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