Backyard Georgia Wedding by Ashah Photography

At Southern Weddings, we believe that there is nothing more important than family, and from Jaci and Jeremey's interview, it's easy to tell that they feel the same way. They held their reception at Jaci's aunt's antebellum home in a small town steeped in Southern tradition and history--the perfect backdrop for the family-focused wedding Jaci and Jeremey dreamed of. As Jaci said, "We intend our marriage to stand the test of time, and the community of Linton provided a great model for that." We love the way their relationship inspired their wedding, and in turn, their wedding is continuing to inspire their marriage!

Thank you kindly to Ashah Photography for sharing this sweet day with us!

I originally found my wedding dress on a trip to Raleigh, North Carolina with my sister. It was the very first dress I tried on. Even though we both knew we had found "the" dress, there was no way we could make that decision without our mother present. We swore the ladies at Traditions by Anna to secrecy and planned a follow-up appointment for a month later, complete with my mother, sister, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law in tow. We went to several other dress shops that day to create an "experience," but the whole time, I was so anxious to see my dress at the end of the day! When we arrived at Traditions by Anna, the new attendant--reading the notes from the previous visit--almost gave us away, but luckily, my sister pulled her aside to fill her in just in time. Although it wasn't a surprise to my sister and I, there were still tears to go around when my mother saw me for the first time. It wasn't until after the wedding that we let my favorite ladies in on the secret that most of that wonderful day was staged!!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? The tiny community of Linton is reminiscent of all that is good about the South--everybody knows everybody, and everyone keeps in touch with community "get-togethers," like the annual cane syrup-making festival. The house where we got married is an antebellum home where I have several fond memories of family gatherings and beautiful shower-teas for the nieces in the family. The house and tiny chapel both have great history dating back to the Civil War, and my aunt's house, which she has restored to perfection, provided the perfect backdrop for the reception. We intend our marriage to stand the test of time, and the community of Linton provided a great model for that.

Having everything so close together created such a charming Southern scene. We literally walked across the street from the little chapel into the backyard of the house, where we had a magnificent tent set up for the reception, surrounded by old pecan trees. Since the home is owned by our family, both of our families were able to be together during the week leading up to the wedding, which made the wedding seem to last a lot longer. It was extremely touching to have neighbors and friends stop by throughout the time leading up to the wedding to lend a hand and check up on our progress. When it was all said and done, it was truly a community event!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We wanted our wedding to exude tradition and history and look a little like a hunt scene--masculine with the deep rich browns, pheasant feathers, and magnificence of the Antebellum home and towering old trees, combined with the elegance and romance of lace, magnolias, cursive monograms, and fine china. We also wanted everyone who attended to feel like they were witnessing true love and experiencing family at its finest. We chose to serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal--a meal that always makes everyone feel like family--complete with my mother-in-law's special dressing recipe!

My sister surprised us with a fireworks show. The night was perfect with all the music, dancing, and happy guests, but when the DJ told everyone to walk out to the field behind the tent to see the fireworks show, I couldn't believe how magical that moment felt. Standing there, arm in arm with my husband, looking up at the beautiful fireworks, surrounded by so many people that loved us was a moment I will never ever forget.

How did y'all meet? Tell us your love story. Every year, my family tries to meet up in Charleston for the Cooper River Bridge Run. While I was running the race three years ago, I looked up to see a very handsome fellow running alongside me. He kept a good pace, and by the race's end, I figured he was someone I wouldn't mind running alongside for the rest of my life. We continued to get to know each other (I was in Augusta, Georgia and he was in Charleston while we were both finishing up Master's Degrees) and we had our first "official" date at the Columbia Riverbanks Zoo--a halfway point between us. Tell us all about the proposal! Jeremey proposed at Christmas. My family has a funny tradition of wearing adult onesies every Christmas Eve. Since everyone says Jeremey heavily resembles Clark Kent, Jeremey was wearing a Superman onesie--cape and all! When Jeremey got down on one knee in front of the Christmas tree, I just had to say yes to my very own Superman!

When did y'all get married? October 19, 2013--my grandparents' wedding anniversary.

How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 165

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. My cousin sang a song from the TV show Nashville, "When the Right One Comes Along," just before I walked down the aisle with my daddy. Jeremey and I danced our first married dance to Ray Lamontagne's "Hold You in My Arms." I danced with my daddy to "Georgia on My Mind" by Ray Charles, and Jeremey danced with his mother to "Like Red on a Rose" by Alan Jackson. Our last dance before we left to rows of sparklers in the night was to "Half Moon" by Blind Pilot--a band we discovered on one of our first dates.

Describe your wedding flowers. I carried soft pink peonies and light pink bud roses. The lining of my dress had a soft petal pink color to it, so the hint of pink in my flowers accented it nicely. The men wore sprigs of berries with pheasant feathers, and we used pheasant feathers and magnolia leaves throughout the floral decor.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Jeremey and I were both living and working in Nashville while planning our wedding. We had to do a great deal of traveling back and forth to Georgia. Thank goodness for Seaport Airlines and their budget-friendly flights!

If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Our venue was a family-owned home, which saved us a great deal of money, and we did a lot of the work on the grounds ourselves. We made our own sangrias and didn't get alcohol through the catering vendor-- just a server.

What's next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Jeremey surprised me after our wedding with a short honeymoon to Lake Santeetlah, North Carolina. My grandparents went there on their honeymoon years ago. We had found my grandmother's scrapbook of their honeymoon prior to the wedding, and Jeremey thought that it would be fun to carry on the tradition and follow in the footsteps of a couple who shared a great legacy of love. We are now living in Nashville and love all that "Music City" has to offer!

Photographer: Ashah Photography / Venue: Private residence / Florist: Wiles Florist / Wedding Cake: Publix / Caterer: Neil Pitman Catering / Rentals and Lighting: Goodwin Event Rentals / DJ: DJ Barry / Monograms: Jamie Givens Snider / Bridal Salon and Veil: Traditions by Anna / Paper Products: Paperbuzz / Hair Stylist: Shane at Serenity Spa / Groom's Attire: Brooks Brothers

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