Robes: Just Cottons / Custom Invitation Design: Sarah Hanna / Wedding Logo Design: Folisi Design Studio / Photo Booth: Photography and Video Innovations / Late Night Snack: Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

lisa Written with love by Lisa
11 Comments
  1. avatar Alexandra reply

    Wow oh wow! This is such a beautiful wedding! I love all the personal touches throughout — it seems so personal. Thanks for sharing.

  2. avatar Meredith Sledge reply

    WOW! Phenomenal images!!

  3. avatar Bubbling Brides reply

    The sparkle accents are amazing. The sequin bridesmaid dresses are the best!

    XoXo,
    The Bubbling Brides Team
    Bubbling Brides

  4. avatar kelly reply

    oh i agree, this interview hands down is one of the very best!

  5. avatar Catherine reply

    We’re so honored to be included in the Southern Weddings family, and it was so fun to relive the day! Thank you so much Lisa and Emily!

  6. avatar Dana reply

    This is quite the royal looking winter wedding!

  7. avatar Wedding Wednesday No. 1: Our Proposal Story – Classic Catherine reply

    […] Once that nerve-wracking bit had passed and the surreal feeling of being engaged started to set in, everything comes back into sharper focus in my memory. Then, of course, it was time to check out that ring! I LOVE SPARKLY THINGS. […]

  8. avatar Baby’s First Snow! – Attention to Darling reply

    […] both featured on Southern Weddings. So happy she did! See their GORGEOUS winter wedding here and our home feature here. Finally, just for perspective, here’s a before picture […]

  9. avatar Big News, Big Praise, and Big Gratitude: I've Joined the Southern Weddings and Cultivate What Matters Team! – Classic Catherine reply

    […] Fast forward to sometime in the spring of 2015 when I received my wedding photos and asked our photographer if I could submit them to Southern Weddings for consideration for publication. I knew it was a very long shot, as Missouri is not technically one of the states included in SW’s list of Southeastern states (reeeeally tempted to throw my plug in here, but this post is going to be too long already), but to my surprise, Emily emailed me right back to accept! […]

  10. avatar Jules reply

    What a stunningly beautiful wedding.

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When your father is a cotton farmer, and your groom works at the farm too, there might not be a more perfect venue than one named Cottontop Plantation! I always love reading about why our sweet couples choose their venues, and Rebecca and Russell’s story is so fun. Their venue isn’t the only element of their wedding where meaningful details reigned–can y’all believe that Rebecca’s stunning gown is actually a family heirloom? It was worn by her paternal grandmother in 1958, and then by her aunt 1983. Not only is the dress in beautiful shape for an heirloom, it is also completely timeless and so very chic!

Big hugs to Britt Croft for sharing their lovely day with us!

P.S. I must say, I feel a bit akin to Rebecca, as my own dear husband tends to rock a beard as well!

My wedding dress is a family heirloom. My paternal grandmother wore the dress in 1958, and then my aunt wore it in 1983. The dress was handmade by a friend of the family who worked for a tailor in Columbia, South Carolina. I tried on many dresses, but could never find the vintage lace I was looking for. I asked my Mimi if I could try on her dress, and with tears in her eyes, she said she’d love that. Well, I fell in love with her dress! It was just what I wanted, and it was in really good shape for being that old. I had a friend of mine who does embroidery work sew three patches with all of our initials and wedding dates on them and my mom sewed them into the inside of the skirt.

Describe your wedding flowers. I carried a large bouquet of eucalyptus, dusty miller, brasilia berries, peach astilbe, peach roses, and white hydrangeas. I had the florist make two huge arrangements of the same flowers that were placed in white urns and displayed at the base of the porch steps where the ceremony took place. The farm tables we ate at were draped with a garland made of the same combination of flowers, plus silver candelabras and hurricane globes. The aisle was strewn with ivory rose petals.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? The name of the venue was Cottontop Plantation. It is out in the middle of the country, just seven miles from our house. My dad is a cotton farmer, and Russell works at the farm as well, so besides the venue being very convenient and beautiful, my family and I loved the name Cottontop.

We had two pastors perform our ceremony–one is a family friend we’ve known since I was a little girl, who wrote our introductory thoughts and vows. Our current pastor at our church performed the exchange of rings and the vows. He put a personal touch on it, which made us and our guests more relaxed.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The venue was at a cotton plantation and we used farm tables at the reception. We buried a bottle of bourbon exactly one month before the wedding to keep the rain away and it worked. It’s Southern tradition! I wore pearls as my jewelry and we served sweet tea and lemonade. I had bridal portraits taken at Boone Hall Plantation. We served our guests mac and cheese, chicken, green beans, potatoes, yeast rolls, and salad–a menu you could find on any Southern dining room table on any given Sunday at a family lunch.

My wedding cake was a two-tiered textured white buttercream cake. The tiers were tall and embellished with real roses. We kept it on display near our dinner tables on an old circular oak table with claw feet, draped with my aunt’s lace wedding veil–the same aunt who had worn my wedding dress before me.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Russell and I met back in high school when we were both new students. We had several of the same classes, even though Russell was two years older than me. He was the quarterback of the school’s football team and I was a cheerleader. We dated several years in high school and into college when I got the bug to date other people for a while. I dated several other people, only to realize how much Russell and I were meant for each other. During that time (three years), Russell never dated anyone–he never gave up on me.
Tell us all about the proposal! On April 10, I arrived home from work to find a beautiful Rent the Runway gown hanging up next to some shoes and jewelry. Beside it was a note saying, “1. Put the dress on 2. Fix your hair and makeup 3. Be ready at 7 PM. Ignore the cameras and don’t ask any questions.” My sisters and mom were there to help me get ready. At 7, my sister blindfolded me and drove me up to what was to be mine and Russell’s future home. When I got out of the car, she took off the blindfold and I stood there speechless. There was a gazebo strung with lights, a table for dinner, and candles. I was told to sit down at the table to read a note from Russell, and when I looked up, I saw him walking toward me with three roses. He said, “This first rose is for our past, second for our present and the third for our future. He then got down on his knee and proposed. After that, we sat down for dinner just as the sun was setting, and after dinner, we danced under the lights. It was like something out of a fairy tale! Here is the proposal video my sister, Roxanne (a photographer) made.
When did y’all get married? September 27, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We used a string quartet on the porch of the plantation. I didn’t think of using anything but timeless classical music, which sounds so beautiful on strings.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment that I will cherish forever was wearing my grandmothers wedding dress. All the months planning and leading up to the wedding, my grandmother was so proud that I chose to wear her dress.

Photographer: Britt Croft Photography / Videographer: Roxanne Photography / Venue: Cottontop Plantation / Florist: Dyson Designs / Wedding Cake: Teresa Reed / Caterer: Sweet Magnolia’s Catering / Rentals: Simply Elegant Party and Event Rentals and Celebrations / DJ: Bob Bonnett / Invitations: Alicia’s Gifts and Invites / Bride’s Veil: Vera Wang for Davids Bridal / Bride’s Brooch: Tiger Lilly / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo / Menswear: Greg Norman

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

    Brilliant colors. Especially the last photo of the bulbs.

  2. avatar Whitney reply

    Gorgeous wedding! I love all of the details. May I ask where you got your wood monogram?

  3. avatar Kristi reply

    I absolutely the bridesmaids “getting ready” shirts- Any idea where she got them?!

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Hi Kristi! They’re from Plum Pretty Sugar, and you can find them here: http://bit.ly/1zBhYqv :)

  4. avatar Fotograf Białystok reply

    to Britt Croft Photography – great job!

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Confession time, y’all: I am totally smitten with today’s darling couple! Berkley and Jack met at summer camp, started their relationship over AOL Instant Messenger, and spent the next ten years growing up and growing in love. Their beautiful wedding was a testament to both the history that they drew inspiration from (they were married at the same church where Berkley’s parents were married, and by the same pastor!) and the life that they are creating for themselves–they love the town of Saxapahaw so much, they moved there after the wedding, and now get to see their reception venue every day!

Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Robyn Van Dyke for sharing this special day with us!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Jack and I decided to see each other for the first time when the church doors opened and I walked down the aisle to him. However, we did have a “behind-the-door” moment before the ceremony. We held hands, prayed, and exchanged journals that we had written in throughout our engagement. I did have a first look with my dad though, and it was so special. It was one of the only times I’ve ever seen my dad cry. Let’s just say, emotions were high!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. At first, I thought I wanted to wear my mom’s wedding dress, so we brought the dress to a bridal salon to talk to them about remaking it. I was excited about that, but also had a little trouble envisioning how it would look once it was completed. On our way home, we had an appointment at another bridal shop in Salisbury. I tried on a few dresses, and then THE ONE. It was exactly what I had been hoping for, and my mom’s veil complemented it perfectly.

Our ceremony site (St. Mark’s Church in Burlington, North Carolina) was a no-brainer. My parents were married in that sanctuary by the same pastor 34 years before us, I was baptized and grew up in the church, and Jack’s family has also been members for over a decade.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? One of my former college roommates, Sarah Anne, read Philippians 2:1-11. Sarah Anne was the first of our friends to get married, so it was special to hear her speak words that she’s living out. One of our favorite snippets of the passage reads: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” This is actually one of the “camp verses” from the summer camp that Jack and I grew up going to (and where our dating story started), so it’s extra special to us.

Our reception site (The Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw) was a perfect fit for us. It’s a beautiful restored cotton mill with huge ceilings, exposed brick, and a riverside deck in an idyllic rural village. Jack and I had spent many summer Saturday nights at the village’s farmers’ market and concert series in Saxapahaw, and we love it there so much that we decided to move there after the wedding. Now, we get to see our reception venue every single day!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Although it turned out perfectly, the logistics of the reception venue were a bit of a challenge. The space is typically a concert venue, so there’s not a designated person to coordinate wedding details. The whole process was a labor of love, and we’re grateful for everyone who had a hand in making it happen.

Our first dance was to “If I Could Build My Whole World Around You” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. It has a girl part and a boy part, and Jack and I know all the words. He was a little nervous that I was going to sing the whole time instead of focusing on dancing with him!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our cake was from Maxie B’s Bakery in Greensboro. My maid of honor (and college roommate for all four years) worked there while she was in high school, so she spoiled us by making their recipes during college. Jack and I chose layers of lemon almond buttercream, fresh strawberry buttercream, and pink lemonade. Our cake was a bit of a splurge, but it was so delicious!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? At the end of it, you’ll be married! We tried to keep that as the focus amidst the craziness of wedding planning. Jack did such a great job in grounding us throughout the process–we did little things like going back to the spot of our first date, opening the car sunroof to see the stars while playing our favorite songs, etc. These things reminded us where we came from and why we were getting married in the first place.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. In 2002 (when we had just turned 14 and 15), a new method of communication and courtship was sweeping across teendom. After waving to me at summer camp, Jack decided that the next logical step was to communicate. After discovering my screen name, our AOL Instant Messenger dating was underway! We made it official on August 24, 2002, and Jack placed his first phone call to me later that afternoon. Our first “date” was that night at a neighbor’s birthday party. We held hands for the first time (while being showered by a golf course sprinkler) and even kissed for the first time (next to a holly bush as my mom arrived to pick me up). Over the next decade, we experienced many defining moments together: first cell phones, first cars, track meets, high school graduations, the UNC experience, and enduring long distance dating after college. The distance strengthened us and deepened our desire to make the biggest (and easiest) decision of our lives–moving from first loves to forever loves.
Tell us all about the proposal! After a friend’s wedding in Washington, DC, we headed east to the Outer Banks to check out Jockey’s Ridge State Park. After a stroll on the coast and a strategically-timed bathroom stop allowing Jack to get the ring, he led me out onto the dunes. We took in the view for a few minutes, and then Jack sat me down and gave me a homemade photo book chronicling our 10+ years as a couple. That day was our “love anniversary”–10 years from the day when he first told me he loved me. At the end of the book, Jack asked me to stand up for a hug, after which he got down on his knee and forgot everything he had practiced, only managing to say, “Berkley McRay Webster, will you marry me?” After hugging and kissing and jumping and basking in our newly-engaged glow, Jack hurried me to the car for a three-hour drive to Chapel Hill and another massive surprise at Spanky’s Restaurant. I had no idea that there would be 40+ family members and friends (from as far as California and Wisconsin) awaiting us when we walked up the stairs. So much joy!
When did y’all get married? June 7, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 230
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our day was steeped in tradition, from me wearing my mom’s veil and the groomsmen wearing traditional tuxes, to Jack’s dad and brother as the best men, to getting married in the same church and by the same pastor who married my parents. Our reception site itself, an old cotton mill, paid tribute to the South’s history, and we had Southern details like monogrammed bar runners and framed silhouettes. Our food, catered by the Saxapahaw General Store (recently featured in Garden and Gun), was local, farm-to-fork, and distinctly Southern.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My mom was our wedding planner extraordinaire, and she found a lot of the decorative elements (old chandeliers, menu board, mirrors, etc.) at consignment shops or yard sales. Also, to get an idea for our flowers, my mom and I went to Michaels to pull silk flowers that coordinated with the bridesmaids’ dresses and color scheme. A few of the flowers that matched the dresses (freesias and thistles) weren’t available in the right color and/or would have been very expensive to order fresh, so we bought the silk versions on sale at Michaels, and the florist mixed them in. You couldn’t even tell!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We love being married! Jack works in Elon and I work in Durham, so Saxapahaw is like our little oasis in the middle. It’s so much fun to come home to each other and do the most mundane things. We’re waiting a while for animals and kids, but we did just get a couple of house plants!

Photographer: Robyn Van Dyke Photography / Videographer: Steven Ebert / Ceremony Venue: St. Mark’s Church / Reception Venue: Haw River Ballroom / Florist: Custom Floral Creations / Wedding Cake: Maxie B’s Bakery & Dessert Cafe / Caterer: Saxapahaw General Store / Rentals: American Party Rentals / Band: Reality Show Band / Paper Products: Reaves Engraving / Bride’s Gown: “Emily” by Robert Bullock / Bridal Salon: Bellissima of Salisbury / Hair Stylist: Fire Salon and Spa / Makeup Artist: Makeup By B.B. / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Adrianna Papell / Men’s Attire: T.N. Boone Tuxedos / Wedding Party Transportation: A Formal Affair Limo / Guest Transportation: The Bridge Bus

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

lisa Written with love by Lisa
6 Comments
  1. avatar featured: southern weddings » Robyn Van Dyke Photography Blog reply

    […] We are so overjoyed to have one of our all-time favorite weddings & couples featured on Southern Weddings today!! Their love story is bound to warm your heart and make you smile too, so be sure to check […]

  2. avatar Leigh reply

    I love that monogrammed table runner–where did she get it?!

  3. avatar Dana reply

    the reception venue is awesome! I adore their love story!

  4. avatar Nicole reply

    Beautiful! Is there anyway I could find out where the bride got her earrings? They’re exactly what I’ve been searching for!

  5. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Great love story and a beautiful wedding! I love their “alternative first look” photo!

  6. avatar Kim @ Hello Wedding reply

    Just beautiful and their story and the love of their family and friends makes it even more beautiful. I can’t imagine how meaningful that would be to be married in the same church that you grew up in. You are making me want to move to the South!

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