We were chatting in the office the other day about how 2013 was the year of rainy weddings. While sweet brides across the South may have been sad about this at first, it takes just a few clicks through our Real Wedding galleries to see that rain truly doesn’t ruin a wedding! High school sweethearts Hannah and Graham experienced this firsthand–it poured on and off throughout their wedding day, but thanks to their wonderful attitudes and a fantastic team of vendors, their outdoor celebration was absolutely beautiful. We especially love their “taste of Athens, taste of home”-themed food–even the snacks they served were meaningful!
Thank you so much to Blue Ribbon Vendor Amy of Amy Arrington Photography for sharing Hannah and Graham’s wedding with us!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Graham and I met in high school, where he was the cool older guy with a shaggy haircut who drove a gold 1989 Jeep Wrangler (that may as well have been a golden chariot as far as my freshman self was concerned–I mean, he had a CAR!), and it was puppy love at first sight! We dated throughout high school and then college at the University of Georgia.
Tell us all about the proposal! After graduating from college, I got a job that allowed me to travel the country, but it meant spending a lot of time away from home. A few days before I left for my job training, Graham popped the question. The ring’s stone was his great grandmother’s! I cried hysterically, and of course, said, “YES!”
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something old was Graham’s great grandmother’s handkerchief, which I used in my bouquet. I wore my great grandmother’s aquamarine necklace on a chain borrowed from my bridesmaid, Ashleigh, as my something blue and borrowed. My something new was my shoes, which I love!
My wedding dress was by Tara Keely. I got it at J. Andrew’s Bridal in Peachtree City–they are so great there! The dress had a sweetheart neckline, allover alençon lace, a tiered bottom, and a long train.
Describe your wedding flowers. I have loved hydrangeas ever since my sister used them in her wedding, so we used those, along with white football mums, white ranunculus, and scabiosa pods. We used cotton in some of the arrangements too!
The day was super rainy–I mean, it POURED. We thought we would have to go to plan B and have the ceremony under the tent instead of out in front of the house. All of the sudden, the rain stopped, and there was a mad rush to get in the car, get the guests to their seats, and get on with it! I hopped in the car with my dad, and there was a short moment of calm before the storm that I was able to share with him. I think I’ll remember that forever!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Amy Arrington, our photographer, made our wedding photos turn out BEAUTIFULLY. The day was so rainy, but she made it look like the most beautiful day ever. Also, Epting Events kept everything together for us. They did so much behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly. The food was amazing and I am so thankful for their expertise!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We wanted our wedding to be a true representation of our lives: Southern, relaxed, and fun. Our first dance was to “Hey Pretty Girl,” by Kip Moore. My dance with my dad was to “Crazy Love” by Van Morrsion, and Graham and his mom danced to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Our band was the Brandy Brothers Band and they were so much fun!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding was a tribute to our home in Athens, our state, and the South in general. Our food was themed, “a taste of Athens, a taste of home.” We had Georgia pecan brittle, roasted peanuts inspired by General Beauregard’s in Athens, and pimiento cheese (my favorite food) from two of our favorite Athens restaurants, Marty’s at Miday and The Branded Butcher. We had GooGo Clusters in honor of Graham’s grandmother, who he calls “GooGoo,” as well as Moonpies for my dad, because my nephews call him “Moonpie,” strawberry and peach sangria, and, of course, glass bottles of Coke (because what true Southerner doesn’t love that?). We also used Georgia staples like cotton and peaches in a lot of our decor.
Our wedding cake was an Athens classic: Cecilia’s cake! The top layer was red velvet, the middle was Spanish lemon, and the bottom was Italian cream.
When did y’all get married? September 21, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We are pretty traditional, so we decided to not do a first look. It ended up working out pretty well, since it was so rainy before the ceremony that we would have gotten soaked had we done one!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We had so many details that we loved! I think the “Taste of Athens, Taste of Home” theme that we used for the food was a favorite of both ours and our guests!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I had to plan a lot of the wedding while I was on the road, so having to plan things without seeing them in person was a real challenge! Graham was an amazing help though. He found the venue and the band!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t stress! There’s a lot of pressure to have the perfect wedding, but no one’s wedding is perfect. It’s about your relationship and sharing that with family and friends. As long as you keep that in focus, everything else will fall into place.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We just got an adorable Weimaraner puppy named Todd. He’s definitely a handful! We’re excited to start our lives together in Athens!
Photographer: Amy Arrington / Planner: Bethanny of Epting Events / Venue: Fair Havens Plantation / Florist: Michael Berry / Cake Baker: Cecilia’s Cakes (via Epting Events) / Catering: Epting Events / Rentals and Lighting: Goodwin Event Rentals / Band: Brandy Brothers / Bride’s Gown: Style 2206 by Tara Keely / Paper Products and Veil: Lettered Lace (the bride) / Hair Stylist: Lindsey Melder / Makeup Artist: Julie Earnhart / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mishka / Bridesmaid Dresses: Rebecca Taylor / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Pimiento Cheese: Marty’s at Miday and The Branded Butcher
Amy Arrington Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!