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5 Rules for a Modern Wedding Without Sacrificing Tradition

If you’re a bride who loves a major dose of modern but would rather not kick tradition to the curb – then we’ve got just the thing for you! Throughout this gorgeous shoot at the Taylor Grady House, our friends Christy from Colonial House of Flowers and Savan from Savan Photography will take you through the steps to perfecting a traditional wedding with a modern twist. Trust us, not only are these tips genius – they’re also super easy to follow! (P.S. if you haven’t already seen Christy’s recipe for a Pinterest-worthy wedding bouquet, check it out here!)


1. Choose a traditional venue, and run free with florals.

From the vendor team… When Los Angeles based photographer, Savan Photography said she was coming to Georgia and commissioned a classic, yet modern garden style bouquet, we were nervous but knew exactly what we needed to do. Honestly, when she said she’d meet me at the National Historic Landmark: The Taylor Grady House we knew we could create a story that had yet to be written if you know what we mean. When you choose a venue with so much heritage, you can run free with the florals to infuse a moody, unexpected, classic with a twist vibe that is alllll you, girl! :)


2. Go for muted tones with a pop of color.

We chose garden rose spray roses for a traditional base, as we layered upon the roses with muted toned hellebores in purple-ish and green. You can refrain from too much color in the petals — to allow the colors of the flower’s details to show through. Like the yellow center of that Peony. I mean, he’s everything AND a bucket of sunshine. Finally, for a whimsical surprise, tuck in white flowers plucked like we did from the property. Plus, a few pretties like butterfly ranunculus. A trendy flower recipe doesn’t have to be expensive.


3. Balance the refinement of the venue with wild, untamed arrangements.

In this case, we wanted to create something rebellious yet respectful of the history of The Taylor Grady House. The place is elegant and refined and to balance that we need some good old fashioned blooms plus spunk. The Taylor Grady House represents the classic Greek Revival architectural style that Athens is famous for. So, in places like this you can take risks with things like flowers — and go wild and crazy because the natural aesthetic of the place is already stately. It makes things warmer and more inviting when there is balance, a certain rawness of imperfection is needed. So, when the rules are already in place like this – you can break them down and rewrite them. Choose your favorite flowers in muted tones. And, just go for it. That’s what we did!


4. Opt for a classic color palette that will never go out of style.

As far as the color palette for the linens we wanted to keep in classic as much as possible. Trends come and go, but keeping a classic color palette is timeless. That is why we decided to go with a rich navy blue and using the rich texture of velvet brings me back to the southern and old colonial days of using velvet in their homes. We also added modern elements such the flatware dipped in white ceramic leaving the exposed gold and the stark white plate for that clean modern look.


5. Add personal touches in unique ways.

When you choose a location that seems to have boundaries because 1000’s of people have had events there before you, you can trespass those limits by adding personal touches like your absolute favorite flowers in ways they’ve never been done before — whether bought from the store or picked from the grounds yourself, arranged by someone else or by you!

Photography: Savan Photography | Design: Like the Dazzling weddings | Floral Design: Colonial House of Flowers, Est. 1968 | Wedding Dress: Enaura Bridal | Cake: cake envy | Hair & Makeup: Erin Ryser | Calligraphy : Kelsey Malie Calligraphy | Men's Attire: Stich & Tie | Wedding Venue: The Taylor-Grady House | Bouquet Wrap: Eco Fresh Bouquet | Campanula Flowers: American Grown Flowers | Candles : 100 Candles | Flower Wholesale: Mayesh Wholesale Florist | Linens: Party Crush Studio | Location: Athens, Georgia | Model: Heather Wall Photography | Ribbon: Silk Willow | Ring Box: Lace Byrd | Roses: Rosaprima | Specialty Rentals: The Prissy Plate Company | Tables + Chairs : Barrons Rental Store | Vessels: Accent Decor

A Wedding at Georgian Hall in Athens with Southern Charm for Days

We have SUCH a special day planned on SMP! The lovely and talented Simply Sarah is taking over the blog and our instagram in one of the most beautiful little adventures we’ve ever featured, filled with stunning photography and pure, totally unabashed love. Our first Simply Sarah wedding is all about the Southern Charm and when I tell you that there are amazing lessons baked into every perfect detail, I’m hardly doing this wedding justice. So make sure to read alongside the gorgeous imagery (and stunning florals from Colonial House of Flowers) and you just might fall in love all over again.

From the Groom… Where to begin…I would say our love story starts with her smile. That’s what drew me in. Little did I know that smile was going to turn into my wife. I would see that smile from across the room and couldn’t help to smile back at her, knowing in my head one day she’s going to be all mine! Fast forward to six years later and being engaged…I know it is all cliché to call her my best friend, but there is no one in my life that comes close to the bond we have between each other. Every day I look forward to her coming home from work. As soon as she walks in we smile at each other and hug for about 4mins and then get in our comfy clothes and relax.

From the Bride… He’s my best friend, my biggest supporter, and the greatest love I could have ever hoped for. He is always waiting with a smile and open arms when I walk into the door at the end of the day and it’s the best feeling in the world when he holds me like he hasn’t just seen me that morning! His kindness, devotion to our relationship, and fun spirited nature are only at the surface of the reasons why I love him.

When we first started planning our wedding we knew we wanted to get married in Athens, GA because it’s where we met, fell in love, and started our relationship. I fell in love with The Hill from the moment I saw it – the Hill is a venue tucked away on the outskirts of Athens that is a collection of gorgeous antebellum and 20th century homes that have been moved to the property and restored. The homes sit among lush landscapes and gardens. Behind one of the homes there is a sunken garden surrounded by low brick walls, with iron gates on both ends, shaded by trees overhead where our ceremony was held. It’s so dreamy! Our reception was held in downtown Athens at the Georgian Hall, a ballroom of a former hotel that served as the “social focal point” for Athens and surrounding areas for much of the 20th century. It’s new renovation is just beautiful with original restored art deco flooring, two large arch oak doors in the center of the space, marble and white pillars, and tons of natural light from the floor to ceiling arch windows.

I’ve always said I wanted it to rain on my wedding day… seriously. It rained on my grandparents wedding day and I’ve always heard from my Grandma Marilyn how the rain was lucky! The forecast for our day was pretty much 100% chance of rain all day. We planned an outdoor ceremony with absolutely no rain plan other than a bunch of umbrellas! Thanks to a lot of prayers to my Grandpa Ernie the rain held off for a majority of the morning. Right before the ceremony it started raining pretty hard and I was sitting in the car with my dad waiting to walk down the aisle. Right when I got out of the car and started to walk across the bridge to the ceremony the rain stopped.

It was so special to have my sweet dad walk me down the aisle looking at the love of my life. Ben and I made a last minute decision to read our vows at the ceremony. We took a moment during our ceremony to look back and our guest. The rainy garden made for such an intimate setting and it was so special to share those moments with all our loved ones.

Our two venues are filled with southern charm. I wanted to bring a timeless look into the two spaces incorporating soft neutrals, elegant touches, and a classic style. My hope was that the ceremony felt intimate and relaxed followed by a festive celebration with all of our favorite people! Our wedding day was an absolute dream from start to finish. It makes me tear up just thinking about how perfect it was! The day was filled with so much love and we couldn’t be more grateful for everyone that played a part.

BRIDE TIP!

I went into our wedding 100% confident about our wedding photography. When photography is one of your top priorities for your wedding that’s saying A LOT! We had the pleasure of doing our engagement session with Sarah the year before our wedding. She was so easy to work with and puts you at ease right away. I would highly recommend doing an engagement shoot with her to get to know her, see how she works, and to get comfortable behind the camera! We were both a little nervous about being photographed and by doing an engagement shoot neither of us had any apprehension going into the wedding day.

Sarah’s work speaks for itself. It’s effortless, timeless, and genuine. She’s as much an incredible photographer as she is a joy to have around. We learned from our engagement shoot how efficient she is and boy is that helpful on a wedding day when you’ve got so much packed into that one day! We were able to actually enjoy the day, time with each other, and loved ones without feeling like it was just a full day photo shoot. After it’s all said and done photography is the one thing you actually get to take away from your wedding day and in my opinion that makes it priceless. It was an honor to have Sarah behind the lens captured the moments that we’ll cherish for a lifetime. Sarah, I admire you as a photographer and adore you as a friend! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being there on our most special day. Love, Katherine and Ben


Photography: Elizabeth Lanier Photography | Planner: Marilisa Schachinger | Florals: Colonial House of Flowers, Est. 1968 | Wedding Dress: Lihi Hod | Cake: Cecilias Cakes | Invitations: Marked | Ceremony: The Hill | Reception Venue: Georgian Hall | Bride's Shoes: Bella Belle | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: South Kitchen & Bar | Hair and Makeup: Jennifer C Nieman | Band: Fountain City Players | Groom's Attire: Joseph A. Bank | Live Painter: The Honest Brush | Processing & Development: PhotoVision Prints

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A Blush Dress + Giant Bow for this Chic Southern Bride

We see our fair share of weddings around here so when a detail pops up that we’ve never, ever seen before, well, we get pretty excited. And this Southern wedding didn’t disappoint: can we say cookies and milkshakes served in champagne flutes after a night of dancing!? Brilliant. Add in the Bride’s blush gown and we’re not forgetting this one anytime soon. Luckily Eliza Morrill captured it all in our gallery for safe keepingright this way!

From Eliza Morrill PhotographyCaroline and Taylor’s wedding was the perfect mix of tradition and creativity – classic and stunning flowers, invitations, and bridal party attire, with just a few funky twists. The biggest of those, though, was Caroline’s BLUSH wedding dress!

Though Caroline had originally planned to wear her mother’s dress, just as her two older sisters did, the plan changed. “Being the third daughter, I was going to follow my sisters lead and wear my mom’s dress as well,” Caroline said. “So as we are in Chris Hudson’s studio deciding how to make the old dress my own, I noticed the most breathtaking blush pink wedding gown on the dress form next to me. There was no way I was leaving that day without trying it on! As soon as I got the dress half way over my head I knew — that was the dress I was going to get married in!”

Truly, it was. The blush halter dress boasted a beautiful bow that fell perfectly down her back.

Though Caroline and Taylor opted for a more traditional ceremony, their reception was anything but. Taking place at the Georgia Theatre, one of the most well-known music venues in the South, guests danced the night away to Atlanta Rhythm and Groove.

Aside from her blush dress, Caroline wore a bespoke gold hair piece and pink satin shoes with bows, while her bridesmaids wore floor-length, navy taffeta dresses. Taylor and his groomsmen wore white dinner jackets with black pants and bow ties, which tied it together perfectly. Though it rained for the better part of the day, the two shared an intimate first look outdoors under a small pergola in the church’s gardens.

After the ceremony, guests walked a half-block to the Georgia Theatre, where the marquee lit up Caroline and Taylor’s names. The venue was transformed by Caroline, her mother, and European Floral Design. Georgia Theatre’s Drew Beskin helped to make their every idea a reality: chandeliers suspended above the stage, intimate high tops adorned with candles and flowers, and an impressive display of some of Athens’ greatest food.

Music and craft beer flowed as they each shared dances with their parents, as well as Caroline and her grandfather. Guests enjoyed all three stories of the Georgia Theatre, as well as a perfect sunset on their rooftop bar, overlooking downtown Athens, Georgia. After a long night of dancing, guests were served cookies and milkshakes in champagne flutes before the couple ran through confetti and sped off in a vintage car. It was truly magical!

Photography: Eliza Morrill Photography | Floral Design: European Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Chris Hudson Couture | Invitations: Paper Daisies Stationery | Ceremony Venue: Athens First United Methodist Church | Reception Venue: Georgia Theatre | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Sung | Catering: Mamas Boy | Makeup: Jenny Sue | Hair: A. la fera Salon | Band: Atlanta Rhythm And Groove | Day-Of Coordination: We Tie The Knots

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One Love Story That Proves Timing Is Everything

Although Jeremy and Kristen grew up in the same town, attended the same high school, AND were just two years apart, they didn’t meet until years later. Thankfully once their paths crossed, we are left with said stunning celebration captured by the incredible Heather Payne Photography. It’s the ultimate sweater weather celebration and we’ve got it awaiting your arrival in The Vault!

From Heather Payne PhotographyIt’s sometimes rare to run across a couple that are so genuine and naturally “in love” and not afraid to express it. Jeremy and Kristen grew up in the same town, attended the same high school, just two years apart, but didn’t meet until years later. Kristen was working in a local kid and craft store when Jeremy came in to buy a gift for his friend and business partner’s little one. It wasn’t long before they started dating, and they fell in love almost immediately. After just over a year of dating, Jeremy asked Kristen to marry him at sunset in Asheville, North Carolina on his birthday. On October 18, 2015, they were married in a beautiful, but simple ceremony with 100 of their closest family and friends.

Kristen’s love for all things light, simple, and elegant made planning their wedding relatively easy in terms of design. She knew that despite planning a fall wedding, she wanted the colors to be white, grey, blush pink, and gold, with a few fall colors incorporated into the flowers, and lots of greenery. Luckily for her, Jeremy was fine with her plan as long as they could have a fall wedding and he could wear a brown suit. The ceremony and reception took place at Kristen’s grandparents’ cabin or “the cabin”, as family has always called it. They decided not to have a wedding party, but have family wear specific colors and coordinating attire.

The day of the wedding, Kristen and her sisters spent the morning leisurely getting pampered by the hair stylist and make-up artist at the cabin, while enjoying coffee and breakfast made by her mom and nana. “It was truly the most stress-free morning and spending it getting ready with my sisters and mom made for an intimate, memorable day with family before I was to start a new family with Jeremy. None of it felt quite real until I was completely dressed and walked out the door to do the first look with my dad. That’s when it hit me and when the tears came”, according to Kristen.

After the father/daughter first look, it was time for a first look with with bride and groom. Jeremy had arrived to the cabin about an hour earlier to get ready. Jeremy and Kristen were taken a mile down the road to a woodsy area close by to share their first look. Such a special moment as they opened their eyes to see each other as bride and groom for the first time. “I’ll never forget the way he looked at me and began to cry when we were told to open our eyes. In that moment, I was reminded that he sees me as the most beautiful girl in the world and life with him will be one filled with joy.”

Both of Kristen’s parents walked her down the aisle and gave her away to Jeremy. The ceremony had traditional and unique aspects, including both traditional and hand-written vows, as well as the planting of a tree with soil from both of their childhood homes to symbolize their individual histories and coming together as one. After they were pronounced husband and wife, guests enjoyed corn hole games, hot cider and the sun setting over the lake. Once the couple’s first dance, the father/daughter dance, and the mother/son dances were complete, guests were seated at a long table running parallel to the lake under cafe lights while vinyl records were played by the DJ. Dinner was served family-style and included southern staples such as a strawberry and goat cheese salad, fried chicken, green beans, and macaroni and cheese.

Dancing ensued, popsicles and homemade cakes made by Kristen’s great aunt were enjoyed as the night came to a close. The fun wasn’t over quite yet though, as their was one more surprise that Kristen didn’t know about. Guests lined up for the sparkler send-off and Jeremy and Kristen began walking down the pathway when, at the end of the line, a 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer (Kristen’s dream car) was waiting for them. Jeremy had purchased it and had parts of it restored just days before the wedding, for the sole purpose of surprising her. In total shock when he said it was theirs to keep, Kristen jumped into the air with excitement. Before he could get around the car to open the door for her, she ran to the passenger side and hopped in. They drove off feeling unbelievably grateful for a wonderful family that provided them with such a stunning wedding day and an incredible team of people that brought it all together.

Photography: Heather Payne | Catering: Mamas Boy | Makeup: Elijana Cosmetics | Hair: Anna Bonnema | Venue: At Home | China + Glassware: Barrons Rental Store | Desserts: King Of Pops | Event Planning + Floral Design: Whitewood Events | Rentals: Goodwin Events | Specialty Textiles: Alanah Textiles

Rustic Wedding with Southern Charm

This Bride and I are of the same mindset. Because for her, it all began with finding the dress. A dreamy vision laced with vintage details, she found the perfect gown and married her handsome groom on a day decorated with romance. Graced with light colored bouquets and pretty pops of color, this darling destination fete from the lens of Laura Leslie is filled with loveliness.

From the beautiful Bride… When I began planning my wedding I was so excited to find a dress. I knew that I wanted something romantic with a vintage inspired look, something different. I also knew I was going to have a bit of a hard time finding what I wanted. I searched at my local wedding boutiques, looked at all the usual wedding designers. I was exhausted and disappointed because I could not find what I really wanted. And then I came upon Chaviano Couture’s website. I screamed from excitement and showed my Maid of Honor the dress I had focused on. She agreed that that it was perfect. I wasted no time and reached out to Annette. It was the best decision I made. My dress was a complete dream!

We wanted a romantic look so we knew we wanted the bouquet to have light colored flowers with a pop of color. We opted for peonies, roses, waxflowers, tuberoses in peach, pink and ivory. We also included scabiosa pods, dusty millers and some dark blue berries to give it that pop of color.
The cake was a 3 tiered almond amaretto cake with a raspberry filling and buttercream frosting. We decided to have our florist put flowers cascading down the front of the cake as decor.

We live in Miami, Florida and our wedding was in Athens, Georgia so planning a wedding a state away was a bit tricky but we pulled it off!

Photography: Laura Leslie Photography | Event Planning: The Knot | Floral Design: Gardenia Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Chaviano Couture | Bride's Shoes : Badgley Mischka | Makeup: Sriyani Of Beautifully Marked | Hair : Model Citizen | DJ: DJ YNot | Groom's Attire: Tommy Hilfiger | Venue: Foundry Park Inn & Spa | Bride's Accessories : Chaviano Couture

Organic Evergreen Wedding Inspiration

Organic elegance is without a doubt a my personified dream, especially when said dream includes a gorgeous Sarah Seven gown and Sawyer Baird behind the lens.  With handfuls of foraged florals, these betrothed beauties prove that an elegant outdoor setting is sure to beckon magic and merriment. In the hands of Marilisa of Chancey Charm every detail is darling and you can see it all, here!

From Marilisa of Chancey CharmThe Founders Memorial Garden in Athens, Georgia holds a special place in many hearts as the setting for proposals, engagement shoots and weddings themselves. It’s private patio and boxwood garden provided both an intimate and inviting setting for our “Evergreen Inspired Shoot.” We were inspired by the idea of evergreen not only because the shoot was taking place in the middle of winter, but because a bride, in preparation for her big day is in a continuous state of growth and life despite what harsh surroundings she may endure.

Our couple (who are currently engaged and dear friends of photographer Sawyer Baird) was dressed in classic, but effortless elegance. The bride, dressed in Sarah Seven’s Violet Hour from The Sentimentalist, exuded gentleness and humility. Claudia Verduzco made this young bride look mature but not overdone with soft make up and a simple half-up hair style. Our groom, dressed by The Modern Gent, was charming and comfortable in his black tux and gray Cole Haan dress shoes. Jewels for the bride came from Trumpet & Horn and the velvet ring box was a vintage find from Athens Antique Mall.

Sarah Ingram of Brush and Petal created the custom invitation suite and flowers. Her calligraphy, created on paper in the softest shade of light blue, was a perfect compliment to the rustic dinner setting. Our farm table setting was complete with a sheer runner by I Do Linens, personal vintage china and cross back chairs from Goodwin Event Rentals which Sarah adorned with a simple garland. The bride’s bouquet was an organic mixture of greenery and foraged hellebores while the groom had a single white ranunculus for his boutonniere.

With an outdoor setting like the Founders Garden, we imagined guests enjoying southern hors d’oeuvres like a fig & goat cheese crostini from Epting Events and a water-color inspired wedding cake from Classic City Confections. Being able to create this inspired shoot with Sawyer Baird was a dream come true and she captured the details, emotions and setting perfectly.

From Sawyer BairdWhen being approached by Marilisa of Chancey Charm approached me about working together I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I have admired her work & the work of her company for some time now. This was not an opportunity that I would let pass. After a few meetings and realizing our vision for what we were going to do we collected some amazing vendors & went to work.

This session is so special for me because two of my closest friends were the Bride & the Groom. It means the world to me to be able to capture them in such a pure way. Just them two, together, sharing their love.

Photography: Sawyer Baird | Event Design: Chancey Charm | Floral Design: Sarah Ingram | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Cake: Classic City Confections | Rings: Trumpet & Horn | Catering: Epting Events | Hair & Makeup: Claudia Verduzco | Calligraphy: Sarah Ingram | Groom's Attire: The Modern Gent | Bridal Attire: The Sentimentalist | Chair Rental: Goodwin Events | Linens: I Do Linens | Ring Box: Athens Antique Mall | The Founders Garden: The Founders Garden

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Colorful Southern Spring Wedding at UGA

With spring in the air, these diehard University of Georgia fans returned to their collegiate roots (they got married in the UGA Chapel!) for this colorful, family-filled wedding in Athens. While the Groom and his groomsmen rollicked around the campus, the Bride looked stunning in crystal-embellished Maggie Sottero, offset by the bridesmaids’ coral Bari Jay gowns, with Brita Photography capturing all the pretty for us to share with you, here!

From Brita PhotographyMorgan and Drew are loyal University of Georgia fans and alumni so it only made sense that their wedding would be in Athens, GA! When I arrived at the Georgia Gameday Center where all the bridesmaids were getting ready, I was greeted with big smiles and warm hugs. I couldn’t wait to get started! All of her bridal details were stunning: Her teal wedding invitations, coral wedding shoes and coral bridesmaids dress, and beautiful teal, ivory and coral bouquets (with peonies – my favorite!). Drew wrote the sweetest note for his bride inside the ring box, too: “Because you are my best friend.” It just melts your heart!

Morgan and Drew’s ceremony was at the gorgeous white Chapel on North Campus and their reception was held at the UGA Classic Center. We took the shuttle bus all around campus and stopped at several important places to them: North campus, the UGA stadium, the grand staircase, Magnolia’s, and behind the Chapel (to ring the bell)!

It was the perfect day to get married. Spring was in the air and we were able to capture so many beautiful pictures and moments!

Photography: Brita Photography | Videography: Advanced Video Productions | Event Planning: Events By Kimberly Jan | Flowers: Gardenia Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Wedding Cake: Cecilias Cakes | Ceremony Venue: University Of Georgia | Reception Venue: Classic Center Atrium | Bridesmaid's Dresses: Bari Jay | DJ: Special Event Productions | Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Bridal Shoes: Bamboo Shoes | Hair & Makeup Artist: Flawless Finish

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Autumn Al Fresco Bridal Shower

Now that our bellies are stuffed with turkey and our hearts full of thanks, we’re holding on to the last bits of autumn before winter hits the scene. And what better way to savor the season than a bridal shower centered on just that. It’s an outdoor gathering of girlfriends coordinated by Candice Beaty and blooms by Rebekah Clark Moody. More from Kathryn McCrary in  the pretty gallery right here.

Colors

From Kathryn McCraryWith fall in full swing, crisp colors and warm afternoons are to be cherished and savored. Candice Beaty (of Chancey Charm Weddings) used this as an excuse to pull together some of her favorite vendors and create an autumn themed bridal shower. Using ruby reds, cozy sweaters and the ever-lovable golden delicious apple as her inspiration, she styled the photo shoot to be carefree and intimate so that no maid of honor or bridesmaid would feel threatened to throw a similar shower for their bride-to-be.

American Threads provided the girls with fun and casual fall clothes that Molly Webb used to style the girls effortlessly. Claudia Mejerle topped off the looks with soft makeup and flowy hair to give the girls a polished yet fresh look for the shower.

Beautifully customized place settings (by Jenn Gietzen) adorned with an apple favor welcomed the girls into a yummy luncheon in the autumn daylight. Crisp bourbon cocktails, delectable plum and apple treats after a scrumptious and yummy feast (from Heirloom Café and Shae Rehmel of home.made catering) all filled the guests tummies as they laughed together.

Breathtaking florals (by Rebekah Clark Moody) dreamily captured the essence of fall’s warmth in a natural way. A stunning fabric hanging (another Jenn Gietzen stunner) with a quote to celebrate their friendships was the perfect addition to an already gorgeous ivy backdrop. Kathryn McCrary was able to capture all of the gorgeous details of the day and the celebration of the shower to showcase all of the wonderful inspiration for the autumn themed bridal shower.

Jenn’s banner reads “You’re pretty much my most favorite of all time in the history of ever”, which perfectly sums up how all of these vendors feel about this day spent together creating this beautiful fall photo shoot.

Photography: Kathryn Mccrary | Coordination: Chancey Charm | Floral Design: Rebekah Clark Moody | Catering: Heirloom Cafe And Fresh Market | Hair And Makeup: Claudia Mejerle | Desserts: Shae Rehmel Of Homemade | Fashion Styling: Molly Webb | Outfits: American Threads | Paper Goods And Hand Lettering: Jenn Gietzen Of Write On! Design | Private Home: Chancey Charm

Cloverleaf Farm Wedding

Whether you’re spending your holiday trying to stay warm and cozy in the comfort of your own home or hard at work at the office, this is the type of wedding that deserves your full and undivided attention.  I’m talking gorgeous blooms from Gardenia Floral Design, a stunning Cloverleaf Farm setting and all kinds of J.Crew lovely.  It’s rustic meets romantic all captured by Alea Moore Photography.  See it all here.

From Alea Moore Photography… I don’t even really know where to begin with these two amazing people. For me, there is just nothing better than capturing the wedding day of two people who are so obviously meant for each other. It makes my heart sing – it’s exactly why I do what I do. This wedding was a beautiful simple affair. Lots of personal touches mixed in with the beauty of nature and Cloverleaf Farms stunning property.

From the Bride… For our wedding day, Connor and I hoped it would be an event where could celebrate God’s faithfulness and commit our lives to each other in the presence of our favorite people! We asked our officiant to marry us because he and his wife are our mentors, coworkers, and longtime friends. We wanted to balance having a reception that was beautiful and unique, while not overdoing it — in an effort to “keep the main thing, the main thing.” For some fun details and to make it personal, we incorporated our love of southern architecture, local cuisine, and the great outdoors!

Photography: Alea Moore Photography | Planner: Cloverleaf Farm | Florist: Gardenia Floral Design | Dress: I Do I Do Bridal | Cakes: Take The Cake Bakery | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Bride's Shoes: J.Crew | Caterer: A Divine Event | Suits: Jos. A. Bank | Venue: Cloverleaf Farm | Bridesmaids' Dresses & Jewelry: J.Crew | Coffee: Jittery Joe's | DJ And Lights: DJ David Osborne, With Sound Insight Productions | Guest Book: Blueprint Of Cloverleaf Farmhouse | Tie: The Tie Bar

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Athens Wedding from Lenscape Studios

This, my friends, is the epitome of a Southern celebration.  A drop-dead gorgeous wedding brimming with stunning traditional details, a seriously adorable duo and a whole host of heartwarming moments all set against the breathtaking backdrop that is The Taylor-Grady House.  It’s exactly the reason I adore Georgia weddings, and the reason I’ll be spending the entire day (or weekend) wrapped up in the full gallery of images captured by Lenscape Studios.  Join me there for all of the pretty.

From the Bride… August 24th was the best day ever! Brad and I had been dating since we were 14 and 16-years-old, so we were beyond thrilled to finally tie the knot! That morning, all the girls woke up early and headed to get brunch and mimosas to start the celebration off right. My amazing hair and makeup artists, Autumn Mayo and Kara Waters, were so great and made getting ready such a fun experience. After we got all dolled up, we headed to the historic Taylor-Grady House to put on our dresses and take photos. The guys met us there and after we all got dressed, I went out and did a “first look” with my dad. I think those are some of my favorite pictures of the day! Our photographers, Dave and Lauren from Lenscape Studios, did a phenomenal job capturing it.

Brad and I chose to do a First Look simply because of timing. At first I was really against it, as was he, because we wanted a “special moment” when I walked down the aisle. After working over the timeline with our wedding coordinator, we realized taking pictures after the ceremony would mean we only had a little bit of time to see all of our friends and family at the reception. It ended up being the best decision we made! Brad says he would have been incredibly nervous had he not seen me before, and I felt so much more relaxed after I saw him. Once we had our first look, the entire wedding party was able to just hang out and have fun while we took pictures. I am so glad we did it!

After the pictures, we all took a big limo over to the ceremony site, The Chapel at The University of Georgia. We loved that both of our venues were historical landmarks; Athens is such a great city, and it’s really rich in history and culture.

Another one of my favorite pictures of the day is the one of our whole wedding party waiting up in the balcony for the ceremony to start. We got to watch the guests fill in, which was so fun. (Of course, I was hidden in the stairwell so no one could see me, but I could see and talk to all my bridesmaids!) It was so much fun, and a good way to stay calm right before the big moment.

The ceremony was beautiful, and went so well. Our good friends sang and read during the ceremony, and Brad and I wrote our own promises that we read to each other before our traditional vows. My uncle is a pastor, so we were honored to have him officiate. It was so personal and special to have so many loved ones involved in the ceremony! I also loved that our venue had a stage, so we were up and able to see all of our friends and family while we vowed our lives to each other. It really was so special.

Our reception was a blast! We went back to the Taylor-Grady House, where the guests had a cocktail hour and passed hors d’oeuvres on the front lawn. We had corn-hole games and a bar under the giant tree in the boxwood garden, which was gorgeous. When the wedding party was ready to be introduced, the guests were ushered to the back yard where the DJ, dance floor, tents, and tables were. I loved that we were able to walk down the back steps of the house straight to the dance floor!

I could go on and on about the food, drinks, flowers, and other details forever, but I would say that the main thing I will always remember is how loved we felt. It was so humbling and honoring that all those people drove and flew from all over to celebrate with us! We had more fun than I ever thought possible, and we are so grateful that our day turned out better than I ever dreamed.

Photography: Lenscape Studios | Flowers: Diane Thomas | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal | Cake: Cecilias Cakes | Invitations: Plain Jane Designs | Ceremony Venue: UGA Chapel | Reception Venue: The Taylor-Grady House | Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Sung | Catering: Delicious Dishes | DJ: David Compton | Tuxes: Pernos Formal Wear | Officiant: Dr. John Hull | Bride + Maids' Hair: Autumn Mayo Hair Designs | Bride + Maids' Makeup: Kara Waters | Music: Shelby McLeod | Rentals: Peachtree Tents & Events

Athens Georgia Wedding at Foundry Park Inn from Melissa Pepin Photography

You know what makes for one seriously awesome combo?  Two adorable high school sweethearts, the amazing city of Atlanta and one breathtakingly gorgeous wedding.  That’s what we here at SMP call the trifecta of wedding goodness and this pretty little affair has all three.  Not to mention it’s a day that is seriously brimming with pretty, from the sweet romantic details to the traditional reception bursting with elegance to the fabulous gallery from Melissa Pepin Photography.  Join me there for every ounce of lovely.

From Melissa Pepin… There are not enough words to describe how beautiful this affair was! Danielle and Tyler were the epitome of beautiful on their wedding day. Every detail was custom fitted to them. From the monogrammed outdoor bar to the artist drawn images from their engagement session pictures to the personalized wedding cakes… it was perfect.

Danielle adorned her hair with a custom-made piece that was created based on the belt of her wedding dress. All of her maids wore beautiful Kate Spade jewelry that went perfectly with their peach and soft pink dresses. Tyler was stunning in his linen suit and made all of his groomsmen happy with their customized cigar boxes filled with favorites he selected for each person. Outdoor seating on the back patio of their venue also made for a super relaxing evening under the stars while inside their guests dined and danced the night away to an amazing band brought in just for their big day.

After dating for 10 years and finally marrying their high school sweetheart, this couple put on the perfect affair and we were SO excited to be a part of it!

Photography: Melissa Pepin Photography | Florals: Jamie Parrish | Wedding Dress: Matthew Christopher | Wedding Cake: Sugar Kneads | Ceremony: UGA Chapel | Reception: Foundry Park Inn & Spa | Jewelry: Kate Spade | Catering: Foundry Park Inn & Spa | Make up and hair: Southern Roots | Band: Fly By Radio

French Country Inspired Farm Wedding from Christopher Helm Photography

Oh my, this Bride and I are kindred spirits. And the fact that her hubby asked for her hand in the gardens of Versailles makes my heart skip a beat. They planned their beautiful day with the French countryside in mind, and the result was a day where I could easily spend all my days. It’s all around lovely, and captured to perfection by Christopher Helm – making this one seriously gorgeous gallery.

From Christopher HelmsCloverleaf Farm is a new venue just outside of Athens, Georgia. The house is an interesting 1860’s antebellum mansion in the true southern style. The couple was really sweet, and a pleasure to work with. Erin has a great sense of style and really put a lot of work into the details. She successfully mixed her French style with the southern atmosphere of the house and surrounding pecan groves. Gavin is one of the sweetest guys in the world and a true gentleman. These guys are truly happy and in love.

From the Bride… My husband and I met in the workplace– a high school in Athens, Georgia. I traveled the world throughout my 20’s, even lived in Japan for two years, only to meet the man of my dreams in the classroom next door. We both teach economics and history which meant that we spent a lot of time together collaborating on lesson plans. We had great chemistry together, similar senses of humor, and deep down we were both super dorky. Not to mention my husband is easily one of the kindest, most sincere and hardworking people I’ve ever met. Over time we became good friends and it seemed only natural that we would end up becoming much more! I knew almost immediately that we would be getting married– at nearly 30 years old I knew that I had found someone incredibly special. He proposed in the gardens of Versailles, one of my favorite places on Earth, and so when the wedding planning started I knew I had to incorporate some aspects of Versailles and the palace’s most famous queen: Marie Antoinette.

And therein was the difficulty: we didn’t want too much of a rococo influence, with its gilded gold opulence. This level of formality and excess simply just isn’t our style (or fit with our wedding budget). We are both down-to-earth people who enjoy all things informal. This meant that we were drawn to images of the peaceful countryside but with a touch of aristocracy. Luckily, I knew just where to look for inspiration.

In order to escape the rigid court life of Versailles, Marie Antoinette had an idyllic country village created at her private palace, the Petit Trianon. It is a 30-minute walk from the main palace of Versailles and often overlooked by tourists. This beautiful garden provided the inspiration for our wedding with a ceremony under the trees and whimsical floral arrangements in soft pastel colors that evoke the colors of gowns Marie Antoinette herself might have worn in the gardens. The same theme also appears in our paper goods, with our cameos appearing both on our save-the-date postcards and our program fans. I even added a wide blue sash (handmade by my mother) to my whimsical Jim Hjelm gown in order to pay homage to the chemise a la reine style of dress made popular by Marie Antoinette.

The wedding was truly a lot of fun for us to plan. We spent over a year collecting milk glass vases, mirrored vanity trays, and tarnished silver platters to use in our wedding décor. This meant many trips to thrift shops, antique stores, and garage sales– a fun weekend tradition that I hope we will maintain even now that the wedding is over. I threw myself into many DIY projects including designing all of our paper goods, designing our website, hand-stamping and filling lavender toss bags, and creating all of our wedding day signage.

In the end the day was more beautiful and magical than I ever imagined. Everything came together perfectly. I was so happy to see that my vision of a relaxed, countryside wedding (with some Marie Antoinette flair thrown in for good measure) was realized so perfectly. And the outpouring of love and support from our friends and family was the icing on the cake. And that is how two teachers, so very in love, ended up with a fairytale wedding.

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 Wedding Photography: Christopher Helm | Wedding Venue: Cloverleaf Farm | Floral Design: Gardenia Floral Design | Stationery: Bride | Cakes + Desserts: Cecilia’s Cakes | Catering: A Divine Event | Wedding Dress: Jim Hjelm | Bride’s Shoes: Lola Cruz | Hair + Makeup: City Salon and Spa

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University of Georgia Garden Wedding from Melissa Pepin Photography

When a description starts with the words “wow… just wow,” you kind of know you are in for a little something special.  And when it’s a darling University of Georgia wedding captured by Melissa Pepin Photography, it’s an all caps kind of WOW… and then some.  Because when a Southern gem like this joins forces with pretty pink hues, white bridesmaid frocks (love) and beautiful florals from European Floral Design, it’s epically good.  Click here for sooo much more.

From Melissa Pepin PhotographyWow….just wow. This couple and their day was sheer perfection! The weather surrounding their wedding day was disastrous. But rain, crazy strong winds, and even hail couldn’t stop the celebration that was coming this couple’s way. A few hours before everything was supposed to start, the skies cleared, the sun came out, and the perfect day was handed to us!

Haley’s dress was full of amazing detail and Todd looked so dapper in his black tux and white bow tie. From the white peonies and deep coral spray roses to the basil and rosemary lemonade, this day was a Southern brides dream come true. Haley broke tradition and selected white for her bridesmaids to wear. They were all so beautiful and when coupled with the groomsmen’s mixture of tuxes and military dress blues, the background was set off to be even more beautiful.

Every single detail of this couples day was so fitting for them. Awesome Prada shoes for Haley and a wedding cake designed to replicate the stunning white leaves on her dress, a custom groom’s cake that was sculpted to reflect Todd’s time as a diver for UGA, and a boutonniere crafted from an antique tie clip that belonged to the groom’s grandfather… it was all just so wonderful! Haley even had a a hand crafted glass charm made by a dear friend that was supposed to be a bridesmaid at the wedding (but was due to have a baby the same day so she wasn’t able to be there). It was sweet little touches throughout the entire day that made this wedding so brilliant!

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Wedding Photography: Melissa Pepin Photography | Wedding Venue: University of Georgia, Founders Memorial Garden | Floral Design: European Floral Design | Catering: Trumps | Day-Of Coordination: Molly McKinley for Chancey Charm | Invitations: Plain Janes Design | Wedding Dress: Anne Barge | Bride’s Shoes: Prada | Makeup: Eli Jana Cosmetics | Hair: Republic Salon | Band: Band X | Rentals: Oconee Events Inc.

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University of Georgia Engagement Session from Morning Light by Michelle Landreau

Bow ties, monograms and pretty pink hues – that’s what preppy photo shoot dreams are made of. It’s true, and those dreams are coming to life today through the light-filled images from Morning Light by Michelle Landreau. And with a couple that couldn’t be sweeter in the center of all the preppy Georgia goodness, it goes without saying this one is a must see. Do so right here.

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From Morning Light by Michelle Landreau… Last fall, I had the pleasure of shooting a preppy engagement session at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Brittany & Greg are both alums of the school and actually met through College Republicans while attending the university. Locations include the arch, Founder’s Garden, and the coffee shop where they went on their first date, Two Story Coffeehouse. There, they re-enacted part of this date by playing the Game of Life. Greg later told Brittany that he wanted her to be the girl in his car! We were so lucky with the light that day; it really accentuated the bright colors of their wardrobe. I hope you enjoy the little details such as his L.L.Bean monogrammed shirt and bow tie!

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Wedding Photography: Morning Light by Michelle Landreau | Location: North Campus of the University of Georgia + Two-Story Coffeehouse both in Athens, Georgia | Groom’s Shirt + Bow-tie: L.L.Bean

Athens, Georgia Wedding from Melissa Pepin Photography

For those of you just dying to see Pantone’s Color of the Year in action, look no further than this sweet Athens affair from Melissa Pepin Photography, which is literally bursting with the pretty little Emerald color from every nook and cranny.  I’m talking the bridesmaid gowns, the beautiful florals from European Floral Design and even the candy bar, all drenched in gorgeous green goodness.  Carry Your Heart Events styled every last moment to absolute perfection and the gallery is a colorful must-see. Join me there for all of the pretty.

From Melissa Pepin PhotographyEmily & Justin had apparently reserved the PERFECT Spring day for their wedding. The weather was absolutely wonderful, the setting couldn’t have been more spot on, and the excitement they both had to walk down the aisle was overwhelming to watch. Emily is a true Georgia girl with a heart for her family and home. Justin is a Southern gentleman who is the picture of respect and chivalry. Together their day was a representation of their love for each other and the things that are most important to them both.

Emily has impeccable taste and selected beautiful emerald green bridesmaids dresses that paired perfectly with their gold Michael Kors wedges. The emerald theme played throughout their day through all of their florals and even into their candy bar which was lined with green apple licorice and citrus flavored gummy bears.

Their day couldn’t have been better…totally worth all of the months of planning!

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Wedding Photography: Melissa Pepin Photography | Wedding Venue: Foundry Park Inn & Spa | Event Planning + Design: Carry Your Heart Events | Floral Design: European Floral Design | Makeup: Flawless Finish | Wedding Dress: I Do I Do Bridal | Wedding Shoes: Michael Kors | Entertainment: The Highballs

Athens Wedding from Kathryn Kimmel Photography

You know what I love?  This wedding.  This wedding with all of its crazy beautiful details and fun-filled memories.  From the gorgeous State Botanical Gardens ceremony to the laid back, yet elegant reception at the uber-hip Transmetropolitan Restaurant to every last moment in between captured by Kathryn Kimmel Photography, I am head over heels for this sweet, sweet soiree.  Oh, and the adorable duo saying I do?  I love them, too.  Click here for so much more.

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From Kathryn Kimmel PhotographyStephanie and Zach had a very laid back, modern, and intimate wedding. They got married at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia Day Chapel in Athens, Georgia and had their reception at the top of Transmetropolitan; a popular restaurant in the heart of downtown Athens. They supported many local vendors from the Athens area including Town Center Salon and Spa, Cecilia’s Cake, and Elizabeth Ann Flowers. They also made this wedding happen on an amazing budget! They bought flowers for the reception from Trader Joes, her Vera Wang wedding dress from David’s Bridal, jewelry for the bridesmaids from a shop on Etsy, bridesmaid dresses from Target, their cardigans from Kohls and the guys’ ties from Amazon, and the Bride’s brother designed the invitations! Stephanie got super creative to have the day she always dreamed of within a budget that didn’t break the bank.  The Day Chapel has a very natural feel and natural beauty and is set back in the woods of the Botanical Gardens and has the quaint feel of an intimate chapel. Stephanie chose yellow and grey to be the colors of her day.

The bridesmaids wore gray dresses with a pop of yellow for their shoes. And the groomsmen wore very sleek looking gray suits with yellow ties. Zach, the Groom, also wore some funky mustache socks. The Bride and Groom rode away in Zach’s grandfather’s teal, ’55 BelAir. It was the perfect compliment to the style of their day. This couple loves the city of Athens, Georgia because it played a special role in their relationship. They love the atmosphere, the culture and the people of Athens; so they wanted that to play a huge role in their wedding day. Having their reception in downtown Athens, at the top of a restaurant that is an Athens staple, was such an awesome way to do that! It was rustic meets modern. They had burlap runners lining the tables, mason jars with an array of spring flowers, a bar where guests could grab a beer or a glass of wine, pizza galore (the restaurant’s staple), three different Cecelia Valencia Cakes, CD’s burned with their favorite love songs as favors, a photo booth and a laid back casual time.

The Bride and Groom could walk around and socialize with their family and friends, sit down and have a beer, and just enjoy their celebration. They avoided the norm of the hustle and bustle of large receptions with a lot of people they have never met, split second introductions and congratulatory waves. They actually got to spend quality time with the people most dear to them. I thought it was such a great way to truly celebrate and enjoy the people that were there to share their special day with them. And the atmosphere of one of the most popular restaurants in downtown Athens, Ga was the perfect place to enjoy the heart of their favorite city, the food, their family and friends, and to celebrate their new life together!

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Wedding Photography: Kathryn Kimmel Photography | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Chops & Hops in Watkinsville, Georgia | Ceremony Venue: Day Chapel, State Botanical Gardens in Athens, Georgia | Reception Venue:  Transmetropolitan Restaurant in Athens, Georgia | Officiant: Jared Bryant | Bouquets + Ceremony Floral Design: Elizabeth Ann Flowers | Reception Floral Design: Trader Joes | Catering: Wesley Russo from Transmetropolitan Restaurant (wesleyrusso74@yahoo.com) | Wedding Cake: Cecilia’s Cake | Music: Laurel Haislip, Anna Gatch + Carly King (laurelanne282@gmail.com) | Decor: Hobby Lobby | Wedding Invitations Design: Matthew Stutzenberger (matthewstutz8@yahoo.com) | Invitations Printing: Sam Flax | Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal | Wedding Rings: Shane Company | Bride’s Shoes: The Dessy Group | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Target  | Bridesmaids’ Cardigans: Kohls | Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Hair + Makeup: Town Center Salon & Spa

Athens Wedding at The Georgia Club from Buffy Dekmar Photography

I must admit, I’ve got a bit of a crush on this sweet-as-pie bride + groom and their stunning Georgia Club wedding. With a totally classic Southern vibe, gorgeous orchid and lilly bouquets by Gardenia Floral Design and perfect pictures by Buffy Deckmar? Well, consider me head-over-heels. See every.last.image for yourself in the full gallery!

From Buffy Dekmar Photography Caroline and Peter’s wedding was such a sweet affair. They were married May 11, 2012, at the Georgia Club in the garden terrace, and then they danced the night away to the Moxie Band’s fabulous tunes. My favorite elements of this event were the orchid and lily bouquets, the gorgeous lace gown that Caroline wore, and the radiant happiness shared by the couple and their friends and family!

Wedding Photography: Buffy Dekmar Photography / Wedding Venue + Catering: The Georgia Club in Athens, Georgia / Floral Design: Becky Kim of Gardenia Floral Design / Wedding Coordination: Dawn Kibbles / Wedding Cake: Bee’s Knees Bakery & Gifts / Entertainment: The Moxie Band / Wedding Dress: Pronovias via Dimitra’s Bridal Couture / Hair + Makeup: Tammy Polston of Hair Motif / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy by Vivian Diamond via Patty Oropeza of I Do, I Do Bridal Boutique

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Backyard Athens Wedding from Alyssa Alig Photography

As a self-proclaimed homebody, this Athens wedding from Alyssa Alig Photography held in the backyard of the bride’s childhood home is right up my alley. Because of the gorgeous locale, this sweet fête needed little in the way of decor-just simple florals by Elizabeth Ann Florist & Gift Shop and the loveliest cakes from Classic City Confections. See the rest right here! 

From Alyssa Alig PhotographyA sophisticated wedding of baby’s breath, burlap and satin blush, Alex and Hannah were wed on a warm summer day in Georgia at her parents’ home. Hannah works for an independent jewelry store that sells unique jewelry made by local artisans, some of which she was allowed to borrow for the wedding! Hannah says, “Having the biggest day of my life happen at the home I grew up in, surrounded by the ones we love and who love us most — it was my dream wedding!”

Wedding Photography: Alyssa Alig Photography / Wedding Venue: The Home of the Bride’s Parents in Athens, Georgia / Floral Design: Elizabeth Ann Florist & Gift Shop / Catering: Hallie Jane’s Catering / Wedding Cakes: Classic City Confections / DJ: Athens Light and Sound / Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals / Jewelry: Aurum Studios / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff via I Do, I Do Bridal Boutique

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Douglasville Wedding from Viktoriya Evich Krudu Photography

My southern-charm loving heart is all a-flutter for this Foxhall Resort & Sporting Club soiree captured beautifully by Viktoriya Evich Krudu Photography. This DIY + vintage inspired wedding is all kinds of beautiful-from the bride’s lace James Clifford gown to the gorgeous blooms by Carithers Flowers. Lucky for us the gallery is full of even more pretty and you can see it all here!

From the Bride… Our wedding was a dream come true! If our personalities could create a wedding venue, it would be Foxhall. Foxhall is a gorgeous equestrian estate and sporting club located just south of Atlanta. I grew up riding horses my whole life, and Cody is the perfect Southern gentleman, so it was the ideal setting for the rustic, elegant wedding we had both been dreaming of. We wanted our wedding to have a very Southern feel and atmosphere, but still have the elegance of a wedding. Foxhall couldn’t have been more perfect for this. From the moment you step foot on the 1,100 acre facility, you feel like you are visiting the English countryside or you’re suddenly in a scene from the movie Secretariat. With the rustic lodge setting of Legacy Lookout, our guests enjoyed sweeping views of wide-open horse paddocks, an English-style equestrian stable, a two-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee river and an 81-acre lake; it’s stunning to say the least. With so many natural colors and elements surrounding our venue, I was able to get away with my pop of coral for the bridesmaid dresses, flowers and bow ties. We kept the rustic feel with all of the wood elements from the lodge, iron chandeliers, lantern centerpieces, as well as the tan suits for the guys and a mix of khakis, browns, and taupe. We introduced the elegant girly side with lots of mercury glass vases, lace and just a touch of crystals here and there. The catering tables were beautifully decorated with vintage wine boxes and antique silver platters to really tie together the whole theme of the wedding. I had an girly wedding cake covered with glitter details, while the groom’s cake decorated with chocolate-covered strawberries and giant antlers was the most manly thing I’ve ever seen.

My favorite part of the wedding were all of the personal touches and DIY projects that truly made our wedding special. My dad passed away 10 years ago, and I knew how hard it was going to be to not have him there to see his little girl get married. To make it feel like he was still there with me, I tried to incorporate as many little things that reminded me of him as I could. Our ringer bearer walked down the aisle carrying my dad’s Bible that I had wrapped in lace and burlap ribbon. To really make it feel like he was there to walk me down the aisle, my next door neighbor created my beautiful bouquet wrap that she made using one of my dad’s neckties and the lace sleeve from my mother’s wedding dress. That way as my mother walked me down the aisle in place of my dad, I had a piece of my dad walking with me as well. It truly was so special and something I will cherish forever. I also surprised my younger sister with a maid of honor bouquet wrap that coordinated with mine. Giving her that special gift moments before the wedding was so special and a moment we will both remember forever. We also had a memory table set in the lobby covered with my great-grandmother’s hand crocheted doilies and pictures of relatives and loved ones with a candle burning “in memory of those who are forever present in our hearts.”

The biggest hit for the men at the wedding was most definitely Cody’s cigar bar. If you couldn’t find someone on the dance floor, they were probably outside by the fireplace hanging out at the cigar bar. Another meaningful element was the “key to a happy marriage” message board where guests left words of wisdom and advice for Cody and me as newlyweds on vintage skeleton keys, surrounded by wedding photographs from both sides of our family. Other DIY projects included the dress hangers I made for me and my bridesmaids, the wedding invitation that I created and designed myself (with my team of family and friends working as an assembly line), the Mr. & Mrs. signs at the reception, and the cornhole set my husband built specifically for our big day. Everything was just perfect; I couldn’t have asked for more. It was a beautiful day, and I will cherish the memories forever.

Wedding Photography: Viktoriya Evich Krudu Photography / Wedding Venue: Legacy Lookout at Foxhall Resort & Sporting Club in Douglasville, Georgia / Floral Design: Carithers Flowers / Catering: Zest Atlanta / Wedding Cake: Sugar Plum Visions / Wedding Invitations: DIY by the Bride via Cards & Pockets / Wedding Dress: James Clifford (Style J11169) via Bridals by Lori / Bride’s Shoes: The Glass Slipper Collection Cinderella Pump / Bride’s Hair: The Bride’s Neighbor / Bride’s Makeup, Bridesmaids’ Hair + Makeup: Betsy St. John (betsystjohn@gmail.com) / Bridesmaid Dress: Bari Jay (Style 126)

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Athens Garden Wedding from Jason Thrasher Photography

The thing I’m loving most about this Athens garden wedding from Jason Thrasher Photography is the complete and utter adoration the bride + groom have for each other. Their love is pouring out of every single image, and it’s a beautiful sight to behold! Add in perfectly crafted florals from Buzzy Craftery and a too-pretty-to-eat sweet table by Cecilia Villaveces Cakes and we’ve got a wedding day that dreams are made of. See the rest right here!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… Aziz and I met in Spain while studying abroad during college. We fell in love in the gardens, playgrounds and romantic pathways of Seville, and we continued dating in Athens, Georgia. Two and half years later, Aziz took me on a date, and we ended up chatting away on a bench at a playground in Athens. To my surprise, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes. He had invited my best friends and parents (from out of state) to my house to celebrate with us that night. It was a whirlwind of happiness, love and family, and it was a surprise I will always cherish.

We began looking for the perfect spot to get married. We wanted to go back to Spain, but instead we found a tucked-away garden on our university’s campus. I had stumbled upon The Founder’s Garden before but never knew you could get married there. We were thrilled and decided to have a totally outdoor garden wedding and reception in the fall. We were working on a budget, so instead of having one big fancy wedding cake, we ordered nine cakes from our favorite bakery in Athens and a friend made two more for us. We also wanted a kid-friendly wedding since we are both teachers, so we picked up some cupcakes from Trader Joe’s for the wee ones. My friend was our DJ, my dress from the sale rack at David’s Bridal, and the bridesmaids and I did our own makeup.

It was a perfect day, and everyone commented on the European, relaxed and romantic feel of the day. My best friend read “i carry your heart” by E.E. Cummings at the ceremony, and we wrote the words onto tiles to make coasters for our favors. This poem is very meaningful to us because on the last day in Spain, I hand wrote it and tucked it in Aziz’ suitcase so he would find it when he returned to America. It was a beautiful day that really represented us and our story. We felt more joy, love and happiness than we ever had, and we hold the memories of that special day close to our hearts.

Wedding Photography: Jason Thrasher Photography / Wedding Venue: The Founder’s Memorial Garden in Athens, Georgia / Floral + Event Design: Buzzy Craftery / Event Planning: The Bride / Wedding Cakes: Cecilia Villaveces Cakes / Other Cakes: Hope Cymerman, A Friend of the Bride / Cake Toppers: DIY by the Bride & Groom / Wedding Invitations: Buzzy Craftery / DJ: Adam Galatioto, A Friend / Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal / Bride’s Shoes: YagmurShop