The Atlanta skyline is an amazing one, so I was not surprised at all to hear that when Abby and Matt first saw Ventanas, they knew they had found the venue for their future wedding, even before they were engaged! With the help of Park Avenue Events, they planned a chic rooftop ceremony and reception, being sure to incorporate nods to both of their hometowns and their families. They weren’t afraid to break from tradition when it came to things like song choices and cake flavors, and as a result, every detail of their wedding rang true to their personalities and style!
Thanks to Our Labor of Love for sharing Abby and Matt’s wedding with us, and getting our week started on such a lovely note!
My bouquet was a mix of blush and black anemones, roses, and gardenias. I wanted to keep it simple and elegant, with a little touch of my Southern roots. My grandma and godmother also started collecting new and antique brooches (which they presented to me at different showers over the year we were engaged) to add to the bouquet later. It was gorgeous! I loved my bouquet, and most of all, I loved carrying a part of my family tradition down the aisle with me.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our venue had a helicopter pad overlooking the entire city, and it was the most amazingly clear spring day. We chose to do our first look and bridal party photos up there (brave party). Walking what seemed like into the sky to see my soon-to-be husband was something I’ll never forget!
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? To be honest, it was the first and only place we visited. I have had a few girlfriends get married before me, so I found Ventanas a year before Matt proposed, while I was “researching” for a girlfriend. I showed it to Matt and we both knew that it was our venue, even before we were engaged. I am an interior designer, so the blank space and views were all I needed to see. It was just as perfect as we could have imagined!
My best friend’s dad, who has been married for over 30 years, got ordained just for us, which was an honor. We are hoping some of that marriage luck might rub off on us! We had him read our favorite Bible verse about love from Corinthians 13:4-13.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? To be honest, the guest list! We decided on our venue so quickly, we didn’t realize that the capacity restraints for the ceremony were much smaller than what we had in mind. In the end, we were able to accommodate all our family and most of our friends to make the day perfect! Our design team really found a way to comfortably pack in as many people as we could. We also made the executive decision to invite some guests to just the reception, which accommodated much more. Weddings are definitely give and take, and we were happy with our decision.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My husband would definitely say the candy bar (I am pretty sure he is still eating it). I would say our guest book. I bought a Vogue Weddings coffee table book and had people sign that. I loved being able to see where people decided to sign, and the clever comments they made next to some of the greatest wedding dresses in history. The best part is that it actually sits on our coffee table, so we really use it and are constantly reminded of our favorite day and all the people who love us!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I would say the most obvious was our split menu. We had gourmet chicken and waffles, mac and cheese, collard greens, and fried green tomatoes, as only A Legendary Event can do. The other half of the menu represented my Italian New Yorker husband, with hanger steak, fingerling potatoes, caprese salad, and a pasta bar. People are still talking about the food!
I found our wedding cake pretty much immediately. I knew exactly what I wanted: a simple white with a big cascading flower. I let Matt pick his favorite flavors (as crazy as they were). We had an apple cake with caramel filling, and I made sure one layer was red velvet with cream cheese icing, my Southern staple. My event designer, Christine, took the look to the next level with the acrylic stand filled with rose petals!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. It was Thanksgiving weekend, 10 years ago, at Dos Copas in my hometown of Alpharetta, Georgia. I was a girl in art school, and he was a boy in a band, playing in Canada. Many phone calls and a seven-year courtship later, we finally went on our first date. Fireworks went off between us, and three “short” years later, Matt made the best decision of his life…he proposed, and it was a done deal.
Tell us all about the proposal! After the most perfect out-of-town wedding weekend for our best friends, all I wanted was some Taco Bell (classy, I know). Little did I know that Matt had a big surprise up his sleeve. Since I am known to be just a little OCD, Matt had hidden a sparkly surprise in my weekender bag. Despite desperately wanting to eat my lunch and take a nap, I just couldn’t fight the urge to unpack as soon as we got home. With one falsie eyelash was still hanging on and I was rocking my favorite sweat pants, I unpacked my bag, found something that delayed my meal, made me cry, and changed our lives forever. Matt just loves when a good plan comes together!
When did y’all get married? April 12, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did do a first look! We decided to do it after much debate (we are pretty superstitious), but when it came down to it, we decided it was more important for us to have a less stressful wedding after the ceremony and a longer reception. We are now so happy we did it! It was probably the only part of the day that was just for us. I loved seeing his reaction before anyone else, and it all became so real. I totally recommend it!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our last seating song was “Moon River” by Audrey Hepburn. It’s my all time favorite, and it set the mood for the entire wedding. For walking down the aisle, my husband chose “Crazy Love” by Michael Bublé. We walked back up the aisle to “I’m The Man” by Aloe Blacc, which was also my husband’s choice–funny, and it got the point across. Our first dance was to “Feels Like Home” by Chantal Kreviazuk, an oldie but such a goodie from Dawson’s Creek. My husband is a DJ, and I sometimes think I should have been, so songs were probably the toughest decisions we had to make. We tried to go with music that reflected each of us, told our story, and wasn’t something you’ve heard 100 times at a wedding.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Of course! My something borrowed was my bracelet…well, part of it. I had a feathered cuff from BHLDN that I ordered and loved, but the clasp broke on the day of the wedding. My aunt/godmother used one of her antique brooches to clasp it–it was a diamond bow and actually looked better then the original! My something blue was for my mom. It was a handkerchief monogrammed with our wedding date and initials, for those happy cries. My something new was my day-of gift from my husband: a surprise second wedding band! One for our day and one for what was to come.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $75,000-$100,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? The menu. In my experience, towards the end of planning is when you realize you may have gone a bit more above your budget than you thought. The easiest way for us to solve this problem was to cut down our menu. We realized we had overestimated numbers and had one too many options. Even with the cut, my husband and I had a more-than-generous late-night snack!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Try to enjoy it! Don’t let the little things take over your mind. Honestly, nobody will ever notice. Enjoy planning with your partner! Guys have ideas, and it’s a big day for him too. Plus, it’s much more fun to share the responsibility!
Photographer: Our Labor of Love / Planner: Park Avenue Events / Venue: Ventanas / Florist: Perfect Petals / Cake Baker: Perfect Wedding Cake / Catering: A Legendary Event / Lighting: Active / DJ: Marquee Events / Paper Products: Sandi Spells Designs / Bride’s Gown: Manuel Mota / Bride’s Hair Accessories: Cécile Boccara / Hair Stylist: Christine Lopez / Makeup Artist: Amanda Ford / Bride’s Shoes: BHLDN / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Splended Angel Dress” by Xenia / Men’s Attire: Savvi Formal Wear