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Friends! Welcome back to the Southern Weddings blog! We sincerely apologize for any downtime you might have experienced over the last few days, and thank you kindly for your support during these exciting changes. Speaking of exciting things, be sure to come back tomorrow, because we have an announcement you will NOT want to miss! Hint: It involves a certain magazine that is in the making :) Now, onto today’s wedding. I don’t know if Robyn Van Dyke just happens to work with super-emotive couples, or if she’s extra-talented at bringing out emotion in her couples (I think it’s probably a little of both!), but I love how her photographs so clearly translate the emotion of a wedding day. And of course, as someone who married her own high school sweetheart, I have a soft spot for Tori + Will’s story.

Will and I met our senior year of high school at our youth group senior beach trip. Ironically, we had grown up in the same church and had never really spoken to each other! We hit it off immediately and started dating a month later. We dated for over four years before we tied the knot. It is so neat to be able to say that I married my high school sweetheart! While visiting Will’s grandparents and touring graduate schools in Florida, Will convinced me to get up early and have a sunrise photo shoot on the beach. While we were being photographed by his grandmother, we read from the Bible and Will shared his heart with me in the form of a letter. The last line of the letter read, “I have one more question to ask you, but you have to stand up first.” He then got down on one knee and the rest is history! Fortunately, we have some really awesome photographs of the whole thing.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look. In my opinion, there are only a few truly pure surprises in life and the moment when a groom first beholds his bride has always been one of those moments in my mind. I am so glad that we decided to be traditional and not do a first look. Seeing my groom at the end of the aisle was one of the most exciting and peaceful experiences of my life.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had my brother read 1 John 4:7-19 out of my grandfather’s Bible. Since he is no longer with us, we felt like this was the most perfect and meaningful way to honor his memory. We chose the verse because we wanted our wedding to be centered around our love for the Lord and how His love for us has changed our lives and brought us into a covenant with Him and with one another. Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There were so many physical details that we loved about our wedding day, but our most favorite detail was the fact that our ceremony incorporated so many of our loved ones. Will’s brother, Chad, officiated the ceremony, and did such a wonderful job. My brother Josh read scripture and my sister-in-law Kelsey sang. All of our siblings were part of the wedding party and Will’s adorable nephews, Griffin and Caedmon, were our ring bearers. We were also so blessed to have our parents and members of the wedding party gather around us for a time of prayer during the ceremony. This was one of our favorite moments. Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Most of the ceremony was traditional. I chose to walk down the aisle to the Bridal March and the wedding party entered to the ever-so-elegant Canon in D. My sister-in-law sang “Be Thou My Vision” during the ceremony and it was absolutely beautiful. We chose this song because the lyrics mean so much to us and because we want them to be representative of our marriage and our lives.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? Being from the South, all of these traditions were important to me because they honor the people from the past who have molded and shaped my family. There were too many options for me and in most cases, I doubled up! I borrowed something from both of my grandmothers. From my maternal grandmother, I borrowed her beautiful pearl cluster earrings and from my paternal grandmother, I borrowed her pearl bracelet. My something blue was my garter with blue ribbon. My something old was a cameo from my great grandmother that I carried on my bouquet and the penny that my mom wore in her shoe on her wedding day. For something new, my mom had a handkerchief embroidered with mine and Will’s names, in hopes that I could pass it down to our future children.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Well, first of all, we had an incredibly Southern venue! The beautiful, majestic Belmont Estate was a breathtaking backdrop to our ceremony and it captured the perfect Old South feel that we wanted. In my opinion, part of being Southern is honoring the past. We incorporated lots of antique milk glass in our centerpieces and old fashioned depression glass on our escort card table, some of which belonged to my great grandmother. And of course, you can’t forget the bow ties! Our Southern gentlemen wore their pink bow ties with such class.

We had a traditional wedding cake with sweet, Southern-style flavors. We had a layers of strawberry shortcake, pink lemonade, and tres leches. The cake had a ribbed texture and had a cascade of our wedding flowers. It was breathtaking and even more beautiful than I had ever imagined!

When did y’all get married? June 1, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 150
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I found my wedding dress at the very first bridal store my mom, my sister and I ever visited. The dress was on display and I stared at it for a little while before the consultant finally said “You want to try it on, don’t you?” The dress was not at all what I was picturing for myself at all, but once I had it on, I couldn’t imagine anything better or more beautiful for my big day.
Describe your wedding flowers. From the very beginning, I knew I had to have two flowers present at my wedding–peonies and ranunculus. Sure enough, these flowers made up my beautiful white bouquet and were woven into our centerpieces, bridesmaid bouquets, and boutonnieres. I could not have envisioned more beautiful flowers or floral details. Our florist, Just Priceless, completely captured the sweet, Southern elegance that we wanted.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The most challenging part of the wedding planning process was being apart. Will was still in Boone finishing up college in the months leading up to the wedding and I was living at home student teaching. Though it was challenging, being apart only solidified our relationship and made the reunions all the more sweet.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We were blessed with some of the most phenomenal vendors! From the florist to the cake baker, each played a part in making our wedding day truly beautiful. We honestly do not have a single complaint about any of the vendors who shaped our day. However, we cannot express how much it means to have beautiful photographs from Robyn Van Dyke Photography. Having Robyn and Jordan with us on that day was wonderful, and now, we have the most stunning images to keep forever! They are phenomenal.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There are so many moments that stand out from that day: Will’s face as he looked up at me for the first time, our behind-the-door gift exchange, and the countless connections with loved ones. However, I will honestly say that my favorite and most memorable moment from my wedding day was driving away from the reception with Will. The joy that we shared as we were on our way to starting our lives together was intensely sweet and we both just basked in memories from the day.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Be sure to prepare for your marriage far more than you prepare for your wedding. Leading up to your big day, it is important that you spend time with one another in ways that don’t always revolve around wedding planning. Embrace the sacredness of this season of life and enjoy the excitement and anticipation
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Will and I look forward to pursuing our dream careers for awhile before we begin a family. I will be in my first year of teaching second grade and Will is beginning to explore graduate school options. Most of all, we just look forward to making a home together. We are already loving being able to come home to one another each day. It makes life so much sweeter to be able to do that!

Photographer: Robyn Van Dyke Photography | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Belmont Estate | Florist: Just Priceless | Wedding Cake: Edible Artistry | DJ: Complete Music | Bride’s Gown: Ellis Bridal | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: All About You Salon & Day Spa | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy After Six | Men’s Attire: VIP Tuxedos

Robyn Van Dyke is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
17 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Gorgeous, prayerful, classic, and Southern–all my favorite wedding things! And I am dying to know, where did that cute rabbit come from??

  2. avatar Lauren reply

    Absolutely LOVE the colors.

  3. avatar Faith reply

    What a beautiful wedding!! Robyn’s images are absolutely gorgeous!! :)

  4. avatar Robyn Van Dyke reply

    Lisa, the ADORABLE rabbit was hiding in their getaway car as a surprise!!! ;)

  5. avatar Two Wed Wedding reply

    So sweet with each other. Every splendid moments were captured. I love the cake.

  6. avatar Leigh Pearce reply

    how cute are those clutches!? and lovely blooms as always, sami + nancy!! :) so proud of yall!!

  7. avatar Hannah reply

    Hi, Would you mind sharing the style/designer of the dress? So gorgeous!!

  8. avatar Erin reply

    What a stunning bride! I love her classic hair and veil, and that dress, oh my Lord!!!

  9. avatar Jessie at Gramercy Studio reply

    This looks like the type of wedding you leave a changed person. This couple seems to have a lot of depth – I love how much emphasis they placed on involving their families.

    Thank you Southern Weddings for stories like these. It is nice to read about more than just the decor and dress, but to actually be inspired by such pure love.

    blog.gramercystudio.com

  10. avatar Caryn reply

    I love the clutches! Where did you have those made?

  11. avatar Southern Wedding Tradition: A Father’s First Look | Your Hub for Southern Culture reply

    […] See the rest of this North Carolina wedding by Robyn Van Dyke on SouthernWeddings.com! […]

  12. avatar Anna reply

    I would really love to know the designer of this dress.

  13. avatar 2014 Wedding Cake Trends #3 Buttercream Beauties | Bridal Musings reply

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  16. avatar Sandra – Li’l Inspirations reply

    Love all the monogrammed details, especially the custom monogrammed wedding handkerchief. Li’l Inspirations created it for Tory’s mom to give to her.

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It’s not often that we get to hear a couple’s love story from the groom, but when we do, it’s such a treat! Brandy and Quint are so adorable together, and their colorful wedding was wonderfully reflective of their fun-loving, joyful personalities. These North Carolina natives drew tons of inspiration from their Southern home state, from the foods they served to the way they incorporated family into the ceremony. After all, as Brandy says, “So much of being Southern is celebrating family.” We couldn’t agree more!

Thank you so much to Anna Routh for sharing Brandy and Quint’s wedding with us!

From Quint: We owe our meeting to a mutual friend, Damian Hall. Damian has known Brandy for a few years through one of Brandy’s bridesmaids, Elizabeth, and he was in my part-time MBA classes at North Carolina State University. After getting to know me, he decided to play matchmaker and asked each of us if we cared to be set up. We both were game, so he gave me Brandy’s phone number. After an exciting initial phone conversation, I asked Brandy to a concert, Joshua Radin, at Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh. We met for the first time outside of Sono, a sushi place on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh. We shared many laughs, smiles, and even a practical joke on Damian that night. It was a great meeting/first date, and we have been stuck on each other ever since.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I was very nervous about finding “the” dress. Lana Addison, a boutique in downtown Cary was recommended to us by a friend. It was the perfect place to find a dress. Small and intimate, with a great collection of beautiful gowns. Joining me was my mom, sister, and two best friends. The dress I selected was the third one I tried on! Even though I tried on many more, we all kept going back to the Martina Liana gown. It was a fitted lace gown with a sweetheart neckline. I also had two sashes I wore for the day. I wore a taupe sash for the ceremony, tied in a bow in the back. For the reception, I changed into a crystal embellished sash. The gown had vintage-inspired, re-embroidered, textural cotton lace detail, a scalloped hem and a traditional chapel train.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided not to do a ‘first look. We really wanted to save that moment for the ceremony. Sharing this sweet moment with our friends and family was perfect for us.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? While we didn’t write our own vows, we poured over samples of vows and pieced together the ones that we felt were most important and meaningful to us.

We were married in the gardens of the Weymouth Center and I wanted to add to the beautiful, natural flowers in the environment. I used pink and coral roses, gerbera daisies, and green and white hydrangea. Our designer also incorporated many other small orange blooms in miniature vases. It was very eclectic and perfect for our outdoor garden affair. As opposed to matching table florals, we used old vases (brown and blue glass) and lots of white milk glass in various shapes and sizes. I switched things up a bit and had the bridesmaids carry white bouquets with hydrangeas and other blooms while I carried a bouquet with coral and pink accents. My bouquet handle carried a small charm of a pug, as a tribute to our sweet pug, Pearl! The bridesmaids all wore different dresses and the maid and matron of honor wore a slightly different color, so the white bouquets added the symmetry we needed.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our food, for starters. We had a buffet menu of Eastern pulled pork BBQ (our favorite food), fried chicken, baked mac and cheese, roasted vegetables, baby green salad with strawberries and goat cheese, mini biscuits and cornbread with honey butter. We also had lemonade served out of mason jars. The groomsmen wore khaki slacks and vests with plaid bow ties. Even our sweet ring bearer, Lawson Akom, wore a khaki suit with a chevron bow tie. Adorable! During the reception, we played a bit of beach music to get the crowd warmed up. One element that makes me feel Southern was having the entire event outdoors. Both of us grew up in NC and love being outside. It was important to us to incorporate the natural beauty of our venue. As the sun set, twinkle lights and candles were used everywhere.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Pies, pies, and more pies!! Quint and I love pie and we felt it was a nice touch to add to our Southern wedding. We had pecan, peanut butter, key lime, chocolate, lemon and strawberry. Some were full sized and a few were mini. We did have a small cake as well, since we couldn’t miss the opportunity to “cut the cake.” We had two layers–one peanut butter and the other strawberry, all covered in buttercream icing.

Tell us all about the proposal! From Quint: On my drive back from Pinehurst, NC after asking Ms. Barrett’s permission to marry Brandy (meeting Brandy to go see “The Five Year Engagement,” ironically), I began brainstorming about how I wanted to carry out this important moment. It only took me about 25 minutes to hatch my plan. I knew that Pinehurst was on the short list of Brandy’s favorite places in the world, so that location was settled. Since it is known for its golfing, I wanted to incorporate that as well. I had our friends, Justin and Elizabeth, reach out to Brandy about visiting us from Philadelphia, and had them express interest in riding with us to Pinehurst to play a round of golf. Brandy bought it. My plan was to propose on the 5th hole of one of the eight Pinehurst courses. Why the 5th hole? Why not the 18th green? Glad you asked. Being that I am the 5th (V), the number five has always had a special meaning to me, and I did not want to leave any detail untouched. With the help of Justin and Elizabeth, we got a tee-time of 11:20 AM on Pinehurst Course No. 3, and a customized golf ball with “Brandy, will you marry me” on it. Justin also helped me arrange for my dad to hide out around the 5th hole so that he could take pictures and capture the moment as it happened. Now, I’m not a great golfer, so I had alternating fears about my plan: a) I would play absolutely terribly and be about 20 over par through those five holes; or b) I would play tremendously and not want to end our round short on the 5th green! The nerves didn’t hit until the tee box for the 5th hole, but I somehow managed to make it to the green in regulation. Once Brandy reached the green, I replaced her actual ball with the customized ball and waited for her to approach. I got an assist from Elizabeth, who encouraged Brandy to remove her golf glove from her left hand because “all of the professionals putt without their gloves.” After some initial confusion about her ball, she bent down, read the question, and turned to find me kneeling with the ring. What I actually said is hazy in my memory, but I’m pretty sure she got the point that I was asking her to marry me! She said “YES” of course, and then I calmly sank my par putt. From there, it was a whirlwind of pictures on the course, followed by some celebratory champagne in the clubhouse. Brandy kept saying that she needed to call her mom and her best friend, Whitney, but I had a plan arranged for that, so I managed to stall her. I had gathered a group of our closest friends a couple of minutes away at Ms. Barrett’s house for a surprise celebration. It was a perfect celebration for a perfect day.

When did y’all get married? June 8th, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Whitney Akom, the matron of honor read a piece by Wilferd Arlan Peterson titled “The Art of Marriage.”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For our first dance, we chose “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. We had discussed several different options for our first dance, but it was decided after Quint randomly watched “I Love You, Man” on Comedy Central one night and heard that tune on the soundtrack. We listened to it and realized it was perfect for our first dance! A couple of years ago at a friend’s wedding, “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison played. Quint and his mother simultaneously shared their love for that song, so it was only natural for them to use it for their mother-son dance.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It’s hard to pin down a favorite detail, however, we were thankful and blessed to have my Aunt Bebe marry us. She is my father’s sister. Although my Dad is not with us, having Bebe be such a special part of our wedding was perfect and something we will always cherish. So much of being Southern is celebrating family. :)
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I wore a new double-stranded Chanel pearl bracelet given to me by my mom as my something new. My something old was a handkerchief that was Quint’s grandmother’s. My something blue was my garter and my something borrowed was a ring that belonged to one of my bridesmaids.
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? Ray! Ray was our wedding planner/designer/caterer/ extraordinaire!! He always made us feel reassured and was able to make our vision come to life. I also feel it is important to note that my sister and mom were such a huge inspiration for many of the special touches at our wedding. They both are have a talent for design and crafting.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There were so many memorable moments. We both wanted our reception to be a great time to “get down” with our friends and families. As we introduced our bridal party into the tent, we had selected a different song for them to dance to. Needless to say, this was hilarious. The night continued into a huge dance party, tons of celebrating, and lots of laughter.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Our advice would be to not stress yourself out if something (details, etc.) don’t work out. No one will know but you. Enjoy the day!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Enjoying each other every day. Down the road, we look forward to starting a family!

Photographer: Anna Routh / Planner, Florist, Dessert Baker and Caterer: Ray McDaniel / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Weymouth Center for Arts and Humanities / DJ: More Entertainment / Bride’s Gown: “Martina Liana 404” at Lana Addison Bridal / Paper Products: Blue Eye Brown Eye / Bride’s Veil: Lana Addison Bridal / Bride’s Jewelry: Vintage Chanel / Hair Stylist: Salon Jasemin / Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers / Wedding Party Attire: J.Crew

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Caitlyn | The Aerialist Press reply

    Very cute! Love the menu!

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Upon first look at Melati + Mark’s darling Charleston nuptials, I was overcome by how effortfully chic their entire day looks. The classic navy details combined with the relaxed burlap runners feel polished yet laid back — a difficult balance to strike that M + M couldn’t have made prettier! But, of course, you know I can’t just talk about how lovely their day is, after reading their interview. I know Kristin would agree that Melati’s outlook on married life is spot on! She said, with marriage, “there is added responsibility to always be the best form of yourself and added security, too, for when that doesn’t always happen.” YES!

Big thanks to Loren Routhier for sharing this sweet day!

Our work nickname (combining my first name and Mark’s last name) is “Belati.” We tied ribbons which were printed with “BELATI EST. 2013” around each set of silverware. The silverware was then laid across navy blue linen napkins at each table. This little touch, along with the hand-painted navy “B” on the burlap runners gave each table a special feel.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My wedding dress was a silk strapless sweetheart gown from Nicole Miller. I absolutely loved the draping in the front and felt like it gave the dress a romantic vibe. It was one of the first dressed I tried on, and from then on, I went on a search to find the best deal. Believe it or not, I ended up buying my dress brand new from eBay for a third of the cost. There are tons of deals out there if you are looking to find them!

Describe your wedding flowers. I was looking for a rustic look. The flowers were assembled in muted tones with a mixture of Juliet David Austin roses, assorted textural flowers, lavender, succulents and scabiosa pods for a little edge.

Mark was a huge advocate of seeing each other for the first time when I walked down the aisle. The park had a beautiful winding brick path, which actually provided me the opportunity to have a special moment with my father and acknowledge several guests. However, as soon as Mark and I locked eyes, it was complete tunnel vision. I even had to go back after the ceremony to see what the flowers that lined the aisle looked like. It was exactly as we had hoped, the butterflies and tears. I don’t know if it would have been as overwhelming if we had seen each other before.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There were three details in particular that were important to us. For our guest book, we found a North Carolina artist and asked them to paint the reception venue. We then installed a hard canvas on the back and had guests sign it. This painting will forever hang on our wall with the names of all who joined us. Second, our work nickname (combining my first name and Mark’s last name) is “Belati.” We tied ribbons which were printed with “BELATI EST. 2013” around each set of silverware. The silverware was then laid across navy blue linen napkins at each table. This little touch, along with the hand-painted navy “B” on the burlap runners gave each table a special feel. Third, we loved our custom stamp. The brown paper bag that Mark used in the proposal had the stamp from the bakery he bought it from on it (a funky rooster). Then, when we grabbed breakfast on our way to the soon-to-be-discovered ceremony and reception location, we were given our pastries in another brown paper bag with a whisk stamp. Last, that year, we picked up donuts in Kansas before our engagement party and, what do you know, but we got another brown paper bag with the store’s logo stamped on it. Needless to say we sensed the universe giving us a theme. We ended up framing those three paper bags and then created a custom stamp based off of the tree that we got married under. We used that not only on our own brown paper bags, but also throughout the programs and cards during the reception.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? In addition to the Spanish moss and old oak tree ceremony site and the Southern plantation reception, we wanted to give everyone a taste of the low-country in both style and food. Mark and the groomsmen wore navy blue bow ties (in assorted colors and patterns) in honor of Mark’s grandfather who was a tremendous influence in Mark’s life. We also featured a cocktail hour with crab cakes, peel-and-eat shrimp and prosciutto wrapped asparagus. For the main course we served shrimp and grits, beef tenderloin (for non-seafood lovers), cornbread, macaroni and cheese, roasted new potatoes and fresh green beans with almonds and bacon.

Mark has a serious sweet tooth, so when it was time for the tasting, we simply could not choose just one flavor. We featured eight wedding cakes with flavors ranging from lemon custard, strawberry buttercream (with local strawberries), grapefruit, coconut, peanut butter chocolate and more. Mini cupcakes were also available in fresh blueberry buttercream and mint chocolate.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in 2009 at an ad agency we both work for in Durham, North Carolina. I was originally recruited to work for Mark, but, luckily for our future relationship, once I was hired, I was placed on a different account. Though we often saw each other in the office and out with friends, our relationship started more than a year after our first meeting. Since we both love the outdoors and our dogs, our first date was a five-hour hike during which we introduced our furry family members. Our second date was less than 24 hours after the first, and since that time, we have been inseparable. Mark and I pride ourselves on the DIY spirit we both infuse into our home and experience daily by living in Durham. Naturally, our wedding was an outdoor, DIY event in a romantic city that serves as our most frequent getaway destination, Charleston, SC.
Tell us all about the proposal! Early in our relationship, we developed the habit of going to the Durham Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. When I was dying to sleep in, Mark would often go solo and bring home breakfast and flowers (I’m a lucky gal). In August of 2012, Mark came home at 8am and woke me up with a call to join him in the kitchen. Thank goodness I washed my face and brushed my teeth first, rather than stumbling in half asleep! There were two brown paper bags on the counter. Mark pointed to one that held my breakfast and then reached behind him to grab what I thought was his bag. Instead, he pulled out a ring and got down on one knee. It turns out he had called both of my parents and both of my sisters beforehand to get everyone’s blessing. We celebrated with mimosas and tearful phone calls. Even our dogs got special treats to mark the occasion.
When did y’all get married? June 1, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 101
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We thought it was very important to write our own vows to each other. Mark’s blew me away—we’re talking serious tears. My favorite lines were from his vows, which read: “I promise to always love you, stand by you, and protect you. I will be strong in times of challenge, tender in times of pain, as playful with our children as we are with each other and, above all, your steadfast partner and best friend for the rest of our lives.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Instead of religious readings, we opted for “The Blessing of the Hands.” “These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that, even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. (Guests Arrival) Mumford and Sons, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder: We wanted a collection of low-key and upbeat music that represents the vibe we live by. (Mothers’ Entrance) “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles: It was such a celebratory song that really hit home because of how much both of our mothers have built their lives around showing, giving and nurturing love. (Wedding Party) “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole: We love this song also because of the upbeat nature. It’s fun, a little old fashioned (which we can be), and gives folks a cute pep in their step when they walk to it! (Walk Down Aisle) “Forever” by Ben Harper: This song in so many ways represents the journey the two of us have been through and our pledge to each other. This was very much my song dedication to Mark, like our first dance was his song dedication to me. (Recessional) “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers (starting at 0:52) (First Dance) “I’ll Be Your Lover Too” by Van Morrison: This song represents Mark so incredibly well and was one of the first songs he shared with me when we first started dating. (Father/Daughter Dance) “Up on the Roof” by The Drifters: My father sang this to me when putting me to bed throughout my childhood. The song was a surprise to him until the morning of the wedding. However, he was certain that would be the one! (Mother/Son Dance) “Let it Be” by The Beatles.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old was a baby bonnet Mark wore home from the hospital that was sewn under my dress. For my something borrowed, I also wore an heirloom pearl and gold bracelet from her mother’s side of the family in Malaysia. For my something new, I splurged on a pair of Miguel Ases pearl and gold chandelier earrings (they were to die for). For my something blue, I fell in love with a pair of navy suede Kate Spade wedges.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? There were two main challenges we faced when planning the wedding. The first was planning a wedding as an out-of-town bride. It became incredibly important that all of our vendors were personable and prompt on the phone/email. It was also important that we could communicate our vision and hopes and dreams and that they could not only echo them back, but add to them. Through vendors building on our ideas, we were able to get a feel for who really “got us” and who was just “giving good phone.” The second biggest challenge was planning a budget. For Mark and I, it was very important to have the wedding we had always dreamed of without compromising our financial future, as we were just starting the build a life together. There were a lot of times when I had to ask myself if an idea or detail was critical for the day or if there were ways that I could recreate a look myself. Etsy and Pinterest became my go-to resources for inspiration on achieving different looks myself or to finding an artist who could do it for less than I would be charged otherwise.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? There are two answers for this question too. One was my photographer, Loren Routhier. She was such a blessing throughout the entire process. She was flexible and responsive, and when she showed up on-site, she just fit right in and exuded warmth, making everyone feel comfortable. Additionally, she went above and beyond after the wedding to make sure I had everything I could have dreamed of to document the day! The other person was our day-of-coordinator who manages the reception site, Margaret McKenzie. She offered her services when we visited the site and I was sold. And thank goodness, because she played such a pivotal role.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My favorite part of the wedding day was by far and away when we delivered our vows. We were holding hands, staring into each other’s eyes and were somewhere between laughing and crying the whole time. At one point, Mark forgot part of his vows because he was just overcome with the moment and my heart was so full. It sounds funny to say that that was my favorite part but I still smile just thinking about it.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Be sure that the wedding you plan is the wedding you want. It can be very hard when friends and family offer opinions (and sometimes they do so very strongly). Just remember that this is YOUR day. Respectfully thank them for their input and let them know that you’ll keep their ideas in mind as you decide how everything flows together. By addressing that type of feedback upfront, it will be easier to follow through with your own desires as your (and their) nerves and anticipation grow.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Just spending more and more time together. We postponed our honeymoon until early 2014, as we spent the week leading up to and after the wedding with our families. Everyone asks if being married feels any different. It doesn’t really. But, perhaps, there is added responsibility to always be the best form of yourself and added security too for when that doesn’t always happen.

Photographer: Loren Routhier | Ceremony Venue: Wide Awake Park | Reception Venue: Old Wide Awake Plantation | Florist: Wildflowers Inc | Wedding Cake Baker: Sugar Bakeshop | Caterer: Crazy Dutchman Catering | Rentals: Snyder | Bride’s Gown: Nicole Miller | Hair Stylist & Makeup Artist: Paper Dolls | Additional Vendors: In lieu of traditional wedding favors, the couple made a donation to the ASPCA.

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

    I am completely head over heels for the bouquets and that gorgeous venue! I also love Melati’s perfectly gracious advice for people currently planning a wedding. Brides, take note! :)

  2. avatar Nicole reply

    So sweet!! I’m a total sucker for puppies, so I love that their first date was a chance for their dogs to meet and that their furry family family members were even a part of the engagement celebration :)

  3. avatar Marilyn Schultz reply

    How wonderful to read about all the details of Melati (my niece) and Mark’s wedding in Southern Weddings. I live in California, and since I was unable to attend the wedding, seeing the photos and reading Melati and Mark’s answers to the interview questions was the next best thing to being there! Such a beautiful southern wedding and a stunning couple. Thank you!

  4. avatar Emily reply

    What a seriously gorgeous bouquet! I adore the dahlias.

  5. avatar Summer reply

    Where did you get your bridesmaids dresses? Love the different styles!

  6. avatar Lynsey reply

    Where did you get your bridesmaid dresses? They are gorgeous. I really like the strapless one with the deep V. Have friends planning a wedding and are desperately looking for that dress!

  7. avatar The Wedding Planner’s Wedding Part II: Obstacles & Compromise reply

    […] Elizabeth Fogarty via Style Me Pretty; Outdoor ceremony – Loren Routhier Photography via Southern Weddings; Handfasting Ceremony – One Love Photography via Style Me Pretty; Ballyseede Castle – […]

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