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It’s true, I love “antiquing.” My mama and I frequently make complete days out of rummaging through the traveling shows looking for unique treasures (one of my best scores is a vintage chandelier for $15!). So when I read that Rachel + Stephen incorporated family heirlooms throughout their decor, I must admit I was a bit jealous! I love how they carefully weaved pieces from relatives into their furniture and centerpieces as well as incorporating meaningful little details throughout their entire wedding. R + S are definitely a couple after my own heart!

Big hugs to Nathan Westerfield for bringing their big day to life!

I love how Rachel used fun details to add personality to her gorgeous classic gown. Those Toms look like they’re made for dancing the night away!

It was about the third place I had gone to look for a dress. It was the only one I found that I liked and it was the only one I tried on. It was too perfect! I knew before I even put it on that I was in love with it.

Yes we did do a “first look.” I never thought I wanted to do that. I wanted to keep with the tradition of not seeing each other, but as the wedding got closer, the more anxious I got and I knew that I would need to see him before the wedding to calm my nerves. It was the best decision ever.

I can’t let BDK see this post or he’ll completly agree with Stephen on the best detail of this wedding!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: (From the groom) The shotgun that my groomsmen got me, and the knives I got them. Take that for wedding presents! (From the bride) The antique accents that appeared everywhere.

We had homemade apple butter and clover honey in little mason jars for favors. Instead of having a groom’s cake, we had a groom’s table that included three types of homemade cobblers and vanilla ice cream. Old quilts made by relatives were used as the backdrop for the photo booth as well as to drape over the old wooden pew that we used for gifts. Old Southern doors and doorframes were used as the backdrop for the ceremony along with old chandeliers and picture frames.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met in third grade at church right after I, Rachel, moved to the Nashville area. We grew up going to school and church together throughout elementary, middle and high school and even into college.
Describe the proposal. I had just gotten home from school for Christmas break and Stephen said he wanted to take me out on a date. We went to a nice restaurant in downtown Nashville and afterward we went to see The Nutcracker at TPAC. Afterward, we went back to his house. He had built a pergola with lights and flowers strung all through the top, and had hung pictures of special places that meant a lot to us through the history of our relationship. He then got down on one knee and proposed, and I said yes! He had invited all our friends and family to my house to celebrate, which was also a surprise!
In what month did you get married? July
How many guests attended your wedding? 500-600
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Our prelude was “Beautiful Things” by Gungor and “A Place Only You Can Go” by Needtobreathe. We played “Blower’s Daughter” by Damien Rice as we seated the grandparents. The processional was to “Best/Rest” by Bon Iver, the entrance of the bride was “Your Hand in Mine” by Explosions in the Sky. We did communion to “Rock of Ages” by Brooks Ritter and recessed to “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Ros. Our first dance was to “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by Otis Redding, the father/daughter dance was to “Tootie Fruitie” and the mother/son dance was to “My Girl.”
Describe your wedding flowers: They were blush pink peonies and cream roses.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: We had a mixture of yellow cake and almond cake with natural white icing.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We incorporated antiques from relatives for all the furniture and centerpieces as well as the little details throughout the wedding. We had homemade apple butter and clover honey in little mason jars for favors. Instead of having a groom’s cake, we had a groom’s table that included three types of homemade cobblers and vanilla ice cream. Stephen got a shotgun as the wedding gift from all of his groomsmen and he gave all the groomsmen hunting knives. Old quilts made by relatives were used as the backdrop for the photo booth as well as to drape over the old wooden pew that we used for gifts. Old Southern doors and doorframes were used as the backdrop for the ceremony along with old chandeliers and picture frames.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? (From the bride) The favors. I’m glad everyone got to take something home with them. (From the groom) The little accents and decorations. They meant a lot to Rachel.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We both agree that it was seeing each other for the first time.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Try not to stress when you get just a couple of weeks away from the wedding. It will all come together and stressing about it takes away from the joy you’re supposed to have.

marissa Written with love by Marissa
9 Comments
  1. avatar Caitlin {bayside bride} reply

    I am in love with this wedding dress. The lace detailing at the bottom is so beautiful. I am in awe.

    • avatar Kim reply

      I just stumbled across this via facebook — my daughter chose this dress for her wedding on June 1 of this year. It was absolutely stunning; the lace at the bottom is spectacular. She wore it with the tiny satin straps that were tucked inside it, unlike most brides who wear this dress.

    • avatar Rhonda reply

      That dress is so stunning. Who is the designer? I have been looking for a fuller skirt lace gown with the scalloped edge… It’s so unbelievable!

  2. avatar tara reply

    where did the Lace TOMS come from? I saw this and immediately went to the site to buy them but they weren’t there!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Tara! Nordstrom has the crochet Toms in white and natural, as well as a few other colors. Here’s the link: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/toms-classic-crochet-slip-on-women/3147714

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Welcome to Lauren + Jake’s wedding full of strawberry deliciousness and summery farm fun! According to Lauren, one of the biggest priorities when planning was to have a laid-back, Southern feel. I think the newlyweds succeeded in their mission. Not only were guests transported from the ceremony site to the reception by a wagon-hitched tractor, but they were greeted with bluegrass music, a menu of Southern fare, farm animals, cornhole and s’mores! We’re sending giant hugs to Anna Hedges who brightened our day with this wedding.

As a paper-nerd and strawberry-lover, Lauren + Jake’s simple invitation suite steals my heart. My favorite part? The handwritten feel of their return address!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I knew that I wanted a dress from J. Crew because I wanted something simple and comfortable. Our photographer told me about finding bridesmaid dresses for her sister’s wedding at a J. Crew clearance store near Asheville, NC. They had a few wedding dresses in my size, and I loved the first one I tried on.

I walked down the aisle to the Beatles’ “Here Come the Sun,” played acoustically by our friend Ryan. The recessional was “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates.

How festive is this reception setup? Lauren handmade all 300 feet of bunting by herself!

Lack of time was our biggest obstacle. I wanted our day to include a lot of personal details, so I planned most of the wedding and made most of the decorations by myself. This wouldn’t have been such an obstacle except that I was also juggling veterinary school simultaneously.

Patterns and textures are one of my favorite parts about seeing weddings. L + J’s gingham runners and rosette napkin rings take the cake! (And who’s complaining about those baskets of strawberries next to each place setting? Not me.)

Since we got married on a farm with an old-fashioned feel, we felt that it was more appropriate to have pie than cake. Our caterer baked delicious strawberry pies that served as centerpieces for each table.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Jake and I met through friends when he was a senior and I was a junior in high school. We dated long distance for five and a half years during my time at college in South Carolina and my first two years of veterinary school in Knoxville, TN.
Describe the proposal. Jake proposed during a weekend visit to Knoxville. We went on a hike together and he popped the question by a lake. I’d never seen him so nervous before!
In what month did you get married? May
How many guests attended your wedding? 150
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did a “first look” because we thought that it would ease the tension and nervousness of the day!
Describe your wedding flowers: I didn’t have anything specific in mind when I discussed the flowers with the florist, but I knew that I wanted something that looked unfussy but beautiful. She came up with a great assortment of peonies, anemones, and other local, seasonal flowers.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The s’mores! We set up a fire pit and provided roasting sticks and s’more fixings for a late night snack for our guests.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The food was the most expensive part of our day, but it was so worth it! We’re self-proclaimed foodies, so providing a great menu to our guests was really important to us.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? A great part of our day was the send off. Our guests lit sparklers and it was so special to be surrounded by the glowing faces of the people most important to us before we left to start our new life together.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t think about it too much! I am a very type-A, high-stress person and I tried my best to relax during the months leading up to the wedding. I think that I enjoyed the day even more because I was able to unwind.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We’ll be in Knoxville for two years more as I complete my time in veterinary school. We have no idea what the future holds for us, but we are looking forward to moving ahead together.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
6 Comments
  1. avatar Bella Eventi by Olivia George reply

    Love the personal touches and can’t believe she made all that bunting herself! Lovely!

  2. avatar Lucia reply

    I love these wedding photos! Can you please tell me where the invitations are from? Thank you,
    Lucia

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  5. avatar Alexis reply

    What fabric did you go with to cover the hay bales?

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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
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