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There are a lot of fun things about working at Southern Weddings, so I don’t say this lightly: reading each couple’s story is one of the very best parts of our jobs. As the grand finale of our Most Memorable of 2014 series (see bridal style, bouquets, menswear, bridesmaids, moments, details, and sweets), here are some of the stories that found permanent places in our hearts this year.

Sally Ward and Patrick: “I grew up loving to climb trees, and I was especially fond of a great big magnolia tree that sat to the left of my childhood home, so I thought, how cool would it be if I picked leaves from THAT tree and made them the place cards at the wedding? I wanted every detail to hold meaning, and that house is so special–it made me so delighted to see a piece of my childhood with us on our wedding day.” (Gene Oh)

Abby and Cameron: “There were so many sweet moments I’ll never forget, like seeing Cameron tear up at the end of the aisle or the time with my immediate family the morning of the wedding. However, one of the funniest moments happened with my dad only minutes before we walked down the aisle. All of my bridesmaids had gone before me and my dad and I were waiting inside the farmhouse to go next. I stood up to peek out the window and snagged my dress on something on the floor! The whole bottom hem of my dress was hanging off. My dad looked at me to see how I was going to react and then we both just started laughing–what else can you do? He ended up cutting the hem off and we walked on out and down the aisle. We said we wouldn’t tell anyone (sorry, Dad), but it really helped me realize that not everything had to be perfect in order to have a perfect wedding day.” (Jess Barfield)

Alix and Dodd: “We met one lovely, crisp, fall evening–October 5, 2009 to be exact, at the historic Triad Theatre in New York City. We were individually invited by a mutual friend to an industry show. Dodd noticed me there, and after the show, he approached me and asked me to join the group next door. Once in the light, I immediately noticed the small red bicycle pin Dodd was wearing on his sport coat and said, “I like your pin,” to which Dodd responded, “You mean, my MOATCH.” “Your what?” “My moatch. My man brooch!” That made me laugh, and I knew that I had to talk to this guy some more. We left the group and began our first three-hour conversation at the bar, and in those moments, we knew the other was very special. Dodd took me home in a cab, 150 blocks out of his way. At my door step, he kissed me goodnight (it was absolutely the most perfect first kiss), and then took the train home. I walked calmly through my lobby and into the elevator. When when the doors shut, I threw my purse against the wall and yelled, “I’m in love!!” Thankfully, I was the sole passenger in this elevator!” (Kat Braman)

Laura and Mason: “I lost my mother to breast cancer about two and half years ago, so planning a wedding without her was definitely a challenge. She was such a talented organizer and planner! I tried to incorporate her memory into as many wedding decisions as possible. For example, I found the best picture of my mom and dad covered in birdseed as they left their own wedding reception, which made it easy for me to decide that we should have birdseed tossed during our exit as well. I was so thankful to have my incredible father, sisters, and fiancé, who all put in so many hours helping me plan!” (Paige Reaux)

Megan and Ryan: “My dad recently passed away, and he had always talked about looking forward to my wedding day. In place of a father-daughter dance, I chose eight men that knew my daddy and loved Jesus like daddy. I wrote them each a letter several weeks before the wedding, asking them to be a part of my day. In the letters, I wrote about things I remembered about them and how they influenced me while I was growing up. They all agreed, and I chose the song “I Loved Her First,” which was sung by my daddy’s favorite cousin. The men had asked if they could pray a blessing over me and Ryan, and so they laid their hands on us and prayed for us and our marriage. My daddy would’ve been so happy!” (Happy Everything Co.)

Sarah and Andy: “This past November, we went with a group on a mission trip to Argentina. By the time I returned home, we realized that being together was God’s plan for us. In January, Andy came to Charleston and we decided to marry. At our ages, we didn’t want to waste any more time apart. We set the date for March 15 and then proceeded to surprise a lot of people who had no idea we’d even been seeing each other! It was hilarious!” (Aaron and Jillian)

Blaine and Brian: “We met at the Liberty Tavern in Arlington, Virginia in the spring of 2007. It was the hip new place in Arlington, and Blaine was working as a bartender/cocktail waitress. It took me a little while, but after several chats at the bar, some casual flirting, and some help from my best friend’s wife, I worked up the guts to ask her out and she said yes. Our first ‘real’ date was at Old Ebbitt’s Grille in Washington D.C. The dress she wore on that date was woven into different fabrics at our wedding (her wedding dress, handkerchiefs for her wedding party, my suit, pocket squares for the groomsmen, the fabric flowers for each guest). It was a symbol of beginnings.” (Abby Caldwell)

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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    From bright and overflowing to elegant and simple, we featured some beautiful flowers this year. Here are a few of the most memorable bouquets!

    Elizabeth’s bouquet of peonies, tree peonies, peach Juliet garden roses, ranunculus, dusty miller, and craspedia pods by Branch Design Studio (photo by Amelia + Dan)

    Becca’s bouquet of eucalyptus, dusty miller, brasilia berries, peach astible, peach roses, and white hydrangeas by Dyson Designs (photo by Britt Croft)

    Lindsay’s bouquet of deep red dinner plate dahlias, coral amaryllis, deep red clematis, Romantic Antik garden roses, Cinnamon garden roses, red astilbe, gold amaranthus, pokeberries, and smokebush foliage by Southern Blooms (photo by Jen Fariello)

    Heather’s single magnolia bouquet by Southern Posies (photo by Caroline Joy)

    Jessica’s bouquet of ivory and blush peonies with dusty miller by The Plantation Florist (photo by Leslie Hollingsworth)

    Sara’s bouquet of garden roses, sweetheart roses, ranunculus, stock, sweet pea, and jasmine vine by Hey Gorgeous Events (photo by Love, The Nelsons)

    Rachel’s bouquet of ranunculus, garden roses, stock, and feverfew by Tulip Blooming Creations (photo by Melissa Schollaert)

    Courtney’s bouquet of peonies, garden roses, lily of the valley, and ranunculus by The Southern Table (photo by Matt and Julie)

    Victoria’s bouquet of garden roses, tweedia, seed pods, and greenery by In Bloom Again (photo by Whitney Neal)

    Laura’s bouquet of garden roses, raspberry clematis, ranunculus, dahlias, smoke bush and maple foliage, and seeded eucalyptus by TULIP (photo by Paige Reaux)

    Leslie Hollingsworth and Hey Gorgeous Events are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

    emily Written with love by Emily
    1 Comment
    1. avatar mexican wedding traditions reply

      what a marvelous theme, i fall in love with it

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    I can spot a Louisiana wedding from a mile away! There is something so Southern and classic about them, but at the same time, a sense of modern chicness! That makes sense, right y’all? Maybe it’s Mia’s adorable short hair/birdcage veil combo or their use of succulents, but Mia and Ian’s wedding is a perfect example! To bring in that sweetly Southern feel? The wraparound porch at The Audubon Institute, of course! I don’t know many Southerners who don’t love gorgeous wraparound porches as a backdrop for celebrations with friends and family. I know I’m smitten!

    Big hugs to Ms. Paige Reaux for sharing their day with us!

    I did all of my dress shopping in one day because Ian’s mom had come down from Indianapolis to be with me while I tried dresses on. She, my mom, my MawMaw, and most of my bridesmaids were able to come. When I finally found my dress, I knew it was mine because I just wouldn’t take it off! I think I wore it for over an hour in the store while my bridesmaids and our mothers started trying on their dresses as well. I’m sure we drove the sweet shop crazy, but it was a very memorable day.

    Thanks to Pinterest, I had been obsessed with having succulents as my wedding flowers since before we started planning. I ordered 100 succulent clippings, and together with my mom, I handmade each of the boutonnieres. We also wired succulents to insert into bouquets of fresh flowers for my bridesmaids. I ordered my bouquet from Succulently Urban, and it was more than I could have hoped for! I had so much help with the bridesmaids’ bouquets from my bridesmaid, Stephanie. Two days before the wedding, we went to Whole Foods and picked out fresh flowers to arrange. They included snapdragons, mini hydrangeas, and some berries. We arranged them with the succulents and ended up making really amazing bouquets. I couldn’t have done it without her.

    Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? At first, we didn’t want to do a first look, but after talking to Paige and discussing it with Ian, we decided a first look was more fitting for us. We really wanted to have that time together before the ceremony to just soak everything in. I’m really glad we did it that way. All I wanted to do all day was to see Ian. After I finally saw him, everything was smooth sailing, and it really did make our wedding extremely relaxing and enjoyable.

    We did not write our own vows, but we did exchange letters during our first look. We decided to do this as a way to make our vows more private. We spent our first year of dating apart because Ian was getting his master’s degree in London. We wrote letters to each other for most of that time, and having that vow-like gift at our wedding was really important to us.

    What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think that the wraparound porch on the clubhouse was a huge part of what made our wedding feel Southern. My whole family is from the South, and I have many memories of just sitting on my MawMaw’s front porch, relaxing and talking. After we saw the venue, I remember calling my mom, and when I told her about the porch, she told me that it was perfect since we are “porch people.” I knew it was the place for us.

    Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our cake was a white cake with raspberry cream cheese filling. The design was very simple, and our baker added succulents to each tier. We had it displayed on a cut of cypress tree wood instead of a cake stand. I loved that touch because that was a cut from a tree that used to stand in my Oma’s (my grandmother’s) yard.

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at Louisiana State University. I was a freshman moving into the dorms and Ian was a group leader who was helping to welcome students. My roommate, Stephanie, was in his group, and since I though Ian was cute, I tagged along with them a bit. After that, Ian and I didn’t see each other again until we took a class in the Honors College called FOCUS, which centered around a summer program that helped students from under-resourced schools in Baton Rouge. He taught philosophy and I taught dance. We did this for two summers, and slowly over that time, we got to know each other. He finally asked me out during the second summer!
    Tell us all about the proposal! On our first real date, Ian came over to my apartment and cooked for me. Ever since then, cooking and eating together has been one of our favorite things to do. For his proposal, Ian invited my sister Amy over and said he wanted to try making a big, multi-course meal. Ian cooked pretty much the whole time, while Amy and I hung out. I later found out that Ian was too nervous to talk, so he just kept busy cooking! The meal was made up of courses that reminded him of dishes we had made together or other memories we had shared. Finally, he brought out the last “course,” which was the ring.
    When did y’all get married? June 6, 2014
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
    What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We did have one short reading at our wedding. Early in our relationship, Ian had told me about this passage from Plato’s Symposium: “And so, when a person meets the half that is his very own…then something wonderful happens: the two are struck from their senses by love, by a sense of belonging to one another, and by desire, and they don’t want to be separated from one another, not even for a moment.” That short sentiment really struck both of us, so we decided to include it in our ceremony.
    What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
    What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I knew that having a June wedding in the South meant a possibility of rain. The wedding was on a beautiful day, but it did drizzle from the moment our officiant started speaking until the moment we walked back up the aisle. I remember finally getting to Ian at the end of the aisle and we just laughed as the rain started. While it was something I had dreaded, it ended up making the ceremony even more memorable.
    What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are moving to Chapel Hill, North Carolina! Ian is going to start his Ph.D. in Philosophy in the fall. The move has us really excited and we are looking forward to exploring a new part of the country together. We are also taking care of our new puppy, Gumbo! :)

    Photographer: Paige Reaux Photography / Venue and Caterer: Audubon Park Clubhouse and Oak Grove / Bride’s Bouquet: Succulently Urban / Wedding Cake: The Sweet Life Bakery / Ceremony Music: Michael Legendre / Reception Band: Royal Dukes Band / Bridal Salon: Southern Bridal / Paper Product Design: Amy Ferriss / Paper Product Printing: Vistaprint / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy Group / Groom’s Suit: Banana Republic / Groom’s Shirt: J. Crew / Groom’s Shoes: Johnston and Murphy / Men’s Ties: The Tie Bar / Macarons: Sucre

    marissa Written with love by Marissa
    7 Comments
    1. avatar chapel2chapel reply

      LOVE that they’re moving to Chapel Hill soon! Knew there was something about this couple that we liked the moment we saw this post! :-)

    2. avatar Occasions In Print reply

      So so sweet! And I love her bouquet!

    3. avatar Loverly reply

      This is so charming! Love the clean and elegant color choices!

    4. avatar Alix Hooker reply

      i love the bridesmaids dresses!! It says the dressy barn but I can’t find that color? What is it called?!

    5. avatar Eleni Love4Wed reply

      I just love the bridal bouquet with succulents!

    6. avatar Amanda reply

      What is the color of the bridesmaids dresses? I can’t find that color anywhere!

    7. avatar Kristen Southworth reply

      Beautiful! What is the style and color name for the bridesmaid dresses? I am looking for something identical but can’t seem to find it on the Dessy Group website.

    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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