When it comes to weddings, I consider myself a little bit of a contemporary lover. But show me a drop-dead gorgeous barn wedding and I turn to some serious wedding lovin’ putty. Especially when that drop-dead gorgeous barn wedding is rich in DIY details and some of the prettiest rustic stylings you will ever lay your eyes upon. That’s the kind of affair that can make any modern lady or gent reconsider (believe you me)… and you can see it all captured by One Nine Images right here in the full gallery.
From the Bride… I grew up in the horse country of the northern suburbs of Atlanta and had always dreamed of having my wedding reception in a barn. Soon after our engagement, I had given up hope of finding one in our area that hosted events until I stumbled upon a link to The Reid Barn. When my fiance and I visited it for the first time, I instantly fell in love. With a pond, a pasture and plenty of indoor and outdoor space to accommodate our 300 guests, we knew it was the place for us. I immediately began brainstorming all of the DIY decor that would compliment the Barn’s rustic yet elegant yet simple aura and we spent the next eleven months making them a reality. My brother-in-law cut slabs and branches from fallen trees and he, my fiance and I spent countless hours drilling and sanding them to make centerpieces. I scoured every thrift store in a ten mile radius for mason jars and my family and friends saved wine bottles and miscellaneous jars for months. I purchased 100 yards of burlap from a discount online store and used it to make table runners, bows for the church pews, table numbers, bean bags for Corn Hole, a bulletin board for photos and many other decor elements. (We still have so much burlap left that we joke we’ll be making burlap crafts for our grandchildren some day!) We wanted our wedding to have as many personal touches as possible and nearly everything was created by one of us or one of our friends or family members. From our toasting glasses hand painted by my aunt, to my bridesmaids’ hair flowers made by a friend, to the wedding programs and escort cards designed and printed by me, to signage hand painted by my mom, our wedding was certainly a labor of love made possible by countless loved ones. My cousin, Marjorie, volunteered to be our day-of decorator and she did an outstanding job offering ideas and bringing my wedding dream to life. I wish I could list out each project and each person who contributed to our decor, but the list would go on and on! I love looking back at the pictures and having the ability to say “We made that. And that. And that. And it’s beautiful.”
It was important to me to also honor the natural simplicity and beauty of the Barn and its surroundings and to keep a more casual vibe to the day. We opted for a simple white cake with no topper to allow the Barn’s beauty and our own DIY decor to do the talking. I loved the lace-like look to a cluster of plain baby’s breath and decided to use it as the bridesmaids’ bouquets and the groomsmen’s boutonnieres. The groomsmen wore vests instead of full suits to allow them to be more comfortable and casual on a warm Georgia October day. My bridesmaids chose from a selection of dark purple Bill Levkoff dresses and chose their own shoes and jewelry so they could feel comfortable and beautiful in their own style. Our flowers at the reception were a combination of baby’s breath, green mums and white carnations– lovingly arranged by my cousin. They didn’t overpower the decor but added a touch of simple elegance. The neutral tones of the burlap and wood, the green tones of the mums and groomsmen ties and the classic white of various flowers grounded the day in the aura of the Barn I had first adored. And the glimpse of a purple bridesmaid dress here and there provided some definite pop!
It took me six months to decide on a wedding dress and I ended up choosing the first one I had tried on. I loved the simple lace, the lovely neckline and the stunning train. I toyed with the idea of other dresses along the way, but ultimately decided on the first and only one that I had fallen in love with. I like to compare my dress buying experience to my relationship with Arthur. We met when we were 14 at church and he has always said that the first time he saw me, he knew I would be his wife. We were friends for several years and then began dating when we were 16. We broke up at 19, but stayed in touch and had a long saga of reunions and then more break ups. When we were 26, we realized we were both still crazy about each other and decided to give it one final try. Ten months later, we were engaged. Much like my dress, Arthur was the first and only one I ever loved. I’m so glad I followed my heart and ended up with the perfect dress… and husband!
The most special thing about our wedding was that we actually got married at the church where we met. I grew up in that parish and his family became very involved there in high school. We met as children in the very same building where we said our vows and committed our lives to each other as adults. It’s such a special place for both of us as individuals and as a couple and we couldn’t imagine starting our marriage at any other place. Sitting with him and holding his hand during the ceremony was such a powerful experience for me and my favorite part of the entire day.
Fun Fact – I practically placed the bouquet in my best friend’s hands, knowing she was hoping for a proposal very soon. She caught the bouquet and got engaged a week later! I was a bridesmaid in her wedding in June.
Photography: Andy Brophy of One Nine Images | Cinematography: Avalanche Entertainment | Wedding Dress: Allure | Cake: The Cake Shoppe | Ceremony Venue: St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic | Reception Venue: The Reid Barn (Cumming, Georgia) | Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Catering: Tam's Backstage | DJ: Avalanche Entertainment | Men's Attire: Perry Ellis | Men's Attire: Dillards | Bouquets + Boutonnieres: Amazing by Amanda | Bridal Boutique: I Do I Do Bridal | Bride's Hair: Davao Hair Salon | Bride's Make Up: Make Up Couture | String Light Rentals: North Georgia Party Rental