Oh, friends, nothing gets my heart skipping a beat quite like a fabulous wedding gown! Mary Catherine is a designer herself, so it was pretty much a guarantee that she was going to choose something amazing for her big day. With the help of Joan Pillow (who actually helped me find my wedding dress, too!) and a bunch of her favorite ladies, Mary Catherine fell head over heels for the Le Spose di Giò beauty that ended up being a perfect fit for her and Chaz’s elegant Swan House wedding. It certainly set the tone for what was to come: an intimate ceremony followed by an elegant, but super fun, reception!
We’re so glad Paperlily Photography was on hand to capture this special day!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My girlfriends and I have a “Sisterhood of the Traveling Garter” that we pass around to each bride. After the wedding, each girl stitches a bow to the garter in the color of her bridesmaids’ dresses. It is so unique and special, and served as my something borrowed. My something blue was totally last minute when I realized I needed something blue, so I just painted one pinky toe blue! My wedding ring is a family heirloom (something old), and my earrings were new.
I have been a dress designer for years but I really didn’t want to make my own wedding dress–too much pressure. I had a big date planned in January with my mother, two best friends, future sister-in-law, and future mother in-law to all come to Atlanta to go shopping for my dress and the bridesmaid dresses. Then, during my mother’s visit for Christmas, we ended up next door to one bridal salon, Joan Pillow, and decided to go in just for kicks. I tried on the first dress I saw (allover lace) and my mom and I just knew it was the one. Or so we thought! Fast forward to January with the whole crew, and we headed to Joan Pillow first. I tried on the same dress that I had a month before, and everyone said it was pretty. Feeling a little guilty I had already chosen my dress without everyone, I decided to try on some more. The fourth dress was something I thought I would never choose in a million years, since it was silk and not lace. When I came out in it, everyone gasped, and I knew, for real this time, that this was the one! I later discovered that I had previously pinned that dress on Pinterest. Fate!
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We fell in love with the Swan House–it is so stunningly beautiful. We had never been to a wedding there before and wanted ours to be unique. Chaz is a big skier and loves Colorado, so we toyed with the idea of having our wedding there, but ultimately decided on our current town!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I was really surprised about how calm I was despite the horrible weather conditions. The ceremony was planned to be outside in front of the magnificent Swan House stairs. The back-up option was a smaller, less desirable room indoors. Chaz and I touched base in the morning and decided we would tell our wedding planner at 2 P.M. if we wanted to have the wedding indoors or outdoors. Around 2, Chaz called me and said, “Well, it’s about that time.” I looked outside and saw the rain pouring, but somehow, felt a sense of calm come over me. I no longer cared about the weather. I was marrying the most incredible man and felt like the luckiest girl alive. Everyone I love was in town to celebrate our marriage. We were about to have a fantastic night ahead of us. Life was good. In the end, the indoor room turned out to be intimate and beautiful. The dimly lit chandeliers and gorgeous floral arrangements made the ambiance just perfect.
Describe your wedding flowers. My wedding bouquet was a blend of white garden roses, white hydrangea, and lush foliage. We had a mix of low and tall floral arrangements at the reception that displayed white hydrangea, green hydrangea, white garden roses, white spray roses, white ranunculus, white phalaenopsis orchids, ferns, and boxwood.
I wanted a very classic wedding cake with small details. Our cake was five round tiers, and each layer had a different filling (french vanilla with cream cheese filling, carrot cake with cream cheese filling, chocolate cake with chocolate mousse, ganache and sweet buttercream icing). For the groom’s cake, we chose a golf theme honoring the fact that Chaz is a very talented golfer!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I was obsessed with the band, The American Flyers! They came highly recommended through an agency and they absolutely did not disappoint. They are truly talented musicians. Everyone was dancing and singing like crazy all night!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I met Chaz’s best friend while I was out in Atlanta one night and he later introduced us. Chaz was commuting between London and NYC every week for work, so we got to know each other mainly through the phone and g-chat! After a couple of weeks, we went on our first date and the rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! We had a trip to Grand Cayman planned for Chaz’s 30th birthday. The night before we left, I came home from work to find candles and rose petals going up the stairs in the dark. It was so beautiful and romantic. I walked to the top to find Chaz on one knee!
When did y’all get married? September 26, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No. Chaz wanted seeing me for the first time during the ceremony to be special, and I wanted to honor his wishes.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the ceremony, we had a string quartet. “Moon River” and “The Prayer” were two of the prelude songs, which I chose because I’ve always adored them. The wedding party walked down the aisle to the always beautiful “Canon in D” and I walked to the classic “Trumpet Voluntary.” We had our band learn “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran for our first dance–it is such a touching song with a lovely message. They did a fabulous job!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The food had some Southern flair! A few highlights included the bacon-wrapped green beans, tiny tenderloin biscuits, creamed potatoes, cornmeal sage roasted chicken, sugared pecan apple salad, peach baked brie, and butternut squash risotto.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Everyone told me to sit back and take in the day, because it flies by. So true! I took this advice to heart and made sure to soak in as much as possible.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are enjoying life in Atlanta with our golden doodle, Chloe! We recently bought a house and are looking forward to decorating and renovating our master bath. We have a lot of excitement going on in our careers, but also enjoy spending as much time as possible with our family and friends.
Photographer: Paperlily Photography / Planner: Courtney Surber Paz / Venue: The Swan House / Florist: Andy Beach / Wedding Cake: Frosted Pumpkin / Caterer: Affairs to Remember / Rentals: Peachtree Tents and Events / Band: The American Flyers / Paper Products: Brighten my Day / Bride’s Gown: “Classica CL-10” by Le Spose di Gio / Bridal Salon: Joan Pillow / Hair Stylist: Josie Labara / Bride’s Shoes: Alexander Wang / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Wtoo / Groom’s Attire: Sid Mashburn