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January 2016 Archive

Foot Washing: Taylor & Jack’s Sweet Unity Ceremony

2014-06-07_0134Taylor and Jack’s wedding day was ridiculously rainy. When I say “ridiculously rainy” I mean that it was a non-stop torrential downpour ALL day [and for several days leading up to the big day]. Their outdoor ceremony under grand oak trees that we planned for over a year had to be tented and we had to construct an aisle runner out of mulch so that the bridal parties could make their way to the ceremony, holding umbrellas, without walking through mud. You would think that the rain [and all of these “Plan B’s”] would really put a damper on the Bride and Groom’s day, right? Not for this amazing couple- Taylor and Jack actually got engaged in the rain! So, when they were given the option to move the ceremony into the indoor reception area, they didn’t even consider it. They embraced the elements! They even had a foot washing ritual planned for their wedding ceremony. In addition to the deep sentimental and religious value of this unique tradition, it proved to be incredibly useful for Taylor’s slightly dirty {hey, the mulch could only help so much!} feet!

So, what exactly is a foot washing ceremony, you ask?

In a Christian wedding, foot washing symbolizes the moment when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet at the Last Supper (John 13:1-17) to display his humility and commitment of service to them. By washing each others’ feet, the Bride and Groom are therefore demonstrating their commitment to serve each other humbly in marriage. This ritual is personally one of my favorite unity ceremonies.

Taylor and Jack had a beautiful water pitcher, towel and chair set off to the side from their stunning ceremony arbor for the ritual. After the Pastor explained the meaning behind the practice to their intrigued guests, Taylor and Jack pulled the aforementioned items front and center and took turns kneeling on the soggy grass, washing and then drying each others’ feet. It was truly a beautiful few minutes, and everybody at the ceremony felt honored to witness such an intimate and obviously meaningful moment between the newlyweds. At the end of the ceremony, Taylor and Jack danced down the aisle as husband and wife to “Oh, Happy Day”. Could they be any cuter?!  Talk about #marriagegoals.

Vivian Greene said it best: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

These personal details are what memorable wedding days are made of!

To see more pictures from Taylor and Jack’s lovely big day, visit AND .

Looking for other alternatives to the traditional unity candle?

Some of my other favorites are listed here on Best Bride 101: .


Meet The Burleys: Featured on

This wedding was all about the details- those sweet personal ones and all things chicly southern!  [I don’t know if gets much more southern than a magnolia leaf chandelier at a Louisiana plantation!]  The bride, Megan, dressed in Vera Wang, and the groom, Michael, sporting a traditional black tuxedo, were married by the bride’s uncle in a stunning New Orleans catholic church.  The guests were then bused to a 250 year-old plantation about 20 miles south of New Orleans for a seated dinner reception.  Megan’s vision for the wedding was a classic and chic color palette of black, gold and white infused with tons of organic and magnolia leaf accents.  She wanted guests to feel as if they had been transported into a classy, whimsical southern wonderland.

Think: A garden party fit for a King and Queen!

 Megan and Michael were engaged while wine tasting on vacation at Saddleback Cellars in California.  So, it was only fitting that wine from the vineyard was available on all tables and that the place card holders were Saddleback Cellars corks!  The place cards were displayed on vintage wooden doors atop wine barrels, to stick with the vineyard theme, underneath a bistro light tent that was situated in the oak tree scattered yard of the historic plantation.  Once guests collected their cards and walked into the tented reception, they were greeted with monogramed Mardi Gras beads on their seats.  These were, of course, absolutely necessary for when Megan, Michael and the bridal party made their grand entrance into the reception via their own second line parade donning Mardi Gras masks and throwing beads.  You know it’s not a New Orleans wedding without a second line! Megan and Michael’s “MM” wedding monogram could be found not only on the beads, but also on the menus, bar napkins, match boxes for exit sparklers and all wedding related stationary. Like I said… DETAILS!

The 20+ person head table was adorned with heavy low lush floral arrangements, varying lanterns and candles and ridiculously beautiful floral-accented sweetheart chairs for the bride and groom.  The guest tables alternated between high, extravagant floral centerpieces, more simple low lush centerpieces and large candelabra centerpieces.  Magnolia leaves accented all of the centerpieces and potted magnolia trees lined the walls of the reception tent.  After a three-course meal of traditional southern fare and a speech from Megan’s father that had every eye in the room filled with happy tears, the Atlanta-based party band got everybody on their feet… and once guests were up, they never sat back down!

The entire party danced the night away on the black and white checkered dance floor under a candle lit custom-made magnolia leaf chandelier and ceiling draping adorned with fairy lights.  Megan and Michael were able to take a quick break to snap pictures in front of the breathtaking floral and candle wall that was the wedding cake’s backdrop.  Thankfully, a live painter was there to capture the fabulous night in its entirety.

It was truly a magical night for a couple that had as much style as they did obvious love for each other!

I am so thankful to have been part of Meg and Michael’s engagement and beautiful big day. When I received a Christmas card from the new Mr. and Mrs. Burley [featuring pictures from the wedding day! Ek!] and Meg’s parents within days of each other, I couldn’t help but realize how fortunate I am to have clients that turn into lifelong friends.

To see the full feature on click HERE!

Featured Vendors:

Photographer:  Sison Photography ; Dressing Hotel: The Roosevelt New Orleans, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel  ; Dress Designer: Vera Wang ; Dress Shop: Warren Barron ; Tuxedo Shop: John’s Tuxedos  ; Makeup and Hair: Flawless Bride LLC ; Transportation: Alert Transportation ; Ceremony Church: Mater Dolorosa ; Reception Venue: Stella Plantation ; Cakes: Mad Batter Bakery ; Floral and Candle Decor: Bella Blooms Floral ; Band: Mo’ Sol ; Videographer: Dyle Films ; Invitations: bell’INVITO ; Caterer: New Orleans Catering ; Live Painter: Hannah Lee ; Ceiling Treatment: Luminous Events of New Orleans ; Event Rentals: Your Event DeliveredDistressed RentalsThe Plant Gallery

Happy New Year, Friends!

It’s absolutely insane to me that we are already a few days in to 2016. How can that be?! It seems like just yesterday that I was celebrating the start of 2015 with friends in Pamplona and talking about what I hoped to accomplish in the year that has now come and gone. So, naturally, I have been reflecting on what I did indeed accomplish in 2015 and looking eagerly toward the shiny new slate that is 2016.

2015 was a crazy year.

I kicked the year off by traveling to Spain, Africa and Ireland. I left a dream job that I adored for the last four years to pursue my ultimate dream. I stood next to my sister as she married her best friend on her big day that I was lucky enough to help orchestrate [Wedding Planner and Maid of Honor? Check, check!]. I moved [same city, different condo!]. I connected with some of the most amazing couples, celebrated one of the most important days of their lives with them and then stopped calling them “clients” and started calling them “friends”. I spent nearly the entire year transforming my dreams, hopes and plans into a company that officially came to life just days before 2015 came to an end.

WHEW, 2015 was certainly a year of huge [and amazing] transformation. So, what do I envision for 2016? Growth.

Forgoing the usual long laundry list of New Years resolutions, I’ve thought long and hard about what my one word/goal for 2016 should be… Connect? Inspire? Create?

A handful of words resonated with me, but I kept coming back to the one that I felt embodies them all: Growth. Both personally and professionally, my goal is to grow. Grow my tribe- the individuals who want to inspire others with their intentional creations. Grow the amount of impactful connections, both on a daily basis and on a larger, industry scale. Grow personally and professionally by constantly creating and learning. Grow Everly by genuinely caring about the people I work for and the work I do for them.

Here’s to a WONDERFUL 2016… I’m so excited to share it with YOU!