We all know Atlanta weddings are awesome.  That goes without saying.  But, did you know that you can have a secret garden-esque wedding right in the middle of the city?  Well, you can.  And if you are anything like these two cuties, you’ll infuse it with one gorgeous DIY detail after another, a sweet vintage vibe and dreamy pastel hues.  The ever-amazing Amy Arrington Photography snapped up all of the pretty and you’ll be a fan of Cator Woolford Gardens (and this adorable duo) in no time at all.  Join me in the gallery for more.

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From the Bride…  Although we now live in Arlington, Virginia, Ben and I decided to get married at the Cator Woolford Gardens because it’s right around the corner from where my parents live in Atlanta (we can literally walk there from home in about five minutes!). We both knew we wanted to get married outside, and this little “secret garden” in the middle of the city was the perfect combination of our love for the city and for being in nature. Although we planned our wedding from afar, which was definitely difficult, we were grateful for all of the fabulous local vendors who made things much easier for us.

My vision for the day was that I wanted it to feel like a vintage, southern garden party — part fairytale, part casual comfort. I wanted to infuse the day with whimsical, personalized decor and details that really said something about us as a couple, as well as individuals. I made most of the decorations by hand (chalkboard signs, programs, banners, pie stands, seating cards/seating card tree, window pane displays, cake topper, etc.), and those that I didn’t make, I purchased from Etsy or commissioned family and friends to make. All of the bunting (hundreds of yards of it!) was hand-sewn by a friend’s mother in Oklahoma, and my own mother spent many hours stuffing welcome packets, stringing letters onto ribbons, and traveling around the city with me as we visited flea markets and junkyards.

We also completely designed our own programs, ceremony and vows in order to make this part of the event — the most important part! — fit with our personalities and relationship. We’ve been together for over eight years, so we wanted our ceremony to reflect our past together, but also celebrate the new journey that we were embarking upon on our wedding day. We got creative with our wedding party; my brothers both served as “bridesmen” on my side, we had a “flower sister” instead of a “flower girl” (so that one of my dear friends, who I think of as a younger sister, could have a special role in the wedding), and Ben had two “best men,” so that he wouldn’t have to pick between friends. I think the biggest piece of advice that I can give brides-to-be is to not be afraid to think outside of the box, or outside of tradition, in order to make your wedding your own (although I do love tradition and definitely think it has its place!).

Our wedding day was everything that we imagined it would be and more, and I believe that our amazing family and friends are what made it so special. Ben and I look back on it as the most incredible day of our eight years together, and we are filled with love and gratitude for everyone who was a part of it. And we are also extremely thankful for Amy Arrington, as she did a fabulous job capturing the day!

Wedding Photography: Amy Arrington Photography / Wedding Venue: Cator Woolford Gardens in Atlanta, Georgia / Planning + Coordination: Allie Brackett of We Tie The Knots / Event Design + Decor: DIY by the Bride / Floral Design: Candler Park Flowers / Catering: Sun in My Belly / Cake: DIY by the Bride’s Mother / Pies: Pastries A-Go-Go / String Duo: The Wedding Players / Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal / Bride’s Sash: White by Vera Wang / Bride’s Shoes: LOFT / Bride’s Veil: Erica Elizabeth Design / Hair: Rebecca Powell / Makeup: Paula Xiong / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Anthropologie / Bridesmaids’ Jewelry: Vintage + Forever 21 / Groom’s Suit: J.Crew

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