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Hello, friends! I’ve got a treat for you today! Our good friend, sweet Southern gal Victoria Strader, is here to share a bit about how she planned her ceremony. She’s five years out from her wedding, but her perspective is timeless, and I think you’ll love this peek into her special day! Enjoy! – Emily

Hi y’all! I’m Victoria, and I’ve been married to my high school best friend/college sweetheart Ben for almost five years. It seems like just yesterday I was trying to keep myself from looking at the one and only Southern Weddings blog before getting engaged, haha! :) We have a one-year-old son named Beau and we live deep in the heart of Texas.

Photo by Blue Ribbon Vendor Meredith Teasley

As each year of my life goes by, I become more and more passionate about the deepening of relationships: the relationship with God that defines my faith, my marriage with Ben, the sweet time spent playing on the floor with my squishy baby boy, and the friendships that keep me thriving in the business of ordinary life. We planned a wedding for the winter of 2012 in our hometown, the place where both sides of my husband’s family have lived for generations.

While we were limited in some aspects of planning because this was the kind of wedding where I had to accept the fact that there would be invitations tacked up on the bulletin board of Granny’s Sunday School class, there were some things we didn’t compromise on. When planning for our wedding ceremony, our vision was for it to be deeply personal: a reflection of our personalities and our faith. We wanted every detail to ultimately point to The Lord through a celebration of the ways he has worked in us individually, together, and in other relationships. I’m thrilled to share three of our favorite aspects with y’all today!

Photo by Caroline Joy

1. Our pastor. The first detail that we were passionate about was our youth pastor from high school officiating the ceremony. Ben and I were in the same youth group, so this felt like a no-brainer! Josh knew us so well then, and even now, five years later and with his family living a few hours away, they still mean so much to us. (In fact, neither of us felt right about announcing the pregnancy of our son until we made the road trip to share the news with them in person!) Josh did an incredible job of weaving stories of each of our personalities together with some deep and beautiful scripture. My biggest hope when attending a wedding ceremony is that I’ll walk away feeling like I know the couple more, and I think Josh hit the nail on the head for us in this way. The message of our wedding shared the gospel of our faith, as well as our own personal stories of coming to be Christians.

2. Our wedding vows. Our vows, and the completely non-traditional way that we stumbled upon them, are another favorite detail about our ceremony. When initially discussing our vows, we wanted something different than the traditional lines, but didn’t feel incredibly inspired to write our own. Enter: the Southern Weddings blog! I watched a wedding video* on the blog of a couple who had written their vows, and their words echoed so much truth from the Bible. They were beautiful, and after showing them to Ben, we agreed that nothing we had begun to brainstorm seemed even a tiny bit as beautiful as those words. I just remember Ben saying, “Nothing I write is going to show people Jesus as well as those words!” Haha!

So I did some hunting, dug up the email of the bride, and emailed her asking permission to “borrow” their vows. I explained our story and the heart behind our request, and she so graciously sent me back her approval and best wishes. I realize this method might not be for everyone (and might make any artistic, creative person cringe – ha!), but it ended up being the best possible fit for us. When we recited those vows, it didn’t feel weird to have borrowed someone else’s words at all. If anything, they felt more special because we had thought so much about them!

3. Our ceremony music. Planning for our ceremony music was not something that came naturally to me (I actually rarely listen to music!), but I knew how important it would be for our celebration. I often think of specific couples when I hear their wedding songs being played, and desired for our selections to be sweet and represent us well! One of our good friends from high school is an incredibly gifted vocalist, so we had him sing “Be Thou My Vision” during a time of prayer. My all-time favorite movie is The Parent Trap (the 90’s version!) so our recessional was to “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)”, the song that plays in the closing credits :)

Something really sweet is that as I reflect on planning our ceremony five years later, I would still choose all of the same things. The meaningful part of our wedding grows more and more special to me each year, and I’m so grateful for the time we put into it!

Thank you so much for sharing, Victoria! You can follow along with her on her blog and Instagram, where she shares the most ridiculously adorable photos of her smile-y little boy. If you’re planning your own ceremony, be sure to check out our Joyful Wedding Planner – it’s an invaluable helper for something so important!

*Since the video post Victoria mentioned is from more than five years ago, it’s no longer active on our site, sadly. But the fun part? It was the wedding video of our friend Sam from LULA Hair + Makeup! No wonder Victoria found it so inspiring! :)

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Laura @ Laura Likes Design reply

    Aw, I just love that you used the song from The Parent Trap! Such a fun little detail of the day!

  2. avatar Pixie Wedding Sites reply

    Oh my goodness what an adorable baby boy! Just so cute :) fab wedding

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If their own space is any indication, I’m pretty sure Nic Teasley, custom home builder, has found his calling. The home he shares with his wife, Meredith, is beautiful (those wood floors!), but also incredibly inviting (and that’s by design!). I know you’ll love this peek inside their modern farmhouse in Tennessee as much as you’ll love their thoughts about the ways marriage has refined them, why they love their home’s layout, and why a budget is important to them!

The couple: Meredith (34) and Nic (32) Teasley
Years married: It’ll be 7 years this September!
Children’s names and ages: Rachel (2 ½) and David (6 months)
Where you live: We live in Brentwood, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. Nic is a custom home builder and Meredith is a work-from-home mom and a wedding/family photographer.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. Living on opposite sides of the country (Nic in California and Meredith in coastal Virginia), we got matched online, met in person five weeks later, were engaged six months after we met, and tied the knot in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, just five months later.
What is your favorite part of being married? Hands down, our friendship. We really do love hanging out together. Now that we have two small kids, we cherish our date nights and time away together even more.

Tell us a little bit about where you live. We built our home in a fun little 8-acre forest in Brentwood. I wanted to live in a neighborhood, and Nic wanted to live out in the country. Where we are is the perfect mix of both! We are in a subdivision, two minutes from the grocery store, but our home feels like we’re far away from everyone! I would love to stay here a long time and raise our kids here, but I knew marrying a home builder most likely meant building multiple homes and moving several times. Our future plans include building again, potentially moving into a fixer upper, and investing in future rental properties.

Tell us about the process of moving in together. Discuss what’s really important to one another, and be willing to compromise on everything else! I like to fold towels a certain way and Nic likes to do dishes a certain way, so we have tried to keep a teachable spirit with one another, focus on the big priorities, and enjoy figuring out what it means to make our home reflect both of our styles.
Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? We love our open-concept living room and kitchen. We host our church small group here. We can watch college football in the fall while making dinner. The kids can play while we clean up the kitchen. Friends congregate around our big island. It’s just laid back and comfortable, which really fits us well.

What most makes your house feel like home? The people inside make it home for us. We are learning to hold everything with open hands, including our house, which means we make less fuss about the details and more about our family relationships and community.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? We splurged on some of our furniture, and saved by finding items Nic can build himself, like both of our office desks. We also have several family heirloom furniture pieces that we hope will always be a part of our home. For unique additions to our home, we love the Nashville flea market and local shops, and have really tried to incorporate family pieces when we can!

How do you remember your wedding in your home? We have photos displayed, and an album that even our two-year-old daughter loves to enjoy. At our wedding, we provided small towels at the beach for our guests to use with sandy feet. Several years later, my sweet mom sewed baby bibs out of those same towels. We get to think of our beach wedding each time we use those bibs!
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? We would register for fewer items, but would be more specific with those we do place on the registry. Because we registered for so much, we ended up with a hodge podge of incomplete (and sometimes unnecessary) sets of items.

How does your family handle finances? Do you use a set budget? Um, yes. Truth be told, as two self-employed small business owners, we geek out on the budget! Financial freedom is incredibly important to us. We both struggle with living within the budget at times, but we also both value it immensely. We went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University as newlyweds and worked to pay off debt together, while learning to prioritize giving, saving, and eliminating frivolous spending. Our next big goal is to live in a paid-for home with no mortgage, and our budget really helps us stay on track with that goal.

Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? Rather than registering for fine china, we opted to register for everyday white Fiesta dishes, and we still use them daily! We have always wanted our home to be laid back and welcoming, so we don’t regret that decision at all.
Who cooks dinner? We both would say, “I do!” and it honestly depends on the day, because we cook quite a bit. We are both self-employed and work from home, so there are days when I do the cooking and other days when Nic takes charge in the kitchen. We would both claim that Nic is definitely the better chef! ;)

What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? We cook some form of a Mexican dish at least twice a week. Our favorite right now is chicken tacos on corn tortillas with pineapple salsa. On the weekend, we love to grill on our Big Green Egg and invite friends to dine with us.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? I recently started reading 100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake. She includes lots of great recipes, and I love how she teaches about nutrition throughout the first half of the book!

What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? Communicate! We believe communication has been one of the most important factors in making our marriage work. When you’re on the same page with life priorities, it helps you have grace with one another as you work together to balance those things and set expectations. When in doubt, talk it out together.
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? Honestly, we would say you just need to go out and have a date, even if it’s last-minute or unplanned. In the first few weeks/months after a new baby, our favorite date night was always a casual dinner out (usually Mexican!) and a stroll through Target with a Starbucks drink in hand!

What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? It’s amazing how much humility and selflessness are required to really make your marriage work! We were both a bit surprised by this. It’s also surprising how much God uses both marriage and parenting to sanctify us!
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Nic is definitely a handyman, and I can’t count the number of times he’s fixed something for me or helped me tackle a project he had no interest in, because he knows I’d be frustrated and up a creek without his help. I try to serve Nic by keeping up with the laundry, because it’s one chore we both really dislike.

Do you have children? We have two small children. Rachel is two and a half, and David is six months old. Life is crazy for us at this stage, but they are both an absolute joy!
Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… spend your money wisely and save, but go on lots of adventures, big or small, before kids come along. Now that we have a toddler and baby, we spend a lot more time at home. We love being home, but wish we had taken advantage of date nights that don’t require a babysitter, walks through the neighborhood when it’s not kid bedtime, and other fun adventures while life was a bit simpler!

This year, our family is most excited about… believe it or not, planning our next house adventure!
Is there anything else about your home or family life that you think our readers would be interested in? Our home is imperfect, just like us, but it always will be, and we are okay with that. Our faith in God is the most important things to us, so we want our home not to be about us, but about sharing His love in our home. We are slowly learning that everything we have belongs to God, and we have to work daily to shift our focus from earthly things to an eternal perspective. When we do, it changes the way we see everything, from our conversations with one another to the way we parent to how hard we work to how decluttered our home is before we invite guests in. Perspective really does change everything! Completely unrelated… our floors are the single most asked-about item in our home. They are 10″ Alabama heart pine, a request I made to have a small piece of Alabama in our home.

We’re so grateful to Meredith and Nic for sharing their hearts and home with us! Be sure to follow along with Meredith on her blog and on Instagram.

A little reminder: we’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – not just folks who write blogs (though we love them, too!), but also your inspiring friend, super talented cousin, or neighbor with the cutest house – the kind of person everyone would love to “e-meet.” If that sounds like you or someone you know, take a peek at our Southern Newlywed submission page and shoot us an email!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Janette reply

    I am in love with the front door on your house! Amazing! Would you be open to sharing the manufacturer’s information? Take Care!

  2. avatar Gail reply

    Love your front door. Would love to know where you got it or what it’s called. We have an old farm house we redid and need a new door

  3. avatar Erin c. reply

    i love this house. Are the plans available to the public?

  4. avatar Jamie reply

    I love this house! Is there somewhere we can view this house plan?

  5. avatar Meredith Teasley reply

    Hi Janette! I believe the door is by Simpson, style 7482… it’s real wood, stained.

  6. avatar Meredith Teasley reply

    Gail, it’s Simpson, 7482 with thermal glass! Hope that helps!!

    • avatar Jennifer reply

      Hi Meredith, I also love your front door… my husband and I are about to order the same one : ) By any chance do you recall what stain color you used?

  7. avatar Leslie reply

    I love the floors throughout the Color is perfect. I would also like to know the manufacture if possible.

  8. avatar kasey reply

    I love the house, just would like to know where I could get similar floor plans ideals?

  9. avatar Lacey reply

    I’m building anyone soon I would love to know where I could find this house plan

  10. avatar Rosemary Manderson reply

    Would it be possible to see the floor plan of this beautiful home?

  11. avatar Karen reply

    Is there a way to see what this floorplan looks like?

  12. avatar Alaina reply

    In love. Floor plans????

  13. avatar Angie reply

    What a great house, and even more awesome couple :)

  14. avatar Whit ney reply

    Love the front door! Where can I order it? Find it at? Living in Louisiana. Thank you!

  15. avatar Shannon reply

    I love your house! Do you have a layout you can share? I’m

  16. avatar Becky reply

    Is there a floor plan layout? I’m in love with this home!

  17. avatar Angie reply

    What is the paint color in the bathroom

  18. avatar How to Style a Modern Farmhouse Bathroom – Beneath My Heart reply

    […] SOURCE […]

  19. avatar Megan reply

    Where can I find this floor plan?

  20. avatar Kalen reply

    This house is awesome. Are there any house plans or floor plans you can share.


  21. avatar Lily reply

    I love the rug in the entree way! Where can I find/order it?

  22. avatar Brandi reply

    I would love to have this Floor Plan. I live up North but my heart is in the South. We are looking to build a 1700sq ft home in 2018. So not super big but I love this layout!

  23. avatar Brittany reply

    Would mind sending pictures of your actual plans? And sq ft?

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  25. avatar Lesley Wright reply

    I love the layout of your home and was touched by your story. My husband and I have been searching for plans to build our dream home between Murfreesboro and Shelbyville. Are your plans something you would be willing to share? I hope to hear from you. Thanks and may God bless you.

  26. avatar Whitney reply

    Hi! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your front door! Please tell me where it came from!?? Renovating our home, our first home, and that is exactly what we’re looking for!!

    Thank you!

  27. avatar Jennifer reply

    What is the interior paint color of the house? A tan or grey?

  28. avatar Megan reply

    I am obsessed with this — dream house for sure!

  29. avatar Ev reply

    We love your quaint charming lovely home. You mentioned you had it built — can you tell me where you got your plans? And roughly what it would cost

  30. avatar Tara reply

    I love your house! I was hoping you might be able to answer a few questions for me. What color paint did you use in your bathroom? Also what color grout did you use between the subway tile in your bathroom?


  31. avatar Kendra reply

    Hi! Love this house… is there a house plan available to buy? Thanks!

  32. avatar Nina reply

    Hey! Where is that red rubber rug from? Love!

  33. avatar Krista reply

    Love your home! We have such similar styles. Would you mind sharing where your Persian rug at the front door is from?! I love it!

  34. avatar Missy reply

    Front door – sorry if you answered this somewhere, but replies to comments don’t appear to be showing up here.

  35. avatar Melissa reply

    What color paint did you use in your master bed/bath? Beautiful!!

  36. avatar Alison wilson reply

    Hello! My husband and I are building a house in D.C. And we love the exterior food front door… where did you get it? ThNks
    Alison wilson

  37. avatar Shanna reply

    This house is so beautiful, do you have a plan that you can share? My husband is a builder and we will be starting our home soon. We are looking for ideas and love a lot of this homes finishes.

  38. avatar Monica reply

    What color is the bathroom?? I love the color, looking to paint our new bathroom a color like that!

  39. avatar Shelley reply

    Her husband is a builder in Nashville. Here is the site for his company.
    Not the exact plan, they modified it and don’t want to share.

  40. avatar Kimberly Devine reply

    Where is this front door from? I’m in love with it!

  41. avatar Christine reply

    We love your front door and garage door. Where did you find the entry door?

  42. avatar Beth Rogers reply

    wondering where you purchased your front door, please?

  43. avatar Janna reply

    Where can we find the floor plans!! I love this!!

  44. avatar Catherine reply

    Love the bench in the entryway!! Could you share the source for that?

  45. avatar sara reply

    Do you mind sharing the stain color on your front door? Thank you!

  46. avatar Billie reply

    Hi! Where did you find your garage doors? Do the woods match your front door?

  47. avatar Wasted Space to Avoid in Your Dream Home – Stoney Built for Life reply

    […] looking at wasted space that honestly serves zero purpose other than to look pretty.  This one from Southern Weddings is just […]

  48. avatar Modern take on an old wooden farmhouse (21 HQ pictures) | Top Timber Homes reply

    […] other half wants to live in the countryside? Then, this place is for you! This house designed by Teasleys Modern Farmhouse is located in a fun-little acre forest in Brentwood. It may be surrounded by nature, giving you a […]

  49. avatar Sarah reply

    My husband and I are building our first home in Scotland! I’m just a southern VA girl living in a British world and looking to mark our house a blend of both of our cultures. Do you recall the stain color you put on the pine floors? Are all rooms stained the same color?

  50. avatar Kristy reply

    Your house is beautiful! What color grout did you use in your subway tilebathroom?

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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Making date nights a priority is not always easy–case in point, the SW gals all try to go on at least one date night with our beaus per month, and we check in at the end of every month to keep each other accountable. In February, only one of us had made it! We’re committed to doing better in March, and if you’re in the same boat as us during this busy time, I hope you’ll be as encouraged as I was reading Hilari and Grant’s top five date ideas. Their favorite dates are all about simple activities, quality time, and great conversation with one another–and isn’t that the point of dating your spouse in the first place? Enjoy, friends!

Thanks so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Meredith Teasley for capturing these sweet photos!

Names: Grant and Hilari Williams
By day: Grant loves numbers and spreadsheets and works in financial sales. Hilari is a masterful organizer and logistics lover, and works as project manager for a boutique marketing/advertising agency.
Where they live: Nashville, Tennessee
Tell us your love story, in a few sentences. We met at the last tailgate of our senior year at Vanderbilt–our mutual friends thought we’d be a perfect match. It turns out they were right! I was completely smitten after meeting him and knew he was the one even before our first date. We got engaged two years after we met, married 18 months later, and are now happily settling into married life. Our entire relationship has taken place in Nashville (minus a summer in NYC and many weekend getaways), and we feel fortunate to live in a city that holds so many happy reminders of our journey.

Tell us about your wedding! We got married on May 16, 2015. Our wedding was a glittery gold affair full of love, laughter, and celebration. Because we met at Vanderbilt, we chose to have both our ceremony and reception at Belle Meade Plantation, an iconic Nashville venue. 95 percent of our guests traveled from out of town to celebrate with us! We wanted the day to be full of our favorite things and to not only celebrate our marriage, but also our amazing friends and family who have been with us throughout our journey.

Hilari and Grant’s five favorite date ideas:

1. Football and picnics in the park: We love food, football, and being outside, so one of our favorite dates is to throw the football around at our neighborhood park. I’ll pack a picnic full of our favorite foods (definitely including homemade cookies) and prosecco, and we just enjoy each other’s company. We find that this time together allows us to unwind, connect, and people watch.
2. Radnor Lake: Grant’s grandparents used to live right down the street from Radnor Lake, so he has many fond childhood memories of lake adventures, always complete with a stop at Granny White Market for banana pudding. We love to go in the afternoon just as the sun sets–some of our most meaningful and memorable conversations have taken place as we walk, talk, and take in the magnificent natural beauty found right in the city. And the banana pudding that follows can’t be beat! It’s homemade with the same recipe used for decades.
3. Tacos: Need I say more? We share a love for tacos, chips and salsa, and margaritas! Thankfully, Nashville has a variety of taco offerings, so we are always trying new places all over town. We usually combine trying a new taco shop with exploring the neighborhood it’s in–it’s almost like playing tourist in your own town, and makes for a fun weekend date!
4. Marriage group: We are blessed with the opportunity to be part of a marriage ministry of sorts–four couples married for less than one year meet with a mentor couple (married for over 35 years). We meet every Tuesday night and will continue to do so for two years. We read scripture and books, and most importantly, talk and learn from each other during this exciting phase of life. Before our group meets, Grant and I go out to dinner, talk about our goals, values, and upcoming events, and align on “us.” We find this time truly grounds us in our marriage and we look forward to sharing our newlywed journey with others walking the same path. We’ve found that a supportive community has been instrumental in our happiness and positive outlook on life!
5. Planning adventures: We love to see the world, explore new places, and try new things. While adventures are amazing ways to connect and experience life together, it’s not always feasible to have an adventure every single week! So, we make it a priority to always have something fun planned on the calendar. Whether it’s a cooking class, tropical vacation, mountain adventure, or nearby hike, it gives us both something to look forward to and allows us to spend time together planning excursions, meals, and more. We are both a little bit OCD and love the time we spend together planning ahead almost as much as the fun outcome!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Southern Newlywed: Nashville Date Night | Meredith Teasley reply

    […] Hilari and Grant for today’s Southern Newlywed date night feature. Head on over to the Southern Weddings blog to see the full feature and read up on some of their very favorite Nashville […]

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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