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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    These photos are beautiful love that wedding cake!

  2. avatar Ashley reply

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

  3. avatar Lisa reply

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

  4. avatar Breanna reply

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

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Lately, I’m all about baking. With my upcoming trip to Paris, I’m really interested in learning how to make macarons. I mean, how much fun would it be to have those colorful goodies in my baking arsenal? When I saw the Camille + Mark got their little French treats (with adorable flags on them!) from Trader Joe’s, I thought it was brilliant! You can bet that I’ll be picking up a box to tide me over until I learn to make them — or until I eat my weight in them in Paris! Treats aside, I’m loving C + M’s gold pomegranates and vintage settings. A lot of the china and flatware came straight from Mark’s home!

P.S. Has anyone made macarons? Send some tips my way!

Describe some of the decorations or décor elements you used: Three farm tables (built specifically for us) were pushed together to make one long table. We brought the china that was used to set the table and used white dinner plates with a gold rim that Mark had in his dining room buffet. I went out and bought vintage salad & dessert plates from antique stores. I also found antique linen napkins for everyone to use. We brought our own flatware, both gold & silver. We also already had three-legged teacups and saucers that were used on the table as well as the dessert table.
What is the one thing that made your wedding different from anyone else’s wedding? The thing that made our wedding different from most other weddings is that we only invited our immediate family. Since this was a second marriage for both of us and since we both have children we wanted it to be about the joining of two families. My goal was to keep it intimate and meaningful. Plus, it meant that I could go crazy with details since there were only 19 of us. It was like doing a styled shoot only it was for a real wedding. So fun!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Getting adjusted as a family of 5 and getting settled in our home. I’m looking forward to renovating and decorating so the house reflects my style. We are also building our businesses. We’re both entrepreneurs and we support each other’s businesses.
What advice would you give to someone planning his or her wedding? Hire professionals! They know what they’re doing and can help you turn your vision into a reality. Plan your wedding for you, not for your family and friends. This day is about your marriage and should reflect you and your fiancé.

Photographer: Gina Zeidler // Designer: Amy Osaba // Venue: Old Edwards Inn & Spa // Florist: Amy Osaba // Wedding Cake Baker: Old Edwards Inn & Spa // Caterer: Madison’s at Old Edwards Inn & Spa // Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew // Bride’s Dress: J.Crew // Hair Stylist: Old Edwards Inn & Spa, Makeup Artist: Old Edwards Inn & Spa // Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Bride’s Jewelry: Earrings by Nicole Miller // Groom’s Fashion: Tom James // Groomsmen Fashion: suits from J. Crew, shoes from Jack Purcell via J. Crew, bowties by Xoelle // Paper Goods: Erica Loesing of Amy Osaba // Calligraphy: I Love You Much // Rentals: Farm tables from Something Borrowed Vintage // Linens: antiques // Ceremony Décor: Ring bearer bowl by Paloma’s Nest // Reception Décor: Cake stand by Sweet and Saucy Shop // Lighting: Old Edwards Inn & Spa // Other: Welcome bags by Wedding Chicks

Love the colors from this wedding? Check these out:
Alex + Paul’s outdoor garden-like wedding here and here
Tara + Steve’s pink and orange wedding here and here

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
25 Comments
  1. avatar Cara reply

    Always love seeing gold flatware!! Beautuful wedding :)

  2. avatar Jodi reply

    Absolutely adore this wedding!! Love how intimate it was and the beautiful, bright color palette used. Also love that gold flatware. Oh and p.s. we recently did a step-by-step tutorial on how to make macarons, you can view it here, http://jodimillerphotographyblog.com/holiday-sweetness/ :)

    • avatar Nicole reply

      Hi Jodi! Thank you for posting that!! I’ll be referencing it in weeks to come :) LOVE the crushed peppermint on the outside!

  3. avatar Whitney reply

    Nicole, did you know that I make a mean macaroon? I’d be happy to teach you!

  4. avatar Sierra reply

    This is one of my favorite V4 Real Weddings! A bright color palette, gorgeous floral arrangements and a lovely tablescape, not to mention Camille is the sweetest! I love when she said, “Plan your wedding for you, not for your family and friends.” Be genuine.

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    Those warm colors are simply amazing!! I love the tablescapes!

  7. avatar Vanessa reply

    Wow! I am absolutely in love with all of the color inspiration! Between the amazing florals and the gold details, I can’t pick which is more amazing!

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  9. avatar Chicago wedding photographer Caroline Ghetes reply

    I am adoring the yellow in that first set of photos. Very refreshing!

  10. avatar Tim Duncan reply

    The thing that caught my eye in this wedding is definitely the different colors used! This seemed like such a fun event! :)

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  17. avatar June reply

    Super cute designs! And loved the kid’s book idea. What is the content inside?

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I am so pleased to introduce today’s wedding, Megan + Steven, to you! Both Megan, the bride, and Nancy, the photographer, are sweet NC friends of mine. Megan, in fact, was the first person to recognize me in real life from seeing my photo on SW! (We met at church!) There are so many neat things I want to tell you about her wedding: first, she got married at the height of peony season — LOVE those bouquets by Dogwood Tree Floral! Her wedding to Steven took place at the Meredith College Chapel, where Megan and most of her bridesmaids went to school. I also would be remiss not to mention Megan’s gorgeous ensemble — dress by Casablanca, shoes by Paris Hilton via My Glass Slipper. Her bridesmaids and honorary bridesmaids shined in pink and aqua dresses from J. Crew, accessorized with vintage handkerchiefs Megan collected over several months (I even helped on one weekend shopping trip!). Check back soon for more pink, blue, and Southern loveliness from Nancy Ray!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Steven and I met on April 18, 2009 at Tobacco Road in downtown Raleigh. Friends set us up and, after a couple weeks of phone conversations and messaging, Steven finally asked me out to dinner and trivia. There was an instant connection. My friends even spied on us to see how the date would unfold. I was clueless that they were even there! (From the groom) Cut to several dates, concerts, and adventures following, we became inseparable. Leading up to our one-year anniversary, I approached Megan with the grand idea of traveling to the biggest city of each state each year…for the next 50 years. At this point, I think she started to understand my intentions and we were both excited because we knew where things were heading. But she still didn’t pick up on the big hint in her birthday card a few weeks before I proposed when I hinted that this would be the best year of her life yet!
Describe the proposal. Steven and I had been in Charleston for the wedding of Steven’s college roommate. On the last day of the trip, Steven suggested one last walk around Battery Park. Near the gazebo, Steven pulled me aside by an old tree. At that point, I was suspicious of something going on because he grabbed my hands and took off his sunglasses. With an attempt to get down on one knee (and right back up again because of a pine cone!), Steven popped the question and pulled out the most amazing ring. So excited and so happy, I said “YES!” I had no expectation that we would be getting engaged any time soon, but what an amazing surprise! What made it even more special was that this was the 29th anniversary of my parents’ wedding.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Sweet, fun, personable.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Oh gosh…I think I’m going to have to go with our biscuit bar! I had seen one before in Southern Weddings V3, but we wanted our guests to take them as they left. Steven’s mother handmade all our burlap to-go baggies and she also made some of the jellies! They were a perfect snack the next day on our flight to Mexico!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had several Southern details and traditions! First would be our ceremony location. We got married at Jones Chapel at Meredith College. Being married in a chapel was very important to us, and since it took place at my alma mater, I included all twelve of my girlfriends from college and childhood in my bridal party! We served true Southern cuisine, replicating our lunch on our engagement day. With the mac’ n’ cheese bar, fried chicken, succotash, and sweet potatoes, our guests had a feast! I also arranged for “Elvis” to surprise Steven for our first dance. Being a Meredith girl, nothing would be complete without something monogrammed. In addition to our cake monogram, my reception dress featured my new initials front and center. It was handmade by my dear friend and honorary bridesmaid Joslyn.

emily Written with love by Emily
6 Comments
  1. avatar madelynne miller reply

    This wedding and is incredibly sweet and beautiful! I LOVE the color scheme, it is pulled off without being too girly and stiff. The groom’s bow tie is precious :)

  2. avatar Brittany reply

    Love love LOVE this! Nancy Ray is so talented…I hope she has some weekends still open for summer 2012! ;) Thanks for featuring her, and I am excited to see her on the SW blog in the future!

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