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Six years ago, this blog didn’t exist, the magazine was just an idea in my head and I was living in Pensacola, Florida, planning weddings and training people at the gym a few days a week. One fine day, a tall handsome Navy gent glanced at me while doing squats on the Smith machine (which admittedly I thought was like cheating sissy squats at the time!) and the rest is history. We eloped to Vegas after just five months of dating. (And yes, the only thing I wish we would have done differently is hire a professional photographer…)

Here I sit, six years later, with a team of ladies to do great work with – work that fires me up! – and a magazine and blog that mean something and a cooing happy baby next to me and a husband who loves me deeply. We are not the same people we were when we first met that day in the gym. I am so grateful for what these six years have brought. I’m so grateful for the big risks and leaps of faith and all the amazing wonderful encouraging friends I’ve met along the way. If I was to write a letter to myself six years ago, I would simply say, “The best is yet to come! Do what matters and forget the rest.” Ari and I have certainly learned a lot about marriage since our tiny wedding in Vegas. The little chapel where we had our ceremony gave us a list of “Marriage Rules” as we left and little did we know how true some of them would be today. Ari and I adapted those rules a little bit and are happy to share our version here:

We’re celebrating today by having a picnic in the park by our house with Grace. The North Carolina flowers are almost in full bloom and the air feels finer than a frog’s hair split four ways! We’re celebrating YOU today, too. What I love most about what we do at Southern Weddings is encouraging couples to focus in what matters. Your wedding is one important day that marks the beginning of the good stuff. Marriage wins! Wishing you all blessed marriages ahead. The best is truly yet to come! Love, Lara (and Gracie who had a blast at the SW Yard Sale yesterday!)

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
  1. avatar Wedding Invitations reply

    I just sent this to my fiance :D hahaha! Awesome post as always!

  2. avatar Frank Myers :: Raleigh Wedding Photographer reply

    Having been happily married for 21 years, I think these are all pretty darn good. In our photobooth this past weekend Elizabeth asked the parents to write a piece of advice starting with the word remember to the their daughter and new son-in-law. They wrote “remember to talk to each other, not matter what!”

  3. avatar Kristin Wilson reply


    Thank you for sharing this, both your personal side of it and the 10 rules for a happy marriage! Your magazine/business is fantastic and you should be very proud of yourself for a continuing job well done. From one Pensacol-ian to another, keep up the great work!! (and ps – your baby girl is so stinkin’ cute!! :) )


    • avatar Lara reply

      Thank you SO much, Kristin! And yay for Pensacola!!! I miss home : )

  4. avatar Amy Arrington Photography reply

    Lara, the picture of your Gracie wearing the sunglasses just laughing and smiling at you might be the cutest picture that I’ve ever seen! So sweet!

  5. avatar Tina reply

    I love you rules for a happy marriage. My husband and I have been married 41 years. He was twenty one and I was eighteen. We met and were married within seven months. Anyone who says it won’t last when you are only together for that long prior to getting married are wrong. We know how to compromise, love, laugh and fail together and we know that things will always get better. You need to be friends as well as lovers. He is my best friend. You need to help each other and not keep score. Love makes everything possible. Great website…Congratulations and always dream together.

  6. avatar Dallas Wedding and Event Planner – Ebony Peoples Events & Design » Blog Archive » 10 Rules for a Happy Marriage! reply

    […] Happy Thursday!  Today I’d like to share a few words of wisdom for all of my married friends and those preparing to jump the broom!  We could all use a refresher from time to time.  Check out these 10 Rules for a Happy Marriage Courtesy of Southern Weddings: […]

  7. avatar Dallas Wedding and Event Planner — 10 Rules for a Happy Marriage! reply

    […] Happy Thursday!  Today I’d like to share a few words of wisdom for all of my married friends and those preparing to jump the broom!  We could all use a refresher from time to time.  Check out these 10 Rules for a Happy Marriage courtesy of Southern Weddings: […]

  8. avatar Brisbane Wedding Stationery reply

    I got so inspired with your 10 Rules for a Happy Marriage I decided to share it on Facebook. BTW, you got a really adorable girl!

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