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Southern Weddings

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If there was ever a couple who exemplified “Southern at heart,” it would be Katherine and Evan! While they may share Northern roots and an Indiana address (even after Evan “had sworn on his life he would never move back north”), their commitment to hospitality, love for tradition, and soft spot for Dixie staples like bourbon and chicken and waffles mean that they, and their dreamy wedding, would be right at home anywhere below the Mason-Dixon line. After a Catholic ceremony, they gathered their loved ones at a family friend’s property, which they transformed through incredible blooms by The Empty Vase, custom linens (that they now use in their home!), and tableware that would make any Southern belle’s heart skip a beat. Along with being completely gorgeous, their reception was also quite the party–Katherine remembers, “There was so much joy and relaxation happening in so many different ways for so many different people! We were overwhelmed with happiness!”

Thank you so much to Melissa Schollaert for sending this stunning celebration our way!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our calligrapher, Jane Farr, is a gem. I have always loved paper and knew that I would be so excited about these particular details. Every single item had custom calligraphy by Jane in a bespoke ink color (blue). Hand-drawn maps were carefully curated with places special to us – this was one of our favorite details! A favorite piece was probably the hand-drawn letterpress map that was included in our invitation suite – it displayed tons of hand-drawn places (from Indiana to Kentucky) and things that meant a lot to us (childhood homes, the Children’s Museum, where we met, Keeneland, Rupp Arena, the Tri Delta house, lake house, etc). It was so fun to be part of this creative process by sending her pictures of all the places we wanted her to draw/interpret. She did a different, abbreviated version as part of our itinerary bundle, which was placed in each welcome box. Both versions are framed in our office and we still receive comments about them to this day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What better excuse to get away to New York with two of your best friends (who just so happen to be your mom and sister) than to shop, eat, and drink lots of champagne? My family absolutely loves to travel, and my mom, sister, and I look forward to our annual “girls’ trips” (even though we all see each other almost every day as it is!). We flew to New York in early April and stayed at the Plaza for several nights. I only made appointments at small boutiques, and spanned them out over two days during our four-day trip. Careful to not rule too many styles out, I tried on a few dresses, and quickly fell in love with an A-line Oscar de la Renta gown with a sweetheart neckline and unique floral embroidery. According to my mom and sister, it was the only dress “I smiled” in. Ha! My hesitation over a strapless style was quickly solved, as the design team was able to create a customized gown from the initial design, but with beautiful, delicate straps. The dress was completed with a matching cathedral-length veil.

We went back and forth on whether or not we wanted to do a first look. We ended up going for it and are so glad we did! We knew that our private moments together throughout the day may be limited, so a first look was a great way to have that time together and to just temporarily freeze the day.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Evan and I had several premarital sessions with our deacon prior to getting married. We really enjoyed these sessions and learned so much about each other, including what makes us strong as a couple (which just so happens to be a lot of our differences). Getting to know Deacon Paul so well really created a truly intimate ceremony.

The decisions for the church and venue were simple. Evan comes from a devout Catholic family, so we decided early on that we would be married in a Catholic church. We chose St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, a beautiful old Spanish cathedral made of gorgeous limestone. The church captured the elegance, history, and spirituality that we could have only dreamed of! The reception location was also an easy choice. We have always wanted an outdoor reception, and a family member’s property was ideal. The property sprawls over several dozen acres on the north side of Indianapolis. The alley of oaks leading up to the farmhouse, paired with the rolling hills and wooded forest surrounding the estate made for the perfect setting – central Indiana with a touch of Kentucky, just like us!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? My mom is from the South and moved to Indianapolis when she was a senior in high school. That said, she has spread a lot of that Southern charm and “way of life” throughout our family here in the Midwest! Between her Southern roots and my time spent living in the South, I have a special love and respect for Southern culture. We buried the bourbon for good luck, my sorority sisters serenaded me (a highlight of each Tri Delta’s wedding!), and everyone enjoyed quite an extensive bar with almost any type of bourbon you can think of. Evan was super surprised by his groom’s cake at our rehearsal dinner, which someone actually thought was a REAL Yeti cooler filled with ice, fish, and Evan’s favorite beer (all made out of cake and sugar!), while my bridesmaids enjoyed the cake pull at my bridal luncheon. Our cuisine was heavily influenced by the South, as well, featuring chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, and braised short rib. Overall, I would like to think that the weekend had a strong sense of Southern hospitality. We were so blessed to have people join us from near and far and wanted them to enjoy the weekend. Not only were we excited to get married, but we were excited to show people our city!

All of our amazing vendors and artists really created a day that had “us” written all over it. We had a tremendous amount of trust in all involved, specifically our event designer, David Jackson, and floral designer, David Strohmeyer of the Empty Vase. Both Davids (also known as “the Dream Team”) nailed it! In neo-English garden style, the bouquets and décor featured an eclectic mix of domestic European garden blooms, a smattering of exotics, and a variety of dark green foliage and vines. The design team also brought in trees, plants, and blooming plants to soften tent corners and to place around the property. A trellis was custom-made with green boxwood lattice squares to soften the back wall of the tent. One of my favorite parts of all the flowers was the stagecoach lantern in the cocktail tent that had blooms exploding from the top. We also had several large chandeliers in the dining tent overflowing with beautiful blooms. They were stunning, to say the least!

All of our linens for the cocktail tent and dining tent were completely bespoke. The coloring, embroidery, and fabric was all custom created. The hundreds of blue and white porcelain pieces and julep cups were all hand-selected for our wedding as well. It is so fun to use our linens to this day, and our home is affectionately dubbed “the House of Blues” because of all of our blue and white porcelain.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had a delicious, five-tiered Limoncello cake with fresh blueberries and lemon curd.

What was the most memorable moment about your day? As dinner was coming to an end and Evan and I were mingling with our friends and family, we stepped aside together and took a look around. There were people laughing and enjoying the lounge area in the cocktail tent, we could hear children laughing and playing games in the children’s tent, people were strolling along the oak-row, hand-in-hand, my cousins were climbing in one of the huge, beautiful trees, people were on the dance floor, my other little cousins were pulling each other around in a red wagon down the driveway, champagne corks were popping…there was so much joy and relaxation happening in so many different ways for so many different people! We were overwhelmed with happiness!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Evan was living in Nashville at the time and I was living back in Indianapolis. We are both from Indianapolis and both attended the University of Kentucky, and although we had many mutual friends, we never actually met in college. One weekend in July, he came home to Indianapolis to watch his parents’ dogs while they were on vacation. He found out a college friend of his was also in town and was staying with a friend: me. The next day, we were introduced at a festival downtown, and the minute I saw him, I was intrigued. We hit it off immediately. The first time I introduced him to my family, we quickly connected the dots and found that my mom was friends with his aunt, and my sister and I were friends with his cousins (we always joke that Indianapolis is a “big, small town where everyone knows everyone”). The only roadblock we had was geography – he was happy in Nashville, and had sworn on his life he would never move back north. Five weeks later, he was back in Indianapolis, and a year and half later, we were engaged!
Tell us all about the proposal! Evan’s proposal could not have been more perfect or meaningful. A little backstory: my family has been very civically involved with the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis for seven decades, and of all the places I have been, I hold it closest to my heart. One evening in early December, Evan told me we were going to a private dinner at the museum that his boss had won at an auction. We entered the museum after hours through a side door and were led to the top floor, where the museum’s antique carousel sits. Evan walked me over to a horse on the carousel – Patty, named after my grandmother, who began my family’s love affair and involvement with the museum many, many years ago. He pointed out an envelope resting on top of the horse, and I was completely confused. He had me open the envelope and read the letter, meanwhile walking me to a balcony overlooking the museum’s atrium. Once I finished reading the letter (I have no idea what it said – my vision went blurry!), I looked down and saw Evan on one knee, with the entire museum as his backdrop. He proposed, and of course, I said yes. Once I came to my senses, I realized two of our closest friends were hiding in the background capturing the moment on film. We all laughed, and I cried, called my best friend (who had introduced us) and family and cried some more. As we made our exit from the museum, the most stunning snowflakes began to fall across the city, adding an exclamation point to the most perfect proposal.
When did y’all get married? June 13, 2015
How many friends, family and loved ones were in attendance? 300
Did you have something old, blue, and borrowed? Yes – I love a good tradition! My engagement ring is something old (vintage Harry Winston, circa 1960). My something blue was a monogrammed handkerchief (which came in great handy), hand-embroidered by a sorority sister. My pearl and diamond earrings were borrowed from my sweet sister.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy being engaged and try not to spend every second planning for the wedding; this made our meetings with David (our event planner) even more fun! We stayed off Pinterest and stuck to our vision. If you aren’t hiring a planner, rely on the expertise of your vendors, recommendations from people you trust, and your previous experience as a guest at others’ weddings. Keep things in perspective, and if you feel you’re getting stressed, remember, this is probably the only time in your life where your choices/obstacles will be around the perfect shade of French blue grosgrain or envelope liners. Lastly, no matter how big or small, grand or simple your wedding is, the best way to guarantee an incredible and memorable day for all is to let your love for each other show. If the bride and groom have fun, everyone is sure to!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories do you have to look forward to? Our wedding was truly perfect! That said, once Evan and I got past the initial honeymoon weeks, our life opened up with this void of not having to plan a wedding, but we didn’t settle down at all. Within months of the wedding, we purchased our first home together – a historic Tudor just several blocks from the church…and the best brunch spot in town. Currently, our house is ruled by a chocolate lab named Tillie Padfoot, but our hope is that soon enough, Tillie will have another friend to boss us around, maybe one who looks a little more like Evan and me…until then, we’re living the life, doing what we love, and traveling as much as possible!

Photographer: Melissa Schollaert Photography | Planner, Lighting, and Flooring: David Jackson & Company | Ceremony Venue: St. Joan of Arc Cathedral Church | Reception Venue: Private residence | Florist: The Empty Vase | Wedding Cake: Cake Bake Shop | Groom’s Cake: Rascia’s Creative Cakes | Caterer: Kahn’s Catering | Rentals: Indy Event Rental | Music: Stella Luna and the Satellites and Az IzZ via Music Garden Bands | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Traders Point Creamery | Calligraphy: Jane Farr | Letterpress Printing: Crane & Co. and Lemonseed and Co. | Postage: Edelweiss Post | Bride’s Gown and Veil: Oscar de la Renta | Bride’s Hair Accessories: Paris by Debra Moreland | Bride’s Jewelry: Harry Winston and Mikimoto | Hair Stylist: Jessica Warrix of JW Salon | Makeup Artist: Ashley Skirvin | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew | Groom’s Attire: Armani Collezioni | Groomsmen Attire: Vera Wang for Men’s Wearhouse | Transportation: Carey Indiana and Antique Limousine of Indianapolis | Linens: Settings by Mona, Schumacher, and Stroheim

Melissa Schollaert is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Kelly reply

    Oh my stars! I’m absolutely gushing, from the linens, to the florals, to the vintage Harry Winston. This is perhaps my favorite wedding y’all have featured yet. And her advice! SO sweet, I just want to be friends, ha! Thanks for featuring ladies.

    • avatar Kristin reply

      Kelly! I couldn’t agree more. I want a set of those lovely linens for my house and want to invite Katherine over for coffee!!

  2. avatar NICKI reply

    Hands down, my favorite wedding you’ve ever featured. Such gorgeous, perfect details and florals. Swooning!

  3. avatar Sarah Tucker – My Sisters Wedding: Floral inspiration with Fifty Flowers – Sarah Tucker reply

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Welcome back to our month of giveaways! We are so grateful for you sweet readers, especially for all of the ways you’ve supported our new issue and our shop this year, so we wanted to do something fun for the holidays. Since many of you are starting new lives together with new holiday traditions (and new married monograms!) we decided to give away one of our favorite monogrammed products each week in December!

Y’all, I’m so sad this is our last giveaway for December! Be sure to enter the past giveaways for a (Tuckernuck satchel, Trousseau & Co. hat box, and Jack Rogers sandals)–there is still a little bit of time!

As you can imagine, we’ve been quite fond of all the amazing products our generous friends have allowed us to give away, and today is is no different! While a few of our prizes have been on the girly side, today’s is sure to please even your sweet Southern gent. Our friends at Mark and Graham are giving one lucky reader this monogrammed copper tray that would be perfect for breakfast in bed, as a beautiful catch-all in your entryway for keys and mail, or on your dresser for jewelry, watches and a gingerbread candle!

How to enter: Visit the the Mark and Graham site, then leave a comment below and tell us where you’d place this beautiful piece in your home.

One winner will be randomly chosen on December 30!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Lauren reply

    Classic and Chic – this would look look wonderful on my cream dresser!

  2. avatar Jerusha Brown reply

    I love this rose gold color! I would love to place this on our bar to add that extra punch!

  3. avatar Katie reply

    I would set this tray on our foyer side table to catch the mail or keys, along with a bud vase of fresh flowers!

  4. avatar Jessica reply

    I would love to put this on the dresser to catch all the random stuff that ends up there (and still look pretty)!

  5. avatar Kelly reply

    Gorgeous home decor with a monogram? I’m drooling! I would *love* to have something so elegant grace my living room table with a vase of our garden’s flowers where I could see it everyday!!

  6. avatar Mary Margaret reply

    I would display it in our living room or kitchen!

  7. avatar Kirsten Barber reply

    We have just finished designing our mini bar in the rectangular wall nook in our new apartment. This tray would look great displayed in it every day and would be perfect for holding garnishes, napkins, or utensils when we are hosting.

  8. avatar Lesley reply

    It would go in my kitchen or in my china cabinet. It’s a beautiful piece. Thanks!

  9. avatar Emily reply

    I would put this on my bar – it would be great memories of my wedding where we used antique copper vessels for the floral arrangements!

  10. avatar Amy S reply

    This is beautiful! I’d use this on our coffee table for holding flowers and decorative items.

  11. avatar eleanor reply

    I’d love it for serving cocktails!

  12. avatar Theresa Miller reply

    I would give this to my niece that is getting married this month and she would put it in her kitchen standing upright on top on her wooden cabinet. It would add so much to her decor. She would love it.

  13. avatar Quinn reply

    I would place this beautiful tray in our living room–it would be a fun, different tray to showcase our monogram, a framed wedding photo, and a great candle!

  14. avatar Katelyn reply

    Such a beautiful tray! I would use it on my vanity.

  15. avatar Lindy reply

    I think I’d gift this one to my very hard-to-shop-for father or father-in-law! Either one of them would appreciate it. So gorgeous!

  16. avatar Lindsay reply

    On top of our antique LV trunk — matches perfectly with our ice bucket on the bar!

  17. avatar jodi scott reply

    On my coffee table in the living room.

  18. avatar Victoria Wolski reply

    This is the most darling bar tray ever and it would go perfectly with our His and Hers rocks glasses and antique bourbon decanter passed down from my grandmother <3

  19. avatar lena reply

    Such a gorgeous tray–I’d keep ours on our coffee table, where it would corral evening cocktails!

  20. avatar Brittany Tatsch reply

    i would keep it on the coffee table in the living room so we see it everyday and just remember our life together and always think of good memories

  21. avatar Jennifer reply

    I would place this on the dresser in my bedroom to hold some of the perfumes and colognes that are currently on the dresser.

  22. avatar Kenzie reply

    This would look so great on a coffee table or side table to catch all of those extras!

  23. avatar Bethany reply

    Buffet! It would be a great compliment to complete my copper service set!

  24. avatar Natalie reply

    How beautiful! Would look darling in an entryway!

  25. avatar Anna K reply

    It would be a great feature on our coffee table!

  26. avatar megan w. reply

    definitely love the idea of putting it on our entryway table as a catch-all!

  27. avatar Morgan reply

    It would be the perfect addition to my bar cart so I can serve pretty cocktails on it!

  28. avatar Sarah McKenzie reply

    I would love to put this tray on my coffee table under some flowers! I absolutely love!

  29. avatar Stephanie Brown reply

    That tray would look beautiful on my kitchen island!

  30. avatar Sarah reply

    There is a perfect place in my kitchen for this beautiful tray!!! Merry Merry!

  31. avatar Courtney Hammond reply

    I would love to have this in my home in the foyer where I drop my keys when I come home!! Love it it’s beautiful!

  32. avatar Ashley Johnson reply

    I would place this on the dresser to catch all the excess change and jewelry or place it in my coffee table with a girly candle. Very cute!

  33. avatar Kathryn Shewmake reply

    I would place this in my wedding, especially for pictures of the rings! Then I would put it on display somewhere nice, and use it for parties we host once we have a place together!

  34. avatar Bonnie reply

    Would use this in my dining room. It would go perfectly with the other copper items we received off our registry!

  35. avatar Johanna reply

    This would be the “star” atop our kitchen cabinets inside the circa 1900 cottage we are now renovating!

  36. avatar Samantha reply

    Haven’t gotten anything with my new monogram yet! This would be perfect!!

  37. avatar Danielle rovirosa reply

    We recently just got married and purchased a new bar cart! This would be the perfect addition

  38. avatar Victoria Thomas reply

    This is timeless and classy! I would keep it at our bar with the Moscow mule mugs!

  39. avatar Kerbie Anderson reply

    I would LOVE this on my coffee table with our monogram on it.

  40. avatar Susannah Armstrong reply

    I love this tray! I would put it on my barcart for parties ;)

  41. avatar Sarah Walton reply

    I would place this beautiful monogrammed tray in my bedroom on my dresser and use it as a perfume tray! (:

  42. avatar Allison D reply

    What a gorgeous tray! I just got a Waterford bud vase that would look beautiful on here with a few pretty candles on our coffee table!

  43. avatar Tiffany adams reply

    I am recently engaged and I would absolutely love to use this monogram tray displayed at our gift table at our wedding. It would be a great place for card placement on the gift table. After the wedding, I would love to use this tray in our kitchen!

  44. avatar Kaitlin reply

    I love this copper tray! It’s so chic! I would place it on my countertop! Next to some flowers from my garden!

  45. avatar Erin reply

    This would be so lovely on display in our china cabinet and then also wonderful to use to serve cocktails or cheese and crackers when we have friends over!

  46. avatar ATHawkins reply

    Love this tray! This would be a perfect addition to our bar!

  47. avatar Lindsey Lehman reply

    This tray would go perfectly with my monogrammed whiskey decanter! I’d place it on my buffet.

  48. avatar Shelby S. reply

    I’d display this beautiful tray on my bar! I love it!

  49. avatar Tyler Cowherd reply

    My husband is building a bar cart for me so this would be a perfect addition!

  50. avatar Emma reply

    Love this tray! Would look perfect on the sideboard in my dining room for dinner parties!

  51. avatar Katherine Ivers reply

    I would love to use this on our white guest room armoire with a candle and some guest toiletries and treats!

  52. avatar Michelle Ford reply

    I’d love to put this piece on my coffee table!

  53. avatar Maren Locke reply

    I would place it on our sideboard in the dining room!

  54. avatar Brittney M. reply

    I’d place it on my glass coffee table! Maybe put a small candle on it and a small case of flowers. Too beautiful to cover it completely.

  55. avatar Liz Sperbeck reply

    This GORGEOUS tray would have to be on display on our bar. There’s no way you could hide this beauty in a cabinet or drawer. And, since we’re about to be newlyweds, we get to show off our new monogram as much as we want, right?! LOVE!

  56. avatar Emily Kristen reply

    I would place this tray in my living room and use it for entertaining!

  57. avatar Nancy greene reply

    I would place the tray on my dresser!! Style it with pretty jewelry and a vase with fresh flowers !!

  58. avatar Macy Stewart reply

    I would use the tray in my house with my new husband! We are getting married next year! Perfect addition to our house with my new monogram!

  59. avatar Marty Chambless reply

    These would be beautiful in my daughters home!

  60. avatar Marion reply

    My husband and I just completed a makeover on an old Bassett hutch – it is now a cobalt blue bar in our kitchen and home to our monogrammed julep cups and my grandmother’s champagne flutes and wine glasses. This tray would be an absolutely perfect addition to the bar!!

  61. avatar Bianca Andrea reply

    on a future barcart!

  62. avatar Bailey Good reply

    I would put this on my night stand so I could keep my jewelry there!

  63. avatar Lauren reply

    Gorgeous – I would use it on my vanity. With crystal bowls holding my favorite jewelry and my makeup brush set

  64. avatar Casey Haycocks reply

    I would put this tray on a little bar cart with some cute glasses! It’s would look great with our family monogram, cSa.

  65. avatar Paige Filmeck reply

    I would place this gorgeous tray right on my living room coffee table so that is would be one of the main attractions! Love the gorgeous color of this piece!

  66. avatar Katherine Ivers reply

    This is gorgeous! I would use this in our guest room on the white armoir with a candle and guest toiletries and treats on it!

  67. avatar Brit reply

    I would put this on my new bar cart! Would be so cute!

  68. avatar Amanda reply

    I would love to use this tray as a place to put my rings and watches:) so stunning and the perfect piece to display all my rose gold lovelies!

  69. avatar Lindsay muller reply

    I would love to place one of these in our new home! My future mother in law built us a gorgeous coffee table and I’ve been trying to figure out what to place on it and this would be perfect!!

  70. avatar Jen M reply

    So classic…Perfect addition to add on my white tufted ottoman!

  71. avatar Summer S reply

    I would put it on my kitchen island.

  72. avatar Leah Williams reply

    Need this for my kitchen!

  73. avatar Brittany Lakes reply

    This is beyond classy. I would place it on my up- cycled, white coffee table to show it off to everyone. Copper is my absolute favorite and we have a lot of pieces in our house to prove it!

  74. avatar Kimberly Wolf reply

    We would use it at our wedding then put it on display on our coffee table :)

  75. avatar Ryan Sullivan reply

    I would put this in our living room on our coffee table. With an upcoming wedding, I’m obsessed with all things monogrammed!

  76. avatar Hannah Roudebush reply

    My fiancé and I love copper and have little touches of copper in our new home. This monogrammed copper tray would look stunning on our antique bar cart and would be great for serving drinks when entertaining!

  77. avatar Summer S. reply

    I would put it on my kitchen island. It’s beautiful!

  78. avatar Mary Hataway reply

    I absolutely love this tray! I would set it on our coffee table, and add festive touches during the holidays. It would also be perfect for drinks and snacks during a dinner party.

  79. avatar Ryan reply

    I would put this on our coffee table in the living room. Being in the middle of wedding planning, has me monogram obsessed. Love Mark & Graham!

  80. avatar Ashton Johnson reply

    This would look beautiful on our future coffee table and what a perfect way to say “Happy Engagement!”

  81. avatar Mallory Taylor reply

    This beautiful monogrammed tray would look wonderful in our soon to be bar area with matching Moscow miles and other great at accessories.

  82. avatar Haley Nicole reply

    This would look great on my coffee table! Love it!!

  83. avatar Amy reply

    I would love this for my bedside night stand. I could serve breakfast to my husband in bed.
    Thank you

  84. avatar Dianna Nord reply

    So beautiful! I would use this on my tall counter near my bar stools! Love it!

  85. avatar Millie Darrin reply

    This would go on my bar cart!

  86. avatar Aly reply

    I would definitely add this gorgeous tray to our bar cart!

  87. avatar Kayla reply

    I would put this in my living room next to the fireplace!!!

  88. avatar Whitney evans reply

    I would for sure use this in the dining room! Too pretty to hide!

  89. avatar Karen reply

    I would put this beautiful tray in my entryway!

  90. avatar Lily Brodzinski reply

    This tray is gorgeous! I would love to display this in our entry bookshelf in our new apartment or on our “bar cart” (more like a bar cabinet!) in our kitchen!

  91. avatar Becky reply

    This would be amazing on the bar – perfect for serving cocktails!

  92. avatar Stephanie Bevan reply

    This is so classic yet modern! It would look gorgeous on our bedroom dresser as a catchall tray.

  93. avatar Samantha P. reply

    We would put this beautiful piece on our wine cart in our kitchen!

  94. avatar Amanda dillman reply

    I’d love to put this on our coffee table!

  95. avatar Kelsie reply

    I would love to put this tray in our little entryway!

  96. avatar Erica reply

    Beautiful tray! I would love to feature this is my kitchen!

  97. avatar Morgan reply

    I’d place this on the table in my entry way so everyone could share the in the beauty.

  98. avatar Jennifer Hamilton reply

    On my gold beverage cart!

  99. avatar Ashley Hawkins reply

    I love this copper tray! What a modern yet timeless way to personalize your home! This would be a perfect addition to our bar! :)

  100. avatar Lulu David reply

    Love love this!!! Would be awesome for our new house

  101. avatar Mary Alayne Gillis reply

    When I first spotted this monogrammed tray two thoughts popped into my head: ‘this would make an amazing gift for my future brother-in-law and his wife; what a statement this would make!’ and the second thought, ‘we need this.’ I immediately sent a screen shot to my future hubby and it was decided. Although I don’t do much in the way of posting comments, I knew this tray would find its way as the center of attention at dinner parties, Saturday morning breakfasts, and the platform for me as I learn to make my hubs’ drink of choice: Old Fashioned with Bullet Rye. I know I will have a lot to learn as a Southern wife, moving away from her home state of Georgia to Chattanooga, TN, but I think with the right accessories, I can get the job done. Whether I’m chosen the winner or not, you can expect this southern belle to revisit Mark and Graham as she outfits her new home with her new last name!! Merry Christmas from the soon to be Bosshardt’s!

  102. avatar Becca reply

    Oh so easy! This would sit right on the coffee table in the living room… the one we don’t have yet cause we’re still 4 months out from marriage – but a girl can dream, right?!

  103. avatar Elyse G. reply

    I would use it on our bar cart. *fingers crossed*

  104. avatar Carrie Rhodes reply

    I would love to put this piece on the wet bar in our new home!

  105. avatar Megan G reply

    I would love to bring such a beautiful and oh so southern piece into my California beach apartment!

  106. avatar Abbey reply

    I have the perfect place for this! We just made a custom buffet for our dining room… I’d love to have this displayed standing up showing our new initials!

  107. avatar Stephanie Decker reply

    My fiancé and I are hoping to purchase a home after our summer 2016 wedding. This gorgeous copper tray would be a perfect addition in our new home together.

  108. avatar Emmy reply

    Front and center where everyone can see it on my table in the entryway :)!!!! I would LOVE this more than anything thank you so much <3 <3 <3!!!!!! Thank you incredibly much for this awesome, kind, amazing, incredible, generous giveaway :D!!!!! You really know the spirit of giving :D!! thank you :D! I hope you have the very best holiday season <3!!!!!!!!!

  109. avatar Mary Peters reply

    I love copper! I would use this beautiful tray as a catch-all on my dresser for jewelry, keys, perfume, etc. Thanks so much!

  110. avatar Kaylin@EnticingHealthyEating reply

    I’d place this beautiful piece on our coffee table once we move into a new home!

  111. avatar Rachel reply

    This tray would look perfect on our bar cart, right between the picture of our first date and the bottle of gin that I know we’ll never drink!

  112. avatar Victoria Hunter reply

    This would look perfect on the bar cart my handsome husband refinished recently for our new home. It was previously a bar cart that his grandmother gave us and has been repurposed to beautifully.

  113. avatar Amy S. reply

    I would love this as an accent piece in my entryway!

  114. avatar Duyen Tran reply

    I would place it on my coffee table with decor from my wedding such as my gold center pieces and vase with flowers as memories from the best day ever, as well as leave little sweet treats on the tray everyday for my hubby!

  115. avatar Abby reply

    I’d love this as a central piece of our newly started bar!

  116. avatar Kristin Taylor reply

    The lido cosmetic bags and the knit dog sweater!

  117. avatar Colyer Friedman reply

    This would be beautiful in my apartment on my entrance table for mail and keys!!

  118. avatar Tory reply

    I’d put this gorgeous tray on my great grandmother’s Singer sewing machine table which doubles as my dining room sideboard. It would be the perfect finishing touch. I’d put a small bud vase or candidate on it, but I wouldn’t cover it completely; it’s too beautifu!

  119. avatar Laura reply

    Would love to use this gorgeous piece on my coffee table!

  120. avatar Anna reply

    this would look beautiful in my living room!

  121. avatar Christy Hall reply

    I have been looking for a tray to put on our coffee table and this would be perfect!

  122. avatar Olivia Wolf reply

    I am getting married this coming year and I can not wait to begin decorating our home together. I can see us using this piece on a coffee table, or to serve friends and family as we begin hosting things together in our first home!

  123. avatar Lisa Le reply

    Thank you for the introduction to this beautiful collection!! Love all of the items available for monograms. And thank you for this opportunity. The copper tray would be a lovely addition to our wedding decor this June. Our colors are grayed jade and coral with accents of ivory and rose gold. After that I’m not sure where it will go because we are still furnishing out new home together! Merry Christmas!

  124. avatar Rachel C reply

    Beautiful! I would add to our entryway.

  125. avatar Stephanie Paulhus reply

    As newly weds that are constantly entertaining, I would love this gorgeous monogram tray to be showcased on our chic glass and chrome coffee table. Our living room is where a majority of hosting guests takes place. Mixing metals has been my specialty when creating our living room look.

  126. avatar Dana reply

    So pretty! I would put this anywhere!

  127. avatar Heather S reply

    It’s gorgeous! I would use it in my jewelry studio! Happy holidays! xoxo

  128. avatar Bethany reply

    I would use this gorgeous tray on my nightstand and put candles and a photo of my husband on it.

  129. avatar Megan reply

    On my dresser to display perfume and a few pieces of jewelry!

  130. avatar Ashton reply

    I’d give this to my mom. I know she’d get a lot more use out of it with all her entertaining. It doesn’t hurt that I could borrow it too since we have the same initials :)

  131. avatar Anna reply

    This would look great on my bar cart to accent our glasses and beverage of the month!

  132. avatar Lauren N. reply

    This matches my rose gold ring perfectly oh my goodness! I’ve been looking for a beautiful tray to someday have breakfast in bed with with my (VERY NEW) sweet fiancé. I would have it in our future kitchen, so that we could always have it ready for breakfast in bed and extra cuddles (while watching Home & Family). Old souls, but young at heart <3

  133. avatar Melissa reply

    I’d place it front and center in the living room, ready to serve our guests!

  134. avatar Lorelei reply

    In the foyer of our new home!

  135. avatar Janna reply

    This would look lovely on my new coffee table! I love getting the opportunity to make my house a home for guests that come and visit!

  136. avatar Holly reply

    This would look gorgeous on my bar cart!

  137. avatar Kelly E. reply

    Gosh, this is pretty! I have several places it would look really lovely – the foyer, the bedroom, or the bar cart!

  138. avatar Liz reply

    I would put it on our bar cart! I love it!

  139. avatar Shelly reply

    Placing this near the fireplace would give off such a beautiful glow!

  140. avatar Ashley Hirst reply

    I’d love to use this in our living room!

  141. avatar Jessica Dyer reply

    I’m sure we would keep it as either a catch all or used a tray for breakfast in bed! Copper is totally in our style scheme for our future house!

  142. avatar Kimberly reply

    I like the idea of using this as a catch all tray in the entry way!

  143. avatar Stewart reply

    I would put one of these beautiful trays on the new coffee table my fiance is building for our home.

  144. avatar Judith reply

    I’d put this in my dining room!

  145. avatar Carolyn Baier reply

    We just purchased our first home this year and are working very hard to find furniture and decor! I love all things monogram and am having a blast registering for monogrammed everything, however, this little beauty would look PERFECT on our distressed white dresser!

  146. avatar Emilee reply

    In my charming little pantry turned bar cart. :)

  147. avatar ashley reply

    I would put this on my coffee table :) Love it!

  148. avatar Margaret reply

    I would LOVE to have this in my living room coffee table in my new New York apartment!

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I served as matron of honor in my sister-in-law’s wedding this weekend, and seeing Brianna and Neal’s sweet day brings me right back to Saturday. There is nothing quite like the community and love at a Southern wedding, and it’s evident in these lovely photos by Virgil Bunao that Brianna and Neal experienced that same glorious love on their big day that I witnessed this weekend! While we were not quite as lucky in the weather department, Brianna and Neal were able to celebrate under the stars sans tent, and feel completely at home while watching the sunset over the Wando River at RiverOaks. Along with the bagpiper procession (be sure to read about that below!), I bet this was a wedding guests won’t ever forget!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I searched through countless blogs and Pinterest posts looking for inspiration for a dress and found the “Madame Butterfly” dress by Claire Pettibone. I instantly knew it was my dress, but after doing some research, I found out that the dress was discontinued. After an unsuccessful attempt to shop for a more practical dress option at one of the local bridal stores with my stepmother, I just couldn’t see myself in any other dress but the Claire Pettibone I loved. Luckily, I found a bridal shop in London that had a sample, and we purchased it. Everyone was so nervous, but I just knew it was the one!

Describe your wedding flowers. We used ivy, maidenhair fern, white and pink English roses from the RiverOaks rose garden, light pink astilbe, black and white anemones, and coral and white peonies. The stems of my bouquet were wrapped in ribbon fastened with pins that signified my father’s rank in the Marine Corps during the year I was born. Having my father explain this to me instantly brought me to tears–the pins served as a symbol of how close we have become as a family over the years while overcoming challenges military families face.

My favorite detail was the bagpiper and the memory that created. While staying downtown with my family, I saw a wedding procession walk through the streets of Charleston from the church to the reception, led by a bagpiper. Remembering how excited I had been about that as a child, my parents surprised me with a bagpiper. The RiverOaks team coordinated the bagpiper to lead our wedding guests down the path that led to the ceremony seating area while I watched from an upstairs window. I don’t think there was a dry eye in that bridal suite!

For the most part, our vows were traditional, but we added a hand fasting ceremony and a ring blessing. The rings were fastened around ribbon and rope, and passed to our family and friends at the ceremony so that each person could impart their well wishes on our marriage. I still look at my ring from time to time and think of all our loved ones who held our rings and gave us their blessings at the ceremony.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My dad is from Charleston, and we often visited the city to see extended family. When I was younger, we sometimes stayed in a condo on Church Street across from two churches. Almost every time we visited, we witnessed a wedding or two held at one of those churches, so I had always dreamed of having a wedding in Charleston. Wedding venues downtown are beautiful, but felt a little too formal for us. I wanted a more laid back, intimate feeling, like an outdoor oyster roast with close family and friends, and RiverOaks provided that feeling. The Spanish moss hanging from live oaks above us and a view of the sunset on the Wando River made us feel incredibly blessed and at home.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our food was hearty and Southern! Harvest Catering uses all local, seasonal ingredients and created an amazing, fresh menu for us, even though our choices were on the heavy side. We stuck with Charleston staples like shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, and pimento cheese fritters with pepper jelly. We also had oysters Rockefeller, a dish Neal and I can’t ever resist ordering at a restaurant when it’s on the menu!

After our initial (four hour!) meeting with Marianne and the ladies at RiverOaks, we felt at ease and trusted their process. They showed us some of Virgil Bunao’s work from a wedding he photographed at RiverOaks, and I fell in love with it. We were so happy and grateful that he was available for our wedding day. The RiverOaks crew handled every stressful situation with grace, and added in some very meaningful surprises to the event. Since we didn’t have an engagement photo session (looking back now, I wish we had), I was nervous about being in front of the camera! Virgil did a great job of removing any nervous energy by cracking jokes and making us laugh throughout the day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Neal and I met through mutual friends when I was in nursing school. My friend was dating one of his good friends, and they acted as matchmakers for us. After a few get-togethers with those mutual friends, Neal and I started dating.
Tell us all about the proposal! We went to visit some of my family in Charleston for a weekend in May. After a seven-hour drive from Virginia, I wanted to get dinner downtown with my brother and the rest of the family as soon as we arrived. Neal suggested we start heading toward the restaurant, so I texted everyone to invite them out, but everyone declined. Everyone knew Neal’s plan except me, and I remember being upset that no one wanted to join us! Neal and I had such a great time having dinner at a fun place off East Bay Street that I forgot about being upset. We walked across the street to Waterfront Park and stopped in front of the pineapple fountain. I was telling Neal about how I used to wade in the water when I was a little girl, and then I turned around to see him on one knee! It was great to be able to celebrate with family that weekend!
When did y’all get married? April 26, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 90
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look to help calm our nerves that day. I didn’t want to be an emotional, crying mess the moment I saw him. The moment we first saw each other at the ceremony was just as meaningful as I had imagined, minus tears and mascara running down my face!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old/borrowed was Marianne Caldwell’s beautiful veil that she wore on her own wedding day. My something blue was the sapphires (Neal’s birthstone) in my engagement ring. My something new was my gold Jack Rogers wedges.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? The RiverOaks crew did a great job shifting certain costs around to get the most bang for our buck. The arrangements on the tables saved on floral costs by having more ivy and greenery than flowers. They were absolutely stunning, and one of my favorite parts of the decor. Thanks to prayers from the RiverOaks staff and family, we were blessed with beautiful weather. That led to us saving money on having to rent a tent! We hired a DJ instead of our original wish to have a band play our reception music–we thought a band would encourage our guests to dance and have a good time, but our DJ had the same effect. Everyone had a great time dancing!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We moved into our new house, and we’re working on making it a home with our dog, Hobie. Having my best friend by my side for whatever happens in our future is a great feeling!

Photographer: Virgil Bunao / Planning, Venue, and Lighting: RiverOaks Charleston / Florist: Deborah Gibson Design / Cake Baker: Charleston Cakes Etc. / Catering: Harvest Catering / Rentals: Polished!, EventWorks, Sperry Tents / Ceremony Musician: Lee Barbour of Charleston Virtuosi / Bagpiper: Cathleen Nixon / DJ: Crescendo Entertainment / Paper Products: The Business Press / Calligraphy and Invitation Design: Lydia Robins Hendrix / Bride’s Gown: “Madame Butterfly” by Claire Pettibone / Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Kelli Hoff of Elysium Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Bridesmaid Jewelry: Kate Spade / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank / Bar Service: Squeeze On Site / Custom Monogram: Allison R. Banks Designs

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

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Such a beautiful wedding! Leave it to sweet Marianne to lend a bride her veil for something borrowed :)

  2. avatar Emily reply

    What a gorgeous beaded gown, Brianna! It looks like you had the most beautiful day!

  3. avatar wilkes barre limo reply

    very elegantly done! love the black and white checkerboard!

  4. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    The location is beautiful, I love that cute, cozy building! And, glad she stuck it out for the right dress, it is stunning on her!

  5. avatar Sandra | Simply Peachy reply

    This is absolutely beautiful. Such an elegant soiree and am loving those blooms. Anemones are by far my fave!

  6. avatar Marianne reply

    Marissa, thank you for the heartfelt compilation in words of Brianna and Neal’s day. Brianna, thank your sweet appreciation of our team Lauren Heuber , Deborah Gibson, Jennigray Hewitt, Sara Hicks and Simone Gebsattel. To all the other kind comments, thank you, as well .

  7. avatar Jehnel Oboza reply

    Great work again, Virgil! Brianna and Neal are a beautiful couple to just look at! All of the vendors did such an exceptional job.

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