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In just five short days, V6 will be on newsstands, and I can barely stand it! Want your copy sooner? Pre-order you copy now, as shipping starts today!!

While we are bursting at the seams with excitement over V6 (admittedly making it a bit hard to focus!), today’s cheerful wedding snaps me right back to our mission and why we love what we do! The word that comes to mind when I look at Danielle + Sam’s big day is joyful. The fun pops of color, their sweet smiles, and especially their vows- they made them rhyme!- fills my heart to the brim with joy! As for those blooms, Danielle could not have made a better decision by letting the gorgeous florals do the talking!

Big hugs to Rachel Fesko for sharing this sweet day!

Y’all, I could just die! Danielle is way too cute in one of my very favorite dresses of all time!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed beautiful brooches from mother, mother-in-law and both of my grandmothers. The ones from my mother and grandmothers were vintage, so they also served as my something old, while the one from my mother-in-law was my something new. The something blue was the stunning ribbon wrapped around the bouquet.

Describe your wedding flowers. The flowers were one of the most important aspects of the wedding to me, and were a big part of why I chose Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden as a backdrop. Melanie of New Creations Flower Company knew this, and accented the beauty of nature with absolutely gorgeous bouquets and centerpieces. My bouquet was full and textured, and was made with pale pink ranunculus, Juliet garden roses, coral charm and purple peonies with lamb’s ear and geranium leaves. To accent the vibrant blue of the bridesmaid’s dresses, tweedia was also added. The centerpieces featured many of the same flowers placed in milk glass or blue glass vases and accented with mercury votive candles.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Sam and I decided to do a first look in the beautiful Orchid Conservatory of DSBG. We really wanted to capture the joy of this special moment in a setting where our wonderful photographer could capture every detail.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Sam and I wrote our own vows on pink and blue note cards. Sam wrote his first and was inspired to make his vows rhyme, so I, of course, had to follow suit! My favorite lines from his vows were “I vow to always catch you when you fall, because you are breathtaking when you fly. I vow to make you happy every day, because it tugs my heartstrings with you cry.” Sam’s favorite lines from my vows were “I vow to always make the bed; who knew such a chore would make you see red.”

The greatest challenge Sam and I faced when planning the wedding was being out of state. Thank goodness for Skype! We had to schedule many meetings with our vendors via computer, and it sometimes felt as if we were flying by the seat of our pants. However, all of our vendors came through in a magnificent way–we were staggered by the look and feel of every aspect of our wedding.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? There is something quintessentially Southern about mason jars, and blue ones played heavily into our ceremony and reception decor. For our wedding favors, I wanted to incorporate the theme of Charlotte, my hometown, and Chicago, Sam’s hometown, coming together. We decided to give out Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Garett’s Popcorn, gourmet specialities of each geographic area. We called it “Windy City Treats meets Queen City Sweets!”

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. WOW Factor Cakes truly created an edible masterpiece. Our cake was four tiers of marble cake with alternating layers of hazelnut cream and chocolate ganache. The design of the cake was inspired by the floral lace pattern of my wedding dress, while the color of the cake accentuated the florals and bridal fashion.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Sam and I met online before it was mainstream. My high school boyfriend ran a computer game server, so I would hang out in the server’s chat room to talk to him. One day, there was a heated debate about feminism and I passionately defended girl gamers. Sam was intrigued by my point of view and sent me a message. We began talking every day, solidifying our friendship. We lost touch when I had go on medical leave from college, but reconnected when I returned. Our relationship turned serious when I went to study abroad in London in the spring of 2008. I had a hard time making friends, and Sam was there for me every step of the way!
Tell us all about the proposal! Our anniversary was coming up on May 20th, but I was going to be out of town. Sam and I planned to celebrate when I got back by going to a fancy restaurant. Unbeknownst to me, that was the day Sam was planning on proposing. On the 17th, I was home putting together a cat tree for our animals. I was getting angry because Sam should have been home hours before and he had been very cryptic about his whereabouts. When he got home, he could barely contain his excitement. After telling me he couldn’t wait, he bent down on one knee and handed me a small box. I gasped and opened it excitedly. Nestled inside was a beautiful ring. Sam asked if I would marry him and I immediately said yes!
When did y’all get married? June 15, 2013
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mother and sisters came up to Illinois for an extended vacation and we booked a ton of appointments back to back. I knew I wanted a tea-length gown, so that narrowed my selection. When I tried on the Justin Alexander dress in the natural/coffee, I had the “feeling.” I went to another appointment the next day and I tried on the Justin Alexander dress again, this time in ivory. This only reinforced my hunch that the same dress, but in the unique color, was my dress.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My mother read a passage about the nature of love from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A’Kempis.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For our first dance, we used “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5. This was because we were a long-distance couple for two years, and got used to the longing and the tough goodbyes that compose long-distance relationships. During our reception, Sam wanted to keep the theme music upbeat and tried to incorporate elements of rock music. As a result, our cake cutting song was “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses, our bouquet toss was to “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen, and our garter toss song was the Mission Impossible theme. We also had a blast with our entrance music, which was “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore. We chose this because Sam got to come in dressed in an entire outfit of thrift shop gear, which was a huge hit with everyone!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I have so many favorite details! My sister is in art school and she both drew and hand-painted our wedding invitations. Another one was the cake topper. I was a DIY kind of bride, so I created the kitty cake topper myself in the likeness of our two cats. Sam and I also love board games and puzzles, so we incorporated this by having our guestbook be a large wooden puzzle featuring our favorite engagement photo.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We hit the jackpot with all of our vendors, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the work they did for us. That being said, the food and drinks were a huge hit with everyone at the wedding, so I have to hand it to Best Impressions catering for really doing something special.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There were a ton of memorable moments during our wedding! Still, it felt like the whole day just flew by. One moment that really stood out for both Sam and me was during the dance party at the reception. My best man requested “Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey, and during the song, everyone in our party gathered around us in a circle. They proceeded to serenade Sam and I throughout the whole song. I have rarely in my life felt more loved than I did during that song, and it really helped cap off the best night of my life!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a wedding planner, especially if you are planning a wedding out of state! Ashley was worth every penny. Her relationships with other vendors ensured good pricing and saved me lots of time, as I did not have to wade through reviews or call and book the vendors themselves. Having a planner also allowed me to relax more and enjoy the process–I knew Ashley would have all the minutia I would have otherwise stressed about executed beautifully!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Sam and I are looking forward to crafting a life together in a way that was not possible before. We are both moving forward in our careers and are saving up for a house.

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Love Danielle’s beautiful bouquet!

  2. avatar Featured on Southern Weddings: Danielle + Sam | The Hostess Blog reply

    […] just pinch me! Danielle and Sam’s beautiful, bright, garden-inspired June wedding is on Southern Weddings blog today. Can you just say dream come true?? One of my favorite blogs picked up one of my favorite […]

  3. avatar Emily reply

    The dress and the flowers in this wedding are truly STUNNING! Totally different from most other weddings!

  4. avatar Ivy Ellen reply

    This is such a beautiful wedding! I especially love the wedding dress it is so pretty. Congratulations to you both

  5. avatar Now That’s a Sweet Favor | Lulu's Event Design reply

    […] check out more photos of this wedding and this genius bride check out the Peony Wedding […]

  6. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up | Southern Weddings reply

    […] Danielle and Sam’s joyful big day put such a smile on our faces this week! We love her tea-length dress, their colorful flowers, and the details inspired by their respective hometowns. See it here. […]

  7. avatar Kvetinová inšpirácia – Pivonky » Perfect Day reply

    […] Credits * 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 […]

  8. avatar Anniversary: Danielle + Sam – The Graceful Host reply

    […] year of wedded bliss, Danielle & Sam! PS. If you haven’t seen their wedding featured on Southern Weddings and Loverly, be sure to check it […]

  9. avatar Danielle & Sam | Best Impressions Caterers reply

    […] posted on and looking at the pictures makes us want the warm weather back! Click here to go check it out! The beautiful photos are by Rachel Fesko […]

  10. avatar Amazing Florals reply

    Great article and thanks for sharing those lovely peony wedding flower photos!

  11. avatar Chelsea reply

    I love this wedding- the colors, the smiles! What is the white star shaped flower mixed in with the bouquets? A tree blossom?

  12. avatar 15 Ways to Include Doughnuts in Your Wedding | The dream wedding in USA reply

    […] by: Rachel Fesko Photography on Southern Weddings around […]

  13. avatar 15 Ways to Include Doughnuts in Your Wedding | Wedding Shows in the UK reply

    […] by: Rachel Fesko Photography on Southern Weddings via […]

  14. avatar 10 Ways to Do Donuts Right on Your Wedding Day – Loverly | Your Virtual Wedding Planner™ reply

    […] by: Rachel Fesko Photography on Southern Weddings via […]

  15. avatar 10 Ways to Do Donuts Right on Your Wedding Day – Loverly | Your Virtual Wedding Planner™ reply

    […] by: Rachel Fesko Photography on Southern Weddings via […]

  16. avatar Classically Carolina: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts – Fairly Southern reply

    […] via BuzzFeed & Southern Weddings […]

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Just this morning, Lisa and I were discussing how we both cry while reading Real Wedding interviews, and I was telling her how the images can make me cry as well! And let me tell y’all, Jessica + Burton’s wedding was no different! Between the images of Jessica’s mama in the same gown she wore down the aisle to the series of incredible expressions as they saw her for the first time, these Dixie Pixel photos have both Lisa and I reaching for our monogrammed tissue boxes (a new office requirement!).

We just had to include all three of these precious faces! Talk about priceless moments, y’all!

I knew I didn’t want to go the standard route, but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted either. So, I found a local bridal boutique that only made custom dresses and restored vintage ones. That sounded good and different to me. Right after I made my appointment, I remembered that my mom might still have her dress in the attic in the “dress-up/costume” box for the grandkids. I called my mom, rushed out there, and got the dress to take to my appointment the next day. It fit! No alterations were needed, just a good cleaning and a few minor replacements of the zipper and a button. My mom had her headpiece and veil, too. It was all perfect. I tried on one dress and was done.

Describe your wedding flowers. My florist was amazing. She did took my skeleton of an idea and made it gorgeous. The colors were soft–pale pinks, yellows, greens and some white. We used a bunch of gorgeous roses from Burton’s step-dad’s rose garden. I wanted to keep it loose and light for our casual, outdoor affair. The lake was already a great setting; I didn’t want to overdo it. Oh, and, she surprised me big time! Just before I walked out, she hit pause on everything and sprinkled white rose petals all the way down the sidewalk aisle and all over the boat dock. I had no idea. It was one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me.

See, y’all! I can’t even look at Burton’s face in this photo without tearing up!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No, we didn’t do a first look. My wedding planner suggested it was a good idea, especially to get rid of some of the jitters, but I liked the element of surprise. We shared everything at that point, and not many things were a surprise regarding the wedding. Burton didn’t know I was wearing my mom’s dress, and I wanted to see his face, among other family members, as I walked down the aisle. It was also such a small wedding that we knew we’d have plenty of time for pictures, etc., after the ceremony.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. Our minister did a simple, traditional service.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? First and foremost, it was just family! Also, the food reflected an intimate, relaxed backyard elegance. At least, that’s how my caterer described it! She really set the Southern tone. We had tiny biscuits filled with chipotle pimento cheese and topped with crispy bacon as one of the delicious appetizers, fresh corn off the cob and cherry tomato relish, vanilla bean lemonade, and mason jar pies…to name a few. All family-style. I wore my mom’s dress–she was married at a church down the way in 1968 (45 years ago, this year!), and Burton wore a bow-tie.

We incorporated local flowers in my bouquet, including the roses from Burton’s step-father’s garden. And, the wedding was outside on Fort Loudon Lake formed by the Holston, French Broad and Tennessee Rivers.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. For something summery, we had a lemon cake filled with blueberry buttercream, drizzled in honey glaze, topped with fresh cream and fresh blueberries. The rest of the dessert table was spectacular: basil-peach mason jar pies, classic Petit Fours, assorted French macarons, vanilla bean Whoopie pies filled with coconut ice cream, and orange-scented chocolate cake pops. Yum!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Bugs love me. A couple of weeks before the wedding, I either got too many bug bites or some poison ivy on my leg. This is par for the course, but my dress was short! So, I worried about that, and then, I realized I was having an outdoor wedding by the water! Not sure what I was thinking. After being overly cautious with lawn treatments etc., it was a miracle that I didn’t get one (additional) bite. Thanks, Dad!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Burton is from Baton Rouge and moved to Knoxville in 8th grade. We had some mutual friends growing up in high school and college. I became good friends with his sister, Sarah, at UT Knoxville, and more so after both of us spent time living overseas. Several mutual friends mentioned over the years that Burton and I should get together. Burton likes to say I gave him the “Heisman” (think of the pose) for about 5+ years. Finally, we went on a date. The rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! After about two years of dating, we talked about getting engaged, but when it happened, I really had no idea it was coming. He got me! We were visiting his aunt in France. While we were touring around Paris, I gave him a hard time at every spot that looked romantic enough for a proposal…so, everywhere. I was kidding! Then we took a day trip to the Palace of Versailles. In the gardens, while trying to decide if we should rent a little row boat, I proceeded to give him the daily, “Well, this would be great place to propose…just sayin’.” We got the boat, it was hot, and I then began to tease him, rowing me around. I felt pretty guilty afterwards! Anyways, I didn’t understand why he was paddling longer than the fifteen minutes we’d paid for. He ignored me and asked me to look at something on the map in my purse, and when I looked up…voila!
When did y’all get married? June 8, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 25 family members
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Since we didn’t have any bridesmaids or groomsmen, I thought about having our sisters do a reading to include them as a special part of the ceremony. But, there was a 2-year old involved, and we just weren’t sure about how he’d do on the dock. My sister might have had to wrangle him at any moment, and we didn’t want just one of the three sisters missing, so we didn’t end up doing any readings.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a jazz pianist and his wife, who sang, and they were absolutely perfect for the setting. Great, relaxed background music. Our first dance was to a Frank Sinatra classic, “Fly Me to the Moon.” It was lovely, but I kept insisting that Burton be more “playful” with me, and Tara got a pretty good pic of my attempt. I think he felt the camera on him! My father-daughter dance was especially meaningful. At some point, during those tough high school years, my dad gave us all (three sisters) the Lee Ann Womack single, “I Hope You Dance.” I’ve never seen my mom cry so hard. They couldn’t believe I’d remembered.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Wearing my mom’s dress and having the ceremony on my parents’ dock! I couldn’t imagine wearing anything else or doing it any other way.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Everything but blue. Something borrowed (and old) was my mom’s dress and veil. Something old (and borrowed) was a sixpence, from my mother-in-law’s friend, for my shoe. I had two pairs of shoes that I could not decide between: some 1960s shoes from a local, vintage clothing shop, and some new shoes. I wore both.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Seriously, all of them! Everyone was so easy to work with and “got me,” even when I couldn’t fully describe what I wanted. Tara at Dixie Pixel made me feel so comfortable and captured the day perfectly. And, I am SO thankful for Colleen at White Orchid Bridal and that she gave me the opportunity to wear my mother’s dress! So special!!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Walking down the aisle of rose petals and standing there for the ceremony on the dock. Burton says, “The first time I saw you in your dress!!!” Also, dancing to a special song with my dad (and seeing my mom cry)…it was so sweet.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? To each their own. Big or small. Do it the way you want. Surround yourself with family and friends who “get you.” And use vendors who are your speed! If you find a vendor you like, you should check out their recommendations for other vendors. I found one and everything else fell into place.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are excited to try to start a family. That’s not for everyone right away, but we both waited a little while to get married…code: we’re (getting) old. I’m most looking forward to having a partner in life, through it all.

Photographer: Tara Kneiser at Dixie Pixel Photography | Planner: Peggy Love at Plan it with Love | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Bride’s Parents’ House | Florist: Pat Felts at Clay Pots Floral Events | Cake Baker: Bettina Hamblin at The Sweetery | Caterer: Bettina Hamblin at Luxe Catering | Rentals: Bettina Hamblin at Restoration Rentals | Jazz Pianist: Keith Brown | Bride’s Gown and Veil: Mother of the Bride’s 1960s Priscilla of Boston gown and veil, restored by Colleen Moore at White Orchid Bridal | Hair Stylist: Mandy at Prive | Makeup Artist: Claire Balest | Bride’s Shoes: Vintage Kate Spade | Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers and Jos. A. Bank

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Seriously, everyone’s expressions are so priceless!! We need a rush order on those monogrammed tissue boxes with wedding pictures as sweet as these!

  2. avatar burton & jessica | Dixie Pixel Photography reply

    […] to Burton & Jessica! Be sure to check out their wedding featured on Southern Weddings today! Click HERE to see their feature. Venue: Jessica's Parents' home, Knoxville, Tn Dress: Jessica's mother's, […]

  3. avatar Caitlyn | The Aerialist Press reply

    I love the idea of getting married on a lake! So gorgeous!

  4. avatar Bridget reply

    Best mother of the bride photo ever! And there is nothing like a vintage Priscilla gown – so special that the bride got to wear her mom’s wedding dress.

  5. avatar Bethany Davidson-Widby reply

    My beautiful friend Jessica…these pictures brought tears to my eyes. You are beautiful both inside and out.

  6. avatar Rose { Rose and Ruby Paper Co. } reply

    Love this! The dress and veil look so cute! Wow. And all the details, so personal.

  7. avatar Canopy Rental reply

    Beautiful location. Each and every part of decoration is done so thoughtfully. Inspiring!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

Reply to:

Oh y’all, you’re in for a real treat today! Even the title of this post had me excited! Then as I scrolled through the gorgeous photos from Pasha Belman I not only fell in love with April + Nick’s gorgeous design details, but their sweet demeanor and love for each other that seems to pour right out of the screen!

Yes, there are beautiful pink silhouette and monograms details. Yes, there is woodwork handcrafted by April’s father and his brothers, and yes, April’s something borrowed was their wedding date, that was the same as her late grandmother’s birthday. So sweet! And while traditionally, I would mention how adorable it is that April’s favorite part of their wedding film is her 6 foot 8 groom on his tip toes to see her come down the aisle, we all know what we’re staring at! THAT dress!

April absolutely dropped jaws in Ian Stuart’s Libertine seersucker gown! She found her dream dress in none other then Southern Weddings V4! We simply love hearing that, and I still do this day say that the Paper, Cotton, and Flour shoot in which we used the gown is one of my favorites features to date!

In lieu of individual menus, we placed printed thank you notes to our guests and vendors at each place setting. Also, we had decorated sugar cookies in the shape of our favorite southern states NC, AR, SC, and GA. The tag on the cookies read, “Once upon a time an Arkansas boy fell in love with a North Carolina girl. He proposed to her in Savannah, Georgia. Then, all of their favorite people were invited to celebrate at their South Carolina wedding! Thank you for being a part of their fairy tale.”

April, you did us proud!

My something old was a peacock lapel pin from my grandmother, Dorothy Jane Smith. My something new was my wedding gown. I borrowed April 7, the birthday of my late grandmother, Thelma Smith Pridgen, for our wedding date. My something blue was a label sewn into my wedding gown that read: “I found the one whom my soul loves. Song of Solomon 3:4”. The sixpence in my shoe was a gift from my Grandma Dorothy.

Before we went dress shopping, my mother bought several wedding magazines and passed them on to me. I found an amazing dress in Southern Weddings: The Libertine by Ian Stuart. I called my mom as soon as I saw it and told her I had found my dress. She asked me to describe it and said, “When I saw that dress, I knew it was the one for you.” I called several stores trying to locate a sample in blue and we went to see it a few days later. Since I had chosen such a distinctive dress, I decided to keep it a secret from everyone except my parents until the big day. On the morning of our wedding, I had the photographer and videographer capture my bridesmaids’ reactions to my dress.

How cool is that! I love the idea of an Adventure Book for your marriage, what a sweet way to join bucket lists, and create a life of complete adventure (excuse the pun!).

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail was the arbor for the ceremony, a gift from my father, Randy Keith Pridgen, built using woodworking skills lovingly passed down to him from his father, the late Ernest Dixon Pridgen. My father and five of his brothers still work together in the commercial millwork company my grandfather started in 1948. Daddy’s brothers all helped him to perfect the arbor design in the weeks before the wedding. The metal hearts used to decorate the arbor and the reception were salvaged from a bus shelter built by the late James Ernest Watts, so that his little girl, my mother, would never have to wait out in the rain. He passed away when I was two and although my memories with him are limited, my mother has kept the love he had for us alive with her stories. I felt like he was present and gave us his blessing when the black cab that picked us up to depart the ceremony was named James. James also was the name of the man who took our engagement photograph in Forsyth Park. Photography is a passion that Nick’s father, Bobby Joe Dyer, has shared with him. The arbor was decorated with pictures to commemorate family memories and to honor those who could not be with us to celebrate our marriage. We incorporated our parents’ wedding photos onto the arbor as well as pictures from our childhood. The sign on the arbor read, “Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.”

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to stick with tradition and not do a first look. I am glad we made that decision because my favorite part of our wedding video is seeing my 6’8” husband stand on his tiptoes trying to see me above the crowd before I walked down the aisle.

After Nick and I became serious, I held back on monogramming items in anticipation that my monogram would soon change. Our wedding was the perfect opportunity to showcase our new monogram. Instead of having Flower Girls, Nick’s niece, Makayla, and my cousin, Callie, were our Monogram Attendants. They walked down the aisle carrying gray wooden monograms. Callie carried my maiden name monogram and sat on the bride’s side. Makayla carried Nick’s monogram and sat on the groom’s side. After the ceremony was over and we were pronounced husband and wife, the monogram attendants presented a monogrammed banner with our new couple’s monogram before we walked back down the aisle. For a Southern girl, getting married does not just entail changing your name, it means a new monogram! Our guests traveled a long way to share in our big day, so we did not want anyone to leave empty-handed. Our wedding favors were Cokes in glass bottles decorated with little silver bells and bags of roasted North Carolina peanuts. They were placed on a table with a sign that read, “Some things just go together.”

Describe your wedding flowers. Our wedding flowers were soft and romantic. Beth LeonGuerrero of Wild Flowers designed a hand-tied bouquet of spring florals including pink peonies, garden roses, lisianthus, blushing bride protea, astilbe, caliycina, phlox and blue centered anemones with nestlings of dusty miller, scabiosa pods and ostrich drab feathers, wrapped in grey. My bouquet was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. I decided to have it preserved after the wedding.

The wedding cake was a classic white three-tiered cake embellished with buttercream flowers and white buttercream peacock designed by Jim Smeal. The white peacock design was inspired by the birds of Magnolia Plantation.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Nick and I met on February 4, 2011, at a Fayetteville Young Professionals meet-up at Riverside Steakhouse and Oyster Bar. We both had noticed one another from across the room and luckily, a mutual friend introduced us! A few days later, we went on our first date, and we have been inseparable ever since. You always wonder how you will know when you have met the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, but it is like everyone says, “You just know”.
Tell us all about the proposal! Nick proposed to me in front of the fountain in Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia on May 17, 2012. It was my birthday and we were on vacation in our favorite city. While we were standing in front of the fountain, Nick hugged me and said, “Do you remember the night we met? My heart skipped a beat when you walked into the room. I think now that this was God’s way of telling me you are the woman I am supposed to spend my life with.” Then, he got down on one knee and asked, “Will you marry me?” Around this time, a bystander started yelling, “Look, they are getting engaged!” and came over and asked if he could take our picture.
When did y’all get married? April 7, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 160
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We spoke traditional vows. However, since our ceremony was outside, we decided to do a handfasting ceremony instead of lighting a unity candle. My favorite line from this ceremony was, “These are the hands that even when wrinkled with age will still be reaching for yours, still giving the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.” It was a reminder of the permanence and comfort marriage brings to a person.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? “There is no moment of my life when you are not a part of me; you hold my heart; you guard my soul; you guide my dreams so tenderly and if my will might be done, and all I long for could come true, with perfect joy I would choose to share eternity with you”. –Robert Sexton
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Instead of walking down the aisle after the chiming of the hour, my cousin, Katelynn, walked down the aisle ringing a bell and announced,“Let the wedding begin!” The Palmetto Strings Trio played during our wedding ceremony and at the reception. Nick is an avid Beatles fan, so our bridal party walked in to “In My Life.” We both enjoy indie music and are fans of Vampire Weekend, so we had our string trio compose an arrangement of “M79” for our recessional.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The most Southern things about our wedding, aside from being on a beautiful plantation in Charleston, were monograms and hospitality.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge I faced was coordinating everything to match my wedding gown. The Libertine looks blue in photographs and gray in person. With the help of Francesca from Pure Luxe Bridal Consultants and Beth, I was able to pick suits, bridesmaid dresses and flowers that looked nice with both colors. Nick had no idea that I had chosen a non-traditional fabric, so he had a difficult time understanding why I would not agree that he should wear a seersucker suit.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We were blessed to have a dream team of vendors! They had amazing professional talents and all worked together to create a day that exceeded our highest expectations. I would highly recommend all of them! One detail we both loved was the cornhole boards decorated with our silhouettes in the wedding colors, which my mother gave us as a pre-wedding gift. We were able to purchase the silhouette designs and use them throughout our wedding and reception.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our favorite moment was seeing each other for the first time on our wedding day! I tried to soak in every moment as my Daddy walked me down the aisle to Nick. A close second was the emotion that our ceremony evoked from our family. I could tell that the details and our desire to remember our grandparents really touched everyone.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Before you plan anything, think about your priorities for the wedding. You want to contract with the best vendors, but you also need to decide on the emotion you want people to feel when they are at your wedding. Our must-haves were a fabulous wedding dress, classic bowties, and our awesome photographer, Pasha Belman. Those things aside, we wanted our families to feel as if they were being celebrated for loving us and shaping us into the people we are today. The biggest compliment we received on our wedding was that it was very sweet and sentimental. Seeing and hearing about how our wedding details touched our families was an amazing feeling.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are looking forward to starting new family traditions and building a happy home together. We hope to travel and adopt pets. Most of all, we cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives making new memories with our best friend!

Photographer: Pasha Belman Photography | Videographer: Hart to Heart Media, Inc. | Planner: Pure Luxe Bridal Consultants, LLC | Ceremony Venue: Magnolia Plantation | Reception Venue: Magnolia Plantation Carriage House | Florist: Wild Flowers | Wedding Cake Baker: Jim Smeal | Caterer: B. Gourmet | Rentals: Event Works | Band: Palmetto Strings | Bride’s Gown: “Libertine” by Ian Stuart, purchased at Anjolique Bridal | Paper Products: Pomp Creative | Hair Stylist: Matthew Melino of Six Salon in Raleigh, NC | Makeup Artist: Codylnn Hatcher of Perfect Reflections in Myrtle Beach, SC | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Lula Kate | Men’s Attire: Bernard’s Heather Gray Moda Suit

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Plum Pretty Sugar reply

    Goodness! So much prettiness! Adore!

  2. avatar erin {a lowcountry wedding} reply

    this is gorgeous! that bouquet is amazing. Great job, Pure Luxe!

  3. avatar Jamie Williamson reply

    Amazing wedding and amazing couple!

  4. avatar Emily reply

    What a beautiful wedding! I wish I had the guts to wear a seersucker gown… you go April!

  5. avatar Lisa reply

    That gown makes my heart skip a beat! Also loving their Up-inspired adventure book–so precious!

  6. avatar Kat reply

    Ooohhh I just love those cookie/state favors – what a fun idea to tell guests their love story :)

    • avatar Arianne Autaubo reply

      Such a beautiful wedding to be a part of!!!
      We are the company responsible for the sugar cookies shown in the blog and truly enjoyed lending our couture custom cookies to the lovely day!!!
      We can be found at
      – Cookies are the New Cupcake!

  7. avatar Bleu de Toi reply

    Thanks for including our customized guestbook artwork in your special day! What a beautiful wedding in every way. The guestbook fingerprint tree from Bleu de Toi Handmade was a fitting touch.

  8. avatar Heather reply

    Hi! What a beautiful wedding. I absolutely adore your dress. Quick question – we are including bell ringers also and have been in search of bells. Where did you find yours? They are very beautiful. Congratulations on your marriage!

  9. avatar Leigh Pearce Weddings Blog » Inspiration Monday | Winston-Salem North Carolina Wedding Planner reply

    […] from left: Southern Weddings | Anna Paschal Photography | Etsy | Southern Weddings | Southern Weddings | Etsy | Southern […]

  10. avatar Real Luxe Wedding: April + Nick at Magnolia Plantation and Carriage House | Pure Luxe Bride reply

    […] It was recently published in Southern Weddings Magazine Blog- you can read the full post here. But lucky for you, we have the inside scoop on all of their wedding day deets as well as extra […]

  11. avatar Up Adventure Book reply

    Thank you for allowing me to make this Adventure Book for you. I wish you and Nick a lifetime of awesome Adventures!
    Pam at Album Options

  12. avatar Southern Etiquette: Monograms – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] from top left: Blair + Brian (Justin DeMutiis), April + Nick (Pasha Belman), Kristin + Kyle (Martha Manning), Sarah + Nick (Pure 7 Studios), Sarah + Gabe […]

  13. avatar Patrick reply

    Where did you get the bow tie?

  14. avatar Kolor przewodni wesela w sezonie letnim reply

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  15. avatar Mer reply

    I am dying to get a monogrammed banner, but I cannot find one! Where was yours from? It was beautiful!!!

  16. avatar Aubrey @ The Paisley Box reply

    Wow! That gown is amazing. I would have never thought of seersucker for a wedding dress but this one is absolutely gorgeous! The wedding looked lovely from the pics.

  17. avatar 2017 Top 8 Trendy Elegant Wedding Invitations – Stylish Wedd Blog reply

    […] Credits: Happy Wedd | Pasha Belman Photography via Southern Weddings | Pinterest | Angelica Glass via […]

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