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Allie and Tom shared with us that the most Southern part of their wedding was the tradition that was hidden in all the details–I simply love that! We all know how important tradition is here in the South, and finding a way to include those things in the sweet details of a wedding day makes them all the more special. Of course, when your family’s home is as beautiful and filled with memories as Allie’s aunt’s is, the reception venue is a no-brainer! Built in the 1850s by Allie’s ancestors, the two were married at the stunning plantation where her mother grew up, and where her parents had held their reception. I can’t think of a more romantic way to celebrate becoming husband and wife than under the twinkle lights and Spanish moss-covered trees that have been a part of so many important family milestones throughout the years!

Gracious, we’re happy Britt Croft shared this lovely day with us!

My something borrowed was the pair of earrings my cousin lent me. I had a small blue ribbon sewn onto my garter for my something blue. My something old was my great-grandmother’s wedding band that my grandmother gave me the day she met Thomas, because she already knew he was the one. I have worn it every day since. My something new was my shoes. I wore Toms for the comfort…and to have my husband’s name on the back of my shoes!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I distinctly remember the moment the doors to the church opened and I saw Thomas’ expression seeing me in my dress. His face lit up and I knew he felt the same way that I did. It was then that all the nerves disappeared and I was able to calmly walk down the aisle to marry the man made specifically for me.

I think the most Southern part of our wedding was the tradition hidden in all of the details. We were married in the same church as my parents and grandparents, and where my mother, brother, and I were baptized. We held the reception at my aunt’s house. This house has recently come into my aunt and uncle’s possession, but was originally built in the 1850s by my ancestors and is the home my mother grew up in. It was also the same place my parents held their reception. It is a beautiful plantation about an hour outside of Savannah, where the trees are covered by Spanish moss and the fireflies come out at night to dance.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The cigar bar. I had shared with my family that I planned to surprise Thomas with a cigar bar because he is very fond of smoking cigars on special occasions. My aunts heard my plan and decided to do it for me as a gift to us. They pulled out a sofa, two chairs, a coffee table, and a side table, all of which were vintage. They filled the table with cigars and hung a chandelier over it. My cousin’s wife even made a framed chalkboard sign announcing “Tom’s Cigar Bar.” It was probably the most popular spot of the entire reception.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My wedding planner was my savior. I rented all of my furniture from him and he was also my florist–quite the jack of all trades. He was very good about saying “We can use this furniture here at the ceremony and then here at the reception” or “We can use these pew markers again at the reception as table accents.” He knew that I didn’t want to be wasteful or spend money that wasn’t necessary, and he was very respectful of that and resourceful.

Our wedding cake was simple, yet elegant. The base was cream frosting and it had the same flowers as were in the bouquets cascading down the sides. We worked with a marvelous baker who let us pick unconventional flavors, like chocolate peanut butter and sweet peach. However, it was the groom’s cake that stole the show. Tom and I met at Auburn and wanted to pay tribute to this. The bottom layer of the groom’s cake was decorated in tiger stripes, the middle layer contained the “AU” symbol, and on the top was a fondant sculpture depicting the Toomer’s oak covered in toilet paper, with our initials carved in the trunk.

See Allie and Tom’s wedding video by Still Co. below!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Thomas and I met in college. We attended Auburn University and spent our senior year falling in love. We were first introduced by two friends who were dating at the time, but initially, we had no interest in starting a relationship. We kept spending time together through our mutual friends, and eventually, we started to hang out just the two of us. After a year, we realized we had been dating for a while without even realizing it! He graduated and moved to Miami for law school, and we decided that long distance was worth it.
Tell us all about the proposal! I have visited Edisto Beach, South Carolina with my extended family every year for a week since I was born, and my mom has been every year since she was a little girl. In fact, this year was the fiftieth anniversary of the original trip! My parents recently bought a house on this beach, so Thomas and I decided to take a long weekend vacation to their house for our three-year anniversary. Before we left for dinner one night, we walked to the beach with a blanket and letters we had written to recap our three years together. The plan was to read the letters and then place them in a bottle and send them out to sea. As Thomas finished reading his letter, his closing remarks were “I am excited to see what the next three years hold, but more than that, I am excited to see what the rest of my life holds with you. Allison Victoria Filipowski, will you marry me?” I was so excited that as soon as I was done saying yes, I immediately started to run home to share the news with my parents, who were also staying at the house that weekend. To my surprise, both of our families were at the house to share in the celebration. And of course, we saved the letters, so there was no littering!
When did y’all get married? June 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 175
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look. Whenever I imagined my wedding, it had always been with the idea that the first time Tom and I would see each other would be as I was walking down the aisle. Our wedding was so set in tradition, I wanted to keep it that way. Also, I knew that if we did a first look, I felt like it would put a lot of pressure on Tom’s reaction to my dress, and that didn’t seem fair. His reaction when the doors of the church opened was perfect, and I am glad we made the decision we did.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. However, instead of saying “I do,” we finished with “This is my solemn vow.” It felt very special for us to share how committed we are to one another.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Thomas and I had been dating for almost five years, and our engagement was a year and a half. We have really tried to take our time with every step of our relationship and savor each milestone. We took this time to discuss everything from where we want to raise our family to what values are most important and need to be passed along. We’re very lucky because we agree on almost everything. We’ve never come to a crossroad where we couldn’t find a compromise. The most important thing, we have found, has been communication. We are a very open couple, for better or worse.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Find a few key parts of your wedding that mean the most to you. Let those be the areas you focus on and let everything else work itself out. Everything will come together at the end and your memories will be of those few important details.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We hope to really take some time to savor being married and a party of two. We want a family, but we are going to take a few years to enjoy being just the two of us. We want to travel all around the globe!

Photographer: Britt Croft / Videographer: Still Co. / Planner, Rentals and Lighting: James Carlson / Ceremony Venue: Jerusalem Lutheran Church / Reception Venue: Family Home / Florist: JoAnn’s Florist / Caterer and Wedding Cake Baker: Savannah’s Hall of Cakes / DJ: All About You Entertainment / Bride’s Gown: “Danae” by Sottero and Midgley / Hair and Makeup: Taylor of 30 Volume Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Toms / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Kyle reply

    Beautifully done. It’s hard to find a more magical place than Savannah, GA for a stunning wedding. Southern charm in every photo! The video is really well done. I love the moss trees and plantation-style home!

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Though off-the-beaten-path venues for weddings and parties require more advance planning and logistics, they can result in some of the most magical experiences. At a wedding, an inspired setting can help underscore the importance and set-apart nature of your celebration, helping your guests to stay present and participate wholeheartedly! The peach orchard setting was what first caught my eye with this lovely inspiration from Erin Wilson, and her story about what this very Southern fruit means to her and the band of vendors she pulled together convinced me I had to share it. I hope y’all agree it’s perfect for savoring the last few weeks of summer!

From Erin:
When I first met my husband (a small town Arkansas native) he was wearing a tattered blue ‘Johnson County Peach Festival’ tee that perfectly matched his blue eyes. The tee was one of his most treasured pieces of clothing because he found it deep in his Dad’s dresser from when his Dad ran the peach festival marathon back in 1983. You see, the peach festival is a HUGE deal in my tiny town of Clarksville, Arkansas. Each summer, we host a festival in the downtown square right around the time our favorite peach orchard’s peaches are ripe. It’s the highlight of the summer and everyone in our town lives for it. So when this Texas girl married her Arkansas boy and he finally convinced her to move to his teeny tiny Southern town, I was looking forward to my first festival. I finally experienced it for myself last summer, and also picked the yummiest peaches from the local orchard (and made a pie!). As I grew my business and got to know my local wedding vendors, I had this idea brewing for months. I invited all the best local vendors in our town to collaborate on a shoot in our very own peach orchard. We wanted to inspire our clients and future clients to embrace a lush, romantic, outdoor dinner party vibe. We made peach sangria and paired it with peach crostini appetizers, peach cheesecake, and peach pies. Our beautiful bridal party laughed and had a good time (the bride and groom were newly engaged and perfectly in love, which set the best tone for our shoot!). We are so happy with how everything turned out and so excited to share images with our little town, because this weekend is the 2015 Johnson County Peach Festival!

Flowers: Clarksville Florist | Gowns and tuxes: Danielle’s Bridal Photography: Erin Wilson Photography | Catering: Fat Dawgs BBQ | Venue: Peach Pickin’ Paradise Peach Orchard | Cakes: Candy Dunaway | Hair and makeup: Kaylee Nicole | Styling: Gina Taverner and Erin Wilson

emily Written with love by Emily
4 Comments
  1. avatar Ruth Lucas reply

    I have known Erin for many years and she is a very talented photographer. This is over-the-top, absolutely gorgeous.

  2. avatar Borrowed Charm reply

    STUNNING! Would love to know what the recipe of that signature drink is as our offices sit on an orchard! Love it all!

  3. avatar A Peach Affair // Erin Wilson Photography reply

    […] has recently been featured in print in Arkansas Bride Magazine and back closer to the summer on Southern Wedding Magazine’s blog. It’s seriously been my dream shoot and I’m so in […]

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Hayden and Logan met when they were just tykes, and the two grew up together, spending their Friday nights the good ol’ Southern way–at high school football games (Emily, our resident Friday Night Lights fan, will love this detail)! H + L knew they were meant for each other, and by the time their wedding came around, their marriage had been a long time coming (eight years to be exact!). The two planned a beautifully touching day at Hayden’s family farm. Of course, the venue was gorgeous, and there were even chandeliers in the tree and cows that overlooked the ceremony(!), but my favorite part of this wedding has to be Logan’s response to his favorite part of the day: “I couldn’t tell you who was in the crowd that day because my eyes were glued to the only thing that mattered. She was beautiful and perfect and about to be my WIFE! It was the best feeling in the world.” I joked with Lisa that she sent me a note about how pretty this wedding was, but didn’t warn me that I’d cry while reading their interview!

Thanks to Tucker Images for sharing such a romantic day with us!

My mom, grandmother, and two sisters flew down to Houston for a day of dress shopping. After going to two places with no luck, we finally headed to my favorite boutique. I was so sure about the style I wanted: trumpet, sweetheart neckline, and no lace. I went to that store to try on a particular dress I just knew was perfect, but when I tried it on, it just wasn’t the one. My heart was crushed that the dress I had been dreaming about wasn’t for me. I then tried on one more that my sister had found, and it was beautiful, but it had lace, so I was a little hesitant. When I came out to look in the mirror, I couldn’t stop smiling, and seeing my family’s reaction, I just knew that was the one. It was even better than what I had envisioned for myself!

Describe your wedding flowers. We went for a soft, garden-like feel with creams, whites, blushes, and peaches. We used ranunculus, Juliet garden roses, peonies, white lilac, eucalyptus leaves, O’Hara garden roses, hydrangeas, and snapdragons.

The Homeplace is my family farm, and it is so dear to our hearts. My family has been spending holidays and summers there since before I was born. Countless memories have been made, from picking out Christmas trees on the hayride with all the cousins, to hunting in the deer stand all afternoon with Logan. Logan has learned to love the farm almost as much as I do–he has been visiting it with me for seven years, after all! The ceremony was held under The Elephant Tree, a century-old oak tree that my great-great-grandmother planted years ago. Growing up, my cousins and I have climbed that tree countless times, spending hours in it. When thinking of venues, we couldn’t imagine our wedding being anywhere other than our favorite place in the world.

These two are so stinkin’ cute!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We had cafe lights strung in a zigzag fashion inside the tent and draped over the dance floor outside. Without them, our venue wouldn’t have felt as intimate as we wanted it do. Another one of my favorite details was all of the signs that were staked in the ground. Logan pulled up part of an old fence in our backyard and sawed them into arrows, and my mom and I stayed up late one night at the farm painting them all while listening to the sounds of the outdoors. That one night of peacefulness with her during a hectic week is a wonderful memory.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Since we got married in the middle of nowhere, we used this little country bakery, who had actually been on Cupcake Wars! They are so talented! I showed them a picture of what I wanted and they knew exactly how to make it, adding in a little of their own creativity. My cake was three tiers with a taller middle tier. The surface was buttercream frosting with horizontal ridges in it. There were different flavors in each layer: New York strawberry cheesecake, lemon, and (my favorite) orange Dreamscicle. I also surprised Logan with a groom’s cake. Since he is in the Air Force and is training to be a fighter pilot, we had a 3D F-16 plane made out of raspberry chocolate fudge. It was all so delicious!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I can’t remember the moment we met because we always kind of knew of each other. Even though we played in the same soccer organization and were both in middle school band, we never said much more than hi to each other. Finally, by the end of eighth grade, Logan informed our mutual friend that he thought I was cute. We instant messaged each other for a couple of months before we bumped it up a notch and went to the movies together. He asked me to be his girlfriend while we were waiting for his parents to pick us up! After that, we fell for each other fast, knowing the Lord was already preparing us for marriage at such a young age. High school consisted of watching Logan quarterback for our football team as a cheerleader on the sideline every Friday night. After we graduated from high school, we went to two separate colleges–he went to the University of South Carolina and I went to Texas A&M. We weren’t sure how we were going to handle long distance, but I’d say it worked out pretty well. :)
Tell us all about the proposal! After dating for almost seven years, Logan finally asked me to be his wife at his Air Force graduation. He had gone off to boot camp for two months, so I could only talk to him through letters. I was so diligent about writing him every day. His graduation finally came and the day couldn’t have gotten any better. Both of our families flew down for it, and we planned to take some pictures to commemorate it all with Logan in his Air Force uniform. Logan led me down a path by ourselves to scope out a good spot for us to take pictures, and I could tell something was different. He wasn’t saying much and his hands were clammy. I immediately knew it was happening and my heart started fluttering as he led me to the garden. He proceeded to tell me he had waited long enough to call me his wife and that God had prepared his heart so much after being away from each other for two months. He then got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife, and my family all came out from hiding after they watched it all! Once it was all over, Logan told me that he had no idea he was going to propose at his graduation before he left, so he had exchanged letters with my grandmother during boot camp, asking for one of her loose diamonds to make into a ring. My grandmother and his dad did everything to make sure the ring was perfect by graduation. It couldn’t have been more special.
When did y’all get married? May 3, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 220
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look. When we discussed it in the beginning, Logan said that he really wanted to see me for the first time walking down the aisle to be his wife, so that’s what we did. I loved building the anticipation and wondering all day what he was going to think of me. We did, however, hold hands around a corner and talk for a little while to alleviate some of the nerves, which we were so thankful we did, because it calmed us down during the hectic-ness of the day.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? One of the biggest visions we had for our wedding was to make it feel personal and intimate. We wanted our guests to feel like they were included in our relationship, which every one of them was, and for them to understand our love for each other. With that in mind, we decided to write our own vows. We each wrote our own, which was so special. My favorite vow of his was, “I promise to fight for our marriage and pursue you from this day forth. To protect you from your fears and to guard you heart.” My favorite vow of mine was, “I promise to support you as the leader of our family and follow you wherever God leads you.”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had our friends play the violin, viola, and guitar throughout the ceremony. I walked down the aisle to Canon in D. I dreamed of walking down the aisle to this song since I was a little girl and knew it was perfect. During communion, they played “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” and helped us center the commitment we were making on God. We played “Gone Gone Gone” by Phillip Phillips for our recessional, which kicked off the party with its upbeat rhythm. Our first dance was “You are Mine” by Spencer Combs. I had never heard of this song before, but stumbled upon it while watching wedding videos. The words were so true and meaningful for us.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! For something borrowed (and old), I wore my great-great-grandmother’s gold wedding band. For my something blue, I wore a blue topaz ring that my grandmother bought each of my sisters and my mom on our 18th birthdays. For my something new, I wore my veil (which I ripped on the day of my bridals, but superglued back together!).
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The most Southern detail about our wedding was having it at our family farm in the countryside while the cows overlooked our ceremony. Logan also built corn hole for our guests to play during the reception. And the night wasn’t complete without lots and lots of sweet tea!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge for me, besides trying to stay within budget, was planning a wedding while finishing nursing school. I was five hours away from my family and six hours away from where we were getting married. It was so hard to stay focused and be diligent with my studies, while at the same time, needing to make decisions on napkins and meet with vendors. My grandmother really stepped up and helped me by constantly calling me and seeing what needed to be done. She would call me at least three times a week and tell me what she had done, and it just felt like such a relief each time she would say something was marked off. She really was my wedding go-to girl and I’m so thankful for my Nanners! Our wedding wouldn’t have been possible without her.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We cut costs by having the wedding at our farm. This saved us by avoiding a venue fee and being able to choose our own catering company. We have a family friend who owns a yummy Mexican restaurant, so he helped us out a lot! I also had my high school friend DJ for us, which made it so much more personal and fun.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We were so thankful for our photographers, Britney and Ben Tarno, from Tucker Images. We had met them right after we got engaged and knew that they were so talented, but we had no idea what down-to-earth, Jesus-loving, kind people they were. The wedding day wouldn’t have been the same without them. They kept us comfortable and sane all day and gave us amazing direction when it came time to take pictures. To us, it is most important to spend your money on great photographers, because that’s what you’re going to have to remember your day by. And let me just tell you, we were so impressed by ours. Britney and Ben just completely made our day.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Hayden: It is so hard to pick one most memorable moment, but I would have to say it was driving away in our little car after everything was over, and being able to step back and realize that we were finally husband and wife after eight years! It was the first time no one else was around and we could replay all of the wonderful, intimate moments of our day. From Logan: Hands down, it was seeing her come through the curtains and walk down the aisle to me. The anticipation had been built up so much, and after years of imagining what that moment would be like, it was finally here. She looked stunning and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I couldn’t tell you who was in the crowd that day because my eyes were glued to the only thing that mattered. She was beautiful and perfect and about to be my WIFE! It was the best feeling in the world.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff! I would get so bogged down in little details that didn’t matter or that would work themselves out. I was so nervous that no one would know where to put my decorations on the wedding that I actually sticky-noted each and every little thing and told them where to put it. In the end, that stuff didn’t even matter. I would also advise taking the time to really talk to your fiancé, and I don’t mean going on dates and talking about the wedding. Make a pact that you will only talk about wedding details for a certain amount of time each day. This way, you can focus on the commitment you are about to make and get your heart and your mind ready.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are living in Dallas and I just got a job as a nurse at UT Southwestern Hospital. Logan works at SBM Management at Bell Helicopter and is in the South Carolina Air National Guard, training to be an F-16 fighter pilot. We are praying fervently that God will open up a position for him within the year, which could possibly take us anywhere in the US. Coming from big families and long distance, it was hard for us to get any alone time together. After eight years of dating, we finally have a place to call ours where we can make our life together. We love getting into a daily routine and figuring out where to grocery shop, what church we want to join, and all of the little decisions a family makes. We are so excited to see where God takes us!

Photographer: Tucker Images / Venue: Private residence / Florist: La Tee Da / Cake Baker: The Luscious Crumb / Caterer: Carmona’s Tex-Mex and Cantina / Rentals: All American Party and Tent Rentals and Iron Inspired / Bride’s Gown: “Sabrina” by Matthew Christopher / Bride’s Veil: Patsy’s Bridal Boutique / Hair and Makeup: Micaela Soto / Bride’s Shoes and Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank

Tucker Images is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    So beautiful! I love their proposal story, and all of their portraits are absolutely dreamy!

  2. avatar Kat reply

    Loving her centerpieces! Gorgeous!

  3. avatar Mario Valtierra reply

    I’m really liking the groom’s suit. Could you provide me with details on where to find it? It looks like it’s light blue. Is this correct? What’s the name of that color? I’m getting married late this year, and we’re doing a beach wedding. Thanks!

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