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BDK and I always say we’d love to live in Nashville someday. There’s just some kind of fun magic in that town! And I’ve got to say that same magic made it’s way to Olivia + Robert’s wedding day! While I’ll always be a classic ballroom reception fan, I can’t help but love this take on the brunch reception. Come one, how cute is the cereal station?! Not only did they have that one adorable stop, they also included a biscuit bar (an SW fave!), Café Du Monde-style beignets, and a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. Sounds like a serious recipe for fun!

Thanks to Jen and Chris Creed for sharing such a spirited day with us!

Describe your wedding flowers. My bouquet was made of all-white peonies. Robert gave me an heirloom diamond and sapphire brooch before the ceremony, which we attached to the bouquet. My bridesmaids carried bouquets of assorted white flowers. The flowers at the reception were corals, peaches, and pinks, arranged in assorted antique vases. Geny’s did a great job!

My mom, maid of honor, Kathryn, and I started the day with mimosas. We went to two boutiques in Nashville and were not having any luck finding something in my style and in our budget. As we were walking out of the second boutique, Kathryn picked up an ivory bridesmaid dress. We loved it, bought it about ten minutes later, and celebrated with more mimosas.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My favorite detail was the funny cocktail napkins we used on the bars. I loved seeing our guests laugh at them. Robert says his favorite was when the doors opened and I walked down the aisle. I think he’s trying to one-up me–I thought he would say the bacon on the bloody mary bar.
Did you have something borrowed, something blue, and something new? If so, do tell! I borrowed a sweet friend’s beautiful veil, wore shiny electric blue shoes, and carried a dear family friend’s vintage handkerchief, which turned out to be much needed. My dress was new!

Choosing the music was my favorite part. My dad and I walked down the aisle to “Morning Has Broken” played by a cellist and classical guitarist. It was soft and beautiful, appropriate for our morning wedding. A very talented friend sang “Be Thou My Vision” during the ceremony. We walked/danced back up the aisle to a soulful rendition of “Oh Happy Day,” sung by a friend, along with her sisters and daughter. The sound system didn’t work correctly for our first dances, so after crossing the Shelby Street pedestrian bridge for our reception exit, Robert and I went to Robert’s Western World for a proper first dance. I don’t remember what song played, but we had a blast dancing at one of our favorite Nashville establishments.

I’m from Mississippi and Robert is from West Tennessee, so I would say everything about our wedding was Southern, including the Southern accents that echoed throughout the church and reception. We were married in the morning and had a brunch reception. The brunch menu included a biscuit bar, complete with pulled pork barbecue, fried chicken bites, country ham, sausage, bacon and assorted jams and jellies. Café Du Monde-style beignets were served along with mini quiches and deviled eggs. Guests enjoyed a mimosa bar, a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, and an assorted beer selection from Nashville’s own Yazoo Brewing Company. We used Hatch Show Print postcards for our save the dates and Spirit of Nashville postcards as a guest book for the reception. We reconvened with friends and family on the evening of our wedding at a honky-tonk in downtown Nashville.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The guest list! At one point, we had three different versions of it. My mom had never heard of Excel before the guest list started. I hand-addressed our wedding invitations and now have a new respect for calligraphers.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I moved to Nashville on a whim, knowing exactly one person here. Fortunately for me, she had a great group of girl friends who have become my best friends. These girls were friends with a great group of guys who lived in the same apartment complex. Robert was one of those guys! After a group dinner at Jackson’s in Hillsboro Village, a few of us decided to continue the night at The Villager. Robert fell in love with me there. He won’t admit it, but there are witnesses. Cheers to the smokiest bar in Nashville, darts, and a spectacular jukebox!
Tell us all about the proposal! Robert lived in the Encore at the time. I walked over after a particularly bad Friday at work. We drank wine, listened to music and talked about dinner plans. I didn’t think anything of it. He called me out to his balcony as the sun set over the Nashville skyline, got on one knee, and proposed. I couldn’t stop laughing. I immediately wanted to call my parents, but he had already taken my phone away because he wanted us to have a nice dinner and enjoy the engagement before telling the world. I was so frustrated–I needed to talk to my mom! We went to dinner at Prime 108 in the Union Station Hotel. As we walked in, I saw my parents and his parents waiting on us in the lobby. That’s when the tears started. It was perfect.
When did y’all get married? May 4, 2013
How many friends, family, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 250
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look because we wanted to spend as much time as possible celebrating with our friends and family at our reception.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We went with traditional vows. I like the idea that our parents and grandparents promised the same things to each other and it worked out pretty well for all of them.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? A sweet friend read Colossians 3:12-17.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. A friend and coworker recently started a bakery with her husband. We loved knowing that a friend made our cake: five layers of goodness accented by fresh flowers. Robert’s dessert was assorted mini pies. They were super cute and delicious.
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? Definitely our photographers! We met with them twice before the wedding so that they could get a better idea of our personalities and style. They were so easy to work with during the entire process, and they were both professional and laid-back on our wedding day. They even sent us a “welcome home from the honeymoon” care package that included a cute little wedding album of pictures we hadn’t seen, and invited us to their home for dinner to preview our pictures and design the album. Most importantly, we love our wedding pictures. They really captured the spirit and joy of the day.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t worry about the things you can’t change. I checked the weather forecast at least 100 times the week before our wedding. It changed from 75 and sunny to 44 and rainy. Although the latter proved to be more accurate, we had the best day celebrating with our family and friends.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Hopefully, a house, a baby or three, and lots more fun together.

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

    I really love the shot of Olivia and her Dad before they walk down the aisle… and the mini pies, of course!

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I’m just going to come right out and say it: I am smitten with Leah and Austen’s wedding! From the most charming location (Fearrington is an office favorite–we even took some of our V6 team pictures there!), to the prettiest bouquets, to Austen’s sharp Southern seersucker, to the sparkling reception, there are so many details to love. Even more than that though, my heart absolutely melts seeing their faces in these pictures. All of their big wedding moments–the first look, the vows, the dances, and so much more–were so clearly full of true love and overwhelming joy. Plus, I can’t help but have a soft spot for emotional brides, considering there is about a 99.9% chance that I’ll someday be one of them! :)

Big hugs to our lovely and talented friend, Nancy Ray, for sharing Leah and Austen’s wedding with us!

Austen and I met in class at the University of North Carolina. The summer before my junior year, I was living with one of my closest girlfriends, and we both decided to pick up a summer session class at the last minute. The stars must have aligned to make us choose that class, I swear. Austen and I were randomly paired up for a partner project in that very class. We had both noticed one another earlier in the semester–he sat diagonally to my front left–but hadn’t talked that much, and after the project was done, we didn’t go out of our way to stay in touch. He was always just the cute, funny guy from class. We’d see each other out and about around Chapel Hill, but that was it. Or so I thought–apparently, he’d called his mom at the start of the class to tell her about “a pretty girl who wears sweatpants to class.” Ha! I never thought my casual attire for early morning classes would be a good thing! A few weeks after our fall semester classes started, Austen got in touch with me to give me a hard time about my favorite football team. I’m a Green Bay Packers fan, and he pulls for their conference rival, the Minnesota Vikings. After some banter back and forth, he finally asked me for my number, and our “first date” was a trip to the grocery store in his old Jeep Wrangler. I was officially hooked!

Describe your wedding flowers. I wanted a fresh, just-gathered-from-the-garden feel for our flowers. Our “official” color palette was blush, peach and gold, but we didn’t want everything to be too matchy-matchy. My bridesmaids were wearing beautiful beige chiffon dresses, and Austen and his groomsmen were in blue seersucker suits, so I wanted simple, muted flowers that would pair nicely with everything without taking over. Our florist did an amazing job, especially considering I’d given her basically zero input! The bouquets and centerpieces were exactly how I had pictured them, and I could have never articulated that to her–she just “got it.” They were textural, asymmetrical arrangements in hues of pink, peach, ivory, and fresh greenery. My bouquet was wrapped with sparkly gold ribbon, which I loved!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did! At first, I was against Austen seeing me before the ceremony. I thought it would “take away” from the moment he saw me walking down the aisle, but he convinced me that our ceremony would be just as special, even if we’d seen each other first. And I am so, SO glad we did. We’re both pretty emotional people, so doing a first look was the perfect way to ditch the pre-ceremony jitters and get the “ugly cries” out of the way. As soon as I stepped out of the bridal suite and saw Austen standing with his back turned to me, the waterworks started. We laughed a lot, hugged a lot, and prayed a lot–it was absolutely perfect. It’s one of the only moments from the day that didn’t go by in a complete blur, and one of the only times reserved for just the two of us. The photos from our first look are some of the only ones we were able to take outside, thanks to the rainstorm of the century that rolled in right as the ceremony began, so I am so, so grateful for them! The lighting was beautiful, and the emotions we felt were so perfectly captured in the photographs. They are definitely some of our favorites from the wedding day!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The weather! It had been the rainiest summer I could remember here in North Carolina, and a few weeks out, Austen and I talked about having rain on our wedding day. We both decided to just roll with whatever happened, so I was mentally prepared when rain was in the forecast. The morning of the wedding, it was overcast and drizzly, but we held out hope that it would clear. It did, for a few beautiful hours before the ceremony when we were able to get some stunning outdoor photographs, but then the sky darkened again, and it rained on and off (mostly on) throughout the rest of the day. If that old saying holds, we’ll have our fair share of good luck! Thankfully, our venue was great with a last-minute change to the ceremony location to accommodate the weather. Honestly, I loved the space where we ended up getting married even more than the outdoor location we’d originally chosen. It was an huge terrace with all the windows and sliding doors open so that we could hear the rain falling softly. The plethora of natural light pouring in was just the icing on the cake. Our wedding planner did such a fantastic job decorating the space and dealing with the crazy weather (not to mention shuffling 175+ guests around in the rain!) that when Austen and I look back on our wedding day, we forget that the weather wasn’t cooperative!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we knew as soon as we got engaged that we wanted to write our own vows, and since Austen’s grandfather married us, we were able to completely customize our entire ceremony. We kept our vows a secret from each other until the big day–we had my maid of honor proofread them to make sure they were similar in length and seriousness, and agreed to both use the phrase “I promise” as a general structure. Standing in front of all of our loved ones, saying the words we’d written to each other was one of my absolute favorite moments. They were incredibly personal and very “us”–we both made each other laugh and cry. I don’t think we stopped smiling the entire time. My favorite line from Austen’s vows was: “I promise to never settle for less for our family, and to conduct myself in a way that you will always be proud of. But most importantly, I promise to never let us forget why we love each other.” His favorite line from mine was: “Life will take us on many journeys–some good, and others not so good, but I promise to spend the rest of my days making sure you know how much I love you, and appreciate you loving me.” We also both ended up referencing the other’s football preferences, which I think is hilarious, because that’s how we really started “talking” in the first place!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Austen grew up in Iowa before moving down to North Carolina in high school, but let me tell you–he’s a Southern boy at heart! I have lived below the Mason-Dixon my entire life, and I always knew that I wanted a sweet, Southern soiree on my wedding day. Fearrington was the perfect place for us to tie the knot–we fell in love with the beautiful pastures, the gorgeous barn, and the sweet Beltie cows! It exuded Southern charm effortlessly, and needed very little decoration on our part to be stunning! Austen chose blue seersucker suits for him and his groomsmen (which made me swoon!), and rounded out the look with pink linen bow ties and classic white bucks. They looked so dapper on our wedding day. The seersucker ended up being a fantastic decision because we had some serious humidity to deal with, so I was relieved the boys weren’t melting in tuxedos! We served Southern food and local NC brews at the reception, and I surprised Austen with a groom’s cake.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding?
There are two that I just couldn’t have gone without–Erin of Erin McLean Events and Nancy of Nancy Ray Photography. Originally, my mom and I thought that since we had a year and half to plan the wedding, we could handle it without a coordinator. Wrong! Planning a wedding is a full-time job, and hiring Erin literally took every ounce of stress out of it. I work for Southern Bride & Groom, a local wedding planning magazine, and I found Erin through their vendor recommendations, and thank goodness for that! I truly enjoyed the entire process, and I would do it again and again if I could have Erin by my side! She came up with absolutely wonderful ideas, sweet details, and took care of everything, while being honest about what details we should and shouldn’t skip to help our budget. My maid of honor introduced me to Nancy Ray’s blog right after Austen and I got engaged. I fell in love with her sweet story, her business ideals, and of course, her gorgeous photography. Nancy and her husband (who was also her second shooter!) also got married at Fearrington (in the rain, too!) so I knew they’d have beautiful ideas for our wedding photography. They captured our wedding day so perfectly–every time I look at the photographs, I relive every detail, and that’s something I will absolutely treasure forever. Not to mention, she’s one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met!

Toward the end of the reception, our DJ played some Carolina favorites–“Wagon Wheel” and “Carolina in my Mind.” Most of the crowd had whittled down, and it was mostly our college friends and immediate family left. Everyone linked arms in a circle around Austen and I, and I just felt so, so loved!

Tell us all about the proposal! After about two years of dating, Austen and I talked about getting engaged. I made the decision to graduate from school a semester early so that we could move in with one another and start our lives together, so I knew that a proposal was on the horizon. I just didn’t know when or how it was going to happen! On January 30, 2012, we were watching a movie at his apartment and talking about when we were going to get engaged. Austen mentioned he already had the ring, and it was just sitting in his closet. He knew that would be a successful way to completely throw me off, and he was right! I knew, I just KNEW, he’d want to follow tradition and ask my parents before he popped the question, and with his crazy work schedule, I thought there was no way he’d had time. Of course, I was wrong! That same night, he got down on one knee beside his bed and asked me to marry him. I’m pretty sure I said yes at least three times before he even finished asking. The moment was just so true to us–we were both in our pajamas spending a quiet night at home, and I had my hair piled in a messy bun on top of my head. Looking back, it makes me smile every time, because I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. The diamond in my engagement ring has been in my family for generations–it was the stone in my grandmother’s engagement ring, and she was married to her husband for over 50 years, so it made the moment even more special. For graduation, my dad had given me the stone set in a necklace. I had thought that I lost it, and was so distraught, but it turned out that Austen had snagged it when I took it off before going to bed one night to have it set in a ring!
When did y’all get married? May 19, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 178
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I have a long-standing love affair with weddings. My friends in high school and college always joked that I would be the first to take the trip down the aisle. I fell in love with TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” in high school, and my mom and I had a running joke that when I got engaged, we’d go to Kleinfeld in New York to look for my dress. After Austen proposed, my mom surprised me by saying, “Well, when are we going to the city?!” I was absolutely giddy–I love New York, and of course, I was thrilled to get the chance to look for my dress at the famous bridal salon. We made a weekend out of the trip, and my mom, my maid of honor, one of my bridesmaids and I had a blast looking at all of the gowns. I had very specific instructions for my consultant–I wanted all lace, no beading or embellishments, and absolutely no dropped waists. Well, sure enough, she brought in a beautiful, all-lace gown that I immediately loved on the hanger, but when she told me it had a dropped waist, I almost refused to try it on! She urged me to just try it, and thank goodness she did, because I completely fell in love with it as soon as she zipped me up! It was only the third dress I tried on, and it had a gorgeous train and the most delicate scalloped hemline. The consultant added a thin tulle sash, and it was absolutely perfect!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? One of my best girlfriends from college read Tyler Knott Gregson’s “Typewriter Series No. 1,” because when I first saw it, I fell in love with the line: “I am filled with wonderings, questions, and doubt, but of one thing I am certain: it will always be you that gives flight to the butterflies inside me, calm to the sea I have become, and hope to the darkness all around us. It is you, and it has always been you.” The rest of the piece is just so beautifully written, and it really stirs something in my soul. I feel like it describes love so perfectly, and how when you meet “your person,” you just know. Then, after we said our vows and exchanged rings, my cousin read Colossians 3:12-17, which has always been one of my favorite Bible verses.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Austen and I (and many members of our bridal party) either graduated from UNC or are diehard Tar Heel fans. We wanted to give a nod to our alma mater, so my bridesmaids walked down the aisle to James Taylor’s “Carolina in my Mind,” played by a violin and guitar string duo. I walked down the aisle to Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years.” Honestly, I was hesitant to stick with my selection once I found out it had been in one of the Twilight movies, but I just loved the song so much. I am so glad I didn’t change my mind–it sounded so incredibly beautiful on the strings, with the rain falling outside as I walked in with my dad (the rain stopped just long enough for us to walk the 50 or so yards from where we were waiting to the ceremony site, but started up again immediately after we got under cover!) I still get goosebumps whenever I hear it! We walked back down the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun,” which is hilariously ironic, because it was absolutely pouring! Austen and I did our first dance to Zac Brown Band’s “Free.” We both love the guitar in the song, and felt like the words really fit our relationship as young newlyweds.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was pretty basic–a tiered vanilla cake topped with white, whipped buttercream and fresh flowers. What I was really excited about was Austen’s groom’s cake, which was a total surprise! As a student at UNC, he’d frequented an old dive bar called He’s Not Here with his friends, going almost every Monday to watch football. I knew their iconic “blue cups” would make an adorable cake, and it came out perfectly! Not to mention, it was absolutely delicious!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Austen’s grandfather, Buddy, performed our ceremony, and it was such a sweet detail. When I met Austen up at the altar, all three of us shed a few tears. Because of the change to the ceremony site, we were unable to have a sound system. At first, I was upset by the fact that all of our guests would be unable to fully hear all the words we’d so carefully put together, but in the end, I think it was a blessing in disguise. It allowed the ceremony to be incredibly intimate, despite having almost 180 people present.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something borrowed was a pair of earrings from my great grandmother. They’re simple stud earrings with a cluster of three pearls, and they’ve been worn by several women on my mom’s side on their wedding days. My something blue was an embroidered handkerchief I carried that belonged to the great grandmother I was named after. My something old was a sixpence that has been worn in the shoe of brides on my dad’s side of the family for generations. It’s a Southern tradition for good luck, and I was so honored to be inducted into the wonderful group of ladies who have worn it before me! My something new was my wedding dress, my gold heels (which I’m absolutely obsessed with!), and a pearl bracelet my stepdad gave me the Friday before the wedding.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There were so many! But one of my favorite moments was having both my dad and my stepdad give me away. I walked down the aisle with my dad, but when we reached the end, my stepdad stood up, and Austen’s grandfather (our officiant) asked “Who has the honor of presenting this woman to be married to this man?” and they responded, in unison, “We do.” I thought it was the perfect way to honor both of the men who have been so integral in my life, and I thought it was a great spin on tradition for less-than-traditional families. Austen’s favorite moment was when Nancy (our photographer) and her husband snuck us away during dinner for a few photographs outside between rain showers. Not only are the photographs absolutely beautiful (we got some with Fearrington’s famous Beltie cows!), but it was so nice to take a moment away from the craziness of the reception and just enjoy each other, and the fact that we were finally husband and wife. I loved that moment too…it was totally worth getting my dress completely filthy!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Everyone warned me that the actual wedding day would fly by in a complete blur, but I thought they were exaggerating. Well, they weren’t! There are several, extra special moments that really stick out in my mind, but until Austen and I got our photos, I couldn’t have told you if half the details we’d planned actually became a reality.
So, my advice would be to try and take a breath, look around, and soak it all in. The craziness of having all your loved ones in one place, of being shuffled around on a schedule and being overwhelmed and anxious and over-the-top excited. Of being so happy, and so in love. Just enjoy it all…every single second. Even the ones you don’t think will matter in the long run, because trust me, they will. Everything about that day matters. And it will fly by faster than you could ever imagine!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Austen and I just moved into our second apartment together. He’s got a little less than a year of school left to become a math teacher, and I’m working as the lead blog writer for Southern Bride & Groom. We’re so looking forward to expanding our family beyond us and our two sweet rescue pups, eventually. But for now, we’re just enjoying this season of our lives–this post-grad, sometimes unstable and almost always unpredictable, but absolutely wonderful season.

Photographer: Nancy Ray Photography / Planner: Erin McLean Events / Ceremony Venue: The Garden Terrace at Fearrington Village / Reception Venue: The Barn at Fearrington Village / Florist, Caterer and Wedding Cake Baker: Fearrington Village / Groom’s Cake: Simply Cakes / Rentals: CE Rental / Band: Liquid Pleasure / DJ: Ryan from SPIN / Bride’s Gown, Sash and Hair Piece: Kleinfeld Bridal / Paper Products: The Green Kangaroo / Hair and Makeup: MakeUpForYourDay / Bride’s Shoes: “Charm” by Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bari Jay / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Bridesmaids’ Gifts: Kate Spade “As Good As Gold” Bangles / Groomsmen Gifts: Engraved Case Pocket Knives / Ceremony String Duo: Arioso Strings / Calligrapher: Calligraphy by Carrie / Pie Pops: Raleigh Cake Pops

lisa Written with love by Lisa
13 Comments
  1. avatar Leah & Austen • Wedding Day | Nancy Ray Photography reply

    […] bit thank you to Southern Weddings for featuring their beautiful wedding today. Be sure to leave a comment over at Southern […]

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Love the video message from the groom!! That must have been so emotional to watch on the morning of the wedding!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    AHHHHHH, I cannot even tell y’all how loudly I squealed when I saw this feature. Being the maid of honor in this wedding was literally a huge honor for me and seeing these beautiful images from Nancy again I can just barely contain my smile! Thanks so much for featuring Leah and Austen, they deserve it!

  4. avatar Leah reply

    Still makes me giddy to see this — thank you so, SO much for featuring me and Austen, we love getting to relive that day through Nancy’s beautiful photographs!

  5. avatar Weekly Link Love » Colorado and Texas Wedding Photographer: Dash Photography reply

    […] Southern Weddings Mag-Glitter and Seersucker Wedding I love LOVE love this wedding. I love the glitter, the outdoors, love love and the girls praying together just melts my heart!! […]

  6. avatar Dana reply

    the seersucker suit and bow tie are perfection

  7. avatar The World’s Longest Blog Post — 2013 Year in Review and 2014 Goals | the organized chicken reply

    […] during the rainstorm of the century. Our wedding was featured on several wedding blogs (here, here and here), fulfilling a silly, girly dream of […]

  8. avatar Orangerie Events – NC Wedding Planner reply

    I love the elegance mixed in with the DIY! Everything is breathtaking. Thank you for sharing!

  9. avatar Happy Birthday, Lisa! – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] at a first look (like in Leah + Austen’s wedding by Nancy […]

  10. avatar Marcie reply

    I love the wispy twiggy lights? What kind are those and do you know where I could buy some? Just breathtaking !

  11. avatar Chelsea reply

    Hi!

    I absolutely love the color scheme of this wedding. Can you tell me the brand/style of the bridesmaids dresses?

    Thanks!
    Chelsea Putnam

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Y’all will notice right away that this wedding is a little different. It has a lovely bride and a dapper groom and a gorgeous Southern setting, yes ma’am, but it also has a day-of timeline that went completely haywire due to unexpected weather, and a noticeable lack of “details” compared to our other features. However, what it may lack in pretty paper or fancy favors, it more than makes up for in heart. Ryan Price’s images tell the story of Laura and Micah’s emotional day well, so please, y’all, enjoy this look at a wedding that went “wrong,” but in the end was oh so right. As we all believe, truly love always, always wins… even in the face of torrential downpour.

I had checked the Farmer’s Almanac dating back to the last ten years to determine that November 3, 2012 was the perfect date for our wedding. It had the least likely chance of rain, and an average temperature of 65 degrees. It was the day before Daylight Savings Time and if we had the ceremony at 5:00pm we could be on the dance floor by 6:00pm, just as the sun was setting. I had done my research.

But things don’t always go according to plan, no matter how well you think you might have planned them. Our wedding was to start at 5:00. The storm began rolling in around 4:30. Torrential downpour began at 4:45. Hail, sometime around 5:00. People were outside scurrying, grabbing napkins and glass vases with candles. I was in the little farmhouse where the bridal party was getting ready, trying to keep it together. Micah, his mother, my mother and father, my pastor, and I gathered together to make a decision. Micah and I decided through tears (mostly mine) and disappointment that we were definitely getting married that day, and we wanted all of our people to be there with us. So we crammed everyone into the tiny farmhouse, wherever they could fit. The bridal party lined up on the staircase, and Micah and I stood at the bottom with our family and friends just a foot away. It was so intimate, and I honestly believe it was better than either of us could have ever imagined.

I walked down the “aisle” to The Vitamin String Quartet’s instrumental version of “Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot. The crescendo in the middle of the song still makes me tear up when I listen to it. After we exchanged our vows, we celebrated by singing a worship song to our God called “How He Loves” by the David Crowder Band. The song is about the incredible love God has for us, and it reminded us that His perfect love is even better than the love we have for each other.

Before my father gave me away and prayed over me and Micah, my brother read 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 peach 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.”

You hear people talk about how family-oriented Southern culture is, and how close-knit communities in small towns can be. I am so fortunate that my family and my community are a classic example of those values. My little town of Lufkin, Texas has more Southern hospitality and just down right generosity than you can shake a stick at. One of my favorite experiences about planning my wedding was how willing and excited people were to help. My mother actually rounded up a little committee of five women, close friends from church and work, who met with us several times before the wedding to help plan. And heaven knows Mom and I needed help! I am so thankful for those women and all of the encouragement and advice they imparted. Not to mention the appointment making, detail managing, and decorating they did! I honestly don’t believe it would have turned out the way it did without the help from our community.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Oh goodness, this is a hard question. Months before my wedding, I remember asking my mom about her own wedding. She said, “Honey, I was honestly so busy and stressed during that time that I don’t remember much of anything.” That made me so sad, because she and my father have been married for 33 years and I know that that was a special time for her. I didn’t want that to be my one regret: that I forgot to stop and enjoy every second. So that’s what I did. I took everything in, and I know this sounds cheesy, but every second was my favorite memory. Some of the memories that stick out the most in my mind were my mother putting on my veil; crying and holding my best friend’s hand as we watched the storm roll in before the wedding; Micah and I deciding together to move the ceremony into the tiny farmhouse, squish everyone in who could fit, and to go ahead with the celebration; seeing Micah teary eyed as he read his vows; dancing to “My Girl” with my daddy, and the look on Micah’s face when my bridesmaids and I performed our little dance number.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Micah and I both love to sing (although he is a much better singer than I), and we both especially love to dance. We like to say that we fell in love two-stepping on the dance floor. Our wedding reception definitely reflected our love for dancing, and much to my mother’s chagrin, it was even complete with surprise performances from both the bride’s party and the groom’s party. I surprised him by throwing on a leather jacket and performing a routine that my bridesmaids, house party, and I had come up with the night before to “You’re the One That I Want” from the movie “Grease.” Micah and his groomsmen followed, to my surprise, with One Direction’s “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful.” It was so much fun, and absolutely hilarious.

This is something I had to learn and continually remind myself of throughout the months of planning, and especially on our big day when nothing went according to plan: Please, please remember that it is not about the event, but about the precious lifelong commitment you are making to the one you love. When you keep it in perspective, you can handle any situation. What you view as the mishaps will truly become the best memories.

How did the two of you meet? Micah and I both attended Texas A&M University (whoop!), but our journey together began even before we set foot on campus as freshmen.  Micah and I both decided to attend Fish Camp, which is A&M’s three-day freshman orientation at a nearby campground. It just so happened that out of 4,000 incoming freshman, Micah and I ended up in the same discussion group! Back then I was a little shy when it came to meeting new people, but not when playing games. Somehow, we wound up playing a card game together the first night. Needless to say, my competitive nature caught his attention. But our fate wasn’t sealed until the second night at the country dance mixer. Micah is a pretty good dancer — sometimes I wonder if he came out of the womb already knowing how to two-step. I remember that night he danced with all six of the other girls in our group first. After that, he just stood next to me for the next two songs. The third song happened to be my favorite at the time, and after commenting to Micah that it was my favorite song, he nodded and continued to stand exactly where he was, staring at the dance floor. The poor boy was afraid to ask! After a few seconds I turned to him, held my hand out and said matter-of-factly, “Micah, considering this is my favorite song, would you please dance with me?” I honestly had never been so bold in my life, but I think I just knew what I wanted.  The rest, as they say, is history.
Describe the proposal. I love surprises, and fortunately for me, Micah loves to surprise me. I had absolutely no idea he was going to propose when he did. Now, I’ll be honest, I had dropped quite a few hints over the course of the two years we were dating. When I say “hints,” what I really mean is I flat-out asked him a few times, “When are you planning on asking me to marry you?” Micah always took it in stride and reminded me to be patient. Then finally, the fall of our senior year at A&M, we were both getting our Aggie rings, which is a momentous occasion for students of Texas A&M. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family pets, everyone practically comes in for this event and everyone celebrates with a party. Micah and I had planned to have a little shindig at my college house with our families and friends. We had a karaoke system set up for entertainment. Micah’s dad called everyone over to where the karaoke was set up and asked for Micah and me to come up on the stage. As Micah dragged me by the hand up to the stage, I whispered to him, “Micah, I’m not going to sing. You’re going to have to sing by yourself because I’m not singing. Not doing it.” He took the microphone from his dad and got down on one knee as the song “She’s Like Texas” began to play. I remember seeing his hand shaking as he held the microphone. Looking back it was obvious what he was doing and so I feel silly for having said, “Micah, what are you doing? I’m not going to sing. Get up!” He laughed and then in the sweetest way he asked me to marry him. I don’t think I even looked at the ring because I was so excited he had finally asked me to be his wife. I fell to my knees and hugged him.
How many guests attended your wedding? That is a good question! I know that 350 RSVP’d but with the unexpected weather and hail storm that ensued that evening, and the temporary misplacement of the guest book, we never got a final count!
Did you decide to do a first look? After much debate, Micah and I decided it would be a good idea to do a first look. I think that was one of the best decisions on our part. It helped us calm our nerves and gave us time to talk to each other before the hustle and bustle began. That time was so special. We talked about how we were feeling and prayed together for our marriage. It also allowed us to have as much time with our guests as possible.
The wedding favors? Homemade blueberry jam. My cousins, aunts, friends and I gathered together one Saturday and canned 350 jars of blueberry jam. Micah and I had picked 11 gallons of blueberries at the Wood Blueberry Farm in Diboll, Texas.
Tell us about your wedding cake. It was absolutely delicious. Our baker even replicated a cake topper I found in a magazine of two little birds. I thought it was fitting considering our last name is Birdsong.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? We were shooting for around $15,000 but quickly realized that, with as many guests as we wanted to invite, we needed to increase the budget. I think the final number ended up being between $20,000 and $21,000.

emily Written with love by Emily
9 Comments
  1. avatar Ryan reply

    One of the neatest weddings to be a part of!! Such an amazing day and testament to their love. Thanks for sharing it!!

  2. avatar Kat reply

    I love that even in the rain, their joy shines through!! I needed to see this post – to remember that even if it’s POURING and none of the details work out, it’s the love that counts.

  3. avatar Taylor J reply

    If this doesn’t embody the Sweet Tea Society…. I don’t know what does!

  4. avatar The NotWedding reply

    How sweet! Love the intimacy of this special day.

  5. avatar Ashleigh reply

    Oh my heavens! I was just talking about the weather for our wedding day yesterday and saying how I’m praying every day leading up to it that it’s nothing but gorgeous! Great job saving the day – stunning wedding and pictures!

  6. avatar Arlissa Vaughn / Special Event Painter reply

    These photos really capture the emotion…very sweet!

  7. avatar Wedding Wednesday :: Southern Weddings reply

    […] know many more are to come! They feature the most gorgeous Southern weddings, but more importantly they feature love. You can browse hundreds of real weddings by state or color, or scroll through their perfectly […]

  8. avatar H. Campbell reply

    Love is in the air, I love the motif so pink… a pretty bride and a handsome groom…Hope I’ll be the next…where are you now my cupid??

  9. avatar Happy Birthday, Lisa! – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] crying at the ceremony (like in Laura and Micah’s wedding by Ryan […]

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