Those Southern lovelies, they sure know how to do elegance right. And this afternoon’s slice of pretty is exactly that—elegance at it’s best, mixed with side of NOLA influence. From the classic, black and white invitations designed by Paper Daisies Stationery to the lace galore to the pops of peach sprinkled about, Simply Sarah Photography made sure no detail went uncaptured—see it all here.
From the beautiful Bride…Our unique Spring wedding was a mix of a traditional church ceremony, and a lively garden reception heavily influenced by all things Atlanta and New Orleans! The Southern affair was truly a night to remember.
My now husband, Matt, and I met in high school in Atlanta. We went to the same church and our families were friends as well. He was a year older, and I fell hard and fast. At 17, I just KNEW I was going to marry this boy. Fast forward a year, and I was left with a broken heart while he went off to Georgia Tech for college. I went off to college at Louisiana State University the next year and, after realizing that every 17-year-old goes through a bad breakup, I left my bitterness behind and Matt and I became friends who kept in touch a few times a year. Little did I know that my 17-year-old self was right. After graduating from college and moving back to Atlanta, Matt and I started dating again and, my 23-year-old self (once again) just KNEW she was going to marry this boy. Luckily, he felt the same. :) He proposed two years later in Atlanta in front of our family and friends. And now, we have a funny story to tell people how we met.
Since we both grew up in Georgia, we decided right off the bat to have the wedding in Atlanta. However, in beginning to plan, we struggled with how to combine all of our family and cultural traditions into a night everyone would never forget. Having some family from the Northeast, it was important to us to demonstrate everything our two favorite Southern states – Georgia and New Orleans – have to offer.
In the end, we decided that including ALL of our favorite things from my fiance’s and my home state of Georgia and my extended family’s home state of Louisiana was the way to go. No traditions were left uncovered, and everything blended beautifully!
Our traditional Catholic ceremony featured meaningful readings, wedding hymns played by an organist, and a lighting of a Unity candle. Our church housed gorgeous stained glass windows and beautiful marble floors. We steered clear of decorations for the church, and let the historic Atlantan beauty speak for itself.
To keep in line with the look of the church, and the overall Southern wedding feel, my dress was all white lace, with delicate lace straps, a plunging back, and a long train. To amp up the look, I added a dramatic jeweled belt, and a royal length veil. I wanted the veil to trail behind me as far as possible down the long church aisle. I kept my accessories simple, only adding jeweled and pearl earrings and jeweled silver shoes to match my belt. My bridesmaids wore long, chiffon dresses in light blue with pearl stud earrings and dainty pearl necklaces. My flower girl wore a white lace dress and pearls to look similar to me and the bridesmaids. The groomsmen, fathers, and ring bearer all wore traditional black tuxes. To take the tuxes up a notch, we nixed the typical black bow tie and instead had them wear bow ties with fleur-de-lis, a traditional New Orleans symbol.
For our invitations, we chose black and white computer calligraphy (yes, computer calligraphy – it’s amazing!) with traditional wording. Rounded edges added a little flair and were the perfect combination of traditional and modern. My bouquet, my bridesmaids bouquets, and my flower girl’s flower pomander had beautiful white, peach, and pink flowers. The bouquets were an assortment of anemones, peonies, garden roses, and dusty miller, with green filler as an accent. All of the bouquets were tightly wrapped with a gray satin ribbon. A perfect Spring combination!
Most of our wedding planning was geared toward our garden reception at a Historic Atlanta Mansion. We wanted to really show off our personalities, all the while remaining focused on our number one goal, ensuring that we had a celebration that we would remember for a lifetime. In truth, neither of us had a strong preference when it came to decorations, flowers, or linens. Our venue boasted gorgeous gardens, and a large white tent already, so we wanted the centerpieces and decorations to accent the beauty that was already there. Amberly at Wrenwood Design did a phenomenal job (especially for the little guidance she had) and created alternating high and low centerpieces filled with beautiful white, peach, pink, and green flowers in glass and silver vases. The centerpieces matched my bouquet and the bridesmaids bouquets, with variations to make them stand out on their own. Our decorations consisted mainly of stunning flower arrangements, to play up the garden theme. It turned out better than we could have ever imagined.
The food was one of the most important parts of our reception. We wanted a combination of foods from Georgia and New Orleans, and the result was astounding. During the cocktail hour, guests enjoyed a “Spring Blended Display” of Georgian cheeses, Louisiana fried boudin balls, and other meats, fruits, and specialty appetizers. Dinner was an interactive buffet where guests could make their own meals, once again combining Georgia and Louisiana offerings. Southern-style short rib, shrimp, jambalaya-style chicken and andouille, grits, macaroni and cheese, fingerling potatoes, and assorted vegetables were among the options. Dinner was topped off by passed desserts consisting of melted Georgia peach and vanilla bean ice cream on top of bacon glazed chocolate donuts, flights of spoons filled with delicious mouses, and traditional New Orleans beignets.
Our cake was a simple, three-tiered, amaretto cake with buttercream icing. Flowers matching the centerpieces and bouquets cascaded down the side. Before cutting the cake (which, yes, as much as I threatened, got smeared all over my face by my new husband), the bridesmaids participated in “cake pulls,” a New Orleans tradition in which the single bridesmaids pull a charm out of the bride and groom’s wedding cake. Each charm acts as a “fortune” and tells what will happen to them in the future. A super fun tradition, unless you’re the bridesmaid that pulls the “crabby old lady” charm. :)
Our wedding favors consisted of pralines from our family friend’s praline shop in New Orleans, and koozies with our monogram because, what’s a Southern wedding without a monogram?
Throughout the night, guests mingled throughout the gardens and tent, danced to an AMAZING band that played a huge variety of music, and participated in a traditional New Orleans Second Line, which kicked off the party! The end result of all the hard work and planning was an amazingly fun night with mixed traditions, family, friends, and love. The ceremony was perfect, the food and drinks amazing, the dance floor packed, and the night filled with joy. We couldn’t have asked for anything more and will never be able to thank our family, friends and all of our amazing vendors enough for the epic event they hosted for us.
Photography: Simply Sarah Photography | Coordinator: Stella Harper Events | Wedding Gown: Formally Yours | Cake: Southern Sweets Bakery | Ceremony Venue: Holy Spirit Catholic Church | Reception Venue: The Gardens At Great Oaks | Shoes: Nordstrom | Bridesmaids Dresses: Formally Yours | Catering: Block And Bottle Catering - Vin25 | Hair And Makeup: Jennifer C. Nieman | Band: Flavor Band | Favors: Old Town Pralines And Gift Shop | Bride's Jewelry: Anna Bellagio | Bridesmaids Robes: MonoRobes | Cake Pulls: Bayou Accents | Florals And Decorations: Wrennwood Design | Flower Girl Dress: Formally Yours | Groom + Groomsmen Bowties: The Tie Bar | Groom And Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Invitations And Signage: Paper Daisies Stationery | Ring In Bouquet : Family Heirloom | Second Line Umbrellas: New Orleans Umbrella Co. | Transportation: Divine Chariots Limousines | Veil, Garters, And Sash: Formally Yours