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For fellow college sweethearts Megan and Jack, getting to know each other meant walking to and from their dorm rooms for early morning classes at UVA. But when it came time to plan their wedding, they knew they wanted their celebration to highlight the beauty and history of their hometown of Richmond. With many out of town guests, Megan and Jack wanted to share as much of its charm as possible, so it’s no surprise they chose the beautiful Tuckahoe Plantation as their reception venue! Instead of a traditional sit-down dinner, guests were served family-style as a way to encourage connections — a choice that easily became Megan’s favorite from the night!

Thanks to Ashley Cox for sharing M + J’s beautiful black tie wedding with us!

I love cascading bouquets, and I chose flowers that were mainly white with hints of blue and green. My bridesmaids’ dresses were a neutral color, so I wanted the flowers to provide a small pop of color. Our florist did an amazing job taking my vision and putting together bouquets that reflected my style.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the ceremony, we chose mostly classical music. For walking down the aisle, we wanted something sweet and peaceful, so we chose Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” At the reception, we had an incredible band called Soul Expressions who played mainly Motown and jazz music. We wanted music that would get everyone up and dancing. Our first dance song was “More” by Frank Sinatra. We love his music and felt that this song really encapsulated how we feel about one another.

Our priest, Father Michael Renninger, was wonderful. He met with us many times before the wedding to really get to know us as a couple, and he did a pre-rehearsal rehearsal for just the two of us so that we wouldn’t have to worry about making any decisions the day before the wedding (for example, what we wanted to be introduced to the congregation as). He has been a family friend for many years, but it was great to talk to him as a couple. More than half of our guests are not Catholic, and we think that Father Mike did a great job of making everyone feel welcome and comfortable.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Shopping for my wedding dress was surprisingly easy and stress-free. I went to one salon and only tried on two dresses. I knew exactly what style I wanted, and that I wanted to have a long-sleeved lace jacket made to wear for the ceremony and remove for the reception.

We wanted our wedding to highlight the beauty and history of Richmond. Many of our guests were from out of town and were visiting for the first time, so we wanted them to experience as much of the city, its history, and its charm as possible. The Cathedral is in the heart of downtown Richmond and was built in the late 1800s. It is impressive, but not ostentatious. We didn’t need to fill the space with flowers and decorations because it is beautiful by itself. For our reception, we chose Tuckahoe Plantation. The plantation is about 20 minutes outside of the city, on the James River. Being UVA graduates, we were drawn to Tuckahoe because Thomas Jefferson lived there for several years as a child. The house and gardens were open for our guests to tour, so they had a chance to learn some of the history of the estate.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We loved the family-style dinner. It provided a chance for us to place together groups of people who might not know each other, but who we thought would get along. It was fun to look out during dinner and see everyone passing platters, laughing, and getting to know one another over amazing food. Our caterer did an incredible job of adding beautiful garnishes to the dishes so that each platter looked like a decoration in itself.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jack and I met at UVA. We lived in the same dorm our first year and had the same early morning class first semester. We got to know each other while walking to and from class together. We were close friends for our first two years of school and started dating the summer before our third year. I was in Charlottesville taking a Spanish class, and Jack was interning in DC and would drive down every weekend to visit. For our first date, we went our for chocolate milkshakes at Ben and Jerry’s.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jack proposed the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2014. His family was in Charlottesville for the holiday, and my family was at our house in Richmond. We all drove out to meet at Pippin Hill to spend the afternoon wine tasting and then to get dinner with both families. Shortly after my family arrived, Jack pulled me aside to go on a walk. He proposed in the vineyard’s grapevines.
When did y’all get married? June 25, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was lemon with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream frosting. Because it was the middle of summer, we wanted something that was lighter. We decided to have a small, two-tiered wedding cake for the cutting, but we served mini cupcakes to the guests in a variety of flavors (including our wedding cake flavor) so that everyone could taste a few different ones.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did! I borrowed earrings from my mom, and had my new monogram embroidered in blue into the hem of my wedding dress. The diamond in my engagement ring comes from Jack’s great-great-grandmother, I wore a bracelet that Jack’s mom gave me that was given to her by her mother (it dates back to the early twentieth century), and I wore a pair of Ferragamo shoes that were my late grandmother’s as something old. My something new was my wedding dress and veil.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our planning was shockingly stress-free. Both of our families were very helpful in divvying up tasks. The one thing that does stand out as a challenge, though, was the guest list. There were many people that both families wanted to include, so we had to make some difficult decisions. One thing we did decide was to not include any plus-ones.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t stress about things that don’t go perfectly, because none of the guests know the whole plan, and they will never know if something was or was not meant to happen. For example, our getaway car showed up thirty minutes late, which allowed us to have an impromptu receiving line as our guests were getting on the buses to leave. Everyone thought that it was such a great touch that we got to say goodbye and give hugs, and no one knew that it wasn’t part of our initial plan!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We didn’t live together before we got married, so we are looking forward to setting up our new home and starting this next chapter!

Photographer: Ashley Cox Photography | Planner and Caterer: Lona Crittendon of Cater 2 Events | Ceremony Venue: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart | Reception Venue: Tuckahoe Plantation | Florist: Vogue Flowers | Wedding Cake: The Mixing Bowl Bakery | Rentals and Lighting: Commonwealth Event Company and Classic Party Rentals of Virginia | Band: Soul Expressions | Paper Products: The Preppy Pink Pony | Bride’s Gown and Accessories: Alyne | Gown Alterations and Bolero: Fariba Bridal Alterations and Design | Hair Stylist: Circle Square Salon | Makeup Artist: Kelsey Dewberry | Bride’s Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” in Mist Grey by BHLDN | Menswear: Vera Wang | Transportation: James River Transportation

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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    At Southern Weddings, we always say that the most meaningful source of wedding inspiration is your own love story and your personalities. Drawing from that rich well is a surefire way to ensure your guests will proclaim your day “so you”–something I think every couple wants to hear! As I read through Caroline and Shaun’s interview, I kept noticing subtle ways their own stories influenced their fall wedding, from the dress Caroline chose, to the song she walked down the aisle to, to the venue they invited their beloved guests to. I’m confident that surrounding themselves with things they truly love played a small role in their joy on this beautiful day, which is so evident in these photos by Whitney Wysong!

    I had always known I wanted to wear a long-sleeved wedding dress. My grandmother and my mom both wore long sleeves for their weddings and I love the elegance a lace long sleeve adds to a wedding dress. It was the most important detail I wanted. I had a few appointments at some of the bridal boutiques around town, and went shopping with my parents and a few friends and relatives. The third dress I tried on was perfection. I loved the sleeves, I loved the keyhole back, I loved the material of the skirt, and the whole dress was covered in chantilly lace. I felt like it had a vintage look to it that matched my 1920s refurbished engagement ring. We cancelled all of my other appointments and went to brunch to celebrate finding “the dress” over a few mimosas!

    How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We spoke to our pastor about our relationship a few times before the wedding. We talked about finances, family planning, and what to do when we get mad at each other. We both know now that when we get upset, we should take a little time away from each other to cool off so we don’t say anything hurtful. We were also instructed to talk other couples who have been married for different lengths of times and ask them what works for them and what doesn’t. That said, someone reminded us that it’s important to remember that every relationship is different, and what works for some people might not work for us. She told us to remember who we are and to always listen to each other before listening to other people’s opinions.

    The most memorable moment for me was walking down the aisle with Shaun after the ceremony, and ringing the bell in the steeple of the chapel together as husband and wife. I thought it was the perfect way to kick off our marriage, and it was one of the happiest moments of my life.

    What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I have always been an animal lover. I grew up riding and showing horses, so I spent all of my free time as a young girl at a barn. My family has always had at least three dogs, and we were always the people who had a knack for finding young and injured animals and nurturing them back to health. We had tons of baby squirrels, birds, rabbits, mice, snakes, and even a baby alligator at one point, when I was growing up. When I heard about Pine Knoll Farm, we went to check it out immediately. It is a working farm with a reception venue on the property. When we got out of the car, I was greeted by horses neighing–they have cows, goats, chickens, and a Great Pyrenese. The reception barn is gorgeous, with hand-welded light fixtures and a beautiful wooden stage built in. There isn’t a single detail about the venue that I didn’t love. It was the only place we looked at and we booked it that day.

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Shaun and I met while working together at a restaurant in west midtown Atlanta. I got a job there while I was studying to take my boards before I could begin working as a registered nurse. On my third day of training, I was pleasantly surprised to find out my trainer was a tall, cute guy who made me laugh the entire night. We started dating and were soon attached at the hip. We both enjoy traveling, so we started traveling together, and I loved wandering through streets of random cities with him, striking up conversations with strangers, trying weird food, and just laughing our way through Panama and Europe together. We not only fell in love, but also became best friends and life partners.
    Tell us all about the proposal! On Saturday, December 20, 2014, I woke up and went for a run. Shaun and I had planned on running together that morning, but he was still sleeping and had been up working late the night before, so I decided to let him sleep in. Halfway through my run, I got a text from Shaun telling me to meet him in the big field behind Oakland Cemetery, where he was going to be letting our two dogs run around. Oakland Cemetery is a historic cemetery right across from the lofts we lived in. There is a huge, beautiful, open field behind the cemetery and we have been taking our dogs there to run around for years. People always laugh when I tell them we got engaged in a cemetery, but it’s one of our favorite places to go in Atlanta–we call it our hidden gem. When I walked onto the field, Shaun was standing there with our two dogs. When he got down on one knee, I immediately burst into tears, and, of course, said yes! After staying at Oakland for about an hour, Shaun told me he had arranged a brunch, and that we needed to head to one of our favorite places. When we arrived at Atkins Park, about 20 of our closest friends were there and ready to celebrate. It was by far one of the happiest and most exciting days of my life.
    When did y’all get married? November 28, 2015
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
    Describe your wedding cake or dessert. My wedding cake was a four-tiered ivory ruffle cake. The actual cake was lemon cheesecake with a lemon curd layer and italian buttercream icing. I had my florist put flowers on each layer of the cake. I loved it!
    If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? To slow down and enjoy every second of it! It’s easy to stress over tiny details, but at the end of the day, none of those small details matter. Also, have someone make you a plate of food that night!
    What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? For my bachelorette party, my bridesmaids asked Shaun some questions to answer without me knowing. The last question they asked him was “What are you most looking forward to in the future?” and I feel like his response was perfect: “In the future, I picture has having some awesome kids that we will raise and love and show them how to have fun. I picture us having our friends over with their kids and having cookouts and parties and going to Little League games. I am looking forward to expanding our blessed lives and keeping our network of friends and family close together.”

    Photographer: Whitney Wysong Photography | Videographer: Tim Hunt | Day-of Coordination: Amanda Brewer of Boheme Concepts | Planner and Caterer: Events 2020 | Venue: Pine Knoll Farms | Florist: Sandra Burton | Cake Baker: A Piece of Cake Bakery | Bride’s Gown: Martina Liana | Bridal Salon: La Raine’s Bridal Boutique | Hair Stylist: Morgan Weathers of Tease Color + Hair Design Studio | Makeup Artist: Tabitha Ross | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” and “Willow” in Shadow Grey by Jenny Yoo | Groom’s Attire: Simon’s Formal Wear

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
    2 Comments
    1. avatar Cynthia McIntyre reply

      The church and reception location are exceptional! What a lovely wedding! Thanks for posting a true Southern wedding!

    2. avatar Gosia reply

      Stunning wedding! Bridesmaid dresses look fab!

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    Allie and Tom shared with us that the most Southern part of their wedding was the tradition that was hidden in all the details–I simply love that! We all know how important tradition is here in the South, and finding a way to include those things in the sweet details of a wedding day makes them all the more special. Of course, when your family’s home is as beautiful and filled with memories as Allie’s aunt’s is, the reception venue is a no-brainer! Built in the 1850s by Allie’s ancestors, the two were married at the stunning plantation where her mother grew up, and where her parents had held their reception. I can’t think of a more romantic way to celebrate becoming husband and wife than under the twinkle lights and Spanish moss-covered trees that have been a part of so many important family milestones throughout the years!

    Gracious, we’re happy Britt Croft shared this lovely day with us!

    My something borrowed was the pair of earrings my cousin lent me. I had a small blue ribbon sewn onto my garter for my something blue. My something old was my great-grandmother’s wedding band that my grandmother gave me the day she met Thomas, because she already knew he was the one. I have worn it every day since. My something new was my shoes. I wore Toms for the comfort…and to have my husband’s name on the back of my shoes!

    What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I distinctly remember the moment the doors to the church opened and I saw Thomas’ expression seeing me in my dress. His face lit up and I knew he felt the same way that I did. It was then that all the nerves disappeared and I was able to calmly walk down the aisle to marry the man made specifically for me.

    I think the most Southern part of our wedding was the tradition hidden in all of the details. We were married in the same church as my parents and grandparents, and where my mother, brother, and I were baptized. We held the reception at my aunt’s house. This house has recently come into my aunt and uncle’s possession, but was originally built in the 1850s by my ancestors and is the home my mother grew up in. It was also the same place my parents held their reception. It is a beautiful plantation about an hour outside of Savannah, where the trees are covered by Spanish moss and the fireflies come out at night to dance.

    Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The cigar bar. I had shared with my family that I planned to surprise Thomas with a cigar bar because he is very fond of smoking cigars on special occasions. My aunts heard my plan and decided to do it for me as a gift to us. They pulled out a sofa, two chairs, a coffee table, and a side table, all of which were vintage. They filled the table with cigars and hung a chandelier over it. My cousin’s wife even made a framed chalkboard sign announcing “Tom’s Cigar Bar.” It was probably the most popular spot of the entire reception.

    What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My wedding planner was my savior. I rented all of my furniture from him and he was also my florist–quite the jack of all trades. He was very good about saying “We can use this furniture here at the ceremony and then here at the reception” or “We can use these pew markers again at the reception as table accents.” He knew that I didn’t want to be wasteful or spend money that wasn’t necessary, and he was very respectful of that and resourceful.

    Our wedding cake was simple, yet elegant. The base was cream frosting and it had the same flowers as were in the bouquets cascading down the sides. We worked with a marvelous baker who let us pick unconventional flavors, like chocolate peanut butter and sweet peach. However, it was the groom’s cake that stole the show. Tom and I met at Auburn and wanted to pay tribute to this. The bottom layer of the groom’s cake was decorated in tiger stripes, the middle layer contained the “AU” symbol, and on the top was a fondant sculpture depicting the Toomer’s oak covered in toilet paper, with our initials carved in the trunk.

    See Allie and Tom’s wedding video by Still Co. below!

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Thomas and I met in college. We attended Auburn University and spent our senior year falling in love. We were first introduced by two friends who were dating at the time, but initially, we had no interest in starting a relationship. We kept spending time together through our mutual friends, and eventually, we started to hang out just the two of us. After a year, we realized we had been dating for a while without even realizing it! He graduated and moved to Miami for law school, and we decided that long distance was worth it.
    Tell us all about the proposal! I have visited Edisto Beach, South Carolina with my extended family every year for a week since I was born, and my mom has been every year since she was a little girl. In fact, this year was the fiftieth anniversary of the original trip! My parents recently bought a house on this beach, so Thomas and I decided to take a long weekend vacation to their house for our three-year anniversary. Before we left for dinner one night, we walked to the beach with a blanket and letters we had written to recap our three years together. The plan was to read the letters and then place them in a bottle and send them out to sea. As Thomas finished reading his letter, his closing remarks were “I am excited to see what the next three years hold, but more than that, I am excited to see what the rest of my life holds with you. Allison Victoria Filipowski, will you marry me?” I was so excited that as soon as I was done saying yes, I immediately started to run home to share the news with my parents, who were also staying at the house that weekend. To my surprise, both of our families were at the house to share in the celebration. And of course, we saved the letters, so there was no littering!
    When did y’all get married? June 20, 2015
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 175
    Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look. Whenever I imagined my wedding, it had always been with the idea that the first time Tom and I would see each other would be as I was walking down the aisle. Our wedding was so set in tradition, I wanted to keep it that way. Also, I knew that if we did a first look, I felt like it would put a lot of pressure on Tom’s reaction to my dress, and that didn’t seem fair. His reaction when the doors of the church opened was perfect, and I am glad we made the decision we did.
    Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. However, instead of saying “I do,” we finished with “This is my solemn vow.” It felt very special for us to share how committed we are to one another.
    How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Thomas and I had been dating for almost five years, and our engagement was a year and a half. We have really tried to take our time with every step of our relationship and savor each milestone. We took this time to discuss everything from where we want to raise our family to what values are most important and need to be passed along. We’re very lucky because we agree on almost everything. We’ve never come to a crossroad where we couldn’t find a compromise. The most important thing, we have found, has been communication. We are a very open couple, for better or worse.
    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Find a few key parts of your wedding that mean the most to you. Let those be the areas you focus on and let everything else work itself out. Everything will come together at the end and your memories will be of those few important details.
    What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We hope to really take some time to savor being married and a party of two. We want a family, but we are going to take a few years to enjoy being just the two of us. We want to travel all around the globe!

    Photographer: Britt Croft / Videographer: Still Co. / Planner, Rentals and Lighting: James Carlson / Ceremony Venue: Jerusalem Lutheran Church / Reception Venue: Family Home / Florist: JoAnn’s Florist / Caterer and Wedding Cake Baker: Savannah’s Hall of Cakes / DJ: All About You Entertainment / Bride’s Gown: “Danae” by Sottero and Midgley / Hair and Makeup: Taylor of 30 Volume Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Toms / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

    marissa Written with love by Marissa
    1 Comment
    1. avatar Kyle reply

      Beautifully done. It’s hard to find a more magical place than Savannah, GA for a stunning wedding. Southern charm in every photo! The video is really well done. I love the moss trees and plantation-style home!

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