Have you ever been to Dunaway Gardens? I have not, but if you have, consider me jealous. From the looks of this gorgeous southern wedding, the Gardens are a place worthy of a visit or two - as well as the most amazing soiree of your relationship. These two thought so, and I can't help but agree. As a very close second to actually being a lucky guest of this wedding, we have a gallery full of beautiful images from Artstar by Laura Stone just waiting for you here!
Jay and I met at a small bar in downtown Savannah, Georgia. I was playing a round of pool with some friends and he was with a group of friends who had coaxed him into going out with them. He walked up to me, pulled me aside, and told me that he spotted me from across the room and thought I was beautiful and could not leave with out getting my number. I reluctantly gave it to him, because after all I was in a "bar." I was finishing up my last year at the Savannah College of Art and Design and he was working for the Army repairing helicopters at a nearby base. We both had plans that would take us on different paths-I had dreams of moving to New York and he had plans of working overseas as a defense contractor. We decided to take those different paths and see how things went. We are both believers in fate. If it was meant to be we would find our way back to each other. During our time of being worlds apart we both realized how much we missed each other, and the year wrapped up we decided that life was too short to be on such different paths and that we wanted to join our lives together. We moved into a small house together which we fixed up during the following three years.
As we started living our lives together small little acts of love started to develop. I am not a morning person at all, so every morning Jay would bring me coffee and toast to wake me up. He is not the romantic type, not one to plan a night out with a romantic dinner or bring me flowers; but what he did do that meant so much more to me than those things was consistently show acts of kindness like waking up and bringing me breakfast in bed 90% of the time. One morning as usual he brought me coffee and toast and instead of kissing me and telling me it was time to get up, he got down on one knee and began to tell me how we wanted bring me breakfast for the rest of my life. He went on to saying how much he appreciated our lives being joined and could not imagine life any other way. He asked me to marry him in the sweetest most simple way. That was us. We are simple and understated people. I could not have asked for a better proposal.
When it came time to plan our wedding, we knew we wanted to incorporate the simplicity and beauty of nature for our special day. The venue we chose, Dunaway Gardens, is a 25-acre site full of different types of gardens and ponds. From the moment I stepped onto the venue site, I felt a sense of calmness and peace, the place was magical. It was everything I wanted for our wedding day. I did not even have to think about it, I signed the contract with out even discussing it with my husband to be because I knew he would love it.
The venue strongly dictated the stlye, theme and colors. I did not want the wedding details to overpower or fight with the venue but have a harmonious dialogue between each element. The wedding color I decided on was lavender. Instead of sticking with one color only, I decided to do a play on different shades of the lavender color. I felt like it would compliment all of the greenery around. I kept in mind the idea of simplicity and less is more. Instead of creating an arch for us to say our vows under I decided on a petal carpet of purple and white petals. I thought about how the guest were going to view the ceremony from the steps of the amphitheater. The color would dictate the focus point instead of an architectural element.
For the reception, I wanted simple but beautiful. We decided on white table cloths and flower boxes filled with flowers that looked as if they were picked from the garden.
We had many special touches we incorporated into our ceremony and reception. The first one was the music we used during our ceremony. We choose to use some of our favorite songs in the instrumental version. For the wedding party entrance we used "Yellow" by Vitamin String Quartet. For the song I walked down to, we decided on "Closer to Love" by Piano Tribute Conservatory. For our processional we chose "Stolen" in the instrumental version.
We had several hand made details incorporated. Jay made the little nest out of dried hunsuckle vines from our garden. One of my bridesmaids made our cake topper two days before the wedding from vines bent into the letter A. The night before the wedding my bridesmaids, my mother and I made the petal cones which held dried lavender. We used paper dollies from the craft store. We also hand stamped all the guest gift paper bags with purple flowers. It was a fun night of crafting.
During our ceremony we did a butterfly release. That idea came from our wedding planner during one of our last design meetings. I am so glad we did it. It was so beautiful and our amazing photographer was able to catch it.
The memories that stay the most vivid to me now are from our ceremony. It was the most special and beautiful moment of my life. Being surrounded by everyone we love and exchanging such life changing vows in the middle of the most beautiful surroundings, no moment could have been more perfect.
I love all of our photos, but my favorites are from the First Look. As the background for this special moment, Jay and I chose an overgrown pond with much greenery around it. It was magical and the pictures capture it beautifully. I also love the detail images because they show our idea of beauty, and the photos of my family- Laura captured all their personalities perfectly!
Photography: Artstar by Laura Stone / Cinematography: James Futch / Flowers: Gloriosa / Event Planning: Peachtree Weddings & Events / Ceremony + Reception Location: Dunaway Gardens / Invitations: Paper Source / Hair & Makeup: Brushworx / Wedding Gown: Augusta Jones / Bride's Belt: Handmade by Madeline / Pearl Necklace: Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry / Wedding Rings: Shane Company