Wedding Wednesday: The Fanning Wedding

The Fanning Wedding | October 12, 2014 | Photography by William Mahone Photography

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Dan and Emily met while attending James Madison University together. They ran into each other at a party and the rest, as they say, is history.

Dan worked on his proposal for months. One day while Emily was at work, he surprised her by picking her up and taking her on a ferry ride to Block Island--Emily's favorite place. On the ferry, Emily was treated to a surprise lunch and beautiful views of the ocean. Once the couple got to the island, they headed for Emily's favorite beachside spot and went for a walk together in the sand. There, Dan proposed and Emily, of course, said yes. A photographer Dan hired captured the entire proposal.

Emily grew up a southern girl, and so naturally she wanted a rustic southern-themed wedding. Emily also wanted the celebration to be highly personal, so she included many DIY touches to complete the look. Many wedding details were very unique. The centerpieces, for example, were composed on cobalt glassware pieces borrowed from Emily's mom's collection. The favors were also carefully and personally designed. Emily and Dan gave out mason jars with stainless steel straws, adorned with handmade escort cards created out of paint chips. Emily also hand-sewed napkins for all the tables from fabrics that matched the couple's wedding colors, picked out a personalized and unique playlist with Dan, and made her own guestbook. All these details made the Fanning wedding a one-of-a-kind southern affair.

For food, the couple had a full southern spread: short ribs, fried green tomatoes, cheesy grits, and fresh greens. Honoring a non-traditional route, the couple had homemade apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies for desert rather than cake.

To Emily and Dan, the involvement of their friends and families in creating their wedding was truly the most rewarding special touch. Dan's brother, Patrick, was ordained specifically so he could marry the couple, and the ceremony was written by Dan and Emily so that each word was personalized and meaningful. A few family members gave heartfelt readings. Emily particularly remembers a reading by a friend, Cheryl, who encouraged the couple to take in the moment and remember all their friends and family members. This allowed Dan and Emily to reflect on how moving their celebration was.

Be sure to see the Fanning wedding on page 106 of the third issue of bridebook!

Photography: William Mahone Photography
Dress: Nicole Miller from Andria Bird Bride
Florist: Cindy and Amy Marshall
Pie: Nancy Bryan and Debbie Mays
Venue: Castle Hill Cider
Caterer: Harvest Moon
Planner: Real Southern Accents - Logan Powell
Jewelry: Zales
DJ: Brennan Snead
Groomsmen's Attire: Perry Ellis from Macy's
Hair and Makeup: Jeanne Cusick
Transportation: Easy Riders Bus Company
Lighting: MS Events