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When my darling BDK and I got married, one of the first things we did when planning was create a “non-negotiables” list. These were things that we both really wanted for our wedding, and throughout our planning, we focused on honoring each other’s wishes–minus his idea of white batting gloves on the boys! It helped us to realize what was important to the other person, and really aided us in making big decisions when our budget was involved. So, of course, I love Alice and Dan’s advice: “Have fun and build on your list of musts!” Alice knew she wanted classically elegant wedding on the water with great food, lots of hydrangeas, mojitos, and cotton candy, and Dan added Old Fashioned cocktails and an amazing band to their list. Together, they created a wedding that was as filled with Southern hospitality as it was lovely!

P.S. If you know me, you know how much I value the perfect Southern bump. Alice knocked it out of the park!

Thanks to Jacqueline Campbell for sharing this pretty day with us!

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Every woman in my family gets married with an antique light blue polka dot handkerchief pinned inside her wedding dress! This covered my something blue and old. My something borrowed was my sister in law’s earrings from her wedding day. My something new was my dress!

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Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did a first look underneath a weeping willow tree. It was so special to have a private moment with Dan before we got married. We also wanted to be able to take photos before the wedding so we could enjoy the party.

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What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We both wanted to get married on the water, but didn’t want to venture too far from Washington D.C. We love the feeling (and the food!) at the Inn at Perry Cabin.

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Our favorite moment from our wedding was when it started to rain right before our vows. All of a sudden, the crowd and our wedding party put up big Inn at Perry Cabin umbrellas, and everyone laughed! The pictures of the rain and storm clouds turned out so beautifully. Thankfully, the rain stopped and the sun came out for first kiss and cocktail hour.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Have fun and build on your list of musts! Planning a wedding is a lot of hard work, but it is such a special time in your life and in your relationship. I always knew I wanted a classically elegant wedding on the water with great food, lots of hydrangeas, mojitos, and cotton candy. Daniel was a great supporter of my wedding dreams, and added Old Fashioned cocktails and an amazing band to our list of wedding musts.

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What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had a formal, but very relaxed, fun, hospitable celebration. One of our speciality cocktails was an Old Fashioned, which is Dan’s favorite! We served oysters at cocktail hour and crab cakes for dinner. Some of our favorite details were our display of blue toile-clipped escort cards, our pale pink wedding cake, and the table arrangements full of white and green flowers, lanterns, and candles.

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We had a pale pink wedding cake, decorated with a cascade of fresh flowers. The cake was chocolate with vanilla buttercream, and each tier had three layers filled with fresh blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.

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How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From Dan: We met at a party in 2006. I was immediately head over heels, but Alice rebutted my advances. Over the next few years, we both dated other people and saw each other occasionally. Each time we ran into each other, there was a clear connection. Eventually, I heard she was single, and so was I, so I gathered up the courage to ask her out. She agreed, and we’ve been together ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Dan: I bought a ring that needed to be shipped to me, and planned the proposal to take place on the delivery date. My plan was to tell her that I needed a new suit, and then bring her to Nordstrom to watch me try on various choices. I would change into a suit in the dressing room, come out with the ring in my pocket, and propose to her then and there. The day before the ring came, we spent the night at my brother’s house a few hours away, and then drove home to Chicago very early the following morning. During the drive, I tried to convince her that it was logical to stop at FedEx so I could pick up “an urgent package for work,” and then drive straight to Nordstrom to try on suits. She made it clear that she preferred to go home. We drove straight back into town, stopped at FedEx, and finally drove home to our apartment in downtown Chicago. Instead of taking the elevators up to our floor, I told her there was a new hot tub installed outside by our building’s pool, and that we should go look at it before we went upstairs. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and you could see the entire Chicago skyline from the pool deck. Alice asked me where the hot tub was. I took her hands, said something that I hope was memorable, took the ring out of my pocket, got down on one knee, and popped the question. After she said yes, I took her on a picnic on a boat on the Chicago River, complete with crab cakes, champagne, and chocolate.
When did y’all get married? August 2, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 135
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we chose a few passages and poems for friends and family to read during the ceremony. Our absolute favorite was “The Silken Tent” by Robert Frost.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to the Water Music Suite by Handel, which is what my parents had used at their wedding. Our string quartet played lots of Cole Porter and The Beatles at our cocktail hour, and our band played some Talking Heads at the groom’s request.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We used the Inn at Perry Cabin china instead of renting our own. Their china is very ornate and has a beautiful antique look. We loved it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are going to have a baby this summer!

Photographer: Jacqueline Campbell / Planner: Pineapple Productions / Venue, Catering, and Cake: The Inn at Perry Cabin / Florist and Lighting: Dragonfly Wedding Flowers and Event Design / Rentals: D.C. Rental / Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Musicians: Chesapeake Strings / Band: Round Midnight / Invitations: Smock via The Dandelion Patch D.C. / Paper Goods: Empress Stationery / Bride’s Gown: “Carmen” by Lea Ann Belter / Hair Stylist: Sonja Gregorie / Makeup Artist: Amie Decker Beauty / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan / Menswear: Vera Wang for Men’s Wearhouse / Calligrapher: Arney Walker Calligraphy

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Suzan@long island wedding venues reply

    Amazing pictures and I just loved the bride’s hair style , she is looking lovely.

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When the setting of your wedding day is as naturally gorgeous as Dunaway Gardens, it’s hard to go wrong with decor. Meredith and Tyler worked with the team at Tailor and Table to fill their wedding with lush, organic blooms that complemented the surrounding greenery perfectly! For these two, who love to go on walks and hikes, the outdoor amphitheater and gardens made their wedding day feel like “something out of a fairy tale.” Meredith’s words, not mine, but I’d have to agree with her! Top off the day with fun corn hole games, a sweet ceremony, and yummy Southern comfort food from Sun in My Belly, and you’ve got a wedding any guest would be thrilled to attend!

Big hugs to Amy Arrington Photography for sharing this pretty day with us!

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I was so lucky to get to go wedding dress shopping with my awesome mother, mother-in-law, and one of my best friends. We were the perfect team and ended up finding the dress pretty quickly, after I tried on just two other gowns. We had already chosen our gorgeous garden venue, so I when I tried on THE gown, I knew it would look perfectly in-place among the trees at Dunaway Gardens. I loved the interesting back detail, Queen Anne neckline, and, of course, the delicate Southern lace.

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Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Tyler and I did decide to do a first look. We wanted to make sure we carved out a special time for us to see each other before the ceremony, and to step away from all of the chaos for a moment. The first look was one of our favorite moments of the day and resulted in some of our favorite photographs, too!

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We knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony and reception, and we wanted to hold the wedding a little further outside of Atlanta to make the weekend feel like a mini vacation for all of our guests. As soon as we saw Dunaway, we both fell in love with the property, its natural feel, lush trees, and outdoor amphitheater. It felt like something out of a fairy tale.

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Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Tyler’s dear family friend married us, which was incredibly special. The ceremony was a combination of traditional vows, personal touches, and tributes to our relationship, written by our awesome officiant.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We were honored to have to have two of our brothers read during the ceremony: my brother read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and Tyler’s brother read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.

We wanted our wedding to be a fun, Southern celebration of the outdoors! For cocktail hour, we set up custom corn hole boards for our guests to play while sipping on wine and local Atlanta beer from Monday Night Brewery. We also had some Southern comfort food on our menu, courtesy of Sun in My Belly: buttermilk fried chicken skewers, meatloaf sliders with sun-dried tomato mayo, and a salad with fried Vidalia onions.

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Describe your wedding flowers. I knew I wanted to reflect the natural beauty of the garden by featuring heavy greenery, white anemones, and blue thistle. Luckily, I had the BEST design team to make it happen–Natalia Scott Perkins and Bart Scott of Tailor and Table. They created the most beautiful reception space, with a hanging statement at the head table, thick green garlands with soft white rose accents, and touches of blue from the anemones and thistle. The bouquets and boutonnieres also featured sprigs of rosemary, bay laurel, nigella, and chocolate cosmos.

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“Marry Me” (Train) is on my list of most fun songs of the night, because I got to sing it with my college a cappella group, UGA Noteworthy, as part of a deep-rooted Noteworthy wedding tradition of the bride singing her solo at the reception. That particular song, as cheesy as it was to sing at my own wedding, was my solo on our 2012 album, Ladies First (available on iTunes!), and is always a blast to sing with my closest friends beside me. At the last Noteworthy wedding, I caught the bouquet at the reception. At my wedding, the Noteworthy girl that caught my bouquet was proposed to the following weekend, and is getting married in April! We can’t wait to see who’s next!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Tyler and I met on the school bus during our freshman year of high school. We became close friends, and since our families lived down the street from each other, we went on tons of walks and hikes together. At some point, these outdoor adventures started to feel more like fun dates, and we became inseparable. After high school, I went off to the University of Georgia and he left for Georgia State. We weren’t used to being so far from each other, but we definitely made it work! Needless to say, after our many years together and all we had been through, we (and our families) could not possibly have been more excited about our wedding!
Tell us all about the proposal! Tyler proposed at our favorite high school hiking spot at the Roswell Mill. It’s a beautiful place off of the Chattahoochee River where there are still remnants of an 1800 cotton mill and a still-functioning old dam. The evening of his proposal, I was feeling pretty down because my two best friends, with whom I was supposed to have dinner that night, had cancelled last minute. Tyler suggested a walk through the trails at Roswell Mill to cheer me up. At the top of the dam, he asked me to be his wife–I think I said yes at least 27 times! Still giddy with excitement, I rode with Tyler to a restaurant down the road, where he said he had made a reservation for the two of us. When we got through the door, I saw that my family, his family, and my two best friends were there to celebrate with us!
When did y’all get married? September 20, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 130
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We created a lot of the details ourselves–Tyler made the programs, and my mom and I made my veil and the basil seed favors.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? It is so hard to pick one! I’m going to have to go with the combination of Amy Arrington Photography and Tailor and Table Design Studio, without whom I would not have the gorgeous photos of our wedding, laden with the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen. I am beyond grateful to them for how perfectly everything turned out!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Lean on your families and friends and delegate! Tyler and I definitely had a clear vision for our wedding, but we could not have done it (physically or emotionally) without the support of our awesome families and our close friends.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are loving married life so far! We are currently most looking forward to bringing home a new puppy in a few months!

Photographer: Amy Arrington Photography / Venue: Dunaway Gardens / Florist: Tailor and Table / Wedding Cake: Publix / Caterer: Sun in My Belly / DJ: Spectrum Entertainment / Paper Products: Paper Snaps / Bride’s Gown: “Erin” by Watters / Hair Stylist: Lindsay at NV Hair Studio / Bride’s Shoes: BHLDN / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Kami” by J. Crew / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

Amy Arrington and Sun in My Belly are delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
13 Comments
  1. avatar liam smith reply

    stunning location, love the colour and clarity of the images

  2. avatar Emily reply

    I love all of the greenery at the reception, and Meredith’s lace dress is beautiful!

  3. avatar Dunaway Gardens Wedding : Meredith + Tyler reply

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  4. avatar Marilisa S. reply

    Bravo Natalia & Bart on the stunning florals! Congrats to the beautiful couple!

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  10. avatar Elizabeth reply

    Where was the adorable cornhole board purchased?!?

  11. avatar 25 Engagement Party Ideas – DIYs.com reply

    […] as it can be played with four people and is a fun one for others to watch as well. Head over to Southern Weddings to check it […]

  12. avatar Woodstock Corn Hole Games reply

    The Monogram corn hole set in article was custom made by Woodstock Corn Hole Games.

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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