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Since we only publish one issue a year, it’s hard for us to share every wedding fashion trend that comes across our desks. And truly, that’s okay, because we want to stay focused on encouraging you to find a wedding dress that’s perfect for YOU, not just one that’s currently buzzy! But, we do love fashion, and we know you do, too, so for the last two years, we’ve had fun putting our own twist on the traditional magazine fashion spread.

Last year, we chose seven gowns that represented virtues of a Southern belle. This year, we dressed eight real Southern belles in gowns inspired by iconic Southern cities. Shopping for your own gown? Don’t be afraid to look outside of your venue’s zip code — we promise each of these beauties would look right at home anywhere in the South!

We’re so grateful to Blue Ribbon Vendor Katelyn James for these gorgeous photos! She made all of our models feel oh-so-comfortable and beautiful on the day of the shoot :)

Unique and cool, the Austin bride embraces a look that’s all her own. Her biggest priority for her dress is that it makes her feel the best version of herself, and this one’s scalloped lace and flowy layer will do just that…and keep her cool in the Texas heat. Sandra is wearing “Iver” by Daughters of Simone with a bouquet by Stephanie Gibbs Events.

The higher the hair, the closer to heaven…and the bigger the bow, the happier the Montgomery bride! Drawing inspiration from sources like Steel Magnolias, she and her groom begin their marriage with a hearty helping of Southern hospitality and style. Jordan is wearing “Chloelis” by Mira Zwillinger with a bouquet by Stephanie Gibbs Events.

Their accents may be peachy sweet, but Atlanta brides have spirits as bold and sparkling as their city’s skyline. This silk faille fluted gown makes a statement from any angle, and would be right at home in any of the city’s dazzling ballrooms. Martine is wearing “Artemis” by Sareh Nouri with a bouquet by Gathering Events.

The Nashville bride can often be found twirling to her favorite country song, and she plans to spend her wedding the exact same way! The slit in this fun lace sheath dress is just right for showing off her beloved boots–she can’t imagine walking down the aisle without them. LaBruce is wearing “Bedford” by Sarah Seven with a bouquet by Stephanie Gibbs Events.

A classic look never fails in one of the South’s most historic destinations. The Williamsburg bride stuns in a satin ball gown, and much like the nooks and corners of this Colonial town, this dress is even lovelier up close–the fabric is embossed with a subtle floral motif. Arch is wearing “Gala” by Modern Trousseau with a bouquet by Branch Design Studio.

Even in a city where unique architecture, jazzy music, and festive traditions can be found around every corner, an ornate, long-sleeved gown will still be the most memorable part of a New Orleans wedding. Layered tulle and re-embroidered lace keep guests’ eyes on the NOLA bride long after the sun sets over the French Quarter. Megan is wearing “Prairie Rose” by Claire Pettibone with a bouquet by Branch Design Studio.

One might call Charleston the quintessential Southern city, so a few Southern belle staples–pearls, scalloped edges, and tulle–are musts for the Charleston bride! Timeless but never dull, she isn’t afraid to put her own spin on traditional elements. Emily is wearing “Lacey Williams” by Heidi Elnora with a bouquet by Gathering Events.

The Florida sun is only outshone by the Palm Beach bride’s wedding day joy! Posing next to bridesmaid outfitted in bright shift dresses, she’s still sure to stand out in a layered gown accented with unexpected and delightful pops of color. Jordan is wearing “Paige” by Hayley Paige with a bouquet by Gathering Events.

I’d love to hear which look is your favorite, and whether we did a good job capturing your favorite Southern city! :)

Venue: The Gadsden House | Hair: Ash & Co. Bridal Hair | Makeup: Bellelina | Jewelry: Croghan’s Jewel Box

Katelyn James and Bellelina are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory. Sarah Seven and Heidi Elnora are wonderful Southern Weddings sponsors.

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar India Hill reply

    I literally teared up when I saw that last dress! It’s the most beautiful dress I’ve ever seen!

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There is something so incredibly sweet about Libbie and Alan’s Georgia wedding, and I think it all stems from the fact that they kept their guest list super small. Childhood friends-turned-sweethearts, I’m sure it would have been easy for them to invite anyone and everyone they grew up with, but instead, they kept their guest list to just extended family and eight close friends. This meant that every single person at the wedding knew the two of them well and was ready to play an active role in encouraging their marriage in the years to come. Especially with their own little belle on the way now, I can only imagine how grateful Libbie and Alan are for their loving community!

Thank you kindly to Eliza Morrill for sharing this special day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I looked and looked, found a dress, and then started having second thoughts. I’m a very whimsical/ethereal type of gal and the dress just didn’t fit the bill. My stepmother and I, with very little time to spare, stepped into an adorable wedding dress shop, Kelly’s Closet in Atlanta, and there it was…the most perfect dress. It fit like a glove–all we had to do was hem the bottom and add the bustle! It was fate!

My favorite detail was the flowers, because they were simply perfect, but another favorite was that our dog LB, aka Lady Blue, was there to spend the day with us. She is a blue pit/lab mix and was my something blue. She is the sweetest thing you will ever meet and knew this day was a special one to be a part of. She smiled like a good girl for the pictures and sat quietly with my best friends for the ceremony.

How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Four of my closest friends and four of his, and then just our aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmothers, and immediate family members! It was a very intimate wedding.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Both of our families had spent Thanksgiving at Barnsley Gardens on separate occasions and it is truly a magical place. We knew we wanted an outdoor, destination wedding and my stepmother even remembered me saying I wanted to get married there during our visit many years before. When we returned, I just knew it was the perfect place for Alan and I to be married–there were flowers upon flowers, beautiful trees, and rolling hills.

The wedding flowers were definitely one of my favorite details of the day–they were stunning. I carried a whimsical bouquet designed with all white and green blooms, which included ranunculus, white Veronica, white stock, Queen Anne’s lace, white larkspur, white scabiosa, mini green hydrangea, mixed succulents, Green Jade roses, and a variety of eucalyptus. My bridesmaid’s bouquets were smaller, but equally as stunning, using the same flowers. My flower crown (I wish I could wear it every day of my life!) was designed with small succulents, larkspur, ranunculus, and mixed greenery.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My father’s speech was so unbelievably heartfelt–he could barely get through it, he got so choked up. He said things he had been trying to say for years and spoke about my mother, who passed away when I was 13 and would have given anything to be there that day. He had the whole wedding party in tears. It was beautiful.

We had a simple, three-tiered vanilla cake with vanilla frosting and fresh strawberries between the layers. My florist added flowers cascading all the way down the cake. Honeymoon Bakery in Rome, Georgia hit it out the park! I could eat this cake for every meal, and I am counting down the days until our first anniversary!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Eliza Morril Photography, for sure–we went to school together since we were very young, played soccer together, and our big brother were great friends! She did an outstanding job, and as someone who hates posing for pictures, she actually made it pretty fun!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We went to school together since we were six years old and have always been such great friends. However, we didn’t start dating until about two years ago, and the minute we stared dating, we just knew it would last forever.
Tell us all about the proposal! He put the ring under his family’s dog’s collar and said “LuLu has a present for you!” She was so excited, it was like she knew she was delivering something very special. He then said, “I have loved you since the fifth grade and have known I wanted to marry you since the moment we started dating.” The ring he gave me was my deceased mother’s wedding ring and it is the most beautiful thing I own. Wearing it every day is an honor. I get to carry a piece of her with me for the rest of my life.
When did y’all get married? April 17, 2016
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The string quartet played as the bridesmaids and mothers walked down the aisle to different songs by The Beatles, and I walked to “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard. We walked back up the aisle together to the upbeat part of “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Ros. It was all simply perfect!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The groom’s best man was his father, which is just about as Southern as you can get! The location of the wedding, Barnsley Gardens, is also right in the heart of Southern Georgia.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My stepmother is a woman of many trades; she cut the little birchwood place holders for the reception, sewed the burlap tablecloths for the reception, made the wedding programs, made the dog’s flower collar, and sewed the junior bridesmaid dress herself!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t let the details stress you out too much, and take things day by day. The vendors know what they are doing, so let them help you and trust them!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We have a baby coming soon, so we are now planning for her arrival! We are also moving to Nashville in September!

Photographer: Eliza Morril Photography | Videographer: Peerless Films | Planner: Heather Rabinowitz | Venue, Catering, and Rentals: Barnsley Gardens | Florist: Bloom | Cake Baker: Honeymoon Bakery | DJ: Gresham Cash Trip | Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau | Hair and Makeup: Claudia Mejerle | Bride’s Shoes: Nine West | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN and Donna Morgan | Menswear: Collared Greens

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Dana reply

    Those pictures in the flowers, omg!!!! And the doggy :)

  2. avatar Catherine reply

    Love her gown! Beautiful!

  3. avatar Elle reply

    That dress is to die for!

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One of the sweetest parts of planning a wedding is the opportunity to show your guests what you and your beau hold most dear in your life together. For Nicole and Martin, those things are their Christian faith and their Southern roots, so their Atlanta wedding day was filled to the brim with prayer, meaningful moments, gestures of hospitality, and their favorite Southern delicacies! Their families also played a huge role in making their celebration so special–their grandfathers officiated the ceremony together, and Nicole and Martin were especially excited to display family wedding photos at their reception “to honor the long line of loving marriages that have been examples for our own marriage.”

Thank you so much to Danielle Nichol for sharing this lovely day with us!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Prayer was incorporated at different moments throughout our entire wedding day. Each of those precious moments will forever hold a special place in my heart. Before my mother helped me into my dress, she held my hands and poured out her heart to God over me and my marriage. Each of our grandfathers prayed over us during the ceremony. In the car riding to the reception, Martin prayed over our new marriage–that it would glorify God and be led by Him. And before the night of dancing began at the reception, my father prayed the most meaningful of blessings over us. These prayers were a testament to the love and support of our family, and we hope to create as powerful a Christian legacy as they have.

A few weeks after our engagement, my parents drove to Atlanta for a weekend of wedding planning. My parents and I started the dress hunt at White Magnolia in Buckhead, which I’m so thankful my mother-in-law had suggested. It was the perfect dress shopping experience! The girls were very attentive and listened to what I envisioned on my wedding day. It was a blast! While browsing around the store, I noticed a dress on display in the window and immediately told my mother “It’s the perfect dress!” I quickly peeked at the dress price and my heart fell–it was over the budget. When I walked into the dressing room later, I noticed the “perfect” dress hanging in the room, and was told by the girl that my dad had requested it to be pulled regardless of price. Needless to say, as soon as I put the dress on, it resulted in a few happy tears–including my father’s!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did, and it was the best decision that we made regarding the wedding! It was both Martin’s and my most memorable moment of the day. It not only allowed us to enjoy that special moment alone, but it also calmed our nerves before the ceremony. Being able to take pictures beforehand and having more time to spend with guests at the reception were a huge plus as well!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Martin’s grandfather, who is an Episcopal priest, as well as my grandfather, who is a Baptist minister, were able to conduct the ceremony together! It was such a sweet memory having both of our grandfathers pour out their love for Jesus over us and our marriage. We wanted the ceremony to feel like a worship service, and for all of our guests to witness our love for Christ and our desire for Him to lead us throughout our lives together.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We are both very traditional and used the traditional Christian vows! However, no matter how many times we had heard the same words at other weddings or in movies, the moment I put Martin’s ring on his hand and promised him my heart forever was the most emotional and overwhelming moment of the entire wedding. It was a moment that we will cherish forever.

Tim at Petals A Florist was able to translate my every dream for the reception and bring them to life. He named his design concept for our wedding a “beautiful mess.” I wanted to bring the soft and romantic feel of an English garden into the ballroom with asymmetrical styling and flowing greenery. The garland used on the tables, as well as the large mirror that was placed at the entrance of the room, was by far my favorite touch! We chose shades of white and ivory colored flowers with a touch of blush pink in the arrangements. The flowers were a mixture of ranunculus, O’Hara roses, English garden roses, and English stock. Tim was even able to insert a few peonies (my favorite flower) into the bouquets without breaking the budget. The greenery used in the wedding was Southern smilax, which happens to be a vine that my mother and I have used many times to decorate at Christmas!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Martin and I wanted Southern hospitality and charm to be the main theme of our wedding! Our goal was to have everyone feel welcome, comfortable, and appreciated for supporting us throughout our relationship, and now marriage. Our menu consisted of all Southern foods, including pimento cheese crackers, chicken and waffles, barbecue sandwiches, and a grits bar. Since I’m from Alabama and Martin is from Georgia, he wanted to incorporate local craft beers from each of our home states into the bar menu. The South loves heritage, so we were able to display our parents’ and grandparents’ weddings pictures to honor the long line of loving marriages that have been examples for our own marriage. To cool our guests off during the band’s break, we served King of Pops, which is a local popsicle company here in Georgia. We received many thanks from our guests over this decision. For our send-off, we ran through Auburn shakers…and a few loud Auburn cheers, as well!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. It was fall of my sophomore year at Auburn University (War Eagle!) and my best friend and sorority sister, Mackenzie, invited me over for a party at her apartment. While there, I met this tall, quiet, and extremely handsome guy who happened to be one of her best guy friends. Over the next few months, I saw Martin occasionally, and each time, my attraction grew, as did my quietness. Spring semester came and Martin’s fraternity held a dinner party for my sorority. So convenient! Of course, I saw Martin that night and decided that being shy wasn’t going to show him I was interested–it was time to cue the flirting. By the end of the evening, he had invited me to a date party, and by that Sunday, he had called and asked me to go on our first date that evening! I knew that night when he got out of the car to open my door that I was sold–this was a true Southern gentleman. He took me to eat at a local pizza restaurant where he learned my first quirk, eating pizza with a fork and knife! He stills teases me over that habit. It was the perfect first date, and from there, the rest was history. I was head over heels!
Tell us all about the proposal! From Martin: Since we had talked about marriage, I knew that I wanted to make the proposal as much of a surprise as possible for her. I teamed up with her mom and closest friends in order to get that done. I asked all of them to give “accidental” hints like saying “Oh, we will be in Atlanta that weekend,” even though there was no reason for them to be visiting. She fell for the bait and was sure that she had figured it all out. Nicole had mentioned a few times that she wanted to have her nails done, but I needed to make that happen without raising any flags. Nicole’s parents were in town the weekend prior (we got engaged on a Monday), so she thought there was a chance it was happening that Sunday. Her mom decided that they should go get their nails done, which immediately sent up a red flag in Nicole’s mind. She was noticeably excited and anxious all weekend, and then somewhat let down when her parents “left” that Monday morning. After nailing down all the details, it came down to the big day. I picked Nicole up from her apartment, all the while trying not to look incredibly nervous in front of her. On our way to dinner, I told her I thought I had left one of my golf clubs on the course while playing the day before and that we had to go look for it. It took a little convincing, but eventually, she played along. I carefully “looked” for my missing golf club while Nicole followed along. Once we got to the spot, and I sloppily went through the speech I had been running through my head all day, and asked the woman of my dreams to marry me. She said yes!
When did y’all get married? April 9, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? The decisions we have made as a couple throughout our relationship have been based on our faith in Christ. We seek to find His will, and strive to be an example of His unconditional love. With the excitement of the engagement and rush of planning a wedding, we consciously chose to place planning for our future together at the forefront. We attended premarital counseling sessions with our church over our ten-month engagement. We also set aside time together every Tuesday night to read a chapter of Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, a book we highly recommend to couples!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I’ve always enjoyed playing around with different styles of handwriting, and my great-grandmother always taught me that a handwritten note held more meaning and sentiment than any other form of communication. I took that advice to heart, and a year ago, decided to start Vine & Olive Design, a calligraphy design company. With our wedding, I had the opportunity to not only complete all the calligraphy for the wedding invitations and other details, but I was also able to design our own save the date, invitation suite, and monogram! It was great experience and marketing for Vine & Olive, and it cut a large amount of cost for our paper products! We also received multiple praises from guests on the sentimentality of the personal touches.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just purchased a home here in Atlanta and love being able to finally live together with our adorable golden retriever, Palmer. It’s a wonderful feeling waking up next to your husband every morning, and not having to leave at the end of the night! With life beginning to settle down after the wedding excitement, we now have time to decorate the house! We’re looking forward to starting the next phase in life as “newlyweds” while enjoying time with each other and friends, and supporting each other as we work towards our dreams. I’ve decided that life is definitely more fun when you’re married to your best friend!

Photographer: Danielle Nichol Photography | Videographer: Ryan Lindsey with Imagine Video Productions | Ceremony Venue: All Saints’ Episcopal Church | Reception Venue: Piedmont Driving Club | Florist: Petals A Florist | Lighting: Up Lighting America | Band: Tayo Reed Band | Paper Products and Calligraphy: Vine & Olive Design | Bride’s Gown: “Ginny” by Modern Trousseau | Bride’s Earrings and Bracelet: J. Crew | Hair and Makeup: Courtney Clifton | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Azazie in Mint Chiffon | Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers | Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Uplighting Rental reply

    Absolutely love the photos, great job!

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