Leah may have needed a little persuasion to agree to her first date with Brian, but she sure didn’t need any to say “yes” to his sweet surprise proposal, or when it came to picking out the place where they would tie the knot! As the fourth generation in her family be raised in Atlanta, Leah knew the Atlanta History Center would be the perfect venue, and I can only imagine how stunning her dramatic entrance down the steps of the Swan House was for their guests. From the sound of it, they had quite a fun group–according to Leah, the band had to tell guests to sit down to eat dinner because they were dancing too much!
Big thanks to Scobey Photography for sharing this beautiful day with us!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Brian and I met through mutual friends. We were both coming out of relationships, and Brian asked his friend, Charlie, who is married to my best friend, Michelle, if they had any single girlfriends. Michelle said no, because she knew I was just coming out of a relationship and didn’t think I would be ready to date again so quickly. It’s a good thing that Charlie responded, “What about Leah?” Michelle and Charlie spent the better part of a month trying to sell me on all the reasons I should consider going out on a date with Brian. Those reasons included: he is Jewish (so am I), he is an attorney (I don’t typically like the attorney type), and we had grown up living less than ten minutes apart (and yet somehow, we had never met), but the reason that actually got me interested was that he had just built a pool at his new house. It was summer time in Atlanta, and who doesn’t need a good pool to stay cool by during those hot Southern summers?! We went out on our first date with Charlie and Michelle a few weeks later, and the rest is history!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did do a first look, and I am so glad that we did. Brian and I had such a huge wedding that it was important to us to see each other first, and take all of our photos before the ceremony. That way, we could join the cocktail hour and try to speak to as many of our guest as we could. We had friends and family in attendance that flew in from all over the country, and we wanted them to know how important they are to us! We also wanted to really be in the moment and enjoy our reception to the fullest. Seeing each other for the first time on our wedding day was just the most amazing feeling, and it was something we wanted to share in private.
There was no question in my mind about where I wanted to have our ceremony and reception. I was born and raised in Atlanta, and I am the fourth generation in my family to be raised in Atlanta, so the Atlanta History Center was the perfect venue. When you grow up in the South, you are surrounded by beautiful backdrops and weather, so I knew that the Swan House would be the perfect setting for our big Southern summer wedding.
My most memorable moment of the wedding was when the doors of the Swan House opened, and my father and I started walking down all the stairs to the ceremony. It felt like time stood still, and the only thing that I was focused on was walking down the stairs to my husband. He was looking up at me with the biggest smile on his face, and it was the most amazing moment of the entire day. Our guests later told me that it was one of the most dramatic and beautiful entrances they had ever seen.
Describe your wedding flowers. I love anything classic, so I knew that I wanted to include some wedding staples, like roses, hydrangea, ranunculus, lilies, and peonies. Unfortunately, peonies were out of season in mid-August. My florist used a flower I had never heard of before that was so beautiful: blushing bride protea! I mean, who wouldn’t want a flower at their wedding with “bride” in the name! For colors, we went with light pinks, whites, and sage green. It was a beautiful combination that didn’t distract from my dress, but was colorful enough to stand out.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We decided to do a tradional Southern menu! We served fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and biscuits as our main course. For dessert, we served traditional Southern dishes like banana pudding, mini pecan pies, blackberry and peach cobblers, and sweet potato moon pies.
Brian and I danced our first song to Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me.” I heard the song on the radio one day, and the lyrics were so perfect, so I asked Brian what he thought of it. He agreed that it would be the perfect song to do our first dance to–we loved the old time-y melody!
Having Yacht Rock perform at our wedding was the best decision that we made. So many of our guests told us that it was the most fun wedding that they have ever been to. You know it’s going to be a great night when the band has to tell your guests to sit down to eat dinner! Our guests filled up the dance floor for the entire night, and the energy and excitement was palpable!
Tell us all about the proposal! Brian and I got engaged in August 2013. We were going on vacation to Mexico for Labor Day weekend. We had gone to Mexico that weekend the year before, shortly after we started dating, and Brian had told me that he loved me for the first time while we were having dinner in our private casita beachside. When Brian suggested we go back to Mexico in 2013, I though that maybe something was coming–I even told my sister that I thought he might propose. So, in typical Brian fashion, he decided to throw me for a major loop! We were getting ready to head to the airport for Mexico, and I was running around the house like a mad woman trying to get all of my last minute packing done. I threw everything in a suitcase, and Brian rushed me out of the house. It was a sweltering August day in Atlanta, and Brian went to open my car door. Well, it was so hot, I kept asking Brian if he could just start the car first, and he kept telling me “Just get in the car, Leah, and then I will start it.” I didn’t understand why he didn’t just get in and start the car to cool it off, but as it turns out, he was helping me into the car so that he could then get down on one knee IN OUR DRIVEWAY to propose before we even left for Mexico! He knew I was on to him, and he wanted our engagement to be a real surprise. It was actually perfect, because we got to make a few phone calls to our family and closest friends before we got on the plane. Then, we got to spend the next five days in paradise celebrating our engagement!
When did y’all get married? August 16, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 350
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I looked everywhere for my wedding dress! I went shopping in New York with my sister-in-law, but ended up choosing my gown at Joan Pillow Bridal in Atlanta. I knew I wanted a dress that would be perfect for an outdoor summer ceremony, but also glamorous enough for a big ballroom reception. I ended up choosing an all-lace gown, and added a belt by Monique Lhuillier to give the dress a little extra bling.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t take the wedding planning too seriously. This is supposed to be a wonderful time for you and your fiancé, so try to enjoy it as much as possible. Once your wedding day is there, all the planning becomes completely worth it, and the most important thing of all is that your wedding is a day that is just about you and your partner, and the love that you have for each other.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? More than $100,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Brian and I just bought a new home, so we are settling into married life and planning a renovation of our home, as it was built in 1928. The renovation will include a total gut of the kitchen and family room, so wish us luck, as the project is about to begin!
Photographer: Scobey Photography / Videographer: Cinema Weddings / Planner: Laura Maddox with Magnolia Events / Ceremony Venue: The Swan House / Reception Venue: The Atlanta History Center Grand Overlook Ballroom / Florist: Flowers by Yona / Catering and Cake: A Legendary Event / Rentals: We Rent / Band: Yacht Rock Revue / Paper Products: Eberle Invitations / Bride’s Gown: Anna Maier Couture / Bride’s Belt: Monique Lhuillier / Bridal Salon: Joan Pillow Bridal Salon / Hair Stylist: Nadia Javan / Makeup Artist: Wendy Role for Trish McEvoy / Bride’s Shoes: “Lacie: by Badgely Mishka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Groom’s Attire: Sid Mashburn