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I’m convinced that deciding where to get married is either one of the easiest or one of the hardest wedding planning decisions. I relate so much to Erin and Sean’s decision to marry in Raleigh, where they would be starting their newlywed life, because Dave and I did the exact same thing! For their classic Southern celebration, Erin and Sean brought a little bit of their hometowns to Raleigh by filling their downtown venues with nautical touches that nodded to their childhoods spent on the coast. My favorite detail of Erin and Sean’s big day? While they were introducing loved ones to their new hometown, they were also giving family and friends mementos for their own homes: “We have our oyster shell place cards displayed on our coffee table, and we’ve visited with friends who kept their place cards and have them displayed in their homes, too!”

Thank you so much to Julie Livingston for sharing this lovely day with us!

My mom, grandmother, and mother-in-law were all with me when I found my dress. I had two appointments in Raleigh and ultimately found my dress at the last place we went, Maggi Bridal. I had no clue what I wanted, so I tried on quite a few dresses, but it ended up being so easy for me to pick the dress. My dress was just so elegant, timeless, and Southern, which is what I wanted our entire wedding day to exude! My favorite part of the whole day was seeing the reactions every time I came out of the dressing room. Of course, they loved every dress I tried on!

Describe your wedding flowers. We started out with the idea of using driftwood and oyster shells as part of our arrangements and decor, as both Sean and I grew up near the coast. Our florist was so on board with our ideas, and had so many ideas of her own. It was so much fun to collaborate with her and watch her bring our vision to life in ways we couldn’t have imagined! Our flowers had a coastal theme and were all shades of creams, ivories, and whites with lots of greenery. Anna, our florist, was also able to source snowball viburnum, which was used in our bouquets and floral arrangements. This was especially important to me, as my late grandmother had a snowball bush that she was so proud of, so including the snowball viburnum was such a special way to honor her. There was even a huge vase filled with it near the entrance to the Merrimon-Wynne House–it was one of my favorite pieces!

Everything from our venue, to the food we served, to some of the traditions we kept was Southern! We buried a bottle of bourbon, which Sean and his groomsmen dug up the morning of our wedding while getting ready. To keep Sean and I from seeing each other, my brother brought me a glass of the bourbon! In addition to the tradition, the food we served was very Southern: mini chicken and waffles, fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese, and shrimp and grits!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Sean and I decided we wanted to get married in Raleigh. We loved Raleigh and it was where we would be starting our lives together as husband and wife, so we wanted to choose a venue that would show all of our guests just how great Raleigh and North Carolina are. We started going to Edenton Street United Methodist Church in downtown Raleigh during the summer we were engaged and we loved it. We instantly felt like we were part of a family at EUMC, so there was no question that we wanted to get married there. Our reception was at the Merrimon-Wynne House in downtown Raleigh. My mother and I went to visit the venue and as soon we we walked through the front door, we knew this was where we wanted the reception to be. The Merrimon-Wynne House was everything I could have dreamed of for our wedding–Southern, classic, gorgeous light…and the icing on the cake was that it was only a few blocks from our church and had plenty of room for all of our guests. We were able to get ready there too, and it was so fun to hang out at the house all day with some of my favorite women!

We used driftwood that my mother collected from the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia on the dinner tables, with larger pieces on the porch and the mantle. Anna did an amazing job in incorporating the driftwood into our floral arrangements. There was also a large piece of driftwood draped with greenery, flowers, oyster shells, and candles that hung over our sweetheart table–it was stunning, and now hangs over our couch in our home! We saved oyster shells from an engagement party that my aunt and uncle hosted for us, and from other oyster roasts we had as a family, and used those as place cards for our guests and throughout the decor. One and Only Stationers, who created our programs and other details, wrote each guest’s name on an oyster shell in navy ink. We have our oyster shell place cards displayed on our coffee table, and we’ve visited with friends who kept their place cards and have them displayed in their homes, too! I just loved how all of these pieces were gathered by my family and turned into special pieces that Sean and I have kept and incorporated into our home.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Time management! I work for a public accounting firm and my schedule at work is not light! Some days, I felt like I would never be able to plan a wedding because I just didn’t have time. Luckily, I was able to lean on my mom for a lot of help. I know she sacrificed a lot of time to help me plan the wedding of my dreams–but I don’t think either of us would have had it any other way!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff, because on the day of your wedding, you will forget all about the small stuff! Something will definitely happen or go wrong (like the electricity going out at church, in our case!), but at the end of the day, you will still be married and it will still be the best day ever!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From Sean: Erin and I met at a JV football game in high school through mutual friends. I was playing for the varsity team at the time, but decided to stick around after practice to see some of the underclassmen play. I remember being introduced to Erin and immediately having this feeling that I knew she was the one. We started dating shortly after that memorable Thursday night some nine years ago. After enduring a few years in a somewhat-long distance relationship, with Erin at NC State and myself at East Carolina, I made the decision to move to Raleigh, where we call home today.
Tell us all about the proposal! I had just finished my Masters in Accounting at NC State University and was spending all summer studying for the CPA exam. I had just finished taking one of the exams and was meeting Sean for lunch at Player’s Retreat, near NC State’s campus. It was a gorgeous day, so after eating lunch, Sean suggested we go for a walk. We walked down Hillsborough Street towards NC State’s campus and ended up in the Court of Carolinas. As we walked out into the Court of Carolinas, I saw this little puppy next to the sidewalk sitting in a basket. I turned to Sean, a bit worried, and asked, “Is that a dog? Who would leave a puppy out here by itself in the middle of July?” Sean then proceeded to walk over to the puppy, picked him up, and said, “Erin, I’d like you to meet Murphy,” and put him in my arms. I was speechless! While I stood there wide-eyed over my new puppy, Sean turned around, grabbed the ring box out of the basket, got down on one knee, and proposed! We were both shaking and tearing up, we were so excited! It was one of the happiest days of my life–I got a fiancé and a puppy!
When did y’all get married? August 1, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. Instead, we opted for the traditional vows, which still hold so much meaning to us and the commitment we made to each other.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My uncle Billy J read 1 Corinthians 13 and my Uncle Bill read Philippians 4:4-9. I love 1 Corinthians 13 because it not only tells how important love is in all aspects of our lives, but it also reminds us how to love one another. Philippians 4:4-9 is just a joyful passage and it was so wonderful to be reminded that the Lord was near, surrounding Sean and I, our families, and our friends with His love and grace. It was so special to have my uncles read these passages during our ceremony because I am so close to each of them, and Sean and I really look up to them!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I ended up with a multitude of borrowed, blue, old, and new items on my wedding day! I had a gold pin that my grandmother, her sister, my aunt, and my mother all wore when they were married. I also carried a handkerchief embroidered in blue given to me by a cousin on my mother’s side, who explained that all the women in our family had carried it, and I was to pass it on to the next cousin to get married. My mom and dad gave me a beautiful silver and diamond bracelet.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We attended a few marriage counseling sessions at Edenton St. United Methodist and with our pastor. Through these sessions, I realized more and more how ready and happy I was to be marrying this man.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are living and working in Raleigh with our dog, Murphy. So far, we have just enjoyed coming home to each other, running errands together, cooking dinner together, and enjoying all that Raleigh has to offer. Being big college football fans, we frequent the NC State and ECU football games, cheer for the Panthers, and can be found hanging out with each other or our dear friends and family every weekend. We are looking forward to sharing new experiences together–we’d love to travel around the US and abroad and have a few long weekend trips planned in the coming months!

Photographer: Julie Livingston Photography | Videographer: Jared Cook Films | Coordinator: Gather Together Events | Ceremony Venue: Edenton Street United Methodist Church | Reception Venue: The Merrimon-Wynne House | Florist: Simply Elegant Floral Designs | Dessert Baker: The Cupcake Shoppe | Caterer: Catering Works | Rentals: Party Reflections | Band: The Magic Pipers | Paper Products: One and Only Stationers | Bride’s Gown: Maggi Bridal | Hair Stylist: Parlor Blow Dry Bar | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Mary” Top and “Tulip” Skirt in Umber by LulaKate | Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids | Menswear: VIP Formal Wear | Koozies: Pink House Press | Transportation: Ecostyle and Classy Transportation

Gather Together Events is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Ashlee Little reply

    Thank you so much for sharing Erin + Sean’s wedding! We’re glad you loved the driftwood chandelier as much as we loved making it. :)

  2. avatar Brenda Parker reply

    This was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever seen. I was not at the wedding but have seen all the photos. It is obvious a lot of attention was paid to every detail to achieve an elegant southern wedding with a very personal touch. I enjoyed reading the back story of all the details of their story.

  3. avatar Dana reply

    a puppy and a proposal! not bad!!!

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While they might have hit a little bump in the road when they first met (be sure to read their interview to get my silly pun!), Monica and Jerrod’s wedding day was as sweet as their amaretto cake. Together with their planner, Meagan Warren, and the talented team at Fern, Monica and Jerrod took the blank space of 701 Whaley and turned it into a pretty, preppy celebration full of pink dogwoods and puffy peonies. I love the juxtaposition of the renovated industrial building and the feminine details!

Thanks to Joshua Aaron for sending this striped day our way!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met on St. Patrick’s Day in Five Points (a local festival in Columbia, South Carolina) through mutual friends. After chatting that evening, Jerrod offered to drive me home. We were sitting at a traffic light talking when Jerrod leaned over to give me a kiss–just as he accidentally took his foot off the brake and bumped into the car in front of us!! After that, we did not see each other for several years, and one night, Jerrod liked a photo I put up on Facebook. I had not seen or spoken to him in so long, so I sent him a message asking him how he was doing. We ended up going out and catching up, and from that night on, we have been together, having fun and creating memories. And there have not been any more fender benders! :)

I went dress shopping in Charleston, South Carolina at a place called Maddison Row. After a couple of dresses, I tried on “THE” dress, and I loved it immediately. I loved the buttons that went down the back of the dress. The fact that my father loved the dress as well sealed the deal!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a bagpiper play “Ode to Joy” by Beethoven when I walked down the aisle with my dad. When Jerrod and I walked back up the aisle, he played “Highland Cathedral” by Roever and Korb along with the organ.

We were married at Mt. Horeb United Methodist, which is the church that Jerrod’s mother’s side of the family attends. Our reception venue was 701 Whaley–I really liked the open floor plan and the uniqueness of the renovated building. We could really make it our own.

Describe your wedding flowers. My wedding flowers were beautiful and colorful. There were pink dogwoods in large vases on the tables at the venue. I love peonies, and had the most beautiful peonies at the wedding. I wanted a colorful palette, and it was beyond what I could have imagined.

Describe your wedding cake. The wedding cake was four tiers in amaretto and lemon flavors, and it had real flowers cascading down the side. It was so good, we only had a few pieces left to take home.

Tell us all about the proposal! I am a nurse and I was coming home from a day shift at the hospital. I usually talk to Jerrod on the way home from work to let him know I’m on the way home. When I pull up to the house, he is usually sitting out on our front porch with my dog, a french bulldog named Bella. Bella always runs to greet me when I am getting out of the car. Just like every other day, Jerrod and Bella were outside and Bella ran to greet me. Jerrod was standing on the porch and came walking towards me. We hugged each other and he said “Say hey to Bella.” As I turned around to look at Bella, the sun hit something on her collar. I then realized what it was and turned around to see Jerrod on one knee. He asked me if I would marry him, and I, of course, said yes!!
When did y’all get married? April 18, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? A little more than 200
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My old and blue item is very special to me. My Aunt Tina made a garter belt for me out of an old blue tie of my Opa’s (which means grandpa in German). He passed away a few years ago and he was definitely there in spirit at my wedding. I borrowed my mom’s diamond tennis bracelet and I had new earrings that were made especially for me.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had koozies made for our guests. We served fried green tomatoes and corn dip, which was amazing. We all sang along to “Family Tradition” by Hank Williams, Jr.–I don’t know if it gets more Southern than that!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I would suggest hiring a wedding planner if you are able. This takes so much stress off of you and lets you enjoy the wedding planning experience!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Our home is being built and we will be moving at the end of summer 2015. We are also looking forward to expanding our family and having children.

Photographer: Joshua Aaron / Planner: Meagan Warren / Ceremony Venue: Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church / Reception Venue: 701 Whaley / Florist: Fern / Cake Baker: Parkland Cakes / Caterer: Southern Way / Rentals: Party Reflections / Lighting: Ambient Media / DJ: Jason Book with Party Time DJs / Paper Products: Byfarr / Bridal Salon: Maddison Row / Hair Stylist: Keri Bailes / Makeup Artist: Daniel Price / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Sarah Svendsen reply

    What vibrant colors! I’m in love with the teal blue bridesmaid dresses and how the bride mixes in the coral flowers. I also love the asymmetrical dresses, though I’m partial (I had similar bridesmaid dresses but in nude at my own wedding) :) Great work, SW!

  2. avatar Meagan Warren reply

    Thank you for showcasing one of my FAVORITE weddings we have planned! Loved working with Monica and Jerrod… dream couple to work with. Thank you Southern Weddings and Joshua Aaron Photography! xoxo, Meagan Warren
    Meagan Warren Weddings

  3. avatar Monica reply

    Hi! Was this just submitted online or in one of your actual magazines?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Monica! This wedding was featured online, not in the magazine! :)

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I have a soft spot for Texas weddings, and when the bride and groom are fellow University of Texas alumni, I can’t resist calling dibs on writing their wedding post! Brianna and Jim met at the Forty Acres, and after years of long-distance, they chose two very special venues in Brianna’s hometown for their winter wedding. Their celebration was classic, lovely, stylish (especially Brianna’s “Carrie Bradshaw-esque” dress!), and Southern–the focus on hospitality was undeniable, and I guarantee you that every SW gal is currently wishing we could’ve helped ourselves to their biscuit bar!

Thank you so much to Elisabeth Carol for sharing Brianna and Jim’s lovely day with us!

I borrowed my Granny Pehl’s wedding ring, just as my cousins before me have. I wore it on my right hand, and it was so special to have a piece of family history so close to me on the big day. My something old was my mother’s ring bearer pillow with a piece of my Meme’s lace sewn onto it. My something blue was my new monogram that we tied on my bouquet. I love how it pops in pictures, and it was fun getting to incorporate my new monogram into the wedding! My new was a pair of gold Manolo Blahnik pumps. To go with my Carrie Bradshaw-esque dress, I needed some dream shoes. I was under budget with my dress, so I was able to splurge on these beauties!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Two weekends after the engagement, my mom, sister, and I headed to San Antonio to shop! I was about to start nursing school and wasn’t sure how much time I was going to have to get wedding items taken care of. I had always wanted to be married in Vera Wang and knew that her White collection at David’s Bridal was going to help make that dream a reality. I tried on almost all of her gowns, and when I put the last one on, I just knew this was the dress that I was going to marry Jim in. The dress was a little classic, a little couture, and a little Carrie Bradshaw.

One of my fondest childhood memories is being a train bearer in my cousin’s wedding, waiting in the entry with her before she walked down the aisle. She was nervous and excited, and there was an energy in the room that I will never forget. I knew that I wanted that moment with Jim. I wanted to see him for the first time when the church doors opened.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There are so many! We enjoyed every moment and detail of our day. I will say that the “The Washecheks” sign that hung above the sweetheart table made my heart skip a beat every time that I looked at it. It was such a sweet reminder of the new family that Jim and I were starting, and my new last name!

When I first met with my florist, I told her that I wanted Southern elegance with a feel of the Texas Hill Country, and I think that she nailed it. We went with classic white blooms, greenery, and mixed metals, from mercury glass to julep cups. There were three different centerpieces for the guest tables and a gorgeous garland swag that framed the sweetheart table. For the bouquets, I knew that I wanted something timeless, and Sprout gave me just that. She mixed white ranunculus, peonies, and roses with small punctuations of greens. It was heavenly!

Jim and I chose to dance to “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. Throughout our relationship, this song would play on the radio in times that we needed a small reminder about our love and commitment, and it highlights the ideals that Jim and I have for our marriage. That night, the lyrics served as a promise to one another that no matter what, we won’t give up on each other–our marriage will be for a lifetime.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Jim and I stressed the importance of Southern hospitality. My parents were amazing hosts and welcomed all of our friends and out-of-town guests with open arms, driving them around to see the sights, setting up tours of local attractions, and making dinner recommendations. We incorporated Southern spirits (Southern Comfort and Maker’s Mark bourbon) and used mint julep cups for florals and bar accoutrement. We served shrimp and grits, fried quail and waffles, and a biscuit bar, among other Southern favorites, and we highlighted the importance of family tradition. Jim and I are both lucky to come from a background of strong, lifelong marriages, so we displayed pictures from our parents and grandparents’ weddings, along with the date that they were married. 2014 was a special year, with my parents married 30 years and my grandparents 60 years, so it was important for us to celebrate that!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jim and I met my first week of college at The University of Texas at Austin when he was a senior and I was a freshman. I saw him from across the room talking to a mutual friend and knew that I had to meet him! The friend introduced us and we spent the night sitting on a couch in the middle of the room, dressed in neon rave gear, talking about everything under the sun. Jim moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area after he graduated and we began our four-year long distance relationship. Let’s just say, we know all of the best stops between Austin and Dallas! (We recommend the Czech Stop for kolaches during any road trip!)
Tell us all about the proposal! It was Easter weekend during my senior year at UT. Jim had explained that he couldn’t come to Fredericksburg (my hometown) for Easter and that he had a special gift for me instead. That Friday, my brother, mom, and I drove out to our family ranch to get extra chairs and tables for Easter. I saw my sister as we drove up to the ranch and was immediately confused that she was home from college and didn’t go home first! I walked inside and found a beautiful Easter basket and flowers with a card that read “Bri.” I immediately thought, “Oh! He sent a gift with Baleigh!” I opened the card and found out that my real surprise was waiting outside. As I walked down the steps, Jim walked up the hill toward me. Shocked, I froze, while Jim walked up, got on one knee, and asked me to be his wife! I had to ask him afterwards what he said exactly, because I was shocked, crying, and overwhelmed with joy.
When did y’all get married? December 13, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Jim and I were married in the church that I have attended my entire life. I was baptized there, went to school there, performed almost every part in the Christmas pageant (from baby Jesus to Mary) there, and attended Sunday mass regularly with my family. The reception was held at the Nimitz Naval History Museum. This museum meant the world to my late grandfather, Ollie, a former Navy sailor. He was on the board that commissioned the museum, was present at the opening ceremony, and is now honored on a plaque inside. Being from a small town, every place holds a memory and strong meaning. I love that I was able to honor my family and our history in the town of Fredericksburg during our wedding.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Jim and I were married in the Catholic Church, although Jim is not a Catholic. Throughout the process of preparing to be married in the Church, we had many opportunities to talk about our ideals, dreams, and hopes for our marriage. Our favorite prep activity was an engagement retreat that we went on. We spent the weekend focusing on laying the foundation for our marriage and making our relationship stronger. We left the weekend feeling strong in our relationship and confident in starting our marriage.
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 decided early on that the cakes that I dreamed of were not in our budget. Our baker actually made our wedding cakes out of styrofoam for display, and then had cut sheet cakes in every flavor that were served as we “cut” the cake! It was the perfect way to cut cost!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Jim, Praline, and I are currently living in Fort Worth! We just moved into a new house, I just started a job as a neonatal intensive care nurse, and Jim is a senior engineer at a power marketing firm. We are looking forward to our life settling down, having visits from our family and friends, and going on frequent movie dates at our favorite theater!

Photographer: Elisabeth Carol Photography / Videographer: Southern Charm Films / Ceremony Venue: St. Mary’s Catholic Church / Reception Venue: The Nimitz / Florist: Sprout Floral and Event Design / Cake Baker: Sophie’s Choice Bakery / Caterer: Cartewheels Catering / Rentals: Hill Country Event Rentals / DJ: Altared Weddings / Die-Cut Details: NarWall / Invitations: Veronica Foley / Envelope Calligraphy: Design Roots / Detail Calligraphy: Charlie Whiskey / Napkins and Stir Sticks: For Your Party / Bride’s Gown: White by Vera Wang / Bridal Salon and Veil: David’s Bridal / Hair Stylist: Jamie Laratta / Makeup Artist: Ginny Smith / Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale in Mallard / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids Dallas / Bridesmaid Earrings: “Carmella Stud” in Pearl by Kendra Scott / Menswear: Black by Vera Wang / Coordinator: Jasper Eisenberg

Elisabeth Carol is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Dana reply

    that biscuit bar is a dream!

  2. avatar Michael and Carina reply

    This wedding is just so awesome in so many ways! Love these, and those biscuits look divine!

  3. avatar Wedding Biscuit Bar + Favorite Biscuit Recipe reply

    […] Images via Southern Weddings: Texas Wedding with a Biscuit Bar […]

  4. avatar His and Hers Wedding Chair Details | Tasteful Tatters reply

    […] source                                                               source […]

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