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Though the majority of their relationship was long distance, Meredith and Ben were forever connected, starting from their very first lunch date. These two would travel to one another whenever they could, even if that was only once a month. While being away from your loved one can be challenging, these two used their dating relationship as a building block for their marriage and turned their engagement into a time of intentional planning and preparation. Their joyful celebration at Fearrington Village was filled with beautiful bright sunflowers and sweet family-inspired details, like the photo display that Meredith made with her dad. Filled with family members’ photos, it was a lovely symbol of two sides becoming one.

Big SW hugs to our friend and Blue Ribbon Vendor Graham Terhune for sharing this sweet day with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Oh yes! I love this special tradition. My something borrowed was my grandmother’s ring. I was so honored to wear it. My something blue was my garter and my shoes. My something old were the forks with “his” and “hers” inscriptions on them that we used to eat our cake. My something new was a pearl beaded clutch that was given to me as a gift the day before the wedding.

Fearrington Village had everything we could ever imagine in a venue. We wanted an outdoor ceremony, and I wanted a barn setting for the reception. We also wanted our wedding to be close to Raleigh, near most of our family and friends. I have slowly fallen in love with the little village in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

Ben and I are very traditional and decided to see each other for the first time when I walked down the aisle with my dad. We did talk to each other back to back before the ceremony though. I loved being able to hear Ben’s voice and hold his hand. We talked, laughed, and prayed together. It was a moment of our wedding day I will never forget.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Ben and I chose to write our own vows. We wanted to say some of the same things to each other, so we brainstormed ideas and came up with our lifelong commitments to each other together. My favorite phrase was, “I vow to love you unconditionally and sacrificially as Christ has loved me. I vow to be your faithful wife, your biggest encourager, and your best friend.” Ben’s favorite phrase was, “I vow to be your faithful husband and the humble leader of our family.”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Ben and I wanted our ceremony to reflect Christ’s love and how thankful we are for Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Walking down the aisle, we had the song “It Is Well” by Bethel Music played. The song “Lord, I Need You” was also played as Ben and I took communion and prayed together. It was a powerful moment as we prayed and asked the Lord to be with us and to help us remember that above all else, we desperately need Him.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The food we served was a homestyle Southern meal–we had fried chicken, pulled pork, potato salad, cornbread, peach cobbler, and much more. Our venue added to the Southern style of our wedding as well, since we had the ceremony outside under the pecan trees and the reception was in a barn.

I loved the special display of pictures we had of our family members, showing the different sides now becoming one. This was a project I made with my dad, and it was so nice to see it come to life.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Ben and I were friends in high school, but we were two years apart in age. We reconnected over Christmas break during my sophomore year at East Carolina University and Ben’s senior year at Auburn. As Ben was getting ready to leave to finish his final semester of college, he told me after our very first lunch date at Panera that we would stay in touch! I have talked to Ben every single day since and we have always and will forever be connected with each other.
Tell us all about the proposal! The majority of our relationship was long distance, and Ben and I would travel to one another whenever we could. We saw each other once a month, at most. After finishing my junior year at ECU, Ben came home for Memorial Day weekend. I was very excited because it had been a little over a month since we had seen each other. Little did I know, it was about to be the best date night of my life! We tried a new restaurant in downtown Raleigh and then went for a walk around town afterward. We made it to the Capitol building, where we stopped, and Ben asked me to marry him right there in the very place where our love began. His sister was nearby and captured the moment on camera. We went back to his house and then mine to celebrate with our families. It was by far the most special date night we have ever had!
When did y’all get married? May 23, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I knew exactly what I wanted in a wedding dress, and that was lace. When I added the pearl belt with a bow in the back, I knew my dress was the right choice for me.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Ben and I planned for our marriage just as much, if not more, than our wedding day. We met with spiritual leaders in both of our lives for several weeks prior to our wedding. It was a learning experience that was difficult, but rewarding. We are currently reading the book, “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Do not focus too much on the specifics; instead, enjoy and celebrate the special commitment that you have chosen to make. It will be a perfect wedding day because it will be unique to you!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Ben and I just moved into our new apartment in Atlanta. We are loving decorating our home and filling our walls with many of our wedding pictures to help us remember our very special day! We are hoping to travel as much as possible in the next few years.

Photographer: Graham Terhune Photography / Videographer: Josh Sliffe Videography / Planner: Gilda McDaniel of Fearrington Village / Venue and Caterer: Fearrington Village / Florist: Mary Stevens / Cake Baker: Fearrington Village / DJ: Joe Bunn DJ Company / Special Details: Paisley & Jade / Paper Products: Val Marie Paper / Bride’s Gown: “8627” by Justin Alexander / Bride’s Veil and Belt: Alfred Angelo / Hair Stylist: J & F Gemelli / Makeup Artist: Bobbi Brown / Bride’s Shoes and Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Menswear: Tommy Hilfiger

Graham Terhune, Joe Bunn DJ Company, and Paisley & Jade are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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    Tradition is BIG in the South. It’s woven throughout our lives, from how we make our beds to how we design our homes (with wide front porches, obviously!). Nowhere is it more present, though, than when we’re planning our weddings. Whether we’re toasting with the same flutes our grandparents did, carrying a hankie embroidered with the initials of all of our siblings, or cutting our cake with a knife engraved with three generations of wedding dates, the past has a way of making itself known on the day we say “I do.” We filled this shoot with ways — both new and old — to honor your past and celebrate your future. Add in the abundance of gardenias and graceful Spanish moss, and you’ve got the inspiration for a sweetly Southern soiree.

    Nancy Ray photographed all the beautiful details, including this stationery suite by Regas. I adore the magnolia envelope liner!

    We were lucky to have sweet readers standing in for our models this time around. Stacie and Nick, newlyweds themselves, posed as our bride and groom, and Alex and Ashley stood in as bridesmaids.

    This lovely gown is the “Blossoming Weir” from BHLDN. With detailing like that, you’d hardly need any jewelry at all.

    I love this alternative ring pillow!

    As soon as we saw the City Club at de Rosset in Wilmington, we knew it would be just perfect for this particular shoot — after all, the shutters were the exact shade of green we were incorporating elsewhere! We adored the wide front porch and all the silver details.

    Aren’t these notes the sweetest? Hardink Calligraphy penned them for us, and we think they’d be such a lovely addition to a small wedding. Your guests would certainly feel welcomed and loved, no matter how good (or bad!) your own handwriting is!

    Gardenias are a notoriously fragile flower, which is why we love the clay version from DK Designs. They’re a perfect takeaway for guests, and look lovely gracing a dinner plate or napkin!

    This gorgeous cake pull set is available from Weddings Etc. Read more about the cake pull tradition here!

    That about sums it up, does it not? Beautiful work by Hardink Calligraphy! Be sure to pick up your copy of V5 to see even more goodness from this shoot!

    Nancy Ray and Hardink Calligraphy are fabulous members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

    emily Written with love by Emily
    26 Comments
    1. avatar Jessica Thornton reply

      We had magnolia leaves in the sanctuary for our wedding ceremony! Being from Mississippi, we love our state flower!

    2. avatar Megan reply

      Hi! I have a question for yall! I’m wanting to get an embroidered patch of my initials and wedding day put on the inside of my wedding dress. Do I use my maiden monogram or my new monogram?

      • avatar Marissa reply

        Hi Megan! I’m so excited to hear you’re going to do a monogram inside your wedding dress. Traditionally one puts their maiden monogram inside their wedding dress. This was done long ago as a way to identify who wore the gown when it had been passed down. Wishing you all the best! xx

    3. avatar Lisa reply

      Gorgeous calligraphy and magnolias…two of my weaknesses!

    4. avatar Dee Shore reply

      Gosh I love that BHLDN gown. It’s so understated, yet so pretty. The cake is STUNNING. It’s my new obsession ruffled cakes.

    5. avatar Kate Collison reply

      Ahhh! I’ve been collecting charms for weeks for the charm pull we’ll have at our wedding! Hydrangeas will be everywhere. I love this shoot! It’s so classic and relates to “real-life” brides very well! Thank you!

    6. avatar Kristyn M reply

      Can we buy that print at the very end? I want to frame it for my home! Its perfect!

    7. avatar A Southern Wedding Full of Tradition | Bride’s Blog reply

      […] the knot, tradition is as much a part of Southern weddings as the bridal gown and the wedding cake. Southern Weddings Magazine has an absolutely gorgeous wedding inspiration shoot featured in V5 that is the quintessential […]

    8. avatar Cameron reply

      Oh my goodness, this shoot is beautiful! The calligraphy and the classy southern touches….wonderful! Can’t wait for the V5 to be in my hands so I can swoon over this some more! Thanks for the Spring inspiration….there’ s so many great ideas here!!

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    Though V5 officially debuts on newsstands tomorrow (and, as such, we’ll start rolling out editorial images on the blog soon after that), we couldn’t resist sharing a little behind the scenes actions today! Family Heirlooms (or, The Tomato Shoot, as it was known around our office) was one of the biggest shoots we’ve produced for the magazine, with dozens of reader models, vendors, helping hands, and good friends coming together at Fearrington Village to bring it to life. We are lucky to have such a beautiful venue just down the street from our office, which made it possible for more of our team to attend than usual!

    These photos from Faith Teasley and Jenni Bailey will only whet your appetite, I’m sure, so make sure you’re tuned in tomorrow for the final images!

    Y’all, sitting in that freezer above are sweet tea popsicles with sugar cane sticks that Lara made for the shoot. Seriously, try it. You won’t regret it.

    It wouldn’t be a tomato shoot without freshly picked tomatoes, now would it? Lara and I stopped by a patch right down the street from the office to find the juiciest additions to our produce-packed feature before heading over to Fearrington.

    Doesn’t that duct tape label crack you up? Our “bride” for the day was Miss Georgia 2012, so it makes sense!

    We were lucky enough to have our good friend Stacey Lanning (that’s her below) with us on shoot day to put together some last-minute crafty details. She even brought a bucket of mason jars filled with ice water, lemon, oranges and basil to keep us hydrated! Her thoughtful gifts were so cute we ended up using them as a prop in one of our photos.

    Our photographer Eric Kelley and his wife Lora were an amazing team to work with. Their vision for styling and photographing so many bright and beautiful details was perfection!

    YUM. Heirloom tomatoes are one of the most beautiful produce items we’ve ever seen. More than their bright and bold colors, their history helped us form the storyline for this shoot.

    The photo above is what we all like to joke is a still from Emily’s own cooking show. Are y’all seeing that cake?? Look for an amazing close-up shot on Wednesday!

    We were thrilled that Miss Georgia, Jasmyn Wilkins could join us as our bride! She’s such a sweetheart and looked amazing in a beaded Lazaro dress.

    We can’t wait for y’all to see what’s on the other side of these behind-the-scenes shots! Big thanks again to Faith Teasley and Jenni Bailey for tagging along with us on that hot day in July to bring us these images.

    nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
    11 Comments
    1. avatar Rhiannon reply

      I cannot WAIT to see this! If the behind the scenes photos are this wonderful I can only imagine how lovely the real feature will be!

    2. avatar Kelly reply

      Beautiful sneak peak! I love the shots with the old silo! Can’t wait to see more. Congrats ;-)

    3. avatar Damaris Mia {Le Magnifique} reply

      Oh my word.. I can’t stop smiling! Looks like so much fun! Can’t wait for the magazine!

    4. avatar Taylor J reply

      I am DYING right now!! Looks gorgeous- can’t wait to receive my own V5!

    5. avatar Hunter Horton reply

      I seriously cannot even wait, it was such an honor to be part of this shoot! Thanks Lara for the opportunity, the magazine looks beautiful

    6. avatar Faith reply

      Such a fun day!! Everything was absolutely perfect… I cannot wait to see the tomato shoot (Family Heirlooms) in print!! :)

    7. avatar Baby Shower Invitations reply

      Looks great! Love the explosion of colour

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    10. avatar Deborah reply

      Oh my goodness! What a beautiful idea for a outdoor wedding! I just think it is beautiful! I love the colors used, the fresh produce and the wedding cake! The boxed lunches were so precious and such an added touch!

    11. avatar Sandy B reply

      This wedding has so many creative ideas. Love the boxed meal. Would like information on where to get those awesome kraft boxes. Thinking of using this idea in an up coming wedding. My daughter the bride to be is in love with this meal presentation! Thanks for your help !

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