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It’s always a joy having our friend and Blue Ribbon Vendor Rhi of Hey Gorgeous Events in our office, especially when it means we’re making something pretty together for the next issue! Rhi, Nancy Ray, Lisa, and I are in the wilds of North Carolina under a beautiful blue sky today creating our third editorial for Southern Weddings V8, and we couldn’t be more excited! (And I think you should be, too, if you saw yesterday’s flower peek on instagram!) Stay tuned to our account for more #MakingSouthernWeddings peeks throughout the day.

In the meantime, feast your ideas on these four gorgeous bouquets Rhi put together – if they don’t make you happy spring is here, I don’t know what will!

Bouquet includes: white sweet pea, green eye anemone, Duchesse De Nemour peonies, Patience garden roses, white ranuncula, bay leaves, white Majolika spray rose, and black privet berry

This sweet and feminine bouquet includes Kiera garden roses, Sarah Bernhart and Jules Elie peonies, pink Majolika spray roses, right pink ranuncula, white lilacs, and jasmine vine.

Rhi’s whimsical orange bouquet includes Icelandic poppies, scented geranium leaves, yellow ranuncula, orange ranuncula, Campanella garden roses, white veronica, white anemones with black eye, dahlias, peach finess roses, and Sarah Bernhart peonies.

Rhi’s final bouquet is bold and glam. It includes Red Charm peony, King protea, Echeveria Colorata succulent (pink lavender), Echeveria Agavoides succulent (green), purple clematis, poppy pods, purple anemone, and Moody Blues roses.

Thanks so much to Rhi for sharing, and to the other talented vendors who made this shoot happen!

Styling, concept and florals: Hey Gorgeous Events | Photography: Bradley James Photography | Gowns, accessories and styling: Stacy Fork, The Gown Shop Ann Arbor | Make Up: Alexandra Nicole Make Up | Hair: Jillian’s Salon

emily Written with love by Emily
5 Comments
  1. avatar Sarah reply

    The gown, with the pink hued train, my I ask who the designer is? That’s very pretty! The flowers are also beautiful!

  2. avatar Rhiannon reply

    Thank you gals for the sweet feature! We loved this project and love seeing it here even more :)

  3. avatar Hey Gorgeous, The Blog – Hey Gorgeous Events Floral Artistry reply

    […] can see more over on the Southern Weddings Magazine blog! And a big thank you to everyone who came out for the day to help make this possible. I am forever […]

  4. avatar Anastasia Kristina reply

    LOVE LOVE you featured a model with tattoos! That’s what I’m talking about!!

  5. avatar Modern Gold Glitter Wedding Ideas | Hey Wedding Lady reply

    […] – Photography by Bradley James Photography, Floral Design by Hey Gorgeous Events via Southern Weddings | Fuchsia and Yellow Centerpiece – Photography by Heather Hawkins, Floral Design by Bows […]

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One thing I love witnessing at weddings is the unabashed vulnerability of the couple and their guests, whether it’s a groom who just can’t contain his tears after first seeing his bride, or the emotion of the first look with the bride’s daddy. There is just something so beautiful about the raw emotions. I think that’s why I love this line from Molly and Kevin’s sweet secret letter so much. We Southern women are a strong (and strong-willed!) bunch, which makes Molly’s sweet vow to Kevin so romantic and vulnerable, all at the same time! She said “You are my leader and I will gladly follow wherever you go.” Oh my stars! I’m sure their ceremony at the beautiful Lowndes Groves Plantation was a joy to witness, and their reception looks like it was a blast, too!

Big hugs to Caroline Ro for sharing Molly and Kevin’s wedding with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. In April 2014, my sister, two bridesmaids, my mother-in-law, my mother, and I enjoyed two appointments and about 50 dresses. At the first shop, I tried on about 30. It was an amazing experience and I got very very close to saying yes to one, but then my mom told me I needed to attend both appointments before I decided. Thank goodness I listened to her, because the next morning, we showed up at White on Daniel Island. I was about 10 dresses in before I tried on the one. I knew right away that this was it, and so did my family. It’s true that you do get that feeling, “This is my dress!!!”

My wedding flowers were absolutely stunning, filled with chocolate orchids, eucalyptus, a white rose in honor of the Thayer women (these ladies all carried 13 white roses on their wedding days), white hydrangeas, purple hellebores, dusty millers (my favorite), and ivory ranunculus. My bouquet was wrapped in my grandmother’s blue handkerchief and I pinned a picture of each of our grandmothers to the stems.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Kevin didn’t want me to tell him what I was walking down the aisle to, so I surprised him with my processional to Gabriel’s “Oboe.” I chose this song because it reminded me of my grandmother. She loved her instrumental music and I remember sitting in the back of her car listening to it. She was so excited for our “big Southern military wedding.” Unfortunately, she passed away just a few short weeks before Kevin and I got engaged. She and my mother were my inspirations for our entire wedding.

We did not write our own vows, but our pastor had us write secret letters to each other prior to our wedding, and he read a few passages from each. We didn’t get to read the whole letters until right before we left on our honeymoon. My favorite line of Kevin’s was: “You have been, and will continue to be, the center and foundation of our relationship and household. Being the man of the household means nothing without a solid foundation”. Kevin’s favorite line that I wrote to him was: “You have taught me to give my heart fully and have made me realize that I cannot do this life without you. You are my leader and I will gladly follow wherever you go.”

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our pastor was amazing!! He is the pastor at Kevin’s church in Greenville, and we have known him for years. His passion and message brought out the true message of the day: commitment. Lowndes Grove was also amazing, and their staff, coupled with the location, made it a day we’ll never forget. The hand-rolled cigar bar was a huge hit with everyone and was an awesome way for everyone to take a break from dancing.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We prioritized the flavor rather than design. We kept the design simple, and chose a lemon cake with buttercream icing and red velvet with sweetened cream cheese icing. We cut the cake with Kevin’s Marine officer’s sword, which added our own little flair to the tradition.

Lowndes Grove Plantation was the first and only place we really looked. Kevin had been to a wedding there before, and, having grown up in Charleston, I knew how amazing of a place it was. The way the setting sun shined across the water and through the Spanish moss on the trees epitomized my mental picture of a Southern plantation. When it came to the food, we had good old Southern barbecue, shrimp and grits, bacon-wrapped scallops, and some great bourbon to bring it all together.

There are so many moments, but the most memorable was when Kevin and I were able to break away from everything and look over our wedding as outsiders. We followed the advice of some of our friends and have passed it on to all of our friends with upcoming weddings because it meant so much to us. We went all the way to the back of the tent and stood up on the brick ledge, holding each other close and just watched everyone having a fabulous time at this beautiful setting. It was magical, and the “snapshot” in time will remain with us forever!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Kevin and I met at Clemson University in 2007. He was the big bad senior, and I was the new freshman looking for fun and adventure. We were introduced during the Sigma Nu Mountain Weekend at Camp Wayfarer by my roommate, who knew him from high school. The moment I met him, I knew he was going to be someone special in my life, but of course, we were there with different dates! We saw each other occasionally after that, and I invited him to the Alpha Delta Pi Mallard Ball. Our on and off dating continued until 2011, when he returned from his first deployment to Afghanistan and I graduated from nursing school. After being separated by so many miles and for so many months, we knew we wanted to start taking things seriously. During his second deployment to Afghanistan, he called and asked me to move with him when he was to be reassigned to Quantico, Virginia when he returned home. We have been living in Fredericksburg, Virginia since November 2012. We bought our boxer puppy, Reagan, in February 2013, and I kept hinting to Kevin to make it official–I would tell Reagan in front of Kevin how jealous I was that he had the same last name as daddy! Kevin got the hint and proposed on January 24th, 2014!!!
Tell us all about the proposal! From Kevin: My plan: have a nice dinner, have some good convo, head back to the car, propose, go get a celebratory beer, and surprise Molly with all of our friends there. Throughout dinner, I blamed my fidgeting in my chair on being sick. The topic of conversation led to our friends who were recently engaged, which caused Molly to drop the bomb on me of “Well, I guess they know what they wanted…” Boom, the ring in my pocket got exponentially heavier while we continued to converse. Following dinner, we made our way back to the car to drop off our leftovers, and on the corner of the street, I pulled her close and told her how much I loved her and how much she meant to me. I then started to drop to a knee and grabbed her hand. Molly said, “Kevin, what are you doing? The ground is wet! What are you doing?” I pulled out the ring and asked her to marry me, to which she replied, “Kevin…what is that??? Who is that for?? What is that???” I asked the question a second time, to which she finally replied with a teary “YES!” We then went to get a celebratory beer from Capital Ale House, and Molly was surprised again with a tremendous cheer and applause from all of our friends who were waiting for us.
When did y’all get married? December 13, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $75,000-$100,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Kevin: The second I was allowed to turn around and see Molly coming down the aisle. Even as a US Marine, it took everything I had to not cry. She was so absolutely stunning as she made her way down the aisle that I was completely tunnel visioned. I can’t even remember the song that was playing for her processional.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Even if you are not very close with your soon-to-be mother-in-law, like I am with mine, get her involved. Invite her to your dress shopping appointments, fittings, bridal showers, etc. You won’t regret it, and she will never forget it. My mother-in-law is a mother to three boys, so doing all the girly things just made her year! Also, get a videographer. I fought my mom on getting one, but she insisted. I now watch our wedding video at least once a day!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Having known each other and been together for so long prior to marriage, we are ready for the ultimate big step: building our family! This is the reason we went to Africa for our Safari honeymoon–we asked ourselves prior to booking: what would we regret not doing before having kids? We had a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

Photographer: Caroline Ro / Videographer: Dock House Digital / Planner: Megan Chandler of Ooh! Events / Venue: Lowndes Grove Plantation / Florist: Out of the Garden / Catering and Cake Baker: Fish / Rentals: Snyder Rentals and Ooh! Events / Lighting: Ooh! Events / Band: Men of Distinction from EastCoast Entertainment / Paper Products: Lydia’s / Bride’s Gown: “C207” by Allure / Hair and Makeup: Charlotte Belk / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Style 485” in Plum by Bill Levkoff / Ceremony String Trio: Classical Charleston

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marissa Written with love by Marissa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Just a gorgeous wedding and I love the men in their uniforms!

  2. avatar Kimberly reply

    My beautiful daughter and now son in law are so lucky to now share a fabulous life together! The wedding day was filled with so many luscious memories for me! Everything was perfect.

  3. avatar Charmaine reply

    Grilled finger sandwiches … yes please.. Beautiful wedding

  4. avatar Charleston Wedding Videographer reply

    Such a beautiful day and beautiful couple. We were so honored to capture Molly & Kevin’s special day on film!

  5. avatar Jeffrey newton reply

    It was a beautiful wedding! Please tag us for the transportation :)

  6. avatar Megan Chandler reply

    So excited to see this stunning wedding shared! Love this couple!

  7. avatar Molly+Kevin // Married // Charleston » CarolineRo // Blog reply

    […] to top everything off, Southern Weddings kindly featured Molly and Kevin’s day […]

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I never thought I would see the day when the Waffle House food truck would be a thoughtful and sentimental wedding detail, but thanks to LaKisha and Brently, that day is today! These two embraced tradition for many aspects of their Georgia wedding, such as their church ceremony and waiting to see each other until LaKisha walked down the aisle, but in other ways, they weren’t afraid to do things their own way. Case in point? The Waffle House food truck that served as a nod to their favorite game day snack, a tribute to their home state, and a meaningful moment for the couple and Brent’s grandfather alike.

We’re so grateful to CWF Photography for sharing this joyful day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had a relatively small budget to work with, so I knew I had to be frugal and creative to create the look I wanted. I stumbled upon Fabulous Frocks of Atlanta online, which sells designer sample gowns at discounted prices. I fell in love with one dress in particular, and when I finally got to my appointment, the dress I had been eyeing was already pulled. After I tried on a few other dresses, the owner, Abriel, helped me into the dress and I had a Cinderella moment. It fit perfectly, and I could not stop smiling. As soon as Abriel put on the beautiful cathedral veil, both my parents and I knew that this was the gown!

We decided to not do a first look. We have had friends who have done it and raved about how great it was, but we ultimately decided to keep with tradition and save that moment for the aisle. Looking back, I wouldn’t have traded that moment for the world! I did have a first look with my daddy though, and the pictures of that moment are priceless. He had had an unexpected open heart surgery a couple of months prior to the wedding that shook my world. I am so grateful that I had my daddy with me on my wedding day!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose Prince of Peace for the ceremony because it is my family’s church here in Atlanta. We have such a great relationship with the priest that having a wedding elsewhere wouldn’t have seemed right. Not to mention, the church is immaculate!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We had a traditional Catholic wedding and exchanged traditional vows. I am glad we opted to do this, because I don’t think I would have been able to recite personal vows without crying tears of happiness!

Pamela at Design House of Flowers was amazing to work with! She immediately picked up on my vision and was so knowledgeable of flowers that would work with my theme and budget! My bouquet and all of the flowers were breathtaking, and truly captured the whimsical garden feel I was going for. They included David Austin roses, blush pink sweet peas, dark pink anemones, purple Japanese aster, ivory astilbe, ivory ranunculus, and touches of seeded eucalyptus and dusty miller.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I had centered my whole wedding color scheme and theme around a picture of a cake I had seen on Pinterest, so naturally, I wanted to do a close replica. We had a family friend, who owns Rhodes Bakery in Roswell, recreate the cake! The groom is a big fan or strawberry cake, so the bottom tier was a delicious pound cake with strawberry preserves in the middle. The middle tier was red velvet, my favorite, and the top tier is a surprise! The groom and I can’t wait to cut into it on our first wedding anniversary!

There were so many details we loved, but the Waffle House food truck that we surprised our guests with was by far our favorite! Brent and I are addicted to their hash browns, which we have shared many times after football games, and eat practically every month. Waffle House was also founded here in Atlanta, so we were happy to be able to share it with out-of-town guests. The best part of this detail was bringing a smile to Brent’s grandfather. We learned while he ordered his hash browns that he and Brent’s grandmother used to spend every Christmas morning at Waffle House. She had passed away a couple of years prior, so to see him smile at this detail of the wedding warmed our hearts!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Brent and I are high school sweethearts. We met our junior year of high school in pre-calculus class, and I was so impressed with his mathematical abilities, which I completely lack! The first time we hung out just the two of us (before we officially started dating), we were working on a physics project at his house, and when I left, I accidentally blurted out “I love you”–how embarrassing!! We were inseparable for that whole year, and then endured four years of long distance while we were in college. The best thing about being high school sweethearts is that we have a relationship founded upon an amazing friendship. We were able to watch each other grow, and now that we are married, we get to continue to grow and do life together!
Tell us all about the proposal! After a couple of those “perfect moments” when I thought it was going to happen, I finally told myself to just let life happen and trust in God’s perfect timing. On Christmas day in 2013, I woke up to see my stocking stuffed–we had started a tradition that year of stuffing each other’s stockings instead of giving each other wrapped gifts. Brent was quite adamant that I start taking items out of my stocking first, so I did! One of the big items inside was a personalized calendar. I started flipping through the calendar to see what pictures he had chosen, and on the last month, instead of a picture, it had the message “Will you marry me?” written on it. I was in such shock, I do not remember a word he said–just the dazzling ring I had picked out back in 2010! I later found out Brent had had the ring since 2010, but wanted to wait till he had graduated from college in December 2013 before proposing. Now, that is dedication!
When did y’all get married? September 13, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 70
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We were tasked during our marriage classes with the priest to select our readings and come back and explain why we chose them. The readings we chose shared a common theme of the importance of prayer and the significance of us becoming one: Tobit 8:4b-8, 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8a, and Matthew 19:3-6.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Budget! However, I want brides to know that you don’t have to have a big budget to create a beautiful wedding. There were things we had to compromise on, such as reducing our guest count, but it ended up being a great decision because we were surrounded by only our closest family and friends. Websites like Etsy can also be extremely helpful!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The moment we were introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Brently Todd McDonald! I have waited so long for that moment and it was so surreal!!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are just enjoying newlywed life together, and we are looking forward to our first wedding anniversary trip to Costa Rica! We have decided that instead of Christmas gifts/anniversary gifts, we will go on yearly trip together. We love to travel, so we are excited about this tradition! We are hoping to travel to South Korea and explore my grandmother’s heritage on our second anniversary.

Photographer: CWF Photography / Videographer: David Robertson & Todd Galucki / Ceremony Venue: Prince of Peace Catholic Church / Reception Venue and Catering: Reunion Country Club / Florist: Pam Holley of Design House of Flowers / Cake Baker: Rhodes Bakery / Candles: Ikea / DJ: Rob Clark / Envelopes: Paper Source / Paper Products: Paper Please / Bride’s Gown: Romona Keveza / Bridal Salon and Veil: Fabulous Frocks of Atlanta / Hair and Makeup: Lashes and Lace / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “492” in Plum by Bill Levkoff / Menswear: Jos A. Bank / Men’s Socks: J. Crew / Food Truck: Waffle House / Bridesmaid Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar David Strauss reply

    I love the idea of having food trucks instead of buffet lines

  2. avatar Young Newlyweds Honor Their Humble Roots With Sweet Waffle House Reception – How to kill your time? reply

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  3. avatar Gerry Mayer reply

    Brent and LaKisha,
    Now that you are Waffley Wedded, I wish you a long, and very happy life together!

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