Rachel + Chad could not be any cuter! These two love birds met in a sculpture class in college. Though they both had eyes for each other, it took a few weeks before they met and hung out at a mutual friend’s party. (Until that point, Rachel called Chad “Sculpture Boy,” which her family still calls him!) Rachel says she was smitten after seeing his dance moves and he liked her because she made him laugh. So sweet! We love their wedding for it’s jewel-toned charm, but even more because it all took place on family property with some special touches from loved ones. We’re so grateful for Anna K Photography for sharing this day with us!
My flowers were incredible! Kent Duffie of Designs by Kent did all of my florals (he was the florist for Carrie
Underwood’s wedding!). The girls had beautiful deep purple bouquets full of all kinds of different flowers, including roses, ranunculus, succulents, and so much more. I gave Kent full control to do whatever he wanted within my chosen colors and he blew me away. My bouquet had more white in it to set it apart. Our wedding planner, Chad’s Aunt Kaye of The Proposal, had these awesome frame collages made, and Kent put flowers in the corners of all the frames. Everyone was obsessed with them. We had flowers in mismatched containers (brass, crystal, milk glass, etc.) for centerpieces at the reception.
I just love Rachel’s gold belt! It’s a little hint of what’s to come at the reception.
I got my dress at Formally Yours in Lilburn, Ga. My sister got her dress there and had a wonderful experience, so it was the first place I went the day we went shopping. Me, my mom, and my sister made a day of it. We started at Formally Yours and I was debating between a couple of dresses, but couldn’t make up my mind. The owner was so sweet and told me to get some lunch and think about and call her if I made a decision. We went to another boutique and I found a dress that was beautiful, but just didn’t feel like “me.” We decided to go back to Formally Yours and try on the other dresses again. I had been torn between two beautiful lace dresses, but they felt too traditional. I ended up choosing a dress that was so different, but was absolutely perfect. We had a short engagement (five months) so I had to buy a sample off the rack. I honestly think it made it easier because I didn’t have to wait for my dress to come in the mail.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? I often second-shoot weddings with Anna, so I have been able to see firsthand how much easier wedding days can be if you get photos done before the ceremony. It was so nice to see each other and get excited about our wedding day. We were able to have plenty of time for portraits and were even able to leave our venue and drive down the road to have extra variety in our photos.
I had lots of special borrowed things for the wedding. I wore silk flowers in my hair that my mama wore in her hair at her wedding. I wore my sister’s veil during the ceremony and my grandmother’s jewelry.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Walking down the aisle was so memorable. We had already seen each other, but in the moment I couldn’t help but to be overwhelmed with emotion. I started crying and my dad kept telling me jokes and to think of everyone in their underwear. I was just so excited to see Chad standing there waiting on me. We also thoroughly enjoyed our dance party, thanks to our DJ, Ali Fici!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Some of our very dear and talented friends played and sang during our ceremony. Seth and Claire Rice sang “lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Calliat as the wedding party walked in. Jimi Bell sang the Jude Moses cover of “Book of Love” as my dad walked me down the aisle. At one point in our ceremony, Chad and I tied a square knot while Jimi sang “How Great the Father’s love.” When everyone was exiting, Claire sang “Let’s get Rich” by Ingrid Michaelson. It was the perfect happy song to end the ceremony
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our wedding would not have happened without Chad’s Aunt Kaye. We got married at her farm, and she just so happens to be a wedding planner and interior decorator. I couldn’t have lucked out any better if I tried. She was so great at coordinating vendors and making everything look just right. Anna, our photographer was INCREDIBLE. She is a dear friend and made our day so special. She and Lynnsey, her second shooter, were the best!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding was on a big Southern farm. We got married at Chad’s aunt and uncle’s farm and it was the perfect Southern backdrop. Our reception was under a big old oak tree all strung up with lights and lanterns. Our favors were honey that Chad’s uncle harvested from the bees he keeps on the farm. We had peach cobbler and Blue Bell ice cream. Of course, there were all those Southern accents mingling in the air too.
Our entire reception was dessert-themed. We decided to get married late in the evening, after suppertime, so we just did desserts and drinks, and it was perfect. We had everything you could think of: parfaits, cookies, s’mores, cupcakes, peach and blackberry cobbler, ice cream and more.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Chad and I met in a sculpture class during our senior year of college. We were both Art majors; I’m an Art teacher and he’s a graphic designer. The first day of class, I was sitting with my dear friend Anna (of Anna K Photography) and leaned over and asked if she knew who the outdoorsy guy with the moustache was. Chad was wearing these Merrell hiking shoes and had a serious-looking carabineer on his belt loop, but he had this goofy moustache and silly hat that made me think he had a good sense of humor. Apparently, he went home that day and told his roommates there was a cute girl in his sculpture class. It took me about a week to figure out his name, so in the mean time I started calling him “sculpture boy” to my friends and my mom. As I learned more about him, I realized that we had tons of mutual friends but had somehow never managed to meet. We kept up the secret mutual crush for a couple of weeks until he finally asked me out. The first time we ever hung out, we went to a party at a mutual friend’s house and danced the whole night. Once I got a glimpse of his dance moves, I was sold. I think he liked me because I made him laugh. Chad is a good egg, a true Southern gentleman. My family (who still calls him “Sculpture Boy”) was smitten as much as I was. The rest is history. We were made for each other.
Tell us all about the proposal! The proposal was a total surprise. I knew it was coming, but was caught so off guard when it did. Chad is from Eatonton, which is about a three-hour drive from where we live. We had just been up there the weekend before for a family function of his, and then he said he wanted to go up the next weekend for his best friend’s birthday. We left after work late Friday evening and arrived in Eatonton after 9. When we arrived, we went straight to his best friend Josh’s house. Josh and his brother were there, but Josh’s wife and his brother’s fiancé were gone “shopping.” I was bummed out to be alone with the boys (and feeling tired and yucky after a long workday). Josh suggested that we take his German Shepard, Jed for a walk, so the four of us set out. Josh and his wife, Bailey, live in downtown Eatonton, so we were walking around all the historic sites. As we walked down the sidewalk, I pointed out the Methodist church that Chad grew up in. Their original sanctuary is over a hundred years old and has beautiful stained glass. I was going on and on about how beautiful it was and that I wanted to see the inside because I never had. At this point, it was about 10pm, but when Chad suggested that we see if the door was unlocked, I hopped right up the steps. When we opened the door, I heard music playing and told Chad that we needed to go because we were interrupting something. He insisted that it was ok and kept trying to pull me inside. When I peeked around the corner, I noticed candles on the floor. I freaked out and told Chad that we had to leave “NOW! Because someone is getting engaged and we’re going to ruin it!” Remember how I said I wasn’t expecting it? Chad said, “Yeah babe, someone is getting engaged, now come inside!” He dragged me into the building and there were candles EVERYWHERE — all down the aisles and across the altar. It was beautiful. Our friend John was in the corner playing guitar and singing a song. It was all a blur. The girls who I thought were out shopping had really been at the church lighting all the candles. Chad got down on one knee and told me how much he loved me and asked me to marry him. It was perfect.
When did y’all get married? April 6, 2013
How many friends, family, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 130
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Having everyone we love with us all day. How often do you get to have all of your favorite people in one place?!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The hardest part was controlling the guest list. We knew we wanted a smaller wedding, but it’s hard to cut people off when the time comes.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? RELAX! Before my wedding, everyone told me I was going to be so stressed out and that it would all be a blur. Having a great planner helped tremendously with the stress, but I also tried to remind myself to let the little things go. The only person who won’t notice if things aren’t exactly the way they’re supposed to be is you, so don’t worry about it. I had an incredible day and enjoyed every minute of it. If I had been stressed out over someone’s hair or shoes, I would have missed the joy of the day.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Right now, we’re just enjoying being newlyweds. We don’t want kids for a while, so we’re enjoying each other and have plans to travel as often as we can.
Anna K is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!