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If you weren’t already itching to pull out your riding boots, scoop up a #PSL and watch the leaves change, Danielle and Jonathan’s Tennessee wedding will easily have you ready for fall. I’m not sure if it’s the deep violet bridesmaid dresses or the dark wood accents, but it definitely got Lisa and I excited for the fall weddings that will start rolling in soon! After meeting while training for a triathlon (!), Danielle and Jonathan’s relationship grew through a shared love of the outdoors and active lifestyles. When they visited CJ’s Off the Square, they knew right away it was the perfect place for them to pledge their lives to each other!

Thanks to Brandon Chesbro for sending along this gorgeous day!

My something borrowed was a pair of pearl earrings that my friend had worn in her wedding. My something old and blue was a heart cut from my dad’s old blue work shirt that was sewn into my dress.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I found my dress at The Bride Room in Nashville with my maid of honor. I chose a lace trumpet-style gown from the Monique Lhuillier Bliss collection. It was only the third dress I tried on! My mom lives in Florida, so she came a month later to see it. When I tried it on for her, we both cried. I definitely knew it was the one.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a string quartet play the processional, ceremony, and recessional music. “Canon in D” played when I walked down the aisle. Our first dance was to “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. We loved the song and meaning. The father-daughter dance was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole. As a baby, my parents had a toy in my baby crib that played that song. I actually forgot about the toy and the significance of the song until my mom gave it to me a few weeks before the wedding. We both cried.

We said traditional vows, but also included a personal message to each other. My favorite part of Jonathan’s message was that I brought him closer to God.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? CJ’s Off the Square was the first location we looked at in person, and we absolutely fell in love with it. It was an intimate setting that we felt was perfect for our wedding day. We didn’t even look at another venue after that!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? It was an outdoor wedding in downtown Franklin, Tennessee, so that’s pretty Southern to begin with! The food included beef and grits and fried green tomatoes, and we served local craft beer. Our décor included vintage furniture, old whiskey barrels, and burlap and lace table linens.

Describe your wedding cake. Our cake was three tiers with white fondant and raffia around each layer. Two wooden birds that we bought on Etsy, engraved with our wedding date and initials, sat on top of the cake.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Since my family has a dairy farming background, we served cookies and milk as a late-night snack.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in July 2011 at the Vanderbilt University pool. We are both triathletes and were training for the Music City Triathlon in Nashville at the time.
Tell us all about the proposal! We got engaged on September 7, 2012. It was simple! We were at home one night, sitting on our couch, and I had an eyelash on my cheek (which worked out perfectly for Jonathan). He asked me what my wish was. I had been wanting him to propose to me for months, so I said, “I don’t want to say my wish out loud.” Jonathan replied, “Just close your eyes and say it.” So I said in a quiet voice, with my eyes closed, “I wish you would propose.” When I opened my eyes, he was down on one knee in front of me with the most beautiful ring I had ever seen.
When did y’all get married? October 19, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
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? Since CJ’s off the Square is in an all-inclusive venue, we didn’t have many other vendors. Outside of CJ’s, our photographer, Brandon Chesbro, was amazing and so talented. He captured our wedding day and emotions perfectly.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? We are big fans of the all-inclusive venue experience. It simplified the planning process and allowed us to focus on our love for each other and looking forward to our wedding day. I wouldn’t say planning a wedding is “stress-free,” but our venue certainly made it as stress-free as possible. We planned our entire wedding through 2-3 visits with our planner.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Two weeks after the wedding, we raced the Ironman Florida Triathlon as a kick-off to our honeymoon. We look forward to continuing an active lifestyle that we both enjoy, supporting each other in our careers, and having kids in a couple of years.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? As a wedding gift, Jonathan gave me a journal that he wrote in daily for five months prior to the wedding about how we met, our dates, significant events, and wedding planning. My gift to Jonathan was a personalized leather-bound Bible with our wedding date and a prayer I wrote for our marriage.

Photographer: Brandon Chesbro / Videographer: Brian Johnson / Planner: Amy Parman of CJ’s Off the Square / Venue, Catering, Cake, and Lighting: CJ’s Off the Square / Florist: Enchanted Florist / Rentals: Southern Events Party Rental / DJ: Jason Middleton of Premier DJs of Nashville / Bride’s Gown: “BL1208” by Monique Lhuillier Bliss / Bride’s Hair Accessories: Augusta Jones / Hair and Makeup: Amy Lynn Larwig / Bride’s Shoes: Tory Burch / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “G558C” by Amsale / Men’s Attire: Vera Wang

CJ’s Off the Square is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    I love the decor of the reception. You can’t go wrong with mercury glass and baby’s breath.

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    Such a gorgeous wedding! I love the flowers they chose–just fall-like enough!

  3. avatar Hallie Deyton reply

    I thought this wedding was very tasteful. Everything from the venue, to her wedding dress, to her bridesmaids shoes was perfection. Love this wedding and the venue space! The flower centerpieces at the table were not overdone and I loved that. It added to the rustic feel of the venue.

  4. avatar Kati reply

    What a sweet proposal story! Made me cry at work! We also did an all-inclusive venue and it really does make things so much simpler (especially because we were planning from another state.) Best wishes to the happy couple!

  5. avatar Taylor Smith reply

    I love the Bible gift she gave him! What a beautiful idea! The pictures are gorgeous and it looks like it was a wonderful day for a sweet couple!

  6. avatar 8 Bouquets That Are Perfect for a Fall Wedding – Fairly Southern reply

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I can spot a Louisiana wedding from a mile away! There is something so Southern and classic about them, but at the same time, a sense of modern chicness! That makes sense, right y’all? Maybe it’s Mia’s adorable short hair/birdcage veil combo or their use of succulents, but Mia and Ian’s wedding is a perfect example! To bring in that sweetly Southern feel? The wraparound porch at The Audubon Institute, of course! I don’t know many Southerners who don’t love gorgeous wraparound porches as a backdrop for celebrations with friends and family. I know I’m smitten!

Big hugs to Ms. Paige Reaux for sharing their day with us!

I did all of my dress shopping in one day because Ian’s mom had come down from Indianapolis to be with me while I tried dresses on. She, my mom, my MawMaw, and most of my bridesmaids were able to come. When I finally found my dress, I knew it was mine because I just wouldn’t take it off! I think I wore it for over an hour in the store while my bridesmaids and our mothers started trying on their dresses as well. I’m sure we drove the sweet shop crazy, but it was a very memorable day.

Thanks to Pinterest, I had been obsessed with having succulents as my wedding flowers since before we started planning. I ordered 100 succulent clippings, and together with my mom, I handmade each of the boutonnieres. We also wired succulents to insert into bouquets of fresh flowers for my bridesmaids. I ordered my bouquet from Succulently Urban, and it was more than I could have hoped for! I had so much help with the bridesmaids’ bouquets from my bridesmaid, Stephanie. Two days before the wedding, we went to Whole Foods and picked out fresh flowers to arrange. They included snapdragons, mini hydrangeas, and some berries. We arranged them with the succulents and ended up making really amazing bouquets. I couldn’t have done it without her.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? At first, we didn’t want to do a first look, but after talking to Paige and discussing it with Ian, we decided a first look was more fitting for us. We really wanted to have that time together before the ceremony to just soak everything in. I’m really glad we did it that way. All I wanted to do all day was to see Ian. After I finally saw him, everything was smooth sailing, and it really did make our wedding extremely relaxing and enjoyable.

We did not write our own vows, but we did exchange letters during our first look. We decided to do this as a way to make our vows more private. We spent our first year of dating apart because Ian was getting his master’s degree in London. We wrote letters to each other for most of that time, and having that vow-like gift at our wedding was really important to us.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think that the wraparound porch on the clubhouse was a huge part of what made our wedding feel Southern. My whole family is from the South, and I have many memories of just sitting on my MawMaw’s front porch, relaxing and talking. After we saw the venue, I remember calling my mom, and when I told her about the porch, she told me that it was perfect since we are “porch people.” I knew it was the place for us.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our cake was a white cake with raspberry cream cheese filling. The design was very simple, and our baker added succulents to each tier. We had it displayed on a cut of cypress tree wood instead of a cake stand. I loved that touch because that was a cut from a tree that used to stand in my Oma’s (my grandmother’s) yard.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at Louisiana State University. I was a freshman moving into the dorms and Ian was a group leader who was helping to welcome students. My roommate, Stephanie, was in his group, and since I though Ian was cute, I tagged along with them a bit. After that, Ian and I didn’t see each other again until we took a class in the Honors College called FOCUS, which centered around a summer program that helped students from under-resourced schools in Baton Rouge. He taught philosophy and I taught dance. We did this for two summers, and slowly over that time, we got to know each other. He finally asked me out during the second summer!
Tell us all about the proposal! On our first real date, Ian came over to my apartment and cooked for me. Ever since then, cooking and eating together has been one of our favorite things to do. For his proposal, Ian invited my sister Amy over and said he wanted to try making a big, multi-course meal. Ian cooked pretty much the whole time, while Amy and I hung out. I later found out that Ian was too nervous to talk, so he just kept busy cooking! The meal was made up of courses that reminded him of dishes we had made together or other memories we had shared. Finally, he brought out the last “course,” which was the ring.
When did y’all get married? June 6, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We did have one short reading at our wedding. Early in our relationship, Ian had told me about this passage from Plato’s Symposium: “And so, when a person meets the half that is his very own…then something wonderful happens: the two are struck from their senses by love, by a sense of belonging to one another, and by desire, and they don’t want to be separated from one another, not even for a moment.” That short sentiment really struck both of us, so we decided to include it in our ceremony.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I knew that having a June wedding in the South meant a possibility of rain. The wedding was on a beautiful day, but it did drizzle from the moment our officiant started speaking until the moment we walked back up the aisle. I remember finally getting to Ian at the end of the aisle and we just laughed as the rain started. While it was something I had dreaded, it ended up making the ceremony even more memorable.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are moving to Chapel Hill, North Carolina! Ian is going to start his Ph.D. in Philosophy in the fall. The move has us really excited and we are looking forward to exploring a new part of the country together. We are also taking care of our new puppy, Gumbo! :)

Photographer: Paige Reaux Photography / Venue and Caterer: Audubon Park Clubhouse and Oak Grove / Bride’s Bouquet: Succulently Urban / Wedding Cake: The Sweet Life Bakery / Ceremony Music: Michael Legendre / Reception Band: Royal Dukes Band / Bridal Salon: Southern Bridal / Paper Product Design: Amy Ferriss / Paper Product Printing: Vistaprint / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy Group / Groom’s Suit: Banana Republic / Groom’s Shirt: J. Crew / Groom’s Shoes: Johnston and Murphy / Men’s Ties: The Tie Bar / Macarons: Sucre

marissa Written with love by Marissa
7 Comments
  1. avatar chapel2chapel reply

    LOVE that they’re moving to Chapel Hill soon! Knew there was something about this couple that we liked the moment we saw this post! :-)

  2. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    So so sweet! And I love her bouquet!

  3. avatar Loverly reply

    This is so charming! Love the clean and elegant color choices!

  4. avatar Alix Hooker reply

    i love the bridesmaids dresses!! It says the dressy barn but I can’t find that color? What is it called?!

  5. avatar Eleni Love4Wed reply

    I just love the bridal bouquet with succulents!

  6. avatar Amanda reply

    What is the color of the bridesmaids dresses? I can’t find that color anywhere!

  7. avatar Kristen Southworth reply

    Beautiful! What is the style and color name for the bridesmaid dresses? I am looking for something identical but can’t seem to find it on the Dessy Group website.

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Yippee!! Just a few more weeks until V5 arrives!

Erin + Brian might have shared their first kiss on a fifth grade class field trip to the planetarium, but they had no idea they would reconnect years later. Brian even brought Erin back to the same planetarium to get down on one knee and ask her to marry him. (Aww!) Though the two were so ready to get married that they considered tying the knot at city hall, they stuck it out and used their seven-month engagement to create a barn-side wedding full of DIY details and family heirlooms. We love the combination of soft cotton and succulent plants throughout their big day and the fun projection they played against their tent at the reception. Big thanks to Morgan Trinker for sharing this one with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom and I planned an entire weekend in Birmingham to find my dress and had dress fittings scheduled at 3 different stores. I knew what type of dress I was looking for, so that helped as we walked into our first appointment at The White Room. We were both shocked when I picked the second dress I tried on. I put on a third dress, but I was dying to put the second one back on. That was the easiest part of planning our wedding!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did not do a first look. It was very important to Brian that we see each other for the first time as I was walking down the aisle. The expression on his face as I was walking toward him was so worth the wait.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had two groomsmen and two bridesmaids read a passage from “This Momentary Marriage” by John Piper as Brian and I “planted” a tree. They read pages 55-57. It was long, but filled with great words every new couple should hear!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. We had string instruments and a pianist playing for the ceremony. It was beautiful! I walked down the aisle to “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri and walked back up the aisle to “Love Story” by Taylor Swift. Our first dance was to”You and I” by Michael Buble

One of my favorite Southern details from the wedding was the actual venue! Hampstead Farms was the perfect location to celebrate our marriage. I loved how naturally beautiful the growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers looked around our tent, and the gorgeous red barn was the perfect background to every photo. I am also obsessed with crafting and creating, so I love that many Southern weddings now include DIY aspects, which helped me add personal details to our big day. I handmade our save-the-dates, invitations and RSVP cards using paper from Paper Source and custom made stamps from Antiquaria. I also put together the aisle markers using burlap bows and twig wreaths, made the ring bearer pillow, and put together the wedding favors with the help of incredible friends and family. My sweet groom and his brother also made the tree candle holders which were used on the reception tables. Throughout our engagement, I was collecting lanterns and cake plates. I also had many sentimental items used that day, like my baby bonnet which was wrapped around my bouquet, and my grandmother’s doilies, which were used on several different tables.

I am terrible when it comes to flower names, but that’s where pinterest and my incredible florist came in handy. I showed them several pictures of succulents, garden roses, and ranunculus, and asked them to make wild bouquets with similar flowers and add lots of greenery. I was blown away! We had a great mix of succulents, lambs ear (my favorite), branches, and several other flowers. They also built our centerpiece flower boxes for the reception, and they turned out even better than I imagined!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: We actually had five cakes and some Greek desserts. Peggy McKinney made our two-tiered white wedding cake with buttercream frosting, and our one-tiered cakes in peanut butter fudge, strawberry, and key lime. My Aunt Jeana made her homemade pineapple upside down cake (Brian’s favorite). Brian’s mother (who is Greek) and some of the Greek women from church made some other desserts like traditional wedding cookies and baklava.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. In the fifth grade, my family decided to send me to Forest Avenue Academic Magnet School. I was assigned to Mrs. Rodopoulos’ class which just so happens to be the same class Brian was in that year. I didn’t notice Brian right away — It wasn’t until a little friend of mine leaned over in math class one day and asked if I liked Brian as a boyfriend. I said no at first, but once I found out that Brian liked me, I quickly changed my mind! We became boyfriend/girlfriend that day and permanent four-square buddies. Later on that year, our class took a fieldtrip right down the street to the Gayle Planetarium. I was so excited to sit next to Brian and watch the show. Finally, right before the show was over, Brian planted a big kiss on my left temple, and HARD! It almost knocked me out of my seat! We walked around Oak Park after the show with the rest of the class, and I could not stop smiling. My first kiss! :) We lost touch after middle school, but we would run into each other occasionally throughout high school and college. In December of 2010, Brian texted me saying, “I had a dream that we went on a date last night.” I had no idea who it was because I didn’t have Brian’s number in my phone anymore. We talked back and forth for a while until I finally said yes to a date. A few nights later, Brian pulled up to my house having no idea what to expect of the night. I was shocked at how handsome Brian had become, and even more shocked at how perfectly that night went. We laughed a lot, talked about the past, and couldn’t believe that after all this time, we were hanging out again. We have been inseparable ever since then.
Describe the proposal. (From the groom) As Erin was getting ready for a “family photo shoot” with her grandmother, a vintage Studebaker pulled up at the front of the house. A chauffeur knocked on the door and whisked Erin away to the Gayle Planetarium, where I first kissed her 14 years ago. I heard the car door shut and my heart stopped. What were my lines? Where is the ring? She found her way to me and my heart began beating hard. “It’s for her, it’s always been for her,” I thought, “Every beat, every breath. I need this in my life forever.” I dropped to one knee and said, “Under these stars is where I first kissed you, and under these stars is where I want to start the rest of our lives.” It was as easy as that. We took our old seats and just stared at the stars reminiscing on things past and things to come.
In what month did you get married? September
How many guests attended your wedding? About 125
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Patience! Brian and I were so ready to be married that our 7 month engagement felt more like 2 years. We mentioned city hall several times during our engagement, but we stuck it out and it was so worth the wait. Having our wonderful family and friends there to celebrate the beginning of our lives together was the best part of our wedding day.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Our photographer! Our wedding pictures are the only thing we get to physically keep from that day, and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to capture those sweet moments. Morgan Trinker is creative, talented, and just a genuinely happy person to be around. I highly recommend her to any bride!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Walking down the aisle. The look on Brian’s face was more than words could ever describe. The love he feels for me and shows me every single day was displayed in front of all of our family and friends in that moment. It felt like we were the only two people there, and I couldn’t stop looking at him. All of time, money, planning and crafting. that went into the wedding doesn’t even compare to that one moment that we will remember for the rest of our lives.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy it. The planning process can be so tedious at times, but some of the sweetest moments come during your engagement. The bridal showers, engagement parties, and gifts from family and friends are such a fun part of planning a wedding. Live in the moment and celebrate this exciting time with the people who mean the most to you.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Buying a house! We are currently looking for our first home together, which is both exciting and exhausting at the same time. We are eager to find a place of our own and start our own little family down the road.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
14 Comments
  1. avatar Ashleigh reply

    I love love love everything about your wedding, Erin! Just charming!

  2. avatar Kelly C. reply

    I love the details! Beautiful work as always, Morgan!

  3. avatar Lerissa reply

    Wow! This is such a beautiful wedding! & that proposal story was beautiful!

    Every other week my fiance and I talk seriously about pushing up our date. Why wait a year? We’ve been strong so far to keep with our October 2013 date!

  4. avatar kelly @ honor courage commitment reply

    Who are the bridesmaids dresses and bride’s dress by? Love them!

    -kelly

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