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If there’s one thing we love almost as much as Southern weddings around here, it’s Southern food. Elizabeth and Eric’s love story began with a date over “heavenly” macaroni and cheese, and with a start that delicious, is it any surprise that we’re enjoying their wedding today? Their formal Tennessee wedding was full of the dreamiest pink roses, Memphis-inspired food and drinks, and some lovely hot pink details–I’m loving Elizabeth’s Kate Spade heels and bright manicure, especially!

Thanks to Annabella Charles for sharing Elizabeth and Eric’s wedding with us!

We met in May of 2010 when I worked at Southwest Tennessee Community College. One morning, at an employee meeting, I was telling one of my co-workers that there were no good guys out there and I was ready to call it quits on dating. He mentioned that he had a friend that would be the “perfect guy” for me and that we should talk. After we had talked about him for a while, I asked him to have his friend call me. A few days later, I received a call from Eric, and we instantly connected in our first conversation. We agreed to meet a few days later, where we got to know each other and bonded over some heavenly macaroni and cheese. It was love at first sight!!

Isn’t Elizabeth’s bouquet lovely? The texture is so unique, and I love the little succulents peeking out.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look prior to the wedding to have an intimate moment to ourselves.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes. My favorite part of our vows was how much we meant to one another.

If you’re a fan of pink roses, you’re going to LOVE Elizabeth and Eric’s romantic reception!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? My husband’s specialty drink was simply Southern: bourbon and coke. We named it the Old Southern on our drink menus and served all of our drinks with striped paper straws. The invitations were classic and elegant. We had them printed on gold luxe, shiny paper and had a laser die-cut machine make intricate, swirled designs on every envelope and invitation. Getting married in Memphis, we definitely had to include some pulled pork barbecue. We dressed them up with a mango barbecue sauce and Asian slaw to give everyone a taste of our Hawaiian proposal and our Memphis roots.

Tell us all about the proposal! What better place to get engaged than in Hawaii! On our first full day in Honolulu, we were going to brunch at the Kahala Resort with Eric’s family, when he decided to show me around the hotel. He took me around the dolphin pool and along the beach, when we came upon a peninsula on the edge of the property. He took me out to the end to show me the ocean and the famous Diamond Head Crater. We were talking about how beautiful it was when he started to tell me how much he loved me. He got through three words before I started bawling, because I knew what was happening. After he finished his speech, he got down on his knee and presented me with the ring. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect occasion for one of the most special moments of our lives!
When did y’all get married? September 8, 2012
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. It was a five-tiered cake decorated with white pearls and pink sugar flowers. My favorite cake flavors are in the citrus family, so we had white cake with alternating lemon and orange layers. It was divine! The groom’s cake was fashioned after a stack of antique books with an open cigar box on top. Since my husband’s grandfather smoked cigars and we had a master cigar roller at our wedding, it was a perfect match, and a great way to honor his grandfather’s memory. We also wanted people to have some dessert options other than our cakes, so we had mini churros, sfogliatelle (Italian cream puff) and mini cannolis.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Time! It seemed like we always had to meet with vendors and pick out every little detail. All of that was extremely time consuming and, with both of us working, we had to plan everything far in advance to make our meetings work. Many times, we had to meet over our lunch breaks or had to ask to meet after work. But, we got past it and were able to put together an amazing wedding despite those constraints.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Honestly, I think we had a dream team of vendors. Everyone worked together perfectly and the wedding was flawless!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Everyone crying during the vows.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? I can’t wait to start our life together by decorating our new home. There’s a lot of work to do, but it will be fun doing everything together and making our house a home. It will be nice to share everything with one another and have my best friend with me all the time.

Photographer: Annabella Charles / Videographer: Creation Studios / Planner: Social Butterflies / Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Dixon Gallery and Gardens / Florist, Lighting and Special Details: Garden District / Wedding Cake: Oh My Ganache Bakery / Caterer: Ziparos Catering / Rentals: Mahaffey Tent and Party Rentals / Band: Memphis Soul Revue / Paper Products: Natalie Chang / Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Ronald McKnight / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid / Groom’s Tux: Custom made / Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A Bank / Cigars: Wrapture Cigars / String Quartet: Beth Luscombe String Quartet

lisa Written with love by Lisa
8 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Love their mini meals!!

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  6. avatar BethAnn reply

    Oh my goodness, where is that ring from!? I am so inlove with it..

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We’re officially less than a week away from our big V5 launch!

When Emily and I first saw Lauren + Jeremy’s wedding, we instantly fell in love with their cheery ceremony design — happy waving flags lining the bride’s path to the succulent-decorated altar. We’re now finding there’s much more to love, including the officiant’s surprise performance of “Come Fly With Me” as the bridal party recessed and the handsome pup donning a bow tie. Don’t forget to scroll on down to read about Jeremy’s hilarious proposal! Big thanks to Theo Milo for sharing with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I plan events for a living, so most of the wedding planning felt like a second job to me, but shopping for a dress was a blast….except the sticker shock! I started my search at the most expensive boutique in town, only because it was the closest to my mother’s house. I fell in love with many dresses there but one stood out. It was pink and I’ve always been about pushing boundaries so I loved the idea of wearing something different. Plus, I could wear the sample right off the rack which meant I’d get a good deal and that appealed to my bargain shopper sensibilities. The bridal clerk had to check on the pricing for the sample and when she called me, it was still higher than I felt comfortable spending…so I continued the search. I went home and I started scouring the internet. Lo and behold, my dress was made by Priscilla of Boston who was going out of business and they were offering significant discounts for their sample dresses. I called the closest store which was in Raleigh,NC and they had the dress! My mother and I drove the next weekend to the store and I got my dress 60% off retail. I had to do some major alterations, but with the savings, that was no issue. The moral of the story is don’t say “yes” to the dress until you let your fingers do some walking on the internet. A great deal may be awaiting you. My only regret is that I wish I had also purchased a reception dress. I love to dance and I spent a lot of time managing my dress on the dance floor.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Yes, we did a first look because we wanted to have the time to get good photos together but we didn’t want to miss our reception to do so. Additionally, we stayed the wedding weekend at a historic house right on the ocean that was so pretty and we wanted to use the location for our photos.
Did you write your own vows? No, we did not write our own vows but we chose the vows from some traditional ones. We got married outdoors and our ceremony was officiated by a dear friend of ours. Because of this, we had to create our whole ceremony on our own. It was a lot of work but it made our ceremony more personal.

The ceremony set-up was our favorite detail of the wedding. Our venue was often used for weddings but we were told we were the first to use the area that we did for a ceremony. The ceremony took place slightly off to the side of the reception venue in a sparse grassy area with a view of the island’s famed lighthouse behind it. It wasn’t very impressive, but we had vision for it. With the help of soft blue flags defining an aisle and a beautiful wooden table decorated with lanterns and succulents to create an altar, our vision was fulfilled. (Credit goes to Kim Fisher Designs for the décor.) Jeremy would say the cigar bar was his favorite!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had two readings in our ceremony. I chose a reading from Les Miserables (the novel), which also happens to be my favorite Broadway musical. Jeremy chose a more traditional reading from the Book of Genesis (the popular, stylized version of 2:18).
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Since we wrote our own ceremony we were able to also choose whichever music we wanted. We hired a pianist and a violinist for the ceremony. We used traditional wedding music like Ariosa by Bach and Alla Hornpipe by Handle for the pre-ceremony and wedding party. I walked down the aisle to Ave Maria. Our favorite part, though, was that we walked out to Sinatra’s “Come Fly with Me,” which to all guests’ surprise was sung by our officiant, who is an actor and singer and has performed often in a one man Sinatra show. Our first dance song was a combo. We chose “Some Kind of Wonderful,” but got the band to start by playing the slow, soulful Drifters tune for two verses and then transition into the upbeat Grand Funk Railroad version (which is not a cover or remake, but a completely different song) to allow our guests to get in on the act!

Because we had many friends in from all around the country, including a large number of New Yorkers, we wanted to expose them to some of our favorite Southern treats and the beautiful coastline. Our mothers prepared 40 batches of my mom’s homemade pimento cheese that we had delivered to all the guests’ accommodations. We also had a low country shrimp boil for our rehearsal dinner. Additionally, we chose a Southern location that is exceptionally beautiful and shows off part of what being a Carolinian is all about – amazing beaches, great weather and a laid-back lifestyle.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? We planned most the wedding ourselves with a bit of help from our mothers. I am an event planner by trade so I did most of the work as a way to save on the budget and ensure things were done to our liking. We both work long hours and I started a new job two days after our engagement. Our free time was limited and we had to stay the course to get it all done. It’s important to do a little each day and when help is offered, take it. Learn to delegate. Friends and family are usually happy to help. Identify your friends and family’s strengths and use their help when offered in a way that each can best assist.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The whole wedding weekend was memorable. That’s what’s so special about having a destination wedding – you get more than just a few hours to spend with some of the most important people in your life and it’s the only time they all gather together. However, I think one of the most memorable moments of our wedding day was when we finally sat for dinner. We had just finished our first dances, which we’d chosen to keep upbeat and fun. We danced so hard and had been at so many parties all week that when I finally sat down, I was exhausted. I turned to Jeremy and said, “I don’t know how I am going to make it to the end.” He agreed. Somehow, we not only made it to the end, but closed down the after party! Thank God for second winds and adrenaline!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met playing kickball. Jeremy was subbing on a flag football team whose strengths were better displayed at the bar after the games than on the field. Come the end of the season, the grizzled vets were ready to run it back, but Jeremy had the foresight to head them off and channel their talents into a sport into adult kickball. I was recently returned from New York City to my hometown of Charlotte, NC. I was young, single, my own boss and I was looking for a way to meet new people in a city where most my friends were already married with children. One of my friends happened to be trying something new…kickball. I would have NEVER played kickball in NYC but I felt it was only just that I try something new, too, and this was a way of socializing in Charlotte. You can guess where this is going, right? So Jeremy ran short a player now and again on the kickball team and once or twice, I subbed in. It wasn’t much, but it was an entree. And those who know Jeremy well know all he needs is a chip and a chair. He made getting to know me better his goal and waited for his moment. I didn’t even realize Jeremy was pursuing me in the beginning but eventually it became clear. By the end of October, he’d found his moment and we arranged a meet up at a Halloween party. And the rest, as they say, is history. We hit it off and have been like peas and carrots ever since.
Describe the proposal. After college, I spent the better part of a decade living in New York City and, along the way, found good friends and made good memories. I really loved it, which made the task of selecting that special ‘pop-the-question’ spot (marginally) easier for Jeremy. Jeremy chose the City as a nod to my past, but wanted to find some place in the city that would speak to our personality as a couple and our future together. He hit on the idea when, on a trip to the City to keep me company while I worked an event, he and a friend went to a beer festival on the newly-opened-to-the-public Governor’s Island in New York Harbor. The place itself is neat. An ex-military base that has found new life as a city park, it’s very similar to Central Park in that it’s the last thing you’d expect to find sitting smack in the middle of New York Harbor. It enjoys the views afforded its more well-known neighbors of Liberty Island and Ellis Island, but it doesn’t have the tourist problem. Unfortunately, getting me to the chosen spot was not casual. I like to think I am a smart cookie and Jeremy is a go-with-the-flow kind of guy, so for him to stick to his guns about going to a place so seemingly random as Governor’s Island was, for me, a new and different experience. So, I knew something was up. I figured this was going to be “it” but I didn’t know that Jeremy had also hired a photographer to follow us around and get that magic moment on kodachrome! Unfortunately, the person Jeremy chose was (1) not as covert as he might have been and (2) not as good at keeping up with the happy couple as he should have been. Within minutes of disembarking from the ferry, I got the inkling that the foreign-looking, bald-headed dude in the green shorts and pink shirt (yes, he was really dressed that loudly) was “following” us. This feeling (and the evidence supporting it) only got stronger as the we made our way around the southern tip of the island and the clandestine photog took a more “in your face” approach to capturing the moments leading up to THE moment, culminating in a very “Austin Powers”-like dive behind a tree when I caught him getting snap-happy while we sat in some adirondack chairs. For the rest of our lap around the island, he was at a much safer distance. Sadly, the distance proved too safe because, before we’d made it back around the island to “the” spot, we encountered a large crowd on their way to a concert. Apparently, the photographer couldn’t mark us through the crowd and we emerged on the other side sans picture-taker. Jeremy stalled and plodded for a few minutes trying to give the photographer time to catch back up to the couple, but I was hot and tired and needed a drink, so what ensued was something akin to a sitcom proposal. As it is, Jeremy forgot to kneel as he blurted out “babyiloveyoumarryme?” I thought to myself, “that cannot be my moment!” so I pulled the situation back together and made Jeremy kneel and produce a proper proposal (which I then, promptly accepted). The photographer, of course, didn’t find us in time and missed capturing any of this on film.
In what month did you get married? May 12, 2012
How many guests attended your wedding? 130
Describe your wedding flowers: I didn’t want the whole décor to be about flowers so we used a lot of lanterns, candles, cloches and succulents in addition to flowers. I got married on Mother’s Day weekend so using non-floral elements also provided some cost benefits. The flowers we did use were cool tones to complement the natural setting around us. I wanted the whole space to feel light and airy like you could just float away. My florist sourced the most beautiful greenery and finest lush flowers to go in my bouquet and the centerpieces. My bridesmaid’s bouquets were simple white hydrangeas which popped well against their coral dresses. Their bouquets were placed in vases wrapped with rope on our cocktail and café tables on the terraced lawn, which provided amazing views of the marsh behind.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: Jeremy has the sweet tooth so we opted for his favorite southern treat – key lime pie. We had a local baker make individual tartlets so they’d be easy to eat and serve.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge we had was with my hair and make-up. Because the wedding was on an island only accessible by ferry, we had limited choices of professional salons. We decided to use the on-island spa, which was very nice and accommodating. They do multiple weddings on any given weekend so we expected nothing but a positive experience. The island was a four hour drive and a ferry ride from our home in Charlotte, NC, so we knew there’d be limited opportunities for tests. We started five months in advance during one of two trips prior to the wedding. The first test resulted in great makeup, but I was not pleased with my hair. The salon graciously offered me another complimentary hair test later that day but the day was windy and the ferry schedule changed which resulted in the salon closing early. The additional test was not possible, so we settled on returning in March to try again. That test went better, but then we got a call two weeks prior to the wedding informing us that the makeup artist and hair stylist had left the company so we’d have to start over. I stayed calm and agreed to the new hair test during the wedding week. The hair went over OK, but the makeup was a disaster leaving me looking orange and with no choice but to do my own makeup. Lesson learned. If possible, hire an independent contractor (who can’t leave) and schedule a long appointment to ensure you get everything right the first time. You don’t get to repeat your wedding day.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? I was happy that we splurged on our flowers and décor. I have an art degree, so the design elements were very important to me. We also were really happy that we splurged on special accommodations for our weekend. We stayed in a small historic two-bedroom house on Bald Head Island that was formerly one of the lighthouse keeper’s accommodations. Jeremy gave me a painting of the house along with a personal note in an old antique bottle as my wedding day gift.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We’ve started looking for a larger house to hold all of our registry gifts. In the meantime, we’ve been enjoying some well-deserved quality time together at a few of our friends’ destination weddings.

Theo Milo is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
4 Comments
  1. avatar Clair F. reply

    Such a beautiful wedding! love Lauren’s honesty throughout the post! She gives great advice. I’m getting married in March & this post has given me a few good ideas. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. avatar Leigh Pearce Weddings reply

    LOVE this! Kim is so talented. Those are some beautiful blooms!

  3. avatar Miles reply

    I loved the soft color theme of the wedding. The photographer did a nice job of complementing the soft colors with soft focus areas in the photography (used shallow depth of field to good effect).

  4. avatar Mindy reply

    LOVE the headband! Where is that from?

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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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