For these two self-proclaimed sentimentalists, weaving details of their own story, their families, and their friends into their wedding day was second nature. I’ve heard of using one’s mother’s or grandmother’s dress pieces before, but I absolutely adore how Blaine and Brian wove pieces of the dress she wore on their very first date into their wedding fabrics! Pieces were sewn inside her wedding dress, into his suit, and even into the fabric flowers that were given to each guest! They called it “a symbol of beginnings” and gracious alive, I love that! I also love the way they incorporated their family’s antique tractors, good ol’ moonshine, and cowbells into their wedding day–they did tie the knot at a cow farm, after all!
SW hugs and thanks to Abby Caldwell for sharing this adorably Southern day with us!
I asked the two strongest, bravest, and most honest women in my life, my mother and mother-in-law, to meet me in DC for the weekend to check out a few boutiques suggested by some girlfriends. I had always imagined I would fall in love with a fitted lace gown with a beautiful neckline and back, and we found just that at our last stop. It was gorgeous…but I could not bring myself to buy it. I had purchased tickets to a Brides Against Breast Cancer event months before and had planned our weekend trip so that we could end the dress shopping day there. The dresses were all arranged by size and roped off at one side of the room. We were instructed that once the whistle blew, we were allowed to grab as many dresses as we could hold. Having scoped out the scene during cocktail hour, we knew exactly where the dresses in my size were. One dress caught my eye, and when the whistle blew, a faster bride who I did not even see standing next to me grabbed it. I asked one of the ladies working the event to follow her, and if she took it off, to grab it. She did take it off, I got it, and it fit like a glove. It was absolutely nothing like the dress I was going to buy, but something about it was special and I bought it on the spot. The best part is that the proceeds from the event go to programs to help support breast cancer patients and their families. This was the icing on the cake, as Brian’s mother is a breast cancer survivor.
Describe your wedding flowers. Rosemary took the lead in our florals because it is the herb of remembrance, Brian’s grandmother’s name, and our favorite cooking herb, so we wanted the wedding to be flooded with the scent. Scent is one of the strongest memory triggers–forever, something as simple as cooking dinner will remind us of our special day. We incorporated rosemary into my bouquet, Brian’s boutonniere, our mothers’ nosegays, and our fathers’ boutonnieres. It also lined the aisles at the church and was spread throughout the floral arrangements at the farm.
I convinced Brian that burying the bourbon was totally going to work and that if it did not, then at least we would have an extra bottle of booze at the wedding if it rained. Well it did not rain…in fact, it was gorgeous and unseasonably warm. We dug up the bottle during cocktail hour with the help of my Uncle Frank. The three of us shared the first sips, and then our lovely wedding party passed it around. It was gone by dinner and the bottle is being framed for us as a keepsake. Other details included our custom monogram with design inspiration from the first ring Brian gave me, hay, mason jars, cowbells (we were at a cow farm, after all), our family’s antique tractors and cars, moonshine, sweet tea, barbecue pulled pork sliders, mini chicken and waffles, baskets of Southern breads at dinner, country music, and more.
Family, friends, tradition, and hospitality are very important to Brian and I. We are both super sentimental, so our wedding was packed with details that weaved pieces of our story, our families, and our friends into our day. Our favorite detail was the fact that there are probably only a couple of times in our lives when all of the most important people to us are gathered together. It was truly the best day ever because they were there to share it with us.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Brian and I are not big sweets people, but we know desserts are a huge fan favorite at weddings. Therefore, we had simple cutting cake made with layers of pistachio cake and pistachio icing, that we cut with the cake cutter used at Brian’s parents’ wedding. We also served a variety of cupcakes and pies, mini caramel apples, black forest doughnuts, chocolate-covered strawberries, and vanilla ice cream from our local dairy farm.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From Brian: We met at the Liberty Tavern in Arlington, Virginia in the spring of 2007. It was the hip new place in Arlington, and Blaine was working as a bartender/cocktail waitress. It took me a little while, but after several chats at the bar, some casual flirting, and some help from my best friend’s wife, I worked up the guts to ask her out and she said yes. Our first “real” date was at Old Ebbitt’s Grille in Washington D.C. The dress she wore on that date was woven into different fabrics at our wedding (her wedding dress, handkerchiefs for her wedding party, my suit, pocket squares for the groomsmen, the fabric flowers for each guest). It was a symbol of beginnings.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Brian: We go for a morning run every Saturday as a way of letting the week go and feeling good before we splurge on food/drinks/fun activities for the rest of the day. On April 7, 2012, I carefully placed the ring inside the pedometer pouch velcroed through my laces before we set out for our jog. The last mile took us out to the jetty, where my idea of a romantic setting for a proposal was immediately interrupted by 30 mph winds, crashing waves, jagged rocks, disgruntled fishermen, and kids screaming about the sand blowing in their eyes…not to mention, my sweaty, stinky body and lack of breath. Perfection, I’ve learned, is not without humor. I guided us to the flattest rocks we could find to sit on and stretch out our legs, and admittedly, began behaving awkwardly. As we were sitting, I must have said “Well, take it all in” four times before I finally added, “…because things are about to change.” Before she could get a word in, I continued by saying that today was about taking something ordinary, like our Saturday morning runs, and making it extraordinary. With tears in her eyes, Blaine asked if I was about to make her cry, and I pulled out the ring and asked her to marry me. She said, “Yes, but don’t get down on one knee out here!” We laughed, hugged, and kissed…then we got off the rocks and I dropped to one knee on the sand for good measure.
When did y’all get married? October 12, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Our reception was hosted on the Lane Farm, which has been in Blaine’s family for three generations.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The church has a magnificent organ, so we wanted to highlight that with the selection of our ceremony music. The bridal party entered to “Canon in D” by Pachelbel. My father and I walked in to “Rondeau” by Mouret, and the recessional music was “La Rejouisannce” by Handel. The dancing was kicked off by Brian’s parents dancing to “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole, since it was their 39th wedding anniversary. My father and I danced to Faith Hill’s “There You’ll Be,” sung by Abby Caldwell, our photographer and childhood friend. That was the only time during the day when my father cried. He looked at me and said, “Your grandmother would be so proud of the man you’re marrying.” For our first dance, we selected “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers, performed by our band, the Alex White Band. Our guests circled the dance floor and helped sing the lyrics. It was fantastic!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The best moment was sneaking away from the party to take a truck ride up the hill through a herd of cows. It was funny, a little goofy, and perfect. We stood on top of the hill looking down over the party and saw everyone from all the corners of our lives, smiling and celebrating together. It was exactly what we wanted our day to be. That image will stay with us forever.
Photographer: Abby Caldwell Photography / Videographer: Birdhouse Productions / Planner: Stefanie Hansen of BlueShoe Events / Ceremony Venue: Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption / Reception Venue: Private residence / Florist: Rose Bredl / Cupcakes: KC Cupcakes (Cousin of the Bride) / Pies: Linda Canfield (Aunt of the Bride) / Caterer: Frank Lane (Owner of Lane Farm and Uncle of the Bride) and Creative Cuisine / Band: Alex White & Friends / Custom Ties and Pocket Squares: Fox & Brie / Bride’s Gown: “Nadine” by Amsale / Paper Products: Designed by the Bride and Groom / Printing: Paper Source / Hair Stylist: Carrie D Creamer / Makeup Artist: Michael Phillip Zamora / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Groom’s Attire: Hickey Freeman / Dance Floor and Table Rentals: McGuffey Tents / Chairs: D & R Rental Service / Portable Restrooms: ABC Restroom / Transportation: Creative Coach Company (Fun Bus)