One of BDK and I’s favorite things to do is reminisce about when we met. There is just something so fun about remembering our first date, as well as my absolute favorite, the silly get-to-know-you games we used to play while sitting in his hammock on the balcony of his college apartment! So, of course, I appreciated Jaimi and Mike’s super sweet proposal story all the more! I also appreciate how Jaimi defined a Southern wedding as a “close-knit support system filled with love and faith…your favorite people, supporting you in the biggest decision of your lives.” I don’t believe we could have said it better ourselves! Jaimi, you make the Sweet Tea Society proud!
Big thanks to Brooke Images for sharing this beautiful day with us!
From the time I started paying attention to wedding dress designers (probably about 10 years ago), I loved Monique Lhuillier lace dresses. My budget, however, was never going to allow me my dream Monique gown. Luckily for me, I have a very generous aunt, and upon getting engaged, she told me to pick out whatever dress I wanted and it would be her wedding gift to me. After the initial shock, excitement, and gratitude, I started my search. Then I found out that Monique Lhuillier was having a trunk sale at my favorite bridal gown shop in Atlanta, Joan Pillow! I had to wait two weeks, which was so hard because I was so excited! The fourth dress I tried on was THE dress. I was crying, my mom was crying, and even the sales person was tearing up. It was exactly what I was looking for, and I will never forget sharing that sweet moment with my mom.
My most memorable moment of the wedding was our first look. I had no expectation of what it was going to be like, and maybe because of that, I was so surprised by how much I loved having that personal moment. Due to the rain, our photographers positioned me in one spot and had Mike walk up to me. I loved that because he got to see me before I saw him, and when I turned around to see my groom, my heart just melted. Our eyes locked and there was so much raw emotion in that moment. He was shaking, I was shaking, and we both had tears in our eyes–it was just so cool!
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Finding the perfect spot for our wedding was actually a huge challenge for me. I knew I did not want to do it in Atlanta (where we live), and I wanted a place with a destination feel that wasn’t super far away. I had heard great things about Amelia Island, so Mike and I went down to check it out. Not only was the property of Walker’s Landing gorgeous, but the space for the reception was warm and open and filled with huge windows to let in natural light. After seeing so many venues that did not work, I know when I saw this venue that it WOULD work.
We did not write our own vows, but we spent time piecing together our favorite lines from wedding ceremonies we found online and through our officiant. My favorite line was, “Mike and Jaimi, may you pledge to each other to be loving friends and partners in marriage. To talk and to listen, to trust and appreciate one another; to respect and cherish each other’s uniqueness, and to support, comfort, and strengthen each other through life’s joys and sorrows. May you promise to share hopes, thoughts, and dreams as you build your lives together. May your lives be ever intertwined, your love keeping you together.”
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? My worst nightmare was that it was going to rain on my wedding day and my outdoor ceremony was going to move inside. Well, that happened, but you know what? It did not change the outcome of the day. I still married my best friend and we still danced the night away with our family and friends, and it was meaningful and beautiful. So, my biggest advice for a bride who is planning an outdoor wedding is to have a legit backup plan–not some small, dingy room in the basement of a hotel. Really put some thought into it. Go over the rain plan with your vendors so that everyone is on the same page. And at the end of the day, just enjoy it all!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: In lieu of table numbers, we designated a destination we had been together to each table. On each table card was a name of the place we’d been, and on the other side was a story about when we were there, and what we remembered/loved about it. Writing out these stories was such a fun walk through our memories together. I also loved the chalkboards for our food stations that I had ordered from a lovely lady I found on Etsy. There is something about hand lettering that makes me so happy, and our vendor delivered that in spades!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? To me, a Southern wedding means a close-knit support system filled with love and faith. Our day was filled with our favorite people, supporting us in the biggest decision of our lives. We are so lucky that both of our parents have been happily married for almost 30 years each. Additionally, this Southern wedding would not be complete without a slider station filled with barbecue pulled pork, classic cheeseburgers, and fried green tomatoes!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was two different flavors. One was called “For the Love of Chocolate” and included chocolate sponge cake, chocolate ganache, and chocolate truffle mousse. We added a raspberry drizzle since my groom loves chocolate and raspberry. The second flavor was something I came up with: coconut pound cake with raspberry and key lime cream and buttercream icing. It was so light and refreshing. As well as our large cake, we also served donuts to our guests!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met on a blind date! In November 2009, I got a text from a girlfriend from college (we were sorority sisters at FSU, go Noles!), who said she had a guy friend she had known since high school that I should meet. After a little Facebook investigation, I agreed. Meanwhile, Mike was doing the exact same thing (I guess there is no such thing as a complete blind date anymore with social media!). After exchanging some Facebook messages, we met in Buckhead, Atlanta at a fun restaurant called BluePointe. We immediately hit it off and the conversation was effortless–it was by far one of the best first dates I had been on. After that wonderful evening, Mike asked me out on a couple more dates, and from there, we became official and best friends (as cheesy as that sounds). During our courtship, we conquered the Atlanta restaurant scene–we both love to eat!
Tell us all about the proposal! On a Friday night, I got a call from Mike while I was at work. He said that he had made surprise dinner plans for us, but he would not tell me where we were going. Before we had dinner, I had plans with a girlfriend to get our nails done. A long time ago, I told Mike to never propose unless my nails were looking right, so he asked one of our good friends to go to the nail salon with me that evening. Between the manicures and surprise dinner plans, I had a good feeling about where this night was headed. When I arrived at our place, Mike had our favorite bottle of wine chilling for us to drink before dinner. It was a bottle of wine we had gotten in my hometown of Santa Barbara on a trip we took together in 2010. The name of this bottle of wine was called “Mrs,” and I always thought/hoped that we would one day drink it when I was his Mrs. It was December, so it was pretty chilly out, but our condo has a gorgeous view of the Atlanta skyline, so Mike suggested that we enjoy the “Mrs” outside. I had left my jacket in my car, so I grabbed his. He came out to see me wearing his winter coat and immediately gave me a different jacket (little did I know, the ring was in his coat pocket!). I could tell Mike was nervous, but we settled into our seats on our patio. He said “Let’s play a game–you tell one of your favorite stories about us, then I will, and we will cheers each time.” I LOVED this game and I started from the very beginning. We talked for two hours about everything we loved about the last three years we had shared together. When the time was just right, Mike got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I could not have been more happy and excited and speechless after the entire conversation! It was perfect and so us.
When did y’all get married? May 3, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 97
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I chose to walk down the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles. I have always loved that song. and my mom used to call me Sunshine was I was little, so the song was a nod to that. It turned out to be the perfect choice, because it rained the entire day until I walked down the aisle, when the sun came out as the song was played!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I talked the minimum down at our venue because we felt strongly that we were going to have a smaller wedding and did not want to have to spend a certain amount on food and beverages if our guest list would not accommodate that. I also used the bridesmaid bouquets as centerpieces on the head table, so right after the ceremony, my wedding planner scooped them up and put them into the vases that were waiting for them.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Oh my goodness, our band! They completely rocked our night! People were raving all night about how much fun they were. I’ve always said that if people are dancing so much, they forget to eat their cake, the wedding is a success–and ours was!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are looking for a house in Atlanta! We are excited for the adventures to come with home ownership and are soaking in the bliss of having nothing to do after work. We hope to travel somewhere abroad next year!
Photographer: Brooke Images / Day-Of Coordination: Flaire Weddings and Events / Venue: Walker’s Landing / Florist: Shea Hopely Flowers / Catering and Cake: Omni Hotels / Rentals: Jax Chair Boutique / Band: The Rivertown Band / Chalkboard Menus: Mary and Jack / Bride’s Gown: “Amaranth” by Monique Lhuillier / Bridal Salon: Joan Pillow Bridal Atlanta / Paper Products: Paper Daisies Stationery / Hair Stylist: Chelsea of Fifth Avenue Hair / Makeup Artist: Face by Maori / Bride’s Shoes: Nina / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff in Petal Pink / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / Officiant: Michele Donnovan from Sensational Celebrations / Ketubah: Jennifer Raichman / Cake Topper: Better Off Wed