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Classic Black Tie Wedding at the St. Regis Atlanta

I have a special spot in my heart for traditional black tie weddings and that adoration isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But add some chic Southern style to the mix and my breath quickens and my hands start shaking in excitement because you just KNOW it’s gonna be good. And this gem, captured by Lauren Kinsey and created by the crazy talented Amy Osaba, is just that and more. From the fabulous fashion to the bouquets I want to live in, it’s all in our Vault for us to enjoy pic after pic!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
ChurchHotel
Styles
Classic

From the Bride… Once deciding to marry in Atlanta, my childhood home and a city that holds such a special place in my heart, it did not take long to choose the venues. We knew we wanted a traditional Southern black tie wedding with some unexpected twists that paid homage to the city and region’s heritage. Finding a wedding planner was tricky because I wanted a very specific aesthetic and it was important that nothing felt too contrived or predictable. It did not take long after finding Amy Osaba to know that she would be the perfect fit and a dream to work with.

The ceremony took place in my church, First Presbyterian of Atlanta, which also happens to be one of the oldest and most beautiful sanctuaries in town. The reception, immediately following the 6:30 in the evening service, took place at the St. Regis Atlanta. Located in the heart Buckhead, the ballroom and terrace used for the cocktail hour and sit down dinner were the perfect combination of glamour, elegance and brought the exact ambiance that we were hoping to achieve. The late summer night was beautiful and an outdoor whiskey bar and cigar roller under bistro lights and gorgeous stars painted a perfect canvas. Inside the ballroom were meticulously set long tables profiling the dance floor, cake, furniture vignettes and the moss wall backdrop for the stage and 14-piece band. With a large hanging floral installation above the main table and ethereal lighting and flower arrangements thoughtfully placed all over the timeless ballroom it painted the picture of an enchanted garden.

It was easy to see and feel all of the attention to detail and careful attentiveness that took place in selecting everything from start to finish. The night was an absolute dream come true and everything we had hoped for and more!

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Peruse more stylish Southern celebrations here!

Photography: Lauren Kinsey Fine Art Weddings | Event Design: Amy Osaba | Floral Design: Amy Osaba | Ceremony Venue: First Presbyterian Church Of Atlanta | Reception Venue: St. Regis Hotel | Atlanta

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Dreamy Atlanta Skyline + Mural Engagement Session

I think it’s time to book a trip to Atlanta, because I need a photo in front of this fabulous floral mural. Can you blame me? One look at this sweet couple’s gorgeous engagement photos from Anna K Photography, and it’s impossible not to fall in love—with the Atlanta skyline, the dreamy wall art, and of course, this beautiful Bride- and Groom-to-be. See all the pretty in The Vault!

From Anna K PhotographyAllison and Brian have the sweetest hearts and we love the locations that they chose for their engagement session! Allison is an Atlanta native, while Brian is newer to the city. We roamed around the area right outside of the Krog Street tunnel admiring all of the beautiful murals. The light and the pastel colors came together perfectly! To wrap up their session we made our way to the Jackson Street Bridge right as the sunset on the Atlanta Skyline.

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Photography: Anna Shackleford | Venue: Atlanta GA | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab

Classic Southern Plantation Wedding in Georgia

As much as I love the gorgeous gown, lovely flowers and all the other pretty details at this Georgia wedding, my favorite part of this day is that the Bride and Groom asked guests to unplug as they exchanged I Dos. Without the distraction of phones and cameras, everyone could focus on the most beautiful part of this whole day: the couple’s love. See all the pretty from Simply Sarah Photography in The Vault!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Al Fresco

From The Bride… John and I met while in high school through a persistent mutual friend – turned matchmaker. Although I told this friend that the boy she kept telling me about was too young for me, she went on to tell that ninth-grade boy that we would be the perfect couple. Then, one day in 2007, as I logged onto MySpace I was greeted by a message that read, “Hi I’m John. I’m Courtney’s friend. I don’t know what to say so what’s up?” I almost didn’t respond because after all, I was in tenth-grade and had no desire of dating someone younger than me. That would have been the biggest mistake of my life. That fist message somehow sparked several weeks of online chatting and long home phone conversations (because neither of us had cell phones yet…or licenses for that matter). John asked me to be his girlfriend later that year and it has always been him ever since. Although we were at different schools, we got to experience high school together and the sweet memories that came along with after school hang outs, proms, graduations, and everything in between. After high school, we went on to different colleges and continued dating. The college years brought us new friendships, community, a new church to call home, road trips, hard times, Netflix binges, date nights, both choreographed and freestyle dances, and most importantly, stronger relationships with God.

John proposed on November 15, 2015 at Fall Creek Falls in Tennessee. It was a picture-perfect proposal planned so well by my “not a planner” fiancé. We were overlooking a large waterfall with romantic candles lit and a bouquet of my favorite flowers was prepared for the event. A photographer was hired to capture all the precious moments. I was serenaded by several of our closest friends to my favorite song, Yellow, while John spoke words of truth, encouragement, and endearing love to me right before he got down on one knee to ask, “Will you marry me?” I responded with an awkward hand gesture and said, “Of course I will!”

While we were dating, I dreamt of the perfect day when my best friend would become my husband. I prayed for this man, for this day, for years.

As our wedding day approached and the weather forecast predicted rain, I feared our day wouldn’t be “perfect.” Although rain came, it held off during the ceremony and we were still able to have a beautiful outdoor wedding. Curls fell and makeup ran, but I learned a lesson from our wedding – even when the situation is not “ideal,” it can still be something truly beautiful. October 3, 2015 was a perfect day because it was exactly what God planned for us and He was glorified. That is all John and I could ever ask for.

When John and I became engaged, we knew early on that we wanted to have a pretty large wedding. John has a big family and I have a lot of people who I consider family. Given our large guest list, we were forced to get creative with how we were going make our budget work.

We both agreed that we wanted the majority of our vendors to be ones who meant something to us and who we had personal relationships with. It made our day that much more special knowing that many of those involved in our wedding were people we had known for years. People who had invested in us, supported us, and loved us. One of the easiest decision during the wedding planning process was who we wanted to marry us. We asked my childhood pastor, who now leads a young adult Bible study that John and I are a part of. I may be biased, but it was the best wedding ceremony I have ever been to. John’s brother, Jack, along with a few of our close friends sang during the ceremony. Pastor Scott’s wife, Sandy, helped plan the wedding and worked alongside a long-time family friend, Cora with The Southern Bell’s, in decorating the venue. Our venue, The Inn at Oak Lawn Farms, is owned by my middle youth pastor. The bridal party’s attire all came from John’s family’s store, Prom USA, where I work as a manager. The bridal party’s hair was done by close family friends of over 15 years. John’s parents also own a catering company, A Taste to Remember, and they offered to prepare all the food. Our cake was made by a family friend, Don with Cuppalicious Gourmet Bakery, that we have known for years and who we go to church with. Our invitations were designed by a co-worker from my very first job, Sara from Sarabelle Designs. We even knew our photographers, Simply Sarah Photography, as I went to high school with both Sarah and her husband/second-shooter Will. It felt like one big family working together to make our big day happen. We met our other vendors through local bridal expos and we were so fortunate to find them. Allie with Bowman & Clark was able to completely re-create my “Bridal Blooms” Pinterest board. Flowers are a love language of mine and she nailed it. Our makeup artists, Vigilante Cosmetics, worked their magic on my bridal party and everyone looked stunning. John and I cannot say thank you enough to everyone who worked our wedding day. You guys are rockstars and we are so grateful!

For some DIY elements, John and a few of our family members and friends built 30 farmhouse tables. We were crazy and did not realize how big of an undertaking it was initially, but they were exactly what I had pictured. John knew I wanted them and he made it happen. I married a great man. We constructed a few wooden signs and had John’s siblings paint some of my favorite quotes on them to use for decor. We spray painted inexpensive frames that were purchased at thrift stores and The Dollar Tree and framed lyrics from some of our favorite songs and quotes from favorite books and poems and used those on the tables. My sister made 30 linen table runners that we used to anchor and unify all the reception tables. She even made us napkins with the leftover fabric that we were able to use this year for our first Thanksgiving as a married couple when we had the family over. My mom and I thrifted every now and then and found several brass, silver, and gold candlesticks that we also used for decor. I liked the idea of mixed metals.

For my bridal look, I wore a lace Ivory and Champagne mermaid gown by Allure Bridals for the ceremony and first dances. It was my dream dress. I chose a belt, also by Allure, to pair with the gown to add some sparkle and to accentuate the waistline. I ordered individual lace pieces that matched my wedding gown from Allure to have a custom veil made so there was no differentiation in the lace patterns. I always knew I wanted a mermaid gown, but I also loved the timeless look of long sleeves. When I found my wedding gown, I gave up on the idea of long sleeves…that is, until about two months before the wedding. John’s sister, Christina, and I were attending fashion shows during a buying trip for Prom USA. We were sitting in front row of the Jovani showroom and down walks a model wearing a beautiful, simple, lace long sleeved dress. Christina mentioned that the dress came in Ivory, so we ordered it shortly after to be my reception dress. It was form fitting and extremely comfortable. John and I love to dance and I knew I wouldn’t be able to move as much as I wanted to in my mermaid gown. The Jovani dress was the perfect choice for dancing the night away.

I wanted our wedding to be romantic, personal, and very natural. The bridesmaids wore a shade of taupe that was called “Mocha” by Allure Bridals. I was so in love with the bridesmaid color and how well it went along with my Ivory and Champagne wedding gown. The flowers consisted of soft ivory and blush tones and had lots of greenery to make everything feel natural and organic. The navy blue tuxes allowed us to stray from the norm a little bit and add a pop of color while stay remaining neutral. The music played as guests entered the ceremony was carefully selected. The playlist was made up of mostly acoustic covers of some of mine and John’s favorite songs. The paper I used to write my vows on was my dad’s old stationery from college. I love sentimentalism and the meaning behind all of the personal details from our wedding day.

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Photography: Simply Sarah Photography | Event Planning + Design: Southern Bells Events | Floral Design: Bowman & Clark | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal | Cake: Cuppalicious | Invitations: Sarabelle Designs | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Allure Bridal | Catering: A Taste To Remember | Hair + Makeup: Vigilante Cosmetics | Venue: The Inn At Oak Lawn Farms | Reception Dress: Jovani

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