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