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Lina knew that Mario was the one for her on their very first date, so it seems only fitting that choosing their wedding venue came down to love at first sight too. They were immediately smitten with The Glen Venue after attending a friend’s wedding there during their dating days, and once they were the ones with a wedding on the horizon, there was no question where their rustic, romantic celebration would take place. Lina and Mario loved it so much, they did their engagement session there too, adding one more layer of sweet memories to this special place!

Thank you so much to J. Layne Photography for sharing this beautiful day with us!

I chose to invite only my mother dress shopping, because I wanted the experience to be a special memory between her and I. I found my dress at The White Magnolia. My mom was the one who actually spotted my dress and made me try it on. Once I had it on, I knew it was the one! I remember not wanting to take it off, and feeling like it had been made just for me!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Plan your wedding according to what you both want! Mario and I were committed to that, and although we felt some tension along the way, we wouldn’t have had it any other way. It turned out to be the wedding of our dreams because we stuck to our guts. Prioritize the elements that are most important to you. We knew we wanted great flowers and great photographers, so those things were at the top of our list when it came to the budget.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look because we wanted an intimate moment between the two of us before the celebrations began. We loved getting a glimpse of one another before walking down the aisle, and some of our most favorite pictures of the two of us are from our first look!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our ceremony. Everything from walking down the aisle, to saying our own vows, to taking communion together for the first time as a married pair, to the blessing one of our pastors prayed over us. I remember the ceremony so clearly; it was as if time stood still. I was just so happy to finally marry the love of my life. Every worry and stressful thought disappeared the moment I started to walk down that aisle with my mother.

When Mario and I were dating, we attended a friend’s wedding at The Glen Venue. I immediately fell in love with it and knew that it would be the place where we would get married someday. We loved how naturally beautiful it was. We knew we wanted an outdoor, rustic, romantic wedding, and our venue brought that vision to life. There was also a large wooden deck surrounded with lights, which made for a dreamy reception setting. We loved our venue so much that we even had our engagement session done there.

We had such an incredible baker. We couldn’t make up our mind on one flavor, so we decided to have five different cakes, all of which were organic! Our main cake was a two-tiered Key lime cake (our favorite flavor). The rest of the cakes were ginger carrot cake with maple cinnamon buttercream, red velvet cake with white chocolate buttercream, vanilla bean cake with light almond buttercream with fresh lemon curd and raspberry preserve filling, and lastly, dark chocolate cake with hazelnut buttercream.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at our local church while serving on the worship team. We began spending a lot time together with friends, and we immediately sensed a strong connection with one another. Group dates turned into dates between the two of us, and on February 11, 2011, we began our relationship. We dated for three years before Mario proposed. Although I was pretty restless about not being engaged in our three years of dating (I knew I wanted to marry him on our first date!), looking back now, I appreciate all of the seasons that Mario and I went through, because they prepared us for this beautiful gift of marriage.
Tell us all about the proposal! We took a trip to Savannah to celebrate our anniversary on February 16, 2014. Our plan that day was to eat, shop, and take a few pictures of the town. When we arrived at Forsyth Park, Mario decided that he was going to show me a few simple photography tips. I was in a full “photographer stance” when he asked me to focus the camera in on his hand. I was about to take another picture when I saw the most beautiful engagement ring on the palm of his hand through the camera lens. I was in such shock that he had to repeatedly tell me to stand up. I stood, and he got down on one knee and asked me the question that I had been obsessing over for the past few years: “Will you marry me?” I immediately said yes, cried my eyes out, called my mom, and continued to cry, all while feeling like the happiest and luckiest girl in the world.
When did y’all get married? November 7, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 150
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We went through marriage counseling with the pastor who married us. We also did a pre-marital workbook that brought up a lot of great topics for us to talk through.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We paid for most of the wedding ourselves, so it became very stressful at times. We just trusted that everything was going to work out and tried to be intentional about our spending.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Our venue came with tables as well as wooden benches, which shaved off a large amount of rental money! Another thing we decided on was to forgo a videographer and invest in amazing photographers. I think this was a great decision! Although we don’t have a video to look back on, we have hundreds of amazing images that still take me back to that day as if it was yesterday. I am forever grateful to our incredible photographers for doing such an outstanding job.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are looking forward to traveling, buying our first home together, starting a family, and living our lives while always supporting each other’s dreams.

Photographer: J Layne Photography / Venue: The Glen Venue / Florist: Aime Peterson Flowers & Events / Cake Baker: Sweet N’ Flour / Caterer: Tres Leches Eatery / Rentals: Aime Peterson Flowers & Events /
Band: Who Rescued Who / Chalkboard Art and Invitations: Ashley Purser / Bridal Salon: The White Magnolia / Bride’s Gown: “Jacinda” by Watters / Bride’s Veil: Love Bridal Boutique / Hair Stylist: Jessica Rowe / Makeup Artist: Jill Bogers / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “650I” by Wtoo and “Annabelle” by Jenny Yoo / Groom’s Jacket: Daniel Cremieux / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / Groomsmen’s Jackets: Men’s Wearhouse / Bow Ties: The Tie Bar / Table Numbers and Reserved Signs: Sixpence Press / Cake Topper: Host & Toast Studio / Bride’s Dress Hanger: BHLDN

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #194 – Floridian Social reply

    […] were totally smitten with the mix of rustic, romantic, elegant and organic at The Glen Venue captured by J. Layne Photography. Lina and her 'maids were stunning, as were the […]

  2. avatar 14 Unique Bridal Bouquet Wraps to Try | Emmaline Bride reply

    […] photo: j layne photography via southern weddings […]

  3. avatar Lina & Mario | The Glen Venue » J. Layne Photography reply

    […] View complete featured over on Southern Weddings […]

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There’s so much classic Southern style in today’s inspiration nugget that I almost can’t stand it! Spanish moss, a statuesque plantation home, pineapples, a lace gown, and last but certainly not least, a sweet couple celebrating their first anniversary who knows the wedding is just the beginning. Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Sapphire Events for making our morning a little more lovely!

From Valerie, the planner: Earlier this spring we invited a real couple, Christine and Jordan, to collaborate with us on an anniversary shoot to capture the couple one year after they exchanged vows. The photographers and I wanted to bring out the beautiful light this couple shares for each other. We also gave the couple an opportunity to talk about their love after the first year of married life together, who they look up to as an example of a strong relationship, and what a marriage means to them now that the wedding planning process is behind them. I love the Southern Weddings mission to promote the marriage as more important than the wedding, and the results of Christine and Jordan’s brief interview with us in sharing those same values.

From the bride, Christine:

The most special moment about your wedding day: We were both so anxious before mass and the reception felt like a blur, but while we were at the church, it felt like it was just the two of us. It was nice to have that time to focus only on one another. The silly conversations we had and laughing and sharing in that moment together is something we will never forget.
What do you all look forward to in your next year of marriage? Continuing to get to know one another, grow and work together. One of the characteristics of people with happy marriages is that they never stop working on their marriage. They never stop learning about each other and never get complacent with their relationship. I cannot wait to continue to put in work together and learn something new to love about each other every day.
One piece of advice you would give to someone getting married right now? Don’t stress about your wedding day and all the details. Although it may seem like it now, your wedding day is not the most important day of your life and it will not make or break your marriage. You and your significant other decide that. Take a moment to remember why you’re getting married in the first place and that the incredible amount of love you have for one another will count for way more in the long run than what flavor the cake is or what you give out as favors. Focus on each other and try to remember as much as you can about that day, because it goes by fast!

Photography: GK Photography | Design and styling: Sapphire Events | Flowers: Nola Flora | Linens: Perrier Party Rentals | Invitation: Scriptura | Bridal Salon: Wedding Belles | Groom’s attire: John’s Tuxedos | Hair and Makeup: Bleu, a Blow Dry Bar | Venue: Houmas House Plantation

Sapphire Events and Nola Flora are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
5 Comments
  1. avatar ashley bateman reply

    Love Love Love!! Love their Love!

  2. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #168 – Floridian Weddings reply

    […] Totally inspired by these centerpieces: pineapples nestled on gilded leaves! […]

  3. avatar Genevieve reply

    This makes me want to get married all over again!

  4. avatar Gillian reply

    I’d love to know the actual designer and style number of that gown, it’s fabulous! Thanks!

  5. avatar Allison reply

    Sapphire Events is my absolute fav when it comes to styling events. I so want them to style/design my wedding!

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When it comes to mixing decor genres, I believe Southern and nautical make the perfect pair! Throwing some British inspiration into the mix could have made it more than interesting, but for Heather and Eric, with the help of their planner and florist, Crystal at Southern Posies, incorporating all the different strands of their heritage came together in an absolutely lovely day! I’m officially obsessed with the oyster shell table runner and the story behind Heather’s single magnolia bloom bouquet (be sure to read below)!

We’re sending bug hugs all the way to Austin to Mrs. Caroline Joy for capturing this pretty day!

My something borrowed was my late grandfather’s tie pin that my grandmother lent me; my grandfather was the beloved patriarch of our entire family, and we lost him just a few years ago, so I just had to have him there with us somehow. My something blue was an evil eye charm that a stranger pinned on me when I was a baby–he told my parents that “I would need it,” as they are supposed to protect the wearer from evil thoughts. My something old was my antique sapphire ring that my parents found when we lived in England. My something new turned out to be a solitaire teardrop sapphire necklace that Eric gave me on our wedding day. I also had a sixpence in my shoe that my brother’s best friend brought me over from England when he came for the wedding to surprise my brother!

The décor was an odd mix of Southern, nautical, and a little British (my family and I lived in England when I was in high school). My planner and florist, Crystal, and I picked out soft blooms in cream and blush to complement everything, and anemones, succulents, and dusty miller really brought out the nautical elements. After Crystal and I had designed a beautiful bridal bouquet, Eric and I were having a hard day with a difficult, very personal family issue. Driving into my neighborhood, I saw that the magnolia trees were in bloom, and seeing them cheered me up, so I asked Eric to stop so I could pick one. I’ve always loved magnolias, so I apologized to Crystal and asked her to change my bouquet–I carried a single magnolia bloom, and Eric’s boutonniere was a magnolia seed.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, going with tradition. We did write promise notes to each other though, and our favorite promises were to never stop working on our marriage and to always speak kindly to each other, no matter what. That’s a promise we live by now.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I made an appointment at Ivory and White in Birmingham and showed my consultant, Molly, several pictures of dresses. She laughed and told me that all my pictures were of the same dress, and she had it in the store! I tried it on and just loved it. My momma, however, really didn’t like it. Even though it made me sad that my mom wasn’t in love with it like I was, I just didn’t see another dress I liked. We found out the designer was having a trunk show at the store in a few months, so we waited until then to purchase the dress. The day my mom, my mother-in-law, and I went to buy the dress, I tried on lots of trunk show dresses, just for fun. My mom really liked one of them, and when I put it on, I realized it had everything the first dress had, and more. The only thing this dress didn’t have was a train, but Molly told me the designer could add a train to the dress. It was perfect!

Short of the British pub table outside the church, I am not sure what wasn’t Southern about our wedding. All of the food was Southern–sweet potato fries, oysters, green beans, fried chicken, prime rib, mashed potatoes, cornbread, collards, and chicken tenders and mac and cheese for the kids. The pound cake and red velvet cake are both Southern favorites. A lot of the details included seersucker and grosgrain. We included our love for Auburn–guests signed a framed and matted print from Auburn that says “from family grows tradition,” and I had a garter from Tiger Rags. We are the fourth generation in my family to be married in June. My favorite Southern details were the hand-sewn heirloom dresses we gave to the bell ringers, because they turned out to be the prettiest ones I have ever seen. And of course, our favorite Southern tradition was our receiving line.

I really love classical music, and being a ballet dancer, visualizing things to classical music comes easily to me. When I listened to the wedding pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty, I could just see all of those walks up and down the aisle. The music is so, so beautiful and romantic and just lent itself perfectly to our wedding.

When we told Ms. Rose Pollman, the wedding cake designer at the Staple bakery in Mobile, that we wanted a traditionally decorated cake, she was over the moon. Too funny! She made the most delicious cream cheese pound cake that we served with strawberries.Eric’s groom cake was red velvet, and the cake topper on it held special significance to us. On a road trip, we passed two horses on opposite sides of a fence that were nuzzling necks as close as they could get. We just knew they loved each other! The nuzzling birds now always remind us of those horses and to love each other, no matter what fence is in the way.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. The summer after my junior year at Auburn University, a friend invited me to go downtown one night. There, I met all of his friends, including Eric. We were instantly attracted to each other, and were pleasantly surprised to find out that we were both majoring in engineering. We started to hang out more and more, and not long after we met, Eric brought up talk of a relationship, which I didn’t quite respond to the way he had hoped, and apparently, I didn’t talk to him for two weeks. As fate would have it, magic was in the air that fall, and we grew closer with each date and exciting football game. A few months later, a friend of a friend blatantly asked us, in front of a lot of people, if we were “like, together?” to which Eric furiously shook his head and said that was not the case. I thought his response was a little too quick–I guess it was his revenge for the alleged “two weeks of silence,” because when I asked him if that wasn’t a possibility, he said it was possible. The next morning, on his birthday, I remember waking up so happy because I was thinking of him. I told him later that I had a birthday present for him–that if he wanted to talk about a relationship, I wouldn’t freak out. It took us six months from when we first met to put aside our stubbornness, but we’ve pretty much been inseparable ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Eric: It was December, and I picked the ring up on Saturday morning with a reservation at Hamilton’s Restaurant that night to “celebrate her performances in The Nutcracker Ballet.” After dinner, I convinced Heather to go on campus with me instead of going to see her family, who were in town for her ballet performances, at a nearby restaurant. After some nerve-wracking conversation, we finally walked over to the swing where we had gone to talk after our first date. After reminiscing about that date, I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. After a noticeable and, once again, nerve-wracking pause, she started to cry, so I tried to lighten the mood and said “Please?” She said yes!
When did y’all get married? June 7, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 200
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We cut having a videographer pretty early on, which is actually something I really regret–I wish we had taken a longer look to cut out other things that weren’t lasting. We used a lot of our own décor, which cut down on flower costs and rentals. Also, my planner and the awesome lady who designed our paper suite are both just starting out in the industry, so their costs were not as high as most other vendors. They were both fantastic and attentive and so personable to work with, and their work turned out more beautifully than I could have imagined!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I’m a crier, and I surprised myself the entire day by not crying. I was just so happy all day! But then, we started saying our vows, and tears just started streaming down my face. The most memorable moment for me was when Eric wiped my tears away.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are just happy to be living together and having quiet days to ourselves. We are definitely looking forward to building our home, traditions, and family together!

Photographer: Caroline Joy Photography / Planner and Florist: Crystal Strickland from Southern Posies / Ceremony Venue: Fairhope United Methodist Church / Reception Venue and Catering: Steelwood / Wedding Cake: Pollman’s Bakery / Band: The Voltage Brothers through EastCoast Entertainment / Paper Products: Kara Anne Paper / Bride’s Gown: “Katarina” by Vera Wang / Bride’s Second Gown: “Sweet Dreams” by Ivy and Aster / Bride’s Veil: “Leda” by Vera Wang / Bride’s Earrings: Kate Spade /Hair Stylist: Joanna Ballentine and Molly Stilley from Morgan Ashley Salon / Makeup Artist: Celine Russell / Bride’s Shoes: “Chantilly Booties” from BHLDN / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Niceties Dress” in French Grey from BHLDN / Men’s Attire: Black by Vera Wang from Men’s Wearhouse / Bow Ties: J. Hilburn / Cufflinks: Bullet Cufflinks / Girls’ Getting Ready Robes: BHLDN

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

    Heather’s magnolia bouquet is perfect, and I love their all-calligraphy invitation!

  2. avatar Hallie Deyton reply

    I loved this article! I absolutely loved her dress and hearing about all of her personal details she put into the wedding. I think that’s what a wedding should be about – the little personal details. My favorite part was her bouquet – that is something she will definitely remember for the rest of her life!

  3. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    Even the church doors match your nautical inspiration! The dress looks beautiful and I love that long dark wood table with the string of lights in the background. Rustic, comfortable, and intimate.

  4. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Brittany and Robert loved celebrating their marriage with 650 dear friends and family members! Heather and Eric incorporated all different pieces of their heritage into their classic wedding. Jeni and Adam loved […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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