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Raise your hand if your jaw dropped to the floor when you turned to page 220 of V7 and saw Alexandra and Trevor’s candle-lined aisle in the woods…everyone? Us too!! Not only did this couple have an absolutely gorgeous wedding at the venue where they met and both work, RT Lodge, they also put so much thought into making sure their family and friends were taken care of throughout their wedding weekend. This event planner (Alexandra) and chef (Trevor) have a huge heart for Southern hospitality, and from the events guests were invited to throughout the weekend, to the private dinner served to the bridal party and immediate family before the 8:00 P.M. ceremony, to the food that was served (Trevor created the menu himself using vegetables he grew, meat from his parents’ farm, and food he had preserved), this passion was evident in every detail of their wedding.

Thank you so much to Clark Brewer for sharing this magical day with us!

We knew we wanted to be married in the spring! There is nothing more beautiful than a Southern spring. I love that spring is a new start, and that every year, beautiful blooms start to appear on the bare branches. Suddenly, the trees and fields are full of flowers (and so are the vases in my house). I’ve never been more anxious for spring’s arrival as I was in the weeks leading up to the wedding. The temperatures were at record lows and it was snowing the week before the wedding! Just as I was starting to think our wedding (which I had imagined covered with flowering branches and dogwoods) would look more like winter, the temperatures rose and spring came just as promised!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? Getting to work with Colleen at White Orchid Bridal to have my dress made was such a special experience! The process began by just discussing ideas, and then Colleen drew some beautiful sketches for me. She used a washed silk shantung and silk organza for the majority of the dress, as well as antique laces that she cut, hand-sewed, and hand-beaded for the bodice of the dress. I was in awe of how well she executed the flowing sleeves–they were so romantic! Colleen also made a circle veil and a beaded crown with freshwater pearls for me to wear during the ceremony.

How did you choose your venue? It was easy for us to pick a venue since we work at such an incredible one! RT Lodge is located in Maryville, Tennessee in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. You get RT Lodge exclusively for the weekend and it has 60 guest rooms on-site…since most of our guests were traveling from out of town, the lodge was a perfect fit. Getting to be married at the place where we met and that means so much to us was really special!

From Trevor: I made sure that my groomsmen and I were ready before the time we would start taking pictures, and then I waited and waited. I was told that Alex was just really relaxed and enjoying getting ready with all her friends and family. I anxiously and excitedly paced around the property in my tuxedo for what felt like forever, asking about every ten minutes if Alex was almost ready. When she was, there was a change of plans for the location of our first look. The photographer’s assistant walked me out to where Alex was. I walked down the path that we would walk in just a few short hours to our ceremony site. We took a small dirt path into the middle of the woods, and there she was. I could see her from a few hundred feet away, standing alone in a small clearing among the trees and hanging ivy. It was the most beautiful scene I had ever witnessed. She was glowing from far away and even more gorgeous when I got close enough to see her big, beautiful smile. The waiting, the change of location, everything made it the most perfect moment. Once I saw the rest of our bridal party, I couldn’t stop telling everyone how amazing it was and how beautiful my bride was.

With a 7:45pm ceremony, we knew it would be a long day for our immediate family and bridal party, so Trevor suggested that we serve a family-style dinner for them before the ceremony. At 5:00 P.M., a group of 50 (our bridal party, parents, and siblings) gathered in the upstairs dining room and enjoyed an intimate dinner. This is when we planned for speeches to take place, and we were overwhelmed by all of the heartfelt words from our family and friends–everyone laughed and cried through the entire dinner! Getting to enjoy a delicious meal with all of our best friends, relax, and share sweet memories right before walking down the aisle is a moment in time we will never forget.

From the beginning, Trevor and I knew we wanted to do a candlelit ceremony. While we were scouting ceremony locations, we realized it would be harder than we thought to find a place dark enough at 8:00 P.M. to hold a candlelit ceremony. We finally found a perfect spot, but it did require a bit of walking (and a bit of creativity). We had guests arrive at 7:00 for a cocktail hour, where they were greeted with trays of champagne and farmhouse tables full of house-made breads, charcuterie, and cheese. At 7:45, everyone ventured into the woods for our ceremony. The aisle was over 60 yards long and was lined with over 1,000 candles. Our family and friends helped us collect antique candlesticks and candelabras for the ceremony. We would get giddy calls from people after they found an antique candelabrum for us–everyone got really into the search! It was fun!

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? I loved getting to surprise Trevor with the song I walked down the aisle to. I will never forget the look on Trevor’s face when the strings started playing “Swept Away” by the Avett Brothers. The ceremony was so emotional and everyone seemed so in the moment. I will never forget looking around; the candlelight looked so romantic and Trevor and I were just squeezing each others’ hands so tightly as we were saying our vows. It was a moment we had talked about so much, and we were taking in every second!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did a traditional Episcopal ceremony, so we did not write our own vows. The ceremony does include a series of beautiful prayers for the couple. There is something so powerful about saying the same prayers that have been prayed for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Did you include any Southern traditions in your wedding? We buried a bottle of bourbon at our ceremony site a month before the wedding to keep the rain away! Trevor collects bourbon, so he loved the idea of this Southern tradition! He has a few bottles of Pappy Van Winkle and decided our wedding day would be the perfect time to try the 20-year. While everyone else headed to the ceremony, we stayed back and dug up the bottle. I have to admit, I was a little nervous that the shovel might break the bottle while he was digging it up. Luckily, the bottle didn’t break and we got some great pictures.

Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets. Our wedding cake was honestly the most beautiful one I have ever seen! Lisa Cunningham at Ovenart is an incredible artist. She made over 250 gumpaste flowers that completely covered the cake. The flowers on the cake were the same ones that we used throughout the reception: dogwoods, peonies, variegated ivy, anemones, and garden roses. Her flowers were so lifelike that everyone thought they were real! The cake also tasted delicious! It was hard to choose a flavor, but we finally settled on coconut cake. We also had our baker at RT Lodge make “pecan sandies,” which are our favorite cookies.

I was an Alpha Delta Pi at the University of Tennessee, so we did a sorority sing during the reception. The other event coordinator at the lodge was an ADPI at Auburn, so I even pulled her into the circle. She still had on her earpiece and microphone–I loved it!

Someone told us to remember that ultimately, the day was about our love for one another, so we needed to take time for just the two of us during the wedding day, stay by the other’s side, and dance a lot. This was the best advice! I have heard so many brides and grooms say that they were so busy greeting guests that they barely saw each other. We have so many great memories together from that day!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Trevor and I were both hired at RT Lodge around the same time and became pretty quick friends since we were the same age and both new to the Lodge. I always noticed how kind Trevor was, and was always impressed by how intentional he was with all of the other employees. He always went out of his way to ask people about their lives, and it was clear he had a huge heart. We got to know each other some at work, but didn’t spend any time alone until he asked me out three years later. I had been in a relationship, so he told me he had been patiently waiting for the right time to ask me out. I will never forget when he offered to cook for my friends and their husbands on his day off. He invited everyone to his home and made a delicious meal for 15 of my friends! He loves me and my family and friends so well!
Tell us about the proposal! On the morning Trevor proposed, I had been working in the garden, setting things up for his birthday dinner. Trevor knows how much I love to receive snail mail, so he had planned to have a package set out for me. He placed the package on a little table by the garden and headed to go get the ring. As soon as he set it down, I was curious! I saw that it was addressed to me, so I took off with it in my hands and headed toward the house. As soon as I got inside, I ripped it open and pulled out a print (that Trevor had made by The Happy Envelope, a wonderful husband and wife team who also made our invites) that read “ Alexandra, you are my best friend and one true love. You’ve made me happier than I ever thought possible. Would you do the honor of spending the rest of your life with me so that I may spend every day doing the same for you? Love, Trevor.” I was in complete shock! I realized I had probably just messed up his plans, and in a panic, I tried sliding the print back into the envelope. Finally, Trevor came in (with tears already streaming down his face), got on one knee, and asked me to be his wife! Our families arrived shortly after, and we decided at the last minute to call and invite all of our friends to join us for dinner. We all dined outside by the garden that evening with our parents, siblings, and friends–it is a beautiful memory!
When did y’all get married? April 26, 2014
How many loved ones attended your wedding? 250
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? We wanted our guests to feel as though they had escaped to a magical place in the woods. We were very inspired by the season and wanted to incorporate lots of foraged ivy and spring flowers…I wanted the tent to look like an overgrown garden! I have always loved A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so that served as a huge inspiration for the overall feel: romantic, whimsical, ethereal. I have always been drawn to very organic, free-flowing arrangements that are reminiscent of the flowers in Dutch still-life paintings. That was really the inspiration for the flowers, and we even used different Dutch still-life paintings to line the envelopes of our invitations, and for the fry cones that were passed as people entered the tent.
Briefly describe your wedding flowers: We used tons of garden roses, peonies, variegated ivy, ranunculus, dogwoods, lilac, anemones, lily of the valley, and bridal wreath spirea. My sister (who was my maid of honor) carried a bouquet, and the rest of my bridesmaids walked down the aisle in pairs and held hands. We did it to be a little silly at first, but I had so many people comment on how sweet it was. Our group of friends is so close, so it was fitting!
What’s next for you as a couple? We are enjoying working together as husband and wife! In our spare time, we are hoping to get a group of farmers and chefs together to volunteer and start a farm-to-school movement to improve the school lunch programs in our areas. We are passionate about teaching people how to grow and prepare their own foods, and we hope to encourage families to spend more time together at the dinner table.

Photographer: Clark Brewer Photography / Day-of Styling: Caroline Brewer Styling / Venue, Catering, Planning and Design: RT Lodge / Florist: Jame Loope of RT Lodge / Food Truck: Hoof / Cake Baker: OvenArt / Bride’s Gown, Veil, and Crown: Custom by White Orchid Bridal / Bride’s Shoes: Ann Taylor / Bride’s Jewelry: Dannijo / Hair and Makeup: Bangs & Blush / Groom’s Attire: J. Crew / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Paper Goods: The Happy Envelope / Custom Illustration: Anja Mulder / Rentals and Linens: All Occasions Party Rentals / Tent: Sperry Tents / Band: The Pink Cadillacs / After-Party DJ: Special Notes / Ceremony Music: Dogwood Strings / Guestbook: Custom by Velvet Raptor

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Stephanie Scholl reply

    Yes, my jaw definitely dropped!! I bookmarked this ceremony in SWv7 and have referred back to it dozens of times! This couple did an incredible job of making such a show-stopping, breathtaking, unique, and meaningful ceremony – one of my favorites, for sure.

  2. avatar Stephanie reply

    I absolutely adore this wedding. RT Lodge shares its property with my alma mater, Maryville College. It’s so wonderful to see that beautiful area captured so perfectly!

    • avatar Clark reply

      Thanks Stephanie! There is something in the water in the Maryville area, from Blackberry to RT Lodge, I love everything I shoot there. RT Lodge’s staff, especially Alex and Trevor, make that place so special. It’s my favorite place to shoot these days. So beautiful.

  3. avatar Sandra reply

    I enjoyed reading this so much!! I always love reading about Southern weddings, but it’s even more special when I see faces of people I know and adore!!

  4. avatar Jessica reply

    I love the burried bottle of bourbon tradition. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. Congratulations

  5. avatar Classic Wedding Invitations reply

    Simply breathtaking!

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A couple of months ago, Whitney had the great pleasure of actually meeting Matthew Robbins while he was in our neck of the woods. We’ve long enjoyed the weddings and events he’s worked on. From elegant to effortless, glamorous to modern, he can create a beautiful space under any design theme.

Just flipping through his work inspired me to make this pale garden inspiration board. Full of the lush and gorgeous arrangements that we love him for and his clean and elegant presentation, I think it’s perfect for a spring garden wedding. And yes, all of those images came from weddings Matthew designed!

Image credits (from left to right): top row by Mel Barlow, Christian Oth, Karen Hill middle row by Christian Oth, Terry Michael, bottom row by Roey Yohai, Christian Oth

As pretty as these designs may be, you know that we love weddings with meaningful details here at Southern Weddings. That’s why we had to share Matthew’s new book, Matthew Robbins’ Inspired Weddings: Designing Your Big Day with Favorite Objects and Family Treasures! In the book, Matthew shows you how to build a full design based around something significant to you as a couple and he shares some industry tips and secrets! Plus, a bride in lace on the cover? So Southern.

To Enter: There are two ways to enter!
1. Comment below and tell us what you’re more looking forward to about your wedding day!
2. Tweet “I just entered the @mrobbinsdesign giveaway on @iloveswmag!” Then come back here and a leave a SEPARATE comment telling us you did so!

Win: A copy of Matthew Robbins’ Inspired Weddings

This giveaway closes on April 19. Good luck!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Paige reply

    I’m most looking forward to cocktail hour with my new husband and all our guests!

  2. avatar molly stillman reply

    OMG. the quatrefoil garden thing in the bottom left… AHHHHHHH i’m obsessed. :) <3

  3. avatar Nixon reply

    Can’t wait to look around and see all of our beloved ones gathered in the same place to celebrate our marriage! This will be a once in a lifetime moment we will never forget! :)

  4. avatar Helen reply

    I am looking forward to the party afterward! :)

  5. avatar Sara reply

    I just want to have fun and for the whole wedding group(and my church family) to have fun also! I don’t want to have to worry about anything. This should be a happy day!

  6. avatar Erin reply

    On my wedding day I’m most looking forward to walking into the reception ballroom and see everything put together–the cake, the linens, the chairs, the flowers. I can imagine each piece as I plan, but I’m so excited to see it all tied together and really have my breath taken away!!

  7. avatar Gretchen reply

    I’m most looking forward to walking down the aisle to stand by my beau’s side

  8. avatar Mallary reply

    I am most looking forward to marrying my best friend in the southern atmosphere of our dreams, thanks to Southern Wedding Magazines and hopefully Matthew Roberts Inspired Weddings, all of our dreams will come to a reality.

  9. avatar Mallary reply

    I also just entered the contest through twitter! and it was my first tweet! lol

  10. avatar Megan reply

    I am most looking forward to wearing my dress and seeing my hubby-to-be at the end of that aisle! I’m excited to see all the hard work come together into a beautiful setting. Thanks for this awesome giveaway, I could definitely fall in love with this book :)

  11. avatar Larissa reply

    That’s easy — being married to my best friend!

  12. avatar celeste reply

    On my wedding day, I am beyond excited to exchange vows with my future husband in front of all our family and friends. That is what is most important to me and I just couldn’t be more thrilled for the opportunity.

  13. avatar Theresa reply

    For our first look! I can’t wait for that moment. Also to be surrounded by our closest family and friends as we celebrate our love!

    • avatar Caitlin Allen reply

      I’m most excited about being able to spend time with my hubby! We live 2.5 hous apart (no not a huge long distance deal), but we only see each other on weekends about twice a month. I really can’t wait to spend a Sunday night cuddling on the couch instead of driving home! 192 days!

    • avatar Caitlin Allen reply

      I’m most excited about being able to spend time with my hubby! We live 2.5 hours apart (no not a huge long distance deal), but we only see each other on weekends about twice a month. I really can’t wait to spend a Sunday night cuddling on the couch instead of driving home! 192 days!

  14. avatar Kaley reply

    I’m most looking forward to totally letting go of planning stress and just enjoying my day with my new husband :)

  15. avatar Laura reply

    I’m most looking forward to seeing him waiting for me at the end of the aisle. We’re not doing a “first-look” so this will be my first time seeing him on our wedding day.

  16. avatar megan reply

    being married!!

  17. avatar Sarah reply

    Toasting my new husband with our family mint julep cups that were won over multiple decades and generations as tennis tournament trophies from the club where our wedding will take place!

  18. avatar Kelly reply

    I’m most looking forward to having people from all walks of life with us to celebrate our big day!

  19. avatar Carolyn reply

    I am looking forward to exchanging vows with my best friend in front of all those we hold dear ! And the walk down the aisle as husband and wife!

  20. avatar Carolyn reply

    Just tweeted!! :)

  21. avatar Lauren reply

    I’m most looking forward to spending the afternoon with my closest girlfriends and the evening with my new husband and all our friends and family! Also, the food…our caterer is out of this world!

  22. avatar Megan D. reply

    I am looking forward to getting my dance on with my new husband and our families.

  23. avatar chanel hawkins reply

    Other than marrying my best friend :) I can’t wait to make a wonderful memory and cry with bridesmaids and laugh with my guests. We’re having a funnel cake truck, live country band, games, yummy drinks. I want my guests to have the best time ever!

  24. avatar Katie S. reply

    I cannot WAIT to see my oh-so-handsome groom at the end of the aisle for the first time!! (and I’m also really excited about dancing with my Daddy as his MARRIED little girl!)

  25. avatar Patty reply

    I am most excited to become Mrs. Brewton :) I can’t wait to marry the man of my dreams in front of all of our friends and family. I especially can’t wait for my sister to sing our first dance song.

  26. avatar Tracy reply

    I’m most looking forward to my future hubby’s facial expression as he sees me walk down the aisle.

  27. avatar Andi reply

    I can’t wait to see the look on his face at the end of the aisle when he sees me and my dress for the first time! And then, of course, dancing the night away under the stars to some motown music with our best friends and family!

  28. avatar Shanda K reply

    I am most looking forward to marrying my best friend in front of all of our friends of family! I cant wait!

  29. avatar Mary Ann reply

    I’m looking forward to seeing my groom for the first time as I’m walking down the aisle!

  30. avatar christie reply

    I’m so, so, so excited about having all of my best friends and closest family there to get super creative and set up all of the fun decorations & details! But I’m MOST excited about seeing the look on my fiance’s face when I walk down the aisle (i have a secret, special song picked out… he’s going to melt ;)!!

  31. avatar Jennifer reply

    I am most looking forward to celebrating the start of the rest of my life with my beloved family and friends.

  32. avatar cathy steiner reply

    I can’t wait to see my vision come together. it’s all in pieces in my head, but I know it’ll all make fabulous sense come the big day!

  33. avatar Beth reply

    I am marrying a boy that I met over ten years ago at summer camp. Little did I know then that I was playing silly camp games alongside my future husband! I am blessed beyond measure to have such a wonderful husband-to-be. Although I am giddy just thinking about every aspect of our day, I am most looking forward to serving communion to each of our guests as our first act of service together as husband and wife. It will be a sign of our blessing and appreciation for those we hold most dear, honoring the love, growth and challenge they have given us over the years, making us who we are today. I’m also really looking forward to our lighthearted, whimsical reception of childhood delights afterwards!

  34. avatar Marcie reply

    I’m most looking forward to getting married in my fiancée’s home land this July! He’s originally from Texas but moved to Scotland to work, (where we then met) but now we’re getting married we’re moving back to his home state! My future mother in law has been helping me organise the perfect Southern wedding in, I hope its good enough for the Southern guests and will make a good start with my new family :)

  35. avatar Marcie reply

    I just tweeted! I just entered the @mrobbinsdesign giveaway on @iloveswmag!—Verified Marcie(@MissMarcie_x) April 14, 2012

  36. avatar Cecilia reply

    I am most excited to spend the reception with my family, friends, and most importantly husband. I can’t wait to celebrate the beginning of our new life together!

  37. avatar Melissa reply

    Looking forward to seeing my husband-to-be as I walk down the aisle with my Dad!

  38. avatar Mattye reply

    There is one thought about our wedding day that gives me butterflies more than any other: saying vows of lifelong promise to my sweet Georgia boy. There is nothing more romantic than professing our love and commitment out loud to each other, God, and all our friends and family. What a joy!

  39. avatar Mattye reply

    The Tweet is live!

  40. avatar Evan G. Cooper reply

    Ok. As much as I would love to write about what I am most looking forward to on my big day, I can’t! Why? I’m not getting married. Truth is I’m just a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE Matt Robbins fan. He is so fantastic at what he does. I would LOVE to win a copy of his book. I know its filled with lots of wonderful tips and tricks. Pick Me! ;)

  41. avatar Evan G. Cooper reply

    BOOM!!! I tweeted!!

  42. avatar Jana reply

    What I’m looking forward to most about our wedding day…is GETTING MARRIED! I can’t wait to see my fiance as I walk towards him down the aisle. It’s been a long time coming!

  43. avatar 书钉子 » Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] That’s why we couldn’t resist giving away a copy of Matthew Robbin’s Inspired Weddings! Go here to […]

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Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day, y’all! Since it’s a holiday, there’s significantly less for me to do today. Therefore, my top priority will be Pinterest. Is anyone else obsessed with this thing?? Sometimes I pin up to ten things before breakfast! Next on my pins? Today’s bride, Elise’s gorgeous veil and shiny vintage car. It’s perfect inspiration for my dreams of speeding off into the sunset with my future hubby as my veil billows gracefully in the wind. (In reality, my veil will probably tear out of my hair and spin wildly in the car like a loose plastic bag. Yikes. We’ll nix the veil for the grand exit, as most brides do.)

Thankfully, Elise + Matt did not have this problem. Elise looked graceful as ever as she said her “I do’s” to Matt. Her bridesmaids’ turquoise dresses were a pop of color in their bright church and the line of lush white flowers at the altar were an elegant addition to the space. Big thanks to Whitebox Weddings for sharing this with us!

Erin McLean gave us a few insider details about the wedding:

“Elise and Matt are a classic couple with great style and elegance. The bride is from North Carolina and when she and Matt got engaged in New York City, where they reside, she knew High Point Country Club was the perfect location for her wedding.

“I presented the couple with some design ideas to choose from. They chose to go with a peacock blue, shades of pink, and silver palette. The ‘maids wore cocktail length dresses and carried lush bouquets of peonies and garden roses in varying shades of pink. Elise carried a cream and ivory version for her bouquet. It was the perfect complement to her gorgeous gown.

“Matt and Elise read their personal vows in her family’s church in front of 350 of their family and friends. The altar was adorned with a white and cream floral runner that spanned the entire front of the church. It was highlighted by candlelight. It was a gorgeous complement to the bridesmaids colorful dresses and bouquets.”

Photographer: Whitebox Weddings // Planner: Erin McLean of Erin McLean Events // Reception Venue: Highpoint Country Club // Flowers: English Garden // Cake: Sweet Memories Bakery // Rentals: CE Rentals // Videography: Heart Stone Films // Band: In the Pocket

Erin McLean Events, Whitebox Weddings and Heart Stone Films are fabulous Blue Ribbon Vendors!

Speaking of Pinterest, take a look at our boards for more inspiration!
Pink Wedding Details
Blue Wedding Details

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Naomi reply

    Wow this is beautiful! Great job, Erin! What an elegant affair!

  2. avatar Cyn reply

    Wow! Beautiful wedding! Love the colors – and such gorgeous images!

  3. avatar Kelli Taylor/Daniel Taylor Photography reply

    What gorgeous details. The floral wreaths are stunning and the colors are super pretty.

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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