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For all our dear friends who have been enduring such a mean, frigid winter, Madeline and Hunter’s wedding will warm your heart right up! With their pretty pastel palette, their wedding at the Barr Mansion looks exactly how I think spring should feel–warm sun shining down, the loveliest blooms, and tons of joy! And how neat is it that they said their vows under a huge pecan tree that is over a hundred years old? So very, very Southern!

I’m so glad Sarah McKenzie shared this sweet day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My only criteria for the dress was that it couldn’t be strapless. The first place I went was Nordstrom, and I picked five to try. Despite one being strapless, I immediately knew the dress was the right one when I put it on!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No, I am very traditional. I wanted to see his expression the moment that I was walking down the aisle.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We did pre-marital counseling through our church in Houston.

As I was looking at pictures of other weddings in Austin, every picture that I liked was taken at the Barr Mansion. The venue is absolutely gorgeous, and I have always loved historic houses.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The vintage furniture that was set up around the cocktail area really sticks out in my mind, especially the pink couch!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Choose the things that you care about most and spend time working on those things. Do not stress over the tiny details; you will not even remember the small stuff the day after the wedding (and neither will your guests).

We had an all-organic carrot cake frosted with cream cheese icing, featuring no artificial dyes–the color was beet-juice based–and real flowers.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through mutual friends during our senior year at Texas A&M University. My mother was always telling me that I would never meet a man if I didn’t get out of the house more, but he came right into my kitchen one day! Over the course of several months, I drew him in with baked goods and home-cooked meals. He eventually invited me to dinner at his parent’s house in Houston. After that night, we officially began dating.
Tell us all about the proposal! He proposed on Valentine’s Day. We went to dinner at a nice restaurant, and then went to a local park. When we arrived, he pulled a backpack from the car, and when I asked what it was for, he just said, “You’ll see.” After strolling along one of the paths, we stopped to rest on a bench. He then opened the backpack to reveal a thermos of hot water, mugs, and a variety of tea bags. We made tea and enjoyed the quiet of the night. After he finished his tea, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his bride.
When did y’all get married? Summer 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our ceremony took place under a huge pecan tree that is over a hundred years old. Right in the middle of the ceremony, one of the limbs began to crack and fall. Fortunately, it was on the other side of the ceremony and some of the lower limbs caught it, preventing it from crashing to the ground.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are expecting our first baby this summer!

Photographer: Sarah McKenzie / Venue, Cake Baker, and Caterer: The Barr Mansion / Florist: STEMS / Rentals: Bee Lavish / Band: Terra Vista Strings and Royal Dukes Band / Paper Products: The Stationery Bakery and Minted / Bride’s Gown: “Mila” by Hayley Paige / Bride’s Accessories: BHLDN and Veils by Studio Alma / Hair and Makeup: Celeste at Austin Wedding Hair & Makeup / Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Heidi” by J. Crew, “In Due Corsage” by Modcloth, “Mikado Corded Lace Illusion Neckline Dress” by David’s Bridal, “Annabelle” by BHLDN, ASOS / Groom’s Attire: Al’s Formal Wear / Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Sarah McKenzie reply

    Awwww yeah!!! Thanks for the feature!!!

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There’s nothing better than celebrating an engagement with a sweet bride-to-be via Instagram or our Engaged Reader Round-Ups, and then seeing her wedding a few months later! Such was the case for Nicole and Todd, who shared their adorable proposal story with us last year for this post. As you can read below, it’s quite the memorable one, and I must say, their Charleston wedding, complete with a buried bottle of bourbon, Nicole’s lace gown, and the loveliest monogrammed napkins, is pretty darn memorable as well!

Thank you so much to Jenn Hopkins for sharing this lovely day with us!

Tell us all about the proposal! Todd and I had been dating for a little over three years and Christmas was coming up. I really wanted to send out photo Christmas cards that year because receiving them is one of our favorite things about the holiday season. I contacted our favorite photographer (Jenn Hopkins) and asked if she could do a quick session with us–but nothing too mushy because we were just dating. Todd had given me a little grief because he had to come home from work early to get ready for our pictures (little did I know, he was just trying to cover up what was about to happen!). We are both awkward in pictures, so as soon as we met up with Jenn and she started taking “test shots,” the jokes started coming. I remember saying “I don’t know what to do with my hands” and then looking at Todd, wondering why he was kneeling in the dirt. I immediately thought, “Really funny Todd, acting like you’re proposing just to make Jenn laugh.” And…I tried to push him over. Only after I noticed he was digging in his pocket and he pulled out a ring did I realize he was being serious! The bonus is that Jenn got pictures of the whole thing–I love that!

I knew exactly what style of dress I wanted–all lace, a high neckline, and some sort of cap sleeve. I made appointments at a few bridal stores in town and took my sister with me for a second opinion. At the first store, I found a dress that fit all my requirements, but it was almost twice my budget! I ended up finding my gown on the sample sale rack at the second store. It was made of a beautiful guipure lace, and after a few small alterations to bring the neckline up and create a little sleeve, it became exactly what I wanted! And, it was less than half my dress budget!

Curious about the Southern tradition of burying the bourbon? Check out our post about it here!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we did. Our venue is part of a state park that does not allow events to start until the park is closed at 5:00 P.M….just when the sun is fading fast in November. We had to do a first look if we wanted to use any natural light for pictures. I must say, our first look was one of my favorite parts of the whole day. For those few moments, we felt like we were the only two people for miles. This whirlwind of a day just seemed to stop and it was just the two of us. I am so glad that we had that time together, and I can promise you, it won’t make walking down the aisle to your groom any less special!

Todd and I love Charleston, so it was an easy decision to get married there and share it with our families, but finding a venue was a little more challenging. There is no shortage of gorgeous venues in the Holy City, but I wanted to simplify our wedding day by having the ceremony and reception at the same location. I also wanted our wedding to feel like an alfresco dinner party at a beautiful home, rather than an event space. Not only is the Legare Waring House a beautiful home, it is also surrounded by the most amazing old oak trees that gave us plenty of places to take pictures. When you have such a beautiful backdrop, you don’t need a bunch of decorations, which helped keep our budget in check.

Our pastor and good friend (who came from Florida with his wife and newborn!), Matt, performed the ceremony, and it was truly tailored to fit us. He did an amazing job explaining our roles to each other as they relate to our lives in Christ; starting with our call to leave our parents, cleave to one another, and weave our lives together as we form our family. Following the vows, we were told over and over that this was one of our guests’ favorite parts of the entire wedding!

Describe your wedding flowers. Flowers are one of my absolute favorite things. I chose shades of white garden roses and ranunculus with lots of dusty greenery. Our florist surpassed all of my expectations–they were truly the most beautiful (and best smelling) flowers I have ever seen. After our wedding, my green-thumbed husband rooted a few of the clippings from my bouquet so I can always have flowers from our wedding.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I purchased a vintage monogram from my favorite monogram shop, Number Four Eleven, in Savannah. I used it for the wax seal and stamps on our invitations, cocktail napkins, and our linen dinner napkins. The vintage monograms from Number Four Eleven are so elegant, and I plan on using it forever. Our food was classically Southern: crab cakes, shrimp and grits, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and collard greens. We knew both of our families would love it! We also buried a bottle of bourbon. I think we probably broke some park rules by burying a bottle of Maker’s Mark on the property, but it worked–there wasn’t a single drop of rain on our wedding day.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our day-of coordinator (and florist), Beth, was like a fairy godmother. I truly do not know how anyone has a wedding without her. If anything went wrong, I didn’t hear even the slightest hint of it. Without her, I don’t think Todd and I would have been able to relax and enjoy our wedding. Also, our photographer and her second shooter were truly amazing. They traveled from Florida for us and we couldn’t be more thankful. It was such a relief to have a photographer that we trusted with such an important day!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My groom was my favorite wedding detail! Months after our wedding, I still can’t believe I got to marry him. He is my husband! Isn’t that just the craziest thing!?

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Todd and I met through a mutual friend when he was living in Georgia and I was in Florida. We talked on the phone for about three months (that Alabama accent of his did me in on the first night!) before he made the six-hour trip to take me out on a date. I don’t think we’ve spent more than two weeks apart since then!
When did y’all get married? November 21, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 90
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We went through several weeks of premarital counseling, which was recommend by our pastor. We were both a little apprehensive in the beginning, but we were amazed by how much we learned about our relationship. We actually really enjoyed it.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? A few months after we started wedding planning, we found out that the house I had been renting was going to be put on the market. We had both grown to love that house (and neighbors!) so much and had planned on making it our home once we were married. Paying for a wedding and buying a house in the same year wasn’t part of the plan, but neither was moving! My dad told me, “There is never a perfect time for anything” and it’s true. Life is filled with things that happen at the worst possible times (or so it seems), and if you wait around for everything to become perfectly aligned, you’ll probably miss out on some great moments. We compromised, adjusted our wedding budget, made a lot of tough decisions, and had many stressful days (did I mention it was a six-month short sale?), but in the end, we got both our house and a beautiful wedding.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Todd and I figured out which things were most important to us, splurged on those, and saved on the rest. Something as simple as using the plastic cups the bartender provides versus renting wine glasses can save you a few hundred dollars. There isn’t a single plastic cup in any of our pictures either! We also got married on a Friday, which saved quite a bit on our venue, and more vendors were available and willing to work with us since it wasn’t a Saturday.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are going on a delayed honeymoon in a few months–we haven’t picked a location yet, but we’re thinking about Switzerland or France. We also have a mile-long list of things we want to do to our house!

Photographer: Jenn Hopkins Photography / Day-of Coordinator, Florist, and Lighting: WildFlowers Inc. / Venue: Legare Waring House / Cake Baker: D’Lish Dessert / Caterer: Lowcountry Eats / Rentals: Snyder Events and EventWorks / DJ: EPIC / Paper Products: Scotti Cline / Bride’s Gown: “C249” by Allure / Bride’s Accessories: Nordstrom and Ann Taylor / Hair and Makeup: Ash & Co / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “D568” by Alfred Sung / Groom’s Attire: J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, and Cole Haan / Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank and Brooks Brothers

Scotti Cline is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Allyson-Happy Planning reply

    This wedding is adorable! I love the navy bridesmaids dresses, cake table and menu sounds deliciously Southern.

  2. avatar Claire Cowman reply

    That wax seal! I love how they implemented the monogram into so many small details. What a sweet momentum to have and to hold after the wedding!

  3. avatar FDH Limousines reply

    WoW Amazing! Bride looks so gorgeous, beautiful and clear capturing really love the ideas, Have seen a good art of capturing.

  4. avatar 6 Party Ideas for Bourbon Lovers – Kate Aspen Blog reply

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When a couple has designer’s eyes, like Brittany and Kirk, it’s always fun to see how their talents translate into their wedding day. So when I read that restaurant designer (Brittany) and men’s clothing shop owner (Kirk) set their sights on finding a “diamond in the rough” location, where they could create a unique wedding venue unlike anything else, I was excited to see what they came up with! Brittany and Kirk cleaned, painted, and landscaped an old Alabama cotton receiving warehouse on a daily basis to transform The Railyard into an event space that I know wowed their family and friends. Don’t those twinkle lights make their dinner look so very chic, but still home-y? I love that the meaning behind their family-style meal stemmed from their fondest memories growing up, of being gathered around dining tables with the people they love! Too sweet!

Thanks to Rebecca Read for sending this lovely day to us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I thought long and hard about including my bridesmaids on my dress shopping trip, as they are my dearest friends, but I decided not to. My maid of honor had done this, and it was such a memorable moment for all of us to see her in her dress for the first time on the day she would be walking down aisle. My dress was beautiful vintage lace with hand-sewn pearls–something I always wanted for my wedding, but not exactly what I had pictured for myself, as it had short sleeves. As soon as I tried it on though, I just knew. It instantly became my dream timeless, elegant dress that I only hope I can pass down someday.

As we both have designers eyes, we wanted the venue to be unlike anything else we had seen before–a diamond in the rough! We found that at The Railyard, an old cotton receiving warehouse and courtyard in Opelika, Alabama. It is nestled in a charming little town that I had gotten to know very well during my college years. We cleaned, painted, landscaped, and prayed for no rain on a daily basis!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We didn’t write our own vows. We wanted to go with traditional vows, and it ended up being the most traditional thing about our wedding

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Seeing each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle and our eyes met! It was so magical! The other would be walking in before guests were allowed in to see the space and realizing that it was a wonderland. With the help of an army of people, it was transformed into the “diamond” that we knew it had the potential to be!

We like to think that our family-style dinner was the greatest tradition we followed–everything was served on platters in the center of the table and passed around as if we were gathered in our home with family. Our fondest memories growing up were gathered around our dining tables with people we loved, and we wanted our wedding to have this same feeling.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. It was as much for our friends and family as it was for us–it was fun, funny, and really set the tone for the night. We broke it down hard!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in July 2013, just after I had finished brunch with two friends from college. Walking down the street, one of them said, “There is this men’s shop around the corner, and I met the guy last night who owns it–I told him I’d stop by.” This worked nicely, as I needed to find a tie for a friend to wear at a wedding that night. The store was in a cool brick building with large windows, built as a horse stable in 1917. After a few quick hellos, we walked back outside to their car. I told them, “I think I really like that guy…” Ten minutes later, back inside the store, Kirk’s phone buzzed with a message that read “Here is Brittany’s number. You NEED to call her.” Taking his friend’s advice, Kirk called. He learned during that first conversation (which was fantastic, by the way), that I was a restaurant designer and I was working on a speakeasy bar for a well-known Atlanta chef. For a little inspiration he knew I would enjoy, Kirk took me to his favorite hidden back-room pub, just north of the city. From that night on, we were crazy about each other.
Tell us all about the proposal! In month three of our relationship, Kirk was at an antique market with his mother, looking for furniture, when he walked past a small, unassuming jewelry booth. I am in love with the 1920’s, and a beautiful art deco ring caught his eye and made him stop immediately. Without hesitation, he and his mom said, “This is Brittany.” He hadn’t planned on buying a ring that day, or even that month, but he couldn’t leave it. A month later, I began planning a trip to Europe with friends. I would be in Paris for a week, then in Amsterdam to visit some friends. When I arrived in Amsterdam, the friends I was staying with showed me to each room and said, “You should really see the city from the roof before the sun sets.” I climbed the spiral staircase, and at the top, I opened the hatch and climbed onto the roof. As my eyes focused, I saw Kirk standing in front of me, holding tulips, smiling ear to ear, and getting a little misty-eyed (he swears it was his allergies). I froze in the hatch and just stood there, confused, for what seemed like a REALLY long time! After a minute, I squeaked out “What are you doing here?” and Kirk said, “I came to see you.” At that, I jumped out onto the roof and LITERALLY into his arms. He had an entire speech prepared, wanting to give it properly on one knee, but that never happened. As he held me, he simply said “I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Even more special, the couple whose roof we were on was the same couple whose wedding I had attended the day Kirk and I met.
When did y’all get married? September 13, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Landscaping ourselves and putting in some hard work! We also designed and printed our own menus and programs. Our design aesthetic called for raw, natural materials, so kraft paper was both a beautiful and affordable choice for our printed items!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? First, breathe :) Remember that no matter the decisions you make, the stress of invites or family or seating arrangements, rain, or anything, at the end of the day, you’re marrying the person you love, and that is all that matters.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? It’s an incredible thing to marry your best friend and we are enjoying marriage and all of the wonderful things it brings! We are looking forward to starting a family in the future, but for now, we are enjoying one another and are truly grateful for the season we are currently in!

Photographer: Rebecca Read Photography / Planning and Design: Alchemy Event Studio / Venue: The Railyard / Cocktail Hour Venue: John Emerald Distilling Company / Florist: Edelweiss Buckhead Floral Design / Caterer and Cake Baker: The Hotel at Auburn University / Rentals and Lighting: The Event Group / Band: The Soul Purpose Band / Paper Products: The Find Sac Handmade / Bride’s Gown: Vintage / Bride’s Jewelry: J. Crew / Hair and Makeup: Claudia Mejerle / Bride’s Shoes: “Bronze Peep Toe Evening Pumps” in Bowover by Stuart Weitzman / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN / Menswear: Custom by the groom / Linens and Drapery: Party Tables / Plants: Plant Peddler

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Oh goodness, that cake! Wonderful images.

  2. avatar Ashlyn reply

    It was the best. That dance floor was no lie, either — they’re not kidding!

  3. avatar Richard Stafford reply

    Marissa and Rebecca,
    You captured the wedding perfectly. Thanks for sharing the wonderful moment in our lives with your readers. It was truly beautiful.

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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