Athens Wedding at Farm 255 by Caroline Fontenot
July 19, 2012
This Farm 255 wedding is a little bit country, and a little bit city slick, just like the LA based Southern rooted bride and groom. Fluffy garden florals by Gardenia Floral Design keep the Southern charm rolling in milk glass vases collected by the bride and her mother. Speaking of white and pretty: the bride's uber elegant structural silk Vera Wang sheath is just to die. You simply must see it from every angle possible in Caroline Fontenot's shots the rest of the gallery!
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From the Bride... My husband and I met at the University of Georgia in a painting class we took together eleven years ago. We were friends first and then soon became a couple. We moved out to California together in 2004 and have lived here ever since. We decided to have our wedding in Athens because we met there, we love it there, and because our families live in Georgia and Tennessee, so it would be easier and less expensive for all of them to come to the wedding if it were back down south. It was perfect.

We wanted the look of our wedding to feel homey and relaxed. I'm from south Georgia, Brian's from Tennessee, and we currently live in Los Angeles. So somehow, we wanted it to feel both country and modern; a little bit southern and a little bit urban. I liked the idea of using a ton of small milk glass vases instead of only a few large arrangements for the tables. My mother collected over 100 milk glass vases during our one-year engagement. She borrowed some from friends and family, but she found most of them at small consignment shops along the way from our house in south Georgia to my grandmother's house near Savannah. My talented aunt made the beautiful linen table runners, and my mom found a bunch of votives to warm it up and add some glow. I made all of the table numbers and signage myself and put each in 5x7-inch gold frames. I also made the place cards and party booth banner. Because I was planning the wedding from so far away, I wanted the seat assignment display to be easy to assemble but not boring. So we took some wooden skewers and white artist's tape to make name flags for each guest. My husband's handwriting is much better than mine, so he wrote everyone's name and table number on each flag. We filled each glass container with different colored grains, peas, beans and grits and inserted the guest flags into the corresponding container according to their last name. It matched the vibe of the venue and was easy to make.

We wanted the ceremony site to feel important and beautiful. Since we were getting married in Georgia in June, an inside venue was also appealing. It's hot outside! So after some searching we decided the Day Chapel at the State Botanical Gardens would be perfect. It's beautiful and small. We only had 65 guests, so we didn't want our ceremony venue to be so large that it felt empty. The craftsman style is gorgeous and the room feels very reverent and serene. The chapel itself was so lovely that we only had one large orchid arrangement in the back of the room. Plus, the chapel is surrounded by manicured gardens and walking trails. You rent the chapel, but you get to enjoy acres and acres of gorgeous State Botanical Gardens for free!

Again, because we were having a "destination wedding," we thought having the reception at a restaurant made the most sense. Everything is on site, and you don't have to worry about rentals and coordinating a lot of different vendors. Brian and I care a lot about food. Where it comes from, how it's prepared and how yummy it tastes. Brian is an avid cook and selecting a place for our reception was very important to both of us. While visiting Athens several years ago, we ate at Farm 255 for the first time, as it was not there when we lived in Athens. They own their own farm just outside of town and use it to provide delicious meats and fresh vegetables to guests. It was a perfect fit for us. It's intimate, it has a outdoor patio and stage, the interior feels like an urban loft and the minimalist decor is southern. It's also downtown, so any guests that wanted to keep the party going after the reception could visit any of the 100 or so local bars. The location was also only a few blocks from the hotel so if some guests had too much fun, walking back home was easy and safe. The chef, bartenders, and servers at Farm 255 are so talented and friendly. They made our reception easy, delicious, and fun. It was exactly what we wanted.

Wedding Photography: Caroline Fontenot / Ceremony: The State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens, Georgia / Reception: Farm 255 in Athens, Georgia / Floral Design: Gardenia Floral Design / Wedding Cake: The Bride's Cousin, Candace / Cake Bunting, Table Numbers + Signage: DIY by the Bride / Desserts: The Bride's Aunts / Wedding Dress: Vera Wang / Bride's Shoes: Loeffler Randall / Hair + Makeup: Jennifer Hadden of Flawless Finish / Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew / Groom's Suit: Thick as Thieves /Groomsmen's Suits: Tommy Hilfiger / Men's Ties + Socks: Express