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The Gardens at Great Oaks from Scobey Photography

When your engagement begins with an uber-romantic proposal in Paris (“love locks” included), you know your wedding is going to be something extra special.  The kind of wedding that exudes pure beauty from start to finish and is chock-full of heartwarming moments between beloved friends and family. This, my friends, is that wedding; a gorgeous purple-hued day set against the stunning Gardens at Great Oaks with an entire gallery of lovely captured by Scobey Photography.  Join me there for every ounce of pretty.

From the Bride… Tony and I were engaged in Paris, France on March 8th, 2012. He proposed on a bridge covered in locks near the Notre Dame. The locks are locked to the links on the bridge by lovers who write their name on their lock, attach it to the bridge, and throw the keys into the river to symbolize their infinite love for each other. Tony had written our names on a lock for the occasion, and when I tossed our keys into the river, he got down on one knee. The locks inspired us to have a wedding that had the feel of Paris – the watercolor purples of the Seine, the Old World lace, the romantic lovebirds nesting in the rafters of the buildings. And of course we had to include locks and keys!

We started planning for a wedding in Georgia where we’re both from. Historic Roswell was ideal in terms of location for our families and the many people traveling to our wedding – including us! We are current residents of Boston, MA, where Tony is in his last year of law school and I am a writer. Tony’s schedule made timing a wedding difficult, because law students don’t have a summer break. During the summer, law students are expected to work as summer associates at law firms, courthouses and the like. So our choices were to have the wedding during his Spring Break in early March, or in August during the small break between work and school. Although March 2013 would have been a lovely time because it was so close to our engagement date, the weather wasn’t what we had our hearts set on. So August it was, and the venue we loved – The Gardens at Great Oaks, just happened to have August 10th, 2013 open.

When the day arrived, it was magical. I remember being in my hotel room taking a shower and thinking, “Is this it? Is this real?” The bridesmaids, my mother and I got ready in a suite at the Doubletree Hotel in Roswell, GA. The makeup team from Brushworx was there to greet us and did all of our makeup and hair for the day. We got ready in robes I ordered on Etsy and enjoyed mimosas, Chick-fil-A biscuits, and Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I have missed those Southern staples! Lacey from Scobey Photography arrived halfway through the process and began taking pictures. Her enthusiasm was contagious and she had us all laughing. What I didn’t know is that she was trying to pump everyone up because there was a torrential downpour outside!

All week, it had rained every day, and it had rained around our ceremony time of 6:30 PM. I was worried but everyone assured me that if it rained, we’d figure something out. My fabulous wedding planner Pat Gardella had a plan B, C and D – but of course as a bride I was fretting over the details. As the time drew near, I saw the rain come pouring from the sky. Even on the way over, I thought there was no way I would have my outdoor ceremony. But when we arrived at the Gardens, it was like God had opened up the clouds just over the house, and the sun streamed through and bathed everything in a heavenly glow. It was a perfect daydream light that I feel really shows through in Lacey’s photos.

Like every other bride says, the rest of the day just flew! All my vendors were so professional that all I noticed was the great jobs they did.

Sarah Provow from Bloomin’ Bouquets helped my watercolor floral vision come to life. Wrapped around my bouquet is a handkerchief that belonged to my maternal great grandmother, and a cameo belonging to my late grandmother on my father’s side. There is also a lock that matches the key hanging from Tony’s boutonniere. The flowers include Rose Patience, Lisanthus Lavender, Garden Roses, Stock, Orchids, Hydrangeas and more. She also provided mercury class vases on the tables that gave a vintage feel. Other items on the table included pictures from Tony and my relationship, thank you notes, French styled lavender napkins, and table numbers that look like old vintage postcards sent from Paris ordered from Etsy. Sarah also set up the canvas with the picture someone grabbed in Paris of our proposal!

Outside in the yard were Cornhole (you know, the bean bag game) boards that were handmade and hand painted by my mother, Angie. They feature my alma mater and favorite team, the Alabama Crimson Tide, and Tony’s favorite team, the Florida Gators. The years listed are the years where the teams won national championships in football. People played during cocktail hour.

Also during cocktail hour we had a tour guide who gave tours of the Civil War era historical home. Our guests could see the beautiful rooms and hear the stories behind the antiques and the family history of the people who once lived there.

Another handmade item by my mother was the escort card board. She hand selected vintage keys and tied them to escort cards shaped like luggage tags. She took a corkboard, painted the frame, and put key fabric over it. It was so fun!

Tony and I ordered a birdhouse cardbox from Etsy with our wedding date and colors on it. Other bird details include mini guestbooks with lovebirds, and a lovebird cake topper purchased from Hallmark (they are actually salt and pepper shakers).

The signs for Signature Drinks and the thank you notes found at each place setting were worded, printed and cut by me. I purchased paper at Staples, downloaded some free fonts, and arranged them in Adobe Photoshop. Then I printed them and cut them to size. It was a great way to add detail while also thanking my guests in a personal way, since I am a writer.

I also made 120 wedding wands! I’m sure you lovely folks at SMP know what wedding wands are. I used two colors of ribbon and one strand of lace that I aged over a candle. It was a long process but a labor of love! One of the bridesmaid’s zipper broke, and we stuck a wedding wand in there to hide it. Voila! Wedding magic. They were handed out by my cousins before the ceremony and people used them to wave us on our trip down the aisle as husband and wife, as well as at the end of the night. And they were fun dance floor accessories, too!

The mustaches that hooked around the beer bottles were made by Tony’s friend as a gift to us. They were a hit! They make you look like you have a mustache while you drink your beer.

The Signature Drinks were the Mint to Be – Mint Vodka Sweet Tea with Mint Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, mint leaves from the garden, and sweet tea with a hint of lemon – and the Something Blue – a Blue Hawaiian.

The dinner menu was Southern and French – everything from Fried Buttermilk Chicken Tenders to a beautiful Roast Beef with Au Jus. Jerry Dilts & Associates did an amazing job.

Our cake was simple vanilla buttercream frosting over raspberry cake. But the cake the guest enjoyed were actually petit fours in all kinds and flavors – fruit tarts, chocolate truffles, etc. And they were delivered on a French pastry cart that Tony’s mom Tina found at an antique store. We donated it to the venue afterwards – people loved it!

After the drinking and dancing, the party was over much too soon. On our way to the limousine, our guests tossed French lavender and waved their wedding wands. It was the perfect end to our perfect day. I hope you feel it was as dreamy as we did.

Photography: Lacey for Scobey Photography | Wedding Planner: Pat Gardella | Floral Design: Bloomin' Bouquets | Wedding Dress: Casablanca | Cake: Doceur de France | Ceremony Venue: The Gardens at Great Oaks | Reception Venue: The Gardens at Great Oaks | Bridesmaids Dresses: J. Crew | Catering: Jerry Dilts & Associates | Hair and Make Up: Brushworx | DJ: Eric Anthony Productions | Groom's Attire: Macy's | Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Bridal Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. | Photography - Assistance: Chil Studios

J.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Scobey Photography and Brushworx Hair & Makeup are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Classic Wedding at Primrose Cottage from Buffy Dekmar Photography

Buffy Dekmar has a way of capturing weddings that always leave me weak in the knees. She just has this amazing talent of snapping up the most beautiful moments in the loveliest of lights leaving us with weddings like this one that is happily sitting in a league of its own. With its southern charm and perfect details, this is just as pretty as it gets, folks. See it all here.

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Spring

From BuffyKatie and Sean’s wedding day was so simply beautiful and elegant. I loved how graceful Katie was as a bride, and how happy her groom was to see her walk down the aisle. The soft pastel florals and the smiling bridesmaids dressed in electric blue fit perfectly against the quintessentially southern backdrop of the antebellum mansion and the spring foliage in the gardens at Primrose Cottage. As a thoughtful surprise gift from the groom’s brother, the bagpiper led the processional as a tribute to Sean’s heritage.

The couple’s family and friends traveled from all over the country to celebrate their wedding, so Katie and Sean wanted to show them a truly southern wedding. Their styling, menu, and venue choices accomplished that beautifully, and a good time was had by all!

Photography: Buffy Dekmar Photography | Floral Design: Magic Moments, Inc. | Cake: Publix Bakery | Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids Dresses: David's Bridal | Catering: A Divine Event | Hair: Colours Salon | DJ: Black Tie Events | Bagpipes: Nathan Mann | Bridal Salon: Bridals by Lori | Makeup: Mimosa Salon and Spa | Wedding Venue: Primrose Cottage

Buffy Dekmar Photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Fall Wedding in Georgia from Rustic White Photography

Some people wake up and need a big, steaming cup of coffee before they can really start their day. I wake up and need a good dose of pretty. And today? We are getting that dose by way of this seriously stunning Georgia soiree from Rustic White Photography. With a Bride so lovely she doesn’t look real, in a gown so gorgeous, it looks like it was made just for her – each image has me more in love with this wedding than the one before, so get your extra dose of pretty this morning right here.

Colors
Seasons
Fall

From the Bride… We had a sunny afternoon wedding in November, with a reception at an historic Southern home, so I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful colors and textures of the season; hence our eggplant, crimson and yellow color scheme and burlap table runners. Because it was in the afternoon, I hoped to create a casual but elegant atmosphere. My gown and my bridesmaids’ dresses were long, soft and flowing, but not overly formal. I developed a bird theme, which was mostly inspired by our favors, which I found on Pinterest before we got engaged! They were homemade bird feeders made by my mom, mother-in-law, myself and my grandmothers. We also had a bird-nest on our cake, head table, and bird table number holders. Distressed bird houses found at a fabric store and miss-matched antique vases in our color scheme scavenged by my mom and me from local antique markets (and our basement) gave our reception a rustic and colorful look.

Many of my ideas came from Pinterest, including our favors, our advice tree (a bare tree where people could hang notes or marriage advice), my cake, putting pictures of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents’ weddings around our reception, many of our favorite photographs, and my dress. All of the bridal and bridesmaid/mother jewelry was purchased from Etsy.com. Each bridesmaid wore a necklace with a silver bird charm, a pearl, and her birthstone. Much of my bridal ensemble was made by my mom and myself. I was inspired by a beautiful but expensive designer gown on Pinterest and decided to mimic it. I found a soft, simple dress and designed sheer cap sleeves with Swarvoski pearls and rhinestones which my mom was able to make for me! Each stone was sewn lovingly by hand. I made my garter and my headpiece, and my mom made me a simple veil for the ceremony that could detach from my headpiece. My mom also had a very special handkerchief made for me; it was one of my great-grandmother’s hand-made hankies with the name of every woman in my family tree, as far back as we could find, embroidered on it. I wrapped it around my bouquet.

Traditionally, groomsmen match the bridesmaids and the groom matches the bride, but we went for neutral (black) vests for all of the men, but gave my husband a purple tie, while the groomsmen and dads were in champagne and silver. My husband’s pop of color looks great in pictures! The groomsmen also got an extra dose of nerdiness and humor with another Pinterest-inspired idea of wearing super-hero t-shirts under their suits, making for some entertaining pictures.

Some of my favorite memories were the dances I did with my husband and father. Both were very nervous about their moments in the spotlight, so only about a week before the wedding, I choreographed both dances. Having choreographed steps made both guys less nervous and they ended up having a blast! Not to mention our guests loved the personal touch of the dances.

One of our money-savers was the fact that we used bird houses and a small bud arrangement on every other table instead of large bouquets on each table; we also used the bridesmaid bouquets to decorate the head table. We found the burlap for 40% off at JoAnn fabrics, and my mother cut all the runners herself. We also used an antique Hudson, a car rebuilt and owned by my bridesmaid’s father, as our getaway car, and her dad was kind enough to be our chauffeur!

Wedding Photography: Rustic White Photography | Cinematography: Brody Bearden Films | Floral Design: Findlay Rowe Designs | Ceremony Venue: Catholic Church of St. Ann | Reception Venue: Roswell Founder’s Hall | Wedding Dress: Alfred Angelo (customized by Bride’s Mother)