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I think “meant to be” is a good way to describe Kelly and Dan’s story–these two lawyers met in the most unassuming way (at a bar!), and after their lakeside engagement, they set out to plan their Georgia wedding in a way that was true to them as a couple. From knowing Foxhall Resort was their venue as soon as they drove onto the property, to Kelly finding her dream, out-of-budget gown off the rack at a great price, their wedding fell into place beautifully, allowing them to focus on their relationship and the fun ways they could introduce guests to their personalities. My favorite details are the ones that are a little unconventional, but oh so them, like the signature cocktails served from copper mugs and the brownies and ice cream they dished out in lieu of cake!

Thanks so much to Sowing Clover Photography for sharing this fun day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had had my eye on Monique Lhuillier’s Scarlet dress for some time. I knew I wanted a romantic sheath with straps, and nothing else had caught my eye. I tried on the dress at the Monique Lhuillier boutique in Manhattan (where I was living at the time for my job) and fell in love with it. The $6,000 price tag was a bit too steep for me, but I ended up finding it off the rack somewhere else. It was meant to be!

I wanted the flower arrangements to be whimsical, low-key, and natural, so I chose to go with a lot of greenery accented by some white flowers. My favorite part was the garlands of greenery that draped some of the wooden farm tables.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we wrote our own vows. My favorite line from mine was about Dan being my hero and the best man I know. My favorite from his was when he said I added so much value to his life, more than he thought was possible.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My 13-year-old little sister and Dan’s 10-year-old niece did the readings at our ceremony. My sister read a sweet excerpt from Winnie the Pooh and his niece read the “What is Real?” excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit. They were absolutely wonderful! I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place after the Velveteen Rabbit reading.

We tried to make our wedding reflect us as much as possible, so we thought outside of tradition in a lot of instances. Those are the details that made the day truly special. To name a few, our officiant was my long-time best friend, our dog was the ring bearer, every table was named after something that meant something special to us and the people sitting there, I sang a song with the band (“A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri) for my new husband, and most of the food served at the wedding had some significance to us or a family member.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We wanted to get married somewhere with a lot of land, where our dog could attend, and where our closest friends and family could stay the weekend. The Foxhall checked all of the boxes. When we first drove onto the Foxhall property, our jaws dropped at how beautiful it was. We both knew this was the place.

Neither Dan nor I really like cake, so we opted to forgo the tradition and do something that was a little more “us” (which we did with a lot of things in our wedding). Instead of cake, we had an ice cream cart catered by a local, small-batch ice cream store, Queen of Cream. Our flavors were so yummy and perfect for our fall wedding: Bourbon Butter Whiskey Pecan and Salted Caramel. Since Dan’s favorite dessert is ice cream and brownies, Queen of Cream was nice enough to serve their delicious ice cream with warm brownies! The fun part was smashing the ice cream into each other’s faces toward the end of the night.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met the good old-fashioned way: at a bar, during my first year of law school in Atlanta. Dan broke the ice by talking about “Pierson v. Post,” an old Supreme Court case about hunting. Needless to say, that was enough to make me swoon!
Tell us all about the proposal! After a few years of dating (and exactly three years after we said “I love you” for the first time), we were spending a quiet morning at the lake on our boat, throwing the ball to our beloved yellow lab, Sam. Dan asked me to start video taping Sam fetching the ball, which I thought was no big deal at the time. It turns out that Dan hid the ring inside one of the tennis balls! When Sam retrieved the ball from the lake, Dan took it out and got down on one knee. After freaking out a little bit about how he thew the ring into the lake, I, of course, said yes. He said he really wanted to incorporate Sam into the proposal because he trusted Sam as much as he trusted our relationship. I’ve got to hand it to him for tricking me into videotaping my own engagement!
When did y’all get married? October 24, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 106
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Dan surprised me by having a very strong opinion on the matter–he wanted to see me for the first time as I was walking down the aisle. It was so romantic, that, of course, we opted to not do a first look. It made the pictures during cocktail hour a bit more rushed than they may have been otherwise, but seeing the look on his face when I walked down the aisle made it all worth it!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I chose to walk down the aisle to “What a Wonderful World” played by the acoustic country band, Capo3. It’s one of my all time favorites. After we were married, Dan and I walked/danced up the aisle to “Marry You” by Bruno Mars to signify that the party was about to get started! Our first dance was to “I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice. The lyrics to that song almost perfectly reflect our relationship, and it was fun to do some twirls during the lyric “spinning you round and round in circles.”
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Our officiant asked us to write love letters to one another, which she stored away in a box with a nice bottle of wine. She said it was for us to open whenever things got tough in our marriage. It was such a wonderful exercise to really think about why we love each other, why we were choosing to get married, and to remember that not all days will be the “happiest days of our life,” but rather, we will have to work through some bumps in the future.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We had a budget of about $30,000, but I didn’t want to sacrifice much. I DIYed what I could (invitations, paper goods, escort card display, boutonnieres), found deals on extras like our photo booth, and was lucky enough to find some newly established (but super talented) vendors with reasonable prices. One of the biggest places we saved was by providing our own alcohol for the reception. Also, I absolutely loved wedding planning, so I saved by not hiring a full-service wedding planner–we just had someone help coordinate the day-of.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Dan and I are now expecting our first child, so we are both very excited about building a family!

Photographer: Sowing Clover Photography | Videographer: Anchor Heart Films | Planner and Florist: Something Tulle | Venue: Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club | Dessert Baker: Queen of Cream Ice Cream | Caterer: Simply Catering | Rentals: Unlimited Party & Event Rentals | Band: Capo3 Band | DJ: Sloan Lee DJ | Paper Products: Letterpress by Czar Press | Bride’s Gown: “Scarlet” by Monique Lhuillier | Bride’s Jewelry: Rent the Runway | Hair and Makeup: Vigilante Cosmetics | Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew | Menswear: Tom James Custom | Photo Booth: Robot Booth

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Dana reply

    love the flowers in their hair and an ice cream bar sounds so fun!

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Ellie and Nick met in a fraternity house in college, and while their love story might not have started in the most romantic way, their wedding is another story! Ellie and Nick worked with their florist, Botanica, to take the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts from a monochromatic museum into a romantic reception full of lush blooms, and of course, lots of Southern details! During their wedding planning, they not only focused on planning for their marriage, but on being hospitable and throwing a party guests would enjoy just as much as they did. I can’t help but love that they included a generational blessing given by their fathers and grandfathers. Such a sweet way to not only honor their family, but also to include them in their celebration.

So wonderful of Kristen Weaver to share this lovely day with us!

Tell us all about the proposal! During September 2013, I was in my last year of law school at the University of Chicago and Nick had just started his first year of medical school at the University of Florida. I made a trip to Gainesville for the weekend to see Nick and attend the UF-UT football game. On Friday, Nick suggested that we visit Paynes Prairie, a state park just south of Gainesville. We had the prairie all to ourselves and enjoyed seeing the wildlife and hiking the trails. Toward the end of our trip, we climbed to the top of a three-story watch tower and relaxed on the porch swing. Before heading back down, he got down on one knee to propose. After his very sweet speech, he reached into his pocket to pull out the ring, but accidentally pulled out the car keys instead! He had taken the ring out of the ring box so he could stealthily fit it into his athletic shorts pocket, but it had gotten caught up in the keychain. After a good laugh, I said yes!

I’ll admit, finding my wedding dress was harder than I anticipated. I bought a dress at the first boutique I went to–my mom, grandmother, and my three best friends were all there, and I foolishly let the excitement get to my head. Afterwards, I had some regrets, but assured myself that I would be happy when the dress arrived and I could try it on again. Well, it turned out that the boutique ordered it two sizes too small and then told me I must have gained weight (in fact, I had lost weight). I left in tears and tried to avoid talking about wedding dresses for as long as I could. Thankfully, my mom sensed my anguish and booked a trip to visit me in Chicago so we could go shopping for THE dress. We went to a few places, but we knew the search was over when I tried on the Esther dress at Vera Wang. We all cried (even our sweet bridal consultant!) and then celebrated with champagne and mini cupcakes. It was total redemption from our first experience and one of my favorite memories from wedding planning.

Describe your wedding flowers. We worked with Ian and Zoe at Botanica and they totally nailed it. I brought in pictures of loose, cascading bouquets and arrangements, but only had a vague idea of what colors I wanted. It was Ian’s idea to use more neutral tones for the ceremony and then pump up the color for the floral arrangements at the reception, which was in a rather monochromatic room.

We chose to have a first look. Those few minutes when it was just the two of us were the most peaceful moments of the whole day and a feeling I’ll remember forever. Even though we saw each other beforehand, nothing could have taken away the thrill of seeing him at the end of the aisle. It was the best of both worlds! Plus, we were much more relaxed in our pictures before the ceremony–after the ceremony, we were itching to get in there and celebrate with our friends and family!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We found out a few months before the wedding that there would be a huge evening festival in the same park where we were going to hold our ceremony. Thankfully, the music wouldn’t start until an hour after the ceremony, and the wonderful people at Botanica assured us that they could create a wall of greenery to stand between us and the event. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because the wall created so much privacy that the ceremony felt much more intimate than it would have otherwise, festival or not!

To begin the ceremony, my cousin sang the praise and worship song “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman. Nick and I love the song and thought that it would set the ceremony off on the right foot. I chose “Dawn” from Pride and Prejudice to walk down the aisle to. I’ve always loved the book and the movie, and I thought it was a beautiful arrangement. Nick and I walked back up to aisle to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” We wanted something fun to let everyone know that the party had started!

We chose the Museum of Fine Arts with our guests in mind. Most of our guests were coming from out of town, so we wanted them to be able to enjoy their weekend without worrying about the logistics of driving, parking, and all that good stuff. The museum fit the bill of being close to a major airport, within walking distance of a ton of great restaurant and hotel options, and large enough to hold 180 people.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? To me, being Southern is all about family and hospitality. To honor our families, we featured pictures of our parents and grandparents at the ceremony and cocktail hour, we chose my uncle to officiate our ceremony, he read out of a Bible that has been passed down from my great-grandmother, and we had our fathers and my grandfather come up during the ceremony to give a generational blessing. We got to keep the handwritten notes from my grandfather’s blessing, and they are among our greatest treasures. In all of the wedding plans, we tried to focus on being hospitable and throwing a party our guests would enjoy just as much as we did. We had custom corn hole boards set up during the cocktail hour and on the patio during the reception. We made sure all of the children felt welcome and entertained by including a box at their seats with a coloring book, an I Spy game, and some other fun goodies. And of course, the food was Southern! Our cocktail hour appetizers included blackened alligator, fried green tomatoes, and game sausage. Dinner began with a basket of cornbread at every table and included a shrimp and grits station. Our late-night snack was BBQ pulled pork sliders on sweet potato biscuits. We made sure our guests went home with full bellies!

We had a wedding cake (lemon cream cake with raspberry filing and simple buttercream frosting) and a late-night dessert bar of fried Oreos, Twinkies, and Snickers with raspberry sauce!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Our love story didn’t start in a very romantic way–we met at his fraternity house during our sophomore year at the University of Florida. My friend had just finished an exam and was planning a low-key night in with her friend, Michael, and she invited me to tag along. Turns out, Michael was Nick’s best friend and fraternity brother (he even ended up being the best man at our wedding). Nick wandered into Michael’s room at some point during the night, we started talking, and we hit it off right away. We exchanged numbers and kept talking, even when I moved to Italy for a summer abroad. He asked me to be “official” from 5,117 miles away over Skype.
When did y’all get married? November 22, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Nick and I tried to keep in mind that the real event was committing ourselves to each other in front of God, our friends, and our family. All of the other stuff was just icing on the cake. With that in mind, we tried to be conscious of how we dealt with each other during the process, because we knew we were setting the foundation for our marriage.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We got really lucky with an incredible team of vendors, but I will say that we just adored Bryan and Tracey from Lucky Lemon Films. They really took the time before the wedding to get to know us as people, not just as a generic bride and groom, and to let us get to know them. Nick and I are both camera shy, but they made us feel so at ease. Their work is incredible and we really felt like they captured who we are in the wedding film they created. We can’t stop watching it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are enjoying settling into our first home together in Gainesville with our dogs. 2014 was a hugely busy year for us, so we are taking it easy and cherishing our first year of marriage!

Photographer: Kristen Weaver / Videographer: Lucky Lemon Films / Planner: Nancy Cotto / Venue: St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts / Florist: Botanica / Cake Baker and Caterer: Olympia Catering / Rentals: Botanica / Lighting: Encore Lighting / Band: Brett Foreman Band / Paper Products: Invitation Consultants / Bride’s Gown: “Esther” by Vera Wang / Bride’s Accessories: BHLDN / Hair and Makeup: Rachel Reumann / Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Nordstrom / Groom’s Attire: J. Crew / Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Dog Sketch: DM Creative Studios

marissa Written with love by Marissa
6 Comments
  1. avatar Bridget reply

    What a delightful wedding. Her wedding ring is one of the prettiest I’ve seen.

  2. avatar Kristen Weaver reply

    I can’t say enough about how much I adored Ellie and Nick, and photographing their wedding was definitely an honor for us! They are a beautifully wonderful couple and I’m so happy to see her wedding published on Ellie’s favorite blog!

  3. avatar Michelle reply

    Wow, this place looks so amazing !

  4. avatar Kristin reply

    Where are the flower girl dresses from?

  5. avatar ashley reply

    Hi i was just wondering who the designer was for the bridesmaods dreses

  6. avatar 6 Wedding Themes That Will Rule 2017 – Cyprus Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Radford hotography / Green Wedding Shoes, Brides of Adelaide, A Fabulous Fete, Kristen Weaver / Southern Weddings, Kristen Beinke / Style Me […]

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