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It’s always so inspiring to hear from a bride and groom who were deeply purposeful and thoughtful through every step of their wedding planning. Anna and Matt are that couple in spades–after deciding to fulfill Anna’s dream of tying the knot in her home state of Georgia, they set out to plan a “peachy affair” that fit their personalities to a tee and graciously welcomed their guests to Atlanta. I loved reading the story of how Anna chose her stunner of a gown (“finding your wedding dress is like finding yourself”), the heart behind the readings and songs they selected, and the fun ways they tied Anna’s Georgia roots into their reception in particular. While they may live on the West Coast now, there was no denying the fact this was a Southern celebration through and through, and I can’t think of a sweeter start to Anna and Matt’s marriage than their Georgian Terrace wedding!

Thank you so much to our talented Blue Ribbon Vendor Amy Arrington Photography for sharing this gorgeous day with us!

Since Matt and I live on the West Coast, we knew we’d have many guests from different parts of the country attend our wedding in Atlanta. It was important to us that we incorporated the richness of the South in our wedding for our guests to experience and enjoy. We welcomed guests with baskets of treats produced by local Atlanta vendors: boiled peanuts, grits bits, pecan bars, chocolate peaches, and Coca Cola, to name a few. We also served Atlanta favorites as late night treats at the reception, including King of Pops and Krispy Kreme donuts.

At the risk of sounding completely cliché, I now tell my newly engaged girlfriends that finding your wedding dress is like finding yourself. One weekend last October, my mom flew to Los Angeles to help me find my dress. We literally went everywhere, from Pasadena to Orange County to Beverly Hills. Nothing I tried on felt right, or made me feel like myself. There’s something about living in Los Angeles that I’ve found more so than in other cities: the city sort of frees you up to be yourself. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and, in my opinion, this city reminds you of that more often than not. I had all but given up when my mom and I made one final stop at Panache Bridal Beverly Hills. I looked at a dress on the rack and knew it was my dress. It was enchanting and unique, and best of all, I felt like myself when I put it on.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! I borrowed my best friend’s veil that she wore at her wedding. My something blue was my shoes. For my something old, I wore my mom’s antique ring on my right hand, and my something new was my dress and earrings.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Just being in Los Angeles while the wedding and the majority of the preparation was taking place in Atlanta. My mom, our wedding planner Kathleen, and several of my mom’s friends really made the wedding happen. They’re the ones who went to tastings and put together wedding baskets, favors, etc. I guess in retrospect, Matt and I had the easiest job of all–we got to enjoy the wedding day without having to do all of the heavy lifting preparation work.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No, we wanted to savor the moment of seeing one another for the first time when I walked down the aisle.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We went the traditional route and used classic vows that our pastor helped us find.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Matt and I each selected a reading. For mine, I chose Psalm 103; a wedding is such a praise-worthy event and I deeply wanted Christ to be glorified in every aspect of the day. Matt selected Colossians 3:12-17, as he felt these were great words of instruction and grace for us as we entered into marriage together.

I had always known I wanted to get married back home in Atlanta. With so many of our friends and family making the trek from the West Coast and around the globe, we wanted to provide them with a truly Southern, Atlanta experience. The Georgian Terrace was just the place–it was where “Gone with the Wind” held their world premiere. Other than that, we knew we wanted to be married in a church, so we decided to have our ceremony just down the road from the reception at Peachtree Christian Church.

Out of the entire wedding process, one of my favorite things to think about during the planning was the flowers. Katie McDaniel at Cloth of Gold creates the most ethereal arrangements that are so unique and customized to each bride. Our arrangements featured some of my favorite flowers: peonies, ranunculus, and Juliet roses. The bouquets were loose and whimsical and the arrangements at each table were soft and sprawling. Katie also incorporated The Peach Truck’s delicious peaches into the decor at each table–at each place setting, each guest had their name card attached to a peach. Matt even came up with a list of different peach varietals that are produced in Georgia as the names of the tables. As wedding favors, we asked guests to “Be a Peach and Spread the Love” with peach jam jars. All in all, it was a peachy affair!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I’m convinced Atlanta has the best sweets–it is the Peach State, after all! With that in mind, we offered guests a selection of desserts, from an assortment of flavors of King of Pops popsicles, to Krispy Kreme donuts, mini strawberry milkshakes, and a traditional wedding cake.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? It can be challenging at times, but try to enjoy every moment! Getting married and planning a wedding is such a gift and a blessing. It goes by so quickly, so treasure that time and try to experience as much of it as possible. Find joy in even the difficult things, like managing RSVPs and seating arrangements–there’s beauty and fun in even those things!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Matt and I are from opposite ends of the country. He was raised in Rhode Island and I was born and raised in Marietta, Georgia. After college, we both moved to Los Angeles. Matt attended grad school at UCLA and I got a job in the entertainment industry. We met and fell in love in what we consider the greatest city on earth. We attended the same church and met there through mutual friends. At the time, Matt was working as a recruiter and sent me a Snapchat video where he typed out the words “Will you go to Korean BBQ with me on Friday?” We share a love for Korean food and had talked about it the week prior. I responded in Google-translated Korean (I don’t speak Korean, y’all), “Sure, that sounds great!” We went out for Korean BBQ that Friday. On our date, I told him that I actually had to cut out early to pick up some girlfriends at Disneyland. It wasn’t that I was wanting to cut the date short–I’m just a terrible procrastinator and told him at the last minute that I had plans later that night too. Matt was so sweet and offered to drive me out to Anaheim (an hour-long drive!) to pick up my friends. We had a blast with my friends on the drive back and it was then that I knew I liked him and could see a future with him.
Tell us all about the proposal! Matt is full of surprises. On Labor Day 2014, I flew home to Atlanta to spend the weekend with my family, while Matt had told me he was going camping with some friends in Northern California. When I arrived home, my mom kept asking me questions about Matt-–how we were doing, when we’d be getting engaged, where we’d want to get married, etc. I was starting to get a little annoyed by all the questions, and texted Matt Saturday morning and told him I was feeling sad that we weren’t engaged yet. Matt told me not to worry, but that he was losing cell service (being on a camping trip and all) and that we’d talk about it more later. That day, my mom and I went shopping in Atlanta. On the way home, she “took a wrong turn” and pulled into the parking lot at the Atlanta Historical Center. I looked over and my sweet mom had started crying, which immediately led to me tear up as well. She said to me, “I want you to get out of the car and walk down that hill; there’s the most incredible future waiting for you.” She was in on it the whole time! Out popped Matt, who walked up to the car and escorted me to the garden and said a million wonderful things that I can’t remember now, and asked me to spend forever with him. I said yes. We walked over to the Swan Coach House, my favorite place in the city, took pictures, and met up with my best friend and her husband. After the proposal, we returned to my parents’ house, where all of my neighbors and many of my friends from childhood were waiting for an engagement party. We both felt so loved and excited for the future together!
When did y’all get married? June 13, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Peachtree Christian Church has one of the largest organs in the Southeast. It really is stunning and sounds so beautiful, so we wanted music that was both Christ-centered and allowed the organ to do what it was created to do. I walked down the aisle to “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.” At the reception, Matt and I danced to Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight.” Continuing with our Georgia theme, my dad and I danced to “Georgia on My Mind.” Matt and his mom danced to “That’s Amore!”
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Our Christian faith is central to who we are and is one of the reasons we were initially even interested in one another. Throughout our engagement, we met with our pastor and his wife and regularly discussed Christian marriage. We also read a few books together and began praying with one another.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? There are endless options and ways to spend money when planning a wedding. From the type of wine you serve to the type of linens used, you can really spend as much or as little as you want. When we started planning, we quickly realized our budget could get out of control if we didn’t prioritize. We often asked ourselves, what are the “must haves” and what are the “nice to haves?” Often, the “nice to haves” got left on the cutting room floor to make room for the “must haves.”
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We’re just settling into our new apartment together in Los Angeles, enjoying our community and our friends, and taking life one day at a time.

Photographer: Amy Arrington Photography / Videographer: Artworks Wedding Cinema / Planner: Kathleen Benedict / Ceremony Venue: Peachtree Christian Church / Reception Venue and Caterer: The Georgian Terrace Hotel / Florist: Cloth of Gold / Cake Baker: Frosted Pumpkin / Rentals: Cover Ups Linens / Band: Momentum Party Band / Invitations: Aerialist Letterpress / Day-of Paper Products: Paper Daisies Stationery / Bride’s Gown: St. Pucchi / Bridal Salon: Panache Bridal / Bride’s Hair Accessories: BHLDN / Hair and Makeup: Logan Baker / Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Juliette” in Cameo Pink by Jenny Yoo / Menswear: Calvin Klein Tuxedo / Event Signage: Stitch & Petal / Calligraphy: Everthine Designs / Peaches: The Peach Truck / Trolley: The Historic Marietta Trolley Company

Amy Arrington is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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  1. avatar Georgian Terrace Wedding : Anna + Matt reply

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Oh, friends, nothing gets my heart skipping a beat quite like a fabulous wedding gown! Mary Catherine is a designer herself, so it was pretty much a guarantee that she was going to choose something amazing for her big day. With the help of Joan Pillow (who actually helped me find my wedding dress, too!) and a bunch of her favorite ladies, Mary Catherine fell head over heels for the Le Spose di Giò beauty that ended up being a perfect fit for her and Chaz’s elegant Swan House wedding. It certainly set the tone for what was to come: an intimate ceremony followed by an elegant, but super fun, reception!

We’re so glad Paperlily Photography was on hand to capture this special day!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My girlfriends and I have a “Sisterhood of the Traveling Garter” that we pass around to each bride. After the wedding, each girl stitches a bow to the garter in the color of her bridesmaids’ dresses. It is so unique and special, and served as my something borrowed. My something blue was totally last minute when I realized I needed something blue, so I just painted one pinky toe blue! My wedding ring is a family heirloom (something old), and my earrings were new.

I have been a dress designer for years but I really didn’t want to make my own wedding dress–too much pressure. I had a big date planned in January with my mother, two best friends, future sister-in-law, and future mother in-law to all come to Atlanta to go shopping for my dress and the bridesmaid dresses. Then, during my mother’s visit for Christmas, we ended up next door to one bridal salon, Joan Pillow, and decided to go in just for kicks. I tried on the first dress I saw (allover lace) and my mom and I just knew it was the one. Or so we thought! Fast forward to January with the whole crew, and we headed to Joan Pillow first. I tried on the same dress that I had a month before, and everyone said it was pretty. Feeling a little guilty I had already chosen my dress without everyone, I decided to try on some more. The fourth dress was something I thought I would never choose in a million years, since it was silk and not lace. When I came out in it, everyone gasped, and I knew, for real this time, that this was the one! I later discovered that I had previously pinned that dress on Pinterest. Fate!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We fell in love with the Swan House–it is so stunningly beautiful. We had never been to a wedding there before and wanted ours to be unique. Chaz is a big skier and loves Colorado, so we toyed with the idea of having our wedding there, but ultimately decided on our current town!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I was really surprised about how calm I was despite the horrible weather conditions. The ceremony was planned to be outside in front of the magnificent Swan House stairs. The back-up option was a smaller, less desirable room indoors. Chaz and I touched base in the morning and decided we would tell our wedding planner at 2 P.M. if we wanted to have the wedding indoors or outdoors. Around 2, Chaz called me and said, “Well, it’s about that time.” I looked outside and saw the rain pouring, but somehow, felt a sense of calm come over me. I no longer cared about the weather. I was marrying the most incredible man and felt like the luckiest girl alive. Everyone I love was in town to celebrate our marriage. We were about to have a fantastic night ahead of us. Life was good. In the end, the indoor room turned out to be intimate and beautiful. The dimly lit chandeliers and gorgeous floral arrangements made the ambiance just perfect.

Describe your wedding flowers. My wedding bouquet was a blend of white garden roses, white hydrangea, and lush foliage. We had a mix of low and tall floral arrangements at the reception that displayed white hydrangea, green hydrangea, white garden roses, white spray roses, white ranunculus, white phalaenopsis orchids, ferns, and boxwood.

I wanted a very classic wedding cake with small details. Our cake was five round tiers, and each layer had a different filling (french vanilla with cream cheese filling, carrot cake with cream cheese filling, chocolate cake with chocolate mousse, ganache and sweet buttercream icing). For the groom’s cake, we chose a golf theme honoring the fact that Chaz is a very talented golfer!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I was obsessed with the band, The American Flyers! They came highly recommended through an agency and they absolutely did not disappoint. They are truly talented musicians. Everyone was dancing and singing like crazy all night!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I met Chaz’s best friend while I was out in Atlanta one night and he later introduced us. Chaz was commuting between London and NYC every week for work, so we got to know each other mainly through the phone and g-chat! After a couple of weeks, we went on our first date and the rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! We had a trip to Grand Cayman planned for Chaz’s 30th birthday. The night before we left, I came home from work to find candles and rose petals going up the stairs in the dark. It was so beautiful and romantic. I walked to the top to find Chaz on one knee!
When did y’all get married? September 26, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No. Chaz wanted seeing me for the first time during the ceremony to be special, and I wanted to honor his wishes.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the ceremony, we had a string quartet. “Moon River” and “The Prayer” were two of the prelude songs, which I chose because I’ve always adored them. The wedding party walked down the aisle to the always beautiful “Canon in D” and I walked to the classic “Trumpet Voluntary.” We had our band learn “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran for our first dance–it is such a touching song with a lovely message. They did a fabulous job!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The food had some Southern flair! A few highlights included the bacon-wrapped green beans, tiny tenderloin biscuits, creamed potatoes, cornmeal sage roasted chicken, sugared pecan apple salad, peach baked brie, and butternut squash risotto.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Everyone told me to sit back and take in the day, because it flies by. So true! I took this advice to heart and made sure to soak in as much as possible.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are enjoying life in Atlanta with our golden doodle, Chloe! We recently bought a house and are looking forward to decorating and renovating our master bath. We have a lot of excitement going on in our careers, but also enjoy spending as much time as possible with our family and friends.

Photographer: Paperlily Photography / Planner: Courtney Surber Paz / Venue: The Swan House / Florist: Andy Beach / Wedding Cake: Frosted Pumpkin / Caterer: Affairs to Remember / Rentals: Peachtree Tents and Events / Band: The American Flyers / Paper Products: Brighten my Day / Bride’s Gown: “Classica CL-10” by Le Spose di Gio / Bridal Salon: Joan Pillow / Hair Stylist: Josie Labara / Bride’s Shoes: Alexander Wang / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Wtoo / Groom’s Attire: Sid Mashburn

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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When it comes to weddings, and many other things for that matter, I’m a firm believer that simple is often best. A few carefully chosen, purposeful, beautiful details that can stand on their own without being cluttered by too much “stuff” can have such an impact, and more importantly, this approach leaves guests the mental space to focus on you and your new husband, rather than be distracted as they try to take in countless activities and displays. Lauren and Jeremiah are a perfect example of this lovely restraint–they selected a naturally beautiful venue, accented it with a few meaningful touches (the lily of the valley bouquet Jeremiah had sent to Lauren’s bridal suite, and the strawberry shortcake they cut into that nodded to Lauren’s childhood tradition, to name a few), and focused on enjoying their day with their many out-of-town guests. I can only imagine what beautiful memories they have of the time they got to spend with the ones they love on their wedding day!

Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Perry Vaile for sharing this day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I was looking for a combination of delicate, classic, bohemian, and breezy. The designer Rosa Clara really unified these aspirations and included the subtlest hint of sexy. Miraculously, during a weekend off, there was a Rosa Clara trunk show in Raleigh! I was completely enamored with the second dress I tried on. My mother and sisters live in Michigan, so we had to resort to FaceTime for their approval–which was unanimous.

We chose to do a first look because we wanted to maximize our time spent with out-of-town guests. Many of our family and friends traveled from the Northeast and Midwest to North Carolina to celebrate our wedding. It was the perfect choice for us–I do not believe I could have waited until the evening to kiss him!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We had both our ceremony and reception at the spectacular Merrimon-Wynne house. It was important to us to provide our guests with an easy experience, due to the fact that many had traveled to share the weekend with us. I looked at a number of places and none could compare with the elegance and glamour of Merrimon-Wynne. The clincher was the insanely gorgeous bridal suites (yes, there are two!), where we primped and preened all morning.

There was beautiful sunny and breezy weather throughout our wedding day, until the moment I walked down the aisle. When our reverend began speaking, the skies opened up and poured rain! The wedding party scurried inside and we completed the marriage ceremony in a cozy, ornate hallway, surrounded by our loved ones who were spilling into rooms and peering around staircases. The intimacy of the ceremony reinforced that marriage is ultimately about love and family.

Describe your wedding flowers. We chose a miscellany of shades of green and white. The flowers were free-flowing and loose, with ample herbs incorporated. My mother and I purchased a variety of mercury glass vessels and used them to make the centerpieces. Jeremiah has a green thumb and filled the vases with potted sage and lavender. He also gifted a lily of the valley (my childhood favorite flower) bouquet to the bridal suite, which perfectly matched our color scheme.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Jeremiah’s siblings are incredibly talented musicians and vocalists, and they kindly performed a song by Kishi Bashi called “Q&A” during our ceremony. The song reads like poetry and lent itself well to an acoustic performance. Our first dance was to “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard, performed by the Vitamin String Quartet. The movie “Once” was the first movie for which I stayed awake for the entirety of the film, so it had some playful meaning, and Jeremiah thought the tempo lent itself well to a foxtrot.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We first crossed paths during my Tufts Medical School years while Jeremiah was completing his residency program in Otolaryngology. There was a definite attraction, but we were very work-oriented during those years! Our romance (inconveniently) began when I moved to North Carolina to start my own surgical training. After one whirlwind and surreal travel weekend, we both knew there was something special between us that was worth the effort and occasional pain of long distance.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jeremiah and I had a standing Friday night champagne date to treat ourselves after travel. The evening started like most others–he had to work late, so I fell asleep on his couch. We were casually enjoying our bubbles on the couch when he completely surprised me by bending down on one knee and promising to make my smile his lifelong goal. After I tearfully and happily agreed, he whisked me off to a romantic French dinner in Cambridge, followed by a romantic getaway weekend at a cabin in Maine. The weekend was complete with skis, lobsters, and rare sunny Maine snow!
When did y’all get married? May 9, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we crafted our entire ceremony with Reverend Renteria. It was an enjoyable experience to pick and choose the different aspects of the ceremony together. Our mutual favorite phrase was a playful and all-encompassing quote from George Bernard Shaw: “You are my inspiration and my folly. You are my light across the sea, my million nameless joys, and my day’s wage. You are my divinity, my madness, my selfishness, my transfiguration and purification. You are my rapscallion fellow vagabond, my tempter and star.”
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. My family has a long-standing tradition of enjoying strawberry shortcakes on summer evenings, and since strawberries are in season in May, we opted for strawberry shortcakes with lemon cream and thyme. To simplify our lives, Posh Nosh Catering created the dessert as well as our dinner.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Time! I did a lot of wedding planning in the early morning hours between consults and responded to emails between surgical cases. It was a nightmare to schedule my dress fittings during regular work hours!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Try to make the experience as playful as possible, because it can easily become very stressful. I accomplished this by convincing my fiancé to walk in the woods or head to a brewery so we could discuss wedding details.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? I need to finish my residency and Jeremiah is starting a new job, then we can finally embark on a more “normal” life together. We are running a marathon and share a mutual enjoyment of hiking and adventuring.

Photographer: Perry Vaile / Venue and Planning: The Merrimon-Wynne House / Florist: Watered Garden / Caterer and Dessert Baker: Posh Nosh Catering / Rentals: Party Reflections / Band: The Reckless Brothers / Bride’s Gown: “Ubeda” by Rosa Clara / Bridal Salon: Traditions by Anna / Hair Stylist: Parlor Dry Bar / Makeup Artist: Thuy Larker / Bride’s Shoes: “Landmark Metallic Strappy Heel” by Badgley Mischka / Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic / Officiant: Reverend Robin Renteria

Perry Vaile is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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  1. avatar Julie reply

    Hi! Your wedding pictures are gorgeous! My daughter purchased the same dress and is getting married in June! I am a seamstress and trying to figure out how to bustle it. Can you send me a picture of the back bustled up.? I see it from the side and it looks beautiful! Thanks!!! Julie

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