Google+ mere found her beau Archives - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Tag: mere found her beau

Today is awesome. Can I tell you why today is a great day? 100 days, ladies and gents. 100 short days until I get to marry my Beau. Proposals from my vendors are about to be sent, details have been selected, and lots of decisions are being made daily – things are getting real, and just plain good. I believe in celebrations of all shapes and sizes, and what better way to celebrate the 100 day mark than with my final #merefoundherbeau post? You’ve met my handsome groom, read the proposal (what a sweetheart), seen our lovely venue, got a sneak look at what we’ll be wearing, and peeked at our wedding’s décor and style, but let me tell you, I’ve saved the best (and most important) details for last – our ceremony.

Since my planner and I are still working through a few things, our wedding day timeline hasn’t been completely nailed down, but we have a great outline. When I originally pictured the time for our wedding, I assumed it would take place around 6 or 7 o’clock, but Shelby clued me in to a few details that have changed my perspective. Since I know it will be toasty outside at our July wedding, I jumped to the conclusion that we should get married later in the day, allowing festivities to be a bit cooler. While that’s true, Shelby helped me to see that we would need a full hour cocktail hour (to allow time for our indoor space to be prepped), plus enough time to squeeze in eating and dancing before our venue’s 10 o’clock curfew. Taking that into account, our timeline is looking something like this at the moment:

— Our ceremony will begin at 5:30pm and will last about 30-45 minutes.
— Our cocktail hour will last about an hour, allowing enough time for indoor set-up. Beau and I will also use this time to sneak away and get some amazing sunset photos on the beach (excited about this one!).
— Dinner will be served around 7, with dancing and fun lasting until about 10 or 11.

It’s still in the works, but it’s a start! Another fun detail that Beau and I are trying to decide on is the first look. There are a few pros and cons that we’re taking into consideration:

Two of our favorite first looks: from Lindsey and Adam (by Brett Heidebrecht) and Ali and Austin (by Jennefer Wilson)

The pros:
— Beau and I will most likely have built up some serious butterflies and (good) nerves throughout the day, so a moment to slow down and pray together pre-ceremony might be just what we need.
— We are both kind of crybabies (sorry, Beau). If we saw each other before the ceremony, maybe we could get the big tears out of the way, leaving only cute, soft, and gentle happy tears during the ceremony?!
— We would have a more relaxed time with our photographer, possibly getting better pictures of us as a couple – my sister says not getting more portraits of just the two of them is one of her regrets from her wedding day.
— We may be pinched with time to include all of our family pictures post-ceremony, causing us to miss a large part of cocktail hour.

Some cons:
— We might be in for some toasty portraits since the sun will still high in the sky… not great pre-ceremony, right before we head down the aisle!
— Beau is concerned that some of the “oh my goodness, here comes my bride” feeling will be lost if we see each other before.

In past conversations, I’ve been reassured that coming down the aisle is just as exciting whether or not you’ve seen each other beforehand, so I am leaning toward having a first look, but if by some chance our minds were to change, we have such an awesome team of vendors I really think either way would work out perfectly fine!

Ceremony music inspiration from Megan and Aaron (by Chris Isham) and Catherine and Kyle (by Pink Shoe Photography)

Next up is ceremony music! When this topic was brought up, Shelby shared two thoughts on the live vs. recorded question. She noted that the Town Hall is all white and very open, so going the recorded route would be less expensive, but could look messy in the space. We both agreed that live string instruments just sound richer and prettier, and since we already knew we would be having a cocktail hour with live music, we figured it would be worth the money to have string instruments during our ceremony and then to have the same musicians transition into cocktail hour, as well. Our final decision is a little unique, but we think we will like the combination: a violinist, cellist, and a guitarist who is also our family friend from our hometown!

On the other hand, our song selections have been a bit harder to finalize. This is partially due to my indecisiveness, but mostly because of my love for music. I often make up my own songs to accompany whatever I’m doing at the moment, have been told I constantly sway (especially when sitting or getting ready), and honestly, I can’t help but tear up or feel chills run down my spine during an awesome worship song. Give me music over TV playing in the background any day! Trying to take all of this into consideration has made finding the perfect songs difficult, but we set a few guideposts that are helping us along.

I love instrumental music, but traditional with a contemporary twist over straight traditional. We quickly nixed most conventional wedding ceremony songs in favor of something unique, fun, light, and pretty. Some examples of songs I love:
Beach Baby & Stacks by Bon Iver
Your Hand In Mine by Explosions In The Sky
Turning Page (instrumental) by Asleep At Last
A Thousand Years (instrumental) by Christina Perri
You’re Beautiful by Phil Wickham
Come Thou Fount
How Deep The Father’s Love For Us

Beautiful Rosemary Beach Town Hall ceremony by Lauren Kinsey

We haven’t made many final decisions on what will play when, but thankfully there is one song that I am positive will be in our ceremony – yay! We have an amazingly talented friend attending our wedding who will be singing “When You Walk Into The Room” by Bryan & Katie Torwalt. The Lord has placed this song on my heart over and over at the perfect moments: the first song that played the morning after I got engaged, and whenever I became overwhelmed with little details, it seems to always pop up on shuffle. Here’s a few of the lyrics:

“We love you, we’ll never stop. We can’t live without you, Jesus.
We love you, and we can’t get enough. All this is for you, Jesus.”

Every time I hear it, I am overwhelmed with the truth that this joy, this love, this union… it is all for Him – and nothing matters more than that. We’re considering using this song during a time of communion and prayer, but nothing has been set in stone. If anyone has any suggestions before we make our final decisions, I’m all ears!

Town Hall portrait by Lauren Kinsey

Beau and I are also hoping to make our ceremony unique through the words spoken at it. For vows, there seem to be three options:

— The bride and groom stick strictly to traditional ceremonial vows
— The bride and groom both individually write their own unique vows.
— The bride and groom start with the traditional vows but tweak them according to their unique relationship.

I think the third option is where Beau and I will end up… like I mentioned, Beau and I are traditional with a dash of contemporary, so that’s how I envision our vows to read as well!

No matter what else happens in the ceremony, one element that always stirs my hear is the message given by the officiant. This might be the portion of our ceremony that thrills my heart the most, so I’m excited to share this special detail with you all. In my opinion, we have the greatest “message giver” of them all: my brother, Michael. We chose him for three reasons:

— First, he is my favorite (and only!) brother, and I love him a lot. On a serious note, I think it’s important for the couple to share a friendship with their pastor, or “pastor” in our case, and Michael certainly fits the bill.
— He and his wife lead by example. They believe in the meaning of marriage, so through putting words to actions, his words may speak louder to guests who know both my brother and Beau and I as a couple.
— He is one of the few people who knows Beau and I as individuals AND also as a couple – when you’re in a long distance relationship, this is (sadly) rare. Knowing our hearts, passions, and desires will help Michael contribute to the power of the message, centering it around God while also making our ceremony unique to us as a pair.

I think he is going to focus his message on Ephesians 5:22-33, but when he asked me if I had any preference on his message, I just told him I trusted his heart for marriage, and that I’ll be happy as long as it gets across God’s vision for marriage and what our hopes as a couple are in this. Most of the specifics I’m asking him to keep concealed – because I want something to be a surprise! :)

Oh goodness, the day of. I am filled with happiness just thinking about the moments we will create and cherish for the rest of our lives on our special day. I have to repeat it once more; I can’t contain myself: 100 days – that’s all! Oh, and not to mention the end of long distance dating forever – praise the Lord!

Since this is the last ‘Mere Found Her Beau’ post, and I’ll be signing off as your SW guest post-er, I’d love to take a moment to say a few thank yous.

First, the lovely ladies of Southern Weddings! I have enjoyed every moment of this fun opportunity to guest post, and am honored you all asked me to write on your lovely blog. Without you all, I’d be without the greatest team of vendors, as well as still searching for the perfect seamstress, accessories, and bridesmaid dresses – your input has been invaluable!

Last but not least, thank you to all of you lovely readers! I’ve loved having you all join me for a bit of our wedding planning journey. Your sweet comments, words, and encouragements were too kind, and exactly what this busy bride needed :) We would love for you to continue to follow along with our wedding fun as the day draws nearer on Instagram or facebook with the hashtag #merefoundherbeau. Happy planning, friends!

Written with love by Southern Weddings
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Ahhhh, 100 days!! So exciting!! I got chills reading this post and thinking about how beautiful and Christ-centered your ceremony is going to be–everything sounds amazing!

  2. avatar Lauren Kinsey reply

    Meredith, I just love you to bits and pieces! :) happy 100 days and so excited to see you soon!

  3. avatar Erin reply

    Best of luck with the rest of your planning! It’s been a joy to read these posts and to follow along with you on your journey. Enjoy these last 100 days! :)

  4. avatar Emily reply

    I may be a bit biased, but I am partial to “A Thousand Years” as a ceremony choice – that’s what I processed to, played by a string trio, and it was magical :)

  5. avatar Meredith reply

    Hi there! I just wanted to let you know that sunset in Florida in July will probably be around 8:30, so keep that in mind for your sunset pictures and your timeline :-) Yay 100 days! My wedding is in 10 days… wow, time flies!!!!

  6. avatar Parker reply

    I remember the day {last year!} when the countdown reached 100 days — I stayed up until midnight and SQUEALED when I saw 12am!

    If you’re unsure about a first look – my hubby and I did an “almost-first look,” where our planner put me in one room with the door partially closed, and then led him into the hallway where we couldn’t see each other but could still hold hands and pray! I’ll never forget that moment — it was purely magical…to be able to hold his hand, pray, and hear his voice sent chills all through me (in a good way!)! It really brought the calm, peaceful feeling we’d both hoped to have during the wedding.

    I’ve LOVED your posts, Mere! May God bless your wedding and, most importantly, your marriage!

  7. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Lowcountry oyster broil rehearsal dinner. With 100 days to go to her wedding, Meredith shared her ceremony plans! We celebrated Southern Weddings’ birthday with a look back on six wonderful years! […]

  8. avatar Stacy reply

    Hey Meredith and Beau– I found your blog accidentally as I was trying to help our son, Matt, think about wedding gifts for you. We already know Beau through a visit to our home and through his dear friendship with Matt and now we know and love Mere. You had me at “ugly crying.” :)(Not possible.)

    We have shared your posts with Matt’s grandpa who is marking a 54th wedding anniversary next week without his beloved. He (and Alice) so enjoyed meeting Beau (and Matt W) and I know your story is going to bless his heart.

    Your wedding will take place on my birthday. We share a lucky day. (Which means you can go to a 7/11 and get a free slushy. Hmm, maybe next year.) Matt has no excuse to forget your anniversary.

    We wish for you the depth of blessing that sharing every day, every heartache and every joy with your best beau and friend can bring. Thank you for sharing your journey in faith and love with us. (Stacy and Jeff)

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!

Reply to:

This week’s post has come at the perfect time! We have been having intense “yo-yo” weather here in North Carolina lately, so I could use a good dose of Rosemary Beach daydreaming right about now! Join me, won’t you?

In a previous “Mere Found her Beau” post, you learned that we will be getting married in the quaint Town Hall, and that the white architecture and wood accents couple nicely with the feel we want for our wedding day. Today, I’m excited to share some of the inspiration for how we plan to make this lovely venue even more “us.” Our goal is a light and airy vibe filled with soft, fluffy pastels–and a hint of sparkle, of course! :) Let’s start at the entrance, walk through the ceremony, head out to the courtyard for cocktail hour, and end inside with the reception.

During my most recent visit to Florida, I met up a few of my amazing vendors and dove a little deeper into the design and décor. My planner (Shelby Peaden), florist (Brian of Myrtie Blue), and I all agree that when it comes to the ceremony décor, less is more. We love the outside of the venue just as it is. We’re considering adding floral accents to the entrance, along with a little welcome signage of some sort, but probably not much more than that– the goal is to accentuate, not to mask.

Clockwise from top left: Carla Ten Eyck, Jessica Kettle, Lauren Kinsey, Dear Wesleyann

Inside the venue, we considered placing a welcome table at the entrance for a guest book, but decided once again that less is more, especially considering three things:

1. Our venue is on the small side, so we want to avoid the possibility of any entry “traffic” for incoming guests.
2. I have an awesome photographer, and I think an open layout would make for a pretty indoor photo.
3. The most enticing reason for me is that the thought of looking down a clear, simple, and beautiful aisle to where my fiancé will be standing once the doors open is kind of perfect.

Austin Gros, Dear Wesleyann

All of that in mind, we are leaning toward a simple aisle lined with rows of wooden folding chairs to compliment the beautiful paneled ceiling and wooden light fixtures.

For the ceremony backdrop, my inspiration varied from a floral cross, to strings of twinkly lights, and even a written backdrop accented with flowers. Although my inspiration was a little scattered, it all shared one common detail: soft and sweet floral accents.

Troy Grover, Lauren Fair, Ryan Ray

Following the ceremony, we’re planning an afternoon cocktail hour on the Town Hall’s side courtyard, filled with merriment, music, sipping, and snacking. I imagine that a few simple, draped round tables with wooden chairs combined with a few draped high tops would create an appropriate cocktail hour environment.

Adriana Klas, source unknown

We can’t forget the lounge area–be still my heart! One of my favorite things to do on warm summer nights is to to listen to live music outside. Throw in loved ones and a patio with strings of twinkly lights, and well, I’ll be happy as a little clam! Rosemary’s courtyard has a serene waterfall on the back wall of the courtyard, and if you ask us, we think a lounge area would fit quite nicely there! Here are a few that I could imagine sitting in just about all night.

Clockwise from top left: Caroline Joy, Jen Fariello, Elizabeth Messina

Topping off the night, we will head inside for dinner and dancing! We decided on a casual, buffet-style meal to be enjoyed seated at tables, like at a family dinner. For us Blankenships and McKinneys, this fits us perfectly–there is nothing we enjoy more than sitting around a table with loved ones, chatting and eating great food. Once we had our hearts set on a lovely seated dinner, I began to gather inspiration–remember how I mentioned I love a soft velvet detail? I love, love, love these table settings!

Clockwise from top left: Kim Le, Rylee Hitchner, Tyra Bleek, source unknown

To complete the reception décor, we will have “fluffy” floral arrangements, as I like to call them. :) Not too polished, but still pretty and put together! Aren’t these examples lovely?

Jen Huang, Landon Jacob

Phew! Although this dream of a wedding may still be a work in progress, I have full confidence that my team of amazing vendors can help me to tie together any loose ends in a big, pretty, velvet bow! :)

What are some of your favorite details in your upcoming wedding? I’d love to hear them!

Missed a post? Check them all out here:
An Introduction + Proposal
The Venue
What They’ll Wear

Dear Wesleyann is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

Written with love by Southern Weddings
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Everything is so pretty! Love the lounge areas and “fluffy” florals especially!

  2. avatar Nicole reply

    Meredith, I love this and the way you’re accenting the already gorgeous architecture of the space. The ceremony sounds dreamy!

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!

Reply to:

Hello, and happy Tuesday, friends! I can’t believe we are already on our third #merefoundherbeau post – time sure is flying! Last week we hit the four-month mark (yahoo!) on our six-month planning journey, and I felt the “butterflies” really turn up a notch. I may or may not still be doing a little happy dance inside celebrating this mini milestone! I have so much goodness to share with you all today – prepare your eyes for way too many pictures and your hearts for lots of light, pastel beauty. We’re talking wedding attire for my beautiful bridesmaids, dashing groomsmen, handsome fiancé, and me (squeal!). There’s plenty to cover, so I’m going to dive right in… ladies first :)

Bridesmaids! Planning for my ladies, although fun, involved one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make so far. I have a pretty little image in my head of how I would like my wedding day to look and feel, and it includes the bridesmaids dresses. When I began my bridesmaid dress search, I had this “feel” in mind – as well as something that fit with our color scheme and was reasonably priced, re-wearable, and not too toasty (there’s the weather again!). I wanted something with a light and airy feel that flowed — similar to an ocean breeze.

Judy Pak Photography

I quickly realized two things as I began my search: not only is it difficult to find the perfect dress to match the beautiful image in your head, but it is also not an easy task to find NINE different available sizes when you DO find the perfect dress that matches the image in your head. Every time I found a possible dress, it was as if the sizes were fleeing from store inventory with each click of the refresh button.

As my search grew increasingly frustrating, I decided to loosen my search criteria to include dresses that were a little less flowy, but still the right color, and perhaps with a hint of sparkle :) I remembered a dress I had seen while browsing Anthropologie a while back, and figured I’d hop on over to their site to see if it had wandered to the sale section yet.

Hallelujah, praise the Lord! The pretty, unique, and sparkly number I had fallen in love with was not only on sale, but SUPER sale. Although online options were slim, I was able to contact individual stores to have their inventory shipped our way (thanks for the tip, Nicole!!). Whew! One decision down, one thousand more to go :)

On to our gents… and thankfully, they were much easier to dress! As I pulled inspiration images for our handsome fellas, I realized that I was drawn to the “jacket-less look,” an ensemble that would be both cute and practical for the battling heat AND the budget.

Before we could buy the suit pants for our groomsmen, we needed to figure out which suit my handsome beau would be wearing. Knowing the suit styles and colors we were interested in, we set a goal for our upcoming Valentine’s visit: find a cute and comfy suit that actually fits Beau properly. The two styles I envisioned were a light grey suit or a blazer/suit combo, like the one below:

KT Merry

After visiting four different stores, Beau and I decided we were not in love with any of the chambray blue jackets we tried on, and that we liked the look of the light grey suit better than the mismatched option. Happily, we found the perfect suit for Beau at J. Crew – their Ludlow collection is amazing! The Ludlow suit in Italian Oxford Cloth was the perfect shade of light grey, and it fit great (this is a rare thing when it comes to Beau’s athletic build!). The price was a little more than we were hoping to spend, but when we switched the groomsmen from wearing the Ludlow suit pant to the less expensive Bowery pant, took off a generous 20% discount thanks to J. Crew, and got a bit of cash back through the fabulous, we began to cross over from “absolutely no way” to “okay, this is doable.” Making these last minute money-savvy decisions ended up helping quite a bit, but we glad to know that Beau and his groomsmen would end up with a nice suit with a great fit for use long after the wedding.

To complete the look, we purchased the white, wrinkle-free oxford shirt from J. Crew Factory (through Ebates, as well), some brown oxford shoes from, and a lovely bow tie, of course! Funny story about our bow tie… I at first wanted polka dot bow ties (I love dots), and Beau said he would agree to that for me. I then I tried to push the bar a bit – I really love velvet bow ties in a soft ocean color, and I thought they would match the “feel” I was going for, literally and figuratively :) Beau quickly put his foot down at that suggestion, so we will not be having velvet bow ties, but equally amazing cotton ones from Lumina, a shop in Raleigh – similar to the one in the left image.

Now, I’ve saved the best for last :) Two weeks after I got engaged, it was still sinking in that I was going to need to look for a wedding dress, and plan a wedding – in six and a half months, for that matter! I had to get things rolling, and could think of no better way to start than on my birthday and with a few of my favorite people on this planet. The morning of December 28th my mom, sister, sister-in-law, baby niece, and I drove up to our first stop, JJ Kelly Bridal in Oklahoma City. I had saved quite a few inspiration images on my phone, all of had at least two things in common: they were fitted through at least the waist, and they had some sort of sheer detailing or overlay.

Some of my inspiration – a Tara Keely, a Jenny Packham, and a Monique Lhuillier

Going in, I knew I loved the detailing of a sheer overlay across the chest or arms, soft and flow-y tulle, and sweetheart necklines, but I was open to trying anything. I had heard many people say that you come in wanting one thing, and you go out with another, so I figured it would be better to just keep my mind open! I thought a mermaid/trumpet gown or an A-line/ball gown would be the most flattering for my body type, and would help accentuate my height (or lack thereof). To my surprise, I loved both of those styles the best! I had five favorites from the dresses I tried on:

Top row: Watters and “Emotion” by Monique Lhuillier, second and third row: both Reem Acra, fourth row: “Sofia” by Matthew Christopher

Each dress we loved just as much as the one before, but I could sense my mom’s favorite (the Monique Lhuillier) and my sister’s favorite (the Watters). I’m typically an indecisive person, so we decided to write these down and make an appointment for the following week. On my second trip up to JJ Kelly, I brought my mom and future mother-in-law with me, and it was much more successful! We had gotten over the initial giddy excitement of slipping on that first dress, and now were able to make clear and decisive choices, leading to my final decision… which I cannot reveal because my fiancé reads these posts :)

I’m more than happy about all of our attire decisions, and excited for how they will pull together to create the lovely “feel” we are going for. But, I’m doing my best to focus on our true desire: to have a “marriage more beautiful than our wedding.” Weddings are something I have dreamed about since I was a little girl, and they are beautiful in every way, but the union of two people under our heavenly Father is even more exciting. We can’t wait for this next season of joy and celebration!

Tell me: Do you have a favorite? Are our choices similar to what you or your bridal party wearing?

Missed a post? Check them all out here:
An Introduction + Proposal
The Venue

Written with love by Southern Weddings
  1. avatar Marie reply

    I am wearing Sofia in a month!

    • avatar Meredith reply

      The Detail on the Sofia gown was very beautiful, unique and flattering! I loved that the inside said “the greatest of these is love” :) you picked a great one!

  2. avatar Jessica reply

    We decided to go the “jacket-less” route as well, as we are getting married in June in Charleston (trying to beat the heat as well)! We went with a light gray pants and vest for our groomsmen. Love all of your choices!

  3. avatar Dane reply

    The bow ties are always cute! I love the shot of the groomsmen!

  4. avatar Emily reply

    I adore all of these gowns, and they’re so similar to ones I was looking at in my search! That Reem Acra with the dainty sleeves will ALWAYS be one of my favorites!

  5. avatar Mere Found Her Beau: The Ceremony – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] handsome groom, read the proposal (what a sweetheart), seen our lovely venue, got a sneak look at what we’ll be wearing, and peeked at our wedding’s décor and style, but let me tell you, I’ve saved the best (and […]

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!

Reply to: