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I love how even Lauren and Chad’s courtship is Southern! It started with a casual meeting through mutual friends, and their love developed over watching many college football games, which we know is a quite the feat for a couple with competing undergraduate alma maters! When it came time to plan their wedding, they knew that with the help of their planner, Laura from Ashton Events, they not only wanted to incorporate their love of the South (having grown up in Florida, Lauren wanted to include citrus!) and tradition, but also their college allegiances. While our own Nicole isn’t much of a college football fan (I know!!), I simply can’t let this wedding go by without mentioning how absolutely “her” it is!

Hats off to Sunglow Photography for sharing this sweetly colorful wedding with us!

P.S. You don’t want to miss their proposal story! It’s steeped with tradition, and actually gave me chills!

I was originally set on wearing my momma’s wedding dress. It is a beautiful dress with gorgeous scalloped details flowing into a long train, complete with lace sleeves and a sweetheart neckline–perfect for a Southern belle. After taking the dress to two different seamstresses though, I found out we wouldn’t be able to alter it to fit me while maintaining the original beauty of the dress. While in a bridal store with my momma’s dress, my sister eyed a tiered lace gown and begged me to try it on. Just to please her, I did, and fell in love. It was elegant and and classic–everything I wanted in a wedding dress. After making the decision to purchase the new gown instead of wearing my momma’s, the bridal salon’s seamstress made my cathedral veil using lace pieces from my momma’s dress.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I always wanted to be married in a church to represent God’s role in marriage. Westminster Presbyterian was a beautiful church that allowed my hometown pastor to officiate the ceremony. For the reception, we wanted a venue that encompassed everything we love about the South: wraparound porches, Spanish moss-filled oak trees, and hospitality. Rocking H Ranch was the perfect venue for us!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to not have a first look. Tradition was very important to both of us, and we wanted our reaction down the aisle to be very genuine and intimate. We will never forget the moment we caught each other’s eyes once the church doors opened. Chad was tearful, and I was so excited, I even jumped a bit! We were so happy we got to share that moment with our family and friends.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The escort card board. Our wedding planner, Laura of Ashton Events, painted a piece of scrap metal to look like an antique citrus label, personalized with our names and wedding date. The guests’ names were handwritten on magnolia leaves and displayed on the board. As names were removed and guests took their seats, this creative label was revealed. We now have the artwork displayed in our house, and is a great keepsake from the wedding we will always cherish.

I wanted my flowers to be classic and elegant. To be honest, I didn’t have any vision for the floral arrangements, but having grown up in Florida, I wanted to incorporate my passion for agriculture and highlight what we are known for: citrus. Our wedding planner and florist did an outstanding job taking my simple style and creating beautiful, Southern-inspired florals. The whites and greens were the perfect complement to the Florida oranges and tangerines! My favorite piece was the large magnolia leaf garland for the head table.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I have always valued the Southern etiquette and hospitality instilled in me by my momma and Nana. We wanted our family and friends to feel at home with us at the reception, so we decided to use vintage china plates for the food service. Additionally, we served our own version of sweet tea, “Mason Dixons,” during cocktail hour, which are made from sweet tea vodka and lemonade. You can’t be Southern and not love college sports, so of course, we had to incorporate our love for our teams! From the college-themed cornhole games, singing the school fight songs, and the groom’s cake, to leaving through a row of team-colored shakers, we definitely shared our love for college sports! The definition of Southern is tradition. We stayed true to our Southern heritage by keeping our ceremony and vows very traditional. Everyone knows it’s almost a sin to wear white or seersucker before Easter in the South, but I love seersucker, and wanted to find a way to incorporate it into the wedding. The groomsmen and Chad wore seersucker bow ties, the ushers wore seersucker ties, and the bridesmaid bouquet wraps were made from seersucker fabric. The magnolia leaves and citrus in our decor also represented everything I love about living in the South.

Y’all, there is a chandelier hanging from an oak tree! Be still my heart!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We had both been living in College Station, Texas attending graduate school at Texas A&M for a year before our paths crossed. Thanks to mutual friends, we began hanging out during the summer of 2011. Right before fall classes started in August 2011, a group of our friends decided to take a trip to Gruene, Texas to float the river. Chad didn’t know it at the time, but I had developed a crush on him. That river trip marked the beginning of our courtship, and we went on our first date the Monday we returned to town. Over the next year and a half, our love developed over watching many football games (which is a big feat, considering we are both diehard fans of our undergraduate alma maters, Auburn University and Oklahoma State University), completing grad school, traveling, moving to Florida, and starting new careers.
Tell us all about the proposal! I was itching to visit friends in Texas, and decided to surprise my friend the weekend of her Aggie Ring Dunk in April 2013. Chad randomly decided to tag along. After arriving in College Station and patiently waiting for me to finish talking to friends, Chad, with the help of two friends, suggested a walk around the Texas A&M campus. I didn’t suspect anything unusual because my friend wanted to visit Scoates Hall, the old stopping grounds of our grad school department, which required us to pass Academic Plaza on the way. As we approached the plaza, my friend pretended to receive an “important” phone call from work. Chad kept walking, and before I could catch what was going on, Chad led me to the Century Tree. The Century Tree holds a special place in the hearts of Texas A&M Aggies because tradition says that if a couple walks under the branches of the tree, they will eventually marry. If the proposal takes place under the tree, the marriage will last a lifetime. Chad dropped to one knee and asked me to spend a lifetime with him, and of course, I said yes!
When did y’all get married? March 8, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 295
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Keeping with tradition, we recited traditional wedding vows. However, my favorite line was when our pastor asked Chad if he took me to be his wife, and he emphatically said, “Absolutely!”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the bridal entrance, I chose Pachelbel’s Canon in D. As a harpist, this song has always been my favorite to play for weddings, and I always knew it was what I wanted to walk down the aisle to. During the ceremony, my sister and cousin sang “Come Thou Fount” and “10,000 Reasons.” We wanted our ceremony to be a true worship service, and these songs signified how thankful we were for the blessings the Lord has placed in our lives and relationship. Our first dance was to “The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. We both love to dance and have a good time, so we wanted our first dance to be fun! For the father/daughter dance, I surprised my daddy with “Tuesday’s Gone” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. I grew up listening to classic Southern rock with my daddy, and Lynyrd Skynyrd is his favorite band. He loved it! Every time I hear a song by them, I immediately think of my daddy.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake matched the Southern, citrus-inspired decor of the wedding. I wanted the cake to be simple and elegant, and the hints of lace and magnolia flowers were perfect. For the groom’s cake, we incorporated Chad’s love for his alma maters. It was in the shape of of Oklahoma and Texas, decorated with Oklahoma State University and Texas A&M University logos and colors.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was a handmade lace doily from Chad’s grandmother who was unable to travel to the wedding. My something blue was a blue and orange butterfly given to me by my granny. My something old was the lace on my veil from my momma’s wedding dress. My something new was the set of pearls I wore, which were given to me by both sets of my grandparents, as well as my dress. Also, a personal mentor of mine mailed me a sixpence when we were first engaged, so I wore it in my shoe for good luck!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge during the planning process was making decisions. This is where my wedding planner was a life saver! I tend to be an indecisive person, and Laura was able to provide options and help me narrow down my choices. I could completely trust her advice!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We were able to save money by establishing our priorities at the very beginning of our planning process. Our priorities determined the percentage of our budget we spent on certain items, and we tried to stick to it.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Hands down, I was so grateful for our wedding planner, Laura Helm! She is the best problem-solver I know, and she made the entire planning process very easy and stress-free. It was reassuring to know we were working with someone who wanted to make sure we had the best experience on our wedding day that we could!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? After the ceremony, Chad and I drove by ourselves to the reception site about ten minutes away. With the convertible top down and the most beautiful blue sky we’ve seen, we had those few moments to ourselves to relish in starting our lives together. We couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. We’ve never felt so much joy and anticipation for the future.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Never forget the purpose of the wedding. Remind each other constantly of your love for one another, and of your future together. At the end of the day, when everything is said and done, you have each other and that’s all that matters.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are excited to establish our new family and traditions over the coming years. We can’t wait to see where life takes us and what God has planned!

Photographer: Sunglow Photography / Videographer: Indie Atlantic Films / Planner and Paper Products: Ashton Events / Ceremony Venue: Westminster Presbyterian Church / Reception Venue: Rocking H Ranch / Florist: Taylormade Wedding & Event Flowers / Wedding Cake: Hands on Sweets / Caterer: Puff ‘n Stuff Catering / Rentals: Premier Party Rentals / Lighting: Tampa Lights / DJ: DeLeon Entertainment / Linens: Kate Ryan Linens / Rentals: Dishie Rentals / Bride’s Gown: “Dari” by Rivini / Bridal Salon: Solutions Bridal Designer House / Bride’s Veil: Solutions Bridal Designer House / Hair Stylist: PhD Salon / Makeup Artist: Sarah Phillips Makeup Artistry / Bride’s Shoes: Macy’s / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Angelo / Men’s Suits: Men’s Wearhouse / Bow Ties: The Belle and The Beau / Additional Vendors: Harrison School of the Arts String Quartet

Ashton Events is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Don’t tell my alma mater, but this Aggie wedding has me smitten! Love their family photo table and her adorable getaway outfit :)

  2. avatar Angela Higgenbotham reply

    We so enjoyed getting to know Lauren and Chad such a wonderful young couple, as well as vibrant community leaders! They were in great hands with Laura Helm of Ashton Events! We love her, so sweet and talented! Laura has blessed many of our Brides and Grooms here with their “Own Vision”, always with style and class.

  3. avatar Emily reply

    Such happy centerpieces! And I am ALWAYS a fan of a black and white dance floor!

  4. avatar Nicole reply

    This is just like my dream wedding! Banquet tables, a black and white dance floor, string lights and oranges everywhere will do me in each time!

  5. avatar Mia Maria Design reply

    This fabulously unique escort card display is to die for!

  6. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #139 | Floridian Weddings reply

    […] wedding is what happens when Southern meets Floridian: magnolias and oranges, sunshine and Spanish moss, plus cornhole and college […]

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

    […] Lauren and Chad‘s wedding was oh so Southern, and we (especially Nicole) loved the citrus details! Jessica and Thomas‘ “Gone With the Wind-meets-modern elegance” wedding was just our style. […]

  8. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #140 | Floridian Weddings reply

    […] all these magnolia and orange […]

  9. avatar Robin + Rose Design reply

    I thought this looked like a church in Lakeland as soon as I saw the picture of the bride making her entrance! Great to see such a pretty wedding right here at home! I love how they incorporated the citrus.

  10. avatar Fruit &Veggie Wedding Theme | Vizcaya reply

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Psst… have you voted in the championship round of Mason-Dixon Madness yet? We’re revealing the winner later today!

Based on your survey feedback, we know that most of you prefer real weddings over styled shoots. And I have to say, I’m with you for the most part – especially because I see piles of submissions every week that are just so clearly not a fit for what we’re about. But I’m not ready to give up on inspirational editorials completely, because I still think, when done right, they can be both useful and, yep, inspiring. We don’t want or expect you to replicate every element from every shoot – but I do believe that every shoot has at least one takeaway for almost every couple.

Maybe one will introduce you to a vendor that perfectly clicks with your style. Maybe one will show you a new way to tie your bouquet or a clever idea for numbering your tables. Maybe you’ll spot your dream dress in one, or the perfect bow tie for your groom. Or, like me, maybe you love editorials because they introduce you to a part of the South you’re not familiar with – like this one, which takes us into the orange groves of Louisiana. I didn’t even know there were such things, but I’m so glad Blue Ribbon Vendor Sarah Becker Photo has shown me!

From the event planner and stylist, Brooke: Belle Chasse, Louisiana is the epitome of a small town! Everyone knows one another, stores are family-owned and you won’t find any tall buildings blocking your view of the sunset. Born and raised here, I’ve always admired the beauty of this small town, particularly the orange groves that blossom along the main road. As I began designing weddings, I knew I would jump at the chance to showcase this area! Then enters Sarah Becker Lillard. Sarah’s bubbly personality and enthusiasm at the idea of the orange grove shoot gave me the little push I needed to say “Let’s make this thing happen.” After meeting with Sarah to brainstorm on ideas for the shoot, the rest of the vendor team seemed like such an obvious choice.

I have admired Poppy & Mint since the first day I saw Destiny’s work. Julia, owner and event designer at Mrs. Vintage, fit the mold perfectly when I was looking for the props for the shoot. Her farm table, whiskey barrel and wooden crates were a clear part of my vision since Day 1. Her vintage sugar mold was the perfect piece to complete the main floral design!

Amanda, Hattiesburg-native and owner of Fine Print Calligraphy, adds a Southern touch to many of her designs. I knew she would design something that captivated the essence of the orange groves in Southern Louisiana. Amanda created custom ink colors for the calligraphy on the envelopes as well as the watercolor for the menu and invitation that gave the shoot that personal touch.

My favorite part of the shoot has to be the modeling debut of my two pups, Jake and Levi. It is amazing what a few pieces of ham as bribery can do.

Event Planner: Southern Charm Weddings | Photographer: Sarah Becker Photo | Floral Designer: Poppy & Mint | Stationery: Fine Print Calligraphy | Bridal Salon: Wedding Belles | Hair & Makeup: Chelsea Adam with Breck & Co. | Vintage Rentals: Mrs. Vintage | Cake Designer: The Sweet Life Bakery | Groom’s Suit: John’s Tuxedos | Chairs, Plates, and Flatware: Event Rental | Orange Groves: Saxon-Becnel & Sons |

Sarah Becker Photo and Mrs. Vintage are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    The oranges in the bouquet are such a great detail!

  2. avatar Nicole reply

    That cake! Talk about gorgeous — this shoot is like my heaven.

  3. avatar Julia Hohne reply

    Hooray!! So excited to be featured, this shoot was so beautiful! Congrats to all the vendors involved!

  4. avatar Sarah Becker Lillard reply

    YIPPEEE! SO proud of all the amazing vendors involved in this shoot – definitely my favorite to date! Thank y’all so much for sharing it with the world! Who woulda thunk there are acres and acres of orange groves just 20 minutes south of New Orleans?!

  5. avatar Mary reply

    I love this shoot so much! The ribbon on the bouquet! The dress! The cake! The NAPKINS! The menu!

  6. avatar Carolyn reply

    SO lovely! I am literally drooling over that cake! and bouquet! and the pups! Beautiful work Sarah!

  7. avatar Brooke Casey reply

    Oh my goodness! So honored to be featured on Southern Weddings!! The pictures are lovely and all of the vendors did a wonderful job! Yay us!!

  8. avatar Inna Olimpiyuk reply

    The Bride’s Bouquet is simply Stunning and Wedding Cake is very Beautiful! Love this shoot!

  9. avatar Wedding Rentals Supplies reply

    Truly inspiring! Loved this beautiful wedding theme.

  10. avatar Sarah Becker Photography | Orange Grove Shoot | New Orleans Wedding Photography reply

    […] I am still on top of the world from this Orange Grove styled shoot being featured on Southern Weddings yesterday! This has been my absolute favorite wedding blog for years, and as my brides know I give […]

  11. avatar lisa freeman reply

    I’m drooling over this shoot right now. All the special touches add up to a big wow! Love the invitations by Fine Print Calligraphy.

  12. avatar Ashley Minck reply

    This wedding is everything I dream of and more!

  13. avatar Stephanie reply

    This is a beautiful shoot and is close to my heart because I am born and raised in Plaquemines Parish. The stand that they are pictured in front of is actually my grandparents house not Saxons but Saxon’s brother Hewitt. It makes me happy to see my family and our farms displayed so beautifully. Thanks for the shout out to the citrus farmers and the inspiration for my possible future wedding.

  14. avatar Abi Losli reply

    I just can’t stop smiling about this shoot! So bright, happy, and whimsical. And those pups! Just adorable. Thanks for once again providing the perfect little pop of inspiration to get me going with my day.

  15. avatar EJ reply

    How lovely – adore this colour scheme. x

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    […] Pretty | 8 -hand-drawn wedding menu from Fine Print Calligraphy, image by Sarah Becker Photo via Southern Weddings | 9 – fresh citrus centerpiece by The Floral Lab, image by Jessica Claire Photography via […]

  18. avatar Alisha reply

    Where are the beautiful blue and white napkins from??

  19. avatar Agrumi per un matrimonio invernale reply

    […] Bouquet: Kate Osborne via Snippet & Ink // Jane in the Woods // Addie Eshelman Photography via Storyboard Wedding Centrotavola: Ben Sasso via Style Me Pretty // Belathée via Snippet & Ink // Mandi Nelson Segnaposto: Lavender & Twine Photography via 100 Layer Cake // Melissa Jill Photography via Elizabeth Anne Designs // Collin Hughes via Snippet & Ink Favors: Ben Sasso via Style Me Pretty // Brett Heidebrecht via Elizabeth Anne Designs // Rebecca Arthurs via Style Me Pretty Torte: Stephanie Williams via 100 Layer Cake // Our Labor of Love by Heidi via Ruffled // Sarah Becker Photo via Southern Weddings […]

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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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When we started making V5 last year, we turned to our Sweet Tea Society manifesto to bring us back to our roots. The theme of the issue, Love Never Fails, is one that we now frequently say in and out of the office. It’s our motto for life, which is why we love and appreciate the reminders we get that it rings true. When Jeremy & Kristin sent over Beth + Brody’s sixth-month anniversary session, we were impressed not just by the gorgeous photos, but how they translate B + B’s love story on camera — one that has endured so much faith, courage and love in just their first few months of marriage.

Beth was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after their Texas wedding, giving the newlyweds an obstacle to conquer that many couples have never faced. We love that Jeremy & Kristin saw their anniversary session as an opportunity to show everyone that this season of life is beautiful and that love conquers all.

How sweet are the two photos below? I love these sweet moments Jeremy & Kristin captured.

From Jeremy & Kristin:

Beth and Brody met at summer camp. They were both counselors, and had a passion for teaching kids. The thing was, they were going to be there all summer and they weren’t allowed to date in front of the campers, so they wrote letters. Though they saw each other every day, their relationship began with summer camp letters. They got to know each other and soon they were rearranging their schedules so that they could have the same day off.

Beth and Brody are two of the sweetest, most genuine, and down to earth people we have ever met. The kind of people you feel you have known all your life after meeting them just once. They have learned that love is strong, and that they are stronger together. They are walking this path with courage and faith.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Jordan reply

    Wow, this is so beautiful!

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Beautiful in every way. Also, it has to be said, her gown is gorgeous :)

  3. avatar Marissa reply

    Stunning! These pictures speak of true beauty, strength, and courage. Absolutely gorgeous.

  4. avatar Jeremy reply

    Thank you so much for featuring Beth & Brody’s story! We are forever grateful!

  5. avatar Anna reply

    My heart is so full! These images leave me speechless.

  6. avatar Marissa reply

    Such an incredible shoot. So much strength and courage, and the best example that love never fails!

  7. avatar Audrey @ In Shape Cupcake reply

    This is so sweet! All the pictures are so precious. Thankful they are walking in faith! :)

  8. avatar Kristin reply

    In tears over this powerful and beautiful expression of love. I agree M!! What an amazing testimony to the idea that Love Never Fails!

  9. avatar Staciiii reply


  10. avatar Jen Rios reply

    Beth & Brody are such an inspiration. Thank you for telling their sweet story!

  11. avatar Abby reply

    Absolutely a tear jerker! I love how much joy is exuded in these photos! Incredibly touching as well as beautiful.

  12. avatar Love Never Fails :: Beth & Brody featured on Southern Weddings | Beauty&theBlush reply

    […] Here’s a few of my favorite shots …. but you can see the full feature on Southern Weddings HERE!  […]

  13. avatar Plum Pretty Sugar reply

    Thank you for sharing all this love! So lovely!

  14. avatar Wedding Planning | Dallas + Fort Worth + Hill Country + Texas | Wedding DesignWedding Planning + Wedding Design | Jen Rios Design | Dallas + Fort Worth + Hill Country + Texas reply

    […] courage these two share is unmatched and their love story gives us chills! We were thrilled when Southern Weddings agreed to feature their story on their blog. In case you missed the feature yesterday here is a […]

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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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