It’s no surprise that when bloggers become brides it results in some of the coolest weddings you’ll ever come across. Just take Laura Leigh, the fashion and lifestyle blogger behind Louella Reese who wed her love, Joshua in a day that mixes whimsy with Southern tradition. From her green plaid heels to the bridesmaids in a floral print, there are so many ideas you’ll want to steal for yourself. Grab a peek in the gallery by Faith Teasley.
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From the Bride… I am so thrilled to share all of the details of our wedding day. It’s been just about two months since we said “I do” and the day was truly everything we could have dreamt of. Every day I am filled with more love and excitement to have the man of my dreams standing next to me. And to have made that commitment in front of our family and closest friends.
Our wedding celebration was themed rustic romance. This theme fit my fiancé and me perfectly. While also being the image I dreamt of while imaging our big day. I could see myself covered in lace, candles everywhere, and being surrounded by ivory flowers with greenery complementing everything perfectly. Joshua and I spent the first two or three weeks of our engagement searching for a venue to match our personalities and my dream. On our third visit, The Arbors, we drove down a gravel road with trees lining both sides and a beautiful blue sky above. I instantly knew this was the spot. Just as an overwhelming feeling came over me when I knew Joshua was the one. There was no doubt in mind this was the place where we’d become one. This special place is a tree farm in Cleveland, NC about an hour from our new home. Upon driving into The Arbors you are surrounded by beautiful trees of all kinds. They have two sites on property to choose from. Both a beautiful mix of stone and wood. Creating a rustic mountain feel. Now all we needed to do was add some romantic touches.
Moving towards our wedding, Joshua and I really dove into planning. We wanted our day to truly reflect our personalities, our love for God and our love for one another. Going with our rustic romance theme we set the tone with green, ivory, and gold accents. Which also happen to be the colors of our alma matter, where we first met. We incorporated a lot of wood accents to touch on the rustic part of our theme. All of our signs were custom made by one of my very talented bridesmaids.
Planning our wedding was incredibly special to both Joshua and I. I really enjoyed finding items and different ways to showcase our personalities and relationship.
Some of my favorite items included the custom signs made by sweet friend, the photo(s) of Joshua and I that flanked the greenery-filled fireplace, and our wedding day looks. My dress was everything I had ever dreamt of and so much more. I worked with Modern Trousseau’s to custom make my dream. I knew from the beginning I wanted lace and I wanted sleeves. When visiting Hayden Olivia in Charlotte there were not a ton of options that included this. Lucky for me, my bridal consultant suggested a bolero. I instantly fell in love with the first dress I tried on but it did not include the sleeves I had dreamt of. Once that bolero was placed over top though, I knew it was it. Tears filled me eyes and I imagined Joshua seeing me wearing this masterpiece as I walked down to meet him. Joshua’s look was one we had fun deciding. We wanted it to reflect his fun personality while also matching perfectly with my classic romantic dress. We choose a simple gray suit and played around with the bowtie and shirt. Plaid for the shirt and a custom-made stripe bow-tie from The Knotty.
The weekend before our wedding North Carolina was hit with a very strong hurricane. With day upon day of rain. Once the hurricane passed we were left with gorgeous weather. All blue skies and a perfect 75 degrees. We were blessed! This weather was the exact reason we choose October. Also because that is when we started dating and became engaged. The bridesmaids and I started getting ready very early at a lake house rented by my mother. Getting your hair done while watching the sun come up over a lake is quite the way to start your wedding day! I believe this played a big part in keeping me calm.
I surprised my bridesmaids with pajama sets from Piyama. The pattern complemented our colors and looked adorable while getting ready together. The bridesmaids had the option of two dresses from ASOS in the same pattern. One a maxi dress with ruffles and the other a simple empire midi. I couldn’t have imagined the dresses fitting our venue better!
Once each gal had their hair and make-up complete we made our way to the venue. We then spent the next hour opening gifts, chatting, and sipping mimosas. My photographer then came in and said it was time to put my dress on. I truly did not feel like a bride until that moment. Once my maid of honor placed my veil and flower crown on it was time for the gals to leave. So there I was standing in front of the floor length mirror, looking at myself. At this moment I was overcome with emotion. Imagining Joshua seeing me and knowing I would be walking down to him in just minutes. That this is what I would look like as I made the promise to love him forever and stand by his side through everything. I wanted down that aisle!
I could see Joshua well before he could see me. I had butterflies in my stomach and my heart was beating faster than ever. I soaked in my soon to be husband standing there, waiting to turn around (once) he received the signal to. All I could think about was looking into his eyes and seeing him see me. I may have pulled my dad down the aisle trying to get to Joshua! Our ceremony was full of special moments including our favorite worship songs, a moment where Joshua and I stepped off to the side to pray together, and reciting our personal vows.
Once our ceremony was complete our guests were treated to a cocktail hour on the market lit patio of our reception venue. We served a variety of appetizers that were personal favorites of ours while a bluegrass band filled the air with sweet southern music. Additionally, we had a lawn game area with dice and bocce ball from Mark & Graham plus a custom cornhole set. We wanted cocktail hour to be a time to mix and mingle while enjoying the beautiful fall weather.
From cocktail hour to the reception. Our reception was filled with dahlias, anemones, garden roses, eucalyptus, and endless candles. We had a wooden guest “book” for guests to sign as they entered into the ceremony. Past the guest book was our cake table which was flanked with two cakes. Joshua wanted a traditional tiered cake covered in icing while I wanted a naked cake, we compromised and had both! Our cakes and the table may have been one of my favorites at the reception! Brandi from Honey Butter Bakery did amazing! Joshua and I had a sweetheart table set right in front of the candle filled fireplace. Sitting there allowed us time together and time to soak in everything going on around us. The evening was filled with all of the traditional wedding activities and lots of dancing! Joshua and I exited the wedding with friends and family flanking both sides of the sidewalk as we made our way to our limo. Having the opportunity to hug our loved ones as we left was one of my favorite moments of the evening. Our wedding was filled with so much love and I know our marriage will be the same!
Photography: Faith Teasley Photography | Coordinator: Whitehead Manor Conference Center | Floral Design: Lily Greenthumb's Wedding & Event Design | Wedding Dress: Modern Trousseau | Cake: Honey Butter Bakery | Invitations: Minted | Rings: Diamonds Direct | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Asos | Catering: Queen City Catering | Band: The Local Boys | Ceremony & Reception : The Arbors Events | Dress Boutique: Modern Trousseau Charleston | Film Processing: Indie Film Lab | Hair & Make-Up: Sweet Magnolia Beauties | Lawn Games : Mark & Graham | Save the Dates: Minted