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I’ve been subtly (and not-so-subtly) letting Lara know that I think we need a live-in office mascot of the furry variety. I’ve had my mind set on a golden lab with a blue seersucker bow tie collar, but after seeing the handsome ring bearer at Kristal + Johnny’s wedding, I think we may have to go for a pig, instead!

Kristal + Johnny were pros at including their family in the small details of their big day. I especially love that Kristal surprised her momma with a mother-daughter dance and that Johnny’s best man was his father. Their pot-bellied pig, Hamilton, even got a little more time in the spotlight at the reception — K + J named their signature drink after him! We’re giving giant hugs to Kristyn Hogan for sharing this wedding with us.

Describe your wedding flowers: I had a bouquet using all fresh flowers in shades of blush, champagne, and cream for a soft, romantic look. This included garden roses, peonies, and wax flowers. The bouquet was tied with burlap, a handkerchief handed down from my great-grandmother, and a brooch handed down from my Nana.

We had a long engagement (over two years), so I had plenty of time to find the perfect dress. I visited several bridal stores in Tennessee trying on at least 100 dresses. I envisioned an all lace, strapless gown but ended up with something a little different. My Mom and Nana were with me the day I went to The White Room. I put on my dress, walked out to them, and we all started crying together. I loved the corset back, how it was fitted through the hips, and the multiple layers of tulle. I knew right then and there this was the one!

Initially, I was going back and forth with the idea of doing a “first look,” but I am so happy we decided to do one. Seeing Johnny before the wedding made me so much more relaxed when walking down the aisle. I loved that it was a special moment only between me and him, and that it was captured from afar by the videographers and photographers. I also had a first look with my dad. I gave him his gift, a custom made picture frame with the lyrics of our father-daughter dance, “I Loved her First” by Heartland.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? My vows to Johnny: “Today, I want to make a promise to you and to myself — in front of God, our family, and our friends — to give you my love, laughter, and commitment for the rest of my life. I promise to love you in good times and in bad with all of my heart. I will love you for who you are, and help you to become all that you can be. One of the things that I love about you most is your ability to make me smile even when I’m having a bad day. I promise to laugh with you often and to try and make you as happy as you’ve made me. I promise to put our marriage first and to stand by your side no matter what challenges we may face. I promise to respect you as your own person, and to realize that your interests, desires, and needs are no less important than my own. I promise to always be faithful and to communicate with honesty and with tenderness. Johnny, we have been dating for over nine years, which means I’ve been waiting to marry you, my one true love, for one third of my life! I’ve been looking forward to this day for what seems like forever and I can’t wait to spend eternity with you, my husband.”

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My grandmother read scripture from Colossians 3:12-17: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” I thought this scripture was a good reminder for how a husband and wife should live their lives and treat each other.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. (From the groom) It seems like yesterday. I was a college art student flying home from New York City for Christmas break. I was so anxious to get home, not really thinking that as soon as my brother’s silver Durango pulled up, my life as I knew it would change. I hopped in and saw Kristal — she was absolutely stunning, beautiful both inside and out. Instantly, I tried to be as clever as possible, wanting every comment to be funny with a flirtatious tone. Thankfully, it worked. As my brother and I planned to go to dinner a few nights later, I hounded him to invite Kristal. When he hesitated, I distinctly remember grabbing the phone, pleading for her to join us. It is that giddy feeling, that constant need to keep her smiling that has never left, and it never will.
Describe the proposal. It all started when Johnny opened his big mouth in front of my mom and dad. He said, “I wouldn’t even think of proposing to your daughter until I shoot a buck in Tennessee!” I knew then, with Johnny, being a city boy and never having hunted before, that I would be old and gray before ever walking down the aisle! However, a few days later, he did the impossible! He killed his first buck. I knew exactly what that meant and patiently (or maybe impatiently) waited for that special day to come. Four months later, on May 4th, my family met Johnny’s family at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, for a night of fun. After dinner, as we walked toward the casino, we stopped and listened to the band play Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” When the song ended, the lead singer asked if anyone named Kristal was in the audience. I thought for sure it had to be someone else, so I didn’t budge. That is, until Johnny took my hand and led me up the stairs of the stage, grabbed the microphone, got down on one knee and PROPOSED! I was so excited, I started saying “yes, yes, yes” before he could even finish!
In what month did you get married? May
How many guests attended your wedding? 111
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. My dad, mom, and I walked down the aisle to a live guitarist and violinist playing Pachelbel’s Canon in D. Hearing that song gives me goosbumps every time! We walked back as husband and wife to the traditional recessional of The Wedding March. Our first dance was to Ray Lamontagne’s “You are the Best Thing.” My dad and I danced to Heartland’s “I Loved Her First” and my mom and I danced to Carrie Underwood’s “Mama’s Song.”
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: The wedding cake was a four-tiered, traditional white cake with raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting. The groom’s cake was a tiered cannoli tower with a chocolate cake on top. The groom’s cake topper consisted of several wooden pieces of New York City’s most influential buildings, imitating one of our favorite views, the New York City skyline.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Having our beloved potbellied pig, Hamilton, walk down the aisle with the junior groomsman and junior bridesmaid. Also, Johnny painted a beautiful 40” x 50” oil canvas of Cedarwood to be used in place of the guest book. We now have it hanging in our new home and are reminded daily of how blessed we are.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We got married in Nashville, Tennessee, at Cedarwood. Our overall wedding theme was “Burlap and Bling.” From the burlap runners and chair ties, to the sparkling mason jars filled with candles and hanging from the trees, our wedding was very Southern. We even served our signature cocktail, “The Hamilton,” in mason jars!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Without question, our wonderful and talented videographers and photographer. Our wedding flew by in no time. There were so many little moments that we missed, but they were captured on film for us to see and remember for many years to come.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There were so many, but saying our own personal vows was a very special moment. It gave us the opportunity to speak from our hearts and make promises to each other that we feel will make our marriage strong and everlasting. Another was surprising my mom with a mother-daughter dance to our song, “Mama’s Song” by Carrie Underwood. My mom is my best friend and I can’t thank her enough for her unconditional love and support. Lastly, the best man’s toast from Johnny’s dad was incredible and a moment that we will always cherish. His dad has such a way with words – he made the entire audience laugh, cry, and smile!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Allow yourself to be emotional. I was so afraid of being an “ugly crier” and ruining my pictures, that I held it all in. It wasn’t until Johnny and I were on the plane to our honeymoon in Napa Valley that I let it all out. I burst into tears from being so overwhelmed from everyone’s love, and how perfect the day went, and how fast it all went by.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We just moved into our new home in Auburn, Alabama. I recently graduated veterinary school and got accepted into a small animal internship program at Auburn University. My ultimate goal is to become a board certified veterinary oncologist. Johnny has been blessed with enough work to make his dream come true of becoming a freelance graphic designer, allowing him to work from home. Our ultimate goal is to settle down in the wonderful city where we married, Nashville.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole

Holy Moly purple and pink love! Can we all agree that Brittany + Keith’s wedding is bright, bold gorgeousness? Brittany looks radiant dressed in Sottero and Midgely and flanked by her bridesmaids in Alfred Angelo. Not to be too outdone, Keith and his groomsmen rocked sleek grey suits and indigo ties and Air Jordans. That’s right, y’all — those are some stylish gents! The bride’s favorite detail of the night was their wedding cake. I must admit, the tiers of draping, banding and monogramming (yes!) are very impressive. Big thanks to Ivy Weddings for sharing this beauty!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I searched everywhere for the perfect dress. One day, I was in my hometown for a visit and my mom drove by a new wedding shop that had the most beautiful dress in the store window. I went inside and the owner told me it had just arrived. I tried it on and fell in love. I called all my family to the store and we all agreed it was the one.
Describe your wedding flowers: Our flowers were simply bold and beautiful. We incorporated eggplant and fuchsia roses, orchids, and calla lilies into the most stunning table arrangements. The deep eggplant and fuchsia colors offset the light Mediterranean look of the venue and it created a beautiful atmosphere for our guest to enjoy.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? At the end of the night when it was time for our exit to the car, I remember feeling so fulfilled and happy. Like, “Yes, we finally did it!” The lights flashing, petals in the air, love of my life by my side – the scene felt like it was right out of a movie. It was the end of the wedding but the beginning of so much more and the feeling was priceless.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Start early and do NOT procrastinate. But most of all, enjoy every minute because it goes by fast and you’re only going to do it once!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met through Keith’s mother. Our families share the same small town background and she was attending my uncle’s wedding, which I was a bridesmaid in. Later that week, Keith and his mom were looking through a magazine and Keith said he commented on how pretty this girl was in one of the ads. His mom said she had seen a girl last week that was prettier and asked if he wanted her to introduce him. He said yes and his mother made the phone call to my mother. It’s funny when I think back on it because my mom and I thought she was crazy! A woman calls and says she saw me in my uncle’s wedding and would like for me to meet her son! We laughed and I really didn’t think much else about it. That is, until I saw him for myself. We had our first face-to-face meeting in the small town of Kennard, Texas, at a relative’s house. From there, we exchanged information and arranged our first date. The rest is history. Thanks Mrs. Charlene!
Describe the proposal. (From the groom) I was supposed to propose after one of our games. It was a big game and I had arranged plans with the team to help me afterwards. The plan was to win the game and propose to Brittany in the stands afterwards. There were going to be pictures showing on the big screen and music playing in the gym, the whole nine. We ended up losing and, needless to say, the plan and the mood were completely busted. I just remember feeling that winning or losing a game does not dictate the fact that I want to marry Brittany. So I kept our restaurant reservations and told my friends that I made a small revision but the plan was still on. At the restaurant, we were finished with dinner and just talking with our friends when I excused myself from the table. I went to the bathroom, nervous and after standing there for a minute, did a little dance in the mirror, and then walked back out to our lounge area overlooking the city and got on one knee.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Beautiful, emotional, fun.
In what month did you get married? August
How many guests attended your wedding? 215
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: Our wedding cake was my favorite detail of the night! The cake was a custom designed 5-tier stunner with alternating layers of vanilla and red velvet topped with fondant and buttercream icing. The cake was adorned with elegant scrolls and banded with strips of bling. Judy from Simon Lee Bakery did an excellent job at bringing my cake vision to life.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Our photographers Matt and Ivy! They helped create the best pictures ever!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? If it’s up to Keith, babies!! Because of Keith’s work schedule, we weren’t able to go on a honeymoon so we can’t wait for our much needed vacation!

Photographer: Ivy Weddings // Videographer: A&A productions // Planner: Nyoka Coleman // Venue: Villa Antonia // Florist: Prive Floral // Wedding Cake Baker: Simon Lee Bakery // Caterer: Creative Creations // Rentals: Marquee Events // Linens: Marquee Events // Lighting: Ilios Lighting // Bride’s Dress: Sottero and Midgely // Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Angelo

P.S. If you love this wedding, check out these past beauties:
Jennifer + Armand’s bold + glam Tennessee wedding (here + here)
Crystal + Heath’s sweet + glam North Carolina wedding (here + here)
Courtney + Chris’ rustic Georgia wedding with bold purple dresses (here + here)

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar desiree reply

    i love when couple’s aren’t afraid of color!!! Im diggin’ his purple kicks too

  2. avatar Kelli Taylor/Daniel Taylor Photography reply

    Love those bold colors! And OMG the cake!

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  10. avatar AmyWilliams reply

    We are looking at doing similar colors and are really wondering what so shoes those are

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When New Yorker, Courtney married her beau, Chris, on a farm in Georgia, she knew she wanted their wedding to be the perfect combination of city and country. The mission was achieved with some glam outfits paired with rustic details. Courtney’s Carolina Herrera dress looked stunning next to her gingham-clad husband, and the surprising (and ingenious!) inclusion of wheat sprays in the bouquets stood out against the ruffled and purple dresses that her bridesmaids donned. The lakeside wedding earns its Southern stripes with more than just location and clever juxtaposition, though. Courtney + Chris included details like the burlap-backed invitations, monogrammed flower girl sash, and sweet ceremony wording. We have to send hugs the way of Something Pretty Fine Art Photography for sharing this wedding with us!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Chris and I casually dated in college at the University of Dayton in Ohio and stayed in touch for a few years after. I remember him calling after 9/11 to check in since I lived not too far from the twin towers and again a year or so later on my birthday. At some point after that, we lost touch. Ten years after we last saw each other in person, we reconnected. I moved to Atlanta and a year later, we got engaged on New Year’s Eve. After a nearly ten-month engagement, we were married at a private barn near Reynolds Plantation, where Chris’ parents live and we frequently visit.
Describe the proposal. I have always loved New Year’s Eve and have celebrated it in a big way for as long as I could remember. That year though, Chris and I decided that we wanted to stay home – and we ended up getting engaged. Chris made the proposal all about “firsts,” symbolizing the start of our new life. He proposed in the first house we lived in together, at 1am on the 1st day of the New Year (1/1/11). We got married on the 1st day of the month too but we actually didn’t plan that on purpose.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Happy, intimate and peaceful (and stressful)!
In what month did you get married? October
How many guests attended your wedding? 140
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I loved having an outdoor reception with bistro lighting strewn across the dining and dancing area.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I have been in the fashion industry for years, so dress scouting was a very fun part of the planning process! When I got engaged, I checked out every spot in Atlanta and almost settled on a few dresses, but wanted to go back to NYC to shop so I could see the full collections. I checked out a few places like Vera Wang and Saks and, again, almost decided on a dress. Then, the afternoon before I was flying back to Atlanta (about to purchase said dress) I relooked at a few “tearsheets” of dresses that I had pulled out from magazines and I was reminded of a dress from Carolina Herrera that I had to try. In that instant I just knew it was the one, even before seeing it in person. I called the Carolina Herrera shop on Madison and they were completely booked. I was leaving the next day – and was so mad at myself for not booking an appointment with them sooner. About 15 minutes later, Michelle Kim from the shop called back and said they could, in fact, see me the next day. I went in, tried on the dress and that was it. Michelle turned out to be the loveliest, sweetest and most professional bridal consultant ever. I absolutely love my dress and feel completely cheated that I was only able to wear it for such a short time!
Describe your wedding flowers: My goal was to create a high-low, county-city, high fashion-rustic vibe across all aspects of my wedding. So, to strike that balance against my dress and the dresses of the bridesmaids, I went rustic with the flowers. I had something specific in mind and our florist did an amazing job creating it. We did all white, lush flowers along with wheat sprays. It was tied with a burlap wrap that had red ticking.

Photographer: Something Pretty Fine Art Photography // Videographer: Scott Felsen of Golden Weddings // Planner: No Regrets Events // Venue: Private Barn in Greensboro, GA // Florist: Le Petit Jardin // Caterer: Hallie Janes // Rentals, Linens, Lighting: Hallie Janes // Paper Products: Stationary by Tickled Ink, Burlap Invite Backers from The Blue Envelope, Personalized Items from KaydenAshley on Etsy // Bride’s Dress: Carolina Herrera // Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil: Veil custom made by Ruby V // Bride’s Shoes: Miu Miu from Bergdorf Goodman // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Haute Hippie

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
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  4. avatar Bella reply

    Beautiful wedding! I love the groom’s attire. I am taking a stab and guessing his shirt is a gingham shirt from Vineyard Vines. I would love to know where he got his look from for my own wedding.

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

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