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I think the best homes tell us something about the people who live there. At a glance, you know something about the residents even before you meet them – what they love, what they value, what makes them feel safe and comfortable. For Natalie (a Blue Ribbon Vendor!) and Huey, who met while rowing in high school and have always lived near the ocean, a navy and white home dotted with nautical touches is just perfect. I know y’all will enjoy the wisdom of this sweet young couple, so let’s dive on in!

The couple: Natalie, 24, and Hugh, 25
Years married: 1.5
Where they live: A few minutes outside of Annapolis, Maryland
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. Natalie is a wedding photographer and Hugh works in IT Sales just outside of Baltimore. We have two dogs that we spoil rotten: Sophie the miniature Australian shepherd and Hunter the rescue pup! We met during our sophomore year of high school on the crew team and fell in love rowing together on the Severn River. We started dating that spring and attended college near one another in Philadelphia. During my senior year at Penn, Huey proposed and we married the following summer at his parents’ property.

Do you rent or own? We own our little townhouse and absolutely love it! From the moment we moved in a year ago, we’ve been slowly renovating each room and making it our own. We both grew up in this area, and after attending school in Philadelphia, we knew we wanted to live near the Chesapeake Bay. We truly couldn’t imagine spending our lives anywhere else.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. We are both so young that when we moved in together, we didn’t own a darn thing (not even a bed frame!), so rather than blending styles, we truly had to begin from scratch! We’ve been lucky to have so many pieces handed down that we’ve painted and modernized to fit our contemporary coastal style!
Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? I think our favorite room in the house is our dining room! There is something truly special about sharing a meal with the one you love. This room has sentimental value to us because our table once belonged to Hugh’s grandparents in the early 1960’s. So many amazing dinners and vibrant conversations have been shared over this table, and it makes me even more excited to see how our family grows and changes in the years to come.

What is your favorite part of being married? My favorite part of being married is spending Sunday mornings cuddled up together with our two dogs running circles around our feet. We cherish the quiet moments. The day to day. Those little things that truly are the big things.
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? I’ve been surprised by just how much we’ve grown together since our wedding day. I never realized that I would fall in love with my husband over and over again, or that the love we shared the day we got married was merely a fraction of the love we have today. I truly thought that I knew what it meant to love Huey… and after all that we’ve been through in the past eight a half years, I’m constantly amazed by how our love continues to grow.
What most makes your house feel like home? Our house feels like a home because of the people (and pups!) that are constantly a part of this space.

What is your favorite memory from your wedding? We can’t agree on a single memory that we both love the most… the overall experience of getting married in the backyard surrounded by our friends and family was truly more than we could have ever asked for. It was perfect.
How do you remember your wedding in your home? We have wedding pictures printed everywhere and a wedding album on the way! We also keep our dated cake forks in the kitchen, and we bring them out on our six-month and one-year anniversaries to share a piece of caramel cake.
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? Get outside and explore your own backyard. We live by the water, so many of our dates involve sitting out by the Bay and having dinner, holding hands along the dock, or enjoying dessert in downtown Annapolis. It’s amazing how much we’ve discovered right in our quiet little town just by walking around together.

Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? We save on furniture and most of the pieces we own are either family heirlooms (the dining room table, our bed), or antique store finds that we’ve painted or modernized to fit our home. I’m also a little obsessed with HomeGoods. Oh, HomeGoods. I could shop that store for hours at a time.
How does your family handle finances? We have shared accounts and Huey handles all of our personal finances, since I’m generally busy crunching numbers for my business!
What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? Stay committed to putting one another first. I run my own business and it can be so easy to let our date night evenings slide because I am falling behind on editing or another album needs to be designed. We’ve worked to set boundaries on other things (work, activities, extended family gatherings) so that we can always make time for one another.

Who cooks dinner? We tend to alternate. Huey is in charge of the grill; I handle the stove. He is awesome at seasonings. I can bake up a storm.
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? We keep weeknight meals pretty simple with salads and yummy grilled sandwiches. On the weekends (when I’m not shooting a wedding), we absolutely love to have steamed crabs or grill up some barbecue chicken on our back deck.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? I have the Epicurious app and I love it. So easy to use and it keeps me inspired. I also love my grandmother’s recipes, many of which she wrote out by hand for me on a little notebook that I keep in my kitchen.

What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Natalie: Huey really (REALLY!) dislikes doing the dishes and always has–we often joke that we bought this house because it was our first place together that had a dishwasher! So even though our rule is “I cook, you clean,” I will sometimes do the dishes to surprise him when he’s watching a game or relaxing after a home-cooked meal. Hugh: I get up almost every morning to take care of our dogs so that Natalie can sleep in for an extra thirty minutes. During wedding season, she is often working late, so this is my way of giving her extra time to rest.

Do you have children? We are excited to fill our home with babies one day. I would love three or four; Huey has always wanted two. We’d feel blessed with any number at all. Currently, we are absolutely in love with being puppy parents and having the freedom to travel together. We can see our family expanding in the future and are excited for that day to come!

Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… that we would never stop learning about each other. After dating for seven years, I truly thought I knew everything there was to know about my best friend, but what amazes me is how much I continue to learn (and continue to love) with every passing month.
This year, our family is most excited about… this year, we are most excited about traveling together to Europe for the first time and exploring the Amalfi Coast side by side! We have never been to Europe as a couple and it’s going to be the trip of a lifetime!

We’re so grateful to Natalie and Huey for sharing their hearts and home with us! Be sure to follow along with them:
Natalie Franke Photography
Natalie’s blog
Natalie’s Facebook
Natalie’s Twitter
Natalie’s Instagram

P.S. We’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – your inspiring friend, super talented cousin, or neighbor with the cutest house – the kind of person everyone would love to “e-meet.” If that sounds like you or someone you know, take a peek at our Southern Newlywed submission page and shoot us an email!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    I have always admired Natalie and it’s so fun to read about their newlywed home! Love that they’ve incorporated heirloom pieces so seamlessly into their style.

  2. avatar katelyn james reply

    Awww I love it!!!! I didn’t want it to end!!!!!!!!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    Oh how I wish that bed weren’t a family heirloom!! It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for – so pretty!

  4. avatar Karen reply

    Beautiful home!

  5. avatar Julie Armstrong reply

    Fun and enjoyable

  6. avatar Fotograf Warszawa reply

    Beautiful house. The colors of the flowers, decor and paintings, delight.

  7. avatar Rebekah reply

    A couple whose relationship is just as beautiful as they (and their home!) are :)

  8. avatar Kate Robinson reply

    So gorgeous! Such a cute couple :)

  9. avatar November Inspirations – Something Pretty reply

    […] Decorate: We featured Natalie Franke’s adorable Annapolis home on Southern Weddings last week and her front door stopped me in my tracks. It has me dreaming up other perfect combinations of nautical and autumnal, from wedding receptions to place settings. (Photo by Natalie Franke via Southern Weddings) […]

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My best friend and her husband celebrated their third anniversary on Tuesday, so I have been reminiscing about their Williamsburg wedding all week. One of my favorite memories from their wedding weekend is their rehearsal dinner at Kingsmill, so you can imagine my delight when I opened up these pictures from Courtney and Jared’s big day, at that same beautiful place! I love the sweeping Virginia scenery that framed their celebration, but I think my favorite thing about Courtney and Jared’s wedding is their use of monograms and their heart behind them. As Courtney said, “We love how a monogram serves as a unique representation of us as a couple.” Shouldn’t every wedding detail do just that?

Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Katelyn James, for sharing this joyful day with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I love this sweet tradition! My something blue was my seersucker monogrammed garter. I had a lot of something news, including my dress, shoes, and jewelry. For my something old and borrowed, I incorporated all of my grandparents’ wedding rings into my bouquet. Unfortunately, all of my grandparents are no longer with us, and I thought that having their rings close to me when we said “I do” would be a great way to honor them and their long-lasting marriages.

We knew that we wanted to get married in Williamsburg since it’s where we met. We had played golf together at Kingsmill when we were in college, and once we toured the grounds again with a wedding-planning mindset, we knew that it was the perfect place for us!

Describe your wedding flowers. Flowers are one of my favorite parts of a wedding, so I knew I wanted to incorporate lots of flowers into our special day! Karen Roa of Aleen Floral Design was an absolute joy to work with–she is amazingly talented and brought all of my flower ideas to life! I love softer blooms like hydrangeas and peonies, so we tried to incorporate them as much as possible in arrangements. My favorite piece that Karen created was an ombré pink bed of hydrangeas that we used to display all of the escort cards.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We chose to combine traditional vows with a personalized phrase at the end.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our officiant read an excerpt from “Union” by Robert Fulghum, and my sister read “I Carry Your Heart” by E.E. Cummings.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We love how a monogram serves as a unique representation of us as a couple, so we incorporated them in as many places as we could! Both of us grew up in Virginia and wanted to give our out-of-town guests a taste of the Old Dominion in their welcome bags. We included Virginia peanuts and Forbes’ saltwater taffy, made in my hometown of Virginia Beach.

We chose a traditional four-tiered wedding cake with our monogram displayed on the top layer. The cake was a vanilla cake soaked in Bailey’s with hazelnut buttercream and milk chocolate truffles between the layers. Soaking the cake made it super moist, and we were enjoying it for days after the wedding! I love the tradition of a groom’s cake, so I surprised Jared with one right after we cut our wedding cake–he loves Chipotle and the pastry chef at Kingsmill did an amazing job creating a red velvet “burrito” cake complete with chips and guacamole!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Hands down, our favorite part of the wedding was the fireworks show we surprised our guests with towards the end of the evening! Only five people knew about it leading up to the big day, and it was so much fun to have something unexpected for our guests.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in the fall of 2010 when we were both students at the College of William and Mary. We had both been roaming the halls of the business school for several years, but had never crossed paths until we were both chosen by a professor to participate in a special 10-person class that competed in a national tax competition at the end of the semester. We have been together ever since, and our professor and his wife attended the wedding!
Tell us all about the proposal! In the summer of 2012, Jared organized a long weekend getaway in Virginia wine country so we could celebrate his last few weeks of freedom before starting a full-time job. We love visiting this area together, and I was ecstatic to be spending a few nights at the beautiful Clifton Inn! After visiting a few wineries during the day and having an amazing dinner at the Boar’s Head Inn, we decided to go for a walk around Clifton’s property. I had just purchased a new camera, so I was eager to snap some pictures, so I handed Jared my black lens cap as we made our way onto the dock of the lake. After snapping a few pictures down on the water, I asked for my lens cap back, and instead, Jared placed a black velvet box in my hand! He clasped my hands and then proceeded to get down on one knee and ask me to marry him!
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 175
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? About six months before our wedding, we were informed that the LPGA was changing the date of its annual tournament at Kingsmill from its usual weekend to the weekend of our wedding. Hearing that tens of thousands of people would be roaming the property and the Golf Channel would be live broadcasting while we were saying “I do” was more than a little unnerving. After working closely with Kingsmill management, we took some extra precautions to ensure that our wedding ceremony wouldn’t be affected. The entire evening went off without a hitch!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My mother is a talented calligrapher, so we were able to save costs on addressing all of our invitations and place cards ourselves.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? All of our vendors were truly great to work with throughout the entire planning process, but we were most eager to work with our photographer, Katelyn James! I instantly fell in love with her work and knew she would be perfect for our most special day. To top it off, Katelyn and her husband, Michael, are one of the sweetest, most genuine couples we have ever met. We couldn’t be happier with our wedding pictures and will cherish them for the rest of our lives.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take the time to enjoy being engaged! We chose to have a long engagement so that we could have more time to plan and secure all of the vendors that we wanted. Even after almost two years of planning, I thought it all went by so quickly and I wish I could relive it all over again!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? A week after we returned from our honeymoon, we put an offer in to buy our first home, and shortly thereafter, we became homeowners! We are enjoying the process of making our first house a home and tackling DIY projects together.

Photographer: Katelyn James / Videographer: Jason Faulkner / Planner: Brittany Richardson / Venue, Catering, Rentals, Lighting, and Cake: Kingsmill Resort / Florist: Aleen Floral Design / Band: The Jangling Reinharts / Monogrammed Bouquet Ribbon: Oatmeal Lace Designs / Paper Products: William Arthur / Bride’s Gown: “LZ3018” by Lazaro / Bridal Salon: Hannelore’s of Olde Town / Bride’s Jewelry: Thomas Knoell / Hair Stylist: Chelsea Styles / Makeup Artist: Kristine Marie French / Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers, Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Heidi” by J.Crew / Men’s Attire: Vera Wang for Men’s Wearhouse / String Quartet: Fitz Pro Musicians / Fireworks: Virginia Skypainters

Katelyn James is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Finley / Engagement Rings reply

    What a pretty color combination! Love this!

  2. avatar Loverly reply

    Those tablescapes are divine!

  3. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Steve loved introducing their family and friends to Nolan’s romantic New Orleans hometown. Courtney and Jared incorporated meaningful monograms into their big […]

  4. avatar Leon Bailey reply

    Lovely wedding! Love the blue color that was used.

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    […] Katelyn James via Southern Weddings […]

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  7. avatar Dahlia reply

    I am in dire need of a seersucker garter set! Where did you get it?

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Do I spy another game of corn hole? Brilliant! What picnic wedding would be complete without some lawn games? This casual Kentucky wedding looks like the perfect summer soiree. Katie + Brian enlisted the help of their family and friends to make the gathering even more personal. The bride’s mom canned dilly beans for the appetizer table and picked her own mint for the mint juleps! While the newlyweds served cupcakes from Gigi’s Cupcakes and donuts from Krispy Kreme, Katie’s high school friend also made them a small cake to cut into. The personal touches make this soiree even more Southern!

See all the photos from Katie + Brian’s wedding in their Real Wedding Gallery!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Well, definitely the bourbon since that’s a favorite of Brian’s and we were in Kentucky – we even used old bourbon barrels with burlap for our bar. We served local microbrewery beer and Virginia wine in honor of my home state. My mom canned dilly beans for the appetizer table and brought her own mint to be used for the mint juleps. The menu was Southern themed– pulled pork and chicken with green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, baked beans, and coleslaw. Also, our groomsmen rocked seersucker pants and many of the guests wore hats in honor of a May wedding in Kentucky.
Describe your wedding cake: We served mini cupcakes and Krispy Kreme donuts to our guests. However, we did have a small cake to cut – my high school friend made and decorated our cake for us and even used my grandparents’ original cake topper from their wedding over 50 years ago.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Planning everything from Michigan without a point person in Louisville – there was a LOT of emailing and we were booked solid whenever we went down for a planning weekend.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000 for 240 people
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Our photographer! Josh from Bella Grace was amazing.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? So hard to narrow this down – definitely walking down the aisle to Brian, and on a less serious note, getting pelted with lavender buds as we boarded the trolley from the church.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Relaxing! We’re exploring Michigan this summer and planning our Hawaii honeymoon this winter

Photographer: Bella Grace Studios // Coordinator: Allure Events // Ceremony venue: Saint Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church // Reception venue: Historic Locust Grove // Florist: The Greenery // Wedding Cake Baker: friend // Cupcakes: Gigi’s Cupcakes // Donuts: Krispy Kreme // Caterer: Terri Williams // Paper Products: Ink Parade Paperie // Bride’s Dress: I Do Too Bridal // Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil: Hair flower from midoridesigns, clutch from KellysKeepsakes // Accessories: Bridesmaids’ earrings by J Gorkowski Jewelry // Hair & makeup: Joseph’s Salon

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Katie reply

    Oh my goodness, Krispy Kreme AND Gigi’s?, that’s the power couple of desserts for sure! This wedding is so fun and cheerful! And the backdrop for the reception is stunning!

  2. avatar Wedding Links Around the Web | 7centerpieces reply

    […] out this Kentucky picnic wedding here and here via the Southern Weddings blog.  It’s crazy […]

  3. avatar Monthly Round-Up :: June 2011 « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] MENSWEAR: We love these dapper men! Marissa chose the Southern and preppy bow ties sported at Katie + Brian’s wedding. Emily loved the […]

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    […] Yellow flowers  |  yellow cupcakes   |  yellow cutlery  |  yellow shoes  |  yellow candies  |  yellow tablecloth  |  yellow drinks |  yellow straws […]

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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