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My favorite thing about Theresa and James’ wedding is that they look like they’re having so much FUN in every single picture! When I read their interview, it quickly became evident how these two were able to relax and enjoy their day so much–they prioritized the details that meant the most to them, and then left everything in the very capable hands of our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Sapphire Events, to pull it all off. I love Theresa’s advice for brides, because it certainly seems like they took it to heart themselves, and created so many special moments because of it: “Don’t immediately dismiss every seemingly silly/goofy/embarrassing idea you come up with. A lot of the time, the goofy idea that you propose as a joke is the one that best expresses you and your partner…a few silly details can become almost inside jokes between you and your significant other, remind you why this other weird person is your match, help you relax during a sometimes formal event, and become the things you will remember most years down the line.”

Many thanks to Marissa Lambert for sharing this fun day with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I had quite a few “old” items, including a sixpence in my shoe, passed down through the family, an “add-a-pearl” bracelet that my grandmother had amassed growing up, and my engagement ring, which had been passed down from my great-great-grandmother. My earrings were both old and borrowed–I borrowed my mother’s diamond stud earrings, one of which was made from the original diamond from her engagement ring. I also borrowed my veil from a friend. My dress and shoes were new, and my toenails were blue.

I never had the “feeling” or the “moment” when dress shopping–but I also didn’t really expect to. I found my dress in the third store on the first day I went looking. Both my mom and future mother-in-law had flown in to shop with me, and they both had “the moment” when I put the dress on. It took me a few more shops and a few more visits to finally commit, but–in the end–I felt beautiful on my wedding day, which is what matters.

Describe your wedding flowers. James and I wanted to focus on greenery and herbs as much as (or more than) flowers. We were hoping for a lush, natural feel, possibly incorporating the sense of smell with the herbs, and we tried to emphasize that to the florist more than getting into particulars about types of flowers and plants. All flowers are pretty, and I trusted her to use what was in season. The actual bouquets ended up being some of the most aromatic, enticing things I have ever smelled! As for colors, I asked for whites, creams, and hints of blush for the ceremony florals, to keep the palette crisp, and then for bright berry tones to be mixed in for the reception florals. The various tones of greens we used throughout acted as a neutral.

We did a first look, largely based on the recommendation of our amazing friend/wedding planner, and partly because we didn’t want to waste precious celebration time after the ceremony. Instead of the typical first look, where the bride sneaks up behind the groom and taps him on the shoulder, we made sure James and I first saw each other from a few yards apart. That way, we each got to take in the full picture and were able to savor the expressions and anticipation as I made the walk to meet him. I think it drove our photographer a little crazy, since she couldn’t capture both of us at once at the exact “reveal” moment, but this way, we were able to feel as though we were first seeing one another from either end of the aisle, while still getting all of the formal photos done before the ceremony.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We used traditional vows, but we were lucky enough to have had a mutual friend, who knew us both individually before, as well as after we became a couple, act as our officiant. He was able to work in lots of personal details that made the ceremony feel tailored to us a couple.

As a nod to our Midwestern, Great Plains roots, we requested that the musicians play “Hoedown” from “Rodeo” by Aaron Copeland (the “beef–it’s what’s for dinner” song) as we walked back up the aisle. I’m not sure how many people caught it, but it was a detail that made us smile. Our first dance was to “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton. James really pushed to pick something else, since “Wonderful Tonight” is such a popular choice, but he made the mistake of making it our song by singing it in my ear as we danced at the very first wedding I took him to.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose to do our first look and photos at the Latter Branch Library in New Orleans, which is was where we went on our first date. We did the ceremony and reception at a brand new venue in New Orleans, which came highly recommended by our planner. One of the things she knew we would love was that the venue has a library/lounge area. While we loved this detail in and of itself, we found out months later during one of the planning walk-throughs that all of the books used in the library had come from the Latter Branch Library!

James and I are not big cake people, so this was not a big focal point for us. We just wanted something that looked nice and tasted good for our guests. I had told him ahead of time that I was going to smash the cake in his face, but James didn’t believe me until it happened. We got into a full-out cake war–I’m pretty sure we have some photos with cake shoved up my nose! Laughing, goofing around, and going crazy with the cake is another of my favorite memories from the day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. In true New Orleans fashion, James and I met a few times through mutual friends before finally being stuck together waiting out a hurricane. A group of us decided to get together to weather the storm (and to eat everything in our refrigerators!), and during those couple of days, we decided we kinda, sorta liked one another.
Tell us all about the proposal! James picked me up from work on a mundane Tuesday night and took me around town on a progressive date under the guise of scouting out potential party locations for my birthday at the end of the month. I suspected nothing, even when he mentioned that one of the restaurants would be a great rehearsal dinner venue! When we finally got home that night, our house was completely filled with flowers. He dropped to his knee in our living room, just the two of us, surrounded by blooms.
When did y’all get married? September 19, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 175
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: James had organized a group of friends to compete in a charity barbecue competition called Hogs for the Cause. The year after we started dating and I joined the team, the team won the cocktail category of the competition with a drink called a Bourbon Missile Crisis. We decided to serve the Bourbon Missile Crisis to guests prior to our ceremony and during cocktail hour, and we set out the team’s trophy to hold paper straws. Because guests had drinks for the ceremony, our programs were printed on cocktail napkins. We also had personalized wayfarer sunglasses available to wear during the outdoor ceremony, and to take home as favors. For the reception, we had flower crown headbands for the guests. A group of close, generous, crafty friends all gathered at our house a month or so before the wedding to help me hand-make nearly 100 flower crowns. We saw a few of those flower crown favors resurface again for Mardi Gras!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding took place in New Orleans, Louisiana, where James and I met and are making our life together. We included a courtyard ceremony, a jazz band, and a brass band.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Along the way, someone advised us to make a list of our most valued aspects of the wedding, and to prioritize only those items. Nobody is going to remember every tiny detail, so splurge on one or two important things, and then make it work with the less important items.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t immediately dismiss every seemingly silly/goofy/embarrassing idea you come up with. A lot of the time, the goofy idea that you propose as a joke is the one that best expresses you and your partner. While you don’t want the entire wedding to feel unorganized, a few silly details can become almost inside jokes between you and your significant other, remind you why this other weird person is your match, help you relax during a sometimes formal event, and become the things you will remember most years down the line.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We’re looking forward to our blowout 50th anniversary vow renewal–and everything before and after!

Photographer: Marissa Lambert Photography | Planner and Rentals: Sapphire Events | Venue and Rentals: Il Mercato | Florist: Meade Wenzel | Cake Baker: Haydel’s Bakery | Caterer: Joel’s Catering | Lighting: Southern Hospitality Event Rentals | Bands: Harry Hardin, Joe Simon’s Jazz, and Paulin Brothers | DJ: DJ Mike Swift | Paper Products: Presse Dufour | Bride’s Gown: “Style 5911” by Stella York | Hair and Makeup: Kiss and Makeup Beauty Services | Bride’s Shoes: Valentino | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo, J. Crew, Donna Morgan, Amsale, and BHLDN | Groom’s Tuxedo: Luca Falcone | Busses: American Luxury | Save the Dates, Napkins, and Programs: Rudman’s

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Nicole reply

    Oooh I love how dreamy this is! And her dress is phenomenal!

  2. avatar Adrienna reply

    What a gorgeous wedding! Sapphire Events always put on such gorgeous affairs, with so much detail.

  3. avatar Meredith reply

    What a breathtaking day! Well captured, too!

  4. avatar Sarah Drake reply

    Is there any way for me to get in touch with this bride? I am IN LOVE with that light blue bridesmaid dress with the one shoulder flowers. I can’t find it in the links provided. Please help! :)

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For these high school sweethearts, growing up in the same small town in East Tennessee was full of 4H, FFA, sheep showing, and countless memories of growing up together and falling in love! After Matthew left for the Navy, he wrote love letters to Jessica promising he’d come home and marry her one day–y’all, can we stop and swoon for a second? Delivering on his promise, Matthew married Jessica on a day rich with the history of their love story and the South at the Museum of Appalachia. With the help of beautiful blooms arranged by their family friend Whimsical Gatherings, Jessica and Matthew threw a wedding day that was the perfectly Southern, vintage-feeling, and naturally beautiful. And exactly what they had hoped for!

Big SW hugs to Dixie Pixel for sending along the sweet day!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in high school. He was a Southern born-and-bred farm boy. His family raised sheep and lives on a beautiful farm on the Clinch River in East Tennessee. He and I were involved with agriculture together in high school, so I spent a lot of time with his family learning the basics of 4H, FFA, and, of course, sheep showing. We have countless memories growing up together and falling in love. During college, he left for the Navy. I still have his old love letters from the military, in which he always promised he’d come back home and marry me one day.

I am totally inspired by all things vintage, so I knew I wanted a simple, lace dress. I found the perfect dress at White Lace and Promises in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was from the Stella York collection, and featured a sweetheart neckline and trumpet silhouette.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our wedding crest and invitations designed by Lydia Sellers of The Darling Type. They laid the groundwork for our overall theme, vision, and color palette, which helped inspire the design for the entire event.

Matthew is very traditional, which I absolutely adore. He wanted to save that first look moment for our wedding ceremony when I walked down the aisle. It was captured by Dixel Pixel, and the photos turned out to be some of most spectacular ones of the entire day.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We were both raised in the same small town of Clinton in East Tennessee, so we knew we wanted to get married in a place that captured the essence and history of the area. The Museum of Appalachia was perfectly fitting and beautifully displayed the heritage of the South, while also capturing the incredible landscape of our hometown area.

Our flowers came from Whimsical Gatherings of Alcoa, Tennessee. The owner, Leah McCall, is a long-time family friend, and her lead designer, Colby West, is brilliantly gifted. Matthew and I shared our inspirations with their team, and they made our dreams come to life. The wedding flowers were lush, colorful arrangements of garden roses, peonies, clematis, cosmos, hydrangea, and ranunculus, mixed with foraged lavender, pears, willow, and honeysuckle. My favorite details were the blue jay feathers, antlers, and bird nests throughout the centerpiece arrangements. It was perfectly Southern, vintage, and natural. The overall design plan was inspired by our wedding crest, designed by Lydia Sellers of The Darling Type.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Matt and I share a love of entertaining others. We were raised in homes with big arms, open doors, and full tables. Coming from the same small hometown, we sincerely wanted to invite everyone we knew to share in this celebration with us. The biggest challenge was finding the balance between inviting everyone we knew (which we both wanted to do), while, at the same time, maintaining an intimate enough setting with those who share life with us.

Tell us all about the proposal! It was Easter weekend in April 2015 and we were sharing a Bible study and coffee in our sun room. It’s one of our favorite things to do on Saturday mornings. At the end, Matthew prayed over our relationship. It was the most sincere prayer, asking God to give us guidance and wisdom in the days and years to come. I felt a comfort and peace like I’ve never felt before. It was an unforgettable moment. A few minutes later, I got up to take our coffee back to the kitchen, when he asked me to come to the front porch. As I opened the door, I noticed a chalkboard where he had written, “Will you marry me?” I turned around to the front steps and he was down on one knee. It was the best surprise of my life.
When did y’all get married? August 22, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes. From me to Matthew: “I vow to submit myself unto Jesus and unto you as we are one, because a strand of three chords is not easily broken. I choose to encourage you joyfully, forgive you freely, and love you unconditionally, possibly only by the power of God’s grace in me.” Matthew to me: “I will faithfully and courageously pursue you with a Christ-centered heart as our Shepherd with faith and love.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My brother represented my dad by reading a letter from him, since it wasn’t possible for him to be present on this day. Matthew’s niece also read scripture from Isaiah 61:10-11.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Oh, of course! My something “new” was my wedding dress and shoes my mother bought me. Something borrowed was my matron of honor’s jewelry. Something old was a ring which my mom had specially designed at Markman’s Jewelers. It includes two princess cut sapphires, my birthstone, on either side of the center stone, which is my grandmother’s wedding diamond. Something blue was the fun part! I wrote a cute poem to each of my closest girlfriends which read, “So, now is the time to share and celebrate. My wedding day is near, I simply can’t wait! I have something old and my something new. I even borrowed something, but not something blue. I just have one thing to ask, to be a part of our special day with one small task. Please, please be my beautiful ‘something blue!’ Just wear the dress that inspires you.”
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Premarital counseling was really awesome for us. It was a neutral ground for us to share about our strengths as well as our differences. It was great for us to have an older couple walk with us through the real aspects of marriage and to give us advice on how to love each other through our differences.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We wanted to celebrate at our reception, so we opted to cut out the timeline of events, such as the cake cutting and bouquet toss, to focus on fun! We saved big bucks by not having wedding cakes, and opted for a dessert bar designed by Echo Bistro instead.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Dream about the day. Create a vision together. Set a planned budget. Stay organized (your vendors will appreciate that!). At the end of the day, stay focused on the purpose of the marriage, not the day of the wedding. Plan for fun and fellowship at your ceremony and forget the details. You’re getting married!!!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We look forward to having children, growing a farm, raising sheep and building a home on his family’s land. Most importantly, we want to serve our church and give back to the organizations that impacted our childhood, such as FFA and local 4H groups.

Photographer: Dixie Pixel | Videographer: Kati Baird | Venue and Planning: Museum of Appalachia | Florist: Whimsical Gatherings | Caterer and Baker: Echo Bistro | Rentals: All Occasions | Lighting: Tennessee Lighting | Band: Pink Cadillac | Paper Products and Makeup Artist: The Darling Type | Bride’s Gown: Stella York | Bridal Salon: White Lace and Promises | Bride’s Jewelry: Stella and Dot | Hair Stylist: Amy Anderson | Menswear: Jos. A. Bank

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Daria reply

    Beautiful wedding! Love the little details, especially the framed reserved card; so pretty! The foliage table runner is to die for !

  2. avatar Victoria Chris reply

    Love these, such a clean pure look!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    What a great place to have your wedding!

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I’ve always felt that true love means spending the rest of your life with your best friend. Though I haven’t asked them, I’m pretty sure Lauren and Tim would agree! From their engagement, throughout their planning, and right into the beginning of married life, Lauren and Tim not only committed to being one another’s best friend, but also made every effort to keep their relationship a top priority. I especially love how when wedding planning got challenging, they swapped the stress for a fun activity together–a tactic they plan to use throughout their marriage. Vowing to “communicate fully and fearlessly” as best friends and as husband and wife, I know that their loved ones are in for a treat to see Lauren and Tim’s marriage continues to bloom!

Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Perry Vaile for sharing their beautiful wedding day at Summerfield Farms with us!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? As soon as we drove up to Summerfield Farms, it felt special. We loved the little tree for our ceremony site, the hay ride, and the rustic, intimate setting of the barn. After visiting a few other sites and taking a few snowy trips to Summerfield Farms, we booked with them in February 2014. We never saw the property in person without snow until July 2015 after a few renovations. We were not disappointed!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We didn’t! This was totally Tim’s decision–he was adamant that the first time he saw me in my dress was at the ceremony. Instead, I decided to do a first look with my dad!

After spending several weekends trying on wedding dresses with my mom, I wasn’t sure if I would know when I found the right dress. I liked everything that I had tried on, but I wasn’t in love with any of them. We decided to travel about an hour from our house to visit Southern Bride. As soon as we walked in, my mom and I both fell in love with the same dress. The dress in the store that day was a little too small, so I wasn’t able to try it on, but no matter what else I put on that day, we kept going back to that same dress. The store happened to be having a trunk show coming up for the designer, so the owner of the store was able to get the same dress with a slightly different lace pattern in my size included in the show! We made the trip back to try on that dress, and as soon as I put it on and saw myself in the mirror, I burst into tears! There was no denying that it was the perfect dress for me!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had one reading at our wedding. During our private communion, Tim’s brother read lyrics from the song “I Will Be Here” by Steven Curtis Chapman.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We hadn’t planned on writing our own vows, but after some encouragement from our preacher, we decided to go for it! In our vows, we made promises to each other as best friends and as husband and wife. My favorite line was my promise to “communicate fully and fearlessly.” We also worked in a little laughter–it wouldn’t have felt like us otherwise!

We loved the overall Southern feel of Summerfield Farms. The hay ride was a unique Southern touch that we couldn’t live without! We used magnolia leaf garlands on the front of the barn, tons of mason jars, and Southern foods including mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, and corn on the cob!

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We tried to do all of the little reception details ourselves. We made the T and L that sat in front of us at the reception. Tim hand wrote all of our chalkboards and our menu. We made the magnolia leaf garland that hung on the outside of the barn. We were able to pick up all of our mason jars, bud vases, and wooden boxes from secondhand sales. We also have wonderful friends who let us borrow wood rounds for tables.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met working together in the athletics department at UNCG! Tim had left UNCG and we only kept in touch because of a mutual friend. After a few group outings and double dates, Tim and I started dating.
Tell us all about the proposal! Every year, I go to New York City for work. In 2014, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to take a mini vacation. One evening, while I was at an event at the NY Public Library, Tim met up with a college friend who had moved to the city. The plan was for the three of us to meet up after my event and go to dinner. Tim called me and told me that our plans had to change, and asked me to meet them outside. When I got there, Tim’s friend, who I had never met, insisted on taking our picture in front of the library. I thought it was a little strange, but I just went with it! After the picture, Tim turned toward me and said, “You know you’re my best friend, right?” The next thing I knew, there was an a cappella group singing “Stand By Me” and Tim was on one knee! Everything after that is a blur, but then we went to dinner, where Tim had a bottle of champagne waiting for us!
When did y’all get married? October 10, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 85
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We decided to go with more of a dessert bar. It included a small two-layer cake, chocolate chip croissants, lemon bars, pumpkin spice waffle whoopee pies, and s’mores.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? While we were planning our wedding, we kept reminding ourselves that as stressful as it got, the wedding wasn’t the important part! The important part was that we got to spend the rest of our lives with each other. When things would get really stressful, we would put everything wedding-related to the side and do something fun together. We plan on using this trick throughout our marriage!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Perry Vaile, our photographer! I can’t say enough about her support and encouragement throughout our wedding process. From the first moment I talked to her, I felt like I had known her forever. She encouraged us to live our very best life full of excitement, down to the very last minute of our wedding! She was also the biggest cheerleader for our outdoor wedding on a rainy day. We could not have asked for more!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable part of our wedding day was seeing each other for the first time! Since we didn’t do a first look, that moment took place when was when I was walking down the aisle towards Tim. Tim wanted to wait until I was in full view to look up, so he had our preacher tell him when he could look! When he looked up, it was like time stood still for that second. I don’t think I will ever forget the look on his face!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? After our honeymoon to Hawaii, we caught the travel bug bad! We want to spend our first few years of our marriage traveling as much as possible and creating our perfect home together.

Photographer: Perry Vaile | Day-Of Coordination: Coordinated Events | Venue: Summerfield Farms | Florist: Relish Design | Dessert Baker: Easy Peasy Decadent Desserts | Caterer: Fresh Local Good Food Group | Rentals: Carolina Event Rentals | DJ: Triad DJ | Paper Products: Minted | Bride’s Gown: Style 5840 by Stella York | Bridal Salon: Southern Bride | Bride’s Hair Accessories: ModCloth | Bride’s Earrings: Anthropologie | Bride’s Veil: Boutique De Voile | Hair and Makeup: Megan Snipes | Bride’s Shoes: “Like You Mean It Wedges” by Seychelles | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Style F15711 in Marine by David’s Bridal | Menswear: Keane Suit by Tommy Hilfiger

Perry Vaile is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Great setting for a fall wedding!

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