This Bride had a vision, a very clear, chic vision for the dress she’d wear when she walked down the aisle. And when, after searching high and low, she couldn’t find it anywhere, what did she do? She got creative – and it’s with that talent and perseverance that she’s our new style crush. With the same passion she created her whole wedding and Carla Gates captured it all. Spend some time getting to know this fashion-forward lady and her handsome man in our Vault right this way!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Styles
Elegant

From the Bride… We met in the Big House during our first football game at the University of Michigan. After a year of studying for economics exams, nights at Scorekeepers, and swimming dates at the campus gym, we made it official during a matinee showing of “The Goonies” and never looked back. We kept it going through graduation, my law school, and ultimately, cohabitation in Chicago. On the day before Thanksgiving, I came out of my office on the streets of Chicago, looking to meet my assistant’s mother, and Drew was outside in a tux kneeling on the sidewalk! The rest is history!!

I was really inspired by using a shabby chic feel combined with an elegant twist. There are so many weddings that are really over the top, which is great, but I wanted the “less is more” look, while not looking bare. Heather from Tulip was beyond incredible! We shared pictures, thoughts, and ideas to set the stage for the most perfect night.

The colors were blush, champagne, and other soft colors. Lots of string lighting with hanging lanterns and candles. I wanted to capture a soft, ethereal feel – making you want to fall in love with our story when you walked in the door.

So the dress is a long story! I was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers as far as the top, and knew I wanted a slim fitting bottom, with a WOW factor in the back! Of course, there was nothing that quite hit the nail on the head when you have this vision in mind. So what do you do when that happens? MAKE IT YOURSELF! I ended up finding a dress with the right bone structure, and then let my imagination run wild. With the help of my amazing seamstress Hanan, and eight 5-7 hour fittings later (including sewing the sleeves on my dress the day before the wedding!), we created the dress of my dreams!

It is amazing :) All lace with an overlay, beaded on the top with shoulders covered by a hanging piece of beaded fabric. All backless! There are buttons that go all the way down the train.

Puritan Mill was the perfect space that lend itself to the shabby chic feel I knew Drew and I both wanted to achieve while being convenient to our guests in Atlanta. It was a big space, yet could be intimate at the same time. The ability to work from a blank canvas was definitely a plus!

My mom and I went wild with DIY decor! I felt like a little kid again doing art projects! One day, my mom and I were scouring our basement and found old window frames that were going to be tossed out. We spray painted the frames and I blew up pictures of our grandparents and parents and taped them to the back of the screen. It looked great and was a perfect way to incorporate some of the people we hold dearest who couldn’t be there to celebrate with us.

Also – I am a total sucker for cotton candy, so we ordered a bunch of bags online (which ended up being delicious) and then created customized stickers! Etsy became my best friend for the nine months that led up to my wedding. I was inspired by a lot of ideas on Pinterest and then made them come to life with the help of my mom, who was my rock throughout this whole process (along with Drew).

My most memorable moment was when Drew and I signed our wedding Ketubah before our actual ceremony began. In Jewish weddings, the Ketubah is a wedding contract, which is signed before the ceremony. It is considered an integral part of a traditional Jewish marriage, and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom, in relation to the bride. I remember when we signed it, my heart was beating out of my chest. This was the first time when everything felt surreal. It was actually happening! I was marrying my best friend and love of my life.

Additionally, seeing my dad for the first time. I am Daddy’s little girl, and I couldn’t believe that I was being given away!

My advice for future brides is that the process is supposed to be FUN! Don’t sweat the small stuff, and just breathe :)

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Photography: Carla Gates Photography | Cinematography: Artworks Cinema | Event Planning: Magnolia Events & Planning | Floral Design: By Tulip | Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander | Cake: Frosted Pumpkin Gourmet, Inc. | Stationery: With Grace | Bride's Shoes: Valentino | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: Affairs To Remember | Makeup: Amanda Masson | Hair: French Twist | Groom's Attire: Theory | Venue: Foundry At Puritan Mill | Bridal Boutique: Atlanta Bride Couture | Ceremony Music + Band: Event Performance | Event Rentals: Crush Event Rentals | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Wedding Dress Seamstress: Hanan's Bridal