Does it get any sweeter than a southern wedding with mason jars filled with sweet tea on top of lace and burlap at the wedding of a sweet southern belle and her handsome beau? If it does, we haven’t come across it yet. Stella Harper Events sat down with the most adorable couple (EVER) and planned a wedding that was perfectly Georgia chic. The gallery is like a cool breeze on a warm southern day thanks in full to 375 Photography!

Flash back to 2004… University of Georgia… Sorority rush has just ended. And Bid Day meant experiencing my first fraternity band party. That night I met several of these fraternity boys… but one in a red hat stood out from the rest. As we left the pre-party, that boy escorted me, with an umbrella in hand, through the pouring rain and in to the taxi. Some front row dancing, several fist pumps, and hours of conversation later, I was hooked on this boy in the red hat… Travis.

With two bachelors degrees, a master’s degree, a law degree, and moving to three new cities, the seven years leading up to our engagement were full of highs and lows, but those years laid the foundation of our relationship and ultimately our marriage. Having a summer birthday, I always felt like I missed out in grade school… never being able to take cupcakes, pass out invitations or have a party where all my friends were able to come. So as the big 2-5 was quickly approaching, I had asked Travis SEVERAL times what we would be doing hoping he had something planned. Well my actual birthday went off without any big surprises. All I got was that we would be celebrating the next day. But then my controlling nature took over… he had planned for us to go to the Botanical Gardens, out to dinner and then stay in Atlanta. Of course I had to have my input… we would get up, go to the Gardens around 9 or 10 am, and then head to maybe Park Tavern for lunch, go to our hotel and get ready for dinner. Travis had other plans in mind for our little schedule of events… 

We made it to the Botanical Gardens the next day and over to the Canopy Walk… one of the things on my Atlanta Bucket List. We made our little walk through the trees and the scorching heat, ending up in one of the many gardens. Travis insisted we walk over to the side of the waterfall, but the way he was pointing was straight towards the Visitor’s Center and Exit… exactly where we had just come from. Me being the planner, pulled out my map and tried to explain to him that he was going the wrong way. He continued to walk over to the side of the waterfall and then insisted that I take a picture of this waterfall. At this point, we were in direct sunlight. I was burning up and sweating and not too happy. So he kept insisting. And I turned to walk away. I was going to find shade. As I turned around, he grabbed my hand, pulled me around, and said “But I have a question for you…” So there was a question. A ring. Laughter. Tears. An engagement. After walking around for about 15 more minutes, we were both hot and ready to just enjoy the moment… in air conditioning. 

When it came time to plan our wedding, Travis and I knew we wanted a place that would be comfortable and reflect our personalities. We chose the Athens area because it was where we first met and our relationship began. My senior year of college, we had a sorority formal at Carl House and so it made the list of places to check out. As the planning process progressed, all of the pieces were falling perfectly in to place for our wedding at Carl House. The only date they had available in June was the 23rd… and it was at this moment I knew that this number would become so special. Travis’s birthday is the 23rd. His brother was married on the 23rd. We were engaged on the 23rd and would soon be married on the 23rd. So Carl House it was… and from there our wedding vision was quickly coming to life.

Southern. Burlap. Mason Jars. Soft candlelight. Lace. A mix of family heirlooms – all of the candlesticks that lined our estate table were collected from family members. A veil made from my mother’s wedding dress. In the 11 months leading up to our wedding, DIY projects were constantly being dreamed up and then made a reality… from our programs, table runners, cake topper and koozies, to the décor, flower girl tutu, guest book and wreaths honoring my grandfathers… It all came together in a way that was more personal and meaningful than we ever could have imagined.

Photography: Justin Wojtczak + Justin McGough for 375 Photography / Event Planning + Design: Stella Harper Events / Floral Design: Stems / Cinematography: Illuminated Videos / Venue: The Carl House / Entertainment: Spectrum Entertainment / Cake: Cecilia’s Cakes / Rentals: J & L Party Rentals /Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas / Dresses: Wedding Angels