{Bride} Anna Brown
{Groom} Jeremy White
{Hometowns} Brandon, MS (Bride) and Vicksburg, MS (Groom)
{Wedding Site} The Ivy Venue (Carriage House) Flowood, MS
{Reception Site} The Ivy Venue, Flowood, MS

{Bride’s Bouquet} White hydrangeas, white O’Hara garden roses, white ranunculus, white lisianthus, blush Juliette roses, and bits of Dusty Miller and seeded Eucalyptus.

{Bridesmaid Bouquets} Smaller versions of the bridal bouquet

{How did the two of you meet?}  Jeremy and I met in college, while studying at Mississippi College in Clinton, MS. We also attended church at Pinelake, which caused us to cross each other’s a couple of years later on a mission trip in Kenya, Africa. It was not until the end of my senior year of college and Jeremy’s second year of medical school that we began dating.

{What is your proposal story?} It was two days before Christmas of 2014, and Jeremy just got in town from Birmingham. We drove to Vicksburg to see his family; however, we took a detour and ended up at the Vicksburg Military Park, where we had our first date almost exactly three years before. It was cold and rainy (unlike the first day we spent there), so we drove around until we reached the highest point, looking over the Mississippi River. We got out of the car despite the freezing cold, rainy weather. Jeremy got down on one knee in the mud, and asked me to be his wife. Of course, I said, “YES!”

{What inspired your wedding and reception locations?} I always loved old southern antebellum homes. I grew up going to visit my grandparents in Natchez, MS who lived in a beautiful antebellum home. I had recently heard of the Ivy, and emailed the owner Christmas Eve. My fiancé (now husband) and I went to view the venue, and we fell in love! I always wanted to have an outdoor wedding, but a wedding in the Mississippi heat of July just wasn’t feasible. We viewed the Carriage House, which looked like a rustic chapel surrounded by windows. I loved how the building was set back in the woods and enclosed by trees. Having our ceremony at The Ivy’s Carriage House provided the greenery and natural sunlight I desired in having an outdoor ceremony. In addition, having our reception at The Ivy reminded me of my family’s antebellum home in Natchez, MS.

{What inspired your color scheme/theme/flowers?} I guess I would describe my theme as natural, classic. There was nothing flashy about my wedding, but I knew I wanted to choose ascents that were timeless. I also tried to stay true to myself, because I wanted our wedding to reflect our personalities. I wanted very subtle, classic colors. I also knew I wanted gray bridesmaid dresses, and everything else stemmed from there. I wanted my flowers and décor to contrast from the gray, but also brighten everything up since I was planning a summer wedding. I loved all the ivory and white flowers, and I was also drawn to the sage green leaves often found in bouquets. After vigorously flipping through magazines and searching on Pinterest, I worked with Wendy Putt to decide on my color scheme, which ended up being ivory, gray, blush, and gold. The flowers became my favorite aspect of the accessories and décor. I decided on white hydrangeas, O’Hara garden roses, ranunculus, lisianthus, blush Juliette roses, and bits of Dusty Miller and seeded Eucalyptus.

{How did you pick “the dress?”} I went to Lace Bridal Boutique with my mom and sister on a whim. I wasn’t trying to find “the dress.” I had already made appointments other places, not expecting to fall in love with a dress at my first stop. I was looking for something classic with lace. I tried on three or four dresses, liking pieces of each, but not really loving any of them. I was about to leave, when one of the sweet ladies at Lace put together a very simple strapless chiffon dress with a gorgeous scalloped lace jacket. I would have never dreamed of pairing these two pieces together, but the moment I put it on, I knew it was the one. I knew this dress was “the one,” partly because I felt complete comfortable and confident in it, but also because my mom started crying. I was so pleased with my dress, and can’t imagine wearing anything else on that special day.

{What’s your favorite unique accessory? Is there a story behind it?} I wore my childhood best friend’s grandmother’s wedding ring. We’ve been best friends since we were three years old, so we always considered each other as more of sisters than friends. Every daughter and granddaughter wore this ring on their wedding day to represent and honor their sweet grandmother. I was so honored to wear this piece as my “something old” and “something borrowed.”

{What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?} I really enjoyed planning and buying all the gifts for bridesmaids, hostesses, and family. I’m a gift-giver, so naturally I found great joy in finding special tokens that represented each relationship. This was also such a great way to show my appreciation for all the love, support, and encouragement that I received from each of these people.

{Besides the actual wedding, what was your favorite moment of the wedding day?} I loved the entire day, but the moment that Jeremy and I walked back down the aisle, after being pronounced husband and wife was so surreal. We turned around and saw the faces of the people that meant the most to us, and they were all there for us, celebrating us, and supporting us. That was the first moment that we joined hands as husband and wife, and walked out the doors to our future together.

{What was your favorite surprise detail/moment about your wedding day?} My favorite detail was a table we had decorated with old photographs of our parents and grandparents from their wedding days. I thought this was a great way to display the love and commitment that is celebrating in both our families as well as a sentimental way to honor those who were unable to be there with us on that day. My favorite small moment was right before the ceremony when my bridesmaids, mother, and mother-in-law-to-be joined with my two mentors in prayer over me. This was such a sweet moment to gather my thoughts, calm my nerves, and focus on what was to come. I was so encouraged and blessed by the words that were said over me.

Photographer: Katelyn Williams
Event Planner: Fresh Cut Catering and Floral
Dress: Lace Bridal Boutique

Bride’s Veil: Madame Tulle
Hair: Friend (Katie Fatherree)

Make-up: Friend & Bridesmaid (Laura McCormick Dixon)
Bridesmaid Dresses: Lace Bridal Boutique

Tuxes: Tuxedo Junction
Videographer: Revival House

Venue: The Ivy Venue

Rentals: The Ivy Venue/Fresh Cut
Florist: Fresh Cut Catering and Floral

Catering: Fresh Cut Catering and Floral

Band: Faze 4 Band
Bride’s Cake:  White almond butter cream-So Southern Sweets (Pamela Cadenhead):

Groom’s Cake: Cheese Cakes Squares from Sam’s
Print Material: Boyanton Printing: http://www.boyantonprinting.com/

{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
Did you say, “Yes!” over the holidays?  This magical season is a wonderful time to get engaged, and the perfect excuse to start searching for the gown of your dreams.   Forrest Paper and Bridal Company, a beautiful boutique in historic downtown Hattiesburg, is the South’s premiere shop for everything bridal.  Their wedding gown selection is especially spectacular. 

Cheryl Fletcher, owner of Forrest Paper and Bridal Company, says, “Twice a year, we travel to New York City for Bridal Week to select gowns for the upcoming season.  We have already started getting our gorgeous new gowns for this season!” 

Forrest Paper and Bridal Company carries bridal designers such as Watters, Jim Hjelm, Renella DeFina, Adele Wechsler, Chia Lieu and Nicole Miller.  For bridesmaids, they feature lovely dresses by Watters, Siri, Amsale and Frassical.  Cheryl says, “We carry a selection of styles to complement all body styles.  We also offer a variety of silks and laces.” 

Forrest Paper and Bridal Company offers a wonderful personal buying experience for all brides.  Cheryl smiles, “For bridal gowns, we serve only one bride and her guests at a time. We believe that buying a gown is a once in a lifetime moment and we strive to make that experience very personal. Each bride and her guests are offered a complimentary beverage at the appointment.  She may choose bottled water, sparkling white grape juice or champagne!” 

In addition to gowns, Forrest Paper and Bridal Company offers many other products and services for their brides, including accessory items like veils and jewelry to complete her look.  They offer handsome attire for the bridal party, including bridesmaid dresses and tuxedos.  Forrest Paper and Bridal Company also designs stunning invitations for weddings and showers, save-the-date cards, thank-you notes, napkins, programs and favors. They truly make your wedding the event of a lifetime. 

Forrest Paper and Bridal Company is filled with a friendly, creative and knowledgeable staff.  We encourage you to visit the lovely boutique and guarantee you will enjoy an incredible experience! For more information on Forrest Paper and Bridal Company, please visit their beautiful website here.  You can also see their Facebook page here!

{Blog by Mitchell Walters}

 
 
The Inspiration Mississippi team wishes you a magical and very merry Christmas today!  This wonderful holiday is filled with meaningful traditions and moments, and we are thrilled to share our favorite Christmas traditions with you today!

“One of my favorite Christmas traditions is Christmas Eve church service.  My church, Bellwether, does a candlelight service with all the wonderful and magical Christmas songs.  From the lighting to the decor to the music to the Holy Spirit - it's a truly magical night.  When we leave you can truly feel the meaning of Christmas and all the blessings that come with the true reason for the season, Jesus.  Then, of course, Christmas brunch at my parents with monkey bread and mimosas - there is more but those are my 2 favorite things on the menu!  I wish you and your family all the glory and magic of this holiday season and you have a chance to celebrate CHRIST in Christmas.  Blessings Y'all!”  Kendall Poole Ellis, Founder & Publisher

“On Christmas Eve we always go to my husband's family gathering.  We go to a candlelight service at Strong Hope Baptist Church and then all gather at his aunt's house.  The next morning we always wake up at our house for Christmas.  Growing up, my sister and I always made the breakfast casserole for Christmas breakfast.  We have continued this tradition with a brunch at her house Christmas Day.  My husband and I actually came home early from our honeymoon to surprise the family at the brunch!  Whenever our families are together there are plenty of games, meals and laughter.”  Emily Ferguson, Creative Director

“I have always loved attending Christmas Eve service.  When I was a child, I sat between my parents and carefully held a tiny candle.  The flame was passed from one person to the next, as the lights in the church went dark.  ‘Silent Night’ was sung a cappella by the entire congregation, and the sanctuary brilliantly glowed with the flicker of hundreds of candles. It was breathtaking and completely magical.  My husband and I continue taking our children to church on Christmas Eve, and I hope they feel the love, joy and miracle of Christmas each and every year.”  Mitchell Walters, Editorial Director 

"Christmas Eve is always a special time with my family because we all go to church at midnight. Prior to midnight mass, we go to the same Christmas Eve party we've been attending since I was a little kid. It's always a special day for me because I not only get to spend it with my family, but also I get to celebrate with great friends. On Christmas day, we open presents and then eat lunch with my mother's side of the family! Christmas is always a special time!" Caitlyn Sullivan, Social Media Director

“My mom, dad, brother and I make cookies every year.  We make sugar cookie dough, cut it into shapes, mix up icing to make it Christmas colors, and then ice the cookies. We make them pretty with sprinkles and sugar, then take them to our grandparents’ house.  Of course, we also leave some out with eggnog every Christmas eve for Santa!”  Alexis Davis, Events Director

A special thank you to Adam + Alli Photography for the lovely team photograph!  Merry Christmas to you and your family!

{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
If you are entertaining friends and family during the holiday season, we recommend serving a signature cocktail!  We reached out to Chris Robertson, Bar Director at BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar, and asked him to share his favorite Christmas cocktail.

Chris says, "The Long December is one of my favorite holiday treats. A combination of honey pomegranate and bourbon heated all together leaves this drink tasty, organic and warming to the soul."
The Long December

2 oz. 4 Roses Bourbon
½ oz. Lemon Juice
½ oz. Pomegranate
½ oz. Honey
½ oz. water
Heated and Served in a Snifter
3 Cranberries and a Cinnamon Stick

Thank you, Chris, for this delicious recipe.  We wish you all a magical and very Merry Christmas!
For more information on BRAVO!, please visit their website here!

{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
If you are entertaining friends and family during the holiday season, we recommend serving a signature cocktail!  We reached out to Chris Robertson, Bar Director at BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar, and asked him to share his favorite Christmas cocktail.

Chris says, "The Long December is one of my favorite holiday treats. A combination of honey pomegranate and bourbon heated all together leaves this drink tasty, organic and warming to the soul."
The Long December

2 oz. 4 Roses Bourbon
½ oz. Lemon Juice
½ oz. Pomegranate
½ oz. Honey
½ oz. water
Heated and Served in a Snifter
3 Cranberries and a Cinnamon Stick

Thank you, Chris, for this delicious recipe.  We wish you all a magical and very Merry Christmas
For more information on BRAVO!, please visit their website here!

{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
With the holiday season in full swing and Christmas just days away, it
is time to put the finishing touches on all of your festive decor.  We
reached out to our favorite interior designers at SummerHouse, and we
are thrilled to share their holiday decorating secrets with you today!

Todd Prince: "Magnolia garland and Boxwood wreaths are my favorite!!
You can never have too much fresh."

Elish Moon: "I personally gravitate towards a natural Christmas. I
love a living tree, wreath, and garland. The smell is so festive and
live greenery creates such an authentic feel. It also helps with
storage between seasons. At the end of the season you're done - no
need to stress about creating extra storage in your home. That makes
cleanup a breeze. Merry Christmas!"

Katy Hines: "You can’t beat a natural flocked Christmas tree with
white lights!"

Katherine Shelton: "My favorite way to decorate a tree is to use
burlap ribbon with antique mercury glass ornaments.  Gives the tree a
true old world feel.  One of my tricks to hanging all of the ribbon
and ornaments is to use floral wire.  Makes everything on the tree
look like its literally floating on the branches."

Mary Courtney Johns: "I love adding personal touches within my
decorations, not just using all ready-made items from a store. I have
found that if I invest a little bit more time, I have an overall
greater appreciation and gratification for my festive Christmas decor!
Each year, I try to incorporate new additions. The first project I
completed was my stockings. They are all handmade with the name of
each family member on each. I also have made ornaments using my
wedding photos in clear glass balls with some added details. My advice
is to get creative with what you have on hand and make lasting
memories in the process!"

To learn more about SummerHouse, visit their beautiful website at
www.summerhousestyle.com
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
Red Bird Paper, a fine art paper boutique in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is making quite a splash with their original, gorgeous designs.  From gift tags, stationary and notepads to pillows, apparel and mugs, Red Bird Paper’s products are garnering well-deserved attention around the state and beyond!

Joanna Keith, owner of Red Bird Paper, grew up in Jackson and attended Jackson Academy for school. She smiles, “Growing up I remember asking for art sets and anything crafty for birthdays and holidays. As a child I would make menus for my family to use at dinner, and I even still have a few construction paper books that are laminated that I wrote and illustrated. In high school I was in AP art classes and I always helped with props for the school's plays.”  Joanna is wildly talented and creative, and we had the pleasure of speaking with her about Red Bird Paper and her lovely designs:

What inspired you to open Red Bird Paper?
“I went to Mississippi State University and I majored in Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design. While in college, I got commissioned several years in a row by the University's Foundation to design and paint artwork for their annual Christmas cards. For these projects I was given creative freedom and during this time was when I began to explore and develop my watercolor style. After I graduated college in 2006 I went to work for the Creative Services Department of the University of Southern Mississippi. In my spare time I was asked by family and friends to design and illustrate invitations, so in 2007 I started my business, Unink Design. In 2008, I was again commissioned by the MSU Foundation to create eight watercolor landmark images for their 2008 Annual Report, and this was really when I began to develop a passion for watercoloring. I started to incorporate watercolor art into my design business and from there it slowly evolved into what it is today. In early 2015, I changed my business name to Red Bird Paper. I had wanted to change it for several years for many reasons - Unink was often mispronounced and misspelled, leading to an unclear language between my customers. The company's reference to a red bird is in honor of Dr. Hugh G. Ward, my late great uncle. ‘Doc’ played an integral role in my life, and a red bird's presence reminds me of him.”

Where are your products available?
"Red Bird is in several stores throughout the south and I do have a web site for online shopping as well - redbirdpaper.com "

MISSISSIPPI LOCATIONS
Accents | Hattiesburg
Brock's Salon | Jackson
Collins Florist & Gifts | Collins
Johnson Bros. Jewelry Co. | Pascagoula
Joyful Creations Gift Market | Tupelo
Little Lane Children's Boutique | Hattiesburg
Mimi's on Main | Senatobia
Oak Originals | Flowood
Occasions | Starkville
Sew N Style | Brandon
The College Corner | Madison
The Radish Loft | Gulfport
The Square Cupboard | Hernando
Yazoo Drug Co. | Yazoo

LOUISIANA LOCATIONS
Elements of Design | Baton Rouge

Tell us about your products!  Do you have any favorites?
“My favorite products are probably my gift tags. I used to make the tags by hand - one by one - and it would take days sometimes! I remember one night during the holidays I had printed, trimmed, hole punched, set grommets and corner cut over 500 individual tags. I loved being so hands-on with my work but that night was when I realized it was probably time to start outsourcing. My favorite new products are the ABC Animal Print and the ABC Animal Flashcards. I have had this project on my ‘list’ for a long time and I finally sat down and dedicated time for it - and I think it's paid off! It's been one of my best sellers recently and I'm so glad everyone seems to love my little animals I painted as much as I do! I have printers in Hattiesburg and Jackson that print my products. I love supporting locally owned businesses and I'm proud to have all my products made in the USA.”

Everything in your online store looks beautiful, bright and happy!  What is your favorite thing about owning Red Bird Paper and sharing it with customers?
“One of my favorite things about having my business is getting inspired by my customers’ ideas. Although I don't do as many custom pieces as I use to - I hope to get back to it eventually - I still think some of my best work came from my customers’ creative minds, and I loved working with them to make their ideas become even better than they imagined! Waiting to hear back from a customer after I've emailed them a proof is always exciting. I would get anxious to hear their response in hopes they loved what I've created just for them!"

How does living in Mississippi influence your work?
"Living in MS definitely influences my work. Living in Hattiesburg, I feel drawn to beach imagery, magnolias and cotton. Customers that live in or are linked to MS in some way love ANYTHING Mississippi so I try to create pieces I know they'll connect with as well- i.e.. My 'Christmas Cotton' gift tags and my new ‘MS City Collage’ artwork.”

Thank you, Joanna, for sharing your incredible designs with us today!  Red Bird Paper items make a wonderful gift for friends, family or yourself!  You can browse Joanna’s gorgeous work here on her website, or visit her Facebook page here

A special thank you to Suzanne Carey Photography for the photo of Joanna and her beautiful daughter, Elleigh!
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
{Tell us about the occasion for the event?} This sassy little girl is actually my daughter. Her name is Hollyn Todd and this was her second birthday. We called it "Hollyn in Wonderland". We live in Moselle, MS but I am from Soso, MS. My parents live on the same road as Rasberry Greene, and owner Lauren Zumwalt and my parents have been friends for quite some time now.  So, that is how the location of the party came about. 

{What inspired your decorations?}  I should give all the credit to my sister-in-law (Kay'ce Everett) for this party. She is such a good planner and hostess. I basically just bought the decorations and food and she did the rest. We started months before Hollyn's birthday looking at Pinterest for fun birthday ideas and when we saw Alice in Wonderland the search was over. We even watched the movie again to help spark ideas for the decorations. 

{What inspired your color scheme and flowers?}  I wanted to stick with the color scheme of the movie the best I could. We had one long table that we decorated to look like the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. I bought the bright colored flowers from Hobby Lobby and we glued the eyeballs on them and used them as the centerpieces with a long piece of turf for the table runner. The other tables were simple with the Mad Hatter's hat as the centerpieces. Most of the decorations came from Hobby Lobby and Party Universe in Hattiesburg. I got the turf from Lowe's and even found flamingos that we used for the children to play croquet with.

The food table had the turf table runner also and the cupcake toppers and toppers for the rice krispy treats came from Etsy. The party was at 2:00pm on a Sunday so we mainly had finger foods. A friend of mine made the cupcakes. We also had grapes on skewers to look like caterpillars, apples and marshmallows in the shape of the Cheshire cat grin, rice krispy treats that looked like the cards and cookies and cake. My sister-in-law got the cookies from Candi's Cookies (she does beautiful cookies) and the cake from Sugar Bakers. They both are from the Laurel area.

{What was your favorite moment of the event day?}  I would have to say that my favorite part of the day was getting Hollyn ready and putting her Alice outfit on her. She saw herself in the mirror with her big tutu on and twirled and giggled. My favorite picture from the day was her sitting in a rocking chair on the porch. She is such a busy-bee so we have to snap pictures very quickly.

Vendors:
Location: Rasberry Greene
Event Planner: Jordan Todd and Kay'ce Everett
Cookies:  Candi's Cookies, Laurel, MS
Cake:  Sugar Bakers, Laurel, MS
Photographs:  Jordan Todd

{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
The Mississippi Museum of Art recently announced the unveiling of an extraordinary new Community Exhibition Series – The Art in Us All.  Incredible pieces created through nonprofit programs around the state will be the spotlight of this groundbreaking series. 

Julian Rankin, Marketing Director of the Mississippi Museum of Art, says, “The Community Exhibition Series was created in order to deepen the relationship between the Museum and its visitors and to cultivate creativity in the community for people of all ages and backgrounds.”

The Museum has developed wonderful partnerships with Mississippi nonprofits around the state, who incorporate visual art into their social service work. The first exhibition closed yesterday after a successful run, and featured art created by participants of HeARTWorks, a beautiful ministry serving clients of Stewpot Community Services in Jackson.  Julian says, “The motto of the ministry, embodied in its name, is ‘He works Through Art.’”

“Implicit in the Museum’s mission is celebrating and recognizing important visual art being made throughout the state, and the Art in Us All community exhibition series is a tangible way for us to honor this work,” said Betsy Bradley, Director of the Mississippi Museum of Art. “HeARTWorks, our first partnering non-profit in this endeavor, embodied the transformative potential of art to lift up and inspire a traditionally underserved population of Mississippians. We were honored to share this authentic and powerful collection with the public.”

The exhibition included 35 pieces created by more than a dozen artists, included portraits, abstracts, collages and sculptures. Each HeARTWorks piece was also adorned with a spoon, symbolizing the precious gift of food and Stewpot’s call to serve others in our community. 

“For the past seven years we have set out endless art supplies, served up thousands of snacks, and organized seven art shows, but we take the most pride in new friendships,” said Stacy Underwood, Director and Founder of HeARTWorks. “Art is a magical bridge, an equalizer, and a validator that we all have something to offer this world - something beautiful!”

We look forward to the next Community Exhibition Series at the Mississippi Museum of Art.  Meanwhile, we encourage you to visit the inspiring Mississippi Museum of Art during the holidays and beyond!  For a complete listing of current and upcoming exhibits, please click here!  For more information on The Mississippi Museum of Art, visit their website here.
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
Mississippi's first distillery is expanding! 

Today, December 12, 2015, CATHEAD Distillery is celebrating their grand opening in downtown Jackson! The even begins at 12:00pm and is open to everyone in the community!

Since it began 5 years ago, CATHEAD Distillery has grown significantly and decided 20,000 square feet on South Farish Street was the best option to further expand its enterprises! Downtown Jackson and Midtown Jackson are both increasingly becoming home for contemporary art and popular culture expression. In joining this growing community, CATHEAD Distillery has expressed that, depending on where you live, a portion of every 750mL bottle of the original CATHEAD Vodka goes to support local musicians. CATHEAD Distillery has made it part of their mission to support the growing and thriving economy and community of Jackson.
According to CATHEAD Distillery's press release, Austin Evans and Richard Patrick are the co-founders of CATHEAD Distillery and want to keep their new distillery centralized to Mississippi. Evans said, "We are excited about relocating to Jackson. As proud residents of the city, we look forward to providing a destination that contributes to the growing cultural drive that is happening in the downtown area."

Following today's event, the distillery will be open for tours Thursday, Friday, and Saturday! Also, the distillery is available for private events and private tours! While visiting the distillery, guest can enjoy a full bar of local beer, a quick corn hole game, and a retail shop for your next great gift!

"We are so excited to showcase the new distillery on December 12th," said co-founder Richard Patrick. "We’ve had so much overwhelming support from the entire Mississippi community, and we can’t wait to get the celebration started!"

So be sure YOU stop by today starting at 12:00pm! Tickets are $10, which includes opportunities to taste local spirits, local music, and "local nosh."

Read more about CATHEAD Distillery and tours/event details here!