It isn't every day that you are fortunate enough to start your dream business. It's even more rare when the timing falls in such a way that your little sister is your very first client. Yes, I know I'm lucky. Before my job situation changed to allow me to be the full-time wedding stylist, Lauren had already picked out her wedding colors, the venue and her flowers.
If you know our family, you'll know that we are all incredibly sentimental, so it wasn't surprising that Lauren chose wedding details that had special meaning. First up were the wedding colors. Yellow represented happiness and sunshine, and gray was the perfect color to compliment it. Both were ideal for a spring wedding, so the colors were set!
One of our first priorities was attire. A trip to Low's took care of both the bridal grown and the bridesmaid dresses. The gray dresses were an easy choice as the color and cut were universally flattering (and complete with large bows and swooshy skirts!). They would also allow for yellow peep toe pumps! Score! Lauren's dress was also quite swooshy, and she had the ultimate Kate Spade princess shoes to go with it.
Next up was the location. Lauren and Chris knew they didn't want to get married in Oxford, but they also didn't want their guests to have to travel more than an hour or so from home. The happy medium was Heartwood Hall in Piperton, Tennessee. Located 30 minutes from East Memphis and an hour from Oxford, it was convenient for their guests, but it felt as though it was a world away. The post-Civil War plantation home is Tara-like with its stately columns, welcoming rocking chairs and beautiful grounds. The rustic barn is the perfect reception spot, and the Four Seasons Garden is ideal for a low-key wedding ceremony. The wedding party has the run of the place with the bride's group in the main house and the groomsmen in the guesthouse. It is a dream venue. Even better is that they provide the food (all prepared in-house), the bartenders and oversee the rehearsal and wedding. It's great to knock out so many details at one time!
Flowers came from Holliday's Flowers and Events in Memphis. They also provided the floral arrangements for my wedding, and they nailed our vision. We knew they'd do the same for Lauren and Chris.
To complement the yellow floral arrangements and Heartwood's decorations, we decided to play up the rustic, handmade theme with some details of our own. The venue is filled with bird lanterns and other rustic details, so we chose to incorporate birds and some rustic fonts into the stationery suite. As we had decided to create handmade bunting for the reception space, we also used that motif on the paper goods. Gerald & Joan-created pieces included the Save the Date, Thank You Notes, Menu Card, Program and Reception Signage.
The handmade bunting was created using yellow and gray polka dot and gray fabrics. Those were strung above the barn's hearth behind the wedding cake, the groom's cake table, the entry and the memorial table. To add a little extra visual interest over the hearth, we created our first-ever LOVE letters, which made the hearth and cake the focal point.
At the entrance of the barn, we set up our handmade Little Love Letters guestbook, which was created especially for the bride and groom. The cover included floral fabric remnants and vintage buttons that belonged to Joan, as well as vintage lace, burlap, buckwheat cotton and yellow polka dot hearts. It was trimmed in additional ribbon and embroidery floss. On the inside, each page was customized to encourage guests to write more than their names -- pockets, envelopes, little notes and embellishments filled the book, providing a keepsake that Lauren and Chris will treasure for years to come. Beside the guestbook was a custom Little Love Notes mason jar embellished with vintage lace and a button. It held coordinating custom Little Love Notes pens in various grays, yellows and browns. To add to the theme, these pieces were surrounded by a rustic vintage card catalog (which held more little notes for guests to write on), a pile of vintage books (from Ireland and England), a hand painted Anthropologie frame and more flowers.
Off the the side was more vintage goodness -- a vintage suitcase that held chocolate-covered Oreos, pretzels and marshmallows (in yellow and grey of course). It was propped up on a vintage factory cart. Above the display was a handmade "Thank You" bunting from Gerald & Joan. Our Menu cards were placed at every other seat to avoid being overkill, and our programs were handed out to guests as they entered the garden.
Guests enjoyed ceremony music provided by Roxanne Dawes. After enjoying a delicious dinner and cake from Cakes by Mom and Me, they danced the rest of the night away to music provided by DJ Ty Hawkins. There were happy tears, tons of laughs and most of all, plenty of LOVE.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime wedding that I was thrilled to be able to help create for my sister and her husband. It truly started us on this journey, and we look forward to seeing where we go next!
To view the LOVE STORY look book, click here.
To shop the LOVE STORY collection, click here.
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