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As many of y’all know, Rosemary Beach is one my favorite places on the entire earth! It’s holds a very special place in my heart as it’s where BDK and I took our very first vacation together – it’s even where I’d hold my dream Southern summer wedding! So, of course, I am tickled pink to share Sarah + Nick’s sweet day. From the adorable rhymes on their chalkboard signs to their bridal party’s dance floor antics, it’s hard not smile while seeing the pure joy in the photos from Pure 7 Studios! I love weddings that look like they were a complete blast for all in attendance, and I’d venture to say that Sarah + Nick’s definitely has that look!

Opting out of the first look? Sending a sweet note to your beau is one of my favorite ways to share your excitement without seeing each other!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I actually found it on Pinterest of all places! Just searching around, Pinterest took me to the BHLDN website and miraculously, they have a store in Houston (only 2 in the country!). I went with one of my best friends on my lunch break because I really didn’t think it was going to be THE dress, but the second I stepped out of the dressing room and saw the look on her face, I knew I had found the one!

We decided not to do the first look. I really wanted the first moment that Nick saw me to be when I was walking towards him down the aisle. I did however, decide to do a first look with my dad which was really fun!

Grab a tissue y’all, Nick’s expression in the photo below is sure to having you reaching for your hanky!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something blue and old was a combination. My grandfather passed two months before the wedding and I had a piece of one of his blue shirts, as well as a piece of lace from my mom’s wedding dress, cut into a heart shape and sewn on the back of my dress. I guess my something new was just everything else!

I can’t help but imagine Nick said the sweetest/funniest thing to Sarah right before this photo, and her reaction is THE best!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes. His vows to me were absolutely perfect. One line read, “I promise to watch Shark Week with you every year, even though it is the same episodes over and over.” Just hearing how he felt and knowing they were his words meant the world to me. He ended them with “I will always remind you that you is kind, you is smart, and you is important”.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Being surrounded by all of our family and friends. Seeing everyone out on the dance floor and having a wonderful time was priceless. And all of the lights set up under the tent were amazing!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? My husband’s family is from Louisiana, so we did a second line during the reception.

Describe your wedding flowers. The flowers were perfect! My bouquet and the centerpieces were a mix of tulips, roses, ranunculus and baby’s breath in light shades of pink and white, as well as greenery. The bridesmaids carried baby’s breath and lavender.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The wedding cake was white and off-white, four tiers, with little round balls all around it. It was exquisite and fun at the same time! The groom’s dessert was a delicious cheesecake with a New Orleans Saints emblem designed on it.

I love this Second Line — such a fun tribute to Nick’s hometown!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Nick and I actually knew each other in high school. We didn’t really hang out in the same group of friends, but we ended up in the same prom group during our senior year. After we graduated, I went to Texas A&M University and he went to the University of Texas, so we pretty much went our separate ways. Nick eventually moved to Reno for work and was home to visit family for Christmas 2010 when we ran into each other at a bar in our hometown. He asked for my number and ended up calling me that March. We had immediate chemistry and talked for hours that first night. He moved back home that August and the rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! Anyone that knows me knows that I love anything to do with the ocean, more specifically, sharks. I interned at The Aquarium of the Pacific after graduating college and I had always wanted to take a trip to visit Monterey Bay Aquarium. I have always had an obsession with that aquarium, but wasn’t ever able to make a trip to see it. Nick knew how much I would love to visit the aquarium, so he surprised me with a trip for my birthday. I was blown away that someone would fly across the country with me just to see an aquarium! I was so excited about the trip that a proposal was the last thing on my mind. After a day at the aquarium, followed by dinner at an amazing sushi restaurant (ironic, I know), we decided to explore our beautiful hotel, which was right on the beach. We walked down a stairway that led down to the ocean and just stood there with his arms around me talking about how amazing the trip had been. Then, he said “I think I know how I could possibly make this trip better” and I responded with a very ladylike “Huh?!” The next thing I knew, he was down on one knee. I honestly couldn’t tell you what else he said because I was just so blown away, excited, wanting to scream yes! Of course, I said yes and could not wait to start this next chapter in our lives
When did y’all get married? March 2, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 85
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For some reason, I had always wanted to walk down the aisle barefoot to the sounds of a steel drum, so that is exactly what I did. I wanted a beachy, but not cheesy, feel and all of my vendors succeeded in that without a doubt. Our first dance was “That’s What’s Up” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. They are one of our favorite bands and the words really spoke to us. This is a somewhat fast song, so we really improvised with our first dance by just kind of jumping around, singing and laughing to the music. The whole reception had perfect music from Van Morrison to a Skrillex to Jack Johnson. Our last song of the night was “Walking on a Dream” by Empire of the Sun. A perfect song to end a perfect night.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? How overwhelming it can all be! I had to remember to take it one day at a time and trust all of my amazing vendors.
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? Honestly, I can’t choose just one vendor I was the happiest with. They were all perfect!! If I had to choose one, it would have to be Jen (number 2) from It’s a Shore Thing, since they pointed us in the right direction to all of our vendors. Our wedding wouldn’t have been half as amazing if we didn’t have them!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Aside from Nick’s amazing wedding vows, I would say that the dancing and fun everyone had at the reception were the most memorable moments. I took a few moments to step back and just take everything in, and seeing all of these people that we love having a great time was worth everything.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Just relax! No matter what happens, if the weather isn’t what you wanted, if your bridesmaid dresses don’t turn out right, at the end of the day, you will be married to your best friend and that is all that matters!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We just moved to a new town home in Houston and we are looking forward to relaxing and enjoying married life!

Photographer: Lindsey and Ryan from Pure 7 Studios / Videographer: Adam Grumbo / Planner: It’s a Shore Thing / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Western Green in Rosemary Beach, Florida / Florist: Celeste Barefield / Wedding Cake: Rhonda Joodi / Caterer, Rentals, Lighting, Paper Products and Special Details: Celeste Barefield / DJ: Brian of BBoy Productions / Bride’s Gown: “Luella” from BHLDN / Hair Stylist: Johnathan Doria from Pure and Couture Salon / Makeup Artist: Renee Armour / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Little Borrowed Dress / Men’s Pants and Vests: Perry Ellis

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Kat reply

    LOVE that cake!! And her laugh during the vows was priceless :) Beautiful wedding!!

  2. avatar johnathan reply

    Incredible wedding!

  3. avatar Kristen Moss reply

    We’re so delighted to see the memory of your happily ever after captured so beautifully!

  4. avatar Tom Heines reply

    I consider myself very fortunate to have been invited to the wedding of these two wonderful young people. I’m one of Nick’s uncles and I watched him grow up lo these many years. I’ve always hoped for the best for this fine young man, but I couldn’t have imagined how “best” his new bride would be! Sarah and Nick are a terrific couple, and the great wedding at Rosemary Beach was the perfect way for them to start their life together.

    All the best, Sarah and Nick!

    Uncle Tommy

  5. avatar Ann reply

    Another great Foster wedding!

  6. avatar Emily reply

    Love that photo of the groom reading his note! And the pearl cake :)

  7. avatar Lisa reply

    They may be one of the cutest couples I’ve ever seen! The way they’re looking at each other in all of these pictures is darling, and that ceremony kiss is priceless!

  8. avatar Karen Sherman reply

    This is amazing!! And “I” was a part of it – how awesome is that! I love both of you very much. If you’re ever in North Carolin, you have got to come see us’

    Aunt Karen

  9. avatar Sharon Foster reply

    I am blessed to be the mother of the groom and then doubly blessed to now be the M-I-L of Sarah. I can attest to the fact that the wedding was beautiful! The photographers were great, as well as the wedding coordinators. The DJ was amazing too! We had a blast and it shows in these pictures. Rosemary Beach was absolutely the perfect setting for this wedding.

  10. avatar Kate Biggs reply

    So beautiful!!

  11. avatar Jen Fisher {“Jen2”} reply

    I don’t even know where to start . . . from the first time I met Sarah & Nick, I absolutely thought they were just the cat’s meow (no, really). SUCH a sweet couple – and I genuinely enjoyed working with and getting to know them throughout the planning process. It’s sweet brides (and moms – hi, Karen!) like this that make me love what I do – and seeing such a deserving couple featured on THIS blog = happy, happy heart. Adore y’all and hope to see you again soon! XOXO ~Jen2

  12. avatar Karen Brock reply

    Love you both bunches!! The most perfect day!

  13. avatar Brock reply

    These photos are great! What an awesome wedding for an awesome couple!

  14. avatar Kim Cartlidge reply

    It was an amazing wedding in every way!!!. From the photography to the caterers everything was wonderful!!! Nick and Sarah are a perfect couple!! Rosemary Beach was a beautiful place to began a beautiful life!!!

  15. avatar Margaret Sambrooks reply

    Lovely reliving the most beautiful & fun wedding!!
    I always knew Sarah would be the most beautiful bride(I’m her proud grandma!) &Nick makes them a lovely couple – soo happy together & so photogenic!
    So many touching moment-Love you both

  16. avatar Kevin Brock reply

    An unbelievable wedding for the perfect couple! I’ve never been to a wedding where everybody was having such a great time, from old to young, everyone was on the dance floor. From the food to the DJ, it couldn’t have been any better. Thanks again to everyone involved in making this a great day!

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Hi, y’all! Our next Southern Bride of the Month is Alissa, who’s planning a destination wedding in beautiful Rosemary Beach!

Hi! What’s your name?

What’s your fiancé’s name?

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
Blake and I met after he had recently moved to Nashville and started working at the company I was with. It was love at first sight (well, maybe for him!). Funny enough, our desks were pushed together so I could be his “mentor,” and we even shared a stapler. After several attempts to get me to go to dinner or see a movie, I finally gave in. I was quickly attracted to his handsome good looks and Southern charm!

Two favorites from Alissa and Blake’s engagement session with Vue Photography. See more here!

Now tell us alllll about the proposal.
It was Blake’s 27th birthday and he told me that he wanted us to go to Watermark for dinner. I really didn’t question anything at that point, because it was his day, and I would get to pick where to eat for my birthday five days later. We enjoyed a nice dinner and had a couple cocktails, and then it came time for dessert. Now, if you know Blake, you know that he loves anything with sugar in it. I told him that I thought we didn’t need to get anything, but of course he asked for the dessert menu – very typical Blake.

The waiter brought us one dessert menu and handed it to him. He then highly recommended that we try the special dessert of the night – the carrot cake. Blake took a look at the menu, and said that that sounded good to him. I immediately asked what else they had (having never been a big fan of carrot cake). Blake again looked at the menu and said it looked really good to him, like his Mom’s recipe, and that we should try it. He then handed me the menu and scooted off his seat. This is what the menu said:

“Karat” cake: This isn’t your typical carrot cake, but more of a birthday request of Blake’s. To end this day in a special way, will you please answer “yes” on his birthday?

I really was in shock for a couple minutes, and had to read the menu again. He had really surprised me! I never would have guessed he would have done it on his birthday, which made it perfect. We then went to meet “some of his work friends” to have birthday drinks, and to my surprise, he had part of the rooftop reserved and all my friends were there to surprise me!

When’s the big day?
October 1, 2011… we can’t wait!!

Where might you two be tying the knot?
Rosemary Beach, FL

How did you pick your ceremony and reception venues? What do you love most about each space?
I used to work at Faccio Bridal in Franklin, TN (BEST bridal salon ever, I might add). A couple of our brides were married down in Rosemary and brought pictures back to show us. I remember thinking, “Hmmm, I need to remember this place for when it’s my turn.” Once I was officially engaged, my Mom and I drove down to check it out, and I fell in LOVE. Rosemary is gorgeous; you feel like you’re in a European beach town. From the architecture to the posh boutiques all along the cobblestone streets, this place stole my heart!

The ceremony will be on the Western Beach. I chose the beach because I love the simplicity of it, and we really want the focus to be on the actual marriage ceremony. The look will be very natural – having a bamboo arbor draped with ivory linen and wooden benches for our guests to sit upon.

Town Hall photos by Vue

The reception is being held at the Town Hall, which I absolutely adore. From the moment I saw it, I knew it would be just perfect for what I had in mind. Inside it has wood paneled ceilings with grand iron chandeliers. It really has a rustic feel to it, which became the foundation for our reception inspiration.

Who or what has been most inspiring in the wedding planning process?
Blogs!!!! I have followed (or, shall I say, stalked) various wedding blogs for a couple of years now. I am really drawn to the rustic/vintage look, and have been able to gather so many great ideas from them. Also, once I decided on Rosemary Beach, I began to look at local photographers’ blogs to gather more ideas from brides who had married in and around the highway 30A area. It’s safe to say I am addicted and will probably continue to view my daily blogs, Southern Weddings and Style Me Pretty, long after we are married!!

Alissa’s bouquet inspiration on the left (by Kelly Brown Weddings), and her inspiration for her bridesmaids’ bouquets on the right (by Victoria Souza)

Have you picked your dress yet? How’d that go? What will you be wearing on the big day?
Yes!! The dress shopping experience was a piece of cake for me, probably due to the fact that while I worked at Faccio Bridal, I swooned over Rivini’s “13.” It was the first dress I tried on, and it was absolutely perfect for me. It’s romantic, girly, and one of a kind. There are several different tiers of Alencon lace, and if you look closely, you’ll notice each tier is a different pattern. It’s one of those dresses that the longer you look at it, the more details you notice.

Who is your favorite vendor you’ve booked so far?
Vue Photography – hands down! Genya and Wesleyann are amazing photographers who have a real passion for what they do. I love their work and the energy they bring with them.

What do you love most about Southern weddings?
I love that Southern weddings are all about family and friends, the people who mean the most to you. I also love the details! I have had so much fun using different Southern elements throughout our wedding, such as burlap, old wooden crates (from Blake’s grandparents’ old grocery store), mason jars galore, vintage furniture, and lace. I love looking at other Southern weddings and trying to spot the personal touches each bride has incorporated.

Do you have a favorite Etsy store you’d love to tell us about?
Yes, Lila Frances – I am so excited to get my Mrs. Pettit hanger!

If you had to pick three top priorities for your budget, what would they be and why? Are your fiancé’s priorities different?
Mine would be dress, photographer, and caterer. Blake’s are band, cake (the boy has a sweet tooth), and booze (he also likes to have a good time!).

What has been the biggest challenge so far in wedding planning?
I would have to say planning a destination wedding. We have only gone down to Rosemary a couple times during the engagement, and I do think it would have been easier to have planned a wedding in the city where we are living. But, I wouldn’t change anything, because then we wouldn’t be getting married in the best place ever!

What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
Two things. First, seeing Blake’s face when I walk down the aisle (I’m thinking there are going to be some tears). I am so excited to be marrying my best friend, and I know it’s going to be the best day ever! Second, dancing with my Dad. I am definitely a Daddy’s girl, and I know it will be a very special moment for both of us. Plus, he has been practicing around the house, so I want to see what his moves are made of!

Another piece of Alissa’s inspiration, this time from Jenn + Barret’s wedding! Photo by Love Me Do

Any plans for a honeymoon? Where do you want to go and what will you do?
We are going to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and I think we are going to do a whole lot of relaxing.

Now it’s your turn to ask for advice – is there anything you’d like to poll the SW readers on?
I would like to know what other brides have done to honor family members that are no longer with them. None of my grandparents are living, and Blake only has one grandmother left. These were all very special people to us, and I would like to know what other couples have done to acknowledge and honor them during their big day.

Thank you so much for playing along, Alissa! Readers, if you’d like to apply to be a Southern Bride of the Month, check out this post for all the details! If you’ve already emailed me, you’re still in the running for future months!

Meet a few more Southern Brides of the Month:
Alison, planning an outdoor reception with moonshine
Katie, planning a garden wedding in Charleston with a pie bar
Lauren, planning a church and country club wedding in Texas

The Southern Bride of the Month header was designed by our Assistant Art Director Sierra, with illustration by Curious & Company!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar shannon reply

    alissa – i’m so excited that you asked the question about honoring loved ones who are no longer with us. i am trying to think of something to do as well during our wedding (which might i add – is just a week before yours on september 24th!) hopefully some brides out there will have some good answers for us!

    happy wedding!

  2. avatar Kelly reply

    Hi Alissa! I am from Destin, FL-and absolutely adore Rosemary Beach. Your wedding is going to be gorgeous! We got married in June, and to honor my grandmother who had passed away, we had poems read during the ceremony that her and my grandfather had written to each other when he got back from WWII. One poem was from my grandfather to my grandmother, and the other poem was her ‘response’ to his poem. It was about their love for each other and being married, and it was so special to us to have them incorporated into the ceremony! I also had each of my sisters pick out a bible verse that meant something special to them to read as a blessing as well.

  3. avatar Mollie reply

    Alissa- You’re wedding sounds like it will be amazing! Best of luck to you and Blake :)

  4. avatar Ginny reply

    I love seeing old wedding photographs framed on the entry table!

  5. avatar Amanda reply

    I had to comment on your statement about Rosemary Beach – “A couple of our brides were married down in Rosemary and brought pictures back to show us. I remember thinking, “Hmmm, I need to remember this place for when it’s my turn.” Once I was officially engaged, my Mom and I drove down to check it out, and I fell in LOVE. Rosemary is gorgeous; you feel like you’re in a European beach town. From the architecture to the posh boutiques all along the cobblestone streets, this place stole my heart!”

    I got chills when I read this because my fiance is an architect in Rosemary Beach and and he and his partner are also the town architects for Rosemary!! So, you’re welcome! Hahaha! Just kidding. Look them up – A Boheme Design, on Main Street! I wish I was going to be down there October 11, 2011, I would totally come by to check out your wedding, but Tennessee plays LSU in Knoxville that weekend! You can’t go wrong with a Rosemary wedding, it will be beautiful!

    • avatar Alissa reply

      Amanda: What a small world! That is so exciting your fiance is the architect for Rosemary Beach. Please let him know – job well done =).

  6. avatar Alicia reply

    Congratulations and your wedding sounds like it is going to be beautiful! To answer your question, at my wedding we honored our grandparents that were no longer with us by lighting a memory candle that had their names on it. That candles symbolism was mentioned in the wedding program also.

  7. avatar Alissa reply

    Thanks for all the sweet comments and for the wonderful suggestions on how to honor our grandparents!

  8. avatar moNdAy MeNtioNs » Vue Photography reply

    […] this coming weekend!!  What better way to kick off today’s mentions than with Alissa as the Southern Wedding’s Southern Bride of the Month {August}!!  We had so much fun with Alissa and Brad when we shot their engagement session and are […]

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