Two weddings within one year kept the Fordice family quite busy
The following feature appeared in the January/February 2021 edition of Vicksburg Living. It marked the magazine’s inaugural wedding edition. For more information on how to subscribe to Vicksburg’s premier lifestyle magazine, call 601-636-4545.
There is a saying that sisters are different flowers from the same garden. ||| What a beautiful proverb. And how apropos these words are for Hunter and Sallie Fordice, who are the parents of four daughters. ||| Watching their girls blossom into beautiful young women has been heartwarming for the couple.
Also heartening was the addition to their family when their two eldest, Emily and Lauren, married Tommy Payne and Charles Waring, respectively.
From the beginning, Hunter and Sallie knew the day would come when they would have to give their daughters away, but who would have thought two of them would walk down the aisle within six months of each other.
Planning one wedding can be hectic enough, with all the details, big and small. But two in one year seems nothing short of impossible — or so one would think.
Emily and Tommy were married on Feb. 23, 2019, and Lauren and Charles on Aug. 3, 2019.
Ironically, it wasn’t the sisters who had come up with the idea to have weddings so close together.
It was the father of the brides.
After dating for five years, Charles proposed to Lauren on her 30th birthday, which fell a week before Emily’s wedding, and six months later the couple was married.
“At first I thought I would need longer,” Lauren said of the short engagement. “But my Dad was like, why wait? He said they (the families) had waited long enough for Charles to propose, so let’s not wait long to get married. And I am so glad he suggested it. It was the perfect amount of time.”
Lauren had known Charles for years. Both the couple’s families attend Crawford Street United Methodist Church, and in high school Lauren was best friends with Charles’ younger sister, Natalie.
Although she spent many hours at the Waring home, Lauren said, their paths had not crossed much, since Charles was away in college at Ole Miss.
It wasn’t until after Lauren had graduated college, lived in Dallas for two years and moved back to Jackson that the relationship changed between the two.
“Soon after I moved to Jackson I was coming home and spending a lot of time in Vicksburg,” Lauren said, “That’s when Charles and I got reconnected.”
Emily, on the other hand, met Tommy at a wedding in 2015 and they started dating later that year.
At the time, Emily was living in Nashville and Tommy was in Jackson. It remained a long-distance relationship for about a year, until Emily decided to move to Jackson and buy a house.
Lauren moved into the house with Emily shortly afterward and the girls lived together for almost three years.
During those years, Emily said, she and Lauren had some of their “most fun times” and special memories were made.
On May 24, 2018 — Emily’s birthday — Tommy proposed in the kitchen of the house, which later became the couple’s first home.
“We joked that Lauren had to be out by the time we got back from our honeymoon (she was already engaged to Charles), but she loved to act like she wasn’t leaving,” Emily said.
Planning the weddings
Like many girls, Lauren said she had “somewhat” envisioned her wedding, but could have never dreamed it would be as beautiful as it was.
“That day absolutely exceeded my expectations. I would not have changed a thing,” Lauren said.
Emily, on the other hand, had no idea what she wanted.
“I was probably that annoying bride that everyone in the industry hates to see coming because I did not have a vision or real opinion on anything,” she said.
“I would tell Neillie (Butler), my wedding planner, that I wanted to walk into my reception and be just as surprised at how insane everything looked as my guests,” Emily said. “But I will say the more we got into the details and planning the more I embraced decisions and putting my flair on things.”
While Emily may not have had a vision for her nuptials, she was sure of one thing.
“I knew without a doubt that I wanted Mariée Ami out of Mountain Brook, Ala., to plan my wedding.”
Mariée Ami was founded and is owned by Butler, and Emily was familiar with the group because she had seen them in action when planning for her best friend’s older sister’s wedding. She was also friends with one of the planner’s younger sisters.
“They just seemed like the coolest, most fun group of girls and I loved their style. It was truly meant to be. They were so patient with us as we tried to navigate planning a wedding for the first time,” Emily said.
Butler also helped Emily out when it came to locating a photographer.
“Tommy and I were going to a wedding in Highlands, North Carolina, and I called Neillie with a crazy last minute request,” she said.
Emily wanted Butler to help her find a photographer who could take their engagement photos in the mountains.
Butler recommended photographer Julia Wade, who was from the area.
“The minute we met Julia we knew she was special. She is the kindest, most beautiful person, and we both instantly fell in love. She has a way of making you just be yourself which I think always captures the best photographs,” Emily said.
And with what Emily dubbed the “dream team” of Butler, Wade and Chelsea Schroeder, a lead planner at Mariée Ami, Lauren had some of the leg work for planning her wedding already done.
“I just followed Emily’s lead on this. It helped tremendously and I am forever grateful,” Lauren said.
Both Emily and Lauren said after working with Mariée Ami on their weddings, they now feel like they are part of the family.
So much so, Mariée Ami is already helping their sister, Helen, with her wedding, which is planned for the summer.
Emily wore a Monique Lhuillier V-neck gown with a fitted silk Mikdao skirt. The bodice was made of Alençon lace.
“When I found my wedding dress I knew it was the dress I wanted to dance the night away in, but it was missing something for the actual ceremony that I couldn’t put my finger on,” she said. “When the lady helping us at the dress shop suggested I try on a skirt overlay that could be removed I couldn’t picture it until I put it on and instantly fell in love with the idea. I think that might have been one of my favorite elements of the dress taking it from ceremony to reception. It was fabulous.”
Lauren said shopping for her wedding dress was exciting.
“I had always dreamed of wearing a Lela Rose wedding gown. Her simple, elegant, and yet unique dresses always had me swooning. I went to the same boutique Emily did in Birmingham because of our amazing experience with her and because they carried an amazing selection of Lela Rose gowns,” Lauren said. “Lela Rose had a collection called ‘Garden Party’ that I thought really embodied the feel I wanted for my August wedding and my dream dress came from that. We ended up mixing two different styles, so the dress was designed and made for me which was another special element.”
The Fordice women always pay close attention to detail and this carried through with the weddings.
“Lauren and I are both super sentimental, so the attention to details meant the world to us. And fortunately, our mother is the queen of sentiments so there were so many memorable details that were intertwined,” Emily said. “We used family wedding dresses to do multiple things. Mom had a piece of my maternal grandmother’s dress made into the ring pillow that our ring bearers carried down the aisle. I wore my Gran’s (paternal grandmother) veil, and we used part of the overlay of mom’s dress to make the table skirt that the cake sat on. We also had my namesake, Aunt Louise’s dress made into the flower girl dress, and lastly Mom used all these dresses on mannequins as decoration around the house during the wedding weekend.
“It was so beautiful and I loved having a piece of so many love stories from my family incorporated into our day.”
A special touch on Lauren’s wedding day were the six candles placed at the altar in memory of their grandparents.
“Our grandparents were extremely dear to us and since we could not have them there in person, we wanted them close to us in spirit,” Lauren said. “Also, my bouquet was in honor of Charles’s grandmother, Mrs. Lyons, who was not able to attend the wedding and that was very special.”
It meant so much, too, Lauren said, to be married in the church both she and Charles grew up in and where their parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles had been married.
“It will be something Charles and I will treasure forever,” she said.
Lauren said she would also cherish her time spent at home on her wedding day.
“From having my first look with my dad on our front porch, coming down the stairs in the kitchen for my first look with my bridesmaids in my wedding dress and to having it filled again with all my best friends old and new was like a dream,” Lauren said. “Our home has always been so, so special. My parents have made it loving and a place we never want to leave and one we can’t wait to get back to.
With a bevy of friends, both Emily and Lauren had a number of bridesmaids, but it was key to distinguish them from their siblings.
“We wanted to do something to separate the sisters from the rest of the bridesmaids. I always loved the look of white orchids in a bride’s hair so we went with that and the sisters wore them during the ceremony and then I added them to my hair for the reception,” Emily said.
The same was done for Lauren’s wedding, but they did “mix it up” a bit by wearing purple orchids, which complemented the color scheme.
“Orchids definitely became the theme of the weekend,” Emily said, and they were also used in floral arrangements throughout the Fordice home.
One family, two weddings and a house full of love
“Having weddings so close was honestly nice in a way because it kept the momentum going — not just for us, but for the entire family. A wedding takes a big toll on the entire family, so not having a lot of down time in between made it a marathon, not a sprint, for sure,” Emily said.
Both sisters said the love of their parents helped them pull off two perfect weddings.
“I honestly don’t think there are enough words to ever thank them enough for the most amazing year,” Lauren said. “Their love for each other and for each of their girls kept us going. They made us feel so special and always kept everything in perspective.”
“We are so incredibly blessed to have them as our parents,” Emily said.