09.17.16 | Small Town Southern Wedding

09.17.16 | Small Town Southern Wedding

Brides to be, soak it all in because before you know it you will be celebrating two years of marriage.

I loved everything about planning my wedding. Don’t get me wrong, I had LOTS of help, but for the most part, I planned it all. Before Evan and I were ever engaged, I knew what I wanted. Doesn’t every girl?

When my sister was planning her wedding, I held my breath. I always wanted to have my reception at my Uncle Les’s Farm in Mason and I hoped she wouldn’t want to do the same. She chose to have her reception in my parents back yard. Then a couple of years later my brother and Melissa went back and forth about where they wanted the location of their wedding, mentioning the Farm in the debate. Once again, they did not choose the Farm. Sighs of relief. I would have been just as happy for both of them no matter what they had chosen, but secretly I was happy that they chose otherwise! Secrets out!

My uncle’s Farm has been a gathering place for my family for many years. I have fond memories fishing with my brother, riding four wheelers with friends, riding horses, and one of my uncle’s favorite memories, Lauren and I cleaning his apartment attached to his shop. (My OCD started at a young age) We celebrated lots of birthdays there before it was what it is now. Now he has several shops, a gorgeous log cabin complete with a stone pool, and a pond. It is a place no one knew existed except a couple of close family friends. My Uncle has turned it into a beautiful home away from home.

I wanted my wedding to be different from my siblings, but also different from the “typical” Covington wedding.

Being different not only included the reception location, but the photographer, and the traditions associated with weddings.

I researched local Memphis photographers and reached out to a few. Nothing was set in stone with any of them. One day I had a customer overhear me talking about hiring a wedding photographer and she suggested a good friend of hers. I think she and I were meant to cross paths that day. I took her advice and hired Christen Jones to photograph my wedding along with my engagement.

I remember taking my engagement pictures like it was yesterday. Mom and I drove out to the Farm and waited for Evan to meet us there from work. Gwinn and Bennett also tagged along that day. We wanted to show Gwinn the Farm so we could all start brainstorming the set up of the reception. It was early to mid November so it was semi-cool outside, but not too bad. There has just been a storm recently and we were afraid all the leaves would be blown away for the pictures. Well, needless to say, Christen worked her magic on us, and we were more than pleased with our photos. I can still remember mom and I discussing on the way there that Evan and I shouldn’t do “kissy” pictures but we ended up doing them anyways and I loved them. HA!

Here’s a link to our photographers blog post.

Fast forward to January… the addresses are being logged into excel, save the dates have been ordered, appointments are being made.. the DRESS appointment being my FAVORITE. When I say it was a dream come true I genuinely mean it. I had been following this bridal boutique on instagram for some time and was thrilled to finally be going for myself. This place y’all, it is magical. I called Maggie Louise Bridal Boutique and booked an appointment for a Saturday morning. Once you book an appointment, they email you a quiz to fill out about your dream gown. They also called and discussed it all with me the week of my appointment. It was raining the morning we left for the appointment, but I kid you not as soon as we made it to the sign, “Welcome to Collierville!” it quit raining and the sun came out! How funny that I remember these details… Anyways, Molly, the owner, welcomed us with a genuine smile and positivity as we entered her gorgeous boutique. Molly instructed my guests to sit on the all white leather couches and enjoy a mimosa while they waited for me to try on gowns. Molly and her coworker guided me to my all white fitting room filled with dresses they hand-picked for me. They helped me into each gown, pulling it tight to fit me before showing my guests. Molly knew I wanted lace sleeves and thankfully talked me out of full lace sleeves. She had me try on dresses that were not necessarily what I had in mind but, wanted to be sure they were ruled out before making a final decision. That was pretty fun…see the selfie of Leah and I! The winner was written all over my face according to everyone in attendance. I absolutely adored it. It was simply beautiful.

The dress I tried on in the store had a blush underlay while the bolero I tried on was ivory. I ordered them both in ivory.

Let’s fast forward again. The invitations have been mailed. It just got REAL, real fast! We mailed out our invitations the last week of July. We squeezed in four showers into two weekends in August. Why? We were invited to TWELVE weddings that year. That means between going to weddings, wedding showers, and wedding planning, we were short on time! Our showers included a Stock the Bar Party given by the wedding party and friends, a Christmas shower given by my church, a nighttime party given by friends of my parents, and another night-time party given by friends. We were extremely blessed to have such kind and generous people host such lovely showers for us. We cannot thank you all enough.

It’s Thursday, September 15, I am at the Farm doing things to prepare for the big day. My phone rings and my future sister-in-law is on the other end telling me the news we knew was coming, but never imagined would come two days before our wedding. Evans grandfather has passed away. His grandparents had not planned on attending due to their health issues, but now his Knoxville family was unable to attend as well. The funeral arrangements were pushed to the following weekend so that Evan and I could be there and not miss our honeymoon. His grandmother was able to watch the wedding via FaceTime, and we were so glad. She and Evan are very close. He lived with his grandparents for the better part of his college years. She is such a sweet soul and absolutely adores her Evan.

It’s Friday, September 16, I am getting ready for my Bridesmaids Luncheon at Charlene’s Just Divine Tea Room in Halls, TN. My mom tells me that my Granny and Aunt Mina are unable to attend because they were taking Granny to the hospital. I thought to myself they will give her some fluids and send her on her way it’s going to be fine. After the luncheon and running out to the Farm for a few last-minute preparations, mom tells me that they are keeping Granny overnight and she is more than likely not going to be able to attend the wedding. That was my breaking point. I do not show a lot of emotion, nor do I cry often especially in front of people. I broke down pretty bad when mom told me that. Granny is my only living grandparent and the only grandparent who was going to be in attendance for the wedding. I had my pity party before the rehearsal and I finally got myself together. It broke my heart that she couldn’t be there on my wedding day and hear me say my vows to my husband because I know she would have been so proud of me. It kills me that I don’t have a single picture with her, but I am thankful that she is still here. She is still here today and that means more to me than missing my wedding day.

The wedding party rode together in a van to our Rehearsal dinner in Memphis. We stopped on our way to the restaurant to see my Granny. She was still my sweet giggly Granny, and that made me feel so much better.

The Gangaware’s threw us an amazing Rehearsal Dinner at The Rendevouz. We had quite the crowd, and lots of fun and laughs!

Saturday, September 17, WEDDING DAY. All week-long the weather forecast predicted rain on my wedding day. On that morning I woke up to sunshine and sprinkles. God tested us on Thursday and Friday, but like always he came through for us on Saturday.

The Vols played in the morning and WON, so that was also a good sign, HA!

The ladies started the day at Little Shop of Hair. My mom, sister, and I have been using Amy Malone, the owner, as our hair dresser for the last 6+ years. She and her team of ladies know how to make you feel and look beautiful. Amy did my hair as well as my mom and sisters. The bridesmaids hair was done by Tiffany Sullivan. All of our makeup was done by my good friend, Brittany Wright. I definitely recommend these sweet ladies for your next event!

We had a record-breaking twelve-minute ceremony. We did not do a first look because I wanted to be traditional and see each other for the first time walking down the aisle. Speaking of walking down the aisle, I only recall seeing The Jackson family on my entrance and Ryleigh Strong on our exit! I was not really nervous, to be honest. I blocked everyone out and I said my vows loud and proud.  There were no solos, no unity candles lit, and no ropes tied. It was short and sweet and I beamed with joy the entire time. We exited our wedding to Rocky Top, played on the organ just as my parents did, and my brother and his wife did.

The reception began with dances and cake. Soon after the cake was cut I remember hearing a loud popping noise. I immediately assumed the worst… thinking it was a generator backfire. To my surprise, as well as everyone else’s , my dad had a fireworks display put on by the local fire department. He had planned this himself and only told my uncle he was doing it. It was such a sweet surprise for me and our guests! Another surprise later on was my sweet friend Bennett performing his favorite, Celine Dion. There was not a dry eye in sight. We did not do a garter toss. In fact, I did not even wear one. We did not do a bouquet toss either. I did not want to do those traditions so we opted out of them! Our wedding guests waved orange and white glow sticks to send us off.

However, as picture perfect as it may look and sound, there were many things that went wrong on this day. None that were big enough to even mention though. My advice to any bride to be is: No matter what goes right or wrong on your wedding day, at the end of the day you will be married to the love of your life and that is all that really matters, right?

Our wedding was so much fun. I still have friends asking if we are going to throw an anniversary party. We were so fortunate to have such wonderful people share our special day with us!

Readers, if you were there, share a fun memory from our wedding. Thank you for reading and please come back, I promise I won’t be this long-winded again. Ha!


Click here for the photographers blog post.

Our Rings: Claire Eller’s Fine Jewelry in Memphis

Something Borrowed: My moms double strand pearl bracelet. My best friend, Jenn, also wore this in her wedding😊

Something New/Evans gift to Me: Pearl Diamond Drop Studs purchased at Claire Eller’s Fine Jewelry in Memphis

Something Blue & Old: My sister had one of my grandfathers old handkerchief’s embroidered with my initials and wedding date in blue.

Brides Gift to Groom: Rolex

Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Bridesmaid Dresses & Mother of the Bride Dress: All About Weddings in Germantown (this place has permanently closed)

Suits: McPherson’s

Flowers: Kathryn’s Flowers

Catering: Me and My Tea Room

Cakes: Amy Smith

Lemon Cookies: Christy Hayden

Pecan Pies: Nancy Stewart

Rentals: Mahaffey

Invitations|Programs|Koozies|Cups|Napkins: RSVP Stationers

Videographer: Weston Downing

Band: Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monsters

First Dance: How Sweet It Is by Marvin Gaye

Father Daughter Dance: The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra

Mother Son Dance: Lean On Me by Bill Withers


Bachelorette | Destin, Florida

Bachelorette | Destin, Florida

Wow! We have been married for almost two years now… time flies! Since our two-year anniversary is coming up next week we thought it would be a great time to do some blog posts all about our wedding, starting with the Bachelorette Party!

My sister-in-law, Melissa, with the help of the other girls too, threw me the most chic bachelorette party. We did a Kate Spade theme, so there were lots of stripes, polka dots, gold, and floral!


Do you see that amazing backdrop? Melissa made that for all the photo ops! She also made lots of props for us to take pictures with.





The Kate Spade bags were given to the girls by me and included:

  • Kate Spade Bag: eBay I ordered these to use as the gift sack since it was the theme!
  • Hogan’s Bachelorette Weekend Coozie: Etsy (shop used for custom coozies)
  • Hair Ties: Etsy (can’t find exact listing but it was this shop)
  • Stemless Champagne Flute with their Name in Gold: A friend did the vinyl for the flutes.


These gifts were swag for all of us put together by Melissa, Jenn & the girls, which included:

  • Hogan’s Bachelorette Tanks: Etsy
  • Hogan’s Bachelorette Sunglasses: Etsy
  • Beach Towels: eBay
  • Monogrammed Beach Spike (as seen above): Etsy


Melissa had the whole weekend planned out for us! We arrived around lunch on Thursday and immediately hit the beach. Thursday night we went to a local Dueling Piano Bar, Funky Blues Shack for complimentary pizza and free beer for the first hour! What’s better than free beer, pizza, andddd dueling paino’s?!

Romper: Similar and on Sale | Future Mrs.Gangaware sash: my talented friend Brooke made it for me!

Friday was a beach day with all of our fun floats! We all ended up bringing floats without even planning to!

Similar Swimsuit: Swimsuits Direct | Floats: Target (these can be bought almost anywhere!)

Friday night we went to McGuire’s Irish Pub for dinner and drinks then walked across the street to AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar. They had a live band that was so much fun as you can tell from the pictures:)

Romper: Nordstrom of course it’s sold out but I’ll link some similar ones here: H&M Sale , Tobi Sale , Dillard’s Sale

Earrings: Kendra Scott (still wear these a lot two years later)

Shoes: Similar & On Sale

Saturday was our last beach day and we definitely made the best of it! All the other beach goers loved us because of all our floats! We ended up getting some great pictures on the beach before our evening festivities!

Dress: Similar | Earrings: Kendra Scott (after two years these are still a go to earring for me. I have definitely gotten my money’s worth )

After pictures we came back and played a game and opened a few gifts!

Our final dinner was at the Ocean Club and it was oh so good! Our waiter even mentioned a few celebs who frequent this restaurant including the late, Pat Summit, and Jessica Simpson! I highly recommend this restaurant next time you’re in Destin! It is a great atmosphere with live music.

After dinner, we hopped in an Uber and headed over to Baytowne, and hung out at another fun dueling piano bar, Rum Runners! #DESTINationGangaware was definitely a trip for the books! The girls outdid themselves and I am forever grateful for these awesome memories!

Thanks for stopping by! Check back next week for my wedding blog post and grab a snack because it’s going to be a long one!

Beach Trip | OBA

Beach Trip | OBA

The south’s favorite beach vacation; the Gulf! Evan and I booked a short trip to the beach to celebrate my 28th Birthday, as well as visit my sister and her family. My sister recently moved to a small town in Alabama, about three hours from Orange Beach! Evan and I drove down after work and spent the night with them on Friday. The kids were so happy to see us for a night!

Saturday morning we drove the rest of the way and made it to the beach by noon! Evan and his family have frequented Orange Beach a lot over the years. Every time we go, Evan insists on eating at Doc’s ! It is a little seafood shack where you can make your own cocktail sauce at the table. So that was our first stop. Evan had the shrimp po’boy while I had the fried shrimp. Delish!

The weather was not great the entire time we were there, but we made the best of it. We were able to enjoy the beach for a few hours on Saturday afternoon before cleaning up for dinner.

Swimsuit: Lilly Pulitzer |Coverup: Amazon | Earrings: Kendra Scott | Sunglasses: Unicorn Eyewear (use promo code: unicorn20 for 20% off your purchase)

We had a late dinner at Cobalt, The Restaurant. The restaurant was packed, but luckily, we scooped up two seats at the bar soon after arriving! We were waiting on a table outside, but just decided to dine at the bar because the wait was so long. I love seafood so much; it was so hard to choose my entrée! I ended up ordering the blackened redfish served with jambalaya, grilled asparagus, and Tabasco hollandaise sauce. Definitely try to sit outside here if you get a chance to go.

Top: Nordstrom | Jeans: J. Crew Factory | Shoes: Nordstrom | Clutch: Nordstrom | Earrings: Kendra Scott

Sunday morning I woke up to beignets and coffee. At least once a trip Evan grabs us a couple beignets from Cafe Beignets and they are so yummy!

It was a rainy morning, so I of course wanted to go shopping at the Tanger Outlet. Evan actually NEEDED a few things so he was up for it. He was able to grab some new work pants and a new belt. He rarely buys for himself so I was happy he found something even if he did NEED it! I did not have as much luck as I thought I would. I bought a few things at H&M, and a few things that I’ve already shared from Gap Factory.

After shopping, we had a late lunch on the covered patio at Cosmos’s. We ordered my favorite, bang-bang shrimp, for an appetizer. We both ordered fish wraps for lunch and of course a couple cocktails 🙂 I highly recommend the Pineapple Sangria with fresh pineapple!

Dress: Loft (on sale)

Another overcast afternoon at the beach but it’s better than no beach at all!

Swimsuit: Dillard’s (on sale) | Coverup: Matilda Jane | Sunglasses: Unicorn Eyewear (use promo code: unicorn20 for 20% off your purchase)

Saturday night, we went to a cool little spot called The Gulf to enjoy the sunset with a cocktail before going to dinner. It’s such a neat place to go hang out and definitely kid friendly for those of you wondering!

Jumpsuit: American Threads | Earrings: Kendra Scott | Shoes: Sole Society

We decided to go to the Louisiana Lagniappe for dinner. This place is hands down the best food, service, and ambience! We could have gone back to dinner there the next night too, but opted to try a new place. They started us out with their homemade hush puppies. Evan ordered the spicy New Orleans style BBQ shrimp with homemade bread. I ordered fresh grouper sautéed and topped with toasted pecans. We devoured our dinner then went back to the condo where we sat on the balcony and listened to the waves with one more glass of wine😉

Our final day at the beach was my Birthday! I have already filled you in on our morning and 28 facts about myself in honor of my birthday! If you haven’t read that check it out here.

After our brunch we hit the beach, then the rain came. So we went in while it passed, and once it stopped we went back for the second time. Rain came again and so the third time we settled for the pool. The rain finally had moved out completely so we went to the beach to take pictures.

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer (Older style dress but lots of cute current ones) | Earrings: Target (similar)

We went to dinner at a fun little place called Fin and Fork. Their menu was insane! So much to choose from so definitely something for everyone. We ordered the smoked tuna dip drizzled with a spicy sriracha type sauce for an appetizer and it was delicious! Once again I couldn’t make up my mind on my entrée but decided on the blackened Mahi Mahi topped with lump crab and a Gorgonzola cream sauce! It was just as good as it sounds!!! Evan ordered the crab stuffed snapper which was also amazing. Since it was my birthday we HAD TO order dessert…. the buzzed brownie was to die for! The sweet older foursome sitting next to us asked if we were on our honeymoon. Glad to know we still look like happy newly weds💕

I know a lot of you readers frequent this area for vacation, so if there’s any thing you’d like to add about the area please comment! We love OBA and wish we could have stayed longer!