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Bride Hannah shares her romantic wedding at The Farm at Old Edwards Inn!

Please say ‘hey’ to today’s bride Hannah! Her wedding at The Farm at Old Edwards Inn to Nathan has me dreaming of perfect summer days and musing on the importance of blending families…

We often talk about incorporating family traditions, heirlooms, and even family members into your wedding day, but as y’all know, preparing for your marriage and blending your families starts long before your wedding day. I love how for Hannah and Nathan, not only was their wedding day a celebration of two families coming together, but so was their engagement! Hannah said, “As Nathan and I started our way back to the rooftop [after he proposed] we were greeted (tackled) by my family. The ten of us embraced into the biggest, happiest hug.” I imagine that moment was not only joy-filled for Hannah and Nathan, but their families, as well. Keep reading for more tender moments from these two!

Big SW hugs to Landon Jacob for sharing!

My mom and I did the wedding dress shopping together and made the time together so special. The very first wedding dress store that I ventured into put me into a dressing room labeled “Bella.” My mother, for as long as I can remember, has used the nickname Bella for me. We teared up when we noticed this, and felt overwhelmingly thankful to be together during the exciting time.

What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? It was just so much fun!! My favorite part of the planning were the weekends we spent up in Highlands planning. Every time we had to drive to the venue location (for the florist, walk throughs, cake testing, food tasting, etc.) we made a weekend out of it. These trips helped us make memories that will last forever!

What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? When you walk down the aisle, make eye contact with your husband the whole way down. It is so easy to become side tracked by all your loved ones watching you, but then you will miss out on one of the most amazing moments of your special day. Also, plan a moment in your reception to step back with your husband and take it all in. Look at all your friends and family who came to love you, support you, and celebrate you. Take that moment it and never forget what it looked or felt like.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? We knew that we were going to get married in the summer and in the South, where we are both from. I only had one request — I wanted the ceremony outside. Nathan only had one request — he did not want to be hot and sweaty. Uh oh! Instead of having to compromise, we thankfully heard about an adorable mountain town called Highlands, NC where the summer months reach an average of 73 degrees — the perfect temperature for an outdoor wedding. Aside from the weather, we fell in love with the aesthetic features of the venue. It had so much raw beauty that left us in awe every time we visited. The final deciding factor of our venue was the staff at Old Edwards Inn. We absolutely fell in love with the events coordinator, Shayna Bigazzi. She was so kind, hard working, and made our entire journey SO much fun and easy. I never felt stressed planning the wedding because she took care of all the stressful aspects.

What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? The moment immediately following our ceremony when we got a few moments to ourselves was the first moment we had alone as a married couple. I remember Nathan wrapping his arms around me, and I just stared up at my new husband with the biggest smile. We kept looking at each other’s tear-filled eyes and giddily squealed, “we are married! We really are married!” over and over.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No first look for us. Nathan and I both wanted that moment to be special. We knew that the first look was something we wanted to save for the aisle. And let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions we ever made. That moment — that look on his face — will FOREVER be etched into my memory.

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? My favorite detail from the wedding was when I had the father-daughter dance with my Daddy. I was never the little girl who dreamed crazy dreams for her wedding. I never imagined what my dress would look like, what my cake would taste like, or what type of shoes I was going to wear. I did, however, dream about the day I would get to dance with my Daddy on the greatest day of my life. He (and Jesus) are the reason I found such a beautiful man to marry. My father’s love and example lead me to the man I got to marry. My dad rewrote the Jack Johnson Song, ” Angel” with lyrics for us. He asked my brother, who is an incredible musician, to play and sing it. The song was a surprise for me. Dancing to these lyrics in my father’s arms to the sound of my brother’s voice made this moment bigger than any dream.

Tell us all about the proposal! We were on a family vacation with my family in Aruba. Although Nathan had planned to propose in the middle of the week, he just couldn’t wait. He, along with his side kicks (my dad, brother, and brother-in-law), scoped out the island on day one to find the perfect spot to propose. Nathan decided to pop the question at sunset on the most adorable dock jetting out into the ocean. That night, we planned to have drinks at a rooftop bar that faced the ocean followed by dinner at my favorite restaurant on the island. Halfway through happy hour and minutes before a spectacular sunset, Nathan asked me if I wanted to go adventure out onto the dock that our rooftop bar was looking out on. Excitedly, I agreed to check it out and walked hand in hand out to the edge of the dock. He hugged me, spun me around, and fell to his knee, asking me the most important question of my life. Completely overwhelmed with joy and shock, I fell into his arms sobbing the happiest of tears. The second most special part of that moment was the cheers I heard from the rooftop in the distance. Realizing that my entire family was there to witness the best day of my life filled my heart with immense gratitude. As Nathan and I started our way back to the rooftop we were greeted (tackled) by my family. The ten of us embraced into the biggest, happiest hug.
When did y’all get married? July 8 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 230
What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? We had a simple, three-tier wedding cake. I loved the look of a traditional, white wedding cake.
What was Southern about your wedding? The best way that I can describe my wedding as “Southern” comes down to the people. Everyone who joined in the celebration felt like a part of my family.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? The financial aspect was by far the hardest part for us. We had so many dreams for our big day and we wanted SO many of our friends and family to join in that it inevitably became more expensive.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We had our wedding on a Friday. Our venue cut the cost on so many things for us just for holding it on that day of the week.

Photographer: Landon Jacob | Videographer: Neil Peterson | Planner: Shelley Legg for Chancey Charm Atlanta | Venue and caterer: The Farm at Old Edwards Inn | Florist: Floressence Flowers | DJ: Lethal Rhythms | Bride’s gown, bride’s accessories, and bridesmaid dresses: Bridals By Lori | Hair stylist and makeup artist: Beauty Asylum | Groom and groomsmen attire: Perno’s

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  1. avatar Geoff reply

    What an awesome location. Bravo to the photographer too. These pics really show the day and how it unfolded.

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Today’s couple, Cristina and Drew, created a wedding weekend that truly reflected them through celebrating what they love most in a place that had become “home” for them. And after going to weddings as a young couple, creating their own special day proved to be their favorite thing about wedding planning! Dress shopping, though, was a close runner-up for Cristina. She said, “I loved my experience with Betty Bridal Atelier – my fittings and visits to Charleston were always so fun and a great way to enjoy the planning process!” Of course, I’m smitten with her dress, but I also can’t help but love how they were able to honor both of their parents by hosting their ceremony and reception at the club where Drew’s family have been members for years on Cristina’s parent’s wedding anniversary weekend.

Get scrolling for more sweet moments and planning advice from today’s bride!

Thanks for sharing, Olivia Leigh Photographie!

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I started my search for my dress fairly early because I knew it would take me awhile. I ended up with a total of 12 separate appointments between boutiques in Charlotte, New York, and Charleston before I was finally ready to commit to my dress! I ended up getting it at Betty Bridal Atelier in Charleston. I learned from my visits to New York that I loved Oscar de la Renta – the classic yet modern and structured look was what I gravitated towards. However, I did not love the idea of going up to New York for fittings in the months right before our wedding. Betty Bridal was a new boutique at the time, and the three-hour drive from Charlotte was a lot more manageable. I went with my mom, and knew I had found the perfect dress when I tried on the Daphne. It’s classic yet modern, with a gorgeous obi in the back that bustles into a beautiful bow detail for a second look.

Did you decide to do a first look? We did – mostly to ensure we could fit adequate photo time into the day. We also had a logistical issue with the club (their golf course was undergoing a renovation), so we needed to be creative with the location of our photos! Our amazing photographer, Olivia, commandeered some golf carts to get us and our bridal party out to an area in the middle of the course for photos – it was beautiful and serene and would definitely have not been possible to fit that in if we were rushing during a cocktail hour.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? We chose to have our ceremony and reception at Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte where Drew’s family have been members for years. After I moved to Charlotte, we often joined them for brunch or dinners at the club, and I have always loved their gorgeous ballroom. It was especially meaningful to host all of our out-of-town family and friends at a venue that was “home” for us.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the ceremony, I walked down the aisle to “Ave Maria,” which I have always loved as such a beautiful and romantic song. After traditional music throughout the ceremony, our recessional was “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles, which was so fun played by the string quartet and perfect as we left our ceremony hand-in-hand as husband and wife. Our first dance was Ellie Goulding’s “How Long Will I Love You” – we love her and loved the song as a testament to our love being forever.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We used Myers Park’s white lawn chairs for the ceremony and patio furniture for the cocktail hour instead of renting new pieces. We also forewent draping the ceiling of our ceremony tent, since guests would only be using the tent for a max of an hour and they would most likely be looking at us at the front and not up at the ceiling :)

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? Creating our welcome boxes for out of town guests that featured our favorite snacks set a great tone for the weekend. I also loved the beautiful pillows from Number Four Eleven that we had made for our lounge area that are now in our master bedroom (and luckily no one spilled wine on them :) In lieu of favors, we provided gold flats for the ladies to change into for dancing that I assembled with hair ties color-coordinated by size. They were a hit, since they provided both a reprieve from heels and the ability to put their hair up on the sweaty dance floor!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We were introduced by mutual friend when we were living in DC.
Tell us all about the proposal! We were engaged the third weekend in January in 2016 and Drew’s plans almost got sidelined by a very uncommon snow storm in Charlotte that caused the jeweler to be closed almost all week when he needed to pick up the ring! We both worked from home on Friday and I could tell something was up. Once the roads had cleared a bit, I went to an afternoon barre class and came home to my beloved cat, Penny, wearing a new collar that had the ring on it! We had champagne in our apartment and then went to his parents’ house who had family and friends over for cake and champagne to toast to our engagement.
When did y’all get married? June 3, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 195
What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? We chose to do traditional vows. We also asked a couple who is a dear family friend to do our two readings – they read 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 (which was also read at my parents’ wedding, the same weekend 32 years prior!) and 1 John 4: 7-12.
What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? We served a cake with alternating tiers of almond and red velvet. I love almond and am pretty traditional, so that was “my flavor” and Drew’s favorite cake flavor of all time is red velvet (he loves any vehicle for cream cheese frosting).
What was Southern about your wedding? Most of our food was Southern – we had stations that featured shrimp and grits, fried chicken, a biscuit bar, and pimento cheese tarts. Our reception was soft seating and stations as opposed to a seated dinner which is more common in the South than the Northeast (where I am originally from!).
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? Getting to create a weekend and celebration that reflected me and my husband. After going to countless weddings as a young couple, it was fun to get to create our day! I also loved dress shopping and my experience with Betty Bridal – my fittings and visits to Charleston were always so fun and a great way to enjoy the planning process. Drew went with me on one trip (not to the actual fitting appointment!) and we had a great weekend together in Charleston to re-connect and enjoy time together out of town and away from all the focus on wedding planning.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Making decisions! I am someone who takes a long time to make a decision about anything, so with the amount of decisions needed when planning a wedding, I felt like I agonized over every little detail to ensure they all fit together perfectly.
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Our first dance – we did a choreographed dance and ended up needing to modify it about 10 minutes prior to our reception starting since it included a lift that Drew did not feel comfortable doing after seeing the bow detail on the back of my dress. We quickly modified and practiced while our guests were in cocktail hour, and then executed perfectly! Going to dance lessons in the months leading up to the day was such a fun time for us, so it was great getting to finally show off our work to our friends and family.

Photographer: Olivia Leigh Photographie | Videographer: Seaglass Studios | Planner: Favor Me Events | Venue and Caterer: Myers Park Country Club | Florist: New Creations Flower Company | Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Wow Factor Cakes | Tent, draping, chair, and linen rentals: Party Reflections | Furniture and tent chandelier rentals: Old South Vintage Rentals | Lighting: Wink Lighting | Band or DJ:
Sol Fusion (ECE) | Favors: Rescue Flats | Pillows: Number Four Eleven | Paper Products: Elisabeth Rose Social Stationery | Bride’s Gown and Veil: “Daphne” by Oscar de la Renta | Bridal Salon: Betty Bridal Atelier | Bride’s Earrings: J.Crew | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Lindsay Regan Thorne of Be Pretty | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren | Groomsmen Accessories: High Cotton | Getting Ready Attire: Plum Pretty Sugar | First Dance Choreography: First Dance Charlotte

ECE is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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 Photo by Rachel May

It’s hard to believe we’re in the homestretch of our wedding planning, with only 8 days to go until we say “I do!” It’s been a whirlwind six months, and we’re excited to celebrate with all our family and friends soon! I know how quickly things can turn from fun to frazzled without a proper plan in place, and if I’ve learned anything during our engagement season, it’s preparation is key.

We’re making progress on the last lingering things on our list, and a large part of that has been working on timelines for the morning of the big day! After talking with our friends at Plum Pretty Sugar , I was inspired to share seven tips I’ve incorporated into my planning, and I hope you find them helpful!

Photo by Robyn Van Dyke

Write it down. I’m taking a few moments to write out my excitement, my hopes and dreams for our marriage, and how much I value him. Since we’re forgoing a first look in favor of seeing each other at the altar, we’re hoping to exchange letters to one another.

Choose your room carefully. My bridesmaids and I will be getting ready at a local Airbnb, and we intentionally chose a space with abundant natural light to get ready in. If possible, choose a room with neutral colors, and try to keep things neat and tidy throughout the morning. If details are important to you, have everything you’d like photographed laid out and waiting for your photographer—a full invitation set, my mother-in-law’s veil, etc.

Choose attire for your bridesmaids. If you’ve been in the Southern Weddings family, you know we’re all big fans of Plum Pretty Sugar pajamas and robes! Plum Pretty Sugar was kind enough to gift our team pajamas for our Cultivate Team Summit, and we worse them for our slumber parties all week long. I loved them so much I ordered pajamas for my bridesmaids (I love how they offer Getting Ready sets for their pajamas, robes, and rompers!). I’m thrilled it’s a gift that will not only be beautiful in our photos, but they’ll enjoy for years to come!

Photo by Taylor Rae

Create a playlist. Leading up to our engagement, Logan created a secret Spotify playlist for us to enjoy after getting engaged. Since then, it’s become one of my favorite playlists because it brings up such sweet memories! I’ve already started building my wedding morning playlist on Spotify, and I have a speaker on my packing list. I know the playlist will bring back great memories in the months following our wedding day.

Give your phone to someone else. If you follow our sister brand, you know “phone down, eyes up” has been one of my goals for the year. I’m especially excited to pass my phone off to my sister or Matron of Honor on the morning of the wedding so I can fully soak up time celebrating with my family and loved ones without the urge to reply to text messages or scroll through social media.

Don’t skip breakfast or lunch! My appetite is the first thing to go when I get anxious, but the last thing I want is my stomach rumbling during the ceremony! We have a plan for breakfast, lunch, plenty of snacks, and a few mimosas for the wedding morning so no one goes hungry!

Have a plan. This is arguably the most important tip! I’ve been in my fair share of wedding parties to know the wedding morning can fly by, and I want to make sure we have plenty of time for hair and makeup without feeling rushed! Your wedding day is perhaps the one day you don’t want to be fashionably late :)

Newlyweds and bride-to-be’s, I’d love to hear from you! What would you add to this list? Is there something you did the morning of your wedding that you loved or would change? Leave a comment, and let me know!

This post is brought to you by Plum Pretty Sugar–thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

Written with love by Jess Metcalf
1 Comment
  1. avatar NST Pictures – Artistic Wedding Videos reply

    These tips are perfect for brides! Thank you!

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