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Hello, belles! Last week we shared our first entry into our Dream Southern Summer Wedding series with Mrs. Thomas’ peachy perfection! This week it’s my turn to do a little faux celebration planning. And don’t forget to check back soon as the other gals will be coming to you over the next few weeks!

Unlike my adorable colleagues, Emily and Kristin, I did not already have a summer wedding, so when it came to dreaming up what I’d choose for a Southern summer day I knew it would have to look a little something like this:

The feel: Pink, preppy + full of fun! My real-life wedding was a fabulous formal affair laced with lovely light pink and classic details, so when it came to a Southern summer wedding I knew I needed to amp of my favorite color, add in some cool treats since it’s a scorcher in the South, and add in some monograms for good measure. Obvi!

The place: The Front Lawn at Rosemary Beach. Absolutely dreamy! And in my dream, we’ve got big ol’ fans keeping everyone cool!

The time: 6pm, in early June

The style: Preppy, colorful and casual. I’d wear the Christy gown from Lula Kate; it’s got ruffles for fanciness and it’s cool enough to dance in! I think I’d copy cat the gals in that lovely photo with pretty pink + gold good stripes. And for the boys, I’d have to go seersucker pants, casual button downs and of course some fabulous striped bow ties!

The food: We’d go ultra casual here, and have the famous Shuckums cater a big ol’ oyster dinner complete with mine and BDK’s favorite style “Shukums Rockefeller”. And don’t y’all worry, to fancy up the place we’d have raspberry bellinis with gold-rimmed glasses, and divine donuts from Charlie’s Donut Truck for desert. Heavens, I’m ready for a vacation there now!

The music: I love the live music that filled the Main Street in Rosemary, so I’d have to go with a local band playing all our favorites. A little Wagon Wheel, a bit of Chicken Fried, and of course a lot of Sweet Home Alabama. After all we want people to kick their shoes off, pop on those flip flops and dance the night away!

The flowers: A bright and cheery combo of ranunculus, big puffy peonies, and azaleas to represent my home state. I’d tie off the bouquet with the adorable peach and pink striped bow in the photo above. I’d keep the tables simple and clean with low arrangements of bright pink pretties, gold silverware, monogrammed napkins and a strand of string lights above of heads.

What do you think, dolls? What would YOUR dream Southern summer wedding look like?

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

    Love the Hot Pink for a warm summer wedding! Great ideas!

  2. avatar Carly reply

    I LOVE this, M! Bright pink = perfection. : )

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    So gorgeous and oh-so-Marissa! That bridesmaid look is one of my favorites too!

  4. avatar Ivy Ellen reply

    The bridesmaids’ dresses are so pretty they match the pink colour theme so well!

  5. avatar Candice Sutton reply

    I love the bridesmaid dresses! Can you tell me where these are from please?

  6. avatar Elegant Beach Wedding by Pure 7 Studios – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Florida is a favorite destination for quite a few of the SW gals (Marissa even chose it for our Dream Southern Summer Wedding series), and I love the elegant spin Claire and Matthew put on their beach destination! Thank you […]

  7. avatar Sam reply

    What an absolutely gorgeous colour palette! I think the gold adds a lovely extra dimension. Wonderful!

  8. avatar FEATURED FRIDAY| Pure7 Studios in 2013 reply

    […] Claire and Matt’s elegant 2012 Rosemary Beach wedding. It was even included in Marissa’s Dream Southern Summer Wedding Series later on. We must say, It’s A Shore Thing really out did themselves (yet again) bringing to […]

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Hello, friends! When we introduced Lisa we mentioned that we looked forward to y’all getting to know her and her style better over the coming months. So, to help with that, and because we think there’s no pastime more fun than planning faux celebrations, I present to you: our Dream Southern Summer Wedding series! I’m up first, and the other gals will be coming to you over the next few weeks!

I actually already planned my dream summer wedding, but it didn’t happen to take place in the South. If it had, it might have looked a little something like this:

Clockwise from top left: peach plate from Martha Stewart Living, gown photo by Tim Will via Southern Weddings, pink depression glass photo by Byron Loves Fawn via Burnett’s Boards, garden rose centerpiece photo by Stylish & Hip Weddings via Snippet & Ink, dahlia bouquet from Martha Stewart Weddings, peach photo by Elaine Palladino, monogram program photo by Katie Stoops via Southern Weddings, jeweled gown photo by Byron Loves Fawn via 100 Layer Cake, rose champagne photo by Kristyn Hogan via 100 Layer Cake

The feel: Sophisticated, elegant, classic, and warm. Shades of peaches and pinks mixed with whites, creams, grays, and soft blues. Enough sparkle to make it special and some gray and white stripes thrown in for good measure. Velvet ribbons to mimic peach fuzz.

The place: A manicured estate with stone walls to bring in the gray and a neat lawn where we can pitch our tent. We’re dreaming, so I think the Biltmore would do nicely :)

The time: 4:30pm, late August

The style: I absolutely adored my wedding gown, but if I had to choose something different, I might go with the tulle confection Rachel wore. I actually tried it on in my dress search! The ladies would wear light gray blue floor-length gowns, and the gents would wear crisply tailored suits in the lightest stone gray. Blue and white seersucker boutonnieres would be a perfect summer accent, with white ranunculus boutonnieres.

The food: Dinner would be served family style at long tables covered in my favorite blue gray linen from La Tavola, Tuscany Ocean. There would absolutely be individual grilled peach cobblers for dessert! And a pink champagne signature drink, since that’s the only kind of libation I like :)

The music: A string quartet for the ceremony (I adored our ceremony music and wouldn’t change a thing!), and an 11-piece jazz band for the reception, set up right next to a white dance floor for boogieing the night away.

The flowers: For my bouquet, a perfectly peachy pink clutch of dahlias, sweet peas, zinnias, garden roses and ranunculus. I’d tie it off with my favorite ribbon of all time to bring in some blue and sweetness. For the tables, fresh peaches and white flowers like dahlias and garden roses tumbled down the center would look lovely, with some pink depression glass cake stands for height.

What do you think, belles? What would YOUR dream Southern summer wedding look like?

Elaine Palladino is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Shelby reply

    I love this! What a fun series! Peach & gray is honestly my favorite summer combo, those are perfect pink/peach color selections. I can’t wait to see everyone else’s!

  2. avatar Sharon @ Red Poppy | Pink Peony reply

    So pretty! How much fun to think of dream weddings~ I already had my wedding, but there are so many different ideas and colors, I could probably have a dozen imaginary weddings (especially if budget isn’t a factor!).

  3. avatar Kristin reply

    Mercy! You know I have a special place in my heart for peaches. I love how you created such a soft and sweet fete by adding in the greys and blues. I hope I get an invitation. I sure would love to sip on a signature bubbly beverage and toast the bride + groom!!

    • avatar Emily reply

      You did peaches beautifully, ma’am! And you would certainly get an invite for this soiree!

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Traditionally, I love to talk about the sweet details I find within the interview portion. Like how Sara had her late father’s signet ring as her something old, or how she wrapped a piece of one of his old madras shirts around her bouquet. I’m a sucker for sentimental details, and believe me there is no shortage in Sara + TJ’s interview. But today, I absolutely can’t stop staring at the colorful fun in each and every photo from Katelyn James! Once you scroll down a bit, I’m sure you’ll understand how I feel. Stripes, monograms, navy + pink! Even striped bouquet bows! Y’all, Sara + TJ’s wedding has me wanting to don my best collared shirt, pearls and some khaki shorts just to look at this pretty day!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Something borrowed: my grandmother’s lace handkerchief, something blue: navy striped shoes, something old: my dad’s signet ring, something new: my earrings.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I went to Bella Rosa, a store in Richmond, with my mom, TJ’s mom, my maid of honor and three bridesmaids that were local. I had a pretty good idea of what I was looking for—something simple and classic. My dress was the first one I tried on and the rest is history!

With the help of my mother-in-law, we did all of the flowers for the wedding. She did all of the table arrangements and I tied my bouquet and the bouquets for my bridesmaids. My bouquet had the most beautiful coral and white peonies and it was wrapped with a piece of one of my dad’s old madras shirts, so it was especially meaningful. The bridesmaid bouquets had sunset roses, a variety of pink garden roses, coral and white peonies, and white hydrangeas and were wrapped in navy and white striped ribbon. Navy and white stripes is my most favorite color…it should be a color.

I cannot agree more, navy + white stripes should definitely be a color!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did a first look because we wanted to be able to get lots of pictures together, while not missing out on celebrating with our guests. Also, seeing each other before the ceremony calmed both of our nerves!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I loved the flowers and all of my navy patterns! TJ absolutely loved his shoes!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our location at Main Street Station in Richmond was pretty Southern, in addition to the classic, preppy feel of our wedding. Lots of stripes, patterns, and color. I think the relaxed, welcoming and fun atmosphere is a hallmark of a good Southern wedding.

A mama’s girl myself, I love how Sara had her mother walk her down in the aisle in the absence of her late father. They’re smiles are so radiant!

We had one reading from Nicholas Sparks’ book The Wedding: “But love, I’ve come to understand, is more than three words mumbled before bedtime. Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day.”

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. TJ and I met the summer after our freshman year of college. Our parents live about five minutes away from each other and we both happened to get jobs at the new restaurant down the street, Max & Erma’s. We went to neighboring high schools (our county is big) and we had similar friends, but we never knew each other. We worked together for a few months before we started dating. In August, we both went back to college—he in North Carolina at High Point University and I in Harrisonburg, Virginia at James Madison University. We had a long-distance relationship until I graduated and moved back to Richmond to attend grad school at Virginia Commonwealth University. TJ had transferred there a couple of years before. We dated for seven years before we got engaged!
Tell us all about the proposal! For my birthday, TJ planned a picnic at a winery about an hour from Richmond (King Family Vineyards), which is one of my favorite places on Earth. That Saturday morning, it was pouring and I kept saying we could reschedule for better weather, but TJ insisted and so we headed to King Family. After a tasting, TJ went and got the picnic basket that he had packed. We started to lay all of the food out on a picnic table since it was too wet to sit on the grass. A group of older adults walked into the tasting room and TJ asked if one of the gentlemen would take our picture. As he started shooting, TJ got down on one knee—and it was captured on camera! Since it was my birthday, we were going to meet up with one of my girlfriends that night in Richmond, as I thought no one else was going to be able to celebrate my birthday with me. Little did I know, TJ had planned a surprise birthday party and all of my best girlfriends were there to celebrate. It was one of the best weekends of my life!
When did y’all get married? June 8, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 150
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We didn’t write our own vows, however the ceremony was deeply personal, as it was officiated by TJ’s childhood pastor, who also happens to be the father of one of his best friends.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to The Piano Guys’ version of A Thousand Years. We recessed to “Everlasting Love” by Natalie Cole—something fun and upbeat to get the party started. Our first dance was to “Whatever It Is” by Zac Brown Band, one of our most favorite bands. For our “Mom’s Dance” (my dad passed away when I was 10), we danced to “In My Life” by The Beatles, as it was one of my dad’s favorite songs and a way to remember him. We also made sure that “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show was played, as it is one of TJ’s favorite songs and our group of friends goes nuts over it.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had cupcakes from Pearl’s Cupcake Shoppe, a local favorite. There were five flavors and all were delicious!!! Red velvet, scrum-delicious (chocolate cake filled with peanut butter whip frosted with butterfinger buttercream and toffee shavings), vanilla cake with vanilla frosting, vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, and strawberry cake with fresh strawberry frosting.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I think the guest list was one of the biggest challenges. We would have loved to invite a lot more people than we did, but the space had a limit on the number of people allowed due to fire code.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Without a doubt, I couldn’t imagine our wedding with having Katelyn and Michael there. They were absolutely fantastic. Their easygoing spirit was a blessing and the images that we will have forever are spectacular. I also LOVED the navy and white striped runners. My mom made all nine of them and they were exactly how I envisioned them to be.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Being able to celebrate with all of our closest family and friends is something that we will never forget.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take lots of deep breaths and simplify. I had a massive pinterest board, or ten, for our wedding. One day, I got so overwhelmed with all of my ideas that I just had to delete a bunch of pins and focus on what was important. It’s easy to get wrapped up in little details, but that isn’t what matters.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We plan on living in Richmond and tackling some DIY projects on our house, hanging out with our pups Millie and Rex, and enjoying married life.

Photographer: Katelyn James | Planner: Colleen Cook | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Main Street Station | Florist: Bride and Mother of the Groom | Cupcake Baker: Pearl’s Cupcake Shoppe | Caterer: Catering by Jill | DJ: Sean McNamee | Bride’s Gown: Wtoo, Mimi style with an added lace band | Paper Products: Delphine Press | Bride’s Veil: Bella Rosa Bridal | Bride’s Earrings: Kate Spade | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Lou Stevens | Bride’s Shoes: J.Crew | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Sung, Midnight Dupioni | Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse, Michael Kors Style | Groom and Groomsmen Ties: Brooks Brothers | Guest Book Print: Eliza B. Askin

Katelyn James is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    It would take me forever to list the details I love in this wedding, so I’ll just give a shoutout to the gorgeous peonies and adorable pattern combinations! I love that shot of Sara holding her madras-wrapped bouquet next to TJ in his striped tie!

  2. avatar Nicole reply

    How sweet that Sara’s mother walked her down the aisle! I love that they danced to one of her father’s favorite song during their “Mom’s Dance.”

  3. avatar Rayna {Colorado Wedding Photographer} reply

    Very nicely done. I’m not a big stripe person but these stripes are done so subtly and add so much at the same time!

  4. avatar Shelby reply

    What an amazing venue & so many fun pops of color! I love the patterns & the bright tones paired with such a classic background. Beautiful!

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  8. avatar Catlyn reply

    Any idea where the grooms tie is from it is exactly what i’m looking for!

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