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They say everything is bigger in Texas, and with a guest list of 350+ and a bridal party of 20, Elle and Kegan’s wedding might just be the perfect example of that saying. Of course, when a real-life cowboy marries a wedding coordinator, the potential for a a perfectly Southern soirée abounds. Filled with monograms, yummy Southern delicacies, and an abundance of cowboy hats, Elle and Kegan’s wedding at Olde Dobbin Station sure did not disappoint. There is so much to love about their sweet day, but I’m most smitten with their focus on family and the future. As Elle said, “We knew that although we wanted a beautiful wedding, we will always want a beautiful marriage.”

Big Texas-sized hugs to Kelli Durham for sharing their romantic day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I went to seven different bridal salons in Houston! Finally, after searching and searching for something special, I stumbled across a Monique Lhuillier trunk show. I tried on my gown and just knew!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! I borrowed a diamond bangle from my mom, my garter had blue stitching for my new monogram, my earrings were new, and I wore a rose gold ring that Kegan previously gave me for my something old.

The church where we had our ceremony is the most beautiful Catholic church near us. After I saw it, I knew I wanted to be married there. Our reception venue wasn’t too far away, and had the perfect Southern charm feel we were looking for…plus, it had the space we needed for 360 guests!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? There were monograms everywhere! We also had dinner stations for our meal that included fried chicken and biscuits, beef tenderloin, macaroni and cheese, and a mashed potato bar. We also served Popsicles late at night since it is so warm in Texas. Also, my husband is a cowboy and wore a hat the whole night!

Describe your wedding flowers. We did bright pink, coral, and blush flowers. Peonies are my favorite and I wanted them to be the star. Our florist, Maria, is a genius and she made our venue look like a garden!

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Rather than hire a popular cake baker, we hired a local lady who makes delicious cakes! She saved us a fortune!

We knew that although we wanted a beautiful wedding, we will always want a beautiful marriage. We tried to make decisions together, while also including our parents. Both of our parents celebrated their thirtieth anniversaries this year!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Kegan and I met at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. I was living in Houston with my girlfriends and he was living out in the country where he was raised. My friends and I were meeting up with some friends at Luke Bryan’s concert the night we met. I can still remember exactly what I was wearing, exactly where we were standing, and exactly what he said. From that point forward, we were inseparable.
Tell us all about the proposal! Kegan had plans to go skiing in Lake Tahoe for a bachelor party over spring break, and I must say, I was jealous. We decided that I would fly out towards the end of the week to meet him, and we would stay for a few extra days. The last night of our trip, we had dinner reservations at the Ritz-Carlton at Northstar Ski Resort. After dinner (which Kegan didn’t eat any of), he took me outside in the snow, in the middle of the mountains, and proposed. There was champagne and strawberries, the whole nine yards. It was amazing!
When did y’all get married? June 25, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 360
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I would say budget and guest count. We invited about 510 guests, which can be pretty pricey! We tried not to forfeit things we loved due to the high number of guests, and ended up working with our vendors to create a beautiful wedding that also suited the high guest count.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? More than $100,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Seeing Kegan for the first time in the church.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Do it together! You may expect your future husband to be uninterested, but mine really appreciated being involved.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We hope to continue to build our home with our chocolate lab, Bella, and eventually start a family.

Photographer: Kelli Durham | Videographer: Brittan Pittman | Day-Of Coordinator: Savanna Gray of En Vogue Events | Ceremony Venue: St. Mary’s Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Olde Dobbin Station | Florist: Maxit Floral Design | Wedding Cake: Cakes by Blondie | Ice Cream: Steel City Pops | Caterer: Design II | Rentals: Aztec Events and Tents and A Memorable Event | DJ: LG Entertainment | Paper Products: Pink Champagne Paper | Bride’s Gown: “Saffron” by Monique Lhuillier | Bride’s Veil: Monique Lhuillier | Bride’s Jewelry: Michele Jewelry | Hair Stylist: Chelsea Binford of The Factory Salon | Makeup Artist: Holly Shrieve and Pop of Pink Cosmetics | Bride’s Shoes: Sofia Webster | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Various by Amsale | Menswear: Vera Wang by Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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Hi belles! Our friend and former Southern Weddings intern Jessica Clinch is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Jessica will be blogging for us once a month until her wedding this May. In case you missed her introductory post, be sure to check it out here! — Lisa

Y’all, I am a huge flower person–fresh blooms simply make my heart happy! While I hadn’t planned all of the intricate details of our wedding before Zack proposed, I did know the types of flowers I wanted to include!

There have been a few factors that played into our floral decision making that I have found really helpful, and I hope these ideas help you, too!

Budget: While it is not the most fun thing to discuss, knowing what your floral budget is ahead of time is extremely helpful and important! We are lucky that our wedding planning team, Rebecca Rose Events, is also designing our wedding florals, so they knew our budget going into our floral consultation, and were able to manage my expectations!

I adore fluffy peonies as much as the next bride, but I also know they come with a rather large price tag. We are going to incorporate them into key details, like my bridal bouquet and our table designs, while using more affordable (but still stunning!) flowers in other areas. Something that I have learned along the way is that greenery is gorgeous, and using plentiful foliage with a few blooms helps to balance the cost of more expensive flowers. Luckily, I adore silver dollar eucalyptus, so we will be using it to frame certain elements of our ceremony and reception décor. Chat with your planner and floral designer about how you can balance your floral tastes to fit within your budget!

Clockwise from top left: Tracy Enoch via Southern Weddings, Kim Box via Southern Weddings, Paper & Stitch, Sarah Gawler Photography via Rock My Wedding

Design Aesthetic: Both my personal style and bridal style are a mix of classic elements with fun and romantic touches, so I knew I wanted to carry that aesthetic into our floral design. To me, that looks like soft, flowing floral arrangements that still have a bit of structure to them and are full of vibrant color! How can you pull from your own personal style to translate it into your floral design? Look at the clothing and accessories you have in your closet, your home décor, and items from your wedding décor (like your linens and bridal party attire). Are there common themes? Try envisioning a variety of floral styles paired with those elements to see which you think would be the best fit!

Colors: Choosing our floral colors came after we nailed down our design aesthetic. For me, more is more when it comes to color! I appreciate a classic all-white bouquet, but that is not our style. We want our wedding to be full of life and joy, and, in my opinion, that translates into abundant color!

We are trying to incorporate all of our wedding colors into our floral design: blush from our peonies and antique garden roses, a purple-hued pink from our ranunculus, fuchsia from more peonies, peach from our Juliet garden roses and hypericum berries, navy from our anemones, and a mixture of white and green from Queen Anne’s Lace, ivory hypericum berries, green amaranthus, stock, and eucalyptus.

KT Merry via Style Me Pretty, Amalie Orrange

Venue: We had originally been looking at garden wedding venues before choosing our gorgeous golf course venue of Gettysvue. While our venue has beautiful rolling greens, it does not have plentiful flowers like the garden venues did, so I knew I wanted to bring the garden feel into our venue!

That is playing a large role in our decision to incorporate so many colors and lots of lush greenery. Had we chosen to have our wedding at a garden venue, I likely would not have quite as many flowers, focusing instead on our bouquets and centerpieces. So, how are we trying to turn our venue into a garden-style setting? That, my friends, we are keeping a secret for now!

I’d love to know: What factors influenced your wedding floral style? How did your floral designer help guide you toward which flowers would be best for your wedding?

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Linda reply

    What gorgeous flowers.

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After reading about how these two met at a college football tailgate and then got engaged at an Atlanta Braves game (be sure to read about this special nod to Keely’s late father), I knew Keely and Hill’s wedding would be sweet, Southern, and full of personal details. And, y’all, they did not disappoint! Together with their planner, The Graceful Host, Keely and Hill created a romantic wedding with blush pink and monogrammed details that any Southerner would be proud of. Keely said “Who we are and where we come from is something us Southerners take pride in,” and I couldn’t agree more!

Big hugs to Lauren Friday for sharing this lovely day with us!

My something blue was the blue monogram of my father’s tie that was sewn into the back of my dress with his initials and our wedding date. My something new was my Valentino peep toe shoes. My something old was my father’s tie, which happens to be the only “blush” tie in his tie box. My something borrowed was the cameo that belonged to my great-grandmother, which was worn by my grandmother and mother on their wedding days. I had it tied and wrapped up into my bouquet.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our wedding party! That’s a detail right?! I had ten of the most beautiful, giving, and carefree group of girls, while Hill had ten guys that were as dapper as they were funny. Together, they all made our whole entire wedding weekend so much fun.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to keep it traditional. After the 1,000 decisions that we had to make, this was by far the easiest. While I was walking down the aisle, it was as if all of our guests had disappeared and the only thing that we could both focus on was each other! Even with 200 pairs of eyes on us, it still felt so intimate.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We both feel like there is nothing more romantic and beautiful than the sounds of Webber, Pachelbel, Wagner, and Handel coming from a live string quartet. Hill and I are fans of Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, and very seldom hear some of those pieces without shedding a tear! I kept it a secret from Hill that my first processional song would be “Music of the Night” by Webber. As I walked from the house down to the start of the ceremony chairs, it then transitioned into a more traditional sound, “Bridal Chorus” by Wagner. We choose “Hornpipe in D” by Handel in honor of Hill’s parents, who used it for their wedding recessional 48 years ago.

We treated our guests to a shrimp and grits bar, loaded potato bar, fried macaroni and cheese pops, and even served late night snacks of milk and cookies and mini pizzas in our signature monogrammed pizza boxes! Our monogram was EVERYWHERE. Who we are and where we come from is something us Southerners take pride in, so Deb at Olive Paper created a signature “H” monogram that was used on everything from our save The dates all the way to our custom koozies and pillows on the rocking chairs. Hill had actually gifted me my new monogram on a Moon and Lola gold necklace earlier that day, which I switched to wearing after we said our I do’s! Even Hill had his own special monogram–his late grandfather had left him his gold monogrammed cufflinks, and in his honor, Hill carried a buckeye, which you could always count on his grandfather having in his pocket every time you saw him!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Hill and I were introduced in 2011 by mutual friends at an Appalachian State University football tailgate. Immediately, there was a mutual attraction, but the timing with our ten-year age difference made it a little complicated at first! We lived two hours apart, and as you can imagine, our worlds were very different at the time! Our lives continued to go in different directions, but we remained in touch. During that period of time, I decided to pack my bags to live and work in Germany for a year. After countless emails from 4,558 miles away and many Skype calls, one thing was certain: we didn’t want to be without each other. In January 2012, Hill decided to take his first flight overseas to meet me in Vienna, Austria. We spent the most magical New Year’s Eve together and explored what would be the first of many European cities together! After my year in Germany ended, I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to finally be close to Hill.
Tell us all about the proposal! In June 2013, Hill decided to plan a surprise trip, which is nothing out of the ordinary–I hit the romance jackpot with this guy. He had planned a quick weekend trip down to Atlanta. Growing up, it was my dad’s “thing” to spend quality time as a family at Atlanta Braves games. For as long as I can remember, Atlanta has always held a special place in my heart for this reason, even after my father passed away when I was 13. After Hill and I enjoyed a Braves game, we headed back to get ready for dinner. As we walked out of the hotel room, Hill said “Wait a minute, I have something for you to wear tonight.” He went over to a box and pulled out a candy ring pop. I had always told him I didn’t care about a ring, and when the time was right, that a ring pop would do just fine. Bright, shiny, and cherry it was! He placed the ring pop on my finger and smiled. Before I could even speak, he laughed and said “Oh, that’s the wrong one.” He then dropped to his knee and pulled out the most gorgeous cushion-cut diamond I have ever seen. My jaw dropped as Hill asked me to be his bride, and somehow between the laughing and crying, I managed to get a yes in there! Later, I found out that Hill had asked my mother and my brother’s permission for my hand in marriage earlier that week, just like a true Southern gentleman should! It still gives me goosebumps to think about how much thought Hill put into making our proposal so special, and, most importantly, connecting it to my father.
When did y’all get married? May 31, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Aside from actually committing my love to Hill in front of our friends and family, finding my wedding dress was one of my favorite moments of our wedding process! My sister-in-law had purchased her gown from Monica at Bellissima of Salisbury a few years ago, and from the moment I walked into the store, I knew that I would be coming back for my dress someday! My first time trying on dresses was overwhelming because I fell in love with so many different dresses. I left that day knowing my dress would come to me; I just need some good ol’ fashioned “sleep on it” advice from my momma! During that time, Monica contacted me and asked me if I would be her model for a photo shoot she was doing for her Southern Weddings magazine ad! ;) Of course, I was honored and humbled! During that shoot, I started to gain a better understanding of what I liked, and Monica told me I would love the Kelly Faetanini gowns she had coming in soon. I had my eye on “Emmy” from browsing her gowns online, and the day that I went to try on the collection, I saved the best for last and knew “Emmy” was my girl!
Did you write your own vows? We like to stick to tradition! There is something to be said about saying the same vows our grandparents and parents used!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Hiring our wedding planner, Ashley of The Graceful Host. Having a wedding planner helped us put our money where it was most important to us!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a wedding planner and don’t get caught up in the fluff of things. At the end the day, you are going to be married and that is the most IMPORTANT thing. Also, don’t skip the videographer just because you have the pictures covered! Hiring Shamus Coney, our videographer, was one of the best decisions we made throughout this process! You will not be sorry when you get those videos back! See ours here.

Photographer: Lauren Friday Photography / Videographer: Shamus Coney Films / Planner: Ashley Cash of The Graceful Host / Venue: Boxwood Estate / Florist: North Carolina New Creations Flower Company / Wedding Cake: Wow Factor Cakes / Caterer: Something Classic / Rentals and Lighting: Party Reflections / Band: Loose Chain / Bride’s Gown: “Emmy” by Kelly Faetanini / Bridal Salon and Veil: Bellissima of Salisbury / Paper Products: Olive Paper / Bride’s Jewelry: Kelly Faetanini at Nordstrom / Hair Stylist: Sara Mardis & Lisa Freeze / Makeup Artist: Sara Mardis / Bride’s Shoes: Valentino / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhuillier at Bellissima of Salisbury / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Koozies, Monogrammed Pillow, Cocktail Napkins: Mom and Pop’s Print Shop / Ceremony Music: Elegant Ensembles

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

    These photos are beautiful love that wedding cake!

  2. avatar Ashley reply

    Thank y’all so, so much for featuring this sweet couple today! We absolutely adored working with Keely and Hill, and I’m so excited that the readers of SW Mag got to learn more about their beautiful love story … and to catch a glimpse of their gorgeous wedding day! XO

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    Keely is a gal after my own heart–peonies, Valentino bows pumps, and long curls? Bridal perfection in my book!

  4. avatar Breanna reply

    Those photographs are absolutely gorgeous! And I love what Keely said about not missing out on videography just because you have photos covered. That is such a tempting thing to cut when eying the budget, but there is something special about having that video too. The way Keely and Hill incorporated so many traditions and kept their parents weddings in mind when planning their own was so sweet! So much class and so much romance all wrapped up in this fabulous wedding.

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    […] feature and read more about the details of their day (coordinated by the fabulous Graceful Host), click here!  How gorgeous and stylish is this […]

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    […] talented and has such an amazing eye. You can see her work on Style Me Pretty, The Knot, Southern Weddings and Charlotte Weddings to name just a […]

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