Google+ wedding ceremony under a tree Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Tag: wedding ceremony under a tree

A sign on Nicole‘s bulletin board says “Orange is the Happiest Color,” and while I won’t disagree, I’d argue that yellow is one of the happiest colors as well! From the sunny yellow details, to the drum corps at the reception, to the Oreo groom’s cake, Denise and Eli’s wedding day was happy and celebratory from start to finish. They also used one of my favorite Bible readings at their beautiful ceremony under an oak tree. Could there be a more Southern ceremony spot than that? I think not!

Thank you to Laura Yang for sharing Denise and Eli’s wedding with us!

By August of 2011, we had become a long-distance couple. I was about to begin a Master’s program in Occupational Therapy at Adventist University of Health Sciences in Orlando, Florida, while he stayed in New York. He had come to visit me for a few weeks. One evening, he took me to Crane’s Roost, a lovely park in Altamonte Springs, Florida. My best friend “just so happened” to be visiting that weekend and the three of us were walking off the large amount of sushi we had just ingested! As we walked around the park, we came to a small area covered by trees that was decorated with rose petals and rhinestones, leading up to a table with a large bouquet of flowers and our initials on it. Before I could even ask what all that was about, he was on his knee popping the question. After a loud agreement from me, my entire family jumped out from behind trees and bushes cheering. It was the most incredible surprise anyone had ever planned, and it ended with a beautiful diamond on my finger!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I decided to go dress shopping in New York, where I could take most of my family and my bridesmaids with me. One of my first stops was a small boutique in my hometown of Brooklyn called The White Gown. I tried on several dresses there and eventually found “the dress” with the help of the staff and my friends and family. I chose a lovely lace fit and flare style dress by Enzoani called Fairy.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We chose a reading from Ephesians, which read, “Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage. No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become one flesh.”

Our cake was a three-tiered work of art that incorporated our “love birds” theme and our yellow-gray color scheme. Two tiers were red velvet and one tier was my favorite, banana chocolate chip! The design was a mix of chevron patterns, quilting techniques, and edible flowers. It sure was delicious. My bridesmaids and I made my hubby’s groom’s cake out of Oreos!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? One detail we were so excited about was having the Ocoee High School drum corps as a part of our grand entrance to the reception. The parents and bridal party entered to Beyonce & Jay-Z’s “Crazy in Love” and directly before we entered, the drummer preceded us, making the moment so majestic and grand! Shout out to them for making our entrance unforgettable.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at a concert in NYC back in June 2007. We had each planned to go so we could meet up with my brother-in-law, who was playing drums. Once there, Eli was sitting next to his sister, who I thought was his girlfriend, so I kept my distance. As the night went on, a mutual friend noticed our attraction and created an opportunity for us to talk. After the concert, a group of us went to a late night diner and hung out until 2 A.M. By the end of the night, he had my phone number and AOL screen name (so dated!). In the days following, we texted and IM’ed till my fingers hurt. We went on our first date the following week. That evening, we went to the movies then he took me to the beach, where he told me all about himself. It was then that I knew I could really fall for this guy.
When did y’all get married? April 28, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 75
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We chose to do a first look at our wedding because we wanted to be able to enjoy as much of our cocktail hour and reception as we could, rather than being stuck outside taking portraits during that time. It really gave us the freedom to greet our guests and chat for a bit, as opposed to the rushed “hi and bye” feeling we would have gotten otherwise.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Eli was a fan of the traditional vows, so we kept it simple.
Describe your wedding flowers. My bouquet was a mix of calla lilies, hydrangeas, button mums, craspedia, and football mums. It was wrapped in lace, to match my gown, and the florist added yellow beads for detail.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our unity ceremony, with the cord of three strands. It is a braiding ceremony signifying that a marriage isn’t made up only of husband and wife, but also with God in the center. During the braiding, we played Israel Houghton’s “Jesus at the Center,” which was incredibly fitting.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The most Southern thing about our wedding was the venue, Highland Manor. Nestled on secluded grounds in Apopka, Highland Manor is surrounded by ancient oaks and steeped in 109 years of history. This stately home stands on 11 acres of rolling pastures complete with roaming peacocks. This authentic Old Florida home, once owned by a prominent area physician, was a beautiful setting for our special day.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Making decisions as a long-distance couple was the toughest thing in the world to do. At times, it felt like I just had to make decisions and hope that Eli would like what I chose! Thank God, he trusts my judgment, because he had no complaints.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? For our grand entrance to the reception, we had the drum corps from Ocoee High School accompany us for that touch of over-the-top! Eli has been playing drums since he was a kid, so I felt it was a great way for him to enter our reception as a married man.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Did you just get engaged? Start tomorrow! Since we got engaged over a year before our wedding date, I procrastinated a tiny bit in the very beginning, and by the time the date came around, I felt sort of frantic getting things in line that could have been taken care of months before. I cut myself some slack because I was planning a wedding thousands of miles away from my fiancé (and my mom!), while keeping a 4.0 GPA in my graduate program,but if I had to do it over again, I would.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are definitely both looking forward to my graduation! The past few years apart have been tough, and once I am completely done with school and clinicals, we can really start our married life together!

Photographer: Laura Yang / Videographer: Michael Dalton / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Highland Manor / Florist: Shelly with Country Club Flowers / Wedding Cake: Bliss Pastry / Caterer: Dubsdread Catering / Ceiling Draping, Bridal Wall and Lighting: W Drapings / DJ: Kristin with Our DJ Rocks / Photobooth: Photobooth Rocks / Bride’s Gown: Enzoani Fairy / Bride’s Earrings: Simplychic93 Etsy Shop /  Veil and Hair Pin: The White Gown / Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Jacquin Figueroa Morton / Bride’s Shoes: London Rebel / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Style G5586” Amsale / Maid of Honor Dress: “Style 115” Bill Levkoff / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Kristin reply

    Such a stunning wedding. Beautifully captured.

  2. avatar Laura Yang reply

    So, so thrilled to see these two on Southern Weddings! Thank you for sharing their wonderful wedding day!

  3. avatar Florida Wedding Photographer: 2013 Weddings Review | ORLANDO WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER | DAYTONA BEACH WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER reply

    […] […]

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!

Reply to:

Y’all, there are so many sweet Southern details I could gush over from Julie + Shane’s wedding! Like the amazing estate tables with monogrammed burlap runners, the glorious gold accents, the Arnold Palmer bar (I die!), and Julie’s custom lace gown, to start. But of course, my favorite part is that J + S’s reception took place in a real life, working hay barn! What?! Seeing how Julie and her planner, Erica Weddings, literally worked from a completely blank canvas to create a ranch wedding that was sophisticated Southern at its best is mighty impressive! And I’d be remiss not to mention that the caterers worked it out with a sit down dinner for over 200 without any power at all!

We’re dishing out big hugs to Josh McCullock for helping us feel like we stepped right into Julie + Shane’s soirée!

Shane and I were able to do a first look before the ceremony, and that time spent alone together in the quiet before all the festivities began was easily one of the best moments of the day. It was such a special moment for the two of us to anticipate what was to come. Not to mention, our wonderful photographer, Josh, got some stunning portraits during this time that we will always treasure.

I’m a big fan of these mixed bridesmaids’ dresses! They’re relaxed, classic, and compliment each other perfectly!

Describe your wedding flowers. 
Our florist (and wonderful friend!) Lindi with The Bridal Garden did such a fabulous job. I wanted the flowers to reflect all of the textures and the layers that were driving much of the design of the day. She nailed it. From our ceremony arrangements (placed on the stumps of a fallen tree off the ranch that my Dad cut for us), to the bouquets that were each a bit different and unique to each bridesmaid, and the countless table arrangements where no two arrangements were the same. I borrowed the milk glass that my sister had collected for her own wedding, and collected my own gold glassware to add to the “layered” look and add some sparkle.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? 
We were married under a giant oak tree. Our reception was in a barn — a real life, working hay barn. And it was 100 degrees. Does that count?! Kidding aside, one of my favorite Southern touches was the Arnold Palmer lemonade/sweet tea bar we had. Though Shane isn’t necessarily Southern by birth, he is definitely Southern at heart and loves his sweet tea. Our caterers set up assorted flavored lemonades and teas and our guests mixed and matched them as they pleased. They were served in vintage milk bottles we found, salvaged in their original crates from the University dairy at our alma mater. (Go Pokes!!!)

Josh, our photographer, stole us away immediately following our ceremony. Shane and I spent time just talking and soaking up the moment as the sun set over the ranch. I will never forget the way I felt in that moment, as we sat on the dock at the pond and watched our dearest friends and family gather to celebrate our marriage. It was a super powerful twenty minutes, and I am forever grateful for that time. Josh was able to snap a few of my most favorite pictures during this time, too.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? 
I am a bit of a foodie, and it was so important to me to have great food at our wedding. Our incredible caterers tackled the impossible task of serving a seated, three-course meal to more than 200 people in a barn without electricity, without any semblance of a kitchen nor anything a caterer should need! They went above and beyond my expectations, and served the most delicious meal. We are still getting rave reviews to this day. Of course our photographer (and now friend!), Josh McCullock is hands down the best around. I began online stalking his website before Shane and I were even engaged, and I knew he was a perfect fit for the style we were looking for in our wedding photography. I literally did a happy dance when he responded that he was not booked for Labor Day, and would indeed be available to shoot our wedding. He is beyond talented, and fabulous to work with.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. 
Shane was never a huge dessert eater before I entered his life and showed him the path to happiness by way of cake (and pie and cobbler…). We had a traditional white wedding cake with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream. And as a “groom’s dessert” our caterers served a dessert course of fresh berries and real whipped cream with a honey drizzle in mini stemless martini glasses. For the record, neither of us were able to have any dessert that night!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: 
One of our favorite elements of our wedding day were the family and friends in attendance! People traveled from all over the country to Oklahoma to celebrate with us. As a nod to all of our favorite people traveling, our favors were two sugar cookies: one Oklahoma cookie and one California cookie, each with a heart on our hometowns. Attached to the box was a thank you note featuring a US map with tiny hearts all over the country showing where guests had traveled from.

Y’all know we love a good sorority sing, and this one looks like it was a complete blast!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. 
Shane and I met in college. A mutual friend introduced us the weekend prior to the first week of classes our freshman year. He was this very tall, very cute boy from California who seemed very much out of my league as a girl from small town Oklahoma. We chatted for a short bit then went our separate ways that night, and I half expected not to speak to him again. Wouldn’t you know it, I walked into my first class Monday morning, and there sat that handsome curly headed boy I had been introduced to. We spent that next semester in class together — me doing the daily crossword puzzle, and Shane taking meticulous American Government notes. Over the course of the next year we had become the very best of friends. About a year later, we went on our first date. And the rest is history. We’ve been together ever since!

Tell us all about the proposal! 
It was an unusually beautiful and sunny January day. Shane asked me to take a walk in the park. We brought along our adorable dog Eleanor. Towards the end of our walk, Shane very simply asked me if I would be his wife and spend my life with him. He gave me the most beautiful ring, and I said, “YES!”

When did y’all get married? 
September 1, 2012

How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 
About 225

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. 
I had been to a handful of bridal stores, tried on many dresses, and just was not pleased with anything I had found. I would like the skirt of one dress, but the top of another. I would like the lace of another dress, but the shape would be wrong. Let’s face it — I’m as picky as they come. I finally found Kristine, the owner of a local bridal boutique. We worked together off of a rough sketch I drew that combined the elements of what I was looking for in a dress. She custom designed the perfect dress for my wedding day. Every last detail was more than I could have dreamed!

Did you write your own vows? 
When it came to our vows, we opted for the traditional, Christian marriage vows. I just love the traditional vows. Talk about powerful! “To have and to hold from this day forward…” Does it get any better than that?!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 
Two of our dearest friends read passages from my late grandfather’s bible: Romans 8:31-39 and Philippians 4:4-9. An excerpt from Romans: “In all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all of creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. 
An acoustic version of “Come Thou Fount” was played during the processional. We exited to Hall and Oates’ “You Make My Dreams (Come True).” Our first dance was to Little Big Town’s “Bring it on Home.”

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? I borrowed my sweet mother’s tennis bracelet, a gift to her from my Dad many years ago. The brooch on my belt was vintage. My mom made my veil herself for my something new. And we just plain forgot about blue!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? 
I searched for a venue. I tried, I really did! But nothing appealed to me more than the blank slate of the giant hay barn with the beautiful backdrop of our close family friends’ working ranch in rural Oklahoma. With my background in design, I really wanted to design the entire event from the ground up, exactly as I envisioned it. Most of our family and friends thought I was crazy, and I probably was. With the help of my momma (she’s a saint!) and countless other family members and friends we transformed the barn into a pretty stunning reception space. We swept the dirt floor, we draped all the walls and ceiling beams in fabric, we brought in lighting. It was unbelievable. Shane and I will be forever indebted to all of those who put in hours of hard labor to help my vision become a reality!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
Be organized. And EDIT. No one will notice those teeny details that you are losing sleep over. As a details-obsessed bride, I KNOW it’s hard. Don’t forget to take time for you and your fiancé and enjoy your engagement!! Also, if there is any way you can fit it in the budget, hire a really great day-of coordinator. There is no better gift you can give yourself.

What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? 
We are enjoying married life in our new home state of Kansas, settling into our first house, and contemplating adopting another dog-child. We are looking forward to the West Coast reception my husbands’ parents are hosting in California this summer, and seeing those that couldn’t make it to our wedding.

Photographer: Josh McCullock | Planner: Erica Weddings | Ceremony Venue: Private Ranch | Reception Venue: Private Ranch | Florist: The Bridal Garden by Lindi | Wedding Cake: Merritt’s Bakery | Caterer: Ladyfingers Catering | Rentals: Party Pro Tulsa | Lighting: Zach Downing/Empire Lighting | DJ: Zach Downing Entertainment
Special Details: Signage/Paper Products/Calligraphy: Bride’s Own, Etsy Shop: Lovely Letter Inc | Bride’s Gown: Abelina’s Bridal | Invitations: Paper Girl | Hair Stylist: Kiersten at identity salon | Makeup Artist: Faccia Bella

Josh McCullock is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Emily reply

    All of these photos are so sweet! Love the ones of Julie + her dad and Julie + Shane!

  2. avatar Rayna {Colorado Wedding Photographer} reply

    Wow, what am amazing wedding and beautiful bride! Love all the advice too. :)

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    Gold details are my weakness, and these ones are perfect!

  4. avatar Wedding-Party Style – Weddingbee reply

    […] Photo by Josh McCullock  / Image via Southern Weddings […]

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!

Reply to: