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Y’all have no idea how excited I am to share Molly and Eric’s wedding with you today! I just adore this couple–Molly owns a super chic bridal salon, so you know the fashion at their wedding was on point, down to Eric’s custom Olia Zavozina tux and gold pin dot bow tie! While that was so lovely, Molly and Eric spoke straight to our hearts when they felt led to scratch planning a big wedding. Instead, they decided to move up their date and keep things as simple as possible, making their wedding a reflection of their love story and a time for friends to be with their loved ones. I also can’t help but love that they chose their first dance song (“Have a Little Faith In Me”) because of their “imperfect love story,” and as a reminder “to fight the good fight together.”

We’re so glad Annabella Charles shared this beautiful day with us in V7!

P.S. Lisa and I may have shared an ugly cry session after watching their proposal video–I highly suggest watching it, but grab your tissues first!

Aside from saying “yes” to my groom, choosing the dress was one of the easiest decisions in all of wedding planning. I didn’t even try it on before deciding it was, without a doubt, the one for me. Amahlia, designed by Maggie Louise designer, Rivini, was a part of Rita’s spring 2014 collection and embodied everything I had ever dreamed of wearing. I felt the top of the dress resembled my style, classic and more on the simple side, and the bottom matched Eric, who is more of a risk-taker and modern in his taste. When it walked down the runway that spring, we both looked at each other and knew it was everything I had hoped for.

What did the groom wear? Eric wore a custom tuxedo that he designed alongside Olia Zavozina, a wedding gown designer at Maggie Louise and a dear friend of ours. She took all of his ideas and created a masterpiece! Eric didn’t tell me a single detail about the tux and kept it a secret until the day of the wedding. The tux was solid black with modern twists. He chose a black bowtie with gold pin dots, my favorite detail!

We got engaged in September and originally began planning our wedding for October of the following year. After a few long discussions, we both knew that honoring God in our commitment to each other was far more important than a wedding day that would take us over a year to afford and plan. It was then that we decided to move up the date and keep things as simple as possible! We knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony at Acre, so with the Southern heat in mind, we ruled out the summer months quickly, and landed on April 4, 2014. Our venue, Acre Restaurant in Memphis, is an older home that has been revamped into a very organic, rustic, chic restaurant venue. We knew we wanted our wedding day to be a reflection of our love story, and we wanted a ceremony that glorified God (not us). We didn’t fuss with having a bridal party or costly details. We simply wanted our friends to come with their loved one and let the night be a reminder of the love they share, all while enjoying a great meal, a few cocktails, and cutting loose for a bit. We began our Friday night at with a cocktail hour in the courtyard where we were getting married. As the ceremony approached at 6:30 P.M., our coordinator simply parted the sea of loved ones. Our families were escorted to the front and I walked down the cobblestone aisle on my father’s arm to “Til Kingdom Come” by Coldplay. After the ceremony, we kicked off the party with our first dance under the outdoor tent behind Acre, and spent the rest of the night getting smooth with Yacht Rock Revue.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. From Eric: Our officiant was Andy Savage from Highpoint Church in East Memphis, Tennessee. Andy “does a great wedding” (his famous quote), but an even better pre-marriage class. We graduated with honors. A special part for me was when he asked us to turn around at the beginning of the ceremony and gaze at how many friends/family came to support us. Man, that was a cool moment.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? We allowed the beautiful venue to naturally set the tone for the design of our wedding. In order to keep everything under budget, this worked perfectly with our individual and non-traditional wedding styles.

The food was by far one of our favorite parts in all of wedding planning. Andrew Adams, the chef at Acre, spent months designing a custom menu for our wedding day that told the history of who Eric and I are and where we come from, including my family’s Southern roots from the Mississippi Delta and Eric’s Italian heritage reigning from Chicago. In our efforts to keep the night as fun and simple as possible, we felt it was key to let all of our vendors have fun with doing what they do best. Andrew went above and beyond to create the perfect menu for our night. Although we decided to forgo many wedding traditions, I couldn’t bear to pass on the cake cutting moment. A local cake designer and friend of mine, Laura Jackson (owner of The Flour Garden), surprised us with a small cake on the wedding day, and it was nothing less than a masterpiece. Eric and I cut it before the ceremony so I could have a few of those traditional, yet priceless, images.

Our first dance was to John Haitt’s “Have a Little Faith In Me,” sung by a dear friend of ours, who happened to serenade everyone the night of our engagement as well. I came across this song a few years ago and have always felt it was such a beautiful reflection of us. Eric and I have always been open books about our imperfect love story. Over the last four years of our dating relationship, we did a lot of growing both individually and as a couple. Even on the days when it wasn’t easy, we continued to place faith in the Lord and each other–which is all we need in order to fight the good fight together!

Date of your wedding: April 4, 2014
Tell us about yourselves! From Molly: I was raised a Mississippi girl and moved to Memphis for college. I fell in love with the city and decided that it was, without a doubt, the place for me. I worked for 7.5 years in the photography industry with Allison Rodgers Photography and fell in love with all things bridal behind the lens throughout the years. I graduated from the University of Memphis in 2010 with a business degree in Marketing and Management. Aside from living out my dreams at the bridal boutique, my lists of “hobbies” are short, but I love food, music, a good glass of wine, and traveling with my new husband. From Eric: My boss is on the cross. I’m proudly a janitor/handyman at Maggie Louise on off-days. I love to exercise, cook healthy, and keep my ducks in a row. I bake 15-minute chocolate chip cookies for 10 minutes. I hope you never get injured, but I would love to be your doctor one day. This is my first wedding questionnaire.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met seven years ago via a mutual friend at a bar on Beale Street, Silky O’Sullivan’s. I still remember the night, December 20, 2007, like it was yesterday–where I was sitting, the second I saw him, even down to the outfit I was wearing. We hit it off immediately and hung out periodically throughout college, but didn’t make it official until three years later. In May 2010, a few weeks before we both graduated from the University of Memphis, Eric said something along the lines of “I’m ready to be your boyfriend”… I said “No way,” of course. Obviously, I caved, and we’ve been together ever since!
Describe the proposal: We got engaged on September 7, 2013. Every year, Eric throws an outdoor party at his mom’s house–an all-day affair that is the adult version of every kid’s dream-come-true, complete with a homemade slip-and-slide, volleyball, jell-o wrestling, and a belly flop contest. The day went as planned and we spent the afternoon surrounded by our family and friends, enjoying the summer heat and shenanigans. At sundown, Eric’s mom asked me to ride with her to pick up dinner for all of our guests, and I reluctantly agreed, hesitant to leave behind all the excitement and loved ones. When I returned, I saw an enormous projector screen with Eric’s face and everyone holding champagne in their hands. The video began to play, and it was filled with flashes of family and friends holding signs that said “Say Yes,” and then Eric saying he wanted to spend his life with me. At the end of the video proposal, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his bride. Here is the video!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: From Eric: Honest, holy, honorable.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? From Eric: Throwing a memorable, yet affordable, party for all of our friends to enjoy. I have champagne taste on a beer budget, and she has Jimmy Choo taste on a Target gift card budget.
Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets. We bypassed serving the traditional wedding cake and let Andrew have some fun with his culinary skills for the desserts. He came up with unique, homemade ice cream sandwiches and an assorted donut bar. The ice cream sandwiches included dark chocolate brownie with cookie dough ice cream, strawberry cheesecake ice cream stuffed in a candied croissant, and ice-cream-filled chocolate éclairs. The donut creations were blueberry cake donuts with lemon-vodka glaze, Reese’s Pieces donuts, cereal milk donuts topped with Frosted Flakes, and apple cider fritters.
What are you most looking forward to about marriage? Seeing God’s plans for us unfold throughout our lives together. There is so much unknown as to what is in store, but that is what makes everything so exciting. Eric has plans of going to medical school and living out his dreams as a surgeon. I’m thrilled to see where the Lord takes us and how he uses us, both individually and as a couple.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff!! Set your priorities together and don’t lose sight of them or the big picture. It is so easy to get caught up in the material aspects and expectations, but at the end of the day, people will remember seeing the happiness between you both.

Photographers: Allison Rodgers Photography, Annabella Charles Photography, Amy Dale Photography, and The Studio J / Videographer: 22 Magnolias / Coordinator: Simply Perfect Weddings & Events / Venue, caterer, and desserts: Acre Restaurant / Bride’s bouquet: Beth’s Flowers / Floral archway: Haute Horticulture / Wedding cake: The Flour Garden / Bride’s Gown: “Amahlia” by Rivini / Bridal salon: Maggie Louise Bridal / Bride’s veil: Erin Cole / Hair and makeup: Jena Bruback of Headlines Salon / Groom’s tuxedo: Olia Zavozina / Ceremony music: Jacob Zachary / Reception music: Yacht Rock Revue and Charvey Mac / Paper products: Kendyl Mounce

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Hannah Browning reply

    Wow! What is not perfect about this wedding? HER DRESS. Love

  2. avatar Debra Seger reply

    I dont know what pulled me to stop my busy life and read this beautiful story…..Im a grown woman crying of happiness for two people I have never met. Thank you for sharing, simply a beautiful story that inspired my day. Wishing you a continued life of joy!

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I’m pretty sure that a how-hungry-will-this-make-you score should be posted at the beginning of each Southern Delicacy column, just as a warning if we’re approaching mealtime when you happen to be reading. Of course, since they’d all rate a 10 out of 10 on the danger scale, it might not be that helpful. Still, I’ll warn you: today’s focus on the sweet Southern favorite Hummingbird Cake is entirely delicious!

Call Me Cupcake

A traditional Hummingbird Cake has incredibly moist layers packed full of banana, pineapple, and coconut, with the nutty crunch of pecans and the slightly sour and salty finish of cream cheese frosting. Might sound a bit too healthy for dessert, but we promise, this one packs a sweet punch! My friend described the taste as a cross between banana bread and carrot cake!

Hummingbird cake ingredients via Hungry Gems

Like many Southern favorites, Hummingbird Cake has a confusing history. It’s also known as “granny cake” or “cake that don’t last,” and some sources have it originating in Australia or Jamaica. The first known publication, though, was in a February 1978 edition of Southern Living. Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina, submitted the recipe, and it has grown to be SL’s most-requested recipe of all time. (And it’s won many blue ribbons at country fairs along the way!)

Hummingbird cake slice via Desserts for Breakfast, hummingbird cake with pecans via Call Me Cupcake, hummingbird cake slice via Sugar & Spice by Celeste

The original recipe published in SL actually called for twice the amount of frosting that their current recipe uses (wow!), but like I said, this one’s still for the sweet tooths among us. In fact, some say the Hummingbird Cake got its name because it’s as sweet as the sugared water that attracts its flying namesake.

On the left, hummingbird cupcake with pineapple almond butter cream cheese frosting via The Cupcake Project, and on the right, hummingbird cupcake with sweet cream cheese frosting from Crave Cupcakes

The other theory about the name is that each bite makes you hum with delight :)

Hummingbird bundt cake from Southern Living, hummingbird cake pops via Broma Bakery, hummingbird mini cheesecakes via Mangoes and Palm Trees

With its sweet flavor and sweet history, Hummingbird Cake is a perfect pick for Southern showers and weddings. We love the new formats above, especially the Hummingbird Cake Pops!

Hummingbird layer cake via Southern Weddings, edible flower bitesize hummingbird cakes via Sweet Life, hummingbird cake with dried pineapple flowers via Martha Stewart, hummingbird cupcakes topped with dried pineapple flowers via Seeded at the Table

Though I firmly believe that something so delicious doesn’t even need to be pretty, we loved the addition of dried pineapple flowers to the beauties above. They’d make a hummingbird proud, don’t you think?

Desserts for Breakfast

Now that your mouth is officially watering, tell me, have you tried Hummingbird Cake? Will you include it at your big day or a shower along the way?

marissa Written with love by Marissa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    I work at Maxie B’s, a bakery in Greensboro, and our Hummingbird Cake is one of our most popular flavors, so moist and delicious!

  2. avatar Melissa Vause Feetham reply

    Our wedding cake was 4 tiers and the bottom tier was Hummingbird Cake!! We had never had any until a couple months before the wedding and we HAD to have it as our largest tier. It was DELICIOUS!

  3. avatar Taylor Elise reply

    In addition to our wedding cake we are also having a very southern dessert table with pecan pie, peach cobbler and HUMMINGBIRD CAKE! I grew up with my grandma making it all the time so it was a nice tie in. Love seeing it on your site!

  4. avatar Joanna Duff reply

    I’ve made Hummingbird bundt cake and Hummingbird cupcakes. A real crowd pleaser and it stays fresh for a few days.

  5. avatar Hummingbird Cake !! reply

    […] is a good article on the history. Sounds yummy! http://southernweddings.com/2013/07/…mingbird-cake/ Lorie Reply With […]

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If I could run off and marry a wedding, it would be this one. Margaret + Marty planned their New Orleans nuptials themselves, with a beautiful venue to springboard off of and a desire to vivaciously celebrate their new life together — one read-through of their interview tells us that M + M love to dance! I’m absolutely smitten with how their wedding seems to have organically sprung up from the bricks at Race and Religious, but the Southern Weddings gals have agreed — it must be Margaret’s radiant personality and lovely smile that top this wedding off beautifully.

Thank you, Heirloom Collective for sharing this day with us!

Two things: How amazing are Margaret’s shoes? I love that they’re a modest nude color with a spark of red! Next, how cool do these gals look below? I am impressed that Margaret’s ‘maids were able to find matching dresses from various stores like Asos, Modcloth and BCBG.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. 
I knew I needed something I’d be able to dance in. I didn’t want anything too trendy, or anything to looked to era-specific. I admired BHLDN dresses from afar until I found out I’d be going to Chicago over Memorial Day weekend, so I booked an appointment with them immediately! After trying on a few options, I put on my dress and never looked back. It was the first dress I did a twirl in, and that’s how I knew.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did decide to do a first look. Our ceremony and reception were at the same place, so we knew we would have limited time to admire each other’s looks and have some alone time.

I love this photo below! Heirloom Collective did a wonderful job capturing a calm and intimate moment before the ceremony. The colors are gorgeous, and I can only imagine the exciting things these gals are talking about while sipping on sodas and fixing each other’s hair.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 
Song of Solomon 2:10-13, 8:6-7 and Colassians 3:12-17

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. We hired a traditional New Orleans brass band to play before, during and after the ceremony. Our original brass band fell through a week before the wedding, but thankfully our friends helped us pull together a band, and they were wonderful. The entire wedding party walked down the aisle to Trumpet Voluntary, and the recessional was “When the Saints Go Marching In!” We told the band to play whatever they wanted, and that was what they settled on. It was perfect. Our first dance, mother-son and father-daughter dances somehow ended up being disco themed: “Boogie On Reggae Woman” by Stevie Wonder, “Late in the Evening” by Paul Simon and “More than a Woman” by the BeeGees, respectively. It was awesome!

Y’all!! I just want to cry when I see this photo below. There is so much joy!

What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? 
The venue! Our venue was a big chunk of our budget, but we couldn’t imagine NOT getting married there. And, having splurged on such a perfectly curated, eclectic place, we didn’t have to worry about decorating it too much. Our wedding would have a very distinct look (one we wanted) without a lot of work on our part!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? 
The most Southern detail — and part our Northern guests loved the most — was the reception-style dinner! I loved that everyone could mingle while noshing, and we didn’t have to worry about whom to seat where or whether there were exactly as many chairs as there were guests (there weren’t, and it was totally fine). Of course, our food was Southern. We served collard greens, black eyed pea salsa, pickled shrimp salad, cornbread, brisket, pulled pork, the works.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. 
Marty hates cake, so we went with pies for our dessert (and then Marty ended up being too busy dancing to try any! Sorry, Mart!). Our caterer created a bunch of different Southern-influenced pies, including sweet potato pie, an apple galette, and pecan pie, for guests to choose from.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? 
Definitely the dance party. I found our DJ, Otto Orellana, while at a bar with co-workers. We could not stop dancing! So, I asked him for his business card. The next day I emailed him (introducing myself as the girl who could not stop dancing) and asked him to DJ our wedding. He responded with, “Well, I don’t normally do weddings anymore but you and your friends seemed really fun, so sure!” And did he deliver! The dance portion of our wedding was the most fun we’ve ever had.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. 
We met in college. During our freshman year, we lived three floors apart and were introduced by mutual friends. We soon learned that we’d gone to brother and sister high schools, had some of the same friends, and had never met! Marty pretended that he needed help with his homework in order to get me to hang out with him. Soon I realized that he didn’t need homework help as much as he needed a dance partner.

Describe the proposal. 
We currently live in New Orleans, but we both grew up near Oak Park, Illinois. Every holiday season, we escape our family parties and go see a movie at Lake Theater, a classic art deco movie theater in Oak Park. On the day before Christmas Eve in 2011, Marty invited me to go see Mission: Impossible 4 (how holiday-appropriate!), but instead of going into the theater, he proposed. Afterward we headed to a bar on Madison Street to celebrate with friends and family.

In what month did you get married? 
March 2013

How many guests attended your wedding? 
115

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our venue was pretty much a blank slate. We could choose the caterer, the bartender, the flowers, everything. While I loved that everything was completely customizable, it was also a challenge to cover all of our bases without a wedding planner (having tents on standby for rain, ordering compostable dinnerware, renting linens!). We did everything ourselves, down to making sure we had enough ice! But, the upside was that we could do everything our own way, to our taste.

What range did your wedding budget fall into? 
$10,000-$25,000

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
Go with your gut when making decisions and customize your wedding to how you want it.

What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? 
We went on a fantastic honeymoon to Paris, Croatia (the Dalmatian Coast) and Istanbul. Now that we’re back, Marty is graduating from Tulane School of Medicine and starting his residency at Tulane; I am continuing to work as a public interest attorney in New Orleans.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
10 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Love, love, love this wedding!! New Orleans is definitely one of my favorite wedding cities–they all seem to have the best energy and joy, and this is no exception! Her dress is gorgeous, and the venue is just amazing!

  2. avatar Lauren reply

    I LOVE the mustard bridesmaid dresses. I can’t believe how perfectly they matched since they came from different stores.

  3. avatar PJ Greetings reply

    This wedding looks like it was a blast and I love the colors

  4. avatar Jen reply

    New Orleans weddings are the BEST!! My husband and I hosted a NOLA destination wedding in March…so I’m a little biased!

    Congrats M & M! Beautiful wedding! :)

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  10. avatar Rudy reply

    Love the bridesmaids dresses! Such an awesome color too. Such great photography!

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