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We feature all kinds of gorgeous and meaningful Southern weddings, from chic, modern celebrations, to fabulous ballroom weddings, to casual, outdoor soirées…but weddings like Elizabeth and Tripp’s feel kind of like our bread and butter to me. After a first look, they exchanged traditional vows at a church that holds tons of meaning for Elizabeth’s family (don’t miss the story below!), and then invited their guests to a reception in Elizabeth’s parents’ backyard that featured Southern details, family heirlooms, and even a tent dedicated to Ole Miss tailgate favorites. Elizabeth said, “The most Southern thing about our wedding would have to be the tradition behind every detail” and while I think her elegant wedding day look may be a close second, there’s no doubt that the inspiration she and Tripp drew from their roots and their love story are what made this day so magical!

Many thanks to Ashley Upchurch for sending this sweet celebration our way!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom and I were out shopping one day and decided to pop into a bridal salon, The Bridal Path, that has been in the Jackson area for as long as I can remember. I always knew that would be the place where I would find my wedding dress. After trying on about five dresses, I put on the sixth one and knew that it was the perfect dress for me. After I picked out my veil and tried the entire ensemble on, I knew it was exactly what I was going to get married in a short five months later.

Tripp and I decided early on that we wanted to have an intimate moment, just the two of us, before our wedding ceremony. It was a chance for us to take a breath, pray together, and soak in the fact that we were about to begin the happiest journey of our lives.

The most memorable moment of our wedding day was a moment Tripp and I shared during my vows. I always get emotional at weddings and knew that my own wedding would be no different. After each phrase of my vows, I had to take a short breath to keep from falling to pieces in front of my groom and the church full of our family and friends. At one point, Tripp winked at me and whispered “I love you” in the middle of me reciting my vows. He is in a constant state of calm and that moment was no different. Those three little words got me through the rest of my vows, but not without a few more tears!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My dad had recently restored the church that he and my mother were married in. The old sanctuary was built in the 1800s and was in horrible condition, so our church decided to tear it down and build a new sanctuary on the plot of land right beside it. My dad salvaged every possible thing from the old sanctuary, including the stained glass windows and exterior columns. It’s the most beautiful building in the world to me and I couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else. Our reception was held at my parents’ home, which is set in the middle of a pecan grove right outside the city limits of Forest, Mississippi. It has been my home since I was ten years old. It’s the place where Tripp first told me he loved me and where we’ve celebrated many holidays and special events with both of our families. We opened all of the French doors so guests were about to spend time both inside the house and outside around the pool and garden, where we had tents, food, and plenty of dancing.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? As guests entered my parents’ home for the reception, they were greeted by servers with trays of traditional mint juleps and blackberry lemonade. The food consisted of a seafood fountain of oysters on the half shell and tail-on shrimp! We also had individual servings of shrimp and grits. Since Tripp and I dated all through our time at Ole Miss, we had a Grove tent full of chicken on a stick, an individual slider station, corn dog nuggets, and more! Our favors were pecans that my MeMe and Great Aunt had picked from my parents’ pecan grove during the previous fall. My mom and I spent an entire day making them into delicious sugared pecans that we boxed up for our guests to enjoy! The most Southern thing about our wedding/reception would have to be the tradition behind every detail.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My favorite detail would have to be the wedding cake topper that belonged to my MeMe and PawPaw. I would always play with it as a little girl, and my MeMe so graciously let us display it in a gold and glass container on the table that our wedding cake was on. Tripp’s favorite detail was an antique truck that belongs to my dad–a 1965 Ford that belonged to my PawPaw when my dad was in high school. It was the same truck that my dad drove on his first date with my mom. As a nod to Ole Miss, we had a Grove tent with all the tailgating food you could imagine. We parked the Ford beside the tent and filled it with galvanized tubs of beer.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was that I was planning a wedding from 900 miles away! Every weekend that I was able to travel to Mississippi was planned to the exact minute so that we were able to squeeze in all the planning we could. Thankfully, I have the most amazing mom and mother-in-law who made the process a lot less stressful than it could have been.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Our story began when Tripp and I met briefly through mutual friends while we were in high school. After reconnecting in the spring of 2011. when Tripp was a freshman and I was a sophomore at the University of Mississippi, Tripp asked me to be his date to Old South–his fraternity’s spring formal in New Orleans, Louisiana. We danced the entire night away and ended the weekend eating beignets while watching the sunrise over the Mississippi River. We’ve been inseparable ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! I’ve always been a Daddy’s girl, and spending time with my dad is one of the things I miss the most about being close to home. So, when my dad suggested that we go on a father/daughter date while I was home over the Thanksgiving holidays, I was thrilled! My dad is a local building contractor in our small town in Mississippi, and over the past couple of years, had begun restoring an old, run-down building downtown called The Smith Building. It’s the most beautiful building with the best character. After spending our “date day” taking a dancing lesson, my dad and I headed home to practice what we had learned that afternoon. It was late November, so it was already dark by the time we arrived at the Smith Building, where we intended to practice. My dad made up an excuse that he needed to run home to get a stereo, so he left me to start the heat and turn all the lights on. The downstairs portion of the building was still in disarray, filled with tools and other materials, so I assumed we were practicing on the second floor, which was completely refinished. When I opened the door, I noticed that the steps were lined with pillar candles and white rose petals. In the distance, I could hear mine and Tripp’s song, “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray Lamontagne, playing softly in the background. After I walked up the steps and turned the corner, I found Tripp standing in a room filled with hundreds of candles and white roses. He had furnished the room with pieces that I immediately recognized: a red velvet couch that belonged to my grandmother, one of my favorite rugs that belonged to my mom, and more (he had obviously had some help from my three brothers!). Tripp had an entire speech prepared–he began at the moment he first saw me and ended at the moment he asked my dad for my hand in marriage. I had always joked that I wouldn’t remember anything he would say when he finally proposed, so he had thoughtfully set up cameras around the room to capture the moment from every angle. After many sweet words and lots of tears, Tripp got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. Afterwards, we drove to my parents’ house because Tripp said both of our families were there to celebrate with us by having a small family dinner. When we opened the door, however, 100 of our closest friends and family members were there to greet us with champagne and lots of love!
When did y’all get married? June 4, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 400
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Tripp and I decided to use traditional vows.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Music has always been a large part of both mine and Tripp’s lives. While I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, Tripp is a phenomenal singer (it’s one of the things I love most about him). We wanted to incorporate hymns that we both loved, while honoring the way each of us has grown up in the church. Our grandmothers were seated to “Amazing Grace,” a favorite of them all. The solo was “Be Thou My Vision,” which reduces me to tears by the time I get to the verse that reads “Heart of my own heart, whatever befall; Still be thou my vision, O Ruler of all” every single time I sing it. I walked down the aisle to the strings rendition of “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” which has always and will always be my favorite hymn.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was a four-tiered masterpiece created by The Cake Diva, Maria de La Barre. The flavor of each tier alternated between creme brûlée and traditional almond wedding cake with champagne flavoring. Ivory and blush garden and spray roses cascaded from the top tier to the bottom. The groom’s cake was duck-hunting themed, a favorite hobby of Tripp’s since he was a child. It was a chocolate cake topped by a handmade edible duck decoy and antique shotgun shells. Tripp also had individual tiramisu on his cake table–his favorite dessert of all time.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Tripp and I spent a lot of time in prayer in the months leading up to our wedding. After moving to DC almost two years ago while Tripp was still in Mississippi in graduate school, we’ve spent the last couple of years making our relationship work through constant communication and making the most out of the moments we were able to be in the same place. We soaked up all the advice we could from family and friends and spent time in marriage counseling with my pastor, who also performed our wedding ceremony.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Tripp and I are settling into our cozy life as husband and wife in Washington, DC. Through work obligations and spending time with old and new friends in DC, we still take time to just enjoy each other’s company. We are most excited about sharing this wonderful city together and learning new things about one another every day.

Photographer: Ashley Upchurch Photography | Videographer: Frameblender Films | Planner, Special Details, and Paper Products: Stella and Company | Ceremony Venue: Forest Presbyterian Church | Reception Venue: Private residence | Florist: Au Courant | Cake Baker: The Cake Diva | Caterer and Rentals: Pretty Presentations Catering and Event Rentals | Lighting and Tents: Great Southern Events | Band: The DMP Band | Bride’s Gown: “Eiran” by La Sposa | Bride’s Veil and Jewelry: The Bridal Path | Hair and Makeup: Jan Crowell | Bride’s Shoes: “Giana” by Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Anabel” by J. Crew | Menswear: Tuxes Too | Calligraphy: J. Graham Lettering and Design | Printing: Dement Printing Company

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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  1. avatar 15 wedding cakes that are almost too pretty to eat reply

    […] Light floral cake for an elegant backyard wedding. via Southern Weddings […]

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For every bride, there comes that moment when it hits you–you actually feel like a bride, and you’ll soon be marrying your best friend. I remember that moment so clearly during my own engagement, and for Kristen, it came during her dress shopping trip. I imagine that if having her family in tow while dress shopping was special, having 200 of her and Clay’s friends and family present to celebrate their wedding was just incredible! Together with their planner, Lauren Chitwood, Kristen and Clay turned Oxmoor Farm into the beautiful outdoor wedding Kristen had dreamed of, complete with a Lowcountry boil station during cocktail hour and yummy s’mores!

Big hugs to Amy Campbell for sharing this sweet day with us!

One of the most memorable parts of wedding preparation for me was shopping for the perfect dress. That was the day that it felt real, and I felt more like a bride than ever. It was important to me to have my close family with me to pick out the dress. I went shopping with my grandmothers, mom, and sister. At the second store we visited, I put a few dresses on, and then it happened. When I looked in the mirror, I could see myself walking down the aisle and saying “I do” to my best friend. It’s so hard to determine what everything is going to look like on your wedding day, once your dress actually fits and your hair and makeup is done. In the end, it was beautiful and I know I made a great choice.

Clay and I were in agreement that we did not want to see each other before our ceremony. We both wanted that moment to happen when I walked down the aisle and my dad gave me away. It would have been wonderful to have our pictures taken beforehand, but we went with what we felt was right for us.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? It took us awhile to find the readings that we felt were fitting for us. Finally, we agreed on the Irish Blessing of Hands and Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. We each chose one person to read; Clay chose his father and I chose my grandfather. Listening to each of them read on our wedding day was very special and is something that I’ll never forget.

Besides the Southern hot heat on the day of our wedding, the décor had many Southern touches, too. The Lowcountry boil station during cocktail hour was definitely Southern, as were the fire pits and s’mores–nothing says Southern evening like a fire pit and chocolate. Lastly, our venue is deeply rooted in Southern heritage.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Clay was wonderful about our venue–he didn’t really care where we did it, he just knew he wanted to marry me. I wanted to get married outside, and he was supportive of that. He has a huge family, so we also knew we needed a lot of space for a tent. Lauren, our wedding planner, suggested Oxmoor Farms, and after taking a tour of the property, I fell in love with it. I knew Clay would like it too, because he enjoys places with history. Later, I realized that I had actually played in soccer tournaments on the same field where we had our ceremony!

The wedding flowers were absolutely breathtaking. Before I started getting ready, I walked out to the reception area and was just blown away by how everything had come together. My wedding planner and floral designer used hydrangeas, garden roses, and seeded eucalyptus.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We decided on a small cake for us and our wedding party and cupcakes for everyone else. The choice to have a smaller wedding cake helped us save a little money. Our cake had a beautiful sugar flower that is still in our freezer–I’m hoping to re-use it in the future as we build our family!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through mutual coworkers. A good friend I taught with had heard about Clay through her husband, who worked with Clay. Our friends helped us exchange phone numbers, and talked on and off, mainly through text messages. After about a month, we went on a blind date to dinner and a movie. The rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Clay asked me to dinner early in the week, which was pretty unusual, since he’s more of a spur of the moment kind of guy, but I tried not to think too much about it. We went to dinner at a place called Game, and Clay was very excited. As we waited for a table, Clay was texting like crazy. He told me that he was texting his brother about an Xbox, which I later realized was not exactly the truth. We enjoyed a delicious dinner, and when we left the restaurant, it was cold and nasty outside, so Clay drove home like a mad man. When he got home, I opened the garage door to find something on the ground. As I turned the corner, I saw an entire path of rose petals and candles leading to the living room. Clay ended up dragging me into the living room because I felt like my feet were glued to the floor. He got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. I was in absolute shock! It couldn’t have been any more perfect.
When did y’all get married? June 21, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We discussed writing our own vows, but I knew I’d be too nervous to actually say them, so we decided against it. Looking back, I think I could have said my own vows, because it felt like it was just him and me standing up there. I’m sure I would have been super nervous leading up to it though, so I think we made the right decision!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? The best thing that we did to prepare for our marriage was meet with Father Chibundi. He talked with us about the ups and downs of marriage and shared some of his own experiences. He also gave us a questionnaire to fill out about our relationship. He read over both of our answers and discussed them in detail with us. We were then able to discuss some of the harder issues with one another to plan for our life together.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My most memorable moment is definitely when I locked eyes with the man that I was about to marry! It’s a moment I’ll remember forever.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Our next big steps will be to start a family of our own. I can’t wait to see Clay as a father and I am thankful that I have him to lean on for the rest of my life.

Photographer: Amy Campbell / Videographer: Antonio Pantoja/ Planner: Lauren Chitwood / Venue: Oxmoor Farms / Florist: Sarah Harris / Wedding Cake and Desserts: The Sugar Woods / Caterer: Dupree Catering / Rentals: All Occasion Event Rentals / DJ: SUP DJ Brent Rodgers / Bridal Salon: Rebecca’s Wedding Boutique / Hair and Makeup: Kristie Hicks Creative / Bride’s Shoes: Macy’s / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Twirl / Groom’s Attire: Rebecca’s Black Tie / Table Numbers: Sweet Carolina Collective

Twirl is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  1. avatar Amy Campbell reply

    Thanks so much for the feature! This was a gorgeous day and I’m glad we could share it with others!

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We have a special place in our hearts for the Kentucky Derby, but all horse races/excuses to wear seersucker and fabulous hats are okay by us! With the Belmont Stakes, and the possibility of the first horse to win a Triple Crown since 1978, coming up this weekend, we jumped at the chance to share one more piece of horse race inspiration. This dinner was actually a supper club party, but so many of the elements (hello, navy striped linens and playfully named tables!) could translate easily at a wedding, or even a rehearsal dinner or bridal shower.

Thanks so much to our delightful Blue Ribbon Vendor, Michelle Boyd, for sharing these lovely photos with us!

Photographer: Michelle Boyd / Coordinator: Christina Lewis of The Wedding Warriors / Venue: Sacred Oaks at Camp Lucy / Chef: Rob McMahon / Florals: Whim Studio of Camp Lucy / Tent: Sperry Tents

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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  1. avatar We’re on Southern Weddings! | Sperry Tents by Whim reply

    […] excited to see our Sperry Tents on Southern Weddings today for a Kentucky Derby-inspired supper club event we did in Dripping Springs in May with Whim […]

  2. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    So fun! Love the blue and white stripes with the red flowers! And of course, the hats are fabulous!

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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