One of our favorite qualities of Southern brides is that they want to honor tradition, but aren’t afraid to do things their own way as well. Cowboy boots, groom’s cake, and details honoring your alma mater are all hallmarks of a Southern wedding that we’ve seen many times, but we love the fact that Sara and Nick made them their own! For example, Sara’s wedding day boots were pink, inspired by a pair she had as a little girl, and the daisies in her bouquet were a sweet tribute to her beloved Sweet Briar College, just a little ways down the road from their beautiful venue. In place of a traditional groom’s cake, Sara and Nick served a traditional Guyanese Black Cake, which was the perfect way for them to bring together their Southern locale and the groom’s heritage.
Thanks so much to Katie Nesbitt for sharing this fun wedding with us!
Tell us all about the proposal! It started early one stormy Easter morning when Nick woke me up at the edge of my bed with a ring pop in hand, playing “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. I asked if it was real, and he said nope, laughing. Later that day, we held the infamous Buttine Family Easter Egg Hunt! As usual, Nick cheated by starting before everyone was ready. After almost half an hour of egg hunting, Nick suggested we open the eggs to see what was inside. The first egg I opened was a big green egg, and inside, lying on pink Easter grass, was a beautiful sparkling diamond ring. Seeing the ring, I started laughing and shaking as Nick got on one knee with a beaming smile and said, “Sara, will you be my forever and always?” My answer was a squealing YES! My family turned into paparazzi to capture the moment, and everything was perfect! It was by far the best Easter egg hunt ever!
I went to college 45 minutes from Charlottesville, Virginia, and Nick and I’s first real date was set up by an event called country dating at Carter’s Mountain Apple Orchard in Charlottesville. When we first learned about Castle Hill Cider, we knew it was the place for our wedding–it’s an apple cider distillery in Charlottesville! We also loved the view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? When we talk about the future, we say “always and forever,” so we swapped “As long as we both shall live” with “always and forever.” We didn’t plan it, but it was such an amazing moment to feel like the promise was real right then.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? My bridesmaids and I wore cowboy boots, and mine were pink! The heirloom pearls my grandparents gave me for my something old were very Southern. We also had the most delicious truffle mac and cheese at the reception–that is one detail that EVERY guest is still talking about.
My flowers were simply beautiful! When we first met Amy from Blue Ridge Floral, we learned she created arrangements for my college, which was such a great connection to have because she was able to incorporate Sweet Briar touches into the bouquets, like little daisies. My bouquet was predominantly white, with a touch of very pale pink. For our centerpieces, we picked my favorite flowers and my mom did a fabulous job executing the shabby chic look we were going for.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I bake at least twice a week, so the cake was quite important to me. Kathy from Favorite Cakes made us a white cake with lemon curd filling, homemade raspberry preserves, and buttercream icing. We also served a sheet cake of chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and raspberry. It was delicious! In addition to a traditional wedding cake, Nick’s mom made Guyanese Black Cake, which is a rum fruit cake that is cherished in Guyana and traditionally served for big, sentimental events. It was so meaningful and exciting for us to share this part of Nick’s culture with all of our guests.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. During summer 2009, I was studying at the Parsons School of Design in New York. Since I was traveling alone and moving to this big city where I knew no one, my brother swooped in and told me about one of his colleagues who lived in the city, Nick. That summer, Nick and I met for dinner once, and nothing happened, but we messaged occasionally. The following summer when I came back for classes, we met for dinner again, and this time, we kept in touch afterward. Back at Sweet Briar College in the fall for my senior year, I was part of a committee that helped plan homecoming. My brother wanted to come along, so I suggested he bring a friend…in particular, Nick! We had a great time all weekend, and with approval from my brother, we started dating.
When did y’all get married? May 24, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 130
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No, we didn’t. We really wanted the butterfly feeling of waiting to see each other. It was well worth it!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance song holds a special place in our hearts. While we were going through a rough patch in our relationship, the song “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz was released. We heard this song and knew that we could get through anything, as long as we had each other. My friend from elementary school, Landon Austin, performed the song, which was really special, because Nick and I love Landon’s music.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? It was pretty hard planning a wedding in Central Virginia from New York. We even had our meetings with our pastor over FaceTime!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? It is so hard to pick, but the location wins it. Virginia means so much to us and it is beautiful to boot! It was so special for us to share this area with all our wonderful friends and family.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Sara: The moment Nick and I were standing together at the altar looking into each others’ eyes. Nick’s cousin and my cousin were reading scriptures, but I couldn’t hear anything. In that movement, it was just Nick. From Nick: Seeing Sara walk down the aisle made me the happiest man on earth.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? On the day of the wedding, something will not go according to plan, but everything will be okay. The most important thing is that you are getting married. At the end of the day, if that happens, that’s all that matters.
Photographer: Katie Nesbitt / Videographer: Citrus Ceremonies / Planner: Rhianon Ham with JMC Charleston / Venue: Castle Hill Cider / Florist: Blue Ridge Floral / Cake Baker: Favorite Cakes / Caterer: The Local / Rentals: Real Southern Accents and MS Events / Lighting: The AV Company / Musician: Landon Austin / DJ: King Studios / Bride’s Gown: “8701” by Justin Alexander / Paper Printing: Print Icon / Paper: Cards and Pockets / Hair and Makeup: Sass Factory / Bride’s Shoes: Durango Boots and Enzo Angiolini / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “D618” by Alfred Sung and “Professionally Posh Dress” by ModCloth / Men’s Attire: Ravi Sehgal Bespoke / Apple Cider Donuts: Carpe Donuts / BBQ: BBQ Exchange
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