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It wasn’t until this summer while foraging around at our team retreat that I learned I might be a “flower person” after all. With that in mind, I couldn’t stop staring at Ruthie and Tyler’s stunning blooms by Gypsy Floral! These botanic beauties brought fabulous pops of color to their wedding day and provided a sweet way to remember Ruthie’s grandfather, “Poppy”–she carried poppy pods in her bouquet as a tribute to him. I also can’t help but chuckle that Tyler and his groomsmen walked into the ceremony to “Another One Bites the Dust!” BDK would have thought that was funnier than an electric switch in a candle factory!

Thanks to Sara & Rocky for sharing R and T’s big day with us!

We were lucky to work with the incredibly talented Sunni and Emily from Gypsy Floral. From the moment I first talked with them on the phone, I trusted them with the vision I had for our wedding. Flowers were very important to me, as my grandfather, “Poppy,” opened arboretums and gardens all over the country. I wanted lots of colors and the feel of the Hill Country. Sunni and Emily delivered with beautifully saturated blooms and exquisite arrangements. In my bouquet, I carried poppy pods in remembrance of my grandfather.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Tyler and I decided to do a first look, and we are so happy we did! Not only did it give us a chance to see each other before the ceremony, which helped calm my nerves, it also gave us the opportunity to get our amazing photos taken so that we could be fully present to enjoy the cocktail hour and reception with our closest friends and family. It was such a special moment when I first saw Tyler–it was the perfect culmination of our journey together and the start of our adventure as a married couple.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Tyler is a HUGE music fan and we both love it, so we were very intentional about the songs we picked for our wedding. Our grandparents and parents walked in to “Stand By Me,” which was a nod to how important and instrumental they are in lives and how thankful we are for them. Tyler and his groomsmen walked into the ceremony to “Another One Bites the Dust,” which was such a perfect fit for Tyler’s sense of humor, and made the whole audience laugh. My bridesmaids walked in to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and my dad walked me down the aisle to Canon in D by Pachelbel. I can remember my mom playing both on the piano when I was a child.

Tyler and I designed our entire wedding ceremony with the help of our amazing officiants, who are longtime family friends and trusted advisors. We decided to handpick our vows instead of writing our own. Our favorite part was “I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I will make my home in your heart.”

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was the beautiful gray wrap that I wore throughout the evening, my something blue was the lining of my Toms, my something old was my grandmother’s pearls that all her grandchildren have worn on their wedding day and my something new was the earrings my parents picked out for me.

The details were one of my favorite parts of the wedding to plan. For our ceremony, we hung lanterns on the oak trees and brought our own altar table. Today, those items are in our house and are a sweet reminder of our wedding. We had lawn games and a mariachi band during our cocktail hour, and we also brought in a vintage Airstream trailer that was renovated into a photo booth. Tyler loves shoes, so he designed his and his groomsmen’s shoes.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had lots of out-of-town guests, so we wanted them to really get a feel for the city of Austin and Texas in general. Salt Lick catered our reception so that everyone got a chance to have the best BBQ in the state. Tyler loves bourbon, so it was featured in our signature cocktails.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The cakes were made by the amazing folks at Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop. It is a small local bakery and we love that it’s so Austin. We had trouble picking just two cakes, so we finally decided on four! My bridal cake was blueberry lemonade with buttercream frosting. Tyler’s groom’s cake was called the James Brown, and was a Valrhona chocolate cake topped with chocolate buttercream. We also had a cake called the Frida, which a sweet and spicy cinnamon Valrhona chocolate cake topped with coffee liqueur buttercream frosting and cinnamon sugar. Our last cake was a pumpkin spice and apple naked cake with cinnamon frosting.

During our reception, one of Tyler and I’s favorite songs came on. Not many people know it, so we were the only ones on the dance floor, singing and dancing with each other. In that moment, it felt like there was no one else there. We love that we can sing at the top of our lungs together, dance, and jump around like idiots, and have the best time!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Since we lived just down the street from each other my sophomore year of college, we used to see each other at the bus stop, at nearby restaurants, or walking to campus, but it wasn’t until the summer that we were officially introduced. I ran into an old friend from Norway at my apartment complex and was invited to a party later that evening. I rustled up some friends to go with me, and later that night, I saw Tyler from across the room–he had a white Longhorns hat on! Tyler introduced himself, and after running into each other a couple of times more on campus, he got my number and asked me out on a date.
Tell us all about the proposal! On July 12, Tyler told me we had reservations to get drinks at the Belmont Hotel in Oak Cliff–it’s the most Austin-esque place in Dallas. We had both stayed there one summer when we were working in Dallas and Fort Worth, and while in the pool, we had found a fish pool toy that I still carry in my car to this day. We arrived early for our reservation, so Tyler suggested that we go check out the pool and maybe dip our feet in. As we got closer to the pool, I started noticing the flowers, the set-up, and that fish pool toy we had found, and I suddenly dropped my purse on the grass. Tyler got on one knee, pulled the ring out of his pocket, and asked me to marry him. I was so surprised, I couldn’t really talk, so Tyler told me I couldn’t have the ring unless I said yes! I finally said “Of course!” After many hugs and kisses (and photos!), we finally made their way to the bar to grab that drink reservation! As we walked into the bar, my mouth dropped open as I saw my baby sister, Amy, luckily in town from China, along with some of our favorite friends and family waiting to celebrate. It was the perfect start to a weekend full of fun!
When did y’all get married? November 1, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 140
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Both Tyler and I changed jobs within months of our wedding, and trying to balance our careers while planning an out-of-town wedding was definitely an experiment in juggling priorities. Luckily, we were recommended a fantastic wedding planner, Meaghan with Sweet Pea Events, who was able to step in and orchestrate the plans we had made up to that point, help us think through anything we missed, and make sure the day went smoothly.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Be thankful. It’s not often that you have almost all of the people you love in the same place to celebrate your journey with your favorite person. So stop, breathe, take it all in, and be thankful for all the love you’re surrounded by.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Tyler and I are both excited about finding a house with a porch, fireplace, and yard (for our two huge puppies!). We are looking forward to traveling both in the US and around the world. We can’t wait for more adventures outside and more great music shows!

Photographer: Sara and Rocky Photography / Planner: Meaghan Cody of Sweet Pea Events / Venue: The Vineyards at Chappell Lodge / Florist: Gypsy Floral / Wedding Cakes: Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop / Caterer: Salt Lick BBQ / Rentals: Marquee Event Group / Band: The Nightowls / Calligraphy: Natalie Grace Calligraphy Co. / Paper Products: Minted / Bride’s Gown: Monique Lhuillier Bliss / Bride’s Veil: “Kate” Veil by Nina / Hair and Makeup: Lola Beauty / Bride’s Shoes: Toms / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Various styles in Wild Beet by J. Crew / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank / Photo Booth: Airstream Photo Booth / Mariachi Band: Mariachi Jalisco / Ceremony Musicians: Terra Vista Strings

marissa Written with love by Marissa
10 Comments
  1. avatar Lindsay Colvin reply

    STOP IT! This wedding is beautiful. The colors of the bridesmaid dresses and the flower arrangements, swoon! Love everything little thing about this, beautiful!

  2. avatar Ruthie + Tyler | sara & rocky reply

    […] Ruthie and Tyler are precious, and they are SO FUN. I don’t know another couple that laughs as much or cares so deeply about others as they do. Their wedding in Austin was incredible – the weather was unbelievable, the team of vendors was absolutely perfect, and their friends and family were CRAZY ridiculous. HUGE thank you today to Southern Weddings for the feature, we are always so grateful to those ladies! This team included: Sweet Pea Events, Gypsy Floral, Natalie Grace Calligraphy, The Vineyards at Chappell Lodge, Sugar Mama’s Bake Shop, and many more. Check out their Southern Weddings feature here.  […]

  3. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    So pretty! Love the flowers and her dress!

  4. avatar Tyler reply

    One of our favorite parts was the wedding rap our friend Marcus Perkins wrote and performed for us: http://youtu.be/s2P_bvcYW_o

  5. avatar Bonnie & Lauren reply

    Those reds! Beautiful celebration and beautiful photos.

  6. avatar Classic Wedding Invitations reply

    Love the colour in this!

  7. avatar Rahul Jindal reply

    Well, these are really very beautiful wedding pictures, showing the real love and traditions.

  8. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    The oak trees make for a beautiful wedding location! Love the bright groomsmen socks and the thoughtful family details like the poppy and grandmother’s pearls.

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Though we didn’t get to taste any of our most memorable sweets from the past year, we have it on record that they were all delicious. And if possible, the meaning behind many of them are even sweeter, so be sure to click through to the original blog posts for the full stories!

Amy and Joseph’s arch of tone-on-tone white cakes by Jim Smeal (original post here; photo by Elisabeth Millay)

Emily and Jim’s dessert spread, including blueberry cheesecake, apple and peach crisps, white almond raspberry cupcakes, cookies and cream cupcakes, candy, macarons, donuts, and a six-inch cake to cut. (original post here; photo by Annamarie Akins and desserts by Sweet Emma Lou)

Leah and Tripp’s aqua quatrefoil cake by Ashley Bakery (original post here; photo by Tim Will)

Brittany and Joel’s 12 Southern pies, handmade by the bride! (original post here; photo by Kt Crabb)

Laura and Grayson’s exquisite “naked cake” by Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop (original post here; photo by Mint Photography)

Amy and Kenny’s dessert table by Cakewalk Bakeshop, complete with a rice krispees cake! (original post here; photos by Jillian Zamora)

Natalie and Parker’s white pearl wedding cake by Confections on the Coast (original post here; photo by Pure 7 Studios)

Amanda and Chip’s trio of Southwestern cakes by Layered Bake Shop (original post here; photo by Sara & Rocky)

Katey and Matt’s sanding sugar and bow cake by Patti Cakes (original post here; photo by Meaghan Elliott)

Mia and Jack’s rustic Oreo “cake” (original post here; photo by Whitebox Photo)

Kt Crabb, Whitebox Photo, and Mint Photography are delightful members of the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
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Upon first glance, Savannah and Zachary’s wedding is full of lovely details, pretty blooms, and an amazing lace gown from Watters. Now, while all those pieces make up one big, beautiful day, after reading through their interview, you’ll find that there is also so much more! Like we vow in our Sweet Tea Society manifesto, “we believe that planning for a wedding means planning for more than one day.” Savannah and Zachary truly brought that phrase to life with their gorgeous farm tables! Savannah’s stepfather built them especially for the wedding, and now, her mother has started a rental company to share them and other special pieces they collected with other brides. Isn’t that what the South is all about?

Big hugs to Natalie Watson Photography for sharing this wedding with us!

Like most girls, I have dreamed of my wedding dress since I was little. I knew that I wanted lace, and lots of it, and I knew that I did not want a ball gown. I found my dress while browsing the Watters website and immediately fell in love. I searched for the nearest place that carried the line in Tennessee and called to schedule a consultation. I specifically asked about the Kerry gown, and as it turns out, they had just received the dress the day before…in my size! I took all of my bridesmaids and my mom to the appointment. Although they picked out several other dresses for me to try on, I knew that I was set on the Kerry gown. I was just as happy with my choice on the day of my wedding and afterwards seeing it in the photos as I was the day that I chose it.

Describe your wedding flowers. Flowers were actually something that we struggled with for a bit. Originally, I wanted peonies, but they aren’t in season in August. Neither are tulips, which were my second choice. Thankfully, our florist was able to use her knowledge of flowers to suggest alternatives that achieved the overall look that I was hoping for. It was important for me that we had more of a wildflower look than perfectly symmetrical bouquets, and I wanted to play with different textures and incorporate thistle. Our florist was able to create a look that perfectly accented our Southern vintage theme and color palette.

We chose our venue because it was located in the quaint little town of Jonesborough, Tennessee, which happens to be the oldest town in the state. Our venue is actually a storytelling center used for festivals, but the gorgeous second floor wraparound porch had me smitten from the beginning. Luckily, they also rent the venue for weddings, so we were able to make it happen. We also liked that it allowed us to have both the ceremony and reception at one location.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look. Even as a guest at a wedding, I always love watching the groom’s reaction to seeing the bride for the first time. Although I know first looks can be special in their own way, I wanted to keep things traditional and see Zach and his reaction to me as I walked down the aisle.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our entire wedding day oozed Southern style. If I had to name one Southern thing in particular though, it would be our reception menu. We chose Southern comfort foods: fried green tomatoes, followed by fried chicken, mixed greens, sweet potato casserole, and macaroni and cheese. All of this was accompanied by butter and biscuits and followed up with individual mini pies.

Our favorite details were the gorgeous farm tables that my stepfather built especially for our wedding. It was definitely a labor of love that had us painting and staining up to the week of the wedding. My stepfather knew how much I wanted them, and lovingly, he made it happen. It actually worked out well, and now, my mother has started a rental company with the many things that we accumulated so that other East Tennessee brides have more options!

We ended up with SO many desserts at our wedding. Initially, we thought that we would skip a cake and just have individual cherry, apple, coconut, pecan, and chocolate pies. However, my mother thinks that it is a downright SIN to not have a wedding cake, so we ended up with one of those too (which I am so thankful for, since our cake was gorgeous!). Zach dislikes cake, so for his “groom’s cake,” he opted for his favorite sugar cookies from a local bakery instead.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Zachary and I met in high school. We sat right beside each other in French class, and even though we always had huge crushes on each other, it wasn’t until a few years after high school that our relationship grew into something more.
Tell us all about the proposal! Our proposal was an absolute dream! I have a small obsession with New York City, and Zachary had never been, so we planned a little weekend visit there the week before we relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee. I may have dropped a few hints that I would love to get engaged in New York, but I honestly had no idea that it would happen on that weekend trip. Zachary, knowing nothing about NYC, reached out to a high school friend of ours who was living there for help finding an unexpected proposal location. I had our weekend all planned out without a minute to spare, but on our second day there, Zach announced that we had plans for the evening and needed to return to the hotel by 4 to get ready. This announcement, coupled with his giddy and nervous demeanor, is when I started to suspect that something might happen. That evening, we got in a cab, and Zach rattled off an address. We were dropped off on the corner of a cobblestone street in the West Village, and Zach led me to an unmarked door. We stepped inside, and I recognized the restaurant–One if by Lane, Two if by Sea. As I freaked out because Ashley Tisdale was dining in the restaurant, Zach nervously waited to pop the question. One of the waiters took the ring from Zach when I was in the ladies’ room, and the owner of the restaurant brought it out on the stem of a rose, lying on a bed of rose petals on a silver platter as a “special dessert.” Zach nervously asked me to be his wife in a speech that neither of us really remembers, and I happily said yes! We spent the remainder of the weekend giddy and in love as we enjoyed my favorite city.
When did y’all get married? August 2, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We were a little too nervous to write our own vows, so we spent forever online searching for the perfect ones. We ended up piecing lines together from a few different sources.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There was a moment right before we had our sparkler exit when Zachary and I finally had a second alone to take in the entire day. I remember standing at the top of the staircase, feeling so thankful to have married such a precious man, and so thankful for how perfect our day had played out.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Although it sounds cliché, take the time to breathe, step back, and enjoy the process. The year that we were engaged literally felt like a blink. I would also say to stick to your personal style, and don’t try to throw a wedding with a theme that is not representative of your personality. This can be difficult in a world where Pinterest and blogs constantly provide new ideas.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are looking forward to all of the little experiences and journeys that married life will take us on. I finished my Master’s degree prior to our wedding and started working full-time in September. Zach is currently interviewing for graduate school, where he will study to be a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. He has applied to several places, many of which are not in Tennessee, so a move might be in our near future.

Photographer: Natalie Watson Photography / Venue: International Storytelling Center / Florist: Connie Timmons / Cake Baker: Misty Barber / Caterer: Main Street Cafe & Catering / Rentals: Southern Knot Wedding Rentals / China Rentals: China Dolls / DJ: Ogle Entertainment / Table Numbers and Chair Covers: BHLDN / Invitations: Teal Typewriter Studios / Programs, Seating Chart, and “I Spy” Games: How Lovely Paper / Bride’s Gown: “Kerry” by Watters / Bride’s Veil: Erica Koesler / Bride’s Earrings: Tajani / Makeup Artist: Faces by Ren / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Various styles in Misty Rose Silk Chiffon by J. Crew / Menswear: JC Penney / Ties: The Tie Bar

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Rachel Akin reply

    I really enjoyed this post on Zachary and Savannah’s wedding. I saw many aspects in the photos that reminded me of my own “Dream Wedding” Pinterest board. I especially enjoyed the custom made farm tables. It’s nice to have certain aspects of your wedding that can’t be recreated. Congratulations to you both!

  2. avatar Erin | Elizabeth Anne Designs reply

    LOVE! There are too many pretty details to count! xo

  3. avatar Kirsti reply

    This darling wedding has so many of the details I have always dreamed of, put into action and they are just as beautiful as I imagined! My favorite part is the southern reception menu (one of my favorites-fried green tomatoes)!!

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