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Do you ever have those days when you realize you need more words in your vocabulary? I, for instance, get in the habit of saying “awesome” or “perfect” when I could be saying things like “jaw-dropping” and “impeccable.” (Confession: I just used a thesaurus for that last word. That’s how bad it is! They don’t even pop into my head!)

Today, I could have used the word “sweet” to describe Holly + Chase’s wedding, but when I sat back and broke it down, there was much more to the feelings I have about their Alabama wedding. Looking through these photos from Rylee Hitchner makes me feel like I’m home. You know, that feeling you get when you know exactly how long it takes for the water to get hot, where the glasses and spoons are, and the sound of the back door creaking as your friends walk in.

Don’t you feel right at home in these photos? I love that good family friends of Holly + Chase let them use their home to host this wedding. It was also the spot where Chase popped the question, making it one of the couple’s favorite details. “Not only was the home a warm, charming and picturesque piece of art in itself, the family that lives there are the kindest of friends, and their home had truly been a haven to us both at different points apart and then together as we began to fall in love.”

We love how Holly described the Southern elements of her wedding. “I think what makes the South so iconic is it’s preservation of a sense of real community and that was a shining theme in our wedding. More than the beautiful Alabama home, more than the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the background, more than the homemade biscuits and cornbread, the most important Southern element was the way our families, friends and neighbors banded around us, offering their creative talents to make our wedding beautiful.”

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Having known each other for about five years, I don’t know that we would have started dating if we hadn’t bumped into each other several times in the span of a couple days. After those few, fortunate run-ins in the summer of 2010, we ended up spending tons of time together right before Chase left for a summer in Ireland and before I moved to South Carolina for a new job. While Chase was overseas, I made the decision to move to Uganda for six months and, no hard feelings involved, knew we probably wouldn’t date. Somewhere in those fall months before I left, we found ourselves talking all the time anyway. We fell fast, making for a very long six months apart while I was in Uganda! Chase flew to see me for 7 days in March, I got home in May and we were engaged in June. It was the best kind of whirlwind!
Describe the proposal. After I returned from Uganda, I started working at a local shop back in Alabama. Saturdays were usually slow, and one Saturday in particular it was so slow that my boss gave me the afternoon off. When I got off work, my friend suggested that we, along with some other friends, ride out to our friends’, the McMurtrie’s, house to pick blueberries, even though they weren’t quite in season yet. I was glad we were going to our friend’s house because Chase had planned to fish on their pond that afternoon. When we arrived, my friends ran out to the blueberry bushes while Robin McMurtrie and I walked out to the pond where Chase and Robin’s husband Tommy were fishing. When we got there, Tommy excused himself and Robin followed. Chase had slyly captured my Bible and read me a passage of scripture that he and Tommy had been talking about and then told me to read a note he had left me between the pages. It was a little note scribbled on a small piece of notebook paper telling me a few things he loved about me. Then, he told me there was another note in the front page. I flipped to it and saw Chase had crossed out “Holly Hereth” and written “Holly Stephenson?” From there, Chase was on one knee! We walked back to the house where friends and family were waiting to surprise me and to celebrate!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Simple, effortless and joyful!
In what month did you get married? October
How many guests attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: Well, it was the first one I tried on! I didn’t have much of an idea of what I wanted besides the fact that I wanted something simple with lace. I didn’t even know what to look for on the hanger. My mom actually found my dress. When I tried it on, it just felt like me. After putting on just two others, I was ready to put the first back on. I loved the simple fit, the low back and the scalloping lace over the shoulders.
Describe your wedding flowers: My wedding flowers were actually one of my favorite surprises of the wedding! A sweet friend of mine, Lindsay Rae, offered to arrange them for me. Being such the creative spirit that she is, I knew I could I send her a few photos of bouquets and let her run with it. She made the most beautiful, spilling bouquet for me and the sweetest little arrangements for my bridesmaids, not to mention the boutonnieres for the fellas and the table arrangements.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: Our wedding cakes were made by all kinds of loving hands! My friend Grace made the biggest portion of the cake, a delicious spice cake with cream cheese frosting roughly smeared to hold the layers together. Days before the wedding, I started to get nervous that there wouldn’t be enough, so my friend Cassidy helped me make a chocolate stout cake to add to the mix. The cakes we put on display were small and simply decorated with foliage from the landscape. We served guests slices from sheet cakes that no one ever saw!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I think the biggest challenge came in remembering that the purpose of our wedding was to marry each other. Of course I wanted the day to be lovely, but letting go of my ideal in a lot of areas shifted my focus and let me enjoy the beauty, charm and sanctity of it all. After all, have you ever enjoyed something you’re micromanaging? Probably not.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? Less than $10,000.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Dancing with my bridesmaids right before we walked down the aisle to Motown in our dressing room, and then dancing with Chase to the same songs at the reception.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Forget every wedding you’ve ever been to, and don’t think about the resources you don’t have. If you have a bride, a groom, a pastor and a few friends or family members who love you, you have everything you need to make the sweetest, most magical and meaningful wedding.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We now live in Nashville where we eat chocolate ice cream every night, listen to all the live music we can afford and love being married! We’re most looking forward to going to seminary in a few years, traveling together and eating big Saturday breakfasts every Saturday for the rest of our lives!

Photographer: Rylee Hitchner Photography // Planner: Lindsay Rae ([email protected]) // Venue: McMurtrie Home // Florist: Lindsay Rae ([email protected]) // Wedding Cake Baker: Grace Henderson, Cassidy Gibson // Caterer: Lyn’s Gracious Goodness // Rentals: Mullins Special Occasions // Linens: Barron’s Rental Center // Lighting: Steve Metz // Bride’s Dress: Jessica by Robert Bullock from The Something Blue Shoppe // Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil: Hairpiece from Out of Hand // Bride’s Shoes: Sundance Catalog // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Modcloth

Out of Hand is a member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

Do you love this wedding? You might like these, too:
Ashley + Ross’s simple white + kraft wedding here and here.
Meredith + John’s Alabama farm wedding here and here.
Meghan + Chris’s homemade farm wedding here and here.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
13 Comments
  1. avatar Laura reply

    This wedding makes me happy. I pray God’s blessings on this sweet couple.

  2. avatar Kelly Cummings (Spindle Photography) reply

    I love the bride laughing in the photo with the bridesmaids! Lovely photos Rylee!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    Oh, I love that photo with the girls all in a row under the blanket! Reminds me of my sisters :)

  4. avatar Madelynne Miller reply

    This is one of those weddings that is beautiful on its own, but truly enhanced by the story told with it. I LOVE her advice. What a wise lady.

  5. avatar rylee hitchner reply

    thank you for this feature, girls!
    i love the entire post.

  6. avatar holly stephenson reply

    yes, thank you! Rylee captured the day so perfectly. I’m so honored y’all think it was as sweet and homey as we did!

  7. avatar Cory Weber reply

    Totally love the girls all in a row, that’s the kind of true expression a great photographer can evoke in their subjects. Nice work Rylee Hitchner Photography

  8. avatar Tim Duncan reply

    These photos are precious! The bride is so stunning! :)

  9. avatar rylee – Meagan Tidwell Design reply

    […] a year ago, my bestie, holly, was looking for a wedding photographer, so my friend kelsey hooked us up with rylee’s […]

  10. avatar HERE WE GO! – Lindsay Rae Design reply

    […] over a year ago this adventure began… I’ll never forget driving to Huntsville, AL for Holly and Chase’s wedding in a freezing cold 4-runner filled with flowers and thinking to myself, “I despise cold […]

  11. avatar rylee | Seed & Water reply

    […] a year ago, my bestie, holly, was looking for a wedding photographer, so my friend kelsey hooked us up with rylee’s […]

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Didn’t I tell you the flowers in Cassie + Ryan’s reception were gorgeous? Ilex for Flowers created romantic yet dramatic arrangement from white and green orchids and topped off the couple’s four-tiered cake with the pretty blooms. The real floral wow factor, however, was the bed of hydrangeas that the cake sat upon. In addition to good eats, Cassie + Ryan’s wedding was a show of Southern hospitality. Cassie’s Alabama-born family coaxed Ryan’s Canadian relatives onto the dance floor for the night, showing the great tradition of two families coming together. Read on to the interview to see what Cassie had to say about her great Southern community and thanks again to Amelia Strauss, who photographed C + R’s Alabama wedding!

Describe your wedding flowers: It was the sweetest compliment of white english sweet pea flowers for my bouquet (understated and elegant), a bounty of white orchids romantically strung across the stone wall, and green orchids surrounding our wedding cake and groom’s cake. The details of each display on every table was so unique and tied the whole theme together incredibly.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We decided to get married in Huntsville, Alabama, where I spent my childhood. We got married at the Ledges in the intimate golfer’s patio, which overlooked the entire city of Huntsville. You could even see the Tennessee River off in the distance. My husband is from Canada and we wanted to make his family and friends feel welcome by having a chocolate caramel cake (it is far more delicious than you would imagine) with a Canadian flag draped across it. There was a bunch of delicious fried food served in the banquet hall and the Alabamians were slowly coaxing the Canadians onto the dance floor. What truly made this wedding Southern was the community that gathered together and helped make all the details possible and filled with love, by hosting brunches, making incredible eats, and so much more.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Planning our wedding was not very challenging at all because we had Dori Thorton from The Social Office based out of Nashville. She was always calm and in control in a crisis and took care of deadlines. Without Dori handling all the details, my wedding would have not been the incredible vision that it was on that day. If there is one thing I can suggest to any soon-to-be bride, it is to find a wedding planner who compliments your personality and makes you feel comfortable during every meeting you have with them.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Deloaine’s hair styling and Babette’s makeup done for my mother, my grandmother, my bridesmaids, and myself.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Having all the family together, my father with slightly damp eyes and a sweet smile telling me how happy he was for me just before the ceremony, and then Ryan’s face when he saw me for the first time that day, while I was walking down the aisle.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes we did. Mine were written on tiny sheets of paper, which Ryan now keeps in his wallet. We both mentioned being each other’s best friend, how we both made each other better people and how much we don’t want to picture our lives without ever knowing each other.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We both live and work in Los Angeles. We have been writing together and workshopping screenplays. Ryan has a film that is screening worldwide and has won some impressive awards and I am continuously filming and acting on stage. We don’t plan on children in the near future because we both want to see so much of the world together before we fully settle.

Photographer: Amelia Strauss // Planner: The Social Office // Venue: The Ledges Country Club // Florist: Ilex for Flowers // Wedding Cake Baker: Dessert Designs // Caterer: The Ledges // Paper Products: Nico and Lala // Bride’s Dress: Amsale // Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil: Saks Fifth Avenue // Bride’s Shoes: bride’s mother’s // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alvina Valenta // Hair and Makeup: Deloain New York // Stylist: Chic Critique,

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
7 Comments
  1. avatar Jo reply

    Love the portraits, stunning!

  2. avatar claire reply

    Love these images!

  3. avatar erin reply

    stunning. always.

  4. avatar Lucy reply

    These are gorgeous! I can see exactly who this beautiful couple are as all of their personality was captured perfectly. Cassie with the coke bottle could have been taken 50 years ago but still looks fresh and modern. Love them!

  5. avatar Melissa reply

    another beautiful group of photos. The bride looks like a model!

  6. avatar Mary Brantley Nalley reply

    Amazing pictures and beautiful people!

  7. avatar katie reply

    Love the photography of the flowers, cakes, and the beautiful couple enjoying the reception! So fun to read about their wedding!

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It’s only appropriate for Cassie + Ryan, both actors, to have an old Hollywood themed wedding. (How perfectly 1940’s is the photo of Cassie sipping on a soda? Adorable.) The bride’s sleek Amsale dress made her feel like Audrey Hepburn as she walked down the aisle and said her “I Do’s” to Ryan. The orchids and hydrangeas, courtesy of Ilex for Flowers, that hung from the guests’ chairs and were draped along the stone wall were the couple’s favorite detail of the wedding and hinted at the floral gorgeousness to come at the reception. Big thanks to Amelia Strauss for sharing! Don’t forget to come back for Part II.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. I was walking across the street at a crosswalk in Los Angeles, when a Suburban ran a red light and nearly hit me. I yelled at the SUV “It’s alright, I’m just walking here!” Ryan was walking ahead of me, had made it to the sidewalk and laughed at what I said. I apologized, and he was impressed that I nearly had a run in with death and I had made light of it. We began walking together and were somehow headed the same direction. It turned out that our cars were parked next to each other and were the same color blue. We continued to talk for two hours by our cars. Ryan admits he was too afraid to ask for my phone number, so he asked me to write my name on a $10 bill. I wrote “Cassie Yeager is a…” right next to the 10. He still has that ten-dollar bill.
Describe the proposal. I was still in school at the time. Ryan had asked me earlier if I would go to dinner with him when I was done with class. At eleven that night, he was waiting outside the school for me. I was starving and he asked me to go for a walk with him. Reluctantly, I agreed. We held hands and his hands were sweating (which never happens). All the restaurants were to the right of the school, but when we turned out of the school, he suggested we go left. As we walked, we came upon the crosswalk where we first met. He said, “Remember how we met, how you made light of such a frightening situation?” I giggled. Then he stopped at the corner and knelt down. “Cassie, I have appreciated how much happiness and laughter you have brought to my life, will you please be my wife?” I forgot how to breathe and couldn’t figure out how to give him my finger to put the ring on, but was eventually able to whimper out a tearful “Yes.”
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Classic, enchanting, dazzling
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: To choose just one is impossible, but the bunches of white orchids that draped across the stone wall as we exchanged our vows strongly stand out when I reflect on the day.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: My mother knew exactly what dress I wanted before I did when she saw the Amsale design in a bridal magazine. She and my Aunt Cass flew out to LA and we went to Saks 5th Avenue Beverly Hills. When we walked the floor, my mother did not see the dress she saw in the magazine and asked our consultant about it. She knew exactly which dress we were asking about and, within an hour and a half, I was deciding between the Amsale and a gorgeous flowing Grecian goddess dress. It came down to the Amsale because it fit the theme of our wedding, “Old Hollywood” and the classic 1940’s. I felt like Betty Davis and Audrey Hepburn as I stood in it the dress.

Photographer: Amelia Strauss // Planner: The Social Office // Venue: The Ledges Country Club // Florist: Ilex for Flowers // Wedding Cake Baker: Dessert Designs // Caterer: The Ledges // Paper Products: Nico and Lala // Bride’s Dress: Amsale // Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil: Saks Fifth Avenue // Bride’s Shoes: bride’s mother’s // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alvina Valenta // Hair and Makeup: Deloain New York // Stylist: Chic Critique,

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
16 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Love those black and white portraits of Cassie! Beautiful work, Amelia!

  2. avatar Emily reply

    I love this ! Such a beautiful wedding captured so well. I especially love the coke shot :)

  3. avatar Anna Hedges reply

    Stunning! Love it all…photos, story, couple! Amelia-you never cease to amaze me!

  4. avatar Jo reply

    These images are beautiful, thanks for sharing them and the couple’s story.

  5. avatar Bob Echols reply

    Terrific. Beautiful!

  6. avatar Ivy reply

    Love these images!!

  7. avatar Erin reply

    These images are amazing! They make me want to keep coming back for more. I doubt I could ever tire of them!

  8. avatar claire reply

    Love these photos so very much! Especially the bride drinking a coke. Looks like a print ad!

  9. avatar Ashley Burleson reply

    Amazing spread and gorgeous photography!! So creative!

  10. avatar Kimberlee @ Gracefully Girly reply

    Gorgeous style!

  11. avatar Laura reply

    I wore Amsale Aubrey!!! It is so gorgeous and classic. I especially love the image with the soda bottle.

  12. avatar Melissa reply

    I am always amazed at Amelia’s beautiful work and what a gorgeous wedding!

  13. avatar Mary Brantley Nalley reply

    So beautiful! I love the proposal story, and I feel like the photography really captured the beauty of these two and their wedding.

  14. avatar graham reply

    wow. that has to be the funniest “how we met” story ever. So precious. Loving these classy details. These images are incredibly unique. They don’t look like everything else out there. Well done.

    • avatar Nicole reply

      Graham, I love their “How we met” story, too! I seriously laughed out loud in the office. Definitely proof that you can find your true love anywhere.

  15. avatar Katie reply

    SUCH a beautiful wedding!! The photo of Cassie sipping on a coke is unbelievable! Love it!!

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