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Athens Wedding from Lenscape Studios

This, my friends, is the epitome of a Southern celebration.  A drop-dead gorgeous wedding brimming with stunning traditional details, a seriously adorable duo and a whole host of heartwarming moments all set against the breathtaking backdrop that is The Taylor-Grady House.  It’s exactly the reason I adore Georgia weddings, and the reason I’ll be spending the entire day (or weekend) wrapped up in the full gallery of images captured by Lenscape Studios.  Join me there for all of the pretty.

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Summer
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ChurchTented

From the Bride… August 24th was the best day ever! Brad and I had been dating since we were 14 and 16-years-old, so we were beyond thrilled to finally tie the knot! That morning, all the girls woke up early and headed to get brunch and mimosas to start the celebration off right. My amazing hair and makeup artists, Autumn Mayo and Kara Waters, were so great and made getting ready such a fun experience. After we got all dolled up, we headed to the historic Taylor-Grady House to put on our dresses and take photos. The guys met us there and after we all got dressed, I went out and did a “first look” with my dad. I think those are some of my favorite pictures of the day! Our photographers, Dave and Lauren from Lenscape Studios, did a phenomenal job capturing it.

Brad and I chose to do a First Look simply because of timing. At first I was really against it, as was he, because we wanted a “special moment” when I walked down the aisle. After working over the timeline with our wedding coordinator, we realized taking pictures after the ceremony would mean we only had a little bit of time to see all of our friends and family at the reception. It ended up being the best decision we made! Brad says he would have been incredibly nervous had he not seen me before, and I felt so much more relaxed after I saw him. Once we had our first look, the entire wedding party was able to just hang out and have fun while we took pictures. I am so glad we did it!

After the pictures, we all took a big limo over to the ceremony site, The Chapel at The University of Georgia. We loved that both of our venues were historical landmarks; Athens is such a great city, and it’s really rich in history and culture.

Another one of my favorite pictures of the day is the one of our whole wedding party waiting up in the balcony for the ceremony to start. We got to watch the guests fill in, which was so fun. (Of course, I was hidden in the stairwell so no one could see me, but I could see and talk to all my bridesmaids!) It was so much fun, and a good way to stay calm right before the big moment.

The ceremony was beautiful, and went so well. Our good friends sang and read during the ceremony, and Brad and I wrote our own promises that we read to each other before our traditional vows. My uncle is a pastor, so we were honored to have him officiate. It was so personal and special to have so many loved ones involved in the ceremony! I also loved that our venue had a stage, so we were up and able to see all of our friends and family while we vowed our lives to each other. It really was so special.

Our reception was a blast! We went back to the Taylor-Grady House, where the guests had a cocktail hour and passed hors d’oeuvres on the front lawn. We had corn-hole games and a bar under the giant tree in the boxwood garden, which was gorgeous. When the wedding party was ready to be introduced, the guests were ushered to the back yard where the DJ, dance floor, tents, and tables were. I loved that we were able to walk down the back steps of the house straight to the dance floor!

I could go on and on about the food, drinks, flowers, and other details forever, but I would say that the main thing I will always remember is how loved we felt. It was so humbling and honoring that all those people drove and flew from all over to celebrate with us! We had more fun than I ever thought possible, and we are so grateful that our day turned out better than I ever dreamed.

Photography: Lenscape Studios | Flowers: Diane Thomas | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal | Cake: Cecilias Cakes | Invitations: Plain Jane Designs | Ceremony Venue: University of Georgia Chapel | Reception Venue: The Taylor-Grady House | Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Sung | Catering: Delicious Dishes | DJ: David Compton | Tuxes: Perno's Formal Ware | Officiant: Dr. John Hull | Bride + Maids' Hair: Autumn Mayo Hair Designs | Bride + Maids' Makeup: Kara Waters | Music: Shelby McLeod | Rentals: Oconee Events

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Athens Georgia Wedding at Foundry Park Inn from Melissa Pepin Photography

You know what makes for one seriously awesome combo?  Two adorable high school sweethearts, the amazing city of Atlanta and one breathtakingly gorgeous wedding.  That’s what we here at SMP call the trifecta of wedding goodness and this pretty little affair has all three.  Not to mention it’s a day that is seriously brimming with pretty, from the sweet romantic details to the traditional reception bursting with elegance to the fabulous gallery from Melissa Pepin Photography.  Join me there for every ounce of lovely.

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From Melissa Pepin… There are not enough words to describe how beautiful this affair was! Danielle and Tyler were the epitome of beautiful on their wedding day. Every detail was custom fitted to them. From the monogrammed outdoor bar to the artist drawn images from their engagement session pictures to the personalized wedding cakes… it was perfect.

Danielle adorned her hair with a custom-made piece that was created based on the belt of her wedding dress. All of her maids wore beautiful Kate Spade jewelry that went perfectly with their peach and soft pink dresses. Tyler was stunning in his linen suit and made all of his groomsmen happy with their customized cigar boxes filled with favorites he selected for each person. Outdoor seating on the back patio of their venue also made for a super relaxing evening under the stars while inside their guests dined and danced the night away to an amazing band brought in just for their big day.

After dating for 10 years and finally marrying their high school sweetheart, this couple put on the perfect affair and we were SO excited to be a part of it!

Photography: Melissa Pepin Photography | Florals: Jamie Parrish | Wedding Dress: Matthew Christopher | Wedding Cake: Sugar Kneads | Ceremony: UGA Chapel | Reception: Foundry Park Inn & Spa | Jewelry: Kate Spade | Catering: Foundry Park Inn & Spa | Band: Fly By Radio | Make up and hair: Southern Roots

French Country Inspired Farm Wedding from Christopher Helm Photography

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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University of Georgia Garden Wedding from Melissa Pepin Photography

When a description starts with the words “wow… just wow,” you kind of know you are in for a little something special.  And when it’s a darling University of Georgia wedding captured by Melissa Pepin Photography, it’s an all caps kind of WOW… and then some.  Because when a Southern gem like this joins forces with pretty pink hues, white bridesmaid frocks (love) and beautiful florals from European Floral Design, it’s epically good.  Click here for sooo much more.

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Spring
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From Melissa Pepin PhotographyWow….just wow. This couple and their day was sheer perfection! The weather surrounding their wedding day was disastrous. But rain, crazy strong winds, and even hail couldn’t stop the celebration that was coming this couple’s way. A few hours before everything was supposed to start, the skies cleared, the sun came out, and the perfect day was handed to us!

Haley’s dress was full of amazing detail and Todd looked so dapper in his black tux and white bow tie. From the white peonies and deep coral spray roses to the basil and rosemary lemonade, this day was a Southern brides dream come true. Haley broke tradition and selected white for her bridesmaids to wear. They were all so beautiful and when coupled with the groomsmen’s mixture of tuxes and military dress blues, the background was set off to be even more beautiful.

Every single detail of this couples day was so fitting for them. Awesome Prada shoes for Haley and a wedding cake designed to replicate the stunning white leaves on her dress, a custom groom’s cake that was sculpted to reflect Todd’s time as a diver for UGA, and a boutonniere crafted from an antique tie clip that belonged to the groom’s grandfather… it was all just so wonderful! Haley even had a a hand crafted glass charm made by a dear friend that was supposed to be a bridesmaid at the wedding (but was due to have a baby the same day so she wasn’t able to be there). It was sweet little touches throughout the entire day that made this wedding so brilliant!

Wedding Photography: Melissa Pepin Photography | Wedding Venue: University of Georgia, Founders Memorial Garden | Floral Design: European Floral Design | Catering: Trumps | Day-Of Coordination: Molly McKinley for Chancey Charm | Invitations: Plain Janes Design | Wedding Dress: Anne Barge | Bride’s Shoes: Prada | Makeup: Eli Jana Cosmetics | Hair: Republic Salon | Band: Band X | Rentals: Oconee Events Inc.

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University of Georgia Engagement Session from Morning Light by Michelle Landreau

Bow ties, monograms and pretty pink hues – that’s what preppy photo shoot dreams are made of. It’s true, and those dreams are coming to life today through the light-filled images from Morning Light by Michelle Landreau. And with a couple that couldn’t be sweeter in the center of all the preppy Georgia goodness, it goes without saying this one is a must see. Do so right here.

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Fall
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From Morning Light by Michelle Landreau… Last fall, I had the pleasure of shooting a preppy engagement session at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Brittany & Greg are both alums of the school and actually met through College Republicans while attending the university. Locations include the arch, Founder’s Garden, and the coffee shop where they went on their first date, Two Story Coffeehouse. There, they re-enacted part of this date by playing the Game of Life. Greg later told Brittany that he wanted her to be the girl in his car! We were so lucky with the light that day; it really accentuated the bright colors of their wardrobe. I hope you enjoy the little details such as his L.L.Bean monogrammed shirt and bow tie!

Wedding Photography: Morning Light by Michelle Landreau | Location: North Campus of the University of Georgia + Two-Story Coffeehouse both in Athens, Georgia | Groom’s Shirt + Bow-tie: L.L.Bean

Athens, Georgia Wedding from Melissa Pepin Photography

For those of you just dying to see Pantone’s Color of the Year in action, look no further than this sweet Athens affair from Melissa Pepin Photography, which is literally bursting with the pretty little Emerald color from every nook and cranny.  I’m talking the bridesmaid gowns, the beautiful florals from European Floral Design and even the candy bar, all drenched in gorgeous green goodness.  Carry Your Heart Events styled every last moment to absolute perfection and the gallery is a colorful must-see. Join me there for all of the pretty.

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Spring
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BallroomInn

From Melissa Pepin PhotographyEmily & Justin had apparently reserved the PERFECT Spring day for their wedding. The weather was absolutely wonderful, the setting couldn’t have been more spot on, and the excitement they both had to walk down the aisle was overwhelming to watch. Emily is a true Georgia girl with a heart for her family and home. Justin is a Southern gentleman who is the picture of respect and chivalry. Together their day was a representation of their love for each other and the things that are most important to them both.

Emily has impeccable taste and selected beautiful emerald green bridesmaids dresses that paired perfectly with their gold Michael Kors wedges. The emerald theme played throughout their day through all of their florals and even into their candy bar which was lined with green apple licorice and citrus flavored gummy bears.

Their day couldn’t have been better…totally worth all of the months of planning!

Wedding Photography: Melissa Pepin Photography | Wedding Venue: Foundry Park Inn & Spa | Event Planning + Design: Carry Your Heart Events | Floral Design: European Floral Design | Makeup: Flawless Finish | Wedding Dress: I Do I Do Bridal | Wedding Shoes: Michael Kors | Entertainment: The Highballs