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Small towns and the South go together like biscuits and honey–they each seem to bring out the best in one another, don’t you think? Since Abigail and Adam’s love story began in their neighboring North Carolina mountain towns, there was no place like home for their rustic fall wedding. With limited venue options in her small hometown, Abigail and her family set out to help restore an abandoned produce packing warehouse. Not only did it become the perfect industrial space for her and Adam to celebrate with all their loved ones, it also now serves as an event space for the whole community. What an incredible legacy to leave!

Thank you so much to Michelle Lyerly for sharing this special day with us!

My mother, mother-in-law, and sisters came to Charlotte to help me find a dress. When I walked out in the dress I eventually bought, no one said a thing until we heard my best friend, who we called over Facetime, quietly say, “Oh, Abby!” We collectively started crying at that point and got right to work on the alterations.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? It was important to us both that the moment when I started walking toward him to become his wife happened in front of all of our friends and family, who had and would continue to support us as a couple.

Adam and I grew up in neighboring small towns in the mountains of North Carolina. Our love story started there and so much of who we are and what we love came from growing up together in that part of the state. We knew we wanted to be surrounded by the love of our hometowns on our wedding day. We also knew that many of our friends from college and work wanted to experience our small town firsthand!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Choosing a venue that wasn’t actually a venue yet! Murphy, North Carolina is a small place, so the choices for an event are limited. We ended up taking a risk and choosing an abandoned produce packaging warehouse in the center of town, built around 1911, as the venue. The exposed white brick courtyard sold me on the place! Our families worked with the owner of the building to clean, renovate, and re-purpose the building for the reception within six months. It was a challenge to bring the building up to code and make it suitable for not just a party, but a wedding reception, within such a short time frame! It ended up being stunning. The building now serves as an event venue, and it’s wonderful to see the community using the facility!

We kept the flowers to a minimum. The church and reception venue were styled using collected antique silver pieces, handmade antler flower crowns, hundreds of candles, a custom lighted marquee, collected oushak rugs, and white and green pumpkins from a local farm. Baby’s breath, white and pink roses, and greenery covered the tables and bars. Original iron window frames from the building were covered in fresh magnolia branches and suspended from the ceiling.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The whole town got involved! People stopped by on a regular basis to check in on the status of the reception venue’s restoration. Our families pitched in and built the tables (out of wooden beams recovered from the venue) and bars (collected wooden shipping pallets). When word got out that my sister was collecting antique silver pieces for the wedding, people started showing up at our house with pieces they found at yard sales or from their own personal collections. My uncle hand-stitched over 500 feet of white flag pennants for the courtyard, and my sister made amazing antler flower crowns. We even had people stop by the reception and join in on the fun. It was truly a hometown wedding!

The wedding cake was a three-tiered lemon pound cake with buttercream icing. We also had a dessert bar of cakes lovingly made by family friends. There wasn’t a single slice left at the end of the day!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? A local bluegrass band from the John C. Campbell Folk School. They played on the outdoor stage during the reception’s cocktail hour, greeting everyone with soulful Appalachian music. The outdoor stage was decorated with antique oushak rugs, an antique iron candelabra, and cascading pumpkins from a nearby farm. It was magical and felt just like home.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We were so young! We first met with a group of friends outside the two-screen cinema in Adam’s hometown of Andrews, North Carolina. As is the case with most 13-year-olds, we weren’t so much dating as just seeing each other at group events or ball games. Adam went to my eighth grade dance with me, and from that point on, we’ve grown up together. So many times, young love is seen as irrational or unwise, and while it is certainly unpredictable, it’s amazing when it works out. I’m so thankful to know that Adam understands every part of me: my past, my present, and my future.
Tell us all about the proposal! I was in the middle of studying for spring exams when Adam showed up with an Easter basket. Easter is my favorite holiday, so I thought he was just making a sweet gesture. Each egg in the basket held gift certificates for my favorite things, but one light blue egg held the best gift: my engagement ring! Adam and I had dated for so long, I wasn’t sure if he would be able to surprise me when the time came, but this took my breath away. It was simple, creative, and thoughtful. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
When did y’all get married? October 25, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our families are very close, so the passage from Ruth 1 was meaningful and true.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I have so many! To name a few, a very good friend of mine gave me a watercolor she painted of our dog, Franklin, and his new last name as an engagement present. We had the image printed on the cake napkins, which was a wonderful way for Franklin to be a part of the celebration. We still use the leftover napkins for our bar cart at home! We also loved our dance floor. An old circular plant holder was used to suspend a disco ball, wrapped with a garland of greenery, over the black and white dance floor, and the stage was back lit by a custom designed marquee that said A+A. It set the tone for the party! Finally, a 1971 Minnie Winnebago, renovated by my father, served mini corndogs (my favorite), Coca-Cola bottles, and homemade potato chips as the night concluded.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We met with my former youth pastor and the minister for the wedding, Danny Byers, for premarital counseling. No matter how well you know a person, it’s so important to make sure your goals, values, and thoughts on faith work well together.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We used a lot of florals and greenery that we could collect ourselves: magnolia leaves, dried hydrangeas, and baby’s breath. We also worked with many local vendors, which cut down on shipping and transportation costs. My sisters really went above and beyond to make every detail special, so we were able to work without an event planner and just hired a day-of coordinator.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Your wedding needs to be true to who you are as a couple. The small details that represent you and your life together will make all the difference. I would also add, don’t take yourself or your wedding too seriously. The details I loved the most were the ones that made me laugh, like the deer with the bow tie that hung in the restroom, or the ones that created a buzz–when the trucker hats hit the dance floor, people let loose!

Photographer: Michelle Lyerly / Videographer: Brian Johnson / Planner: Brittney Forrister / Ceremony Venue: Murphy First Baptist / Reception Venue: The Hackney Warehouse / Florist: Occasions Florist / Cake Baker: Tara Dockery / Caterer: Herb’s Pit Bar-B-Que / Rentals: Elegance / Band: The Root Doctors / Matchbooks and Drink Stirrers: For Your Party / Koozies: Custom Ink / Invitation Suite: Reaves Engraving / Bride’s Gown: Tara Keely / Bridal Salon and Hair Accessories: Hayden Olivia / Hair and Makeup: Salon El Khouri / Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan / Suits: Michael Kors / Bow Ties: Brackish Bow Ties / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / Dance Floor Props: Oriental Trading / Dance Floor Lights: Flashing Blinky Lights / Tambourines and Hats: Custom Ink / Watercolor Artist: Sara Bozarth / Special Details: Kendall Simmons

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Meg Gravley reply

    Really huge fan of a dessert bar made by family and friends – so personal and functional. The triangular banners sewn by her grandpa…icing on the cake!

  2. avatar Dana reply

    the dress, the bunting flags, the dog napkins–what is not to love about this wedding?!

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My heart just about burst when I started scrolling through Kelsey and Clint’s wedding pictures. Everything from Kelsey’s cowboy boots to that dreamy Texas sky makes me miss my home state! Not only was Kelsey and Clint’s beautiful wedding such a celebration of the Lone Star State and the South, it was also full of details that celebrated their relationship and what matters most to them. Their rock “guest book,” for example, was a unique way for people to share their prayers and love, and now, Kelsey and Clint are encouraged by the messages on those rocks regularly. By focusing on faith and family, their wedding a truly meaningful beginning to married life.

Hugs to Taylor Lord for sharing Kelsey and Clint’s wedding with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? 
I borrowed Clint’s grandmother’s brooch for my bouquet, wore my tried and true Lucchese Boots for something old, and bought a gold bracelet with my new monogram for something new.

My family planned a trip to Park City, UT, and while I was preparing for a much-needed vacation, Clint was preparing for a sweet surprise. We planned on going climbing later in the week, but the anticipation was getting to Clint. On the very first morning, Clint proclaimed that we should hike that day due to the weather. My sister and brother-n-law backed out at the last minute due to an “injury.” I, being the inexperienced climber and gullible sister, bought every fib. During our assent, the signs began to appear “Are your hands swelling?” and “You should call your mom and let her know our ETA for lunch.” They were all minor questions that later revealed his secret. We rode the gondola lift to the peak and at the top sought out the perfect viewpoint. It was here, when Clint was fiddling with his GoPro camera to ensure that it was set perfectly, that I knew. Then, the sweet question followed. After tears, kisses and long embraces, Clint said there was one more surprise. Around the bend, my family was waiting for a sky-high celebration. Well done, Clint!

We love that Kelsey included the house party tradition in her wedding! Not familiar with house parties? Learn about this oh-so-Southern tradition here.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 
Our dear friend Kyle read Psalm 62:1-2, “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you 
The wedding party took their seats to “Walk Down This Mountain” by Bebo Norman. Beyond the obvious title, my brother-n-law, Gabe Scott, is a musician and has played with Bebo for years. Plus, one of my best friend’s from college was our vocalist. It was sentimental on many levels. Being the amazing brother that he is, Gabe also composed an original piece on the hammered dulcimer for my bridal processional. During the ceremony, the entire congregation sang “Come Thou Fount” while Clint and I had a private moment of communion. Finally, for the first dances, we stuck with two Southern staples: George Strait and Alan Jackson.

We got married in the smallest incorporated city in the great state of Texas, Round Top (population: 91). My parents moved out to the country from Houston years ago, and now we call this charming town home. Even though it’s tiny, twice a year, Round Top transforms into one of the biggest antique destinations in the nation. The town square is home to the infamous Royer’s Round Top Cafe, small shops, Henkel Hall and a picturesque white church. I had two bridesmaids and the rest of my friends were House Party–one the best Southern traditions, in my opinion. The sound of our wedding was an ode to the South. My friend’s band, Brother of Pearl, played bluegrass and folk classics during cocktail hour. Then, the Westernaires polished off the evening with the sounds of steel guitar and fiddle, leading guests in a classic two-stepping evening. Our bar only served Texas beer and wine: Shiner and Becker Vineyards. Under the oak trees, we set up a game of washers. My dad used to judge the washer pitching tournaments at the Houston Rodeo, so no family gathering is complete without a game. Finally, Louie, our shepherd/lab mix, was an honorary groomsman and walked us down the aisle. He looked quite dapper in his bowtie. A true Southern gentleman.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Letting go of the details. Event planning is something that I love to do, but I constantly had to remind myself that people were there to help me. I surrounded myself with amazing talent: Taylor Lord, Gypsy Floral, Loot, my wedding coordinator Linda and of course, my mother.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: 
Rocks are an important detail in our relationship. Clint guides church groups up 14k mountains in Colorado and they ask the kids to find a rock that symbolizes something in their life to pray over. We wanted to incorporate this throughout our wedding. We had a display of river rocks for people to share blessings, thoughts, verses or encouragements. They now reside on our coffee table, and ever so often, I sort through them, finding one that speaks to me. Truly a blessing that we will carry throughout our marriage.

Gypsy Floral did an incredible job bringing our vision to life. We wanted the flowers to accent and showcase the amazing venue in Round Top, Texas. My bridal bouquet was composed of white peonies, white ranunculus, Juliet garden roses, thistle and white scabiosa flower accented by dusty miller. The stem was wrapped in ribbon and closed with Clint’s grandmother’s knife and fork brooch. French flower buckets filled with cream and green florals framed the church staircase, while two lemon leaf garlands lined the handrails. During the cocktail hour, Loot Vintage Rentals created seating vignettes under the oak trees. Each included a gorgeous arrangement to make it feel like home. Centerpieces were arranged using Queen Anne’s lace, my grandmother’s favorite flower. Finally, over the wedding party table, the girls created a driftwood arbor that was beyond my imagination. Created from aged driftwood, angle vine and curly willow, they hung terrariums and lanterns down from the center. The piece was a beautiful anchor for the entire evening.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. 
Cakes by Cathy has been a friend of my husband’s family for years. When we got engaged, it was no question that we were using Cathy. I wanted simple buttercream frosting with soft pearl dots lining each layer. Cathy worked with the Gypsy Floral team to add a floral garland. The “H” monogram on top came from BHLDN. For the groom’s cake, we went with another obvious (and delicious) choice, Royer’s Round Top Cafe. Tara Royer created the most beautiful pie display, almost like you were walking into an old soda fountain shop. And what is pie without ice cream? Blue Bell Ice Cream is made in the next town over, and if you’ve never experienced this delight, make a trip to Texas! Needless to say, dessert was scrumptious.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. 
Clint and I met while working on a political campaign. He was the politician’s executive aide and I was the photographer. Needless to say, we spent many hours traveling together and our friendship quickly grew into something much more special.
When did y’all get married? 
March 16, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. 
After ten bridal boutiques (yes, you read that correctly) we found the one! I guess you could say I’m an indecisive shopper. Amber from Julian Gold Bridal in San Antonio was amazing. She found all the elements that I had loved about other dresses in this one Christos gown. Lace, sweetheart neckline, straps, comfortable and most importantly, it looked great with boots! We switched out the belt for an Emily Riggs hand-beaded design, shined my boots and called it a day.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? 
How does one pick? I have to say, The Westernaires were a sweet surprise. Dancing is a big deal at weddings. It’s safe to say it can make or break the affair, so we took a risk with our old fashioned two-stepping tunes. The dance floor was full all night long! It was one thing Clint and I didn’t expect and were so excited to see happen.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? 
My husband’s dad is a pastor in San Antonio. Out of all the laughter, dancing and memorable moments, his marrying us is one that will always be near and dear to our hearts.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
Breathe. The time will fly, the wedding day will race by. Take a moment to enjoy what you planned. We left our wedding, made the block, and came back to keep on dancing. We didn’t want the night to end!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? 
Traveling together! We are planning trips big and small. Experiencing new cities and cultures is something we are both passionate about.

Photographer: Taylor Lord Photography | Videographer: Stephan Stephanian | Wedding Planner: Linda Brunson – Family Friend | Ceremony Venue: Haw Creek Church | Reception Venue: Henkel Hall | Florist: Gypsy Floral | Wedding Cake & Dessert Baker: Cakes by Cathy Young & Royer’s Round Top Cafe | Caterer: Royer’s Round Top Cafe | Rentals: Loot Vintage Rentals | Band: The Westernaires | Bride’s Gown: Christos (Style: Irina) | Paper Products: Colette Creative (Invitation), Inviting Affairs (Program) | Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil/Jewelry: Emily Riggs Bridal (Belt), Kate Spade (Earrings), Etsy (Monogram Bracelet) | Hair Stylist: Morgan Stephanian, friend | Makeup Artist: Morgan Stephanian, friend | Bride’s Shoes: Luccese Boots | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo (Style: Nabi) | Groom’s Attire: Joseph A. Bank | Groom’s Bow Tie: Billy Reid | Groomsmen Attire: Joseph A. Bank | Groomsmen Ties: Billy Reid

Taylor Lord is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Kat reply

    Their rock guestbook is so unique and so meaninful to the couple – I love that! And that driftwood arbor?! By far my favorite detail of their day!

  2. avatar KELSEY + CLINT | round top wedding | AUSTIN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER TAYLOR LORD reply

    […] light, yummy couple, YUMMY PIE! Thanks to Southern Weddings for their feature today of this adorable southern Round Top Texas […]

  3. avatar Ray Hadaway reply

    Kelsey and Clint: Thank you for including us in your wedding. All of us in The Westernaires had a great time! It was a treat to meet the governor of Texas and to join in all the festivities. Wishing you both the best in life and blessing on your new life together.

    Ray Hadaway
    The Westernaires
    Western Swing & Classic Country

  4. avatar Dana reply

    reception area is so beautiful! this is a perfect texas wedding!

  5. avatar Gypsy Floral reply

    Loved every moment spent with this lovely couple! The day was a true reflection of their love and we were so happy to be a part of it! Gorgeous photos by Taylor Lord.

  6. avatar tara royer steele reply

    fav wedding ever!! love y’all!!

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