Oh my, this Bride and I are kindred spirits. And the fact that her hubby asked for her hand in the gardens of Versailles makes my heart skip a beat. They planned their beautiful day with the French countryside in mind, and the result was a day where I could easily spend all my days. It’s all around lovely, and captured to perfection by Christopher Helm - making this one seriously gorgeous gallery.

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From Christopher HelmsCloverleaf Farm is a new venue just outside of Athens, Georgia. The house is an interesting 1860′s antebellum mansion in the true southern style. The couple was really sweet, and a pleasure to work with. Erin has a great sense of style and really put a lot of work into the details. She successfully mixed her French style with the southern atmosphere of the house and surrounding pecan groves. Gavin is one of the sweetest guys in the world and a true gentleman. These guys are truly happy and in love.

From the Bride… My husband and I met in the workplace– a high school in Athens, Georgia. I traveled the world throughout my 20’s, even lived in Japan for two years, only to meet the man of my dreams in the classroom next door. We both teach economics and history which meant that we spent a lot of time together collaborating on lesson plans. We had great chemistry together, similar senses of humor, and deep down we were both super dorky. Not to mention my husband is easily one of the kindest, most sincere and hardworking people I’ve ever met. Over time we became good friends and it seemed only natural that we would end up becoming much more! I knew almost immediately that we would be getting married– at nearly 30 years old I knew that I had found someone incredibly special. He proposed in the gardens of Versailles, one of my favorite places on Earth, and so when the wedding planning started I knew I had to incorporate some aspects of Versailles and the palace’s most famous queen: Marie Antoinette.

And therein was the difficulty: we didn’t want too much of a rococo influence, with its gilded gold opulence. This level of formality and excess simply just isn’t our style (or fit with our wedding budget). We are both down-to-earth people who enjoy all things informal. This meant that we were drawn to images of the peaceful countryside but with a touch of aristocracy. Luckily, I knew just where to look for inspiration.

In order to escape the rigid court life of Versailles, Marie Antoinette had an idyllic country village created at her private palace, the Petit Trianon. It is a 30-minute walk from the main palace of Versailles and often overlooked by tourists. This beautiful garden provided the inspiration for our wedding with a ceremony under the trees and whimsical floral arrangements in soft pastel colors that evoke the colors of gowns Marie Antoinette herself might have worn in the gardens. The same theme also appears in our paper goods, with our cameos appearing both on our save-the-date postcards and our program fans. I even added a wide blue sash (handmade by my mother) to my whimsical Jim Hjelm gown in order to pay homage to the chemise a la reine style of dress made popular by Marie Antoinette.

The wedding was truly a lot of fun for us to plan. We spent over a year collecting milk glass vases, mirrored vanity trays, and tarnished silver platters to use in our wedding décor. This meant many trips to thrift shops, antique stores, and garage sales– a fun weekend tradition that I hope we will maintain even now that the wedding is over. I threw myself into many DIY projects including designing all of our paper goods, designing our website, hand-stamping and filling lavender toss bags, and creating all of our wedding day signage.

In the end the day was more beautiful and magical than I ever imagined. Everything came together perfectly. I was so happy to see that my vision of a relaxed, countryside wedding (with some Marie Antoinette flair thrown in for good measure) was realized so perfectly. And the outpouring of love and support from our friends and family was the icing on the cake. And that is how two teachers, so very in love, ended up with a fairytale wedding.

 Wedding Photography: Christopher Helm | Wedding Venue: Cloverleaf Farm | Floral Design: Gardenia Floral Design | Stationery: Bride | Cakes + Desserts: Cecilia’s Cakes | Catering: A Divine Event | Wedding Dress: Jim Hjelm | Bride’s Shoes: Lola Cruz | Hair + Makeup: City Salon and Spa

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