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Carolina bride Sarah Ann shares her monogram-filled wedding at the Merrimon-Wynne House!

Today’s wedding holds a special place in my heart because the bride and groom are dear friends of mine! Earlier this year, Sarah Ann and Blake said their “I do’s” in front of their family and friends on the mildest North Carolina July day I can ever remember (a weather home run thanks to some savvy burying of the bourbon!). And while the images are breathtakingly gorgeous and details are both plentiful and personal (all that blue and white!), I strongly encourage you to not miss a word of Sarah Ann and Blake’s advice to those of y’all who are actively wedding planning. I know she speaks from the bottom of her heart when she says, “make your wedding your own. We thought of each decision as an opportunity to reflect what makes our relationship special.”

I couldn’t agree more with this sage encouragement, and love how SAT + WBS’s relationship shined through every last detail of their wedding celebration. Now, without further ado, dig into one of the sweetest celebrations I’ve ever had the privilege of witnessing. And yes, the back of Sarah Ann’s dress is all the heart eyes — I audibly gasped when I saw her. She was the epitome of a classic Southern bride.

Biggest hugs to Graham Terhune of Anagram Photo for these beautiful images and kudos to Rebecca Rose Events for pulling together all of the details!

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? My favorite detail from the wedding was the use of blue and white. Our invitation suite, with its ode to beach music, monograms, and grosgrain ribbon was a preview for all of the blue and white we used throughout the wedding. Seeing Gigi’s chinoiserie collection on full display was absolutely breathtaking. I’ve grown up in a house full of blue and white ginger jars and porcelain pieces, and having her collection there made the Merrimon-Wynne feel like home. Blake’s favorite detail from the wedding was our late night snack, Frito Pie and Topo Chico. The guys from Long Leaf Swine did an amazing job of using this dish to reference our shared love for the Lone Star State. We discovered Frito Pie in Texas, and we loved being able to introduce this Southwestern staple to our North Carolina loved ones.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. Carolina girl returns home from Texas to start a new adventure and in reconnecting with her forever sweetheart, begins her greatest adventure yet.
When did y’all get married? July 29, 2017.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 155.

I wore something old (my pearls), something new (my dress), something borrowed (Blake’s grandmother’s brooch), something blue (a gingham, monogrammed label, stitched into my dress and a second one wrapped around my bouquet), and an extra special sixpence (marked with Gigi’s birth year) in my shoe.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Getting married in the city we’ve come to call home, Raleigh, was important to us. Our church and so much of our community is in the Oak City. We felt strongly that the Merrimon-Wynne mirrored our identity as a couple: understated, sweet, and deeply sentimental. In selecting a venue, it’s also worth noting that I gave tremendous consideration to my Mema. She is 93 years old and she is our only living grandparent who was able to attend the wedding. Having our ceremony and reception in one spot made transitions easier, and we have the fondest memories of her on the dance floor throughout the reception!

What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? My favorite part of wedding planning was identifying ways to pay tribute to the people we love and cherish the most. Blake and I are deeply sentimental and we looked at our wedding as a space for sharing our hearts for the people who continue to shape us. One of my favorite tributes was wearing my Mema’s wedding band. Her little band means the world to us. It means a Christ-centered marriage. It means making a daily commitment to my Papa Curtis’s patience and devotion and to my Mema’s grace and humility. It means honoring traditions, like green punch and homemade candy every Christmas. It means listening more than you talk. It means choosing love, faith, and joy.

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. It took two rounds of dress shopping before finding “the one.” For the first round, we went to a beautiful bridal shop in Wilmington, North Carolina. Gigi (my mother), my sister-in-law, Mamma Jan (Blake’s mother), and my soon-to-be sister-in-law were all in town for our engagement party. We were excited about finding the perfect dress, and Mamma Jan even brought champagne! Though I tried on a dozen or so dresses, we left feeling somewhat defeated. For round two, Gigi and Mamma Jan met me at a boutique in Raleigh. I arrived before they did, walked a lap around the store as I was waiting, and found the dress within minutes. I met them in the parking lot to share that I had found the dress. I tried on several other dresses first… but when I slipped on “the one,” I didn’t want to take it off… a phenomenon a dear girlfriend had shared would happen. It was all that I had hoped for… simple, so very chic, and y’all, it had bows!

I told y’all! All the heart-eyes!!

I adore my Daddy, and he gave the most beautiful toast. His thoughtful words not only produced an abundance of joy and laughter, but also moved us to tears. He shared anecdotes from my childhood, describing the catalyst for my childhood nickname, “Scooter” and detailing far too many memories that involved my hands on my hips. He described the tender moments wherein Blake has become a part of our family. And in wishing us well, he shared out my favorite poetic verse, reading from Rudyard Kipling’s the “Mary Gloster.” I will forever treasure the memory of him raising a glass to toast our new marriage.

Our pastor, Justin, did a beautiful job of leading our ceremony, and we are eternally grateful that he was a part of our special day. We loved that he threaded our story into the traditional Methodist service, speaking to our struggles and our commitments. We loved that he spoke directly to our guests, reminding them of the vows they were taking to stand by us in our marriage. We exchanged traditional vows and chose to include Colossians 3:12-19 and Romans 12:10-13. Our sister-in-law, Stephanie, and Blake’s step-sister, Brooke, read these verses, reminding us to daily choose to love one another and to thoughtfully serve others.

What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? After the ceremony, Blake and I snuck away to the bridal suite at the Merrimon-Wynne House. There were plates of food waiting for us and we relished in that sweet, stolen opportunity to share a meal on our wedding day. We talked about getting ready with our dearest friends and our favorite parts of the ceremony. We peeked out of a second story window, catching a glimpse of our guests, all settling into the reception. Blake played our song and we danced. We couldn’t stop smiling.

My parents spoiled us and our guests with our favorite Southern fare, including pork BBQ and beef brisket, mac and cheese, potato salad, and chicken and waffles. Blake and I hope to continue in that tradition of welcoming and loving people well throughout our marriage.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? The most significant way we cut costs was by using Gigi’s blue and white porcelain throughout the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. Providing these vessels helped us to make the most of our floral budget. Many of Gigi’s pieces didn’t require flowers at all and when combined with candles and clustered together, they made for the sweetest centerpieces. Additionally, I opted to address each invitation. My handwriting is a small part of my identity and there was something really special about writing each guest’s name, requesting that they come and be a part of the celebration and blessing of our marriage. It was an opportunity for me to reflect on the impact that each person had made on our lives.

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? Here’s a hard truth. I don’t care for cake. In lieu of a wedding cake, we served Blake’s favorite dessert, blackberry cobbler. Blake is an N.C. State graduate and we surprised him with Howling Cow ice-cream. Though we didn’t serve cake at our wedding, there were the most special cakes served at the Bridal Luncheon and the Rehearsal Dinner. For the Luncheon, my Aunt Tammy included a cake pull. I had no idea that she had planned to incorporate this fun, Southern tradition, but I am so very thankful that she did. I loved seeing the charms that each of the bridesmaids pulled! For the Rehearsal Dinner, Mamma Jan and my sister-in-law worked together to design a three layer cake with some of Blake’s favorites, including Snickers, Coconut Key Lime, and Oreo. The cake celebrated his love for golf, Mario, and our beloved Texas Longhorns, along with a topper, “WBS + SAT – Hooked for Life.”

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the seating of the mothers and the wedding party processional, we used my late grandmother’s favorite hymn, “In the Garden” and Gigi’s longtime favorite, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” These selections were a surprise to Gigi and she still talks about how much having them played meant to her. I walked down the aisle to “Short Trip Home.” During the ceremony, we included a congregational hymn, “Come Thou Fount.” We printed song cards with a watercolor blackberry print for every guest. I am having one framed to hang in our bedroom. Our recessional was Blake’s favorite song, “This Must Be the Place.” I will never forget the look of joy on his face when he registered that the string quartet was playing his personal anthem. For our first dance, we shagged to an old Temptations song, “Lady Soul.” I danced with my Dad to the Dells’ “My Life is So Wonderful.” Blake danced with Mamma Jan to the Tams’ “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy.” Also, in planning the wedding, my Daddy made very few requests. Among them, he asked that he get a solo dance with Gigi. They danced to Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You.” It was one of the most special and romantic moments of the wedding.

Tell us all about the proposal! Blake and I met as two small-town teenagers, what feels like forever ago. Since we first met, we’ve chased after college dreams, pursued careers and degrees, and conquered new cities. When I moved back to North Carolina from Texas, we prioritized our relationship. One quiet weekend, Blake asked if I’d like to go “look at jewelry,” inviting me to try on engagement rings. Shortly after, he made a special trip home to Mount Airy to ask my Dad for my hand in marriage, and my precious Daddy (without hesitation) told me on the very same day that Blake had sat down with him. Still, I had no clue that Blake was planning to ask when he did. Not more than a week after sitting down with my Dad, that rascal, Blake, used a date night out with friends as a diversion and ultimately took me to one of my favorite places in all of Raleigh- the North Carolina Museum of Art. A mentor of mine serves as a docent at the museum, and I’ve made several big decisions in that very space. Blake knew as much. We walked through the park at the museum and when we came upon Thomas Sayre’s “Gyre,” Blake dropped down to one knee, pulled out the prettiest piece of “jewelry,” and asked me to marry him. A dear friend was there capturing each moment with a camera. Blake’s sweet smile was my favorite part.
Did you decide to do a first look? We did not do a first look. I wanted Blake to see me for the first time walking down the aisle, and Blake is mildly superstitious. We did, however, exchange notes and gifts. He gave me a stunning bracelet, and I gave him an N.C. State needlepoint wallet with a note in the postscript, “You’ve earned this gift… for wearing Carolina blue today. Thank you from the bottom of my Tar Heel-loving heart.”
What was Southern about your wedding? It made our hearts swell when one of our family friends commented that our wedding was the “the epitome of Southern charm.” I hope our guests found Southern charm in our commitment to traditions. We buried the bourbon and were blessed with the most mild July day. And we all had one big, shag dancing party with our favorite beach music band, Jim Quick and Coastline. I especially loved that our reception cards included lyrics from one of my favorite beach music songs, “Now it’s a drag if you can’t shag, you better learn how to move your feet.” There was also charm in the aesthetic and the look of our wedding. Bows and monograms abounded, our family photos and heirloom collections peppered the house, and our linens were a fun blend of buffalo checks, ginghams, and ticking stripes in pinks and blues. I loved seeing my bridesmaids’ in seersucker and I was thrilled that Blake’s mom had saved his navy, linen Eton suit from when he was little and that our nephew Holden, was able to wear it as a ring bearer. Beyond the tradition and the aesthetic, the hospitality of our loved ones was the most Southern part of our wedding. We put together the most darling surcees for our out-of-town guests, including my sister-in-law’s delicious homemade cheese straws and artwork created by our incredibly talented family friend, Sidney Hunter.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? The first most difficult part of wedding planning was building our guest list. We developed a few ground rules for building the list, including an agreement that neither Blake nor I would be meeting someone for the first time on our wedding day. Identifying our shared values around who would be present helped tremendously. The next most difficult part was carving out time for wedding planning amidst the whirlwind of life. I travel a great deal for my job, Blake was wrapping up graduate school work, and together we were transitioning from temporary housing to home ownership. Throughout all the busyness, Blake reminded me to take deep breaths and to savor in the season. He grounded me in the best possible way.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? In reflecting on our wedding, Blake and I would offer these five pieces of advice. 1. Make your wedding your own. We thought of each decision as an opportunity to reflect what makes our relationship special. 2. Set aside time for just you and your partner on your wedding day. Sneaking away, just the two of us, after the ceremony proved to be one of our most beloved parts of the day. 3. Give as much thoughtfulness to preparing for marriage, as you to do preparing for wedding. Our time with our minister helped us to learn about replacing judgment and pride with understanding and humility, about serving and celebrating one another at every opportunity, and about continually modeling grace. 4. Graciously accept the contributions others are eager to make. Our family and friends were excited to pour into us throughout our engagement season and especially during our wedding weekend. They found creative ways to love us well, preparing wedding day snacks, transporting luggage, and staying late to do a sweep of the venue. We had one set of family friends that had to go plates and a basket full of our favorite goodies waiting for us in our hotel room at the end of the night. 5. Give strong consideration to partnering with a planning and design firm. Working with the women of Rebecca Rose Events allowed both Blake and I, as well as our families, to be fully present in the celebration of our marriage. We are deeply grateful for their commitment and their contributions to the most meaningful and joyous day of our lives.

Photographer: Graham Terhune Photography (now Anagram Photo) | Videographer: Heart Stone Films | Planner and Florist: Rebecca Rose Events | Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Merrimon-Wynne House | Caterer and Dessert Baker: Longleaf Swine | Rentals and Lighting: Party Reflections | Band: Jim Quick & Coastline | Paper Products: Rebecca Rose Creative | Bride’s Gown: “Nazar” by Rosa Clara | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Lula Hair & Makeup | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Coren Moore | Linens: La Tavola | Vintage Furniture: Greenhouse Picker Sisters | Watercolor Illustration: Sidney Hunter | Ceremony Musicians: Arioso Strings

Graham Terhune from Anagram Photo, Heart Stone Films, Rebecca Rose Events, Rebecca Rose Creative, and LULA Hair and Makeup are all lovely members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor directory!

kristin Written with love by Kristin
2 Comments
  1. avatar Davy Whitener reply

    Love this! Great work Graham!

  2. avatar Sheffield Wedding Photographer reply

    It just keeps getting better. Love your posts Kristin!

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One of the very sweetest parts of working at Southern Weddings is the people we get to meet and the relationships that are formed over the years. Jessica interned for Southern Weddings back in the day, and ever since then, it has been so exciting to watch her start and grow her business, Simply Jessica Marie. Even more so, we’ve loved getting to witness her forever love story from day one! The joy she and Zack have found in each other is palpable, and when we heard the news of their engagement (don’t miss the story below!), we couldn’t resist asking Jessica to share their wedding planning experience with us. You can catch all of their posts here if you missed them, and now, we’re overjoyed to share their special day with y’all! Jessica and Zack, thank you so much for sharing your hearts with us, not only today, but over the last year and a half–we can’t wait to see where y’all go next!

We’re so glad our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Perry Vaile, was on hand to capture every moment for J+Z!

Our favorite detail of our wedding was how we infused one of our favorite elements of our love story: the letters we wrote one another throughout our relationship. To set the tone for our wedding and visually portray our relationship as a couple, I infused portions of a love letter Zack wrote to me as an art print on the back side of our invitations for our guests to keep and frame, as our envelope liner pattern, and printed on the back flap of our invitation envelopes. We sealed our suite with a custom gold wax seal featuring our custom wedding crest design, which reminds me of old school letter writing and epic romance. Zack said the wax seals remind him of Game of Thrones, so it was a win-win with both of us! He actually added all of the wax seals to our envelopes, and I loved including him in that way. We carried our love letters through to our day-of design–we used the same wax seals on our escort cards, and displayed them on the scoreboard of the golf course with a handful of our original letters framing the escort cards. Guests then found their tables with envelope table numbers lined with a floral pattern and soft pink calligraphy numbers. We also asked our guests to fill out “advice for the newlyweds” cards as their own letters to us, which we read after our honeymoon and have displayed in a keepsake box on our coffee table. I am excited to go back and read them again throughout the years!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! The something borrowed, blue, old and new tradition is one of my favorites, and I had so much fun gathering all of these pieces! A few of my sweet bridesmaids lent me their rings, each with blue stones, for my something borrowed and something blue. I had them tied to my bridal bouquet so that I could carry a piece of them with me throughout our wedding day. My something old was a handkerchief that belonged to my maternal great-grandmother. It is one of my favorite keepsakes! I had it with me while getting ready, and carried it in my clutch throughout the day. I then had a couple of something new items! My sister gifted me with the most gorgeous Kate Spade jeweled necklace. It made the perfect statement to complete my bridal look, and I cannot wait to pass it down to my daughters and granddaughters as an heirloom in years to come. Zack also gifted me with the most beautiful, delicate diamond earrings on our wedding day, which I wore paired with the earrings I donned during our engagement session!

Shopping for my wedding dress was so much fun! My mom came to Nashville one weekend and we went to three different bridal boutiques to get a sense of what styles I loved best, which designers I was drawn to, and what I had a feeling Zack would love. We walked away from the day feeling excited that we had an idea in mind of what I wanted to look for moving forward! My mom and sister then came back into town a couple of weeks later for Easter. I knew I wanted to take advantage of the time when my sister was in town to get her opinion, so we went to a local bridal boutique, B. Hughes. I tried on a handful of gorgeous gowns, but none of them felt quite right. There was one that I didn’t know if I loved from simply seeing it on the hanger, since the style was so different than what I had been trying, but I tried it on anyway, just to see how it looked. When I stepped out of the fitting room in front of the mirrors, I could not stop beaming! I kept touching each part of the dress, from the stunning beaded floral lace to the delicate tulle skirt, twirling all the while. I remember saying that I did not want to take it off, which is when my mom, sister, and I all realized that it was the one!! I loved my dress so much that I included the floral lace detail as a pattern on our invitations and as the backdrop for our escort card display!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we did decide to do a first look! We really wanted to have a few sweet moments to ourselves, since the rest of our day would be spent surrounded by loved ones. Those few minutes are some of the moments I remember most clearly from our wedding day. Spending that time alone helped reaffirm why we were there that day: to join together as just the two of us with God, as husband and wife, to create a unique and love-filled family of our own!

I have a huge love of color, and knew I wanted our wedding flowers to reflect that! I included watercolor florals throughout our invitation suite design and day-of artwork, and the Rebecca Rose Events team brought those same florals to life on our wedding day. We used my favorite combination of flowers: blush and fuchsia peonies, peach garden roses, white anemones with navy centers, pink ranunculus, darling little peach hypericum berries, and lots of soft silver dollar eucalyptus and dusty miller! My bridesmaids’ bouquets were some of my favorite floral elements, as they were adorned with a sweet little gift from me. I adorned their silk bouquet ribbon with navy calligraphy that read, “a single rose can be my garden, a single friend, my world.” I thought it was so fitting for them and their bouquets!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We chose to say traditional wedding vows, and are both so happy with that decision. There is something so special about saying the same words and making the same promises to each other that our parents and grandparents vowed to one another years before!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had two readings from the Bible during our ceremony. My sweet uncle read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. We love this reading, because it focuses on two coming together, helping one another throughout life and making each other stronger. That is how we always want to view our relationship! Zack’s sweet cousin then read Colossians 3:14-20. We chose this reading because it reminds us to always let love, peace, and thankfulness be constants in our marriage. And most importantly, to let everything we do in our marriage be done in the name of the Lord!

The biggest challenge we had to overcome while planning our wedding centered around religious beliefs and traditions. We had many conversations together, with our parents, with a priest, with Zack’s uncle who is a pastor, and with friends about how to stay true to ourselves and our religious beliefs while also keeping each of our family traditions active and be respectful of them during our wedding. It was definitely a big lesson in compromise and blending of families, and we are both so happy with the decision we made! I could not imagine having been married by anyone other than Uncle LeGrand!

We looked at a few garden venues, and then Zack mentioned the idea of getting married at a golf course. I immediately loved that idea! Zack plays golf weekly with his friends, and I loved the idea that we could incorporate something that was a part of his life into our wedding day, since he was so graciously accommodating many of my wedding ideas! When we first visited Gettysvue together, I could not get over the gorgeous rolling greenery and stunning view of the Tennessee mountains. I knew it would make the perfect backdrop for our ceremony! It also had a unique setup that allowed us to make use of the entire venue for each element of our wedding day: a beautiful bridal suite and groom’s area for getting ready, a grassy mountain view area for our ceremony, a patio for our cocktail hour, a ballroom for dinner and toasts, and an area outside under a tent overlooking the golf course for dancing!

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Since our dinner was one of the details we were most excited about (it included a full mac and cheese bar with delicious toppings, a steak carving station, bacon-wrapped shrimp, and crab cakes!), we wanted to focus our food and beverage budget toward that, so we decided to save money in other portions of our food and beverage budget by opting for a simple beer and wine beverage package instead of a full bar or signature cocktails. We also saved money on our cake by only having two tiers, since we had a feeling our guests would be quite full after dinner!

While certain elements of our wedding were traditional, our wedding cake definitely was not! We knew we wanted to have fun with the design, and also include a couple of delicious flavors. We chose a delicate dusty blue for the bottom tier, with sweeping gold brushstrokes on the base tier to reflect the painted elements throughout our wedding design. To balance the more unique cake design, we kept things simple with a two-tiered cake adorned with one beautiful blush peony and a few eucalyptus leaves. The cake flavors are what really won us over with our cake designer! We selected two flavors, English toffee and strawberry. Zack loved the strawberry flavor, and I loved that it was pink! We especially loved smashing it in each other’s faces, haha! If you are on the fence about the cake smashing idea–we say go for it! It was really fun, and makes for awesome photos and video!

Don’t miss Jessica and Zack’s wedding film (by Zack’s brother and sister-in-law, Casey and Kristin!) below!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Oh, our love story–it is one of my favorites to tell! It all started one Friday evening in May 2014. I was getting ready for a fun night out with my girlfriends, when I jokingly turned to my roommate and swore we were going to meet our boyfriends that night. She laughed, and we carried on getting ready. Later that evening, as we were about to head home, we stopped by one of our favorite places and I was happy to see my friend Sierra (a former SW employee!), who I hadn’t seen in months. I was even happier when I noticed that she was with a new group of friends, including a dapper boy wearing a sport coat. Something immediately drew me to him (he claims it was his sport coat!), so I walked right up to him and introduced myself! We talked and laughed for what felt like hours. We made plans to meet up the next night, and after another fun evening, planned our first date for that upcoming week. I knew that there was something extra special about him when he showed up at my doorstep with a single red rose!
Tell us all about the proposal! Fast forward eight months from the day we met–months full of fun trips, holidays spent with families, and more thoughtful and sweet date nights–to January 24, 2015. Zack, his brother, and his sister-in-law had gifted me a promo video for my business as a Christmas gift, and this was the big day that filming was supposed to take place. Little did I know, it was also the day Zack was going to propose!! The big morning came, and I got all dolled up for my “promo video.” Zack knew this was the perfect decoy, because I would be wearing a cute outfit, I would have my nails painted, my friends would be with me the whole day, and he would catch everything on both video and camera. After a morning full of girly activities with my friends, we quickly grabbed lunch while Zack, Casey, and Kristin went back to my house to set up for my “interview.” As I walked into my house, I saw Zack standing in the hallway leading to my office. He wore the same sport coat that he was wearing when we first met. I hadn’t caught on to what was happening yet–I was still so focused on what I would be saying during my interview! Zack led me into my office where he had a couple of collages set up displaying our favorite pictures together. On my desk, I saw a note that had my name on it sitting atop the journal that we keep together. As instructed by the note, I flipped to the bookmarked page, which said, “On December 17th, I bought an engagement ring.” At that moment, I was in SUCH shock! Zack led me to the middle of the room, took my hands, and said the sweetest things I have ever heard in my entire life–words that I had been so excited to hear since we first met! Once I heard the words “Will you marry me?” I immediately screamed “Of course!!” and hugged Zack, without even taking a glance at my ring! Once we started to settle down from the excitement, he told me that he promised my mom that she would be the first person we would call. The tears that started to well up upon hearing my mom’s voice turned into screams of joy as she walked around the corner and into my room!! My entire family, Zack’s mom, and my friends all followed her into the room, and I felt so surrounded by love. It was the perfect ending to the most wonderful surprise!
When did y’all get married? May 14, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 120
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? One of the things that was most Southern about our wedding was that it truly was a family affair! All of our vendors were either family, friends, or people we had previous working relationships with, which made our day feel even more special because we knew they were pouring their hearts into each detail just for us! Not only did our family and friends help bring our wedding day to life, but we also honored our family through our details. We included all five of our little girl cousins as flower girls since we simply couldn’t favorite just one, we had a table in our reception area with photos, albums, and heirlooms from our parents and grandparents on their wedding days, we used my parents’ champagne flutes during our toast, and our ceremony backdrop was made of three fabric panels, each with my parents’ first dance song, Zack’s parents’ first dance song, and our first dance song that I lovingly calligraphed on the flowing fabric. I loved the idea of creating a statement piece that tied together our families! Since the majority of my guests and some of Zack’s guests were traveling in from all across the country (and one from overseas!), making sure they felt comfortable throughout our entire wedding weekend was of the utmost importance to us. We tried our best to show true Southern hospitality, from the welcome gift boxes our guests received at their hotels, to our post-rehearsal dinner get-together, to ensuring that there was something for every age group to do during our wedding reception. We had a lounge area with games and playing cards where people could rest their feet while still having fun, corn hole for our competitive Southern friends, and a dance floor with continuously amazing music for those who simply wanted to dance the night away! Zack and I also each relived our college days through songs at our reception–my sorority sisters surprised me by singing one of our Sigma Kappa songs after our first dances were through, and Zack’s University of Tennessee friend group gathered together to sing and dance to Rocky Top!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We found it most helpful to seek counsel from our parents and friends who have been married, asking them about their marriages and what advice they would provide to us as we were going through our engagement and preparing for the years to come. We also worked together to be as open and honest as possible about not only what we love about each other, but also about how we could help each other grow. We learned how to compromise together, make decisions as a couple, and communicate better. Learning each other’s love languages early on in our dating relationship really helped with this! Growing as a couple is a continuous learning process, and I couldn’t ask for a better person to help me grow as a wife and eventually as a mother than Zack. I hope to be able to support him as much as he always supports me!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are so excited to continue planning travel adventures together! Zack and I fell in love with traveling overseas during our Italian honeymoon, and always want to be planning one major trip each year. We are currently planning a trip to Ireland with another one of our couple friends, and cannot wait to explore that part of the world together! Zack has also taken up woodworking, and has built us a new coffee table and a beautiful coat rack for our entryway. He is so talented! I cannot wait to keep these pieces in our home for years to come, and pass them down to our children and grandchildren one day.

Photographer: Perry Vaile | Videographer: Casey and Kristin | Planner and Florist: Rebecca Rose Events | Venue and Caterer: Gettysvue Polo, Golf, and Country Club | Cake Baker: Art of Cakes Bakery | Rentals: HoneyBee Events | Tent Rental and Lighting: All Occasions Party Rentals | Lighting, DJ, and Getaway Car: Music in Motion | Paper Products, Signage, Watercolor Painting, and Pocket Squares: Simply Jessica Marie | Bride’s Gown: “Heavenly Lace” by Reem Acra | Bride’s Veil: “Athena Cathedral Veil” by BHLDN | Bride’s Necklace: “Crystal Arches Necklace” by Kate Spade | Bride’s Bracelet: J.Crew | Bride’s Earrings: Kay Jewelers | Hair and Makeup: Bangs and Blush | Bride’s Shoes: “Isabella Scalloped Heel” by BHLDN | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN, Amsale, and Lulus | Menswear: Kenneth Cole and Ralph Lauren | Ties: The Tie Bar | Vintage Stamps: Verde Studio | Silk Ribbon and Ceremony Backdrop Fabric: Adorn Company | Guitarist: Logan Murrell | Macarons: Sweet Darling Patisserie | Bridal Party Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Bride’s Reception Dress: “Shined Cocktail Dress” by BHLDN

Perry Vaile and Rebecca Rose are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
6 Comments
  1. avatar Dana reply

    Been waiting for this wedding to be posted! So beautiful!

  2. avatar Kirsti Cook reply

    I have been following Jessica for years and am SWOONING over how her wedding turned out – not that I am surprised! I think this is one of my favorite weddings I’ve seen in SW!

  3. avatar Amy Loochtan reply

    I absolutely love her dress. And the crest on her paper products! I wish I could go back and have a wedding do-over! Would love to meet y’all one day as I’m in Durham!

    Coffee Beans and Bobby Pins

  4. avatar Logan Murrell reply

    It was such an honor to be a part of such a loving wedding!! The real deal!!

  5. avatar Sheffield Wedding Photographer reply

    Such a lovely post. Thank you for sharing.
    Sheffield Wedding Photographer

  6. avatar Martha reply

    A great collection of wedding photos. Love them!

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Hi belles! Our friend and former Southern Weddings intern Jessica Clinch is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Jessica will be blogging for us once a month until her wedding this May. In case you missed her introductory post, be sure to check it out here! — Lisa

Y’all, I am a huge flower person–fresh blooms simply make my heart happy! While I hadn’t planned all of the intricate details of our wedding before Zack proposed, I did know the types of flowers I wanted to include!

There have been a few factors that played into our floral decision making that I have found really helpful, and I hope these ideas help you, too!

Budget: While it is not the most fun thing to discuss, knowing what your floral budget is ahead of time is extremely helpful and important! We are lucky that our wedding planning team, Rebecca Rose Events, is also designing our wedding florals, so they knew our budget going into our floral consultation, and were able to manage my expectations!

I adore fluffy peonies as much as the next bride, but I also know they come with a rather large price tag. We are going to incorporate them into key details, like my bridal bouquet and our table designs, while using more affordable (but still stunning!) flowers in other areas. Something that I have learned along the way is that greenery is gorgeous, and using plentiful foliage with a few blooms helps to balance the cost of more expensive flowers. Luckily, I adore silver dollar eucalyptus, so we will be using it to frame certain elements of our ceremony and reception décor. Chat with your planner and floral designer about how you can balance your floral tastes to fit within your budget!

Clockwise from top left: Tracy Enoch via Southern Weddings, Kim Box via Southern Weddings, Paper & Stitch, Sarah Gawler Photography via Rock My Wedding

Design Aesthetic: Both my personal style and bridal style are a mix of classic elements with fun and romantic touches, so I knew I wanted to carry that aesthetic into our floral design. To me, that looks like soft, flowing floral arrangements that still have a bit of structure to them and are full of vibrant color! How can you pull from your own personal style to translate it into your floral design? Look at the clothing and accessories you have in your closet, your home décor, and items from your wedding décor (like your linens and bridal party attire). Are there common themes? Try envisioning a variety of floral styles paired with those elements to see which you think would be the best fit!

Colors: Choosing our floral colors came after we nailed down our design aesthetic. For me, more is more when it comes to color! I appreciate a classic all-white bouquet, but that is not our style. We want our wedding to be full of life and joy, and, in my opinion, that translates into abundant color!

We are trying to incorporate all of our wedding colors into our floral design: blush from our peonies and antique garden roses, a purple-hued pink from our ranunculus, fuchsia from more peonies, peach from our Juliet garden roses and hypericum berries, navy from our anemones, and a mixture of white and green from Queen Anne’s Lace, ivory hypericum berries, green amaranthus, stock, and eucalyptus.

KT Merry via Style Me Pretty, Amalie Orrange

Venue: We had originally been looking at garden wedding venues before choosing our gorgeous golf course venue of Gettysvue. While our venue has beautiful rolling greens, it does not have plentiful flowers like the garden venues did, so I knew I wanted to bring the garden feel into our venue!

That is playing a large role in our decision to incorporate so many colors and lots of lush greenery. Had we chosen to have our wedding at a garden venue, I likely would not have quite as many flowers, focusing instead on our bouquets and centerpieces. So, how are we trying to turn our venue into a garden-style setting? That, my friends, we are keeping a secret for now!

I’d love to know: What factors influenced your wedding floral style? How did your floral designer help guide you toward which flowers would be best for your wedding?

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Linda reply

    What gorgeous flowers.

  2. avatar Happy Easter + Highlights – Rhyme & Reason reply

    […] I’m beyond in love with the flowers from this wedding. […]

  3. avatar Planning Your Dream Wedding Flowers reply

    […] Selecting Your Wedding Flowers […]

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