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Happy National Pecan Pie Day, y’all! Well, a few days early–it’s really on July 12, but who’s counting? Especially when it comes to matters of pecan pie!

It’s been said that pecan pie originated with boiled pecans in Alabama, sugar pie recipes in Texas, candied pecans in Louisiana, or a discovery by the wife of a Karo Syrup executive. That’s why it’s sometimes called Karo Pie! Either way, I think it’s safe to say that pecan pie is Southern born and bred.

Now the fun thing about pecan pie is that it’s not just for holidays, though of course, if I’m invited to your home for Thanksgiving and it’s missing, we might need to have a chat. From mini-pies (oh so cute!) to pops, there are so many great ways incorporate this yummy desert into your wedding day or rehearsal dinner.

Like most good Southern things, pecan pie is made up of a good amount of sugar! Powdered sugar, corn syrup, brown sugar, refined sugar, and a whole lot of pecans mix together (with a few other ingredients) to make up this sweet treat. The pecan-encrusted top melts right into the custard-y center placed upon a flaky crust–I’m getting a craving just thinking about it! Y’all have to try this Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie recipe; I heard about it from my sister-in-law, and while I haven’t tried it yet, it’s her favorite! Or, just scoop up one of our handy dandy tea towels. You can read the recipe and then wipe the flour off of your cheek!

While the origins of this yummy treat are vague, it’s certainly a favorite Southern dessert. So, dust off your mixer, put on your apron, whip up a pie, and share it with your friends! Hey, you could even check off number six AND number nine of our #SouthernDoins with one sweet treat!

P.S. How do YOU say it? Pee-can? Peh-cahn? Pee-cahn?

From top to bottom, photos by Joey + Jessica from Blue Ribbon Bounty, Michelle Boyd from Kim and Sal’s wedding, Ulmer Studios from Jamie and Dan’s wedding, Caroline Joy from Audrey + Jordan’s wedding, Flora and Fauna from Summer and Jonathan’s wedding, Jillian Zamora from Amy + Kenny’s wedding, Braedon Flynn, last two by KT Crabb from Brittany + Joel’s wedding

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Amanda reply

    That tea towel is so cute!!

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I unknowingly scheduled my own upcoming wedding for the day of the Kentucky Derby in 2015, and while I won’t be taking too much inspiration from this famous Southern sporting event for my big day, I can’t help but have a soft spot for couples who do! Maryland residents, Ashley and Jim, drew upon their beloved Southern roots to bring a taste of Louisville to their home state. After their traditional church ceremony, they gathered with over 200 of their loved ones to watch the Derby live during cocktail hour–and as fate would have it, the winning horse, much like Ashley and Jim, was a perfect representation of Maryland-meets-Kentucky!

Thanks so much to Maria DeForrest for capturing this celebratory day and then sharing it with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom and I went to about four boutiques in the Baltimore area and found the dress at the third place we visited. All of the places let us take pictures of our favorite ones, which was a huge help. We went home and looked through all of the photos after being out all day, and the choice was clear once we saw the pictures at home. I highly recommend taking photos if you can–it is so worth it to help you make the decision!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, we did a “first look” and it was the best decision. One of my bridesmaids is also a wedding planner and she recommended we do a first look so that we could enjoy our cocktail hour and not miss any of our reception. We were on a tight time schedule because we were showing the Kentucky Derby live during our cocktail hour, and then heading straight to dinner. It was so nice to spend a few minutes with Jim before the craziness began, and the first look gave us some time to have a special moment alone together. We also had the most beautiful setting–an old stone bridge overlooking a lake on the farm where we had our reception. Our bridal party watched from the other side of the lake and were cheering in the background when Jim turned around and saw me for the first time.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No. We had written each other love letters during our pre-Cana retreat weekend and those were so special that we didn’t feel the need to write our own vows.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We used a reading from the Book of Tobit, Tobit 8:4B-8, which is about Tobiah and his new wife, Sarah. In the end of their prayer, they ask God to bless them to “live together to a happy old age.” We also used Romans 12:9-13–it ends with “practice hospitality,” which we thought was fitting with our Southern roots.

Being from Maryland, we are on the “edge” of the South, so I had to borrow many of my mom’s Kentucky traditions to amp up the Southern feel that I love. Since we themed our wedding around one of the most famous Southern sporting events, the Kentucky Derby, we had a lot of room to weave in Louisville details. We served mint juleps as our signature drink, along with Derby Pie for dessert. We also had a vintage “Kentucky Bourbon” tasting bar set up with homemade bourbon balls, another tasty Southern treat, on sliver platters. We also encouraged our guests to dress as if they were going to the Derby, so many women wore beautiful hats and the men wore lots of seersucker and bow ties. We also served hot browns, shrimp and grits, and mini Maryland crabcakes during our cocktail hour.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Watching the Kentucky Derby! We set up a huge projection screen in a restored barn on the property to watch the race before dinner. Our guests were really getting into it, and even placed bets against one another during cocktail hour! Over 200 of our favorite people in the world joined Jim and me as we cheered on Baltimore-owned Orb to a Kentucky Derby victory! Orb winning the race was the perfect blend of Maryland and Kentucky! Of course, I had my money on him, and had been telling guests for weeks leading up to the wedding that he was going to be the winner, so thank goodness I was right!!

Describe your wedding flowers. We actually ordered our flowers from Wegmans, a local grocery store. They were white (baby’s breath, roses), green (baby cabbages), and gray (lamb’s ear), to blend in with the natural beauty of our outdoor reception. Wegmans also grew grass for us and incorporated that into the tablescape by transplanting it into mint julep cups the day of the wedding. It fit very well with our horse racing theme, since it looked like turf grass!

In keeping with Derby Day tradition, my mom, a Louisville native, made fourteen “Derby Pies” for our big day. They were served with homemade whipped cream and were to die for!! We also had Jim’s favorite dessert, Key lime pie, and a coconut wedding cake–all Southern faves.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jim and I met in 2006 when we were both working on political campaigns in Maryland. There was a 70-year old woman, Doris, who volunteered for Jim’s candidate one night, and then volunteered for my candidate the next night and told me all about this “cute, young guy working on Jim Smith’s campaign” who was my age. Ms. Doris was determined to see us together, so we owe a lot to her. Who knew commiserating over finding volunteers to fill a “phone bank” could lead to a marriage? Both of the candidates won their elections, and were both guests at our wedding almost seven years later.
Tell us all about the proposal! I knew I wanted to marry Jim within months of dating him. Jim, on the other hand, took some convincing :) After two years of dating, he enrolled in law school at night while working full-time, and he didn’t want to get married until all of that was behind him, so I had to wait four more years for him to propose. Finally, the day came when we were walking on the beach in Duck, NC at the Outer Banks, where Jim’s family has a beach house. We have been going there for the last six years to unwind and relax. It is our favorite place to get away, so it was the perfect place to get engaged, since we are both so calm and happy when we are there together. Our chihuahua, Javy, was walking with us on the beach when Jim got down on one knee.
When did y’all get married? 5/4/13
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The most special part of our wedding day was when my grandfather orchestrated a surprise sing-a-long with our jazz trio during the welcome at dinner. When I was a little girl, my grandmother, who died a few years ago, used to sing old songs (like “It’s a Grand Old Flag,” “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” “You are my Sunshine,” and “Yankee Doodle”) to me every single morning while I sat on her lap after my parents went to work. Since my grandmother couldn’t be with me on my wedding day, my grandfather thought that incorporating these songs would be a special tribute to her and to our relationship. He printed out song sheets with the words to these “oldies but goodies,” and encouraged everyone to “sing to the bride as her grandmother used to do.” It was probably the most special moment of the day besides saying “I do.”
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed and blue was a lace handkerchief with our wedding date and names embroidered on it in blue writing. This is a tradition with my college roommates, who also have their names and wedding dates embroidered in the other corners of the hanky, and we have each used it (with one more girl to go)! My something old was my mother-in-law’s veil that she wore in her wedding, and that a few other family members have worn. I had admired it in her wedding pictures, so it was special for me to wear it in our wedding. My something new was my wedding dress of course!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Not having a professional wedding planner when both Jim and I have busy full-time jobs was a huge challenge, especially given all of the details you need to contend with when having an outdoor wedding on a farm. Outdoor weddings at venues that don’t traditionally host huge receptions can mean a lot more work for the couple and/or planner. Everything from having to find a place to rent restroom trailers, to worrying about the weather and which tent accessories to have on hand (thank goodness we had heaters on standby, because we ended up using them). Luckily, my bridesmaids really pitched in, and their collective event planning experience saved the day many times over. I owe them so much!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Do it in steps, and give yourself enough time to research all of the vendors. If you are on a budget, this is especially important.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Starting our family is something that we both are really excited about. We are also looking forward to having more free time together now that all of the planning is complete!

Photographer: Maria DeForrest / Planner: Lauren Hanna / Ceremony Venue: St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church / Reception Venue: Cold Saturday Farm / Florist: Wegmans / Wedding Cake: Baltimore Cakery / Derby Pie: Bride’s mother / Caterer: Chef’s Expressions / Rentals and Lighting: Baltimore Tent Company / Band: The Leggz Band / Cocktail Hour Music: Bill Elliot Trio / Bourbon Bar: The Recipe LLC / Bridal Salon: Betsy Robinson Collection / Paper Products: Oakland Printing Company / Hair Stylist: Hot Air / Makeup Artist: Behind the Veil / Bride’s Shoes: Style & Co. / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Ruthie” in Caspian Blue by J. Crew / Men’s Attire: Vera Wang by Men’s Wearhouse / Bow Ties: Collared Greens / Restrooms: Gotta Go Now

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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Today’s wedding hits close to home for me–it took place less than an hour away from my parents’ house, and is where one of my sweet college sorority sisters is getting married this fall! As with many of our Texan couples, Summer and Jonathan did not shy away from including some state pride in their wedding day. Country tunes and two-stepping at the reception? Check. Cowboy boots for all? A no-brainer. A getaway pickup truck? Absolutely. Jonathan and his groomsmen even wore Texas star-shaped sherrif badges as boutonnieres–so fun!

Thank you kindly to Flora and Fauna for sharing Summer and Jonathan’s wedding with us!

Jonathan is an incredible date-planner. We’ve had meals “around-the-world,” starlit picnics with tea light candles in mason jars, and fancy nights out on the town. But it’s always the same: he knows, and I don’t. So, when he whisked me off to an adventurous date in Chappell Hill one day, I was clueless. We met the owner of a ranch, and it was almost as if she wasn’t expecting us. Accompanied by a cowboy named Chris, we bridled our horses, locked our boots into place, and rode off through a field of wildflowers. The bluebonnets were in bloom, the cows, calves, and longhorns were really busy eating grass, and the sun bent beams through the clouds–I was in heaven, and Jon knew it! Rather abruptly, Chris remembered he needed to take care of something that had to do with ranch life, so he tied up our horses and we grabbed two lawn chairs and took in the beauty around us. Jon said, “Let’s go to the fence.” Then, he took me in his arms and proclaimed his undying love for me. He got down on one knee to the beat of my “What are you doing? What are you doing? What are you doing?” and asked me to be his wife.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Jon washing my feet. It’s a biblical parallel to when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. In that day, and any day for that matter, it was a humbling thing for a man to do for someone. It came to represent the humility necessary to serve others, a mandate for all Christians. The Bible tells men to serve their wives, as Christ served the church. Jon got down on the ground in his suit, took off my boots, and washed my feet in front of the crowd to display his commitment to serve me for the rest of our days.

Our first dance song commemorated the night that Jon wanted to kiss me but didn’t–we had gotten dressed up cowboy/cowgirl style and went to the Humble, Texas rodeo to listen to our favorite band, the Josh Abbott Band. They cleared the floor of animals and we headed down with the crowd to dance. They played “Oh Tonight” which has a line that says “Go on and kiss me on the mouth, you know you want to and you should’ve done it by now.” I was sure that all those elements–the lights, the privacy of being in a crowd, my dress, the closeness of our faces, THAT LINE– would’ve made for the perfect first kiss story. After months of leading up to it, surely, SURELY, but he didn’t do it. We had a good laugh dancing to the song and kissing at that part at our wedding.

We aren’t just Southern–we’re Texan! We ordered pecan, pumpkin, and apple pies from a local bakery in Montgomery, Texas. We played country music and two-stepped. We left our reception in a hay-filled truck bed. Our wedding cake was even made by the sweetest old lady from backwoods Texas named Barbie, who ran her shop out of her trailer. It doesn’t get more country than that.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at a fightin’ Texas Aggie tailgate and Jonathan was head over boots. Me, not so much, but I was excited about the prospect of new friends in Houston. I started going to his church’s young adult service, and Jonathan became more and more charming and impressive over the weeks. Since he was my small group leader, we couldn’t date, so we proceeded to be “just friends” over weekly frozen yogurt, weekends with my family, and an absurd amount of text messages. Finally, we went on our first date, but something just didn’t feel right, so I ended it. For about two months, we barely spoke. Suddenly, on New Year’s Eve, I realized I actually cared a lot about Jonathan, and I knew I had to tell him, so I wrote him a card and sent it in the mail. He wrote me back, clearly misreading the intent, so I realized I had to tell him to his face. When I saw him at a meeting with the other small group leaders, we had an awkward interchange, and then in front of everyone, I told him how I felt. We finished the conversation at his house, on his porch. He, understandably, was blindsided, but he gave me hope. As we sat on his porch, I saw it–60 years from then, gray, worn, joyful. Rocking back and forth and holding hands and looking at the life we built. I knew that night that I loved him. Three days later, he came over for a Bananagrams, homemade wine (his!), record-playing, windows-open kind of evening. We became best friends that night, and three and a half months later, he asked me to be his wife. I’m sure glad I wrote that card. :)
When did y’all get married? October 27, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I walked into the first bridal store I could find and picked the first dress I tried on!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We didn’t. We wanted that moment of seeing each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle, and it was so special. I’ll never forget his face: full of pure joy. I felt like I was coming home.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? “Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the Church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves Himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:21-33
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I began teaching 11th grade English at a charter school in August. I had training through all of July and our biggest round of exams fell right after the wedding, so my husband planned most of the wedding and organized EVERYTHING around it. He’s a good one!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Round Top Collection. They are family friends of ours and supported us by supplying a bunch of sweet antique items for us to use to decorate.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? It’s cliché, but I loved when I saw Jon’s face as I walked down the aisle. He has a particular smile he uses when he’s REALLY happy, and he was also a little teary. It was wonderful.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Marry a man who is invested in it. This isn’t “your” thing–it’s both of yours.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are currently applying to a program that will take us on an adventure around the world!

Photographer: Flora and Fauna / Venue: Olde Dobbin Station / Florist: Carter’s Florist / Wedding Cake Baker: Cakes by Blondie / Caterer: Carol’s Catering Service / Special Details: The Round Top Collection / Bride’s Gown: Essense of Australia / Paper Products: DIY / Hair Stylist: Lauren Neat and Karen Robare / Makeup Artist: Ashley Dickson / Groom’s Attire: J.Crew

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Kim reply

    Lovely! My favorite part was the pecan, pumpkin, and apple pies !!! Here is a fantastic guide for all those details weddin related:

  2. avatar Dana reply

    so much to love in this wedding! texas forever!

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