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THE BEST stunning FUN!


rings, fashion, bouquets, design, fab finds, vendors, traditions, gifts for your groom, honeymoons, tips and tricks and so much more

Howdy! Welcome to the Southern Weddings Digital Trilogy! We are mighty pleased to announce that we have sold out of Southern Weddings V1, V2 AND V3 but we certainly didn’t want the fun to end there. So grab a tall glass of sweet tea, pull up that rocking chair and explore all of our past issues right here. Believe me, there’s lots of goodness in store! Be sure to take a gander at all of the gorgeous advertisements sprinkled throughout. In addition to the ads that originally appeared in our first three issues, we’ve added in our wonderful V4 advertisers -- we’re thrilled to share them with you here, as well! We take great pride in selecting sponsors that match our readers’ interests and mirror the high standards of our brand, and we are happy to recommend each of these amazing vendors to you. Like what you see and want to get involved? Just send me an email ( and I’ll gladly help you select your perfect ad option!

Marissa MK


Director of Advertising and Brand Partnerships twitter: @marissakloess


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Reception to follow at five o’clock in the evening The Ritz Carlton east 181 Peachtree Street North Atlanta, Georgia

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Lauren Crane to John Holmes





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Grab a tall glass of sweet tea and sit a spell!

Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Ryan Photography

your vision our passion couture creations

443•875•8512 info@allisonbarnhilldesigns•com allisonbarnhilldesigns•com


millie holloman photography

orange girl photographs stephanie williams photography

Editor-in-Chief Lara Casey Art Director|Editor Emily Ayer Managing Editor Katharine Waterman Assistant Editors whitney davis, marissa kloess

Assistant art director emily ley special thanks to nicole a. yang, cara richards brett arthur, kyle gibler, john thomas & ari isaacson


zeidler photography

LARA: My heart is so full. Every page you read here is a labor of genuine love. There were laughs, adventures, life-changing conversations with every step and great stories between every image. I'm so grateful for the women I created this with. Emily and Katharine, you make every day joyful and worth working very hard for. I'm so grateful for the laughter we share and the mission we have created together. Thank you, Whitney, Marissa, Nicole, and Cara for making my days so gratifying. Mom and Dad, I love you. I'm so grateful that I'm becoming more like you both every day. Grandma, you are so beautiful. Stephen, I'm so proud of you. Kathy and Chris, thank you for being family. Ari, I love you. I was able to make this magazine - and be proud of it - because of you. And spicy tacos. Special thanks to Harmony Walton, Rebecca Grinnals, Kathryn Arce, Sean Low, Jasmine, Randy, Ross, Dane, Joel & Jose, Kebbie, Rae & Wes, Paul & Mecheal and so many more for encouraging me. Thanks to Jeremy Cowart for always being an inspiration and for our last beautiful cover. Personal thanks to my biggest cheerleader and dear friend Michael, Jessie, Sandi, Jeff and everyone I have had the joy of knowing through MTH for helping me "feel the fear and do it anyway." Thank you - for waves, laughter and love. We never did get in the water, but I will always love you. Readers, friends, vendors, and everyone who cheers us on daily (there are a ton of you!) - I owe you all a hug and a slice of pecan pie. Thank you. Anything good I do, I give the glory to Jesus. The rest, I place in His hands to change. Thank you, God, for the peace that passes all understanding. EMILY: To Lara, Katharine, and the other SW ladies: thank you for making “work” exciting, challenging, and rewarding. Sometimes I still can’t believe this is my job! To Mom, Dad, Kate, and Kim: thank you for always reminding me of what’s important. I am so lucky to call you my family. And to John: you are the person I want beside me most through this crazy adventure. I love you. KATHARINE: I am grateful to have been able to put together another issue with the Southern Weddings team. Thank you, L + E, for spending your days with me and for introducing me to this industry. Thank you, also, to my beautiful siblings, Avery III, Christian and Bissy, for their friendship and playful teasing, and to my new family, the Giblers, for their support and good wishes all the way from Cincinnati. Thank you, most especially, to the two most important men in my life: my husband and my father. Knowing you both has made me a better person. I love you always. SPECIAL THANKS: to the crew at Boyd Brothers Printing and the amazing team at for the new All content copyright © Southern Weddings® 2010-2011. Southern Weddings® is a registered trademark of Bliss Event Group and Lara Casey Media, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without express written permission from the publisher. We wish to thank the wedding professionals who contributed to this issue of Southern Weddings®. The opinions expressed by our contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent our opinions or those of the publisher. We have sought to ensure accuracy and completeness of the content herein, but neither Southern Weddings® nor the publisher assumes responsibility for any errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or other inconsistencies, including those related to quotations. We reserve the right to refuse advertising. All advertisements appearing herein are accepted and published on the representation that the advertiser is properly authorized to publish the entire contents and subject matter thereof. All ads are paid advertisements and/or gifts given to vendors in appreciation for their hard work. No ads were given in trade for services. Neither Southern Weddings® nor the publisher is responsible for any statements, claims or representations made by contributing wedding professionals, advertisers or others, nor is Southern Weddings® or the publisher responsible for anyone's reliance on the content herein. All projects described in this publication are for private, noncommercial use only. No right for commercial use or exploitation is given or implied.

Top Ten Things We Love About Southern Weddings 10 Fab FInds 12 Rings 18 Bouquets 20 Southern Etiquette 23 Cover Shoot: Carolina on My Mind 26 Cover Shoot Finalists 35 Cover Shoot Gallery 42 Something Blue: A Carolina Color Story 44 Sweet Love: A Table for Two Deep in the Heart of Texas 57 Rockabilly Romance 65 Tradition Served Up Southern 69 Southern by Design 73 Choose Your Own Southern Wedding 85 Groom's Gallery 144 Grooms' Fab Finds 146 Confessions of a Young Married Couple 148 Top Blogs 151 Up, Up and Away: Sweet Southern Honeymoons 157 Ever After 168


To Charleston, with Love: Emily + Monty 64 Under the Oak Tree: Brooke + Victor 66 Virginia is for Lovers: Lindsey + Tyson 68 Texas Treasures: Lauren + Russ 70 Low Country Love: Kara + Tyler 74 Sweet as Candy: Kiley + Tim 76 The Bee's Knees: Chelsey + Janin 78 White, Black and Glitzy All Over: Jennifer + Kyle 82 Home is Where the Heart Is: Ali + Matt 84 Playground Paramours: Rachel + Philip 88 Sweet Southern Comfort: Farren + Kevin 88 Boot Scootin' Fun: Kristin + Kincaid 90

paul johnson photography


get the look Credits 167

issue calligraphy

Kathryn Murray


read more on page 26

jose villa

Photographed by JOEY + JESSICA


millie holloman photography

millie holloman photography

millie holloman photography

millie holloman photography

paul johnson photography


Emily, Katharine and I have had so much fun creating this issue. The last year has been gooder than grits, y'all! This isn't just a magazine about weddings; it's our story, too. We crafted every page from scratch, laughed more than a hyena in a singin' contest, shared crazy adventures, long flights and late nights. Somewhere between photo shoots, our daily office escapades and the love stories we have the honor of telling every day, we have learned together what love really is. I hear my Grandpa Cecil's thick Alabama drawl every time I read these words... " Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth... Love never fails." Your wedding is bound to, in some ways, not go as planned. Your marriage is bound to have bumps. But... love never fails. Real love covers over a crying flower girl and rain on your backyard ceremony. Authentic love will make you smile at her to wipe away the tears and play in the rain like you did as a kid. Love made the creation of this, our third issue, one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. Oh yes, we’ve got some funny stories, too. Grab some sweet peach pie and come on over to for all the behind-the-scenes dish! As you navigate a sea of big day decisions and engagement hurdles, always come back to the center of why you said "Yes!" in the first place. Love never fails.


Lara Casey publisher | editor-in-chief twitter :: @laracasey LARACASEY.COM



editors' letters

From a quick glance at this issue, you’d think bigger was always better. Cover shoot? We’ve got fifteen. Full-page images? We snuck in as many as we could. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that there’s plenty of love for the small, the intimate, the real in our pages. Take our color story on page 44, shot just down the road from our office at the Fearrington Village in Chapel Hill. The gorgeous “bride” and “bridesmaids” we featured? Three are engaged readers who responded to our blog call, and one is our stylist’s assistant. None had done a lick of modeling before our shoot. That’s exactly the sort of authenticity we aim for in every issue – real weddings with doable details, fab finds that are within your budget and spots from vendors we’d recommend to our sisters, cousins and best friends. Here’s to a fabulous – and authentic – wedding day, y’all!


Emily Ayer

art director|editor twitter: @emilyayer

Working for a wedding magazine as an engaged (and now married!) gal lent a whole new perspective to my job and to this issue. This time last year, I was writing for brides and about brides, but without any real know-how on the process or business of getting married. Now, I am the happy wife to my very own groom, and am speaking from a decidedly wiser and more knowledgeable perspective - though Emily may beg to differ! In putting together my second issue of Southern Weddings, I realized the line between wedding editor and bride-to-be had been blurred. But considering weddings, and especially Southern weddings, are all about a special kind of real, I couldn't be more pleased to see my journey from engaged to married played out across these pages. (Lucky for me, I had a fabulous team to help navigate both the magazine and the wedding day.) Here's hoping we can do the same for you!


KW photography by millie holloman photography

Katharine Waterman managing editor twitter: @katharine_w



Want the inside scoop? Look for these icons throughout the magazine for behind-the-scenes info from your favorite SW gals!


Lori Allen

Lori Allen is the president of famed Georgia bridal salon Bridals by Lori, a salon that has combined warm Southern hospitality and years of experience for nearly three decades. Lori has been featured in publications including Brides, The Knot and Martha Stewart Weddings. She is a recipient of the 2003 DEBI Award for Retailer of the Year and appeared as an expert on the television series Get Married Atlanta. Most recently, Bridals by Lori debuted as the location of “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta,” a new TLC show which brings Southern charm to the familiar series.

Katie Brown

Katie Brown is the founding writer of the popular family and relationship blog Marriage Confessions. With her trademark wit and easy charm, Katie chronicles the daily triumphs of and lessons learned as a young wife and new mother. Katie is also a contributing Relationship Expert for Southern Weddings magazine, where her monthly online column answers readers' questions about life after "I do." Katie's writing has appeared in The Knot magazine, and Newsweek. This September, she will be a guest at the Library of Congress National Book Week. Katie is currently working on her first book.

Jen Campbell

Jen Campbell is the editor and creative director of the popular wedding blog Green Wedding Shoes, launched in October 2008 and featuring the most unique weddings from Southern California and around the world. She is a professionally-trained graphic designer and a stylist for photo shoots, and has over ten years of experience working in the interactive/web and print design industries with a roster of clients including the blockbuster movie Spider Man, luxury brand Domaine Chandon, and icon ESPN. Jen lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband Jason.

Calder Clark

Calder Clark is the founder and lead designer of Charleston-based Blue Moon Events. She worked previously in Washington, DC with Design Cuisine, planning events including the 2001 Inaugural Luncheon, the Kennedy Center Honors and the Rockefeller-Carnegie wedding. She maintains a boutique sensibility, planning a limited number of exclusive weddings and events annually in addition to styling interiors and environments. Calder’s work has been featured in publications including Martha Stewart Weddings and Real Simple Weddings.

Jillian Clark

Jillian Clark is an event designer and co-founder of 100 Layer Cake, a unique wedding planning resource for and by thoughtful, crafty, modern women. 100 Layer Cake's vendors, projects, products and weddings are hand-picked and thoroughly researched with the hope that every single one is a truly unique addition to both your wedding and your planning process. Jillian's event company, Jillian Event Design, creates weddings and events that embody the same carefully constructed style for which 100 Layer Cake is known.

jonathan canlas photography

To d d F i s c u s

Todd Fiscus, head of the highly acclaimed design team at his namesake company, todd. event design. creative services, has been consistently turning up the creative volume on special events for over twelve years. Dubbed “the Sultan of the Soiree” by PaperCity Magazine, Todd has designed everything from extraordinary weddings to charity galas, to rip-roaring ranch parties in Maine and Mexico. He and his work have been featured in publications including Brides, the “Wall Street Journal” and Martha Stewart Weddings.

Ta r a G u é r a r d

Since opening the doors of Soirée by Tara Guérard in Charleston over a decade ago, Tara Guérard has been noted as a leading arbiter of entertaining and Southern style. Soirée’s work has been featured in a wide range of media, including Food & Wine, Martha Stewart Weddings and Town & Country Weddings. Her debut lifestyle book, Southern Weddings: New Looks from the Old South, was published to rave reviews in early 2007. The follow-up volume, Weddings by Tara Guérard, premiered in January of 2010.

Emily Newman

Emily Newman launched Once Wed in March 2008 as the only free listing service for wedding dresses after selling her own wedding dress online. The site now offers brides everything from real weddings and inspiration galleries to modern DIY wedding projects. With over 3.3 million pageviews a month, Once Wed has grown into one of the top wedding resources on the internet today. Once Wed has received critical praise in many major media outlets, including “The New York Times,” “The Boston Globe,” “Wall Street Journal,”, and was recently honored as one of the top weddings blogs by Brides magazine.

Joy Thigpen

Joy likes jeans and white t-shirts. She is married to a genius named Tyler and has two children, River and Oswin. She likes to mix nature and glamour and raw and refined, no doubt informed by her studies in Florence, Italy and the Amazon. She studied art and anthropology at Berry College, and spent seven years as a photographer. Recently, she's transitioned from taking pictures to making them, and currently serves as the Creative Director for the blog Once Wed. She is highly sensitive (in almost every respect) and reads about biomimicry and new urbanism in her spare time because she wants to make a village one day.

Joey + Jessica Seawell

Joey and Jessica Seawell are photographers that grew up in a small town, went to art school, fell in love and got married. They began working together in 2004, and currently photograph for various editorial publications and commercial clients. Joey and Jessica bring energy and their love of fine art to assignments. They volunteer with non-profit organizations including Flashes of Hope and Help Portrait. The husband and wife pair reside in North Carolina, and can be found drinking coffee by the gallon and taking too many photos of their dog, Polly.

Jose Villa

Jose Villa is a world-renowned fine art wedding photographer. His approach brings a fine art aesthetic to the living, breathing, fast-moving phenomenon that is a wedding, and his goal is to craft vibrant, energetic, and beautiful images that are as unique as the people in the photographs. His work has been featured in premier publications around the world, including Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, InStyle Weddings and Grace Ormonde Wedding Style. American Photo Magazine named Jose one of the top ten wedding photographers in the world in 2008. We agree. He knocks our socks off.


tracy turpen photography



There’s something special about weddings below the Mason-Dixon line. We polled loyal SW readers and leading industry experts for the top ten things they love from these down-home celebrations!

HOSPITALITY If you’ve ever been to the South, you know friends and strangers alike will be

waiting to welcome you with a glass of sweet iced tea and a generous helping of Grandma’s homemade apple pie. As Every Last Detail’s Lauren Grove says, “Weddings in the South aren’t just one day; they’re an entire weekend of eating, drinking and good old-fashioned Southern hospitality.”

FAMILY “I love weddings from the South because they aren’t only about the couple; they’re

jessica lewis photography

also about the love and happiness of an entire family,” Southern Weddings fan and long-time reader Amanda McMahon explains. Fellow SW reader, photographer Neal Carpenter, boasts Southern families will brave 103 degree temperatures and 100% humidity with a smile (and a wide-brimmed hat) to watch their second cousin once removed say “I do.”

LOCAL FARE If Arnold Palmers, fried chicken and east Carolina BBQ is your idea of a good

meal (like SW reader Jill B.), you’ll be in hog-heaven at a traditional Southern wedding. Some favorites from Marletha Booker of In-Season Events? “Put a spin on fried green tomatoes by serving them on mini biscuits, or offer grit cakes topped with shrimp and red-eye gravy.”

TRADITIONS The South is home to a rich history and special set of deep-seated traditions, and its weddings are no different. “Above all,” Christopher Confero of Christopher Confero Custom Event Design offers, “Southern weddings are about tradition.” With one caveat: “For the modern belle and beau, it's about combining those meaningful traditions of the past with a hearty serving of personality and flair.” jenna walker photographers

THE SETTING According to SW fan and photographer Regina Williams, weddings in the

South are about “location, location, location!” Indeed, “whether it’s at a country church, an elegant garden or a rustic barn, a Southern wedding centers around finding the venue that matches your unique wedding style.” Lucky for Southern brides-to-be, the South is home to some of the most storied landmarks in the country.

LARGE GUEST LISTS What’s a Southern wedding without an equally Southern guest list? As Valerie Metrejean, lead planner at Southern Fete Events, says, “Southern brides and grooms see their big day as more than a private act. It’s a celebration of their family, friends and communities coming together, and they wouldn’t dream of excluding anyone from the festivities.” Bring on the masses! larissa cleveland photography

THE FASHION It’s not the Kentucky Derby, but a real life Southern wedding has a fashion

sense all its own. Think seersucker, wide-brimmed hats. lace gowns and grandma’s cathedrallength veil. A Southern fashionista herself, Rebecca Hansmann, owner of Bridal Bar Atlanta, explains, “Southern brides and beaus know how to dress for their big day.” Look for grooms in classic black bows and engraved cufflinks, and brides who know it’s the accessories (old, borrowed, new and blue) that complete their wedding look.

THE MUSIC Spindle Photography’s Kelly Cummings loves hearing the twangy songs of the South at wedding celebrations, regardless of their geographic orientation to the MasonDixon line. “Having married an Alabama fan and since becoming one myself, the injected “Roll, Tide, Roll” into the chorus of 'Sweet Home Alabama' is pretty dance-inducing!” whitebox weddings

THE DRAWL We have to admit we’re suckers for the “y’alls” and “bless her hearts” offered

freely at weddings down South. Heidi Markgraf of MagnetStreet Weddings, agrees: “We live in Minnesota where no one says “y’all.” But go to a Southern wedding, and along with those country accents comes a mouthful of “y’alls!” Music to our ears!

THE SWEETS Whether it’s pecan pralines or palm-sized peach cobblers, Southern weddings

boast a dessert spread not easily rivaled. Chef David Gaus, author of Dam Good Sweets, recommends the ever-popular red velvet cake.  “It’s the dessert everyone ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ over,” he swears.

alders photography

beautiful bride: she's prettier than a little red wagon full of speckled pups!

Hey y'all! We've dotted the pages of SOUTHERN WEDDINGS with a little "Southern speak" courtesy of our twitter friends. Enjoy!

tanja lippert photography


southern phrases









Go for all-out glam with this tourmaline and diamond operalength necklace. (

for your big day



Lara's Picks w


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and the happily ever after

A keepsake for the ages: wear your sweetie's initials and your wedding date close to your heart with this 14k gold necklace. Customize your trinket by adding another disc or changing the color of the gemstone. ($55,

Dress up even your simplest sheath with bright, interlocking bangles from Tiffany & Co. (


Start the honeymoon off right with handstamped leather luggage tags. Personalize your hisand-hers set with a love note up to four lines long. As a known travel enthusiast, Lara squealed when she saw these! ($19.45 for a set of two, ofthefountain.

Modest Peach designed an entire collection for the SW gals! Be sure to check out the "Lara", "Katharine", "Whitney" and "Emily" earrings as well as this gorgeous "Marissa" cuff worn by Lara on page 39. ($190,

The Dayna Decker Taiga Candle brings you the warm crackle of a winter fire -- only in miniature. An exotic blend of lemon, black peppercorn, eucalyptus, warm amber, and musk burns from an EcoWood wick. This candle flickered on Lara's desk during the entire creation of this issue! (From $32 to $76, Adorably delicate, these unassuming bands from Oli + Me are a perfect complement to any engagement ring (

Whether the bride and groom are Southerners or Northerners, you'll be covered with these enclosure cards ($6 for six cards,

Pinkberry knows how to party! With new locations cropping up all over the South, the Europeaninspired yogurteria now offers their swirly goodness at wedding receptions, guaranteeing a sweet ending to your night (Price upon request,


For couples looking for a handful of fun, we're appropriately smitten with these stylish handmade accessories from Smitten Sticks. Perfect for photo booths and favors! (


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Handmade in the South and crafted out of real sterling silver, these too-cute charms are the perfect token for your attendants. Bouquet wrap accessory, anyone? (From $95 to $180,

Katharine's Picks din g


Extend some good old-fashioned Southern hospitality to family and friends with these pineapple calling cards from Emily Ley Paper ($40 for 25, emilyley. com)

millie holloman photography



Perfect as a photo prop or a frameable after the wedding, we love these customized spoons from Monkeys Always Look ($6.50,

Chocolate lovers, rejoice! New Orleans favorite Sucre just introduced a luxe line of treats, perfect for snacking or sharing. Flavors like magnolia and chicory are sweet reminders of the South. (From $13,

Take it from us, it's not a party if there's not a Smilebooth. Guests will love snapping photos in the newschool, no-walls "booth," especially if you add fun props. The only drawback? Your dance floor might feel left out. (Price upon request,

A nice compromise between black-and-white traditional style and modern pretty, Moya Minns custom calligraphy notes will make penning thank you notes easier for any bride. (Price upon request,

Prego! Prego! Served with a dollop of homemade Italian cream sauce and topped with bits of fresh-roasted Texas pecans, the Italian Jane is a perfect addition to any Southern dessert bar ($28,

for your big day

and the happily ever after

u so




Emily 's Picks



din g s

Trying to reconcile a kids table with your black tie reception? Look no further than Cake Vintage's perfect setting paper placemat. Classy, but takes crayons. We like. ($20 per pad,

Introduce yourself as the new Mrs. with these illustrated calling cards from Felix Doolittle. Emily's faves are the super Southern magnolia and peach designs. ($50 for 40 cards,

Talk about variety! When you order from Sarah's Stands, you can choose from three sizes and more than 70 bright, modern colors. ($115 to $145,

These were designed by our bride on page 130! For a vintage touch on a modern tradition, opt for a custom-printed save the date handkerchief, personalized with a silhouette of you and your betrothed (Price upon request, benignobjects.

Let your guests know it's time to chow down with these adorable cutlery packets. Stuff with wooden utensils, and you've got the perfect BBQ accessory! ($4.95 for a package of 12,


feelin' good: i feel finer than a frog's hair split four ways and sanded twice. This isn't your grandmother's baking twine! Bright, bold spools dress up even the most basic invitation or package. ($14 each,

Perfect atop the top tier of a wedding cake (or sparkling on a quartet of cupcakes!), these mini heart and L-O-V-E sparklers have, well, stolen our heart ($13.50,

The Southern Best Self-Rising Flour pillow rises to the top of our list for adorable alternatives to the traditional ring bearer pillow ($38.50,

Perfect for a before-ceremony love note from the bride to her groom (or vice versa!), this rustic card says it Southern-style ($13,

Whether wood or canvas, painted or printed, these made-with-love and completely custom signs are a heartfelt addition to your celebration (Price upon request,

Pretty and feminine, these AO3 clutches get our vote for chicest wedding-day accessory. Match them to your bridesmaids' colorful frocks or choose an ivory version for yourself ($45 to $78,

Blue meets pink in this perfectly-balanced invitation suite, designed especially for Southern Weddings by Kenzie Kate. Pretty without being girly, this is one set you and your groom can both agree on. (100 sets for $1,845,





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1 LC

This was shot in my living room the day before we went to press! Don't try this at home, folks!

for the most innovative designers and asked each to create something custom for SW brides. The result is The Southern Shop -- a spot on our site filled to the brim with original Southern wedding sussies, designed with our fun, fresh, and fabulous readers in mind. Cotton boll boutonnieres? Seersucker pajama pants? Mix and match, one-of-a-kind bow ties? We've got them, and much, much more. Drop by and stay a spell, won't you?

The Southern Shop

1. Bowties from XOElle; 2. and 3. Custom stationery suite by Cheree Berry; 4. Bowtie from The Cordial Churchman; 5. Custom stationery suite by Anna Bond; 6. Custom stationery Cotton boll boutonnieres? Seersucker pajama suite by Emily Ley Paper; 7. Drink stirrers by Peach & Pearl; pants? Feed sack ring bearer pillows? got 8. Cupcake pennants by PeachWe’ve & Pearl; 9. and 10. Bowties from much Southernmore. Proper; 11. andby 12. Pocket squares from The all that and much, Drop and stay Cordial Churchman; 13. Cotton boll boutonniere from Jo a spell, won’t you? and Company; 14. Seersucker pajama pants from Caroline Long; 15. and 16. Custom stationery suite by Stitch Design Co.




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calligraphy by MM INK





take center stage in these hot shots

jaymar photography

green door photography

millie holloman photography

simply bloom


I'm not sure which is better: the sprinkle-covered donut or the bling on top. I'll take one of each.


As a huge Wall-E fan, I adore JayMar Photography's shot above left.

brooke courtney photography

simply bloom

jeff newsom


We've been collecting these shots for months. I love them all, but the simplicity of the Bible page at left gets me every time. This is how my Grandpa Cecil's Bible's looked.

table4 weddings

millie holloman photography

the schultzes


jesse leake

Husbands trying to figure out their wives: Any man tryin’ to figure out a woman ends up as confused as a cow in a parkin’ lot.

simply bloom


sical Gatherings, photography by Dixie Pixel; orange tulips by JL Designs and Events, photography by Stephanie Williams Photography; ranunculus, scabiosa pods, and blushing bride protea by JL Designs and Events, photography by Stephanie Williams Photography THIS PAGE, SECOND ROW Succulent, eucalyptus, poppy and wildflower bouquet by Devynn's Garden, photography by Jill Thomas Photography; pink peony and sweet pea bouquet by Florali, photography by Lisa Lefkowitz; ranunculus, tulip and dahlia bouquet by Ribbons & Roses, Studio A Photography THIS PAGE, THIRD ROW White rose glamelia bouquet by Kathleen Deery Design, photography by Lisa Lefkowitz; peony bouquet, photography by Punam Bean


THIS PAGE, TOP ROW Peony, freesia, calla lily and orchid bouquet by King Dahl with MGM Mirage Events, photography by Meg Perotti; poppies and ranunculus by Holly Flora, photography by Steve Steinhardt; peach garden roses and willow bouquet by Amy Burke Designs, photography by Jesse Leake THIS PAGE, MIDDLE ROW Sweet pea, peonies and

crab apples by Floral Elements, photography by Adrienne Gunde; anemone, amaryllis, peony and wildflower bouquet by Joy Thigpen, photography by Jose Villa.


They are all stunning, but the sweet peas and pink peonies above would be my pick for my big day! I fell in love with the black dress at right. Dramatic, modern, divine! But, the cotton and brooch bouquet in the top left corner makes me as happy as a hog in slop! Yes, I just said that.

love-struck: i'm as happy as a goat in a briar patch.


Just have to say that Emily looks gorgeous in this pic. Gor-geous!


amy rae photography

altmix photography

dixie pixel

My fiancé is vehemently anti-registry. He thinks they are rude and make us look like we’re greedy. What can I say to convince him otherwise? I’ve heard it said that the best reason for an engagement period is that the act of planning a wedding forces a couple to confront many of the issues they’ll have to face after the wedding: budgeting, compromise, negotiating the blending of families, navigating the minefield of “tradition,” and so on. Registering for gifts brings up many of these issues in one fell swoop. To address your fiancé’s concerns: registering for gifts does not make you look rude. In fact, I view registering as a service to your guests. They want to gift you something you’ll treasure, not something you’ll sneakily return as soon as possible. Giving them a list of options is a great way to give them a fighting chance. And, of course, they are by no means obligated to choose something from your registry – the list is merely a suggestion. Now, if you registered for a flat screen television, a leather couch, a KitchenAid mixer and thirty other gifts in a similar price point, then yes, I could see your fiancé’s concern. But I’m guessing that wasn’t your plan. Including items across a wide range of prices is considerate to the wide range of guests I assume you’ll have at your wedding. Remember, however, that a registry is an investment in your future. You want to choose items based not on the color of your kitchen today or on how you entertain today, but more on your innate style (Are you casual? Elegant? Whimsical?) and how you envision your life for the next twenty, thirty, forty years. I know that sounds a bit intimidating, but it’s really not! Just think – could you see yourself hosting the family for Thanksgiving? Twelve fine china plates might be the right choice for you. Do you love to camp? Maybe six sets of quality melamine dishes and marshmallow roasting prongs would be a better investment. Focus on good-quality, beautiful, timeless pieces, accept any gift you receive

millie holloman photography

your guide to a gracious Southern soirée

(off the registry or not) graciously and a guest will be hard-pressed to find you rude. I am blessed to have nine lovely ladies I want standing beside me on my wedding day. My fiancé, however, has no brothers, no brothers-inlaw, and only four close friends he wants to invite to be groomsmen. Is this okay? Holy cow, lady! I would say you have a large-and-in-charge bridal party, but I also know that nine ladies is fairly de rigeur in the South. After all, Katharine, our Managing Editor, is having nine, as well. Let’s tackle the ceremony first, shall we? Tradition suggests the groomsmen should process one at a time down the aisle, followed by the bridesmaids, also processing one at a time. In your case, this arrangement would work fine. If you’re worried about the numbers disparity, you might have the groomsmen enter at the front of the church at the same time as the groom, best man, and officiant. Most couples assume that they need to have their entire bridal party standing with them at the altar throughout the service. In your case, I would suggest seating the bridesmaids and groomsmen in a front pew, and asking just your maid of honor and best man to stand up with you. If you’re set on having everyone up front, perhaps the bridesmaids could stand in a staggered double line (easier in a church setting, where there is often a step up to the altar). For the recessional, have each groomsman escort two bridesmaids down the aisle (lucky


gents!). Your maid of honor can follow you and your groom, perhaps taking hold of the ring bearer and flower girl, if you’re including these positions. At the reception, I would consider forgoing a head table and instead allowing your attendants to sit with their spouses or significant others. One last tip? Instead of putting nine ladies in the same peach dress, embrace the mix-and-match trend and allow them to either wear the same style in a range of colors, or a range of styles in the same color. Trust me – they won’t wait to thank you later!


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Most of the incredible photographs you see here were chosen for my It List, a monthly collection of top wedding images on

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I have, shall I say, an eager family. They are VERY excited about our upcoming wedding, which I’m thankful for, but it’s getting to the point where I feel they’re overstepping their boundaries. For example, last week my aunt called to say that she’s already called all of the female members of my family to ask them to bring their favorite casserole to the reception. Ack! Is there a way I can gently turn down their gracious but over-zealous offers without seeming rude? This is a dilemma! Since you’ve already admitted to being grateful for their offers, I won’t remind you that in the grand scheme of family drama, you’ve gotten off pretty easily. That being said, even the least bridezilla among us has an idea of how she’d like her wedding day to play out, and it’s okay if feeding guests Aunt Martha’s turkey and broccoli casserole isn’t a part of that. The simple truth is that wedding planning has changed so much in the last five to ten years, what with the advent of modern planning sites like The Knot (and marvelous wedding blogs like SW!). Things that seem common or even played-out to those wellversed in wedding-blog-ese (think colored heels, balloons in engagement shoots, or cupcakes in lieu of cake) seem at best novel and at worst appalling to older family members and friends who haven’t come in contact with a wedding since they themselves tied the knot. The trick here is to direct your loved ones’ energy in ways that are useful to you. Sounds a bit self-serving, but trust me, everyone will be happier in the end. First, introduce them to your vision for the day. If you have an inspiration board, share it! If you write a wedding planning blog or have a wedding website, give them the address! Next, brainstorm tasks you’d be willing to outsource. This will be a hard step for the perfectionists among us, but it is doable. Think about each eager beaver’s skill set and/or what they’ve already offered. Aunt Martha, she of the casserole? Suggest she contribute a batch of her famous chocolate chip cookies to the sweets bar. A resourceful, patient cousin? Task her with scouring flea markets for pewter mint julep cups or a wire birdcage to hold cards. Once you’ve brainstormed tasks, you’ll have a ready answer when Uncle Bill springs his newfound DJ skills on you. Your response? Thank him profusely for his generosity and then suggest a more helpful task. Everyone wins!

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Carillon Weddings




CAROLINA ON MY MIND joey + jessica


Design by MEG from LA PARTIE EVENTS (


possible reactions to a surprising marriage proposal: well, pick my peas! well, tie me to an anthill and fill my ears with jam! well, tie me to a pig and roll me in the mud! well, don't that cock your pistol! well, don't that knock your hat in the creek! well, slap my head and call me stupid! well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit!


INSPIRATON "We wanted to feature a bride that was real and attainable to readers. There are so many brides on the covers of wedding magazines, but to us, they don't seem real or speak to the modern, savvy, unique and often-DIY bride we love. A lot of 'real life' brides we encounter want to be themselves on their wedding day, only a little bit more dressy. If a woman never wears her hair in an updo, then we think she should wear it down for her wedding. We kept all of these things in mind, and presented a late-summer bride that is casual, sexy and unique."



Part of the beauty of these photographs for me is that they were all shot on film. As a film lover, that was just the cherry, sprinkles and hot chocolate on top!

We like to keep things real here at Southern Weddings, you know? Real, approachable, and democratic. We love the big guns of the wedding world as much as anyone else, but we also are smitten with the idea of celebrating new talent. So when Lara jokingly tossed out the idea of offering the chance to shoot our cover to whomever was interested, we jumped in and didn't look back. Fifteen fabulous finalists produced shoots, and though it was a little scary not knowing what we'd get, the minute we saw Joey + Jessica's images we knew we'd made the right decision. Classic, fresh, very SW, and, yes, very approachable. Enjoy!


An office dance party ensued the moment we saw her. Cover love at first sight!


The braid!! I can't get over it!


Talk about fun, fresh, and fabulous - our cover girl fits my image of SW readers to a T.




Visit my personal blog,, for all the details on what we were looking for in the cover.


We almost titled this feature "Sweet as a Peach" appropriate for a peach-themed picnic, no?

State of Mind during Wedding Planning: A good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.

SET SECRET Our intrepid cover team shot in a gorgeous wheat field. Gorgeous, yes, but also full of insects! As Jessica says, "There was no way of getting around seeing them, but they didn't seem to be attracted to us, so we went about our business. The day was winding down, the sun was setting and we were shooting the last few frames. After we had finished, we all were heading back through the field when Joey and I looked down to see six wolf spiders the size of clementines underneath the top layer of organza on the Melissa Sweet gown! YUCK! Thank goodness our lovely bride, Paulina, is a country girl at heart and didn't freak out as we slowly flicked each spider out of the dress. Needless to say, we checked the dress about a thousand times before sending it back to the boutique."


Great Catch for a Husband: He’s bigger than life and twice as handsome.



Photography and Styling Joey + Jessica Weddings, Florals Wayne Hurst of Floral Visions and Tre Bella, Short Wedding Dress The Karalyn from Vineyard by Priscilla of Boston, Long Wedding Dress The Ravella by Melissa Sweet, Shoes Design Archives Vintage, Necklace Double Torsade by Anthropologie, Turquoise Earrings World Market, Makeup and Hair Jennifer Ericksen, Models Directons USA




event design planning coordination





The bride is the reigning Miss Alabama! Gorgeous. I love this shoot for so many reasons, including the inclusion of my favorite - Ranier cherries!


What a perfect location for an aqua-colored shoot! And that cake is divine - would be a doable DIY for the right bride.


I love the drama and simple elegance of the dress this team chose - a rare combination, and totally wearable for real brides.

Photography: J Malahy Photography; Event Design and Florals: Christopher Confero; Model: Audrey Moore; Hair and Makeup Styling: Birmingham Glam; Stationery: Emily Ley Paper; Bridal Attire: Ivory & White; Cake: Olexa's; Videography: Lance Holloway



Photography: Melissa Schollaert; Venue: The Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation and Folly Beach; China, Flatware, and Glassware: Classic Party Rentals Atlanta; Farm Tables and Benches: Out of Hand; Styling: Melissa Schollaert; Flowers: Out of Hand; Stationery, Menus, and Placecards: Hi Note; Sweets: River Street Sweets; String lights and drink tray: West Elm; Models: Jamie Simpson of Factor Women and Noel Poff; Hair Stylist: Affair Hair by Tanesha LLC; Makeup: Pamela Lesch; Dress: Maribel by Christos from Belle Couture Bridal; Shoes: Calvin Klein "Cora" from Piperlime; Coordination: Lindsay Pitt of Toast Events; Bouquet: Out of Hand, Sailboat and Marina: St. Barts Yachts in Charleston PHOTOGRAPHY BY



I would like to live in this shoot. From the sailboat to the sea glass details, this design is so very me.


Photography: Marie Labbancz Photography; Photo Styling: Beka Rendell and Kimberly Fink of Styled; Hair and Makeup: Claudia Seyler Hair and Makeup; Floral and Decor: Kathy Warden of Table Art; Wedding Dress: Amy Kuschel from Gabriella's Bridal; Location: Andalusia Estate in Andalusia, PA







An easy way to add Southern style to your wedding is to incorporate burlap. Love it here! And that floral chandelier is to die for!



Images courtesy of Nancy Ray Photography





Photography: Gina Zeidler; Model: Lizz Kidd, Campbell Agency; Dress: Chaviano Couture; Location: Earle Harrison House, Kathy Riggs, Property Manager; Makeup: Angela Karr of Faces by Angela; Hair: Phillip Sanchez of Salon Wabi Sabi; Flowers and Design: Lauren Kelly; Bracelet: J. Crew; Shoes: Blue Ruffle Shoes; Invitations: Red Organic; Calligraphy: MM Ink




I couldn't leave a single image out of this shoot. I love the bride's modern flirty look and all of these easy, colorful, fun details! Considering how much I love brunch, this is the perfect shoot for me. Those mini heart pancakes are too cute!


paul johnson photography

kristen weaver photography

anna kim photography


GALLERY Which one is your favorite?

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kristen weaver photography

christine farah photography

anna kim photography

mandy and me studio

christine farah photography

christine farah photography

brooke courtney photography

victor sizemore photography

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vue photography

skip hopkins photography

victor sizemore photography

cameron powell photography


Kim Moody DE S IGN

Thank you for making our special day perfect! - SARA, A KIM MOODY BRIDE


Myrtie Blue wedding - event - floral design

Lauren Kinsey Photography

florida’s emerald coast 850.243.2500 - florida’s Emerald Coast - 850.243.2500 - myrtieblue . com

SOMETHING BLUE a carolina color story

jose villa

Fresh, crisp, cool. Always welcoming, and never aloof. Soothing, but exciting.

Sea-inspired, or garden-party gorgeous.


signature colors are quite the chameleons, are they not?


aqua and green can take on so many different hues – add a silvery blue for winter, a warm gold for the dog days of summer, or a rich brown for the height of autumn. Here, we’ve kept them in their simplest form: grass green, palest aqua and a splash of teal.


It’s a rhapsody in blue and green, y’all!


The barely-there pink and floaty material of our bride's Angel Sanchez dress was a magical combination. You should have seen her move in it at the shoot!


After the I do’s: I’m livin’ on the lucky side of the road.

We���ve all heard of mixed and matched bridesmaid dresses, but we took the look to a whole new level by pairing each J. Crew dress with a complementary cardigan. The simplyachieved layered palette looks straight out of a magazine, no?

For a sweet look, choose a bloom from the bride’s bouquet for each bridesmaid, then ask your florist to compose a smaller version using the single flower. This look translates best with a narrow palette – here, whites, creams, soft greens and pinks.


Just watching Jose shoot this, I knew it was going to be a full page. Floral perfection.

The fabulous sisters at Tre Bella built a bouquet of roses, dogwood blossoms, ivy and native wildflowers. They finished it off with a vintage lace wrap -- perfect for our sweetly Southern shoot!

  W W W . J M A L A H Y. C O M


It's amazing to see the ease at which Jose put his subjects. Even our faux-bridesmaids looked like lifelong friends in front of his lens!

SET SECRET None of the models from this shoot are professionals!

Britney, our “bride,” is really Joy’s assistant and had no idea she would be roped into glamour duty when she showed up the morning of the shoot. Our three bridesmaids are all loyal SW readers, and they were all engaged at the time of the shoot! (Two have since gotten married, and the last’s wedding is next spring – congratulations, ladies!)



After a month of no rain – literally – in the Triangle, we woke up to drizzle on the morning of the shoot. Joy styled the entire table under cover, then, when the sky cleared, we walked everything a few (nerve-wracking!) steps into the garden to shoot the images that would make it into the magazine.

Direct guests to their seats via whimsical flag place cards. We asked calligrapher Moya Minns to hand-letter the names of famous Southern couples on strips of paper in our color palette, then carefully cut and wrapped each around a striped paper straw. If given a seating chart, wait staff can set a straw in each water glass.

Think like a stylist and inject something unexpected in each vignette at your wedding. We love that Joy wound the cheeky heart garland from Banasaurus Rex around Tre Bella’s refined milk glass and moss centerpieces. It brightens the table and adds a note of whimsy, keeping the look from becoming too stiff and expected.



SET SECRET Since Jose was traveling across the country to shoot this piece for us and wasn’t able to bring his full arsenal of equipment, he had to improvise. We particularly enjoyed seeing his white foam core poster board “reflector” in action!

This shoot was the first idea we had for this issue - all inspired by an inspiration board that Emily made in these lovely blues! I was so in love with the seersucker bowties from The Cordial Churchman (at right) that I sent one to my father for his birthday!

Sometimes the semi-homemade route is best. If you love the luxe look a designer guarantees but are on more of a DIY budget, let us introduce you to For Your Party. FYP offers a host of prepackaged products, and also will allow you to upload your own file for ultimate customization. Once you’ve paid for a custom monogram or crest, replicate it on napkins, coasters, stir sticks and other party paraphernalia to your heart’s content.

Photography Jose Villa, Styling Joy Thigpen, Florals Tre Bella Florist, Venue The Fearrington Village, Cake and Macarons Jill Leckey at The Fearrington House, Hair Sherry with Wavelengths Salon, Makeup Nekita, Bride's Fashion Angel Sanchez from Tre Bella Bridal, Bridesmaid Fashion J. Crew, Ceramic mint bowls Gleena, Bow ties Lumina and The Cordial Churchman, Bride's necklace Dogeared, Coasters and napkins Design by Mika78, calligraphy by Paperfinger, printing by For Your Party, Drink menu, pitcher hang tags, and lemonade labels Design by Mika78, calligraphy by Paperfinger, printed by Czar Press, Straw embellishment, tissue paper poms, and washi tape drink flags Mika78, Grey and white paper straws Fort & Field, Blue rose ring pillow and souvenir boutonnieres Emersonmade, Scrappy heart garland Bananasaurusrex, Quartz drop earrings Lella Foster Designs, Teal wave necklace Fuss Jewelry, Mira studs Stella & Dot, Turquoise Sea necklace Stella & Dot, Calligraphy flag placecards Moya Minns, Menus Andrea Mentzer for Minted, China Vietri from Vietri at Fearrington Village, Pitchers from Dovecote at Fearrington Village



We gave the Fearrington Village bakery about zero inspiration for the shoot's cake, and they came back with a masterpiece. The needlepoint detail was perfect! I can't take much credit for this shoot. I was in Hawaii for work (nice, right!) during the final planning, so Emily and Katharine had to get all the details together on their own. It's my favorite!

W W W. M S P - P H OTO G R A P H Y. C O M




Every great love has a story behind it, and this one starts deep in the heart of Texas. The bride, a fashion designer specializing in accessories and hairpieces, the groom, an entrepreneur and rancher. It was love at first sight when his (now) fiancee first walked into their third-grade classroom. Though they couldn't be more different, their childhood infatuation has grown into a deep, sweet love. Their wedding celebrates this idea, combining vintage and modern aesthetics, luxe velvet and rough burlap and romantic florals with tin cans. Sometimes opposites do attract, it seems.


Feeling Good on the Big Day: I feel finer than a frog’s hair split four ways and sanded twice.

amelia lyon




Have a Happy Wedding Day: If today gets any better, I’ll have to hire somebody to help me enjoy it.

Megan, the florist, put together loose arrangements filled with peach garden roses, yellow mimosas, craspedia, dusty miller, scabiosa pods, blackberries, lisianthus, and other seasonal flowers.

Tin cans were a sweet recurring motif, a gentle nod to the first mode of communication between the bride and groom -- the tin can telephones they played with as young neighbors.


A little bit funky but unabashedly romantic, this shoot has one of the most beautiful bouquets I've ever seen. Turn back a page. No, really. Is that not the most beautiful two-page image you've ever seen!? Every time I look at her, I gasp! Stunning.




Photography  Amelia Lyon Photography, Event Design and Coordination Nancy Park, So Happi Together, Event Design and Styling Melissa Huber, The Loveliest Day, Florals Megan Gray, Honey and Poppies, Baked Goods Melody Brandon, My Sweet and Saucy Shop, Stationery and Paper Goods MaeMae Paperie, Bride's Wardrobe Vivian Lee, Tomato Weddings, Hair and Makeup Nicole DeAnne, Furniture and Rentals Jeni Maus, Found Vintage Rentals, Tabletop Rentals Classic Party Rentals, Flower Girl's Wardrobe The Ruby Closet, Groom's Suit H&M, Groom's Shirt Hugo Boss, Groom's Tie Burberry, Dog and Horse Handler BGL Danes Animal Acting


Real (Southern) men wear cowboy boots... on their wedding day.

I LOVE these photographs! The colors, the couple, the horse, the flowers, the Great Danes, the clothes- yes, please!

Jennifer Ericksen



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JOHNNY CASH might be the Man in Black, but we'll admit, it's nice to see him next to a lady in white! Inspired by the city of Austin, where heirlooms and antiques sing in harmony with fresh and innovative ideas, young designers give a nod to the past, traditions are reinvented and classic Southern details are made new, this shoot is bursting with ideas for young couples in love. So get rhythm, y'all, you here? jesse ryan



These details are so effortless, timeless and comforting. My top advice to brides is do what makes you feel most at home. This scene certainly does that for me.

Design and Styling Caroline Vasquez and Kristy Rice, Photography Jesse Ryan, Location and Catering The Salt Lick. Floral Design Pollen Floral Art Dresses Jessica Audey, Ring Bearer Bowl and Bouquet Charm Paloma's Nest, Stationery Suite Momental Designs, Design Assistants/ Planners Barbara Hearne and April Orr, Hair and Makeup Noemi Esquivel, J Buccio Salon, Ceremony Location Mercury Hall, Vintage Vehicles Transportation Consultants, Linens Marquee Event Group, Pies The Saucy Tart




p e r e z p h otog r a p h y



by emily ayer

It has been said that “cultures grow on the vine of tradition,” and nowhere is that perhaps more true than in the South (make that a kudzu vine!). We’re sure it comes as no surprise that weddings come steeped in tradition, for better or for worse. Our advice? Keep and make even more Southern what you and your Mama love, toss what you don’t, and give a simple “Well, bless your heart!” to anyone who suggests otherwise.

DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING Traditionally, a suitor presented his intended with a symbol of his affection during or directly following a marriage proposal. Since the 1930’s, the custom has been to choose a diamond ring, often valued at two months of the to-be groom’s salary, though the first recorded diamond engagement ring was exchanged between the Archduke Maximillian of Austria and Mary of Burgundy in 1477. A wedding ring’s round shape represents eternal love, and it’s traditionally worn on the third finger of the left hand because the ancient Egyptians believed the vein in that finger ran directly to the heart.

We’re not suggesting a return to the proffered sewing thimbles of yore (really!), but thinking outside of the “new diamond” box can have beautiful results. We love the idea of using a gemstone in place of a diamond (in fact, in the symbolic language of jewels, a sapphire in a wedding ring means marital happiness!). A pearl is also lovely – as Lori Allen, president of famed Southern bridal salon Bridals by Lori, says “You know how we love a pearl in the South!” Calder Clark, event designer and stylist with Charleston’s Blue Moon Events, goes one step further with the suggestion of reworking an heirloom piece. “The Southern ‘way’ has often been for the groom to ask his mother or grandmother for a stone or a ring to offer to his bride. The groom could add emeralds or sapphires on either side of the existing mount, or even consider cabochon rubies as a way of updating the ring he is giving.” Clark also suggests including a handwritten note from the woman who originally wore the ring. If the original owner is living, she could use the opportunity to welcome her new daughter-in-law or granddaughter-inlaw into the family. If she is not, perhaps the groom could include “a snippet of the love story behind the original ring given.” Everyone together now: awww!


BRIDE'S FATHER WALKING HER DOWN THE AISLE Traditionally, a bride’s father walked her down the aisle and presented her to be wed as a symbol of his turning over a piece of his property (his daughter) to her new “owner” (her husband).

Though many brides look forward for years to walking down the aisle with their fathers, others look for ways to impart another layer of meaning to this tradition. One we particularly love? If your church or ceremony site has two aisles, walk down one with both of your parents at the same time as your groom walks down the other with both of his. The meeting at the front is sure to be emotional, and the symbolism of the two families meeting and joining is quite lovely. For Southern brides who love their families dearly, this could be the perfect solution. No matter what you choose, we love the outlook of Todd Fiscus, owner and head designer of Todd Events: “You should be escorted by someone you adore, and that adores you. Period.” Indeed.

IDENTICALLY DRESSED BRIDESMAIDS Not only did attendants used to match each other, they used to match the bride! That way, evil spirits wouldn’t be able to tell the real couple from the well-wishers.

Though we’re sure your thoroughly modern ‘maids are at the ready to chase away any spirits that might invade your big day, we’re also sure they can do so without a uniform. Sites like Lula Kate, J. Crew, 57 Grand, Ruche, Modcloth, and David’s Bridal present an easy way to coordinate, but not match, by offering a selection of styles in several fabrics and shades. If you do choose the same dress, consider encouraging individuality through accessories.

THE BRIDE WEARING A VEIL Veils have traditionally represented modesty, youth, and virginity, and today’s descended from the nineteenthcentury fashion of veiled headgear for all important social situations.

Traditional Southern brides will likely always choose a chapel or cathedral-length veil, but we love the idea of mixing things up post-ceremony. Clark likes when brides let their hair down in soft waves, securing one side with a vintage brooch clip. Allen notes that Bridals by Lori has been seeing more colored headpieces, often incorporating the birthstones of the bride and groom.

sarah dicicco





A bride wearing or carrying something old, new, borrowed, and blue on her wedding day derives from an Old English rhyme. Fulfilling the rhyme is said to bring an appreciation of the past (something old), excitement for the future (something new), contagious happiness (something borrowed, preferably from a happily married woman!), fidelity and love (something blue), and good fortune (a sixpence or penny in your shoe).

Tradition says that the woman to catch the bouquet will be the next to be married. Same goes for the garter, though it has an interesting history: as early as the Dark Ages, guests used to accompany the newlymarried couple back to their bedroom, hoping to nab a piece of the bride’s clothing, which was considered lucky. Things got rowdier over the years, with clothing eventually being flung around the room and guests grabbing at every stray strap and loop. The catcher of the garter was thought to have especially good fortune, a tradition that eventually moved from the bedroom to the reception.

Our experts agree that collecting these tokens is a lovely sentiment. Fiscus, acknowledging the potential discomfort of toting coin in your shoe, suggests asking your bridesmaids to sign the bottom of your sole and thus be supported by the woman you love – a gesture guaranteed to bring good fortune, we’re sure. Clark suggests having it sewn into your handkerchief, into the hem of your gown, or made into a tiny pendant that can be pinned to your bouquet. Allen makes it easy – every bride that purchases her gown from Bridals by Lori is gifted a lucky sixpence!

“Let’s update and modernize these traditions by NOT tossing a garter! We don’t do this. Ever.” So says Tara Guérard, acclaimed head of Charleston’s Tara Guérard Soiree. We tend to agree. “For the bouquet,” she adds, “make this tradition more Southern and lovely by tossing your blooms right before you get into the car or run off at the end of the night. It’s not so planned and just seems more natural, more of-the-moment.”













SOUTHERN MEETS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AS IMAGINED BY GREEN WEDDING SHOES JL Designs and Events put together a gorgeous, fresh bouquet for Charlotte's wedding day. The handtied mix of peach, cream and blush poppies and succulents was the perfect aisle accompaniment!

Trevor, a dapper Southern gentleman, was born and raised in North Carolina. Charlotte, a bohemian-chic beach lover, was a Sunshine State native. They met in Santa Barbara, fell in love, and planned a wedding that perfectly blends Southern and Southern California sensibilities. Green tomatoes, raw cotton and magnolia flowers for sweet Southern charm, succulents, organic cotton and intricate lace for laid-back coastal cool. An orange grove set the scene the minute family and friends entered the reception. Guests got into the action with a "Hint of Mint" bar, where all the fixins' for custom cocktails were spread, including muddle mint, fruit juice and flavored sugars. Of course, no Southern groom would be complete without a perfectly-tied bow, and Trevor did not disappoint.






Green tomatoes, cotton and succulents- ack, I die! The combination is effortless and so chicly Southern. Love. The clustered apples, green tomatoes, succulents and cotton blossoms down the center of the table is such a lush -- but easy to style -- centerpiece alternative.

Concept and Design: Jen Campbell and Carissa Jones Styling: Jen Campbell of Green Wedding Shoes Photography: Stephanie Williams Flowers: Carissa Jones of JL Designs Makeup and Hair: Nyrie of Symmetry Beauty Makeup provided by: Jouer Cosmetics and Unite Prop Rentals: Found Wedding Dresses: Temperley London Paper Details: MaeMae Paperie Hair Pieces: Lo Boheme Bride’s Shoes: Groom’s Shoes: Models: Chris Marino and Amanda Rau



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Freddy and Marguerite want something outside of the ordinary. Classic and elegant, with a spare and streamlined design sense, their modern art collectors and city dwellers. They met later in life, and are asking just their closest family and friends to join them for an intimate dinner party after a civil ceremony. South Carolina natives, they love Joy's play on the beloved palmetto. The old engine centerpieces are fresh, cool, green and completely unexpected -- perfect for their aesthetic. Add in a few shined-up washers and nuts, and their party is ready to hit the road.

Concept and Design: Emily Newman and Joy Thigpen Styling: Joy Thigpen Environments Photography: Jen Curtis Venue: An Atlanta parking garage Flowers: Joy Thigpen Flatware: Found Rentals: We Rent Atlanta Linen: Vintage Calligraphy: Betsy Dunlap





Fresh, young and fun, Daisy and Tom are high-school sweethearts who moved to the Big Apple postgraduation. After seven years of dating, they tied the knot up North Southern-style in their new hometown of Brooklyn. Delicate cut-paper invitations set the upscale but unpretentious mood, while a serve-yourself biscuit bar featuring clover honey and strawberry pepper jam encouraged guests to mix and mingle. An old-time two-piece band kept toes tapping throughout the night. The perfect signature cocktail for this couple straight out of a literary classic? Why the Fitzgerald, of course.


Venue: Brooklyn Botanica Planning and Design: Jillian Event Design Photography: Anna Robin Day-of Styling and Calligraphy: Love*Jenna Invitation: Thoughtful Day Flowers: Quatre Coeur Hair and Makeup: Chris Newburg Models: Miles at Q Management and Rachel Echelberger from BMG Models Day-of Fashion Stylist: Ewa Davis Bridal Gown: Elizabeth Dye from Lovely Bridal Head Piece: Men's Fashion: J. Crew Shoes: Alden for J. Crew Band: Two Man Gentleman Band Biscuit Bar: Baked Table, Chairs and Linens: Classic Party Rentals All Antique Props: Props for Today



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Brooke, the designer we worked with at Curious & Co., used the Amsale Blakely gown as the example

KW "classic" ballgown without even knowing it was the very dress I chose for my own wedding!


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New Orleans wedding photography



jose villa photography




BRIDE + GROOM: Emily + Monty Cagwin OCCUPATIONS: New England transplants working in advertising (the bride) and marketing (the groom) WHAT MAKES THEM DIFFERENT: Her – hot yoga lover + running maven; Him – skateboard aficionado and proud foodie HOW THEY MET: At a birthday party in the historic Boston piano bar, Jake Ivory’s THE “I DO’S:” A near-Boston celebration quickly evolved into a proper Southern affair in Charleston, SC THE DATE: November 7 NUMBER OF GUESTS: Just over 100 THEIR DESIGN INSPIRATION: The couple's cozy apartment in Boston - comfortable and not too matchy-matchy WEDDING COLORS: Warm gray, cantaloupe and spearmint NORTH MEETS SOUTH: Quaint coastal touches were a nod to the groom’s Cape Cod upbringing FAMILY TRADITION: Monty’s father read Ranier Maria Rilke’s “Love Song,” the same poem he read to Monty’s mother at their own wedding WHAT THE GROOM LOVED BEST: Emily looked beautiful – but “just like herself” THE RECEPTION: A “magical” celebration at the William Aiken House on historic King Street THE FEAST: Guests dined on mix-and-match china A SWEET ‘N SALTY SEND-OFF: Guests were treated to Kraft boxes with sugar-topped beignets HONEYMOON: An eleven-day Hawaiian getaway FAVORITE VENDOR: Calder + Caitlin from Blue Moon Events.





The antique chandelier hanging over the dance floor was the bride’s favorite detail from her South Carolina soiree. To celebrate the long line of happy marriages in their family, Emily + Monty decorated the fixture with heirloom photos from their parents’ and grandparents’ weddings. In a literal turn of the phrase “key to my heart,” E + M attached their guests’ escort cards to antique keys. Family and friends took the keys home as special keepsakes from their weekend in Charleston.


With a groom from Cape Cod, it only made sense to include Hot Cape Coddies as one of the signature drinks at the reception!


Emily and Monty's wedding was the first real wedding we accepted for print. This gorgeous photograph above got me so excited, it was my iPhone wallpaper for a solid month!

Emily and Monty asked for "the favour of a creative reply" on their otherwise blank response cards, and their guests delivered! The humorous and touching RSVPs were displayed during cocktail hour.


The team at A Bryan Photo is so talented

KW I chose them for my own wedding!

Photography  Bryan Johnson of A Bryan Photo, Videography Brandon Lower of A Bryan Photo, Planning Blue Moon Events, Ceremony Venue The French Huguenot Church, Reception Venue The William Aiken House, Florals Blossoms Events, Wedding Cake Baker Elaine’s Events, Caterer Fish, Bridesmaids’ Dresses J. Crew, Bride’s Dress Ana Hernandez, Shoes Stuart Weitzman, Paper Goods and Calligraphy Dulles Designs, Rentals Blue Moon Events, Linens DC Rental, Groom’s Fashion Joseph & Feiss for Men’s Wearhouse, Lighting PDA, Music Voices of Deliverance (choir), Deas Guyz (band), Gate Banners and Aisle Runner Anne Girault, Trolley Transportation Absolutely Charleston


C h a r l e s t o n



C h a r l o t t e

. e l i z a b e t h s c o t t p h o t o g r a p h y .


c o m



real wedding

BRIDE + GROOM: Brooke + Victor DeMarco ABOUT THEM: Her – a Massachusetts native and avid Penn State fan; Him – North Carolina State alum and VP of Square 1 Bank THEIR FIRST DATE: After months of friendly office flirtation, V finally asked B to join him for dinner – and a televised college basketball game! THE PROPOSAL: Sports aficionado Victor told Brooke he wanted to play a last minute round of golf with his father, who happened to live over 10 hours away. Later that evening, Victor proposed with a princess-cut diamond ring he designed himself THE “I DO’S:” A hot Carolina evening at the Lowndes Grove Plantation in Charleston, SC THE DATE: May 30 NUMBER OF GUESTS: 100 SOMETHING NEW: The ceremony was wonderfully and completely untraditional – the groom’s father served as his best man, and a close friend presided as master of ceremonies A MAKESHIFT ALTAR: Brooke + Victor were married beneath a lantern-lit weeping willow tree – très Southern! OFF THE RACK: For her effortlessly elegant wedding, the bride chose a flowing white gown she found in the evening section of Bergdorf Goodman THE EATS: Guests noshed on oyster shots (the groom’s favorite!), mac ‘n cheese spoons and fried green tomatoes on an old-fashioned wraparound porch BOOGIE TIME: Guests’ eagerness to hit the dance floor precluded a first dance, but the bride insists it was “amazing” to see her family + friends enjoying the live band HUDDLE UP: For a break, guests cozied up around a fire pit to roast marshmallows



Photography Mel Barlow and Allan Zepeda, Planning WED, Flowers WED, Venue Lowndes Grove Plantation, Wedding Cake Baker Jim Smeal, Caterer Fish, Bridesmaids' Dresses Nicole Miller, Bride's Dress Marchesa, Shoes Christian Louboutin, Rentals Snyder Event Rentals, Paper Goods Studio R Designs, Groom's Fashion Brooks Brothers, Hair Lindsey Johnson, Makeup Blair Mathis


real wedding

BRIDE & GROOM: Lindsey + Tyson Moore OCCUPATIONS: Her - Administrative Manager and Associate Director; Him - Vice President at Merrill Lynch THE “I DO’S:” River Farm in Alexandria, VA THE DATE: May 1 NUMBER OF GUESTS: 80 FAVORITE DESIGN ELEMENT: The window frame hanging in mid-air behind the wedding cake WHAT THE BRIDESMAIDS WORE: Flowy J. Crew frocks in pinks and peaches WEDDING FLOWERS: A mix of roses, tulips, hydrangeas and ranunculus THE BRIDE’S GIFT FOR HER GROOM: A surprise poem she read during their vows MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: The father/daughter dance – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house THE COCKTAIL HOUR: Held outdoors under trees and chandeliers WEDDING DAY SECRET: The bride cut their first dance short because she was nervous SWEET TREATS: A coconut cake with lemon curd and blackberry filling PHOTOGRAPHY BY



I love the idea of serving lemonade or sweet tea to your guests as they arrive at the ceremony, especially if it's an outdoor occasion in the heat of summer.


Emily is holding in her excitement about this wedding. She told me if we didn't take it for print she "would die!" I couldn't have that now, could I?

For Lindsey, a University of Michigan grad and animal lover, and Tyson, a proud Ohio native, a casual yearlong office friendship turned into a lifelong romance. A quiet at-home dinner date marked the night they first made their relationship official, and a sunset picnic overlooking a lake lead to a ring, a kiss and countless calls to family and friends.


Photography Kate Headley, Videography Blue Sky Films, Planning A Trendy Wedding, Venue River Farm, Flowers Capital Décor and Events, Wedding Cake Baker, Kendall’s Cakes, Catering Well Dunn Catering, Bridesmaids’ Dresses J. Crew, Bride’s Dress Vera Wang, Veil Vera Wang, Shoes J. Crew, Earrings Swarovski, Rentals Capital Décor and Events, Makeup Kimberly Steele

rooted in huntsville, alabama ~ available for travel worldwide


Look familiar? Lauren chose the same

KW dress as one of our potential cover models! See more on page 35.


The second I saw this dress, I fell in love! Totally my style - classic and a little preppy with the flipped collar.

BRIDE + GROOM: Lauren McClure + Russell Hays OCCUPATIONS:  Her – a freelance writer and photographer; Him – a project manager THE PROPOSAL: A lazy Monday afternoon found Russell asking Lauren to be his wife THE “I DO’S:” L + R exchanged vows in Austin, TX on their 6th anniversary THE DATE: February 27 NUMBER OF GUESTS: 90 WEDDING COLORS: Charcoal, brown and beige with hints of lavender THEIR FAVORITE DESIGN ELEMENT: The wedding logo on all printed materials HOW SHE DESCRIBES HER DRESS: Chic + comfortable = perfect for a tomboy fashionista! THEIR INSIDE JOKE: Lauren teases that her groom “out-vowed” her during the reading of their personal vows; there wasn’t a dry eye in the house! HERE COMES THE BRIDE: Lauren walked down the aisle to The Staple Singers’ classic, “If You’re Ready” WHERE THEY CELEBRATED: The LEED-certified Artisan Ballroom at Barr Mansion THEIR RECEPTION INSPIRATION: A low-key, at-home dinner party WINE + DINE: Guests enjoyed signature Texas drinks and local culinary favorites READY FOR THEIR CLOSE-UP: The newlyweds and their guests vogued in a photo booth, replete with handmade mustache props THEIR GRAND EXIT: A sparkler-lit exit fit for country royalty, Johnny + June Cash




Instead of a traditional rose petal toss at the end of the ceremony, Lauren + Russ’ guests showered the newlyweds with fragrant lavender as they made their way back down the aisle as husband and wife. The bridal party pre-packaged the lavender in pretty canvas bags for easy tossing.

Photography Leigh Miller, Videography Adam Trigger, Planning Wendee Sawran, Venue Barr Mansion, Flowers Melanie Tipton, Wedding Cake Baker Barr Mansion, Catering Barr Mansion, Bridemaids’ Dresses Dessy, Bride’s Dress Priscilla of Boston, Paper Goods Bride and Groom, Rentals Marquee Rents, Groom’s Fashion Calvin Klein


I love the very Southern tradition of going-away outfits, and Russ's casual blazer and boots paired with Lauren's short dress and booties fit the bill perfectly!


Join the family! WANT TO SEE YOUR AD IN THE

Southern Weddings


The COLLECTION, showcasing V1-V4, will launch late in 2012 with the release of V5.

We’d be honored to have you join The Southern Weddings Family. Call or email anytime, y'all!


Marissa Kloess

Director of Advertising twitter: @marissakloess



real wedding


BRIDE + GROOM: Kara Roberts + Tyler Cole FROM: The great state of Texas HOW THEY MET:  The twosome met as counselors at the Crooked Creek Young Life camp – but it was anything but love at first sight! THE PROPOSAL: Tyler recreated their very first date – and even packed a picnic basket full of Kara’s favorite desserts –before popping the question THE “I DO’S:” A spring wedding on Kiawah Island, SC THE DATE: April 10 NUMBER OF GUESTS: 200 PRE-WEDDING SCARE: The Kiawah Island Club’s River House burned down three weeks before the wedding SOMETHING GREEN Kara asked her maids to choose their own dresses. Her only request? Something green! A THREE-DRESS BRIDE: Kara went through 3 dresses over the course of her engagement before settling on a Vera Wang THE MUSIC: The gospel choir and pianist were an electric mix! TAG TEAM: Tyler’s grandmothers joined forces for a joint reading of Psalm 100 THE COCKTAIL HOUR: The couple served John Dalys in Mason jars while the gospel choir serenaded guests in the background ON THE MENU: Low country cuisine – blue crab, shrimp and grits, friend green tomatoes and sweet potato biscuits THEIR FIRST DANCE: Elvis Presley’s “Burning Love” PHOTOGRAPHY BY


The lush backdrop of the Kiawah Island Club was perfect for Kara + Tyler's spring ceremony. We love that the handsome groom finished his look off with a cheery bow + pocket square combination!


Kara + Tyler opted for a clean and modern décor scheme to complement the fun atmosphere of their reception. “I wanted the celebration to really feel like a party,” the bride explains. White chair covers and white fabric tent swagging kept things crisp and clean, while mossy green linens and architectural lamps added a pop of excitement.

Yes, that is a giant cupcake in the center. A great alternative to the traditional cake!



The bride + groom’s first dance to Elvis Presley’s “Burning Love” was a comedy of errors. “We forgot the steps and winged the whole thing. Tyler destroyed the hem of my dress, but we laughed the whole time!”

If I weren't having a black and white wedding, I think this might be my color scheme. Love the all-white flowers!

Photography Tim Will, Videography Kris Meade, Planning and Flowers A Charleston Bride, Venue and Catering Kiawah Island Club, Wedding Cake Baker Cupcake, Bride’s Dress Vera Wang, Veil Sister of the bride, Hair Accessory Vera Wang, Paper Goods Studio R, Groom’s Fashion J. Crew, Ceremony Music Voices of Deliverance, Reception Music The Mighty Kicks, Hair Charleston Canvas Salon, Makeup Blushing Bride

y o u r s t o r y i s a r t, p a i n t ed


K R I S T Y R ICE / W W W. M O M E N TA L D E S I G N S . C O M v



Imagine one location for guest accommodations, rehearsal dinner, bridesmaid’s brunch, a special ceremony, and exquisite reception. Located in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, the Lodge is the ideal backdrop for spending time with family and friends during this once-in-a-lifetime event.




real wedding BRIDE + GROOM: Kiley Brey + Tim Yeaglin ABOUT THEM: Her – a Mississippi native and creative director of an advertising firm; Him – an attorney from Memphis, Tennessee HOW THEY MET: For K + T, a blind date, for which the bride mistakenly arrived a half hour early but thought she was late, was all it took to open their eyes to love SHE HAD HIM AT… SCI-FI? Tim confesses he fell in love with Kiley as soon as she started talking about her fascination with Battlestar Galactica on their first date “I DO,” TIMES TWO: Kiley + Tim actually tied the knot twice, first in an intimate Catholic ceremony before 12 guests and then in a large ocean-front celebration in Florida NUMBER OF GUESTS: 75 COLOR SCHEME: A neutral color palette with accents of Tiffany blue and gold HIS AND HERS: The groom’s favorite part of his wedding was the shrimp ‘n grits at the reception, while the bride was all about the real-life bagpiper who played during the ceremony SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW: Kiley found her wedding dress the same day the bride received an antique-style engagement ring from her fiancé PRETTY MAIDS IN A ROW: The bridesmaids each chose their own dresses in neutral colors and carried different all-white bouquets DON’T FEED THE BEARS: The bride’s threeyear-old cousin who served as the couple’s ring bearer thought his job was to be the ring “bear” TASTY TREATS: Guests munched on gourmet grilled cheese, lollipop tuna skewers, watermelon + spinach salad and parmesan grits with fizzled shrimp JET SETTERS: For their honeymoon, the new Mr. and Mrs. explored London and Croatia on an European getaway.


I would 100% buy this wedding out of a catalog for myself. The pink dress, the peachy flowers and the sea glass blues are so delicious!



Opting for contemporary favorites over wedding classics, Kiley + her father walked down the aisle to Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” The groom made his entrance to a song from an Icelandic rock band. A traditional bagpiper, who led the recessional out of the church, rounded out their fun and quirky selections.


Photography  Paul Johnson Photography, Venue Village Green at Carillon, Planning Victoria Volpone, Florals Nouveau Flowers, Catering Townsend Catering, Bride’s Dress Luly Yang Couture, Veil Laura Kathleen Planck, Paper Goods Bride, Groom’s Fashion Savvi Formalwear, Ring Bearer Bowl Paloma's Nest

real wedding


BRIDE + GROOM: Chelsey + Janin Hayes FROM: The sunny shores of South Florida HOW THEY MET: Janin’s good deed of helping Chelsey find her way around campus their first day of freshman year was paid back in spades when Chelsey agreed to a first date THE PROPOSAL: Janin popped the question to his college sweetheart while she was behind the lens for an impromptu photo shoot; talk about priceless images! THE “I DO’S:” The Maclay State Gardens in the bride’s hometown of Tallahassee, FL THE DATE: October 11 NUMBER OF GUESTS: 180 BRIDAL PARTY ACCESSORIES: Custom feather hairpieces from Lo Boheme FAMILY TRADITION: Janin’s aunt read The Lord’s Prayer before J + C were pronounced husband and wife THE RECEPTION: “A big party in the countryside!” THEIR INSPIRATION: Anthropologie SIGNATURE DRINKS: The Bee’s Knees + Raspberry Kiss THE FIXINGS: Fried green tomatoes, deep-fried shrimp, collard greens and, of course, good old-fashioned mac & cheese FIRST DANCE: Etta James’ “At Last” HAPPY ENDINGS: Cobbler + vanilla ice cream served in jelly jars FAVORITE VENDOR: Renowned photographer (and SW favorite!) Jose Villa; the bride has good taste! PHOTOGRAPHY BY


Photography Jose Villa, Videography Collab Creation Films, Planning Celestial Design Firm , Ceremony Venue Maclay Gardens State Park, Reception Venue Retreat at Bradley’s Pond, Florals Purchased from Publix, arranged by bride, Wedding Cake Baker Bride’s family, Catering Crawdaddy’s Seafood & Steaks, Bridesmaids’ Dresses Bill Levkoff, Bride’s Dress Casablanca, Shrug Holly Stalder, Shoes Anthropologie, Earrings Romancing the Bling, Bracelet Luxe Deluxe, Rentals In Tents Events, Groom’s Fashion Jones New York, Music Danny Keasler, GT Entertainment DJ, Bartender Hey Bartender


Love the festive drink stirrers! Brides, a tip to make sure they get used: ask your bartender to put one in each drink before handing them over!


Chelsey and Janin radiate so much joy that their photographs give me goosebumps!

The happy couple describes their reception at Bradley’s Pond as a big party in the countryside. “We just wanted everyone to feel relaxed and enjoy the celebration,” Chelsey says of their goal. Indeed, the wooden lodge overlooking a natural pond created an intimate, cozy atmosphere that made guests feel like they were visiting a dear friend’s home. “We loved that!”


real wedding

BRIDE + GROOM: Jennifer + Kyle Gladden NORTH CAROLINA LOVE: Both are graduates from UNC - Charlotte HOW THEY MET: Their first meeting was in 7th grade, but it was the bride’s younger brother who ultimately arranged their first date THE “I DO’S:” A spring evening ceremony in uptown Charlotte THE DATE: April 17 NUMBER OF GUESTS: 160 THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE THE DAY: Chic, tailored and fun WEDDING COLORS: Black, white and silver BRIDE’S DRESS: Funky and stylish THEIR BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Transforming their earthy, industrial space for a luxe evening celebration FAVORITE DESIGN ELEMENT: Custom black + white linens WINE + DINE: Southern-style stations, replete with jumbo crab cakes, a potato bar and oldfashioned BBQ FAVORITE ACCENT: Feathers and rhinestones galore! 3 IS BETTER THAN 1: J + K served not one but three wedding cakes – all styled on black stands and dripping with crystals GRAND EXIT: The bride’s grandfather ferried the newlyweds away in his 1956 Ford




Photography  Millie Holloman Photography, Planning Alyse Woodward Events, Ceremony St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Reception Design Center of the Carolinas, Flowers Flowers from the Cellar, Wedding Cake Baker Cake Lady Jill, Catering Best Impressions Caterers, Bridesmaids’ Dresses Bella Bridesmaid, Bride’s Dress Poffie Girls, Accessories Poffie Girls, Paper Goods Red Stone Press, Groom’s Fashion Belk, Rentals Party Reflections, The Linen Gallery, and Sterling by Design, Band Swingin’ Richards, Hair and Makeup Elizabeth Tolley

W e d d in g Fil ms

As a lover of all things black and white, Jennifer +

KW Kyle's wedding tops my list of favorite real weddings!


And your new husband's name is... Kyle. OK, the black and white thing, too. P.S. I LOVE those cakes!




Let us manage all the details so you can enjoy the day you’ll never forget.




real wedding


BRIDE + GROOM: Ali + Matt Harper THEIR FIRST MEETING: “Completely serendipitous,” swears the bride THE “I DO’S:” An evening ceremony at Georgia’s famed Frogtown Winery THE DATE: May 8 NUMBER OF GUESTS: 100 PRE-CEREMONY FUN: While the ladies primped, the groom spent the morning of his wedding tubing down the Chestatee River with friends SOMETHING BORROWED: Ali fastened her bouquet with a vintage brooch from her grandmother HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS: Ali + Matt treated guests to a “house and home” themed reception that quite literally brought all the comforts of a homespun affair to the table: skeleton keys directed guests to their seats, fabric wreaths hung on each door and family photos decorated the mantle THE BEST THING: The new Mr. and Mrs. shared a sweet first dance to Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing” TINY DANCERS: While some brides cringe at the thought of having children at their wedding, Ali swears it was the pint-sized guests who got everyone out on the dance floor.




To commemorate the day, guests signed an atlas on the states and countries they traveled from and filled out vintage postcards for the newlyweds to enjoy on their honeymoon


We love love stories, and have been smitten with Ali + Matt’s sweet story from the moment the happy bride proclaimed their first meeting “completely serendipitous.” The University of Florida alums, who now share a 1940’s-style cottage, met at the Inman Park Art Festival through a mutual friend. It wasn’t long before the recent Georgia transplants realized their paths had crossed many times before: as Altamonte Springs, Florida natives, both Ali + Matt grew up just 30 minutes away from their future spouse – and never knew it!


A fun-loving first dance to Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing” gave way to the sweetest part of the evening: the pie bar!


Of all the beyond-cute details in this wedding, the pie prize ribbons might take the - ahem - cake, in my opinion.


I second that. The classic colorful cans and floral basket on the bicycle make me swoon, too!

Photography  Jill Thomas, Venue Frogtown Winery, Wedding Design and Coordination Dawn Gahan, Flowers Courtney Garvin, Wedding Cake Baker Andrea Luca, Pie Baker Razzle Dazzle Bakery, Catering Frogtown Winery, Bride’s Dress Jasmine Couture, Veil Fascinating Creations, Shoes Nina, Belt J. Crew, Paper Goods Ali Harper (bride), Letterpress Mirabel Press, Groom’s Suit Brooks Brothers, Groom's Tie Thomas Pink, Groom's Shoes Salvatore Ferragamo, Wedding Favors Emily G’s Jams of Love, Hair and Makeup Goddard Style



Serving the Southeast and Worldwide • • 850-699-3403 


Judi Painted it



real wedding BRIDE + GROOM: Rachel + Philip Wiles HOW THEY MET: Theirs is the story of young, unrequited love – but this time with a happy ending! R + P first met in Mrs. Stoddard’s second grade class, and Philip was the lucky object of Rachel’s affection and playground chasing WHAT FIRST ATTRACTED HER TO HIM: The sweet Rachel couldn’t help but be instantly smitten with the way Philip stuffed grapes in his upper lip, stretched out his ears and made monkey noises CHECK YES OR NO: When Philip didn’t respond to the love note Rachel left on the tire swing, she thought their romance was doomed; little did she know it would take her childhood sweetheart 20 years to finally write back THE PROPOSAL: Philip finally answered Rachel’s love note with one of his own when he asked her to check “yes” or “no” to his proposal of marriage PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: All the years Rachel spent doodling “Mrs. Rachel Wiles” finally paid off when she and her groom exchanged vows at their childhood church THE DATE: October 17 NUMBER OF GUESTS: 200 DO-OVER: Rachel’s one regret was not choosing something a little less formal for her ‘maids A HAPPY DAY, INDEED: Following their “I do’s,” the bride, groom and their guests processed the three blocks to the Alabama Constitution Village, while a traditional Southern choir sang “Oh, Happy Day” BURSTING AT THE SEAMS: Guests signed quilt squares instead of a more traditional guest book



Hoping to beat the infamous Southern heat, the couple decided to tie the knot in the fall, but ended up shivering their way through an uncharacteristically cold October day. Luckily, the bride and groom provided plenty of heirloom quilts to keep guests toasty!


Whoever thought gray burlap could be so chic? I love all of the different textures Rachel incorporated in her decor.


Photography  Simply Bloom, Videography Ian McCalister, Planning Madeline Boswell, Ceremony Venue First Presbyterian Church, Reception Venue Alabama Constitution Village, Flowers Gatehouse Flowers, Wedding Cake Baker Sugar Bakers on the Square, Catering Narvelle, Bridemaids’ Dresses Melissa Sweet, Bride’s Dress Jasmine Bridal, Veil Unveiled Bridal Designs, Shoes Grazia, Jewelry Belk, Hair Salon K Terra, Makeup MAC, Lighting Metropolitan DJ and Lighting, Paper Goods Benign Objects, Rentals Party Plus and All Needz, Ceremony Organist Dr. Frank Contreras, Ceremony String Quartet Blossomwood String Quartet, Choir The Nativity Choir, Reception Band Toyshop

The outdoor venue was transformed into a charming room under the stars, where guests noshed on miniature BBQ pork sandwiches and palm-sized peach and apple pies. Rows and rows of banquet tables topped with pale blue satin lamour and vintage milk glass filled with bright blooms created an intimate dinner party feel that belied the large guest list. The classic blue décor was broken up with burlap accents to give the reception a comfortable and authentically Southern feel. After an evening of dancing and voguing in a custom photo booth, guests retreated to a cozy corner vignette, replete with white rockers and heirloom quilts.



Rachel, one of this issue's most talented brides, designed all of the paper goods herself! She's so good her pieces made it into our Fab Finds section -- check page 14!


As a girly-girl whose favorite color is pink, Farren and Kevin's wedding is one of my top picks in this issue!

BRIDE + GROOM: Farren + Kevin Haygood HOW THEY MET: The hallways of Harrison High School provided the perfect place for 16-year-old Kevin to ask 14-year-old Farren to the Homecoming dance THE PROPOSAL: Kevin hit one knee during a seaside picture session. Behind the lens? Mom, Dad + little sister, capturing the proposal on film! THE “I DO’S:” A 6:00 p.m. wedding in the Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, NC THE DATE: May 29 NUMBER OF GUESTS: 90 3 ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE THE DAY: Romantic, laidback and Southern WEDDING COLORS: Pale pink, ivory, green and brown WHAT HE’LL NEVER FORGET: The way she was smiling to keep from tearing up during her walk down the aisle HERE COMES THE BRIDE: After trying on over 100 dresses, Farren finally settled on the stunning Melissa Sweet “Saffron” THE FLOWERS: Allwhite peonies, garden roses and orchids FUN + GAMES: The newlyweds played corn hole and bocce ball on the lawn before hitting the dance floor with their guests THE RECEPTION: Inspired by the youth and spirit of the teenagers who met in the hallway of HHS SWEET SOUTHERN COMFORT: Instead of beer and wine, guests sipped on lemonade from Mason jars and sodas in vintage bottles DANCE x 2: The bride + groom had not one but two first dances, the first to David Barnes’ “Nothing Fancy” and the second to “Firefly” by Jimmy Needham HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Family + friends penned love notes to the couple to read on their first anniversary




Farren's pink and white parasols were a

KW perfectly feminine addition to her portraits.



I love the ceremony location! So soft and Southern under the big Spanish oaks.


Color-coordinated bean bags for cornhole? Love it!


Photography Millie Holloman, Videography Life Stage Films, Planning Salt Harbor Designs, Venue Airlie Gardens, Flowers Salt Harbor Designs, Wedding Cake Baker Nicki’s Cakes, Catering Pine Valley Market, Bridesmaids’ Dresses Melissa Sweet by Priscilla of Boston, Bride’s Dress Melissa Sweet by Priscilla of Boston, Veil Melissa Sweet by Priscilla of Boston, Shoes Calvin Klein, Jewelry Haute Bride, Hairpiece Lo Boheme, Bridesmaid Hairpieces Blackbird Blue, Hair and Makeup Erica and Melissa at N Salo Salon, Paper Goods Spark and Salt Harbor Designs, Rentals Party Suppliers and Stellar Events, Groom’s Fashion Nordstrom, Parasols Bella Umbrella




This is what Southern weddings are all about! Food, fun and family! The cakes are my favorite in this issue! Above all, I think Kristin + Kincaid's wedding shows the impact a bright, bold color can have when combined with relatively simple design.

BRIDE + GROOM: Kristin and Kincaid Light ABOUT THEM: Her – a wedding photographer; Him – a ranch manager WHAT ATTRACTED HER TO HIM: Kristin fell hard for Kincaid’s real cowboy charm THE “I DO’S:” The Gage Hotel in quaint and Western-inspired Marathon, Texas THE DATE: May 15 NUMBER OF GUESTS: 275 WEDDING COLORS: Mustard yellow and snow white WHAT SHE LOVED BEST: Kristin displayed her grandmother’s landscape paintings of rural West Texas throughout the garden reception HIS FAVORITE PART: Kincaid wowed guests on the dance floor to the soul shakin’ tunes of Austin-based HOTWAX HERE COMES THE BRIDE: “I could not live without my dress,” Kristin says of her empire waist Amsale gown BOOT SCOOTIN’ FUN: Bridesmaids paired cowboy boots with their ruffled yellow frocks for an authentic Western look WESTERN FLAIR: In lieu of traditional boutonnières, the groom + his gents donned mini cactus blossoms LATE NIGHT SNACK: Before saying goodnight, the bride + groom served Mexican churros and tequila rose mixes



Guests sipped on prickly pear margaritas and mojitos during the cocktail hour. Lime wedges and cheery yellow bandanas complemented the bright color scheme and added to the Southwestern flavor of the celebration.

A cactus cake? Yes, ma'am! Kristin + Kincaid's guests were treated to a scrumptious selection of three delicious-on-theinside, sculptural-green-icing on the outside cakes.


Photography  Anne Marie Photography, Venue Gage Hotel, Videography Stunning Imagery, Florist Statue of Desin, Caterer Gage Hotel, Bride’s Dress Amsale, Bridesmaid Dresses Bella Bridesmaid, Bride’s + Groom’s Custom Boots David Little Boots, Paper Goods Alee and Press, Band HOTWAX

TOPOGREATROOM.COM 100 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC

9 1 9 . 9 2 9 . 8 6 7 6

Jamie Sangar Photography






a compliment for someone's fiancÉ: you sure didn't pick up no crooked stick.


THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Hugh Forte Photography, Jill Thomas Photography, Jill Thomas Photography, A Bryan Photo, Table4 Weddings, Michelle Cross Photography, Jeff Newsom, Orange Girl Photographs, Laura Ivanova, Jasmine Star Photography

THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Jessica Claire, Jessica Peterson Photography, Fer Juaristi, Jose Villa, Ashley McCormick Photography, Tec Petaja, & Unlimited, Blue Door Photography, He and She Photography, Jose Villa, Jonathan Canlas Photography

We all know I can't resist a beau in a bow, but I think

KW the cute ring bearer in tan is the winner in this spread.




for his big day

and the happily ever after

Jeff Newsom

Update your beau's cool weather wardrobe with wool and silk bows in all his favorite colors (From $62 to $120,

Dress up your groom's favorite spirits with the monogrammed "Fancy" flask from Smathers & Branson ($100,

Ideal for chilling your favorite spirit without diluting its flavor. Add three chilled stones to your next dram, let stand for five minutes and enjoy. ($20 for set of nine stones,

Start the honeymoon in style with this luggage set from Globe-Trotter. Directional colors, graphic prints and handhewn leather trimming make these iconic cases an instant family heirloom ($1,800,

Search high and low, you won't find a better party game for the tailgate, cook-out or backyard. Two boards, eight bags and guaranteed fun included. ($150,


NAME Fred Egan AGE 29 CLAIM TO FAME Father to two of the most curious and amazing boys, and writer and photographer for the style blog Unabashedly Prep WEBSITE www.unabashedlyprep. com MY WEDDING STYLE Preppy, coastal, lived-in WHEN I WOULD WEAR A TUXEDO TO MY WEDDING If my wedding was in the fall, I'd somehow convince my fiancee to make it a black tie event. If we were getting married in the spring or summer, I'd be in seersucker and white bucks! BESIDES MY BRIDE, MY WEDDING DAY MUST HAVES ARE my family and friends... that, and a live R&B jazz band.


Whether fried or stewed with tomatoes, this set of okra cuff links is a wardrobe staple filled with Southern charm, cast in sterling silver ($155,


NAME Chris Easter AGE 26 CLAIM TO FAME Cofounder of The Man Registry, where he's been helping grooms seal the deal since 2008 WEBSITE MY WEDDING STYLE Classic, sleek, romantic WHY I WENT WITH AN ALLBLACK ENSEMBLE I think it's important for the groom to look handsome and have fun with his wedding look, but without taking attention away from the bride. A black suit against a white gown is a classic look for a reason BESIDES MY BRIDE, MY WEDDING DAY MUST HAVE IS a cigar with my groomsmen.

Inspired by the style and flair of mid-century artists, the Forage bowties from Something's Hiding in Here come in delicious sorbet colors and hard-to-find patterns. ($65 each,

This dapper wood-grain tie is just the ticket to a handsome, rugged look for the pint-size set ($17.99,


Raise a glass to your impending nuptials with these Georgia-brewed spirits from Terrapin Beers. Perfect as a groomsmen gift! ($7.99 per pack of six,

NAME Hunter Stiebel AGE 29 CLAIM TO FAME Actor and the other half of The BrokeAss Bride, The Fresh Hubby WEBSITE www. MY WEDDING STYLE Fun, fresh, me WHY I WOULDN'T WANT TO WEAR A BLACK TUX TO MY WEDDING If the pictures are no longer in black and white, why should the groom be? Unless you are Jimmy Stewart, life is better lived in color. BESIDES MY BRIDE, MY WEDDING DAY MUST HAVE IS the Pimp Chalice (a la Snoop Dog) my wife surprised me with at our reception. WARNING: Guests just keep filling that thing up!

Southern beaus will thank you for a flower-less boutonniere option. We love the pheasant feathers in this one! ($10, justweddingbouquets.etsycom)

Appropriately named "man's best friend," Bird Dog Bay's collection of fun and witty neckwear is sure to be a knot your groom will love to tie ($75,

Inspired by dear Aunt Happy, the Old Louisville Candy Company's famed bourbon balls are melt-inyour-mouth goodness you won't want to share. (From $9 to $200,




When my husband, Chris, and I got married, life was roses and sunshine. We walked down the aisle of our hometown church and said “I do” in front of family and lifelong friends. It was the perfect ending to our fairy tale romance, and the perfect beginning to the next chapter in our lives. And then three months went by, and I started to wonder if I’d made a huge mistake. The first few months we were married, Chris brought home flowers to me on a pretty routine basis. It was a lovely gesture, and made my little newly-wedded heart swoon. But one afternoon in our third month of marriage, Chris came home with something else. Something different. It was a Tupperware organizer. Tupperware, people. Tupperware. When I stood there silently for a minute, looking less than thrilled with his offering, Chris only smiled broader and said proudly, “It spins!” And that, my friends, was the real beginning of my marriage. After that, I began to pay more attention to our relationship. Did he just forget to kiss me goodnight? How long had it been since we went grocery shopping together and giggled in the produce aisle? Why weren’t we lighting candles and playing soft music at dinner anymore? What, exactly, was going on here?! Just as I was wondering where the romance had gone, a newlymarried friend of mine called me with the same complaint. About three months into her marriage, her new husband had suddenly stopped gazing longingly at her every second of the day. The nerve. “And,” she whispered. “We got into a fight! Over bills!” I know it was wrong, but secretly I judged her. Thank goodness Chris and I hadn’t started fighting yet. What in the world would it say about our marriage if we were fighting as newlyweds? Wasn’t this supposed to be our happiest time? And then two days later, Chris and I had our first married fight over whether to join Sam’s Club or BJ’s Wholesale. And I mean, like, a real fight. Door slamming and voices raised over where we could buy ten pounds of shredded cheese the cheapest. I cried and yelled out, “OUR MARRIAGE IS DOOMED!” “Over wholesale?” Chris asked. Looking back after almost six years of marriage now, I’ve realized a lot of couples have a bit of a low period during their honeymoon phase. (It’s just something no one wants to admit.) But think about it: for months – and for some people, even years – everything is focused on the happy couple as wedding plans are made. Dress fittings with champagne, showers for the bride and groom, weekends of debauchery in the name of bachelorette parties. How much fun!


But then suddenly the fairytale world that revolves around you and your new husband starts to lose its fairy dust, and you begin to notice that you aren’t really riding off into the sunset on your white stallion. Instead, you’re just sitting out in the hot sun. On a jackass. Sweating. The thing is, the wedding is about what everyone else does for the two of you, and the marriage is about what the two of you do for each other. And that’s definitely a transition. At least, it was for me. When the crowds fell away and the parties ended, I was left standing there with only Chris by my side. At first, I thought something was terribly wrong. Where was all the excitement? Where was the tingle? Where was breakfast in bed every morning and the rose petals everywhere I walked? What that third month taught me is that

We all love this Texas shoot from real-life couple, Ryan and Thiago! Ari and I have totally done the sleeping on a mattress, ordering pizza and waiting on furniture thing. Great newlywed memories!

young marriages are all about growing and adjusting to life as a married couple. And even though I knew I had been ready to get married, I wasn’t ready to be married until we went through that third month of transitioning together. It took me six years, but I finally understand why Chris was so excited to bring home a Tupperware organizer that afternoon. It was because he’d never been in a position to give me something that practical before. We’d never needed household goods like Tupperware before. The roses had really just been fillers until the day when our lives revolved around more important things. Things of substance. Things like food storage. In his mind, giving me Tupperware meant he had arrived. He was a husband. And because of that, it may actually be one of the sweetest gifts my husband has ever given me. Though, a nice piece of jewelry has been known to knock a woman off her feet, too. You know… if you’re into that kind of thing.

lauren larsen






the perfect Moment . the perfect Place . WWW.BOONEHALLPLANTATION.COM


Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

TOP BLOGS Finding your fit in a sea of options

It’s a jungle out there, or so they say. It seems like every day there’s a new, hot wedding blog (or, you know, twelve) that’s popped up on the world wide web. But are they any good? That’s where we come in! We’ve separated the duds from the studs to come up with our list of the best and brightest prospects in the blogging world (no misleading profile photos here!). Whether you’re planning a rustic chic barn wedding; emailing invites to reduce your impact on the earth; prefer to get your information straight from the horse’s – err, bride’s – mouth; or are throwing a black-tie soiree, we’ve got a match made in wedding heaven just for you. Because hey -- when you know, you know, right?


Eco-Chic Weddings: With a design philosophy of “high style meets sustainable style,” writer Emily Anderson brings her experience working with Martha Stewart, Vanity Fair and Donna Karen to bear on green weddings. Emily has a knack for finding the loveliest alternative resources, like recycled glass goblets for your registry or affordable Etsy engagement rings. ( Earth Friendly Weddings: Jennifer writes to inspire, encourage and simplify the process of incorporating more earth-friendly elements into your wedding, event, and home. With her can-do spirit and holistic approach to planning (“Healthy Mondays” are a staple feature), she makes the process look easy, stylish and – dare we say it – fun! ( Once Wed: Besides having fabulous content, Once Wed has done a ton of work on the back-end, making it easy to search for weddings based on color or theme. Emily has also done a great job of curating her site so that there is an identifiable “Once Wed” wedding – and to me, that means DIY-fabulous, rustic chic and detail-oriented. Or, as she puts it, “inspiration for crafting a handmade wedding.” ( Ruffled: Just like not every bride is cut out to be a wedding planner, not every bride is cut out to write a wedding blog. Amanda, the founder of Ruffled, is a different story. The tissue-paper poms she made for her own 1920’s Art Deco wedding might have put her on the map, but it’s her uniquely useful posts, DIY prowess and beautiful blog design that keeps her around. “Vintage settings for modern weddings,” indeed. (


FOR THE WHIMSICAL BRIDE Erin Ever After: Erin has an eye for the fabulous, honed over (we’re sure) many years, as well as the recent experience of planning her own wedding. Whether she’s sharing a French chateau or a pair of the perfect gold ballet flats, her knack for drawing wedding inspiration from the wide, wide world is sure to help you translate your own wedding into something one-of-a-kind. (www.erineverafter. Postcards and Pretties: Okay, we admit it. There certainly isn’t a shortage of inspiration boards out there. But unique, beautifully constructed and lushly designed boards? Yeah, there’s not too many of those around. Which makes us love Chris’ corner of the internet even more. She pulls from the absolute best sources, guaranteeing hours of inspiration no matter your style. (www.postcardsandpretties. Dandelion & Grey: If you adore the soft, dreamy work of photographers like Elizabeth Messina, you'll love the inspiration that Erin McDonald shares on her blog. A prop stylist and event designer by trade, Erin shares projects, photoshoots and events with her readers. She's inspired by intimate dinners and summer picnics, open fields and overgrown roads, wildflowers and glamorous antiques; we guarantee you'll be inspired by her. (www.

FOR THE CAREFREE BRIDE Santa Barbara Chic: Event planner Kelly Oshiro started SBC to share what inspires her. A beginning shared with many a blog, to be sure, but when the voice behind the blog has as much style in her pinky finger as most of us hope to have in a lifetime – as well as a minor obsession with drool-worthy shoes – it’s worth a second look. (www.kellyoshiroevents. com/blog) Wedding Chicks: Amy and Jocey want to share “everything new, classic, funky, hip and just plain fun for weddings.” To do so, they’ve got a blog full of fabulous DIY projects, an extensive vendor library and a weakness for trendy engagement shoots. ( (Un) Veiled Vows: With a propensity for calling her ‘maids “wedding warriors” and a habit of putting potential crafty endeavors through the DIY reality check, Emilia is a wedding blogger for the rest of us. A lover of beautiful things (her tiny envelope save the dates are uber-cute!) but also a realist, you’ll love her perspective on weddings. (www. The Merriment Blog: Courtney’s blog is, indeed, very merry! The inspiration journal of Richmond-based planning and design firm Merriment Events, the Merriment Blog shares style-specific fete inspiration (modern chinoiserie round up, anyone?) as well as projects and pictures from recent Merriment events. (

FOR THE DESIGN-MINDED BRIDE Grey Likes Weddings: Because Grey is a designer, it’s almost possible to forgive her for how ridiculously lovely everything she touches turns. Almost. Once you have, however, it’s so much easier to appreciate the plethora of projects on her blog, from the anniversary “US” box she made for her boyfriend to the sweater-turnedwine bottle wrap, a perfect hostess gift. (www. 100 Layer Cake: A relative newcomer to the wedding blog game but one that’s taken the industry by storm, 100 Layer Cake is heavily influenced by its three founder/writers’ areas of expertise: namely, styling and graphic design. It’s a beautiful blog to look at, and one that’s always supplying fresh content the likes of which you’ve never seen before (street stall flower arranging bridal shower, anyone?) Perfect Bound: Welcome to Perfect Bound, a bridal and style blog where gems like this are commonplace: “I keep tabs on J. Crew's online sales the same way I do all the chocolate in our house – with a hawk's eye.” Anne-Marie’s site is laid out in homage to our favorite magazines, and her aesthetic is as spot-on as Vogue’s best fashion editor. ( What Junebug Loves!: The ladies of Junebug Weddings know their stuff, plain and simple. With an eye for design, they feature stunning photography (we love their yearly “Best from the Best” round-up), fashion features (shoes!) and put-together real weddings, some with color palettes. Christy, Blair and Kim strive to offer a fun, informative and stress-free way to plan your wedding. ( Lovely: If Lovely is a brand-new NYC bridal shop “that feels like your best friend,” then the Lovely blog is a daily email from that same childhood pal. The writers are all about fashion, all the time, and have an eye for the new, the chic and the fabulous. ( Flights of Fancy: Even if Gia never posted a single word on her blog, we’d visit it just to look at her lovely layout. Not so surprising coming from a stationery designer, but her delightful, deliberate aesthetic is a breath of fresh air in the blog world. Come for her inspiration boards, come back for her gorgeous free downloads. (www.betsywhite. com/flightsoffancy) Green Wedding Shoes: Though GWS advertises itself as “southern California wedding inspiration for the modern bride,” the goods this site dishes out have almost universal appeal. Jen is a creative director, graphic designer and stylist, and her honed eye is apparent in GWS’s content, like her themed inspiration board series. (www.


Every image in this feature is from my very fat file of favorite wedding photographs of all time. I'd frame all of them and cover our office walls if we had more space!

FOR THE IRREVERENT BRIDE Rock n Roll Bride: Though the first impression upon logging on to Kat’s corner of the internet is inevitably TATTOOS AND PINK HAIR, Rock n Roll Bride is less about body adjustments and more about making your wedding unique in whatever way feels right to you. We love her commitment to showcasing the “charm and unique nature of ordinary people’s extraordinary weddings.” ( Offbeat Bride: Almost as much a world-unto-itself as the more cookie-cutter sites it sets itself up in opposition to, Offbeat Bride is a place for couples “who dare to walk off the beaten aisle.” Though OB happily celebrates the more wacky nuptials, Ariel doesn’t discriminate against those wearing white dresses and has said she could more accurately call her site “Authentic Bride.” (www. The UnBride: With a tagline of “unconventional and unforgettable,” The UnBride aims to inspire and empower the creative, confident bride to plan the wedding of her dreams. We particularly like Justine’s unconventional finds section, which is made up of more than ten different sections (Pinkberry as a wedding caterer, anyone?). (

FOR THE MODERN BRIDE Brooklyn Bride: Brooklyn Bride was the first to focus exclusively on modern weddings, and (truth be told) we still think Vané does it the best. Written by an interior designer by day, bridal blogger by night, BB features you-saw-them-here-first vendors in all fields, along with bridal show coverage and shop reviews. (www. Snippet & Ink: Snippet & Ink is one of the most highlytrafficked wedding blogs out there, and with good reason. With over 450 custom inspiration boards logged, there’s something to inspire every celebration and to keep you coming back after the wedding’s over. Her hand-culled photography list is a must-read for any bride still looking for someone to capture her big day, too. ( A Los Angeles Love: A stripped-down, minimalist wedding blog in the vein of $10,000 Wedding, A Los Angeles Love is one woman’s journal of getting to the altar in a way that reflects her and her partner’s progressive religious, environmental and social values. Becca also loves succulents and shoes. (www. Merci New York: Jacqui is the voice behind Merci, the blog of “chic and stylish inspiration for the busy city bride.” Indeed, even those outside NYC love reading Merci for its edited take on the massive world of weddings. Polished and sophisticated but never snobby, look for stylish outfit inspiration boards, new vendor highlights and chic product round ups. (www. Online Wedding Magazines: The truly modern bride knows that there is fabulous inspiration to be found all around, and a few of our newest favorite sources are not print magazines, and not blogs, but a hybrid of the two: meet the online mag! We love both Nonpareil ( and Utterly Engaged (www.

FOR THE BUDGET BEAUTIFUL BRIDE 2000 Dollar Wedding: Founder Sara planned her wedding for $1,962. As if that’s not impressive enough, she’s documented the whole thing on her blog and now dishes out advice on every aspect of planning a budget wedding as well as shares other budget-beautiful celebrations. Expect a large helping of reality: Sara is honest about the sacrifices necessary to keep to such a strict budget, as well as how rewarding it can be in the end, of course! ( The Broke-Ass Bride: Who knew being poor could be so much fun? Dana and hubby Hunter provide bargain hunting (and bargaining!) tips, advice on how to snag crush-worthy vendors for less, and, well, endless entertainment! Our favorite part? Dana’s advice is real (many of her strategies come from her own broke-ass planning journey) and it’s also respectful – she loves the wedding industry and would never try to devalue it, a perspective that’s often missing from “budget” advice. (www, The Budget-Savvy Bride: Another bride who’s been there, done that, didn’t spend that and lived to tell the tale, Jessica offers up inspiration gleaned from planning her own $10,000 Southern wedding. BSB’s friendly spirit and can-do attitude has the ability to make even the most discouraged bride hop back on the budget train. (

FOR THE CRAFTY BRIDE The Inspired Bride: Besides having one of the most clean, lovely and uniquely-designed blogs out there, our favorite part about The Inspired Bride is Maddy’s “color cards” – each features a single inspirational photo, accompanied by five or six color swatches. IB is focused on the “how” of weddings, not the finished product: “how to pull it together, how to make the favors, how to choose between this and that.” ( DIY Bride: With over 200 free DIY downloads, neatly organized by category, in their archives, DIY Bride’s site is the goto resource for die-hard Do It Yourself-ers. We also love Khris’ product reviews and real wedding features, chosen exclusively for their crafty quotient. ( Oh So Beautiful Paper: As far as we know, there is only one wedding blog dedicated to the glory of the printed product, but even if there wasn’t, OSBP would still stand head and shoulders above the crowd. Nole features the most gorgeous, scrumptious, adjective-laden lovelies ever to grace the internet, and her site is a must-visit before purchasing or DIY-ing wedding paper products. (www. The Sweetest Occasion: Obsessed with parties, entertaining, photography, interiors, paper, stationery and letterpress from a young age, Cyd somehow manages to combine her loves into a cohesive celebration of, well, the occasions that make life sweet. Even her non-wedding features – like the ridiculously cute birthday parties she loves so much – offer inspiration for chic wedding events. (www. Inspired Goodness: The “daily sketchbook” of a designer who crafts unique details for wedding and event clients, Inspired Goodness features doable DIYs, favorite finds and invaluable crafty resources from someone who’s tried them all – and really knows which hole punch is the best on the block. (

max wanger

FOR INSIGHT ALONG THE JOURNEY Weddingbee: The ‘bee is updated daily by 20 or more real brides actively planning their wildly different weddings. Most bees are DIY-inclined, and all are honest about their planning journey. One of the older blogs on the block (it began in 2006), Weddingbee has amassed an extensive backlog of neatly catalogued blogs that offer almost as much inspiration as the current bees. It’s also cultivated a welcoming and fun community. ( A Practical Wedding: Brides from across the land flock to APW to drink in the utterly-sensible, utterly-doable, utterlypractical advice issued by Meg. Focusing on the emotional side of relationships and wedding planning, Meg and her band of Team Practical cohorts have carved out a warm, safe and rational place in the often-overwhelming blogosphere. ( Love, Milk & Honey: If you find yourself getting so bogged down in seating arrangements and rental orders, and ranunculus versus garden roses that you start to forget why, exactly, you're getting married, head to Love, Milk & Honey for a dose of marriage reality. Lauren dishes out holistic advice for couples on fashion, interior design and just plain getting along. ( Elizabeth Anne Designs: EAD is something of a hybrid, combining the oh-my-gawd-how-lovely part of planning a wedding with the oh-my-gawd-this-is-terrible-and-I’ll-neverbe-able-to-get-through-this-help-help-help! part of planning a wedding. Ami shares the stage with a revolving group of engaged and newlywed ladies, and really works hard to make her content directly reflect the ever-changing needs of her readers. ( Always a Blogsmaid: A veritable treasure trove of wedding day Q&A from event planners who have seen and done it all, the AAB search box should be your first stop when you have a logistical or planning question. They’re also great about turning up the latest bridal innovation, from a new color palette generator to a streamlined system for electronically filing every drool-worthy image you find while web-surfing. (

FOR THE ROMANTIC BRIDE Classic Bride: Guided by a slogan of “redefining tradition,” Sarah has a knack for finding the loveliest inspiration from yesterday and reinventing it for today in very real ways (picking her favorites from Christos’ new line, say). Here at SW we particularly appreciate her Southern roots (which are made twice as nice by her European upbringing and impending move!). ( Style Me Pretty: The grand-daddy of inspirational wedding blogs, Style Me Pretty serves up a hearty dose of insanely beautiful wedding goodness daily. Elegant outdoor affairs are Abby’s specialty, and gorgeous photography and lush florals are her mainstays. Don’t miss the jaw-dropping Inspiration to Reality features, in which a rotating group of talented vendors brings an inspiration board to life! (www. The Bride’s Café: A girl after our own heart, Janie shares inspired real weddings and cute engagement shoots on TBC, all with a hefty dose of sweet Southern charm. A talented floral designer, Janie’s real-life industry connections bring a warmth to her features that some blogs lack. ( Ritzy Bee: There are those who are lucky enough to hire D.C. event designer Maria Cooke. And then there are those who must subsist by drinking up her inspiring ideas via her blog, Ritzy Bee. Considering she’s a wiz at innovative “topical” posts (eight uses for manilla mailing tags, four uses for vintage sheet music), we’d say it’s a pretty fair trade. (



Besides SW, Weddingbee is probably my favorite blog. I'll readily admit I'm a total junkie, and routinely confuse my friends and family by referring to Mrs. Gloss or Mrs. Avocado as if they're old friends. I've got to go with my girl Emily's personal wedding and design blog,

KW Peach & Pearl. She posts DIY projects that even I might be able to

Real weddings, real brides, and real behind-the-scenes details on the making of a magazine



I love Gia Graham's color palettes at Flights of Fancy, Maria at Ritzy Bee's eye for design, Junebug's photography and I am a huge fan of Dana at Broke-Ass Bride! So much blog goodness out there! I am subscribed to 500+ daily blogs.

UP, UP AND AWAY Swoon-worthy Southern Honeymoons

You’ve said “I do” under an aged oak tree, sampled from a mix-your-own grits bar and unveiled a surprise groom’s cake. The only thing left to do is head off on a Southern honeymoon! Here, the Southern Weddings ladies and a few of our friends introduce you to our favorite Southern hot spots, and dish on why they'd be perfect for your first adventure as a married couple. Whether you strike out in a hot air balloon or not, you’re in for the ride of your life. Bon voyage, y’all!

jose villa + Jen Curtis

jose villa



By Kathryn Storke, founder and editor, Snippet & Ink WHY AUSTIN? Nestled deep in Texas hill country and defined by rolling hills and oak trees, Austin isn’t just the state capital. As the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin attracts both big and small shows in a variety of venues (and bars!) nightly. Airstream trailers scattered throughout the city serve up everything from sno-cones to crepes. And if you’re worried about Austin having enough personality, the city’s motto - proudly proclaimed on bumper stickers and t-shirts all over town - should reassure you: Keep Austin Weird. WHAT TO DO? In the infamous summer months, cool off at the Barton Springs Pool. During rainy season, catch a movie at the Alamo Draft House, where you can watch anything from current hits to vintage specials. Head to South Congress for some vintage shopping, and outfit yourself with authentic cowboy kicks at Allen Boots. And if you don’t do anything else while you’re in town, make sure to spend an evening two-stepping at the Broken Spoke, a classic Texas dance hall. WHAT TO SEE? You’ll be able to see the dome of the Capitol from many places in the city, so why not make a visit to the historic building? Free walking tours are available everyday, but you’re free to wander around at your leisure. WHERE TO EAT? Enjoy a taco (or two!) from Torchy’s Trailer Park & Eatery while seated at a picnic table under giant oak trees. The Baja Shrimp taco is a must, and the green chili queso dip does not disappoint. For a more upscale eating experience, try La Condesa for delicious cocktails, contemporary Mexican cuisine and incredible desserts. If you’re craving barbecue, drive twenty miles south to the Salt Lick (a BYOB joint) for great food and an incomparable atmosphere. And if you just want a bite of something sweet, you can’t go wrong with a cupcake from Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop. WHERE TO STAY? Without a doubt, the coolest place to stay in Austin is the Hotel Saint Cecilia. Named after the patron saint of music, the hotel mixes rock-n-roll style with Victorian sophistication. No two rooms are alike, but each is outfitted with hand-selected antiques and art and a handmade Swedish mattress and turntable. (Make sure to choose a record from the hotel’s vinyl library before you retire for the evening.) And if you want to explore beyond the rolling lawn and ancient oak trees, Austin’s hip South Congress district is just a block away. WHAT TO BRING? Austin’s dress code is best described as hipster casual, so you’ll want to pack your coolest pair of jeans. Even if you’re visiting in the middle of summer, make sure to bring a cardigan or wrap in case it cools down at night. And don’t forget your bathing suit! WHERE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION?

jose villa


By Katharine Waterman, Southern Weddings Managing Editor WHY WILLAMSBURG? This quaint college town was once the seat of the first legislative body in the New World, and is still regarded as the birthplace of the American Revolution. Like its motto suggests, Virginia is for lovers, and I’m willing to bet you’ll love Williamsburg as much as I do. WHAT TO DO? Step back in time by exploring America’s Historic Triangle, where you can spend a day as an English settler inside the Jamestown Fort or a statesman fighting for independence in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg. Splash back into the present with a day trip to Water Country USA and Busch Gardens Europe, or a round (or two!) of golf at the former PGA hotspot, Kingsmill Resort. WHAT TO SEE? Be sure to catch a performance of the Fife and Drum Corps as they march down historic Duke of Gloucester Street. There may be no better way to traverse the cobblestoned thoroughfares than by horse and buggy -- while riding, keep your eyes peeled for landmarks like the exquisite Governor’s Palace, the old Courthouse and volunteer reenactors in full period dress. Finish your day with a stroll through the campus of William and Mary and a sunset picnic on the lush lawns of the Sunken Gardens. WHERE TO EAT? Opened in 1766, Chowning’s Tavern remains one of Williamsburg’s more treasured eateries – and my favorite restaurant of all time. If you want the full colonial experience, replete with singing bards, pints of ale and good old-fashioned games and gambols, this is the place for you! Order a crock of cheese and sampling of sippets, then get ready for a rousing round of the Royal Game of Goose. The Cheese Shop has long been a low-key co-ed favorite for lunching on the lawn, not to mention the best roast beef and cheddar sandwich you’ll ever taste. Don’t forget to ask for a side of their famous (and top secret) house dressing. For a sweet treat, visit Williamsburg’s favorite hole in the wall, Sno-to-Go, where you can get authentic New Orleans’ style snow cones in one of 40+ flavors. WHERE TO STAY? Each of the nine rooms at the downtown Fife and Drum Inn celebrates an aspect of colonial history and chronicles the major milestones in Williamsburg’s rich past. If you’re hoping your trip South will be lavished in luxury, retreat to one of the area’s two premier resorts, the Williamsburg Inn and Kingsmill on the James. WHAT TO BRING? Though you definitely can (and should) leave your 8th grade American history teacher at home, it wouldn’t hurt to brush up on your knowledge of pre-Revolutionary America before arriving. A swimsuit and walking shoes will also come in handy! WHERE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION?








jen curtis

The groom is perfection in those textured short and blazer from our local favorite in Chapel Hill, Julian's. If I had a million bucks I'd buy everything in that store. Brides, if you like those bracelets, they're an easy DIY! We made them sitting around the hotel room the night before the shoot with fabric scraps stylist Joy had lying around! And brides: you know how I know they're an easy DIY? Because I made one! Whoever thought one of my crafts would make it into a photo shoot...

CHARLESTON By Whitney Davis, Southern Weddings Assistant Editor WHY CHARLESTON? Famous for its beautiful gardens, rich history and Southern charm, Charleston is the quintessential Southern city. One of the oldest urban centers in the United States, Charleston has a reverence for history, and well-preserved estates, landmarks and memorials abound. From the exceptional Low Country cuisine to the picturesque plantations, Charleston is an ideal Southern escape. WHAT TO DO? Walk through the city market, which features wares from independent sellers. Be sure to get a handmade sweetgrass basket and some Gullah Gourmet grits—printed in the native Low Country dialect of Gullah. Take surfing lessons on nearby Folly Beach, or watch the sun set over the Charleston harbor with your honey. WHAT TO SEE? Be sure to take a carriage tour through the city. The guides are well-versed in fascinating tales from Charleston’s past, and, if you’re lucky, they may tell a ghost story or two. Swing by the enchanting gardens at the Middleton Place Plantation. Middleton Place boasts America’s oldest landscaped gardens, and the blooms are as resplendent now as they were in the 18th century. Make sure not to miss the swans at the Azalea Pool! To accommodate your main squeeze, swing by the USS Yorktown, a historic WW II battleship docked in the Charleston harbor. WHERE TO EAT? For great service and the best view in town, there’s no place like Fleet Landing. Housed in a renovated 1940s Naval building, the casual Southern seafood restaurant provides a stunning view of the water from nearly every table. WHERE TO STAY? To land in the lap of luxury, choose Charleston Place, where stars like Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Willis and Julia Roberts stay when they come to town. Glittering chandeliers and a sweeping staircase will make you to feel like royalty – even if only for a few days. Be sure to partake in the nightly chocolate chip cookies – baked fresh daily! - and complimentary wine. For a more low-key getaway, check out the Cottages on Charleston Harbor. Though they are located only ten minutes away from downtown, the waterfront cabins feel completely isolated. If the view doesn’t win you over (be on the look-out for dolphins!), the hammocks on every porch will. WHAT TO BRING? His preppiest bow tie, your brightest sundress, a camera and a big appetite! WHERE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION?

cumberland island By Emily Ayer, Southern Weddings Art Director WHY CUMBERLAND ISLAND? Cumberland Island is Georgia’s largest and southernmost barrier island. In order to preserve the fragile ecosystem, only 300 visitors are allowed on the remote island each day, guaranteeing you and your honey a peaceful – and naturally gorgeous! – locale. WHAT TO DO? The island’s draw-dropping environment includes wide, sandy beaches and miles of trail through lush palmetto forests, both of which are perfect for exploring. Plan for a day of hiking or cycling through the forest, a day of relaxing on a likely otherwise unoccupied stretch of beach, a day of seeing the sites – and a night of gazing at the oh-so-bright stars! WHAT TO SEE? Cumbie (as we came to call it) boasts several historically registered sites, including Dungeness, the crumbling ruins of a Carnegie mansion, and the First African Baptist Church, where John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette were married. On your way, keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife, including porpoises, pelicans, and gentle, shaggy wild horses. WHERE TO EAT? There are no restaurants or stores on the island, so packing in your own provisions is a must. WHERE TO STAY? If roughing it isn’t really your thing, make a reservation for Sea Camp, which is just a short walk from the ferry landing and has running, purified water, bathrooms, and showers. Or try the Greyfield Inn, an unexpectedly luxurious and romantic enclave in the middle of the island wilderness. There are also four “backcountry” campgrounds ranging from 3.5 to 10.5 miles away from the landing. WHAT TO BRING? A sleeping bag, a tent, comfortable hiking boots, a bathing suit, bug spray, sunscreen, a portable stove, and s’more supplies! WHERE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION?

GREENBRIER By Lauren de la Croix, newlywed and graphic designer WHY THE GREENBRIER? If you’re in the market for a honeymoon that’s filled with endless pampering, beautiful scenery, grand history and a slew of activities, check out the Greenbrier in West Virginia’s White Sulphur Springs. A two-hundred-year-old luxury resort and National Historic Landmark, the Greenbrier boasts fabulous architecture and spectacular interiors. Bonus: it drips with Southern charm, grandeur and hospitality.  WHAT TO DO? The Greenbrier offers a seemingly endless list of activities and must-dos, and there is sure to be something for everyone on the 6,500-acre property.  Whether your preference is horseback riding through the mountains, rafting down the rapids of the New River, swimming and relaxing in the Olympic-sized indoor pool, bowling in the swanky underground alley or golfing and playing tennis, you’ll run out of time before you run out of things to do! WHAT TO SEE? Beginning in the 1950s, the Greenbrier served as a top-secret emergency bunker for Congress, so a tour of the bunker is a must! Carriage and sleigh rides throughout the property are a romantic and fun way to view the gorgeous grounds. Be sure to stop at the Springhouse and taste (and smell!) the water of “healing” sulphur springs. WHERE TO EAT? Dining at the Greenbrier is always a treat, and you can’t miss dinner in the impressive Main Dining Room. Put on your fanciest duds, and be prepared for live piano and violin, finger bowls between courses, delicious food and impeccable service.  For a fun and relaxed lunch, dine in Draper’s Cafe, inspired by the great interior designer, Dorothy Draper. Don’t feel like getting out of bed? The Greenbrier’s room service brings the resort’s yummies right to you. (You won’t even have to change out of your PJs!) WHERE TO STAY? Whether you choose to stay in a suite in the main building, one of the charming row houses or a sprawling estate house, you won’t be disappointed. Big, squishy beds, stunning decor and great style await you at each. WHAT TO BRING? Your golf clubs, a tennis racket, a swimsuit, khakis, a few polos, an evening dress or two, and a dinner jacket and tie for the gents. WHERE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION?

By the experts at Asheville Event Co.

jose villa


WHY ASHEVILLE? Asheville, North Carolina is the quintessential mountain location, offering newlyweds stunning surroundings, a variety of things to do and a quirky, modern-hippie vibe. It’s perfect for the couple that enjoys the outdoors - and also likes to pamper themselves! WHAT TO DO? Rent a convertible and spend the day cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway, stopping at benchmarks to take short hikes off the road past waterfalls and panoramic views. Peek into independent and antique shops like funky bookstore Malaprop’s in stroll-able downtown. Indulge in a “Couple’s Retreat” massage package at the luxurious Grove Park Inn and Spa. WHAT TO SEE? The famed Biltmore Estate is just outside of downtown and is worth the trip for history buffs or lovers of pretty things. Catch a live show at The Orange Peel – their wide, springy floor has been voted “Best Place to Dance” in the past. WHERE TO EAT? Asheville specializes in fresh, local, organic eats. We love the “new Southern” of Tupelo Honey and the kitschy charm of Early Girl Eatery. Or try an upscale meal of French comfort food at Bouchon or a vegetarian feast at The Laughing Seed. Asheville was recently rated as a top beer town, and boasts over seven local breweries. WHERE TO STAY? We like the brand new Indigo Hotel for being within walking distance to the center of downtown activity. Or you can head to Biltmore Village for a more elegant stay at the Inn on Biltmore or the Grand Bohemian Hotel. And don’t forget about the many B&B’s like the Beaufort House or a cabin in the woods! WHAT TO BRING? Good walking shoes, a camera and a sense of adventure! There is so much to explore in Asheville. WHERE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION?


jose villa

This is hands down my favorite photograph in the magazine.




By Whitney Deal, Darling Dexter and Oh, Darling! Photography

By Lara Casey, Southern Weddings Editor in Chief

WHY SAVANNAH? It’s hard to think of a “why not” for honeymooning in Savannah. Dreamy Spanish moss, historic architecture and Southern charm make for the perfect romantic getaway. The rich history and laid-back lifestyle are a wonderful escape for newlyweds. WHAT TO DO? Fill your days with historic home and trolley tours, dining along River Street and shopping on Broughton Street, Savannah’s main boulevard. After visiting the local shops and antique emporiums, take a few hours to picnic in Forsyth Park. If you have an extra day or two in your trip, visit the local beach, Tybee Island, which is just thirty minutes from downtown. WHAT TO SEE? Savannah is known for its charming homes, so wander around the historic district - from Flannery O’Connor to Juliette Gordon Low, you never know whose home you might come across. For a break from history, head to the Jepson Center, Savannah’s modern art museum. WHERE TO EAT? There are so many Savannah staples, but to get real Southernstyle cooking, try Mrs. Wilkes, where you share tables with strangers and bowls of Southern goodness are constantly refilled. For a candlelit dinner, be sure to make a reservation at the Olde Pink House (912-232-4286). WHERE TO STAY? You have your pick of historic inns in Savannah, but I recommend the historic Forsyth Park Inn for a quaint bed & breakfast experience or The Mansion on Forsyth Park for a deluxe hotel. Both sit facing the park, offer quality service and put a finishing touch on the Savannah experience. WHAT TO BRING? Comfortable clothing and walking shoes. Savannah’s historic downtown is pedestrian-friendly, and walking is the best way to shop and explore this city’s rich history. WHERE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION?

WHY WATERCOLOR? One of the Gulf Coast's most luxurious resorts, WaterColor boasts a wonderland of activities for families, including expansive nature preserves, bike trails, lakes, shops, fitness facilities, a spa, award-winning restaurants and golf courses. Of course, nothing tops its most famous attraction: the Gulf of Mexico's sugar-white beaches! WHAT TO DO? Though Watercolor is best known for its gorgeous beaches, there’s so much more to do than work on your tan. From the outdoorsy to the refined, Watercolor has it all. WHAT TO SEE? Hailed as Northwest Florida's Only Four-Diamond AAA Hotel, the resort's WaterColor Inn was also recently honored with a "World's Best" award from Travel + Leisure magazine. A short stroll or bike ride to the west, and you'll cross 30A's stunning Western Lake into Grayton Beach State Park. A few steps East, and you'll enter Seaside, affectionately referred to by residents as WaterColor's "Historic District." WHERE TO EAT? Watercolor is home to a plethora of the Gulf Coast’s finest fare. From fine dining at Fish Out of Water to the down-home comfort of Barefoot BBQ, to seaside staples like Red Bar and the Shrimp Shack, your taste buds will be very happy in this coastal paradise. WHERE TO STAY? Warm Southern hospitality can be found in the intimacy of a bed and breakfast, the fun of a classic beach house (there are hundreds to choose from!) or the relaxed seaside luxury of the WaterColor Inn & Resort. Each offers an ideal setting to relax and play. The best part? Everything from the food to the beach are in walking – or biking – distance. WHAT TO BRING? Your flip flops, sunscreen and an appetite for coastal adventure! WHERE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION?


Photography: Jose Villa and Jen Curtis, Stylist: Joy Thigpen, Florals: Stacey Brown, The Bloom Room, Dress: Thread, Menswear: Julian’s, Hair and Makeup: Jessica Schrago, Models: Robbie and Caroline from Directions USA, Hot Air Balloons: Asheville Hot Air Balloons

jose villa

jose villa

Looking for adventure?

Does sailing through the clouds snuggled up to your sweetie sound like the perfect honeymoon escapade? Yes, we thought so, too. Allow us to introduce you to Asheville Hot Air Balloons, who welcomed us for this shoot with true Southern hospitality. The dedicated team has been flying for years and would be more than happy to arrange a trip over the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, ranges beautiful in any season (anniversary surprise, anyone?). For the most daring, they can even arrange a midair ceremony for up to 28 guests! Find more details on their website at, and call 828-667-9943 to make a reservation.

165 Photo by: Jenna Henderson Studios


looking for something?

photography by The Image is Found

COVER photography by Joey + Jessica (; PAGE ONE photography by Joey + Jessica; MASTHEAD page 2, top to bottom: photography by Orange Girl Photographs (, Stephanie Williams Photography (, Zeidler Photography (, Millie Holloman Photography (; IN THIS ISSUE page 3, top to bottom: photography by Chris+Lynn Photographers (, Paul Johnson Photography (, Jose Villa (; A NOTE FROM LARA page 5, clockwise from top left: Paul Johnson Photography, and four from Millie Holloman Photography; EDITORS’ LETTERS pages 6-7: Millie Holloman Photography; CONTRIBUTORS pages 8-9: besides headshots, Jonathan Canlas Photography (; TOP TEN THINGS page 10, top to bottom: Tracy Turpen Photography (, Jessica Lewis Photography (, Jenna Walker Photographers (, Larissa Cleveland Photography (, Whitebox Weddings (, Alders Photography (; page 11: Tanja Lippert Photography (; FAB FINDS pages 12-15: spoon portrait photography by Millie Holloman Photography, Sarah's Stands photography by The Love Project Photography (, special thanks to Brett Arthur (; SOUTHERN SHOP PREVIEW pages 16-17: Brett Arthur (; RINGS page 18, clockwise from top left: JayMar Photography (, Green Door Photography (, Simply Bloom (, Jeff Newsom (, Simply Bloom, Brooke Courtney Photography (, Millie Holloman Photography; page 19: Table4 Weddings (, Millie Holloman Photography, The Schultzes (, Simply Bloom, Jesse Leake ( BOUQUETS page 20, clockwise from top left: photography by Dixie Pixel (dixiepixelphoto. com), photography by Stephanie Williams Photography, photography by Stephanie Williams Photography, photography by Studio A Photography (, photography by Punam Bean (, photography by Lisa Lefkowitz (; page 21, clockwise from top left: photography by Meg Perotti (; photography by Steve Steinhardt (, photography by Jesse Leake; photography by Jose Villa, photography by Adrienne Gunde ( ETIQUETTE WITH EMILY page 23, clockwise from top left: Dixie Pixel, Millie Holloman Photography, Amy Rae Photography (, Altmix Photography (; page 24, top to bottom: Riccis Valladares (riccisvalladares. com), Jenna Walker Photographers, David Murray Weddings (, Tanja Lippert Photography, W. Scott Chester Photography ( CAROLINA ON MY MIND pages 26-32: shoot concept, photography and styling: Joey + Jessica; COVER FINALISTS J. MALAHY PHOTOGRAPHY page 35: photography by J. Malahy Photography ( MELISSA SCHOLLAERT PHOTOGRAPHY pages 36-37: photography by Melissa Schollaert Photography (; MARIE LABBANCZ page 38: photography by Marie Labbancz (; ZEIDLER PHOTOGRAPHY pages 40-41: photography by Gina Zeidler; COVER GALLERY page 42, clockwise from top left PAUL JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHY cinematography: Diva Productions (, florals: Nouveau Flowers (, hair: Solace Day Spa (, makeup: Yvette Nations, dress: Melissa Sweet “Fiesole” from The Bride Room (, location: Alys Beach Caliza Pool (; KRISTEN WEAVER PHOTOGRAPHY (kristenweaverblog. com), location: Vizcaya Museum in Miami (, coordination: April Dorsey (, dresses: the Larissa, Chrysanthemum, and Chantilly styles from Claire Pettibone (, styling: Melanie Pace (, makeup: Mary Irwin (, hair: Nicole Beth Miller, model: Choice Gray from Elite Model Management (, cupcakes: Teatime Cakes (; ANNA KIM PHOTOGRAPHY (, stylist: Michele Lin, models: Michell and Ryan Atkins, Katie Reedy and Ben Woodring, and Genevive DeRego, hair: Dan Sanchez Salon (, makeup: Leah Yniguez (, florals: Dellables Floral Wedding Design ( and Fukushima Flowers (, wedding gown: Elly’s Formal Wear and Bridals (, location: Sea Breeze Villa (seabreezemaui. com) and the Haiku Mill (; CHRISTINE FARAH PHOTOGRAPHY (, styling: Sugar & Fluff (, flowers: Stacey Fitts (, makeup: Reyna Perches (  cake: Melody Brandon (, onsite coordination: Kerrie Underhill (, model: Stephanie Nelson, dress: J Crew (; MANDY AND ME STUDIO (, model: Sarah Wallace, dress: Anglo Couture (; ANNA KIM PHOTOGRAPHY; KRISTEN WEAVER; ANNA KIM PHOTOGRAPHY; page 43, clockwise from top left: CHRISTINE FARAH PHOTOGRAPHY; CHRISTINE FARAH PHOTOGRAPHY; BROOKE COURTNEY PHOTOGRAPHY model: Kacey Buffington, flowers: Wildflowers by Design (, hair and makeup: Gabrielle Pfautz, Salon Synergy (, dress: Maggie Sottero (maggiesottero. com), van: Brad White, Complete Auto Detailing, location: the Longenecker Estate, shoes: Aldo (, video: Taylor Courtney; VUE PHOTOGRAPHY (, florals and décor: Events by Nouveau (, styling: Shelby Peaden Events (shelbypeadenevents. com), makeup: Two Fishes Artistry (, dress: Saja (; CAMERON POWELL PHOTOGRAPHY (, model: Laurenne Nicgorski, wardrobe styling: Victora Case, MACS/AMAX, Nashville (, styling: Amy Lynn Larwig (, prop styling: Latrice Cushenberry (, fashion: The Bride Room (, florals: Brocade Design Arts (, boat owner/ operator (Bill Scott); VICTOR SIZEMORE PHOTOGRAPHY (, styling: Summer Watkins (, hair and makeup: Kira Caudill (, florals: Katie Bell of Timeless Designs (, dress: Maddison Row (; SKIP HOPKINS PHOTOGRAPHY (, dress: B. Hughes Bridal (, florals: Village Flowers, stylist: Erin Duffy, hair and makeup: Sherita Leslie, location: Bloomsbury Farm; VICTOR SIZEMORE PHOTOGRAPHY; PAUL JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHY; SOMETHING BLUE pages 44-55: photography by Jose Villa; SWEET LOVE pages 57-63: photography by Amelia Lyon Photography (; ROCKABILLY ROMANCE pages 65-67: photography by Jesse Ryan Photography (; TRADITION SERVED UP SOUTHERN pages 69-71: photography: Sarah DiCicco (, styling: Styled (styledcreative. com); makeup: Beke Beau, hair: Nelda Corbett, florals: Fleur de Lis Floral (; SOUTHERN BY DESIGN pages 73-83: photography by Stephanie Williams Photography, Jen Curtis (, and Anna Robin (; CHOOSE YOUR OWN SOUTHERN WEDDING pages 85-90: graphic design and illustration by Curious & Company Creative (; REAL WEDDINGS EMILY + MONTY pages 94-99: photography by A Bryan Photo (; BROOKE + VICTOR pages 100-101: photography by Mel Barlow (; LINDSAY + TYSON pages 102-105: photography by Kate Headley (; LAUREN + RUSS pages 106-109: photography by Leigh Miller (; KARA + TYLER pages 110-113: photography by Tim Will (; KILEY + TIM pages 114-117: photography by Paul Johnson Photography; CHELSEY + JANIN pages 118-121: photography by Jose Villa; JENNIFER + KYLE pages 122-123: photography by Millie Holloman Photography; ALI + MATT pages 124-129: photography by Jill Thomas Photography (; RACHEL + PHILIP pages 130-133: photography by Simply Bloom; FARREN + KEVIN pages 135-139: photography by Millie Holloman Photography; KRISTIN + KINCAID pages 140-142: photography by Anne Marie Photography (; GROOMS’ GALLERY page 144, clockwise from top left: Hugh Forte Photography (, Jonathan Canlas Photography, Jill Thomas Photography, A Bryan Photo, Table4 Weddings, Michelle Cross Photography (, Jeff Newsom, Orange Girl Photographs, Laura Ivanova (, Jasmine Star Photography (; page 145, clockwise from top left: Jessica Claire (, Jessica Peterson Photography (jessicapetersonphoto. com), Fer Juaristi (, Jose Villa, Ashley McCormick Photography (, Tec Petaja (, & Unlimited (, Blue Door Photography (, He and She Photography (, Jose Villa, Jonathan Canlas Photography; GROOM’S FAB FINDS pages 146: photograph by Jeff Newsom; CONFESSIONS OF A YOUNG MARRIED COUPLE pages 148-149: photography by Lauren Larsen (; TOP BLOGS page 151, top to bottom: Abigail Seymour (, Ulmer Studios (ulmerstudios. com), Amanda Suanne (, Abigail Seymour, Daniel Chee (, Brooke Schwab Photography (brookeschwabphotography. com), Brooke Courtney Photography, Todd Pellowe (, Katherine Holly (; page 152: W. Scott Chester, Kristen Steele Photography (, Todd Pellowe, Smilebooth by Our Labor of Love (, Next Exit Photography (, Brooke Schwab, Sarah Yates Photography (, Todd Pellowe, Cameron Ingalls Inc. (, Alec Vanderboom Photography (; page 153: Jessica Claire, Kristen Steele Photography (, Kellie Kano (kelliekanophotography. com), Orange Girl Photographs, Jessica Claire, Jessica Claire, Jessica Claire, Larissa Cleveland Photography, Fer Juaristi; page 154: Fer Juaristi, Sean Flanigan Photography (, Harwell Photography (, Stacy Reeves (, Adrienne Gunde, Daniel Usenko Photography (, Meg Perotti, Fred Egan (, Chris & Sarah Rhoads (, Jeff Newsom; page 155: Millie Holloman Photography, The Nichols (, Sloan Photographers (, Millie Holloman Photography, Caroline Tran (, Millie Holloman Photography, The Image is Found. Photography (, Red Heart Photography (, Nancy Ray Photography (; page 156: Max Wanger Photography (; UP, UP AND AWAY pages 157-165: photography by Jose Villa and Jen Curtis; CREDITS page 167: photography by The Image is Found. Photography EVER AFTER pages 168: Donnan Photo (donnanphotography. com); BACK COVER photography by Millie Holloman Photography




Only Beaches Resorts presents the perfect honeymoon

for you and a perfect vacation for those you love. With

anything and everything for everyone included, from scuba diving* to gourmet dining, Beaches turns each moment into an adventure. It’s more than the honeymoon you’ve always dreamed of, it’s an escape no one will ever forget.

Call your Travel Agent or 1-877-BEACHES •


*Resort dive course available at an additional cost. Unique Vacations, Inc., is the worldwide representative for Beaches Resorts.

‘‘ I Do’’ Say

to a Sandals Honeymoon and your

Beautiful Beginnings Sandals Wedding * by Martha Stewart™ is FREE


Your Caribbean wedding can be as intimate or elaborate as you wish — Sandals’ wedding coordinators will plan everything to

Honeymoon Gifts Included:

After the wedding reception, let the fun begin with a Luxury Included® Honeymoon at Sandals. Because only Sandals Resorts offers more quality inclusions than any other resort on the planet. On your Sandals honeymoon, you’ll find more unlimited land and water sports— including scuba diving and golf.* Experience more restaurants, with up to 14 true specialty restaurants per resort. Enjoy unlimited premium brand drinks at up to nine bars per resort, including Beringer® Wines, the oldest, most respected winery in Napa Valley. And relax in the most unique honeymoon suites in the Caribbean. So when planning your honeymoon, choose the resorts that give you more.

the last detail.

• A bottle of chilled sparkling wine elegantly arranged in your room to toast your future • A special turndown service that includes flower petals on your bed • Delight in a delivery of fresh flowers and a decadent breakfast-in-bed on one morning of your choice


Love Is All You Need A Caribbean Family-Owned Company

Call your Travel Agent or 1.877.SANDALS or visit J A M A I C A





*For non-certified divers, resort dive course available for a nominal fee. Golf in the Bahamas and Antigua is additional. “Weddings by Martha Stewart”™ is a trademark and service of Martha Stewart Omnimedia, Inc. Copyright © 2011 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. All rights reserved. Unique Vacations, Inc. is the worldwide representative for Sandals Resorts.



a w e ddi ng to r e m e m be r i n t h e c oa sta l t ow n

Beautiful waters. Pristine beaches. Quaint restaurants. Local boutiques. Let Gulf Place be the venue for your perfect wedding. WeddingsAtGulf


Photography by: Goode Green Photography, Featured Vendors: The Big Day Event Rentals, Celestine’s Weddings, Dede Edwards Photography, Dine by Design Catering, Fisher’s Flowers, Gulf Talent Services, H&M Tents, Jacqueline Ward Images, The Merchants of Gulf Place, Myrtie Blue, Paradise Cuisine, Restaurant Fire, Robin Klag Makeup Artist, Salon Twist, Steve Wells Photography, Two Fishes Artistry

photography by donnan photo, grandson of the bride

RUTH AND JERRY MERRITT Met at age 83, Married at age 83

LC Adorable! EA Adorable!! KW Adorable!!!

Jerry: We first met at the dinner table at Cumberland Village here in South Carolina. The first thing that I noticed was that she was a Christian lady and very sophisticated. Ruth: I overheard from my friends that Jerry was the best gentleman around here. The first thing that I noticed about Jerry was that he had a lot of character in his face. We're both old, but we're going to make the most of what

we have. It's a good time together, and we're very happy. He's a good husband who takes care of things. The secret to a happy marriage is commitment. Romantic love is important, but love isn't everything. Love by itself won't guarantee a happy marriage. Marriage is a challenge, but the secret is to find God's will with one another and commit to it. Jerry: I think love is very important!


Ya hear?

Southern Weddings V3