A Shabby-Chic Southern Wedding at Historic Masonic Amphitheater in Clifton Forge, Virginia

Terri Baker (28 and an academic adviser) and Jerome Miller (27 and a US Marine Corps pilot) had their wedding in the South, and fully embraced their g

Terri Baker (28 and an academic adviser) and Jerome Miller (27 and a US Marine Corps pilot) had their wedding in the South, and fully embraced their good old Southern flair. The San Diego-based couple served chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits for their wedding brunch, which was, of course, completed with sweet tea and Arnold Palmers. “We love waking up on the weekends and having great breakfast foods,” Terri says. “Being from the South, we love comfort foods like shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles. When we started the wedding-planning process, we were clear on two things: good Southern food and good music. We got both.” Loving their Southern roots, Terri and Jerome exchanged vows in Terri’s hometown nestled in the mountains of southwestern Virginia, at Historic Masonic Amphitheater in Clifton Forge. “It was recently built with great space for the wedding and the reception on the lawn,” Terri says. “We knew there would be a risk of rain in the summer, but the natural beauty in the area was just too good to pass up. The amphitheater was a beautiful stage, lawn and wooden deck nestled on an unsuspecting street in Clifton Forge, and it allowed us to have a semiprivate wedding without worrying about the restrictions or costs that often come with indoor reception halls.” Terri’s mother donated hydrangea bushes to the venue, which they used in a lot of the decor, including on the three-tier ivory wedding cake. We love that the wedding cake matched the brunch theme of the wedding with flavors like cinnamon bun with cinnamon cream cheese icing and almond with peach filling. Yum! A tip from Terri: “If it rains on your wedding day, don't fret. At the end of the day, you married the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Everything else is optional.” See our favorite details, beautifully captured by Heather and Jared Photography, below.

Three-Stone Round-Cut Diamond Ring
“My wedding flower has always been the hydrangea, so we used lots of those in the wedding,” Terri says. “In fact, my mother donated hydrangea bushes to the venue, and we used them for a lot of the decor -- a win-win for all.” Terri carried white hydrangeas and seeded eucalyptus in her bouquet. She tied the stems with green twine for a little rustic flair.
The bridesmaids wore simple, strapless pink dresses from the Limited. “Through the wedding-planning process, I wanted to make sure we weren't complicating things either in price or effort,” Terri says. “We found the dresses online, bought them on sale, and everyone had them altered as needed.”
“I had always dreamed wearing a short wedding dress,” Terri says. “I imagine looking back at the wedding pictures when I'm old and telling my grandkids, ‘I had sexy legs back in the day.’ My dress was the first one I tried on at a sample sale. It needed no alterations and I took it home with me that day.”
“Jerome decided to wear his Marine Corps dress blues,” Terri says. “We had several other members of the military in our wedding so we thought it made the most sense and it would look great. In addition to Jerome, we had one groomsman in dress blues, his father [also the officiant] wore his navy dress whites as did Jerome's twin [the best man]. The remaining two groomsmen wore traditional black tuxedos.”
Fabric White Rose and Birdcage Veil
Mason jars doubled as escort cards at the Southern-inspired rustic wedding. Terri made the black-and-white “Eat, Drink and Be Married” tags herself for the cards. Guests enjoyed sweet tea, lemonade and Arnold Palmers out of the mason jars with the chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits menu.
After the early-morning ceremony, guests enjoyed mimosas during cocktail hour. Terri and Jerome love waking up on the weekends and eating breakfast together, so served brunch for their wedding. The cocktail table was decorated with burlap bunting to match the rustic theme.
The reception tables were decorated with pink hydrangeas and berries in glass vases filled with pebbles and fresh fruit. Wanting to add a little romance to the space, they also had silver candelabras and birdcages to hold the table numbers.
Chicken and Waffles Reception Brunch Menu
Terri and Jerome enjoyed a three-tier white buttercream cake with frosted beading along the border. The center tier was decorated with ivory fondant ruffles to match Terri’s dress. The couple added some clusters of blush and green hydrangeas for a pop of color. Wanting to keep with the brunch theme of the menu, the cake was cinnamon bun with cinnamon cream cheese icing and almond with peach filling.
“We like dancing and being silly, and our guests joined us on the stage for good music and dancing,” Terri says. “We made sure to do the Cupid Shuffle,” which was Jerome's favorite.