Entering a new year is a wonderful time to pray, reflect and look to the Cross.  We are honored to share Heath Ferguson's wise words with you today!  
Bride} Diana McLemore  
{Groom} Loyd McDowell
{Hometowns} Diana – Grenada, MS
                            Loyd – Benoit, MS
{Wedding Site} First Baptist Church, Cleveland, MS
{Reception Site} Dockery Farms
{Bride’s Bouquet} White tibet roses
{Bridesmaid Bouquets}  White hydrangeas and blush roses

{How did the two of you meet?}
Our story began over four years ago at Delta State University. Loyd was working at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on campus, and I was in graduate school. As part of my Graduate Assistant position, I spent time doing Marketing for the BPAC. Each day I was there, Loyd would make sure to come find me and speak to me. The short “hellos” quickly became longer conversations, and my roommates and parents started hearing me talk about this guy named Loyd a lot!

Loyd helps out at Dockery Farms when they have events, and they were having a dinner one weekend for Herbie Hancock. They needed more people to help out, so I was the lucky one to be able to volunteer. Friday night after we decorated for the dinner that was on Saturday, he asked me to go out to eat, where we had our first official date. After meeting each other’s families and spending lots of more time together, we decide to make it official, and we have been laughing together ever since!

{What is your proposal story?}
Since we have been together, Loyd has been able to go on all of my family vacations with us. May of 2015, we went to Gatlinburg, TN with my parents and grandmother, where we spent a week in the mountains. The first day we were there we went hiking to Laurel Falls. It took us a little time to hike to the waterfall, but once we got there it was definitely worth the hike. It was gorgeous! We took time playing in the water and taking lots of pictures together as a family, then Loyd and I wanted to take some pictures of the two of us. It is not every day that you get pictures in front of a waterfall! It was then where he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! Everything was perfect! My parents and grandmother were able to share that moment with us, and we got pictures of the entire thing. For the rest of the week in the mountains, we were able to celebrate being a newly engaged couple as we enjoyed vacation with my family.

{What inspired your wedding and reception locations?}
Growing up, I always knew I would get married in my home church in Grenada. However, Loyd and I both live in Cleveland, MS and both work at Delta State, so it was no question that we wanted to get married in Cleveland, where we had started and built our relationship. We had been attending church at First Baptist, and decided to have the wedding ceremony there. It was simple, yet gorgeous! The location of the reception came with our love of the Mississippi Delta, and of course the fact that our relationship had lots of history there. We wanted to incorporate all things Delta in our wedding reception, and we thought the best way to do that would be at Dockery Farms!

{What inspired your color scheme/theme/flowers?}
If you asked a friend or family member who attended our wedding what the theme was, I would hope they would say it was Southern, sweet, and elegant. I have always pictured my wedding day being those three things, and it turned out to be everything I had dreamed of it to be! I think that had everything to do with the color scheme I went for. I chose blush colored dresses for the bridesmaids, and grey suits for the guys. I did not want anything too dark. I thought these colors were also perfect for the Spring April wedding we wanted. As far as the flowers went, I wanted them to be simple and light to go along with the theme too. Along with some greenery, I chose all blush and white flowers.

{How did you pick “the dress?”}
Like every girl who gets engaged, I bought all the magazines and studied lots of wedding websites to get ideas on dresses. I made an appointment at Low’s Bridal in Brinkley, AR and spent the day there with my family trying dresses on. Being an only child, my sweet Daddy cried a little every single time I walked out in a dress. I probably tried on twenty different ones in lots of different styles until I found the one that I knew I would walk down the aisle in. I was so worried that I would never be able to pick “the one.” I am so indecisive and cannot make a big decision for anything! But once I put my dress on, I just knew! It fit my personality perfectly, and I knew it would go with the elegant and sweet theme of the wedding I wanted.

{What’s your favorite unique accessory? Is there a story behind it?}
How can a girl pick only one favorite accessory?! My shoes made me feel like Cinderella, and my sweet dainty bracelet that my parents gave me meant so much. However, I think the most special and unique accessory I wore that day was my garter. It was my “something borrowed” and my “something blue.” My mom had been saving her garter that she wore when she married my Dad, and surprised me with it for my wedding. Not only was it the one that she wore, but it was something that my Great-Grandmother had made my Mom for her wedding. I never got the pleasure of meeting my Great-Grandmother, but to be wearing something on my special day that she made meant so much to me. And to know that it was the same one that my Mom wore when my parents were married was the icing on the cake! I can only pray that Loyd and I have a relationship like my parents do after 30 years of marriage.

{What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?}
There are lots of fun parts when it comes to planning a wedding. From picking the dress to choosing the cake, everything seemed to be more exciting than the last. However, I think I would have to say that overall the fact that I had my mom there with me to plan everything was my favorite part. Every little girl dreams of the day they become a bride, but I also think when a woman has a daughter that she begins dreaming of her little girl’s wedding day too. My mom helped me with so much, and we made lots of fun memories during the year of planning. She made it to every dress fitting, helped me decide on invitations, and spent hours with me looking at wedding magazines for more ideas. We had so much fun together, and I am so thankful that she wanted to be a part of everything!

{Besides the actual wedding, what was your favorite moment of the wedding day?}
I think the moment that stands out to me the most was the first time Loyd and I saw each other that day. It was not a hard decision for us that we wanted to see each other before the wedding. We thought that would help get any nervous feelings out that we had about the day, and we could also spend time taking some pictures together before the wedding. Loyd was standing at the front of the altar in the sanctuary as I made my way down to him. And I could not wait to see him! As I put my hand on his shoulder, my heart was beating so fast! Once he turned around, you could see it on his face that he was in awe of his bride. It makes my heart smile just remembering it. He took my hand and spun me around so he could see my dress, and I was able to check out all the details of his suit and admire how handsome he looked. It was such a sweet moment, and I am so very thankful that we did it the way that we did!

{What was your favorite surprise detail/moment about your wedding day?}

Loyd is a Volunteer Firefighter in Cleveland, so we wanted to incorporate that somehow on our wedding day. The Cleveland Volunteer Fire Department has a 1940’s antique fire engine, and we decided that was the perfect thing to leave the church in as we headed to the reception! As we said “I do” and walked out of the church, the truck was there waiting on us. Our guests were all able to come outside and wave to us as we left in the old fire engine. It was such a neat touch to the wedding day, and something very memorable. I see people almost 8 months later and they still talk about us leaving in the fire truck!

{Your favorite picture from the big day?}
I think my favorite picture changes every day, but if I had to choose a favorite right now (there are so many!) it would be the one of us walking in the field. Loyd is holding my hand and I am looking back at him, and it is just too sweet! Also, I have always looked at this picture and thought that it could be in a Fairytale (thanks Brian!), and I truly felt like our wedding day was a Fairytale. So today, this is my favorite picture!

{The picture that represents the two of you best?}

This picture was not planned at all. In fact, I think we were actually walking to our next location to take pictures. But it describes us in more ways than one. First of all, the pure joy on our faces says it all. That was the happiest day of our lives, and it was written all over our faces! He makes me smile like that on a daily basis. As I look at Loyd in this picture, I notice that he is holding my dress in one hand (to help me walk), and holding my bouquet in the other. This is totally his personality, as he is always such a gentleman to me. He does anything and everything to be there for me and help me, and this picture is a pure example of that. I love this picture and think it sums us up perfectly.


Photographer: B.Flint Photography 
Event Planner: The Pantry, Inc. 
Dress: Low’s Bridal 
Hair: Kut Works
Bridesmaid Dresses: Engagements, Grenada, MS 
Tuxes: The Black Tux 
Videographer: Rogers Smith
Venue: First Baptist Church, Cleveland, MS (ceremony) and Dockery Farms (reception)
Rentals: The Pantry, Inc.
Florist: The Pantry, Inc.
Catering: The Pantry, Inc.
Band: JazzMagic
Bride’s Cake: The Pantry, Inc.
Groom’s Cake: The Pantry, Inc.
Print Material: ZIPrint, Grenada, MS

Jackson's oldest and most treasured bakery, Campbell's Bakery, was started decades ago by the talented Louis Campbell.  "From what I understand, he was a baker in WWII and got out in 1945 and started working for Jitney Jungle.  He then moved down the sidewalk to open his own bakery.  He moved again in 1962 to the current location in Fondren.  Even though that location has been open since 1962, the bakery has been open longer," reflects Mitchell Moore, owner of Campbell's Bakery.

Campbell's recently opened a much-anticipated second location in Madison, and we had the pleasure of speaking with Moore.  We are thrilled to share more about this delicious haunt with you today!
~ When did you become the Owner of Campbell's?  How has it changed and what has remained the same?
We bought the bakery in 2011, March. What has stayed the same is the teacake recipe, still making it the same way from Mr. Campbell's recipe since 1962. Other than that we also still make everything from scratch, as he did. There was no cake mix back then so he made everything. We also make everything in house like he did. What has changed is most everything else. I don't know what products he carried other than the teacakes and petit fours, but I don't think we have the things he did other than those two products. Also we have expanded at that location into the old Sunshine Fruit stand that was next door so we have more space inside than he did up front. 
~ Tell me a little about your  background?  Were you always interested in becoming a pastry chef?

"We have a picture of me at 3 years old with my EZ Bake oven. I was fascinated with it then. How you could put this liquid thing in there and it comes out a cake. Amazing. I am still fascinated by it. I started cooking professionally in 1995 at Nick's on Lakeland. I started on the line but quickly fond my way to pastries where I stayed. I then moved to NY and Los Angeles chasing my passion until I met a girl and decided to move back home." 
~ Campbell's is Jackson's oldest bakery. What makes Campbell's so unique and special?
"Care. We care. We care about the products we make and the services we provide. We care about the people we serve. We care about what they eat. We are making something they will put into their bodies, that is a fairly intimate thing you know? So we care about what we make and what we do and the people we do it for." 
~ What inspired the opening of a second location in Madison?
"Madison NEEDED a bakery. Friends should not let friends buy a grocery store cake. Of all of the suburbs of Jackson Madison was the largest underserved area." 
~ What are your top selling items?
"Teacakes and petit fours. By far. Birthday cakes and custom cakes are next. After that chocolate chip cookies and caramel blondies."
Thank you, Mitchell, for sharing more about Campbell's Bakery with us today!  For more information on this incredible bakery, please visit their website here!  
Photographs courtesy of the Campbell's Bakery Facebook Page!  Click here to Like and view!
We wish you, your family and your friends a very merry Christmas.  As we enter the Christmas weekend, we are humbled by God's blessings and so thankful for you - our readers, supporters, vendors, photographers and friends.  Today, our team is excited to share some of our favorite Bible verses, as a great reminder of this beautiful holiday season.  
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He.   Zechariah 9:9  Emily Ferguson, Creative Director
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 Aimee Sanford, Client Relations & Advertising Director 
God sent the angel Gabriel to a virgin.  She was engaged to marry a man named Joseph from the family of David.  Her name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, 'Greetings!  The Lord has blessed you and is with you...Don't be afraid,Mary; God has shown you his grace.  Listen!  You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give him the throne of King David, his ancestor. He will rule over the people of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end...God can do anything.'  Luke 1:26-37 Mitchell Walters, Editorial Director 
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.  Isaiah 9:6-7  Kendall Poole Ellis, Founder and Publisher 

{Bride}  Laurin Schisler (Folmar)
{Groom} Guy Folmar
{Hometowns} Bride: Madison, MS  Groom: Auburn, AL
{Wedding Site} St. Joseph Catholic Church|Madison, MS
{Reception Site} The Gin at Flora Station | Flora, MS
{Bride’s Bouquet} Tulip Floral
{Bridesmaid Bouquets} Tulip Floral

{How did the two of you meet?} Guy and I met by complete chance 9 years ago at, of all places, a gas station in Madison.  Thanks to an outgoing friend of mine, and a die hard Auburn fan, she insisted she needed to talk to the guys with the Auburn sticker on their truck! We all hung out later that night and the rest is history!

{What is your proposal story?} Guy and I loved taking walks through his parents’ neighborhood, and at the back of their neighborhood is a barn with two horses. I used to always insist we stop so I could watch the horses and walk through the fence to pet them if they were close enough. This night we went for a late walk. When we stopped to see the horses, we decided to sit down. Guy and I had talked about marriage numerous times in the past, and he had even joked that he was just waiting for me to propose- which I always would right then!  But he would always say, “Where’s my ring?” haha! But this time, out of the blue, he said, “Will you marry me?” My automatic response, thinking this was another conversation similar to those we’d had in the past was, “Well of course” then immediately after “…Wait are you serious?!” His response was, “yes, will you marry me?” as he pulled out the box with the ring! All I could do was say “YES!” and scramble to hug his neck! I didn’t even get a good look at the ring! He kept saying, “Look at the ring! Do you like it??” I love it, of course, but I was just so excited that the man of my dreams had just asked me to be his wife!

{What inspired your wedding and reception locations?} Our ceremony took place at my home church - St. Joseph Catholic Church - not to mention, I adore the simple airy beauty our church has. Our reception location was fitting with the simple industrial rustic feel that I love and felt it was more casual which reflects us well. 

{What inspired your color scheme/theme/flowers?} I really loved this one bouquet I found on Pinterest. I knew I wanted a fall wedding with a very fall feel. Everything came together so perfectly thanks to all of our venders!

{How did you pick “the dress?”} I was in LOVE with the Tamsin Gown by Catherine Deane from BHLDN bridal salon. However, I felt I really wanted sleeves to finish the look perfectly. Kristin Panetta, owner of Elle James Bridal in Ridgeland, had the PEFECT Martina Liana topper in mind, and it completed the dress of my dreams!

{What’s your favorite unique accessory? Is there a story behind it?} My favorite unique accessory was my something old, borrowed, and blue! It was my grandmother’s starburst sapphire ring that my grandfather gave to her when she was 25-years-old!

{What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?} I loved picking our major vendors and finalizing details with each of them! Especially getting the vision of our florals!

{Besides the actual wedding, what was your favorite moment of the wedding day?} Silly as it may sound, my favorite moment was the moment my new husband and I were in the car heading to the reception. Just sitting alone for the first time all day and realizing we did it! After 8.5 years together, we were finally married!

{What was your favorite surprise detail/moment about your wedding day?} My now husband has a handful of fun crazy socks that I just love and think are so fun and funny, and while I never mentioned it to him in the slightest, I secretly hoped he would ditch the “fancy” socks that you’d normally wear with a suit and wear some of his fun socks instead. Well, wouldn’t you know, during our first look he lifted his suit pants and showed me his superman socks!! It just made the moment that he included a little piece of fun in an otherwise fancy suit!

{Your favorite picture from the big day?} This question is impossible to answer! I have SO many favorites. Katelyn just went above and beyond and it took everything in me to limit our “favorites” to 50+ for our wedding album! 

{The picture that represents the two of you best?} I love so many that capture us very well, but I really love one or two from our sparkler leave, because Guy has changed into his boots, untucked his shirt, and loosened his tie and is so representative of the carefree, fun, handsome man I gave my heart to!  


Photographer: Katelyn Anne Photography
Event Planner: Confete Events
Dress: BLHDN & Elle James Bridal
Bride’s Jewelry: BHLDN|Elle James Bridal 
Hair: Salon 11
Make-up: Amy Head Cosmetics
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids
Suits: Kinkade’s Fine Clothing
Venue: St. Joseph Catholic Church & The Gin at Flora Station
Florist: Tulip Floral
Catering: 4Top Catering
Bar: CharBar through 4Top Catering
DJ: Ricky McGraw 
Bride’s Cake: Cakes by Iris
Groom’s Cake: Holly Chilton Jackson
Print Material: Confete Events
Inspired by a lifelong dream and a wonderful friendship, Magnolia Mariée Bridal Boutique opened its doors in January 2016.  "Sarah Williams and I have talked about taking this adventure for years," smiles Jennifer Smith.  "Sarah moved home (to Natchez) from North Mississippi two years ago and we started planning in March 2015.  It took almost a year of research and planning to open our doors."  

Their year of hard work paid off. Though the bridal boutique is just shy of celebrating their first anniversary, brides from all over the southeast have been flocking to Natchez to find their perfect wedding dress.  "Being a small boutique, we have the advantage of spending time with our brides and giving that personal attention to help our brides make the right decisions," says Smith.  "Another thing that sets us apart from everyone else is that we are located in Natchez.  Usually a small boutique in a small town has more disadvantages than advantages, but for Natchez this is not the case.  Natchez is a wedding destination so it makes sense to provide our services here.  Natchez has it all!"

The beautiful store is nestled in the heart of Franklin Street in downtown Natchez.  "We are in the 'Little Easy' as we Natchezians like to call it!" laughs Smith.  The lovely store is in the perfect location.  "We are within walking distance from other boutiques, antique malls, flower shops, coffee shops and even a brewery!" smiles Smith.  Out-of-town brides have started flocking to Natchez to turn their dress shopping experience into a weekend girls' getaway!  

With stunning bridal lines such as Stella York, Lillian West & Justin Alexander, and styles ranging from traditional lace to bohemian, they carry an impressive array of gowns without losing sight of budget!  When a bride finds "The Dress," she gets her photograph taken outside of the boutique with a "Yes" sign!  Smith smiles, "We try to go above and beyond to make their experience from start to finish the best they could imagine.  Every bride should feel special and deserves personal attention regardless of their budget.  Its important to not be pushy!  We want every bride to walk out of our boutique feeling that they made the right decision.  After all, a wedding is the biggest party you will throw yourself and the dress is the most important decision a bride makes!"  

The boutique also carries a variety of bridesmaid gowns, Mothers and flower girl dresses and provides Tuxedo Rental.  Magnolia Mariée truly provides all of your needs in one friendly, gorgeous space!  "We plan to expand our lines each year and venture out into prom and formal wear," says Smith.

We asked Smith to share her advice for the newly engaged bride starting her searching for THE DRESS!  She shares three expert tips with us today:
  • Keep an open mind!  You do not know what you like until you have tried all options on!  
  • Have a budget.  This helps your consultant stay on track & doesn't show you anything outside of your budget that would cause heartache or stress!  
  • Limit the entourage!!  Not that we don't love a party, but to make this important decision you only need the people who care about you and can give constructive criticism!  Save the party for your first fitting & then we can pop the bubbly!

Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing more about Magnolia Mariée with us today!! For information on this lovely boutique, please click here!
We have another sneak peek of the magazine for y'all! 
Searching for the perfect Christmas gift for someone on your list?  We have you covered!  Instead of separate gifts, put them together in a basket!  We created handsome gift baskets, filled with products from right here in Mississippi.  Happy shopping! 
A special thank you to all of the vendors involved with The Art of Gifting!  Also, thank you to Chao Photography for capturing these gifts so perfectly.  
{Bride}  Kathryn Anne Davis
{Groom} Corey Dean Killingsworth
{Hometowns} Groom: Terry, MS        Bride: Byram, MS
{Wedding & Reception Site} The Killingsworth residence in Terry, MS
{Bride’s Bouquet} DIY by Bloominous
{Bridesmaid Bouquets} DIY by Bloominous

{How did the two of you meet?} We actually attended High School together and were acquaintances until a month before Corey moved to Seattle, Washington. We happened to have similar friends and wound up hanging out together at various events. That was when we discovered we both had a love for God, coffee and all things breakfast foods - so basically soul mates!

{What is your proposal story?} While Corey lived in Washington, I went to  Ole Miss. We talked pretty regularly through FaceTime about school and life in Seattle (mostly about all the coffee shops) while I lived in my dorm. Three years later, Corey took me back to my dorm and proposed right in front of it. He wanted to start a new beginning where we both grew to love each other. He also had a jacket on while it was 80 degrees outside to hide the ring box which I think is the cutest thing!

{What inspired your wedding and reception locations?} We both wanted a relaxed environment and his parent’s backyard was the perfect location to start our forever.

{What inspired your color scheme/theme/flowers?} Since we both have a love for coffee and breakfast foods, we both felt it was only natural to have a brunch wedding with coffee bar. However, the colors kinda all just fell together! I wish I could say I spent months planning the colors, but I didn’t even see all my bridesmaids dresses together until the big day. The flowers were perfect and gorgeous and everything just seemed to go together with our brunch theme!

{How did you pick “the dress?”} I went with my mom and sister to casually look at dresses one day. After being given a couple of dresses to try on, my sister ended up picking out this beautiful blush dress off the rack. At first I thought it would be way too big, but I knew it right when I put it on that it was the one. It was a magical moment.

{What’s your favorite unique accessory? Is there a story behind it?} My aunt kept my late grandmother’s cake topper and offered it for my cake. I was so honored that I could have a piece of her at my wedding. 

{What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?} My favorite part would have to be asking my bridesmaids and maid of honor if they would stand by my side. 

{Besides the actual wedding, what was your favorite moment of the wedding day?} When I was able to take a step back after the ceremony and watch my husband smile with his dimples and hug his mom. It was just a small moment that let me know that I made the right choice. 

{What was your favorite surprise detail/moment about your wedding day?} 

{Your favorite picture from the big day?} I loved them all!

{The picture that represents the two of you best?} When we were cutting the bride’s cake, we were starving so we were pretty excited to eat. I think that moment would definitely represent us.


Photographer: Katelyn Anne Photography  
Event Planner: Pam Davis, Tanya Killingsworth (mothers of bride/groom)
Dress: The Bridal Path - http://www.bridalpathinc.com/
Bride’s Jewelry: Floral crown from Etsy
Hair: Ronna Coward 
Make-up: Merle Norman 
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie 
Tuxes: Groom’s was from Great Scott 
Rentals: Great Southern Events 
Florist: Bloominous
Catering: Kim Crockett, a family friend
Bar: Coffee from Cups Espresso Cafe
Band: Luke and JJ Campbell - family friends
Bride’s Cake: Danielle Bell, a family friend
Groom’s Cake: Krispy Creme
Print Material: Minted 
The 2017 issue of Inspiration Mississippi Magazine will be unveiled in just a few weeks!  We cannot wait to share the gorgeous photographs, extraordinary people and magnificent Mississippi events with you!  2017 marks our state's bicentennial, and our magazine has state symbols and incredible articles woven throughout the pages, celebrating our 200 years!  

Today we are thrilled to share a video, beautifully captured by The Film Poets, showcasing behind-the-scenes footage from one of our favorite photoshoots beside the Ross Barnett Reservoir!  We hope you enjoy this little taste of what is to come in Inspiration Mississippi Magazine! 
A special thank you to The Film Poets for capturing this fun photoshoot.  For more information on The Film Poets, please visit their website here!  
Tomorrow marks Mississippi's 199th birthday as a state!  As we near our bicentennial celebration, let's take a moment to enjoy some of Mississippi's most interesting facts and figures!  
Happy Birthday to our dear Mississippi!