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Andrea + Josh were actually married on Earth Day, and so decided to incorporate this nature-friendly theme into their big day. Subtle details like their “plant love” sign and tree saplings as favors were just a few ways they seamlessly (and stylishly) incorporated this theme. Even Andrea’s gown — a gorgeous floor sample! — could qualify as an eco choice! I also love how their planner Carolynn helped to use their peach + sea foam color palette to sweetly complemented the organic details of their reception venue, The Trolley Barn.

Big hugs to our very talented friend Ms. Melissa Schollaert for sharing this darling day with us!

P.S. Andrea is the sister of Farren, whose wedding we featured here + here! Love keeping it all in the family!

Such a great bridesmaid’s gift idea! These custom hangers are sweet + useful!

And oh my, I love this garter – it even has a bitty pocket!

Our wedding colors were peach and seafoam green. We incorporated flowers with a similar color palette including peach Juliet cabbage roses, peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and dusty miller for the wedding party. For our wedding ceremony, we decorated the aisle with tree bark-covered boxes filled with hydrangea and roses. We repurposed the aisle decor during our reception for centerpieces on the tables.

I bought my dress and veil at Priscilla of Boston, when they were going out of business. Originally I thought there was no way I could purchase a “sample” dress off the rack — when my mom, sister, and I first visited the store, I thought we were only browsing. It was my first weekend shopping for a wedding dress. I really liked one gown, but I was uneasy making such a big purchase immediately. Unfortunately, there was added pressure since there was only one dress left and it was 40% off. My mom, sister, and I power-shopped the entire weekend and visited every bridal store in Atlanta to displace any fear in my mind there might be a better dress out there somewhere. Although I tried on many beautiful dresses, none compared to the one at Priscilla of Boston. I remember having nightmares about it over the weekend, worrying it might sell. I excitedly returned to Priscilla of Boston the following Monday after work with my mom and sister. Luckily, the dress had not been sold and had been further reduced down to 50% off! When I bought the dress, it was a couple of sizes too large for me, but with some great alterations, it fit perfectly on the day of the wedding.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We were actually married on Earth Day 2012 and decided to incorporate Earth Day into our design details. We gave tree saplings to all of our guests to remember our big day. Each tree sapling was wrapped in burlap, and had a name card tied with an ivory bow. My dad built five wooden crates to display the tree saplings for our guests during the cocktail hour.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We did not have any readings in order to keep the length of our ceremony relatively short. Since we had an outdoor wedding, we opted for a unity sand ceremony. In addition, Josh and I shared communion during our ceremony.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Josh entered the ceremony to his favorite hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” Josh’s brother Jonathan sang “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” by Stuart Townsend during our wedding ceremony as Josh and I took communion. We chose this song because we want our relationship and the love that we have for each other to be a reflection of the perfect, unconditional love that God gives to all of us. Our first dance was to “I Will Not Take My Love Away” by Matt Wertz.

Josh’s dad and grandfather built and painted wooden signs to direct guests to our wedding and to the reception, and my mom and sister hand sewed ivory fabric table runners with ruffle ends for each reception table and seafoam-striped fabric napkins for each place setting. The fabric napkins included a custom printed wedding menu tied with a rosemary twig. Our menus mirrored our invitation design in peach. To give our guests some alternatives to dancing, we included a photo booth at the wedding. My dad built the wooden frame for our booth, while my mom, sister, and I created the backdrop from ivory fabric and ribbons incorporating our wedding colors.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: One of our favorite wedding details was our grand exit with our guests waving us farewell with fabric flags. Our wedding venue is a historical site and in order to preserve the site, there were a number of regulations that restricted our grand exit options. No sparklers were allowed and our guests would not be allowed to “throw” anything. I wanted to do something visually interesting. My mom, sister, and I hand-sewed flags for our guests to wave us farewell as we left the wedding en route to our honeymoon in French Polynesia! The fabric flags featured small prints with the wedding colors. In addition, I hand sewed pom poms from the same fabric that were strung together and attached with a “Just Married” sign to the back of Josh’s car.

Our reception featured a Southern menu including a biscuit bar with all of the fixin’s, fried turkey and macaroni and cheese. Food was an important part of our wedding that we wanted our guests to enjoy and remember. We had custom cornhole boards painted with our logo, which featured design elements from our invitation suite. The cornhole boards were available for guests to enjoy during the cocktail hour and reception.

Our wedding cake was a four-tiered vanilla pound cake, my favorite! The wedding cake design detail was inspired by the top of my wedding dress. Josh does not care for cake, so for his groom’s cake, we ordered a chocolate cheesecake in the shape of the state of Georgia. The cake included design elements from different cities that have played a big part in his life! For example, Athens, where he went to UGA, was represented by a bulldog. Atlanta included a wedding cake for the place we met and are living now!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Josh and I met at a singles group at Buckhead Church in Atlanta, GA. The singles group would meet every other week on Sunday nights. I knew there was something different about Josh almost immediately upon meeting him. Josh asked me out on our first date after an ice hockey game group social. I was so excited when he asked for my number. He took me out on our first date the following weekend. The rest is history.
Describe the proposal: While Josh and I were dating, we used to frequently visit Piedmont Park on Sunday nights after church. The park often has free concerts, free movies, or different events that we attended during the summer. On what seemed like a typically Sunday night, Josh suggested we visit the park to meet some friends. At first I was hesitant as it looked like it would start raining at any moment. Regardless, I agreed to go. Josh had rented Magnolia Hall (an event space inside of the park) just for the two of us. He decorated the hall with candles, flowers, printed canvas pictures, and had a bulletin board of letters we had written back and forth to one another. I was so surprised I honestly don’t remember what he said when we entered the hall. I do remember him getting down on one knee and asking me to marry him. I, of course, said “YES.” Afterwards, we took a few pictures in the park before heading to Pricci to celebrate, from where we called our family to share the news.
In what month did you get married? April
How many guests attended your wedding? 125
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Josh and I decided to keep with tradition and see each other when my dad walked me down the aisle.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? With a seven-month engagement, time was definitely a big challenge. My family handmade many of the items for our wedding. Almost every weekend and many late weekday nights were dedicated to making our wedding vision come to life. I will always cherish the bonding time with my mom and sister as we transformed my parents’ dining room into a wedding craft station with three humming sewing machines. With some blood, sweat and tears, everything was finished on time and turned out even better than I originally imagined. I am so thankful for a talented and selfless family.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There are so many memorable moments from our wedding day, it is difficult to choose one. We cherish the fact we were able to share the day with the people that are most important in our lives.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Before you start the planning process, take some time to enjoy your engagement. Planning a wedding can be stressful and the time flies by. The joyful period can quickly be eroded by expenses, expectations of others, time constraints, etc. At the end of the day after all of the planning is complete, there are just some things you can’t plan for. Trying to keep perspective can sometimes be challenging when you are chasing down vendors and managing your guest count, but prioritize building a marriage over planning a wedding. Find a strong pre-marital counseling program, read marriage books, etc.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Josh and I have been married for eight months now. Marriage is the greatest gift. God willing, we look forward to expanding our family a few years from now. In the short term, Josh and I enjoy spending time with each other traveling the world.

Melissa Schollaert is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
11 Comments
  1. avatar Kristin reply

    Lovely!

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Oh my, I love those bridesmaid bouquets and Andrea’s lace-edged veil!

  3. avatar Style Sweets Magazine reply

    Crazy about the font style for the biscuit bar as well as the idea of a biscuit bar… Love!

  4. avatar blog highlight: carolynA events on southern weddings blog | blog reply

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  5. avatar Dee Shore reply

    What a gorgeous wedding! I’m in love with the personalized hangers for the bridesmaids. Such a sweet touch.

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In the Southern Weddings office, we’re quite smitten with all things signature drink-related, especially when it comes to styling them. (Just check out our office parties here and here!) We’ve seen our share of striped paper straws, drink flags and stirrers (though we still adore all of them!), but we’ve yet to see a option as sparkly yet eco-friendly as stainless steel straws.

When Hannah, the president of Essential Safe Products sent over images from her recent wedding and a description of the not-as-wasteful steel straw options, we knew we had a winner!

Image above from Alain Martinez Photography, graphic by me, Nicole!

How adorable would these straws be standing inside mason jars or even daintily propped inside a champagne flute like in Hannah’s wedding? Don’t you want to always drink out of a pretty straw now?

To Enter: There are two ways to enter!
1. Leave a comment below telling us what your signature wedding drink will be!
2. Tweet “I just entered the @Live_ESP giveaway on @iloveswmag!” Then come back here and leave a SEPARATE comment telling us you did so!

Win: Five sets of stainless steel straws from Essential Safe Products for your delicious signature drink!

This giveaway closes on June 13 at midnight. Good luck!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
29 Comments
  1. avatar Ashley reply

    We will be having two signature drinks..Lynchburg Lemonade (made with Jack D) for the groom and a Pink Lemonade Margarita (in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the day we got engaged) for me! Our ceremony and reception are taking place outdoors in the Florida heat, so what better way to cool down and quench your thirst than a nice cold [spiked] lemonade! :)

  2. avatar Lorri Adair reply

    We are doing a spiked minted lemonade!

  3. avatar Mary Ann reply

    Both of our names start with the letter M so we are having personalized Mojitos and Margaritas! The wedding is taking place on the Texas/Mexico boarder and my fiance is Puerto Rican so it all works!

  4. avatar Kristyn reply

    We haven’t completely decided what we will be doing for the drinks yet but I am leaning towards having a bourbon bar for the guys and a cocktail bar for the ladies. If we don’t do that, we will do at least 2 signature drinks! I would love to use these in either mason jars or mint julep cups!

  5. avatar Kristyn reply

    I tweeted about it! @fireflycarolina

  6. avatar Courtney reply

    A mojito! That is our favorite drink and I couldn’t imagine the day without one :)

  7. avatar Katie O’Keefe reply

    My best friend is getting married soon and their signature drink is sweet tea in mason jars. These straws would be so fun and would glam things up a bit!

  8. avatar Sarah reply

    My signature drink would be sweet tea vodka and lemonade!! love the straws!

  9. avatar Katie Johnston reply

    Maria + Jack

  10. avatar Kelsey reply

    We’re not having a signature drink; per se, but we are having a bourbon tasting bar! Bourbon (neat) is my fiancé’s drink of choice, and he’s so excited to be able to share some of his favorite small batches with all our guests.

  11. avatar Kelsey reply

    Tweeted! :)

  12. avatar Katie O”Keefe reply

    Just tweeted! (@katieokeefeblog)

  13. avatar Stephanie reply

    We are having a signature drink that rivals our favorite from a local bar! It is champagne with sparkling grape juice, mixed with a few other secrets :)

  14. avatar Tracy reply

    A Good Ol’ Fashioned Bloody Mary

  15. avatar Tracy reply

    I entered my tweet—-A Good Ol’ Fashioned Bloody Mary

  16. avatar Sheila Marie reply

    We’ll be having margaritas (it’s what he drank on our first date and I thought he was weird) and sweet tea vodka with lemonade. We plan to have catchy names for them, but that’ll come later! :)

  17. avatar Chloe Budd reply

    Tweeted! (@Chloe_Budd)

  18. avatar Chloe Budd reply

    My fiancé is a sweet, southern Georgia gentleman so we will be having a sweet tea for him and a champagne drink for me. We also will be having a champagne brunch the morning after with everyone where we will be serving a wonderful pomegranate champagne punch as well as a variety of options for mimosas. These straws would be too cute!

  19. avatar Bre reply

    We are so excited for our signature cocktails!

    His name is Ben and my name is Bre so our signature cocktails are going to be the “Ben and Tonic” and the “Bretini” after our favorite drinks :)

  20. avatar Megan reply

    Our signature cocktail would have to be the Final Ward, a twist on the Last Word: equal parts rye whiskey, green chartreuse, maraschino, and lemon juice. Hearty yet fresh, and pairs well with stainless steel!

  21. avatar Sara reply

    Not finalized but probably doing both vodka and sweet tea and vodka pink lemonade with pink straws as signature drinks…in a mason jar of course! So cute…do thy come in pink? :)

  22. avatar Sandra DeHart reply

    Being a Southern Girl myself, I vote for Taylor and Zach Wedding at the Cotton Plantation.

  23. avatar Sloan reply

    We are having His and Hers signature drinks, usually because I think signature drinks tend to be on the girly side. His will be Jack Daniels on the rocks (we will have mixers for guests who choose to do so), but we are still working on mine!

  24. avatar Katie S. reply

    I’m still deciding on my signature drink, but my fiance has requested Transfusions! It’s the perfect summer drink and a specialty at the country club where we’re having our reception– vodka, sprite, and a splash of grape juice! yummy!

  25. avatar Shannon reply

    My signature cocktail will be a blood orange champagne cocktail with a sugared rim – anyone who knows me knows that I am crazy for champagne cocktails!

  26. avatar Meg S reply

    I don’t know yet! I’m thinking about doing some variation of the Honey Badger.

  27. avatar Kristen reply

    We are doing an English traditional Pimms No1 Cup to coordinate with our English country theme.

  28. avatar lena reply

    Since we’re planning a brunch wedding, I’ll be sipping on a Corpse Reviver No. 2–it’s a classic morning cocktail and one of my favorites any time of day!

  29. avatar cathy steiner reply

    Our signature drink for the Big Day will be top shelf Margaritas! We are using Cabo Wabo tequila (my favorite), and have ordered various fruit purees for guests who wish to add a twist to their classic. We’re calling it a “McKnight-A-Rita” since that is our new shared surname :)

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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