There have been many a high-five exchanged this week. V5 layout is officially in madness mode (AKA it looks awesome and I can’t wait to show y’all what everyone squealed over this week!). We’ve been refueling with plenty of Cheerwine and taking breaks by watching some home videos of Emily’s first foray into eating oysters. (The verdict: she’ll only eat them under duress.)
By the way…EMILY IS MARRIED!
Real Weddings are our favorite!
Geneva + Luke’s cotton-infused wedding was tres romantic and full of fun stories! See it here.
Sara + Justin’s wedding incorporated meaningful family pieces seamlessly into their elegant decor. See it here.
Lauren + Justin’s fashionable wedding stole Marissa’s heart! We just love their style…and the mini pecan pies. See it here.
Haylee + Frank’s wedding was sweet, simple, homemade and filled with 200 of their most loved friends and family. See it here.
Yahoo! Katie won something blue from our fun Love Ophelia Giveaway with her comment, “I love the coral! I picked Arie (also in a bracket/pool competition) all along because I wasn’t sure if she could get past how much she loved to kiss him. So happy she chose Jef though!!” Katie, be on the lookout for an email from me!
A big hug and congratulations goes out to our past Southern Bride Blogger, Theresa and her new hubs! We love this photo of their walk back up the aisle by Landon Jacob.
Our best wishes and biggest congrats to all the belles and beaus saying “I do” this weekend, including our Southern Bride Bloggers Brandy and Kendall!
Have a terrific weekend, friends!
Landon Jacobs is a member of our fabulous Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!
Hi, belles! Y’all were so sweet on my sign-off post that I just couldn’t leave you hanging any longer! Yes, a little less than two weeks ago, John and I successfully said “I do” in front of our closest family and friends. And it was awesome!!!
The weather was perfect (literally perfect — couldn’t have handpicked a better day), my bustle did exactly what it was supposed to, the dance floor was packed all evening, and I even cried (but not too much). John and I held hands throughout the ceremony, and, if the candid photos taken by our guests are any indication, we couldn’t wipe the perma-smiles off our faces all evening. Best of all, I remember everything.
Of course, I can’t wait to share everything with y’all, but since our wedding will be appearing in the pages of V5, you’ll have to wait just a bit longer! (But not too much longer — V5 is scheduled to hit newsstands on November 6! WHOO!!)
In the meantime, a little tip: Last weekend, I sat down and wrote down everything I could remember about our wedding day: what time I got up, how I felt driving over to our first look location, what I ate at the reception… every little detail. Because even though I remember everything now, I know that won’t be the case in ten years, or even one year or two months. The writing is not at all polished (I might go back and clean things up at some point, but that’s not the point). What is? If at any point in the future I want to recall something that’s slipped my mind, I’ll have something to rely on other than my faulty memory. If that’s something that’s important to you, I’d recommend you do the same as soon as you can post-nuptials! I might never care to look back and see what I ate for breakfast on the morning of my wedding, but if I do, at least I’ll be able to find out :)
For now, we’re just enjoying admiring our sparkly wedding rings, calling each other husband and wife, and settling back into our new-old life, together. Oh yes, and eagerly (but patiently) awaiting our photos and video. In the meantime, here’s one from our rehearsal dinner!
Photo by the wonderful Nancy Ray, one of our Blue Ribbon Vendors AND a great friend of mine and John’s as well as a wedding guest!
P.S. I have a new Twitter username! I’m at @EmilyAyerThomas now. If you were following me before you’re still following me now, so no worries on that front — just wanted to give y’all a heads up!
One (very true) realization that I’ve come to over the years is this: You can’t have every wedding on every budget, but you can have a wedding on any budget. With less than $10,000 to spend and 200 beloved family members and friends attending, Haylee + Frank crafted a wedding that was perfect for them: sweet, simple, homemade, and Southern. Camp Shenandoah Springs in Virginia was a beautiful backdrop to the humble celebration, and Sarah Matozzi was there to capture the fun.
Haylee’s ladies all chose their own neutral dress to wear for the day, and brightened the overall look with colorful accessories. As for Haylee, she stumbled upon the online shop Grace Loves Lace a few months before the wedding. When she locked eyes on the “Emme” style, she instantly knew it was the something different and special she had been looking for.
Frank and I took communion during our ceremony. It was one of my favorite parts of the wedding — a special moment for me and my husband to honor the one who brought us together. I walked down the aisle to “A Place Only You Can Go” by Needtobreathe, and while we prayed together we had “Beautiful Things” by Gungor playing. Both songs were performed by talented friends of mine.
That’s their first kiss ever, folks – pretty sweet.
I wanted our cake to look simple but beautiful, and to taste delicious, and that’s what we got! We also served little pies in mason jars and caramel-dipped apples made by Frank’s Aunt Cheri.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Frank went to high school with my best friend and sister-in law Olivia. It wasn’t until about a year after graduation that she got to thinking we might get along great. We started talking online when I was 16 and he was 18 (when Myspace was cool!). Right away, we began to fall in love. Shortly after that, he came to my church to meet me, and we’ve been together ever since!
Describe the proposal. After four years together, the time had come! Frank, my sister Emily and I went hiking one Saturday. After a long hike, we reached the top, where Frank pointed out a huge rock, noting it would be a good spot for a picture. I, being the fan of heights that I am, said NO WAY am I climbing up there! After a bit of persuasion, he pulled me up onto the giant boulder. I was scared to death and clinging onto him, but we posed for a picture, taken by my sister. After that, I begin inching my way back down when he said, “wait, wait, don’t you want to think about how you’re going to get down?” I stood back up, turned around, and saw him getting down on one knee! My sister got great pictures, and I couldn’t have been happier with the way he asked.
In what month did you get married? May
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did not do a first look. We both were so looking forward to that moment when we would see each other down the aisle.
Describe your wedding flowers: Wildflowers all the way! I wanted them to look freshly picked.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The venue was very Southern. It went perfectly with our Southern décor, which included vintage hankies as napkins, and mason jars and all different colors and sizes of vases filled with fresh and dried flowers. We had fresh raspberries on our cake, burlap table squares, and vintage table cloths.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Bridesmaids dresses. There were so many girls I wanted by my side that day, and we were all on a budget! I wanted them all to love what they were wearing, and for it to be practical. I’m so happy with what we decided on, as they all looked stunning!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Kissing my husband for the first time.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Relax and enjoy this time with family and friends. It will all come together in the end! I’m so thankful I was able to have such a joyous wedding day without stressing, but it was because I chose not to.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Starting a family and living happily ever after with my best friend.
Emily said I was going to love this wedding, and boy was she right! Lauren + Justin’s Texas celebration makes my preppy, fashion-y, Southern heart skip a few beats! First, the color palette is ballet pink and navy. Score! There’s a big ol’ monogram. Double score! And last, but most certainly not least, there is Lauren’s incredible style! Yes, it’s all encompassing. From the fab-u-lous blush pink fascinator she rocked, to the navy + white striped ribbon tied in a perfect bow around her bouquet to her adorable getaway dress. Absolute home run! Oh yeah, and there are mini pecan pies!
I simply cannot forget to send big SW hugs to Brett Heidbrecht who captured their big day, and to Couture Events by Lottie for creating such a beautiful event.
Oh Lauren, I must admit I am a bit jealous of that fascinator!
Oh man. I felt like I tried on and looked at so many wedding dresses. Everyone kept telling me that I’d have some magical feeling when I tried on “the one” and I just wasn’t getting it. Finally, I was just about to buy a “just okay” dress mostly because I was sick of trying them on. My mom pleaded with me to come to Dallas and try some on for her before I made any decisions, so I did. Mother’s intuition was right because I found THE dress at the first store we went to in Dallas! I love the elegance and the Southern feel to it! I also love the blush pink sash. I wish I could wear it again! I also purchased a short white Nicole Miller departure dress. Justin’s parents held us a second reception in Kansas City in August where I got to where the Nicole Miller dress again!
One of our favorite details was the venue. The Hall of State is a stunning museum of Texas history located on the State Fairgrounds in Dallas. I have never missed a fair ever since I was born and so I have been into the Hall of State many times. When my mom and dad would take me there to see the exhibits, they would always tell me that they could see me getting married there, even when I was a little girl! I wasn’t even sure if they did weddings, but as soon as I got engaged it was one of the first venues that I wanted to check out. It was just perfect! Justin loved it because it is directly located behind the original Cotton Bowl where he had attended many Kansas State football games as a kid. The Hall of State was and is such a special place to us and our family. Another special detail was our getaway car! That truck belonged to my great grandfather and is actually the truck that my dad was taken home from the hospital in! A couple of years ago, my dad tracked it down and restored it. I was glad he let us use it for the big day.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look and I am so glad we didn’t! If you ask Justin what his favorite part of the wedding day was, it was when the curtain opened and we saw each other as I walked down the aisle to a violin version of, “Come Thou Fount.” His face was unforgettable, he was close to crying and I just couldn’t stop giggling I was so excited and nervous!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 2 Corinthians 5:14-21. The message was very special, it talked about how we no longer live for ourselves but for Jesus Christ because he died for our sins and that sacrificial love is what compels our marriage and every aspect of our lives. Jesus is what holds us and everything together.
Y’all know I about leapt right out of my chair when I saw their “guest book”! Oh my heavens, this is pure perfection in my book! And can Lauren be any cuter in that image above? Her smile is contagious!
Now let’s pause and acknowledge this amazing cake! Navy blue stripes + a ballet pink bow? Yes, please!
Southern touches could be seen throughout, from the pecan pies to the silver sets we used as centerpieces and in one very cool Southern vintage Chevy! Also, our signature drink was an Arnold Palmer. The whole wedding had a Southern preppy feel. I love stripes and they were everywhere! My dress also had a Southern belle feel to it, and instead of a traditional veil, I wore a blush pink fascinator. It was quite a statement!
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met when I was a junior at the University of Arkansas. Justin had just graduated from Kansas State University and moved to Arkansas to be on staff with a campus ministry I was involved with as a student. Our first meeting seemed pretty typical, except for the fact that we both walked away with secret crushes on each other! We would see each other and talk at ministry events and we always just seemed to click. I respected and looked up to Justin so much that I thought he was way out of my league. I would even suggest to my older girl friends that they should get to know him because I just never thought he’d be interested in me! I guess I was very wrong because in the fall of my senior year, Justin called me and asked if he could come by my sorority house where I lived to ask me a question. I was praying he would ask me on a date! When he showed on my front door step he just said, “I’m just gonna cut to the chase. I want to take you on a date.” All I could say was, “Okay.” He then asked if I would go on a date with him that Friday and I of course answered YES! It turns out, he had wanted to ask me out for the past six months but had to wait because I had gone out of the country to India that summer! After two dates, we both had to go home for winter break, me to Dallas and he to Kansas City. I didn’t really know when I’d see him next or where we were at but I knew I really liked him. My dad told me when I got home I had to go to a friend of the family’s Christmas cocktail party. My little sister and I were getting ready together and she was taking way too long. I kept badgering her and finally she just said, “Instead of bugging me about being late, how about you go get me a glass of water from the kitchen?” When I went to the kitchen, all dressed up for the party, Justin was standing there waiting for me! I was shocked! He told me there was no Christmas party and that he had planned it all out so that he could take me out that night and surprise me! That night, he asked me to be his girlfriend and then a week later he asked me to come to Kansas City to meet his family. I guess you could say things moved pretty fast, because we got engaged only three months after our first date!
Describe the proposal. It was the Friday before we were about to leave on a Spring Break trip with four of our best friends. We were planning on driving all the way to New York City. Justin asked me if he and I could go out to dinner together that night, but I just thought it was a normal date. We went out to dinner and in the middle of it, his phone rang… and he answered it! Honestly, I was kind of annoyed, he usually never answers his phone during dinner! When he hung up, he said that it was his friend Bo and that he had accidentally left his condo unlocked and had already left for Spring Break. He asked if we could go lock it for him, to which I said, “Sure.” Justin then paid the check and went to the bathroom for like ten minutes! Then I was really confused. I thought he was sick, but actually he was in the bathroom practicing what he was going to say! When we got to the condo, Justin played it cool and told me we should check out the balcony. When he opened the door, there was a beautiful view of the entire city and when I looked down at my feet, there were pink flowers and candles everywhere! All I could say was, “What?” Justin tried to guide me along the path and I just started shaking. At the end of the path there were pictures of us and a bench and more flowers — it was breath-taking. We sat down on the bench and Justin talked to me for a while (because I was speechless). He then told me he loved me for the first time and got down on one knee and proposed. Then we shared our first kiss! When we back to his house, there was big surprise party of all of our friends and family! Best day ever.
In what month did you get married? July
How many guests attended your wedding? 215
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. My favorite song we used was when we exited the ceremony to “Love On Top” by Beyonce! I LOVE Beyonce and was so excited to incorporate a little sass into the ceremony! I also loved when all of my Pi Beta Phi sisters got in a circle and sang the “Pi Phi Miss” song to me!
Describe your wedding flowers: All pale pink! I don’t know much about flowers so I just had to trust my florist and she did GREAT! They were very beautiful!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: The cake was great and looked so cute, but the real crowd pleaser was the pecan pies as the groom’s cake! The funny thing is, I am actually allergic to pecans but pecan pie is Justin’s favorite. That was one dessert we weren’t feeding each other on the wedding day.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Probably time. We only had a four month engagement, which sometimes means compromising. But it is completely doable! I had everything I wanted and, for the most part, it was a stress-free process! Mostly because my mom and my coordinator were so awesome.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-50,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? A planner. I couldn’t have done it without Lottie!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I loved our exit! My mom made these really cool ribbon wands for everyone to wave and it just looked awesome! Running through them to the truck holding Justin’s hand was so fun, I was on cloud nine! Starting that old truck was also pretty memorable. I think we almost ran over our photographer. (Sorry Brett!)
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Just take it one thing at a time and don’t be afraid to ask for help!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are currently working for a student ministry at the University of Arkansas for the next year and then we will be moving to the East Coast where Justin will be working for a financial sales firm. We are both excited and maybe even a little scared about this huge next step, but are so happy to be doing it together!
A Beautiful bride: Well, don’t you look prettier than a glob of butter melting on a stack of wheat cakes!