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Anna and Nathan’s outdoor ceremony looks like a breath of fresh air to me. The beautiful open field and prodigious tree at Blue Ribbon Vendor venue, Vinewood Plantation, provided the perfect Southern backdrop that they were looking for! Anna and Nathan’s goal throughout their wedding planning was to create a comfortable celebration, full of natural beauty and good food. You can’t beat that, and I venture to say that, judging by their joy that is beaming right through each of these photos, they’d agree!

Thank you kindly to Blue Ribbon Vendor, Chris Isham for sharing this lovely day with us!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did. Nathan and I cherished that moment and wanted it to be an intimate time. We both knew that it wouldn’t take away from the moment when I walked down the aisle, because I would be walking down the aisle to marry him, and it’s impossible to cheapen that. We loved having such a special moment between the two of us before all of the craziness began. It allowed us both to relax and take a deep breath when it was time for the ceremony.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had absolutely no idea what style I wanted, so I had to try on everything! After two dress shops, I was nearing the end of my pile when I tried on “the one” and instantly knew this was how I was supposed to feel. I didn’t want to take it off because it was so perfect! It was a classic dress with such a fun twist.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? For starters, it happened under a big tree in a huge field–does it get more Southern than that? Ultimately, we wanted our wedding to be comfortable, and to us, nothing seems more Southern than comfort, beauty, and good food.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Nothing compares to the moment that I walked down the aisle. It was as if everything slowed down for me. I thought about my sweet father walking next to me, just as he had for all of the years leading to that moment. I saw our bridesmaids and groomsmen, who had helped us arrive at this day. I was able to appreciate the fact that never again would we have so many people we loved in one place. Finally, I saw my groom at the end of the aisle waiting for me. That moment was the moment I had longed for and envisioned for over two years. I will never forget it.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We loved the uniqueness of our “naked” cake. It tasted great, it looked beautiful, and it was a little untraditional. It was one of the most fun details of the wedding.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Aside from premarital counseling and reading some recommended books, we sought advice from friends, family, and mentors who all have marriages that we admire. Needless to say, there was also a lot of prayer involved.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through some mutual friends! By July, we were best friends, and November brought our first date. After that, we realized we were done searching for our future spouses. Two years later, he proposed.
Tell us all about the proposal! My sister invited us to cut down a Christmas tree at a farm just north of where we live. She said we would need to drive separately to the farm, due to lack of space. When we got there, she hadn’t arrived yet, so Nathan and I went exploring. He took us off the path and we started wandering through these huge trees. I faintly heard string music as we neared the destination he was leading us to, and as we rounded a corner, I noticed a sign that said “Page, Party of Two.” Honestly, I don’t remember half of what he said after that because I was in shock, but I definitely caught the most important part: “Will you marry me?” When I realized that we really weren’t cutting down a Christmas tree, he took me to my sister’s house, where all of our friends and family were waiting to celebrate with us.
When did y’all get married? October 24, 2014.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Something borrowed was a cathedral veil, which was lent to me by a sweet friend. My something blue was the bottom of my shoes. My something old was a brooch pinned to the front of my bouquet, that had been passed down by my sister. My something new was my dress.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Chris Isham. Not only was his work phenomenal, but he also become more of a friend than a vendor through the wedding process.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We want to learn how to love each other well and make our marriage as strong as it can be. For now, we are taking it one day at a time. The details will continue to fall into place as we go.

Photographer: Chris Isham / Venue: Vinewood Plantation / Florist: Laura Shain / Caterer: Tulla White / Lighting: The Funky Shack / DJ: Complete DJ / Ceremony Musicians: Celebration String Quartet / Paper Products: Katherine Latham / Bride’s Gown: Mori Lee / Hair Stylist: Mari Matthews / Bride’s Shoes: Betsy Johnson / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff / Menswear: H&M

Chris Isham and Vinewood Plantation are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Yes! Thanks so much for sharing Anne & Nathan’s wedding! Y’all are the best!

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I have a soft spot for Texas weddings, and when the bride and groom are fellow University of Texas alumni, I can’t resist calling dibs on writing their wedding post! Brianna and Jim met at the Forty Acres, and after years of long-distance, they chose two very special venues in Brianna’s hometown for their winter wedding. Their celebration was classic, lovely, stylish (especially Brianna’s “Carrie Bradshaw-esque” dress!), and Southern–the focus on hospitality was undeniable, and I guarantee you that every SW gal is currently wishing we could’ve helped ourselves to their biscuit bar!

Thank you so much to Elisabeth Carol for sharing Brianna and Jim’s lovely day with us!

I borrowed my Granny Pehl’s wedding ring, just as my cousins before me have. I wore it on my right hand, and it was so special to have a piece of family history so close to me on the big day. My something old was my mother’s ring bearer pillow with a piece of my Meme’s lace sewn onto it. My something blue was my new monogram that we tied on my bouquet. I love how it pops in pictures, and it was fun getting to incorporate my new monogram into the wedding! My new was a pair of gold Manolo Blahnik pumps. To go with my Carrie Bradshaw-esque dress, I needed some dream shoes. I was under budget with my dress, so I was able to splurge on these beauties!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Two weekends after the engagement, my mom, sister, and I headed to San Antonio to shop! I was about to start nursing school and wasn’t sure how much time I was going to have to get wedding items taken care of. I had always wanted to be married in Vera Wang and knew that her White collection at David’s Bridal was going to help make that dream a reality. I tried on almost all of her gowns, and when I put the last one on, I just knew this was the dress that I was going to marry Jim in. The dress was a little classic, a little couture, and a little Carrie Bradshaw.

One of my fondest childhood memories is being a train bearer in my cousin’s wedding, waiting in the entry with her before she walked down the aisle. She was nervous and excited, and there was an energy in the room that I will never forget. I knew that I wanted that moment with Jim. I wanted to see him for the first time when the church doors opened.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There are so many! We enjoyed every moment and detail of our day. I will say that the “The Washecheks” sign that hung above the sweetheart table made my heart skip a beat every time that I looked at it. It was such a sweet reminder of the new family that Jim and I were starting, and my new last name!

When I first met with my florist, I told her that I wanted Southern elegance with a feel of the Texas Hill Country, and I think that she nailed it. We went with classic white blooms, greenery, and mixed metals, from mercury glass to julep cups. There were three different centerpieces for the guest tables and a gorgeous garland swag that framed the sweetheart table. For the bouquets, I knew that I wanted something timeless, and Sprout gave me just that. She mixed white ranunculus, peonies, and roses with small punctuations of greens. It was heavenly!

Jim and I chose to dance to “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. Throughout our relationship, this song would play on the radio in times that we needed a small reminder about our love and commitment, and it highlights the ideals that Jim and I have for our marriage. That night, the lyrics served as a promise to one another that no matter what, we won’t give up on each other–our marriage will be for a lifetime.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Jim and I stressed the importance of Southern hospitality. My parents were amazing hosts and welcomed all of our friends and out-of-town guests with open arms, driving them around to see the sights, setting up tours of local attractions, and making dinner recommendations. We incorporated Southern spirits (Southern Comfort and Maker’s Mark bourbon) and used mint julep cups for florals and bar accoutrement. We served shrimp and grits, fried quail and waffles, and a biscuit bar, among other Southern favorites, and we highlighted the importance of family tradition. Jim and I are both lucky to come from a background of strong, lifelong marriages, so we displayed pictures from our parents and grandparents’ weddings, along with the date that they were married. 2014 was a special year, with my parents married 30 years and my grandparents 60 years, so it was important for us to celebrate that!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jim and I met my first week of college at The University of Texas at Austin when he was a senior and I was a freshman. I saw him from across the room talking to a mutual friend and knew that I had to meet him! The friend introduced us and we spent the night sitting on a couch in the middle of the room, dressed in neon rave gear, talking about everything under the sun. Jim moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area after he graduated and we began our four-year long distance relationship. Let’s just say, we know all of the best stops between Austin and Dallas! (We recommend the Czech Stop for kolaches during any road trip!)
Tell us all about the proposal! It was Easter weekend during my senior year at UT. Jim had explained that he couldn’t come to Fredericksburg (my hometown) for Easter and that he had a special gift for me instead. That Friday, my brother, mom, and I drove out to our family ranch to get extra chairs and tables for Easter. I saw my sister as we drove up to the ranch and was immediately confused that she was home from college and didn’t go home first! I walked inside and found a beautiful Easter basket and flowers with a card that read “Bri.” I immediately thought, “Oh! He sent a gift with Baleigh!” I opened the card and found out that my real surprise was waiting outside. As I walked down the steps, Jim walked up the hill toward me. Shocked, I froze, while Jim walked up, got on one knee, and asked me to be his wife! I had to ask him afterwards what he said exactly, because I was shocked, crying, and overwhelmed with joy.
When did y’all get married? December 13, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Jim and I were married in the church that I have attended my entire life. I was baptized there, went to school there, performed almost every part in the Christmas pageant (from baby Jesus to Mary) there, and attended Sunday mass regularly with my family. The reception was held at the Nimitz Naval History Museum. This museum meant the world to my late grandfather, Ollie, a former Navy sailor. He was on the board that commissioned the museum, was present at the opening ceremony, and is now honored on a plaque inside. Being from a small town, every place holds a memory and strong meaning. I love that I was able to honor my family and our history in the town of Fredericksburg during our wedding.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Jim and I were married in the Catholic Church, although Jim is not a Catholic. Throughout the process of preparing to be married in the Church, we had many opportunities to talk about our ideals, dreams, and hopes for our marriage. Our favorite prep activity was an engagement retreat that we went on. We spent the weekend focusing on laying the foundation for our marriage and making our relationship stronger. We left the weekend feeling strong in our relationship and confident in starting our marriage.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We decided early on that the cakes that I dreamed of were not in our budget. Our baker actually made our wedding cakes out of styrofoam for display, and then had cut sheet cakes in every flavor that were served as we “cut” the cake! It was the perfect way to cut cost!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Jim, Praline, and I are currently living in Fort Worth! We just moved into a new house, I just started a job as a neonatal intensive care nurse, and Jim is a senior engineer at a power marketing firm. We are looking forward to our life settling down, having visits from our family and friends, and going on frequent movie dates at our favorite theater!

Photographer: Elisabeth Carol Photography / Videographer: Southern Charm Films / Ceremony Venue: St. Mary’s Catholic Church / Reception Venue: The Nimitz / Florist: Sprout Floral and Event Design / Cake Baker: Sophie’s Choice Bakery / Caterer: Cartewheels Catering / Rentals: Hill Country Event Rentals / DJ: Altared Weddings / Die-Cut Details: NarWall / Invitations: Veronica Foley / Envelope Calligraphy: Design Roots / Detail Calligraphy: Charlie Whiskey / Napkins and Stir Sticks: For Your Party / Bride’s Gown: White by Vera Wang / Bridal Salon and Veil: David’s Bridal / Hair Stylist: Jamie Laratta / Makeup Artist: Ginny Smith / Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale in Mallard / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids Dallas / Bridesmaid Earrings: “Carmella Stud” in Pearl by Kendra Scott / Menswear: Black by Vera Wang / Coordinator: Jasper Eisenberg

Elisabeth Carol is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Dana reply

    that biscuit bar is a dream!

  2. avatar Michael and Carina reply

    This wedding is just so awesome in so many ways! Love these, and those biscuits look divine!

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When someone tells you that they’re getting married at Honey Creek Ranch, doesn’t that make you immediately excited? For a couple like Madeline + Jake, who met when they were 12 years old (while shooting shotguns competitively for Texas 4H shooting sports, no less!), the ranch on the Llano River served as the sweetest place to say “I do.” We love that Madeline + Jake waited to do see each other until she walked down the aisle. I’m sure it was especially emotional since they spent most of their engagement long-distance and didn’t see each other until two days before the wedding! Big hugs go out to The Nichols for sharing this with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I knew that I wanted to get my dress in New York and I wanted my mom to be there. She flew up and we had four appointments in two days. Vera Wang was my second appointment and while I liked a couple of dresses at each place, the one I ended up picking stood out to me from the very beginning, even though the sample was pink! When I tried it on, it was just so perfect. After all the appointments, my mom and I each ranked our favorite dresses separately and it turned out that both of us put the Vera Wang Isabella dress as our #1. The ladies at Vera Wang were so sweet and they squeezed us in the next morning to come back before my mom left. Jake was with us so he had to patiently wait in the waiting room downstairs while they pulled out the ivory sample from the back and I officially decided that was my dress. After I decided, they hid the dress and brought Jake upstairs so that he could celebrate with us!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Everyone was seated to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” My bridesmaids and I walked down the aisle to “Canon in D” and our recessional music was Vivaldi’s Spring from “The Four Seasons,” movement 1: Allegro. Our first dance was to “Carried Away” by George Straight and our last dance was to “Then” by Brad Paisley.

We took some vows that Jake liked and edited them a little so that they would be fitting for our life together. My favorite line was, “I will cherish you when we are together and when we are apart” because Jake is in the Army, and we will have to spend a lot of time apart over the next years. It was really important to us to have that line because of how important it is to continue to love each other deeply despite the challenges we will face being apart often.

My brother did a reading of Ephesians 4:1-3 New Living Translation (NLT) for us. “4 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had the wedding at a ranch, in a barn. There were chickens wandering around the grounds and I gave my husband a gun as his wedding gift — I supposed that is a rather Southern thing to do!

I really wanted simple, loose flowers. I love tall blooming flowers and wanted tons in buckets and boxes that resembled more of a polished but natural wildflower look. I wanted to use beautiful flowers everywhere, to look full. We used purple and white stock flowers, purple and white snapdragons and purple larkspur. We combined that with sand dollar eucalyptus and seeded eucalyptus. I have a close friend from high school who is incredibly talented and creative and she did all the flowers, from the table arrangements to the bouquets and boutonnieres!

Our cake was four tiers and two different flavors. We decided not to do a groom’s cake, but instead to alternate white and chocolate cake tiers so that we were still offering two different flavors. Our white cake flavor was almond cake with a Bavarian cream filling and our chocolate cake was a Guinness beer chocolate cake with raspberry filling. The whole cake was covered in a white almond buttercream icing. My mom made our cake topper!

Eek! I could look at this sweet first dance image of M + J all day. From the looks of this photo, their joy was abundant — and that’s exactly what they wanted their guests to feel at their wedding.

I think my favorite thing about the whole wedding was the atmosphere. I really wanted it to be fun and filled with happiness and it was just so much better than I even imagined. I can’t begin to describe the feeling of having all the most important people in your life there to celebrate with you, on such a precious occasion. There was so much love in the air!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Jake and I met when we were 12 years old. We both shot shotguns competitively for Texas 4H shooting sports. Despite living five hours away from each other, we developed a great friendship over the years and would spend weeks during the summer staying at each other’s houses. Jake was the first boy I ever kissed and then we started actually dating later in high school. We broke up my senior year of high school but remained friends. I went to college in Texas at Baylor University and he went to New York at the United States Military Academy at West Point. In the summer of 2010, I took an internship in New York City and Jake came into the city to have lunch with me. After that, we started to communicate more and a few months later he invited me to his formal for West Point in January. I think that was the weekend I knew that things were changing between us and I felt like he was the man I was going to marry. After the formal, Jake took me to the airport and as we were saying goodbye, he told me that he loved me and that he was going to marry me. After this, we started dating long distance again as I finished school and graduated. After Jake proposed, I moved to New York City to work, putting us the closest we had ever lived to each other. After 12 years of knowing each other, we are finally in the same place!
Describe the proposal. I was invited to go to the US Virgin Islands with Jake’s family for Christmas of 2011. Jake asked me to go on a walk one evening and I could tell he was a little nervous! We were walking on a hill on St. John, where we were staying. It was getting dark, but we could still see the ocean and parts of the island. After talking a little, Jake got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. It was so exciting and such a happy time! After the proposal, we went back to the house to meet up with his family and we ate grilled cheese and drank champagne. It was so fun and perfect!
In what month did you get married? July
How many guests attended your wedding? About 170
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We decided we did not want to do a first look because my favorite part of weddings is seeing the groom’s face when his bride is walking down the aisle. I didn’t like the idea of him seeing me before that moment, so we waited!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? When we started planning our wedding, I was living and working in New York City, my mother was finishing graduate school in St. Louis, Missouri, my father was living and working at my parents’ home in Spring Branch, Texas, and Jake was trying to finish and graduate from West Point, about an hour north of New York City. It was extremely challenging planning that far away from each other! When Jake graduated, he had to stay at West Point to work, but my mom and I both moved back to Spring Branch. It was really helpful to be back with my parents to plan but I didn’t see Jake from the end of May until July 12, 2 days before our wedding!
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Hands down, the photographer. Jennifer and CJ Nichols are so incredibly talented. Their photography stood out to me from the second that I discovered them and they were the first vendor we booked! I could not be happier with our photos and I haven’t even seen them all yet! Also, having a month-of coordinator was amazing! Beth from 36th Street Events was so incredible and we would not have had the wedding we had without her.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Jake and I both feel like it was the moment we saw each other for the first time, it was so special to walk toward him down the aisle.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Pick the things that are most important to you and focus on those, then fill in the rest. I really stuck with a few things that were important to me and I am really happy with how those details and vendors contributed to the wedding. Also, I couldn’t have done it without our month-of coordinator, Beth. I wish I could put into words how awesome she is and how much she helped make our wedding happen. We brought her all of the little pieces and she put it together into this beautiful evening.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are heading to Georgia for Jake to start his training as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army. I will be continuing to make art and develop my career. We will spend the next eight years with the Army and so I will be following my husband wherever that leads us. We are looking forward to learning about life together and we are so appreciative of the time we have together right now. It is amazing to finally live in the same place! There will be many challenges ahead with the time we will spend apart but I am so grateful to have him and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I guess by now we are getting pretty good at this long distance thing!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
14 Comments
  1. avatar Elizabeth reply

    This wedding is absolutely gorgeous. Such a sweet story of how Madeline and Jake came together. Madeline’s dress is beautiful, and I love the flowers and use of eucalyptus. And that cake is pretty spectacular. Mom did a great job on the cake topper, too :)

  2. avatar Emily Lawrence reply

    Her dress could not be more breathtaking! And I hope I can find a place as amazing as her’s to have my reception in.

  3. avatar The Nichols reply

    Such a lovely wedding to document! Thanks to Madeline and Jake for including us and thank you to SW for featuring this charming wedding!

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  7. avatar Angela Rando reply

    Beautiful! Love the flowers, especially the bride’s bouquet. The barn is gorgeous.

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  9. avatar Linda reply

    What a beautiful wedding. I love all of the purple touches as well as the rustic feel.

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