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Shelby and John’s wedding can be beautifully summed up by their photographer, Alicia White who said, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about getting married in the middle of the rain.” Today, we are all about the romance of weathering storms–both figuratively and literally. We absolutely adore this gorgeous couple and the incredible nature inspired wedding that featured, among other things, vows exchanged in the pouring rain.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

What made that day unique was the spontaneity of it all. You can spend months planning a wedding but when it looks like rain on your big day and you’re determined to get married outside; you have to make some very last minute adjustments. We both had to make decisions about the ceremony but we were dead set on not seeing or talking to each other before the ceremony. We trusted in our hearts that we knew what the other person would want. At one point my wife and I were ten feet apart, unknowingly making the same last minute decisions like we planned them for years. What made the wedding special was how much we love God, and how much we knew that He would guide us then and how much we know he will guide us forever.

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Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it?

The gown is Morilee by Madeline Gardner and the beaded sash is from Bhldn. I found it at New York Bride and Groom in Charlotte, NC. They were great about making sure I only tried on dresses I would be able to get in my short, three month time-frame. It was the only dress that fit perfectly from the moment I put it on. As soon as I turned around in the mirror I knew this was the dress. It was a perfect combination of everything I was looking for and I felt completely like myself in it.

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What were some touches added to make it personal?

Shelby is a graphic designer so she wanted to design all of the printed materials for the wedding. In fact, the font for the invitations was the first purchase she made after the engagement. Shelby’s friend created a series of watercolor illustrations, which were then used on the invitations, rsvp cards, and advice cards at the reception. Another personal touch Shelby and John made was to cut out any traditional reception rituals that weren’t significant to them. They knew the night would fly by and this gave them more time to spend with their friends and family.

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What was the most memorable part of the day?

Shelby: As everyone was lining up to walk down the aisle I was waiting inside the Inn so that John wouldn’t see me. Someone pointed out that if I stood on my tiptoes I might be able to see John through the window. As soon as I caught a glimpse of him I lost it. It was a perfect moment being able to see how happy John was and soak in the fact that he was about to become my husband. It was a sense of overwhelming joy.

John: I know every groom probably says the moment he sees her for the first time is the most memorable moment. They probably say this because it is such an impacting moment for every groom. Seeing Shelby from such a far distance next to her father was the most amazing, life changing moment. The most memorable moment was when Alicia gave us a few minutes to ourselves after shooting photos on a deserted peninsula to just soak it all in. I will always remember those minutes that we spent together. We just stared, smiled, hugged, laughed and danced to nothing but the beautiful silence of nature.

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Tell us how you met and became engaged.

My good friend knew both of John’s roommates from having classes with them. After hearing so much about each other we were intrigued to finally meet. When we did, we talked about everything from black and white movies to cooking. After that night the four of us started a weekly tradition of taking turns making dinner, and dubbed it “family dinner night”. It wasn’t long until John and I were spending time together just the two of us. One night he asked if I wanted to start running with him, of course I said yes but if you know me then you know running is NOT my thing. Thankfully our runs quickly turned into walks. Walking and getting lost in conversation around the beautiful streets of Richmond are some of our favorite dating memories.

John surprised me on Valentines Day by driving the 8 hours to my house and showing up with flowers at ten o’clock at night. It was the best surprise! He had considered proposing that night but when he saw how shocked I was he decided it might be too much. Early the next morning he decided he couldn’t wait any longer. He woke me up and proposed just the two of us. It was a perfect, private moment that the two of us will always get to share together.

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Vendors: Photography: Alicia White Photography // Venue/Catering: High Hampton Inn, North Carolina // Floral Designer: Fiddlehead Designs // Hair/Makeup: Indigo Salon

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Our dearest friend and crazy favorite designer, MaeMae & Co. has been busy introducing new “characters” to their collection of wedding stationery suites and we are so excited to share three of our favorites to you today! Each set of photos includes a snap of the inspiration board that they used for designing each suite, and it’s so fun to see that inspiration come to life! Are you serious? We are in love.

(Side note: how fun that you can always mix and match colors of any suite. So each one takes on a new persona when you dress him/her up in a new wardrobe. I mean….)

First up, meet Beau:

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As if that wasn’t enough, meet Charles:

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And then there was the ever so lovely Beverly:

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“Working with the beautiful setting of Coolbawn Quay deep in the heart of Ireland, we let our imaginations run with the far away water setting, the mist off the quay on the first frosted mornings,” says stylist guru Grace and Saviour. “I imagined a wedding with a little darker romance than summer, with beautiful velvety, muted tones of waters mist, soft greys of fogs and still clouds, old golds and mustards of darker evenings and candlelight, with dusty rose pinks of warmth, a blushed cheek, and tulles and a little hint of black tie. All of this with a rich, romantic Irish feel of water and seasons.”

Our imaginations are completely ready to be delighted with these images shot by the ever so lovely Paula McManus Photography.

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Vendors: Photography: Paula McManus Photography // Creative Direction, Styling and Props: Grace and Saviour // Location: Coolbawn Quay in Co.Tipperary Ireland // Flowers: Aisling from Blathanna Florists Claremorris // Make Up: Anita from The Powder Room // Hair: Bridget Haren // Stunning Cakes: Cove Cake // Stationery Design: Appleberry Press // Dresses: Myrtle IvorySharon HoeyLoves Legecy, Margaret Coyne Design, The White Gallery, Patrick Casey, Suits: Brown Thomas // Models: Mary-Kate for 1st option and James for Lockdown Models

Keely and Ian decided on the ever-so-perfect San Ysidro Ranch as the backdrop for their wedding. Though they never imagined a rainy day, the weather ended up adding a romantic element that added to the intimacy of their gorgeous celebration. We absolutely can’t get enough of the florals by Ambient Event Design and beautiful details of the day, all perfectly captured by Megan Sorel Photography. We know you are going to love this one!

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What made the wedding special and unique?

The rain! We live in the perpetually sunny Santa Barbara, California so when we planned our wedding to be outside in the gardens of San Ysidro Ranch we never imagined anything but blue skies and warm weather. Our wedding weekend ended up being the biggest storm of the decade- and we’re so happy it was! Once we embraced the rain we realized it added such romantic and cozy elements to the day. The shades of grey and misty sky ended up being the perfect backdrop for our intimate wedding.

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What were some touches added to make it personal?

We wanted our wedding to feel more like a romantic dinner party rather than a big event. So all of our decisions stemmed from that vision- especially the tablescape. We chose to use two long tables with low centerpieces to promote conversation, and instead of lots of flowers we opted for succulents and candles throughout. My husband and I have been lucky enough to live all over the world together so we divided the tables by cities we’ve lived in. Each setting had a small succulent holding the name card- which most of our friends took home to plant in their own gardens.

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What was the most memorable part of the day?

I had always wanted my wedding to be outside so when we got a short break in the rain we quickly decided to forgo the tent and have the ceremony outside in the gardens as planned. Since the grounds were too wet to hold up the chairs all of the guests stood around us through the ceremony. It was one of the most magical feelings in the world- to have everyone we love surround us in support during our vows.

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Vendors: Photography: Megan Sorel Photography // Location: San Ysidro Ranch // Design: Tara Bassi Party Design // Floral: Ambient Event Design // Music: Jim Eppolito of West Coast Music // Rentals: Town and Country Rentals // Hair and Makeup: TEAM Hair and Makeup // Airbus: Santa Barbara Airbus // Linens: La Tavola Linens // Dress: Monique Lhuillier

Okay ladies! It is time to talk registries! For those of you that are a bit more particular (read: Lady Grey falls into this category) it is often times hard to find the perfect store to register at because choosing all the loveliness you’ll want for your newly married life is hard to squeeze into just two or three stores! Am I right? This is where Zola comes in. Zola is an all-in-one, flexible registry that allows you to register for beautiful gifts, memorable experiences, cash/honeymoon funds and anything from any store. That means, everything you’d ever want, completely customized, and all in one place! Ready to hear how it works?

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First off, Zola is super easy! You have total control and can do things like decide when/where your gifts are shipped (moving between now and the honeymoon??–your gifts can be shipped when you are settled in your new abode!). You can also track gifts, their recipients, and make your thank you’s much easier!

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And–get this! If you are a shopper on the go and see something you love in store, just use the Zola iPhone app to scan barcodes and add to your registry in one quick step! OH MY! Plus, don’t love what someone picked out or changed your mind? You can exchange gifts before they are sent to you! Seriously. I die.

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As if it couldn’t get any better, Zola also offers a curated experience for registering. They’ve created Tastemaker Collections from amaze peeps like Molly Sims and Lisa Vorce to help you pick out rad stuff from all over the web! How lovely to have someone help you find the perfect elements based on your own style? I love that!

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In addition to ease of gift registry, Zola allows you to register for experiences and honeymoon or cash funds! If you are the type of couple that has everything for your house, this is a super amaze option! Your friends can also go in on a group gift too! Plus, you can make your registry completely personal by adding fun notes, collections and even pictures!

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So guess what you guys? Grey Likes Weddings readers will receive $25 in Zola credits when they set up their wedding registry on Zola. New registries must be started (but not necessarily published) between 1/21/15 – 4/21/15. Credits will be placed into the couple’s Zola account 4 weeks after a couple’s registry is published live.

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