This October we had the chance to provide the wedding flowers for a sweet friend of ours for her Boho inspired fall wedding. This wedding was extra special for us as the bride, Mary Beth, is Tara's sister-in-law!
Mary Beth had a vision for a bohemian inspired wedding and we jumped at the chance to help make it happen! The fall color pallet she chose was so inspiring and a dream to work with.
It was important to her to incorporate feathers throughout. Her bouquet was stunning with pheasant feathers, mixed roses, safari sunset, dahlias, mixed greenery and zebra grass plumes.
Mary Beth's daughter, Paisley, was to be the flower girl. We created a very special flower crown for her her, complete with sweet, tiny feathers. Instead of petals, her basket was filled with feathers that filled the air as she tossed them down the isle.
The mothers and grandmothers all received very special flower bracelets in lieu of traditional corsages.
Each boutonniere was carefully made with small colorful feathers and eucalyptus. The groom's boot was set apart by adding a small dahlia to match the bride's bouquet.
Pampas grass plums and an old wooden cross set the scene at the altar. The cross was thoughtfully decorated with the flowers of the day. The plumes held their own as we battled the wind and afternoon rains! By the time the ceremony started you would never have known the elements had been a challenge.
Mary Beth and J.D. were a stunning couple. The wedding and reception were hosted in a secluded hay field which made for a beautiful, southern back drop.
The bridesmaids carried bouquets of roses, dahlias, safari sunset and mixed greenery to match the bride.
The reception was kept simple with fresh eucalyptus bundles atop wooden farmhouse tables. Gold candelabras, votive holders, and Edison bulb lanterns were used to create a beautiful ambiance under the tent. We used trees under the tent to create a beautiful canopy full of tiny twinkle lights.
It was truly a night to remember and we were honored to play our small part. It is always so exciting to get to be a part of a unique event where we get to be so creative. We wish Mary Beth and J.D. a very happy life together!
If you are planning a wedding of your own and need a little inspiration, check out our pinterest board, "Southern Weddings". It is full of great ideas for everything from your bridal party to the wedding cake!
I've been making flower crowns for years. Most of my practice came from our wedding business, for all of the sweet little flower girls. You won't be surprised by the fact that my Dad, Terry, taught me how to make these beautiful creations. For the last year I have been making flower crowns and head pieces out of silk flowers to sell in our online store and in our Etsy shop. It has been such a joy to send these pieces all over the country (and even Australia) to be used for weddings, graduation pictures, and even a Halloween costume! Last summer I got to make a very special head piece for our sweet Katelyn to wear on her wedding day!
I realized that some of you crafty Southern Merc followers might be interested in making your own flower crowns for your wedding or for special photos so I decided to share my crown making tips with you.
I started with a floral bush (several different kinds of flowers and greenery all on one stem) but you can start with whatever kinds of flowers you like.
If you prefer a more floral look you can gather whatever stems suit your fancy.
You will need a piece or two of wire, wire snips, and floral tape. For a full flower crown, it takes two pieces of wire, for a head piece, just one. For a head piece, just cut your wire to the size of the piece that you want. Your fist step will be to dismantle your stems. Even if you are using single stems and not a mixed bunch like this one, you will still need to trim each one shorter and separate the leaves from the flowers. I also go ahead and group all of my like pieces together in little piles.
To get started, I wrap my wires together with the floral tape, totally covering them. I then fold each end around my finger to create a loop, and tape it to itself. This will be where you attach your ribbon at the end.
You are going to work from one end to the next, attaching small pieces of greenery and flowers, taping as you go. If you have never worked with floral tape, you will want to practice first on an extra piece of wire. This tape has to be pulled and stretched a little as you work or it won't stick to itself. I usually start with greenery. I choose something spriggy that will lay down over my loop and hide it.
You can see in this picture how I start to layer up the different pieces.
I start to develop a little pattern with my greenery so the crown turns out even. I don't worry as much about evenly spacing the flowers, or in this case succulents.
I only had three succulents to work with so I chose to put two and on side and one on the other. I didn't put one in the middle because it was sticking out a little funny.
Just keep working at it.
When I get to the end, I sometimes end up with an awkward spot that is hard to tape so I break out the hot glue gun. Just choose a pretty piece to finish it off and glue it to the crown, tucking the stem under the other greenery and flowers.
Lastly, you'll add your ribbon. I just tie it in a small, tight knot. I leave the tails long so they can be adjusted. Better to trim after you have fixed your hair then to have ribbons that are too short!
I hope this inspires you to try this yourself! If your first one is ugly, don't be discouraged. You just have to give your hands some practice with the tape and figure out what flowers and greenery work best for the crown you are making.
If you are not up for the challenge but would love to have a flower crown or head piece at your wedding or in family photos, don't worry, we've got you covered! You can check out a few of these beauties that we have listed in the store!
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.