Y’all have no idea how excited I am to share Molly and Eric’s wedding with you today! I just adore this couple–Molly owns a super chic bridal salon, so you know the fashion at their wedding was on point, down to Eric’s custom Olia Zavozina tux and gold pin dot bow tie! While that was so lovely, Molly and Eric spoke straight to our hearts when they felt led to scratch planning a big wedding. Instead, they decided to move up their date and keep things as simple as possible, making their wedding a reflection of their love story and a time for friends to be with their loved ones. I also can’t help but love that they chose their first dance song (“Have a Little Faith In Me”) because of their “imperfect love story,” and as a reminder “to fight the good fight together.”
We’re so glad Annabella Charles shared this beautiful day with us in V7!
P.S. Lisa and I may have shared an ugly cry session after watching their proposal video–I highly suggest watching it, but grab your tissues first!
Aside from saying “yes” to my groom, choosing the dress was one of the easiest decisions in all of wedding planning. I didn’t even try it on before deciding it was, without a doubt, the one for me. Amahlia, designed by Maggie Louise designer, Rivini, was a part of Rita’s spring 2014 collection and embodied everything I had ever dreamed of wearing. I felt the top of the dress resembled my style, classic and more on the simple side, and the bottom matched Eric, who is more of a risk-taker and modern in his taste. When it walked down the runway that spring, we both looked at each other and knew it was everything I had hoped for.
What did the groom wear? Eric wore a custom tuxedo that he designed alongside Olia Zavozina, a wedding gown designer at Maggie Louise and a dear friend of ours. She took all of his ideas and created a masterpiece! Eric didn’t tell me a single detail about the tux and kept it a secret until the day of the wedding. The tux was solid black with modern twists. He chose a black bowtie with gold pin dots, my favorite detail!
We got engaged in September and originally began planning our wedding for October of the following year. After a few long discussions, we both knew that honoring God in our commitment to each other was far more important than a wedding day that would take us over a year to afford and plan. It was then that we decided to move up the date and keep things as simple as possible! We knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony at Acre, so with the Southern heat in mind, we ruled out the summer months quickly, and landed on April 4, 2014. Our venue, Acre Restaurant in Memphis, is an older home that has been revamped into a very organic, rustic, chic restaurant venue. We knew we wanted our wedding day to be a reflection of our love story, and we wanted a ceremony that glorified God (not us). We didn’t fuss with having a bridal party or costly details. We simply wanted our friends to come with their loved one and let the night be a reminder of the love they share, all while enjoying a great meal, a few cocktails, and cutting loose for a bit. We began our Friday night at with a cocktail hour in the courtyard where we were getting married. As the ceremony approached at 6:30 P.M., our coordinator simply parted the sea of loved ones. Our families were escorted to the front and I walked down the cobblestone aisle on my father’s arm to “Til Kingdom Come” by Coldplay. After the ceremony, we kicked off the party with our first dance under the outdoor tent behind Acre, and spent the rest of the night getting smooth with Yacht Rock Revue.
Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. From Eric: Our officiant was Andy Savage from Highpoint Church in East Memphis, Tennessee. Andy “does a great wedding” (his famous quote), but an even better pre-marriage class. We graduated with honors. A special part for me was when he asked us to turn around at the beginning of the ceremony and gaze at how many friends/family came to support us. Man, that was a cool moment.
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? We allowed the beautiful venue to naturally set the tone for the design of our wedding. In order to keep everything under budget, this worked perfectly with our individual and non-traditional wedding styles.
The food was by far one of our favorite parts in all of wedding planning. Andrew Adams, the chef at Acre, spent months designing a custom menu for our wedding day that told the history of who Eric and I are and where we come from, including my family’s Southern roots from the Mississippi Delta and Eric’s Italian heritage reigning from Chicago. In our efforts to keep the night as fun and simple as possible, we felt it was key to let all of our vendors have fun with doing what they do best. Andrew went above and beyond to create the perfect menu for our night. Although we decided to forgo many wedding traditions, I couldn’t bear to pass on the cake cutting moment. A local cake designer and friend of mine, Laura Jackson (owner of The Flour Garden), surprised us with a small cake on the wedding day, and it was nothing less than a masterpiece. Eric and I cut it before the ceremony so I could have a few of those traditional, yet priceless, images.
Our first dance was to John Haitt’s “Have a Little Faith In Me,” sung by a dear friend of ours, who happened to serenade everyone the night of our engagement as well. I came across this song a few years ago and have always felt it was such a beautiful reflection of us. Eric and I have always been open books about our imperfect love story. Over the last four years of our dating relationship, we did a lot of growing both individually and as a couple. Even on the days when it wasn’t easy, we continued to place faith in the Lord and each other–which is all we need in order to fight the good fight together!
Date of your wedding: April 4, 2014
Tell us about yourselves! From Molly: I was raised a Mississippi girl and moved to Memphis for college. I fell in love with the city and decided that it was, without a doubt, the place for me. I worked for 7.5 years in the photography industry with Allison Rodgers Photography and fell in love with all things bridal behind the lens throughout the years. I graduated from the University of Memphis in 2010 with a business degree in Marketing and Management. Aside from living out my dreams at the bridal boutique, my lists of “hobbies” are short, but I love food, music, a good glass of wine, and traveling with my new husband. From Eric: My boss is on the cross. I’m proudly a janitor/handyman at Maggie Louise on off-days. I love to exercise, cook healthy, and keep my ducks in a row. I bake 15-minute chocolate chip cookies for 10 minutes. I hope you never get injured, but I would love to be your doctor one day. This is my first wedding questionnaire.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met seven years ago via a mutual friend at a bar on Beale Street, Silky O’Sullivan’s. I still remember the night, December 20, 2007, like it was yesterday–where I was sitting, the second I saw him, even down to the outfit I was wearing. We hit it off immediately and hung out periodically throughout college, but didn’t make it official until three years later. In May 2010, a few weeks before we both graduated from the University of Memphis, Eric said something along the lines of “I’m ready to be your boyfriend”… I said “No way,” of course. Obviously, I caved, and we’ve been together ever since!
Describe the proposal: We got engaged on September 7, 2013. Every year, Eric throws an outdoor party at his mom’s house–an all-day affair that is the adult version of every kid’s dream-come-true, complete with a homemade slip-and-slide, volleyball, jell-o wrestling, and a belly flop contest. The day went as planned and we spent the afternoon surrounded by our family and friends, enjoying the summer heat and shenanigans. At sundown, Eric’s mom asked me to ride with her to pick up dinner for all of our guests, and I reluctantly agreed, hesitant to leave behind all the excitement and loved ones. When I returned, I saw an enormous projector screen with Eric’s face and everyone holding champagne in their hands. The video began to play, and it was filled with flashes of family and friends holding signs that said “Say Yes,” and then Eric saying he wanted to spend his life with me. At the end of the video proposal, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his bride. Here is the video!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: From Eric: Honest, holy, honorable.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? From Eric: Throwing a memorable, yet affordable, party for all of our friends to enjoy. I have champagne taste on a beer budget, and she has Jimmy Choo taste on a Target gift card budget.
Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets. We bypassed serving the traditional wedding cake and let Andrew have some fun with his culinary skills for the desserts. He came up with unique, homemade ice cream sandwiches and an assorted donut bar. The ice cream sandwiches included dark chocolate brownie with cookie dough ice cream, strawberry cheesecake ice cream stuffed in a candied croissant, and ice-cream-filled chocolate éclairs. The donut creations were blueberry cake donuts with lemon-vodka glaze, Reese’s Pieces donuts, cereal milk donuts topped with Frosted Flakes, and apple cider fritters.
What are you most looking forward to about marriage? Seeing God’s plans for us unfold throughout our lives together. There is so much unknown as to what is in store, but that is what makes everything so exciting. Eric has plans of going to medical school and living out his dreams as a surgeon. I’m thrilled to see where the Lord takes us and how he uses us, both individually and as a couple.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff!! Set your priorities together and don’t lose sight of them or the big picture. It is so easy to get caught up in the material aspects and expectations, but at the end of the day, people will remember seeing the happiness between you both.
Photographers: Allison Rodgers Photography, Annabella Charles Photography, Amy Dale Photography, and The Studio J / Videographer: 22 Magnolias / Coordinator: Simply Perfect Weddings & Events / Venue, caterer, and desserts: Acre Restaurant / Bride’s bouquet: Beth’s Flowers / Floral archway: Haute Horticulture / Wedding cake: The Flour Garden / Bride’s Gown: “Amahlia” by Rivini / Bridal salon: Maggie Louise Bridal / Bride’s veil: Erin Cole / Hair and makeup: Jena Bruback of Headlines Salon / Groom’s tuxedo: Olia Zavozina / Ceremony music: Jacob Zachary / Reception music: Yacht Rock Revue and Charvey Mac / Paper products: Kendyl Mounce