When Annie + Jimmy planned their wedding, they simply wanted a design that would reflect their “deep-seated Tennessee Southern roots.” From homemade elements like numerous family quilts and pillows to the late night snack of Krystal burgers, there ain’t nothin’ more Southern than what the newlyweds put together. (Y’all just read about their getaway truck, Earl!) Of the numerous details, some of my favorites include the hanging kites and wildflower arrangements. Scroll down and you’ll see a gorgeous quilted chair back that will make you want to break out your sewing kit. Even better is the adorable ring bearer trying to make his getaway, but I won’t give it all away. These images from Jonathan Canlas will do just the trick.
For Annie, her best advice to brides is to “make it yours.” I can’t tell you how special it was to have meaning in absolutely everything.
We used all types of flowers for the wedding. I wanted it to look like we had gone out and picked our favorite flowers. We used tons of wildflowers as well as peonies, hydrangeas and sunflowers. We used all different types of containers for the flowers – from mason jars to vintage Cracker Jack tins.
The wedding cake was made to look like a quilt. It was square with three tiers. Each square was made to look like it was quilted and had various quilt square patterns going around it. The cake topper was composed of two handmade fabric birds made to look like us. The groom had Jimmy’s exact plaid pocket square, tie and linen suit (in miniature, of course!), and the bride was made using the actual lace from my wedding dress. It was a strawberry cake with buttercream icing, and it was delicious! I didn’t want a traditional cake with fondant icing. Jimmy’s groom’s cake was a surprise. It was made to look like a stack of his favorite books: “All the Pretty Horses” by Cormac McCarthy, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, and “All the King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren.
We left the ceremony in Jimmy’s green ‘52 Ford pickup truck, affectionately known as “Earl.” It was an engagement gift from my dad to Jimmy, and they plan to restore it over the next few years together. Before the wedding, they managed to cut and build mahogany rails for the bed. My mom stitched the phrase “Just Hitched” onto a burlap banner attached to the tailgate, which was also lined with ribbon streamers strung with yarn pompons. Our guests tossed—or in some cases, hurled—birdseed that was tied up in squares of old floral flour sacks and kitchen twine. My aunt is making us a Double Wedding Ring quilt as our wedding gift using the flour sack fabric from the birdseed toss—something we will cherish forever.
What was the funniest moment? What was the scariest? The cake cutting was one of the funniest moments, I think. I had already warned Jimmy that I was going to smash the cake in his face, but I wasn’t expecting him to strike first! He served the slice delicately toward my mouth, then smeared it straight up my face. While I stood there in shock, he drew war paint on my cheeks with the icing, and grinned wickedly. I was breathing strawberries and butter cream the rest of the night! But I got him back with a great forehand to his face. We kissed and made up, coated in icing. The scariest moment for me was being in front of everyone at the ceremony. I am very shy! It was likewise for Jimmy, but mainly because he felt a little overheated in his suit and had to stand at the altar during the full processional of bridesmaids, flower girls, and ring bearer before my entrance. He was very excited to grasp my hand and stand beside me!
Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? I used pictures of my grandmother and my mom on their wedding days, as well as lots of family antiques and quilted elements – which are part of my family heritage. My family owns a Krystal franchise. It’s a Southern-specific burger chain that has been a big part of the South since 1932. As a surprise, we served Krystals as the late night snack in custom made Krystal boxes Jimmy and I had designed months earlier.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? I’m looking forward to being home as a married couple and using the different objects from the wedding to make a home for us. I am very excited to start our life together here in Chattanooga! We hope to learn something new about each other every day, and we are certain that whatever the future holds, we can enjoy its blessings and endure its hardships as long as we stand by each other.
Best advice or most memorable comment someone made to you during the wedding celebration. One of Jimmy’s fraternity brothers shared some advice that he was told at his own wedding, and Jimmy found it really moving: “Marriage isn’t about keeping score, because you already owe the other person everything.”