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Wow. Do you see that first photo? We love Paul Johnson Photography for sharing this wedding with us! Amanda + Brent were married on the landing of the gorgeous antebellum plantation house, Southwood, which was decked in magnolia garlands and blue hydrangeas by Missy Gunnels Flowers. The men looked sharp with their big blue and white bow ties, the bridesmaids were lovely in Jim Hjelm, and the bride was elegant in her lace gown from Simply Elegant. In addition to being beautiful and timeless, A + B’s wedding was full of family ties. Amanda’s two aunts were both involved in the ceremony as an officiant and a flutist and Amanda walked down the aisle wearing her mother’s veil. My favorite part of the ceremony, though, was the ring warming. The wedding rings were passed through the guests to be blessed before they were slipped onto Amanda + Brent’s fingers. That’s a beautiful start to a Southern marriage, if I do say so myself.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. I met Brent in the summer of 2002 through my friend and Brent’s fraternity brother. At that time, I was a student at the University of South Florida in Tampa and Brent was attending FSU in Tallahassee. We saw each other whenever possible on weekends and during breaks, but the long distance became a strain on our relationship and we parted ways. But in May 2004, we decided to start dating again. Our final year at FSU, we were inseparable. Brent was going to move back to Destin after graduation and we decided that I would move there too, after I graduated in August. For two grueling years, Brent gave me the support I needed while attending graduate school at the University of West Florida but we also had time to have fun vacationing in Colorado, traveling to FSU football games, and enjoying Destin.
Describe the proposal. I was involved in the ring design so I knew when it was finished. Needless to say, surprising me was going to be difficult. One weekend in March of 2010, I went home to Tallahassee for the weekend. On my way back to Destin, I called Brent to let him know I was close to home. If anything was out of the ordinary, I would have known something was up, so Brent simply hid behind the closed door to our house, ring in hand, and waited for me to come in. As I entered, hands full and hound dogs howling, Brent popped the question.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Southern, heirloom, timeless
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding took place at an antebellum plantation home, Southwood. We included family and friends as much as possible. Brent’s grandmother addressed all of the invitations in a beautiful script font, both of my aunts were in the ceremony, I wore my mom’s veil, and we used my mom and dad’s 25th anniversary toasting flutes for the champagne toast. We also had a table of every wedding picture of our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents and during the ceremony, we had a ring warming where the wedding rings were passed throughout the audience and were blessed by each guest.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I shopped with my mom and my dress was the third one I tried on. Later, my dad came to Destin to see the dress and his jaw just dropped. However, my mom and I wanted to spend a weekend shopping in bigger cities just to make sure I saw all of my possibilities. As soon as I got back to Destin, I ordered my dress. I knew it was the one. I am glad I ordered it early because the first dress that arrived was sewn wrong. We had to send it back to be totally remade. I got my dress back three weeks before the wedding.

Photographer: Paul Johnson Photography // Planner: John Gandy Events // Venue: The Southwood House // Florist: Missy Gunnels Flowers // Wedding Cake Baker: Katie’s Cakes & Catering // Caterer: Catering Capers // Bride’s Dress: Simply Elegant // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jim Hjelm

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Amy-Jo Tatum/Bride Chic reply

    Just gorgeous! Love to see pets included in the festivities . . .

  2. avatar Southern Style :: Veils 101 « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] from left to right: Braedon Fynn (see the rest of this lovely fest here) and Paul Johnson (more here). Next is the fingertip veil. This veil ends right at the ends of your hands when you have your […]

  3. avatar Southern Weddings Monthly Round-Up :: July 2011 « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

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  4. avatar Inspiration Board For My Ideal Wedding | Simply Jessica Marie reply

    […] love a man in a bow tie The stripes nicely complement the stripes from the […]

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You know a Southern bash is good when the cops get called for a noise complaint! Mary + Austin’s reception was full of sweet love, good food and acoustic guitar jam sessions! Now that’s a wedding I’d love to be a guest at. Aside from being a hootin’ and hollerin’ good time, the reception was full of beautiful details. The horseshoes appear again, scattered on the tables, propped up by mason jar vases and in the form of the couple’s initials on the Swiss dotted cake by Annette Marcus. Y’all know I’m string light’s biggest fan, and the chandeliers hanging from these above M + A’s celebration just knock my socks off. Kudos to Ali Harper Photography who captured this pretty wedding and my two favorite shots at the bottom of the post.

See all the photos from Mary + Austin’s wedding in their Real Wedding Gallery!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We were married in a beautiful Methodist church, the very same place where we met and attended preschool. At the reception, mason jars were filled with flowers and candles. We served shrimp and grits, Brunswick stew shooters and mac-n-cheese. My father and I danced to “Georgia on My Mind”. Plus, we had self-serve kegs and acoustic guitar jam sessions. It was so noisy the cops were called!
Describe your wedding cake: It had white pearl dots and custom fondant horseshoe initials designed by me. The inside was yellow cake with buttercream icing and fresh strawberry filling – delicious! The cake topper was actually a pair of cufflinks designed by Alexandra Fenzl, our talented fashion designer friend. Austin also wore them to the rehearsal dinner.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Planning the wedding long distance was quite a challenge, but the help and coordination of our parents was unwavering and made it all possible.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $15,000-$20,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The invitations! Top-quality printing, multiple pieces and multiple colors really added up…but they truly expressed our energy as a couple and set the tone for the day. Plus, the memory of printing them will last a lifetime.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Playing music together and seeing our loved ones dance along.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes! Austin’s favorite line was, “You have always been my best friend.” Mine was, “Children adore you, which is why I know you will be a wonderful father.”
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We can’t wait to get back to our life in NYC, where we’ll continue to build our careers and soak up all amazing energy and culture of the city. In the future we’re looking forward to tackling another city (or two!), and then settling down to raise a family.

Photographer: Ali Harper Photography // Catering & Cake: Annette Marcus // Flowers: Flowercraft and Fuji Floral Design // Paper products: Bride // Hair & Makeup: Louie Lieberman // Reception: private residence // Cake topper: Alexandra Fenzl // Bride’s dress: Lazaro // Veil: Village Bridal & Boutique // Shoes: Michael Shannon // Necklace: Groom’s family heirloom // Groom’s attire: suit by Isaia, shirt and cuff embroidery by Holland & Sherry, cufflinks by Gogo, shoes by To Boot New York // Bridesmaids’ horseshoe necklaces: Beau & Stella // Groomsmen’s ties: Supperclub // Groomsmens’ pocket squares: Jack Spade

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Shelby Till reply

    Love the horseshoes and the mason jar candle holders! Looked like a great time!

  2. avatar Stefanie reply

    Love the guestbook! How was it made!?

  3. avatar published: southern weddings » ali harper photography reply

    […] Mag published dear Mary & Austin’s sweet backyard wedding yesterday (part I here, part II here). Kudos again to Mary for designing and letter-pressing such a beautiful stationery suite. Being a […]

  4. avatar Fashion Boutique reply

    That cake looks absolutely marvelous, I think a touch of pearls would fit nice on it. :)

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!

Reply to: