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It is always so much fun to see a wedding planner’s wedding! In Leanne and Jason’s case, they were inspired by their love of the South, a collection of beautiful family heirlooms, their rival Texas college loyalties (y’all know I’m with Jason on this one–hook ’em!), and most importantly, their parents, who have both been married for over 39 years. The beautiful magnolias and preppy striped details are surely thanks to Leanne’s design savvy, but their touching ceremony and care for their guests was what made this day truly special!

Thanks to Sara & Rocky for sharing this lovely wedding with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my mother’s monogram brooch that my father had given to her on their wedding day in 1970. I’ve always loved it. Jason gave me a monogram necklace for our wedding as well. My something blue was my clutch. My mother carried it to her prom and gave it to me, and I had been saving it since high school to carry at my wedding. My something old was my veil, which was handmade of Brussels lace that my mother purchased in Belgium in 1969. It cost $450 even back then, and is a priceless family heirloom. My mother and aunt both wore it at their weddings, and I made the wedding dress consultant swear she wouldn’t bring me any dresses to try on that didn’t match my veil.

I chose to walk down the aisle to an instrumental version of Patty Griffin’s “Heavenly Day.” She is my favorite artist of all time, and every time I’ve heard that song, I imagined it being played at my wedding. She is from Austin, so it was fitting to use a musician from Texas. One of my bridesmaids sung “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”–this is not only one of my favorite hymns, it also really explained how our waiting patiently for each other attested to God’s faithfulness in our lives. Every person in our wedding has already been married, so we stood by countless friends as they met and married their spouses. We feel so grateful to have finally found each other and we know that God’s faithfulness will continue in our lives, no matter what challenges may arise.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, since we had a civil ceremony outside, we knew we wanted to write vows that represented our commitment to one another, and to really help our friends and family see our deep love for each other. My favorite lines from my vows to Jason were, “You smile at me when I am at my worst and turn my bad moods into fits of laughter… and who can forget your sense of adventure? You have turned my life into one giant, fun-filled ride.” My favorite line from Jason’s vows were, “I’ve waited for you my entire life; I’ve fought for you, and broken down the walls around your heart. I was always optimistic there was a future for us. You have been worth any struggle.”

Our entire wedding was over-the-top Southern. From the magnolias on our invitation, as a nod to my parents’ Mississippi roots, to the quilt that was displayed on the old church pew, hand-sewn by my great grandmother out of my mother and grandmother’s clothes. The cotton boll boutonnieres paid homage to my grandfather’s cotton farm. Our cocktail napkins said “Cheers Y’all” because we wanted our guests to know that every detail was about them feeling welcome and at home. Our first dances were all to country music, and we two-stepped, naturally. I even changed into my boots for the reception so I could really enjoy it all! We had custom cornhole boards made that represented the college football rivalry in our marriage–I’m a Texas A&M Aggie and Jason’s a Texas Longhorn. It must be a family tradition, as my parents went to State and Ole Miss!

Describe your wedding flowers. They were AMAZING!! Our flowers were white, ivory, and pale pink with touches of coral, green, and gold. Branching Out utilized roses, spray roses, garden roses, peonies, ranunculus, sweet peas, lisianthus, freesia, anemones with black centers, gardenias, magnolia foliage, clematis vine, jasmine vine, and Italian pittosporum to create natural, whimsical styles with of lots of texture and movement. We used a mixture of gold, white, and striped vases, urns, and footed bowls to create various heights of centerpieces throughout the reception space. Gold glittered rods were also styled with miniature magnolia wreaths with navy and white striped bows.

We had a biscuit bar at cocktail hour, complete with homemade strawberry jam, and also served sausage balls made from my grandmother’s recipe. Our dinner menu consisted of short ribs, jalapeno cheese grits, greens, squash casserole, cornbread, and parker house rolls with honey butter. We had coconut macaroons flown in from the Mississippi State Bakery as a surprise for my dad, and gave them out as favors with monogrammed stickers.

As Jason’s fraternity brother serenaded me, I knew this was my Southern wedding dream come true. Amazing food, family and friends, great music, and a well-stocked bar. It really was the perfect day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jason and I met through an online dating website. We’re both older in the midst of busy careers, so we eventually took the plunge. Never in a million years did we actually think we’d meet our spouses that way. Our first date was in fall 2012 when we watched a Dallas Cowboys game, and then ended up going to Central Market, a local market and cafe, to shop for some beer to pair with one of Jason’s new cigars. We decided you can learn a lot about someone at the grocery store, just based on what they like to eat and how they shop. Now we always reminisce about our relationship at grocery stores, which definitely makes it more fun! I knew Jason was special when he would stay up till 2 a.m. to talk to me while I drove home from weddings. Dating an event planner isn’t an easy task, especially during wedding season! He would even bring me dinner sometimes when he knew I was exhausted and didn’t have time to cook. By the spring, we knew this was the best relationship we’d ever been in.
Tell us all about the proposal! We went to a friend’s wedding Memorial Day weekend, and Jason whispered, “I don’t think this is our last walk down the aisle together,” as we left the church. We went ring shopping together after our friend’s wedding weekend. I fell in love with a setting, and he selected a stone. When he said, “We’ll take it,” I nearly fainted! He turned to me and said, “Well, of course we know we’re getting married!” The ring was custom made and took three weeks to be completed. Those were the longest three weeks of my life! After they were up, I told him that if he held onto the ring for much longer, I didn’t think I’d survive. One Saturday afternoon in June, I went to his place after work. When I knocked and walked in, he was on his knee in the living room, surrounded by dozens of flowers and our favorite music playing. He then explained the significance of all the flowers: red roses because I’m the love of his life, white roses because his love for me is pure and he never wants to hurt me, maroon for my Texas A&M, orange for his Texas Longhorns, and an array of colors because I’m the “most colorful woman he knows.”
When did y’all get married? March 16, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Because I’m a wedding planner, I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time to look for a dress, or find one that didn’t require a multitude of fittings. My mom asked me to go to a shop that sold samples when my aunt was in town, and I never in a million years thought I would buy a dress that day. When I tried on the fifth or sixth dress and saw their faces, then looked in the mirror, I knew it was the one. It fit so perfectly and didn’t even need to be hemmed. It also looked so lovely with my mother’s heirloom Brussels lace veil that all the women in my family have worn in their weddings, which sealed the deal.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Jason and I wanted to do a first look so that we could have some time alone and get any tears out of the way before the ceremony. We didn’t want to “ugly cry” through our vows, which we wrote ourselves. We also knew that it would be so nice to take pictures beforehand and then spend more time with our friends and family who had literally flown in from all over the world to be there.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I loved the family photo table with the large magnolia wreath that said “Because He first loved us.” It was filled with pictures from our parents’ and grandparents’ marriages, along with photos of our relatives who couldn’t be with us. Not only did we get married because of God’s love, but because of all of the love that our family and friends poured into us, and the wonderful examples of marriage in the generations before us. Both mine and Jason’s parents have been married for over 39 years.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? It was definitely hard to design and plan a wedding as a full-time event planner. Because I’m exposed to so many amazing vendors, it was very hard to narrow down who to select and what design elements I could incorporate that wouldn’t feel reminiscent of other events I had planned. I really had to stay true to who Jason and I are as a couple and focus on what our family and friends would enjoy most. At the end of the day, I knew I wasn’t my own client–I was the bride. I learned that even though I wanted people to see my design talents, all that really mattered was that I was marrying my best friend and that everyone we loved would be there.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? One way that we saved money was with calligraphy. I thankfully inherited beautiful handwriting from my mother and grandmother, so I addressed all of our invitations and hand-lettered the magnolia leaf escort cards. We also purchased decor when we could get it on sale, such as some of the specialty vases, bar trays, striped straws, and decanters for the cigar bar. We tried to save money on any of the minor details that Jason and I could create by hand.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We both stopped during dinner to stare at our wedding bands and try to soak in the fact that we were actually MARRIED! We looked out over the room and were filled with so much joy to see everyone we loved look so incredibly happy and having such an amazing time.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a planner and try to get things done as soon as you can. The last few weeks leading up to your wedding should be focused on preparing for your marriage and enjoying your family and friends, not focusing on little details. It will help you go into your wedding with a sense of calmness that no amount of money can buy.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are getting settled into our house and enjoying projects to get it fixed up. We are looking forward to traveling, falling even more in love, and continuing to get to know each other even more every day. We can’t wait for a lifetime of adventures! Our journey is just beginning, and we are so excited about the possibilities.

Photographer: Sara & Rocky / Videographer: Lynn Films / Planner: Catherine Ball Events / Venue: The N at Hardway Ranch / Florist: Branching Out Floral & Event Design / Wedding Cake: Ginny Stewart Designs / Caterer: EuroCater / Rentals: Gold Dust Vintage Rentals / DJ: Glenn Roush, Le Force Entertainment / Bride’s Gown: Casablanca / Paper Products: Inscriptions on the Boulevard / Bride’s Bracelets: J.Crew and Stella & Dot / Hair Stylist: Liz Hernandez / Makeup Artist: Adina Wright / Bride’s Shoes: “Antigravity” by Easy Spirit / Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein / Tent: Dallas Party Tent & Event / Linens: Fabulous Events / Chalkboards: Eclectic Viv / Coconut Macaroons: Mississippi State Bakery / Menus: Minted / Monogrammed Napkins: One Kings Lane

lisa Written with love by Lisa
14 Comments
  1. avatar Wedding Rental Supplies reply

    Beautiful wedding! Loved the unique and pretty details of this wedding.

  2. avatar Erica reply

    Where was this wedding held?? I’m looking at venues in the area and this looks like a beautiful setting!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    I love all of their magnolia details – the wreaths + garlands are gorgeous!

  4. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    There is so much to love about this wedding: the outside seating is awesome, the pick up truck is a great idea and of course, the bacon with gravy and biscuits, I am sure was delicious!

    • avatar Hannah reply

      Beautiful wedding! Any idea where that guest book is from, I love it!

    • avatar LeeAnne reply

      Hey Hannah! My husband’s uncle actually made our guest book, but there are vendors on Etsy that make similar options. Good luck!

  5. avatar Rachel reply

    A beautiful wedding and an even more beautiful bride and person. I love you, LA! :) It was an honor to stand beside you on your wedding day.

  6. avatar Charmaine (Rustic Folk Weddings) reply

    Adore the way the couple paired their bold color palette throughout their wedding.

  7. avatar LeeAnne reply

    Hey Erica! The venue is The N at Hardway Ranch, in Bluff Dale, Texas. Good luck with planning and thanks for your sweet words!

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  9. avatar Louise reply

    I would love to know how the champagne bottle was made – is that a sticker or engraving and who were the suppliers? Thank you!

  10. avatar Kayla reply

    Hi there. Where did you get your wooden Texas-shaped guest book? It is beautiful!

  11. avatar LeeAnne reply

    Louise – we ordered the champagne through a company in California, Miramonte Winery.

    Kayla – my husband’s uncle made our guest book. It is solid Maple, so will last a lifetime. You can definitely find similar items on Etsy that can be made to order.

    Best wishes to you both!

  12. avatar Pretty Palettes #98 reply

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Y’all!!! And, yes, those exclamation points were completely necessary! I knew I was going to like this wedding as soon as I saw the title; I hadn’t even clicked in yet and I was excited! (Obviously: Monograms + Alabama = MAK heaven!) Emily is such a doll for letting me introduce Morgan + Matthew’s to-die-for wedding from Amy Arrington. I’ll even let the fact that M + M are attending school at Auburn slide for the sake of this gorgeousness!

I feel like Morgan is my long lost sister! Oh, where to start? How about the things I love about this wedding: the monogrammed necklace, her gown, the location, the ceremony backdrop, the gold glitter the flower girls threw… but, let me be completely honest, as much as I die over these gorgeous details, Morgan + Matthew’s contagious joy takes the cake as my very favorite detail. And that, my friends, is what it’s really about.

How fun is Morgan’s something borrowed? It’s her sorority sisters’ membership pins!

I didn’t even have to scroll down to know that Morgan’s gown was the “Dahlia” by Amsale because it’s one of my absolute favorite gowns. Ever! And add in the fact that she got it for 55% off — work it, girl!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I fell in love with a dress that I saw on Pinterest, but upon doing further research, I found out that it was way out of my budget. I was so bummed, but I thought maybe if I just did a Google search of the style, I could find a salon carrying it for less. I stumbled upon PreOwnedWeddingDresses, which quickly became my best friend! I found the exact dress I was looking for being sold by a sweet, sweet lady in New Orleans. I ended up getting my dress for 55% off of the original price AND made a new friend!

We originally planned on not doing a first look, but upon seeing the wonderful first look photos of other couples that our photographer had done, we decided it could be pretty neat. On the day of the, among the hustle and bustle, we lost track of time. Before we knew it, we had run out of time for a first look. So, we waited until the ceremony and it ended up being perfect. I think subconsciously it was what we wanted all along. It was a beautiful moment.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There was this small moment that I will forever remember. I surprised Matthew with a leather chair and ottoman as a wedding present. I placed it in the room where the men got ready, but he had no clue that it was for him. It just blended in with the rest of the furniture. After the ceremony, we signed our marriage license in that room and I told him the chair belonged to him. His face at that moment was priceless. It was a small detail in a busy day that meant the world to me.

How adorable are these buttons? I need that Alabama one for sure!

Describe your wedding flowers: We went all white with our flowers. My bouquet was a mixture of white hydrangeas, white roses and baby’s breath. The bridesmaid’s bouquets were all white hydrangeas and on the reception tables, we used white hydrangeas and baby’s breath.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding was held at an old plantation home: big and white, with a wide front porch. There were many monograms. I wore a monogram necklace with my new initials at the reception, we had a monogram cake topper, and I had my monogram stitched into the inside of my dress. My husband threw the garter attached to a football (you can’t leave football out of anything here in the South). We also had monogrammed corn hole boards at the reception and they were a big hit!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We are still in school at Auburn University, so planning a wedding in six months and attending school at the same time was a challenge, but we are proud to say now that we have overcome and done wonderfully!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: A family friend made our cakes. We went with a simple white cakes with white butter cream icing. We originally had three cakes, a small three-tier cake and two small two-tier cakes. The morning of the wedding, there was a little mishap with the larger cake, so we smiled and moved on and enjoyed our two smaller ones. They sat on milk glass cake stands and the cake we cut was topped with a beautiful acrylic monogram.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Matthew and I met while doing mission work on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation in southern Arizona. He was 17 and I was 15. I had worked on the reservation for many years but it was his first time. I led his group during the week they were in Arizona and we quickly became great friends. As teenagers do, we continued to text each other once we had returned home and our relationship quickly grew while we were separated by two states. In November of 2008, he made the special phone call and asked me to be his girlfriend. He told me that he knew a long distance relationship could be challenging but he was willing to work hard at it if I was. We were in a long distance relationship until I joined him at Auburn University in 2011.
Describe the proposal. During the summer of 2012, Matthew planned a cross-country road trip for us. It was a dream come true. We spent two weeks journeying from Kentucky to California and back home to Alabama. Along the way, Matthew planned a stop on the reservation in southern Arizona where we met and spent so much time serving together. He proposed at sunset in the very village we served in and once again, just as he did when he asked me to be his girlfriend, he told me he knew marriage could be challenging, but he was willing to give it his all if I was.
In what month did you get married? December
How many guests attended your wedding? 75
Did you write your own vows? We wrote our own vows, but kept them simple and very similar to traditional vows. Our favorite part was how they began: “I Morgan, take you Matthew, to be my husband, loving you now and as you grow into all that God intends.”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. All of our songs were hand picked by my husband. He did an amazing job! I walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of “A Thousand Years” by The Piano Guys, and let me tell you, it’s a tear-jerker. We walked back up the aisle to “I Do” by Colbie Caillat and our first dance was to “Come Away with Me” by Norah Jones.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There wasn’t one particular thing, but the fact that it was very personal. We made almost every decoration by hand and put so much thought and hard work into the details.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Photography!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t get caught up in the minute details. You will feel like everything, I mean EVERYTHING has to be perfect, but I can tell you now that it doesn’t. If things go wrong the day of, or even the week before, smile and move on. You will enjoy the special time so much more.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are looking forward to everything God has in store for us! We are finishing up school here in Auburn and are ready for the big, big plans He has for us after that. We are adventurous and ready to follow His lead.

Amy Arrington is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
26 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Oh my goodness, what a sweet, sweet wedding! I love how their tables are modern, but at the same time, they fit so beautifully with all of the laid back, Southern details. Not to mention, the bride and groom are just gorgeous together! :)

  2. avatar Caitlin reply

    What a beautiful couple. I love every detail but especially the monograms! Where did the bride get the monogram for the inside of her dress?

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Caitlin! I’m not sure where Morgan got her monogram, but when I was married the seamstress who did all my alterations offered monogramming for the inside of the gown. Check with your seamstress or dress salon as they will know a great place to create the patch. xx

  3. avatar Sarah reply

    Y’all, I will have to tell you that there was a lot of modesty going on in that interview! :) I am Matthew’s sister (the groom) and now Morgan’s sister-in-law and I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you how incredibly talented this chick is! They got married on the same day that my husband and I got married 5 years ago, but I was more than happy to share that date with them! I know she scoured wedding mags and websites, and, of course, Pinterest, for all these wonderful ideas and managed to make a LOT of them herself or design them herself. There isn’t a picture of the invitation (obviously, because they had already gone out), but she did a fabulous job. She’s like Reese Witherspoon (If it’s not moving, monogram it!) and loves all things southern, but still loves the appeal of modern prints and designs. Anyway, I am SOOO happy that y’all featured their wedding!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Oh, Sarah! You’re so sweet to comment, and say such kind things about Morgan! I have to say that I agree that she is so talented. This is one of my favorite weddings we’ve featured – the monograms just put me over the edge! And congratulations to you and your hubby on your anniversary – what a sweet thing to share! xx

  4. avatar Dee Shore reply

    Gosh so pretty! What a beautiful couple.

  5. avatar Cameron reply

    Amsale, Monograms, Auburn, Theta pins, and gold glitter….I die!

  6. avatar Anna (Lover.ly) reply

    Wow! What a gorgeous wedding, particularly that dress. And the fact that it was 55% off makes it even prettier :)

  7. avatar invitation consultants reply

    can’t go wrong with a monogram! and bowties too!

  8. avatar Kiesel Park Wedding : Matthew + Morgan reply

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  9. avatar Jen @ YumYum Weddings reply

    I love monograms, and they are a staple of most weddings, but I never thought to use it as a theme…this was wonderful! They look so happy to be together, and they really took something that nearly everyone uses, and made it their own. My favorite part would have to be his monogrammed football though…classy. ha ha.

  10. avatar Dominique reply

    Where did that Merry Christmas banner come from? I would LOVE to have one for my upcoming wedding!

    • avatar Sarah reply

      Dominique: Regarding the Merry Christmas banner: Morgan made it herself a while back. It’s been a tradition of theirs for a few years to have a Christmas picture taken with it and post it as their “Christmas card.” Since they got married so close to Christmas last year, they made sure to have it included in their photos.

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    […] Photo by: Amy Arrington Photography on Southern Weddings via Lover.ly […]

  13. avatar Sarah Park reply

    Where did the Bride order the buttons from? So adorable!

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  20. avatar Mel reply

    Where did the brides monogram necklace come from? I just love it and I’m looking for a trusty site to order one from? Thanks! Gorgeous wedding!!

  21. avatar Mary Lou reply

    Your wedding was beautiful! My daughter is getting married in October and she would love to use the football idea. I have been looking but no luck.How or where did you get it?
    Thank you for your help,
    Mary Lou Crow

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