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Bride Kirsti shares her classic Savannah wedding!

Y’all are going to love today’s bride, Kirsti! Not only was she one of our own Southern Bride Bloggers, but her Georgia wedding to Brett is pure classic, Southern goodness — starting with her attire. From her Southern bump right down to her monogram Jacks, Kirsti’s wedding day style is quickly climbing the ranks to one of my favorite looks. Of course, her style isn’t the only thing that would make any fellow Southern gal proud: the way she and Brett honored her late father and loved on their guests is what’s most notable from their celebration. As Kirsti said, “The biggest Southern aspect was showing our guests true Southern hospitality and gratitude in return for traveling to celebrate with us.“ Yes, ma’am!

Keep reading to learn more ways Kirsti and Brett shared the South with their guests! And see if you can spot a little Southern Weddings love incorporated into their big day!

Thanks for sharing, Holly Felts!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. Best friends turned into the relationship neither of you knew you needed, turned into the sweetest marriage you could ask for!
Tell us all about the proposal! When my dear friend and photographer, Mallory, asked if I wanted to meet at a local vineyard to discuss styling a photoshoot with her, I jumped at the idea! She and I had met for coffee to talk about work, weddings, and photoshoots before, and so I had no idea that she had this plan up her sleeve. We arrived at the vineyard and I was immediately drawn to a charming old cabin looking across a large pond. I said, “Mallory, Bret would LOVE this, let me take a picture!” As soon as I started to take photos, I heard the door open and got nervous that we were disturbing someone. To my absolute surprise, my soon-to-be finance walked out the door, got down on one knee, and before we knew it – our lives were forever changed! Not only was Bret’s proposal the sweetest gift I could ever ask for, he had arranged for Mallory to document the whole thing so we could relive that moment forever!

I was of course certain to include something old, new, borrowed, and blue with my late Nanny’s pearl earrings, Jack Rogers with my new monogram, a pearl hairpin from a cousin, and a heart cut out of my dad’s overalls.

Our favorite Southern tradition (especially because it worked!) was burying the bourbon! We had to get creative on how and where to bury it, as we were saying “I do” 1,000 miles from home in a public space, so we chose to bury it in a decorative flower pot and drive it to Georgia!

Being two Southern soul food lovers, we couldn’t think of anything better to serve at the reception than fried chicken, smothered pork chops, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and all the fixins – and don’t forget the sweetest tea we could get our hands on!

The biggest Southern aspect was showing our guests true Southern hospitality and gratitude in return for traveling to celebrate with us. Being a destination wedding, our guest list was smaller, and that allowed us to serve our guests and allow them to feel as though we were simply having them over for a dinner party at our home!

Did you decide to do a first look? We did choose to do a first look so that we could spend more time with our guests after the ceremony. With it being a destination wedding, we wanted to celebrate with our friends and family that traveled from Oklahoma and many other states to be with us! Bret chose the location of our first look, Wormhole Historic Site, and I think it was the perfect spot to share that special moment. I was worried that other visitors would take away from the moment, but we were blissfully unaware that there was anyone else there at all!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? After months of planning a large soiree close to home, we felt like we wanted to really focus on what mattered most and say “I do” in one of our favorite vacation spots with our closest friends and family and began planning anew in Savannah! We wanted our friends and family to really get a feel for the city, so we chose a charming square downtown for our ceremony and a historic mansion to celebrate afterwards.

What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? My dad passed away in 2014, so we wanted to find special ways to honor him during our ceremony. I asked his best friend to walk me down the aisle, and then my brother to officially give me away. We then asked guests to share a moment of silence with us and to read a special prayer I had printed on the back of our programs, remembering all our friends and family who were unable to celebrate with us that day. My best friend and maid of honor’s dad officiated our ceremony, so it was very special to have him share memories from my childhood. We also selected our vows from the suggestions in our Joyful Wedding Planner and wrote them to each other in keepsake booklets to read to each other each year on our anniversary!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. This was one of the more challenging wedding planning tasks! We finally selected a violin cover of “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran for my walk down the aisle — the lyrics described our feelings on our wedding day. For the recessional, we chose a classic: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours),” because it is such a happy, celebratory song! I also surprised Bret at the end of the reception by playing his favorite song by our favorite local band, Turnpike Troubadours, to bring a little piece of Oklahoma to Georgia with us!

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? The stationery was probably my favorite part overall, because I have always had a soft spot for paper goods, and this was a way for me to get creative and customize the overall feel for our wedding. I always say that the invitation suite is the first glimpse your guests will get of your wedding theme, so I was tickled pink to bring out all of the blue and white and even added a touch of magnolia! My favorite detail from our invitation suite was the line from the song “Georgia on My Mind” that we had printed on the back of each envelope to get guests excited about being in Savannah! Our full paper suite also gave us a chance to say all of the things we wanted to say but wouldn’t have had time, such as asking our guests to enjoy an unplugged ceremony, sharing the history of Brockington Hall, placing a note of gratitude at each place setting and, of course, honoring my dad.

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? We chose to do a small cake so that we could also serve some of our Southern favorites! Bret’s parents graciously let us borrow their cake topper from their wedding 36 years ago, and now we look forward to passing it on to our kids. Alongside our cake, we served banana pudding and peach cobbler from Paula Deen!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We were very mindful to remember that no matter the amount we spent on the wedding, at the end of the day, we would still be husband and wife, and we did our best to not let expenses get out of hand. At the beginning, we chose a few items that meant the most to us to splurge on, and the rest followed as it could fit within our budget. We were able to save money by purchasing the alcohol in bulk ourselves, and I also designed all of our paper materials myself.

When did y’all get married? May 6, 2018
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 54
Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I spotted my dress in a Southern Wedding blog post in 2015 and knew that I had never seen a more beautiful dress in my whole life! When our engagement came in 2017, I began the search for the “Paz” gown by Augusta Jones, but struggled to find a store near me that carried it. Thankfully, I found a boutique that had ONE of the gowns left – it was off the rack and was in need of a little TLC, but I had to have it! I took my momma and mother-in-law with me shopping, and the look on their faces said they agreed.
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? Preparing for our marriage with our officiant during premarital counseling was very special to us, because although we had dated for four years, we both grew even closer during that time. Throughout the planning process, we were very intentional about our time since Bret was in his third year of optometry school. We would make little dates out of planning, and set aside a block of time to spend time with each other and work to plan a meaningful wedding celebration with our friends and family.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Bret’s favorite moment was the first look, because he said it was special to be in a more relaxed and quiet atmosphere to soak in the moment of seeing me in my dress for the first time. I personally loved the feeling of walking down the aisle to him, because it was so calming to know that all of our planning was over, and this was the moment that we had been waiting our whole lives for.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? I would remind readers to enjoy and savor this new season in life because it goes by oh so fast! Being engaged is full of excitement, congratulations, parties, gifts, new experiences, planning, dress shopping, and picking out rings – all things that you haven’t done before and will only do once! I would also always remind newly engaged couples to really focus on planning for your marriage while planning your wedding. I have the best memories of our one-on-one conversations with our officiant, hearing words of wisdom from friends and family (and some strangers!) who have been married for 20, 30, and even 50+ years, and having friends help guide us along the way and pray for our marriage before it began.

Photographer: Holly Felts Photography | Planner: Emily DeLoach with Sincerely Yours Events | Ceremony Venue: Chatham Square in Savannah, GA | Reception Venue: Brockington Hall | Florist: Kato Floral Designs | Wedding cake: Publix | Caterer and dessert baker: The Lady & Sons | Rentals: EventWorks Rentals | DJ: All About You Entertainment | Paper products: designed by the bride | Bride’s gown: “Paz” by Augusta Jones | Bride’s shoes: Jack Rogers | Bridesmaid dresses: | Menswear: JC Penney | Trolley: Old Savannah Tours

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Janna Toruno reply

    I love that they buried the bourbon in a flower pot! My fiance and I have already planned to go to our venue 2 hours away a month before the wedding for our last engaged couple day date before our October wedding so we can bury the bourbon! :)

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Colorful weddings can be fun, but there is something so beautiful about the understated elegance of Kelly and Barrett’s black and white affair. Accented with gorgeous gold details, the William Aiken House looks extra romantic and timeless! For two people who met at a wedding, I’m sure there was a bit of pressure to make their own day equally memorable. With venues deeply rooted in Southern history and a band that kept their guests dancing into the night, I’m sure Kelly and Barrett won’t soon forget how special their day was!

Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Virgil Bunao for sharing this pretty day with us!

My dress ended up being the first dress I picked out! I decided to go to Maddison Row in Charleston because they were having a Monique Lhuillier trunk show. I love and appreciate fashion, so I wanted something unique and classic. Monique Lhuillier’s Renoir gown was a great mix between the two and I loved it as soon as I tried it on! I spent the next couple of months looking for a dress I liked better, and I just couldn’t find one. It was the most beautiful piece of clothing I’ve ever worn and, as a bonus, it was comfortable too!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Having the whole shebang in Charleston, one of the most iconic Southern cities, was very important for both of us. Both of our venues are deeply rooted in Southern history–the First Baptist church of Charleston was the first Baptist church in the South, and the William Aiken House is a historical landmark with a gorgeous garden and a sprawling piazza!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? I had my aunt read Colossians 3:12-17. I love this verse because it is simple advice for how we should live every day together as husband and wife.

We were extremely blessed to have all the vendors that we had. The moment I heard Liquid Pleasure at a formal in college, I knew I wanted them to be the band for our wedding, and they made for a memorable dance floor! Virgil made everyone feel so comfortable, and his pictures make us both look good!! Also, having Ellen Robinson as a wedding planner was very comforting through all the planning, and especially on the big day. She was truly incredible.

Describe your wedding flowers. Sarah York Grimshaw Designs did a fabulous job with our flowers! My bouquet was made up of white ranunculus, ivory garden roses, sweet pea, astilbe, pieris japonica, parrot tulips, jasmine vine, olive branches, and other greenery, wrapped in ivory silk dupioni ribbon. She also did a great job with our bar setup–she designed a hanging greenery and branch installation over the bar with hanging candle votives. We loved it!

Jim Smeal designed our wedding cake to resemble the intricacies of my dress. He did an amazing job, while making it taste extremely delicious! The flavors were chocolate kahlua, hazelnut and coconut with key lime.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I loved our dance floor! The band kept our guests dancing from the first to the last song. At one point, I remember being onstage with my mother and bridesmaids, singing and dancing to “Proud Mary” and forming dance trains. We also provided funny props to guests on the dance floor, which made for some hilarious photos.

I wanted a venue that was gorgeous, but also accessible for guests. I loved that the William Aiken House was walkable from many accommodations, and that at night, it felt like a secret garden with a gorgeous glow in the middle of busy Upper King.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We actually met at wedding! He asked me to dance and we talked for the rest of the night. We were long distance between Charlotte and Charleston and drove back and forth as much as we could. Almost exactly three years after meeting, we were married!
Tell us all about the proposal! We planned a beach weekend at my parents’ beach house near Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, and I decided to go down a day early to stay the night in Charleston. Barrett planned to take me to one of my favorite restaurants (Fulton Five, yum!) that night as a late birthday dinner. We left a bit early to “meet” one of his friends, who was in town for business, for a drink before our reservation (later, I found out that the friend wasn’t in town at all). Barrett told me we were meeting him at “his hotel” downtown, a small B&B off King Street. We got to his room, which is when Barrett pulled out a key and I saw that the room was full of rose petals. Then, he got down on one knee! We went to dinner afterwards and got to spend the rest of the weekend with family and friends to celebrate.
When did y’all get married? October 11, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the first dance, we chose “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers. Our entire relationship was long distance, so this song really resonated with us, and we love that it’s a classic!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We just bought our first home in Barrett’s hometown, Hickory, North Carolina. It is wonderful being together and close to family.

Photographer: Virgil Bunao / Planner: Ellen Cohn Robinson / Ceremony Venue: First Baptist Church of Charleston / Reception Venue: The William Aiken House / Florist: Sarah York Grimshaw / Cake Baker: Jim Smeal / Caterer: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group / Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals / Lighting: Technical Event Company / Band: Liquid Pleasure / Paper Products: Studio R Design / Bride’s Gown: “Renoir” by Monique Lhuillier / Bride’s Veil: Monique Lhuillier / Hair Stylist: Tanesha Dupree / Makeup Artist: Kelly Campbell / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaid Charleston / Groom’s Attire: Saint Laurent / Groomsmen Attire: Charleston Tuxedo

Virgil Bunao and Studio R Design are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Loverly reply

    Loving the cake under that grand arch! Gorgeous wedding.

  2. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    The black bridesmaid dresses are bold, but I love how it is softened with the chiffon on one shoulder. Beautiful color palette.

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I couldn’t help but smile when I read Sally Ward and Patrick’s love story–they met when they were both dating other people and became friends–keeping their relationship platonic for three years before realizing that they felt something more for each other. The beginning of mine and Dave’s relationship was similar, and I’ve said ever since then that you can’t meet your soul mate without it having an effect on you. Sally Ward and Patrick are further proof of this, and every detail of their wedding expressed their joy and gratitude for their relationship and their story!

Thank you so much to Geneoh Photography for sharing this gorgeous, meaningful day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I took three trips to various stores in Nashville without any luck. I knew what I wanted, but I wasn’t finding it! One Sunday morning, my sister-in-law, Caroline Brewer, called me and told me The Bride Room was having a sale, so we went to go take a look. We didn’t have any expectations of finding the dress, but when I put on the second dress, I just knew I had found it! We quickly called my mom and asked her to bring her veil to see if it worked with the dress, and it was the sweetest match!

We did not do a first look, and here’s why: I believe the moment that the groom sees his bride for the first time is a really holy, sacred, and extremely symbolic experience. I wanted to be in the church for this moment, and to wait and see each other until we were living out that significance. Patrick was told that me walking down the aisle to him would be the closest thing to heaven he would ever experience until he gets to the Kingdom. Also, I wanted to walk to him and vow my life to him in the presence of all of our people. That way, that powerful moment that embodies indescribable emotion was seen by “our great cloud of witnesses.”

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our readings were read by two of our favorite and most life-giving couple friends. These two couples are friends with both of us and walk with us in our everyday lives. They read Hebrews 12:1-2 and John 15:1-5.

We loved the second line march from the church to the trolley in the park. We danced, laughed, and waved our flags with all our friends behind us for four blocks, and when we got to the park, we popped champagne before hopping onto the trolley!

See any familiar faces below? Caroline and Clark are on the right–Clark is Sally Ward’s brother!

We felt strongly about getting married in a church. We chose our church as the ceremony venue because it is where we had been going for a year and a half together, and it is in the middle of our neighborhood that we love. We knew that every Sunday would be a reminder of our vows, and that felt really exciting to us. The reception venue belongs to our family friends, and they just started hosting weddings recently. We didn’t want to use the barn because I didn’t want a rustic look, so instead, the barn was a beautiful backdrop to our event (and a nice rain plan!). We knew we wanted the reception to be outdoors–it just fits our personalities, and this farm is simply gorgeous.

I grew up loving to climb trees, and I was especially fond of a great big magnolia tree that sat to the left of my childhood home, so I thought, how cool would it be if I picked leaves from THAT tree and made them the place cards at the wedding? I wanted every detail to hold meaning, and that house is so special–it made me so delighted to see a piece of my childhood with us on our wedding day. Sarah Tate did the most beautiful job writing everyone’s names in white ink on the bottom of the leaves.

Describe your wedding flowers. Simple, elegant, and organic. I wanted to use greenery with some white thrown in just about everywhere. For my bouquet, we paired budding peonies with olive leaves–it was timeless and elegant. For the bridesmaids, we paired silver dollar eucalyptus with budding white tulips, which was a pretty complement to the long blush dresses. On the tables, we ran greenery down the middle of the tables and added touches of white florals. For the arrangements, we used some silver dollar eucalyptus and a few white and pink peonies from our garden!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There are so many, I honestly can’t decide! The first dance was so memorable. Patrick surprised me with Sanders singing “Somewhere.” The lights were on us, and we never even realized that people were watching us! It felt like it was just the two of us dancing around the living room. When the band took a break, Patrick had lined up a list of monumental songs from our past, with friends from all stages of our relationship. It was absolutely priceless and something I will never forget. Patrick also surprised me with a huge fireworks show as we were leaving! It was so gorgeous and overwhelmingly magical.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I dated one of Patrick’s friends/roommates my freshman year of college in 2006, and he introduced Patrick and I on a double date. Crazy, huh!? We quickly became friends and remained just friends for three years. We later discussed that we always felt a magnetic connection when we were together–it’s hard to describe, but I always knew that he was very special! During our last year at Ole Miss, we ended up being the only two of our friends who wanted to go watch a meteor shower out in the country. Patrick kissed me that night for the first time under the gorgeous fall sky as some deer pranced around us! We completely fell in love that summer in 2010, and our hearts hurt when we had to split ways as he had committed to working for Peru Mission for a year after college. We continued to fall in love via handwritten letters sent across the ocean and our third-wheel friend, Skype. When Patrick launched his company, Nisolo, in Peru, I joined him for several months to help, as well as teach English to the Peruvian community. What an adventure! In June 2012, Patrick moved Nisolo to Nashville, my hometown, and we began our lives in the same city again. Bliss!
Tell us all about the proposal! Patrick spent the summer of 2013 in Boulder, Colorado, and I went and visited him at the end of the summer. We planned to drive to Montana for a friend’s wedding and then on to Yellowstone and Jackson, Wyoming. The thought had crossed my mind that he might be proposing that week because he was looking at me in a different way, but I tried not to get ahead of myself at every breathtaking view, wondering if he might drop to his knee! Our last stop was Jackson, where we found a campsite in the middle of nowhere, and he asked me if we could go on a walk. Before I knew it, Patrick was walking me through how he felt and his journey to get to where we are today, and after a lot of really beautiful and powerful words, he proposed! We looked around in complete amazement at what had just happened and saw crazy storm clouds quickly approaching, so we ran back to our car to take cover and head into Jackson Hole to celebrate. During our short drive, we stopped to get out of the car–just then, the sun peeked out of the clouds and there was a crazy brightness on our faces! Overwhelmed with emotion, I cried as I felt the sun on my face and saw the sun beaming out of the darkness. Then, we turned away from the view of the Tetons to the opposite side of the road to find a rainbow stretching across the entire field of sage. It was so beautiful, and we truly felt God’s presence there with us, affirming us in this decision. We will never ever forget that day.
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 315
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I could not choose just one flavor, so the top layer was strawberry, the middle was almond buttercream, and the base tier was pistachio, all with cream cheese icing. It was divine, and made by a dear family friend who just relaunched her local bake shop! We loved the simple white design with touches of greenery and color. We positioned the cake under a hanging wreath that was lit up, and placed it on a silver platter that made it look so elegant.
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? Ask for what you need (from both vendors and friends)! I had several moments when I had to openly tell vendors where we were with our budget, and many of them found ways to make things work so that it was still beneficial for both of us.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Truly think about what makes your relationship special and embrace that in every detail. Whether it is song choices, readings, activities, venues, or props, choose them because they embody your story. I believe it makes the day so personal and incredibly meaningful to you as the bride and groom. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help! People love LOVE and feel honored to play a part in your day. Finally, stay organized along the way. Get to know Google Docs if you don’t already!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Not having to say goodbye every night! We are so thankful for the time we get to share together now by just coming home! More importantly, marriage has a way of sharpening us, and I am really excited about that.

Photographer: Geneoh Photography / Videographer: Clark Brewer, Campbell Brewer, and Darius Fitz / Planner: Linley Stokes / Ceremony Venue: Midtown Fellowship – 12 South / Reception Venue and Lighting: Hidden Trace Farms / Florist: Mayfield Flowers & Events / Wedding Cake: Franklin Bake Shop / Caterer: Chef Penelope / Rentals: 12th Table and Liberty Party Rental / Band: Erik Blue Band / Invitations: Chelsea Petaja / Paper Map: Anna Woodyard / Bride’s Gown: “JH8360” in Ivory by Jim Hjelm / Hair and Makeup Artist: Giovani Diaz / Bride’s Shoes: “Bolivar Wedge” by Nisolo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “DC Long” in Tiny Dancer by Ceremony by Joanna August / Men’s Suits: Street Tuxedo / Men’s Shoes: Nisolo / Invitation Envelope Calligraphy: Megan Henrich / Place Cards Lettering: Sarah Tate

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Corinna Hoffman reply

    Love the rustic and nature theme of this wedding!

  2. avatar Amy reply

    Beautiful wedding and great imagery Gene!! Stunning!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    I completely identify with everything Sally Ward wrote about her ceremony – love the idea of being reminded of your vows every Sunday at church, and of a “cloud of witnesses” gathering.

  4. avatar Loverly reply

    Love the big bow ties- they look great on the groomsmen! And the leaf name cards are so creative!

  5. avatar Carly reply

    Any contact information for this gorgeous venue?

  6. avatar Kelsey reply

    I love this venue! Any information about how to contact Hidden Trace Farms? Are they still doing weddings?

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Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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