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Blush Jekyll Island Wedding

This Jekyll Island affair? It’s yet another reason that proves choosing the right venue is so, so important. This stunning Bride + Groom chose Crane Cottage which couldn’t have been more perfect for their Gilded Age-themed soiree. And with plenty of DIYs and decor inspiration (including the SMP Weddings book!) the resulting imagery from Concept-A Photography is timeless beauty at it’s best.

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Seasons
Spring
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Hotel
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Elegant

From the beautiful Bride…Crane Cottage on Jekyll Island, Georgia, was the first location that Adam and I thought of when we started planning our wedding. He’d taken me to Jekyll Island for my birthday one year, and I clearly remember feeling as though we’d stepped into a movie, it was all so perfect. I love our venue because of its history and the natural beauty that surrounds it- enormous oaks with Spanish moss, the river on one side and Atlantic Ocean on the other. The Jekyll Island Club has also been called “the Millionaires’ Club” because it was originally built as a turn-of-the century winter retreat for families such as the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Morgans, and Pulitzers. The Club Hotel and surrounding “cottages” have been so well preserved and maintained that it was easy to feel like we’d stepped back in time. For that reason, I chose decorative touches with a Gilded Age theme- blush heritage roses, peonies, and dahlias; dotted-swiss vases hanging from shepherd’s hooks along the aisle, and carried the pale pink of the floral design into a post-Victorian-era color palette of grey, cream, and blush. My Marisa dress had an antique feel to it but my amazing seamstress, Holly, played to the art-nouveau styling of the time by customizing the neckline. She used the intricate beading on my Rivini veil to create a beautiful neckline and little flutter or cap looking sleeves.

Our venue really was the centerpiece of our wedding. We almost didn’t need decorations. And surprisingly few of our friends and family had ever heard of it, even though it’s only an hour north of where we live (Jacksonville, FL). The comment I got the most that weekend was, “this place is amazing, how did you find it?”

The best part of having our wedding at Crane Cottage was that we were able to hold every event in and around the cottage. The “cottage” was actually the most expensive private home built on the island at the time by one of the Club members, with 14 rooms, a sunken garden, and an interior courtyard. Our parents, the wedding party, and a few close friends stayed at Crane Cottage while the rest of our guests stayed at the Club Hotel next door, or at another nearby hotel on the island. Our rehearsal dinner was held close to sunset on the west-facing front lawn of the cottage, overlooking the River across a wide expanse of lawn, flowering shrubs and oaks strewn with Spanish moss, and it was absolutely gorgeous. To welcome our arriving guests, we hosted a party on Friday evening at the “Rah Bar”- a very authentic indoor-outdoor bar situated over the water on a huge, old dock across from the hotel.

The wedding ceremony itself took place outdoors on the grounds adjacent to the Cottage under a giant oak- the oldest and largest on the island- that provided an amazing canopy of hanging Spanish moss. As we recessed back up the aisle, everyone threw cones of dried lavender and rose petals in the air. The cocktail hour was held in the Crane Cottage garden, which is also where we had taken our bridal party photos earlier that day. (It’s so stunning that it’s usually where wedding ceremonies are held at Crane). Then finally, the reception was held in the outdoor courtyard at Crane Cottage where columns of incredibly fragrant jasmine happened to be in full bloom! I remember thinking it couldn’t be more beautiful or perfect.

When you spend months and months planning a wedding it’s really exciting to see it all come together in real life. I’d looked through books, magazines, and blogs (including a copy of the Style Me Pretty Weddings book!) It’s so helpful to see real weddings and pick out elements you love (and don’t love) and then tie them all together. My bridesmaids (who wore Annabelle by Jenny Yoo) each chose a different way to tie their dresses, and my mom created belts for them using some bulk beaded fabric trim purchased on Etsy. Leading up to the wedding I’d gone back and forth about the whether the colors of their dresses would work (they were all in grey except for my sister, who wore blush) but seeing them all put together was breathtaking. Those dresses were one of my favorite things about the entire wedding! We took pre-ceremony photos in the garden and the palette was gorgeous – the pale greys and blush and my dress against the green. Halfway through the photos we looked up and our friends were hanging out of their window cheering at us. I loved it! It was so special to have everyone so close all weekend.

We wrapped up the weekend with a lovely Mother’s Day brunch in the Grand Dining Room in the Club Hotel. Having our wedding at Crane Cottage, surrounded by our favorite people all weekend, with everything a short walk away, could not have been more perfect! Post wedding we were floored by how beautiful our photos, by Concept A Photography, turned out. We had a day after session thrown in, so we really got to use every part of the grounds, and we went to a driftwood beach with huge trees that we climbed into. Though we’d expected the photos to be amazing, we weren’t as sure about our videography since we were using a student from the University of North Florida (where I work). We were amazed at how well our videography turned out. Jonah Roberson, our videographer, gave us a highlight video that was better than anything from the established videographers I’d looked at in our entire region. We were able to save a lot of money by using students from the local university for both the videography and the string quartet.

Here’s a list of everything we DIY’d. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our very talented families!

Inspiration for several of my favorite DIYs came after I saw a banner (Martha Stewart) created from fabric printed by Spoonflower. I created a monogram which we made into a banner that hung at the head tablea guest book by printing the monogram onto fabric and wrapping/stapling it around a block of wood (which is now hanging up in our house instead of being stored in a bookcase)a large menu banner that featured hand calligraphy by our calligrapher, Farin, who we found on etsy. The menu ended up being 6’ long and was on display during the cocktail hour.

My aunt sewed the ring-bearer’s pillow using beading and pieces of satin from my grandmother’s wedding dress, my great-grandmother’s brooch was pinned into my bouquet- it was my something old, my mom made belts for the bridesmaids out of trim we bought from Etsy – they were gorgeous, at a fraction of the cost of the actual belts being sold on Etsy and at bridal stores, my mom also made the delicate blush table runners, my sister made amazing heart-shaped cookies frosted in pink and white, imprinted with our initials, that two of my cousins wrapped in translucent bags and tied with ribbon for everyone to take home after the reception, Adam and I stamp-embossed our monogram onto guests’ welcome boxes using his sister’s embosser and a custom stamp I got from the etsy shop “Blinks of Life”

Inside each gift box was a bottle of our favorite champagne- Wycliffe- that we re-labeled as “Woodruff-Kane Wedding Champagne”. The labels were so identical that a server accidentally poured us the Woodruff-Kane champagne instead of Wycliffe at the reception! Instead of a photo booth we had an old polaroid camera and some black and white film from The Impossible Project which people used to take photos of themselves. They then swapped the photos for their escort cards. I bought a cardboard “A”, “C”, and “&” from a craft store along with some fake flowers and hot glue gunned the flowers to the cardboard letters, then ran a string through the letters and hung it over the door to the cottage. My stepdad brought lots of bulb lights that we’d gotten for the engagement party and hung them around the courtyard which added a beautiful soft glow once it got dark. I had a topper made for the groomscake by The Canine Couture. They used photos of our lab, Lulu (who wasn’t at our wedding) to create a very Lulu-looking sculpture out of clay. Now we have that as a keepsake instead of a fondant topper that would’ve been thrown out. The table numbers were pictures of Adam and I at each age (Table one was 1 year old, etc). 

Photography: Concept-A Photography | Videography: Jonah Roberson | Floral Design: Straton Hall | Wedding Dress: Marisa 898 | Ceremony Venue: Plantation Oak | Reception Venue: Crane Cottage | Shoes: Zara | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Hair: M. Schaefer Hairdressing | Calligrapher: Seaworthi | DJ: Skip Kelly Productions | String Quartet: University Of North Florida String Quartet | Antique Car: Martin’s Wedding Transportation | Assorted Jars, Vases, Decorations: Save On Crafts | Day-of Coordinator: Beth Vanderberg | Fabric Items: Spoonflower | Flower Girl Dress: US Angels | Jeweled Hair Comb: Hair Comes The Bride | Makeup: Nicole Kaleel | Seamstress: Holly Smith | Tuxedos: Michaels Formalwear & Bridal | Veil: Rivini

Jenny Yoo is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Jenny Yoo and Concept-A Photography are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Romantic Barnsley Gardens Engagement Session

These two? They’re pretty darn adorable. And their love for one another (proven by their sweet, sweet words below) is unmatchable. They teamed up with Gracie Blue Photography to capture that love at the beautiful Barnsley Gardens Resort, and the result is one of my fave love shoots to date. Have a peek for yourself right here in the gallery.

From Gracie Blue PhotographyLisa and Stephen wanted their engagement session to take place in a location that matched their relationship, which they describe as romantic, affectionate and private. They fell in love with the beautiful Barnsley Gardens and we all agreed that the setting matched them perfectly. What’s more romantic than a beautiful private garden with historic old ruins as a backdrop?

From the beautiful Bride-to-be…From the moment I met Stephen, I had this really good gut feeling about him. We hit it off right away. Stephen exceeded my expectations in every single way. During the 9 months of our long distance relationship, we flew to see each other as often as possible, and we talked on the phone and skyped all the time. We were addicted to talking with each other to the point where I was always tired at work. I always had to look out for how many minutes I was using on my phone every month because I went over the limit a couple of times. He worked really hard to get the job in Atlanta, which was extremely competitive, and there was a high possibility that he would not get that job. Despite all the obstacles and the distance between us, as cheesy as it sounds, he made me believe in love again. He gave me hope, and he made me feel a kind of happiness I never felt before. Usually there’s a lot of pressure to a relationship when someone moves for the other person, but I felt like with us, we didn’t have to try to make it work or force anything to happen. Instead, we fell in love and knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.

I want to remember how we never take each other for granted, and we are always grateful to be together. I want to remember all the inside jokes we have with each other. Our perfect Saturday together is hanging out at a park or hiking, and then, dinner and a movie. We like to keep it simple. It really doesn’t matter what we end up doing because we enjoy every minute we have with each other since he works a lot of weekends. We share a tradition to go on a yearly cabin trip. We bring food with us and grill for our meals. We hike around the nearby trails, and relax by the fireplace watching a movie and roasting marshmallows. I love how Stephen understands all my quirks and appreciates them. I love that he was raised with good morals, and I love his patience and compassion.

From the handsome Groom-to-be…I love that Lisa laughs at some of the strangest and littlest things, and I love that we have started to build an extensive list of inside jokes that no one else can understand. I love that she gives me a lot of support. She has made my life much more fulfilling and joyful.

Photography: Gracie Blue Photography | Resort: Barnsley Gardens Resort

Gracie Blue Photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Elegant Atlanta Wedding with New Orleans Style

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.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
ChurchGarden

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

Paper Daisies Stationery is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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