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I’m sure that none of our love stories happened exactly the way we may have grown up expecting them to, and in Elisa and Craig’s cases, Instagram certainly wasn’t where they imagined they’d someday meet their future spouse! When they finally met face to face, however, their connection was undeniable–Craig knew as soon as he asked Elisa to be his girlfriend that he’d someday ask her to be his wife. While these two are no stranger to the challenges of a long distance relationship, it made their Gatsby-inspired Chapel Hill wedding day all the more special and sweet…though their chocolate wedding cake, passed cupcakes, and milkshake shooters certainly contributed to the sweetness factor, too!

P.S. If Elisa and Craig look familiar, it may be because they’re gracing the back cover of V8! So fun!

Thank you so much to Grain & Compass for sharing this gorgeous day with us!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I don’t think either one of us expected to meet in such a unique way. In 2013, my husband, Craig, and I met on Instagram, as crazy as that sounds. He was living in Los Angeles at the time and I was interning in New York City. We had one mutual acquaintance on Instagram, and from the follow, to likes, to comments, our interest grew. In fact, we still have the screenshot of our first exchange. After texting turned into phone calls and phone calls turned into “FaceTime dates”, Craig flew from Los Angeles to NYC to meet me in person and take me on our first real date. That weekend was its own fairy tale. Without a dull moment, we spent our days exploring museums, going to a Mets baseball game, kayaking on the Hudson River, and eating our way through the Big Apple. Craig asked me that weekend to be his girlfriend. I would later find out that in that moment, he knew he was going to marry me. After a year of dating 3000 miles apart, I finished school and moved to Los Angeles to be with him. Our long distance journey to marriage has given us such beautiful perspective, because we now know that simply being in each other’s company is a blessing to treasure each day we are together.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Finding my wedding dress was something I had always imagined doing with my mom. However, my living across the country from her in Los Angeles did not make this easy, as traveling back and forth was not very ideal or cost-effective. Since we got engaged right before Thanksgiving, Craig and I spent the holiday in North Carolina and my mom was able to reserve just one bridal appointment at Tre Bella in Durham, an hour before our engagement session was to begin. At one point, I tried on the dress I had not pulled and was weary about, stepped out, and saw my mom’s face. This dress was so classic, elegant, and simple in comparison to what I has walked in thinking I would want. But from the classic silhouette, to the soft, flowing fabric, to the Gatsby-esque beading up the back and on the shoulders, I realized this was it. I never expected to find my wedding dress after only 45 minutes of looking!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We chose to do a first look and we wouldn’t have had it any other way! To be able to share an intimate moment before the wedding just talking, laughing, and treasuring the time leading up to becoming husband and wife allowed us to share the whole day together. It also allowed us to take most of our formal pictures before the ceremony, which gave us more time to sneak away after and share a quiet moment eating some small appetizers and sharing our first drink as a married couple together. It was perfect.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My mom handmade two amazing wreaths for the doors we stood in front of for the ceremony out of gold-painted magnolia leaves she collected from the yard. She put so much love and time into them and they were stunning!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I knew that I wanted to walk down the aisle to a song that pointed to the reason for our marriage and the importance of the covenant we were about to make. Craig’s talented groomsmen, Justin Gaston and Ben Schofield, performed the song “I am Set Free” by All Sons and Daughters. After the unity candle lighting, we had both families, as well as the bridal party, surround us in prayer. During this moment, Craig’s brother and sister-in-law performed Craig’s favorite hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” reminding us and everyone that our faithfulness to each other is based on how ever faithful God is to us. We were so thankful to have so many friends share their amazing musical talents with us to make our day so special.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Using my parents’ vows as a guide, we wrote our own version of their wedding vows. We really value those vows because we admire both sets of our parents’ commitment and love for each other, and also how their marriage points to their individual relationships with God. A line from our vows that I love is, “to give my life to you by listening and empathizing with you, encouraging and enabling you, believing in you and in what Christ is doing through you.”

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We were both raised in the South–Craig in New Orleans and me in North Carolina. We really wanted a venue with rich Southern history and beautiful grounds for our guests to enjoy! With guests traveling from all over, many from LA, we also wanted to minimize any travel between hotels and venues. We decided on the most amazing place that has it all: The Carolina Inn. As soon as we stepped into the Old Well Room (after we booked it from LA, I might add–another win for pictures and my amazing mom!), we knew it really was perfect for our elegant, Gatsby affair!

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Craig has an amazing friend and pastor from college who really walked us through the goal and meaning of marriage leading up to our wedding. We were challenged to identify how our parents influenced us, as well as our own experiences, habits, and expectations. The greatest thing we focused on was preparing to become a unified team founded on love and respect–when a wife is loved, she feels respected, and when a husband is respected, he feels loved.

Tell us all about the proposal! From Craig: I knew I wanted to create a really special moment for the proposal. We had been planning on going to a Christmas tree lighting at the Grove here in LA with a few friends when one of them mentioned that they do an epic fireworks show there, too. If anyone knows my wife, they know she LOVES fireworks. Since there was a group of us going, I told a few of our friends my plan: distract her for long enough to get in position, pull out the ring, and drop on one knee in front of everyone as soon as the fireworks started to go off. I knew this was going to be really tough because we would be hanging out for a while and I didn’t want anyone to break down and give it away–not to mention, being a wreck trying to keep the secret myself. The night came and went like a flash. Before I knew it, the tree was lit and it was time for the fireworks show. There I was, in the center of a sea of thousands with booming lights all around, asking the girl of my dreams to marry me. Several stutters later and not without plenty of iPhone photos and videos from both strangers and friends, I was an engaged man.
When did y’all get married? April 17, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Just under 200
Describe your wedding flowers. My vision for the day was a classic, elegant, Gatsby affair. We chose black, gold, and white as our colors–this made my husband and in-laws, who are from New Orleans, very happy, because they just so happen to match the New Orleans Saints colors. It was a win-win for everyone in my book! I knew I wanted to keep the florals elegant and simple, with light yellow and white bouquets and a touch of greenery.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I wanted our wedding cake to be classic and match our aesthetic, but most importantly, I wanted the inside to be chocolate! We designed a two-tiered cake with a hand-painted gold base and a white top, joined by a fondant black stripe and white geometric piping. In addition, we passed out plates and plates of chocolate and yellow cake cupcakes with white frosting and gold dust sprinkled on top, letting everyone know it was party time! Our love of desserts did not stop there–milkshake shooters and hot cookies were enjoyed by all to keep the sugar rush high and the feet on the dance floor!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my sister-in-law’s veil, as well as my bridesmaid’s earrings. I also had my grandmother’s diamonds with me. We had always talked about my wedding when I was growing up, and she passed away the day after my wedding.
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? Our greatest advice would be to trust the experience of the vendors you have chosen and give them freedom to shine in their skills. Our vision was clear for each selection that was made, but the results of our planning, decoration, hair, makeup, photography, florals, stationery, etc. was because we let our vendors run with our ideas instead of keeping them bound by only are ideas or concepts.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? For us right now, it’s building our life together in Los Angeles. We are both pursuing our passions and there’s no telling what the future holds. I’m sure there will be many trips back to our Southern roots in Louisiana and North Carolina, as well as abroad–we are excited for our 2016 trip to Europe!

Photographer and Videographer: Grain and Compass / Planner: Erin McLean Events / Venue and Caterer: The Carolina Inn / Florist: Barbara Long / Cake Baker: Once in a Blue Moon / Rentals: CE Rental / DJ: The Local DJ / Paper Products: Alissa Bell Press / Bride’s Gown: “Selia” by St. Patrick / Bride’s Hair Accessories: Yes Dear & Co. / Hair and Makeup: Lula Hair and Makeup / Bride’s Shoes: Nina / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Sleeveless Lace Cocktail Dress” by Aidan Mattox / Menswear: “Slim Fit Tuxedo” in Black by Calvin Klein

Erin McLean Events and Lula Hair and Makeup are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Dana reply

    The Carolina Inn looks like the perfect venue for a Gatsby inspired wedding!

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Y’all know we absolutely love when couples incorporate meaningful details into their celebrations. We also love when those details are deeply rooted in Southern culture! Jen and Alan’s beautiful day wasn’t lacking of either, from the big oak tress adorned with heaps of Spanish moss, to one of Jen’s favorites, the magnolia garland. Jen and Alan even served boiled peanuts at their cocktail hour as a nod to a road trip when Jen had introduced Alan to the yumminess of this roadside treat! What could easily be passed over as just another fun detail to check off the list became something truly special. That’s what wedding details should be all about–taking the small things that hold meaning to you as a couple, and sharing them with the ones you love. Who knew something as simple as peanuts could become so memorable?

We’re so thankful to Blue Ribbon Vendor Michelle March for sharing this pretty day!

P.S. Fun fact: Michelle also shot my darling EK’s newborn session!

Our ceremony and reception were at the same venue, Phillippi Estate Park in Sarasota, Florida. In spite of our 100+ guest list, we wanted an intimate outdoor wedding and a reception under a canopy of trees and lights. Although this venue typically rents out the gorgeous historic mansion located on the property, I happened to walk by a secluded, shaded area under a large oak tree adorned with heaps of Spanish moss. It was love at first sight. Unfortunately, the park’s event coordinator informed us that the spot I had fallen in love with was not part of the area available for events. We waited patiently and found out a few weeks later that for an extra fee, we would be able to incorporate this beautiful space into our ceremony. She mentioned that it might need some cleaning up because it was completely wild, overgrown, and natural but those were the exact qualities that initially drew me to the area!

Describe your wedding flowers. I had my heart set on a cascading bouquet with greenery spilling out of it. Choosing our flowers was probably one of the most enjoyable aspects of wedding planning for me. Mary was so generous with her time, sitting down and really listening to what I envisioned for our wedding. Our bridal bouquets consisted of tulips, ranunculus, roses, carnations, seeded eucalyptus, ivy, and sword fern. Our wedding flowers also included a whole lot of greenery and garlands. I’m a huge sucker for magnolia, which was at the top of my “want” list, but we simply couldn’t afford it. On our wedding day, Mary surprised us with a magnolia garland, which were hung throughout the ceremony and reception. I was absolutely stunned! It was the sweetest gesture and I can never thank her enough.

Alan’s most memorable moment about our wedding day was when he saw me walking towards him with my dad. He says he couldn’t take his eyes off me or stop smiling. Since he didn’t want to do a first look, Alan says this was one of the most special moments of the day to him! The recessional was also one of my most memorable moments from our wedding day. Turning around to see all of the smiling (and some crying) faces of our guests just made me feel so special and grateful to be entering our marriage with the support of an amazing community of family and friends, near and far.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Throughout the engagement (and let’s be honest, we could probably go back a few months before the proposal), I found myself inspired by soft, flowing fabric and light hints of texture. I knew that the vision I had for my dress did not fit the mold of your traditional/classic wedding dress, so the thought of walking into multiple bridal salons seemed incredibly intimidating at the time. Luckily for me, I found my wedding dress buried in the clearance of all clearance sections at Macy’s. Can you believe it?! Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a simple, nude, floor-length gown poking out amidst the rows of disheveled hangers, and decided to try it on. It couldn’t hurt, right? I honestly didn’t love my dress right away, at least not in its original form. Instead, I had a pretty clear vision of what the dress could look like for our wedding day, so I went with it. I worked with an amazingly talented seamstress who specializes in bridal wear. We met several times and discussed various fit and design modifications. She managed to transform my clearance Macy’s dress into a one-of-a-kind, straight-out-of-my imagination wedding dress!

We included quite a few Southern details in our celebration, especially in the food we served. We loved the idea of barbecue and family-style dining, so we had several banquet tables pushed together to create long rows of tables for our guests. A few summers ago, Alan and I went on our first road trip together to Savannah, Georgia and Beaufort, South Carolina. On our way up there, we stopped at a boiled peanut stand, because he had never actually tried them before! We love making each other try new things, especially if it’s something we really love, and boiled peanuts are my favorite. Alan was pretty hesitant at first, but when I woke up from my nap, I noticed he had eaten the entire bag! Naturally, boiled peanuts (both regular and Cajun) made an appearance on our cocktail hour menu, served in small gold scalloped cups. I’m pretty sure I stole at least one cup before the introductions! We also served local honey from Pure Florida Apiary to go with the biscuits and jam for our cocktail hour. Our wedding favors were mini pies in various flavors, which we boxed individually the day before.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? While most people rent items like tablecloths and napkins for their reception, we decided to purchase instead, because we were able to buy them at a lower cost than it was to rent them. Our napkins were actually tea towels from Ikea, so we now have a lifetime supply of tea towels for our kitchen, our kids’ kitchens, and our grandkids’ kitchens! The table we used to display the wine and bread for communion, as well as our welcome table, are both mine from home. We tried our best to be creative and resourceful with the ways we cut costs at our wedding!

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Lots of prayer, reading, and conversation about everything we could possibly anticipate. I don’t think anyone ever feels 100 percent prepared for marriage, and we realized that there are going to be circumstances that we won’t be able to plan for or anticipate. Our understanding of marriage is that we must always seek each other for support and accountability, and whether it is a time of growing or harvesting, lean on the Lord throughout all seasons of our life together.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Alan and I met about five years ago when we both lived in Boston. We were introduced by one of my closest friends at her housewarming party. I was moving back home to Florida in just a couple months to start graduate school, so timing wasn’t quite on our side. We went on a few dates and kept in touch when I left, but neither of us wanted to admit our feelings for each other, especially since we now lived over a thousand miles away. Being brave with your feelings can be so scary! We didn’t see each other again until the following year when I spent a long weekend back in Boston. I remember feeling so nervous the night of a party because I knew Alan was going to be there. I changed outfits about a million times, and when I finally saw him, I couldn’t stop smiling. This night will always be close to my heart. We climbed through a window, sat on the roof, and just talked and laughed until we cried. I can remember that sweet and comforting awareness that I had finally met my person. I felt content in his presence and so full of gratitude to be right where I was.
Tell us all about the proposal! It was a Sunday afternoon and I had just gotten off work from the hospital. Clearly, I had no idea a proposal was in store for me because when he arrived at my doorstep that evening, I welcomed him in all of my hospital-clad glory: scrubs and sneakers with my hair in a tangled mess. Little did I know, he had just spent the afternoon hanging out with my dad, asking for his blessing, and preparing for the night! Instead of letting me get my way (which would have meant a night in with take-out and a movie), he politely asked me to get ready and reasoned that this might be our only chance for a date night anytime soon, since at the time, we worked completely opposite schedules. Before I had a chance to turn towards my room, Alan grabbed both of my hands with the biggest smile on his face and… just stood there. I remember thinking to myself, “Wow. What a weirdo.” After several seconds of seemingly innocent, but sort of creepy, smiling and hand holding, my thoughts slowly caught on to what was going on and progressed to “No way. This must be a joke!” No one loves a good practical joke as much Alan does, so I couldn’t tell if this was one of them until he got down on one knee with the most beautiful ring I have ever seen in my entire life. I’m pretty sure I blurted out “yes” before he had a chance to finish proposing! We spent the evening celebrating with my parents at the same restaurant that catered our barbecue dinner for our wedding. It was perfect. I still can’t believe he chose me.
When did y’all get married? February 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 150
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Since some of our wedding details were nontraditional, we decided to stick to the traditional vows. It really calmed our nerves knowing that most people can’t mess up saying “I do!”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? For our ceremony, a close friend, who was also my bible study leader in college, read a few lines from Ann Voskamp’s “The Bravest and Most Beautiful Love Affair.” When I first came across this passage a few years ago, I was completely captivated by her depiction of marriage as a covenant between two people and the Lord: “This is an epic, everyday love story, one written with years and skin and the rings. My grandmother lived with true courage, the kind that made a vow and had the bravery to let it age. How she said that the bravest love is wildly faithful and it falls hard again every morning. How it puts the toilet seat down and the cap on the toothpaste and winks for those already-won eyes. It knows what we may seek may be found in what we already have. And there can always be this–the allure of vows. It’s grace and fresh gratitude that can make us strong enough to marvel in the seeming monotony of anything. And the happily married have eyes that look long enough to make the familiar new. There’s this beautiful drama’s in a long faithfulness and aged love might be heroic. God knows the passion of a covenant.” Our officiant, whom I’ve known for a long time as well, also read from Ephesians 4. It’s such an all-encompassing reminder of how we should treat each other, especially as husband and wife.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was two-tiered with a cookie butter-flavored base, a nutella-flavored top, and ivory buttercream ruffles all over. Since Alan typically prefers pie over cake, we also ordered several types of pies: blueberry goat cheese, caramel apple crumble, deep dish chocolate cookie, and bourbon pecan fudge ganache. We ordered our cake and pies from the Short Giraffe, a boutique bakery in Sarasota. We were very excited to share one of our local favorites with our family and friends, especially those who traveled to Florida.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Well, right now, we are responding to this from our honeymoon in Paris! I received Michelle’s email sharing this amazing news the night before our flight, so I was just too excited and couldn’t wait to respond! We decided to take our honeymoon a couple of months after the wedding to give us some time to rest and save up. Of course, starting our own little family is also on the radar. Our prayer is that in His timing, we experience the joys of adoption in the not-so-distant future. This would be a dream (prayer) come true!

Photographer: Michelle March Photography / Planner: Kelsey Peduzzi / Venue: Phillippi Estate Park / Florist: Flowers and Designs by Mary / Cake Baker: The Short Giraffe / Caterer: Sonny’s BBQ / Rentals: Rent All City / Lighting: Marcus Peduzzi / DJ: Fairy Tale Productions / Special Details: Shannon Kirsten / Paper Products: Charley Whiskey Lettering and Design / Bride’s Gown: Anne Klein / Bride’s Jewelry: Kendra Scott / Bride’s Hair Accessory: Beads Brooches Bridal / Hair Stylist: Ali Severson / Makeup Artist: Makeup Artistry by Corinne / Bride’s Shoes: French Connection / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Camilyn Beth / Menswear: J.Crew and Target

Michelle March is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Brandi Marie reply

    What a sweet and thoughtful wedding, and bride! I loved all her sentiments and words on marriage. You can truly see her heart and it’s as sweet as honey!

  2. avatar Mary reply

    Love that sweet proposal story that they used Ikea tea towels as napkins. Beautiful celebration! I’ll be praying for their adoption journey!

  3. avatar Tied the knot: Jen + Alan at Phillippi Estate Park – Michelle March – Wedding Photography and Films – US and Destination – Michelle March – Wedding Photography and Films – US and Destination reply

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It is always so much fun to see a wedding planner’s wedding! In Leanne and Jason’s case, they were inspired by their love of the South, a collection of beautiful family heirlooms, their rival Texas college loyalties (y’all know I’m with Jason on this one–hook ’em!), and most importantly, their parents, who have both been married for over 39 years. The beautiful magnolias and preppy striped details are surely thanks to Leanne’s design savvy, but their touching ceremony and care for their guests was what made this day truly special!

Thanks to Sara & Rocky for sharing this lovely wedding with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my mother’s monogram brooch that my father had given to her on their wedding day in 1970. I’ve always loved it. Jason gave me a monogram necklace for our wedding as well. My something blue was my clutch. My mother carried it to her prom and gave it to me, and I had been saving it since high school to carry at my wedding. My something old was my veil, which was handmade of Brussels lace that my mother purchased in Belgium in 1969. It cost $450 even back then, and is a priceless family heirloom. My mother and aunt both wore it at their weddings, and I made the wedding dress consultant swear she wouldn’t bring me any dresses to try on that didn’t match my veil.

I chose to walk down the aisle to an instrumental version of Patty Griffin’s “Heavenly Day.” She is my favorite artist of all time, and every time I’ve heard that song, I imagined it being played at my wedding. She is from Austin, so it was fitting to use a musician from Texas. One of my bridesmaids sung “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”–this is not only one of my favorite hymns, it also really explained how our waiting patiently for each other attested to God’s faithfulness in our lives. Every person in our wedding has already been married, so we stood by countless friends as they met and married their spouses. We feel so grateful to have finally found each other and we know that God’s faithfulness will continue in our lives, no matter what challenges may arise.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, since we had a civil ceremony outside, we knew we wanted to write vows that represented our commitment to one another, and to really help our friends and family see our deep love for each other. My favorite lines from my vows to Jason were, “You smile at me when I am at my worst and turn my bad moods into fits of laughter… and who can forget your sense of adventure? You have turned my life into one giant, fun-filled ride.” My favorite line from Jason’s vows were, “I’ve waited for you my entire life; I’ve fought for you, and broken down the walls around your heart. I was always optimistic there was a future for us. You have been worth any struggle.”

Our entire wedding was over-the-top Southern. From the magnolias on our invitation, as a nod to my parents’ Mississippi roots, to the quilt that was displayed on the old church pew, hand-sewn by my great grandmother out of my mother and grandmother’s clothes. The cotton boll boutonnieres paid homage to my grandfather’s cotton farm. Our cocktail napkins said “Cheers Y’all” because we wanted our guests to know that every detail was about them feeling welcome and at home. Our first dances were all to country music, and we two-stepped, naturally. I even changed into my boots for the reception so I could really enjoy it all! We had custom cornhole boards made that represented the college football rivalry in our marriage–I’m a Texas A&M Aggie and Jason’s a Texas Longhorn. It must be a family tradition, as my parents went to State and Ole Miss!

Describe your wedding flowers. They were AMAZING!! Our flowers were white, ivory, and pale pink with touches of coral, green, and gold. Branching Out utilized roses, spray roses, garden roses, peonies, ranunculus, sweet peas, lisianthus, freesia, anemones with black centers, gardenias, magnolia foliage, clematis vine, jasmine vine, and Italian pittosporum to create natural, whimsical styles with of lots of texture and movement. We used a mixture of gold, white, and striped vases, urns, and footed bowls to create various heights of centerpieces throughout the reception space. Gold glittered rods were also styled with miniature magnolia wreaths with navy and white striped bows.

We had a biscuit bar at cocktail hour, complete with homemade strawberry jam, and also served sausage balls made from my grandmother’s recipe. Our dinner menu consisted of short ribs, jalapeno cheese grits, greens, squash casserole, cornbread, and parker house rolls with honey butter. We had coconut macaroons flown in from the Mississippi State Bakery as a surprise for my dad, and gave them out as favors with monogrammed stickers.

As Jason’s fraternity brother serenaded me, I knew this was my Southern wedding dream come true. Amazing food, family and friends, great music, and a well-stocked bar. It really was the perfect day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jason and I met through an online dating website. We’re both older in the midst of busy careers, so we eventually took the plunge. Never in a million years did we actually think we’d meet our spouses that way. Our first date was in fall 2012 when we watched a Dallas Cowboys game, and then ended up going to Central Market, a local market and cafe, to shop for some beer to pair with one of Jason’s new cigars. We decided you can learn a lot about someone at the grocery store, just based on what they like to eat and how they shop. Now we always reminisce about our relationship at grocery stores, which definitely makes it more fun! I knew Jason was special when he would stay up till 2 a.m. to talk to me while I drove home from weddings. Dating an event planner isn’t an easy task, especially during wedding season! He would even bring me dinner sometimes when he knew I was exhausted and didn’t have time to cook. By the spring, we knew this was the best relationship we’d ever been in.
Tell us all about the proposal! We went to a friend’s wedding Memorial Day weekend, and Jason whispered, “I don’t think this is our last walk down the aisle together,” as we left the church. We went ring shopping together after our friend’s wedding weekend. I fell in love with a setting, and he selected a stone. When he said, “We’ll take it,” I nearly fainted! He turned to me and said, “Well, of course we know we’re getting married!” The ring was custom made and took three weeks to be completed. Those were the longest three weeks of my life! After they were up, I told him that if he held onto the ring for much longer, I didn’t think I’d survive. One Saturday afternoon in June, I went to his place after work. When I knocked and walked in, he was on his knee in the living room, surrounded by dozens of flowers and our favorite music playing. He then explained the significance of all the flowers: red roses because I’m the love of his life, white roses because his love for me is pure and he never wants to hurt me, maroon for my Texas A&M, orange for his Texas Longhorns, and an array of colors because I’m the “most colorful woman he knows.”
When did y’all get married? March 16, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Because I’m a wedding planner, I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time to look for a dress, or find one that didn’t require a multitude of fittings. My mom asked me to go to a shop that sold samples when my aunt was in town, and I never in a million years thought I would buy a dress that day. When I tried on the fifth or sixth dress and saw their faces, then looked in the mirror, I knew it was the one. It fit so perfectly and didn’t even need to be hemmed. It also looked so lovely with my mother’s heirloom Brussels lace veil that all the women in my family have worn in their weddings, which sealed the deal.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Jason and I wanted to do a first look so that we could have some time alone and get any tears out of the way before the ceremony. We didn’t want to “ugly cry” through our vows, which we wrote ourselves. We also knew that it would be so nice to take pictures beforehand and then spend more time with our friends and family who had literally flown in from all over the world to be there.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I loved the family photo table with the large magnolia wreath that said “Because He first loved us.” It was filled with pictures from our parents’ and grandparents’ marriages, along with photos of our relatives who couldn’t be with us. Not only did we get married because of God’s love, but because of all of the love that our family and friends poured into us, and the wonderful examples of marriage in the generations before us. Both mine and Jason’s parents have been married for over 39 years.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? It was definitely hard to design and plan a wedding as a full-time event planner. Because I’m exposed to so many amazing vendors, it was very hard to narrow down who to select and what design elements I could incorporate that wouldn’t feel reminiscent of other events I had planned. I really had to stay true to who Jason and I are as a couple and focus on what our family and friends would enjoy most. At the end of the day, I knew I wasn’t my own client–I was the bride. I learned that even though I wanted people to see my design talents, all that really mattered was that I was marrying my best friend and that everyone we loved would be there.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? One way that we saved money was with calligraphy. I thankfully inherited beautiful handwriting from my mother and grandmother, so I addressed all of our invitations and hand-lettered the magnolia leaf escort cards. We also purchased decor when we could get it on sale, such as some of the specialty vases, bar trays, striped straws, and decanters for the cigar bar. We tried to save money on any of the minor details that Jason and I could create by hand.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We both stopped during dinner to stare at our wedding bands and try to soak in the fact that we were actually MARRIED! We looked out over the room and were filled with so much joy to see everyone we loved look so incredibly happy and having such an amazing time.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a planner and try to get things done as soon as you can. The last few weeks leading up to your wedding should be focused on preparing for your marriage and enjoying your family and friends, not focusing on little details. It will help you go into your wedding with a sense of calmness that no amount of money can buy.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are getting settled into our house and enjoying projects to get it fixed up. We are looking forward to traveling, falling even more in love, and continuing to get to know each other even more every day. We can’t wait for a lifetime of adventures! Our journey is just beginning, and we are so excited about the possibilities.

Photographer: Sara & Rocky / Videographer: Lynn Films / Planner: Catherine Ball Events / Venue: The N at Hardway Ranch / Florist: Branching Out Floral & Event Design / Wedding Cake: Ginny Stewart Designs / Caterer: EuroCater / Rentals: Gold Dust Vintage Rentals / DJ: Glenn Roush, Le Force Entertainment / Bride’s Gown: Casablanca / Paper Products: Inscriptions on the Boulevard / Bride’s Bracelets: J.Crew and Stella & Dot / Hair Stylist: Liz Hernandez / Makeup Artist: Adina Wright / Bride’s Shoes: “Antigravity” by Easy Spirit / Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein / Tent: Dallas Party Tent & Event / Linens: Fabulous Events / Chalkboards: Eclectic Viv / Coconut Macaroons: Mississippi State Bakery / Menus: Minted / Monogrammed Napkins: One Kings Lane

lisa Written with love by Lisa
14 Comments
  1. avatar Wedding Rental Supplies reply

    Beautiful wedding! Loved the unique and pretty details of this wedding.

  2. avatar Erica reply

    Where was this wedding held?? I’m looking at venues in the area and this looks like a beautiful setting!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    I love all of their magnolia details – the wreaths + garlands are gorgeous!

  4. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    There is so much to love about this wedding: the outside seating is awesome, the pick up truck is a great idea and of course, the bacon with gravy and biscuits, I am sure was delicious!

    • avatar Hannah reply

      Beautiful wedding! Any idea where that guest book is from, I love it!

    • avatar LeeAnne reply

      Hey Hannah! My husband’s uncle actually made our guest book, but there are vendors on Etsy that make similar options. Good luck!

  5. avatar Rachel reply

    A beautiful wedding and an even more beautiful bride and person. I love you, LA! :) It was an honor to stand beside you on your wedding day.

  6. avatar Charmaine (Rustic Folk Weddings) reply

    Adore the way the couple paired their bold color palette throughout their wedding.

  7. avatar LeeAnne reply

    Hey Erica! The venue is The N at Hardway Ranch, in Bluff Dale, Texas. Good luck with planning and thanks for your sweet words!

  8. avatar facefacei87.com reply

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  9. avatar Louise reply

    I would love to know how the champagne bottle was made – is that a sticker or engraving and who were the suppliers? Thank you!

  10. avatar Kayla reply

    Hi there. Where did you get your wooden Texas-shaped guest book? It is beautiful!

  11. avatar LeeAnne reply

    Louise – we ordered the champagne through a company in California, Miramonte Winery.

    Kayla – my husband’s uncle made our guest book. It is solid Maple, so will last a lifetime. You can definitely find similar items on Etsy that can be made to order.

    Best wishes to you both!

  12. avatar Pretty Palettes #98 reply

    […] But!  This color palette isn’t reserved solely for nautical weddings.  These wedding colors can be used in summer weddings anywhere!  In fact, these photos are actually from a wedding at a ranch in Texas!  You can check out the fill feature over on Southern Weddings. […]

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