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)