Intimate and beautiful, Liz and Jordan’s wedding day took place in Liz’s parents’ backyard!
These two placed a premium on keeping things intimate, starting with their ceremonies. The first was held at Liz’s childhood church. Explained our sweet bride, “Jordan and I were both intimidated by a large wedding and saying our vows in front of a big crowd, so when we got married on April 28, 2018, we first were married in a small Catholic mass in the church I grew up in as a little girl.” The decision turned out to be an amazing one, since they were then able to relax and enjoy exchanging vows before more loved ones outdoors at Liz’s parents’ later in the day.
When searching for her wedding dress, Liz knew she wanted a gown like her grandmother’s and mother’s, with long lace sleeves and a swishy A-line skirt. She found it at the Bridal Boutique of Lewisville in her customized Magnolia gown!
How did your sweetie propose?
“Jordan proposed to me in his home state – Georgia – at his favorite spot in Piedmont Park in Atlanta overlooking the lake. We were coming to Atlanta to celebrate his 30th birthday with a big party the next day with all of his friends so I was surprised by how anxious he seemed the entire morning of the proposal. He insisted we walk through the park to meet up with some friends for drinks and completely surprised me halfway through the walk. There was a secret photographer and the best part was that he planned a dinner afterward with both of our parents to celebrate!”
How did you choose your gown?
“I knew I wanted a gown like my mother and grandmother’s. They both had lace sleeves and A-line gowns. I felt their dresses were timeless. While an 8-month engagement seemed like a long time to me, apparently I needed to secure the dress fairly quickly so I was a bit “on the clock” when my mother, mother-in-law to be, and sisters flew in from South Carolina, California, and Georgia to Texas to help me find the dress. I knew I wanted a lace top with sleeves and a very open neckline with a silk or satin bottom. Luckily my family was very patient as we went to multiple shops—our last stop was the Bridal Boutique of Lewisville in Lewisville, TX. Amy was an incredible consultant. She knew exactly what I was looking for and when she showed me the Magnolia gown by Lea-Ann Belter, I knew it was definitely the right feel—the skirt was perfect and the neckline was unique and felt just like me. Amy was able to help me envision what it would look like to have the sleeves custom built and to do a lace back with buttons. I was anxious for how it might all turn out when she told me it would be sent away to Canada, but her confidence and my family’s assurance really helped! When the dress came in, I knew I made the right decision before even putting it on. To know that it is truly one of a kind makes me feel very grateful. On my wedding day, I definitely felt like the dress paid homage to my mother on her wedding day—her wedding dress was amazing and my parents have been happily married for over 35 years so it felt like a good sign.”
Tell us about your day! Did you have a theme or style in mind?
“My parents have a beautiful home with a garden in the backyard that leads to an old grotto. Our home in Aiken, SC is located on dirt roads in the historic horse district in Aiken—so the scenery is pretty beautiful on its own. I wanted the wedding to feel elegant but not overdone. When I spoke with our florist and wedding designer/planner, Karin Jeffcoat, she described the theme back to me as “a Tuscany garden wedding” and I think she made it feel just like that. We used only white flowers and lots of natural greenery. The tables were simple with grey table cloths and lots of gold—silverware, plates, and candlesticks. There were gorgeous antique chandeliers hanging from the white tent located just a few feet away from the ceremony.
Maybe I should back up a little — we were actually married twice! Jordan and I were both intimidated by a large wedding and saying our vows in front of a big crowd, so when we got married on April 28, 2018, we first were married in a small Catholic mass in the church I grew up in as a little girl. Since Jordan and I are both Catholic, it was a truly special and sacred ceremony with only our immediate family present (about 20 people). After we were married, we were able to sneak away for lots of pictures in our favorite places in Aiken and at my house. I was able to rejoin my sisters and mom to get ready for the bigger wedding in the evening back at my house on my parents’ back porch overlooking all the preparation and Jordan joined his groomsmen and ushers at an amazing hotel in downtown Aiken, The Willcox Inn.
We were married at 6pm in my backyard by my uncle (an ordained minister) with a larger crowd of family and friends (~80 people). It was an amazing ceremony because, unlike the church ceremony in the morning, we were able to make the outdoor ceremony very unique and ours. We played our favorite music to walk down the aisle to and had my brothers read passages that carried special meaning to us. We wrote our own vows for the outdoor ceremony, too—which we both look back on as one of the best decisions we made regarding the wedding. After the ceremony, guests had lavender champagne cocktails and lots of southern-inspired hors d’oeuvres by our pool, like candied bacon with pimento cheese! Jordan and I came in to our favorite song and were very excited to pull off our first dance—we practiced a ton! The night was truly magical—it was a beautiful spring evening in South Carolina (75 degrees!) and since my parents are interior designers with their own design and furniture store, they were able to work with Karin to create cool lounge areas outside the tent with views looking in! The band was perfect for the overall vibe of our wedding—Brooks Dixon Band was low-key and their acoustic folk-rock feel made us and all the guests feel like we were at an intimate private concert. We had fun dancing, eating incredible food and tons of cake (we had a cake bar with 10 unique flavors!). We ended the night with a lavender toss send off and I remember looking at Jordan and thinking there couldn’t have been a more perfect day in my life.”
What’s your funniest wedding day memory?
“Jordan desperately wanted the photographer to take a picture by this white fence about a quarter of a mile from my house at sunset. It was a “very Jordan moment” because he’s the most sentimental man in the world (something I love about him). He said he had been eyeing the spot ever since his first trip to Aiken when he met my parents. Not to disappoint him, we insisted the photographer and videographer help us sneak away from the reception to get a pic at sunset.” What was your favorite wedding day moment?
“For me, listening to Jordan say his vows at the outdoor ceremony was the most amazing moment—he was tearful and you could tell he put a lot of love and thought into every word. Jordan said his favorite moments were taking communion together as a married couple for the first time during our wedding mass, seeing me walk down the aisle with my father, and dancing our last dance with all our family and friends singing along with the band.”
Describe your wedding day in 5 words or less:
“Intimate, classy, magical, us.”
What was your something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue?
“Something old and something new: my mom had a pearl bracelet made for me on my wedding day (why I count it as new and old!) that was truly amazing—it was made of pearls that my grandmother gave me as a baby and pearls that my father gave my mother. My sister was given one too for her wedding and I loved that my mother had them made uniquely for us (mine with gold clasps, my sister’s with silver). Something borrowed: my mother-in-law let me borrow a beautiful gold and pearl bracelet that Jordan’s father gave her as a gift. Something blue: my cousin had a handkerchief from my great-grandmother embroidered with my new initials in blue that I wore under my dress.”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“Jordan planned an incredible honeymoon for us through the Pacific Northwest. We both love being outdoors and hiking and while we both like the beach, we wanted to do something a little more unique for our honeymoon so we spent 12 days traveling from Oregon to Canada. We started on the Oregon coast at Cannon Beach then spent some time in Portland before going to Seattle and Snoqualmie Valley. We hiked almost everyday the most beautiful trails overlooking gorgeous vistas. We have laughed about how important the hiking was given how much we ate everywhere we went. We are big foodies and since I have celiac disease it was awesome to find so many delicious gluten-free bakeries and restaurants everywhere we went. We ended the trip in Vancouver exploring the city and seeing an MLS soccer game—it was truly an amazing honeymoon. We will definitely be back to the Pacific Northwest again soon.”
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
“Don’t sweat the small things—Jordan and I are both Type A people and we tried hard to hold our ground on some important things like having a small wedding, but we realized pretty quickly in the planning process that what is most important is being present and mindful of the fact that you are able to marry the love of your life. Plus I was very fortunate to have the most amazing family (especially my mother—she is a saint!) and vendors helping me plan a wedding halfway across America!”
Liz + Jordan’s Backyard Garden Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: customized Lea-Ann Belter Magnolia via Bridal Boutique of Lewisville | photographer: Kaitie Bryant | florals + design: Karin Jeffcoat of Cote Designs Florals and Events and Nandina Home | day-of wedding planner: Sarah Kline | catering: Palmetto Pork House | music: Brooks Dixon and Brooke Lundy | paperie: Samantha Bodie | hair + makeup: Cucumber and Mint | videographer: Cinema Weddings