This beautiful Southern wedding is full of lush peonies, classic details, and an incredibly romantic story about the venue: “We chose to have our reception at the Pine House because it is a historic family home to the both of us. Bettis’ family first owned the house in 1858 until my family acquired the house during the Depression. Bettis and I had never met until my debut in 2008, but our families knew each other for years. His father wrote a special book about the history of the Pine House and we had them as favors for all of our guests. We couldn’t think of a better place to start our lives together.”
“I have always loved peonies, garden roses, and hydrangeas – my grandmother is a master gardener and she spoiled me with a fine taste in flowers at a very young age,” says Melissa. “A favorite part of the evening was walking outside and being overwhelmed with the scent of peonies. I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a wedding where you could truly smell the flowers. It was incredible. Scent triggers the memory before any other sense – and I love that every time I smell a peony, my wedding day comes to mind.”
The emblem on the cover of the ceremony programs also appeared on the wedding cake.
When thinking about the details of the day, Melissa says, “I knew that I wanted something soft, blush, elegant and romantic. Something traditional, timeless, and Southern – something that I believe would reflect myself.”
In addition to tall arrangements, chandeliers were decorated with hydrangea, peonies, and foliage.
Says the bride, “The private dinner was one of my favorite elements of the day. We used our own china, silver and crystal that we received as wedding gifts and my grandmother’s beautiful vintage French lace tablecloth. It was our first dinner together in our new home and something that we will always cherish.”
SEE THE FULL GALLERY FOR MORE DETAILS FROM THIS PEONY-THEMED WEDDING.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? Walking down the stairs to see my groom-to-be. Walking into the house, through the peony arbor around the front door, awaiting a peach Bellini, and seeing everything come together so beautifully was truly a dream come true.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? I think our entire wedding entrapped southern tradition, elegance and beauty as a whole. I like to think we took both of our families’ traditions and culture into account as we planned our big day.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The best advice I received as a bride would be to take a minute to stop and look at everything – to step away from the crowd and take it all in. I was truly able to see and remember how magnificent and beautiful everything was.
What advice do you have for other brides? My advice for other brides would be to not get wrapped up in all of the little details. Once the big stuff has been decided, have fun with everything else -and if something happens how you may not have expected or preferred – oh well! Having a wedding planner was the best thing I could have ever done – it took away so much of the unnecessary stress so that I could enjoy everything to the fullest. Enjoy being a bride. Wear sequins and a tutu because you can! I did!
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day? I loved how all of the bridesmaids came over to the house the morning of the wedding to get ready. I spent the night with my maid of honor the night before my wedding day in my own bed at my new home. That day we all talked, laughed, drank a mimosa, had breakfast and lunch together, and got our hair and makeup done at the house. We were just hanging out and it made me so relaxed to have everyone there with me having fun. It was truly special to wake up and see everything come together right in front of my eyes in my own backyard. It is something I will always remember. The final product was unforgettable and absolutely breathtaking. My dream come true.