Mmm... we've got a sweet, southern wedding on the agenda today. And it is filled with the most romantic Memphis details. Perfect way to start your morning. You can almost feel the southern hospitality, courtesy of the event planners & designers, Southern Event Planners. Every image from Christen Jones Photography has a hint of "Y'all come back now, ya hear?" tucked inside the insanely gorgeous affair. And I haven't even touched on that dress yet. Just click here for the gallery. You'll thank me later.
From Southern Event Planners ... Guests traveled from all over the country to be a part of Amanda and Erik's wedding day. They were greeted at the hotels with goodie bags that included a bunch of Memphis favorites: GooGoo Clusters, Goody's Powder, Elvis Postcards, Jelly Krimpet TastyKakes, an itinerary of the wedding, and brochures from local museums and tourist attractions.
Amanda and Erik met at a sushi restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada where they both lived. A year and a half later, Erik proposed at the top of the Stratosphere...or as they like to call it "the top of the world." For their wedding, they knew it would be a requirement to incorporate the elements of Las Vegas. Amanda grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and that's where she wanted to be married. Planning this wedding from afar was nothing new to Southern Event Planners, and the details were quickly worked out in the first few visits.
It was important to Amanda and Erik that the adult guests of their wedding could enjoy the celebration, so they hired an event sitting service to watch the children. The sitters brought activities and gift boxes for each child, and the parents were free to have fun!
The ceremony was held in the Japanese Garden overlooking the lake at the Memphis Botanic Gardens. A guitar and violin duo serenaded the crowd as the family and bridal party entered and took their places. Amanda looked stunning and overjoyed as she made her way down the aisle to her future husband. One of Amanda's closest friends sang "Songbird" as the flute and guitar accompanied her, and there was not a dry eye in the house! After being pronounced "Mr. and Mrs." by the officiate, guests made their way inside to Hardin Hall.
Blue lighting, candles, and elegant place-settings topped with a California Mixed Greens Salad greeted the guests as they entered the room. Soft music was playing and the atmosphere was very cool and relaxed. Guests sipped on cocktails as they found their seats. Amanda made real casino chips into escort cards! She printed labels with the guests' names and table numbers and stuck them on the chip. She purchased custom shot glasses that housed glittered bonbons, and the escort chip was laid on top of the glass for each guest! On each table, a picture frame housed a photo of the casino and the corresponding poker chip. Guests had fun calling out their casino names and helping each other find the tables.
Amanda and Erik were soon announced into the reception, and the dances begun. Their first dance was a medley of songs, but little did the guests know...they had a second choreographed dance planned! The reception carried on as planned with a Father/Daughter Dance, Mother/Son Dance, and dinner. Wedding guests feasted on two buffet stations: a Jersey station (for Erik's personality) and a Southern station (for Amanda's personality). Hand rolled sushi, mini cheese-steak sandwiches and stuffed manicotti were among the groom's choices, while grits, fried green tomatoes, and catfish bites with hush-puppies were among the bride's requests.
After the champagne toast and cake cutting, Natalie Cole's voice began the first verse of "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)." Amanda and Erik waltzed across the dance floor to each other and guests clapped and shouted when they realized what was happening. This was their second surprise dance for the guests. All of the events of the night were captured on video and edited together with footage from the rehearsal dinner the night before. A few minutes before the grand exit, Amanda and Erik invited their guests to huddle around the projection screen to watch a recap of the wedding events. The videographer did a wonderful job with the same day edit!
After the video, sparklers were lit outside as the bride and groom made their way to their waiting towncar. It was truly a day they will never forget!
Photography: Christen Jones Photography / Cinematography: Daybreak Cinema / Flowers: Deedra Stone Designs / Event Design: Deedra Stone Designs and Southern Event Planners / Event Planning: Southern Event Planners / Ceremony Location: Memphis Botanic Gardens, Japanese Garden / Reception Location: Memphis Botanic Gardens, Hardin Hall / Invitations: RSVP Stationers / Dress: Alfred Angelo / Catering: A Moveable Feast / Transportation: Tennessee Limo and Cline Tours, Inc. / Event Sitters: Elegant Event Sitters, Inc.