Mae's Nursery

I had so much fun designing a nursery for Mae, and I’m excited to share it with you! Soon after we found out we were having a girl, I started gathering nursery inspiration. This was a fun process, but with so many beautiful options, I had somewhat of a hard time narrowing it down. Knowing that I didn’t have the luxury of spending countless hours on nursery design (I was still working part-time and caring for my toddler!), I aimed at being decisive and going with my intuition.

This approach worked out well because if I could describe any room in my home as perfect, it would be Mae’s. I absolutely love how sweet and feminine it is. I know childhood Mattye would’ve loved this space, and my hope is that Mae will cherish it as she grows.

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A design approach I took that I think made the end result so pleasing was picking the one thing I “couldn’t live without” and building the room around that. I knew I wanted to wallpaper one wall, but the wallpaper I initially loved did not work with the curtain fabric I loved. It was quite a dilemma! So, I simply asked myself what I felt like I couldn’t leave behind, and the curtains won. Seeing the finished room now, I am 100% positive that was the right decision!

I worked with a local boutique, Fireflies & Fairytales (located in The Swanky Stork), to use one of their fabrics to create custom curtains. Their team was a dream to work with. I’ve developed a sweet relationship with their store manager, Shannon, and the customer service from start to finish was personalized and made the process easy. Then, the curtains came in and they were stunning. From the blush buffalo check ruffle to the white blackout lining, every details was just lovely.

Custom is certainly the pricier way to do curtains, but I knew these would be a statement element in Mae’s room, and I could save elsewhere (like by repurposing Fox’s dresser/changing table and glider). I also love any chance I get to support a local business, and investing in this piece just felt good.

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Aren’t these curtains what little girl dreams are made of? // Fireflies and Fairytales
Here is a close up of the fabric:

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To me, the art of designing a room is having a clear picture of what you’re looking for and being creative with design solutions to achieve that look. As I pinned inspiration for Mae’s room, a vision for the space came to life. The curtain fabric I loved was right in line with this vision, and it directed much of my design. From there, I knew the elements I needed (a lamp, mirror, details, etc.) and I began shopping at stores and online to pull it all together. When designing a space, not everything has to be new or expensive, and I hope sharing how Mae’s room came together will help you see how you can create a space that you love by pulling from resources old and new and in different price ranges to make it shine.

tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
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This trio on the wall is made up of a mirror I bought at an antique shop but never found a place for, a painted flower tray my mother-in-law gave me for Mae’s room, and a boxwood wreath I found at a shop in Laurel, MS, on our Babymoon.

We did end up with a wallpapered wall like I originally wanted, and I adore what we chose. It’s a periwinkle blue plaid, and accents the curtains so nicely. My mom used periwinkle wallpaper in my nursery, which made this choice an extra special nod to that.

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nursery watercolors

Y’all. These paintings—I’m obsessed! We love original art in our home and really hoped we could find some special pieces for Mae’s room. I am often drawn to paintings on canvas, but after seeing an Instagram post of a baby girl’s nursery with framed art, I couldn’t get it out of my head. We landed on these original watercolors by Simply Jessica Marie, and they are absolutely perfect for the space. Jessica was so kind and encouraging as we talked about the paintings and framing options. She not only made the process easy but also joyful as she shared in our excitement of expecting our baby girl. I still stare at the paintings in Mae’s room as if it’s the first time I’m seeing them, which is the sign to me that you’ve found a truly special piece of art.

tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery

Baby Mae in her room melts my Momma heart! // Photos by Mary Margaret Smith

tailored feminine nursery
feminine nursery shelves
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
girl nursery bookshelf

I’m sentimental by nature, and I enjoy incorporating meaningful pieces into my home. On Mae’s shelves (repurposed from Fox’s nursery), I used flower marker art that I did as a little girl (see the top shelf by her crib), a framed baby shower invitation, my sterling silver baby cup (that I did not polish before these photos were taken! eek!), a photo from my maternity session, gifts from friends like her bear, personalized butterfly teether, and Sunshine book, and a faux magnolia flower I bought in Waco at Magnolia this summer while I was pregnant with Mae.

tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery

These sweet letter hooks are one of the first things I bought for her room. Her name is so beautiful and special to me, and since it’s three letters, it makes it easy to incorporate like this. I wasn’t sure what function they would serve when I first bought them, but they’re truly perfect for displaying her hairbows and it makes them super easy to access!

tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery

Speaking of sentimental, that pink piggy bank was a gift from Woody’s Mom, Mae and Fox’s “Nonna,” and it was hers as a little girl. She has given several heirlooms to Fox that belonged to Woody as a child, so it was so meaningful for Mae to get a piece from Nonna’s girlhood days.

Finally, probably the most special piece in her nursery is that envelope you see on her pin board. Back in 2014, I took calligraphy classes. I often practiced my calligraphy in different ways, and one day I “addressed” this envelope to “Mae Woodcock, 113 Future Lane, Cutie Pie, USA, 12345.” I wasn’t pregnant at that time, but Mae was the little girl we had talked about and dreamed about when we discussed the future and babies.

I love this piece so much because it reminds me of God’s goodness and His gifts to us. One of the verses that has meant a lot to me throughout pregnancy and life with her is Psalm 20:4 “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” I want Mae and Fox both to know that they were desires of my heart, and they are dreams fulfilled for me, and this piece is one very special reminder of that truth.

tailored feminine nursery

I hope you enjoyed Mae’s nursery tour! Let me know if there is anything I can further explain or questions I can answer.

Sources

Crib: Million Dollar Baby | Curtains: Fireflies and Fairytales | Wallpaper: Caitlin Wilson | Glider (from Fox’s nursery): Barnett Furniture | Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Alabaster | Artwork: Simply Jessica Marie | Dresser (from Fox’s nursery): Ikea | Dresser hardware: Anthropologie | Mirror, lamp, hamper, and side table: Home Goods | Crib skirt and sheets: Pottery Barn Kids | Accent pillows: Fireflies and Fairytales | Pin Board: Pottery Barn Kids | Changing pad: Keekaroo Peanut Changer | Rug: Pottery Barn Kids | Throw blanket: Caitlin Wilson | Pom Pom Basket: Lulu & Georgia | Hanging shelves: Target and Ikea | Letter Hooks: Anthropologie

Some affiliate links are used in this post!

Inspiration for Fox's Big Baby Room

Being that Fox is only 18 months old, I just can't bring myself to call this his "Big Boy" room! With Baby Sister coming this fall, we're moving him into a bigger room and keeping the nursery for her, but he's still a baby, he's just now the "big baby" and she's the "little baby." So, Big Baby room it is. :)

We thoughtfully designed his nursery to work for his newborn days and to grow with him, so many of the elements will stay the same. We're adding a few touches and new items to fit the new space and/or to replace things that are staying in the nursery like the rocker and dresser/changing table. 


original nursery inspiration

Here is some of the original inspiration for his nursery, and collectively I feel the images reflect the design of his room pretty well. For his new room, I want to add a few touches of color as well as some more play items.

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nursery elements moving to his new room

These are the items that are currently in his nursery that will be making their way into his new room!

Gallery wall

Crib and Honey Bears painting

Books (I'm super excited to create a little reading nook for him. He loves books!)

Side table, lamp, and mirror


New pieces

Fox's new room is larger than the nursery, so we needed a larger rug. The rug we love in the size we need was more expensive than we wanted and not very plush. We went with this very highly reviewed natural rug, and we'll layer a smaller version of the blue rug we love on top. It's the best of both worlds!

Sometimes working within a budget leads to an even better solution than you might've reached with unlimited funds. In our home this means Momma (stickler for style) and Daddy (stickler for budget--with an eye for style, too!) are both happy.

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Wayfair (Erin Gates by Momeni)

Since the rocker will stay in the nursery, we need a new chair for Fox's room. We spend a lot of time reading in his room so it's important to have a space to continue to do this as he grows. We were so excited to get this floor sample chair at a great price from one of our favorite local furniture stores. It's in a pattern we love and that works great with the style of Fox's room.

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Hayneedle through WalMart

We ordered this leather pouf a few months ago, but since Fox's room isn't ready for the new items yet (it's still operating as a guest room/office/catch-all), we've been using the pouf in our living room. Woody and I are both thinking we're going to have to get another one because we love it so much!

I also want to get some floating shelves for his reading nook, and I haven't decided if I'll move the ones from the nursery or leave them and get new ones for him. I love these Pottery Barn ones, but found a more affordable option at Target. I'm going to wait to decide on shelves until we're further along with the rooms. 

We never ended up with curtains in Fox's nursery, just the matchstick blinds we already had in there. The blinds work great with the style of his room, but we're to the point where we want to invest in some blackout curtains for him. He's never had blackout, and I've always thought it's probably helpful that he's accustomed to sleeping in a space that isn't perfectly dark, but his new room lets in more light, and I want to make sure he has a cozy place to rest and sleep. 

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Target (Cloth + Co.)

Finally, I want to add some fun, playful elements for our active, growing boy! I'm going to put this teepee on his Christmas list hoping a grandparent may want to gift it to him!

Target

I don't know why, but I just love this little alligator! It's such a fun pop of color, and I hope he'll enjoy playing with it!


Well, there you have it! We're getting closer to having his new room cleared out of guest room/office/catch all items, and I am giddy to get going on this project! After I've spent time designing, researching, and imagining, I'm ready to see it all come together.

Most of all, I'm ready to see Fox enjoy his new space that will better fit the stage he's in and the stages to come. Initially, it was hard for me to imagine moving him out of his first room, but when I realized how fun this could be for him I felt much better. Once the space is done, I'll share how it all turns out!

If you have any tips to share for transitioning a child into a new room or things to consider for a toddler room, I would love to hear!

Baby Girl Nursery Inspiration

I feel like I'm in my element designing a nursery for our baby girl. While Fox's little boy nursery was a fun design challenge for me, as a longtime lover of florals, romantic colors, and feminine touches, the only challenge for a girl nursery is how to narrow it down!

One thing that I've learned is that you can't have it all, so its helpful to pick the items you love the most (anything you feel that you "can't live without") and build your design from there. For Baby Girl's nursery, this ended up being a floral bouquet fabric from Fireflies and Fairytales that I just couldn't let seem to let go. This fabric (shared below) gave me a good feel for colors and overall feel, and I was able to pick up items here and there that would work. I'm also a firm believer that if you pick out things you love, it will all work. Of course there are styles and colors that work better together, and I always consider that, but filling a space with things that light your heart up is one of the truest ways to design a space you'll love and will feel so uniquely you.

We're still bringing her room together with decisions to make and items to buy, but its shaping up to be so lovely, and I'm excited to create this space for our newest addition that we'll be welcoming in October. 


Room Inspiration

I use Pinterest for all my design projects, and pinning images of rooms that I like helps me identify patterns of colors, feel, and design elements that are consistently catching my eye. This helps guide me back to center when I get sidetracked in the design process. Enjoy these room inspiration photos!

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Delicious Designs

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Crib

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Custom Curtains

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Wallpaper

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Rug Choices

Would LOVE some input here! Share your favorite in the comments below.

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Accessories


Artwork

Caitlin Wilson

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Some of the items shared here I plan/hope to get, and some are just for inspiration. I love taking the time to research and find things I love and then determine if it works with the style of the room, the other items I've already selected, and my budget. Regardless if a certain item ends up being "the one" it can serve as great inspiration as I shop around, and I've often found great deals at places like Home Goods or Target on items that are so similar to ones I love, but at 1/3 the price! Now, that is a good feeling. 

I'd love to hear any thoughts or questions you have or brand or item recommendations to share!

Fox's Nursery

I grew up with a sister, and I've always been a girly-girl, so when we found out we were expecting a little boy in 2017, I knew it was going to be a new adventure. I was excited about it, and honestly, soon after knowing I was a "boy mom" I could feel God starting to uncover new parts of my heart.

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When it came to the nursery, I wanted to create a space we could all enjoy. It needed to be peaceful, pleasant, perfectly boy, good for a baby, but not so "baby" that it couldn't grow up with him for a few years. 

I'm naturally drawn to florals and feminine colors, but I think our baby boy nursery is where my love of the color blue was born. There isn't a ton of blue in his room, but I just learned to love so many different shades of blue through the process, and I incorporated them along the way. A space fit for a boy was a design challenge for me, but it was fun to dig deep to bring together a room that would honor our son and be a space where he could feel loved and comfortable. 

The walls were already gray (SW Repose Gray), so we stuck with that. I loved the white and natural wood of the Babyletto cribs, and this choice set some direction for the room. We ended up accenting the room with wood and neutrals, some pops of kid-friendly color, and blues in artwork and accents. 

baby boy nursery
baby boy neutral nursery
baby boy nursery

We found the felt cactus at a local art show, the pillow was a gift, the lamp and throw are from Target, the rocker from a local furniture store, Barnett's, and the Peter Rabbit plate is an heirloom from Woody's childhood. I love mixing in new and old, store-bought and handmade, and most of all, meaningful pieces anytime I design a room.

baby boy nursery with pops of color
baby boy nursery with pops of color
baby boy nursery with pops of color
baby boy nursery with pops of color

I saw the idea for the floating shelves as a bookshelf and loved it. Being able to display the brightly colored books was exactly the kind of pop I was looking for to keep a mostly neutral space fun and kid-friendly. We found our shelves at Ikea. The painting above the crib is by a local Birmingham artist, Jayne Morgan, which I had commissioned as a gift for Woody our first Christmas together. I love the playful images and colors, and having original art in his room was important to me as it is throughout our home. The crib sheets are another fun pop, and the little brown bear was one of my favorite friends when I was little. 

baby boy nursery neutral with pops of color
baby boy nursery with pops of color
baby boy nursery with pops of color

I really hoped to find a dresser for Fox that he could use throughout his life. I looked for solid wood, classic pieces, but I just could not find one I loved in our price range. So, we ended up going practical and economical with an Ikea dresser. It's worked wonderfully with plenty of space, and I love the look of it, too.

His gallery wall is made up of a combination of original art, prints, and a couple architectural pieces. I also adore his Letterfolk board, which we used for his monthly photos. 

baby boy nursery neutral with pops of color
baby boy nursery neutral with pops of color
baby boy nursery neutral with pops of color
baby boy nursery neutral with pops of color
baby boy nursery neutral with pops of color

Better than any piece we ever could've found for his nursery, was finally getting to be in that space with him in our arms. We had dreamed about him, talked about him, and carefully curated all his items awaiting his arrival. Getting to finally enjoy the room with that little person that all the preparation was for, was the sweetest part.

baby boy nursery neutral with pops of color
baby boy nursery neutral with pops of color

Sources:

Crib // Babyletto from Amazon
Dresser // Ikea
Glider/Rocker // Barnett Furniture
End table // Wayfair
Painting above crib // Jayne Morgan Art
Wooden mirror // Target (similar)
Floating bookshelves // Ikea
Lamp // Target
Felt cactus // Love of Felt
Crib sheets // Petite Pehr
Rug // Green Gates Market
Letter Board // Letterfolk

Nursery Photography // Mary Margaret Smith Photography
 

Buying our first home

As you may have read in my 2015 goals, one of our family goals this year is to buy our first home! After renting a fun downtown loft for the first two and a half years of our marriage, we decided we are ready to sink our roots a little deeper and purchase a home.

Over the last year or so, we have spent hours discussing what we want in a home, afternoons walking neighborhoods in Birmingham, and weekends going to countless open houses. This pattern falls in line with the how we've always made big decisions as a couple; we tend to take our time being methodical and thorough as we do research and consider the options.  As we come upon what we believe to be the end of the home-buying process (those updates coming soon!), the time and thoughtfulness we invested is paying off for us.

As we chat about searching for a new home, I thought it'd be fun to share some photos of our current loft along the way!

As we chat about searching for a new home, I thought it'd be fun to share some photos of our current loft along the way!

As we dreamed, planned and saved for our home over the past couple years, I was so excited for when we would "officially" begin the search. I anticipated it being SO much fun, but I can't say it completely met my expectations. While there certainly have been fun, exciting moments, this home-buying thing is a lot harder than it looks! I have been more emotional than I would have expected, and the constant learning in this process is good, but very hard and time intensive.

We love buying local art, and that Honey Bears piece by Birmingham artist  Jayne Morgan  is one of our favorites!

We love buying local art, and that Honey Bears piece by Birmingham artist Jayne Morgan is one of our favorites!

We still have a lot to learn, but I thought it'd be helpful to share with you a few tips I've gained along the journey. I found great help and comfort in reading through my friend Emily's home search, and I hope this will be helpful to you in a similar way!

1. Where you make your home is less important than who you make your home with.

In all the excitement of the journey of buying a home, it's easy to become consumed with it. Much like wedding planning, if I'm not careful, I find it's all I think about and all we talk about. Don't get me wrong, buying a home (especially the first time around) is a BIG deal, and it does require a lot of thought, work and communication, but, at the end of the day, it is not the most important thing. I can get so lost in dreaming about marble countertops, that I fail to focus on the person I'll prepare meals with and share conversations with over those very counters.

So, the encouragement is this: during your home search, make room for intentional daily moments where you are not talking about it and make sure your spouse feels the most valuable. After all, when buying a home, it is with the hope to create an environment for love, community and family, so it's vital to keep building those things most of all throughout the process.

2. Have a few, trusted people you share EVERYTHING with, including numbers.

I got this advice from a coworker who recently bought a home, and it has been so helpful! Finances are something people often keep private, and understandably so. I know for me, money definitely falls into my Southern upbringing category of an "impolite" topic to discuss. Needless to say, this philosophy carried into our home search nearly to our detriment. By keeping this completely private, we were missing the opportunity for valuable guidance and perspective from people who love us and could share great wisdom and advice.

In our process, we chose to share numbers most specifically with our parents. Then, we have close friends who recently bought a house in the same neighborhood we hope to live in, and who share similar financial values as us. Finally, we have opened up to a friend who goes to our church and has experience in the real estate business and can give a good outside perspective as well as connect with how faith plays a role in our decision.

Creating this gallery wall was one of my goals last year, and it is filled with many special items that make my heart so happy, including that gorgeous portrait of my Great, Great Aunt Mattye who I am named after.

Creating this gallery wall was one of my goals last year, and it is filled with many special items that make my heart so happy, including that gorgeous portrait of my Great, Great Aunt Mattye who I am named after.

This small but mighty group has made a big impact on our process and decision-making. Ultimately, Woody and I make the final call as a couple, but the perspective and feedback we have gathered from these few trusted people have been invaluable. And, a happy by-product is these people have become our biggest cheerleaders and encouragers throughout the journey.

Being first-time home-buyers, we discovered it wasn't healthy or wise to keep all of the details to ourselves, but on the same token, it is not healthy or wise to share all the details with everyone. Ultimately, the consistency and trust of a few will go much father than the opinions of the many.

3. Do your homework. 

Everyone likes recess, but few enjoy homework. Home-buying is very much like this. The dreaming and initial searching is fun, but the number-crunching, inspections, more inspections, waiting and negotiating are not so fun, yet they are totally worth it.

We have chosen a neighborhood with very old homes, and the one we like was built in 1925. You can do the math, but I'll do it for you—that's 90 years old—an entire lifetime. As you can imagine, while it's full of lovely character, charm and good bones, after 90 years, there are a few areas where this home needs some love.

Baskets are key for storage when living in a small space like a loft. I say you can never have enough, Woody says I have basket problem. Perhaps we're both right!

Baskets are key for storage when living in a small space like a loft. I say you can never have enough, Woody says I have basket problem. Perhaps we're both right!

The importance of doing your homework when buying a home (no matter it's age), is that it allows you to be an informed buyer. It will help minimize surprises once you move in (notice I said minimize, not eliminate!) Understanding the condition of the home and what it would cost to update or upkeep it from the point you buy it is so valuable to your decision. Then, as you're negotiating and figuring numbers, you have as much of the full story on the home as possible without living there, which of course will ultimately give you the full story.

For the home we are pursuing, we did the standard home inspection, and after what we learned through that, we had two electricians, a general contractor, and a sewer inspector come out to the property to give us more details and quotes on what needed to be done. We are well under $1,000 invested at this point, and it's been some of the smartest money we've ever spent. Doing this research and seeking professional help has allowed us to be as informed as possible about what to expect in this home, and that gives us great peace of mind moving forward.

4. Pray your heart out.

This point should probably be first, as it's the most important, but we'll count it as saving the best for last. No matter how much homework you do, how much money you've saved, or how many people you seek advice from, there is still risk involved in buying a home. There is uncertainty, emotional highs and lows, and challenges throughout the journey (and this is coming from a girl who doesn't even own a home yet!). So, the best thing you can do in this journey is pray your heart out before, during and after you buy.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

-Philippians 4:6-7

 

You may wonder if God cares about your home-buying journey, and let me assure you He does. The home you buy is about so much more than an amazing front porch, high ceilings, and yes, even more than idyllic marble countertops. Where you choose to buy a home is a highly spiritual matter. It impacts your neighbors, where you spend your time, the environment in which your children are raised, and where you build your life. There is no doubt that God cares about this tremendously.

"From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live."

-Acts 17:26

 

I encourage you to start praying for your future home now or at least as soon as you know you want to buy a home. We have been praying in general for our home since last year, but in January, right before we would dive fully into the search, Woody and I spent a focused time of prayer for our home during 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting at our church. Here are some of the things we asked God for:

  • -Guide us to the right lender and realtor.

  • -Give us wisdom and direction.

  • -Go before us and direct our path.

  • -Give us peace and unity as we make decisions.

  • -Give us a good price for our home.

  • -Let us live in Crestwood (the neighborhood we loved and felt drawn to.)

  • -Give our home a strong physical and spiritual foundation.

  • -Bless the community where we will live, let it be protected, and a place of peace.

  • -I also prayed specifically for one of the "must haves" on my list-- a place out of the general living spaces to put the cat litter!

Y'all, I cannot tell you how many of these prayers have already been answered. And I know that when we move in, we will continue to see God's plan unfold and His love and purpose enrich our home and our lives. God wants to be part of your journey, and He will guide you if you'll just invite Him and allow Him to do so.

I'm amazed and grateful for all Woody and I have learned in this process, and I know there is so much yet to come! I would love to hear from you! What advice or ideas do you have for a first time home-buyer?

Photos by Jacob Blount Photography and Rachel Coffey Photography.

Southern Weddings Southern Newlywed

Hi friends!

Woody and I were so excited to get to welcome friends new and old, near and far, into our home last week as Southern Newlyweds on the Southern Weddings blog!

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If you haven't visited Southern Weddings, you most definitely should! They have a great blog full of loveliness as well as a truly special magazine that makes a grand appearance on newsstands once a year. I always love the adventure of finding my copy at a local bookstore and taking my sweet time pouring over the pages of true love stories, marriage advice, and some of the prettiest weddings in the South!

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Southern Weddings has a beautiful mission that reaches into the hearts of brides and wives everywhere, not just the South!


"In all that we do, our mission is to inspire brides to cultivate a life full of love — celebrating their families, the culture of the South, and what matters most to them — and then to draw from that rich well to create a meaningful beginning to married life."

-Southern Weddings


As a regular SW reader, I was as giddy as could be to get to contribute to the heart of this mission by sharing our home and our experience as newlyweds. I hope you'll pop over to Southern Weddings to read the post and all the other goodness waiting for you there! In the meantime, I've shared some of my favorite photos here!

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If you have questions about any of the pieces of decor, art or furniture pictured here or in the SW post, I'd be happy to tell you where we got it or what inspired it! Also, if you want more details about anything I talked about in the SW post, I'd love to share more with you!

Photos by the very talented Rachel Coffey and Jacob Blount

xoxo. mattye