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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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Allie and Tom shared with us that the most Southern part of their wedding was the tradition that was hidden in all the details–I simply love that! We all know how important tradition is here in the South, and finding a way to include those things in the sweet details of a wedding day makes them all the more special. Of course, when your family’s home is as beautiful and filled with memories as Allie’s aunt’s is, the reception venue is a no-brainer! Built in the 1850s by Allie’s ancestors, the two were married at the stunning plantation where her mother grew up, and where her parents had held their reception. I can’t think of a more romantic way to celebrate becoming husband and wife than under the twinkle lights and Spanish moss-covered trees that have been a part of so many important family milestones throughout the years!

Gracious, we’re happy Britt Croft shared this lovely day with us!

My something borrowed was the pair of earrings my cousin lent me. I had a small blue ribbon sewn onto my garter for my something blue. My something old was my great-grandmother’s wedding band that my grandmother gave me the day she met Thomas, because she already knew he was the one. I have worn it every day since. My something new was my shoes. I wore Toms for the comfort…and to have my husband’s name on the back of my shoes!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I distinctly remember the moment the doors to the church opened and I saw Thomas’ expression seeing me in my dress. His face lit up and I knew he felt the same way that I did. It was then that all the nerves disappeared and I was able to calmly walk down the aisle to marry the man made specifically for me.

I think the most Southern part of our wedding was the tradition hidden in all of the details. We were married in the same church as my parents and grandparents, and where my mother, brother, and I were baptized. We held the reception at my aunt’s house. This house has recently come into my aunt and uncle’s possession, but was originally built in the 1850s by my ancestors and is the home my mother grew up in. It was also the same place my parents held their reception. It is a beautiful plantation about an hour outside of Savannah, where the trees are covered by Spanish moss and the fireflies come out at night to dance.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The cigar bar. I had shared with my family that I planned to surprise Thomas with a cigar bar because he is very fond of smoking cigars on special occasions. My aunts heard my plan and decided to do it for me as a gift to us. They pulled out a sofa, two chairs, a coffee table, and a side table, all of which were vintage. They filled the table with cigars and hung a chandelier over it. My cousin’s wife even made a framed chalkboard sign announcing “Tom’s Cigar Bar.” It was probably the most popular spot of the entire reception.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My wedding planner was my savior. I rented all of my furniture from him and he was also my florist–quite the jack of all trades. He was very good about saying “We can use this furniture here at the ceremony and then here at the reception” or “We can use these pew markers again at the reception as table accents.” He knew that I didn’t want to be wasteful or spend money that wasn’t necessary, and he was very respectful of that and resourceful.

Our wedding cake was simple, yet elegant. The base was cream frosting and it had the same flowers as were in the bouquets cascading down the sides. We worked with a marvelous baker who let us pick unconventional flavors, like chocolate peanut butter and sweet peach. However, it was the groom’s cake that stole the show. Tom and I met at Auburn and wanted to pay tribute to this. The bottom layer of the groom’s cake was decorated in tiger stripes, the middle layer contained the “AU” symbol, and on the top was a fondant sculpture depicting the Toomer’s oak covered in toilet paper, with our initials carved in the trunk.

See Allie and Tom’s wedding video by Still Co. below!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Thomas and I met in college. We attended Auburn University and spent our senior year falling in love. We were first introduced by two friends who were dating at the time, but initially, we had no interest in starting a relationship. We kept spending time together through our mutual friends, and eventually, we started to hang out just the two of us. After a year, we realized we had been dating for a while without even realizing it! He graduated and moved to Miami for law school, and we decided that long distance was worth it.
Tell us all about the proposal! I have visited Edisto Beach, South Carolina with my extended family every year for a week since I was born, and my mom has been every year since she was a little girl. In fact, this year was the fiftieth anniversary of the original trip! My parents recently bought a house on this beach, so Thomas and I decided to take a long weekend vacation to their house for our three-year anniversary. Before we left for dinner one night, we walked to the beach with a blanket and letters we had written to recap our three years together. The plan was to read the letters and then place them in a bottle and send them out to sea. As Thomas finished reading his letter, his closing remarks were “I am excited to see what the next three years hold, but more than that, I am excited to see what the rest of my life holds with you. Allison Victoria Filipowski, will you marry me?” I was so excited that as soon as I was done saying yes, I immediately started to run home to share the news with my parents, who were also staying at the house that weekend. To my surprise, both of our families were at the house to share in the celebration. And of course, we saved the letters, so there was no littering!
When did y’all get married? June 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 175
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look. Whenever I imagined my wedding, it had always been with the idea that the first time Tom and I would see each other would be as I was walking down the aisle. Our wedding was so set in tradition, I wanted to keep it that way. Also, I knew that if we did a first look, I felt like it would put a lot of pressure on Tom’s reaction to my dress, and that didn’t seem fair. His reaction when the doors of the church opened was perfect, and I am glad we made the decision we did.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. However, instead of saying “I do,” we finished with “This is my solemn vow.” It felt very special for us to share how committed we are to one another.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Thomas and I had been dating for almost five years, and our engagement was a year and a half. We have really tried to take our time with every step of our relationship and savor each milestone. We took this time to discuss everything from where we want to raise our family to what values are most important and need to be passed along. We’re very lucky because we agree on almost everything. We’ve never come to a crossroad where we couldn’t find a compromise. The most important thing, we have found, has been communication. We are a very open couple, for better or worse.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Find a few key parts of your wedding that mean the most to you. Let those be the areas you focus on and let everything else work itself out. Everything will come together at the end and your memories will be of those few important details.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We hope to really take some time to savor being married and a party of two. We want a family, but we are going to take a few years to enjoy being just the two of us. We want to travel all around the globe!

Photographer: Britt Croft / Videographer: Still Co. / Planner, Rentals and Lighting: James Carlson / Ceremony Venue: Jerusalem Lutheran Church / Reception Venue: Family Home / Florist: JoAnn’s Florist / Caterer and Wedding Cake Baker: Savannah’s Hall of Cakes / DJ: All About You Entertainment / Bride’s Gown: “Danae” by Sottero and Midgley / Hair and Makeup: Taylor of 30 Volume Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Toms / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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One of the “job hazards” of working at Southern Weddings is suffering from an occasional bout of wedding guest envy, and I could definitely say that today about Liz and Jim’s lucky loved ones! First of all, they seem like such a fun couple–just read about how they met (“As it turns out, if you ask the internet for an attractive, nice guy who likes the outdoors and wouldn’t mind dating a girl in the Army, you get Jim Perkins.”) or Jim’s equally sweet and amusing recount of his proposal. Second, their ceremony looks like it was so touching, from Liz being walked down the aisle by both her parents, to the personal vows she and Jim exchanged. And last but not least? Brunch, y’all. Any wedding with a biscuit bar, a waffle bar, AND syrup that was made by the groom’s family is alright by me!

Thanks so much to Elizabeth Fogarty for sharing Liz and Jim’s lovely celebration with us!

One of my bridesmaids allowed me to borrow the veil that her mother had made for her when she got married in 2013. As my something blue, I wore my mother’s diamond and sapphire earrings. For my something old, I wore a diamond cross that has been passed down through three generations of my family as a 16th birthday gift (first to my grandmother, then my mother, then me). Just before the ceremony, I gave gifts to my bridesmaids and my mother. My mom received a small David Yurman ring, and it turned out that she had called Jim ahead of time to find out what gift I was planning to give her. Just before the ceremony, she gave me a matching ring to wear on my right hand.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did! We had a very brief ceremony, but it certainly embodied our personalities and our love for each other. Jim’s favorite line from my vows was when I declared in front of everyone “You know me better than anyone else…even Mom.” My favorite line from his vows was when he used a phrase he says almost daily: “I will keep you safe, protected, and loved.”

Did you pull any wedding inspiration from memories you have together? Tell us about it! The trail mix bar was a symbol of our love of the outdoors. The idea for corn hole came up on one of our dates after we got engaged, when we played corn hole with some of Jim’s friends before a Seattle Sounders game. We have spent lots of time with family and friends and their children, so we chose to have a “kid parade” instead of flower girls and a ring bearer, in order to incorporate all the children who attended the wedding–there were 14 of them!

We chose to get married in DC because it was halfway between our families–mine is in North Carolina and Jim’s is in Connecticut. We knew we wanted to be outside, and the venue we chose was an Audubon Naturalist Society sanctuary. It was lovely for our May wedding–green and lush.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We kept our flowers simple, and did big signs written in calligraphy instead of programs and menus for every guest.

Our favorite detail was incorporating our parents’ recipes into the reception meal. We had both a biscuit and a waffle bar for our brunch reception. The biscuits were a North Carolina recipe perfected by my parents, and the syrup for the waffles was made by Jim’s parents in Connecticut. They also made maple leaf bottle favors of the syrup that served double duty as escort cards.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I have a thing for French macarons. Our caterer was able to make pink, white, and blue macarons for our wedding, along with a ceremonial cutting cake. We love that we got that classic cake cutting picture without having a real wedding cake.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. As it turns out, if you ask the internet for an attractive, nice guy who likes the outdoors and wouldn’t mind dating a girl in the Army, you get Jim Perkins. In other words, Match.com helped us find each other.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Jim: It’s not often that a man meets a woman and knows within six months that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. It’s possibly even rarer that this happens in long distance relationships. My company was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in late April and my block leave was scheduled for late March. We planned a trip to Kentucky during that time to combine two things that we both, especially I, enjoy: rock climbing at the Red River Gorge and bourbon craft distilling around Lexington. This trip was set to be our last chance to see each other before Liz began her pediatrics residency and I started business school, so unless I wanted to propose to her at a nice brunch in Bethesda, this was my only chance to do it right. We planned to spend a few days in Raleigh en route to Lexington so that I could meet more of her friends and family, and this itinerary meant that we wouldn’t be able to drive to Lexington in a single day. We made the obvious choice to stop in Asheville for a night and I immediately knew that the Biltmore Estate would be the perfect spot to ask her to marry me. This likelihood must have been obvious to her as well, so I took extra care to act disinterested in the forced “lay-over.” As we pulled up to the Inn at Biltmore Estate, Liz began to sense that something was up. She was clearly expecting something as we rode the elevator to our floor and then opened the door to find an elegant room with a balcony, and even a bottle of wine waiting for us. Seeing this, I seized the opportunity to tease her–I poured some wine, handed her a glass, took a knee, and…helped her take off her boots. From that moment, I was dubbed “the boy who cried wolf.” I had fooled her enough and she wasn’t going to fall for it again. The next day, I slipped the ring box into my camera case and we drove over to the estate to begin the tour. As we passed through the garden, there were photographers taking pictures of all of the visitors. We finished our tour and went to pick up our picture. Liz thought it was nice, but I asked if we could get a photographer to take our picture with the house in the background. It “just so happened” that they had a “roving photographer” who could do it. We walked with him along the lawn and up the carriage ramps to a spot and chatted. As we got ready for the picture, Liz set down her purse. Pretending to set down my camera case, I knelt down and pulled out the ring. Before I could say anything, Liz looked down at me and told me to “Stop messing around, this guy is trying to take our picture!” I told her that this time, finally, I was serious, and asked her to marry me while our private photographer captured the moment.
When did y’all get married? May 16, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 115
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No first look for us. Not only did our morning wedding schedule not really allow time for it, we also wanted that moment seeing each other as I walked down the aisle. It definitely changed the time we had for portraits, but our photographer was amazing and she made it work.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My cousin became a Universal Life minister for the occasion. She wrote the ceremony and recommended a reading from E.E. Cummings, “I Carry Your Heart With Me.” One of Jim’s closest friends, who traveled all the way from Seattle for the wedding, did the reading. It was a very special moment for us.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Jim’s best man gave a really awesome speech–he created a PowerPoint similar to an Army mission briefing. It was funny, insightful, and truly touching.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are both Army officers. I am a pediatrics resident at Walter Reed hospital. Jim is an engineer officer currently earning his MBA at Georgetown. We have one more year in DC together before the Army takes Jim away for his next assignment. We plan to enjoy every minute.

Photographer: Elizabeth Fogarty / Planner: Natalie Schlosser of Atrendy Wedding / Venue: Woodend Sanctuary / Florist: Toulies / Caterer and Dessert Baker: Corcoran Caterers / Rentals: Paisely and Jade / Band: Brad Kolodner / Special Details: Just Write Studios / Paper Products: Dandelion Patch / Bride’s Gown: “Violet” by Matthew Christopher / Bridal Salon: Love Couture Bridal / Hair Stylist: DryBar / Makeup Artist: Lauren Jaber / Bride’s Shoes: Nine West / Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss / Rings: Tiffany & Co.

The Dandelion Patch, Paisley & Jade, and Atrendy Wedding are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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  1. avatar Dana reply

    biscuits, waffles, and syrup <3 <3 <3

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