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A Southern Daytime Wedding Done Right

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Eliza Morrill

Elizabeth Heard White, the founder of a namesake accessories line,“Elizabeth Heard,” as well as Domino Media Group—a PR and brand strategy firm based in Atlanta, Georgia—met Travis Cook on Bumble, the online dating app where women make the first move. “My SMU sorority sister, Whitney Wolfe, started it, and you gotta support a sister—right?” Elizabeth says with a laugh. “Seriously though, I’d been hearing a lot of positive buzz about Bumble, so after getting out of a long relationship, I decided to give it a shot. Working in PR, I do everything on my phone, and I always joke: Why not find a boyfriend on it? Ultimately, I lucked out though because I actually found my husband—and, I’m so thankful for the Bumble team as well as proud of what they’ve built and stand for!”

Living in Atlanta, one of Travis’s favorite places is, naturally, The Waffle House. After going out together for the first time, Elizabeth couldn’t stop thinking about him the next day, so going against all normal protocol, she made another bold move, and texted him: “Waffle House?” The rest is history!

They dated for one wild and wonderful year before getting engaged in front of the fountain at Forsyth Park in Travis’s hometown of Savannah, Georgia. “We were supposed to have lunch with his sweet grandmother nearby, and when Travis told me she canceled last minute, I knew something was up,” remembers Elizabeth. “She would never cancel lunch with him! Travis ended up ordering a bourbon at lunch (another red flag) and when we left the restaurant, he suggested a walk in the pouring rain. Something was really up. As we began the short stroll to the fountain, it stopped raining which turned out to be such a blessing because the normally busy area by the fountain was clear and ready for him to pop the question.” That night, Travis kept the surprises coming—he’d planned a fun dinner with he and Elizabeth’s sisters, who had driven in for the occasion, and a small staycation at one of the city’s charming hotels.

Once they started wedding planning, they quickly realized that above all they wanted their wedding weekend to be warm and inclusive, so they decided to host it in the bride’s hometown of Columbus, Georgia. In hopes of spending the most time possible with all our guests, especially those who had traveled from around the globe to be there, they had a beautiful but more relaxed rehearsal dinner on Friday night, which included all of the out-of-town guests, at Elizabeth’s parents’ house as well as an after-party following their daytime reception.

They didn’t have a planner, but utilized tips online from superstars like Rebecca Gardner and Lynn Easton and a slew of the bride’s stylish friends helped with special details. Designer and entertaining expert Danielle Rollins graciously shared her topiaries and advice. “Beth Lacefield, owner of textile-company Lacefield Designs, had recently been through the wedding planning process with her son and graciously invited me to her office to bounce ideas back and forth,” remembers Elizabeth. “She created custom velvet appliquéd pillows that we used to soften the space of the foyer leading into our reception. Details like these were some of my favorite of the day!” Family friend Cathey Turner created all the thoughtful welcome boxes for the out-of-town guests. She cleverly included custom coke bottles that had, “Share a Coke with Elizabeth and Travis” on them, as well as our favorite cheese straws from Southern Straws (a local Columbus company) and items from well-known places in Savannah like Bryd’s Cookies and Savannah Bee Company.

For her wedding day look, the bride chose a long-sleeved Chantilly lace gown by Monique Lhuillier because it initially reminded her of the one her mother and grandmother wore on their wedding days. “I thought the dress was timeless and forever chic!” she explains. “It just felt like ‘the one’ sort of like when I met my husband. I didn’t need to look any further.” She paired it with Monique Lhuillier shoes that she snagged on Ebay a week before the wedding as well as an heirloom ivory tulle veil with lace appliqués and jewelry from her grandmother’s closet.

The bridal party was kept to family only with both Elizabeth and Travis’s sisters serving as bridesmaids. They all wore different silhouettes of tea-length taffeta dresses in the same color with beautiful matching baubles made by the bride’s dear friend Taylor Miller, the jewelry designer behind Hazen & Co. Taylor graciously gifted each bridesmaid baroque pearl barrettes that they all wore in their hair.

When guests arrived for the ceremony, they were greeted by a gospel choir. “They were our ‘hype girls’ since the ceremony was at noon and helped wake guests up who were stumbling in, tired from the night before,” laughs Elizabeth. “They also belted ‘Oh Happy Day’ as we left the church instead of a traditional recessional.”

After the ceremony, the wedding party lingered outside of the church for a few minutes and listened to the gospel choir while Travis’s groomsmen popped champagne and poured it into custom “Kiss The Cooks” cups. An old school trolley then transported the group over the reception.

The food at the reception was meant to provide “a taste of the south” for all of the friends from up north who’d made the trip down for the wedding. There were a handful of smaller food stations which included a coastal oyster bar; Georgia gulf shrimp displayed in three giant clam shells that Elizabeth snagged at an antique sale in Atlanta; a table of various quiches; a farm to table station with a whole bourbon-glazed, roasted hog from Tifton, Georgia, roasted root vegetables, a harvest salad, and portobello mushrooms and goat cheese and herb crumbs; and last but not least, a biscuit bar. The biscuit bar had an assortment of sweet potato, buttermilk, and cheddar chive biscuits displayed in a three-tier silver concoction brought to life by florist-Glynn Alrbight. There was also an interactive Bloody Mary bar! Guests were able to choose from three different Bloody Mary bases (house, spicy, and smoked) and a dozen relevant accompaniments. Red salt garnished each glass and a custom stir sticks were placed in all. Shots of Weller bourbon paired with thick-cut bacon were also passed around to guests every hour on the hour!

To round out the southern scene, there were linen napkins stamped with the couple’s custom wax seal, custom paper napkins with their monogram inspired by Julia B, and an old school dance card element that was meant to serve as a conversation starter. As a final touch, instead of a traditional guest book, a simple wooden swing had been set up and guests were asked to “swing by and sign” during the reception. “We hope to one day hang the swing with everyone’s names in the yard of our home as one of the ways to remember the joy of the day!” explains Elizabeth.

To encourage dancing in the middle of the day, the couple brought in a Motown band. “The week before the wedding, I spontaneously ordered 100 white ‘cook hats’ off Amazon,” laughs Elizabeth. “My husband loves to cook and with my new last name also being ‘Cook,’ we decided to play off of it. We stamped the hats with a custom wax seal and passed them around so that friends and family could wear them on the dance floor.”

After the reception, the newlyweds drove off in an old antique red convertible and headed home where we took a nap before the after-party started. Meanwhile, buses took guests back to their hotels and then picked them back up two hours later. “We purposely had a small break after our reception for guests to change and rest before coming back over to my parents house,” says Elizabeth. “With a day reception, it’s a little funny because the big party is over in the afternoon, but people are still in town, and we weren’t ready for the fun to end. We served a southern speciality, ‘country captain,’ in my mom’s silver and had open bars set-up throughout the property. The dress code was ‘bonfire chic’ and the night was a great way to enjoy additional time with our friends and speak to those we didn’t have a chance to during the day. The last bus left around 1:00 A.M. at which point we headed to our honeymoon suite—a.k.a the room above my parents’ garage—exhausted and happy!”