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Today’s wedding took place in December, but it’s proof that winter weddings can be full of bold, beautiful colors (so you know it’s got my stamp of approval). I actually forgot this wedding was in December until I re-read Lauren + Michael’s interview! Their festive spin on traditional holiday colors is like a jolt of energy, just like these images from Landon Jacob are. Like true Southerners, Lauren + Michael made sure all of the wedding weekend events could be in downtown Columbia, the place they call home and where they fell in love. Despite their short four-month engagement (“We were ready to be married!” says Lauren), their big day is full of details that served as wonderful treats to their guests who came to celebrate (and plenty of actual treats, too). Big hugs to Landon Jacob Photography for sharing this sweet day with us!

I was really unsure of what I wanted for wedding flowers. I knew that I did not want the more traditional bouquets and centerpieces.  I wanted flowers that would pop and be a beautiful accent against the emerald green in the bridesmaids’ shawls. I saw an inspirational shoot that Jordan from Landon Jacob Productions had done where the colors were reds and corals.  I loved how there were so many different types of flowers, but how they truly blended together beautifully.  When I showed Sarah from Fern what I had in mind, she orchestrated beautiful bouquets, as well as incredible centerpieces!  The main flowers that were used were poppies, anemones, ranunculus (one of my favorite flowers!), peonies, tulips, and jasmine bay leaves.  My absolute favorite idea that Fern had was to include pomegranates in the bouquets and in the centerpieces.  The pomegranates were something I had never seen in a bouquet, but they were phenomenal!  It was perfect for the time of year that we had our wedding, and really added so much to each bouquet.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I made my first appointment at Bella Vista in Columbia.  I did not expect to find a dress in my price range, but still wanted to look.  Due to the short timeline, I had to buy a dress off the rack as there was not enough time to order one.  We picked out several dresses.  I know it doesn’t work this way for most people, but the first dress I picked out and tried on was honestly the one!  It did have one strap that I wanted to take off, but other than that, I loved it.  I wanted to be sure, so we looked at one other store, but nothing compared to this dress.  It was nothing like I thought I wanted, but I fell in love with it!
Did you decide to do a “first look”?  We did!  Landon and Jordan from Landon Jacob Productions suggested doing a first look, and allowed us to see many pictures of “first looks” that she had photographed.  After also talking with friends who had done a first look, we decided that it was what we wanted.  Our biggest concern was that it would take away from the moment when I walked down the aisle, but it actually built the excitement!  Another reason that we chose to do a first look was because we were concerned with losing light for pictures.  Seeing each other prior to the ceremony was great for us.  It gave us time together and calmed some nerves!  We would absolutely recommend it!

We wanted to choose songs for our ceremony that represented the ultimate purpose of our marriage: God’s display of His constant and perfect love for us through Jesus Christ.  I walked down the aisle to “Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go” by Ascend the Hill, which was a wonderful correlation of marriage and our relationship with God.  We chose to take communion with our guests as “Resurrection (He Lives)” by Joel Davis.  We had two extremely talented friends perform the music for our ceremony.  They played an original song as we walked back up the aisle.  We danced to “That’s Where It’s At” by Sam Cooke as our first dance.

I love this shot, below!! Even more than the sweet, happy kiss the newlyweds are sharing, I adore the faces of the guests behind them.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My favorite moment of the day was when we had our first look.  There was so much anticipation, and I was beginning to feel a little overwhelmed.  But once I saw Michael, it was like none of that mattered.  I was right where I wanted to be!  We had a few minutes to ourselves and I felt so calm and peaceful, but mostly excited!  I was reminded that I get to marry my best friend! We got to laugh, cry, and be silly together. It was great!

What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Our black and white striped tablecloths!  It absolutely made that room!  We loved 701 Whaley from the beginning, but with the high ceilings and large windows, we wanted to find something to really pop in that room.  Jessica suggested looking into black and white tablecloths, and it was the perfect addition!  They were classy, yet simple!

The biggest challenge that we faced was the timeline.  We chose a shorter engagement (four months).  A lot of people thought we were crazy, but we were ready to be married!  The biggest detail with a short engagement was the venue.  We looked at a lot of different options, but due to the time of year and short timeframe, we ended up having to be flexible on the date.  We were blessed with being able to have our ceremony at Main Street United Methodist Church and our reception at 701 Whaley.  We loved it!  We wanted all of our events (rehearsal dinner, bridal luncheon, ceremony, reception) to be in downtown Columbia, and it worked out!

We felt so blessed to have our friend, Gwyn Marie Pevonka make a chalkboard mural for the reception.  She did an amazing job, and it was a fun personal touch!  We are so grateful that she offered to make that for us!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration?  What was Southern about your wedding? I really wanted to have barbeque at our wedding.  I love barbeque, and felt like it was the big Southern thing that I wanted.  A friend of ours had used Fancy That! Catering and suggested that we try it out.  I went and had one bite of their barbeque and didn’t need to look any further!  Fancy That! was great to work with.  They provided lots of options in our price range.  Along with the barbeque, we had baked chicken, green beans, a mashed potato bar, macaroni and cheese, fruit trays, and cheese and crackers.  It was amazing, and the perfect Southern addition!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: We had a last minute change of plans with the cake, but ended up with a beautiful DIY cake by Jessica from Parkside Wedding Studio. I ended up choosing a small, round, two-layer white cake.  Jessica then decorated the cake with flowers from the wedding and edible gold flakes.  She did a better job decorating than any bakery I’ve seen by far!  For the guests, we ordered chocolate and vanilla sheet cakes.

How did the two of you meet?  Tell us your story.  We met in the fall of 2005 at Anderson University.  I was a freshman, and Michael was a junior. Michael led an organization on campus that I began to attend in order to get to know people.  We became friends and served together in the organization which led to many trips together alongside friends.  When Michael graduated in 2007, he moved to Columbia, SC (my hometown) to help with a new church.  The lead pastor of the new church was actually the husband of my best friend. When I graduated in 2009, I moved back to Columbia, unsure of what my next steps would be.  We remained good friends while there.  People often made little jokes that we should date which we both continually blew off.  We insisted that we were just friends.  It wasn’t until the summer of 2011 that anything started between us.  We went on a trip to NYC over July 4 with another friend.  I was planning to move to NYC, but on that trip, I felt like it wasn’t the right time.  Coincidentally, it was there when I first realized that I had feelings for Michael.  Yet, it wasn’t until January 2012 that Michael worked up the nerve to ask me on our first date.  Technically, you could say I asked Michael to go to a work function with me first and he said, “yes,” but refusing to be outdone he then immediately asked me on a date for the weekend before.  We still debate over to who asked whom on the first date!
Describe the proposal. Michael did a phenomenal job making our proposal incredibly special for the both of us!  For months, he had me thinking that he was on a different time line, so I had no idea that it was going to be as soon as it was.  In September 2012, Michael and his family invited me to go to the opening game of Clemson University’s football season at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta against Auburn. The night of the game, Michael asked me if I would like to get a very early breakfast the next morning with my best friend who had moved to Atlanta — like 6 am early.  At first I thought it sounded a little strange, but shrugged it off and told him that would be fine.  The next morning on our way to our very early “breakfast,” I fell asleep in the car.  When I woke up, we were pulling up to the airport.  I asked him what we were doing and he said, “We’re going to New York for the day!” He had me fooled for months because we had talked about how fun and spontaneous it would be to go to New York City again, but just for the day. A proposal never even crossed my mind. We got to New York around 9:30, and took a taxi to the Upper West Side to have breakfast on the patio at Fred’s, one of my favorite little restaurants in Manhattan.  After breakfast, we walked around and then decided to go to Central Park. Central Park is my favorite place in Manhattan and, coincidentally, also the place where I first thought, “I think I like Michael!”  Knowing this, he took me on a walk for the “perfect view of the city.”  We didn’t find it, but we did find a beautiful meadow to sit in.  Pretty soon after we sat down, Michael told me that he had a gift for me, and he pulled out a Bible.  I had mentioned many times that I wanted a new Bible, and was so appreciative.  He told me that he wrote something in it, and at this point I start putting the pieces together.  As I frantically flipped through the Bible, he took it from me and turned to Ephesians 5 and read a portion of it, explaining that he wanted to commit the rest of his life to loving me and our family in the same way that Jesus has loved us.  He then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  Without hesitation I said, “Yes!”  We looked around, unsure of what to do next and were stunned that the world was still going on around us.  After calling several friends and family, we spent the rest of the day walking around the city, going to Brooklyn, and finally taking a flight back to Atlanta that night.  His parents were waiting to celebrate with us when we got back to Atlanta.  It was so much fun and could not have been more perfect!
In what month did you get married? December
How many guests attended your wedding? 250
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Relax and enjoy being engaged!  It will all get done, and what doesn’t get done no one will even notice.  Being engaged is so much fun, but can be stressful.  Just take things one day at a time, and decide what are the most important things.  And remember, you are marrying your best friend!  That’s the most important thing to work on — your future marriage.  The wedding details will come together!
What’s next for you as a couple?  What are you looking forward to in the future? We don’t have any big plans, just learning to be married and love each other well!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Kelly Cummings reply

    What an amazing wedding! I just adore the stripes, the colors, and all the gold. To die for!

  2. avatar Leigh Pearce reply

    Love those linens!!

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    Wow, wow, wow…I am FLOORED that they pulled this off in just four months!! Every detail is so gorgeous, I can’t even try to start choosing favorites. Plus, that post-ceremony shot is an absolute gem!

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  5. avatar Kathryn reply

    What an incredible proposal! Love the bright winter wedding, too!

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    Can you provide a source for the thick black & white striped ribbon ?

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  34. avatar Robin reply

    I just discovered this blog! First of all, beautiful wedding, especially on such a short time line. I’m obsessed with that personalized mural and the food sounds amazing. More importantly though, it makes me happy to read about a couple that is making their marriage focused on God. Lovely wedding and great blog! (Also, this made me giggle: “a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.”

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    The chalkboard mural is just the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I have been looking for something like this for my wedding and haven’t even come close to finding anything so lovely.

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    Loved your wedding. Some of the things are so cute. Thanks for documenting it and providing pics here. I’m also planning for my big day for the next year.

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  50. avatar Jeff reply

    The bouquet and cake were gorgeous! I think I saw some pomegranates in there, didn’t I!!

    The couple’s proposal was very sweet, too…pulling out a Bible with the page marked! So clever :)

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Megan + Jeremy met on a cruise six years before they said “I do” in Miami, so their nautical wedding was not only a nod to their beachside residence, but to the week they fell in love. Their plan to keep things feeling like “summer fun by the sea” was made possible by tackling wedding planning tasks together and making the day a representation of their personality as a couple. We love how much M + J took their theme to heart — all of these photos by Captured Photography put a smile on my face!

I need both of these shoes for me and my future hubs! I love seeing grooms and groomsmen have fun with their wedding day attire, too, and these are adorable for a nautical wedding.

My bouquet was a mix of red peonies, red roses and a few blackout lilies wrapped in white ribbon. The bridal party had a mix of red roses, red orchids and other red filler flowers wrapped in red and navy ribbon. The reception tables were decorated with galvanized French buckets in two different sizes and they were filled with red roses, peonies and orchids.

When it came to my wedding dress, I knew that I was looking for something from Allure Bridal, but I had no clue what would look good on me. I focused on stores with their dresses and I went to the first shop with my dad. I almost picked the second dress I tried on, but I convinced myself to try a few more. I was so happy I waited! A picture of the dress I really wanted had been saved on my desktop for almost three months, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Finally, at the last boutique I went to, Leggenda Bridal, I found what I was looking for. I gave the consultant my few printed pictures, with my favorite hiding in the back because I honestly didn’t think they would have it. I almost screamed when that was one of the two they had in stock. When I put it on, it was more beautiful than I could have imagined! It was a strapless ball gown with ruching throughout the asymmetrical bodice. Then at the hips it flowed into a caught-up skirt adorned with organza flowers and feathers.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, after a few months of convincing, we agreed to do a first look. Jeremy really did not want to see me before the ceremony, but because the wedding was on a Friday night, it didn’t really allow us much time to take pictures. Luckily, we ended up doing a first look because we were able to shoot at a gorgeous site, because it rained so hard before, during and after our ceremony that you couldn’t see the other side of the street, and because it allowed us to be alone, relax and be natural with each other.

Oh, y’all. How beautiful is St. Patrick Church in Miami? The ceremony was Megan’s most memorable moment of the big day. “Our priest preformed such a beautiful ceremony and he made us feel as if we were the only ones in the church. The organ sounded perfect and the lighting was impeccable, but it is the loving and kind spiritual words that our priest spoke that I will never forget.”

Jeremy and I went for a very casual, vintage nautical theme. South Florida was perfect for this! We used local starfish and some vintage buoys to decorate the tables. For our sign-in table, we had two oars that each of our guests signed and our seating chart was a large fish net with place cards pinned throughout. We also kept our food very typical of the area, serving some seafood and some Spanish food. Our goal was to keep everything very South Florida and “summer fun by the sea!”

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: Our wedding cake was amazing! It fit into our nautical theme perfectly. It was four tiers covered with solid navy blue fondant. Artistically placed over each tier was a large white anchor, and crowning the top was a beautiful white sugar flower. On the inside, we chose to have alternating layers of red velvet and coconut flavors. It was delicious! We also had a groom’s cake. It was Miami Marlins-themed with a large logo on the top. It was a single layer of coconut cake and written below it, “Your love is my home run! I love you husband!!”

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. It was 6 years from the day we married that the two of us met on a cruise to Bermuda. We were both traveling with our families and celebrating our summer break. It was more than halfway through the cruise that we crossed paths at a local pub on the island. Jeremy was trying to watch the Miami Heat playoff game and I was nagging him to come and hangout with a group of other travelers at the bar. After a little convincing, he gave in. We hit it off that night and were inseparable until the boat docked. When we disembarked, neither one of us was sure if we would ever see each other again. I was from Saint Louis, MO and he was from North Miami Beach, FL. Not only did we have distance between us, both of us were off to college. Over the next four years, we dated on and off, always turning to each other in tough times. We would fly here or there just to spend a day or two together. Eventually, long distance just wasn’t what we wanted anymore. So I packed up my apartment and moved down to sunny South Florida. I arrived to loving arms and we have been by each other’s side ever since.
Describe the proposal. I was in my room getting ready for a night out and I hear Jeremy yelling for me from the other room. I quickly finish up and head toward our living room. As I walk in, I see him kneeling among the most adorable site I’ve ever seen. He had dressed our two dogs as a bride and groom, each with a sign around their neck. One had the words, “Will you” and the other had “Marry me?” I couldn’t have held back the tears if I had tried.
In what month did you get married? June
How many guests attended your wedding? 125
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? From the Old Testament, “The women who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31: 10-13, 19-20, 30-31) and from the New Testament, “God is love” (1 John 4: 7-12).
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Our first dance song was by Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years.”
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We had a small boat made to hold all the beer for the wedding. I was constructed by Unique Designs by the Prevals. It was built with a vintage style and painted in white wash, navy blue and red. We absolutely loved it!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was trying not to worry so much. Racking your brain and obsessing over too many details makes planning more painful than fun. I love details, but you need to separate the controllable ones such as colors and favors, from the uncontrollable ones, like how will the tables look, if they will they be set up correctly or if the food will taste good.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Photography was one of the most important things to the both of us. In the end, all you have are your pictures, and we were not about to sacrifice that for anything. Jeremy and I were undeniably grateful to have such a brilliant photographer to share our day with us. Jenny and her assistant Shelly captured every moment of our day without missing one smile, tear, detail or dance move! The pictures that Jenny gave us are priceless.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? The best advice I have is to tackle it together. There is nothing worse than having to take on this huge task one-sided. Delegate tasks, even if they are small or tedious. Also, have fun with it. Pick things you and your partner like, not what you think your guests will like. This day is about you! They are just along for the ride.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Jeremy and I are taking some time to travel and spend time with our families. Then we are both looking forward to expanding our family!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar David F. reply

    It was an absolutely a beautfiul wedding, I loved it. It was an honor to be a part of such a special ceremony. Love you guys !!

  2. avatar Julie Gonzalez reply

    Love everything about this wedding, the style, colors & location. Everything looks beautiful including the Bride & Groom.

  3. avatar donna price reply


  4. avatar donna price reply


  5. avatar Lisa reply

    LOVE all the sweet nautical details! What a beautiful couple and wedding :)

  6. avatar Lauren @ Every Last Detail reply

    This is such a GREAT wedding!!! Love the details and the theme carried throughout!!

  7. avatar melynda frohlich reply

    The wedding was amazing. The whole day was UNFORGETTABLE!!! I LOVE u to very much and wish u the best!!!!

  8. avatar Uncle Bobby reply

    So happy I was able to share your most special day. Love you both.

  9. avatar Allison reply

    I loved this wedding! The well-thought out, personalized details are what makes Megan and Jeremy’s wedding stand out from your typical nuptials. You can really see all the hard work and love that was put into making the wedding happen. The theme was so clever and suited them well while still having the comfortable, casual feel. Bravo!

  10. avatar Nine Photography | Dallas Wedding Photographers reply

    YES! RED PANTS!!!!!!!!!! Best thing ever!

  11. avatar MissJimenez reply

    I love the theme of this wedding! It’s really inspired me.I love the Groomsmen’s casual yet stylish look. Simple with some Glam! The Brides dress is Gorgeous. Love

  12. avatar Angela reply

    Beautiful Wedding!! Had a Blast!! :)

  13. avatar Veronica reply

    Love you both! The wedding was amazing, loved that entire weekend! The colors the theme absolutely original!! One of te best day’s ever!

  14. avatar Jenny (Captured Photography) reply

    Yay! I know Megan and Jeremy worked so hard on their day! It was so fun to be a part of it. Thanks for sharing their cute ideas with everyone :)

  15. avatar Oscar and Gracie Puentes reply

    Beautiful bride, handsome groom, exquisite wedding. Priceless

  16. avatar Manny P. (Groomsman) reply

    B-E-AUTIFUL Wedding im glad i was apart of it. Very unique and original. Love you guys! :)

  17. avatar Recent Features » Captured Photography by Jenny reply

    […] First up, Megan was featured yesterday on Southern Weddings. You can see the post here.  […]

  18. avatar Rich Frohlich reply

    This was the most Beautiful Wedding i have ever seen or been a part of. It was Wonderful and my Daughter looked Gorgeous.(a little prejudice). Hope Megan and Jeremy make it in your magazine. Megan Wedding planning may be your calling. Love Dad.

  19. avatar LeeAnn Toolan reply

    Megan and Jeremy did a wonderful job creating their perfect wedding! I know they will create the perfect life together! The wedding and my neice were beautiful. Would not have missed being there and being part of such a lovely ceremony and reception. Love you both! LeeAnn

  20. avatar Friday Favorites | Elizabeth Ashleigh reply

    […] love a good nautical wedding (and the church in this one is pretty amazing, […]

  21. avatar patty reply

    It was such a pleasure working with Megan and Jeremy, I am so proud of them for sticking to their theme and really bringing out their personality in all of the details. Everyone commented on all of the thought that was put into it. I wish you both a very long and happy marriage.

  22. avatar Patty Pozas for Event Boutique reply

    The entire planning process was amazing, every detail was perfectly thought out and it showed in the final product. Jenny and her team were amazing to work with they had incredible energy and needless to say an amazing eye for photography. Megan and Jeremy were true to their vision. Incredible!!!

  23. avatar Wed: Megan & Jeremy’s Nautical Wedding in Miami | Floridian Weddings reply

    […] right? If you want to see more (and hear the story behind the whole day) check out their feature on Southern Weddings. Congrats you two, and Megan, thanks so much for sharing your story and the 'behind the scenes' […]

  24. avatar 2013 Wedding Trends « The High Life Suite | Fashion. Food. Love. reply

    […] While I didn’t find the sailing/nautical theme when I was doing my trend researching, I’m added it because I’ve seen a lot of it in real weddings and I’m sure the trend will continue. It’s a cute theme that reveals personality or a couple’s story (i.e. location where groom grew up, etc.). 1 – St. George Weddings, 2 – Broadway Paper, 3 – Love My Dress, 4 – Pinterest, 5 – Sticky Nail Designs, 6 – Southern Charm, 7 – Green Tree Photography, 8 & 9 – Southern Weddings Magazine […]

  25. avatar Nautical Boat or Beach Weddings Ideas « Ibdesignsusa Weblog reply

    […] via Kathy on […]

  26. avatar Inspiration Board: Nautical Rustic reply

    […] ceremony area {Erin hearts Court/Five Star Weddings and Events}; rope vases {Bayside Bride}; bridesmaid with yay sign {Captured Photography by Jenny/My Event Boutique } Row 3: Ship’s netting decoration {Fox […]

  27. avatar Moriah Lail reply

    Hi, I checked out your page here because I saw we chose the same wedding dress and was curious about how others styled theirs. I love your theme and I can see you guys put in a lot of hard work. The picture of your kiss is just stunning.

  28. avatar Ahoy Matey! « Wedding Trends 2014, Wedding Inspiration Blog – David Tutera's It’s a Bride’s Life reply

    […] credits: invite1/invite2/cards/chairs/groomsmen/maids/cake/favor1/favor2/cufflinks […]

  29. avatar Red and Navy Wedding Flowers ~ Jessica’s Inspiration Board | Wedding Blog reply

    […] Bouquet Details} The red and navy wedding theme via Southern Weddings is recreated with {Bridal Bouquet} Red Rose Bouquet & Peonies, {Bridesmaid Bouquet} Red Rose […]

  30. avatar Inspiration Board #59: Red, Red, Red @ Taylor'd Events reply

    […] #1: fall table arrangements, rose and peony bouquet, pomegranate […]

  31. avatar “It’s a Grooms World” – Focusing on Trends for the Groom and his Men | VPonsale Wedding Custom Dresses reply

    […] photo credit: 1//2//3//4 […]

  32. avatar Bridal Stylist: Swiss Dot – Everthine Bridal Boutique – a bridal shop serving Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Boston, and Beyond reply

    […] Me Pretty  11 Image by Lang Photographerrs via Ruffled  12 Image by Captured Photography via Southern Weddings  13 Image by Julie Massie via Glitter Inc  14 Image by Kate Webber Photography via Style Me […]

  33. avatar Best Nautical Wedding Ideas 2014 » HotRef Blog reply

    […] credits: Bridal Party Attire, Groomsmen Socks and Shoes, Bride and Groom Lifesavers, Anchor Cake, and Nuatical […]

  34. avatar 15 Ways to Show Your Gratitude to Your Guests | Loverly Planning reply

    […] by Captured Photography on Southern Weddings via […]

  35. avatar joe DeFabis reply

    love it

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