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Romantic Outdoor Tented Wedding in Memphis

The lady behind the lens, Ashley Upchurch, said everything about this wedding reminded her of a little girl’s fairytale. And quite frankly, I couldn’t agree more. Each and every moment has “storybook” written all over it (helloooo, floral arch!) and with vendors like Angela Mazanti and Bella Figura, it comes as no surprise. Get comfy and find your wedding planning happy place right this way.


From Ashley UpchurchStephen and Kristy were married on a crisp October day at a private estate in Memphis, TN where they exchanged vows underneath a breathtaking floral arch. The bride wore a lovely Rivini gown that paired beautifully with her orchid-draping bouquet made by Angela Mazanti. Guests were provided with individually wrapped fleece blankets to keep warm during the ceremony and were entertained by a bagpiper as they entered the reception. Everything about their wedding reminded me of a little girl’s fairytale wedding!

Photography: Ashley Upchurch | Wedding Gown: Maggie Louise | Wedding Cake: The Flour Garden | Invitations: Bella Figura | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Venue: Private Estate | Floral & Event Design: Angela Mazanti

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Blush Pink Chic Downtown Memphis Wedding at 409 South Main

The minute I opened this gorgeous wedding from Ashley Upchurch my heart started to pitter patter and a large smile start to form on my face. Why you ask? Because it’s basically SMP perfection. The blush hues, the gorgeous florals from Gestures and the darling couple? Couldn’t be more perfect if they tried. So this gallery? Beyond perfect.


From The Bride….Johnny and I wanted our wedding to be simple, chic, timeless, and most importantly…a blast for our family and friends! Johnny and I dreamt of an outdoor wedding, but with the ever-changing Memphis spring weather it seemed a risky undertaking. Wanting our big day to be stress-free, we opted to avoid the anxiety of unpredictable weather and selected an indoor venue in the in the historic South Main Arts District. Its floor to ceiling windows with the warm glow of the sunset shining through coupled with delicate bistro lights gave 409 South Main the perfect ambiance for our nuptials. Our florist brought the outdoors in with lush, gardeny bouquets and a beautiful handcrafted, dogwood-filled arbor accented by hanging candles in jars. We chose blush pinks and creamy neutrals to accentuate the venue and give the wedding a soft, romantic look.

To complement the historic feel of the venue, we undertook several DIY projects. From the lace fabric garland used to create an elegant backdrop for our cake to the refurbished farm table it sat on to the faux vintage crates used to showcase our favors, DIY was a family affair! My mom, dad, and I spent an entire weekend selecting and cutting the fabric for the garland…yes, even dad got in on the action! For our guests not prone to gettin’ jiggy with it on the dance floor, my friend Marissa and I painted custom his and hers corn-hole boards to provide some additional reception entertainment.

While the décor was near and dear to us, our favorite part of the wedding was the food! Since Johnny is in the restaurant industry, it was very important that our food not only tasted amazing but provided a one-of-a-kind dining experience for our guests. Our rehearsal dinner was a food-lover’s paradise with decadent low-country fare and libations provided by Chef Ryan Trimm of Sweet Grass and Southward. For the reception, CFY catering did a fabulous job continuing to make our dreams a reality with their creative combinations and impeccable presentation. Our guests ate, drank, and danced the night away in the heart of downtown Memphis!

Photography: Ashley Upchurch | Floral Design: Gestures | Wedding Dress: Barefoot Bride | Cake: Frost Bake Shop | Catering: CFY Catering | Hair & Makeup: Annie Shackleford | Groom's Attire: American Tuxedo | Ceremony & Reception: 409 South Main | Rentals: Propcellar

Intimate Art Gallery Wedding

Take a stunning bride and groom + their seriously adorable son, a handful of ecstatic family members and a crazy cool art gallery setting like Gallery FiftySix and what you have is an intimate wedding bursting with sophisticated details and some of the chicest moments you’ll ever have the privilege to see. It’s glittery gold hues meets awesomeness from Lindsey Lissau.  See it all in the full gallery.

And feast your eyes on this gorgeous film from Undertone Pictures.

From the Bride… Ryan’s favorite quote has always been, “Energy and persistence conquer all things,” and it definitely proved true in our case. We met when I was his server at Old Venice Pizza in Memphis, and he pestered me for months before I agreed to go on a date with him! Four years (and a baby!) later, he proposed on the rooftop of the Peabody Hotel. His excitement was apparently so infectious that several members of the management were waiting in the dark with champagne for toasting and pictures!

We were engaged for 15 months while I planned pretty much every possible type of wedding. But, when it came down to it, we both wanted to do something a little less involved than a huge wedding, and a lot more special than the courthouse. Our solution? A private ceremony with our parents and son , Grayson (well, we tried to include him, but he promptly fell asleep 20 minutes before our ceremony!). It was so intimate and special and really allowed us to soak in every last moment of the day.

We were married on July 11th at a small art gallery full of graphic black and white abstract pieces, which set the overall “feel” for our ceremony. Clean and simple, yet subtly detailed. Thank goodness for our day-of coordinator, Becky Best… she made sure everything was exactly where I envisioned it. The ceremony itself was short and sweet, with the PERFECT message by Rev. Sarah Taylor-Peck. She surprised us by involving our parents in our ceremony and asking them to surround us and pray over our new marriage; it was such a heartfelt and personal moment that I’ll never forget. After our vows, we were able to immediately turn and hug our parents before a quick celebration in a smaller wing of the gallery. The men in our families are the criers, and our wedding was no exception; both of our dads gave the sweetest, most heartfelt toasts, which brought us all to tears.

After the ceremony and celebratory toasts, our parents headed home to snuggle Grayson, and Ryan and I headed downtown to a friend’s speakeasy for a few moments of solace and, of course, cake! When we finished at the Blind Bear, we decided to take a walk back to our hotel in downtown Memphis, with a quick detour by Aldo’s Pizza on Main Street.

Every detail was so personal, down to my custom gown by Shareen., and we are so incredibly lucky to count every person involved in our wedding as a friend; from our musician that I’ve known since I was 15, to our hair and makeup stylist that was my first college roommate, to our photographer that I met in April.

Photography: Lindsey Lissau | Cinematography: Undertone Pictures | Wedding Dress: Custom Gown By Shareen | Cake: Yolo Bakes! | Invitations: "Elegant Nouveau” By Elli | Invitations: Elegant Noveau By Elli | Ceremony Venue: Gallery FiftySix | Reception Venue: Blind Bear Speakeasy | Shoes: Sam Edelman "Lorissa" | Hair And Makeup: Studio 78 | Accomodations: The Madison Hotel | Groom's Attire Pocket Square: The Snappy Sapling | Jewelry & Accessories: Lolly And Lou | Ring Bearer's Suspenders + Bowtie: The Snappy Sapling

Memphis Wedding by Creation Studios Gallery

After a long holiday hiatus, we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome all of you lovelies to a new, sure to be gorgeous, year at SMP. Whether you have been reading for years, or are new to the wedding planning scene (congrats on that sparkly new bling by the way! eek!) we’ll help you ease into the new year with what we do best – inspiring the pretty. You’ll find we are a group that believes in fairytales. We believe in the magic of a good love story, and romance on repeat is how we prefer to spend our days over here – so when Creation Studios sent over this gorgeous gala inspired by the home of fairytales, Disney, we were intrigued. And when we laid eyes on how the Bride’s vision unfolded, it was obvious the day was full of wedding magic. The glowing beauty of a Bride worked side by side with her fairy godmothers, the Social Butterflies, to make her fairytale wedding a reality and the result was something dreams are made of!  Click here for more magic!

Click here for the full gallery of images!

From the Bride…Growing up in a wonderful family of six in South Florida, I am a huge Disney fan. Casey went on his first Carkeet Christmas Disney trip in 2010. In true Disney magic, he shocked me with a proposal in front of my family during a dinner in Cinderella’s castle. It was absolutely perfect for me, right down to watching the fireworks from our table! I knew I wanted Disney to be the inspiration of my wedding, but the softer, magical, romantic side.

The amazing Social Butterflies, my planners, found out early that I wanted to do everything different from a typical wedding. I want everything to work together but not matching. I didn’t want people to feel like they are at a wedding, but a place with friends having a good time. Vintage, romance, Disney and family were the themes I wanted tied together and they did it beautifully in a setting of blush pink, ivory, champagne and pops of peacock blue and marigold.

October 7, 2011, I can’t even express enough how perfect it was. I had no idea that an evening could be created that was so perfect for me that I truly felt like I was in a dream. My bridesmaids, my sister and sister-in-law, and I got our hair and makeup done at Juve Salon. Catie and Maury wore Alfred Sung peacock blue long dresses with skinny belts, pearl studs and Dogeared single pearl necklaces I got for them. They helped me into my ivory bridal ball gown with a beautiful ruffled neck as well as the Tiffany & Co. small loops Casey surprised me with that matched my wedding band. I also wore my Mommom’s pearl necklace as a double bracelet and a simple one layer veil. I have never felt more beautiful!

We made our way to Davies Manor Plantation, where I was to see Casey for the first time. I stood in the lawn of Davies Manor Plantation among massive ancient trees in anticipation. He smiled at me and that’s all he had to do for me to know how beautiful he thought I looked. I carried a vintage-inspired gorgeous bouquet filled with various textures and colors and pinned to it was my late Daddad’s money clip. He passed exactly a year before and he means to much to me that I knew I wanted him right by me at the altar.

Guests were greeted by a valet service and then proceeded down the plantation road flanked with woods and the occasional deer sighting with the plantation wedding site as their focal point. They were given beautiful vintage paper covered programs fastened with champagne ribbon. Each program had a wand attached, that my mom and I made. In the program and on a little flag attached to the top of the wand, they were instructed to wave them as Casey and I kissed and walked down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs.

For my ceremony music, I knew I wanted the music to mean something. The grandparents and mothers walked out to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, the bridal party walked down to “All You Need is Love” (Beatles are inspired by my dad and Casey’s love of classic rock and roll). Then from around the bend, a magnificent white horse appeared pulling a carriage. I had kept it a secret from most including Casey. My dad and I were beaming with delight as we watched the crowd in their awe. As soon as I heard my entry song, “When You Wish Upon a Star”, it was truly the most magical moment of my life and I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else sitting with me than my dad.

We exited the carriage and I could see the big smile on Casey’s face. We passed hanging lanterns, burlap sacks and garden boxes filled with the most beautiful flowers and plants. The ceremony was relaxed, intimate and perfect. Andy Savage, teaching pastor of HighPoint church, did an amazing job leading us into this new life together. Following suit of doing things differently, I created a unity ceremony in which each of our parents’ fingerprints made a heart when put together. Family is very important to Casey and me and we wanted to showcase that and showing our parents how much they have impacted our lives. Casey’s dad passed away when he was 10 years old, so we had a good friend of his who is a graphic designer create Casey’s dad’s thumbprint to be joined with his mom’s .

As we vowed our lives to one another, kissed and turned to face the crowd, we were greeted with waving wands as we made our way down the aisle, to “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” to the carriage. As we rode off, Casey held a distressed sign that read – “Just Married…and they lived happily ever after.”

Following the ceremony, vintage signs pointed guests towards the cocktail party. Half way there, they were greeted with a signature drink station that served “Pirates of the Caribbean” complete with sword-skewered fruit. Inspired by the Disney park maps,, guests were also handed personal maps showcasing the layout and food options at the cocktail party and reception. Continuing towards the Alice in Wonderland-inspired “Mad Hatter Cocktail Party”, guests were greeted with the game area fantasy-decorated with topiaries adorned with pin wheels (that my mom made) flanked by vintage white iron fences. Corn hole/bean bag games Customized with “The Dugans” were set out for guests to enjoy, as hors d’oeurves were being passed by servers and classic rock songs were being played by the guitarist. On the porch of the reception there was a seating area where guest could rest on vintage benches, set their drinks down on wooden wine crate coffee tables and sign the guest book quilt. I created patchwork letters held on a lace line with mini clothespins and hung on an old window. Guests sign a patch with well wishes and my talented momma will sew them together to make a quilt as our guest book. My mom made the patches as well. Also on the porch was a larger version of the hand held map so guests would know which food station in the reception they wanted to try first!

The sign just above the porch set the mood for the reception …”Let the Magic Begin” (which was also on the inside of the invitation envelope). Walking into the reception, you felt warmth and romance. The usually dark wood walls and ceiling were illuminated with soft light and decorative blush and ivory paper streamers hugging the peaked ceiling. I opted for long table instead of the tradition round to make it more family-style. Tables were dressed in burlap-inspired tablecloths with various vintage runners, my momma made, running the width of the table. The length of the tables were filled with arrays of romantic flowers, cotton, succulents, moss displayed in milk glasses, garden boxes, silver vases and other vintage inspired containers. The end seat backs were accessorized with beautiful hand-made ivory rosettes. A massive stone fireplace was covered in candles enhancing the romantic aura of the room. A damask-background photo booth complete with props was set up for guests to enjoy and take home their picture as well as leave a picture for us to enjoy. The food stations and bar were all named after Disney memories/places that are special to my family. The Laughing Place Saloon was scripted on a large vintage mirror along with the bar menu and displayed behind the iron and dark wood bar. Each food station represented a Disney restaurant, “Mama Melrose” was an interactive pasta station, “Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn” was a gourmet filet mignon and chicken slider station, “Tamu Tamu Refreshments” contained various fruits and gourmet cheeses and “Boulangerie Patisserie” was the dessert station including the wedding cake, grooms cake and an array of cake balls made by my good friend Gretchen Tayloe. The grooms cake detailed Casey, wearing a Memphis hoodie and hat, and me, wearing my wedding veil Mickey ears, riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with our hands up – it was perfect! Casey and I toasted with the champagne flutes given to us at the proposal in Cinderella’s castle as my sister, his best friend and my daddy gave touching speeches. The dance floor shined with a gobo light of our wedding logo “The Dugans” which included a hidden Mickey Mouse head design (that logo was used on the game boards, napkins, invitations, photo booths photo sleeves, etc). The night was filled with live music from Almost Famous and lots of dancing.

At the end of our magical night, Casey and I made our way out of the reception to a wave of wands by our wonderful friends and family. As guests got their cars from the valet, a final parting gift was left in their front seat – a small pumpkin with this poem I wrote attached.

“As the clock strikes twelve and the magic ends, Cinderella’s carriage becomes a pumpkin again. What a magical time and it’s all because of you. With love from the Dugans…Bibbiddi Bobbiddi Boo…”

Bride’s Gown: Blu by Mori Lee from Ballew Bridal / Bridesmaids: Alfred Sung / Men’s Attire: Suits by Joseph A Banks / Cake Balls: Gretchen Tayloe of Dulcitas Gourmet Treats / Bride hair: Myn Le from Juve Salon and Amy Hicks from Capelli’s / Bride and Bridesmaids makeup: Kendrick Simpson from Juve Salon / Planner and Event Designer: Social Butterflies, LLC, Memphis TN / Photographer & Videographer: Creation Studios / Venue: Hillwood at Davies Manor  / Stationery: Natalie Chang Designs / Floral Designer: Haute Horticulture / Caterer: Ziparos / Cakes: Oh My Ganache Bakery / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Guest Table Rentals: Mahaffey Tent and Party Rentals / Linens: Mosaic Party Rentals / Cocktail Table Linens: Party Tables / Runners: Hand made by mother of the Bride / Bars: Holliday’s Flowers / Band: Almost Famous / Valet: Southern Valet / Carriage: Carriage Tours of Memphis / Photo Booth: Creation Studios / Lighting: Moonshine / String Quartet: Beth Luscomb / Classical Guitarist: Lloyd Rainey / Minister: Andy Savage

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Memphis Garden Wedding from Southern Event Planners + Christen Jones

Mmm… we’ve got a sweet, southern wedding on the agenda today. And it is filled with the most romantic Memphis details. Perfect way to start your morning. You can almost feel the southern hospitality, courtesy of the event planners & designers, Southern Event Planners. Every image from Christen Jones Photography has a hint of “Y’all come back now, ya hear?” tucked inside the insanely gorgeous affair. And I haven’t even touched on that dress yet. Just click here for the gallery. You’ll thank me later.

From Southern Event PlannersGuests traveled from all over the country to be a part of Amanda and Erik’s wedding day. They were greeted at the hotels with goodie bags that included a bunch of Memphis favorites: GooGoo Clusters, Goody’s Powder, Elvis Postcards, Jelly Krimpet TastyKakes, an itinerary of the wedding, and brochures from local museums and tourist attractions.

Amanda and Erik met at a sushi restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada where they both lived. A year and a half later, Erik proposed at the top of the Stratosphere…or as they like to call it “the top of the world.” For their wedding, they knew it would be a requirement to incorporate the elements of Las Vegas. Amanda grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and that’s where she wanted to be married. Planning this wedding from afar was nothing new to Southern Event Planners, and the details were quickly worked out in the first few visits.

It was important to Amanda and Erik that the adult guests of their wedding could enjoy the celebration, so they hired an event sitting service to watch the children. The sitters brought activities and gift boxes for each child, and the parents were free to have fun!

The ceremony was held in the Japanese Garden overlooking the lake at the Memphis Botanic Gardens. A guitar and violin duo serenaded the crowd as the family and bridal party entered and took their places. Amanda looked stunning and overjoyed as she made her way down the aisle to her future husband. One of Amanda’s closest friends sang “Songbird” as the flute and guitar accompanied her, and there was not a dry eye in the house! After being pronounced “Mr. and Mrs.” by the officiate, guests made their way inside to Hardin Hall.

Blue lighting, candles, and elegant place-settings topped with a California Mixed Greens Salad greeted the guests as they entered the room. Soft music was playing and the atmosphere was very cool and relaxed. Guests sipped on cocktails as they found their seats. Amanda made real casino chips into escort cards! She printed labels with the guests’ names and table numbers and stuck them on the chip. She purchased custom shot glasses that housed glittered bonbons, and the escort chip was laid on top of the glass for each guest! On each table, a picture frame housed a photo of the casino and the corresponding poker chip. Guests had fun calling out their casino names and helping each other find the tables.

Amanda and Erik were soon announced into the reception, and the dances begun. Their first dance was a medley of songs, but little did the guests know…they had a second choreographed dance planned! The reception carried on as planned with a Father/Daughter Dance, Mother/Son Dance, and dinner. Wedding guests feasted on two buffet stations: a Jersey station (for Erik’s personality) and a Southern station (for Amanda’s personality). Hand rolled sushi, mini cheese-steak sandwiches and stuffed manicotti were among the groom’s choices, while grits, fried green tomatoes, and catfish bites with hush-puppies were among the bride’s requests.

After the champagne toast and cake cutting,  Natalie Cole’s voice began the first verse of “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love).” Amanda and Erik waltzed across the dance floor to each other and guests clapped and shouted when they realized what was happening. This was their second surprise dance for the guests. All of the events of the night were captured on video and edited together with footage from the rehearsal dinner the night before. A few minutes before the grand exit, Amanda and Erik invited their guests to huddle around the projection screen to watch a recap of the wedding events. The videographer did a wonderful job with the same day edit!

After the video, sparklers were lit outside as the bride and groom made their way to their waiting towncar. It was truly a day they will never forget!

Photography: Christen Jones Photography / Cinematography: Daybreak Cinema / Flowers: Deedra Stone Designs / Event Design: Deedra Stone Designs and Southern Event Planners / Event Planning: Southern Event Planners / Ceremony Location: Memphis Botanic Gardens, Japanese Garden / Reception Location: Memphis Botanic Gardens, Hardin Hall / Invitations: RSVP Stationers / Dress: Alfred Angelo / Catering: A Moveable Feast / Transportation: Tennessee Limo and Cline Tours, Inc. / Event Sitters: Elegant Event Sitters, Inc.