From the Desk of Dixie

Real Weddings: Meredith Farmer Deal's Elegant Garden Wedding

We love sharing the weddings of our Dixie brides and today's wedding feature is no exception! Meredith and Keaton Deal exchanged vows in the romantic backyard garden of the bride's brother, James Farmer, who is a renowned interior designer, author and speaker as well as one of our Holiday Tastemakers. We've had the pleasure of working with James over the years and witness his creativity first-hand, so we knew this magical garden wedding would enchant us!

We were thrilled when Meredith wanted to work with Dixie artist, Holly Hollon, to develop her wedding paper, knowing it would certainly be a suite everyone would adore. We are so happy to now offer the Georgia Collection, which includes all of Meredith's stunning wedding paper!

Meredith was gracious to share some of her wedding photos with us as well as the thoughtful details from her gorgeous October wedding day. Be sure not to miss the stunning seated dinner arrangement that included blue gingham table linens (which coordinated perfectly with her wedding paper) and twinkle lights strung from the wooden ceiling beams. We couldn't help smiling at the adorable pups that were included in the occasion! 

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.

Keaton and I have known each other since we were 19 years old. We met on my best friend's farm in Cochran, GA. Keaton was there with his best friend, the guy she was currently dating. We knew of each other, but I always thought he was way cooler than me! Ha! We ended up sitting on the tailgate of his truck talking for hours. A few months later he became my boyfriend. During college we dated off and on but always remained great friends, he was always my best friend. After college he moved home for his current job and I was home living with my family recovering from a kidney transplant (thank you Lord and my hero brother)! One day he reached out, asking if I wanted to go out to the river on his new boat and the rest is history!

How did he propose?

It was Keaton’s birthday weekend and we were heading to his family home on Tybee Island, like we always do! He invited his friends and mine too to celebrate. I thought nothing of this since it’s a tradition we go to Tybee for Saint Patricks weekend and his birthday! I had just started my photography business and planned to take pictures of a best couple friend of ours on the beach. At the end of the session Charity asked if she could get a picture of us since we were dressed for dinner and the lighting was so beautiful. When she turned the camera on us, Keaton got down on one knee and pulled the ring box out of his boot. This is still  one the most magical moments! The rest of our friends cheered from the balcony while blaring “Celebrate Good Times” and toasting! My family and more friends were waiting for us at dinner. He thought of everything.

What was the feel that you wanted to accomplish for your wedding and how did your Dixie paper coordinate with that?

We wanted our wedding to reflect us, our roots and our home. We were married in my brother's garden that is placed behind his home in the middle of the woods. I wanted everything to be intimate and special. When Holly asked me the look I envisioned for our suite, I told her flowers and fruit that reflect us - peaches for where we were raised and his great-grandfather's farm, pomegranates for my maternal family crest, pines which cover our land, palms to represent our love for the low country (and Tybee Island), and my favorite color blue bow to tie it all together. Holly brought all of these ideas together to make the perfect suite for a garden wedding! 

Did you and your husband do a “first look” or did you wait for the first look to take place during your ceremony? 

Keaton and I decided to go the traditional route when it came to the first look. I wanted to share the sweetest moment of my life with my dearest loved ones. Keaton’s face when he first saw me is still one of the things people talk about most when it comes to our day! It was so special to finally see him for the first time that day and walk towards him knowing he was about to become my husband. I loved my family and friends being witnesses to this moment. It was emotional and endearing. I would do it the same way all over again. 

What was the best advice you received as a bride? 

I was told over and over to stop and take it all in! I am so glad this was drilled into my mind. I took multiple moments to look at everyone around me and soak it in. The day still flew by in a flash, but I remember the moments I stopped and really took things in. There’s only so many times in your life where all the most important people of your life are all in the same place. Take it in! We both were missing people whom we loved so dear, but we made a point to remember and reflect on them as well. I think that is so important to do on the most important day of your life. 

Photographer and video: Joy + Everett Photography 
Wedding Paper: Dixie Design Collective
Flowers:  Luella Floral, Dublin, GA
Dress: Jenny Yoo NYC 
Bridesmaids dresses: Azazie 
Venue: Farmdale Cottage 
Brides Hair and makeup: Intensify By Patience 
Bride and groom cakes: Lisa Mae Cakes, Macon GA  

Real Weddings: Leslie Marquez's Elegant Fall Wedding

The process of working with brides to create the perfect paper items for their wedding day is such a joy for the Dixie team. So when our brides share images of their wedding with us, we are thrilled and can hardly wait to share them with you! We are in love with all the details of bride Leslie Cooper Marquez's classic Fall wedding, like our timeless Lavender Wedding Suite with gorgeous artwork created by Dixie artist Lydia Carraway.

Leslie was so generous to share fun details of the couple's love story as well as some of her favorite aspects of their special day. Accompanying these details are beautiful images shot by the talented Mary Margaret Smith. We are happy to give you a behind-the-scenes look into this beautiful and thoughtful wedding! Do not miss the handsome succulent boutonnieres (the groom is from Arizona!) as well as the stunning chapel where the ceremony was held (located at Leslie's Alma Mater!). 

How did the two of you meet?

We have such a fun and unique story! I mean, what are the odds that a guy from Arizona and a girl from Alabama would ever meet let alone overcome 1400+ miles to fall in love and get married?! We thank God’s guidance and a bit of modern technology for our chance meeting. David was on his annual golf trip in December of 2016 and that particular year it was in Birmingham so he and his group could play the Robert Trent Jones courses in the city. At the urging of some friends, I had recently signed up for an app-based dating site many of your readers may be familiar with – Bumble. To be honest, I was not really interested in the app dating thing but I agreed to try it out for two weeks. I had heard all of the success (and horror!!) stories so I was a little interested to see what would happen. Well, as it turns out, one of my first “swipe rights” was on David that first weekend I was on the app! We truly clicked right away and contrary to my usual nature, the fact that he was from the other side of the country didn’t deter me at all! He was different from anyone I had gone out with before and things were just easy between us from the beginning. We decided to give it a go and spent the next year traveling back and forth between AL and AZ, meeting each other’s friends and family, having adventures and in the between times, talking, FaceTiming, writing letters, emailing, snapping and otherwise communicating with each other as often as possible. 

How did David propose?

Fast forward to March 2018 and a surprise proposal in the desert. Marriage had of course been discussed as had my decision to make the move from AL to AZ. I had a trip planned to Phoenix in March with the goal of seeing more of the city, talking more about what the move would look like and hopefully talking more about our marriage goals and plans. David was so good at throwing me off! Little did I know, David had already been working with my sisters for a few months on ring design ideas (though he picked out the final one himself), had already called my parents for their blessing and already had the ring (which was kept hidden from me thanks to the help of one of David’s sneaky friends)! On the third day of my visit, we went for a hike in Cave Creek, AZ, where there are a lot of amazing saguaro cactuses, my favorite kind. About halfway through the hike, we found an awesome and huge saguaro where he lead to some pictures with it. I took a pic of him with the cactus and he took a pic of me, he offered to take a selfie (which should have tipped me off as he is not a fan of selfies!) with the cactus and through the series of selfies, you can see me cheesing it up for the camera and then in the next shot, he has the ring box and in the final shot, I finally see the ring box and the look on my face is priceless! He truly surprised me and I’m so grateful for that special moment! 

What was the feel that you wanted to accomplish for your wedding and how did your Dixie paper coordinate with that?

More than anything, we wanted our wedding to have a personal feel and for it to reflect who we are as a couple. We love that Dixie Design provided us with an elegant yet simple design for our invitations and programs that mirrored the fall theme of our day. Fall in Alabama is my favorite season and the beautiful design of our suite helped mirror that.

What made you select your particular ceremony and reception venues?

We wanted to find venues that were beautiful on their own merit and both Reid Chapel and Avon Theater fit the bill. As a graduate of Samford University, the chapel and campus both are very dear to me so it was so special to be able to have our ceremony there. Plus, the chapel is gorgeous with its simple stained glass windows and elegant pipe organ. Avon Theater is a historic gem and the exposed beams and bricks give it a rugged grace that we loved. Also, it’s where my middle sister had her wedding reception so it was doubly special!  

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day?

There are hundreds of memories from that day that I will treasure but my favorite moment was waiting behind the church door with just my dad and hearing the first chords of the cello play one of my favorite pieces of music, Bach Cello Suite No. 1. The moment they opened the doors and I saw David at the end of the aisle and the way I felt at that moment is one I will always remember.

How did you find your wedding dress?

As luck would have it, Ivory & White was having a sample sale the week after I got back into Birmingham after our engagement. The team there is so amazing, patient and calming. After trying on several gorgeous dresses, Molly was really listening to what I said I liked/didn’t like and brought in one more gown for me to try on. It was truly that moment you hear about – I put the dress on and my mom started crying, my sisters teared up and once they put the veil on me and I turned around to look, I just knew the simple, classic crepe gown was the one and the tears started flowing. It was a moment I had hoped and prayed I would get to have and just couldn’t believe it was me standing there in my wedding dress!

What was the best advice you received as a bride?

Enjoy every moment. It’s such simple advice but I really took it to heart and tried to enjoy every step of the planning process and enjoy being engaged. It’s such a unique and special time in life and I didn’t want to rush through it in a haze of stress and planning. I’m happy and thankful to say that it really was a wonderful time of joy, expectation, hope and fun.

Dixie Bride: Leslie Cooper Marquez
Wedding Date:  11/17/18
Wedding and Reception Venue: Reid Chapel at Samford University and Avon Theater
Wedding Style: Classic, Southern, Personal
Event Coordinator: Our day-of coordinator at Reid Chapel was Susan Smith, Go-Pro Event Solutions with Avon Theater, and my dear friend and corporate event planner extraordinaire Amber Sloan handled all of the day-of last-minute details
Floral Design: Flowerbuds
Wedding Dress: Martina Liana from Ivory & White
Bride/Groom Cake and custom candies: Sweet Magnolia
Photographer: Mary Margaret Smith Photography
Bridesmaids dresses: Bella Bridesmaid
Bouquet ribbons: Cocoon Silk Ribbon
Hair/Makeup: Boma Beautiful (Kerri Bunn)
Linens: Décor to Adore
Classic Car: “Jack” from Coats Classic Cars
Band: The Respectables Band
Wedding book table signage: Gracefully Made Art
Wedding favor koozies: Humphries Screen Printing
Rehearsal Dinner: John’s City Diner
Registry: Bromberg’s

"Azalea Romance" Paper Suite in Southern Wedding's 10th Anniversary Issue

The girls behind Southern Weddings magazine had clearly done their homework before they approached Dixie's Creative Director, Holly Hollon, about creating the wedding paper suite for their "Azalea Romance" editorial spread in their 10th Anniversary issue.

Working alongside Invision Events and photographer Anna Shackleford, Holly was tasked with creating paper pieces that were "girly, classic, and full of flowers...striking that delicate balance between girly and youthful, but still classic." This inspiration was loosely based off of the Mobile, Alabama Azalea Trail Maids. As the Southern Weddings ladies well knew, Holly has never shied away from feminine, classic, or floral themes in her designs! Below is the inspiration board Southern Weddings sent Holly to use as creative direction for her designs.

Based off of their inspiration board, Holly designed a paper collection with all things Southern including bright azaleas, bold stripes, whimsy calligraphy and a charming antebellum home. We are so excited to add this suite to our Wedding Collection!  Click here to shop the the suite.

Photography | Anna Shakelford for Southern Weddings Magazine