Below are a collection of photos from the wedding! Hope you enjoy. Trinity Photography were our photographers.
Fashion played a huge role in my big day, so here is a breakdown of the details.
Something I really wanted was a beautiful bridal robe to get ready in. Le Laurier founded by Designer Lauren Holovka offers timeless and fashion forward pieces, inspired by everyday brides. Lauren created me a one of kind robe and named it The Mariel Robe. She made the robe with me in mind and made it from the finest materials imported from Paris, with delicate Chantilly lace. Each of Le Laurier’s couture designs are handmade, with a high level of complexity, from finding the right materials to creating a unique but glamorous concept. The robe continued with a beautiful bell sleeve with beaded lace trim to a ostrich feather beaded belt with Swarovski crystals.She also added a dramatic cathedral train with 4 different types of beaded laces appliquéd throughout the train, as well as adding ostrich feathers to create the perfect details for my ideal robe.
I was also obsessed with look of tiaras, so I had to find the perfect one. I wanted to feel like a princess! I ordered my crown from Giva My Jewerly and Kendra Currie did my hair and installed the crown.
My Wedding Gown
My gown is from RK Bridal in New York. Whit Whit, My mom, and Maribeth all went with me to find this gown. I knew immediately when I saw it that it was the one. My gown was designed by Morilee by Madeline Gardner. I loved everything about this gown. From the sleeves to the cathedral train with ostrich feathers.
I wanted my little girls to look like little swan princess. I found their dresses from Kingdom Boutique. I loved my little flower girls! They were just as sweet as they were adorable,
I wanted my bridesmaids to look like forest fairies! I found their dresses from Abyss By Abby. I absolutely loved everything about these dresses. The color reminded me of royalty and forest fairies all at the same time, wanted them all to have emerald smokey eyes and neutral lips. Bre Early and McCall Gaulding did an amazing job on their makeup. I also wanted long romantic, loose curls on everyone and Kendra did and amazing job on their hair.
Paul wore a black velvet tux custom made by Stitched.. I love the look of velvet in the winter time. It is the darkest black you can find in clothing, and the color always looks so rich. Pauls jacket was lined with tickets on the inside, because he’s a big ticket guy. It’s kind of his thing. He loves tickets.
All the groomsmen look extremely handsome in their classic black tuxedos with black bowties.
‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." (2 Peter 3:8) The love that was in the room on our wedding day, January 5, 2019 felt as it was going to last a thousand years. Love is timeless and pure love will last forever. Love is the glue that binds our reality and gives us strength to face the world as long as we have one another. I truly believe that the unconditional love that Paul and I have for each other is sealed and anointed from God. The Bible teaches, “1 John 4:7-8 (ESV) God Is Love.January 5th 2019 Paul and I got married at Childress Vineyards. It was the best day of my life. I truly felt God’s presence and an overwhelming amount of unconditional love that day. On that day I married my soulmate, in front of my closest friends and family, and I must say there was no better feeling.
The morning of my wedding was insane and a time I will never forget. I was so nervous and excited all the same time. I was so happy to have my family and best friends by my side that morning.
My new last name is Swan and I wanted to tie that into the theme of my wedding. The song I walked down the aisle to was 1000 years, played by Deans Duets, (cello, harp,violin trio). I wanted everything to have an enchanted feel, because after all I was morphing into a swan (haha) . I used tons of greenery and faux trees to replicate the look of a forest and stuck with rich colored jewel tones to create a warm and enchanting feel. When people walked in, I wanted them to feel as though they were in an enchanted forest.
I also used cream draping in the front, but that is the only draping I used. I wanted to keep the earthy feel of the stones and wood at the vineyard. I used wooden chairs, and tons of trees and greenery. We had cascading greenery from the sky. And used tree/branch cut outs to create more of a forest scenery.
We used greenery, tree stumps, candles, and floral bouquets down the aisle.
At the end of the ceremony Paul and I jumped the broom, which is an African American tradition which symbolizes sweeping your old life away and jumping into a new life together!
My mother wrote a poem, "Mothers' Blessings, A Thousand Years"” and she read it with Maribeth (my mother in law) by her side. Their blessings were to remind the world that both mothers and families were excited that we found each other, and both families believed in the power of love. My mom ended the poem with, “They know that true love will forever stand more than a single day and more than a thousand years."
We had our wedding at Childress Vineyards. Our ceremony and reception was held in the Pavilion and our cocktail hour was held in the Bistro.
During the reception I loved the look of massive candelabras with creeping greenery to give a fairy tell feel. For the reception and ceremony I had to have two massive golden swans so I took some swan sculptures I found online and Jack, my father in law spray painted them in an antique gold. Florals played a huge role in the design element of my wedding. I used a huge greenery backdrop for the fireplace during my reception, and our florist, Dhalias made the most beautiful hanging greenery piece to go above the couch near our bar. For the tables I wanted the flowers to have massive floral centerpieces mixed in with the candelabras. Faye Conlin from Coordinating Dreams took my vision and made it into a reality!
Huge Thank you to everyone who came and all of my vendors listed below. This was the best day of my life and you all were a huge part of that!
Photography- Trinity Photography
Transportation- Camel City Carriage
Wedding Venue- Childress Vineyard
Wedding Gown- RK Bridal
Event Planning- Coordinating Dreams
Videography: Jonathan Ford
Hair- Kendra Currie
Make up- Bree Early & Mc Call Gaulding
Floral Design- Dahlias
Dj- Dj A minor
Cello/Harp/Violin Trio- Dean’s Duets
Duet- Bri and D
Saxophone- Tony Hayes
Bridal Robe- LeLaurier
Barbers- Josh Leonard,Tim Parker, Chris Breezy ( Washington Park)
Equipment Rental- Party Reflections
Linens- Hauser Rental
Cake- Stephanie Finley
Live Artist- Heather Smith
Bartender- Jimmy The Bartender
Meats- Jack Arnold
My Best Friends Wedding
What a day! My BFF is MARRIED to my hubbys BFF. THANK YOU JESUS!!!
January 5, 2019, was one of the greatest days of my life. I witnessed my best friend marry her God given husband. Paul and Mariel are two of the most genuine and loving people I’ve ever met and their wedding exuded just that.
I was honored to be standing by her side on the biggest day of her life. I was Mariel’s Matron of Honor and she was my Maid of Honor. Her hubby, Pauley, is like a brother to me and I’m so thankful he let me be apart of every little event leading up to the wedding, including the engagement. He even let me help pick out the ring!
From the engagement in Vegas and bridal shower, to the bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner, every event was so epic and full of love and happiness.
Mariel is so much more than my best friend. We’re bonded together by God and I’m blessed to have her in my life. It’s not what you have, it’s who you have!
We started off 2019 with a bang! Congratulations to one of the best couples I know, THE SWAN’S!
All my love,
Our first annual family vacation was one for the books. Costa Rica is one of our new favorite spots to travel. It’s a quick and easy flight from North Carolina and its beyond beautiful. Flight Time: 3.5 hours.
We booked our vacation through Todd with Avenue Apart. You can check out his Instagram @speedofflight. We stayed at the Four Seasons Resort and it was unreal. The staff were some of the sweetest and accommodating people.
The mix of ocean with forest is a sight to see.
Costa Rica is known for zip lining. They have some of the best in the world and I would say this is a must if you visit here. We rented a boat for a day and they took us to zip line. You can also go by car. We ate lunch there and snorkeled the rest of the time. Renting the boat was so nice to relax and see everything around the island. Zip lining is no joke so beware if you’re scared of heights. However, they have a cool hangout spot to watch and take pictures.
You can’t come to Costa Rica and not do a little fishing. This was one of my favorite experiences of the week. We caught a 90 pound Rooster Fish and Mahi Mahi. They filleted the Mahi Mahi for us and we ate it for dinner. I recommend doing this activity early in the morning and with a big group of people.
The resort offers complimentary paddle boarding, surfing, volleyball, and other activities. We had a lot of fun with these as well. This was also a kid friendly resort. They had a game room and a kid pool only. They also had fun activities on the beach at night like s’mores.
The day we went zip lining, we also went snorkeling. We rented a small boat for a private tour. This was really cool to experience and Austin’s favorite of the week. There are all kinds of spots around the island and will take you to as many as you want.
Our resort had a hiking trail that wrapped around the island. They have tons of trails and this is where you see the best views. You also see monkeys along the trails which was wild to see.
Overall, this was the BEST trip we’ve ever been on. Costa Rica is amazing and we were blessed to share these experiences with our family. Now, on to Daytona!
One year down… Forever to go
Today is DECEMBER 9th. Exactly one year ago I said ‘I do’ to my baby boo AD. I didn’t know what to get him so here is a gift from the heart.
Life is crazy and time flies. Y’all, it’s been a whole year since we got married! Where does the time go?
In the past year, our beautiful niece was born. We won the Daytona 500 and began filming Racing Wives with CMT.
In honor of our one year, I made AD do a photoshoot in the desert so shoutout to the best husband but also shoutout to the best wife because now I have to go hunting. LOL.
We found out real quick that a happy marriage involves doing things that makes the other one happiest. I don’t like the quote happy wife, happy life. We’re a team. I like to think its happy couple, happy life.
Marriage is the most beautiful thing in the world but it isn’t easy. It’s something you have to work at constantly. At the end of the day, were a team. If I fall short, so does he and vice versa. I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.
HAPPY ONE YEAR to my world! You challenge me. You drive me crazy and you always make me better. Your drive and ambition is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Your heart is pure and you genuinely love me so hard. I love you with every ounce of my being! I can’t wait to see where God takes us next.
We know that marriage isn’t always skittles and rainbows but perfection is boring. It’s about what we overcome that makes life worthwhile. We struggle, we win, we lose, we conquer, we fail, but throughout it all, we overcome. You are my angel and I love you more than life.
Like I always say, it’s about the person who will be sitting on the front porch with you at 90 years old thinking you’re the best decision they ever made.
Cheers to the next 50! LETS DO THIS THANG!
All my love,
Celebrating the Future Mrs. Swan
We showered the Future Mrs. Swan with lots of love last weekend. I would have never moved here without Mariel so this was a true celebration of so many things!
Sometimes God sends people into your life to elevate you and Mariel is that person for me. She is my God-given sister.
Our lives changed FOREVER when we became best friends and roommates. We knew we would conquer the world together. And amongst that, God sent us our husbands. We met the boys July 11, 2015. It will be 3 years in a month and I just sit at awe at what all God has done.
Mariel's shower was at Childress Vineyards.
I immediately knew we had to have pancakes. Pancakes are Mariel's absolute favorite food in the world. So we went with a brunch menu. We served mini pancakes, fruit, and bacon on a pretty little stick. We also had a biscuit bar and a bagel bar to complete the brunch menu.
This one had to be a show stopper. There was a 3 tier cake in the center with cake pops, swan cookies, and other desserts around it.
The Cake was everything. We added fresh flowers to give it a little something extra and a glittery "Future Mrs. Swan" cake topper on top. We elevated the cake with a tall cake stand.
There were also mini donuts, heart shaped rice krispy treats, and mini cupcakes. All of these are Mariel's favorite sweets.
When the guest arrived they were handed a glass of champagne with cotton candy sprinkled in the champagne. I don't think anyone loves cotton candy as much as she does so this was a must.
We also had a mimosas bar, lemonade, and a water station with fruit infused water.
Party favors were wine and bath bombs so that her guest could have a relaxing night.
Love is in the details
When you first walked up to the vineyard, there was a gold plated mirror that said Welcome to Mariel's Bridal Shower. I had a girly one inside when the guest were greeted.
Flowers can really make a venue come to life. The vineyard supplies farm wood tables so I ordered a lot of greenery and placed it down the center. I added white hydrangeas along the greenery to set it off. It was gorgeous!
Flowers can be EXPENSIVE! But bargain shopping is my speciality. I got a quote from a florist and they quoted me $10,000. (LOL). My mom told me that you could order flowers in bulk from Costco and Sam's Club! BEST IDEA EVER! I highly suggest this for Engagement parties, Bridal showers, and weddings. You get so much bang for your buck. Tiffany and I set out all the flowers ourselves and it only took a few hours.
One of the most important parts of a Bridal Shower is the backdrop for the bride to open her gifts. This will be photographed the most during the shower and once she's done opening gifts you can use it as a photo backdrop. I used this to make it extra special:
1. A grand chair for the Bride to sit in
2. Balloons around the frame of the backdrop
3. A board with "Future Mrs. Swan" on the front
Balloons are something that I'm really obsessed with. We used the gold letter balloons for The Bff Blog campaign and those are some of our favorite photos. This is a really cool and cheaper way to decorate a big space. I bought all the balloons off of Amazon.com. The biggest I could find were 42" balloons and they turned out perfect.
I rented gold chairs to make the room pop. The chairs were everything! It brought everything together.
I had the sides of the room draped and up lighting added in the room to brighten it up. This is necessary for darker rooms.
The countdown for The Swan's begins!!!!
Tips and Tricks on Party Planning
Before I was married to Austin, I was an Executive Assistant and a big part of my job was entertaining and party planning. I've always loved throwing parties and especially Austin's birthday. He does so much for everyone else so it's nice to do something for him.
A few years ago, the CEO of DOW Chemical gave us some advice that I'll never forget. He told us to never let a birthday go unnoticed. He said always do it big for both of our birthdays. He gave us several other life tips but this really stuck with me. I think of adults and how they do so much for everyone else especially with kids so we made a promise to each other that we'll always celebrate no matter what.
Party Planning Check List:
1. Venue: Book where you're going to have the party
2. Theme: Pick a theme. Pinterest is a great place for ideas
3. Food: Figure out food that goes with the theme
4. Cake: Find a good bakery and put your order in early
5. Party Decorations: I like a 'one stop shop' so Party City is always my go to
6. Invites: Make sure you get the word out two week prior - I always have AD's friends pass it around the race shop
1. Balloons make any event look over the top. Party City has so many choices just make sure you get double of everything. Two is better than one
2. It's better to get too many decorations than too little. More is better in party planning
3. A two-tier cake makes for a great center piece
4. Go easy on the food - stick with something you can order in
5. Don't forget the candles!
6. Don't forget the cake in the fridge
7. Have someone take photos for you. It makes things easier on you
8. The same thing goes for videos. Always get it on video!
Austin's party was Luau themed. We did it at our pool and I rented a blow up slide. I did this two years ago and the slide was a huge hit. The slide is as tall as the barn. LOL. I kept it simple with food and just had pizza, chips, and cookies. I usually forget something every year and this year I forgot the cake. UGH! It was such a cute cake too. We were having such a good time I just completely forgot it in the fridge.
We always like to dress the part so I bought Hawaiian leis for everyone to wear. Austin had a special leis since he was the birthday boy. And of course me and Mariel took it to a whole another level.
The best thing about birthdays is that it brings everyone together. We all have busy schedules and our own lives but when you celebrate someone who has lived another year on this earth, it's just special. Thank you to all our friends and family who came to celebrate AD! We love Y'all.
Whit + Mariel
Microblading is one of the best beauty tips I can give anyone who needs help with their brows. Coming from someone who used to have horrible brows, I've done my research. Here's everything I can tell you about Microblading.
1. Do your research and make sure you see pictures BEFORE you trust them with your face
2. Double check their price before you make an appointment. Some people will charge more if you don't ask before you book the appointment
3. MAKE SURE THEY USE NUMBING CREAM - if they don't offer it, get up and leave because it is necessary for you to be numb during this process
4. Don't overpay for poor service - Research, research, research!!!
5. Follow all of the directions for your after care. This is the most important part
6. Every professional has a different style of microblading. Make sure you love ALL of their brows that they display on their social media.
5. Find a professional who draws consistent, symmetrical, and clean brows
Day 1: You will love them. Coloring will be dark but understand that will fade
Day 2: They will look extra dark
Day 5-10: Your brows may/may not peel a little bit
Day 10: Brows may look lighter. Depending if you peeled or not
Day 10-14: Brows will be perfection
Kess' Sleeping Beauty
I researched for months and months for the perfect microblading professional in the Charlotte area. HANDS DOWN, the best person I found was Holly from Kess' Sleeping Beauty. She is absolutely phenomenal. She has the BEST service I've ever received and draws the prettiest brow stroke.
The prices are even better. She charges $450 for microblading and most charge around $600. This last up to one year. She also does permanent makeup. I didn't try any of that but I can tell you that you will be thrilled with her brow service.
If you are around the Charlotte area, check out her work on instagram. She has people who travel all over to see her. Tell her Whitney sent you if you go!
Whit + Mariel
Tips and Tricks
1. Essential Oils - Major key! Lavender will put you to sleep within 30 minutes. The oils relax the body and soothes the soul.
2. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps and caffeine, especially in the afternoon - Power napping may help you get through the day, but if you find that you can't fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short catnaps may help.
3. Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends - This helps to regulate your body's clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
4. Evaluate your room - Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep. Your bedroom should be cool – between 60 and 67 degrees. Your bedroom should also be free from any noise that can disturb your sleep. Finally, your bedroom should be free from any light. Check your room for noises or other distractions. This includes a bed partner's sleep disruptions such as snoring. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, "white noise" machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices.
5. Exercise daily - Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
6. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows - Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of allergens that might affect you and objects that might cause you to slip or fall if you have to get up.
Whit + Mariel
Mariel said YES to the dress
In the blink of an eye I felt like I was engaged and here Whit and I were again, in New York, searching for the perfect dress. I must say God continues to amaze me more and more with this entire wedding planning process.
Everything about our trip to New York was amazing. I had my mom (Victoria Lane), my future mom (Maribeth De' Braal), and of course my bff (Whitney Dillon) right by my side to find the dress I will wear on one of the biggest days of my life.
After going through the process once before with my bff, Whit and I felt like we were NY pros, on finding the perfect dress. I used all the tips Whit suggested and we learned even more going the second time around.
1. Have a game plan! Make sure you schedule appointments with your favorite stores, boutiques and designers. Know their policies and what time they a lot appointments.
2. Research before hand your favorite types of dresses so you have an idea before you start trying on. There’s so many different types of dresses so it can be overwhelming if you haven’t done any research on the type of dress you like.
3. Take in every moment of the experience. Bond with the people around you and focus on all the love surrounding you. Don’t stress yourself out over the things you can’t control.
6. Whitney couldn't have stressed this more.. Don't Tell! Once you've found your dream gown, delete the evidence off your phone. Don't give any details so everyone can be surprised. The dress is a statement and you can't make one if everyone knows. The style, material, brand, and price is 100% confidential.
The best part of searching for my wedding gown was the process of sharing it with the people closest to me, and seeing the looks on their faces. It gave me, my mom, my future mom, and maid of honor a chance to bond on a deeper level.
I know for a fact after this weekend we are all closer. Its important that you, your maid of honor, mom and mother in law create a bond because you will all work very closely together in helping you prepare for your big day. After this weekend I felt an overwhelming feeling of blessed to have so much love around me.
Good luck to all my brides searching for the perfect gown!
The Future Mrs. Swan
Daytona 500 was Faith in the Flesh
It was Jesus! I know this sounds crazy but the Lord spoke to us before the race and told us AD was going to win. The Lord works in perfect timing. It may be hard to understand His plan before but you must trust that He is in complete control going before us turning our no's into yes's, opening our shut doors, and paving ways out of no ways.
Austin winning the Daytona 500 was so much bigger than him, than us, than Nascar, it was about God.
The 3 team are the Daytona 500 CHAMPIONS. We made history. We saw history being made right before our very own eyes.
So let this sink in. 20 years ago, my husband, Austin Dillon, was in victory lane with Dale Earnhardt. This year was the 60th anniversary of the Daytona 500. It was an extremely special year to win and especially with the 3 car. The history behind Austin, Richard Childress, Dale and the 3 car is so special. This win was like a story book ending.
Bubba Wallace finished P2, right behind AD. He’s the first African-American to finish that high in the Daytona 500. On top of that, Derrell Edwards, was the first African-American over-the-wall pit crew member to win the Daytona 500 last weekend. History was made in so many different ways. Thank you Jesus!!!!!
We all knew this year was going to be special. 2018 is the year of greatness. 2018 is the year of increase. 2018 is the year of the woman!
Austin and I recently were married on December 9th, 2017. I’ve been praying for the number 3 team since I started dating Austin a little over 2 years ago. I knew amazing, unreal, incredible things were coming our way the moment we said I do. There is so much power and value in knowing that God brought us together for a bigger purpose and for a bigger reason. We’re here for more than just winning races. We were joint together by God to change the world with love. I also believe that the entire 3 team was brought together for a bigger purpose.
Listen, this is the year of saints! Mariel’s mama told us this was the year of Greatness and if we walked by Faith and not by sight, the unbelievable would happen. Many people don’t know that before Austin and I got married my biggest request was for him to be baptized.
Pastor Ray (our Pastor who married us) baptized Austin, his dad Mike, and mom Mrs. Tina all before the wedding. It was such an emotional and powerful night at the barn. You can't tell me God does not reward His servants.
What’s even crazier about this win is that we were able to experience this as a family! Both Mariel and I’s biggest dream was for Paul to be on the number 3 team, and Paul made the number three team this year! We were able to all experience this victory together. Unbelievable.
The day of the race
Before driver intros, we had a group of people praying over Austin in our bus. After the prayer, it was just AD and I in the bus and I told him that he was going to win on the last lap. I told him that it wasn't going to be pretty but remember Faith over Fear. My last words were walk by Faith, not by sight.
Our first thought when he won?
JESUS! JESUS! JESUS! God demonstrated Faith to so many people that night. It was all about what FAITH can do. “Walk by Faith not by sight” is written on my vision board along with winning the Daytona 500. Both of these happened that night and so many witnessed it.
Champions Media Week
The next day, we had a Champions breakfast where they presented the Daytona 500 Champions jackets. It was so cool to have the entire 3 team there for media. I love watching this team interact with each other. It's a brotherhood and these guys are all like family.
Every team member signed the winning car (including me) which will stay in the museum for one full year.
Austin and I flew to NYC all week for more media. We are officially exhausted but the really good kind of exhausted. Here is a picture of AD on Live with Kelly and Ryan! So cool.
What a week! I will never forget this moment or this feeling. I want to end with this... Walk by Faith, not by Sight! Be good to people and always do the right thing.
Whit + Mariel
Just sit back and ride
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Just sit back and ride... This is what my daddy would tell me growing up whenever I would ask, “Are we there yet?” “Where are we going?” “Will so and so be there?" It would never fail, my dad would say, “baby girl, just sit back and ride.” That’s one of the best lessons my daddy taught me, and didn’t even realize it.
God is constantly trying to tell us the same thing. When we give our lives to God, that means trusting him to be the drivers in our lives. We must know and trust that he won’t take us anywhere that wasn’t in our overall best interest. God promises us in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Whit and I moved to North Carolina December 3rd, 2015. That is going on 3 years ago, we knew God was leading us there. Of course once we finally arrived we had our doubts and wanted to know all the details right then and there on why God lead us to North Carolina. We had the support of our families but we also had a lot of 'nah sayers' that thought it was the worst idea ever. But it was Gods Plan, not ours or anyone else’s.
Who would have thought three years ago our lives would unfold the way it did. Whit is married to the man of her dreams and I’m engaged to man of mine. We are next door neighbors and are all apart of Nascar. My fiancé is on Austin's team this year and I couldn’t have created a better scenario for our lives. We serve and intentional God y’all!
Everything he does aligns with his promise.
When God is driving, allow him. And always remember.. just sit back and ride.
Whit + Mariel
Thank you Johnathan Kayne for styling us this weekend. We are two of the official judges for the Miss North Carolina and Miss South Carolina United States pageant. Good luck to all the beautiful ladies competing for the title! We can't wait to meet you bright and early in the morning. Check out our instagram story for behind the scenes. XO!
Whit + Mariel
The wedding first hand
December 9, 2017 was one of the most amazing moments in my life. It was insane to see my best friends, Whitney, and AD, become one.
Weddings are so much bigger than many of us realize. It’s an oath you take before God. It’s a chance for us humans to get a glimpse of the love God has for us, through the love we are supposed to have for our spouses, which is unconditional.
Unconditional love is the love that God has for us no matter what. His love remains patient, and kind. It does not boast, it is not proud, it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves.
Love Never Fails. (1 Corinthians 3:4-8)
Being Whit Whit’s Maid of Honor was so much more than just standing next to her in a sparkly dress. I could see my best friend enter a different chapter in her life. To witness how far she’s come spiritually, and to see her dreams unfold into reality was one of the proudest moments of my life.
Aside from this wedding being one of the most beautiful events I had ever attended, you could FEEL THE LOVE all around you. The room was filled with love everywhere you turned, and with people who were truly excited for the union of her and AD.
Austin and Whit are a true testament that real love does exist. Real love is worth waiting for. It may seem difficult during the time, but when you wait on who God has in store for you, it is incredible. It leaves you speechless.
Marriage is a God union, which means only God can orchestrate a successful marriage, where you experience the abundance that He has to offer you in your life. Something I thought that was so beautiful, was before Whit and AD got married, her biggest request was for him to get baptized. He did a couple of days before the wedding and it was such a beautiful and emotional moment. Their relationship is so much bigger than what is seen on pictures and on social media, it is a God union.
I asked Whit when she came back from her honeymoon, “Did she feel different?” Her response was, “Absolutely.” She felt in her soul that she was a brand-new person, and that a new person was born, Whitney Dillon. How awesome is that! And I got to witness it, right by her side. I am forever grateful. Congratulations Austin and Whitney Dillon! I love you two more than you will ever know.
XoXo – Mariel , love you bunches!
The Dillon's Wedding Photo Book
This was the best day of our lives and these pictures ooze so much happiness and love. Thank you everyone who was apart of our special day. I still can't believe how amazing everything went. I love you guys so much!
One of the best parts of a wedding is choosing all the dresses and suits. My passion is fashion so our favorite part was picking out everyones wardrobe. From the bridesmaids and flower girls to the ring bearer and pastor, I wanted everyone to shine.
My bridesmaids were glowing at my wedding. It made me so happy to see each of them standing by my side on our special day. The girls wore champagne gowns by Mac Duggal with rose gold heels by Steve Madden.
Can we take a moment for the flower girls? Kinsley, Tay Tay, Chapel, and Ellison were the hit of the wedding. I really wanted the older girls to look like mini brides. Chapel was too little for a mermaid style dress so we ordered her a poofy princess dress from ETSY.
We had their dresses custom made to look like my wedding gown and I can't get over how adorable they were. They completely stole the show.
I love Kinsley, Tay Tay, Chapel, and Ellison so much. Each of these girls are so incredibly special to me and I can't wait to watch them grow up and turn into amazing women.
I've been so excited to show you guys my wedding gown. It's a Pnina Tornai Couture gown from Kleinfeld Bridal. I actually went to Kleinfeld's for this exact dress.
The moment I put it on my body I knew this was the one. I felt like this dress was made for me. I chose a cathedral veil with bling draping the entire bottom. I loved the skinny straps with bling, the corset detailing, and the girly bow. It was sexy but I still felt like a princess.
I love seeing this moment in photos. I was so excited to see Austin I couldn't take it. He had no clue what kind of dress I was wearing and there were so many emotions going on... the first look was so much fun.
The 'first looks' are so much fun. My girls went crazy and Austin fell to the floor. LOL. We're all very dramatic.
Austin and the groomsmen wore suits from Stitched. When you opened Austin's suit, it had all of our engagement photos on the inside.
Best time of my LIFE!
Part two coming next.
Details, Details, Details....
We chose Childress Vineyards as our venue. It is one of the prettiest venues in North Carolina. The theme of our wedding was rustic glam. My colors were rose gold, gold, and a hint of blush. Everything I chose was very classic - white flowers, gold bridesmaid dresses, and a white wedding cake. I didn't want to look back in 10 years and say, "what was I thinking?"
Tables and Chairs
We had all sorts of tables. Farmhouse tables, round tables, and cocktail tables. Each of them had different table cloths to create dimension. I'm in love with our gold chiavari chairs. I really think they brought everything together.
The warmth of the room was unreal. A lot of times white tents look 'cold' but our team did an amazing job to keep it warm. Quick tip for brides choosing white tents - We didn't chose 'crisp white' for our tent. We went with ivory for the ceiling and blush for the sides.
God smiled on December 9, 2017. He blessed that day with every desire of mine and Austin's heart. Literally, everything we wanted came to pass.
It doesn't snow much in North Carolina and I can't believe we had a winter wonderland for our big day! Austin originally wanted to get married in Montana for the snow so I was thrilled when he got the one thing he wanted most for our magical day.
My bridesmaids bouquets were classic, elegant, and glamorous. I chose different variations of white flowers. Reggie's Flowers in Lexington, North Carolina came through with the flowers. They did such an amazing job.
The flowers were one of my favorite things of my wedding. Some people skip on the flowers for the price but they made the venue come to life. I suggest skipping on other areas.
Also, I met with Reggie's Flowers for 15 minutes. I told him what I wanted and he brought it to life. The biggest advice I could give any bride is let the experts do their job!!! They do this for a living, not us. I showed him some pictures and said make it glamorous.
Some tables had tall center pieces, others had small vases. The groomsmen and bridesmaids table had a massive row of greenery down the center with white flowers.
Now, let's talk about my bouquet.....
I'm so obsessed with my bouquet holder. I found this company on instagram and fell in love with her work. There are certain things that are next level and this is one of them. It put that extra touch on the bouquet.
I love anything extra so obviously I wanted the biggest bouquet Reggie could possibly make. It weighed 15 pounds. YES, I said 15 pounds. Shout out to my maid of honor for having to hold it the entire ceremony. You the real MVP!
I could sit and stare at these photos for hours and hours. Thank you Reggie's Flowers and his staff for making all my dreams come true. You killed it! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!
Maxie B's made our beautiful wedding cake. We had a lot of different flavors but our main flavor was Fun Fetti. The other flavors were strawberry, chocolate, lemonade, pumpkin spice, and oreo. I wanted it all white, as tall as they could make it, with flowers hanging off of it. Reggie's did the flower and added a touch of bling. Again, the details are unreal.
For my chandeliers, I chose to have an assortment of different sizes. I had the largest size over the dance floor and smaller ones around the parameter.
We added drop lighting to certain things we wanted to highlight in the room. You can see where there is a spot light on the cake.
I wanted to highlight our flower wall. This has been a trend thats been going on for several years. When Kim and Kanye did it I was obsessed and knew I wanted one for our wedding. I wanted to mix it up and do something a little different than the usual flower wall. We added greenery with massive flowers, white roses, peonies, and smaller white flowers. Again, it gives dimension. This was our backdrop for photo ops.
We also had a red carpet with a backdrop that had our logo. Austin had this idea to incorporate a red carpet. We have so much fun in Vegas for the awards banquet and wanted to bring it to our wedding. We never had the chance to get a picture by it but it was a really cool touch.
My wedding planner, Ashley Hartman, made our bar signs. She is so talented and I couldn't have done any of this without her.
A huge hit of our wedding was Jimmy the bartender. He is the best mixologist I've ever seen and made the freshest, most delicious drinks ever imaginable.
I think it's a cute touch when you name your own drinks. For the ladies, the 'Feeling Whitney' was the biggest hit of the night.
Childress Vineyards has a pavilion so we used it for our ceremony. We draped the entire pavilion with ivory and the front had blush draping. We had tons of chandeliers and gold chiavari chairs.
It felt so Heavenly. I truly felt like a princess getting married. It was just so magical and beautiful. The drapes almost looked like beautiful clouds hanging over us. It was perfect.
The flower petals, vases, and candles were also done by the winery! Their little touches made everything so complete.
Heartstone Films did an amazing job with our video. We don't have the full version but here is a sneak peak - CLICK HERE
Kristin Byrum and her hubby Aaron did an amazing job on our photos. They also did our engagement pictures. We loved them from the start and they made us feel so comfortable. They are some of the best photographers around and we highly recommend them.
Stay tuned for more to come this week.
Mrs. Whitney Dillon
December 8, 2017
Our wedding weekend was so amazing and magical I can't even put into words how perfect everything turned out. I love all of the photos and can't wait to finally show you guys!
Since the rehearsal dinner's all about the groom, we did the theme cowboy rustic. It was so romantic and beautiful. The winery does an amazing job on every little detail.
I want to thank Mike and Tina for making this night so perfect!
My favorite part of the night was listening to the speeches. I must say, my girls knocked it out of the park. Mariel, Lindsey, Kristen, and Nakeisha made me cry like a little baby. The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships... and I'm blessed beyond measure to have these girls in my life.
I have to give the biggest thank you to Mrs. Tina. This is the only picture we have together just us from the rehearsal. She's the most amazing mother-in-law I could have ever asked for. When I was single, I prayed so hard that when I met the man of my dreams, I would love his mom just as much as I do him. When AD came along and I met Tina I knew he was the one. He was God sent and so was she. Mrs. Tina put her heart and soul into this wedding and I can't thank you enough for all of your hard work. I love you to the moon and back!
Clearly, we had the time of our lives. Thank you to all of my family who drove through a snow storm to get to us. I love you all from the bottom of my heart!
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Whit + Mariel