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2015 Most Memorable: Sweets

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Just as guests everywhere eagerly anticipate the revealing of the wedding cake at the end of the party, so, too, do the Southern Weddings gals eagerly scan submissions for gorgeous confections! Whether they took the form of a homemade spread or a tower of traditional tiers, we featured some to-die-for desserts this year. Here are ten of our favorites!

Caroline and Luke’s peony, succulent, and ranunculus bedecked cake by Jim Smeal (photo by Courtney Dox)

Jessica and Michael’s gold foil and peony cake by Sugar Bee Sweets set atop pink glitter linens (photo by Tracy Enoch)

Anna and Nathan’s naked cake with fresh strawberries (photo by Chris Isham)

Caroline and Will’s classic almond cake with buttercream icing by Couture Cakes (photo by Ali Harper)

Amy and Brian’s gold dusted and coral charm peony wedding cake by Ella’s Cakes (photo by Set Free Photography)

Hanna and Nick’s dessert spread by Layered Bake Shop including blueberry galettes, baked honey and walnut pears, macaroons, and a chocolate mousse cake with a watercolor wash and gold foil (photo by Charla Storey)

Jordan and Dave’s cheeky flamingo-topped cake by Chocolate Pi (photo by Kristin Sweeting)

Jill and Mike’s classic red velvet cake by Bev & Rick (photo by Amy Arrington)

Rachel and Brett’s donut tower by Harold’s Doughnuts (photo by Scott Patrick Myers)

Mary Grace and Jason’s armadillo groom’s cake by Elegant Temptations (photo by Flora + Fauna)

Whitney and Parker’s towering classic white cake by Simon Lee Bakery (photo by Jennifer Lindberg)

Courtney Dox, Chris Isham, Tracy Enoch, Sugar Bee Sweets, and Amy Arrington are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
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We’re never surprised to hear that a couple chooses a Southern locale for their wedding because they want to introduce their guests to a place they love. In fact, that’s one of the reasons we publish a magazine and this blog–so that brides around the world can see what makes the South such a magical place to call home! That’s exactly how Jill and Mike felt about Mike’s hometown of Hilton Head, South Carolina–they recall that one of their favorite details of their wedding was showing their families and friends Hilton Head’s beautiful landscape and undeniable Southern charm. Many guests even decided to make a vacation out of their wedding weekend and stay for the whole week! Jill says, “Every detail came together perfectly, creating a truly memorable experience not just for us, but for everyone who was there.” If that’s not Southern hospitality, I don’t know what is!

Thank you so much to our talented Blue Ribbon Vendor Amy Arrington Photography for sharing this beautiful day with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something borrowed was my bridesmaid and dear friend’s veil. I was the fourth one of our college girlfriends to wear it, so this was extremely sentimental and important to me! Not as important, my something blue was my favorite chapstick, a blue Eos ball. Lastly, my something new was everything else: shoes, dress, earrings, etc…plus, my new husband!!

I went to several bridal salons in Philadelphia but was never captivated by anything. Finally, I visited BHLDN in NYC and was pretty much sold on a beautiful, extremely feminine, blush gown. I had an appointment at Nicole Miller the next day though and didn’t want to be rude and cancel, so I went anyways. Of course, it was at Nicole Miller that I fell in love with an extremely classic, fitted, ivory dress. It was not overly bridal and I am certain that is why I loved it–I felt like myself, and more importantly, I felt it was timeless dress that would never go out of style or be deemed trendy. That’s how it ultimately won out over the blush BHLDN gown!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Keep breathing! People who say planning a wedding isn’t stressful either had nothing to do with the planning or are billionaires! It will be tough at times, but it will all get done. And don’t forget what the day is about! At the end of it all, you will have married your best friend and love of your life, surrounded the people who love you most in this world.

Our favorite detail, besides the fact that we were married, was being able to share Hilton Head with all of the people we love. Most of the guests had never been to Hilton Head and made a vacation out of the event, renting hotel rooms and houses and staying the week. Every detail came together perfectly, creating a truly memorable experience not just for us, but for everyone who was there.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We had the ceremony at Mike’s family’s church, where they have gone since moving to Hilton Head from Colorado in 2005. The reception did not have any special significance going into the wedding, but ending up being perfect for us–it matched our personalities and provided a very unique experience for all of our friends and family. It was the last venue we visited while looking, and we almost didn’t even go because it was getting late, but once we arrived, we knew within a few minutes that we had found the perfect place.

We wanted to show off the South a bit to everyone who had never been to South Carolina before. The venue was a wonderful example of how beautiful the Lowcountry is–we took photos on the marsh next to huge live oak trees, and the pavilion was surrounded by more massive trees covered in Spanish moss. We served traditional Southern comfort food buffet-style, including fried chicken, mac and cheese, cornbread, barbecue pork, shrimp and grits…we needed bigger plates so everyone could fit all the food! Mike also took full advantage of the Southern lifestyle–neither he nor his groomsmen wore socks with their shoes, and it ended up being a great decision.

Describe your wedding flowers. The wedding flowers were more than just flowers! They were more of an artistic display of objects and different pieces with flowers scattered in. The flowers themselves were all blush, pinks, and white. I started to collect a bunch of different jars, bottles, vases, lanterns, mercury votives, etc. in Philly, and then we packed it all up and Mike drove it down in his pickup when he went home for Christmas. Dawn and Amanda exceeded my expectations! They took all this stuff and delicately wove in their own touches to create the most amazing display I have ever seen. Seeing all of the things I had collected in Philly put to use made all that work so worth it! It made me feel more involved and like I played an important, active role!

We have been to a lot of weddings where we have seen cake get thrown out when people don’t eat it. We decided to get a smaller cake for us so we could still have a cake cutting, but the majority of the desserts were bite-sized treats for the guests to enjoy. The crowd favorite was definitely the mini key lime pies; they disappeared as soon as the desserts were put out.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Mike: Our first dance was definitely one of my favorites. We picked the song “True Believers” by Darius Rucker as our song, which is very special to Jill and me, as it came out during a difficult time for us and really spoke to us and our relationship. Despite having known this would be our song for a very long time, we never practiced the dance once. But, like always, we were in it together, had smiles on our faces, and had a blast just winging it. The dance went great and the song was perfect–it will always be a fun memory that is just one of many from the week.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. After a series of odd and silly events, Mike and 13 of his best buds had to relocate out of their college house, and luckily, they moved in across the street from my friend’s and my house during my senior year. It was his newly close proximity, as well as the fact that he was door manager at the local watering hole, that made me begin to notice Mike more and more. His lighthearted nature, sense of humor, and subtle charm definitely sparked my interest! After several not-so-subtle inquiries to Mike’s older brother regarding Mike’s relationship status, word finally got to Mike that I was smitten. To my pleasant surprise, the feeling was mutual! After several brunches at our college cafe and a hilarious first date during which Mike’s car broke down, we officially became one another’s true love and best friend! The rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! From Mike: I always wanted our engagement to be a surprise to Jill. She was busy studying for her OCN (oncology certified nurse) exam for work and was buried in a book for a few months prepping for it. She took her exam on a Saturday morning, while I went to her family’s house to ask her Dad if it was okay if I proposed to Jill in a few hours. The only catch in my plan was that she got the results of her exam as soon as she was done, and I had no backup plan if she didn’t pass her test. I got home with the ring and a big bouquet of flowers, set my GoPro up, and waited for her to call and say she was coming home. When she called, she told me she had passed the test! When she walked in the door of the apartment, she thought I was congratulating her for passing. She didn’t even have her jacket or backpack off before I was down on one knee, attempting to speak, but mostly just crying, asking her to marry me. She said yes, the ring was way too big so I put it on her middle finger, we opened a bottle of wine to try and calm us down, and then we met family and friends out at a bar. I had told Jill and everyone else I wanted to have a party to celebrate her taking her exam–no one knew it was going to be an engagement party!
When did y’all get married? May 9, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we went with the traditional Catholic wedding vows.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Jill: It’s hard to pick just one! My aunt, sister, and my cousin Kristy (a bridesmaid) bent over backwards to give me a wedding morning to remember! They had a yogurt parfait bar, yummy mimosas, and the most beautiful tablescape ever, complete with an album of Mike and I, my shower, and my bachelorette party. On top of that, my aunt secretly treated me to my hair and makeup! Amazing! Another favorite was when my Uncle Dave stopped me dead in my tracks during the reception and said “Your dad is a good man and he did an amazing job with you two.” I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. It was simple, but striking and alarmingly true. It has been a bumpy, untraditional road for my dad, but no matter what, we have always had each other, and we will always have an amazing family!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Mike has a pretty fierce one-year anniversary trip planned! We are going to fly to Seattle and then drive down the 101/Pacific Coast Highway, stopping to see the sites, taste some wine, smell the lavender fields, experience Oregon, and ultimately, end up in San Francisco, where my cousin Kristy lives!

Photographer: Amy Arrington Photography / Videographer: Ryan Lindsay / Planner: Amanda Spencer / Ceremony Venue: St. Francis by the Sea Catholic Church / Reception Venue: Honey Horn Plantation / Florist: Dawn Kiritsy / Caterer and Dessert Baker: Bev & Rick / Rentals: Ranco / Lighting: Mike Wood / Band: The Voltage Brothers / Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas / Chalkboard Floral Design and Escort Card: Minted / Bride’s Gown: “Alexis” by Nicole Miller / Bridal Salon: Nicole Miller at the Bellevue Philadelphia / Bride’s Hair Accessory: Pearl Petal Halo by BHLDN / Hair and Makeup: Christi Zampino / Bride’s Shoes: “Marlow” by Harriet Wilde / Menswear: The Black Tux

Amy Arrington is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory and The Black Tux is a delightful SW sponsor!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Honey Horn Plantation Wedding : Mike + Jill reply

    […] you SOUTHERN WEDDINGS for featuring their […]

  2. avatar Megan reply

    a truly beautiful day for wonderful, deserving people!

  3. avatar Dana reply

    love this wedding!!! they sound like the sweetest couple!

  4. avatar Emily reply

    That red velvet cake is to die for! Love all of these sweet details!

  5. avatar ChelseaC reply

    Stunning, stunning wedding!!

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When a wardrobe stylist/wedding planner is the bride, you can count on some amazing fashion choices at a wedding (hello, bow-back shoes and custom tulle sleeves!). Add in a floral designer mama and a horticulturist aunt, and you’re also in for a real show in the blooms department! Allann had always wanted to get married at her family’s farm, but the logistics proved to be more of a challenge than she had expected. After looking at other venues, Allann and Bill knew that none had as much meaning as the farm, so together with their families (and some incredible vendors), they hauled in everything they needed to create an elegant wedding in their family’s own space. I’m sure Allann’s grandfather, who gave tours of their beautiful property in his white cowboy hat, was tickled pink to see such a gorgeous event on his grounds!

Thanks to Kristen Kilpatrick for sharing this wedding day with us!

Finding my wedding dress was a serious task for me, because I am a wardrobe stylist and wedding planner. My mom and I went to every major bridal gown store in Houston, and I kept choosing tight-fitting, hourglass-style dresses–what I always thought I would wear. When I would put them on though, I just didn’t like how I looked in them. Our next course of action was to travel to Austin to shop with a few of my best friends, my stepmom, and my teenage sisters. As it turned out, my sisters picked out the dress I ended up buying. I kept saying, “No ball gowns!” everywhere we went, but they fell in love with a Lazaro ball gown and insisted I try it. It was stunning and so uniquely different–the layers of the skirt were made up of different tones of cream and ivory over a gold lining, so the gown glowed like spun gold. I designed thin tulle sleeves and had a custom veil made so that the dress had more of a fall feel to it, and so that I wouldn’t be as cold.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows. We tried to write them weeks before the wedding, but both of us wrote the bulk of them alone the night before. I sat out on our back porch on the swing and was truly inspired at that moment to write my vows to Bill. I remember I told him that his arms were the safest place on earth. He said to me, “I promise I will always stand behind you when you need support, in front of you when you need defending, and next to you when all you need is a friend.” I was floored by his poetic words and I think they were the perfect vows for us.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was the custom photo booth backdrop my cousin and matron of honor made for us. She is an amazing artist and created an 8-foot-tall wooden photo booth backdrop, complete with our names, wedding date, location, and painted-on lyrics from some of our favorite songs, including our grandparents’ song, “Pledging My Love” by Johnny Ace. The wedding guests had so much fun standing in front of it taking photos, and some of our favorite wedding day pics are of us in front of the back drop.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I have known since I was a little girl that I wanted to get married on my family farm. When we started to plan the wedding and saw how tough it was going to be to turn a family farm, hay field, small house, and barn off a dirt road into an elegant wedding venue, we hesitated and tried to look at other venues. While they were beautiful, they had no meaning to me, and I didn’t feel any connection with them. We decided we would do whatever it took to make the most beautiful, rustic, elegant wedding happen there in that space, where my great-grandmother could look down upon us. My grandparents, who own the farm with my great aunt and uncle, were so generous and patient with us as we took over their farm and morphed it into a wedding venue. It was so special.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Everything about our wedding was so Southern, from the landscape in beautiful Lovelady, Texas, to the dirt road our little white farmhouse is off of. Seeing my grandfather walk around, showing everyone the property in his gorgeous white cowboy hat was a highlight for me. We loved having Southern whiskey cocktails served at our wedding, like the Whiskey Ginger and Old Fashioned. The carnival-style cocktail hour was another fun thing that we did–we loved seeing all the kids enjoying bottle toss and balloon darts! Many of our guests wore boots with their suits and dresses, and we loved two-steppin’ to George Strait at the reception!

Our florals were done by my mother, Sage, who runs the floral design part of our wedding planning firm, Belle Soul Weddings. She is so creative, and my sweet Aunt Donna is a horticulturist, so the two of them created a stunning color palette and design. Our color palette was burgundy, cream, and different tones of green. The tables and ceremony arch (built by my stepfather) were my favorites. The green boughs were taken from cedar trees on our land, and we also added some seeded eucalyptus.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. My mother baked our wedding cake, of course! She also runs the cake and pastry section of Belle Soul Weddings, our wedding design firm. Bill’s favorite cake is red velvet, and I wanted a naked cake, so she gave us just that: a red velvet naked cake with barely-there vanilla buttercream icing. It was three layers and sat on top of a round tree slice that my grandfather cut for us from a tree on our land. She decorated the cake with grape bunches, cream roses, greenery, and our wooden Mr. & Mrs. cake topper.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. When we met, we were both so drawn to each other. We flirted for months and told our friends about each other. Finally, Bill invited me to a music show that a mutual friend of ours was having. When Bill gave me his phone number, I didn’t have my phone or a pen on me, so I remembered the number by repeating it over and over as I walked to my car. I put it into my phone and texted him right then! Our first official date was on November 7, 2012 at Raven Grill in Houston. We have been together ever since, and we both knew early on that this was something different and more special than either of us had ever experienced before.
Tell us all about the proposal! We were having dinner at Bill’s mother’s house in honor of his 30th birthday, and at the end of dinner, he opened all his presents except for one, which was in a huge white box. He pushed it over to me and said, “This one is for both of us.” I thought, okay, it’s something for the apartment. I opened it, and inside the large white box with tons of tissue paper, I found a tiny black ring box. Bill reached for it, picked it up, got down on one knee, and revealed the most beautiful diamond, given to him by my grandmother. He said some of the sweetest things I have ever heard, and then asked in a shaky voice, “Will you marry me?” It was the best moment! I felt so happy, so excited, so loved, so at peace knowing how lucky I was to have Bill as my partner for the rest of my life.
When did y’all get married? November 8, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 120
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Choosing the music at our wedding was such a fun part of planning. We even made a CD of the day’s music as a favor for our guests. We are both big music lovers, and have always have had a penchant for old music. I chose to walk down the aisle to a live instrumental version of Ray Lamontagne’s “All The Wild Horses” played on violin and guitar by our dear friends. We danced our first dance to Sanders Bohlke’s, “You,” an unreleased track I only know about because he did the music on an independent film I worked on in Austin. It was such a special song and perfectly fit the mood of the night.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Our advice is try to stay connected to what it is really all about: the two of you, your love, and your commitment to your life together. It is hard to stay present during all that planning. Hire a wedding planner if you can, and let them take the weight off your shoulders so that you can just experience the good stuff. Take time for yourselves to reflect after the ceremony. We stole this idea from friends of ours, but after photos, we had dinner alone on the porch while everyone else had soup and salad at the reception. Another thing I would tell brides is to hold your ground about things, even when your family might not agree right away. They will come around, or they won’t, but it is about you and your partner planning the ceremony and celebration that makes you feel good. Honor them and remember them, but stay true to your heart.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are both entrepreneurs and love planning out the next steps in our businesses. We are so excited to share these two wonderful families that we have combined, and we feel so lucky to have just pure awesomeness coming from both sides. We can hardly wait to start a family of our own and share that experience with our extended family and sweet friends.

Photographer: Kristen Kilpatrick / Videographer: Compass Initiative / Planner, Florals, and Cake: Belle Soul Weddings / Venue: Private residence / Caterer: Larry’s Catering / Rentals: Any Occasion Party Rental / DJ: Patrick Osayande / Envelopes, Programs, and Calligraphy: Nib and Pixel / Invitations: WJ Ford and Associates / Bride’s Gown: “LZ3215” by Lazaro / Bride’s Earrings: Kate Spade / Bride’s Headpiece: Avigail Adam / Hair Stylist: Candice Hollub of Sunkissed and Madeup / Bride’s Makeup: Taylor DeClercq at Sunkissed and Madeup / Bridesmaid Makeup: Jen Marine Makeup Artistry / Bride’s Ceremony Shoes: Nina / Bride’s Reception Shoes: Michael Kors / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale, Dessy Collection, Alfred Angelo, Ceremony by Joanna August, BHLDN / Menswear: Tommy Hilfiger from Men’s Wearhouse / Groom’s Tie: Michael Kors / Photo Booth Back Drop: Jordan Ashby of Artsy Ashby

marissa Written with love by Marissa
18 Comments
  1. avatar Elisheva Golani reply

    Absolutely beautiful Allann and Sage! I loved reading what you wrote and pouring over the gorgeous photos!

  2. avatar Classic Wedding Invitations reply

    Gorgeous pop of colour!

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  7. avatar Lauren reply

    Where did you get the flower girl dress?

  8. avatar Sweet Sangria Wedding Color & Inspiration!Truly Engaging Wedding Blog reply

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  10. avatar Tiffany Stewart reply

    Hello! I’d love to know where the flower girl dress came from? Thanks so much!

    • avatar Megan reply

      Do you know where this flower girl dress is from? I didn’t see any replies to comments- I’m super curious!

      xo

    • avatar Belle Soul Weddings – Sage reply

      The Dress is from Monsoon and sorry I didn’t see these sooner :)

  11. avatar Top 10 Gorgeous Wedding Cakes for Fall 2016 – Oh Best Day Ever reply

    […] Photo by Kristen Kilpatrick via Southern Weddings […]

  12. avatar Paperlust Wedding Invitations reply

    Amazing style, that cake looks delicious!

  13. avatar Laura reply

    I love the flower girls dress! Where is it from?

  14. avatar Jane reply

    where did you find the “Mr & Mrs” cake topper?

  15. avatar Hillary reply

    Hi, where did the flower girl dress come from? Thank you!!

    • avatar Sage reply

      It came from Monsoon UK Children’s Boutique
      http://us.monsoon.co.uk/us/children/girls/dresses#filtersClosed=false&pageSize=12&sort=newIn&grid=grid&picture=model&type=Party%20Dresses

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!

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