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Even before I read Brittany’s words, I just knew she had been inspired by everyone’s favorite Southern classic, Steel Magnolias, while planning her wedding to Ryan. Perfectly pink flowers? Check. Cutest armadillo cake I ever did see? Major check. And sure enough, her interview confirmed my suspicions! Brittany grew up watching M’Lynn, Truvy, and Shelby with her mother and grandmother, and always dreamed of a blush and bashful big day of her own. Thankfully, Brooke Images was on hand to capture it come to life!

Love the monogrammed handkerchiefs for each bridesmaid!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Of course! Something borrowed, blue, and old: I borrowed Ryan’s grandmother’s blue garter. Her mother made it for her wedding day and it’s been worn by all the women in his family since, including his mother and sister. Something blue and new: for my bridal shower, my mom bought me an opal bracelet to wear on my wedding day. I also made a blue monogrammed wedding dress tag for my dress. Something new: my brother’s wife, Melissa, gave me a bouquet charm with a picture of my dad, who passed away, in it. Something old: I tied my Grandma Dorothy’s and my Great Aunt Lee Lee’s rings around my bouquet. I also wore a sixpence in my shoe!

When my mom and I walked into the dress shop, from the corner of my eye, I saw a dress that stood out. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was until I got closer and saw that the dress was blush in color. Knowing my mother was going to love this one, I wanted to surprise her. After trying on a ton of gorgeous dresses, I put on the blush ball gown. I could tell by the way my mom wouldn’t say a word that it was her favorite. It was the perfect choice. I felt like a princess all day and I’d wear it everyday if I could!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? At the beginning, I was pretty adamant that we’d honor the old tradition and wait until I walked down the aisle to see each other. However, the more we thought about it, we didn’t want to miss out on valuable time with our guests at the reception while taking family pictures after the ceremony. On top of that, I have a tendency to be impatient and restless. I knew that the pictures wouldn’t turn out the same if I was in hurry to get to the reception. My big brother and lifelong best friend, Kevin, took me to the first look and I will never forget the moments he and I shared just before I saw Ryan. Despite the torrential downpour that began just as I walked outside to meet Ryan, the first look was one of my favorite moments of the day. Ryan and I got to cry, laugh, and have that “Oh my gosh…we are getting married!” moment alone together.

What an amazing look of joy on Brittany’s face as she’s coming down the aisle!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We didn’t write our own vows. Instead we chose a traditional Methodist ceremony. We both grew up Methodist and loved how the Methodist wedding ceremony represented our pasts as individuals and our future as one. One thing we really loved about the ceremony is that it included a part where the congregation was asked if they’d do everything in their power to uphold and care for us in our marriage. We loved how our friends and family had the opportunity to really take part in our covenant of marriage.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? The preacher’s wife read Romans 12:9-21. Ryan and I picked it out together because we felt really described our relationship with each other, our relationship with God and our relationship with others. The passage encourages us to live out some good Southern principles–to love everybody, serve folks in need, live in peace, and be hospitable.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. As two music lovers, we put a lot of thought into the music we used throughout the day. For the prelude music, Ryan and I asked our family to recall their favorite hymns. It was really fun learning about the music that spoke to our parents and grandparents in their lives. Our mothers walked down the aisle to the hymn that will always remind me of my late Grandma Dorothy, “In the Garden.” During the ceremony, I used the traditional wedding songs: Canon in D for the bridesmaids, The Bridal Chorus walking down the aisle, and The Wedding March for our walk out.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My favorite detail was that our ceremony was officiated by my childhood preacher in my home church. I also loved how the very first thing we did as husband and wife was recite the Lord’s Prayer with all of our guests.

I’ve been dreaming about my wedding day my whole life and each time I dreamed up the fabulous event from toddler to teenager, one thing was constant: pink flowers were everywhere. I’m telling you, if it comes in pink, I want it, and my wedding was no exception. When I first met with the florist, I explained that I wanted “a Steel Magnolias-inspired blush and bashful garden party.” Even though I was unable to describe exactly which flowers that meant to use, my mom and the florist were able to bring my vision to life and it was stunning. I carried a bouquet of all-white peonies and roses, my maids carried soft pink roses and white hydrangeas, and the men’s boutonnieres were blush roses. Our mothers carried a miniature version of the bouquets they carried in their weddings. The reception exterior had arrangements of white hydrangea, soft pink roses, baby’s breath, and ribbon-hung, moss-covered containers with soft pink roses mixed with white hydrangeas. During my engagement, my momma collected white milk glass to use on the reception tables. Those vases and the large centerpieces were arranged with white and pink larkspur, soft pink Gerbera daisies, white hydrangeas, blush and soft pink roses, spray garden roses, white and pink alstroemeria, wax flowers, stargazer lilies and cream roses.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? When I asked Ryan to help me answer this question, he said, “What wasn’t Southern about our wedding?” and that pretty much sums it up! Let’s just say that Ryan bought me an embroidery machine for the Valentine’s Day prior to our wedding, and it was running from February to June monogramming anything that I could put a monogram on. Also, it stormed all day and cleared up for the most beautiful sunset on the water — if that’s not Southern, I don’t know what is! Our guests tossed birdseed at us as we exited down the church’s front steps after the ceremony. Our signature drink was the “Yellow Hammer” — this concoction of pineapple juice, rum, and vodka is a game day toddy created at my favorite college bar, Galletes, at the University of Alabama. We even served it in a personalized version of the iconic tumbler the drink is served in at the bar in Tuscaloosa. The groomsmen wore seersucker. Red velvet armadillo cake — enough said.

There were desserts galore at our wedding reception. Our wedding cake was five tiers of vanilla sponge cake with strawberry filling and Swiss buttercream icing with fondant that was adorned with a lace pattern. The top tier featured, of course, was our new monogram, and the whole thing was “tied up” by a pink satin bow accented with my Grandmother Thelma’s broach. Ryan is a real Texas boy and insisted that he didn’t need a groom’s cake, just blackberry cobbler, so our caterer created mini blackberry and peach cobbler bites that were oh so yummy! We all decided that you could never have too much cake at a wedding reception, so Ryan’s groom’s cake was a chocolate with chocolate buttercream state of Texas with a Texas Tech “double T” in the middle. As a surprise, my mother had one more cake made for the reception–a red velvet armadillo, just like the one in Steel Magnolias! Throughout the planning, my whole vision for the day was to recreate a 21st century version of Shelby’s to-die-for “blush and bashful” wedding from Steel Magnolias. I can’t tell you how many times my mother, Grandma Dorothy, and I watched Steel Magnolias when I was a little girl. Each time, I dreamt of my own wedding and how it would be as Southern as sweet tea and how the colors would, of course, be blush and bashful. The armadillo cake paid a special homage to those dreams I had as a little girl and how my parents and my groom made those dreams a reality!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. The stars really aligned perfectly for Ryan and I to meet and fall in love! I graduated from The University of Alabama and am one of the most passionate lifelong ‘Bama fans out there. After working for 18 months as a financial analyst after graduation, I decided that I needed a career change. Ryan graduated from Texas Tech University and worked for his dad’s construction company after graduation. When the economy turned sour, Ryan also decided to change his course. Despite my lifelong allegiance to The University of Alabama, Auburn University made me an offer I couldn’t turn down. Ryan, a lifelong Texan, also found himself accepting an offer from Auburn he couldn’t refuse. Both offers placed Ryan and me in Auburn, Alabama, pursing graduate degrees in Higher Education Administration. Ryan and I first crossed paths while volunteering at a weekend leadership conference for college students at Auburn. Ryan sneakily obtained my phone number that weekend and asked me out to dinner the following Monday. I was “flattered,” but declined the invitation. Despite the rejection, Ryan and I developed an immediate friendship and bonded over a love of Pat Green, college football, and the occasional bourbon and Coke. On a spontaneous trip to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida with friends to celebrate the end of the school year and our friends’ graduation, we first thought that we might become more than friends. The next weekend, Ryan and I both had plans to attend The Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. While I had plans to go to the festival with two of my best friends, Heather and Julia, and Ryan had plans to go with his buddies, Will and Mike, we decided to carpool together down to the beach from Auburn. When we arrived, we found out that our condos for the weekend were right next door to each other! Ryan and I were inseparable that weekend and have been ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! Ryan proposed on Thanksgiving morning at his parents’ home in Georgetown, Texas. Ryan had brought the ring home to show his mother and sister over the Thanksgiving holiday, but wasn’t planning on proposing until over the Christmas holidays. However, I guess that ring was burning a hole in his pocket and on Thanksgiving morning, Ryan woke up and decided that he couldn’t wait any longer. For me, the proposal was perfect! We spent all day celebrating with Ryan’s family and flew to Alabama the next day and celebrated with mine.
When did y’all get married? June 22, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I moved from Alabama to Texas shortly after my engagement to start a new job, so my mom and I planned the whole wedding separated by almost 1,400 miles in less than seven months!
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? Our caterer was amazing! She handled everything and was so helpful in planning the menu, arranging the room, thinking about the day-of timeline, everything! She coordinated all of our vendors, made sure we stuck to the plan the day of, and helped with last minute decorations. Most importantly, she successfully re-created our signature drink, the “Yellow Hammer,” a feat I have never been able to accomplish.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Ryan and I both loved our first dance at the reception. It was a really special moment and was so surreal. We walked into a room that we had only seen empty before and it was filled with all of the things we had spent months planning for–food, flowers, photos, decorations, and favors. We were surrounded by those we loved most and were dancing to a song we chose being played by someone we care so much about. On top of that, we were married! In that moment, I remember the two of us talking about how we had never been so happy as we were in that moment and reminding each other to soak it in, that we would remember this moment for the rest of our lives.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Think about your guests. You and your families are hosting an event. While this particular event is celebrating your marriage, hosting any event is about making your guests feel welcomed and comfortable. Just because it’s “your day,” that’s no excuse for ignoring the rules of good ole’ Southern hospitality! Make sure your guests have somewhere comfortable to sit, something cold to drink if it’s hot and something hot to drink if it’s cold, a roof over their head if it’s raining, and a darn good meal that has enough variety so everyone can find something they like.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Football season! We have been so busy since getting married in June. In July, we got a Labradoodle puppy and named him Gunnar and in August, we bought a house. Ryan and I are very excited about hosting family and friends for football game weekends in our new home. To be honest, though, we are most looking forward to football season in general.

Photographer: Brooke Images | Videographer: Jax Video | Planner: Mother of the Bride | Ceremony Venue: Memorial United Methodist Church | Reception Venue: Walker’s Landing Omni Amelia Island Plantation | Florist: Dottie ‘B’ Florist | Wedding Cake: Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop | Caterer: Courtney Thompson of Horizon’s | Band: The Flip Flop Boys | Special Details: Lesley Bolden | Bride’s Gown: “D1368” Essence of Australia at LOVE Bridal Boutique | Paper Products: Calligraphy, etc. | Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil/Jewelry: Erica Koesler at Love Bridal Boutique | Hair Stylist: Mandi Hadsock and Miranda Oglesby | Makeup Artist: Shae Gildberg | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff at Bella Bridesmaid Jacksonville | Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Men’s Ties: Bows and Ties | Wedding Monogram: Jen Andrew Design | Transportation: Amelia Island Trolleys

Brooke Images is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    I LOVE this wedding! Maybe because it reminds me so much of my own. From the colors to some of the photos, I can see how the bride and I would have a lot to talk about! I loved Steel Magnolias, and the armadillo cake is such a cute touch!

    Cheers to you!

  2. avatar Caitlyn | The Aerialist Press reply

    LOVE the monogrammed invites!

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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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Ooh, y’all! I am SO tickled to be blogging the first wedding from our latest issue, Southern Weddings Volume 5! If you haven’t gotten your hands on this beauty, order here!

Let me first start by saying I feel like I’m a kindred spirit to Kalen + Parks, as their “meet-cute” involves the words “Roll Tide!” AND Parks was a college baseball player. Change a few details, and you’ve got a similar exchange from when my husband and I first clapped eyes on each other!

Though I love the rest of their story and y’all should absolutely read it below, let’s get on to the absolutely divine details of this sweet Southern soiree! Kalen and Parks chose the Old Edwards Inn in the mountains of North Carolina, making theirs a destination wedding for both them and their guests. They chose it in part because they wanted to make a memory at a new destination that they could return to for anniversaries for years to come, which I love! Kalen and her super-talented planner Calder Clark teamed up with Blossoms Events to create one of the most lush and detail-filled events we’ve ever seen, and we can’t wait to share it in two parts today. By the way, gigantic thanks to Jeremy at Harwell Photography, a true gentleman for capturing every (pink) detail in stunning style!

How about those metallic foil + pink invites?? You are just the bee’s knees, Cheree Berry!

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Girly-girl meets rock ‘n’ roll.
Why was this design special to you as a couple? We both come from very laid-back families. For us, it’s more about who you are with then what you are eating on. While our moms have very impressive china collections, it is not uncommon to see us eating on a paper plate during holidays with a can of Bud Light (my family) or Miller Lite (Parks’ family). I think our wedding represented that. It was homey and comfortable, much like our families. There was never a stuffy moment about the wedding. It was elegant, yet functional and touchable. Calder did such a great job on making it so “us.”
What were your wedding colors? Gold, gray, and tonal shades of pink, from blush to bubblegum.

My favorite part of finding my wedding dress was the weekends I got to spend with my mom and sister in NYC on the hunt. All three of us went up the first time and after three appointments and knowing only that I wanted lace, we found the one I loved at Pronovias. I knew that it could get better. While the dress came with patches of lace, I wanted them to fill it in completely. Against that romantic lace, I thought inconspicuous glimmers of sparkle would give it the perfect “me” touch. We went to the garment district on the hunt for sparkle and ended up finding itty bitty little Swarovski crystals. Pronovias graduated them through the dress, heavier at the bottom and lighter at the top. While the dress was amazing, my favorite part was the adventures that it gave my mom, sister and I with the multiple trips to NYC for fittings.

Bouquet perfection in pink! Kalen’s bouquet recipe included lisianthus, peonies, assorted garden roses, stephanotis vine, blushing bride, astilbe, maiden hair fern, and dusty miller. Her maids’ included lisianthus, peonies, assorted garden roses, astilbe, maiden hair fern, dusty miller, and phalaenopsis orchids.

Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. My mom actually bought the dress from Anthropologie for a holiday party. The second she pulled it out, she gasped and said “Kalen, I found the perfect bridesmaid dress for you!” I wanted a neutral color with gold, but I absolutely did not want it to be from a wedding store. So I dug hard and found the dress for my girls. It was perfect and pulled all of the elements of the wedding together. I remember that once we found them, I felt like I could actually visualize all of us standing up there and everything coming together.

What did the groomsmen wear? Our Groomsmen wore the Vera Wang tux from her new men’s line, “Black.” The groomsmen were hard. I wanted them to look dressy enough to match the wedding, but didn’t want them to look overdressed and stuffy. The new tux from Vera doesn’t have silk lapels, and so I felt that was the best option. We also had custom Vineyard Vines ties with little sneaks and boots on them. Being that I have a boot store and Parks has a running store, our friends often call us Sneaks ‘n Boots. I gave my bridesmaids boots at the bridesmaids’ luncheon as a thank you, and Parks gave our groomsmen custom sneakers from Nike. The guys changed right after the ceremony into their bright kicks. So Parks!

Favorite design element of your big day: The flowers! Holy cow! How does one find that many perfectly-bloomed flowers?! I absolutely loved the romanticism of the flowers, the antique china and the lace and pearls mixed up with raw, rustic wood. It represented our families perfectly. We are all very traditional people and very wholesome people, but there is a pistol inside of all of us. Both of my parents and Parks’ parents, all of our siblings and Parks and I will give you the shirt off our backs, but we will also fight like hell for each other. I think the girly, romantic feel of the wedding mixed with the raw, wholesome elements played off of each other perfectly.

Holy moly!! Can you just imagine looking up, and seeing those gorgeous blooms as you said your vows? I’m not sure I could concentrate!

What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? Parks says it was seeing me walk down the aisle. I would say just being together. Parks and I never left each other’s sides so that we would have all the same memories of the night. Every dance and every moment was special. We soaked every second in.

Guess what, y’all… there is more coming a little later from this beauty!

Occupations: We both own retail stores. Parks has a running specialty store that offers anything a runner would need and currently has six locations. I have a boutique in Tampa that has a country theme, selling the latest in fashion trends along with cowboy boots.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. My mom had been wanting to start running, but her feet always hurt, so we stumbled into Fit2Run. Parks was working the floor that day and started helping my mom find the perfect shoe. Parks said he had played baseball at Georgia, so I replied with a “Roll Tide.” Parks said his parents went to Alabama and my mom said, “she has a bulldog!” Parks had a bulldog, too, so we started showing pictures of them. My mom then continued to drill him with questions. He answered every one of her questions perfectly to meet her dating criteria for her daughter. She asked him about politics, religion, family values, and hobbies. After two hours of “shoe shopping” with Parks and realizing we both had retail in common, he asked for my number. He called me the next day and we met up at the Bucs game that weekend. I had my sister with me and he was with all of his brothers. We hung out there, and the next night he took me on the best first date I’ve ever had on Clearwater Beach. We have been together every day since and the rest is history.
Describe the proposal: July of 2011, Parks took me to Grand Cayman for a few days away from work. Everything about the location, time, and atmosphere was so fun and perfect that I was never expecting a proposal. I just completely forgot about it. Tuesday, we hung out on the beach all day and Parks insisted that we go for a run before we went to dinner. I had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new Nike Lunarglide when Parks said he had a present and pulled them out of his suitcase. I put them on and said “Let’s go!” He told me to put a Nike chip in my shoe since he didn’t think the GPS would work. I took the shoe off and opened the hole where the chip goes. Still not seeing anything, I handed him the shoe. He insisted I put the chip in myself. When I finally looked in the shoe, my ring was inside of the hole. Parks then got down on one knee and of course, I said yes. It was perfect..
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Romantic, enchanted, and most importantly, FUN!
What was the weather like on your big day? Warm and sunny with clear skies and a mountain breeze.
How many guests attended your wedding? 210 people attended the wedding weekend events, which included a rehearsal dinner, the ceremony and reception, an after party, and a farewell brunch.
Who participated in your ceremony? A great friend of our family, Jack Taylor married us. It meant so much to me to have someone special do that for us. One of my best friends, Evie, read the Apache blessing during the ceremony.
Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? Each and every person was special. It meant so much to us that so many people came from so far to celebrate our wedding. What a blessing it is that we have so many family and friends and such a great support system.

Harwell Photography is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
28 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Oh my, I adore her bouquet! Those engraved mint julep cups are amazing, as well!!

  2. avatar Kat reply

    I LOVED this one in V5!! Those wooden pews, her color scheme…and I adore all of her pretty blooms – from her bouquet to the the ones draping in the tent… it’s to die for!

  3. avatar Jocelyn reply

    I love this wedding. It is just fabulous! How fitting that today you feature a Manuel Mota bride…..

  4. avatar Adrienne reply

    I saw this wedding in V5 and it blew me away. The tent is the most gorgeous tent I’ve ever seen, and those flowers are to die for. I love that they got married in the mountains of NC too. Perfect. Just Perfect.

  5. avatar Jessica Clinch reply

    This was hands down my favorite real wedding in V5! I fell head over heels for the floral design- especially the ceiling details in the ceremony and the lined entrway at the reception. The mint julep cups, the champagne jello shots, the draping, and the lounge seating also stole my heart.

    I’m also so happy to hear the bride’s perspective in this post. I love the story of how they met and I now finally understand those fun sneakers on the groomsmen! Such a lovely story :)

    • avatar Kristin reply

      Eeep! I couldn’t agree more, Jessica. I died over the groomsmen and their sneakers. Totally something my husband would have LOVED to have done. And of course the floral design blew me away!

  6. avatar Jeremy Harwell reply

    So honored to have been a part of Kalen & Park’s wedding! They are such a wonderful couple! Calder, Caitlin and Lauren were such a joy to work with and so many of the other amazing vendors gave me such beauty to photograph! I am so honored and excited to be featured in V5 and on Southern Weddings blog!
    Thank you so much!

  7. avatar Jeremy Harwell reply

    A special thanks to my amazing second photograph Gabe Aceves http://www.gabeaceves.com who’s photograph of the large urn at the ceremony as well as the image of Kalen and Parks saying their vows.

  8. avatar Erika reply

    Hi there. I know this is random but you look identical to my sister. The resemblance is crazy! Y’all honestly look identical!

    Erika

  9. avatar Lisa reply

    Truly, the most stunning florals I’ve ever seen!

  10. avatar Sheena Roberts reply

    Hi I am getting married soon and want to do as much DIY progects as i can. When i saw your flower girls basket i fell in love. Where can i get the pattern to make it? I have looked all over and cant find it.

  11. avatar Passion Roots reply

    BREATHTAKING flowers! So in awe! So gorgeous and delicate, yet striking! WELL DONE!

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  16. avatar Deanna Scott reply

    How was the canopy or tent made and what is it made out of?

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    Wow! Those flower arrangements are just gorgeous! What a beautiful wedding!

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