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Oh y’all, it feels good to be back “home” here on Southern Weddings! Some of you may have heard that my handsome BDK and I welcomed our first bow-wearing little lady into our lives in January. While she surprised us early, I’m so thankful for the sweet SW ladies for covering for me while I spent some time with EKK (and for all your kind wishes and prayers!).

While I could refill your glass of sweet tea a bucket of times telling stories of her adorable sneezes and hilarious faces, we have a beautiful wedding to gush over! One of my favorite things about Alex and Eric’s big day is the simplicity of the colors. Classic white florals absolutely captured the romance of winter (one of Alex’s goals!), yet feel so warm and welcoming paired with layers of stacked candles. As for Ms. Alex in her grandmother’s vintage fur stole–stunning! Be sure to read about her something old/new too–it’s a good one!

Big thanks to one of our darling Blue Ribbon Vendor members, Loft Photographie for sharing this beauty with us!

My something borrowed was my grandmother’s fur stole. My mom gave me one diamond earring (the matching earring was lost) that my dad purchased for her when she was 30. She had a new one made to match the old, so the earrings served as my old and new.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look after talking to our photographers and friends and family. It calmed me down so that I was able to take in the rest of the day after seeing Eric, and the pictures turned out great.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment was walking down the aisle to meet Eric. He couldn’t hold back the tears, and I had such joy and excitement to meet him at the end.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? One of Eric’s childhood friends is a pastor and officiated the ceremony. It was very important to us that the heart of Christ be represented in the ceremony message, and he did a great job speaking to the covenant of marriage.

Having our wedding in Austin, Texas was a no-brainer. We have a lot of family that lives there, and it’s our favorite city in Texas. We fell in love with the chapel because it has an intimate feel, and the pavilion at Barton Creek Resort provided the rustic elegance that we wanted. It was also nice to have our guests stay at the resort, because we got to spend time with them the entire weekend.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The handcrafted wood details and the sweetheart table! From the seating chart, to the entrance signs, to the wood centerpieces and more, Sweet Sunday Events went above and beyond to produce beautiful pieces that added such a unique element to our wedding.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The food! Eric and I love to eat, and we both grew up on the finest Southern cuisine prepared by our mothers and grandmothers. We served fried chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, collard greens, biscuits and gravy, and macaroni and cheese. It was a hit! My cake was red velvet with cream cheese frosting, which is my absolute favorite. Eric went to Texas A&M and is a diehard Aggie, so I surprised him with an A&M-themed groom’s cake. He still talks about it to this day!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Eric is from a small town in West Texas, and naturally, everyone in that neck of the woods knows each other. One of my best friends grew up with Eric, and she introduced us after college in Dallas, Texas. I thought Eric was cute, but I was dating someone else at the time. About six months later, I was single, and Eric asked me out on our first date. I remember admiring his strength, kindness, and faith. We dated for about three years, and the rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! I grew up in Louisiana, and Eric decided he wanted to take a trip to see my large extended family. While we were there, he asked to see the church where I was baptized. I really didn’t think anything of it. We walked in to the dimly lit church, and Eric got down on one knee in front of the altar and asked me to marry him. It was such a joyful moment! He made sure all of our family was at the house when we got back, and we had a big catfish fry to celebrate, Louisiana-style!
When did y’all get married? December 7, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My wedding dress was simple and classic. It was the third one I tried on. I fell in love with Jim Hjelm’s lace a long time ago, and knew my dress was the one as soon as I tried it on.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. A friend of ours, who is also the worship leader at our church, sang two songs at our ceremony. He sang “In Christ Alone” and “How He Loves.”
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was staying within the budget. It was easy for me to keep adding here and there, but everything added up very quickly. It helped to start carrying my spreadsheet in my purse!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? How can I pick? Sweet Sunday Events made my wedding dreams come true–Katy and Rachel listened to my discombobulated ideas and made sense out of it all. Loft Photographie made me feel comfortable and were a joy to work with. Jason at Elixir Entertainment captured our wedding perfectly. His video creations are like no other. He takes time to tell your story, and creates something everyone will enjoy watching.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? It is easy to get wrapped up in all the details and to-dos and lose sight of what the wedding is all about. Enjoy the planning (it’s so much fun!), but remember that most importantly, you are planning for this beautiful new season in your life.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are excited for the growth that comes through marriage. We cannot wait to see how God uses us and shapes us. We are looking forward to living together, sleeping in on the weekends, serving, having kids, traveling, and soaking up the moments together.

Photographer: Loft Photographie / Videographer: Elixir Entertainment / Planner: Anna Leeker at Barton Creek Resort / Ceremony Venue: Smith Family Chapel / Reception Venue: Pavillion at Barton Creek Resort / Florist and Special Details: Sweet Sunday Events /Cake Baker and Caterer: Barton Creek Resort / Rentals: Loot Vintage Rentals / Band: Royal Dukes Band / Bride’s Gown: Jim Hjlem / Paper Products: Stationary Bakery / Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Angie Williams / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Loft Photographie is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    The white and wood details are so pretty together! Love their sweet first dance photo too :)

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If you have a little bit of “wedding nerd” in you, the idea of these four things together just might give you butterflies: Alabama, Christmas, Vera Wang, A Bryan Photo. Sure enough, Sally and Steven’s wedding struck the perfect balance between classic, festive, and Southern, and I can’t think of a prettier way to get excited for Christmas than by admiring their gorgeous pictures! Sally’s bouquet was particularly special–all of her favorite flowers, which she had always wanted in her wedding, were lovingly arranged by her talented aunt, who made the same bouquet for Steven to use during his proposal. I can only imagine how special these blooms will continue to be to this sweet couple for years to come!

A big SW thank you to A Bryan Photo for sharing Sally and Steven’s wedding with us!

My aunt, Sybil Sylvester, is an incredible florist, so she was in charge of all the wedding flowers. My flowers were predominately white, accented with green. My bouquet was made of peonies, gardenias, ranunculus, garden roses, thistle, and dusty miller. The church was decorated with garland and wreaths made of baby’s breath, along with Christmas greenery and candles. The Country Club was decorated with swags of greenery, tufts of mistletoe hanging from the ceiling, gold mirrors, and more beautiful flower arrangements. Call me cliché, but my inspiration was a Downton Abbey aesthetic: a Christmas wedding that felt like a traditional Southern wedding with an old English flair.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom and dad came to New York and took me to the Vera Wang wedding boutique. Every dress in that store is gorgeous. I tried on lots of dresses and narrowed it down to two. Once I tried on the Eliza gown with the sash and the veil, I knew it was the one for me.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 
Our readings were passages from the Old and New Testaments: Jeremiah 29:11-14 and Philippians 1:27-2:11.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. 
I walked down the aisle to “Highland Cathedral” played on bagpipes. We sang “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” during the ceremony and then Steven and I processed out to “Joy to the World.” Our first dance was to “Make You Feel My Love.”

What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? 
My photographer. You spend so much time with your photographer on your wedding day, and you will forever remember your wedding through their lens. Bryan and his team take gorgeous pictures and their laid-back personalities make the picture-taking fun, not stressful.

My wedding cake was Frank Stitt’s fabulous coconut cake that I’ve grown up eating at Bottega. Steven’s groom’s cake was red velvet baby bites from Pastry Art, surrounding a small red velvet cake decorated with an orange “T,” for his alma mater, the University of Tennessee.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? 
Our reception food was quintessential Southern fare, including fried chicken, lobster mac and cheese, and short ribs. We had a bourbon bar, and later in the night, we served Mississippi Muds. We used family silver to serve our cakes. Also very Southern: my Alabama football-loving family had to endure my University of Tennessee husband and his friends singing “Rocky Top” with the band.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. 
Steven and I met at Alpine Camp. We had both worked there before and were friends, but in the summer of 2011, Steven asked me out on a date. After that, we spent every night off together for the rest of the summer. The rest is history.
Describe the proposal. 
I flew home from New York to spend Easter with Steven and my family. On Saturday evening, Steven and I walked up to where we could see the sunset over Birmingham. When we got back to my house, I saw that the tea candles in the trees in our garden were lit and I realized something was up. Steven grabbed my hand and led me to the garden and said, “I have a few things to tell you.” The path to the garden was covered in white flower petals, and strands of orchids were hanging from the trees. At the end of the path, I saw a bouquet that I knew my aunt had made with all my favorite flowers, which I had always wanted for my own wedding. Steven got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. Afterwards, we celebrated with champagne, family, and friends.
In what month did you get married? 
How many guests attended your wedding? 
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did not. Our photographer, Bryan Johnson, had already done our engagement photos, and we knew we could trust him to get great pictures done without taking over the day. Also, we wanted to see each other for the first time as I was walking down the aisle and we are glad we did it that way.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: 
All the details came together so perfectly, I can’t choose just one. I am so glad I had my aunt and my wedding planners at Mariée Ami to worry about the details so that I could enjoy the big picture!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? 
Right after the ceremony, Steven and I had a few moments to ourselves to talk, dance, and just let it sink in that we were married.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
Just relax and enjoy the week of your wedding. Once you’ve finished the planning, you should sit back, take it all in, and enjoy the people there. The important thing is that you’re married at the end of the day.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? 
Who knows! We’re happy to be married and figuring out life together with our new golden doodle puppy.

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Emily reply

    I love that their wedding cake was a favorite from the bride’s childhood! Coconut cake is always a winner in my book!

  2. avatar Naia reply

    What a romantic wedding!! Loved that cake <3 Congratulations to Sally and Steven.

  3. avatar Ashley S reply

    I follow them on instagram

  4. avatar Dana reply

    such a beautiful proposal story

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Now that y’all have seen Emily and Cole’s lovely rehearsal dinner, it is probably no surprise that their wedding was the picture of Southern elegance. These two have style for days! They filled their wedding with classic flowers, monograms, and, according to the bride, as many Southern traditions as they knew. I couldn’t help but smile reading about their most memorable moments of the day–they capture Emily and Cole’s sweet relationship perfectly. Their love is so evident, and their fairy tale of a wedding was a beautiful beginning to their married life!

Thank you to Sposa Bella for sharing Emily and Cole’s special day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. This was a process. My mother-in-law and I looked in several cities, including Birmingham, Atlanta, and Charleston, until we finally ended up in New York. I just couldn’t find exactly what I was wanting. We were at Bergdorf Goodman when I found a dress that I loved the bottom of, but didn’t like the top of, because it was strapless. My sweet wedding consultant, Ellyn, said, “That’s an easy fix.” She picked up the phone and called the designer, Ines DiSanto, who gladly made a few sketches of ideas for how we could change the top. I picked one I loved and we went with it. Just like that, I had a one-of-a-kind dress that the designer herself created for me. When I returned for a fitting, I was lucky enough to meet Ines in person! She sat down and sketched me in my dress that she had designed for me and then signed it and gave it to me to keep. It is now framed in my home to remind me of just how special my dress buying experience was. She is such a sweet lady! I am so glad I wore a dress designed by her.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We went back and forth on this one, but we ultimately decided to do a first look. I am a very emotional person and I didn’t want to tone down my reaction because I was in front of 400 people. I also wanted to have an intimate moment where we could just talk to each other as we prepared to make the biggest commitment of our lives. Cole said he wouldn’t cry, but when he saw me, he burst into tears of joy. A few seconds later, we both began laughing because I had made him cry. The pictures from that moment are incredible and I wouldn’t change a thing!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? In the Episcopal service, there are traditionally three bible verses read: one from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament, and one from the Holy Gospels. Our Old Testament reading was Genesis 1:26-28, New Testament was Ephesians 3:14-19, and Holy Gospel reading was John 15:9-12.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to “The Prince of Denmark’s March” by Jeremiah Clarke. I chose this because I had a trumpeter and violinist and I wanted to hear the sound of both as I walked down the aisle on such an important day. Cole and I exited to “Trumpet Tune” by Henry Purcell. I chose this because I wanted to hear something upbeat, happy, and again, that trumpet. Our first dance song was “Nothing Fancy” by Dave Barnes. There is a stanza in that song that says “I don’t know the perfect conversation, I don’t know the way to turn a head, I don’t know the perfect way to prove my love, but I know I’ll love you till I’m dead.” This is just so us. We aren’t always going to say the perfect things or do the right things, but we will always love each other as hard as we can.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I think this would be right after the ceremony, when Cole and I got into a Rolls Royce just for us. We looked at each other and said “AHHH, we just got married!” We both looked down at our rings and were like, well yup, it’s real! It was just so us and perfect. That was when I realized, I had really just married my best friend. A close second was our first look. Seeing him look at me for the first time with tears flowing down his face, he just looked and me and said, “You are absolutely beautiful.” I will never forget that!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I would say the monogram was pretty Southern. Also, what is a Southern wedding without a chandelier? We had three hung in our tent. We had a “Southern Spread” table full of Southern foods, including fried green tomatoes. We passed around Conecuh Sausage (from Alabama) with cheddar cheese and whole grain mustard. We also passed around BBQ sliders (because I grew up in Memphis) and sweet potato chips. We used antique furniture for our sitting areas and I loved that! As far as Southern traditions, we used as many as I knew. I wore a sixpence in my shoe, and we buried a full bottle of bourbon, upside down, one month before the wedding to prevent rain. It POURED every day up until the morning of my wedding, just saying. I broke a plate for good luck before I entered the church to get married. One of our take-home gifts was a pre-packaged piece of wedding cake in a box with a note that said “Happy Ever After, Y’all!” and explained that if you sleep with this cake under your pillow, you will dream of the one you will marry or are married too. Love this one! We had one more favor for our guests from our four-legged children. We have a black lab, Pace, and a chocolate lab, Gunner. They were sweet enough to send our guests home with a tennis ball with our wedding date and a graphic of two labs on it. They also got a yummy dog bone. After we got home from our honeymoon, we received so many pictures of our guests’ dogs who were enjoying their special treats. We also had movie posters made with a graphic of a bride and groom dancing, with the name of our venue and our wedding date. We hung these in our elevators at our venue. We loved them and still have them!

Describe your wedding flowers. I really wanted all-white, neutrals, and a hint of light blue. All I told my fabulous florist was that I wanted peonies and hydrangeas, and other than that, I trusted him. He took that and ran with it. I just really wanted LOTS of flowers! Our flowers were everywhere and they were fabulous!! Another thing I really wanted was rosemary. Not only do we both love to cook and it smells wonderful, but it is also the herb of remembrance and love. How could it be more fitting? The groom and groomsmen’s boutonnieres were made of rosemary and flowers.

My favorite detail was ALL of the little details that came together to create my amazing day! One of my favorites would have to be the hand-drawn monograms that Alison Banks created for us. We had her create a two-letter monogram (using both our first initials), which we used on the save the dates and wedding invitations. We also had her take the two-letter monogram and incorporate our last initial so that we could use it for the programs and everything thereafter. We used it EVERYWHERE! It was sewn on the inside of my dress, sewn onto the ribbon streamer of my bouquet, the programs, napkins, coasters that said “Don’t take my drink, I’m dancing,” cups, the chocolates on the groom’s cake table, on cones that we passed some hors d’oeuvres in, pillows that were on the antique furniture around our reception, and even engraved on the antique silver goblets we used at the reception.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met while in college at Ole Miss during my senior year, his junior year. A few of his friends were taking girls out on a group dinner date and Cole didn’t have anyone to take. He had seen me in the neighborhood because my best friend lived a few doors down from him. I had never seen him before. He got my number from my best friend, who assured me he was a good guy. He called me up and asked me to dinner. After a little convincing from my best friend (remember, I had never seen him before), I just went with it. I’m glad I listened that day, because a few weeks later, he asked me to be his girlfriend (yes, he is a true Southern gentleman). I, of course, said yes and we have been together ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! I was prepared for a proposal sometime soon because we had talked about it and knew we were both ready. He had very strict instructions of what not to do! I just wanted us to be alone. Since we had talked about it, he thought there was no way he was going to surprise me, and I honestly thought so too. One night, he took me to my favorite restaurant. I later found out he did this to throw me off and make me think he was going to propose (that didn’t cross my mind because I knew he wouldn’t do it at dinner). Early the next morning (around 6), I was woken up with a homemade breakfast Cole had prepared for me. I was still a little sleepy, so I said thanks and rolled back over for a little more sleep. He said “Well, there is one more thing.” I rolled back over to see him down on one knee holding a silver box monogrammed with my new initials, and he asked me to marry him. Immediately, I began crying and of course, I said yes. He pulled it off and had actually surprised me!
When did y’all get married? April 20, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 400
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. This may be one of my favorite parts of the wedding! It was a seven-layer cake with flowers between each layer. The bottom layer was actually six small rounds, and on top of that were alternating layers of rounds and hexagons. I LOVED it! As if the cake wasn’t enough, it sat atop a glass-top table filled with more flowers! I told you I love flowers! It was a white cake with caramel filling, and it was delicious! For the groom’s cake, we had a chocolate cake surrounded by chocolate bark, sitting on a preserved wooden stand. Cole loves tiramisu and key lime pie, so we had several different cupcakes and desserts surrounding the cake. We even had monogrammed chocolate pieces (we used the three-letter monogram that Alison Banks had designed for us).
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Of course; I’m a Southern bride! My something old was a pair of antique diamond art deco earrings my husband’s family gave me a few weeks before the wedding. I was so surprised! My something new was both my dress and a gold signet pinky ring with my new initials engraved. My wedding day was the first day I wore it. My something borrowed was a diamond and sapphire bracelet that belongs to my mother-in-law. My something blue was in a few places. The monogram sewn into the underside of my dress was blue, I had sapphires on my bracelet and my earrings, and the date was monogrammed in blue on both of my garters.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I LOVED all of my vendors!! But I may have to go with my monogram by Alison Banks again. It was just so personal and we still use it (we use the pillows on our bed and we use it on our stationery!). Also, my flowers and cake were incredible. There is no way I could pick one vendor! My planner, florist, caterer, lighting guy and venue had all worked together before, so that was awesome. One thing I am so glad I did was have both a photographer and videographer. There were actually the first things I booked!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a wedding planner and start early! Don’t leave all the details for later. Spread it out so you don’t get overwhelmed with everything. If you want something, go for it. This day is about you and your husband and you want your guests to be able to see that. Everyone said our wedding was so us. That’s all I wanted! Do what you can to have a videographer! There were so many people that I don’t even remember seeing there, but we have video of them enjoying the night! Also, we have our voices. God forbid something ever happen to one of us or someone in our family, we have our voices to hear forever.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Married life is so fun!!! We are settling into our new life in Montgomery. We were lucky enough to get married in the church we joined together and neither had been members to previously. Therefore, we get to walk in every Sunday and remember that that is where everything started. It was so fun starting our life together in our church. We are looking forward to starting a family in the future.

Photographer: Sposa Bella Photography | Videographer: Jeff Bradt Video | Planner: Meghan Cease of M. Elizabeth Events | Ceremony Venue: St. John’s Episcopal Church | Reception Venue: Alley Station | Florist: Andy Hopper of Kathy G & Company | Wedding Cake and Dessert Baker: Sweet Spot Confections | Caterer and Rentals: Kathy G & Company | Additional Rentals: Brendle Event Specialists | Lighting: Alex of AG Lighting | Band: Azz Iz | Special Details: Amberly Shelton Paperie | Bride’s Gown: Inses Di Santo from Bergdorf Goodman | Paper Products: Paces Paper and Amberly Shelton Paperie | Bride’s Veil: Ines Di Santo from Bergdorf Goodman | Bride’s Hair Clip: Ivory & White | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Brittany Massey Hair and Makeup by BBM | Bride’s Shoes: “Au Hameau 100” by Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz | Groom’s Custom Tux: Hickey Freeman | Groomsmen Tux: Jim Massey

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Danielle reply

    Where did you get the personalized tennis balls made? I Love them!!

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Gorgeous gown, gorgeous hair, gorgeous veil, and gorgeous bouquet! I love this wedding!

  3. avatar Ivy Evans reply

    I have looked everywhere for a silver ring box to monogram and cannot find one. I would love to know where your groom found his!! Your wedding was beautiful!!

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