French Inspired Garden Tea Party Wedding at Laurel Hall
September 4, 2014
Classic WeddingsOutdoor WeddingsSpring Weddings
It's never lost on me how incredibly lucky I am to be able to share love stories like this one day in and day out. It's a wonderful honor to showcase such an important day on our site, and when Autumn Keller is showering the soiree with gorgeous florals and Eric Houghtalen was behind the design helm I feel like we hit the wedding jackpot. And when Conforti Photography is behind the lens to capture it all, I know we have. See why here
View as
From Eric Houghtalen... I first encountered the newly engaged couple during our first meeting in March 2014. This was the first opportunity to discuss all the details, hopes and dreams for their special day. They brought with them a huge perfectly organized binder already full of ideas and inspirational photos. Witnessing Amanda and Leslie interact was like watching a fairytale storybook romance unfurl before my eyes. The room filled with the true love they had for one another. Ideas were discussed and the shear volume of excitement took over the quietness of my office. I'll never forget how amazingly the three of us instantly clicked. The moment the meeting ended and they left my office, I said to my manager- without doubt or hesitation, " Whatever it takes, I AM going to do this wedding and do it right!"

I was aware the girls were comparison shopping for everything including catering and my role as event planner. I wasn't going to allow anyone to take this opportunity away from me. So after a couple months of numerous phone calls, number crunching and proposals, I got an email and phone call confirming they had selected me as their planner. I was so honored and overjoyed by their decision I could barely contain my emotions.

Once the initial contract formalities were complete, the real fun began. Of course the process had many challenges. First, Amanda was accepted to law school and moved from Indiana to Austin, TX. Thus our face to face meetings soon became hour long phone conversations and very long email threads. Second, Due to all the specify details, Scheduling trips home become very delicate and time sensitive. The girls had to fly or drive back to Indiana for the menu tastings, linen selections, decor shopping, floral and decor consultations, design work, dress fittings etc. The planning process definitely had it's wealth of stress and plethora of freak out moments. I am glad we were all able to keep each other sane and no one got hurt along the way.

Lastly, as with any wedding the dreaded budget kept becoming a thorn in our sides. The biggest concern was how to achieve their goal without compromising the overall vision. Through my close relationship with vendors and their bargain shopping skills the wedding started to finally seemed logistical and on budget . After hundreds of hours and over 18 months of designing/planning the wedding weekend finally arrived.

Installation and Setup at Laurel Hall took two full days. I know everyone involved was taken back and overwhelmed by the shear beauty of the transformation of the venue. Specifically, the beautiful florals provided by Autumn brought some to tears and personally gave me goosebumps. The weather forecast was a slight concern but alas, all we had was high humidity, 88 degrees and a perfectly sunny sky. The romantic ceremony was set in the garden. The cocktail hour in the solarium was filled with the sounds of joy as the talented string duo continued playing custom arranged music. Guests gathered in the grand foyer for the announcing of the bridal party. As guests applauded and cheered, Amanda and Leslie made their entrance down the elaborate grand staircase. Guests were ushered into dinner and engulfed by the feminine and regal decor. Shades of pink linens and lighting including dusty rose, ballet slipper and blush instantly gave the room a romantic elegance. The table settings included vintage china, gold flatware and napkins rolled into a rose. Guests dined on the fine cuisine from Hoaglin Catering. Dinner was followed by the cake cutting, dessert boutique, many heartfelt toasts, dancing and a late night food station. Upon conclusion, the brides were treated to one last surprise - a pink sparkler send off and a 1938 Cadillac to wisp them away into the night.

From Autumn Keller...The girls came to me initially with a distinct vision; French Rococo Tea Party. The feminine feel that they wanted included dainty, gilded flourishes, touches of lace, floral china, shades of soft pinks and gentle blushes with hints of gold. The floral arrangements that we dreamed up we wanted to have a refined garden look; gentle, graceful and lush, almost reminiscent of a Watteau painting.

From The Brides...For a month, a mutual friend of ours had been adamant that we meet because “we’d be perfect for each other.” He couldn’t have been more right. We had an irresistible connection that made us hate to be away from one another. From the moment we started dating, we were inseparable and haven’t spent a night apart in 3 years.

I (Amanda) knew within the first week of meeting Leslie that she was who I wanted to spend forever with. The first time Leslie ever said out loud that she was going to marry me was at the grocery store about a month after we met: when we discovered that we both like to put hot dogs in our Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Leslie proposed in February of 2012 and we set our wedding date for the summer of 2014. We both wanted everything to be perfect, so we wanted LOTS of time to plan.

We’re both very girly and over-the-top, and we wanted our wedding to be the essence of femininity. Most brides have to be mindful of how girly their wedding gets; almost no one gets to have a wedding that is all pink, lace, and flowers! We really wanted people to come to our wedding and say “This is so them!"