Marilisa + Taylor’s Georgia wedding was plantation perfection that takes gingham to another level! I love that the groom and his men rocked the gingham shirts and big belt buckles. Their adorable yellow bow ties were the perfect shade to pop against the pattern and accent the ladies’ wildflower bouquets. Marilisa’s ‘maids look positively darling in their mismatched frocks and colorful shoes, but of course they didn’t outshine the bride, who looked effortlessly beautiful in a flowing Amy Kuschel gown, cowboy boots, and a pretty updo. I love the view of the Fair Havens Plantation that stretched behind Marilisa + Taylor’s altar and the big celebratory hugs, post-ceremony. Big thanks to Matt Miller of Our Labor of Love who caught the moment and shared this wedding with us.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Taylor and I both grew up in the Northeast and met when we were 12 at a summer church camp in New York. My family moved to Georgia right before I started high school, but he and I stayed in touch over the years and reconnected after he moved to Athens for school. We developed a great friendship, which only deepened the following year when I moved to Athens to attend the University of Georgia. Taylor and I would go on jogs or work out together and usually end up eating somewhere and talking about God. Having such a strong spiritual connection really caused the sparks to fly! During the summer of 2008, we worked together at a church camp and by the end of the summer, we were dating.
Describe the proposal. (From the groom) For about two years I knew that I wanted to propose at dusk, under a perfect sunset, out in a field, far removed from anyone. Thus, the search began for the perfect spot. Last July, I drove by an open field off Route 53 in Watkinsville, Georgia and instantly knew I had found where I wanted to propose. I found the owner of the property and told him that I wanted to use his property to propose to my best friend. After receiving his blessing, all that was left was for the ring to arrive and for time to pass. Early in the afternoon, my brother and I loaded a table made from wood from an early 1800s smokehouse into a friend’s truck, drove it out to the field and left a bunch of yellow daisies on it. All that was left was for me to pick up Marilisa for what she thought was a dinner date with friends. As we drove out to the field, I tried to enjoy the moment and remember the speech I had been practicing. We got out of the car and walked towards the table and as we walked, I told Marilisa that the Hebrew word for “helper” in Genesis could be translated as “lifesaver” and that I felt this perfectly described how I saw her role in my life. I got down on one knee, pulled out the ring and asked her to marry me and she said yes! It seriously felt like we were the only people on the planet (until this kid drove behind us on an ATV). We left Athens and drove back to Atlanta to celebrate with her family and then flew to Connecticut to be with mine.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Relaxing, glorious, and one-big-crazy reunion!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: A few weeks after the proposal, I was on OnceWed and the main page featured a beautiful San Francisco wedding with the bride in a stunning Amy Kuschel gown. I immediately searched her site for the dress style (Margherita) and discovered the designer only sold her gowns to one store in Georgia, Kelly’s Closet. I made an appointment with the boutique and planned a weekend for all my bridesmaids to come with me. It was the first dress I tried on there and all my girls fell in love immediately! The soft fabric felt so dreamy and I knew it was the perfect style for our rustic outdoor wedding!
Describe your wedding flowers: I wanted the flowers to look as if someone had just plucked them from an open field and our florist did a fantastic job capturing that vision. My bouquet consisted of white peonies, roses, blue thistles, green buttons and craspedia. Flowers for the other bouquets and decorations included monte casino, solidago, seeded eucalyptus, and millet.
Photographer: Matt Miller of Our Labor of Love // Venue: Fair Havens Plantation // Florist: The Garden Gate Florist // Wedding Cake Baker: Brett’s // Caterer: Brett’s // Paper Products: Three by The Quill Penn // Bride’s Dress: Amy Kuschel via Kelly’s Closet // Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil: Sara Gabriel via Kelly’s Closet // Bride’s Shoes: Frye // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bridesmaids’ own // Accessories: Earrings from Aurum