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Ashley Caroline McGraw & Preston Blanchard Edwards

November 18, 2017 | Natchez, Mississippi

photography by Ashford-Halley Studios

Ashley Caroline McGraw and Preston Blanchard Edwards were united in holy matrimony on Saturday evening, November 18, 2017, at half past six o’clock at Saint Mary Basilica in Natchez, Mississippi. Father David O’Connor officiated at the double ring ceremony. Scriptural readings were given by Courtney Morris Geoghegan and Hannah Cook Junkin. Nuptial music was provided by Cynthia Calvert, organist, and Tina Johnston, soloist. Wedding coordinator was Pam Harriss.


The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Wade McGraw of Woodville, Mississippi, and the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Lee Wilkinson of Liberty, Mississippi, and of Mrs. Sidney Brandon McGraw of Woodville, Mississippi, and the late Mr. McGraw.


The bridegroom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Blanchard Edwards of Natchez. He is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Julius Delane Thornhill of Vidalia, Louisiana, and of the late Mrs. Ellen Blanchard Edwards and Mr. Gayle Earl Edwards of Natchez.


Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore an off-the-shoulder, lace and misty tulle trumpet gown designed by Sophia Tolli with sheer lace three-quarter-length sleeves, a sweetheart bodice, lightly hand-beaded lace appliqués, and a semi-sheer lace back bodice. Complementing the gown was a cathedral-length veil with lace trim. She carried a cascading bouquet of Keira garden roses, burgundy dalias, safari sunset, protea, and seeded eucalyptus. Her grandparents’ wedding bands were attached to her bouquet with a pin that belonged to her grandmother.


Attending the bride as matron of honor was her lifelong friend Cara Percy Carter. Serving as bridesmaids were Christina Murphy Creel, Frances Ryan Daniel, Marissa Lauren Fields James, Caroline Edwards Hinson, Lauren Forte Kulikowski, Elizabeth Blackwell Ryan, and Virginia Lewis Whetstone. Scarlett Grace Kirkland, the bride’s niece, served as junior bridesmaid. Flower girls were the bridegroom’s niece, Ella Murphy Hinson, and the bride’s nieces, Sims Elise Kirkland and Stella Jewell Kirkland.


Edward Blanchard Edwards served his son as best man. Groomsmen were Christopher Blasé Bradford, Taylor Wade Brantley, Braxton Harrison Fondren, Christopher Murphy Hinson, Daniel Chad Jenkins, Jonathan Kole Junkin, William Tanner McGraw, and Alan David Ryan II. Stephen Thomas Edwards, Adam Emanuel Kaiser, and Mark Elliot McCann, junior served as ushers.


Following the ceremony, a reception was held at Brandon Hall Plantation off the Natchez Trace. Guest tables were adorned with milk glass that held arrangements of spray roses, white poms, hypericum berries, seeded eucalyptus, and assorted greenery. Gold antlers and mercury glass votives were used as accent decorations.


The bride’s tiered cake, created by Marlys McKey, was an almond cake with butter cream frosting and featured a tier with strawberry cream filling. The bridegroom’s cake was

designed by Molly Manning. It featured a turkey, a favorite bird that the bridegroom hunts, and was adorned with real turkey feathers.


Floral design for the wedding and reception was provided by Pam Harriss, Toni Kee, and Judy Trevillion. Photography and videography were provided by Ashford-Halley from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Throughout the reception, guests enjoyed music provided by The Tip Tops from Mobile, Alabama.


The newlyweds exited the reception through a shower of rose petals and departed in a vintage, baby-blue convertible. Following a honeymoon in St. Lucia, the couple is at home in Natchez.


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