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While I know spring tends to get most of the love from brides thanks to the blooms and the weather, as a December bride myself, I might be a tad bit partial to winter weddings, especially ones that take advantage of already-in-place Christmas decor. From the big red bow-accented garlands to the twinkle lights, there is something so magical about classic holiday decor that makes everything feel extra special! I love than Anne and Nick chose the beautiful Carolina Inn for their December celebration because of its rich history and central location to their families. This sweet couple then took full advantage of the Inn’s gorgeous holiday decor and added just the right amount of their personalities and meaningful details. And y’all, how classic and lovely is Anne’s all-white bouquet, accented with magnolia greenery? So dreamy!

I’m so glad our friend and Blue Ribbon Vendor Robyn Van Dyke was on hand to capture this joyful day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I am a really decisive person when it comes to clothes, and my wedding dress was no exception! I had an amazing time looking at dresses with my mom, thinking about Nick and my special day, and playing dress up! We looked at Diva’s Bridal Boutique in Greensboro and almost immediately decided on a gown. I had actually put on the gown and wasn’t crazy about it, but when they made it “fit me” (i.e. pulled it back so that I had a waist, etc.), I just knew. I loved it, my mother loved it, and I knew it was right.

Describe your wedding flowers. I knew from the start that I wanted to use whites and greens. Kathy at The Purple Puddle turned that desire into something beautiful. I loved the use of magnolia greenery, white hydrangeas, roses, and gardenias. They were so beautiful and fragrant!

The first look was the best decision Nick and I made about our wedding! We were guided by our amazing photographer, Robyn Van Dyke, to consider a first look because the light level was low on our wedding day. We fully trusted the Van Dykes and realized very quickly that this was a special opportunity to be together on our wedding day in the midst of the chaos. The moment was just what we had hoped for–better even! We saw each other for the first time that day surrounded by our friends, we had time together to pray, talk, and process what that day meant, and it was the most special and memorable moment of all of the wedding festivities!

Our wedding music was special from the start. Music is such a beautiful part of worship, and we wanted to glorify the Lord through the music we chose. Not all of it was Christian, but most was, and all was classic. A dear friend from dental school played the violin and the organist for CUMC played the organ and the piano. Nick and I each met multiple times with the organist to discuss our musical selections, hear his input and interpretation, and decide on the final selections. Our favorite hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” was selected as a special song. It was a time of transition in our service and meant so much to both Nick and me. We do not take for granted our many blessings–family, education, calling to service, friends–and the musical interpretation by Gentry (our violinist) and the pianist brought us to tears. We both pray our marriage brings us closer to the Lord and gives us the opportunity (and the challenge!) to glorify Him. It was just so special.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We love Chapel Hill! Both of our families have a history in this area, we met and fell in love here, and it was a central location for our loved ones. Christ United Methodist Church has a kind wedding ministry, and everything about the church began to line up with our values. The music was lovely, the services were classic, and the structure of the wedding ceremony was everything we could have hoped for. It was perfect! The Carolina Inn has everything perfected–it was so easy to coordinate with our vendors because just about everyone had worked at the historic inn before. We quickly realized that December 20 was the perfect weekend to have a wedding there–the inn is decorated beautifully for Christmas, and it is a relatively calm time for them. The Carolina Inn is a gorgeous, well-oiled machine, a classic Chapel Hill landmark, and extremely reliable. It was a dream come true!

At our reception, Nick and I danced to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.” We first heard this when we were apart over the summer of 2014–I was in Utah and Nick was in Africa. We heard it, both teared up, and knew it was the right song for our first dance. In particular, the line, “Honey, your soul can never grown old, it’s evergreen,” spoke to us. We couldn’t help but see how special our parents’ and grandparents’ marriages were and hope for a lifetime of devotion to one another.

Sweet Memories made the most delicious cake! We had two flavors: sweet potato spiced cake with caramel and white chocolate filling, and lemon cake with white chocolate mouse and raspberry puree. Both were incredible!!!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in dental school! Nick was a first year and I was a second year. We went to medical school prom with friends and became inseparable. We spent about two weeks together before I called my mom and dad and told them I was in love (so crazy!)! Nick and I began officially dating on Easter Sunday 2013 and were engaged less than a year later!
Tell us all about the proposal! Nick and I love time when we can be alone together, laughing and talking. We had planned a spring break trip to camp in Death Valley and Joshua Tree and spend a night in Vegas. On the way to the airport, Nick pulled off the road and said, “Let’s go on a walk; it’s a beautiful day!” I suspected what was about to happen and noticed that both of us were shaking! It was hilarious and awesome and absolutely perfect. We arrived to a quad on UNC’s campus where we had enjoyed many picnic dinners during our courtship. I had no makeup on, and we were just completely relaxed at the beginning of an amazing week together. It was more perfect than I had ever imagined!
When did y’all get married? December 20, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 175
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We said classic vows, which was a very intentional decision. We wanted everything to be traditional.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I loved wearing my mother’s earrings and the same veil that both of my sisters wore in their weddings. I also wore the bracelet that Nick’s grandmother, mother, and sisters wore in their weddings and the pearl bobby pins that once belonged to my grandmother. It all made me feel like these women were with me throughout the day, which meant so much!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? I think the reason that wedding planning was so fun was because we were focusing on preparing for our marriage! We read several books, including “The Five Love Languages,” “Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts,” and “Things I Wish I’d Known Before I got Married.” We also met for premarital counseling several times with the pastor at CUMC. We had conversations over dinner about our hopes, dreams, short-term and long-term goals, and aspirations, and made sure we let each other know why we loved one another. We prayed quite a bit and sought wise counsel from family and friends who are married. All of these things really added to the depth and meaning of our engagement.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We decided on the things that really mattered (venue, great food) vs. the things that didn’t (buffet vs. plated dinner, monogrammed vs. non-monogrammed napkins) and allocated funds according to those decisions. We also knew that for our crew, beer and wine were sufficient. We did all of the toasts at the rehearsal dinner, so there was not champagne at our reception; instead, we served spiked cider during our cocktail hour.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Robyn Van Dyke!!! We LOVE our photos and were thrilled to have our day documented by friends. They did an amazing job, and I still can’t believe we were so blessed to have them as such a major part of our wedding day. They really were perfect.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are so looking forward to having control over our time so that we can travel together! We are excited for Nick to graduate from dental school and for me to hopefully match at the pediatric dental residency of my choice. We are on the brink of major changes and professional growth, which is thrilling! We are also excited to have children one day, although that will have to wait a few years. :)

Photographer: Robyn Van Dyke Photography | Planner: Carly of Events by La Fete | Ceremony Venue: Christ United Methodist Church | Reception Venue and Catering: The Carolina Inn | Florist: The Purple Puddle | Cake Baker: Sweet Memories Bakery | DJ: McSound Productions | Paper Products: Reaves Engraving Inc. | Bride’s Gown: Martina Liana | Bridal Salon: Diva’s Bridal and Boutique | Hair Stylist: Becca of Salon 135 | Makeup Artist: Stephanie Sevilla | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Sung | Menswear: Tom Dixon at The Executive’s Cutting Edge

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

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Erica reply

    Beautiful tray! I would love to feature this in my kitchen!

  2. avatar featured: southern weddings » Robyn Van Dyke Photography Blog reply

    […] to share that Anne & Nick’s gorgeous winter wedding at The Carolina Inn was featured on Southern Weddings during the week of Christmas! The joy from this wedding day will always make it one of my all-time […]

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Since 95 percent of Hilari and Grant’s guests traveled from out of town for their wedding, they wanted to not only show their guests a true Southern celebration, but also make them feel loved and celebrated. To me, that is the definition of gracious Southern hospitality. From the ceremony under a magnolia tree (which is extra special to Hilari, as every house she’s lived in has had one in the front yard), to hand-delivered welcome bags, and even a giant Jenga game at cocktail hour handmade by Hilari’s grandfather, I’m sure that through each element of Hilari and Grant’s wedding at Belle Meade Plantation, guests loved being part of this new chapter of their love story.

Thanks to Rachel Moore for sharing this lovely day!

I knew finding my wedding dress would be something special for my mom and I to do together. She and I are absolute best friends and I thought it would be something really sweet we could share together, forever. Through our shared Pinterest board, I kind of had an idea of what I was looking for, but in all honesty, was completely open to anything as long as it was unique and completely out of the box. The wedding colors had been decided months before (black, white, and glittery gold), and I wanted a dress that fit our venue, theme, and overall style. One Sunday, we decided to start the process and stopped into The Dress Theory boutique in Nashville. As soon as I walked in the door, I spotted a beautiful gold, glittery dress. In that moment, I knew that was my dress. It fit all of my criteria and was better than anything I could have imagined. Paired with a pretty belt and a simple veil, it was perfect. We found out later that the dress I chose isn’t typically isn’t carried at The Dress Theory–Sarah Seven was having a trunk show that weekend, so we lucked out and happened upon it. It was meant to be!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We tried to incorporate so many Southern details into our special day. Belle Meade Plantation is the epitome of Nashville Southern living. The venue was the perfect backdrop for our wedding and celebration, and had such a historical factor that our out-of-town guests loved. We chose to get married under the magnolia tree in the gardens, and tied magnolias into the boutonnieres and tables decor. This was especially sentimental, as every house I’ve lived in has had a magnolia tree in the front yard. Our guests absolutely loved the biscuit bar, with toppings that included pulled pork, fried chicken, hot sauce, homemade jams and butters, sorghum and more. We had familial ties throughout the day as well, including signature drink recipes concocted by my dad, corn hole and giant Jenga handmade by my grandfather, and welcome bags carefully crafted and hand-delivered to our guests by me and my mom.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes! I think this was one of the best decisions we made all day. It was a way for us to connect before the ceremony and truly soak in the magnitude of what was ahead. It gave us time to laugh, cry, reflect on our journey, and get really excited for the celebration ahead. I think we were both more nervous than we had anticipated, and this gave us the perfect opportunity to share in a special moment together, just us.

We chose Belle Meade Plantation for both our ceremony and reception because it was the perfect backdrop for our Southern wedding. 95 percent of our guests were traveling from out of town, and we wanted to give them a warm Nashville welcome and show them a truly Southern affair. It was the perfect size for our 125 guests and we were able to make full use of the gorgeous property. The ceremony was conducted under the big magnolia in the Boxwood Garden, then passed appetizers, signature drinks, and lawn games took place under the eaves. We dined under twinkle lights in the back tent and danced the night away in the Carriage House. Grant and I wanted our guests to feel loved and celebrated, and also introduce them to all things Southern!

Describe your wedding flowers. Where to begin? Our florist was incredible at bringing our floral dreams to life. We chose a gorgeous blend of whites, greens, and golds, and made sure to incorporate magnolias. The bridesmaid bouquets were white with pops of green, and my bouquet was white with gold accents to match my dress. The tables were adorned with gold-edged magnolias, candles, and gold vessels.

We opted for a small, two-tiered cake that was brought out to us at the head table. We cut it there and guests were served cupcakes with custom toppers and forks at the same time. My favorite flavor is funfetti and Grant’s is coconut. We were able to have a layer of each, and enjoyed the leftovers the next day (and still have slices in our freezer for whenever we want to revisit our special day!).

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. It depends who you ask! We both agree that we met during our senior year at Vanderbilt, but my side of story doesn’t start until February 4. I lived off campus at the time and had a very busy schedule with nursing school. On that Saturday night, I was in my PJs, had a glass of wine ready, and was just about to start watching The Bachelor when my phone rang. It was my friend wanting me to join her at a party she was headed to, and I decided to head over, which is totally out of character for me once I’m settled in. I figured I’d stay for just a little bit. That all changed when I walked in the door…and there was Grant. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I asked my friend, “Who IS that and why haven’t I met him yet?!” She said, “You actually have!” After some awkward introductions, Grant and I start talking. We had so much in common and could have talked forever, but I figured this Southerner would want nothing to do with my Yankee self. Come to find out, Grant was the one who had really wanting me to come to the party in the first place! Two minutes turned into two hours, which turned into the rest of the evening. The rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! It all started when I got home and Grant was there waiting for me dressed up, which was unusual because we were about to go for a walk. He told me to get in the car–no questions asked! After a few minutes of detouring around the city, we finally arrived at Love Circle, the location of one of our first dates, which has a gorgeous view of Nashville. Grant had a picnic basket packed full of our favorite snacks and we walked up the hill. As soon as we spread out the blanket, Grant was on one knee and proposed. Of course, I said yes! With a champagne toast and a bunch of sweet treats, we celebrated while admiring the most amazing view of Nashville!
When did y’all get married? May 16, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. “Hey Pretty Girl” was Grant’s choice for our first dance because he says it reminded him of when he met me, and it always brings a smile to both of our faces. My father-daughter dance was to “My Girl”–I am a daddy’s girl through and through. My dad picked the song that was playing in the delivery room when I was born–it brings tears to his eyes every time, and was the perfect song for us.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Planning for our marriage was just as important, if not more, as planning for our wedding. We participated in a premarital course offered through a local church. This provided a place to talk about many things we had touched on previously, and allowed us to dive further into our values, goals, and hopes for marriage. We also made sure to have date night once a week to regroup on our life outside of wedding planning and make sure we were on the same page. This was essential in planting the seeds for a fruitful marriage.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I think the most memorable moment was sitting at our table, listening to my parents’ toasts, and looking around at the culmination of our celebration. Everyone we loved was in one place, under one tent, laughing, chatting, and becoming one big family. Love and relationships fire me up, and it was the perfect way to begin our journey together.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Prioritize. Make a master list (yes, it will be long!) and categorize each task into priority level. What is a “must do?” What can wait until most of the details are in place? Understanding your list in terms of priority level will help make the planning process less stressful, and will help you make time for what matters most. Also, have fun! This is such an exciting time! Don’t forget to celebrate, laugh, create memories, and live in the moment. It goes by so fast! One more tip: take a few days before leaving for your honeymoon. We left a week after the wedding, and it was so relaxing. During our wedding weekend, we could live in the moment and soak in every memory. Once we got home, the honeymoon packing and anticipation could begin!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are excited about settling into our new, married routine, and growing more deeply in love as the days, months, and years progress. We plan to travel, focus on laying the groundwork for a successful marriage, and make the most of each day together. Eventually, we want to start a family and create a happy haven for our children, a place for them to grow in a loving, supportive, and encouraging home.

Photographer: Rachel Moore Photography / Videographer: Needle + Thread / Planner: A Delightful Day / Venue: Belle Meade Plantation / Florist: Brocade Designs / Cake Baker: Wolfe Gourmet Cakes / Caterer: G Catering & Events / Rentals: Southern Event Rentals / Lighting: Bright Event Productions / Bands: Silver Strings and The Respectables / Paper Products: Minted / Bride’s Gown: Sarah Seven / Bridal Salon and Veil: The Dress Theory / Hair Stylist: Sarah Page / Makeup Artist: Nicole Diamond / Bride’s Shoes: Tieks / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse / Additional Vendors: Sucre Shop, Sugar Paper, You’re That Girl Designs

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

    Such beautiful wedding photos. The bride is so smiley. :)

  2. avatar StudioWed Nashville | A Delightful Day Event Planning : Blush and Gold Wedding reply

    […] If you are searching for a wonderfully talented event planning company, look no further! This wedding was executed by our very own, A Delightful Day Event Planning Company! We could not be more thrilled! Especially considering that this is their second feature this Month! This time A Delightful Day was featured in Southern Weddings! […]

  3. avatar 6 Ideas para que los Pajes de tu Boda sean muy Originales | El Blog de una Novia reply

    […] Rachel Moore Photography | Southern Weddings […]

  4. avatar Year ONE – Hilari Williams reply

    […] in a full wedding recap? Southern Weddings shared more […]

  5. avatar Marriage: Six Months – Hilari Williams reply

    […] can catch a glimpse of our day here and here. And watch a snippet […]

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