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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 […]

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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

    It’s remarkable in support of me to have a web page, which is good designed for
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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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Southern Stems: Magnolia

by in Inspirations on

We were a little bit shocked when we realized that we hadn’t yet posted about one of the most commonly recognized and most beloved Southern stems–magnolias! Since their leaves are just as lovely as their blooms, there are countless ways to incorporate magnolias into a wedding day, and we love just about every one of them.

The most commonly grown magnolia in the South, Magnolia grandiflora, blooms in late spring and early summer. Since the flowers can grow so large, just a few can make a big statement in bouquets and arrangements. We love the idea of carrying a single bloom, as shown in one of our most popular images ever–the back cover of V4.

Clockwise from top left: Hanlie Joubert, Melissa Schollaert via Southern Weddings, Jose Villa via Southern Weddings

Magnolia leaves are incredibly versatile, and depending on the type of magnolia trees in your area, you may be able to find them year-round. Their thick, glossy leaves–dark green on one side and brown on the other–look gorgeous in garlands, wreaths, and more, and they’re impressively durable. It also looks oh so Southern, don’t you think?

Clockwise from top left: Tory Williams via 100 Layer Cake, KT Merry via Style Me Pretty, Melissa Schollaert via Southern Weddings, Matt Edge via Style Me Pretty, Sean Money & Elizabeth Fay via Southern Weddings, Landon Jacob via Snippet & Ink

Even if you have your heart set on other flowers in your bouquets and arrangements, magnolia-inspired details can serve as a recognizable “welcome to the South” for your guests, especially for brides in Louisiana and Mississippi–they’re lucky to have magnolias as their state flower!

Clockwise from top left: Jarrad Lister via Southern Weddings, Diana Elizabeth via Elizabeth Anne Designs, Oak and Orchid

What’s your favorite Southern stem? Don’t miss past posts on dogwood, gardenia, bluebonnets, wisteria, jasmine, and camellias!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] We announced the champion of Mason-Dixon Madness! We admired the beauty and versatility of magnolias in Southern Stems. We love real […]

  2. avatar Dana reply

    the cake with all the magnolias is awesome! such a beautiful flower!

  3. avatar Bookish Wedding Inspiration: Magnolia | Amy C. Shaw reply

    […] Source […]

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