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Bride Annie shares her magnolia-filled wedding!

Please meet today’s bride, Annie! Her wedding to David is filled with some of my favorite things: magnolia leaves, a historic Southern home, and a fabulous, fashion-forward gown that’s classic with a twist! Of course, these details are made lovelier because of their history! Take their venue. Annie and David’s celebrated their wedding day at her parents’ Georgia farm with the most gorgeous historic home but in 1835. I love this sweet nod to Annie’s family and heritage! Annie and David also honored their family through their wedding rings. Annie said, “We also designed our wedding rings, taking a ring from each side of our families, melting them down and blending them to create our own. Truly, two becoming one!” Keep reading for more sweet details.

Thanks for sharing, Carrie Joy!

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. When I first started shopping, I was going for a whole different look. While at the Dress Theory in Seattle, I pulled a dress off the rack and exclaimed to my Mom, “How gorgeous is this! But it would never work.” My mom convinced me to try it on and I instantly fell in love – it was so comfortable, beautiful, and classic, but with a twist – very me.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? The ceremony and reception were at my parents’ farm in Madison, Georgia. It’s a gorgeous southern home built in 1835. Also special: the groom spent a week helping out around the farm when he asked my parents for my hand in marriage!

What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? We wrote our own vows which we exchanged in the form of a letter the day of the wedding. However, during the ceremony we just recited traditional vows to keep our own vows more personal.

What was Southern about your wedding? We buried a bottle of bourbon (Maker’s Mark) to keep the rain away, we incorporated leaves from the magnolia tree into the decorations, and we ate grits and creamed corn at the meal. There was also a basket of fresh chicken eggs (from the farm!) for the guests to take home!

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? Incorporating the magnolia leaves into the decorations and into the stationery – everything tied together perfectly! We also designed our wedding rings, taking a ring from each side of our families, melting them down and blending them to create our own. Truly, two becoming one!

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? Why did you choose it? We served cheesecake for the wedding, as David doesn’t particularly like cake but we both love cheesecake!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. Two people from opposite sides of the country met through chance, became fast friends, went on countless trips and adventures together, and fell in love along the way.
Tell us all about the proposal! David planned a weekend camping in the shadow of Mount Rainier. After a ten-mile hike into the campsite we sat down, opened a bottle of champagne, and then he got down on one knee. I said “yes”!
When did y’all get married? April 21, 2018
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 2004
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No, we didn’t do one. We wanted leave it for the ceremony and share that special moment then – we thought it was a bit more romantic and traditional.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Planning from across the country. We made only three trips home before the week of the wedding, so working out details with vendors (and working around the time difference) was challenging.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My cousin played piano for the ceremony music, and we did not have programs at the ceremony.
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Annie walking down the aisle!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Talk about the number of guests that you would like at the wedding early and often. The wedding list can grow easily, so it is paramount to draw a line in the sand early.

Photographer: Carrie Joy Photography | Second photographer: Noi Tran | Film lab: Richard Photo Lab | Planner: Nancy Nolan-Kuperberg of No Regrets Events | Venue: The Oaks in Madison, GA | Florist: Amanda Jewel Floral and Design | Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Classic Cheesecakes and Cakes | Caterer: Hallie Jane’s Catering | Rentals: Goodwin Rentals | Band: Cashmere via ECE | Paper Products: Chez La Mariee | Bride’s Gown: “Isra” by Bo and Luca | Dress shop: The Dress Theory | Bride’s Hair Pin: Twigs & Honey | Hair Stylist: Christine Verikas of Ambrosia Salon | Makeup Artist: Lauren Crossman of Ambrosia Salon | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff in Shell Pink | Groom’s Attire: Custom

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar BG Bridal Gallery US reply

    This is a beautiful wedding! The bride looks darling in her dress!

  2. avatar Kim reply

    It looks georgeous! But I think the number of guests can’t be right?

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In news that will surprise no one, the Southern Weddings ladies are die-hard devotees of Joanna and Chip :) (It’s no secret that we’re dying to have them in our next issue — how perfect would it be if they were a part of our tenth anniversary volume??) We’ve been eagerly anticipating Fixer Upper Season 4 for months, and so in honor of the first episode kicking off tomorrow, we thought we’d take a walk down memory lane with a few of our favorite houses from Season 3! I’d love to hear your favorites in the comments, too!

I loved all of the arches — in the doorways, in the built-in cabinets — in the Brick House. (Photo by Rachel Whyte)

There was lots to love about the Magnolia House episode, from the goal for the property (a bed and breakfast), that Chip and Jo were the clients, and that so many of the details were chosen to mimic the farm house. The reveal to their parents at the end of the episode was so sweet, too!!

One of the most unique Fixer Uppers ever, the Barndominium gave new meaning to the “modern farmhouse” aesthetic. I loved the 17-foot dining table and all of the sleek sliding barn doors! (Photos by Rachel Whyte and Jeff Jones)

The School House episode included one of my favorite exterior transformations in season three — the now famous German Schmear. (Photo by Rachel Whyte)

Speaking of great exterior transformations… the Whyte’s house, Chip 2.0, was certainly one for the books, as well! That little scalloped table, though, was the detail that really captured my heart. Rachel joined us on Southern Newlywed a few months ago to share behind-the-scenes scoop from their Fixer Upper experience and tons of details on their decor, so be sure to check out that post if you’re a Fixer Upper fan! (Photo by Rachel Whyte)

The Beanstalk Bungalow was one of my all-around favorites from this season. I loved the sweet blue, white, and green palette; the exterior (again! Jo killed it last season on the exteriors!); the brick pavers in the sunroom; and the cottage-feeling master bedroom, ringed with windows.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the 3 Little Pigs house had another fantastic exterior transformation! I also loved the raw brick chimney in the open floor plan kitchen/dining room. (Photos by Rachel Whyte)

I bet Jess in our office (a yellow lover!) was particularly fond of the Chicken House. I loved the cheery color palette and fun wallpaper, too! (Photo by Rachel Whyte)

Finally, the Carriage House. There was just something so cozy about this little house (for the caretakers of the Magnolia House), and the couple who was moving in seemed so sweet.

Fixer Upper Season 4 premieres on HGTV at 9/8CT November 29!

Any favorites, friends? Anyone having a watch party tomorrow night? :)

emily Written with love by Emily
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With a love for the mountains and fond memories of Charlottesville, Lauren and Andrew chose to celebrate their wedding in her home state of Virginia. After a whirlwind tour of venues, they settled on a beautiful backdrop of rolling hills at The Market at Grelen. A six-month engagement meant a spring date for their celebration and a venue in full bloom, so Andrew and Lauren worked with their florist to accentuate the already lovely landscape with local flowers. So local, in fact, that the magnolia blooms in Lauren’s bouquet were plucked from the magnolia trees that line the road leading to their venue! Continuing to play off the beauty of Virginia, their clear tent was the perfect place to top off their lovely day with dancing under the stars.

Thanks to Sera Petras for capturing Lauren and Andrew’s dreamy day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I found my wedding dress on the first day of “the search,” which was quite the outcome considering, like any good Southern woman, I can sometimes take my time making big decisions! Since Andrew and I were engaged over Thanksgiving and wanted a spring wedding in Virginia, I only had six months to plan everything. When I learned that some women give themselves a full six months to find their wedding dress alone, I started to internally panic! The pressure was on, but I tried to keep it at bay and enjoy our new engagement until January, when my future mother-in-law (thankfully!) decided to help kick-start my dress search by making a couple of appointments at boutiques that her daughter had visited a few years before. I fell in love with the lace on a gown at the first boutique we visited, but decided to give the second boutique a try. After trying on a few more dresses, I came out in one that I felt really pretty in–and the looks on my friend and mother-in-law’s faces sealed the deal. When I looked in the mirror, I knew I had found the dress I wanted to get married in–I only wished that my mother, who lived in Virginia, had been there there to witness the moment. We took plenty of photos and video for her! I also had my dress customized, replacing some rhinestones in the center of the magnolia flowers on the back with pearls.

Our wedding flowers were dreamy. We were very lucky to have our wedding on a beautiful hilltop venue that was in full bloom to begin with, so we were far from working with a blank slate. I worked with our amazing florist, Whimsical Floral, to design a floral spread that complimented and accentuated the venue with flowers that were local to Virginia and also went with the springtime color story I had envisioned: soft pinks, greens, and shades of white. I really wanted to incorporate magnolias into our wedding flowers, as an ode to my memory of growing up with two giant magnolia trees in my yard, and the trees started flowering about a week before our wedding. In fact, the road leading up to the venue was lined with magnolia trees in full bloom, and my florist was able to sneak a fresh magnolia bloom from one of those trees into my bouquet, which made me happy as a clam. She also picked fresh pink peonies right from our venue’s peony field and incorporated some other gorgeous pinks and whites into my and the bridesmaids’ bouquets. Our centerpieces were a mix of gold pedestal bowls filled with mixed greens, pink and white honeysuckle, peonies, hydrangea, mock orange, and magnolia leaves with magnolia blossoms. We also had a hanging centerpiece over the head table, covered in peonies and magnolia leaves and blooms. One of my favorite parts of the wedding was creating a vision for the flowers!

We exchanged the traditional wedding vows and also shared some personal sentiments with each other during the ceremony. The ceremony felt exponentially more special because we were able to share such personal thoughts about each other in front of all of our family and close friends.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I would say that our wedding was definitely Southern, from having an outdoor wedding with a magnolia theme, to our officiant’s very charming Virginia accent! I couldn’t imagine wearing anything but pearls on my wedding day. Our Southern signature cocktail was bourbon-based (we buried a bottle of bourbon in spirit since we lived out of state at that time!), and we chose a Southern-leaning local menu, including truffle mac and cheese, cornbread, and sauces galore, buffet-style so our guests could get up and mingle with each other at their leisure. I also surprised Andrew with a life-sized basketball groom’s cake (he played in college) at the rehearsal dinner–he is from New England, so he was completely taken aback by this fun Southern tradition!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We lived in Boston, but decided to get married in my home state of Virginia, in the beautiful rolling hills near UVA, where I went to college. We both love the mountains and had made some fun memories together in Charlottesville, so we took a whirlwind tour of several venues in the area about a month after we were engaged. We had such a great feeling after visiting the Market at Grelen and meeting Sarah, and the fact that we could have our wedding the Saturday of Memorial Day (we wanted a long weekend so our guests could enjoy the area) sealed the deal. We really wanted a spring wedding (spring in Virginia is so special) and we were enamored with the venue’s surroundings and natural beauty. Our venue felt sophisticated, but unpretentious; it was a perfect blend of the outdoor elements with indoor comforts (inside the tent). We also loved that we were able to have our ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception in three completely separate spaces, each with their own unique look and feel, but all within close proximity. The flow of the evening and the spaces felt very organic, with each location getting a little more spectacular leading up to the reception tent. The clear top (and sides) tent was also a big selling factor–it allowed us to feel like we were outside while we were still protected from the elements. We had a spectacular sunset and we danced under the sunset and stars–it was magical.

Our wedding cake was three layers, consisting of lemon and white cake with white frosting. My favorite part of the cake was the fondant magnolia blooms–our baker did a spectacular job of making them look true to life. We also had our new monogram on the top layer, which was a nice personal touch. A close friend of mine, Cakes by Colleen, makes beautiful mini cakes, and I had her make three different flavors (almond, red velvet, and chocolate) to add another dessert option for our guests. In addition, we had a fire pit with a s’mores station outside the tent for our guests to enjoy while sitting under the stars.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. In a not-so-traditional way: Tinder! The app was brand new and we were both out of the typical “Tinder generation” and in our early/mid 30’s, but out of curiosity, we thought we’d give it a go. Andrew was traveling a lot when we first “matched,” so it took a couple of tries to line up our first date, but what I remember about that first night (besides it being one of the chilliest December nights in Boston I can remember) is that Andrew was all smiles, and he laughed at all of my dorky jokes. He didn’t even give me a hard time for being late to what turned out to be a very important date! Two weeks after we met, I went on a trip to Kenya for two weeks; when I told him I would be photographing school kids in Nairobi, he sent me with a suitcase full of brand new running shoes from the company he worked for to give to them. The whole experience melted my heart. We stayed in touch over WhatsApp daily while I was away, and when I returned, we spent an entire weekend together instead of catching up with friends. That’s when I knew we had something really special.
Tell us all about the proposal! The proposal came as a complete surprise to me! Though we had lived together for six months and had talked about the longer term plan to get married, we had not talked timing as far as getting engaged. I was a bit surprised when he said he wanted to treat me to a nice dinner out at our favorite restaurant in Cambridge, Craigie on Main, the night before Thanksgiving. However, he said he owed me a nice meal because he had been out of town for the past week for work, so I gladly agreed to his fancy idea. Completely unaware of his master plan, I even had him push back the reservation an hour so we could meet a few of our friends for drinks in Boston before dinner! Looking back on it, I can’t believe how many road blocks I unknowingly created for him that day–patience is one of his greatest virtues. We enjoyed our entire meal in the corner booth where we sat for our very first Valentine’s Day, and after our last course, he started talking about how wonderful the past two years had been, how he couldn’t wait for our future together, and that he had a little present for me. That’s when he took out a little blue box. I was so shocked, I couldn’t stop saying, “Are you serious? Is this happening right now??” It was an evening I’ll never forget. The chef sent out a beautiful congratulatory dessert and champagne and the table beside us took pictures. After all of the excitement at Craigie, we went home, popped another bottle of bubbly, called all of our family and friends (my dad knew because Andrew had asked for his blessing) and danced the night away to Bruce Springsteen (Andrew’s favorite) in our apartment. The next day, we shared the great news with his family in person in Rhode Island. It was a Thanksgiving to remember.
When did y’all get married? May 28, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 145
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look after a close friend told us that it was the best decision they made for their wedding day. We were hesitant at first because we always imagined seeing each other for the first time when I was walking down the aisle, but the first look was so special because we got to embrace each other right away and spend a few moments saying what first came to our minds–something we could not have done by seeing each other at the altar for the first time. The joy we felt was beyond measure, and it took away some of the pre-ceremony nerves so that walking down the aisle was filled with even more excitement. It also helped to get through some of our tears (of joy!) out before the ceremony so that we could keep it together for our vows.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Although we hired a DJ for most of our reception music, our first dance was performed by Andrew’s brother-in-law, professional musician Will Evans. “Life is Just a Photograph” is one of our longtime favorite songs written by Will, and it speaks to lifelong love and commitment. It was very special and emotional to have one of our close family members perform this song live as we danced together for the first time as a married couple.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our biggest challenge was planning a wedding from afar in less than six months, while also working full-time and planning/managing a cross-country move. Needless to say, we did not have much downtime in the months leading up to the wedding! Thankfully we caught up on sleep when we got to California.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Music is very important to Andrew especially, and we went with a DJ over a live band to cut costs; however, with a live performance for our first dance and the harpist at our ceremony, we were able to get the feeling of live music without a band’s price tag.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Divide and conquer! For the creative, planner-type brides like me, one piece of advice: it does not make you any less of a bride to hand off tasks to your groom. In fact, you will breathe easier by doing so and he will probably enjoy helping you out and having input over certain aspects! I waited longer than I should have to realize this :) Enjoy your engagement and set some sacred time aside each day for just the two of you, when there is no mention of the wedding planning. Prepare for your marriage, and talk about your mutual goals and aspirations.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are very excited about this new adventure we’ve embarked on in California! We are both East Coasters, so this has been a major move for us, but we truly feel it is a unique opportunity to build a strong foundation for the rest of our married lives. Wherever we go, we have each other–and at the end of the day, that’s all we really need.

Photographer: Sera Petras Photography | Videographer: Joygaba Photo | Planner: Two Byrds Events and Design | Day-Of Coordinators: Colleen McCabe and Helen Osinga | Venue: The Market at Grelen | Florist: Whimsical Floral Design | Wedding Cake: Pao Cakes and Cakes by Colleen | Caterer: The Local Restaurant and Catering | Rentals: MS Events | DJ: Frank Smith via Prime Time Sound & DJ Services | Harpist: Kristen Eye | Decor: A Grand Affair Events | Paper Products: Lattice Tree Studio | Bride’s Gown: “Selena” by Watters | Bridal Salon: Cristina’s Bridal | Bride’s Veil: Tiffanys Bridal | Hair and Makeup: Emily Hair & Makeup Artistry | Bride’s Shoes: “Lesta Slingback” by Anne Klein | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Long Tulle Convertible Versa” in Petal by David’s Bridal | Menswear: J. Crew

The Market at Grelen is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Thank you for featuring this lovely spring wedding! It was such a dream to photograph! I am always thrilled to see my couples on Southern Weddings!

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