An Outdoor Southern Wedding: Caitlin + Steven

bride and groom

Caitlin + Steven both wanted a traditional vintage feel for their wedding, while still incorporating original ideas and some new creativity. Being outdoors was also very important to them – particularly for the ceremony. They actually created a space outdoors that had a resemblance to an outdoor church which was super important to them. They created their “outdoor church” by adding the brilliant blue doors for the entry which each guest was escorted through to find their seat. In lieu of a traditional altar they found a gray mantel at a thrift store and immediately knew it would be the perfect addition for their ceremony space. Such a gorgeous couple + wedding! Thanks so much Jodi Miller Photography for the stunning photos!

sweetheart wedding dress

floral wedding invite

ceremony door entrance

mantle ceremony decor

Most memorable moment of your wedding day?

Steven: Watching Caitlin come down the aisle was one of my favorite moments, especially because we had waited all day to see each other until that moment. Stuffing my face with fresh donuts, and dancing all night long was another highlight as well as seeing our friends and family smile and come together in one place.

Caitlin: My absolute favorite moment of the wedding was during the ceremony. Since my dad is a reverend, there was no one else that I would rather have marry me off to my love, but due to the fact that my officiant will be walking me down the aisle, the question arose as to who will give me away. To my surprise, the morning of the wedding my dad had corralled all of my family members and asked them to help. So when the time came for him to ask, “who presents this woman,” one at a time all of my family individually stood up and said, “I do.” My aunts and uncles, my brother and sister, my mom, and yes even my dad. The love and support for the uniting of Steven and I filled the space as I turned around and watched the people I love stand up and say “I do,” Nothing will top that moment.

outdoor ceremony

outdoor ceremony

Tell us a bit about your music!
Processional: Eddie Vedder – “Rise” (the piano version)
Recessional: Her Space Holiday – “Sleepy Tigers”
First Dance: Beach Boys – “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”

bridal party

bridesmaids in pink

white bouquet

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride in fur wrap

mr and mrs chair signs

For the reception, our goal was to create an intimate environment with personal touches all while keeping the comfort of our guests in mind. But being the bride, and lover of all things pretty, I knew from the moment we got engaged that I wanted everything to be soft glowy, and beautiful, but very special. So I started collecting vintage china for each person. By the week of the wedding I had enough for every person to have a dinner plate, salad plate, and two cake plates. Each one was different and each one had a floral theme because I absolutely love flowers. It was a lot of work to collect so many, but so worth it!

vintage tablescape

vintage tablescape

fork escort cards

keep warm shawls

mint green cake

hanging lantern lights

Besides my love for flowers, I also have a love of lights, so I knew I was going to incorporate thousands of lights, light strands, candles, tea lights, sparkle, and especially lanterns, they were to be placed on tables, strung on rafters, and hung from the ceiling. Lights and flowers everywhere! 

We also wanted to keep our guests constantly entertained, which is when our favorite personal touch came in when we surprised our guests with Carpe Donut who served hot fresh apple cider donuts and apple cider from his cozy styled cart. I believe that everyone had little sugar crystals on their lips at one point from all the donuts they had eaten, they were so delicious!

donut truck

happily ever after sign

flag wedding exit

Any advice for those planning now?
Start early! We were so surprised to see how many people have booked contracts with vendors so far in advanced, whether it be catering, locations, bands, you name it! So if you know you want something at your wedding, book it fast. Also, if you know of someone who is willing to help you plan your wedding go ahead and make it a team effort. It’s hard to do all of the work alone, I don’t know what Steven and I would have done without Cait helping us. She was our confidant throughout the entire process. Another great tip is to set realistic goals and deadlines. You will come up with so many great ideas that you want to incorporate into your special day, but remember to be considerate about time and budget, for they may not all be feasible. With that said, I feel like the most valuable tip I can give to brides and grooms planning their wedding is to follow through with your ideas that will work with your timeline and budget, even if they seem too difficult, it will pay off in the end. Your ideas are what make your wedding, your wedding.

photography: Jodi Miller Photography // venue: Ash Lawn-Highland in Charlottesville, Virginia // floral design: Designs by Ron // wedding dress: Christos, “Primrose” // hairpiece and belts wore by bridesmaids: Mignonne Handmade // shoes: Kate Spade // bridesmaid dresses: H&M // groom suit:  Jos. A Banks // groom’s ties: Topman // invitations + paper goods: Cait McDonough and the bride // catering: Simply Delicious // cake: Albermarle Baking Co. // music:  The VIP’s // donuts: Carpe Donuts

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  1. Gorgeous… so adorable. I love the doors at the ceremony! Beautiful bride, love all of the girls hair. And I adore the music choices!

  2. Absolutely stunning! This is a model wedding for all brides and vendors looking for that classic/vintage-chic/whimsical look. I love the scarves for the guests, the donut trailer, the vintage plates -all of it.
    This fall-off-your-chair gorgeous. Excellent job!

  3. This wedding is gorgeous!! I love her dress – so delicate. And the photos are beautiful!

  4. Is there anything more lovely than vintage heirloom romance? I’m swooning over those peachy, rosy, blush tones… like fresh-picked spring after the winter thaw. And how beautiful is that dress when the light catches the sheer layers, silhouetting those delicate rosette appliques? Lovely, romantic, beautiful…

  5. And the farewell dress… head-over-heels swoon-worthy!

  6. Beautifully done! Just adore the doors and the hanging lanterns. <3!

  7. Seriously beautiful wedding! I love everything :) You are so talented Jodi Miller Photography.

  8. What a lovely bride! All the colors the couple picked and details are just gorgeous.

  9. love the headpiece! both gowns are gorgeous too!

  10. Hi Caitlin – your wedding was absolutely gorgeous! I’m planning a wedding at Ash Lawn in the not too distant future and would love the opportunity to ask you some questions about how you pulled off such a beautiful reception!

  11. Love the dresses, love the pale colors and the table setting! Pretty!

  12. That bride and groom shot is just perfect! LOVE everything about this wedding.

  13. beautifulllllll wedding.. amazing !!!

  14. So lovely! I love how they used a fireplace mantel as a decoration!! Such a unique touch.

  15. The farewell dress is so lovely! I wish I could have one as my wedding dress. Is it vintage?

  16. Can you tell me who makes those darling bridesmaid shoes?

  17. I LOVE everything!!!! The hair and makeup, the colors, the landscape, the “outdoor church” the flowers and the photography!! If only I could get married again! I would want a total repeat of this one!

  18. What an amazing wedding, every single detail is perfection. Such a gorgeous couple, and great photography.

  19. Really lovely, all the personalized details i love the invitations and outdoor decor.

  20. Hey Guys! I’m the bride and wanted to say thank you for such lovely comments! I also wanted to answer some of your questions. One is about the bridesmaids shoes, I actually bought those from Anthropologie, but the brand was Miss Albright’s and the style was called Nelumbo kitten heels, so you may have some luck searching for them under these names.
    As for the farewell dress isn’t vintage, which is lucky so that you can wear it for your wedding day! It is a Tracy Reese from the Holiday 2011 collection. Its name is the Dolman Frock.
    I hope that helps everyone out and once again thank you for such sweet words

    • Love the invitations. Is there any chance the design template would be offered for sale? Its gorgeous! The whole wedding is gorgeous!

    • Hi Caitlin,
      Your wedding photos really struck a chord with my daughter who is in the early stages of planning a wedding. She adored your wedding dress and was wondering who the designer was.

      • Thank you so much for your kind words! I fell in love with my dress right away, the pictures don’t even do it justice! The name of it is “Primrose” by the designer Christos. It really is something special <3

    • Caitlin,
      Your wedding was nothing short of show stopping! I am getting married at Ashlawn this fall and am wondering what vendor you used for all your lantern lighting? Thank You!

      • Hi Sarah!
        Congratulations on your engagement! That is very exciting! About the lanterns, I actually collected all of them myself the summer before we got married and had Steven and my Dad hang them up from the ceiling with jewelry wire. We really did most of the wedding decorations ourselves and sometimes when I see a pretty china set I still think for a split second, “oh I need these for the wedding,” = ) Hope that helps you Sarah, And best wishes!

  21. The bride looks like a princess! And that headband is adorable!

  22. Love this! The colors, the flowers… wow!


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