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One of our most deeply-held beliefs at Southern Weddings is that the wedding is just the beginning, not the end. The wedding is where the good stuff starts! So of course, we are totally on board with celebrating anniversaries in style. When one of our former Southern Brides of the Month and Southern Bride Bloggers, Madi, sent over this sweet celebration on the occasion of her first wedding anniversary, we knew we had to share it! Whether your celebration is a full-on candy-colored party or a simple dinner and dessert for two, we hope you make plans to mark these special milestones in style. And if you’re going the gift route, be sure to take a peek at our anniversary tradition posts (here and here)!

Hugs to Cassandra Castaneda for these sweet photos!

Even more in love than a year ago on the day they wed, Bret and Madi were able to share their affection in a sweet intimate dinner setting in the heart of downtown Kansas City. With a focus on their forever together and all they have learned in their first year of marriage, vendors were able to create a setting that brought them back to the sweet tender moments when they first fell in love. Celebratory champagne, sweet treats, and a look back on the vows that bound them together were arranged to commemorate a wonderful year shared together.

Photographer: Cassandra Castaneda Photography | Venue: The Gallery Event Space | Paper Goods: Little Yellow Leaf | Florals: Branches and Twigs | Rentals: UltraPom and The Vintage Plate | Coordination: Soirée Event Designs | Hair and Makeup: BeChic Bride | Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid – Kansas City | Menswear: Jos. A. Bank | Cake: CakeGirl | Earrings: Kendra Scott

emily Written with love by Emily
6 Comments
  1. avatar Madi Reid Sanders reply

    A BIG thank you to my favorite Southern belles! Love it! Love y’all! Happy Valentine’s :)

  2. avatar Cassandra reply

    Thank you for such a lovely feature!

  3. avatar Maura Coleman-Murray reply

    This is just lovely! You two are darling! Congratulations!

  4. avatar Mary reply

    Hooray! Loved this shoot! Cassandra did a wonderful job and Madi was beautiful as always!

  5. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

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  6. avatar Couture Boudoir | Atlanta Photographer reply

    Oh emm gee! This is such a brilliant idea! Every couple should do this for their one year anniversary.

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Sorry for the delay this morning, friends! It is our last day with V6 before sending her (yes, we call it a her) off to the printers, and good gracious y’all, she is a beauty! Have you placed your preorder yet?

As a new North Carolina resident, I can attest to the fact that this state is easy to fall in love with. Kortney and Kyle met shortly after Kortney moved to North Carolina herself, and after many porch-sittin’ dates and a romantic Christmas morning proposal, they were married in one of the prettiest parts of beautiful NC. The views from their mountain venue take my breath away! Even more breathtaking? The love Kortney and Kyle clearly have for each other–Kortney even says that the hardest part of wedding planning was waiting to marry the love of her life. So sweet!

Thank you kindly to Ivan & Louise for sharing Kortney and Kyle’s wedding with us!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I had just moved to Charlotte, North Carolina from Bloomington, Indiana. It was my first full weekend in Charlotte, living in a new place for the first time by myself. I was visiting a church on Sunday, and when I stepped through the doorway of the church, Kyle was the first person I laid eyes on. It truly was a “love at first sight” moment–he made me feel calm in the midst of being surrounded by the unfamiliar, without even saying a word to me. There was something special about this guy. It only took him four weeks to notice me at church! But when he did, he made a point to cut me off during my race for the door and introduce himself. After finding out how much we had in common, including our visions for church planting and our affinity for craft beer, we spent night after night porch-sitting on rocking chairs together at my Uptown townhome, overlooking the Charlotte cityscape. I fell in love porch-sitting with this man whose love for the Lord and calm, caring personality made me feel more comfortable than I’d ever felt before.

Finding my dress was a breeze! I am pretty particular when it comes to my taste and style, so I knew what I was looking for. I described my hope for a classic, yet simple, look and feel, with an empire waist and a sweetheart neckline. The consultant brought out four dresses and the third time was the charm. I put on the gown, my hands found their way to the pockets, and I was sold! My best friends’ tears helped seal the deal, too.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to forgo a first look for the chance to capture our pure, raw emotions of walking down the aisle and meeting one another at the altar to become husband and wife in front of everyone we love. We wanted to share in the moment with our closest friends and family and I am so glad we did.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Kyle adapted a classic set of vows to fit our style and commitment. They were beautiful. They displayed our promise to live as positive examples of Christ and to stay grounded in the Word of God. Our relationship wouldn’t exist if not for the work of Christ in our lives; He brought us together.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Hebrews 10:23-25: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Two weeks before our wedding, we picked this as our family verse to live and love by.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The stream! It was so much fun throwing our shoes off and dipping our feet into the cold river to snap a few unique shots. We love being outside, especially near water. During our first visit to the venue, we passed the stream on our way in and I was sold at that moment. The scenic drive through the woods, up the stream and through the mountains, was a fairy tale.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Besides the pimento cheese, sweet tea, and barn reception, our wedding took place in the gorgeous mountains of Western North Carolina beside the Blue Ridge Parkway. It truly a Southern wedding dream, complete with a parasol!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t try to do it alone. I hosted a fun decor-craft party, complete with snacks, Izze’s and music. As long as you make it fun and not too long or complicated, people will be more than willing to help. People are excited to be a part of your special day and need creativity in their lives. Involve others and your day will be elevated from a so-so event to your dream wedding affair, I promise!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our cake was a very special part of our day. Kyle’s grandmother has been baking wedding cakes for her whole life. She has made everyone’s cake in the family, and throughout the years, has never lost her touch. She baked us a delicious white wedding cake with simple lily of the valley icing accents, topped with a festive mini fringe bunting to tie in our theme.

Tell us all about the proposal! Kyle proposed on Christmas morning of 2012. We have been keeping a journal since the day we started dating that we pass back and forth to each other, in which we record every funny moment, road trip, struggle, and happiness. He wrapped the journal as the last gift under the tree. I started getting suspicious when my family was waiting around the gift instead of rushing to the kitchen for breakfast casserole. He had written me a beautiful letter in the notebook, and when I turned the page, I immediately started that silent-happy-cry, because a ring was tied to the notebook binding on the next page. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was intimate and simple, exactly what I had always hoped for.
When did y’all get married? August 2, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 130
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to “Beautiful, Scandalous Night.” The words were perfect for a Christ-centered, mountainside ceremony, and put to words exactly what was happening in that moment. We believe that marriage is the closest thing we’ll experience to a relationship with Christ, and we got married under a beautiful oak tree. The chorus says: “At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree, On that beautiful, scandalous night, you and me were atoned by His blood and forever washed white, on that beautiful, scandalous night.” We exited the ceremony to an upbeat tempo of Amazing Grace, to celebrate the joyful occasion of beginning a grace-filled life together. We absolutely love the Avett Brothers and know that they frequently visit Asheville, NC, near our wedding venue, so the perfect first dance song was “Swept Away.”
Describe your wedding flowers. I had a vision for simple and soft florals. My bouquet was a beautiful mix of white and blush pink hydrangea, pale pink lisianthus, and blush pink roses, accented with lambs ear, succulents, and eucalyptus foliage. The stems were wrapped with a band of natural twine. The ceremony aisle was lined with large galvanized buckets filled with a cloud of baby’s breath, personalized with our parents’ wedding dates and our wedding date. The centerpieces were self-assembled with an assortment of whiskey and wine bottles, and were filled with baby’s breath and pink hydrangea.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Borrowed: The beautiful necklace with diamonds from my grandmother’s engagement ring. Blue: I sewed our initials in blue thread into the inside of my dress. Old: Kyle’s grandmothers lavalier that her mother wore on her wedding day. New: My feather hair piece. Every girl needs to have feathers in her hair at some point in her life!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was waiting–waiting on marrying the man of my dreams was tough! But I had a lot of planning, details, and showers to get me through it! ;)
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? So many different people came together to help us plan the perfect day. Truly, our day would not have been the same without our loving families, friends, and community. By far, they were the highlight of our day. Also, I loved our giant 36″ balloons tied with handmade tissue paper fringe! They were so fun, and a little violent when the wind caught them, but they brought that extra special touch to our ceremony and photos. Just make sure you have a minivan to haul them in!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My most memorable moment was walking down the aisle to my future husband, surrounded by people we love and that love us. It was very simple and laid back, yet elegant. I felt like a princess because of the love that I felt walking down that aisle–by everyone sitting in the crowd, by our bridal party, by my husband, teary-eyed, ready to make me his wife.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We plan to make life as much of an adventure as we can, to laugh a lot, to pray a lot, to dance a lot in the living room, and to eat frozen pizza a lot during these first couple years. We can’t wait!

Photographer: Ivan & Louise / Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Fields of Blackberry Cove / Florist: Blossoms at Biltmore Park / Wedding Cake: Roberta Holtzhower / Caterer: Caroline Allured Catering and Kim Aasland / Special Details: Jessee Nevins of Quaintly Uncommon / Bride’s Gown: “Strapless Shantung Taffeta Sweetheart Ball Gown” from David’s Bridal / Big Fringe Garland Paper: Carte Fine / Bride’s Earrings and Gold Bracelet: Anthropologie / Feather Hairpiece: Etsy / Hair Stylist: Lola Salon and Gallery / Bride’s Shoes: Julie’s Boutique / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Drifting in Pink” from ModCloth / Men’s Attire: J.Crew /  Men’s Suspenders: Etsy / Men’s Shoes: Aldo / Craft Beer: Greenman Brewery

lisa Written with love by Lisa
11 Comments
  1. avatar Kat reply

    I love the sweetness of this wedding! Her DIY reception details, the stream & those big, white balloons make my heart smile :)

  2. avatar Pam reply

    How cool to read about your wedding here, Kortney!!!

  3. avatar Kortney & Kyle /// North Carolina Mountain Wedding /// Destination Wedding Photographer » Emily Weis Photography reply

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  4. avatar Dana reply

    so many bunting flags; obsessed!

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  9. avatar Tori reply

    You had such a beautiful wedding!!! I hope you don’t mind me asking but I was wondering the estimated cost of the venue. I saw that you put the budget of your wedding but I wasn’t sure what all that entails. I would greatly appreciate it!

  10. avatar Sarah reply

    Where did you find those leather suspenders? They are amazing!

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Savannah, a “backwoods princess,” and her wedding planner, Ms. Brandee Gaar, turned The Lange Farm into a romantic and relaxed reception site full of intimate details. I love how they were able to combine the farm’s natural, rustic charm with feminine accents to make Savannah + Robbie’s big day a sweet marriage (pun intended!) of the couple’s style. Seems only appropriate that these two are going on a “huntingmoon”!

Big thanks to our friend Andi Mans for capturing their big day and making us feel like we were in attendance! Especially that line dance photo!

How fantastic is this, y’all?! That image on the left is the inside of Savannah’s boot – she had them custom made with a piece of the couples’ vows inside! GUSH! Oh, and that big ol’ side braid is so stylish!

Describe your wedding flowers: I really wanted to keep an enchanted feeling with the florals — something magical, yet just-picked. My sister and I grew up as backwoods princesses. I wanted to make it feel just like we did as young girls in the middle of the woods playing dress up with lots of soft colors and bright greens. My florist absolutely nailed it.

How stinkin’ cute are these two? What a sweet set of sisters!

What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? By far the food. We knew from the get-go that if all else failed, our wedding dinner would still be phenomenal. We are HUGE foodies, and that was our top priority. Our best memories are when we are sitting together with family and friends at our favorite restaurant, at home cooking together, or discovering a secret spot when we are on vacation. Food is what brings people together, and it’s what brought us together. We wanted it to be an experience for our guests, not just a meal.

Y’all, I am seriously dying over these chairs! I love how they utilized them at the ceremony AND at the reception. Wonder if i can have them in my house next?

Ok, and now these pups? I can’t get over them!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Robbie wanted it to be the biggest surprise of his life and wanted to keep it special. I agreed. It made the connection between us very special because when we looked at each other, we didn’t see Robbie and Savannah, we immediately saw husband and wife. It was an incredible feeling and no one else existed in that moment.
Did you write your own vows? Yes, we wrote our own vows. My favorite was when Robbie said, “I will always cherish the gift you have so passionately given me: true love.” Robbie loved when I said he was my best friend and the one my soul loves.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Corinthians was read at the ceremony, my favorite bible verse.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. I walked down the aisle to the acoustic version of “When a Man Loves a Woman.” We walked back to the acoustic version of “Remember When” by Alan Jackson. Our first dance was “You Had Me From Hello” by Brad Paisley — a song that deeply touches Robbie’s heart. It’s special because Robbie used to sing that to wake me up every morning when we bought our first house.

Still dying over these chairs! Anyone else think I need them?

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We both agree that our dinner with our friends and family was our favorite detail (besides marrying each other). We came up with the idea of setting our table up as a horse shoe. It still distinguished the wedding party, but we were able to see everyone. The decorations were absolutely stunning. It was the perfect blend of simple and elegant and made everyone feel right at home — just the way we like it.

Our wedding was smothered in Southern charm and we wouldn’t have had it any other way! For starters, our venue was on a horse farm and our reception and after party was in a beautiful antique barn. One of my favorite details was that I had a charm of a buck (from a necklace Robbie bought me when I got my first buck) and Robbie’s late father’s watch attached to my bouquet so I had a special piece of family with me. I also rounded up all my gals to join me in a sassy line especially for Robbie. We had custom cowboy boots handmade by Lucchese out of El Paso, Texas, and for a personal detail, we each had a piece of our vows engraved inside our boots!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: Our poor wedding cake was so simple, but it was so perfect for us. It was a beautiful white three-tiered cake on a wood stump. Growing up, I fell in love with “Steel Magnolias” (that’s where a lot of my inspiration came from) and I always knew I had to have a great groom’s cake at my wedding. My groom was the perfect inspiration for an over-the-top groom’s cake and it absolutely did not disappoint!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Our story is one of true “fate.” I was waitressing at a small Italian restaurant in Ponce Inlet, Fl. Robbie was a regular customer, (large pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms). After a few giggles and small talk, I started to see him more than a few times a month. He actually used to order take out just so we could sit and talk, then he would go home and throw the food away. After eight months of friendship, we started to date. It didn’t take very long for us to be completely in love. We are best friends and we have been having the time of our lives ever since.
Describe the proposal. I thought I would hate him forever for this story, but it has become one of my favorites because it was a proposal with character. Robbie and I had to cancel our Christmas trip to Atlantis unexpectedly and wound up spending Christmas at home. He and I had to drive to our shop to grab a few things before heading to his parents’ house for dinner. I was loading up our truck and I accidentally locked our dog and the keys in the truck. My dear Robbie was furious. After what seemed like a decade, I finally found a locksmith to come unlock the truck for us. As I climbed up in Robbie’s four-wheel drive, my brand new iPhone slipped out of my pocket and shattered. My Christmas Day was off to a bad start, but we finally made it to his parents’ house. After about an hour, Robbie decided it was present time and I went first. Everyone was acting funny and all I could think was, “Dear God, please don’t propose to me. Not here, not now, and definitely not after the way you got mad at me!” Sure enough he got down one knee, and I said yes.
In what month did you get married? December
How many guests attended your wedding? 35
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: My sister and I went to Solutions Bridal Orlando and the first gown Roberta brought me was the one we both fell in love with. It just belonged to me, and I knew it was the one I wanted to marry Robbie in.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Having to move our wedding venue. We originally planned to have it at our own ranch. Our vision was to have an intimate ceremony on our 6,000 square foot island in the middle of a pond on our property. Our hearts were broken when we found our new home was infested with termites in the middle of remodeling. With the instability of the situation, we opted for the safer option of moving the venue just six months before our wedding day. After a few venues fell through, our vision for a rustic elegant wedding began to fade. But we kept our spirits high and knew what was meant to be, will be. Sure enough, we found the Lange Farms.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The way my groom looked at me when I walked down the aisle. It was like no one else existed. I know that’s cheesy, but I would give anything to live those moments over and over again. For Robbie, it was when Savannah’s granddad put my hand in his. He said, “It was very symbolic and it made my world complete, he literally gave me my best-friend.”
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I think we both agree that the most important thing to remember is that this is your day and no one else’s. Customize it and make the wedding your own. Just let it be and enjoy your big day. Have an absolute blast, laugh and dance and don’t stop kissing your new husband. It’s an incredible feeling and a beautiful day that is gone in a heartbeat, so don’t spend it stressed. Soak it all up and take it in because that time is so precious.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Well when we get home from our “Huntingmoon” (yes we are hunting for our honeymoon), we will be sitting on the back porch with a big glass of ice tea and be taking a nice deep breath of fresh air because a year of wedding planning sure was fun, but we couldn’t be happier it’s over. Robbie and I fully intend on raising a family in the next few years, but for now my new hubby is building me a nice house with a big wrap-around porch. That’s going to be our next project and we couldn’t be more excited.

marissa Written with love by Marissa
22 Comments
  1. avatar Layla Mayville reply

    This wedding is just absolutely gorgeous and I love Andi Mans, she is so talented!

  2. avatar Andi Mans reply

    Thank you SW! And Thank you Layla! You both are SO SWEET! Gosh, I’m so excited to see this feature, what a joy it was to capture!! Yeehaw! :)

  3. avatar Emily reply

    Those boots – so cool!

  4. avatar Tali reply

    Love this bride, sister of the bride, photographer, and of course all the details! This wedding is stunning, just like the bride! We had so much fun assisting the bride and her sister with their wedding wardrobe from dresses to accessories. Best Wishes to Savannah and Robbie!

  5. avatar Dee Shore reply

    I love this wedding! The Chalkboard rules my world.

  6. avatar Kat reply

    those chairs?! yes please!

  7. avatar Kelly C reply

    I can’t believe those chairs! They take this wedding from fab glamour to WOWZA! What a great idea. And you know your guests will be comfy!

  8. avatar Bridget reply

    The dogs are too cute!

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  15. avatar Christina reply

    Where did you get the boots???

  16. avatar beverly reply

    Can you please share where the boots may be purchased. Thank you!

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