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One of the best things about weddings is their ability to take people away from their everyday lives, inviting them into the most special moments of a couple’s story, and reminding them that what truly matters, more than anything else, is love and family. This was certainly the case at Anne Sydney and Jesse’s wedding, where they literally transported their guests up a mountain, overlooking their beloved hometown. The setting was breathtaking, and dotted with sweet details in honor of their Kentucky roots, it was a magical place for these childhood sweethearts to celebrate their marriage!

We’re so grateful that Melanie Mauer and Jaclyn Journey shared this gorgeous day with us in V7!

Tell us all the basics of your wedding! The wedding was on June 29, 2013 at 5:30 P.M. at the First Baptist Church in Pikeville, Kentucky. The location was chosen because it was the church that we attended as children and both of our families were active in membership. We share many memories of our younger years there, as we participated in church plays, musicals, vacation Bible school, and other church-related activities together.

Our welcome boxes for our guests included macarons, sour hard candies, and M&M’s, all in our wedding colors. We also included a fun folded map and directional guide, which also included information on local restaurants and other attractions. For logistical purposes, we had all the guests bused up to the mountain after the ceremony. We included custom-made “bus tickets” with the ceremony programs, proclaiming that it was “Time to Celebrate Y’all,” and that this was their “Ticket to Ride.”

What was your favorite detail of the wedding? I was surrounded by ladies who played large roles at different stages in my life. Whether they were from high school, college, or my family, they were there to support me on the most important day of my life as my bridesmaids and maids and matrons of honor.

We wanted the flowers to reflect the feeling of the event–classic, laid back, sweet, fun, and beautiful. We chose white and ivory garden roses and mixed in some pops of peaches and corals, plus some dusty miller and lamb’s ear to bring in the greyed jade tone of the bridesmaids’ dresses. We used ivory Jeanne Moreau garden roses, caramel antique garden roses, white ranunculus, peachy coral Romantic Antique garden roses, peach and coral ranunculus, peach Juliet David Austin garden roses, dusty miller, and white peonies.

Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? From Jesse: My grandfather on my father’s side. The Saturday before, he had buried my grandmother and his wife of over 60 years. I knew he was still reeling from the loss, but his presence in the front row of the church was a reassuring presence on our big day.

Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: While not planned to intentionally coincide, our wedding date was also my parents’ 39th anniversary. In addition, our rehearsal dinner and wedding ceremony were at the same country club and church where my parents tied the knot all those years ago. It was a special feeling to know that nearly 40 years ago to the day, my father and mother were standing in the same place, committing themselves to each other.

The mountaintop venue inspired quite a lot of the design. We knew from the beginning that we wanted a sailcloth tent because we love the soft, illuminated feel that they bring. We had it set up at the edge of the mountain so that guests would have an incredible view. We wanted everything to feel soft, sweet, and classic. One of my favorite details was the custom wooden bars my brother-in-law built especially for our wedding. We also included a few pieces of polished coal on top of the bars, as well as affixing coal on push pins to secure the calligraphed seating charts to their display boards, as a nod to our Eastern Kentucky roots.

Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? We did! The all-female bluegrass band, Coaltown Dixie, provided the music for the al fresco, café-lit event, which was immediately next to the sailcloth tent, facing the town of Pikeville below.

Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? My maternal grandmother made wedding mints for all her five children’s wedding receptions, as well as many other church weddings. It was fitting that a dear family friend used her recipe and made them for our wedding reception.

Dinner was served once all guests had arrived at the reception site. The meal was fully prepared at the remote location by the caterer and was simply some of the best food that we have ever eaten. Next on the agenda was dancing under the tent to music by the Jump Street Band. They were fantastic, playing a mixture of old and new, fast and slow tunes, keeping the dance floor overflowing from the time they began playing until the night was done. Late in the evening, late night snacks of warm beignets and mini coffee milkshakes were passed to guests.

After exiting the winding road to the beautiful mountaintop venue, we did not want the night to end yet, so we ended the evening by driving though our small hometown, being chauffeured by my father-in-law, reflecting on the tremendous day that we had just enjoyed.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. From Jesse: It was so long ago that I’m not sure either of us truly remembers. Our families went to the same church when we were kids. We think our first meeting was in a children’s Sunday school class. In any event, Anne Sydney’s family moved into town when she was in 6th grade and we went to school together thereafter.
Describe the proposal: From Jesse: It was the Thursday night before Memorial Day in 2012. We were planning to be apart that weekend so Anne Sydney could attend her friend’s bachelorette party. Little did she know, she wasn’t making the trip. In anticipation of our days apart, we had dinner at our favorite restaurant in downtown Lexington. My initial plan was to pop the question on our walk home from dinner down the historic and quaint South Mill Street. This idea was frustrated by the un-concealable size of the little blue box. Instead, we walked in the door to my home, and as Anne Sydney started up the stairs, I fell to a knee. The next morning, we traveled to the Greenbrier Resort to meet our parents and begin to plan for the great time ahead.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Magical, surreal, and breathtaking.
How many guests attended your wedding? About 470
What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? Logistics–the site offering beautiful mountaintop views was not equipped with water, power, sewer, or any other modern convenience. The degree of planning to pull it off was immense. All of the needs of the over 450 guests had to be anticipated and provided for the 4+ hours that they were to be on the mountain celebrating with us. Luckily, my father is an engineer and was able to speak the language to the vendors and suppliers to pull off the event without a hitch.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I, my mother, my future mother-in-law, and my mother’s best friend traveled to NYC for appointments. After numerous fittings and rejections at Kleinfeld, I reluctantly took the advice of the consultant assisting me and tried a strapless Peter Langner gown. At first sight of me wearing this dress, everyone in the traveling party said in unison that this was it!! We kept our other scheduled appointments and learned that Mark Ingram Atelier carried Peter Langner gowns. Late that night, my mother went online and discovered that Mark Ingram was currently hosting Langner’s trunk show. She called at the first opportunity the next day, scoring an appointment for that same day. We later discovered that it normally takes six months for an appointment at this salon. I knew at that point that this was the dress that was meant for me!!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? During the planning process, be sure to spend time with each other and make an attempt to not discuss wedding plans! It’s difficult, but planning a large celebration can become very overwhelming and stressful, and it is easy to lose sight of the true purpose of the celebration!

Photographer: Melanie Mauer / Videographer: Blueberry Creative / Planner: Weekend Wedding Warrior / Designer, Florist, and Decor: Jaclyn Journey / Ceremony Venue: First Baptist Church / Caterer: Apiary Fine Catering & Events / Cake Baker: Martine’s Pastries / Bride’s Gown: “Puccini” by Peter Langner / Bridal Salon: Mark Ingram Atelier /Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bride’s Earrings: Marco Bicego and “Paisley” by Justine M. Couture /Bride’s Veil: Peter Langner / Bridesmaid Dresses: “Kylie,” “Sinclair,” and “Louisa” in Dusty Shale by J. Crew / Bridesmaids’ Earrings: Kendra Scott / Flower Girl Dress: Isabel Garreton / Guest Books and Pens: Blue Sky Papers / Ribbons: M & J Trimming and The Ribbon Jar / Vintage Postage: Verde Studio / Favors: The Little Candy Cake Company / Ceremony Music: Highland Chamber Players / Cocktail Hour Band: Coaltown Dixie / Reception Music: The Jump Street Band from East Coast Entertainment / Pyrotechnics: Louisville Wedding Fireworks / Hair Stylist: Justin Greer and Ryan Reeves of Lux Hair Bar / Makeup Artist: Ana Crane of Applied Cosmetic Services / Men’s Suits: Jos. A. Bank / Men’s Shirts: Brooks Brothers / Men’s Ties: Collared Greens / Paper Goods: Hound Dog Press / Calligrapher: Rachel Fisher Calligraphy / Rentals and Lighting: Camargo Rentals / Linens: La Tavola and Wildflower Linens / Transportation: Bluegrass Tours

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Yours Truly Wedding Albums reply

    Love the color palette! Great moments! Love the fireworks after the party!

  2. avatar melanie mauer reply

    this family is among the gems on the planet…it’s difficult to articulate *just* how amazing they are. and they’re humble about it. this day was nothing short of m-a-g-i-c – i’m so grateful to southern weddings for sharing it so other brides can be inspired! warmly, -melanie-

  3. avatar katie reply

    *teary eyed* how cute are they! what a memorable day :)

  4. avatar Fresh and unique spring wedding bouquet ideas for springtime brides – Wedding Party reply

    […] Melanie Mauer via Southern Weddings  […]

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McCall and Jay’s mutual friends played cupid perfectly! After meeting on a blind date, it took very little time for these two to know that they were not interested in dating anyone else. Their solid foundation helped navigate both their relationship and their wedding planning. McCall’s advice for future couple’s is right on point–she said, “Remembering that your love for each other and your marriage is the most important thing can help keep things in perspective when they start to get overwhelming.” Amen, friend! And, I must add, the reception barn at Mint Springs Farm is slowly sneaking up on my list of favorite venues!

SW hugs to Declare Photography for sharing this joyful day with us!

Jay proposed on November 8, 2013, just a few weeks before our first dating anniversary. It was a Friday night, and I had to work until about 7:00 P.M. When I got home from work, music was playing, Jay had a glass of wine and some snacks ready, and he said he was about to cook dinner. All of these things were not too unusual, so I was not suspicious at all. We sat on the back porch and built a fire in the fire pit. While watching the fire, Jay kept the music on and we sat close to keep warm. We were talking quietly about how much fun we had been having together when suddenly, Jay got out of his seat, got down on one knee, and proposed! I don’t remember exactly what he said–I was completely caught off guard! I saw the ring and was speechless, until Jay said, “Would you mind giving me an answer, I’m kneeling a little too close to the fire.” Needless to say, I said “Yes!” and we went inside. Unbeknownst to me, Jay had already figured out the perfect size for the ring, visited my father to get his blessing, and arranged for my parents to come to Nashville from Birmingham to celebrate with us.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I started out with a specific idea of the type of dress I wanted, and found one or two dresses that fit that vision. After trying several places in Nashville, I tried one more–Modern Trousseau in downtown Nashville. My mother and maid of honor were with me when I tried on the dress I ended up choosing, and it was nothing like the idea I had started with! It helped to have two people I trusted to help me figure out what looked best on me, but it was not too many opinions. My dress was all about small details–it was full ivory Alençon lace with a V-neck, satin lining, and small godets on the sides and in the back.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I had a string quartet play for the ceremony, so I chose more traditional, classical pieces of music. For the seating of the mothers, I chose “Ave Maria” by Bach/Gounod. I am from a Catholic background, so I though it fitting. Jay loves Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” so I chose that for the wedding party processional. I have always loved “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” so I walked down the aisle to it. For our recessional, I chose “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” by Handel. The name is daunting, but the piece is so joyful, I just loved it.

My wedding flowers were mostly in shades of cool greens, whites, ivories, and pale blush pinks. I used succulents and jasmine vines for greenery in many places. We used heirloom roses, traditional roses, café au lait dahlias, and even some large surprise orchids in my own bouquet.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I wanted to make sure that the reception was informal, so rather than a sit-down dinner, we provided food stations and bar stations for guests to mingle and eat at as they chose. These types of receptions are very Southern, in my opinion. I also hired a band to play old South Carolina beach music for the wedding–songs I’ve grown up listening to and have always associated with the South.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jay and I met on a blind date. Two mutual friends who knew each of us separately played cupid and set us up. After one phone conversation, Jay and I went out to dinner on November 20, 2012. On our second date a few weeks later, Jay asked to see me for three different future dates (he had tickets to go see a few concerts and shows in Nashville)! From that point on, neither of us was interested in dating anyone else.
When did y’all get married? August 16, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 160
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to have a “first look” in order to have a small amount of private time together before the ceremony and reception. I also wanted to have as many pictures taken prior to the ceremony so we would not be gone for too long after the ceremony before joining the reception. It was nice to have a little quiet time with just the two of us to talk before the wedding.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! For something old, I wore my great-grandmother’s lavalier (a necklace). It was given to her by my great-grandfather at their wedding and is over 100 years old. All of my aunts and girl cousins have also worn it for their weddings. My something new was a pair of pearl stud earrings that Jay gave me for our wedding. For something borrowed, I wore a pearl ring belonging to my mother on my right hand. My something blue was a freshwater pearl and lapis bead bracelet that my aunt Frances gave to me for my confirmation when I was younger.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our first kiss as husband and wife. I had lots of butterflies!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? The most important thing to remember is that something will not go as planned, but the end of the day, you will still be married. Remembering that your love for each other and your marriage is the most important thing can help keep things in perspective when they start to get overwhelming.

Photographer: Declare Photography / Videographer: Cardboard Films / Planner: Angela Wilkes / Venue and Florist: Mint Springs Farm / Cake Baker: Signature Cakes by Vicki / Caterer: Chef Penelope / Band: Pat Patrick Band / Paper Products: Designs in Paper / Bride’s Gown and Veil: “Lauren” by Modern Trousseau / Hair and Makeup: Katie Russo Beauty / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Arabelle” in Dusty Shale by J. Crew / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar mccall + jay reply

    […] McCall and Jay are personal friends from Nashville who like my husband and I, were set up by mutual friends!  Getting to know a new couple & making new friends is one of my favorite aspects of being a wedding photographer but there is always something extra special about getting to photograph a wedding of someone you knew before the wedding process started.  My husband and I actually went on our third date with McCall and Jay to an amazing bluegrass concert in a cave!  Their wedding was full of Southern charm, beautiful details, and a deep love.  The wedding was at Mint Springs Farm, which is quickly sneaking up on my list of favorite venues!  See more of this beautiful wedding on Southern Weddings blog! […]

  2. avatar Sandy Byrne reply

    Beautiful lots of happiness

  3. avatar David Strauss reply

    Beautiful soft natural light to these pics, great job!

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I can spot a Louisiana wedding from a mile away! There is something so Southern and classic about them, but at the same time, a sense of modern chicness! That makes sense, right y’all? Maybe it’s Mia’s adorable short hair/birdcage veil combo or their use of succulents, but Mia and Ian’s wedding is a perfect example! To bring in that sweetly Southern feel? The wraparound porch at The Audubon Institute, of course! I don’t know many Southerners who don’t love gorgeous wraparound porches as a backdrop for celebrations with friends and family. I know I’m smitten!

Big hugs to Ms. Paige Reaux for sharing their day with us!

I did all of my dress shopping in one day because Ian’s mom had come down from Indianapolis to be with me while I tried dresses on. She, my mom, my MawMaw, and most of my bridesmaids were able to come. When I finally found my dress, I knew it was mine because I just wouldn’t take it off! I think I wore it for over an hour in the store while my bridesmaids and our mothers started trying on their dresses as well. I’m sure we drove the sweet shop crazy, but it was a very memorable day.

Thanks to Pinterest, I had been obsessed with having succulents as my wedding flowers since before we started planning. I ordered 100 succulent clippings, and together with my mom, I handmade each of the boutonnieres. We also wired succulents to insert into bouquets of fresh flowers for my bridesmaids. I ordered my bouquet from Succulently Urban, and it was more than I could have hoped for! I had so much help with the bridesmaids’ bouquets from my bridesmaid, Stephanie. Two days before the wedding, we went to Whole Foods and picked out fresh flowers to arrange. They included snapdragons, mini hydrangeas, and some berries. We arranged them with the succulents and ended up making really amazing bouquets. I couldn’t have done it without her.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? At first, we didn’t want to do a first look, but after talking to Paige and discussing it with Ian, we decided a first look was more fitting for us. We really wanted to have that time together before the ceremony to just soak everything in. I’m really glad we did it that way. All I wanted to do all day was to see Ian. After I finally saw him, everything was smooth sailing, and it really did make our wedding extremely relaxing and enjoyable.

We did not write our own vows, but we did exchange letters during our first look. We decided to do this as a way to make our vows more private. We spent our first year of dating apart because Ian was getting his master’s degree in London. We wrote letters to each other for most of that time, and having that vow-like gift at our wedding was really important to us.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think that the wraparound porch on the clubhouse was a huge part of what made our wedding feel Southern. My whole family is from the South, and I have many memories of just sitting on my MawMaw’s front porch, relaxing and talking. After we saw the venue, I remember calling my mom, and when I told her about the porch, she told me that it was perfect since we are “porch people.” I knew it was the place for us.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our cake was a white cake with raspberry cream cheese filling. The design was very simple, and our baker added succulents to each tier. We had it displayed on a cut of cypress tree wood instead of a cake stand. I loved that touch because that was a cut from a tree that used to stand in my Oma’s (my grandmother’s) yard.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at Louisiana State University. I was a freshman moving into the dorms and Ian was a group leader who was helping to welcome students. My roommate, Stephanie, was in his group, and since I though Ian was cute, I tagged along with them a bit. After that, Ian and I didn’t see each other again until we took a class in the Honors College called FOCUS, which centered around a summer program that helped students from under-resourced schools in Baton Rouge. He taught philosophy and I taught dance. We did this for two summers, and slowly over that time, we got to know each other. He finally asked me out during the second summer!
Tell us all about the proposal! On our first real date, Ian came over to my apartment and cooked for me. Ever since then, cooking and eating together has been one of our favorite things to do. For his proposal, Ian invited my sister Amy over and said he wanted to try making a big, multi-course meal. Ian cooked pretty much the whole time, while Amy and I hung out. I later found out that Ian was too nervous to talk, so he just kept busy cooking! The meal was made up of courses that reminded him of dishes we had made together or other memories we had shared. Finally, he brought out the last “course,” which was the ring.
When did y’all get married? June 6, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We did have one short reading at our wedding. Early in our relationship, Ian had told me about this passage from Plato’s Symposium: “And so, when a person meets the half that is his very own…then something wonderful happens: the two are struck from their senses by love, by a sense of belonging to one another, and by desire, and they don’t want to be separated from one another, not even for a moment.” That short sentiment really struck both of us, so we decided to include it in our ceremony.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I knew that having a June wedding in the South meant a possibility of rain. The wedding was on a beautiful day, but it did drizzle from the moment our officiant started speaking until the moment we walked back up the aisle. I remember finally getting to Ian at the end of the aisle and we just laughed as the rain started. While it was something I had dreaded, it ended up making the ceremony even more memorable.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are moving to Chapel Hill, North Carolina! Ian is going to start his Ph.D. in Philosophy in the fall. The move has us really excited and we are looking forward to exploring a new part of the country together. We are also taking care of our new puppy, Gumbo! :)

Photographer: Paige Reaux Photography / Venue and Caterer: Audubon Park Clubhouse and Oak Grove / Bride’s Bouquet: Succulently Urban / Wedding Cake: The Sweet Life Bakery / Ceremony Music: Michael Legendre / Reception Band: Royal Dukes Band / Bridal Salon: Southern Bridal / Paper Product Design: Amy Ferriss / Paper Product Printing: Vistaprint / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy Group / Groom’s Suit: Banana Republic / Groom’s Shirt: J. Crew / Groom’s Shoes: Johnston and Murphy / Men’s Ties: The Tie Bar / Macarons: Sucre

marissa Written with love by Marissa
7 Comments
  1. avatar chapel2chapel reply

    LOVE that they’re moving to Chapel Hill soon! Knew there was something about this couple that we liked the moment we saw this post! :-)

  2. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    So so sweet! And I love her bouquet!

  3. avatar Loverly reply

    This is so charming! Love the clean and elegant color choices!

  4. avatar Alix Hooker reply

    i love the bridesmaids dresses!! It says the dressy barn but I can’t find that color? What is it called?!

  5. avatar Eleni Love4Wed reply

    I just love the bridal bouquet with succulents!

  6. avatar Amanda reply

    What is the color of the bridesmaids dresses? I can’t find that color anywhere!

  7. avatar Kristen Southworth reply

    Beautiful! What is the style and color name for the bridesmaid dresses? I am looking for something identical but can’t seem to find it on the Dessy Group website.

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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