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Out of everything that is magical about the South, we believe that the feelings of hospitality, graciousness, and belonging are what captivate people the most. We adore biscuits, sweet tea, and groom’s cakes, there’s no denying that, but even without a single one of those things, a wedding can be characteristically Southern simply by the way people feel as soon as they walk through the venue doors. Andrea summed it up perfectly when she described her and Erick’s Nashville wedding: “We had people from all over the world, most of whom did not know one another. We ate, drank, danced, celebrated, and felt like family for one night. I’m so thankful that the South I know is filled with a spirit of sharing life stories and experiences, mutual acceptance of differences, blended families of relatives and friends, dancing, delicious food, and fun.”

We’re so glad that Kristin Sweeting shared Andrea and Erick’s meaningful day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My younger sister went with me to the White Room on a Saturday, without an appointment. We looked through every rack and on the last one, I found the dress. I instantly knew it was the one I wanted, and begged the lady there to let me have a dressing room for a very brief try-on, but everything was booked. Serendipitously, someone called and canceled their appointment at that exact time. I got to try on the dress and fell in love, but the neckline went down to my belly button and I’m a little more modest. I bought it anyway, along with some extra fabric to fill in the neckline. When the dress came in, it came without the fabric. The White Room assured me we could get it in time, so I waited. Luckily, they have the best seamstress in the world, Tu Holman–she only had three weeks to take the dress in several inches, hem the bottom, replace beads, and create a new neckline. Five days before the wedding, my mom and I went to pick up the dress, and she had done beautiful work, but it just wasn’t what I had envisioned. My sister and best friend went back with me three days later and we stayed past midnight at the seamstress’ house until we had the top right. I’m so thankful for Tu and her insistence that we get the dress right, no matter how long it took, because on my wedding day, it was perfect and I loved wearing it.

There was an amazing Southern spirit at our wedding. We had people from all over the world, most of whom did not know one another. We ate, drank, danced, celebrated, and felt like family for one night. I’m so thankful that the South I know is filled with a spirit of sharing life stories and experiences, mutual acceptance of differences, blended families of relatives and friends, dancing, delicious food, and fun.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? It was the only place we could agree on! I liked all the small, rustic, restaurant venues, and Erick liked all the big, industrial venues. We walked away from touring Sambuca and both said, “We could get married there.” It was perfect and we love that we can go back there for dinner every year on our anniversary.

When I was in Rwanda, I worked for Monique Lasdosz (Nanny, as we all call her) at the organization Widow’s Might. She started a craft workshop, along with several other business startups, for the widows and orphans of the 1994 genocide. We employed the craftspeople to make place card holders, drink stirrers, and our cake topper. Along with Nanny’s presence at our wedding, these details were extremely special because of the significance of our meeting and our heart for Africa.

We had a two-layer Italian cream cake with raspberry filling, ivory fondant, and gold art deco accents. The topper was intertwining giraffes made my artists at a craft workshop in Rwanda.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Erick is Rwandan, and ten years ago, I spent a summer working in Rwanda. The woman I worked for, Monique (Nanny) was good friends with Erick. She introduced us (with Erick’s girlfriend sitting next to him) and we had an instant connection. Lucky for me, the girlfriend was on her way out, so Erick and I hung out for the rest of my stay, but knew it wasn’t likely we could make a relationship work. We kept in touch and literally chased each other around the world. I started traveling around the world with the intent to go back to Africa, and Erick moved to the States. I returned from my trip six months later, and Erick’s job moved him to Guiana. A few years later, he moved back to the US and came to Nashville (where my boyfriend was sitting next to me). A few years and a breakup after that, we decided we had to make a relationship work. We did two years long distance between Nashville and Boston before Erick made the move South. We were soon engaged in October 2013 and married on October 18, 2014.
Tell us all about the proposal! Erick and I had been talking about getting engaged all summer. However, in September, my older sister got engaged, which was a welcome surprise to the whole family. Their engagement made our plans a little less immediate in every one else’s eyes. One day in October, Erick suggested “we spend the whole day together.” I had my suspicions, so I got dressed and planned a fun day. We went to Arrington Vineyards, shared wine, had wonderful conversation, and left without getting engaged. As we were leaving, Erick asked if I wanted to go out to eat. I was a little let down and neither of us was very hungry, so we decided to just go home and watch a movie. Once we were home, I hurried into my pajamas, made popcorn, and settled onto the couch. That’s when Erick walked over, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. It was private, without makeup or fancy clothes, in our home, and it was perfect. Then we proceeded to call my parents with the surprise of wedding number two scheduled for 2014!
When did y’all get married? October 18, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 40 for the ceremony and dinner, 80 for the reception
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We had beautiful elements all around, but we kept it reigned in and as simple as possible. Also, we knew we wanted a small and intimate ceremony, but to celebrate with all our friends, so we had only 40 people at the ceremony and dinner, and then had a great dessert and dancing reception with all our friends afterwards.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Focus on your relationship and marriage, and let the professionals handle the details. It was so much fun being a guest at my own wedding. I had zero stress because I had zero control, but I knew the people in charge wanted the best for us and I was paying them to do a great job without my help.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We plan to keep our day-to-day very much the same–working, playing with our dog, cooking dinner, hiking, reading, and being best friends. We look forward to working on our house and yard, visiting Rwanda, growing our friendships, and welcoming children whenever that happens.

Photographer: Kristin Sweeting / Planner: Kristin Kaplan of Stunning Events / Venue and Catering: Sambuca / Florist: Brocade Designs / Wedding Cake: Nashville Sweets / Rentals: Visual Elements / Lighting: Nashville Audio Visual / Ceremony Musician: Eric Knutsen / Reception Music: Cosmo Creations / Special Details: Rwandan craft workshop / Bride’s Gown: “Gianna” by Maggie Sottero / Alterations: Tu Holman / Bride’s Hair Accessories: “Art Deco Bridal Headband” by Veiled Beauty / Hair and Makeup: Debbie Dover / Bride’s Shoes: “Angela” by Coloriffics / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “041893600,” “04241040,” and “041885760” in Navy by Adrianna Papell

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Hillary @ Brocade reply

    We were so delighted to share in Andrea and Erick’s celebration with the Event Design, Floral, and Paper Goods design. Thank you so much for the feature!

  2. avatar Olivia Fischer reply

    Love the glittering bridesmaids dresses and nice photography too!

  3. avatar Featured on Southern Weddings | Stunning Events | Nashville Wedding Planner | Event Production & Design reply

    […] and green wedding photographed by the amazing, Kristin Sweeting Photography. Head on over to the Southern Weddings blog to see the full feature! Such a gorgeous couple, both inside and out, and we loved working with our […]

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I always know it’s going to be a great Real Wedding when I get an email from Miss Lisa while she’s prepping it, saying how much I’m going to love it. Boy, was she right! Lisa and I both fell in love with not only the beauty of Christina and Tyler’s wedding, but also, their adorable personalities and acute focus on creating an intimate wedding with a feeling so special that it’s palpable even to their future grandchildren. After quite the long courtship, these two absolutely knew they were meant to spend the rest of their lives together and reflected this throughout their day. They worked with their wedding planner, From This Day Forward, to combine old South with a splash of couture. Right up my alley!

Obviously, Christina’s top knot and tulle ball gown rock my world, but that’s not what truly makes this wedding hit the nail on the head–it’s the heart behind each detail. While glamorous accessories are oh-so-pretty, like Christina said “those perfect little blue heels may have been cute, but family heirlooms last forever.” Amen!

Big SW hugs to Ariel Renae for sharing this sparkly day with us!

It took me four states, eight bridal boutiques, and countless dresses before I found the one. When I would imagine myself on our wedding day, the same thought always came to mind: that perfect little church and Tyler standing at the end of the aisle after the church doors opened. I wasn’t choosing my dress based on the look of our wedding, our reception location, or anything else. All I was concerned about were those few seconds of Tyler watching me walk towards him. Because we had already been together for so long and he had already seen me in countless dresses, I was determined to find something grand–the type of dress that I would never get the opportunity to wear again. Friends and family members were all pushing for me to choose a mermaid gown, but I had something else in mind. I wanted vintage, yet modern–the type of dress my daughter would one day want to wear. I found that in my Vera Wang. I fell in love with the combination of lace and tulle, but it was the structure of the dress that had me sold. Not to mention, Tyler had stated in years passing that he envisioned me in a ball gown with my hair up… so that is exactly what I gave him.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes, my something blue ended up being very special. Leading up to the wedding, my sister and I fell in love with these royal blue suede heels, so I decided to make them my something blue. However, what I didn’t realize was that Tyler’s mom had a very meaningful gift waiting for me in Savannah. The morning before our wedding, she handed me a ring box. In the box was a flawless blue sapphire ring that was previously worn by Tyler’s nanny. Tyler’s nanny was was his world, and unfortunately, God decided to take her sooner than we would have liked. It was such a sweet surprise and an honor to wear that ring on my wedding day. Tyler’s mom said that before she passed away, Tyler’s nanny told her to give the ring to Tyler’s bride. I can’t wait to continue the tradition and one day be able to hand over the ring to my new daughter-in-law. Those perfect little blue heels may have been cute, but family heirlooms last forever.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? At first, picking a wedding location seemed like a daunting task. Since I was born and raised in Virginia, we both went to high school and college in Georgia, and we’ve both been living in Florida for the last five years, we really had the entire South to choose from. However, it ended up being one of the easiest decisions for us to make when we started planning our wedding. I had spent months researching churches across the East Coast, and I just so happened to stumble upon Whitefield Chapel. We decided to make a trip up to Savannah to see it in person, and it was love at first sight. We both instantly knew we were meant to wed there.

Too funny!

Describe your wedding flowers. Because I loved the idea of mixing the old South with a splash of couture, I really wanted to pair the look of loose, garden flowers with the glitz and glamour that went with my bridesmaid gowns. I knew I wanted all white blooms, lots of greenery, and lots of texture, to create a Lowcountry feel. My two favorite floral pieces were the garland attached to the back bumper of our vintage Bentley, and my flower crown that the ladies of A to Zinnias constructed for our rehearsal dinner. Simply stunning.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Nope, Team Traditional Vows all the way.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. You can even find this verse written on an old particle board hanging in our living room. Whenever one of us is quick to have a temper, the rule is you must stand in front of the sign and read the entire verse out loud for the other to hear. What may have started out as a joke has turned out to be very conducive.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: From Christina: I really can’t choose just one. I love how we provided the trolley service for our guests, so they wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. I also loved our welcome bags, which included Georgia pecans, glass bottles of coke with Crown Royal, and vintage Savannah postcards. I would guess Tyler’s favorite detail was his dance moves. From Tyler: My favorite detail was the chalkboard sign at the entrance of the chapel that my wife made for me.

Now that is some serious Blue Steel, Mr. Tatum – work!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? By far, my favorite detail of the wedding was displaying our moms’ wedding dresses for all of our guests to see. My mom had found the perfect vintage dress forms online and they went beautifully with the architecture and style of our reception space. Also, instead of using a typical guest book, we decided to use quilt patches that my great-grandmother had sewn decades ago. What better way to remember our wedding guests than by reading their messages on a family heirloom that’s been passed down three generations?

We LOVE seeing how real couples incorporate products from the Southern Weddings Shop into their own weddings!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to Adele’s version of “Make You Feel My Love.” That song is so special to us because it really connects with what we’ve gone through and endured in our relationship over the last ten years. “There’s no doubt in my mind where you belong…” is probably my favorite line, but I’m pretty sure I whispered every word of the entire song in Tyler’s ear during our first dance.

Our guests came from far and wide to attend our Southern-themed Georgia wedding, so it was only fitting that we offered Georgia peach cake with peach buttercream icing. Yum! In recognition of my daily pumpkin coffee, we also offered a pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing–my favorite! When choosing the design of our cake, I was thinking big picture. I knew I wanted to surround our cake with vintage family photos of our loved ones on their wedding days. I had also found the perfect swans to include in the mix, along with a gorgeous calligraphy piece from the Southern Weddings Shop that I had custom framed. When it came time to design the actual cake, I knew I wanted something simple and chic. Tier Luxury Cakes really came through with that understated elegant look I was going for.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Do you have all day? No, but in all seriousness, our love story has been a beautiful mess. It’s definitely not the easiest thing meeting your future husband at the age of 18, yet somehow, we managed to stay together through growing up and finding ourselves. Our story began in the summer of 2004, when we were in our first year at different colleges, after we both graduated from the same high school the year before. Over the next ten years, through butterflies, heartbreaks, deaths, moves, and new adventures, we learned that God definitely used us to shape who the other is today. Moral of the story, trust the man above…especially when he sends a cute boy your way.
Tell us all about the proposal! In the years leading up to the proposal, I had always asked that if he did propose, do it at anytime EXCEPT right before the bar exam. Well, we’re all Southern ladies here, so you can probably predict what happened next…I was finishing up my final semester in law school, gearing up for the bar exam, when Tyler decided it was the perfect time to pop the question. Because my birthday always fell during exams, our tradition was to spend it in the library, cupcakes in hand. For this particular birthday, Tyler kept begging me to spend the night away from my books, and instead, go with him to a special dinner. Little did I know that he had arranged for a private room at Capital Grill with special service, flowers, wine–the whole nine yards. He had even put together a special video filled with our closest friends and family wishing me a happy birthday, which would then lead to the proposal. However, due to my very stubborn and overachieving ways, I refused to celebrate my birthday and insisted that I spend that time studying. To this day, after all of his preparation, I will never understand how Tyler refrained from dragging me to dinner with him. But, he didn’t force me, and things always have a funny way of working out, because although his plan seemed perfect, it may have been too perfect for us. We enjoy the simple things in life–we love our beach bungalow, our chocolate lab, and pedaling the day away on our beach cruisers. He proposed on the beach, early the next morning during sunrise, with Marley, our beloved lab, right by his side. It couldn’t have been more “us.” I then started the grueling process of bar prep with one very large distraction sitting on my left hand, while having learned my first lesson as a newly engaged woman: boys never listen.
When did y’all get married? November 16, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 60
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? You couldn’t have paid us to do a first look. We consider ourselves very traditional when it comes to family and lifetime moments, and after waiting ten years for this occasion, there would be no spoiling it.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Oh goodness, probably when I found out that the church had double booked us, which led to us switching reception venues. Or when my bridal suite, a week before the wedding, said that they had scheduled us for the wrong weekend and we no longer had a reservation. Moral of the story, expect at least three meltdowns. Maybe four.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We definitely saved money by having an intimate wedding. It was important to us to only have our closest friends and family members in attendance and we wouldn’t have changed that for the world.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I could rave about all of our vendors because they were ALL amazing. However, I had spent months and months searching for the perfect photographer and it really paid off. I remember the night that I discovered Ariel’s work. It took me three hours just to draft our initial email to see if she’d be interested in shooting our wedding… I was convinced that she’d never choose us. To my surprise, she called me the next day and was by far one of the coolest people I had ever met. Thanks to Ariel, we now have gorgeous shots from our engagement shoot, rehearsal dinner, and of course, our entire wedding day. I’ll treasure them forever and I’m counting down the days until I get to show them to our children. It’s going to be awesome.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Tyler: My most memorable moment from the wedding was standing next to my best friends, seeing my family and friends in the crowd, and hearing Canon in D start playing and the doors opening to my beautiful bride! I’m not an emotional guy at all, but it was so hard to fight back the tears in that moment. It was the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. I have played guitar for 16 years and always loved that song, but now, every time I hear and play it, I think of that moment and how excited I felt to marry my best friend. She looked absolutely gorgeous and when those doors opened and I saw her for the first time, she could not have looked any more perfect.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? This day is all about you and your future spouse. But, it’s also about your future children, their children, and so on. Therefore, plan your day with the intentions of capturing that special feeling that even your grandchildren will be able to experience through photos alone.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Lots of children and lots of laughter.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? It was awesome. You should have been there.

Photographer: Ariel Renae Photography / Planner: Weddings From This Day Forward / Ceremony Venue: Whitefield Chapel / Reception Venue: Garibaldi’s Cafe / Florist: A to Zinnias / Wedding Cake: Tier Luxury Cakes / Rentals: Savannah Special Events /  DJ: DJ Nick Fresh / Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang / Paper Products & Calligraphy: Lowcountry Paper Co / Hair Stylist: Salon Aqua / Makeup Artist: Lauren Rossi Makeup / Bride’s Shoes: BCBG / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Badgley Mischka via Rent the Runway / Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein  / Groomsmen Attire: Mens Wearhouse / Vintage Stamps: Verde Studio / Welcome Bags: Pressed Cotton / Ampersand Coasters: Redbirdink / Gold Glitter Drink Stirrers: dillpicklepicnic / Flower Petal Bags: Howjoyfulshop

marissa Written with love by Marissa
36 Comments
  1. avatar ariel renae reply

    This was one of my favorite weddings of the year! Such a beautiful day! Thanks for the feature!

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    Seriously, I just love them! They did such an amazing job staying focused on what really matters, and that love and thoughtfulness is so evident in their wedding pictures!

  3. avatar Kat reply

    Oh I LOVE the dress she picked! And that cake table is stunning! Such a gorgeous & classy wedding!!

  4. avatar Aly reply

    This wedding is absolutely beautiful. I love the sparkly bridesmaid dresses, and every detail seems to have been thought of. And the bride? So chic and elegant.

  5. avatar Kathryn reply

    Those bridesmaid dresses are truly stunning… as is the glowing bride. Not only do I feel a kinship, in that I too will be sporting Ms. Wang come September – but the moment I saw that Spanish moss coming off those Live Oaks I knew immediately that was where I’ve called home for the last 5 years; sweet Savannah :) Not to mention I’ll be celebrating my birthday/graduation at Garibaldi’s cafe come the end of next month – and by the looks of it, I definitely have something to look forward to!

  6. avatar Emily reply

    SUCH a beautiful wedding, inside and out! I love how she describes/thinks about her wedding photos in relation to her future kids! :)

  7. avatar Erin | Elizabeth Anne Designs reply

    LOVE the sparkly bridesmaids dresses and the gold details throughout….absolutely stunning!

  8. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Beth and Lawson loved hosting their wedding guests at one of their favorite places, Rosemary Beach. Christina and Tyler‘s glamorous Savannah wedding was centered around tradition and leaving a legacy. Annie and […]

  9. avatar Abby reply

    Hello! This wedding is exactly what I want in my own this fall. Could the bride possibly say how the experience with renting the bridesmaid’s dresses was? I am considering Rent The Runway for my girls and these are THE dresses I love! Thank you!! -Abby

    • avatar Christina reply

      Hi Abby!! I’ll admit, it was a very risky move on my part, but it turned out better than I could have ever hoped! I just suggest doing your homework, speaking with the ladies at RTR, making sure that all of your girls are ordering the right sizes based on the reviews of other girls who have their same body type, and triple check that the address and orders are correct in the RTR system. If all fails, just remember that RTR can over night you a different size if needed, that is if it is in stock. So long story short, call RTR and discuss your ideas and wishes for your girl’s dresses and they should be able to lead you in the right direction. Hope this helps and wishing you a beautiful wedding!

    • avatar Jen reply

      I realize I’m a little late to the game on this wedding, but I just HAD to comment. What a stunner — in every way, you can really see the love. I so appreciate that the couple stayed focused on what really matters and stuck to their traditions. So beautiful!!

      The bridesmaid dresses are breathtaking and I would love for my MOH to wear that dress for my upcoming wedding, was just curious if the dress was the gold or blush version (both are available on RTR — eek!)? It is so hard to tell from pics and I want to be sure! Many thanks!!!

    • avatar Abigail reply

      I have the same question! I have been trying to figure it out for a few hours now haha :)!

    • avatar Abigail reply

      Hi Christina! I love your bridesmaid dresses! I am considering doing the same look for my bridesmaids but I’m just wondering which color dress your girls are wearing— the gold or the more blush-y colored one!? Would you mind letting me know? :)

      https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/badgley_mischka/night_at_the_oscars_gown

      https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/badgleymischka_dresses/awardwinnergown

  10. avatar Christina reply

    Still in awe that our wedding was featured on THE Southern Weddings! Thank you so much to everyone for the sweet comments and hope everyone has a blessed day!

    xoxo MRS. Tatum :)

  11. avatar Melanie Thomas reply

    What Material are the brides maids dresses

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  14. avatar marcia reply

    Where are the gold bridesmaid dresses from? so pretty

  15. avatar Amanda reply

    Wow!! This bride is beautiful and I feel like this entire wedding is my inspiration. Any idea where the bridesmaid dresses are from? Love it all!! Fantastic shots

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Hi Amanda! The bridesmaid dresses are Badgley Mischka from Rent the Runway :)

  16. avatar Sara reply

    Love this Vera wang gown. Do you know the name of the gown? I tried on a really similar one but the top of this one looks different. Thanks!

  17. avatar Emily reply

    Gorgeous!!

  18. avatar Claudia Hernandez reply

    Hello, I hope you are well.
    Please would you let me know where did you found your bridesmaids dresses?

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  22. avatar Sharon reply

    Hi! I’m planning a Southern GA wedding & would love to know where you got the koozies from

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  26. avatar Crystal reply

    You had an amazingly beautiful wedding where oh where did you find the bridesmaid dresses!?

  27. avatar Megan reply

    Where did you get your bridesmaids dresses!? My friend is getting married soon and she loves them!

  28. avatar Boho Pins: Top 10 Pins of the Week from Pinterest – Bridesmaids – Boho Weddings™ For the Boho Luxe Bride reply

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Jill and Donald have one of the most darling meet-cutes I’ve ever heard. Their love story started in middle school when Donald boldly dared Jill to kiss him–and she did! Many years later, these junior high sweethearts said “I do” in a pretty white chapel, and then celebrated in a reception that was chock-full of Southern traditions, from a second line to a cake pull to a bleedin’ armadillo groom’s cake. We’re smitten with every detail that our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Sapphire Events, pulled together!

Thank you so much to 509 Photo for sharing this lovely wedding with us!

We met at the end of summer at a school event when Donald was going into 7th grade and I was going into 8th. Everyone called him Scooter, so I had recalled hearing about him in conversations. We crossed paths on the stairwell, surrounded by friends, when he stopped and said, “Hey, I’m Scooter.” I remember confidently stating, “I know who you are,” even though I didn’t really. He talked to me and the rest of the 8th grade cheerleaders for awhile, and when I started to walk away, he yelled, “I dare you to kiss me!” I whipped back around and sassily said, “You dared the wrong girl!” I leaned in, thinking he would be so shocked or scared or embarrassed, he would run off, but he didn’t! Our lips locked, and it began a long-standing crush, many years of dating, three dogs, a house, and a move to NYC. We were married in front of some of the same friends that saw our very first kiss!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I knew I wanted to capture both the sweet and sassy sides of me, and no one dress was going to do that! I tried on fitted dresses, ball gowns, and A-lines, and loved them all. After talking to my dear friend, Katerina, she said she would make me something! She sent me a sketch of the most beautiful drawing, and I immediately fell in love with the illustration, the concept, and the entire look. She made me a removable overlay of lace appliqués, so I still got my sassy mermaid look for post-ceremony!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and “Union” by Robert Fulghulm
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Bach (processional), “Canon in D” by Pachelbel (bridal processional), and “Hornpipe” from Water Music by Handel (recessional).

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The second line!! We laughed and danced and kissed and really took in the moment. Best 0.6 miles I’ve ever walked.

Louisiana has a special place in my heart. I lived there as a baby, it’s where my mother was raised, and my grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins all live there. My great-grandmother lived in Metarie and I spent lots of time with her and family there on holidays and during summers growing up. When Donald and I were deciding where we wanted to get married, we both agreed that New Orleans was perfect, since we wanted our wedding to be the best celebration ever. The church was simply beautiful and rich in history, and was not too far from where we wanted to have the reception. The reception venue was magical, and it overlooked two very special features: the Jax Brewery sign, which is our lab’s name, and the Mississippi River. Scooter’s daddy passed away when Scooter was 12, and he was from Mississippi. When we first visited the venue and saw the view of the river, I got chills thinking about how perfect of a tribute it was to a special person who is no longer with us.

We loved our wedding cake! It had a black and white fondant design, topped with sugar magnolias. The cake had alternating tiers of chocolate and White Russian cake with delicious buttercream filling. The groom’s cake was red velvet with gray icing in the shape of an armadillo. It was even delicious the next morning when we hacked into it for one last bite!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had magnolias on the pews down the aisle and on the wedding cake. When I had asked Donald if he wanted a groom’s cake, he said no at first, but then quickly changed his mind, adding, “Get me a bleeding armadillo groom’s cake…for shock and awe!” So I did! Some of our New York guests unfamiliar with Steel Magnolias actually thought it was a New York City rat!! My four sweet flower girls carried arrangements filled with cotton, a nod to my grandmother, whose daddy owned and operated a cotton farm that is still in our family. We wanted the reception to feel like Mardi Gras! There were boas, beads, and booze flowing throughout the night. We even had a caricature artist to add a Jackson Square art feel.

Tell us all about the proposal! For weeks, I had been tanning, primping, and getting “pageant-ready” for this proposal. I knew it was coming, and the anticipation was killing me!! I even slept in makeup on occasion and NEVER went out without a full head of Big Texas hair. After several dinners out, weekly tans, and precise attention to grooming details, in true Scooter form, he asked me at our apartment, during our favorite time of day (morning coffee time), when I had no makeup on AND wet hair! Unknowingly, he was recording as I danced around and squealed…not at all how I imagined my reaction to the proposal. The video footage is remarkable, hilarious, sweet, and so me!
When did y’all get married? June 1, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The wedding favors. We stuffed clear bags with Spanish moss, mini Tabascos, chocolate alligators made my by wonderful mother, and a recipe of my grandaddy’s mini pralines; it was personal touches of New Orleans charm and love from my Louisiana family that made the favors so special to me.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes, I was covered in sentimentality! My mother let me wear her sapphire and diamond ring on my right hand for the night. My paternal grandmother sent a blue brooch that I pinned on the inside of my wedding skirt, which was an extra special gift since the trip was too far for her to take. My dear friend Katerina let me borrow diamond drop earrings. My maternal grandmother loaned me a lace handkerchief that was my great-great-grandmother’s.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Long-distance planning. We flew to New Orleans for a weekend and chose our wedding cake, food for the reception, band, wedding planner, and florist within 48 hours. We just had to trust it would all turn out like we imagined, and it was perfect!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our 509 photo team was incredible. They captured the images of me and my husband and our friends and family perfectly. Every time I go back to the pictures or our wedding album, I feel as if I am reliving the day!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Research! I spent many hours watching wedding video clips for ideas, and I was big into reading blogs and reviews.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Continuing on with our adventure, traveling, and at some point, having some babies.

Photographer: Caleb Chancey of 509 Photo / Videographer: 509 Photo / Planner: Valerie Gernhauser of Sapphire Events / Ceremony Venue: St. Marks United Methodist Church /Reception Venue: Galvez Restaurant / Florist: Eric Fredricks of Bee’s Wedding and Event Designs / Cake Baker: Flour Power / Rentals: Perrier Party Rentals / Band: Chicken on the Bone Band / Bride’s Gown: Romona Keveza with custom overlay by Katerina Kaplanis at Pronovias / Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas / Bride’s Shoes and Veil: Pronovias NYC / Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Kiss and Make Up / Maid of Honor Dress: Monique Lhuillier / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jim Hjelm / Groom’s Attire: Sebastien Grey Clothiers NYC / Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Brass Band: Storyville Stompers / Programs, Reception Menus, Table Numbers, and Place Cards: Michelle Sasser / Rolls Royce Rental and Shuttles: Capital City Trolleys

Sapphire Events is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Jill’s gown is perfection – and I love how happy these two look throughout their wedding day!

  2. avatar Amanda {Planning It All} reply

    Her gown is stunning – I really like the lace overlay!

  3. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] only thing more romantic than Katie and Mark‘s wedding (above) was their sweet love story. Jill and Donald‘s wedding was chic and elegant, with the perfect amount of New Orleans flair. We […]

  4. avatar Victoria reply

    What a fun and beautiful wedding!

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