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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Claudia + Brad’s engagement was a sweet and intimate moment — just the two of them surrounded by a beautiful lake and mountains. I love that looking through these images from Paperlily Photography is reminiscent of their proposal story! It was by far the newlyweds’ favorite detail of the day. “My jaw literally dropped the first time I saw it,” said Claudia. For me, there’s something calming about their surroundings that makes their “I do’s” seem like they were meant to be and a part of the world’s grand romantic plan!

Like most gals, finding THE dress was top on the wedding planning to-do list, and I knew just the place to go. Fabulous Frocks of Atlanta is owned by a dear friend of mine that I have gotten to know through working in the wedding industry (I’m a makeup artist). Both the shop and the dresses are beautiful and it would be a bonus to have someone I trust help choose the perfect dress. My mom, sister and best friend took a trip to Fabulous Frocks with me. About four dresses into the process, I found the winner. It was a delicate, flowing Claire Pettibone that couldn’t have fit my vision for my dress any better.

Describe your wedding flowers. 
Sherry of Gertie Mae’s Floral Studio is a close friend and one of the most talented floral designers, so we knew exactly who we would come to for flowers. Flowers were really important to me and I trusted Sherry to bring my vision for soft, beautiful, organic-looking bouquets and arrangements to life. I really loved that each of the bridesmaids’ bouquets were unique, and each arrangement on the tables was different and in an array of pitchers, jars and vases that we collected and now have in our home.

Music was extremely important to us for both the ceremony and reception. We are big fans of bluegrass and knew that type of music would be unique and appropriate for our riverside wedding in the hills of North Georgia. Our band, The Whiskey Rebellion, played some fiddle tunes during the ceremony and accompanied Meredith, Brad’s childhood friend who is also a talented musician. She sang “For the Beauty of the Earth” as everyone was seated and then “Amazing Grace” for the processional. It was so special to us to have such a dear friend be a part of the ceremony in that way. Our first dance was to “Not With Haste” by Mumford & Sons. The dather-daughter dance was to “Find Your Wings” by Mark Harris and the mother-son dance was to “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor.

The setting of our wedding felt like heaven to us. Our family friends offered their beautiful piece of land on the Soque River to use for the ceremony and reception. My jaw literally dropped the first time I saw it. We both envisioned our wedding being outdoors in the mountains of North Georgia, but this setting far exceeded our expectations with the beautiful view of the water, the open grassy fields and the giant trees lining the river.

What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? 
The music for the ceremony and reception was so important to us, so we were definitely open to spending some money in that area. We love live music, especially bluegrass, and we thought that a bluegrass band would be different and fun and fit the laid back vibe of our wedding.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? 
The ceremony was so precious to both of us, and the sweetest moment of it was when our pastor had us both turn around and face all of our guests just to see who all was there for us and would be in our lives for a very long time. It was such a neat moment to soak in the beauty and love that surrounded us.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? 
Our riverside wedding couldn’t help but be Southern. We had a bluegrass band, beer was served in an iced-down canoe, bales of hay provided seating, food was served by food trucks and our getaway car was a 1940 Chevy. All of these details made the wedding feel very much like us. Nothing was stuffy or stiff. We just wanted to have fun and enjoy everyone and wanted the same for our guests.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
Enjoy every single bit of your engagement. The parties. The planning. And enjoy every bit of it together. I know a lot of people say that the “wedding is for the bride.” It meant so much that Brad was interested in the details of our wedding and that we planned it as a team. Of course, we had tons of help from family and friends or there would have been no way that we could have pulled it off during our five-month engagement, but I felt like Brad and I were in the planning together and it made the big day that much more meaningful.

There is a bakery in Athens (where we both went to college) that makes the best cakes. We didn’t really have to decide where we would get our wedding cake. The harder decision was what flavor we would have. Since we couldn’t decide on a single flavor, the best we could do was narrow it down to our favorite six. It was one of the best decisions we made.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
 We met online! Not actually, but kind of. Our mutual friend had been trying to introduce me to Brad for a while. After weeks of hearing about this great guy, my friend “introduced” us via group Gchat. Ah yes. Just how I had always imagined meeting my husband — in a “chatroom” while I was at work. I was so excited to finally get to know this guy I had heard all about, and luckily, he totally exceeded my expectations. I remembered telling my sister half joking, half totally and completely seriously, that this guy is my soulmate. Understandably, she didn’t really believe me since Brad and I still hadn’t met in person at that point. After a couple of weeks of emailing and instant messaging, we finally had plans to get together. I knew both of us were just a wee bit nervous about this meeting. There was a lot of build up because we had both already spilled our guts to each other, had a lot in common, and made each other laugh, but the real question was: are we attracted to each other? Thankfully, that was not an issue. We clicked! Hurray! We instantly became best friends and knew very quickly that we would be in each other’s lives for a very long time.
Describe the proposal. The day we got engaged was the day after our nephew was born. I was so caught up with this new addition to the family and wasn’t even thinking Brad was up to something when he took a random Wednesday and Thursday off. I figured it was just to be with the family and love on that new baby boy. After we left the hospital Wednesday, Brad suggested that we spend the night at his parents’ lake house. I was all in, yet still clueless as to what he was up to. The thing that was so strange to me was Brad was adamant about running back home to grab his swimsuit and contact case. I couldn’t understand why on earth we couldn’t just buy both on our way up to the lake. Little did I know, someone had to get a pretty piece of jewelry from the house. So the next day, we lounged around on the dock and just enjoyed being together. It didn’t feel any different that any other day. Even when Brad sat on the arm of my chair and was playing with my hair and saying all sorts of lovey, sweet things, I didn’t have a clue that this day was going to be one I remember forever. But as soon as he knelt down and reached into his pocket, it clicked. Something we had been waiting for was about to happen. Once I knew what was happening, I cried, like uncontrollably, and for a while. It was the sweetest, most surreal moment. We were together, just the two of us, surrounded by the beauty of the lake and mountains and were so filled with joy that we were one (big) step closer to spending the rest of our lives together. I remember in that moment wishing we could freeze that moment and stay there for a long time. It was precious. But we had to head back to Atlanta that evening, and I was surprised to be greeted by our closest family and friends at the restaurant where we had our first date to celebrate our engagement. Oh what a happy, happy day.
In what month did you get married? 
October 2012
How many guests attended your wedding? 
225
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Doing a “first look” really wasn’t an option for either of us. We both always imagined seeing the other for the first time at our ceremony, and it was well worth the wait and build up.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Not getting stressed! I have the tendency to stress, even about small stuff –even if it should be fun! I won’t lie, I worried throughout the planning more than I wish I had. Everything came together better and more beautifully that we could have imagined, so I should have just kicked back and chilled out.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Finally living life together! It is so much fun to wake up, drink coffee, live our day, and then come home to the same place. There is no more running around trying to mingle our uncertain schedules together. We know where we are going each day and that’s fun. And best of all, there is no more wedding planning! On a more serious note, we can’t wait to discover how to mesh and meld our life together as a married couple. Every single day we discover some small thing we love and appreciate about each other. We can’t wait to learn more about each other while growing old together. That’s the good stuff.

Gertie Mae’s is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
14 Comments
  1. avatar Kat reply

    I love how soft, organic & natural their day was! Simply breathtaking

  2. avatar Sherry D. reply

    How fun to be surprised by this post…loved being a part of this completely fun wedding!!
    Thank you for choosing to feature Claudia and Brad!! xo

  3. avatar Inspired By This Blog reply

    Loving the relaxed, rustic feel of this wedding!

  4. avatar Lisa reply

    The dress, the venue, the flowers–everything is so romantically rustic, and the bride and groom are so lovely together!

  5. avatar Kim reply

    Can you please tell me where you got that large beautiful wooden cake plate? We are having Cecelia’s cakes too!

  6. avatar Brooke Drellos reply

    Thank you SO much for featuring Claudia & Brad’s wedding!!! IT was one of our favorites and we couldn’t love them more!! You did a beautiful job with the feature!!!
    xo
    Brooke & Christy

  7. avatar Claudia & Brad featured on Southern Weddings… | Paperlily Photography | Atlanta Wedding Photography reply

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  8. avatar Angie reply

    Stunning wedding! Love the bride’s gown and love the floral decor by Sherry of Gertie Mae’s Floral Studio!! Sherry’s work is beautiful!!

  9. avatar Carolyn reply

    Stunning Wedding. Love the flowers and décor from Sherry of Gertie Mae’s Floral Studio. The different bridesmaid bouquets were perfect with the different dresses that each girl picked. Congrats to the lovely couple.

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  13. avatar Kate reply

    Such a beautiful setting! I’m in love with the invitations – source?

  14. avatar Rachel reply

    Where are the invitations from?

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Today’s Southern Spotting is more than just a pretty face, y’all. Read on for the beautiful story behind Becky’s necklace!

From the bride:

“The necklace was made from lace removed from my mother’s wedding dress. I had originally wanted to wear her dress for our wedding, but it didn’t work out as planned. I had seen this necklace on Pinterest and loved it. It seemed like a beautiful way to still include my mom’s dress. I picked out two pieces of lace, bought a chain and clasps from the arts and craft store, and put it together with some wire cutters and pliers. It’s definitely not the most sturdy piece of jewelry, but it did the trick. To me, it completed the dress. I loved the way it turned out. And I was still able to wear my mom’s dress, even if only a part of it.”

Huge thanks to Bethany & Dan Photography for sending this gem our way!

P.S. Nicole and I were discussing how there needs to be a better name for things like Becky’s hair thing, because “hairpiece” just sounds like a toupee. Hair ornament? Hair adornment? Hair swag? Let us know if you come up with something good!

emily Written with love by Emily
7 Comments
  1. avatar Cait T. reply

    In addition to loving the necklace, I’m obsessed with this dress – does anyone by any chance know the designer & style number??

  2. avatar shannon berrey design reply

    Love, love, love this idea!!! It was not only beautiful, but a wonderful way to include your mom.

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    This is the sweetest idea!

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  5. avatar Kezfee Bridal Jewellery reply

    What a special idea for wedding jewellery. Just beautiful!

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When Emily and I first saw the images for Ashley + David’s wedding, we swooned over their amazing dance moves and gorgeous (and I’m assuming out-of-this-world delicious) cake. But after reading their interview, the only thing I can think of when I look through these images is the sweet scene that A + D shared one winter night when David proposed. “We were in my family’s big red truck, driving around David’s neighborhood looking at Christmas lights with our dog Gremlin. David had the ring in his pocket and just leaned over and whispered, ‘Will you marry me?’ David teases me because I responded by saying ‘Are you serious!?’ But I definitely meant it in the most excited way possible.” I love that you can see how sweet and intimate their relationship is in their proposal story and in these photos from Caroline + Ben.

Our first look let us have some time together before all of the rush of the wedding set in. We also wanted to be able to join our guests at the cocktail hour after the ceremony, so we wanted to do most of our pictures beforehand. It turned out to be a very intimate and memorable moment for both of us.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. 
My mom and I went wedding dress shopping together, and David’s mom joined us for the second day, which was wonderful. It was toward the end of summer when we started looking, and I was about to head back up to law school at Harvard, so we took two days and just went everywhere. I had some idea of what I wanted; I knew I wanted something fitted and easy to move in, and I knew David would love a more fitted dress as well, so I didn’t really consider a “princessy” gown. I narrowed it down to a more flowy, bohemian dress and the beautiful Rivini Chantilly lace and organza gown that I ultimately chose. I knew the Rivini dress was the winner when I looked at my mom after I put it on. Once I put on the veil, she really started to tear up! Once my dress was ready, my parents and I drove out to our family lake house, and my dad (a very talented photographer) shot my bridal portraits on our family boat, my waterski in my hand. It was a cold and cloudy day, but I’ll never forget how fun it was. The photos were amazing!

Describe your wedding flowers. 
We wanted our flowers to have a natural and rustic feel, and overall we went for loose and textural arrangements of earthy but bright pops of pink with more muted pinks, greens, lots of succulents, and sprigs of wheat and lavender. The pops of pink color in the bridesmaids’ bouquets really stood out against their blush-colored dresses. My bouquet was hand-tied and featured ivory hydrangea, bright pink garden roses, blush ranunculus, green millet, lavender, dusty miller, and champagne spray roses. The stems were tied with a wide burlap wrap, which was overlaid with a piece of lace from my mother’s wedding dress. We had two types of table centerpieces. The first was an arrangement of three mason jars of varying sizes with a textural mix of pink stock flowers, limonium, Queen Anne’s lace, ranunculus, and bright pink, open garden roses. The other tables had a low wooden box in the center, filled with moss and flowers similar to those on the other tables. Our favors and place cards for the evening were individual potted succulents, wrapped in burlap.

The ceremony was really important to us, and we wanted our musical choices to reflect our relationship and personalities. We had a string quartet play at the ceremony, but we mixed it up a little and didn’t go with too many classics. They played “Bittersweet Symphony” during the seating of the families and “Pachelbel’s Canon in D” for the processional. My dad and I walked down the aisle to “Stolen,” by Dashboard Confessional, a song that has special meaning for us because we listened to Dashboard Confessional together often when we were in high school. David has a deep love for Lady Gaga, so our recessional was a fun instrumental version of “Bad Romance” that got everybody up and ready to party.

Did you write your own vows? 
We did write our own vows, and we are so glad we did. It made the ceremony so special to us. David really got everyone laughing when he vowed to remove my glasses, books, pens, and computer from the bed every night. I often fall asleep working or reading a book, and David’s always there to take everything out of the bed and put it in a place where it won’t get damaged after I fall asleep.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 
My brother read “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Munkton, and our good friend Joey read “I carry your heart” by e.e. cummings.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: 
Before we got married, David spent two years restoring a historical airplane from WWII. As a surprise for our guests, the airplane, a B-17, made a dramatic flyover just before the ceremony. It was a moment that everyone will remember, and the flight crew joined us at the reception in their vintage flying gear. We also loved our getaway car. David’s dad worked for over a year to restore the family’s old 1939 Ford. David’s parents used that car as their getaway car, and it was so special to continue the tradition. Plus, the car looked amazing after all of David’s dad’s incredible work!

Our wedding was all about love, friends and family, good food, and a good party — it’s hard to get more Southern that that! Vista West Ranch, where we got married, is a beautiful finished out barn with this spectacular Hill Country backdrop. We wanted to really embrace the venue, so we included lots of rustic Texas touches– succulents, burlap, cowboy boots, etc. Our menu was also inspired by our love of good Southern cooking. We had smoked quail nachos and fried green tomatoes as passed hors d’oeuvres and served buttermilk fried chicken with Gruyere mac and cheese as our main course. Our wedding was a celebration not only of our future together, but also of the history we share. We got married almost exactly ten years after our first date, and we wanted to incorporate the many adventures we’ve shared into our wedding. My dad worked for months to compile over a hundred photos of us with family and friends through the years. These were pinned to clotheslines hanging in the trees at our cocktail hour, for all the guests to see.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? 
Budgeting is hard. Weddings can cost a lot of money, and sometimes you wonder whether it’s worth it to spend so much on a single day. My parents were amazing and gave us a very generous budget, but we were trying to save some of that money to put toward a house down payment. We didn’t go absolutely crazy with wedding costs, but, of course, we spent more than we initially planned. Fortunately, it was such a special day, and one that so totally reflected our personalities and our love for each other, that we both feel without a doubt that it was worth it.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. 
Our wedding cake was a white sour cream cake with delicious raspberry filling. It was decorated to resemble a toasted marshmallow. Our groom’s cake, which was bittersweet chocolate with caramel filling, featured a replica of the B-17 bomber that flew over our ceremony, complete with our dog Gremlin (in flying gear!) on the wing. We also had several flavors of mini-pies displayed on old wooden crates, in all our favorite flavors — blackberry cobbler, key lime, chocolate cream, and fried peach!

Can’t you see why we swooned over the image below?

We did an Argentine tango for our first dance, which was a ton of fun and required lots of dance lessons and practice! My dad and I did our first dance to “My Girl,” by the Temptations, which we because it’s the song played when the father and daughter play basketball in one of our favorite movies, “Father of the Bride.” David and his mom danced to “It’s a Wonderful World.”

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. 
We met in high school and went on our first date on October 4, 2002. We’ve been together ever since. We are very different people, but we are extremely good for one another. We have shared so much of our lives that it’s hard to even imagine what it’s like to not be together!

Describe the proposal. 
David proposed in a very sweet and simple way. We were in my family’s big red truck, driving around David’s neighborhood looking at Christmas lights with our dog Gremlin. David had the ring in his pocket and just leaned over and whispered, “Will you marry me?” David teases me because I responded by saying “Are you serious!?” But I definitely meant it in the most excited way possible.

In what month did you get married? 
October

How many guests attended your wedding? 
200

What range did your wedding budget fall into? 
$50,000-$75,000

What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? 
We splurged on the food and the photographer. Both paid in spades. Our guests were so happy and full, and we have plenty of amazing photos to prove it!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? 
It’s hard to pick. Mostly, we loved having all of our friends and family there to celebrate such a special time with us. It was amazing to look around and just feel surrounded by love.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
Just have fun, be creative, and let your personalities shine through. Several of our guests told us that ours was the most personal wedding they’d ever been to — that it was just so “us.” That’s a real point of pride for both of us, and it’s what made our wedding unique. Also, pick someone whose style/taste/decision-making you trust and enlist their help! My mom is amazing; she understands my style, she’s super organized, and somehow she managed to fit in a billion wedding-planning tasks despite her busy doctor schedule. I was studying for the bar exam for several months before the wedding, and she was an absolute lifesaver during that time, as well as the weekend of the wedding.

What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? 
We look forward to lots of future adventures together! David is currently building an airplane in the garage, and we can’t wait to travel all over the country in it!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
4 Comments
  1. avatar Ken Tan reply

    What a beautiful wedding! Amazing reception venue!

  2. avatar Dorrene reply

    Great pictures! Love this wedding!

  3. avatar Belle Amour – Wedding ideas : marshmallow ideas (that aren't s'mores!) – Belle Amour reply

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