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Wedding dress shopping can go from dreamy and magical to overwhelming and stressful in the blink of an eye, which is one of the many reasons it’s SO important to choose a bridal salon that will take great care of you! Our Blue Ribbon Vendor salons are the perfect place to start looking (they’ve all been personally vetted and selected by our team), and if you can combine an amazing salon with a trunk show from your favorite designer, I’m willing to bet that your dress shopping experience will become one of your sweetest wedding planning memories. We adore the girls at Twirl, and if you’re in Kentucky (or within driving distance of Lexington!), I highly recommend stopping by their upcoming Nouvelle Amsale trunk show. I still remember the first time I was introduced to this line at Bridal Market a few years ago–it combines Amsale’s signature classic elegance with an amazing price point, so it’s perfect for savvy Southern brides!

This post is brought to you by Twirl–thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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    As I read through Emily and Matthew’s interview, “relationships” was the word that kept coming to my mind. Along with making sure their wedding was a great opportunity for their loved ones to connect (“there were plenty of places for the guests to dance, eat, or catch up with friends and family, whether that was on the dance floor, in the barn, in rocking chairs by the outdoor fireplace, or while playing cornhole in the grass”), Emily and Matthew also carved out time during the day for just the two of them. Their first look and private dinner, both right by the river, look like such special moments that I know they’ll cherish forever!

    Thanks so much to Clark Brewer and Invision Events for sharing this beautiful day with us!

    Laura McCarty did an AMAZING job on all of the florals. The inspiration for my bouquet was white-toned garden flowers, including white cloud, majolica roses, peonies, Juliet roses, and pops of blush peonies and dahlias. We also loved the greenery she used around the chandelier in the barn and on the wedding party table.

    Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes! We wanted to do a first look for two reasons. One, it was more practical to see each other before the ceremony so we could get the majority of our pictures taken. We wanted to enjoy the reception and time with our family and friends without having to worry about formal photos right after the ceremony. Second, Matt and I wanted to have as many shared memories of the day as we could. Getting to do a first look allowed us to spend some sweet time together before the ceremony, and since we did it down by the river with just Clark and Chris (the photographers), we got to get away from the hustle and bustle of venue prep for a few quiet moments.

    Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we went with the classic vows. Matt’s co-best man and one of our dear friends, Alex, performed our ceremony, and he did a fantastic job. For the message, Alex focused on the story of Hosea, which is one of our favorite images of the Lord’s love for us. We knew we wanted that to be the main focus of the ceremony.
    What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Most of the readings came from the biblical book of Hosea, but we also included Isaiah 43:4–7, Romans 3:10-18, Romans 5:6-11, and a few others in the ceremony.

    What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Clark Brewer did a fantastic job photographing the day. Two of our favorite parts of the day were our first look and the private dinner we enjoyed down by the river. Clark documented both of those occasions so well, and they truly captured how beautiful the entire day was!

    Picking the venue wasn’t as hard as picking the city. Matt and I went through many destination options before settling on my hometown of Birmingham. Once we knew we wanted to have it in Alabama, I was immediately drawn to Swann Lake Stables. It had the look and feel of being somewhere in the East Tennessee mountains (one of the destinations we considered), and we knew that in late October, it would be beautiful. It was laid-back, comfortable and naturally gorgeous, which was what we were going for in terms of style.

    What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The food was deliciously Southern. Shindigs did a fantastic job serving up delicious dishes including everything from miniature quail and waffles, to shrimp and grits, to cornmeal-crusted okra. Everything about our venue also made the wedding quintessentially Southern. We enjoyed that there were plenty of places for the guests to dance, eat, or catch up with friends and family, whether that was on the dance floor, in the barn, in rocking chairs by the outdoor fireplace, or while playing cornhole in the grass.

    When we first started the wedding planning process, I knew I wanted to have a “naked” cake. I don’t care much for heavy icing, and I like the rustic look of naked cakes. Kim did an awesome job turning that inspiration into a reality, and since it was simple and clean, Laura was able to add some flowers to make it a focal point of the reception.

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Matt and I met in Austin in 2011. I had just graduated from college and moved to Austin, barely knowing anyone. A few weeks after I moved there, I ran into a guy I had gone to college with, who invited me to his bible study–that’s where I first met Matt. We were casual friends for a year or two, but as we got to know each other better through Friendsgivings, birthday parties, church activities, weekend trips, and TV nights, we developed (major) secret crushes. It took a night of karaoke and dancing out with friends in early 2014 for us to finally realize the major crushing was mutual. Timing was not on our side (Matt was moving to Dallas for a job at the end of the summer), but we decided to take a chance on our friendship and start dating anyway. It worked out in our favor!
    Tell us all about the proposal! It was the Saturday before Easter 2015. Matt was living in Dallas and I was living in Austin. He was coming down for the weekend, and our plan was to go to the Texas Capitol building on Saturday morning for a tour and then meet up with his parents afterward for lunch. This wasn’t an unusual weekend plan because I was planning on moving to Dallas sometime in the coming months, and visiting the Capitol was on our Austin bucket list. His parents being in town wasn’t unusual either because they had come to spend Easter with his grandparents, who lived close by. Matt was able to hook us up with a private tour with Rod, the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House, through a mutual friend. Rod showed us around the Capitol, and as we were wrapping up, he asked if we wanted to make the trek up to the dome, where other tourists didn’t have access. Matt and I weighed whether we should do it or not since we were running late for our lunch, but Rod convinced us to make the climb, since this was a one-time chance sort of thing. When we got to the tip top of the dome, we were able to exit outside onto a small wraparound patio. When Rod said he had to “take a call” and stepped back in, I knew something was up. A few seconds later, Matt grabbed my hand, said my name, and I knew this was it! He got down on one knee and proposed right there. Rod was in on the whole thing, so after his “call,” he came back out and took a few pictures for us. Afterward, we did in fact meet up with Matt’s parents for lunch, but both of our families were there to celebrate with us, as well!
    When did y’all get married? October 24, 2015
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 165
    Tell us about finding your wedding dress. The week after we got engaged, I was visiting one of my bridesmaids in New York City, so we decided to do a brief shopping trip. It was unsuccessful, but I was able to get my feet wet and start to feel more like a bride. A few weeks later, I planned a dress shopping trip with three of my close girlfriends in Austin. I tried on probably 10-15 dresses and honestly loved most of them. We eventually narrowed it down to two favorites and took pictures to share with my mom and sister, since they lived too far to see them in person. My mom, my sister, and my dad all picked the same dress as their favorite, so I went with that one! It was exactly the dress I had had in mind: simple, classic, and not too glam for an outdoor wedding.
    Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail was the wedding party table. It was forty feet of farm table that sat our closest friends. It was a joyful picture to see everyone from every phase of our lives in one place!
    How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We went through premarital counseling with a couple at our church. It was important to us to learn from people who had gone through this season and could guide us through conversation and conflict in preparation for marriage.
    What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We didn’t have to hire an officiant or ceremony musicians since we had our friends play those parts!
    What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Enjoying dinner by the river immediately after the ceremony was a sweet and memorable moment. Having a few minutes alone to relax, eat good food, and revel in our new marriage was a special time for us.
    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Knock all of the big stuff out first! We jumped into wedding planning the week after we got engaged, and that allowed us to book most of our vendors in the first month of our engagement. The last two to three months before the wedding, we were able to take our time preparing for our marriage, not just finishing up last minute wedding details.
    What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Matt and I reside in Dallas, where he’s an attorney and I’m working for a healthcare startup. The big challenge we’re tackling as a couple right now is keeping our new fiddle leaf fig tree alive.

    Photographer: Clark Brewer | Planner: Invision Events | Venue: Swann Lake Stables | Florist: Laura McCarty | Cake Baker: Kimberly Wiggins | Caterer: Shindigs | Rentals and Lighting: Event Rentals Unlimited | Band: The Neons | Special Details: Prophouse | Paper Products: Katie Roden | Bride’s Gown: “Cassidy” by Amy Kuschel | Bride’s Jewelry: Kendra Scott | Hair Stylist: Joanna Ballentine | Makeup Artist: Molly Stilley | Bride’s Shoes: Tory Burch | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Nouvelle Amsale | Groom’s Attire: Sid Mashburn | Ice Cream Sandwich Cart: Big Spoon Creamery

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
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      Confession: I definitely found myself wishing I could have attended Sarah Beth and Ryan’s wedding–and not just because of that delicious looking cake buffet! These two have such a sweet, joyful relationship, and they chose their wedding details with great purpose, always focused on things that would best welcome their guests and share how much their families mean to them. A few of my favorites? Sarah Beth’s dad officiated the ceremony (so special!), the cakes were displayed on a table handmade by her late grandfather, and the favors were a tasty jam that was whipped up from Grandma’s recipe!

      Thanks so much to Emily Ann Hughes for sharing this lovely day with us!

      Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I knew exactly what I didn’t want, so the hunt took awhile (and it was absolutely a hunt). I went to five different stores before trekking into Neiman Marcus in Dallas with my best friend. I knew I had found a designer that kept working for me, so I went straight to Reem Acra when we got there. Those dresses were so dreamy, and the experience was so fun! I loved when I finally said yes to the dress.

      Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, my husband and I are both very emotional people. We wanted those special emotions to be experienced between the two of us before we shared our evening with loved ones. I was so nervous, and knew I would be able to enjoy the time before our ceremony more if I got to see his face.

      Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we did. One of our favorite lines was, “I wish I could quantify the joy you bring. Your charisma is overflowing, and my life is filled with laughter because of you.”

      We wanted a venue that provided beauty all on its own. I had an ethereal aesthetic in mind, complete with natural and beautiful elements, so it only made sense to settle on the Rose Garden and Conservatory.

      Describe your wedding flowers. Oh my word, so dreamy! We used shades of blues, greys, and magnolia leaves to complement the copper and green. They were full of texture and shapes!

      We used a table handmade by my late grandpa for my sister’s wedding to display our cakes on. We had eight or nine cakes in all different shapes, sizes, and flavors. They were so tasty–Cuppies & Joe knocked it out of the park!

      How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Unknowingly, I was his “gym girlfriend” from afar. We had a few mutual friends who facilitated our setup, but we must give credit to divine intervention. God directed each step toward each other along the way. After spending some time exchanging glances at the gym, he finally asked me on a date, which I declined; however, he was persistent and asked me on a second date. We were inseparable from our first date!
      Tell us all about the proposal! Our first summer together, we spent almost every day at the lake! Our first kiss happened right there among the peaceful surroundings on the swim deck. The following summer, he invited all of our friends onto the boat for a normal afternoon on the lake, or so I thought. After ignoring my friends’ suggestions to maybe pick another swimsuit or possibly fix my hair, I found myself on the swim deck of our boat with my charming, now-husband, on his knee. I was in shock and had to contain my urge to jump on him for fear that my ring might fall into the lake! It was the best day of the year until we actually became one.
      When did y’all get married? November 14, 2015
      How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
      What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had a traditional Christian ceremony that was officiated by my dad. At our reception, Ryan’s fraternity brothers went to the center and did their dance number. Other than that, I felt it was pretty traditional all the way around–great food, great drinks, and great people!
      How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We read “Love & Respect” and went through marriage counseling with my father. We also read “The Meaning of Marriage” and went through counseling with my former pastor. We were very intentional about preparing our hearts and minds for the covenant we were entering into.
      If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
      What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I love stationery, but was realistic about where invitations ultimately end up, so we kept our paper goods simple. We also chose two beers and two wines as opposed to an open bar. I felt like both of those areas saved us quite a bit of money.
      What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? When my dad announced us as Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Campbell!
      What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We enjoyed our honeymoon, and now have twins on the way! We are looking forward to our first home together and bringing two beautiful lives into the world.
      Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? It was a blast, but being his wife is so much better!

      Photographer: Emily Ann Hughes Photography | Film Processing: PhotoVision Prints | Planner and Florist: XO Events & Design | Ceremony Venue: The Will Rogers Rose Garden | Reception Venue: Ed Lycan Conservatory | Cake Baker: Cuppies & Joe | Caterer: Cafe 7 | Rentals: Conventions and More and Mood Party Rentals | Band: String & Sound | Paper Goods: The Sign Shop | Bride’s Gown: Reem Acra | Bride’s Accessories: BHLDN | Hair Stylist: Hannah Miller | Makeup Artist: Lovewell Boutique Salon and Blush for Days | Bride’s Shoes: ASOS | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Nouvelle Amsale and Joanna August | Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Prim Bridesmaid Boutique | Groom’s Attire: Tom James Clothier | Groomsmen Attire: JC Penney | Bouquet Ribbon: Silk and Willow

      lisa Written with love by Lisa
      5 Comments
      1. avatar Emily reply

        Beautiful! Love the colors so much, as well as the velvet linens on the cocktail tables!

      2. avatar Miranda Tassi reply

        What a precious wedding! I loved the special details of incorporating her Grandmother’s jam and late Grandfather’s handmade table. Her flowers were STUNNING yet so simple! Such a great idea to minimalize the bar selection to cut costs; most guests won’t even notice or mind. Great post! xo

      3. avatar Sarah Chancey reply

        Absolutely smitten with this gorgeous wedding! I love how they kept things simple, elegant and romantic. Her dress is to die for!

      4. avatar Dana reply

        awww they’re presh

      5. avatar Winter Wedding Inspiration – Life in BloomLife in Bloom reply

        […] and a black vase, but it still is overall bright and classy. Source 6. Velvet linens, enough said. Source. 7. Tying in the velvet to another detail, it looks amazing on boutonnieres. Source 8. Taper […]

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