Erin + Michael buried a bottle of bourbon in the backyard before the wedding in order to bring good weather. It worked! The couple was greeted with temperatures in the mid 70s and sunny skies — the perfect setting for their designed and delightful reception. A game of cornhole and a koozie-wrapped beverage are infinitely better when the sun shines, in my opinion. Of course, after partying away at Erin’s parents’ home, the newlyweds dug up the bottle and brought it with them to the after party!
We are thankful for Melissa Schollaert for sharing this wedding this us and capturing the many happy part of the big day. I won’t spoil it all for you — scroll down and fall in love!
We held the reception under a tent on the property and carried over the concepts we established at the cocktail hour and ceremony with more natural and personal details. Each dining table had its own identity with centerpieces consisting of quirky thrift store and “attic” finds like candleholders, lanterns, old tins, bottles and other chotchkies. As a nod to my interior design background, guests found their table by fabric swatches which were used in the laser-cut table numbers and custom runners under each place setting that were made of the same fabric pattern. To tie in the outdoor setting, we used burlap potato and coffee sacks as chair covers and created a lighting installation with paper lanterns and tree limbs we found in the surrounding woods. Michael and I also have a huge connection through music. We spend so much time together enjoying live shows, so we knew that we had to have a live band — they had to ROCK and that they did! Nationwide Coverage kept the party going and people on the dance floor. Of course, it wouldn’t be a rocking party without a full bar and beer boat. Guests were able to self-serve beer and wine, and hi note created custom bottle openers and koozies as grab-and-go favors. With the help of our friend and officiant, Adam, we were able to have our very own bottled brew at the wedding. I absolutely loved custom the branding and label Michael created for it – it was a huge hit!
Briefly describe your wedding flowers: I wanted really bold, graphic florals for my wedding, but I also wanted them to feel very wild, like you picked them out of your backyard and stuck them in an old coffee tin. Angie from Birch Blooms overwhelmed me with her stunning work! Not only is she the cutest, sweetest and most excited florist I know, but she even surprised me by draping florals from the ceiling — I still tear up when I think about it. The flowers were the icing on the cake. They made all of our hard work designing and planning come to life!
What was Southern about your wedding? For starters, it was in Alabama! Alabama is a really beautiful, lush state, so having it outdoors overlooking Lake Logan Martin really capitalized on the Southern charm of our venue. The South is known for its hospitality, and our wedding was no exception. We were really fortunate to have family members and friends who contributed time, money and a whole lot of elbow-grease to our wedding day.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when planning your wedding? The VENUE! It is not easy planning a wedding at a private home. There are so many things you have to think about in addition to all the other details a wedding would have at a traditional venue — power circuits, garbage, restrooms and cleaning up the next day! It was a great accomplishment to pull it all off!
Tell us a bit about your first dance. (From the groom) Our song was ‘Harvest Moon’ by Neil Young. We both love his music and definitely have a musical connection with this tune.
We paid homage to our love for food with a custom menu from Alan Singleton that consisted of our favorite family recipes. In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, we asked our talented friend, Betsy Distler to create a small personal cake for us. Then, guests were able to enjoy bite-sized versions of our cake flavor and other delicious pastries, as well as our favorite childhood candies.
Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: I was really proud of how the laser-cut doilies turned out. They made such an impact underneath each guest’s plate.
Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? My Aunt Beth. She lives in Australia and was unable to attend, so several of my friends who helped with the wedding Skyped her in so she could be a part of our special day.
What range did your budget fall into? $25,000
Did you have a cocktail hour? (From the groom) Because the sun sets so late in May, we opted to have our cocktail hour prior to the ceremony, so folks could have a snack and cold beverage before the festivities began. Our good friend Felix created a Brat and Burrito bar to honor two of my favorite foods. We also had Erin’s mom’s famous margaritas by the pool. Guests were able to enjoy themselves lounging by the water or playing games in the yard. Our main goal was for everyone to have a blast!
What was the funniest moment? What was the scariest? (From the groom) One of the funniest and also scariest moments was when we read our vows to one another. We both couldn’t even look at them before the ceremony without getting emotional. When the time came, we were both really nervous, but after the first laugh, we were great. Our guests’ dance moves came in a close second for funniest moment.
Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? No traditions per se, but we did have an amazing caterer who took our favorite family recipes and recreated them into a fantastic spread for our buffet.
Did you try anything new or untraditional? Our whole wedding event was the epitome of untraditional, but everything we did was extremely personal and thoughtful, so with that, we created our own traditions.
Tell us about your grand exit. Having our ceremony and reception overlooking the lake, there was no better way to exit than by boat with a little fireworks show to send us off into the night.
What is the one thing that made your wedding different from anyone else’s wedding? It was at the home I grew up in. No one else has ever been married there and probably never will – that is pretty special.
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where? (From the groom) We are saving up for a first anniversary trip to Italy and Sicily. Erin studied there for a semester in college and it is where I trace my roots back to, so it will be a special place for both of us to visit.
What advice would you give to someone planning his or her wedding? Have a plan, have a budget and STICK TO IT! You will enjoy your big day so much more if you heed this advice.
Who was your favorite vendor and why? All of my vendors are close colleagues and friends, so they are all my favorites, but the one person other than Michael that was integral to making it all happen was my mom. She worked with me every weekend for months designing and planning, tackling the biggest challenge of our lives: to pull off a wedding at her house. I also have to give kudos to Melissa, our photographer. She is one of my very best friends and she spent so much time and effort, weeks at a time, coming to help me work on the wedding.