I can’t even find a way to start this post other than with the good ol’ Southern contraction – y’all! Seriously…y’all. Caitlan and BJ’s wedding stole my heart right from the very beginning. These two met through mutual friends and had a self-proclaimed “whirlwind romance,” FaceTiming until their phones died while dating long distance. On their wedding day, jeans and t-shirt-wearing Caitlan donned a gorgeous blush sequined gown from BHDLN that literally took BJ’s breath away. As he said himself, “For as long as I can remember, I have always wondered what it would feel like to have your breath taken away. The moment that Caitlan came into view, that feeling was realized. To watch her clasp onto her father’s arm, trying her hardest to force a smile through her tears of joy (hopefully joy) was the single greatest moment, of not only that day, but of my life.” Are you kidding me? While that’s a bit longer of a quote than we normally include in an introduction, when Lisa and I read it, we both bawled our eyes out, and knew we HAD to share it with y’all. Three words: Love never fails. Now wipe your tears because you don’t want to miss this amazingly sweet day!
Thanks for sharing, Jen Dillender— you know the way to our hearts!
I adore Caitlan’s ridiculously chic, but somehow, completely laid-back look!
Frankly, I prefer jeans and a t-shirt over dressing up any day, so wedding dress shopping was the part of the planning process that I dreaded the most. I went into shopping knowing I wanted something plain with straps, and I HAD to go check out BHLDN. I made my appointment with one dress in mind, totally thinking it was going to be the one. I brought along my brutally honest mother and sister to help with the process. I tried on four dresses total, and the second dress ended up being the one–it’s a rare moment in which all three of us agree on something. The other dresses, including the one I had had my eye on, paled in comparison to the dress I chose. I left with a strapless, blush dress covered in sequins. I advise all brides to go into dress shopping with an open mind. You may surprise yourself!
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I’m a born and raised Texas girl while BJ is a Nashvillian by way of Oklahoma. We first decided that the wedding would be in Texas–there is nothing more beautiful than the Texas Hill Country, so I knew that was the backdrop I wanted. I had previously attended a wedding out at Camp Lucy, so it was an easy choice. They were just about to open a second venue (Sacred Oaks), and it had us at the mere sight of the oak trees that hung over the ceremony site. We knew that was where we wanted to say our vows.
From Caitlan: Obviously, the moment I locked eyes with BJ was an unforgettable moment, but there was something about the moments leading up to that as I was standing arm-in-arm with my father. Aside from becoming BJ’s wife, walking down the aisle with my dad was my proudest moment. It was fitting to show my guests the man behind the woman I am today, as well as the man who set the bar incredibly high. It was an emotional walk down the aisle, and certainly something that I’ll never forget.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? This was the one battle my sweet husband lost during the wedding planning process. He has a way with words, while I tend to stumble over mine. Thankfully, our officiant (BJ’s best friend) came to our rescue with a heartfelt tribute to us, our love, and our future. It couldn’t have been more perfect and ended up being the highlight of the night to many of our guests. Well done, Trey!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Who needs readings when you have two of your bridesmaids singing? Two of my best friends busted out the guitar and their vocal chords for a pitch-perfect rendition of “Fire and Dynamite” by Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors. It added a beautiful and personal touch to our ceremony.
Describe your wedding flowers. I wanted the overall look of the flowers to be very natural and a little messy with lots of green. The in-house floral department at Camp Lucy did a great job incorporating lots of green by using nonconventional greens, including brussel sprouts, cabbage, and kale. The groomsmen donned my favorite craspedia, which tied in perfectly with the bridal bouquet.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. While I love to bake cakes, I don’t like to eat them. My husband, on the other hand, LOVES cake. We opted for a simple, two-tiered funfetti cake for him (because “love is FUN and FETTI sweet”) and a variety of cookies for me, thanks to the oh-so-delicious cookie delivery service, Tiff’s Treats. They never disappoint.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. BJ lived in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was good friends with my friend, Emily. We had spoken briefly in group texts and email chains, and it’s safe to say we were acquaintances. In summary: BJ needed dating advice. Caitlan offered her expertise. Caitlan checked in to see how things went/were going. Things hadn’t worked out. The rest is history–we dated long distance, as I was in Austin, Texas. We traveled many miles, used up hundreds (maybe thousands) of minutes on the phone, and, thanks to technology, spent hours upon hours staring at each other’s faces via FaceTime. It was a whirlwind romance, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Distance truly does make the heart grow fonder, and stronger.
Tell us all about the proposal! We got engaged on September 14, 2013. Months prior, we had made plans to head to College Station, Texas for College Gameday (gig ’em). BJ was quick to suggest that we should just go to Houston to watch the game with my family, so we did Gameday, gave BJ a tour of Texas A&M, and then headed home to watch the football game with my family. After watching Johnny Football put forth his best effort, it was time to get ready for dinner. Beej randomly told me to go outside with him, so I did, and the next thing I knew, we were in my dad’s car and he told me to blindfold myself. At this point, I knew something was up. Given the turns he made, I knew we were at Elephant Park (a park I frequented growing up), where he led me out of the car and walked me to a bench, only to inform me that he “forgot something in the car.” Moments later, I heard our family dog, my sweet Bailey boy, panting. When I took off the blindfold, Bailey was in my lap with a note tied to a precious bow tie collar. After reading the sweet letter, I looked up to see my man on his knee with a GORGEOUS ring! I didn’t think the day could get any better, until: 1. I spotted one of my best friends in the woods, where she had been secretly snapping photos. 2. The world’s greatest brother flew in from Raleigh to surprise me. 3. I walked into my house only to be greeted by 20 of my closest friends throwing us an amazing engagement party. It was the most magical day! I found out later that BJ had flown in that Thursday night (when he was supposed to be at a 5th grade retreat) to ask my parents’ and grandfather’s permission.
When did y’all get married? April 4, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 170
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Personally, my favorite part of a wedding is watching the groom’s reaction to his bride when he sees her for the first time. We opted out of a first look to allow our guests to be a part of our special moment. I couldn’t have been more happy with our decision. I knew he would be emotional, but I was shocked at just how emotional I got. Fact: we’re ugly criers.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We both agree that our favorite detail was the venue itself. The giant oaks that loomed above the ceremony site were enveloped with tiny lights. It was the perfect combination of rustic and serene.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? What’s more Southern than two born and raised Southerners getting married in the Texas Hill Country, eating fried green tomatoes/pimento cheese/biscuits, and washing them down with Shiner Bock and Lone Star beer?
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Planning a wedding in Texas while living in Tennessee posed to be more difficult than I thought it would be. We used my parents’ house in The Woodlands, Texas as our “wedding headquarters,” and when it came time to head to Austin, we overestimated what we could fit into our cars. Thankfully, selfless friends and family members helped transport the goods to and from Austin.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I’m always looking for ways to save money! I used online paper vendors (Minted and Wedding Paper Divas) for all of our paper products and printed out our wedding programs myself. My mother and I tackled several DIY projects, including all of the rehearsal dinner decorations and the gift tags for our favors. We also reused flower arrangements from the ceremony as centerpieces at the reception.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our photographer, Jen Dillender. Everyone told me that the wedding day was going to fly by, and boy, did it ever. We are beyond thankful to have the beautiful images that Jen captured to help us relive (and remember) our special day. She is a master of her craft and handles herself with the highest amount of class and grace. We love her, and all of our photos! Also, I have to mention that Camp Lucy is the greatest venue. For someone planning from a distance, their in-house catering and florals were a blessing in disguise!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From BJ: For as long as I can remember, I have always wondered what it would feel like to have your breath taken away. The moment that Caitlan came into view, that feeling was realized. To watch her clasp onto her father’s arm, trying her hardest to force a smile through her tears of joy (hopefully joy) was the single greatest moment, of not only that day, but of my life. The opportunity to lock eyes with her on her walk down the aisle was the icing on the cake. She was the single most gorgeous thing I have ever seen.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 1. ENJOY IT! 2. Stay true to yourselves. Don’t let other people’s weddings and opinions alter your vision. 3. Cherish the engagement/planning process and embrace those who offer a helping hand. I was blessed with parents who wanted to be there every step of the way. The wedding definitely wouldn’t have been the same without them.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life Currently, we’re settling into married life here in Nashville. We’re excited to see what life has in store for us. Hopefully, lots of puppies and cute kiddos :)
Photographer: Jen Dillender Photography / Venue and Florist: Camp Lucy (Sacred Oaks) / Cake Baker: Bride’s Table / Cookies: Tiff’s Treats / Caterer: Whim Hospitality / Rentals: Whim Rentals and Bee Lavish / DJ and Lighting: Greenbelt DJ (Joel Giorgio) / Bride’s Gown and Veil: BHLDN / Save the Dates and Rehearsal Dinner Invites: Minted / Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas / Programs: Paint the Day Designs / Bride’s Jewelry: J.Crew / Hair and Makeup: Andrea Jaurez / Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden / Men’s Bow Ties: Amy2004Marie’s / Miscellaneous Decorations: Hobby Lobby / Favors: H-E-B
that sparkly hailey page…so beautiful! But all of these are just stunning. What lucky brides!