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Y’all! This might have been the hardest post for me to work on… ever! As many of you know, I am already married (to the love of my life) and had my own Southern wedding. When I planned my own wedding (almost three years ago) I knew exactly what I wanted: classic Southern style, light pink accents and, for BDK’s contribution, men in tails + bow ties! Needless to say, I nixed the top hats and white batting gloves.

My taste hasn’t changed much since then. I still love classic Southern style and light pink, however, looking at gorgeous Southern weddings everyday doesn’t help my decision making skills! Poor Emily took a billion inspiration images (fifteen of which were dresses) and turned them into the great boards you’ll see below – thanks, Em!

Image credit from left to right and top to bottom: Emily Ley Paper, Studio Cabrelli via SMP, Christine Farah, Corbin Gurkin, A Bryan Photo, Tec Petaja, via Style Me Pretty and Yan Photography.

Tell us the basics. Where do you want to get married and when? How many people would you invite? Well, let’s just start by saying this is my dream vow renewal (I wouldn’t want to give BDK the wrong signal, now would I?)! I would love to renew my vows at the amazing Cathedral in Downtown Mobile where I grew up, however I am IN LOVE with the amazing outdoor cathedral from this Tec Petaja wedding. Since I need to plan around baseball season, I’d go with a lovely winter wedding with a small group of our closest family and friends.

What’s your design inspiration and color palette? I am completely obsessed with the image of the Bible and pearls from A Bryan Photo. It’s actually the background on my computer! I love the soft, feminine feel and the meaning behind it. I’m also inspired by classic Southern style with a bit of ballet shoe-colored accents. Think Grace Kelly/Audrey Hepburn with a slow Southern drawl.

What details and traditions would you include in your ceremony? Since this would be my vow renewal, I’ve always loved when the bride and groom meet half way down the aisle and walk to the altar together. Such a powerful message in just a few short steps. I would also be sure that the Bible verses that were read at our wedding were read at our renewal.

What dress would you wear? Um, herein lies quite a problem! I love SO many dresses that I absolutely cannot pick just one! Since this is my dream wedding, and in my dream I can wear as many dresses as I want, I would wear (in no particular order!): Amsale Coco, Amsale Dahlia, Justin Alexander 8483, Watters Escalante and then a gorgeous custom Chaviano Couture mini-dress for the getaway. I do have to add that IF I had to choose just one, I would say the Justin Alexander would win!

Image credit from left to right and top to bottom: First two images and last two images A Bryan Photo, plate with cameo and monogram napkin images Martha Stewart Weddings, cake by Amy Cakes and photo by Amy Rae (see more from this shoot here!), Kristin Vining and The Nichols.

What would your flowers look like? Like Nicole, I love giant, fully bloomed peonies. For my vow renewal, I’m leaning toward a fluffy all white bouquet, even though I do also adore that light pink color palette! I do know that I die for long and clean estate tables with low and fluffy arrangements with LOADS of tea light candles. Who doesn’t look stunning in candlelight?!

What details and traditions would you include in your reception? I absolutely love the idea of displaying generations of family bridal portraits, it’s just so sweet and personal. I would have large estate tables below bands of string lights enveloping family and friends while they dined on mixed vintage china (preferably heirloom!). Dancing and more dancing! Have you ever sung at the top of your lungs along to Journey at a wedding? It’s pretty fab, I’m not going to lie! Oh, and I’d monogram everything!

What food would you serve? I’m a big fan of good Southern comfort food. I’d love to serve macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole, mini pot pies, grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken & biscuits. My reception would say we’re formal, but like to have fun!

Where would you honeymoon? In a private bungalow in Bora Bora! They have see-through glass floors, y’all!

What’s most important to you about weddings? God and love. Weddings, as gorgeous as they may be, are truly about two people being joined together as one to share, grow and love for the rest of their lives. Weddings are just the beginning of a crazy wonderful adventure!

What do you think, ladies? Should we begin planning a vow renewal for Miss Marissa? :)

P.S. In case you missed a post…
Nicole’s Dream Southern Wedding

marissa Written with love by Marissa
10 Comments
  1. avatar Kristyn reply

    This is EXACTLY, and I mean word for word exactly, what I am planning for my wedding. My colors are blush and champange, ivory and black. Thank you for making some inspiration boards that so perfectly describe what I am going for. And good luck planning your vow renewal!

  2. avatar Brit @ Landlocked Bride reply

    Love the romantic feel of this! Beautiful!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    So pretty, Marissa! I love that white Bible photo, too, as well as the one of the spinning dress in the first board!

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

    […] seen me and Marissa try to plan our dream wedding and it’s harder than it looks! Now take a gander into what […]

  5. avatar My Southern Wedding :: Sierra « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] celebrate well, you! What do you think, ladies? P.S. Want to check out our past dream weddings? Marissa Nicole xo Sierra November 4, 2011 | view Sierra's blog 2 viewcomments hidecomments What […]

  6. avatar Southern Wedding Tradition: White Bible « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] love each tradition I work on, and the truth is, I do! You might recognize the first image from my Dream Southern Wedding, and you might remember that I am completely obsessed with it! SO, without further ado, let’s […]

  7. avatar Anndria reply

    Can you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me (if you know) the designer of the dress in the top middle is? The one with the lace sleeves? I just fell in love and I have to see it!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Anndria! That dress is by Sassi Holford (http://www.sassiholford.com/). Hope that helps!

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This might sound a bit strange, but I think breakfast on day 2 might have been my favorite meal of the entire trip.  Think I’m weird?  Here’s the rundown of what I had: oatmeal brulee, a fruit and yogurt spoonful, a mini skillet of scrambled eggs with sausage and peppers, banana beignets, and a custom mix from the juice bar.  Yummmm.  Plus, breakfast was outside in the Mediterranean Courtyard, which was beautiful!

We then headed into the Venetian Ballroom for a morning of sessions from fabulous speakers.  Paul Leone of The Breakers spoke first, then Rebecca spoke on the “state of the wedding industry.”  I think I took the most notes during her presentation!  After that we read from the hilarious and heartfelt Mindy Weiss, who spoke about “the good, the bad, and the ugly” in her career and the wedding industry.

After that it was time for a snack in the adjoining ballroom.  Let me tell you, these people don’t let you go hungry!  This time around, we had petit macarons and yogurt parfaits.  Delicious!

Snacktime was followed by a panel of design experts: Tara Guerard, Todd Fiscus, and David Beahm.  The things they are doing with events and flowers and lighting are truly spectacular!  Lastly that morning we listened to a dynamite presentation from business expert and road warrior Cindy Novotny

Pictured below :: Cortnie Purdy of Canvas and Canopy Events, Harmony Walton of The Bridal Bar, Lara, and Lindsay Pitt of TOAST Events; Chris Confero and Lara

We were then ushered into the spectacular Circle Room for lunch.  The room itself is breathtaking, and with the addition of gorgeous decor and a fabulous string quartet, the experience as a whole was magnificent.  Plus, I just about fainted from cuteness overload — yummy boxes?!  The work of Smock and DK Designs.  Oh yes, then I almost fainted again when I got to help THE Sylvia Weinstock decorate a cake.  For reals.

After lunch we headed back to the ballroom for a few more sessions.  First up was the hilarious and brutally honest Marcy Blum, who spoke largely off the cuff.  Next was a panel lead by Martha Stewart Weddings editor in chief Darcy Miller, who was speaking with Amy Atlas, Abby Larson, and photographer Donna NewmanThe Knot founder Carley Roney moderated the next panel of Randy Fenoli and stationery designer Ceci Johnson of CECI New York.  Finally, we ended the afternoon with a talk by Bryan Rafanelli of Rafanelli Events, and I am not exaggerating when I say he blew everyone away.  He was definitely my favorite speaker of the conference.  P.S. You may have heard of him — he designed a little thing called Chelsea Clinton’s wedding!

Oh yes, then there were some more snacks — orange-themed this time.  I thought of my dear Katharine when I spotted circus peanuts in the mix!

We ended the night with dine-arounds at a few of The Breakers’ fabulous restaurants.  I was thrilled to dine with Marilyn Oliveira of Inside Weddings and Siri Eklund, as well as fellow attendees Susan Murray, Julie Sabatino, Josh Madans, and Christine Gallagher.  After that, it was — you guessed it — time for more food at the dessert reception on the Ocean Lawn.  Annie Lee of Daughter of Design and I couldn’t get enough of the custom donut station — delicious!  I also enjoyed speaking with Tim O’Neill of the Piano Brothers — we love playing his CDs in the SW office!

Pictured above :: Marcy Blum, Mel Barlow, Jeff from The Breakers, Lara, me, and Harmony Walton

Back with more from the third and final day soon!

All photos in the post are from Mel Barlow, DVB Photographers, Lara’s camera, or one of our iPhones!

emily Written with love by Emily
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    Engage10 :: The Breakers

    by in News on

    Well, ladies and gents, it’s that time again.  Even with all of this craziness going on, Lara and I are picking up and heading to The Breakers in Palm Beach next week for a few days for the latest Engage wedding conference.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Engage events, they are twice yearly luxury wedding business summits where some of the most exciting people in the industry come together to learn and grow.  Lara has been several times before; this will be my first trip.  You can read a little more about Lara’s most recent experience on her blog here.

    Now, would it be bad to say I’m almost as excited about our surroundings as the people I’ll meet? Feast your eyes on this:

    Okay, okay, I guess Darcy Miller, Carly Roney (who I had an awkard encounter with in an elevator when I interned at The Knot, by the way — think she’ll remember me?!), Randy Fenoli, Sylvia Weinstock, Marcy Blum, Maria McBride, etc., etc., etc. can stand up to those stunning interiors and exteriors.  They are pretty fabulous, themselves, I suppose.  Oh yes, and that other speaker, Lara Casey, I hear she’s pretty fabulous, too.

    In all seriousness, we are very much looking forward to meeting and reconnecting with all of the speakers and attendees in just a few days!  Will you be there?  Let us know in the comment section!

    P.S. Lisa Johnson, the creative mind behind Ceci New York and a speaker at The Breakers, recently released her latest CeciStyle, focused complelely on the iconic property and her stationery inspired by it!  Check it out here.

    emily Written with love by Emily
    9 Comments
    1. avatar Eliesa reply

      I will SO be there and can't wait to rock out with all of the fabulous attendees!! Whoop!! LOVEe

    2. avatar Phyllis {My Wedding Concierge} reply

      Hi Emily! I'll be there! Can't wait to meet you!

    3. avatar Gen reply

      I would have loved to be there. Being a part of this would be so amazing for me right now. Its only an hour and a half from my house, but between needing new gear + my mortgage + and my student loans, it was not possible this year. To next year!

    4. avatar Lacy B reply

      I am very excited to see everyone who I havent seen since Cayman! Can't wait

    5. avatar Michele Spiezia reply

      Francesco and I can't wait to document it all! Looking forward to a fabulous event with our friends and colleagues at the beautiful Breakers property.

    6. avatar Jen reply

      I will be there! It is my first engage event. I am so excited!

    7. avatar Emily @ Southern Weddings reply

      It's my first, too, Jen! Looking forward to meeting you and all of the other attendees :)

    8. avatar Siri reply

      YAY!!! I can't wait to see you both. What fun!

    9. avatar Kristy R. reply

      Can't wait to see you both!

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

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