The Southern Merc Girls hit the road again in March (although not so far from home this time) to be a part of the wedding of Hannah Lee and Adam Simmons in Tifton, GA. This sweet couple held their wedding in the historic Memorial Chapel of First Baptist Church in Tifton. This gorgeous old building, filled with some of the most beautiful stained glass you have ever seen, was built in 1908. Y’all know how excited we get about an old church!
Hannah chose a gradient color palate that started with a creamy blush and moved through the pinks, and on to a deep red. These colors were the perfect spring choice to show off against the colors of the stained glass and the colors used in the church. The church was kept simple, with one large arrangement at the front made of all the mixed colored roses and white hydrangeas. The pew markers were made of mixed southern greenery tied with satin bows.
The maids were dressed in a shade of taupe / gray which was the perfect background to show off their bouquets of vivid roses, wax flower, veronica, and mixed greenery.
The tables at the reception were adorned with the shades of mixed roses, white hydrangeas, and greenery. Small pots of succulents were added to the table groupings which were displayed on antique silver trays.
Such a special day for such a sweet couple. The Southern Mercantile team was honored to be a part of another beautiful, Southern wedding! If you are interested in our Southern Mercantile Wedding Design Service or in getting a quote to have the team travel to be a part of your special day, click the link to visit our Southern Mercantile Weddings page.
The South is characterized by many things, such as food, drink, flowers, traditions, proper dress and manners. If you are looking to add Southern touches to your summer wedding, here is what you need to know!
1. Use flowers and greenery that are native to the South
Nothing says southern elegance like a trail of camellia leaves and hydrangeas. When choosing the florals for your wedding, don't discount the simple pleasures of our native blooms. Whether you incorporate the richness magnolia leaves bring or the vibrance of zinnias, take your first clue from what's growing around you.
2. Serve sweet tea as the beverage of choice
When it comes to a Southern wedding, it isn't complete without guests sipping on sweet tea. Nothing is more refreshing or nostalgic than an ice cold glass of tea in the midst of summer. Whether you're serving brunch, lunch or supper--sweet tea will be well received.
3. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
Though this tradition seems to be slowly forgotten, think of it as an opportunity to have a little fun and, not to mention, gain a little good luck on your big day! Something new usually takes care of itself, but be sure to include your sisters, mothers, grandmothers and bridesmaids on the hunt for finding something old, borrowed and blue. Here in the South, we like tradition--so why break one that adds a little fun? We love how this photo captures each sweet piece--found on Style me Pretty!
4. Touches of seersucker
Although a seersucker suit may not strike your fancy, consider adding touches of seersucker to carry through the Southern summer theme. Perfect for a coastal wedding, seersucker can be found in the form of bow ties or jackets, ring bearer pillows or flower girl dresses. Get creative and throw in a taste of proper Southern dress. (My personal favorite is this seersucker bubble dress by Ralph Lauren!)
5. Handwritten thank you notes
If you haven't read The Art of the Thank You Note, you should. Handwritten thank you notes are a dying art, but one that should follow after every wedding. If you are to have a true Southern wedding, you must put the pen to the stationery and pour out your thanksgiving. Manners are a must when it comes to your big day, so don't let this simple tip slip away!
If you keep up with our blog here at The Southern Mercantile, then you have probably figured out by now that we LOVE weddings! From the bouquets to the place cards, we love every detail. I have been blessed to be involved with many weddings and special events over the years. You may not know that I, along with my dad, ran a full-service florist for years in my hometown of Ocilla, GA. In fact, floral and event design run in my blood as my Dad ran a small florist in Ocilla when I was a baby called “The Red Bucket”. He’s taught me all of his tricks through the years and now Tara, Jorj, and I (along with his help of course) have found ourselves traveling the south providing floral designs for some very special Brides and Grooms!
If you are interested in talking with us about helping with florals and design for your special event, we’d love to hear from you! We love to travel and experience new places and cool venues. Over the years we’ve done weddings in Tennessee, South Carolina, and many locations in Georgia. We’ve conquered the time crunch challenges of ceremonies on the square in downtown Savannah, seen the beauty and possibility in an old church with no electricity and no running water, set the stage for a wedding in a muscadine vineyard, and have even decorated for a ceremony on a mountain top - yes, an actual mountain top! If you are in the area of Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, or South Carolina, we’d be happy to talk with you about traveling to your event and give you a price quote!
For those of you that live too far away to have us come and help with your event, or if you just need a little help with basic wedding planning, we’d like to offer you another way we can help. If you love our Southern Style and wish you could pick our brains while planning your wedding, then this is for you! We are now launching The Southern Mercantile Wedding Design Service.
This service is recommended for the modern bride who needs a little help with basic wedding planning such as color palette, décor ideas, and flower choices. We will keep the details in mind to ensure that nothing is overlooked on your big day. Not only will you have a chance to talk with our designers about the details of your wedding day but you will also receive a custom inspiration board with a resource list of where you can purchase the items you need.
The Southern Mercantile Wedding Design Service will include help with:
Swatches for Color Palette
Décor ideas for wedding and reception venue
Wedding Party Attire
Check out The Southern Mercantile Weddings page on our website for more information! We can’t wait to help you start planning your perfect wedding day!
We’ve been at it again! In February, The Southern Merc Girls (and posse) were honored to travel to Macon, GA, to decorate and provide florals for the wedding of a very sweet southern couple, Mandy and Caleb. Neither of the couple is from Macon but chose it as a central location for friends and family to gather for the weekend and celebrate their marriage. When asked if we would be willing to come along, we didn’t hesitate to join in on the fun. We loaded up three vehicles with all the necessaries and headed out for a new adventure! Have flowers, will travel!
The theme for the day was definitely classy and traditional with vintage touches. Mandy chose a beautiful, old church in downtown Macon as the site of her evening nuptials. Mulberry Methodist Church is absolutely breathtaking and was the perfect setting for their exchange of vows.
The church is so beautiful, we kept the décor very simple. As guests arrived at the church they were greeted by swags of fresh garland made of salal leaves and variegated pittosporum. Wooden lanterns decorated with fresh swags of their own were placed on either side of the front doors to light the way in. Pews were marked with fresh, mixed southern greenery and white satin bows. Two large arrangements of mixed greenery and white hydrangeas were placed at the front of the church, on either side of the altar where the bride and groom stood.
Flowers for the wedding party and family members continued with the theme of lots of greenery mixed with creamy white O’Hara roses and white hypericum berries. Succulents were used in the bride’s bouquet and the groom’s boutonniere to make them a little more special!
The mothers were given wrist corsages made of white satin ribbon and white spray roses. These types of corsages have become my favorite! They are so pretty and secure nicely to the wrist so they do not move around or get squished while hugging and taking pictures!
The reception was held at Macon Terminal Station, a historic train depot located in downtown Macon. This building was built in 1916 and was the highlight of the weekend for us! What a pleasure to be able to work in such a majestic old structure! While sitting and working I would find myself getting caught up in the history of the place and imagining passengers buying their tickets at the window and waiting on the long, rounded benches.
The appetizer and plate table were decorated with large arrangements of greenery, white hydrangeas and O’Hara roses.
The head table, as well as the long guest tables, were adorned with fresh garland made of salal and variegated pittosporum. A collection of wooden lanterns lined the head table. Each lantern was filled with pinecones and candles and decorated on the tops with greenery and satin bows.
The bride and groom had a special place at the table marked with swags of greenery. The Groom works in forestry so a woodsy theme was slightly and tastefully woven throughout the event. Different sizes of wood slices were used to decorate the round tables and were layered with succulent pots, mercury glass votive holders, and moss.
Dad (Terry) even worked his magic on the cake and adorned it with the flowers of the day.
When the lights were dimmed and the candles were lit, the vast lobby of that old building glowed with happiness and excitement! You may think this is crazy, but I believe that old buildings have feelings, and when shown love and attention, they just shine like diamonds!
The bride was beaming, the families were happy, and a good time was had by all! That’s another wedding in the books for us and one we’ll not quickly forget!
Floral Design by: The Southern Mercantile
Photography by: Sunny Lee
Cake by: Emma Helms
For more information about Macon Terminal Station visit:
In honor of our recent discussion on Wedding Registries, we have decided to do a re-post! If you are in the midst of receiving wedding gifts and not sure how to craft a grateful thank you note--this is the blog for you!
*A helpful hint to keep you extra organized: keep all of your gift tags in an envelope or box and write what the gift was on the back of each one!
Throughout the years I have become quite a little note writer. I have found it to be a good opportunity to show someone how much they mean to you--and believe me, it means a lot to them. There is just something about a handwritten note that time cannot erase. For things as simple as a call, or as big as a Kitchen Aid mixer, thank you notes can have a special way of exhibiting gratitude and love. With my wedding only a few weeks away, you can imagine how busy I have been writing! Thank you notes can have a way of becoming overwhelming, burdensome--and let’s just be honest; a real chore.
**Notice what I have said, “CAN have a special way of exhibiting gratitude and love” and “CAN have a way of becoming overwhelming, burdensome, etc.”
It’s all about attitude! If you are genuinely writing because you are appreciative and care--it will show in your words! If you are well organized, timely and grateful--it won’t become overwhelming! I want to share my tips in honor of the art of the Thank You note.
Purchase an address book, make an excel spreadsheet--do something so that you don’t have to call your mother and ask for your great aunts address for the third time. You’ll be glad you did, and you’ll be able to add to it throughout the years.
Put your stamp on it
Any old stamp will send mail--but you’re trying to send a message! It is such a special touch when the stamp coordinates with the envelope--it shows thoughtfulness and preparation.
If you’re like me, your local post office doesn’t offer a wide selection. Well, the USPS has a nifty website where you can view all available stamps!https://store.usps.com/store/browse/category.jsp?categoryId=buy-stamps&categoryNavIds=buy-stamps
After checking them out and choosing the perfect ones, you can order them, or have your post office do it! It usually takes a week for them to come in.
My personal favorite at the moment:
Pick a pen
Everyone has a favorite pen, pick it up! As long as it is a legible color, you’re A-OK. Choosing your favorite pen as opposed to just any old utensil will make all the difference. My favorite pens and markers:
The search for good stationary
Choosing appropriate stationary is key to make writing and receiving the notes even more fun. Sometimes, I even make my own by printing on a flat card!
Monogrammed, floral, gold foil, postcards, patterned--the possibilities are endless! This is a perfect way to show your creativity and personality. A pretty card is a good way to introduce your pretty words. My personal favorite, Rifle Paper Company, has adorable thank you cards. https://riflepaperco.com/shop/greeting-cards/
You can also shop stationery here at The Southern Mercantile!
Now, for the important part; grab a blanket, turn on some music, set out all your tools and get cozy on the couch.
Before you start writing, I think it is important to reflect on who gave you the gift, your relationship with that person, the thought behind the gift, and how you will use it. Thinking about all of these things are a way of “brainstorming” for your note. You should mention the shower, party or occasion in which you received the gift--and let them know you are glad they were there! Tell what is special about the gift, and if possible, relate the gift to the giver in some way (I try to use a memory). And last but not least, I think it is always a good idea to take the chance to thank them for other things they have done for you throughout your life. If you do these things, your note is sure to stand out from the crowd.
People do not hesitate to give good gifts to those who are grateful.
One of my favorite things about my job is that I have the pleasure of helping our local brides create the perfect registry! We mix and match dishes with flatware until we find the perfect pair, while playing with linens and stemware along the way. It is interesting to see how different everyones tastes are and the selections they make. Not only do I have experience in helping brides register, but I was in their shoes this time last year! I have learned a lot in the past two years regarding wedding registries as well as Southern wedding showers, and I would love to share what I have learned with you!
When to Register
After your engagement, you will want to make sure that you begin the registry process 7-9 months before your wedding date. Why so early? You will want to have your registry in place so that not only wedding guests can take advantage of it, but also shower guests!
Where to Register
When beginning your registry journey, talk about possible registry locations, keeping it simple in choosing three or four. You will want to provide a variety of options for your friends and family, but you don't want to get too carried away. Think about your needs and make sure that the items are available within the locations you have chosen. Here in the South, it is important to choose a location that is easily accessible in person. Although online registries have become more and more popular, you will want to make sure there are brick-and-morter options for the not so “computer savy” crowd. Most small Southern towns are used to purchasing wedding gifts at their local jewlery or retail store. It is important to be considerate of those who will be purchasing the gifts.
How to Register
Although “how to register” sounds a bit silly, there are a few things you will want to take into consideration before you start! With local retail stores, it is usually a good idea to call ahead and make an appointment. This ensures that help will be on hand to answer any of your questions and that they are prepared for your arrival. With large retailers, online or in store, it's pretty simple! An appointment is not necessary since they usually have plenty of help on hand.
What to Register For
When deciding what to list on your registry, you will want to keep a few things in mind. Asking yourself these questions will ensure that you have a registry that is well thought out (and coordinating)! It will also keep you from becoming overwhelmed at all of your options once they are in front of you. One thing I like to tell our brides is to think about what they might want a few years down the road. Although they might not like to bake now—they may in a couple of years! Just keep that in mind and focus on having a nicely stocked kitchen.
We hope you found our thoughts helpful during this exciting time! Just remember that this is suppose to be fun--so have a little! Stay true to you and your style but also keep the future in mind.
Download your own Registry Checklist created by The Southern Merc gang on our Wedding Printables page! It will help you think through your registry even further and ensure that you have everything covered!
As I continue to reflect on our wedding day, there is one more thing I wanted to make sure I shared with you. Although it may seem silly, I believe the details make the wedding. It is easy to just focus on the big picture, but it is the details that make everything so special. Sometimes, it can even be the details that help craft the whole feel and theme of the wedding. It is in the details where guests see your heart and style--along with the careful thought and planning you put into making it your special day. I have flipped through my pictures hundreds of times, and it is these that I keep coming back to. (The details.) Here you will find photographs that capture sweet details from my wedding day that I believe made it so special.
As I believe I have noted before, the invitations make the first impression on your guests! They set the tone and provided a sense of expectation for this wonderful day. In my opinion, invitations should be a priority when planning your wedding. My invitations were custom designed by Letters + Light, a design and photo company (who also were my photographers). This beautiful work of art is now framed and proudly sits on a shelf in our home.
My Nana has grown succulents as far back as I can remember. The deep grays of their fleshy leaves fit right into my color scheme and I just had to incorporate them! We were able to sneak them into my bouquet as well as Phillip's boutonniere. As you will see below, we also decided to give succulents as our wedding favors! As a plus, they helped to dress up each place setting a bit!
A friend of ours is a collector of china--as I know I have mentioned before! The mis-matched patterns danced along the tables, only complementing the floral arrangements and wooden runners.
How beautiful are these whimsical wreaths? I couldn't have imagined anything more perfect to greet our guests.
This stunning window decor only highlighted the perfection of the church. Because we kept it simple inside, the front windows became the focal point. They beautifully framed us as we stood to say our vows.
Rather than having a ring bearer pillow, we decided to use this vintage card box. My husband loves duck hunting, and I though this would be a sweet and simple nod to him. Aunt Janet made the adorable little pillows to insert into each compartment for our rings to be attached to!
My niece Cadence was our sassy little flower girl. I definitely wanted her to wear flowers in her hair, because after all, how many times in your life do you get to wear flowers in your hair?! Since she had flowers in her hair, I didn't see the need for her to carry flowers. Here at The Southern Mercantile, we sell a variety of Maileg Bunnies. This bride bunny made the perfect flower girl gift as well as a beautiful accompaniment as she walked down the isle.
This precious detail is our sweet boykin spaniel, Breeze. To some, this picture and/or having her there may seem silly, but Breeze came along the same time Phillip did. She was the cutest little thing and sometimes I jokingly say that she is the reason we started dating. As mine and Phillip's relationship progressed, so did my love for his little dog. He began working out of town during the week and asked if I would be up for keeping her. Of course my answer was yes, so our bonding continued. After becoming engaged, I found myself quite lonely during the week with Phillip being gone. Luckily, I had Breezy Girl by my side! She has added so much fun, love, and interest to our little family. I was so proud to have her there and I am so excited to have this beautiful family portrait! The sweet thought is that this is just the beginning of our family. This could possibly be my favorite picture and detail from that day.
I hope you have enjoyed getting a glimpse of our wedding day through these posts. I hope you, or someone you show, will find inspiration in these words and guidance for the planning process. Feel free to pin your favorite images to share with the world! It has been so fun to relive this day from different angles. If you missed any of my previous posts, please take a look!
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Choosing the Perfect Venue for your Wedding
Choosing your Wedding Colors
Choosing the Menu for your Wedding Reception
Choosing the food to serve at your wedding reception can seem intimidating, due to the endless choices available to you. When this part of the planning is viewed as an opportunity to showcase your own style and taste, it can and should be fun! There are many factors that play into this big decision--so lets break it down.
Before much thought should be put into your menu, you will want to nail down a firm budget. (You don't want to get crazy!) The reception venue and food usually equals around 50% of your wedding budget, so it should be considered carefully. A major factor to keep in mind is your guest list. Obviously the number of guests attending will be important when you are paying per-plate! If you're working with a slim budget--get creative! There are tons of resources (Pinterest) out there to get your creative juices flowing!
When choosing a theme for your menu, consider the season you have chosen to be married. What fresh fruits and vegetables are available? What are your favorite things to eat during that time of year? What types of food does your caterer prefer preparing in that season?
The theme of your wedding can very well be incorporated into the food. Think about the aesthetic you want your reception to have and the environment you want to create. You will really need to consider the serving style--Sit down? Buffet? Your choice of menu will greatly determine your serving style-- but you will want to consider both when making your selection.
Choice of Caterer
In order to be pleased with your results, you will want to get started early when choosing a caterer. If your wedding will be local, usually there is no trouble finding someone you trust due to experience and word of mouth. If you are having a destination wedding, it can be a little more difficult to find a caterer. It is helpful to check with your venue to see if they have any suggested caterers (some even have a list of vendors you HAVE to choose from). Even ask the locals you come into contact with--sometimes they give the most valuable information!
It just makes sense to serve a menu of items that you love at your wedding. Keep that in mind while making your selections, but also think about what your guests as a whole will like. It is important that the food adds to your theme and helps to create an enjoyable and memorable time.
Phillip and I chose to be married at 11:00 a.m. on a cool spring morning. Our wedding had a rustic and natural feel--nothing too fancy. We wanted to serve comfort food that everyone would love, so we went with a delicious breakfast menu. Because we wanted our reception to be a relaxed environment, we chose to have the food served buffet style with a few different stations.
We kept in mind that there would be a large number of kids attending, so we made sure to have options they'd love. When it came to choosing a caterer for the occasion, we asked around for recommendations. This proved to be our most useful resource and we decided to go with J.T. Jeffords Catering. They have had much experience doing weddings and we heard nothing but good things about their food. When it came to nailing down our menu, I had a few ideas, but we asked the caterer what items he thought would work best. He told us that he makes a phenomenal breakfast casserole with jalapenos--and I knew we had to have it! (Phillip LOVES jalapenos.)
The other menu items that were chosen included regular breakfast casserole, grits, french toast casserole, hash brown casserole, fruit salad, yogurt parfaits, and a biscuit bar complete with baked ham and delicious jams. Everyone loved the food and had a wonderful time celebrating together. Choosing the menu was one of the most exciting parts of the planning process because we chose things we loved as well as things that others would enjoy too.
A few weeks ago, Tara, Jorjanne and I had the pleasure of decorating one of our local country churches for a very sweet summer wedding. Our client was an adorable southern gal whose mother grew up here in Irwin County. Her grandparents and various other family members still live here so it made perfect sense for her to have the wedding at her family’s home church. The reception was hosted just down the road at her family’s farm. The intimate ceremony began at 10:30 in the morning, which was perfect to avoid the afternoon August heat.
The colors she chose were shades of blush and cream accompanied by lots of natural greenery. To dress up the church a little and to change things up a bit, the girls and I adorned the porch with lots of natural, southern greenery cut from the yard and a mix of roses and hydrangeas. What a wonderful way to welcome guests and set the tone for the day! I won’t go in to the process we went through of figuring out how to rig those up but I will say that no damage was done to the building and most importantly…. zip ties are amazing!
As guests entered the church they were greeted by another swag of greenery, roses and hydrangeas over the doorway into the sanctuary. This really brightened up the small entry way and framed the picturesque scene in the most perfect way.
The bride’s fiancé built a beautiful cross that they would stand in front of to be married. We dressed up the cross just a little with greenery and hydrangeas. Two urns were placed on each side and were filled with the flowers of the day. Pew markers were kept very simple with just natural greenery and blush satin ribbon.
The bouquets and boutonnieres were a mix of blush roses, greenery and astilbe. The corsages for the mothers and grandmothers were kept very simply with roses and satin ribbon. Honorary bridesmaids wore wrap around wrist corsages, similar to one that we found on Pinterest.
Weddings don’t have to be huge and fancy to be beautiful. This simple country wedding couldn’t have turned out prettier, and it perfectly complimented the theme of the day: the sweet commitment made between the bride and groom. Don’t be afraid to let your wedding décor reflect the scenery around you. What could have been more appropriate than using things that grow naturally here like camellia leaves, pitosporum, ivy, fern and hydrangeas? When thinking about your church décor, don’t get stuck in the traditional box when it comes to your arrangements, pew markers and bouquets. Let your flowers speak to your personality and help set the tone that you want for your special day!
Once you've nailed down your venue, let the fun begin! Colors are sometimes the first thought when it comes to planning a wedding. It is easy to visualize your favorite colors and flowers surrounding you on your special day. But, the reality of making those choices can greatly depend on season and budget. Here are a few important things to ponder when choosing wedding colors that I realized along the way:
1. 'Tis the Season
When it comes to choosing the color palette for your wedding, you will definitely want to consider the season. If you have your heart set on using yellow, you may not want to plan for a Winter wedding. The same goes for maroon--this color is typically more fitting for Fall/Winter rather than Spring. Think about the message a color sends before you choose it blindly.
I browsed Pinterest (you can follow The Southern Mercantile on Pinterest) to find a variety of color combinations I thought were fitting to specific seasons. Take a minute to quiz yourself on which seasons you think these color combinations belong in!
2. Venue Style and Atmosphere
For me, the church walls were enough to inspire my color palette and guide me in the right direction. Take note of what is surrounding you at the venue and how you can use those colors and patterns to your advantage. It helps create a more cohesive look when your decorations do not seem out of place.
3. Favorite Flowers
As you may very well know, flowers range in price due to the season, the variety, and who you are ordering from. If you are on a strict budget, it's best to be flexible on the varieties used. Don't be disappointed if you can't use all of your favorite flowers (they may be double or even triple in price). Try to pick one or two favorites that you just love, and fill in the rest with more affordable varieties that fall into your color palette. Like all good wedding planners--you should do your research to compare prices as well as availability. We like to use the help of Cut Flower Wholesale's website when doing our research--comparing varieties and when each are in season.
*Take note that if you are planning your big day around a holiday like Valentine's Day or Mother's Day, you should be prepared to pay more than usual for your flowers.
4. Complimentary Colors
Another thing to think about is what your wedding party will look like dressed in your colors--hair color and skin tones can make or break a look! Your wedding party will be grateful for choosing something that looks good on them, not just on your tables. Doesn't my Nana look wonderful in mauve?
5. The Big Picture
I tend to go for the softer, more romantic colors when it comes to weddings. That's not to say you shouldn't use bright and bold colors--you just need to be aware of what it will look like when it all comes together, rather than viewing each color individually. Think of the big picture and the feel you want your wedding to give.
6. A Story to be Told
Whatever color palette you choose, you will want to use it throughout all aspects of the wedding--your invitations, your dress, your venue, wedding party attire, table settings, linen colors, flower choices etc. In the end it will tell a beautiful, and well thought out story.
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