Southern Charm at Waverley
Natalie and Derrick’s classic love story set the stage for an epic wedding weekend celebration – southern style! They met as undergrads at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and wanted a fairly traditional wedding in the bride’s hometown, but, as with all things southern, on a grand scale. This weekend had it all – a bridesmaids brunch, fabulous rehearsal dinner including the southern “post-toast” tradition, a beautiful big church wedding ceremony and a blockbuster reception at Waverley Country Club – complete with a band flown in from Texas for the dance party, a second line exit, and our first newlywed nautical send-off! Natalie and Derrick, along with their families, were a dream to work with and BLC Events was thrilled to coordinate the entire weekend from grand scale to minute detail.
We started Friday morning setting up the bridesmaid brunch at the Johnson home hosted by the bride’s grandmother for Natalie, her mother, Catherine, and her 12 (we did say grand scale!) bridesmaids with flowers from Bella Bloom Floral, rentals from Party Place and a lovely menu from Art of Catering.
Following brunch, we descended upon Irving Street Kitchen to set up for the Welcome to Town/One Day Away rehearsal dinner party featuring phenomenal chalk art from Genevieve Hildrebrand-Chupp telling Natalie and Derrick’s story.
A seating board from our favorite Letters & Dust, striking centerpieces from Bella Bloom Florals, and table numbers with photos of the bride and groom growing up from the incomparable Lisa at Crave Design set the stage for the Welcome to Town event. Love and Photography, Really Big Video, and Goodco Studios were all on hand to enhance and document the occasion.
Following the ceremony rehearsal at the Old Laurelhurst Church, the wedding party, families and out of town guests were treated to the pre-wedding “One Day Away” celebration. Additional guests joined in after dinner for the legendary southern “post-toast” tradition. The sweet send-off N + D cookies from Frosted Lake Oswego were the perfect detail.
The elegant invitation suite from Crave Design and hand-addressed calligraphy from Kiminked announced the big day, Saturday, May 25th.
We started early on Saturday at Waverely Country Club where both the bridal party and the groomsmen prepared for the ceremony. Olivia Hawthorne and her fabulous team were on hand for hair and makeup, while Andrea Zajonc and company lent their photography talents to the event.
Natalie chose to wear her mother’s gorgeous wedding gown – stunning!
Natalie and Derrick wanted to preserve the tradition of the groom not seeing the bride prior to the ceremony. Fortunately, Waverley Country Club is practically designed for weddings! With enough spaces for the bride and groom, 24 people in the wedding party and the families to stay separated, but still start the essential portraiture.
By 3:00, we had to get the wedding party and families from Waverley to the church on time! No small feat, but we were able to get creative calling up some of that southern charm and transporting the wedding party in The Trolley. JMI Limousine chauffeured parents and grandparents and White Cloud Luxury Cars provided the classic ride to the church for the bride and her parents.
More than 350 guests arrived to bear witness to Natalie and Derrick’s union. The traditional religious yet heart-felt ceremony at the Old Laurelhurst Church was officiated by the Reverend Richie Sessions and featured live music from the Samsel Band. The bride’s adorable niece and nephew served as flower girl and ring bearer with heavenly white flowers from Blüm Floral everywhere.
Meanwhile, over at Waverely Country Club…a complete transformation! If there is one thing you can’t count on in Oregon in May, it’s the weather. Sure enough, the forecast for Natalie and Derrick’s main event called for traditional “liquid sunshine” – a slight hitch as we planned to use the entire first floor of Waverely, including the patios and north lawn, for the reception. Enter West Coast Event Productions, already setting the stage, dance floor and inside rentals – with our back-up plan of clear tents at the ready to create more “inside” spaces on all of the country club’s patios. Passed hors d’oeuvres, frosé and other beverages awaited guests for the cocktail hour on their arrival at Waverley.
It is not possible to have too many flowers at a southern-style wedding. We kept Blüm Floral busy in two places at once – both at Waverely and the Old Laurelhurst Church – setting the floral decor for both venues.
Fabulous custom signage from Letters and Dust for all the amazing extras at this epic party!
It was a top priority for Natalie and Derrick that the reception be a grand southern party – with everything their guests could possibly need to wine, dine, be entertained, and especially dance! We specifically went with a stationed dinner versus a sit-down so guests could enjoy themed buffet spreads in several different rooms at the club, but still leaving the prime majority of space for the dance floor.
We had the Matchmaker Band flown in from Texas for the occasion and they delivered! Everyone was on the dance floor most of the night – including the newlyweds!
When guests weren’t dancing, there was Vanity Portrait Studios for keepsake photos in the north lounge, the Smoke Easy Cigar Lounge on the north lawn porch, and Pip’s donut truck on the circle patio.
We did interrupt the dancing for a special toast from the father of the bride and the cutting of the incredible Dream Cakes creation. Our BLC Events brides are really hitting it out of the park with special groom’s cake surprises for their new husbands and Natalie was no exception. Derrick hails from Memphis and she requested a cake bearing his beloved Memphis Grizzlies logo, brought out to the band playing their theme All I Do is Grizz after the traditional cake cutting – he loved it, of course!
Blüm Floral had one more special treat for the wedding revelers: they broke down all the flowers from the wedding into sweet bouquets for them to take home and enjoy.
We were blessed with a break in the weather for the newly-minted Mr. & Mrs. Baber’s big send-off. After their last dance to Forever and Ever, Amen, guests lined up from the clubhouse down to the boat dock with rose petals. In grand southern fashion, Natalie and Derrick followed the Matchmaker Band’s second line through a shower of rose petals down to their waiting boat captained by Shane St. Claire. It was incredibly festive and what a fun exit!
An amazing wedding weekend last Memorial Day; we felt blessed to be a part of it! Thank you Natalie and Derrick, Johnson and Baber families for bringing us on board for these celebrations – we were truly charmed. Happy First Anniversary!!
Special Thanks to our Vendors:
Art of Catering | Bella Bloom Florals | The Party Place (rentals) |Genevieve Hildrebrand- Chupp (chalk art) | Love and Photography | Crave Design |
Kiminked | Letters & Dust | Irving Street Kitchen | Really Big Video (AV) | Goodco Studios (videography) | Frosted Lake Oswego | Olivia Hawthorne | Andrea Zajonc Photography | Waverley Country Club | Old Laurelhurst Church | The Trolley | JMI Limousine | White Cloud Luxury Cars | Samsel Band | Blüm Floral | West Coast Event Productions | Matchmaker Band | Dream Cakes | PDX Ice | The Vanity Portrait Studios | The Smokeasy Cigar Lounge | Pip’s Donuts | Premier Valet