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One of the things I love about our new editor Lisa is that she shares my affinity for tearing up while reading Real Wedding interviews. And even though she cautioned me while prepping this post that Mariana’s dress story was absolutely precious, I still couldn’t help having to reach for a tissue or two! Be sure to read all about it, but let me say that when Mariana’s dad said “you look like an angel,” I was already two tissues deep!

Don’t think the sweetness stopped at her dress shopping trip, though — Mariana + Jacob’s entire wedding day was filled with heartfelt details and meaningful moments carefully orchestrated by their talented planners, Ooh! Events.

Cheers to Marissa Joy Photography for sharing this delightful day!

I flew into Savannah over Memorial Day weekend of 2012 and met up with one of my two maids of honor who lived there. We then drove into Charleston and met my parents. At this point, I knew we would be getting married in Charleston, which is where my parents were married, so I wanted to find my dress there and leave it until the big day. We went to the bridal salon and I picked out a few dresses and let each of my parents and my MOH pick one as well.

I should have prefaced this story with the fact that my dad is from the Czech Republic, a country well known for its lace exports. As soon as I put on my dress, my dad started to tear up and said that it reminded him of home and the lace doilies my Baba (grandmother) and aunt used to make. I wanted the dress to mean something to me, but I also wanted it to mean something to my parents, so I knew this had to be the dress. When I put my veil on and my dad said, “You look like an angel,” I knew I had found the one!

I had a very random assortment of flowers for the wedding, as I didn’t want anything to look too uniform. We had a very rustic, shabby chic wedding and I wanted the flowers to reflect that. The bouquets were made up of peonies, roses and ranunculus, and the groom and groomsmen wore ranunculus with a touch of rosemary. I wanted rosemary because it is said to increase memory, and I wanted to always have the memories from this day. I have kept Jacob’s dried boutonniere in my purse since the wedding :)

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. The church we were married in required that we follow the Liturgy of the United Methodist Church, and the United Methodist Service of Christian Marriage is the only service used. We could not have been more pleased with our service and were truly grateful for the counseling, prayers, generosity and guidance we received from our Reverend and church coordinator.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had two readings: Ephesians 4:25-5:2, and Colossians 3:12–17 from the New Revised Standard Version.

I love seeing that Mariana included friends in their house party. We love how they wore coordinating dresses in complimentary colors!

I would have to say that M + J didn’t miss any portraits by passing on a first look. Especially when the element of surprise was so important to Jacob!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We would both say the best detail from the wedding (besides the exchange of vows, of course!) was the view from the cotton dock. Having a place to gather on the water, the hanging Spanish moss and lanterns above us, and the old plantation grounds as we pulled up all made for such a picturesque setting.

Describe your wedding flowers. The flowers for the church were all white with mixtures of lilies, hydrangeas, peonies, myrtle, snapdragons, tulips, and Queen Anne’s lace. The flowers at the reception were pink peonies, white and pink garden roses, green and white hydrangea, scabiosa pods, hanging amaranthus, and baby’s breath, all set in vintage tins, blue mason jars, medicine bottles and antique milk glass compotes. It was breathtaking!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Jacob and I wanted the dessert to reflect the rustic look of the cotton dock, and since we aren’t big cake people, we opted for a smaller naked cake with an assortment of pies. The cake was a pound cake with lemon custard icing between the layers, covered in fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. The pies were bourbon chocolate pecan, cherry, peach and apple. Everything was absolutely delicious!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Everything! The location alone was the epitome of the South to me. The ceremony was in historic downtown Charleston in a church whose congregation is 222 years old. We headed out to Boone Hall for the reception, which is one of America’s oldest working plantations, known for cotton and pecans. Our menu included fried green tomato BLTs with pimiento cheese on cheddar cornbread, pork tenderloin, mini angus burgers, and pulled pork with blue cheese cole slaw. We sipped on a specialty cocktail that was lavender-infused Firefly sweet tea vodka and lemonade. It was everything I had grown up knowing and loving about the South and the east coast!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I moved to Dallas from North Carolina in the summer of 2009, knowing no one. To beat the heat in Dallas, you basically have to live by the pool, and I quickly made a friend that I hung out with on the weekends. One Saturday, we were laying out when Jacob and his best friend walked in. I could not take my eyes off of him! I think I blabbered to my friend about him for thirty minutes or so before she actually acknowledged me and looked over at him. She suddenly said, “Oh, I know him! We were neighbors last year!” She introduced us right away and to say we were inseparable after that is an understatement. We went on eight dates over the next seven days and the rest was history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Jacob and I had been dating for about a year and a half when his company approached him with the opportunity to work on a job site in Frederick, Maryland. He would be helping manage the building of a cancer and AIDS research facility, and since cancer has touched so many of our family members’ lives, we knew he had to take the job. His company was truly wonderful and covered the expenses to fly Jacob home or me there twice a month! With me being from the east coast, I was so excited to show Jacob new cities and places I had visited growing up. The 18 months he was there allowed us chances to travel that we wouldn’t have otherwise had. We visited Baltimore and DC several times, and Gettysburg and Annapolis with both his parents and mine. One weekend before Valentine’s Day, he was back in Dallas and we were celebrating early over dinner. He gave me a card and inside he had written, “I hope you enjoy your late Valentine’s gift” and drawn a giant red apple. He then told me that on my next trip to Maryland, we would be driving into New York City. I just assumed it would be like any of the other trips we had been on, but I knew it would be special because it was the first place we had ever traveled together, and probably one of our most memorable trips. When we got there the next weekend, we re-created our date there two years earlier with dinner in Little Italy at SPQR, and then he surprised me with a trip to Rockefeller Center to go ice-skating. We had been there literally ten minutes when another man got down on one knee in the Center and proposed. I was so excited for this couple, but Jacob looked like he was going to be sick! We kept skating but he was acting strange and after about thirty minutes, I asked if we should go. All of a sudden, he tripped and fell and we both laughed and I said it was definitely time to head back to the hotel. We skated for a few more minutes, but he kept rubbing his knee. Finally he started to bend down and I kept saying, “What are you doing? Are you okay? Get up!” When I finally realized what was happening, everyone was cheering and clapping and I barely made it out as he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. To which I, of course, responded yes!
When did y’all get married? June 15th, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 110

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. One thing everyone knows about Jacob is that he loves surprises and hates when people give anything away—something that I am always guilty of. I can’t keep a secret to save my life, and it was so hard not to show him pictures of me in the wedding dress, because he was the one person that I wanted to see them. I knew this was one surprise I had to give him and I wanted, more than anything, to see that look on his face when the doors opened at the church. To me, that was worth it more than getting pictures out of the way early with a first look.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our ceremony music was played on the organ. My bridal processional was to Rondeau by J. Mouret, and our recessional was to Trumpet Tune by H. Purcell. For the reception, we played a lot of western music because many of our guests were from Texas and Jacob and I love to two-step! Our first dance was to “Just Got Started Lovin’ You” by James Otto, we cut the cake to “Sweet Thing” by Keith Urban, and I threw my bouquet while Shania Twain’s “Any Man of Mine” played.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My dress, veil and shoes were my something new. Old and borrowed was a beautiful vintage diamond bracelet that Jacob’s grandfather had given his mother. She asked if I would want to wear it on the wedding day, and I could not have appreciated the gesture more. It was absolutely stunning and it meant so much to me to have it on my arm. My something blue was a pair of hanky pankies (!) that my maid of honor had given me that had Swarovski crystals on it that said “I Do.”
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Planning from Texas and not being able to meet with vendors or see the venue whenever I wanted to.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Hands down, Ooh Events!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Jacob had just whispered “you look beautiful” during the ceremony and missed the beginning of his vows. It made everyone laugh but it meant so much to me.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take your time with the planning, if you can. I had 15 months and thought it all had to be done right away. Once I got over the initial high of being engaged, I realized I had plenty of time to figure out all the details, and in the end every single thing was perfect.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are in the process of buying our first home in Uptown Dallas and we look forward to starting our family and enjoying every bit of each other!

Photographer: Marissa Joy Photography | Planner: Ooh Events | Ceremony Venue: Trinity United Methodist Church | Reception Venue: The Cotton Dock at the Boone Hall Plantation | Florist: Ooh Events | Wedding Cake/Dessert Baker: DeClare Cakes | Caterer: Newton Farms | Rentals: Ooh Events | Lighting: Ooh Events | DJ: Eklipse Productions | Bride’s Gown: Wtoo, Bristol Gown Style | Paper Products: LaHa Design | Bride’s Veil: Vera Wang | Bride’s Earrings and Vintage Sash: White Salon Charleston | Hair Stylist & Makeup Artist: Paper Dolls | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka, Alessandra D’Orsay Bridal Shoe Style | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan, Crinkle Silk Chiffon in Powder Blue | Groom’s and Groomsmen Attire: Vera Wang Tuxedo, Men’s Warehouse | Additional Vendors: Absolutely Charleston for Trolley Rental, Limos for Less for Bentley Getaway Car Rental

Ooh! Events is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Kristin reply

    I think I have agree with Mariana on my favorite detail being the lovely location and all that moss. It is dreamy. The pies aren’t too shabby either…

  2. avatar Emily reply

    That shot of the Dock through the moss is just magical! I also adore their berry cake :)

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    Mariana’s gown remains my favorite thing about this wedding! It’s so romantic and beautiful, and the story behind it melts my heart every time!

  4. avatar Plum Pretty Sugar reply

    Perfect happiness! Adore! Swoon!

  5. avatar Jenny reply

    Love the earrings! Where did you get them??

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When I first read Jodi + Kurt’s interview, I was blown away, y’all! Kurt, who has a background in the culinary arts, catered their entire wedding! He woke up early on the big day to put together a delicious family-style meal, keeping things light (but hello, delicious) with butternut squash soup, artisan cheeses, bread and a variety of toppings. The couple took “homemade” to another level, making their soup from squash they had grown on the family farm and serving home-brewed beers! We love how the vintage and shabby-chic details come together into a comfy family gathering. Thanks again to Stephanie Williams of This Modern Romance for sharing!

We love how simple but beautiful these leafy and wild arrangements look in vintage jars and tins!

Jodi + Kurt’s pie hutch is a favorite in the office. Since the newlyweds aren’t big fans of cake, their family and friends all contributed a pie to the dessert selection.

Aren’t those piggy-stamped muslin bags adorable as favors? They hold bacon gingersnap cookies that Kurt made using leftover bacon drippings instead of oil. Who else is hungry?

Describe some of the decorations or décor elements you used: Most of our decorations were handmade by our stylist, Lynn and me. Lynn hand-embroidered a lot of the details, including most of the signs placed around the wedding. She sewed all of the linens we used for our wedding, including table runners and napkins and made several chalkboard signs, including a large menu sign. Our favors were “Bacon Snaps.” Kurt basically made a gingersnap cookie and used bacon fat instead of butter. We placed them in muslin bags with a pig stamped on them. They were placed in old cheese boxes on top of my dad’s great-grandfather’s roll top desk. Being photographers, we had to have several photography-related sections of our wedding! One station was our “snapshot” station. We set up a tall shelf and placed several vintage cameras all over it for guests to pick up and take instant pictures during the reception. We also had a photo booth. We used an old bed sheet as the backdrop and hired one of our photographer friends to operate the booth. Our cheese table was also a labor of love! Kurt made the sawhorses for the cheese table and we found an old Johnny house door from the farm to set the cheese on. Lynn made embroidered tea towels with the words “jam & honey”, “bread” and “cheese”. Each cheese had its own sign. Another station we set up was our wash station! Since I wanted cleanup after our wedding to be as organized as possible, Lynn came up with the wash station for our guests to deposit their dishes in after they ate. We set up several galvanized tubs with signs specific to each tub and set out an old washboard found on the farm. We made a clothes rack that hung a “dirty dishes” towel and two Anthropologie dishtowels.
Describe your wedding cake: Since Kurt and I aren’t big fans of cake, we wanted to do something a little bit different and have homemade pies instead. We absolutely love pie and it was so special to have our friends and family help make some of our favorites. We had about 20 of them that were all placed on an antique hutch.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Next, we are photographing couples in love and helping their day go as smoothly as possible. In the future, we’ll be waking up beside each other and loving each other every single day.
What advice would you give to someone planning his or her wedding? Book your photographer first! Stephanie and Isaac were the first vendor we booked. Actually, I contacted them the day after I got engaged. They were my dream photographers and I had to see if they were available. Lucky for us, they were! We absolutely adore them and their work. We knew having gorgeous images would really be the only thing that lasted from our wedding. We couldn’t have had a more perfect pair to photograph it!

Photographer: This Modern Romance // Videographer: Josh Gooden Cinematography // Designer: Sunshowers and Rainshine // Venue: Family farm in Mount Crawford, Virginia // Florist: JMFlora Design // Pie Baker: homemade // Caterer: groom // Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew // Bride’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier // Hair Stylist: bride // Makeup Artist: Erika Nixon // Bride’s Shoes: J. Crew // Bride’s Jewelry: earrings by Ten Things // Groom’s Fashion: J. Crew // Groomsmen Fashion: J.Crew // Rentals: Classic Party Rentals and Central Virginia Rental // Linens: Griffith Bag Company // Cameos: Poppy Loves Paris // Fabric: A Garden of Roses and Lonestar Quilting // Favors: groom // Officiant: Troy Pearson // Band: Shenandoah Travelers

Love this wedding? You might love these:
Sarah + Dan’s colorful barn wedding full of antique goodies here.
Jenn + Barret’s vintage and rustic wedding here and here.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
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  2. avatar Tim Duncan reply

    I love the details of this wedding!

  3. avatar Vanessa reply

    Wow! I am loving the details!

  4. avatar Michelle reply

    Do you have any kind of tutorial on how to make those pinwheel chair flowers? I love them!!

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See that first shot by Crystal Genes Photography? Adorable. And those wicker basket favors? Also adorable. I love the gold doilies that were tied on — just an added touch of glam! Britt + Heath and A Plum Perfect Affair worked together to create a reception at The Hotel Concord that would make the Steel Magnolias women proud. The pink and lace details decked the room and looked especially sweet combined with the couple’s pie bar! Britt’s mom arranged a special appearance from the Carolina Panther’s mascot, Sir Purr, who had everyone “hog wild dancing all night!” No one would have ever expected that the wedding lived through a changed wedding photographer (the couple’s first double-booked the day, but it worked out for the best!), broken bridal portraits, a chipped front tooth hours before the wedding, a wrong linen order, and a missing cake topper among other things!

Describe your wedding flowers: I knew I had to have peonies but the florist said they probably wouldn’t be available that late in the season. Luckily, it turns out that they were! My bridesmaids had ivory bouquets with small sprays of feathers, tied together with a black lace bow. My bouquet was the same except had splashes of blush and bashful (just like Shelby from Steel Magnolias!) peonies and was tied with an ivory lace bow. The groomsmen wore freesia boutonnières and the mothers carried a smaller version of my bouquet.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: We had a pie bar with peach pie, pecan pie and apple pie. Our wedding cake was two tiered red velvet with buttercream frosting.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. We went through three venue changes, and then our first wedding photographer double-booked the day, but we were so glad that happened because we ended up with the best! On the day of, we had broken bridal portraits, a chipped front tooth hours before the wedding, a wrong linen order, and a missing cake topper among other things! I dealt with it and everything worked out perfectly!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $20,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Without a doubt, the photographer. My Dad and I decided on this fact before deciding anything else. It was actually the only thing I splurged on and boy was it worth it. After all, the pictures are what you have to remember this day forever. Crystal and Ben are amazingly talented and were absolutely wonderful to work with!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? When my Dad and I were standing behind the church doors getting ready to walk, he said, “I’ll race ya!” It was a line from one of our favorite movies that only we would appreciate, and perfect for the situation. Right then the doors opened and I got to have my daddy, the model of what a husband should be, help me turn the page to the next chapter in my life.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No. But the Bible verse from our wedding was 1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, for love covers a multitude of sins.”
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy the process. Don’t get your feathers ruffled about the little things. After all the mishaps we went through, I am a testament to the fact that it’ll all work out!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are enjoying our time together as husband and wife! Now that the stress of the wedding planning is over, we can get back to all our favorite things to do together: playing board games/Wii, throwing the football, grocery shopping and yard work! We are looking forward to kids someday, but we’ll enjoy spoiling our nephews for now!

Photographer: Crystal Genes Photography // Planner: A Plum Perfect Affair // Ceremony venue: First Presbyterian Church // Reception venue: The Hotel Concord // Florist: Reception flowers by Linda Alexander, and bouquets, boutonnières, alter arrangement and church wreaths by Chelish Moore Flowers // Wedding Cake Baker: Nona’s Sweets // Caterer: Union Street Bistro // Linens: Party Rentals Plus // Paper Products: A Plum Perfect Affair // Bride’s Dress: Allure via New York Bride and Groom // Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil: Veil by Custom NY Bride and Groom, Fascinator from Etsy // Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka and vintage Laredo // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jim Hjelm via NY Bride & Groom // Accessories: Grandmother’s Jewelry

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Bridgette Brown reply

    So charming and romantic….Love it! Good job ya’ll!

  2. avatar I Want Wedding Champagne! reply

    Love the bride’s hair and hair flower! Also that dessert table is so pretty and well done! Makes we want a slice of pie :)

  3. avatar Tim Duncan reply

    Such a cute wedding! It makes me feel like they’re in a real fairy tale!

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