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Happy Valentine’s Day week, belles! We’ve been saving some of our most fabulous pink weddings for this week, and we hope y’all love them as much as we do!

When it comes to meaningful venues, Catherine and Kyle hit the jackpot. They were married at the incredibly beautiful Swan House, which was built in 1926 by Catherine’s great great grandparents, and has since been the venue for many special family memories. The Swan House is an iconic landmark in Atlanta, and it was the perfect place for Catherine and Kyle to combine their New York City sensibilities and Catherine’s Southern roots at their stylish wedding.

Thanks so much for Pink Shoe Photography for sharing Catherine and Kyle’s wedding with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. This was my favorite part–I wish I could do it all over again! I found my dress in New York at Mark Ingram. The designer was having a trunk show and I decided to try on my dress. It was perfect and so unique. I’ve never seen anything like it.

We decided to do a first look because we knew we were both going to be really nervous. We felt it would help us relax and enjoy the ceremony.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No we did not. It would have been too nerve wracking!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My good friend read the E.E. Cummings poem “I carry your heart with me (I carry it in).”

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The location. It was very special to me because my great great grandparents built the house in 1926. My father spent time there, and since he is no longer with us, I wanted to honor him and have his presence with us that day.

How amazing are these linens? The stripes are such a unique touch, but the neutral colors keep the overall look classic and elegant.

Our wedding cake was amazing! My friend had the same lady make it for her wedding three years ago, and the moment I tasted it, I knew that it had to be my cake. The lady is the head baker at Ingles grocery store in northern Georgia and she makes a mean buttercream!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Being with all of our friends and family for the whole weekend. Our guests traveled from all over the USA and we were so thankful for that. We loved celebrating with everyone and getting down on the dance floor.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met on a cold, snowy January night at a bar in New York City, where we were both attending separate birthday parties. I approached him because I thought he was good looking, and we ended up hanging out all night! At the end of the night, I realized I left my credit card at the first bar I went to that evening, and since it was too late to go get it, Kyle asked me if I wanted to meet with him this week so we could get it together. Since then, we have been inseparable.
Tell us all about the proposal! I went to happy hour with my girlfriends after work and told Kyle I would be home at 9 p.m. He was nervously waiting in our apartment for me to come home, and I ended up staying out until 10:30. When I finally walked in the door, he had balloons, fake cocktail rings and Full House’s Jessie and the Rippers song “Forever” playing in the background. It was an amazing moment that I will never forget.
When did y’all get married? April 6, 2013
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. I walked down the aisle to a string quartet playing Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and we left to The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love.” Our first dance was to Nikki Bluhm’s cover of “Danny’s Song.” We had a very difficult time agreeing on what our first dance song should be, and the week before our wedding, we went to see Nikki Bluhm in concert. She and her husband sang “Danny’s Song” and we fell in love with it!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? All of the food was traditional Southern food. Not living in the South has me constantly craving Southern food, so I thought it would be the perfect way to honor my heritage. Plus, I wanted the out-of-towners to experience the best food in the world!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Two of Kyle’s sisters became pregnant and were due around the day of our wedding. They were unable to attend, and it was really heartbreaking not to have them there. The older sister ended up scheduling an emergency c-section and gave birth during our rehearsal dinner. So thankfully, they were at home in Brooklyn and not at the dinner!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Elope! Just kidding! Surround yourself with good people, don’t get caught up in other people’s drama, and don’t stress too much. Everything will end up perfectly.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are still living in New York City and hope to eventually move back down South. We are excited to see where life takes us!

Photographer: Pink Shoe Photography / Planner: Debbie Felker, by Special Arrangement, LLC / Venue: The Swan House / Florist, Catering, and Rentals: Keith Robinson, Gloriosa / Cake Baker: Tammy Aldridge / Bride’s Gown: Junko Yoshioka-Rio / Paper Products: Peggy Peel and Paces Paper / Bride’s Veil: Saks / Hair Stylist: Debbe Myers / Makeup Artist: Page Luther / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BCBG / Groom’s Attire: Red by Hugo Boss / Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Band: Anita

lisa Written with love by Lisa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Wedding Rental Supplies @ Apex Tent and Party reply

    Absolutely gorgeous and touching wedding! Loved this beautiful place and also the beautiful details.

  2. avatar Emily reply

    I adore Catherine’s gown, and of course the romantic Swan House is a jaw-dropping backdrop for their wedding! So fun to hear more of its history. Also, I just found out that scenes from Catching Fire were filmed here, which makes this an even more exciting venue! :)

  3. avatar Amanda {Planning It All} reply

    Gorgeous venue!

  4. avatar Dana reply

    the flower in the cup is an adorable detail!

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  7. avatar Sarah G reply

    So lovely! I’m thinking about having my wedding here as well. Do you know where the reception was held? Thanks!

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Welcome back for more purple prettiness, y’all! Let’s dive right in!

Eddie said her favorite design element was either the dinner tables or candy station. While the candy station is divine, I’d have to go with the tables! Come on! Look at the ghost chairs plus that fantastic petal-adorned white linen! Major swoon! I also love how Eddie used feminine design details, like the lace runner and light lavender napkins, to compliment the industrial-ness of King Plow.

We’re so thankful Harwell Photography shared this lovely lavender day with us!

Oh my fun! What a great way to do the table numbers! Love the balloons!

That linen – oh my!

We stuck to the down home country/city feel that probably only makes sense in a place like Atlanta! It was hot, the kids were playing, guest were drinking and visiting, and overall, everyone had a great time! We followed that up with a post-wedding BBQ the next day at our house. It was the best time I’ve had spending time with friends and family.

How much fun does a post-wedding BBQ with all your friends and family sound?!

I remember Jordan being extremely nervous because he is not a dancer! I chose Freddie Jackson’s “You Are My Lady” because its one of his favorite songs and I thought it would relax him. He did well.

The cotton candy was like nothing I had ever tasted before! Coming from a town where the yearly fair was “must do,” you could probably guess that I have eaten lots of cotton candy!

Y’all may not know this, but our very own Kristin is an avid county fair fan! She hasn’t missed one in many many years!

What was your reception like?  Fun, easy, kid-friendly!
Did you have a cocktail hour?  Yes we did! The open bar kept all of our guests happy while the room was flipped.
What kind of food did you serve during the cocktail hour, dinner and dessert? Sliders, petite deserts and finger foods.
Favorite design element of your big day: I would have to say that it was probably the dinner tables and the candy “guest favors” station. The cotton candy was like nothing I had ever tasted before! Coming from a town where the yearly fair was “must do,” you could probably guess that I have eaten lots of cotton candy!
Describe your wedding cake: It was all white with white cake and had a large white garden rose that cascaded down the side.
What was the scariest? When I first walked out with my dad. I wasn’t sure if I was going to smile or cry! I made it with no tears and was surprisingly relaxed!
What was the biggest challenge you faced when planning your wedding? Trying to keep the budget down. We had to decide what was important to both of us for our special day. As a woman, you realize quickly that all of those wedding fantasies you’ve had in your head for all of these years really aren’t necessities, especially when you’re over budget!
What range did your budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
Did you take a honeymoon? Yes! We went to the Amalfi coast of Italy!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future?   We are raising our sons, working on one more addition to our family and working hard to maintain successful businesses in our community.
What advice would you give to someone planning his or her wedding?  Relax, try not to sweat the small things, and remember that if you don’t have it done by the week of, not to stress yourself out. Just let it go. Things will still turn out perfectly!

Harwell Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Kris reply

    Holy cow, it’s all so beautiful! I’m in purple heaven! I wish I could have been a guest at this one :)

  2. avatar Tali reply

    Your cake is gorgeous and that dress on you…. stunning! Congrats!

  3. avatar Lauren reply

    Thanks for the feature! Loved being part of this amazing wedding!

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Ready for basically the cutest love story ever, y’all? Listen up: Michelle + Paul knew they wanted to marry each other when they were seventeen. Back then, Paul even dropped to one knee and asked Michelle to promise to marry him one day. (She said yes!) “Most people don’t think love is possible for young teenagers, but we knew we loved each other only a few months after we started dating,” said Michelle. Six years to the day after their first date, the two tied the knot at J & D Farms in Alabama. Read on for the rest of their courtship (including many more details of epic love story proportion!).

Their picnic reception was a way for them to do one of their favorite things for the first time as a married couple with their closest friends and family. We love that guests were able to mingle among the quilts and tables and then take home their picnic baskets! Big hugs to Simply Bloom Photography for sharing M + P’s lovely day with us!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Yes, we saw each other before the wedding. We wanted a moment between just the two of us instead of in front of the crowd of guests. It was hard to decide, but it was the best decision we made. It was sweet and relaxing and a special moment between just us, which is often unheard of on your wedding day!
Did you write your own vows? Yes, we wrote our own vows and read them to each other during the ceremony. Our wedding officiant had gone through marriage counseling with us, so we did include some the Biblical husband and wife responsibilities in our vows, but added our own special promises to each other. My favorite line in Paul’s vows to me was “I promise to always be thinking of you and will constantly give you all that I am and nothing that I am not.” Paul’s favorite line in my vows to him was, “I vow to love you more each day than I did the day before, and I look forward to seeing you carry 50 red roses.”

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Weather and food. It rained continuously the entire two weeks leading up to the wedding, and we had planned a completely outdoor wedding. The days before, we created a Plan A (it’s sunny), Plan B (it might rain) and Plan C (it’s raining). Praise the Lord, it stopped raining that morning and the sun was bright enough to dry the ground. We were blessed with one of the most beautiful sunsets the venue owner said he had seen all summer. It started raining as soon as the reception was over and everyone had left. As for food, I had a clear plan in mind of what I wanted the picnic reception to include. After meeting with several caterers, none of them could offer that exactly. We ended up doing everything ourselves. It was a team effort of my sister’s mother-in-law (who catered years ago), my mom, my sister and brother-in-law, my aunt and cousin, a church friend and her daughter, and one of my former college roommates. The menu was gourmet grilled cheese, chicken bites, pasta salad, Caesar salad, fresh fruit, fudge brownies, my homemade lemonade (I squeezed 120 lemons!) sweet tea and water with lime.

We wanted everything to be shabby chic, so the flowers were very whimsical. They were all shades of lavender and Robin’s egg blue. Instead of using large blooms, we used all sprigs and herbs. I wanted it to appear as if we picked the flowers from our backyard the morning of the wedding, which we actually did end up doing. My Aunt Jenna grew most of the flowers in her own yard the year leading up to the wedding and picked them the day before and day of the wedding to bring to the venue and assemble. We used sprigs of lavender, purple lantana, rosemary, lockspur, delphiniums, and baby’s breath, to name a few. Jenna arranged them in blue transparent mason jars with raffia bows tied around the lip then placed one on each picnic table and all around the reception area.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Mason jars for the flowers, quilts that were my great-grandmother’s that have been passed down through the generations, a barn as a focal point of the reception, Paul’s bowtie and seersucker jacket, a banjo and stand-up bass guitar and folk singing, our weddin’ sign, a vintage Model T station wagon for transporting guests from parking to the ceremony, drinks in mason jars with grey and white striped paper straws, a 1950’s two-tiered vintage table I found at the Country Living Fair, and the lead singer of the band (my friend Sharla) made us a personal quilt with our names and wedding date to sit on at the reception.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Paul and I grew up together. We started playing together after school when I was in second grade. His mother was a kindergarten teacher and my grandmother was a librarian. At age 13, we became best friends in marching band. We were “just friends,” but we both secretly had a crush on the other. The summer before my junior year of high school – I was drum major and Paul was the drum line captain – I had to call all of the section leaders to remind them of band camp and I called Paul last because I was nervous to talk on the phone with him. When I finally called him, we talked on the phone for five hours straight, chatting about how we wanted to travel the world one day and how we didn’t know we had so much in common. We didn’t want to get off the phone although I had to go (majorette practice was about to start and I had to unlock their practice building). Sitting there watching batons fly, I saw a silhouette in my peripheral. It was Paul. I asked him why he was there and he said, “I came to rescue you.” At that second, I left the building keys with the majorette captain, hopped in Paul’s car and went on what turned out to be our first date – a walk around Heritage Park and eating at Arby’s. Two days later on July 13, 2006, Paul officially asked me to be his girlfriend. Most people don’t think love is possible for young teenagers, but we knew we loved each other only a few months after we started dating. Paul even knew he wanted to marry me when we were 17. One night in my room he even got down on one knee and asked me to promise to marry him one day (I said “yes”). Then on July 13, 2007, Paul came to my house with a single red rose. He said, “This is one rose for one year of being in love with you. One day I won’t be able to carry them all.” That began the tradition of receiving a rose for every year we have been together on July 13.
Describe the proposal. On July 12, 2011, I went to sleep that night at my parents’ house as usual, and Paul was at school in Tuscaloosa. I was woken up at midnight by the sound of my door creaking open and could see a dark figure standing in my doorway. I was frightened because there was something that looked as if it was jolting out the sides of the figure’s body. I rose up and started whispering, “Hello? Hello?” I’m sure I didn’t sound very intimidating if someone was really trying to break into our house… Then the figure started walking toward me. Heart racing, I finally adjusted my eyes to focus. It was Paul. He was carrying five red roses. I couldn’t find my glasses and I was still somewhat groggy from sleep, so I didn’t really understand what was going on. I just kept asking him why he wasn’t at school like he should be. He assured me everything was fine, and he knelt next to my bed. He started reminding me of everything we had been through together, most of it at my house and in my room – the first time he came over to my house and we just talked and tossed popcorn into each others’ mouths, our first kiss, my recovery after gallbladder surgery when he sat next to me all day until I woke up. Then he said, “Right over there when we were 17, I asked you to marry me one day. I knew then what I know now, but this time I brought a ring.” He looked at the clock and brought to my attention that it was just after midnight, making this the first thing to happen on July 13. “Michelle, will you marry me?” I said, “Yes!”
In what month did you get married? July 13, 2012. It was our sixth anniversary.
How many guests attended your wedding? 100
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I actually found it online! It’s by Lyn Ashworth. I saw a picture and it fit all my criteria: tea length for our outdoor wedding, poofy to fulfill my need to be Cinderella, and in a romantically elegant material. I ordered it online (didn’t even try it on!) and it fit with minimal alterations.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. The wedding party walked in to Ben Rector’s “White Dress,” with a small break for everyone to stand up and the house doors to open at the verse, “She’s coming in on Friday and then the close spark…” That’s when I walked down the aisle. For the recessional, we walked back down the aisle to Dave Matthews Band’s “You and Me,” which we also danced to for our first dance.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: We had miniature cupcakes from Dreamcakes Bakery in Birmingham. The flavors were strawberry, lemon and coconut.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The picnic reception. Paul and I have always loved going on picnics together, so we wanted our first picnic as a married couple to be with all of our family and friends. We all sat on quilts on the ground and on picnic tables and ate dinner from individual family picnic baskets (which guests got to take home as their favors).
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? We ended up spending between $10,000 and $25,000.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The venue and photography.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Paul and I loved our first moments of seeing each other before the wedding. It was comforting and romantic and we realized that we were minutes away from starting an exciting new life together. Nothing else mattered.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Buy a wedding planning book the day after you get engaged (I recommend The Knot Book of Wedding Lists). Don’t let the tiny details stress you out because at the end of the day, you will still be married to the love of your life, which is much more important. Utilize the talents of friends and family members, and don’t worry about what other people want or think – it’s your wedding!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are looking forward to Paul graduating with his master’s degree and settling into a new job, wherever that may be!

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

    Love love love that someone executed the picnic reception, so well! I had this idea for a photo shoot I worked on last year – only 3 blankets/baskets. It’s wonderiful to see this come to life with lots of blankies and picnic tables – how fun!! So glad the weather held out and this coupld is SO darling! Congrats!

  2. avatar Kate Collison reply

    Congratulations, Michelle! You should send one of your beautiful photos to Lyn Ashworth so she can add you to “Real Brides” on her website! I saw your lovely wedding posted here and checked out the dress designer for one of my friends who’s still looking for her dream dress. Thanks so much for sharing your big day!

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    Not only is this one of the most charming weddings I’ve ever seen, I’m also a little choked up at their sweet story! What a beautiful couple!

  4. avatar YVETTE PRICE reply

    Just darling! Love the story behind this adorable couple!
    xoxoxo

  5. avatar Vania -SimplyBloom Photography, LLC reply

    thank you so much gals! we are honored to have our work on your site :D

  6. avatar Allie reply

    this wedding is gorgeous…very homey & them. i love that about weddings these days. it’s not about dressing up and having a party (well, sort of the party bit), but mostly just about having an event that represents the special day and who you are.

  7. avatar Emily reply

    ADORE this couple’s story! The part about the roses just does me in…

  8. avatar Lauren reply

    The photography is gorgeous, of course! I love the picnic theme and how cozy this wedding feels. What a sweet story!

  9. avatar Sarah reply

    Such a beautiful wedding and great story. July 13th, 2006 is mine and my boyfriend’s anniversary of our first date too!

  10. avatar NC Wedding Planner- Orangerie Events reply

    I love the idea of a picnic reception! Such a fun spin on the traditional wedding reception. Very unique! Thanks for sharing!

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Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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