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Oh y’all, I literally gasped with excitement when I saw Carol + Scott’s welcome bags! As y’all might guess, houndstooth is one of my favorite prints ever (fun fact: it’s actually a plaid!).

While the amazing florals and the gorgeous portraits from Sam Stroud are sure to catch your eye, what truly stood out at Carol + Scott’s wedding to me was their intentional incorporation of family. C + S honored Carol’s late grandmother by including a custom stamp on their invitations as well as incorporating her diamond into C’s engagement ring. I love Carol’s thoughts on why they chose this option: “a customized stamp was the perfect solution, because her smiling face would be the first thing our guests saw when they pulled the invitation out of the mailbox.”

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Before Scott proposed, he asked my family for permission and was given a diamond that belonged to my maternal grandmother. He had the diamond set in a beautiful setting, and it served as my something old. The dress, which was made to my specifications, served as my something new. My godmother had collected pearls for me and eventually created a necklace; a blue heart surrounded by tiny pearls was attached to this necklace to serve as something blue. I also wore blue shoes. I borrowed my mother’s pearl earrings to pair with the necklace, which served as something borrowed. Finally, to gain more luck, I wore the Sowers family sixpence in my shoe as I walked down the aisle.

How stunning does Carol look in her Chaviano Couture gown? Amazing work from our dear friend Annette!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No, because we wanted to keep it traditional and not see each other until I walked down the aisle.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we said traditional vows because we wanted to say the same ones our parents and grandparents had said before us.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? The religious ceremony was very important for our families and us. We chose readings that we felt reflected our intentions concerning expectations of marriage. The readings we chose were Colossians 3:12-17, John 15:9-12, and Galatians 5:22-23.

The flowers at our wedding were absolutely gorgeous! Our florist was a family friend, Meg Laughon, and she truly went above and beyond for our special day. My bouquet was a cascade style bouquet made up of mainly orchids and roses in tones of blush. My bridesmaids had mini versions of my bouquet. Scott wore an orchid as his boutonniere and the groomsmen wore roses. Since we held the reception in my parents’ backyard, we went with a garden theme. We had flowers in the church, on our house, and throughout the backyard reception. There was an arch of flowers over the church and three hanging “balls” of flowers. We used birch wood cones covered with roses and peonies in various shades of blush as pew markers and plaques on the columns in the church. There was also a gorgeous flower arrangement at the front of the church.

At our home, there were flower arches over the entrance to our house, the backyard and the tents. Within the tents, each table had a beautiful arrangement, again with mainly roses and peonies, in three different levels of French wire baskets. Also on the table were beautiful bird nests filled with eggs. The flowers truly made the wedding, as the church and backyard resembled a fairy tale.

I love classical music, and I wanted most of my wedding music to be classical. Scott and I sat down and listened to many songs before finally choosing “The Prince of Denmark March” by Jeremiah Clarke as the bridesmaids/groomsmen/groom processional, “Te Deum Prelude” by Marc-Antoine Charpentier as the and bride processional, and “Hornpipe from Water Music Suite” by G.F. Handel as the recessional. Since music is so important to us, we also had the congregation sing “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” and had a soloist sing “For the Beauty of the Earth.” Growing up, we loved hearing and singing these songs in church and it was special to hear them sung in celebration of us. Our first dance song was “Better Together” by Jack Johnson, which really symbolizes us. Our entire four-plus year relationship was long-distance with us only able to see each other on weekends, which was incredibly difficult for us. We knew we had to make the most of things during the short times we could spend together. One of the things we are most looking forward to in marriage is being able to say “goodnight” and “good morning” to one another every day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We initially met through a mutual friend named Rob at a party at Wake Forest University. We became great friends over the next few years, hanging out together most weekends at school. I set Rob up on a blind date with my friend Kate at the Wake Forest spring dance known as “Shag on the Mag.” Flash forward a few years later, and we attended Rob and Kate’s wedding, both as members of the bridal party (Scott was Rob’s Best Man). We immediately hit it off at the wedding after having not seen each other for a couple of years, and soon we were dating. We can’t call it love at first sight, but we’ve found that the best kind of love begins with a strong friendship. Rob returned the favor and participated in our wedding while Kate and their new baby watched on!
Tell us all about the proposal! I had always dreamed of being proposed to on the Quad at Wake Forest. Knowing it would be hard to just get me down to Winston-Salem without me catching on, Scott called our friends Rob and Kate to invite us down for a weekend of touring some of the vineyards in that part of North Carolina. On the morning of Saturday, May 26, 2012, the four of us left our friends’ house to embark on the wine tour, but first, Rob said we needed to go the Fresh Market to pick up supplies for a picnic lunch. Since the store is right by campus, Rob suggested we swing by since we were so close. After we parked, Rob and Kate ventured off to look at the brand new Business School building while we went up on the Quad because Scott said he wanted a new Wake t-shirt from the Deacon Shop. The Quad was absolutely deserted, so we had it all to ourselves. Oblivious to what was about to happen, I was shocked to see Scott get down on one knee, right by the school seal in the sidewalk on the Quad in front of Reynolda Hall. He produced a ring—my beloved grandmother’s ring, in fact—and said it had been the best four years of his life, but he wanted a lifetime of happiness which only I could give him. After taking a moment or two to take it all in, I said yes and we were engaged!
When did y’all get married? June 1st, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 190
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. At first, I had a difficult time trying to find a perfect dress. I did not want a strapless dress, which seemed to rule out more than half of the options. My grandmother and mother had worn the same dress, but I wanted something new. However, I loved the style of the full lace dress with gorgeous sleeves. My mother and I pored over magazines picking out pieces of dresses that we liked, but never seeing one that completely fit my image of THE dress. Finally, we were told about Chaviano Couture from our wedding planner, Amanda Grey. I walked in from work and my mom told me she had found the dress. It was a miracle how perfect the dress was. EVERYTHING that I had described was on the dress, from the full lace, to the sleeves, to the pearls, to the cream color. The only hitch was Chaviano Couture was in Atlanta, Georgia and we were in Lynchburg, Virginia. Thankfully, my godmother lives in Atlanta so we had a wonderful excuse to visit often! We ended up visiting Atlanta three times to complete the wedding dress, and all the traveling was worth it when viewing the finished product. I cried when trying the dress on for my mother and godmother.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The wedding cake was five tiers of yellow cake with white chocolate icing outside, filled with buttercream and raspberries. The exterior icing was designed to match the lace on my wedding dress. The cake topper was used on the cakes of my maternal grandparents and her parents, and the hair has been painted in each generation to match the bride and groom (blonde for me, brunette for Scott).
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Scott and I each have a favorite detail of the wedding. My favorite detail was the personalized stamp we used on the wedding invitations. My grandmother was everything to me: a role model, my heroine, and my namesake. Tragically, she passed away a couple of years ago, but she would have loved the ceremony. I wear her diamond in my engagement ring, which is a reminder to me every day of how special she was. I wanted to include her in the wedding, and we thought a customized stamp was the perfect solution, because her smiling face would be the first thing our guests saw when they pulled the invitation out of the mailbox. Scott had the idea to have our wedding bands engraved with the date of our wedding and each other’s initials. His ring has my new CCS initials while mine has SGS, which symbolizes our commitment to one another.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had many Southern traditions at our wedding. Scott, of course, had a groom’s cake. Since we are so passionate about Wake Forest athletics, the cake was designed to look exactly like the Demon Deacon mascot. Scott’s favorite type of cake is yellow cake with chocolate icing, which is pretty close to Wake Forest’s Old Gold and Black colors. The cake was a huge hit, and we took a picture by the cake with all the Demon Deacons in attendance at the wedding (which was a lot!). Our wedding meal also featured many Southern staples, utilizing the wonderful seasonal local produce from farms near Lynchburg. Our first course featured salad with local haricot verts and peaches, which epitomize summer in the South. Next, we had a corn bisque with red peppers. This was followed by crab cakes using Virginia crabmeat. The main course consisted of beef tenderloin with a bourbon glaze (all good Southerners love their bourbon!) and mac and cheese with bacon, a staple Southern dish if there ever was one. After the meal was over, it was time for cake. We included the Southern tradition of a “charm pull,” where each bridesmaid gathers around the cake and then simultaneously pulls ribbons tied to charms hidden underneath the cake. Each charm had a specific meaning, and what they pulled was a surprise for each bridesmaid. Scott’s sister, Meredith, pulled the charm symbolizing she was the next to be married (she also caught the bouquet). My monogram was also used throughout the decorations, including on the cups served during the cocktail hour. The signature cocktail served in these cups was a whiskey “Sowers” in honor of our last name.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge for me was making sure all of our little details came out the way we envisioned them. So many of the unique things about our wedding were in the details, from the groom’s cake, to the love poems book with the custom book plate inside we gave as favors, to the charm pull, to the welcome bags. Each of these details was very special and important to us, so making sure they all worked out was crucial. With so many details, it did become overwhelming at times. But in the end, everything worked out perfectly and all the time and effort was definitely worth it!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? It’s impossible for us to single out one vendor, as all were exceptional in helping to pull together such a beautiful, incredible wedding. However, if I had to choose one person who truly made the wedding everything I wanted and more, it would have to be my mother. She was my rock during the stressful planning times and I cannot thank her enough. Her vision for the how the day would come together was so thorough and spectacular, and I was thrilled to see the day live up to every expectation.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Cutting the cake was a very special moment for both of us. We used the same knife that my grandparents and parents used at their weddings. I was worried that Scott would smear the cake on my face and warned him before the wedding not to do that because it would ruin my makeup. Thankfully, he just playfully got some frosting on the tip of my nose, but it was I who smeared it all over his face, to the delight of our guests. And he never saw it coming!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Make sure to book the big venues early. It gave Scott and me great peace of mind to know we had our venue, catering, florist and photographer booked early so that if anything happened, we would have time to fix it. A town like Lynchburg is small, so there are not many options, and because early June is an extremely popular wedding time, we knew we had to lock them in early. Also, I would tell brides not to “sweat the small stuff.” In the end, the day will be wonderful and you will be marrying the man you love. What could be better than that? Plus, if any issues arise on your wedding day, no one will bring them up to you anyway.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Our relationship has always been long- distance, so it’s wonderful to finally be able to see each other every day. We are settled into our new apartment in Washington, DC. This fall I will be teaching social studies at a private high school in Northern Virginia. Scott is a fabulous cook and is looking forward to cooking us dinner every night with all of the great cooking gadgets and tools given to us as gifts. I am passionate about baking, so I can’t wait to make cookies, cakes, pies and more for him! We also are looking forward to adding to our family with pets and children in the near future. My parents will soon be breeding our new French Bulldog puppies, and we cannot wait to have a little Frenchie running around our place.

Photographer: Sam Stroud | Planner: Amanda Grey | Ceremony Venue: Peakland Baptist Church | Reception Venue: Bride’s home | Florist: Meg Laughon | Wedding Cake: Jennifer England | Caterer: Meriwether Godsey | Rentals: Skyline Tents | Lighting: Shep Nowlin | Band: E3 from Sam Hill Entertainment | Bride’s Gown: Chaviano Couture, Ginny Style | Wedding Invitations: Arzberger Stationers | Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil/Jewelry: Chaviano Couture | Hair Stylist & Makeup Artist: Spa 4109 | Bride’s Shoes: Bally | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bridals By Lori, Alfred Sung Style | Groom’s Attire: J.Crew | Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Table, Chairs, and Linen Rentals: True Value

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Amanda Gray reply

    SO in love with this wedding and all of the great southern traditions Carol and Scott included! Thank you so much for sharing with your readers!!

  2. avatar Jadzia reply

    The flowers are truly stunning!

  3. avatar Jennifer England/La Bella Torta reply

    So happy to have been part of this wonderful wedding. We loved both the bridal and grooms cake that we had the pleasure of creating for them :) I am so blessed to read how much they were enjoyed (especially the Demon Deacon :) Congratulations Scott and Carol :)

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Kelly was instantly smitten with Sang when they met at work (she was an interior designer and he was in IT). After many inner-office messages, the two finally went out on a date and have been inseparable ever since. Their Virginia wedding was a lovely mashup between touches of vintage (Kelly knew she had to have a lace gown and vintage skeleton keys!) and elegant simplicity. Perhaps my favorite part of their big day was the wine box ceremony. Instead of saying personal vows out loud, they wrote letters to each other and placed them in a box with a bottle of wine to be opened on their anniversary. I love the idea of creating a memory for down the road and it’s also a great alternative for those who get choked up easily or are too shy to say their vows in front of dozens of guests.

Big hugs and thanks to Sam Stroud who shared this day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. 
I already knew what I wanted. LACE! It was really important to me that I found a dress that I loved and worked well with the overall look/style of the wedding. We already had our venue booked so I knew I wanted something that had a vintage look but was also on the search for something unique. I tried on about 15 lace dresses. None of the dresses I found were exactly what I was looking for. On my fourth bridal store visit, I was about to call it quits when I walked by a lace dress that didn’t really meet the description of what I wanted. It caught my eye and I asked if I could try it on. As soon as I had it on, I knew it was the one. It fit me like a glove and it was so unique! The lace was gorgeous and I loved that there was a nude under layer. It wasn’t a traditional white dress and I loved it. When I topped it off with a butterscotch veil and embellished belt, I knew the search was over! I wish I could wear it again!

I wanted the bouquets for my bridesmaids to contrast since their dresses were pink, so a small bouquet of white roses and peonies was perfect. For my bouquet, my florist did a similar bouquet of roses and peonies in variations of whites. It was exactly what I wanted! I really wanted a vintage/romantic look and because I’m a “less is more” person, the monochromatic flowers were exactly my style and didn’t take away from the details of my dress.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? 
I think there were two elements that really brought out the Southern feel. One was the location. There is a Civil War battlefield that you pass when approaching the venue. This is where the Battle of Bristoe Station took place on October 14, 1863. The other Southern detail was our venue. The manor house was built in the early 1900s and acquired by Bristow Manor Golf Club. The house just has so much Southern charm and really represents Virginia!

The best part of our ceremony was the wine box ceremony. Rather than writing our own vows that everyone would hear, this allowed us to be more private with our feelings and write a note that would remind each other on our anniversary how much we love one another and bring us back to our special day. It will become a great tradition we can have with each other year after year. Our reading explained it all: “The wine box contains their favorite bottle of wine. Into the box, they will place two love letters they have written to one another. On their first anniversary, they’ll open up the box, share the wine and read their love letters to each other. Sang and Kelly, on that first anniversary as you drink the wine, may that little bitter bite of the wine symbolize the challenges you have faced. Let the sweetness of the wine symbolize the joy and happiness, hope, love, and goodness of your marriage. At the end of your one-year celebration, write a new love letter to each other and close it in the box with a new bottle of wine. And on the happy occasion of each anniversary, open the box, read your love letters, drink the wine, and add new letters to the box. As time passes, let the letters give you and your children a record of your years together and serve as a living document of the growth and depth of your ever evolving relationship. As you now seal you box with the wine and letters, so shall your lives now be one. From now on your thoughts will always be for each other rather than just your individual selves. Your plans will be mutual, your joys and sorrows both will be shared alike. Let this moment strengthen your marriage now and forever more.”

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I think the hardest decisions I made were about the songs! Unfortunately the music Sang and I like doesn’t make for good wedding music. I walked down the aisle to the traditional Pachelbel’s Canon in D. I used to love playing that song on my violin when I was younger. I don’t feel like we had an extremely traditional ceremony, but I think that song really made me feel like a bride. For our first dance song, we chose Jason Mrax’s “I Won’t Give Up.” A lot of people think it’s a negative first dance song, but Sang and I had a few challenges during the year and a half we were engaged that really tested our relationship. It was very appropriate for us. Our DJ selected our recessional song, which was “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder. I loved it!

I wanted other features of the wedding to be the focus, so I wanted to keep the flowers simple for the reception. I choose give or six white or light pink hydrangeas and put them in vases that I purchased from Ikea and added my own touch of lace and ribbon at the base of the vase.

We decided early on that a wedding cake wasn’t our style. At every wedding we have been to, people didn’t each much of the cake. A friend of mine loves to bake and makes the most amazing desserts! I asked her if she would be interested in baking the desserts and doing a spread of different options. I showed her other elements of the wedding so she had an idea of how things were going to look and then I let her have complete creative freedom! She did an amazing job!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I had a great time planning our wedding; I am very decisive and knew what I wanted. The biggest challenge was getting over what I couldn’t control: the weather. The entire week leading up to the wedding, they were calling for rain the entire day. However, on the day of, we just barely missed the rain. It made for beautiful pictures once it did start raining. It’s good luck, so they say!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
I was really laid back throughout the process. I let my bridesmaids wear their hair how they wanted and wear whatever jewelry they wanted. I did not even care if Sang didn’t want to wear a tie! It made the process really enjoyable for myself and for everyone involved. Don’t be a control freak — let your vendors do their jobs and trust their knowledge and ability!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. 
We met while working at my first job out of college at an architecture firm in Old Town Alexandria. Sang worked in the IT department and I was working as an interior designer. On my first day while Sang was setting up my computer, we chatted about his last night’s plans. Apparently it was love at first sight for me! I thought he was so attractive and wanted any reason to talk to him. I even faked computer problems so I had an excuse to message him on our inter-office messenger. He eventually asked me out for a drink after work one day and we’ve been inseparable ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! 
He proposed in October of 2011. We had discussed getting married and even went and looked at rings a few times. I felt like I was patiently waiting for the proposal, but when it actually happened I didn’t believe it! We went out on a Saturday night in DC to a restaurant called Acadiana’s. We got really dressed up but I had assumed we were just going to go out after our dinner. One of our friends who worked at the restaurant was our waitress that night, so we got special treatment. She brought us champagne and appetizers we didn’t even order! I thought we were just VIPs for the night. Little did I know the two had it all planned out! Shortly after we finished our appetizers, Sang started to tell me how much he loved me and how happy he was. It was sweet but seemed standard for a romantic evening out. He started to fumble through his pockets and that was when I felt my heart racing! I knew this was it! I knew what he was looking for! He pulled out the little velvet box and opened it. That’s when he asked me to marry him! I was in such shock that the first words I said were, “Is this a joke?” as tears rolled down my face! Of course I followed that up with a big “YES”!
When did y’all get married? 
May 11, 2013
How many friends, family, and loved ones attended your wedding? 
Did you decide to do a “first look”? 
I actually would have liked to, but time just didn’t allow us.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: 
It’s hard to choose just one element! I really would say the 1800s style manor house was our favorite detail! It really drove the overall look and style of the evening, from the dress down to the table linens and the vintage skeleton key escort cards.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? 
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? 
There are a lot of important elements to a wedding and everyone that day played a special role in making that day memorable. I’m happy we had Sam Stroud Photography there. The photos are the memories that we will have years down the road and I think he is very talented and such a pleasure to work with! I think he got every shot I wanted!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? 
When I was walking down the aisle, I could see the tears welling up in my soon-to-be-husband’s eyes. He’s such a tough guy I would have never thought I would see him tear up. It was the best moment ever to know that our special day would have that effect on him. It melted my heart!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? 
We want to enjoy life as a married couple for a few years! We plan on playing lots of golf and traveling to Korea before starting our family!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Maribel reply

    I am so excited to see Kelly’s wedding in your blog, I loved working on her flowers, so happy for this beautiful couple!

  2. avatar Lauren reply

    I LOVE her dress. The lace is so romantic.

  3. avatar Anna ( reply

    Reading about the wine box ceremony made me tear up! That’s an absolutely beautiful tradition. I also love the escort cards, they added a really nice vintage touch. I also really liked the photo of the desserts! They looked wonderful.

  4. avatar Emily reply

    Oh my word, the bouquet toss photo in this wedding is absolutely priceless. Great capture!

  5. avatar Be Inspired pR reply

    Love this wedding and reception! So classic and elegant :)

  6. avatar Kelly (The Bride) reply

    Thank all for the kind words! Loved planning our wedding everything was perfect in our eyes and Sam Stroud captured all the memories we will have for a life time! <3

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  8. avatar Charli reply

    Where did you get your dress ?!?!

    • avatar Kelly reply

      Charli: Anne Barge was the designer. More specifically my dress came from a shop in Old Town Alexandria, Va called Hanalore’s. =)

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