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Today is the day, friends!! Southern Weddings Volume 9 is available on newsstands around the South, and we are giddy thinking of y’all flipping through our pages — our heart on paper. Whether you’re curled up on your sofa or cozied in at a coffee shop to ooh and ahh, dog-ear and drink in, know that we are as excited for you as we are for this debut! We hope the practical and pretty we packed into this issue will encourage and equip you to live out your very own love story.

And speaking of love stories: we couldn’t have picked a better one to inspire our cover than Allie and Noah’s. The illustrated manor house on the invitation, the Spanish moss setting, the jewelry made from family heirlooms, the slightly-vintage bridesmaid dresses, the nod to Allie’s love of painting… it all combines for a joyful ode to Lowcountry style and lifelong commitment. We hope you love it.

Thank you so much to Blue Ribbon Vendor Davy Whitener for capturing these dreamy photos!

Lydia found the perfect shade of haint blue for our invitation suite – a nod to Lowcountry porch ceilings like the one on Allie’s dream house.

I mean, y’all. Dying over that dress, that bouquet (!!!), her radiant smile!

Isn’t our bride’s silver bracelet gorgeous? Gabrielle Jewelry creates their designs with a lost wax casting process, which incorporates textile patterns (like, for example, the lace from your Mama’s wedding dress) into metal. So cool!

Burying the bourbon worked like a charm for us – we had a cool 80 degree day in Hilton Head in June, which was more than we were hoping for!

Elaine worked throughout our shoot day to create the most beautiful painting of our ceremony spot. It was so neat to watch it come together!

Thrive Catering designed an innovative, beautiful, and delicious menu of updated Southern favorites, like two-tone pimiento cheese, fried deviled eggs, and deconstructed shrimp and grits. Yum!

One of my personal favorite details from this editorial is the signage at our sweet tea station – Lydia penned it on a vintage serving tray!

Such a sweet way to honor the marriages that have come before yours: assemble a board of your parents and grandparents advice beforehand, then, if you like, ask guests to add their own two cents during cocktail hour!

For a refreshing nod to the ’50s, Thrive Catering suggested vintage rootbeer floats as our “groom’s cake.” Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and choose a sweet you know your beau will love!

Order your copy now of Southern Weddings Volume 9 in the Southern Weddings Shop!

Photographer: Davy Whitener | Planner and stylist: Molly McKinley Designs | Film processing: Richard Photo Lab | Venue: Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn Plantation | Floral design: August Event Design | Hair and makeup: Jennifer C. Nieman | Cake: Minette Rushing | Caterer: Thrive Catering | Paper goods: Lydia Whitener | Furniture rentals: Savannah Vintage Rentals | Lounge area: Ooh! Events | Tabletop rentals: Southern Vintage | Live painting: Elaine Burge of Gregg Irby Gallery | Taper candles: Creative Candles | China: Peacock Alley | Sweet tea spoons: Milk & Honey | Table runner and ribbon: Nettle Textiles | Linens: I Do Linens | Bride’s gown: “Lainee” by Christos | Bride’s veil: Tessa Kim | Jewelry: Gabrielle Jewelry | Bridesmaid dresses: Paper Crown | Seersucker pants: Bonobos | Bow ties: Southern Weddings for High Cotton Ties

emily Written with love by Emily
6 Comments
  1. avatar Bumby reply

    I LOVE IT!!! I see a familiar face in there too I know around the group table. Cannot wait to get my copy!!!!

  2. avatar Rhiannon reply

    So so beautiful! Well done, SW and team!

  3. avatar Amy reply

    Beautiful bride, totally radiant, I can feel the love. Best wishes to all from Amy of https://poemstogo.tv!

  4. avatar Hilton Head Wedding Photographer | Davy Whitener Photography reply

    […] We were honored to photograph this editorial with Southern Weddings for their Volume 9 magazine.  It was a humbling and amazing feeling that they pulled one of images for the cover!  The great team that contributed are listed below.  See more on their website here – A Storied Love […]

  5. avatar A Storied Love | Part 2 – Davy Whitener Destination Wedding Photography reply

    […] cover!  The great team that contributed are listed below.  See more on their website here – A Storied Love. Also, see the cover reveal here – V9 Cover […]

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I’ll be honest, when I learn that a couple meets at a philanthropic event for children, I’m going to have high hopes that their wedding is sweeter than sugar. Allison and Patrick did not disappoint! With the help of their planner, Molly McKinley, these two University of Florida alum (I see that chop, y’all!) planned a traditional wedding with plenty of heart. Allison and Patrick realized that this may be the only day where every person they love was in one room, so they wanted to take advantage of the chance to make each and every guest feel loved and important. They even took the time to write a personalized note to each of their guests, filled with words of love, gratitude, and memories, that was incorporated into their place settings. Such a kind gesture that I’m sure guests were touched by!

Big SW hugs to Morning Light by Michelle Landreau for sharing this lovely day with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old was gold and pearl drop earrings that once belonging to my Italian great-grandmother, Nonni Catherine. Our something new was a set of beautiful coupe toasting glasses given as a gift to us from our wedding planner. We borrowed the cake cutter Patrick’s parents had used at their wedding. My something blue was a sorority tradition, a knotted turquoise ribbon, sewn into my dress.

There were many aspects of our wedding that we wanted to remain very traditional with, including not having a first look. We both wanted the traditional moment of seeing each other for the first time during our ceremony. It was even more special to us because all our friends and family were able to be a part of that moment too.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We used traditional vows, but our ceremony was very personalized because it was officiated by a college friend, Joe, who was in seminary school at the time. He also happens to be married to the mutual friend who first introduced Patrick and I. Joe added many personal touches (we made vows both to God and each other) and tailored the sermon to our favorite Bible verses (Romans 12). He also read Louis Evan’s wedding prayer–a personal favorite of mine–which includes beautiful advice for a Christian marriage, such as, “May they never take each other’s love for granted, but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims: Out of all this world, you have chosen me!”

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It was really important to us that every single one of our guests knew how much it meant to have them celebrating with us on our wedding day. We realized that our wedding day may be the only day in our lives where every person we love was in one room. We spent the weeks leading up to the wedding writing personalized notes to each of our guests containing words of love, gratitude, and memories. Those notes were then placed in hand-calligraphed envelopes and incorporated into each of the guests’ place settings.

Our wedding cake was composed of alternating tiers of almond cake with raspberry filling and cinnamon cake with cream cheese filling. It was covered in fresh flowers and rough buttercream frosting. We also had wedding favors of raspberry and coconut French macarons. While the only bite of cake we ate was during the cake cutting, we arrived home from our honeymoon to a freezer full of macarons and were eating them for months!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Patrick and I met through Dance Marathon at the University of Florida, a philanthropy benefiting Children’s Miracle Network.
When did y’all get married? August 15, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? In my opinion, part of being Southern is an emphasis on food, family, and the Lord. Each was highlighted in some way throughout our wedding day. I’d also have to say the way in which our wedding date was chosen adhered to some strict Southern norms. We only had August or December to choose from because we knew that holding a Saturday evening wedding during football season, would result in some pretty angry (and distracted) friends and family!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Instead of having a professional photo booth vendor, we provided polaroid cameras for the guests to take photographs with. Our family and friends had a lot of fun capturing moments throughout the cocktail hour and reception. The photos were either taped into our guest book or taken home by guests as sweet mementos.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We loved every single vendor who was a part of our wedding, but hiring our wedding planner, Molly McKinley, was the best decision we made. I wrestled back and forth over whether I needed a professional planner for the year leading up to the wedding, but looking back, I literally could not be happier with our decision. I can’t imagine the planning process without Molly. She is an advisor, artist, and friend, all in one. Every other vendor who exceeded our expectations were by her suggestion. She spun my ideas into a reality that was even better than I had imagined.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t get so wrapped up in planning the wedding that you forget to plan for the marriage. The wedding is one day. The marriage lasts all the rest. Surround yourself with people who can not only give you advice and guidance, but also some loving perspective when you need it.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We currently live in Atlanta, Georgia (with our cat Lilly) and are loving newlywed life. Every day is an adventure and we look forward to growing our love for each other for many years to come. We both look forward to all the little things that come with living with your best friend, such as trips to the farmer’s market, lazy Friday nights, and learning more about each other. Marriage is a wonderful gift and we’re thankful to be sharing it with each other.

Photographer: Morning Light by Michelle Landreau | Planner: Molly McKinley | Venue: Foxhall Sporting Club | Florist: Bloomin’ Bouquets | Cake Baker: Confection Perfection | Caterer: Home.Made | Rentals: Unlimited Party and Event Rentals, Event Rentals Unlimited, and Southern Vintage | DJ: Black Tie Events | Paper Products: Plain Jane Designs | Bride’s Gown: Style L318 by Legends by Romona Keveza | Bride’s Veil: The Sentimentalist | Hair and Makeup: Jennifer C Nieman | Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy in Topaz | Linens: I Do Linens | Calligraphy: Lydia Whitener

marissa Written with love by Marissa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Elizabeth reply

    Everything about this wedding is elegant, simple, with details in all the right places. Truly swoon-worthy, (& pin worthy!)

  2. avatar Elle reply

    So very soft and beautiful!

  3. avatar Casey reply

    I live in Georgia and I am looking for this exact dress, where did you find a retailer around this area that carried the designer?

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Casey! Romona Keveza Legends (the designer of this gown) is available at two Georgia salons: Bridals by Lori and BlueBell Bridal. I hope you find your dress! xx, MAK

  4. avatar Allison & Patrick: The Wedding at Foxhall Resort – Fine Art Wedding & Portrait Photography Serving Atlanta & Destinations Worldwide reply

    […] thanks to Southern Weddings for sharing this sweet love story on their […]

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Peaches are such a beloved staple in Southern agriculture and cuisine, and for couples like Ashlee and Tom, who live right in the heart of Georgia’s peach country, they take on an extra special meaning. From bridesmaids outfitted in mismatched peachy hues to the flavor of the ice cream Ashlee and Tom enjoyed during their first look, peaches played an important role in inspiring the look and feel of every detail of this sweet celebration. Ashlee said it best when she said, “Our goal was for our guests to be able to take a bite of a peach and to taste the peach ice cream, and, if just for a moment, be taken back to a time when life was much more simple than it is now.”

We’re so grateful to Haley Sheffield for sharing Ashlee and Tom’s beautiful wedding with us!

My first memory of Tom is from an Easter party in second grade; I’d found the “prize egg” during the hunt, and Tom came up behind me and stole the egg from my basket. Thankfully, one of the other guys in our grade wrestled it back from him. Tom swears he stole it because he had a crush on me, but I’m not quite sure if I believe that. We still laugh about it! Years later, when I told my parents that I was going on a date with Tom, my mom’s first reaction was, “the punk that stole your Easter egg?!” My parents adore Tom now, but he did have a reputation to overcome. Tom and I dated for eight years before we got engaged in June 2013.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, Tom and I did a first look and I’m so happy that we did. Our ceremony was at 7:30 P.M., so we wanted to do our photos before the official festivities began. I also wanted the first glimpse to be private and secluded, instead of in front of a large crowd. We saw each other on the front porch of the Lee Pope House and spent an hour walking through the peach orchard and venturing over to Pearson Farm to get peach ice cream, which is one of our favorite things to do together.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We wrote our vows together and repeated them after our officiant and close friend, Zack. My favorite phrase from our vows would have to be, “I vow to reach for your hand through any crisis and to turn to Christ through any trials.” I love how that phrase unites us with the Lord and is a gentle reminder that although we may lean upon each other, we ultimately look to Christ above all.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The music at the ceremony was one of my priorities. I chose to walk in to “Baleen Morning” by Balmorhea, which moved me to tears the first time I heard it a few years before our wedding. We also asked our guests to sing along with us to Steve Moakler’s song, “Holiday at Sea.” The lyrics to that song hold a deep meaning to us and remind us that this earth is only our temporary home.

Three days before our wedding, my lab, Odie, suddenly passed away. I was devastated and worried that I wouldn’t be able to put on a happy face through all the festivities that were about to take place. On our wedding day, I found comfort in the ordinary. Instead of anxiety, I looked at the crowd spread across the lawn at Lee Pope and I saw love. Instead of imperfect details, I saw the countless hours that everyone had pitched in to make that day perfect. I felt calm in the gentle breeze that day. I took deep breaths for the first time in months and felt thankful for the unseasonably cool temperature. As Tom and I slipped away, hand in hand, to share some peach ice cream, I found contentment in the simplicity of it all. For the first time of our 14-month engagement, I was able to see what that day was truly about. Although it was by far the most challenging part of our wedding and something most brides hopefully won’t have to face, I am grateful that it gave me the vulnerability to realize what a sacred day our wedding day was. I’d become so wrapped up in every detail being perfect that I’d neglected to focus on the real meaning behind the day.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Our ceremony venue and reception venue both hold a very special place in our hearts. Our ceremony venue is a house near our family’s farm that holds so much farming history. I have a special connection with the Lee Pope House, and I knew immediately that there was no place I’d rather join our lives at than there. Tom and our families spent over a year fixing up our barn for the reception.

Tom is a farmer and I wanted our entire wedding to represent that tradition. Our wedding was centered around peaches–what this small county in Middle Georgia is famous for. Our goal was for our guests to be able to take a bite of a peach and to taste the peach ice cream, and, if just for a moment, be taken back to a time when life was much more simple than it is now.

Don’t miss Ashlee + Tom’s video from Hampton Road Studios!

Tell us all about the proposal! I was in North Carolina photographing a wedding and Tom decided to come with me. He mentioned that he’d like to stay an extra day, which I found odd, because Tom is usually itching to get back to work on the farm. We went to visit Tom’s brother-in-law, Stephen, who is also a photographer. Stephen told me that he was “rebranding” and that he needed a new headshot for his website. The three of us went to a mountainside park close to Stephen’s house and I began taking photos. After we were done, Stephen somehow convinced me to let him take a few photos of Tom and me. He positioned Tom a few feet behind me in the background and then told me to look towards Tom. Tom was down on one knee holding the most beautiful ring, and all I remember was telling him he was “making a scene.” Those pictures are so special to us.
When did y’all get married? August 2, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I wanted my dress hunt to be very simple and relaxed. I took only my mom with me and we made a fun girls’ day out of it. We found my dress at the first shop we visited, The Sentimentalist in Atlanta. I loved how light and breathable it was. I’m a very low key person, so I wanted simplicity as well as comfort, and the Elizabeth Dye gown provided both. I selected a gold scalloped belt to accent the waistline.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Directly after the ceremony, Tom, Haley (our photographer), Aphid (our dog), and I snuck away for about 20 minutes. Tom took us to the edge of a field that overlooked the entire county–a gorgeous view. We caught the tail end of the sunset and it was the first time we’d gotten to be alone that entire month, really. It was so quiet and I felt so at peace at that moment.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We purchased a 100-year-old farmhouse and are knee-deep in renovations. Married life is so fun. I love not having to say goodbye at night. When he leaves for work in the morning, he kisses me on the forehead–he thinks I’m still asleep, but I’m not. I love that. I just love sharing this life with him.

Photographer: Haley Sheffield / Videographer: Hampton Road Studios / Planner: Molly McKinley Designs / Venue: Private residence / Florist: Lindsay Coletta Designs / Cake Baker: Jan McCord Catering / Caterer: Leon Holloway / Rentals: Southern Vintage / Band: Celebration Band / Paper Products: Emma Torrence / Bride’s Gown: “Tempest” by Elizabeth Dye / Bridal Salon: The Sentimentalist / Hair and Makeup: Sarah Elisabeth Makeup Artistry / Bride’s Shoes: “On the Floor” by Seychelles

Haley Sheffield is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Atlanta Wedding Planner & Designer | Peach-Inspired | Atlanta Wedding Planning & Design reply

    […] special thank you to Southern Weddings for featuring this sweet fete. You can view their feature here. Also, make sure to check out their amazing wedding day […]

  2. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    Those wedding videos get me teary every time! I really like how they incorporated a line from Oceans into their day :)

  3. avatar Victoria reply

    Hello!

    I’m a bride who is looking for mix and match dresses, and these bridesmaids dresses are gorgeous! I know that they are most likely no longer on sale, but I just have no idea where to look for this kind of style. Comfortable, breathable, and slightly more casual. Could you direct me to a place where I could find that? Thanks!

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