Many of you may not know that I used to work for a country music station. A live feed of the station was played over a loudspeaker throughout our entire offices, so I may even be able to rival Miss Emily when it comes to country music trivia! One of my favorite songs became Lee Brice’s Love Like Crazy, because in the song, Lee encourages couples to “overuse ‘I love you.'” To me, those simple words are such an important aspect of marriage, sometimes being the only thing to say in a circumstance. So, when I read that Lauren + Adam’s reverend had them begin their traditional vows by just telling each other “I love you,” my heart leapt! Lauren also said that with these three simple words, all their nerves were gone. I imagine this was such a wonderful moment to witness.
Big hugs to Robyn Van Dyke, one of our darling Blue Ribbon Vendors, for sharing their big day with us!
One of my absolute favorite moments happened during the ceremony. Reverend Motley asked everyone to bow his or her head as he prayed for our marriage, and as he was ending the prayer, Adam pulled me in and kissed me on the forehead. I love that moment in particular because it felt like it was just the two of us up there together, even when there were 200 sets of eyes watching us. Another favorite moment was the time spent with my bridesmaids before the ceremony. We all wore oversized button-up shirts, which included monogrammed pockets (a DIY by my sister/MOH) and enjoyed sipping our champagne through straws and mason jars from Shop Sweet Lulu. That morning, I also received notes of encouragement and sweet wishes from all of the girls in my college sorority. These little moments brought me so much peace and joy and that I will always treasure.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. To my surprise, finding my dress was the very first check off of our wedding to-do list. My mother and now mother-in-law decided on a whim to take me to Victorian Rose Bridals in Raleigh to try on a few dresses. Knowing it was still very early in the wedding planning process, I had little expectation of finding “the one” already, but it just so happened that the second dress I tried on was everything I wanted. It had ivory alencon lace over champagne charmeuse, an exposed back, and a sweeping train–it was perfect!
While all the grooms we feature are quite dapper, I am dying over this polka dot tie! Too much fun!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Genesis 2:7, 18, 21-24 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-13
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them.
The music for our ceremony was soft and elegant. We hired a violinist and kept to wedding ceremony classics. Adam and I knew from the very beginning that we wanted The Craig Woolard Band for the reception. The band is not only the perfect combination of beach music, Motown, and country, but they are also the band that entertained several of our first date nights. For our first dance, we danced to “Nothing Can Change This Love” by Sam Cook and for the daddy/daughter dance, we danced to “My Girl” by the Temptations.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Adam and I decided not to do a first look, because we both liked the idea of keeping it traditional. I will never forget what an amazing feeling it was to see his reaction as I walked down the aisle!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Although we did not write our own vows, I loved that our Reverend had us begin our vows by just telling each other “I love you.” It took all my nerves away!
Our reception menu was Southern-inspired all the way! We served chicken and biscuits, BBQ sliders with coleslaw, green beans, sweet potato mash, sweet tea (of course!), and several other traditional Southern favorites. I also loved how our favors came out–we gave our guests navy koozies with bow ties on them–and I love that Adam wore the needlepoint belt I made for him.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Adam and I are just about as different as they come. He’s from the country; I grew up in the city. He’s the youngest of three boys; I’m the oldest of three girls. He loves being in the spotlight; I’m perfectly content standing in the back. But opposites attract, right? We first met while attending a summer camp called Camp Willow Run, where we were introduced by my counselor. We kept in touch here and there and eventually ended up going to the same college. We also both worked as summer staff at the same camp where we met as campers. Adam hardly talked to me all summer, so it completely took me by surprise when he asked me to be his date to his brother’s wedding on the last day of camp. Ironically enough, Adam’s brother was marrying the very same counselor who had originally introduced us. Small world!
Tell us all about the proposal! Adam once told me that no one expects to get engaged in the morning and he was most definitely correct. I woke up on a Thursday morning in January to a surprise breakfast delivery from Adam. Along with breakfast came a letter. As I began reading the letter, I realized that this was a little more than just the average morning date. Before I could even begin to question what was going on, he was down on one knee asking me to marry him. It was a pretty great way to start the day!
When did y’all get married? March 23, 2013
How many friends, family, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Describe your wedding flowers. The Sutherland’s natural beauty and rustic walled-garden inspired us to keep the ceremony simple, casual, and intimate. We selected baby’s breath, roses, and hydrangeas for floral arrangements, and kept to soft shades of ivory and blush for the décor.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We decided to choose a cupcake stand over a wedding cake for our dessert. The stand included a 6” spice cake on top and 18 dozen mini cupcakes in four different flavors: Simply Cinnamon, Wedding Cake, Lemon Zest, and Red Velvet. We liked the idea of giving our guests multiple flavor options while still being able to partake in the traditional couple cake cutting.
Did you have something borrowed, something blue, and something new? If so, do tell! While my mom was zipping up my gown, she showed me a piece of her wedding dress that she had sewn into mine as my something old. I love that she surprised me with that! My navy heels were my something blue. My grandmother’s wedding band was my something borrowed, and my sisters gave me a gorgeous engraved bracelet as my something new.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Figuring out how to seat 200 people in a ballroom that seats 175!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We still laugh so hard when we look back at the pictures from our photo booth! Also, Our venue gave us a complementary ice sculpture. Typically, couples choose to have their monogram carved into the ice, but instead, Adam and I decided to use it as an opportunity to proudly display our favorite college football team, the East Carolina Pirates!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our photographer was absolutely incredible! I love that it was a husband and wife duo that could tag team during the ceremony and reception in order to capture all of the day’s festivities. I also felt really blessed to walk away from my wedding experience with pictures that so clearly depicted the emotions felt that day. Robyn was so patient and willing to go the extra mile for us, and I am extremely grateful for that!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Have fun on your wedding day!! I can honestly say that my wedding day was the best day ever, and I think every bride should feel that way about her special day.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We want to travel! I’m most excited to continue “growing up” with Adam and to experience life with him–I’m lucky to have a husband who is also my best friend and spiritual leader.
Robyn Van Dyke is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!