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We’re just smitten with our new Blue Ribbon Vendors and we can’t wait to share them with you! Each one of these vendors was hand picked, and I’m confident working with whichever one you choose would be a joy. Get to know these ladies and gents through some of our favorite interview questions, then click through to their listings to find out more!

Name: Laura McCarty, Marked
Where you call home: Birmingham, Alabama
Favorite part of a wedding day? The sweetest and most beautiful part of any wedding day is when the groom sees his bride walk down the aisle. His face says it all… and as my sweet husband always says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing!” (Proverbs 18:22)

Name: Ashley Bateman, NOLA Flora
Where do you call home: New Orleans
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? Family traditions, family heirlooms, and family recipes

Name: Anna Echols, One Belle Bakery
Where you call home: Wilmington, NC
How I got into weddings: I helped one of my college friends set up her reception on her wedding day. I used to plan alumnae events for Meredith College after I graduated, but helping with a wedding was a whole new ball game. I enjoyed every minute of helping her that day, and although I never had the urge to be in charge of an entire wedding, I knew it would somehow become a part of my career!

Name: Rebecca Hassee, PEWS
Where you call home: Birmingham, Alabama
Favorite part of a wedding day? When the bride and groom walk back down the aisle as husband and wife for the first time. The joy, the cheers, the laughing, and the beautiful wedding party that follows them – it’s all so beautiful and joyous!

Name: Perkins Morgan & Morgan Montgomery, Paisley & Jade
Where you call home: Richmond, Virginia
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? We love the traditions and family history that Southern couples embrace and incorporate into their day!! Being curators of all things vintage ourselves, we love nothing more than a good story – whether it’s family wedding portraits on display at cocktail hour, a piece of the bride’s grandmother’s dress incorporated into her bouquet, or vows that have been spoken by generations before.

Name: Pasha Belman, Pasha Belman Photography
Where you call home: Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? The beautiful outdoors draw me to the South. There is a huge variety of perfect wedding locations, from romantic sandy beaches and elegant flower gardens to glamorous country clubs and historic plantations. Dream Southern-style wedding locations create impressive wedding photography opportunities for me. I can never get enough of this gorgeous weddingland filled with sunlight-kissed celebrations.

Name: Emily Shaya, Pret a Fete
Where you call home: New Orleans
Favorite part of a wedding day? The ceremony. Although they don’t usually last very long, the ceremony is something the bride and groom will never forget. There is something special about saying vows that your grandparents (and their parents) said before you!

Name: Angela Higgenbotham, Rocking H Ranch
Where you call home: Lakeland, Florida
Favorite part of a wedding day? The “first look,” seeing the groom catch his breath at first glimpse of his bride!

Name: Sarah Becker Lillard, Sarah Becker Photography
Where you call home: New Orleans, Louisiana and Chattanooga, Tennessee. I was born in Texas, so that great state is also home to me!
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? Meaningful traditions, tearful toasts, embroidered handkerchiefs, handwritten vows, cake pulls, second lines, brass bands, and gulping up sweet tea in between photographing all the above!

Name: Scotti Cline, Scotti Cline Designs
Where you call home: Atlanta, Georgia
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? What’s not to love about a Southern wedding?! Southern traditions, beautiful venues, lovely weather, powerful family moments, genuine people, and personal touches. No two weddings are the same and whether you’re a bride, guest, or vendor, you’re going to have an amazing experience.

Check out all of our favorite vendors in the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory! I also wanted to mention that we’re working particularly hard to expand some of our areas of slim pickings – namely, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. If you would like to recommend someone (or nominate yourself!) for any of these states, please email emily at!

emily Written with love by Emily

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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We talk often about our mission, including the importance of marriage and sweet Southern culture, and I must say, Julie and Will truly get it! Julie said her best advice for the newly-engaged is “to focus on your marriage more than your wedding!” Amen, sister! These two planned a day that was beautiful from the inside out. They wanted their guests to have the best time, and to see their love throughout the entire weekend. Southern hospitality doesn’t always have to come in the form of sweet tea or handwritten notes (though those are nice!)–one way Julie exuded Southern hospitality was by giving her maid of honor a special bouquet filled with peonies, since they were out of season during her own wedding. What a sweet gesture!

Thanks to our friend Pasha Belman for sharing this wedding day with us!

Tell us all about the proposal! Will popped the question with a surprise like no other. I, under the impression I was going home to Kentucky to spend the weekend with one of my best friends and attend a concert, flew to Kentucky from Atlanta. When I arrived, my friend took me to Lexington for the concert to meet her “friend” that had the tickets. Taking a shortcut through Lexington’s Triangle Park, I saw Will with a big smile on his face by the beautiful fountains, and I instantly knew. Will proposed, with a secret photographer capturing the moment, and I said “yes!” Will then took me back to his parent’s house for more surprises–an engagement party with some of our closest friends and family!

The flowers were one of my favorite things about our wedding! We chose a romantic, yet whimsical, theme for our flowers with lots of whites, creams, and hints of blush. Garlands flowed alongside an abundance of brass candlesticks on the dinner tables to provide the intimate, romantic look we were going for. A special bouquet was made for the matron of honor, who loves peonies, but wasn’t able to include them in her bouquet when she got married because they weren’t in season.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look and I’m so glad we did! The day went by so quickly, so it was so nice to “steal” a moment for just the two of us! I also did a first look with my dad right before my first look with Will, and that was really neat and special too! I have such a wonderful relationship with my dad, and it was great to share a few special moments with him on that very special day!

We knew we wanted a smaller, more intimate wedding, and knew we wanted something that really represented our personalities. We wanted our guests to not only have the best time ever, but also to see pieces of us and our love all throughout the day and the entire weekend. We wanted it to exude Southern charm with a fun Kentucky twist, including a bluegrass band, a Lowcountry boil, and even bourbon barrels! Will is the biggest fan of golfing you’ll ever meet, so our venue included a beautiful plantation home on a golf course in South Carolina–it was absolutely perfect. We also really wanted to make things easy for our guests by having everything in one location, and Pine Lakes Country Club allowed us to have the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing all in one perfect place!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. To honor Will’s grandfather, who had a bluegrass band in Kentucky before he passed away, we had a bluegrass band, The Blue Plantation Band, play before, during, and after our ceremony during the cocktail hour. We had them play some of our favorites, as well as some of Will’s grandfather’s favorites. They were even able to play a beautiful rendition of Canon in D as I walked down the aisle.

We had lots of great Southern details at our wedding. Dinner was a Lowcountry boil, and cocktail hour included pimento cheese, shrimp, and country ham biscuits. We did a two-step (after I changed into a short dress) for our first dance, and Will wore his grandfather’s cowboy boots! Our “guest book” was the top of a bourbon barrel that guests signed. The bluegrass band and cigar bar provided a lot of Southern charm as well!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We loved our location! Having everything (the ceremony, cocktail hour, and evening activities) in one location allowed us to spend a lot of time with our guests and soak up every moment–every laugh, smile, dance, and hug! We were overwhelmed by the joy of having all of the people we love the most in the world in one place to celebrate this wonderful exciting new chapter and journey!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? It’s really hard to choose one moment because every moment was absolutely perfect! But, our two-step first dance in our cowboy boots, with guests singing and clapping along to Randy Travis’ “If I Didn’t Have You,” was the absolute best!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at the University of Kentucky and we were acquaintances all through school. After undergrad, Will went on to law school at the University of Alabama, and I stayed in Lexington. After losing touch somewhat, Will asked me to meet for drinks while he was home from law school one spring break. We quickly realized that we felt something more than friendship, so we decided to try long distance while Will finished his last two years of law school. After two and a half years of driving back and forth, we decided to move to Atlanta after Will’s graduation.
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 135
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I was by myself when I found my dress at LaRaine’s Bridal in Atlanta, and instantly knew it was the one. I felt guilty for finding it without any of my friends or family there, but I hadn’t expected to find it so quickly! I called my mom and told her that I found it, and she told me to get it right away. She came down two weeks later with my sister, my future mother-in-law, and some of my closest friends, and they confirmed that it was, indeed, “the dress!”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had two very special readings: a compilation of Thomas Merton readings (which my friend created), and Ephesians 3:16-21.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was a simple, classic cake design, half of which was almond marzipan and half of which was chocolate raspberry. The cake topper was a family heirloom–the same topper used in my grandparents’ and parents’ weddings.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We did a lot of the decor ourselves–my parents made the neat wooden direction signs, we found all of the brass candle sticks at thrift stores, my mom made the flower girl crowns, and my mother-in-law made the ring pillow out of my grandmother’s wedding dress!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our photographer, Pasha Belman, was really where all of our wedding planning began! After a quick search of photographers in South Carolina, I knew I wanted him, and his photos led me to our venue, and our venue led us to our awesome wedding planner! All of the other details followed from there.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? My advice would be to focus on your marriage more than your wedding! It’s really easy to lose sight of what the wedding is all about, but the moment you do, you lose sight of everything. We really enjoyed our marriage counseling, and throughout the entire wedding planning process, we tried to keep things into perspective and remember what the celebration was all about.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We now live together in Atlanta, Georgia and are loving life as newlyweds. What I’m looking forward to most is just doing life with him every day forever! We are so grateful to have each other as partners in this crazy, beautiful adventure!

Photographer: Pasha Belman Photography / Planner: Sara McCall / Venue and Catering: Pine Lakes Country Club / Florist: Blossom Events / Cake Baker: Croissants Bistro and Bakery / Rentals: Event Works / Lighting: Global Truth Entertainment / DJ: DJ Scott / Band: The Blue Plantation Band / Photo Booth: ShutterBooth / Paper Products: The Blu Sash / Bride’s Gown: Paloma Blanca / Bridal Salon: LaRaine’s Bridal / Hair Stylist: Perfect Reflections / Makeup Artist: Angela at Perfect Reflections / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Twirl / Men’s Ties and Pocket Squares: The Tie Bar / Transportation: Carolina Transportation and Limousine

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    LOVE this wedding! Julie and Will seem so sweet, and their venue is to die for–the perfect combination of Southern charm and European elegance!

  2. avatar Rebecca Kaneiwa reply

    What a pleasure it was for us to get to know Julie and Will, we wish you a bright and prosperous future together! Pine Lakes Country Club is proud to provide a backdrop for such lovely memories.

  3. avatar Sandra | Simply Peachy reply

    This is such a beautiful wedding! Love all the floral details and the whiskey and red wine sign is adorable!

  4. avatar Lauren Massey reply

    I was wondering if there is anyway to ask where the bride bought her earrings? They are perfect!

  5. avatar Brady reply

    My beautiful girlfriend and I are in the process of narrowing down the perfect design for her engagement ring. She came across the ring in this post and instantly fell in love with it. I was hoping you would be able to point me in the right direction for where I can find this ring to learn a bit more about it. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  6. avatar Myrtle Beach Wedding Photographer reply

    let me check with the bride and I will get back with you about the ring.

  7. avatar 15 Swoon-Worthy Wedding Aisle Décor Ideas | Events by L reply

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  8. avatar 12 Swoon-some Vintage Wedding Engagement Rings You Secretly Want | reply

    […] by Pasha Belman Photography via Southern Weddings/Photo by Audra Wrisley  via […]

  9. avatar Jessica reply

    I was just wondering if I could find out where your engagement ring is from? Its beautiful!

  10. avatar Bobbi reply

    Did anyone ever find out about the engagement ring? It is stunning….thanks for any help!

  11. avatar Sadie reply

    Where is the ring from? I’ve been trying to find one just like it but I can’t find the store where it’s from.

  12. avatar M reply

    Would definitely love to know where this ring came from? Anyone?
    It’s stunning

  13. avatar Jarvie & Hank :: The Inspiration » The Day's Dream Blog reply

    […] Married | via ModWedding | Photography: Pasha Belman Photography, Floral Design: Blossom Events via Southern Weddings |  Invitation: Meagan […]

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    […] by Pasha Belman Photography via Southern Weddings/Photo by Audra Wrisley  via […]

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For our final Best of 2012 posts, we’re sharing our ten favorite wedding photographs from the year. There are many reasons we love great wedding photography around these parts, and after looking at these selections, I think at least one will become very apparent: they have the ability to pull up emotion like nothing else. Enjoy!

Cypress swamp portrait by Mark Williams Studio from Marielle + Michael’s wedding.

Toes in a row on the wedding morning by Rylee Hitchner from Holly + Chase’s wedding.

An emotional first dance by Morgan Trinker from Erin + Brian’s wedding.

A romantic portrait by KT Merry from Cee Cee + Chad’s wedding.

The sweetest handhold by Brett Heidebrecht from Claire + Nathan’s wedding.

A charming portrait by Scott Piner from Kristin + JJ’s wedding.

A moment heavy with anticipation by Stephen DeVries from Madelynne + Corey’s wedding.

The most joyful father-daughter dance by Robyn Van Dyke from Ali + Austin’s wedding.

A true wedding moment by Pasha Belman from Hillary + Kyle’s wedding.

Late night exuberance by The Nichols from Stacy + Adam’s wedding.

KT Merry and Robyn VanDyke are fabulous members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Morgan Trinker reply

    Thank you ladies so much for this HUGE honor! I adore Erin and Brian’s love for each other!

  2. avatar Dee Shore reply

    I’m in love with the first photograph, bride on the dock. Just so beautiful. The last one as well. Explosive and full of life!

  3. avatar Robyn Van Dyke reply

    Thank you so much, ladies!! We’re completely honored to have one of our images from Ali & Austin’s sweet wedding featured on this gorgeous post! Many hugs to you all, and happy new year!!! xoxo!

  4. avatar Recent Press: Birmingham Magazine, 100 Layer Cake, Southern Weddings, and More! » Morgan Trinker Photography | Birmingham, AL reply

    […] farm wedding was featured on Southern Weddings. (And at the end of 2012, these lovely ladies chose one of my images of Erin and Brian’s first dance as one of their top ten photographs of the whole year! What an […]

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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