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Hi belles! Our friend and former Southern Weddings intern Jessica Clinch is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Jessica will be blogging for us once a month until her wedding next May. In case you missed her first post, be sure to check it out here! — Emily

After Zack and I took a bit of time off to simply enjoy being newly engaged, the first thing we agreed to do was to choose our wedding planner! Although we both have experience in the wedding industry, we knew we wanted to hire someone to take care all of the logistics, vendor relations, and to help me organize the million and one creative ideas I have into a cohesive wedding design!

I have had the pleasure of working with a handful of talented wedding planners over the past few years with my various internships and jobs, and thought it would be so special to have one of them plan our wedding! I thought it was going to be a hard decision selecting the perfect planner, but we immediately agreed on which team would be best for us, especially after thinking through the questions below. Hopefully reading through our thought process will help you if you’re trying to find the perfect planner for your wedding!

How involved do we want our planner to be? There are so many options for what types of planner you can hire for your wedding. Many offer services ranging from month-of coordination to partial planning and full planning and design. We sort of fell in a happy medium between partial planning and full planning and design. Zack has a lot of vendor friends in Knoxville who we knew we wanted to work with, so we didn’t think we needed quite as much help finding vendors for our wedding. However, we did want our planner to handle all the details with our vendors once they were selected, and to help us work with them to bring our design vision to life.

Do they have ample experience in the wedding industry? Although I’m such a cheerleader for budding entrepreneurs and boss ladies who are just getting into the industry, Zack and I knew we wanted to hire a seasoned professional – someone who will know how to handle a situation that goes awry on our wedding day with grace, and without worrying us. Someone who has an understanding of the industry, including standard pricing details for vendors to help us create a budget, timeline creation, and a connection with other vendors in the industry. Someone we can trust.

Are they fun to work with? This might be a silly or obvious question, but we knew we wanted to work with a fun planner! Our planning team will be the people we communicate with most throughout our engagement, and will be with our bridal party and us throughout our entire wedding day. So, we knew they had to be professional, yet fun people to be around!

Does their design aesthetic align with ours? This was a very important question, especially for me. We’ve both seen a lot of weddings over the years, and a lot of different design aesthetics. I feel as though I have a strong sense of my personal design style, but I’m not quite sure how to translate the story of Zack and I into the little details of our wedding. Finding a planner who has a strong sense of style and appreciates the same stylistic details as we do was key. It is important to me that the planner we hired will be able to help us design a meaningful wedding, one that our friends and family will be able to identify as “us” through the details.

Jessica’s Southern Weddings Planner flipped to the vendor section – one of the ones we’re most proud of!

So, which planner did we choose? We are so thrilled to say that we are working with the wonderful Rebecca Rose Events team!! These ladies are beyond amazing. They were the perfect mix of everything we were looking for above, and they made us comfortable and excited during our initial consultation.

We love their design aesthetic, their passion and work ethic, and their personalities! We really appreciate the way their team is structured – Becca is in charge of all the design details and Betsy is in charge of logistics and vendor relations. We think it is a really smart approach to wedding planning, and have been so pleased working with them over the past few months! I interned with Becca in college, so it is also wonderful to have someone who knows me well working so closely with us! We have our first design planning meeting in August, and can’t wait to see all of the exciting, personal details they help us dream up for our big day!

All photos (except for Hot Dog! photo booth strip and Planner photo) by Blue Ribbon Vendor Nancy Ray. Rebecca Rose Events is also a delightful Blue Ribbon Vendor – what can we say, Jessica has great taste! :)

emily Written with love by Emily

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As many of you know, Lara and Ari are expecting a baby at the end of July (hooray!). While our print photo shoots usually take place in May, June, July, and August, this year we decided to slide everything up a few months to better accommodate Lara’s maternity leave. So far, we have been LOVING our new, earlier schedule, and have been rewarded with beautiful, warm (not hot) shoot days and glowing (not sweating) models! Lisa and I are also totally tickled that it’s only the beginning of May and we’ve already put three editorials in the books – totally different from last year, when our second shoot was in June!

Though we’ve been sharing all along on Instagram (follow the #MakingSouthernWeddings hashtag), we wanted to catch y’all up on the blog, too. Here’s a peek at where we are so far with V8!

Since we were starting so much earlier this year, we knew our first few shoots had to be wayyy down South, where it gets warmer and greener earlier! Lisa and I had the pleasure of traveling to Texas in March for two back-to-back projects. Our first was in Houston with Heather Hawkins behind the camera. We had a whole host of Blue Ribbon Vendors on hand to make the magic happen, including Christina Leigh Events, Tamara Menges, Tracy Melton Artistry, and Bourbon & Bloom Vintage Rentals!

Even more fun, since Houston is Lisa’s stomping grounds, we got to stay with her family while we were in town, and her mom came to help out the day of the shoot! It’s a family affair at Southern Weddings :)

From Houston we took a mini road trip through Texas Hill Country (complete with blue bonnets!) and landed in Austin. We lucked out with another gorgeous day for our adventure with Kristen Kilpatrick, Without Wax, Katy, and BRV friends Southern Fried Paper and Jen Dillender!

We were working with a very different palette but another super fun crew at the coolest venue (Star Hill Ranch). Y’all are going to DIE when you see this one – Lisa says it’s her new favorite Southern Weddings shoot ever! :)

Our most recent shoot was in our backyard, out in rural North Carolina. We were working with the prettiest shades of pink and purple and a HUGE crew for this one, spearheaded by Blue Ribbon Vendors Nancy Ray and Hey Gorgeous Events. A whole host of other BRV friends came out to play, including Heartstone Films, Ashley Cakes, Lula Hair & Makeup, and Paisley & Jade.

The weather was so nice that day our shoot almost felt like a picnic instead of a work event!

Despite all of those smiling faces you see up there, the highlight for everyone was undoubtedly Gumdrop the pig. Yes, there was a pig in the shoot, and everyone patiently waited for his or her turn to take a portrait with him!

Three down, four more to go! I love seeing these shoots come to life for so many reasons, but the top two are getting to work alongside talented vendors (I learn something new every time!) and getting to meet our sweet reader models. We’ve worked with more than 25 guys and gals already, and I can’t wait to see where our last four shoots take us!

P.S. Vendors and creative friends, want in on the action? Our ad pages are filling up fast, but we’d love to reserve a spot for you! We all agree this is shaping up to be our best crop of advertisers ever! Fill out this form and Marissa will be in touch lickety-split.

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Laura reply

    One of my favorite things about Southern Weddings is getting to see all of the behind the scenes action of the making of the magazine! It’s like seeing a trailer for a movie you can’t wait to see :)

  2. avatar Dana reply

    Cannot wait for the magazine to come out and see all the details of these stunning shoots!!!!

  3. avatar Ciera Chante reply

    Can’t wait to see it all in print! Look like y’all had a blast!

  4. avatar Nancy Ray reply

    Love this post! Thank you so much for including me in such a memorable shoot. Gumdrop was definitely a hit!

  5. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    It’s such a delight to see behind-the-scenes of the editorial process! Thank you for sharing :)

  6. avatar Christina L. Frederick reply

    I love this post! Thank you so much for including the CLE Team for the Houston shoot! I can’t wait to see all of the final images in SWV8! Yea! xo

  7. avatar Elizabeth Lane reply

    I love the behind-the-scenes posts! Gumdrop the pig might just be the cutest little pig I have ever seen!

  8. avatar Ginger reply

    Thank you for this amazing post=) It made my day=) Congrats. You had an awesome wedding=) Soon I start planning mine too=) I am so excited I have already found some ideas from this community Wedding Forward and I can’t wait for it=) I want an ideal but small ceremony and invite only the closest ppl)

  9. avatar Rhiannon reply

    Oh Goodie! What a fun fun day my friends :)

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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One of my favorite parts about sharing the behind the scenes details of our editorial shoots is remembering all the work that went into creating the “effortless” beauty that ends up in the pages of the magazine. For example, on this particular hot day in July, I served as a movie narrator, kid wrangler, dog walker, and blanket fluffer, among other things:

Of course, I was far from the only person working hard! Some folks were busy looking pretty, thanks to Opulent Couturier and Studio BBC:

There were shots to be puzzled over and details toted, things to hang and things to straighten.

If you’re wondering if it’s a coincidence that we all appear to have dressed to match the color scheme… it’s not :)

Of course, most importantly, things had to be photographed! Sometimes multiple times, for good measure (or instagram).

Speaking of photography, Nancy Ray knocked it out of the park with one of our longest shot lists of the year on one of our hottest shoot days of the year. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone sweat so much in my life, but of course, she still managed to look perfectly chic! (How??)

Even Nancy’s composure, however, was tried once we started wrangling our six pint-size participants. Truthfully, they were all very well-behaved, even if one did run for the hills at one point (yes, literally – see below!)

At the end of a long, hot shoot day like this one, the only thing most of us want to do is jump in a cool body of water. This doesn’t usually happen, but in Nashville, it did! At least for our two brave groomsmen. Major kudos to them for braving the algae and snapping turtles to get this shot!

Between the lake jump, sprinklers, kids, ice cream cones, turtles, food trucks, and sparklers, we knew this was one shoot we had to be able to relive in moving picture. Big hugs to Nicholas & Keaton for producing our behind the scenes film!

Don’t miss the final images and all of the talented vendors from this shoot, which you can see right here! And a huge hug to Callie of Nancy Ray Photography for all of these lovely behind the scenes images!

P.S. Cover shoot behind the scenes!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    The behind the scenes looks just as fun as the “wedding!” Love the video, too!

  2. avatar Ashlee Little reply

    This is my favorite editorial in V7!! The behind the scenes video was great. Well done, ladies!

  3. avatar Anastasia Kristina reply

    I love this post so much! Mostly because my wonderful wedding planners, Amber and Jessica are featured here and so is my fiance! Best post ever!

  4. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    I absolutely love getting to see and read about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into a lovely editorial shoot such as this one! Thank you for sharing this and the video :)

  5. avatar Haley Faye Malone reply

    I could watch these behind the scenes videos all day! Absolutely loved this one! Y’all are precious and doing wonderful things!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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