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When you combine the word “magnolia” with “plantation” and then throw in an adorable couple, it’s a very safe bet that I’m going to swoon over the wedding! And while I’m not a betting woman, maybe I should be, because McKenna and Matt’s wedding at Magnolia Plantation is the sort of Southern wedding sweetness I can’t get enough of. It might be partially due to their colorful blooms from Branch Design Studio, but while those are stunning, I’m pretty sure it’s their contagious smiles and how smitten they are with each other. I adore how head over heels in love these two are–just look at McKenna’s post-ceremony smile! Pure bliss!

Big hugs to Dana Cubbage for sharing this delightful day!

I found my beautiful wedding dress at J. Major’s Bridal boutique in Charlotte! I was with my mom and my sister, and it was my birthday weekend. I knew in my head what I wanted my dress to look like, but I tried on a few different styles as that was what I was told to do. When I explained what my vision was, CJ at J. Majors pulled the most perfect gown. It was the Dakota from Enzoani, and I LOVED it. I bought it on the spot…best birthday present ever!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we did! Our photographer highly recommended it for the timeline to go as smoothly as possible and she was absolutely right! My sweet hubby was so nervous as I walked up to him and tapped his shoulder…he said his knees were shaking! We both had immediate happy tears when we saw one another and it was one of the best moments of the day!

We love Charleston! I am from New Orleans, and Charleston has the historic charm and architectural beauty that reminds me of home. We fell in love with the breathtaking views at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. We truly wanted our guests to have a full experience at our wedding and this was the perfect venue for us!

Describe your wedding flowers. Perfect, stunning, classic, and elegant! I was absolutely obsessed. I even pressed all of the flowers from my bouquet so I wouldn’t have to throw them away! This was one of my splurges and I am so glad that I did….YAY for Branch Design Studios!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We both attended UNC-Asheville from 2006-2010. He played baseball and I played soccer in college, and the athletes tended to stick together! We became friends freshman year and two of my teammates (and later bridesmaids) and I were always hanging out with him and his group of friends. I always seemed to have a boyfriend, and Matt patiently waited until February of our senior year in college when I was finally single, to ask me to dinner for Valentine’s Day. We have been together for five years since then, and I am so lucky that I was able to call Matt my best friend for nine years, my boyfriend for five, my fiancé, and now my sweet hubby!
Tell us all about the proposal! We were spending New Year’s and celebrating a late Christmas in Miami with Matt’s family, as we usually do. Part of my Christmas present from Matt was a trip to Key West because I had never been there before, and he knew I would love it. We planned to go the morning of New Year’s Day. We got on the road early and had a three-and-a-half hour drive. During that drive, I recapped the conversation of the night before, which revolved around people getting engaged and married and so on and so forth. I said, “We just aren’t like everyone else I guess–we aren’t a traditional couple! We will just probably get married later in life.” He quickly changed the subject to our amazing dinner we had reservations for at Latitudes on Sunset Key (because the ring was in the back seat and he was starting to sweat!). We had the best seat in the house at Latitudes–a table about 20 yards from the water, overlooking the sunset and the beautiful sailboats passing by…pure bliss! Matt asked our waiter to take some pictures of us with the sunset.The waiter even told me to fix my hair because it was “sorta messed up” (he knew what was about to go down, thank God!). We took three pictures, and Matt asked him to take just one more. I turned to pose, and when I turned back around again, Matt was on one knee with the most beautiful ring I had ever seen in my life, saying “Will you marry me?” I was in absolute shock! Then the tears came. Finally, he got off his knee and said, “So, is that yes?” I said YES and he put that ring on my finger as the restaurant cheered us on.
When did y’all get married? February 27, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I can’t pick, but I loved our oyster shell escort cards because my mother and I had painted them all!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my veil, which was made by my grandmother and worn by my mother and my sister–so special! I had my new monogram and wedding date sewed into my dress as a tag. I had it made with blue thread. All my jewelry was brand new, J. Crew perfection. For something old, I wore my favorite gold Target sandals–nothing special, but perfect for dancing!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? I just started a new job! We are just soaking up being married and loving every minute of it!

Photographer: Dana Cubbage | Videographer: Anchor Films | Planner: Jessica Cruz | Venue: Magnolia Plantation & Gardens | Florist: Branch Design Studio | Cake Baker: WildFlour Pastry | Caterer: B. Gourmet | Rentals: Event Works | Lighting: AV Connections | DJ: EPIC | Bride’s Gown: “Dakota” by Enzoani | Bride’s Jewelry and Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew | Hair and Makeup: Paper Dolls | Bride’s Shoes: Betsy Johnson and Target | Menswear: Menguin | Getaway Car: LowCountry Valet

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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    I love it when a bride and groom look to their venue as their biggest source of wedding inspiration–especially when that venue is a particularly meaningful place to them! Matt proposed to Deirdre at The Waterfall Club (read the sweet story below!), making it a natural choice for their celebration. With the help of Tailor and Table, they completely embraced the rustic setting, mountain views, and their fall wedding date, creating the perfect opportunity to show their guests why they love this part of Georgia, as well as where that special proposal moment occurred!

    Thanks so much to Rustic White Photography for sharing this beautiful day with us!

    Wedding dress shopping was hands down my favorite part of the wedding planning process. My mom, maid of honor, and I planned a girls’ weekend in Chicago, where my parents had a condo. My maid of honor is a total fashionista, so she booked dozens of appointments at all of the fun boutiques. We had an absolute blast zipping around all the boutiques, drinking champagne, and trying on dresses. We found both the bridesmaid’s dresses as well as my dress during the trip. There were three dresses that I liked a lot during the process, but, as soon as I put on my Judd Waddell dress, I lit up and knew it was the one.

    Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I chose to walk down the aisle to Canon in D. It was the song that my mom used at her wedding, and I remembered listening to it when I was a little girl. I also had the song “For the Beauty of the Earth” in our wedding from Little Women, which was my favorite movie growing up.

    What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? The Waterfall Club at Lake Burton was where Matt proposed to me. I wanted to have an elegant wedding, while also creating a relaxed and rustic feel to the day. Matt and I both love the lake, and we spent a lot of time getting to know each other during our first summer together there. I wanted to share the beauty of Waterfall with all of our friends and family for the weekend. For the ceremony, I had always wanted to get married in a traditional Catholic church. The quaint chapel we were married in fit the vibe of our laid back, yet elegant, wedding.

    When choosing flower types, we wanted to pay homage to our surroundings–Lake Burton and the North Georgia Mountains. Tailor and Table mixed native greenery like oak leaf, ferns, huckleberry, and smilax with an abundance of roses, astrantia, gomphrena, hellebores, astilbe, scabiosa, crane kale, snowberries, veronica, chocolate lace, rosemary, green millet, moss, and lichen, resulting in arrangements that perfectly complemented our surroundings. We chose to keep the flowers in the church and club to shades of white, ivory, and green. In the tent, we surprised our guests by adding flowers in shades of “thistle” (a pinky-purple) to complement the plaid linens!

    Our wedding cake was spiced vanilla chai cake with a berry filling from Pylon Cake. It was absolutely delicious, and perfect for a fall evening.

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I met Matt during my first summer internship in college. A month or so into the internship, a fellow intern invited me to an Atlanta Braves baseball game, where I was shocked to find out there had been other young people in the office the entire summer that I had no previous knowledge of. Matt and I spent the majority of the game talking, and during our conversation, I mentioned that I was flying to Vegas the next day for my friend’, 21st birthday. Matt and another intern, Thomas, joked about showing up in Vegas…but of course, I did not believe them. The next day, when I landed in Vegas, I got a text from Matt saying he and Thomas were on their way…and the rest is history!
    Tell us all about the proposal! My family and I were having our first Thanksgiving at my parents’ new lake house at Lake Burton. Matt works for Amazon and told me he was not going to be able to make it home due to it being “peak time” for Black Friday. Matt hadn’t made it home for the past two Thanksgivings, so I didn’t think too much about it. I was overjoyed to have my cousin Kathleen coming, and as soon as she got to the lake, she, my dad, and I went on a five-mile walk. When we got back, my mom was making a big “to do” about having to take a Christmas picture at sunset, since we were all together. I was annoyed about having to be ready for dinner at 5:00 P.M. to take the picture. When we got to the parking lot at the club and there wasn’t anyone there, I made a comment about how we had even beaten the old crowd for dinner. When my family and I walked into the Waterfall Club, Matt and I’s song was playing (which didn’t really register right away). My mom led us to the balcony where we were going to take our Christmas picture, and I immediately saw Matt. My family left us on the balcony–I was in complete shock and even tried to hug him several times when he was down on one knee. It was an unbelievably sweet proposal and Matt had thought of everything. The Waterfall Club was actually closed for the winter, but Matt had it opened specifically for the proposal (hence the empty parking lot). He had also planned for my entire family to be there. After Matt proposed, we came back into the club and celebrated with my parents, brothers, and Kathleen, while Matt played a slideshow he had put together of the two of us from when we were little through our courtship. It was an amazing surprise and the happiest night of my life…up until our wedding.
    When did y’all get married? October 24, 2015
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
    What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I grew up in Atlanta and Matt grew up in Southern Virginia. I went to Georgia Tech and Matt went to the University of Tennessee. We had a Southern vibe all throughout our wedding, from the guests’ welcome baskets that included fun lake goodies from the South, to the signature drinks (named the “Southern Belle” and the “Virginia Gentleman”), to Matt’s beloved Rocky Top song, which was sung many times throughout the night.
    What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The dancing! We had an absolute blast dancing the night away with all of our closest friends and family. My uncle told me on my wedding night that this is the closest you’ll ever get to understanding what heaven is like, and I really think that rang true. Having all of the people you love in one place to celebrate with you and share in your joy and happiness is an overwhelming feeling.
    What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just bought our first home together. Working to make it a home together has been an absolute blast. I’m excited for all of the adventures we will have together moving forward.

    Photographer: Rustic White Photography | Videographer: Munn Brothers Films | Planner: Kristen J. Scott | Ceremony Venue: St. Helena Catholic Church | Reception Venue and Caterer: The Waterfall Club | Florist: Tailor and Table | Cake Baker: Pylon Cake | Rentals and Lighting: Professional Party Rentals | Band: Adrian Duke Project | Welcome Baskets: The Sweet Trend | Paper Products: Jack & Gretel | Bride’s Gown: “Marguerite” by Judd Waddell | Hair Stylist: Some Claudia Girl | Makeup Artist: Becca Whittinghill | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” in Mink Gray by Jenny Yoo | Menswear: Menguin | Linens: La Tavola Linen and BBJ Linen | Cocktail Hour Band: The Jody Hughes Band | Ribbon: Adorn Company

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
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    1. avatar Sarah reply

      Rustic White is always right on par, gorgeous wedding and images!

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    We Southerners sure are proud of our alma maters, so it’s no surprise that Kimberley and Jonathon were ecstatic to have been selected in the lottery to follow the time-honored University of Virginia tradition of getting married at the chapel on the campus grounds! Together with their planner, Amore Events, they planned a beautiful day full of sweet details and absolutely stunning florals. Out-of-town guests (flying in from Asia, Australia, and around the country!) were treated not only to Kimberley and Jonathon’s love and pride in their university, but also a glimpse at where their love story began. For their alumni friends, this celebration was a highly anticipated homecoming! Along with experiencing where these two started their journey, I’m sure hearing them recite the vows that they wrote together during the ceremony was truly remarkable!

    We’re so thankful Ashley Cox captured all the sweet moments!

    My flowers were absolutely gorgeous! Cody did a fantastic job representing the UVA colors of orange and blue. I wanted a fluffy, soft bouquet and it was breathtaking! The orange poppies really popped.

    Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My wedding dress hunt revolved around my mom’s veil. It was the only item that I knew I wanted, so I focused on finding the perfect dress to go with it. Since my parents live half a world away in Singapore, a few of my bridesmaids and close friends went with me to help me choose. It was a great day of bonding and beautiful dresses, but I was still unsure and chose to leave empty-handed. When my parents visited a few months later, we found a few contenders, but not the one. Then, my mom suggested that I look into creating a custom dress, and I never looked back. I got to wear the dress of my dreams!

    We were hesitant about doing a first look when Cody first suggested it, but it ended up being a great decision. It gave us a private moment to share together during the hustle and bustle of our wedding day. We were also able to get some great pictures at both the chapel and vineyard without taking too much time away from the cocktail hour, so that was a plus!

    We wrote the whole ceremony together. It was an intimidating task, but it was a great bonding experience for us. We wrote our own personal vows and kept them secret until the ceremony. It made hearing our promises to each other even more special!

    What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? As alumni of the University of Virginia, getting married at the chapel on the grounds is a time-honored tradition. When we found out that our request was selected in the lottery, we were ecstatic! It allowed us to show our pride and love for our university as we completed one journey and started another. Our reception was held outdoors under a Sperry tent at Keswick Vineyards. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the venue is breathtaking, and we were hooked from the minute we saw it. Having separate ceremony and reception venues gave us the opportunity to give our out-of-town guests a glimpse at our college playground, while, needless to say, for our alumni friends, it was a highly anticipated homecoming.

    What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Besides all the monograms, we wanted to add a little Texas flair to our wedding to represent where we now live. In the middle of dancing, the DJ played a few fun country songs. We ran to the guestbook table, where we had set up our cowboy boots as decorations, and put them on. The boots were special; Jon’s are made of sharkskin and mine are green lizard skin. Everyone had a blast. We also tried to showcase food from the region, such as candied bacon, fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, and Virginia cheeses.

    We had a full dessert bar along with a cupcake spread and a traditional wedding cake. Our dessert bar included candied bacon, milk and white chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate cups, fudge brownies, blondies, and lemon bars. There were three types of cupcakes: orange and blue funfetti with peach filling, lemon poppy with strawberry filling, and red velvet with cream cheese. The cake was a fudge chip cake with cherry filling and vanilla buttercream icing. It was all delicious and we loved the variety!

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. The first time I laid eyes on Jon, he had a faux hawk, was wearing a Space Jam tank, and had a plastic duck bill on his face. His fraternity was hosting a ’90s party and a group of them had decided to dress up as Space Jam characters–Jon was Daffy Duck! I wish I could say it was love at first sight, but when the resident advisor of my first-year dorm introduced him to me, I was just very amused. Even though our first meeting was less than stellar, my resident advisor continued to sing Jon’s praises. Jon asked me to dinner a few weeks later and I accepted. The rest is history!
    Tell us all about the proposal! On date nights, we love trying new restaurants. That night, Jon chose a beautiful restaurant with a delicious tasting menu. It was a particularly special dinner since Jon had recently accepted a job in Houston and was moving away from Virginia. I didn’t think I would be able to join him, so we were trying to take full advantage of the time we had together. Four courses later, we were full, happy, and waiting for dessert. We had both ordered the same dessert, and Jon joked that he wouldn’t have to worry about me stealing his. When dessert arrived, I remember seeing something shiny in mine. My mind went blank and I could only manage a lame “Why is my dessert different?” Jon said he could see the realization cross my face as he told me he loved me and asked me to marry him. I was so stunned that I barely heard him. He was just glad that I said yes!
    When did y’all get married? August 28, 2015
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
    Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something old was a gift from my mom. It was a diamond necklace and earrings set that my dad gave her when I was born. I was over the moon when she gave it to me to wear on my wedding day. My something borrowed was the cathedral veil that my mom wore on her wedding day. When we took it out of storage, it broke our hearts to see a tear, but we managed to stitch it up, and it felt so special to walk down the aisle with it on. For my something new, I picked heels from Jimmy Choo. I wanted a pair of shoes that I could wear again, and my blue nail polish complemented them perfectly.
    What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Distance was one of the biggest challenges we had to overcome. On top of planning a Virginia wedding from Texas, we had guests flying in from Asia, Australia, and around the country. Fielding calls from 200 of your family and friends about what to do, special exceptions, and guest count were definitely stressful. The other big challenge was combining the cultures of the East and West. Our families are both Chinese and we wanted to acknowledge our Chinese culture, while also celebrating in the Western way. We split the day in half, reserving the morning for traditional cultural events like the tea ceremony–a tea drinking ritual with the family elders where they are given the opportunity to bless the marriage–and the afternoon and evening for the traditional Western ceremony, reception, and party!
    If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
    What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are looking forward to having free time to read, travel, and just hang out! The wedding process is very time-consuming, and sometimes, you wonder if it’s worth it. Now that we aren’t planning, we want to explore the world!

    Photographer: Ashley Cox / Planner and Florist: Cody Grannis / Ceremony Venue: University of Virginia Chapel / Reception Venue: Keswick Vineyards / Cake and Dessert Baker: Buttercream Dreams / Caterer: Roadside Chive / Rentals: MS Events / Lighting: Skyline Tent Company / DJ: Derek Austin / Monogrammed Bow Ties: Mercy Streams / Bride’s Gown: Custom from Ieie Bridal / Headpiece: Enze Bridal / Hair Stylist: Brianna Adams / Makeup Artist: Susan Lim / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Various styles in Navy Blue Lace by Watters / Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers / Groomsmen Attire: Menguin / Custom Watercolor Wedding Map Guest Book: Luz Design / Wedding Vow Book: Noteworthy Design Co / Fudge Favors: My Chocolate Shoppe / Vintage Cowboy Boots: Texas Junk Company / Cake Topper: Emily Steffen

    marissa Written with love by Marissa
    1 Comment
    1. avatar Occasions In Print reply

      Beautiful flowers and I love the bridesmaid dresses!

    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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