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Bride Kirsti shares her classic Savannah wedding!

Y’all are going to love today’s bride, Kirsti! Not only was she one of our own Southern Bride Bloggers, but her Georgia wedding to Brett is pure classic, Southern goodness — starting with her attire. From her Southern bump right down to her monogram Jacks, Kirsti’s wedding day style is quickly climbing the ranks to one of my favorite looks. Of course, her style isn’t the only thing that would make any fellow Southern gal proud: the way she and Brett honored her late father and loved on their guests is what’s most notable from their celebration. As Kirsti said, “The biggest Southern aspect was showing our guests true Southern hospitality and gratitude in return for traveling to celebrate with us.“ Yes, ma’am!

Keep reading to learn more ways Kirsti and Brett shared the South with their guests! And see if you can spot a little Southern Weddings love incorporated into their big day!

Thanks for sharing, Holly Felts!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. Best friends turned into the relationship neither of you knew you needed, turned into the sweetest marriage you could ask for!
Tell us all about the proposal! When my dear friend and photographer, Mallory, asked if I wanted to meet at a local vineyard to discuss styling a photoshoot with her, I jumped at the idea! She and I had met for coffee to talk about work, weddings, and photoshoots before, and so I had no idea that she had this plan up her sleeve. We arrived at the vineyard and I was immediately drawn to a charming old cabin looking across a large pond. I said, “Mallory, Bret would LOVE this, let me take a picture!” As soon as I started to take photos, I heard the door open and got nervous that we were disturbing someone. To my absolute surprise, my soon-to-be finance walked out the door, got down on one knee, and before we knew it – our lives were forever changed! Not only was Bret’s proposal the sweetest gift I could ever ask for, he had arranged for Mallory to document the whole thing so we could relive that moment forever!

I was of course certain to include something old, new, borrowed, and blue with my late Nanny’s pearl earrings, Jack Rogers with my new monogram, a pearl hairpin from a cousin, and a heart cut out of my dad’s overalls.

Our favorite Southern tradition (especially because it worked!) was burying the bourbon! We had to get creative on how and where to bury it, as we were saying “I do” 1,000 miles from home in a public space, so we chose to bury it in a decorative flower pot and drive it to Georgia!

Being two Southern soul food lovers, we couldn’t think of anything better to serve at the reception than fried chicken, smothered pork chops, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and all the fixins – and don’t forget the sweetest tea we could get our hands on!

The biggest Southern aspect was showing our guests true Southern hospitality and gratitude in return for traveling to celebrate with us. Being a destination wedding, our guest list was smaller, and that allowed us to serve our guests and allow them to feel as though we were simply having them over for a dinner party at our home!

Did you decide to do a first look? We did choose to do a first look so that we could spend more time with our guests after the ceremony. With it being a destination wedding, we wanted to celebrate with our friends and family that traveled from Oklahoma and many other states to be with us! Bret chose the location of our first look, Wormhole Historic Site, and I think it was the perfect spot to share that special moment. I was worried that other visitors would take away from the moment, but we were blissfully unaware that there was anyone else there at all!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? After months of planning a large soiree close to home, we felt like we wanted to really focus on what mattered most and say “I do” in one of our favorite vacation spots with our closest friends and family and began planning anew in Savannah! We wanted our friends and family to really get a feel for the city, so we chose a charming square downtown for our ceremony and a historic mansion to celebrate afterwards.

What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? My dad passed away in 2014, so we wanted to find special ways to honor him during our ceremony. I asked his best friend to walk me down the aisle, and then my brother to officially give me away. We then asked guests to share a moment of silence with us and to read a special prayer I had printed on the back of our programs, remembering all our friends and family who were unable to celebrate with us that day. My best friend and maid of honor’s dad officiated our ceremony, so it was very special to have him share memories from my childhood. We also selected our vows from the suggestions in our Joyful Wedding Planner and wrote them to each other in keepsake booklets to read to each other each year on our anniversary!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. This was one of the more challenging wedding planning tasks! We finally selected a violin cover of “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran for my walk down the aisle — the lyrics described our feelings on our wedding day. For the recessional, we chose a classic: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours),” because it is such a happy, celebratory song! I also surprised Bret at the end of the reception by playing his favorite song by our favorite local band, Turnpike Troubadours, to bring a little piece of Oklahoma to Georgia with us!

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? The stationery was probably my favorite part overall, because I have always had a soft spot for paper goods, and this was a way for me to get creative and customize the overall feel for our wedding. I always say that the invitation suite is the first glimpse your guests will get of your wedding theme, so I was tickled pink to bring out all of the blue and white and even added a touch of magnolia! My favorite detail from our invitation suite was the line from the song “Georgia on My Mind” that we had printed on the back of each envelope to get guests excited about being in Savannah! Our full paper suite also gave us a chance to say all of the things we wanted to say but wouldn’t have had time, such as asking our guests to enjoy an unplugged ceremony, sharing the history of Brockington Hall, placing a note of gratitude at each place setting and, of course, honoring my dad.

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? We chose to do a small cake so that we could also serve some of our Southern favorites! Bret’s parents graciously let us borrow their cake topper from their wedding 36 years ago, and now we look forward to passing it on to our kids. Alongside our cake, we served banana pudding and peach cobbler from Paula Deen!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We were very mindful to remember that no matter the amount we spent on the wedding, at the end of the day, we would still be husband and wife, and we did our best to not let expenses get out of hand. At the beginning, we chose a few items that meant the most to us to splurge on, and the rest followed as it could fit within our budget. We were able to save money by purchasing the alcohol in bulk ourselves, and I also designed all of our paper materials myself.

When did y’all get married? May 6, 2018
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 54
Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I spotted my dress in a Southern Wedding blog post in 2015 and knew that I had never seen a more beautiful dress in my whole life! When our engagement came in 2017, I began the search for the “Paz” gown by Augusta Jones, but struggled to find a store near me that carried it. Thankfully, I found a boutique that had ONE of the gowns left – it was off the rack and was in need of a little TLC, but I had to have it! I took my momma and mother-in-law with me shopping, and the look on their faces said they agreed.
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? Preparing for our marriage with our officiant during premarital counseling was very special to us, because although we had dated for four years, we both grew even closer during that time. Throughout the planning process, we were very intentional about our time since Bret was in his third year of optometry school. We would make little dates out of planning, and set aside a block of time to spend time with each other and work to plan a meaningful wedding celebration with our friends and family.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Bret’s favorite moment was the first look, because he said it was special to be in a more relaxed and quiet atmosphere to soak in the moment of seeing me in my dress for the first time. I personally loved the feeling of walking down the aisle to him, because it was so calming to know that all of our planning was over, and this was the moment that we had been waiting our whole lives for.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? I would remind readers to enjoy and savor this new season in life because it goes by oh so fast! Being engaged is full of excitement, congratulations, parties, gifts, new experiences, planning, dress shopping, and picking out rings – all things that you haven’t done before and will only do once! I would also always remind newly engaged couples to really focus on planning for your marriage while planning your wedding. I have the best memories of our one-on-one conversations with our officiant, hearing words of wisdom from friends and family (and some strangers!) who have been married for 20, 30, and even 50+ years, and having friends help guide us along the way and pray for our marriage before it began.

Photographer: Holly Felts Photography | Planner: Emily DeLoach with Sincerely Yours Events | Ceremony Venue: Chatham Square in Savannah, GA | Reception Venue: Brockington Hall | Florist: Kato Floral Designs | Wedding cake: Publix | Caterer and dessert baker: The Lady & Sons | Rentals: EventWorks Rentals | DJ: All About You Entertainment | Paper products: designed by the bride | Bride’s gown: “Paz” by Augusta Jones | Bride’s shoes: Jack Rogers | Bridesmaid dresses: UWDress.com | Menswear: JC Penney | Trolley: Old Savannah Tours

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Janna Toruno reply

    I love that they buried the bourbon in a flower pot! My fiance and I have already planned to go to our venue 2 hours away a month before the wedding for our last engaged couple day date before our October wedding so we can bury the bourbon! :)

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Sharing the homegrown Savannah editorial from our newest issue!

Though we try to represent a generous cross-section of Southern life in every issue, a volume of our magazine just doesn’t seem complete without a farm-centric, homegrown editorial. There’s just something about rolling fields, humble materials, and family-focused details that keeps us rooted in what matters most!

Our Farm Fresh Fete editorial checks all those boxes and more and is a perfect addition to the SW farm canon. Thanks to The Happy Bloom and Design Studio South for bringing this beauty to life!

That invitation suite!! Oh my. Every detail from the patterned envelope liner to the tone-on-tone map to the chic blue ribbon is sweet perfection!

These little chamomile blooms are the sweetest accent to our bride’s bouquet! August Floral Design did a fabulous job, as usual. Kim was responsible for our last cover bouquet, too!

Hosting an outdoor wedding? The Southern tradition of bourbon burying is for you! Read all about it on page 56 of our new issue.

For a farm-fresh twist on a confetti toss, we handed out petite bags of corn kernels to guests to toss for our newlyweds’ big getaway!

Haven’t heard of a pie walk? You’re not alone! It’s our twist on the classic cakewalk, itself a variation of musical chairs where the winner is the one standing next to the correctly-numbered chair when the music stops. You can read more about this couple’s story in the issue, but since their meet-cute involved a freshly-baked pie, a pie walk was a shoo-in for cocktail hour entertainment!

Because of the volume needed for a full look, produce centerpieces like this may or may not be less expensive than conventional floral ones. One benefit, though? They can easily double as favors and go home with your guests to be put to good use in the kitchen! To let guests know your intentions, display clear signage and set up paper bags or other to-go containers to make taking their bounty home simple!

A dinner bell! The sweetest way to call your guests to supper.

Banana pudding, homemade waffle cones, and freshly-baked pies… hold on, we’re coming right over!

See more from this editorial in our newest issue, available in our shop and on newsstands around the South!

Planner and Stylist: Design Studio South | Photographer: The Happy Bloom | Film Processing: Indie Film Lab | Venue: Wavering Place Plantation | Florals: August Floral & Event Design | Hair and Makeup: Cucumber & Mint | Catering: Current Catering | Pies: Izzabee’s | Rentals: Lillian’s China | Paper Goods and Banner: Cake | Floral Paper: Papercraft Miracles | Welcome Gift: A Signature Welcome | Ribbon: The Poetry of Silk and Shy Myrtle | Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau | Bride’s Shoes: Lulus | Bride’s Getaway Top and Men’s Tops: J. Crew | Bride’s Getaway Skirt: Adrianna Papell | Bridesmaid Tops: Target | Bridesmaid Skirts: Bergdorf Goodman | Maid of Honor Dress: ModCloth | Men’s Blazer and Pants: Belk | Groom’s Bow Tie: High Cotton | Ring Bearer Bow Tie: Tiemart | Jewelry: Susie Saltzman | Earrings: BHLDN

The Happy Bloom is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar The Happy Bloom reply

    Thank you so much for having us be a part of such a GREAT issue! We are truly honored. Can’t wait for Volume 11! :) xoxo!

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Classic, elegant, and rooted in place are a few words I often use to describe my favorite “type” of wedding, so I was delighted when I saw that Erika and Kenny’s Savannah celebration hit all of those nails on the head. Even though their 11-month engagement was a particularly stressful time in their lives, they pulled off a day that truly celebrated their love for one another, their families, and the traditions and culture of the South. It’s so evident that even in the midst of moving, house hunting, and more, when it came to their wedding, Erika and Kenny worked hard to be intentional and hospitable. I can only imagine their marriage will be marked with those same sentiments!

Thanks so much to Brian Flint for sharing this lovely day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had a few details of the wedding planned out in my head, but a wedding dress was not one of them. I just knew I wanted something timeless and true to myself. My first appointment was at Ivory & Beau in Savannah. After trying on only eight dresses, I went with my gut and chose a beautiful, lace Elaya Vaughn dress by Kate Pankoke. I was in and out of the store in under an hour! Easiest shopping trip ever.

A first look logistically made sense, but we never considered doing one. Every time we imagined our wedding day, our thoughts would jump to the moment when we would lock eyes as I walked down the aisle towards him. Even though I cried my way down the aisle, we have no regrets! It was such a happy and surreal moment!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a harpist at our ceremony and he was great! He played “How Great Thou Art” for the seating of the parents and grandparents and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” for the bridal party entrance. The harp music plus the waterside setting made it so enchanting!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? A family member graciously offered to let us host our ceremony in his yard, overlooking the marsh on Wilmington Island. This site has hosted many shrimp boils, oyster roasts, and celebrations. The moss-draped oak trees and the marsh at high tide provided us with a magical and romantic backdrop for our ceremony. We rented trolleys to transport guests from the ceremony to the reception, which was in downtown Savannah at the Knights of Columbus. We wanted an indoor reception that was convenient to all the downtown amenities. We had many out-of-town guests, and it was important to us to show them all of our favorite parts of Savannah.

Joann’s Florist did such a great job with our flowers! We used a lot of seeded eucalyptus, dusty miller, cream cabbage roses, white ranunculus, white hydrangeas, and white veronica sprigs. Garlands lined the tables and hung over the mantle of the fireplace. It really transformed the reception space! We saved some of the flowers to dry and frame for our house, but the rest were taken to a local nursing home so that they could continue to be enjoyed.

Our wedding cake was from Publix and we couldn’t have been happier! It was pretty, delicious, and affordable! Instead of a groom’s cake, we opted for a flaming donut bar. Our caterer, Savannah Event Catering, fried a Krispy Kreme donut, poured bourbon in the middle, lit it on fire, and extinguished the flames with a Coke. He topped it with pralines and served it with ice cream. Amazing and so entertaining!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met while we were living in Atlanta. Kenny made the first move and invited me to coffee. I let him choose the location and, to my surprise, he chose my favorite coffee shop. It was such a beautiful day and we sipped our coffee next to the river while enjoying great conversation. It really was perfect. We’ve been together, drinking coffee, ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! Traveling is one of our favorite things to do together, so I didn’t think twice when Kenny suggested that we take a relaxing weekend trip to Daufuskie Island, South Carolina. Daufuskie is a charming little island between Savannah and Hilton Head that can only be reached by boat. A local artist told us about a great place to watch the sunset, so that night, we rode our golf cart over to the point. Kenny balanced his iPhone on the golf cart to take a timed photo of us. After a few seconds, he turned to me and started saying sweet things as we were taking in the beautiful scenery. What I thought was a special moment turned into a REALLY special moment when he dropped to one knee. I was so surprised! I didn’t believe him until I saw the ring. He then told me his iPhone had been taking a video, not a timed photo. He captured the moment for us and we were able to freeze shot pictures from it. It was beyond perfect!
When did y’all get married? March 5, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: This is tough because everything came together in such a lovely way. We both really loved our hurricane lamps, though. My dad believes every house should have one (or ten). It was one of the first things my parents gave Kenny and me when we bought our first house. We were able to use my dad’s collection at the reception and it was beautiful. It added just enough light and charm to the space.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? A week after we were engaged, Kenny’s work transferred him to another city. Our engagement was 11 months long and included wedding planning, house hunting, job searching, and moving. It was an eventful, emotional, and often challenging 11 months. We grew so much during this season of change. We learned how to effectively communicate, tackle our challenges together, and keep our relationship God-centered.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was definitely the guest list. We both come from big families and have lived in multiple cities. We could have easily invited 500 people, but we wouldn’t have been able to have the wedding we wanted with that many guests. Cutting the list was a long and painful process, but I think it worked out well.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? With a design background, I knew exactly what I wanted for the invitations. The only issue was the cost, so I decided to take them on as a DIY project. I purchased my beautiful, deckle-edged, homemade paper off of Etsy and my dear and talented friend, Lauren Walker, designed my invites in her beautiful calligraphy. I completed the look with a monogrammed gold wax seal. It was a lot of work, but the outcome was exactly what I wanted.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Prioritize. Figure out what you would consider a successful wedding and plan accordingly. Spend your money on things that will help you reach that vision and save money in the areas that don’t matter as much. It varies couple to couple but it is the best way to figure out where to cutback and where to splurge.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We look forward to working on our historic home, spending a lot of time on our porch swing, continuing to travel the world, and experiencing life together.

Photographer: Brian Flint Photography | Planner, Rentals and Florals: Carlson Premiere Events | Ceremony Venue: Private residence | Reception Venue: Knights of Columbus | Florist: Joann’s Florist | Cake Baker: Publix | Caterer: Savannah Event Catering | Band: A Nickel Bag of Funk | Bride’s Gown: Elaya Vaughn Bridal by Kate Pankoke | Hair and Makeup: Beyond Beautiful by Heather Ferguson | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo, Bari Jay, and Joanna August | Alterations: Stitch | Calligraphy: Lauren Walker with Caroline & Fitz Design Co.

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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