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Y’all, I feel a little guilty about sharing this wedding today, especially if we have any readers joining us from the Northeast. If you weren’t already craving warm spring days and juicy peaches, you will be now–I know Kristin might want to jump right into these photos, as she herself had a beautiful, peachy detail-covered wedding of her own! There is so much more to Julie and Michael’s big day than the gorgeous weather though. We could talk about the gorgeous blooms, or the perfectly placed vintage furniture, or even their pecan pie favors. But, what makes me swoon the most has got to be the importance of family weaved throughout their day. Julie not only wears Michael’s great-grandmother’s engagement ring, she also donned her mother’s wedding gown on the big day. If you think you need even more sweetness before you reach for a tissue, be sure to read about the empty row at their ceremony to honor their late family members. Y’all, this Louisiana celebration is such a gem!

We’re so thankful Ashleigh Jayne shared this wedding with us in V7!

My engagement ring originally belonged to Michael’s great-grandmother, Rose Danna. Her husband purchased the diamond in 1930, and the two were married in 1934. They had two children, Patricia and Carmella, who each got married and had children of their own. Carmello Danna (Pawpaw) passed away in 1999, and Rose Danna (Maw-maw) lived a long, full life as the matriarch of the family. I was blessed to know Maw-maw for several years before she passed away at age 98. When Michael decided to propose to me, he began shopping around for an engagement ring, and when he told his mother the news, she gave him Maw-maw’s ring. Now, it is not only a reminder of our marriage, but also a memory of Maw-maw that we will forever cherish, and one day pass on to one of our children.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? Prior to our engagement, Michael and I had discussed getting married and what we imagined married life would be like. We didn’t, however, talk about what type of wedding we would want when that day came. After we figured out the logistics, the fun part began (fun for me at least!). I read wedding magazines, created Pinterest boards and started a wedding planning book to stay organized. It was at that point that I knew I wanted to hire a wedding planner to help pull all of my ideas together. From the moment Angela came on board in May 2013, the planning really took off! I described my inspiration to her, including family traditions, like wearing my mother’s dress. We wanted to have a “comfortable” wedding–nothing too formal, but with lots of attention paid to the little details.

Living in Louisiana, it is impossible to predict the weather. One year before our wedding date, I remember sitting on the patio of my parents’ house with propane heaters to keep warm! When we chose Nottoway as the venue for our wedding, we planned for all of the festivities to take place outside, so all we could do was pray for nice weather! The days before and after our wedding were quite hot, but that Saturday was absolutely perfect!! Beautiful sunny skies with a high in the low 80s. I could not have imagined a more perfect day to get married!

The ceremony was brief, but very special. Our officiant, Donna, began the ceremony with a touching Blessing of the Hands prayer. We incorporated our Catholic religion into the ceremony with two bible verses and a presentation to Mary. After the presentation to Mary, we handed roses to our mothers and grandmothers to thank them for all they have done for us. We decided to use traditional vows instead of writing our own, and although the words have been said by many before us, it was so special to promise each other our love “till death do us part.”

What was your reception like? It was held in the Grand Pavilion at Nottoway Plantation, which consisted of a giant white tent reception space and a courtyard with tables, a fountain, and a fireplace. The dance floor was packed the entire night! Our band, Press One for English, was fantastic and kept the crowd on their feet. We rented lots of vintage furniture, such as whiskey barrels, vintage dressers, and chandeliers. About 600 mason jars of various sizes held votive candles and lit up the tables, courtyard, and walkways at the plantation.

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed about wearing my mother’s wedding dress and looking as beautiful as she did on her wedding day. After Michael proposed and we began planning our wedding, my mom took out her wedding dress, which had been boxed up since 1984. The dress fit almost perfectly! Of course, I knew there were a few things I wanted to change (like the giant puffy ’80s sleeves!), but with the help of our tailor, I knew it was going to be perfect for my big day. It was truly special to have my dad walk me down the aisle in the same dress my mom was wearing when he married her almost 30 years ago.

Did you include any Southern traditions in your wedding? Michael and are both very Southern and enjoy all of the traditions that the South has to offer. Having the wedding at Nottoway Plantation was Southern in itself, as it is the oldest antebellum mansion in the South. We prepared welcome bags for all of the guests staying on the plantation, and included water bottles with custom labels, mini burlap bags full of Louisiana spices, treats and snacks, and a weekend itinerary. At the reception, we did a cake pull with the bridesmaids, where each pulled a fortune charm from the cake.

Our wedding cake was a four-tiered white cake prepared by Ambrosia Bakery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The cake filling alternated between cream cheese pecan and traditional cream. The cake was topped with flowers and surrounded by peaches. The groom’s cake was a replica of an Atlanta Braves baseball jersey, specifically Chipper Jones. Michael is a HUGE Braves fan and has cheered for the team since he was very young.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Michael and I met in 2002 during our freshman year of high school. We shared many of the same classes and quickly became friends. We were prom dates our junior year, and we officially dated during our senior year until we went our separate ways for college. During our time in college, Michael and I stayed in touch and caught up over holidays and summers back home. No matter how far apart we were, we were still great friends. During the summer of 2010, we both headed back to Baton Rouge. We spent the summer together and decided we were ready to start dating again. After that summer, Michael began his first year of law school at Mississippi College while I returned to Auburn for my final year of school. The long distance was tough at times, but it truly brought us closer together. After my graduation, I found a job in Baton Rouge, bringing us only 2.5 hours apart. For Michael’s last semester of law school, he was able to get an internship in Baton Rouge–we were glad to finally be living in the same city!!
Tell us about the proposal! In celebration of our two-year anniversary, Michael and I decided to spend a weekend in New Orleans. After relaxing in our room at the Hotel Monteleone, we headed to dinner at The Court of Two Sisters. The weather was beautiful and we had a table outside on the courtyard, underneath the hanging lights. After a delicious four-course meal, Michael left the table for the restroom, while I sat soaking up the wonderful evening. Upon his return, he got quite serious and said he wanted to discuss something with me. He started a speech about how much he loved me, everything we had been through, and how he wanted to spend forever with me. Then he got down on one knee, pulled a ring out of his pocket, and said, “Julie Marie Barth, will you marry me?” I was in complete shock!! When I finally came back to reality, I said “Of course I’ll marry you!” Our waiter brought out a new menu that said “The Court of Two Sisters welcomes Michael and Julie on their engagement.”
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Southern, unique, memorable
How many guests attended your wedding? Around 175
What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? The most special part of the ceremony was the reserved seats in the front row that remained empty in honor of our family members who had recently passed. One was for Michael’s great-grandmother, Maw-maw–she was an incredible lady and very important in our lives. She passed away in 2011. The other empty chair was in honor of my precious younger brother, Samuel Michael Barth, who died in a motor vehicle accident in November 2012. Losing him was the hardest time in my life, but taught me to appreciate every single moment. I did not know at the time, but was told afterwards about a very special moment–some people believe (myself included) that a dragonfly symbolizes the soul of a lost loved one. Since my brother passed away, I have had frequent encounters with dragonflies. During our reception, a dragonfly sat at the tip of the white tent for the entire evening. I know it was Sam watching over us and enjoying the party from the best seat in the house.
Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? I am the only girl that has been born into the Barth family in almost 100 years. Needless to say, most “Barth family weddings” involve one of the male cousins. At all the receptions, my dad and his three brothers would call out the new woman joining the family and induct her in with the “Barth family song,” an original created by my grandfather and his sons. About halfway through the reception, my dad and uncles hopped on stage and called Michael and I to join them. They welcomed Michael to the family, and of course, sang their rendition of the Barth family song.
What’s next for you as a couple? Since May, we have enjoyed our new life as a married couple. I have stayed extremely busy with nursing school and Michael with his career, but we still manage to make time for the silly adventures that we have always enjoyed together.

Photographer: Ashleigh Jayne Photography / Videographer: Dan Jones Film and Cinematography / Planning and Design: Angela Marie Events / Venue and Catering: Nottoway Plantation / Florist: Poppy & Mint Floral Company / Cake Baker: Ambrosia Bakery / Bride’s Shoes: BHLDN / Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale / Hair Stylist: Alison Smith of Paris Parker Salon / Bow Ties: Me and Matilda / Signs and Banners: Whatchawant Design / Paper Goods: MillerLine Design / Rentals: Timeless Vintage Rentals / Linens: Ballard Designs and Doug Olinde, LLC / Monogrammed Forks: Found Purpose / Transportation: Ascension Golf Carts / Embroidery Hoops: Mama Bleu Designs / Ribbon Wands: kate kate nyc / Guest Book: Go Rustic / Boxes and Buttons: Pick Your Plum / Welcome Bags: Wedding Chicks / Ring Pillow: Hannah Aspens Bridal

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    The ring is stunning and with the story behind it, she couldn’t have gotten a better one! I love the ribbons to wave as the two walk through, cute and colorful!

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Every time I’m flipping through V6 and get to Kate and Cesar’s wedding, it makes me smile. This darling couple put so much love and thoughtfulness into their big day, from the people they asked to participate in their ceremony, to the many DIY projects Kate and her family lovingly handcrafted. Each detail was meaningful to them–some reflected Cesar’s Nicaraguan heritage or Kate’s love for all things vintage, for example, but most of all, they showed their guests the utmost in Southern hospitality. We are so inspired by Kate and Cesar, and we hope you love seeing their beautiful wedding pictures by Blue Ribbon Vendor Gracie Blue Photography!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? I actually had my wedding dress for years without even knowing it. My mom got remarried a few years prior to my engagement. When we went dress shopping with her at a store that was going out of business, the shop owner invited us to have fun and try on anything. I tried on a lace wedding dress that had caught all of our attention. My mom thought it was just beyond perfect for me. Although I loved it, since I wasn’t engaged, I felt really uncomfortable buying a dress without having a fiancé first! Despite everyone’s encouragement to go for it, I said goodbye to the dress, since the time just wasn’t right. After we got engaged, that dress stuck in the back of my mind. Then Christmas came. At the end of opening presents, my mom told my sister and I we each had one last gift over at her house. When I got to her house, there it was…the dress. I was completely shocked!

We really wanted our wedding to be filled with love and just plain fun. I wanted to impart a sense of homespun nostalgia with carefully crafted details and personal touches. My grandfather was a huge part of my life. He had grown up on a farm and instilled an affection for the pure beauty of pastoral environs in me. I knew I wanted to have a wedding that honored that love of rustic settings. I melded that with colors and elements that simply seemed happy and beautiful.

What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? It was such an emotional day! There are really so many wonderful moments to choose from, but our first look definitely stands out. Cesar and I honestly couldn’t wait to see one another. Gracie, our amazing photographer, suggested we write each other short notes to exchange the moment before we turned around to see each other for the first time. Such a sweet idea! Cesar’s note to me was witty with references he knew only I would fully appreciate–it made me smile and melted my heart. Cesar’s reaction seeing me was everything I could have ever hoped for–emotional and overflowing with pure love and sincerity. I wish I could relive it again and again.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. My grandmother walking me down the aisle was one of my most special moments. My grandparents were an integral part of my upbringing and I’m honestly at a loss for words to describe how much these two incredible individuals impacted my life. My grandfather battled Parkinson’s for many years and passed away in 2005. I know he would have loved to walk me down the aisle. When my mom remarried after my grandfather passed, I suggested she carry a locket around her bouquet with Grampa’s picture so that he could “walk her down the aisle.” When my time came, I carried that same locket on my bouquet, so that Grampa was “officially” going down the aisle too. Locket or no locket, he would always be there in spirit. I also wanted to have my dad included in our ceremony, so he read a sweet poem titled “On Your Wedding Day” that I had come across. Cesar’s youngest sister, Silvia (who traveled from Amsterdam to join us) read 1 Corinthians 13 in both Spanish and English. We joined two cultures and diverse families, so it was important to us to reflect that in our ceremony by having Spanish incorporated.

As someone with an artistic background (and limited budget), we did some big-time DIY. I wanted to feel invested in every detail. I designed our escort cards and we created the large escort card backdrop with yellow gingham fabric as the perfect compliment. My mom and I acquired our own linens–light aqua runners with lace runner overlays. Butter yellow napkins encircled by light green paper vine napkin rings that my mom made finished the place settings. She hand stitched each table number on fabric featuring tiny yellow rosebuds in embroidery hoops. She also sewed lots of fabric bunting, using a combination of new and vintage fabrics I selected. In addition, circle paper garlands were created and then combined with colorful paper poms and white eyelet paper lanterns for added whimsy. My baby of all the projects had to be the very large chalkboard art that I designed and executed. I wanted it to make a sweet statement, both in its words and aesthetic.

I have had a love affair with flowers ever since I was tiny. Through the wedding planning, I fell head over heels for coral charm peonies, ranunculus, and full, ruffly garden roses (Campenella and Juliet garden roses, in particular). I adored our yellow and peach ranunculus to no end. I also love sweet pea, swirling veronica, and the soft silvery hues of dusty miller. Yellow tulips, soft peach and vibrant pink hypericum berries, Tanacetum, pretty white and apricot stock, and spray roses added to the mix of lovelies.

To send off our guests, Cesar’s mom brought handmade pottery favors crafted by Nicaraguan artisans to house votive candles. It was wonderful having something so personal and reflective of his heritage as a parting gift. They all were acquired in Nicaragua by Cesar’s mom from local markets.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We actually had five wedding cakes! Our “official” wedding cake was two tiers of deliciously moist cake with the yummiest white chocolate raspberry filling between the layers. It had white buttercream frosting in a rustic whipped style. Flanking the center two-tiered cake to either side were two beautiful single-tiered cakes with the dreamiest ruffled buttercream frosting on vintage ruffled Fenton milk glass cake stands. One of the cakes featured the yellow ruffled frosting, and inside was a delectable yellow lemon cake with fresh lemon curd and blueberries between layers. Yum! Next was a light peachy-pink frosted cake, done in a different ruffled style, made of moist chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling. This was Cesar’s flavor request and his favorite. We joked that it was his groom’s cake–the girliest groom’s cake ever, since I got the lovely look I wanted and he got the flavor he wanted! Finally, we had two small white buttercream vegan cakes for our vegan guests–one with white cake, and one with chocolate. You would never in a million years know they were vegan with how great they tasted! These were perched upon the most beautiful L.E. Smith yellow hobnail cake stands.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. It all began one evening in August 2001 in Miami, when we first met over a card game with friends and were paired up as a team. Who would have thought that my partner in cards that night would end up being my partner in life? We instantly felt a connection and chemistry. A friendship developed, and then I ended up leaving Miami a few short months later. Our relationship actually started as a long distance one, filled with countless phone calls, eagerly awaited plane trips, and lots of love. It’s funny that both Cesar and I lived in Savannah at the same time (and the restaurant Cesar worked at was my absolute favorite in Savannah), but we didn’t actually meet until a few months later in Miami.
Tell us all about the proposal! After years of long distance, Cesar made the move to Georgia to be with me and we’ve been inseparable ever since. He popped the question on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. He totally caught me off-guard, which made it that much better. For me, everything leading up to his proposal had been simply a wonderfully fun day, full of happiness and our favorite things. Then came the big moment and the ring. I cried an ocean of ecstatic tears. It was the most incredible and surreal feeling and I loved every second of it.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Beautiful, emotional, unforgettable
How many friends, family, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 70
Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? Yes. Cesar concocted the recipe for our “Peachy Pinguino” signature cocktail, which was a HUGE hit! It gave a nod to both our backgrounds, since the rum was from Nicaragua (where he’s from) and the peach schnapps, of course, represented the Peach State! We played music that mixed in tunes that had that retro vibe (classics from the 30’s, 40’s, & 50’s plus indie songs with a throwback sound), along with other favorites everyone loves. It was all next to a small lake outside the reception space. The great outdoors, music and mingling–an ideal combo!
What kind of food did you serve? We had an incredible buffet and received loads of compliments on how delicious everything was! Being mindful and respectful of guests’ dietary restrictions was important to us. Our caterer successfully balanced our love of cuisine with the needs of our guests, and hit it out of the park in the process! There was never ANY sacrifice on taste. Nuts and cheese were offered on the side for some dishes so that guests could avoid them if they needed to. Our buffet included fresh strawberry spinach salad tossed with raspberry vinaigrette and topped with sweet and spicy pecans, dried cranberries and crumbled Maytag blue cheese, vegan fried green tomatoes topped with vegan roasted red bell pepper sauce and fresh herbs (we advised the vegan guests that the dish was totally vegan, but other guests thought they were just super scrumptious fried green tomatoes!), baked Red Snapper courtbouillon with tomatoes and peppers over a grilled vegetable medley, Cajun-seasoned Gulf shrimp over monterey jack cheese grits (the BEST shrimp and grits I’ve ever had!), beef short ribs with Coca-Cola demi-glace (another nod to where we live, the world’s Coke capital) accompanied by rosemary roasted potatoes. This was a HUGE hit!
Tell us a bit about your first dance. Our first dance was to The Beatles’ “In My Life”–Cesar picked it; he really loves the song and it meant a lot to him to have it played at our wedding. It seemed fitting since it tells the story of one’s journey through life, and we’ve been together a long time, so we’ve had quite a journey. The lyric “In my life, I love you more” just sums it up perfectly. I remember swaying to the music with him and us both exclaiming quietly, “We did it!”
What were some of the highlights of the reception? The only thing I knew for sure (prior to becoming engaged) that HAD to be a part of my wedding was an old Johnny Mercer song, “Too Marvelous for Words,” my favorite version being sung by the jazz great Joe Williams (born in GA!). It was a song I knew must be played as a tribute to my grandfather. I asked my Uncle Dan to dance a special dance with me after the parent dances in Grampa’s honor. I think we were both a little nervous about doing it because we were concerned about how emotional it would be. As we were about to go on to the dance floor, he whispered “Let’s start from opposite sides of the dance floor, come towards each other, and I’ll twirl you around a few times.” And we just went for it! What I thought would be a struggle to get through with teary eyes actually turned out to be an upbeat, fun dance with my uncle, and then we asked everyone to come to the dance floor to join in. I knew that song would be an unforgettable moment, but I never thought it would be so happy. Knowing Grampa, a jokester, it was actually all the more fitting. “Too Marvelous for Words”–indeed he was.
Did you try anything new or untraditional? Dancing salsa was pretty new for most of my family, but with all the fun Cesar’s family was having, you couldn’t help but want to join in!
Tell us about your grand exit. Everyone lined up the hill near the reception area with extra-long sparklers for a super sparkly exit! I know more and more couples are doing that, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. It was so much fun and felt magically surreal. Remembering to take in as many faces as I could through the beautiful glows and sparks, we excitedly made our way up the hill. With guests hooping and hollering, and bright flares of the sparklers against the pitch-black night, it was definitely a grand exit to an evening we’ll never forget!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We believe the future holds great things. I joined Cesar as his business partner after we married, and together, we’re enjoying collaborating on films. Getting to celebrate in others’ happiest moments through filming weddings and joyous events has become so rewarding. I’m also hoping to pursue event styling for intimate gatherings. We recently got a puppy from a rescue shelter, so our furry friend, Charlie, has been a rather amusing companion and fun addition to the family. We’re hoping to further add to the family with little ones of our own and are excited for the day that happens.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Set aside date nights that don’t involve wedding planning discussions. Enjoy the time being engaged. Sometimes it’s hard with all the planning that goes on, not to mention curve balls life can throw you. I admit, I struggled with that at times, and if you are struggling with it too, you’re not alone; just take a step back and think about what truly matters. Know it will all be worth it on that beautiful day you tie the knot. Above all, trust your gut. If something seems like it’s not quite right for you, then it probably isn’t. There are so many decisions to make while planning, a lot of which can be in unfamiliar territory. Guidance from family, friends, and wedding professionals is very valuable. Just make sure it falls in line with what feels right for you and your fiancé and don’t second-guess yourself too much. Lastly, savor every wonderful minute of your wedding day to the fullest! Lots of it really does go by in a blur so try to take in everything you can with mental snapshots throughout the day to remember those incredible feelings you experience. You’ll cherish those memories forever.

Photography: Gracie Blue Photography / Venue: The Inn at Serenbe / Officiant: Dr. Rusty Edwards / Catering and Bar Service: Endive / Coordinator: carolynA Events / Floral design: Holly Bryan Floral and Botanical Design / Paper Goods and Styling: Bride, Kate Incer / Bride’s Dress: Casablanca / Alterations: Angela Vazquez / Reception Dress: Lodekka / Bride’s Hair Accessories: Twigs and Honey / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bride’s Ceremony Necklace: Nikki Haley Designs / Bride’s Clutch: Mrs. Murgatroyd’s Collection / Bridesmaid Dress: Lauren by Ralph Lauren / Hair Stylist: Keka Heron / Groom’s Suit: Jos. A. Bank / Groom’s Tie: Geoffrey Beene / Cakes: Blooming Flour Bakery / DJ: Matt Callahan of Events to Remember / Paper Poms: Pom Love / Crinkle Fans and Rosettes: BHLDN / Milk Glass Cake Stands: Vintage Fenton / Yellow Cake Stand: Vintage L. E. Smith

Gracie Blue is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
9 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    From her pink bow heels to her sweet ruffled reception dress, I love so many details of this wedding! But their lovely portraits by Gracie Blue have to be my favorite part :)

  2. avatar Dana reply

    love the peaches and pink and yellow flowers!

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It is sweet enough to know that Erin and Stephen are high school sweethearts, married in a small Georgia town just as spring began to turn into summer, but knowing how much love and thought they put into their wedding makes it all the better. As Erin said, “My number one goal of the wedding was to get married–-anything else would be a bonus! My second goal, however, was to make sure that each and every one of our guests felt appreciated and important.” From the personal, handwritten notes Erin and Stephen wrote to each of their guests, to the family-style meal that was served, we can only imagine how honored each guest felt to be a part of this special day. We were certainly honored to share it in V6!

Big SW hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Jeremy Harwell, of Harwell Photography, for sharing Erin and Stephen’s beautiful wedding with us!

We both enrolled in a program that allowed us to take college classes full-time while still in high school, and we met during the college orientation events leading up to the first week of classes. The first event was a meteor shower viewing, where we gazed at the stars until 2 a.m. and hit it off talking about everything from our favorite music and books to our life ambitions. After six years, we still haven’t run out of things to talk about.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? I have always loved Grace Kelly’s wedding gown, so when I saw a similar-looking dress in the window, I had to try it on. It was perfect–it didn’t even need any alterations! I guess it was meant to be.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? We were so grateful that a longtime friend and minister was able to officiate our wedding. It made the ceremony that much more personalized and heartfelt. The most special part of our ceremony was taking communion together; it was the perfect way to begin our life as a married couple.
Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony? My parents had displayed a hand-blown glass dove at their wedding in remembrance my dad’s deceased father. We displayed the same dove during our ceremony to remember him and other family members who have passed away.

Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? Yes! We had a wonderful cocktail hour. Immediately after we exited the church, a bluegrass band that was waiting outside began to play. As the guests exited the church, the band strolled down the street playing music and leading our guests to the party! Once at the venue, our guests enjoyed pimento cheese and other local cheeses from Sweet Grass Dairy.

I was lucky enough to get to pick the recipes I wanted to use for the menu, which were simple and delicious! We had all the dishes in big bowls on the table so guests could serve themselves and eat in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: From Stephen: The whiskey bar was a really cool touch. The bartender was super friendly and knowledgeable, and he served small tastings so people could try several different whiskeys. Erin’s mom also made an amazing light fixture out of vintage olive baskets that we used above the bar.

What was your reception like? Our reception was in the backyard of the Bed and Breakfast on a grassy lawn next to a beautiful red barn. Trees surrounded the eating area, but the center of the dance floor was completely open to the night sky. We wrote handwritten letters to each of our guests, which also served as escort cards for each guest to find their seat. We had a mix of round tables and long farm tables. The tables surrounded the dance floor, where Goodwin Tents and Events had draped strings of cafe lights to illuminate the reception area. To the side of the dance floor, we had two bars: a “girls” martini bar and a “guys” whiskey-tasting bar! The reception was magical to say the least. I couldn’t believe all that Amy Osaba and our other vendors had done to make the space so breathtaking!

All of the design inspiration for the reception started with my dress! I wanted our reception to have an “organic elegance” to it. Amy Osaba really helped this elegance come to life by pairing silver vases with floral arrangements that looked handpicked from the garden. In terms of color, we used a lot of whites, greens, and gray, but we also included some pops of pink– a very fun and creative touch on Amy’s part!

What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? Besides getting to marry the man of my dreams, the best part of the wedding was being completely surrounded by the people who love and support us. It was such an overwhelming feeling walking down the aisle and seeing all of the family and friends who had traveled so far to celebrate our wedding. That love and energy was truly amazing.

Tell us about a date you’ll always remember. It was our second date–I was sixteen and had never dated anyone before. He was seventeen, and I thought he was the funniest, smartest, most handsome guy I had ever met. Naturally, I was very nervous. We had a picnic by the Chattahoochee River. He couldn’t have timed the date more perfectly–the sun was setting, the water looked gorgeous, and the crisp fall air had begun to settle in. We finished our dinner, and as the conversation drew quiet, he asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend. After I said “yes,” he went in for the much-awaited kiss. Our lips barely touched and I burst into tears out of sheer nervousness. Thankfully, he was unfazed, and after calming me down, we got to work “practicing” our kissing skills!
Describe the proposal: I knew we were going to get engaged that winter break, which made it hard for him to surprise me, but he still did! He picked a day full of family events so that I wouldn’t expect it–we had my little brother’s wrestling meet during the day and a family dinner party that night. I arrived home from the wrestling meet to find the house normal as ever, but in my room was a note to get ready for a special night for two. When I had finished getting ready, I opened my door to find the house transformed, with rose petals, candles, and hand-written notes lining the hallway and a beautifully set dinner for two in front of the fireplace. Hands shaking, he got down on one knee. Of course, I said yes!
Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring and how/why your husband (or the two of you!) chose it: My grandmother (who passed away April 2012) left me a beautiful diamond to incorporate in my engagement band. We wanted something that would accentuate the stone’s natural beauty in a classic but unique way. We chose a stunning J.B Star setting that frames the center stone with two pear diamonds.
How many guests attended your wedding? About 175
How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your ceremony? The guys spent their morning relaxing and then went to get old-fashioned, straight-razor shaves! All of the bridal party spent the night before the wedding at the Bed and Breakfast, and the morning of the wedding, we all excitedly strolled to downtown Senoia for a delicious breakfast!
Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? Whenever I spoke with a wedding vendor, I always told them my number one goal of the wedding was to get married–anything else would be a bonus! My second goal, however, was to make sure that each and every one of our guests felt appreciated and important. In that sense, I would say that each guest was very special to us.
Tell us a bit about your first dance. We danced to “You and Me” by Dave Matthews Band. It’s a really sweet song about following each other to the end of the world and being able to do anything together.
What was the funniest moment? What was the scariest? I’d say the funniest moment would be the bouquet toss. In mid-air, the bouquet hit the lights strung over the dance floor, but that didn’t stop one bridesmaid and a good friend from literally diving onto the floor to get to the fallen flowers before anyone else. There were actually two points during the reception where the power went out completely, but that didn’t stop anyone from continuing to party.
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where? We were very excited to have some stress-free time to ourselves after the wedding. We honeymooned on Peter Island, a small resort island in the British Virgin Islands. It was relaxing and isolated and serene.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are adapting to life in New York City and are enjoying its vibrancy, but we plan to eventually return to the South to settle down and start a family. In the more near future, the things we look forward to most are the simple things, like getting to have breakfast together every morning and taking long walks through Central Park.

Photographer: Harwell Photography / Floral and event design: Amy Osaba Events / Ceremony venue: Senoia United Methodist Church / Reception venue: Veranda Historic Bed and Breakfast Inn / Ceremony coordination and reception food design: Kathy Black / Bride’s dress: Sassi Holford / Bridal salon: Fabulous Frocks of Atlanta / Bride’s accessories: Haute Bride / Bridesmaid dresses: Alfred Sung / Mother of the Bride dress: Mon Cheri / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: J. Andrews Bridal / Alterations: Betty Harrah / Hair and nails: Ici Paris Day Spa and Salon / Makeup: Katie Gant / Cocktail hour band: Sourwood Honey / Cocktail hour appetizers and cheese: Sweet Grass Dairy / Invitation print consultant: The Paperie at Sam Flax / Bartender: Mobile Cocktails ATL / DJ: BeatHouse Productions / Cake: Blooming Flour Bakery / Tables, chairs, dance floor, lighting: Goodwin Rentals / Bars, highboys, serving dishes: Peachtree Tent and Events / Paper Products: Designs by Robyn Love / Calligrapher: Donna Dow / Linens: I Do Linens / Gallery artwork and map watercolor: Georgia Water Color Society / Monogrammed napkins: Mactees Inc

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

lisa Written with love by Lisa
12 Comments
  1. avatar Kristin reply

    Hand-written letters to each guest? I LOVE this personal detail. And of course, I an 100% on board with Erin’s goals in planning her wedding!!

  2. avatar Nicole reply

    This was such a beautiful story! Love the photos too! Added one to my wedding board on Pinterest! xoxo

  3. avatar Kat reply

    Beautiful wedding!! Such a perfect mix of classic & playful. Love it!

  4. avatar Emily reply

    So, so many details to love in this wedding, from their beautifully-wrapped bread to their citrus cake! Love them all, and this sweet couple!

  5. avatar Dana reply

    very pretty flowers and such a silly second date story!

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  7. avatar Jeremy Harwell reply

    I am so honored to have this beautiful wedding on Southern Weddings! Erin & Stephen were such an amazing couple to work with, and the vendors involved provided such beauty for me to photograph! Thanks so much for the post!

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  11. avatar Katie reply

    Such a beautiful wedding! I love the vintage get-away car. Can you please let me know that vendor?
    Thanks!!!

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