Rachel says finding their venue, the gorgeous Rustix Manor, was fate, but I would also vote that fate played a part in Rachel and James’ love story! Rachel was actually waiting on another date when James caught her eye at a party. After dancing well into the night, these two knew they were meant to be. If photos could talk, I’m pretty sure these beautiful ones from Melissa Schollaert would tell the same story. While reading their interview and scrolling this lovely wedding, I couldn’t help but think about how sweet everything was. The love these two have for each other, the adorable babe in a wagon, and ending the night with dancing around a bonfire and making s’mores – yep, sweet as can be!
Both of us wanted to see each other for the first time when I walked down the aisle–it was just something that we both had always known we wanted to do. I totally understand why people do a first look though–I can imagine it makes the time between the ceremony and the reception a lot less stressful–but I wouldn’t have changed our decision.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I went to Bridals by Lori with my mom, my sister, James’s mom, and three of my bridesmaids. Everyone picked out a few dresses for me to try, but when I put on the fourth dress, I knew it was the one. It was actually one that the consultant picked out after I told her what I liked, and once I saw myself in it, I knew that I wouldn’t like anything else as much as this one. It was a form-fitting, ivory lace dress with a keyhole back by Marisa.
Y’all, I may not be the biggest fan of flower crowns (mostly because I’m jealous I can’t pull one off!), but these delicate, perfectly-sized ones are amazing!
I wanted the flowers to reflect the feel of the wedding, which was light, romantic, and Southern. My bouquet included ranunculus, garden roses, stock flowers, and feverfew. The bridesmaid bouquets were pink stock flowers and their flower crowns were pink wax flowers. The men’s boutonnieres were pink roses with feverfew, and James’ was a white rose with feverfew. The flowers girls wore baby’s breath crowns.
She is just too cute!!
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? While we were planning the wedding, we lived in Nashville, but we were both born and raised in Georgia and both of our families still live there, so having the wedding in Georgia was a no-brainer. I knew I wanted a rustic, outdoor wedding, and we looked at several venues before finding Rustix Manor. We were about to sign with a totally different venue before my mom went to lunch with a group of friends, and one of them told my mom she should check out Rustix. When my mom saw it, she absolutely knew it was exactly what I was looking for and we booked it before I even saw it in person. I like to think it was fate!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The whole wedding had such a Southern feel, first and foremost through the weather. It was 85 degrees in October, and our guests were fanning themselves with the programs and I was taking cover in the shade to avoid sunburn. The ceremony was on the stoop of a tiny “mock” chapel in the middle of a field, which made it seem like a small town chapel wedding. At the reception, the band played everything from classic rock to country while a bonfire blazed and guests danced and made s’mores. We even had a UGA win that day, so my bridesmaids and I called the dawgs! It was a perfect Georgia wedding.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We agree that the best detail of the wedding was the venue itself. It was absolutely perfect and met all of our needs: we had a chapel, a poolside location for cocktail hour, a stage for the band, three bars, a firepit, and the most eclectic Southern decor.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? So many special moments come to mind, but I would say one of the most memorable moments was when I was dancing with my dad and ended up losing my cool. The song “Today I Met The Boy I’m Gonna Marry” by Darlene Love was playing, which brought out a lot of emotions for both of us, since we’ve always loved the movie Father of the Bride. James says the most memorable part was seeing me walk down the aisle.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was almond pound cake with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream frosting. I wanted it to look simple, but elegant, and taste delicious. The groom’s cake was chocolate cake with vanilla filling and chocolate frosting. It was topped with chocolate-covered strawberries and adorned with a big Georgia “G.”
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We first met on spring break in Destin, FL back in 2009. I was with a group from my sorority and he was with a group from his fraternity. Both of our groups went to UGA. I was actually interested in one of James’ friends, and when we were back at school, his friend invited me to their fraternity party. While he was getting me a drink, I saw James, and we ended up dancing together the entire night. I guess the rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! I had been out of town with my mom and sister for a week, and when we came back, James wanted to take me to a nice dinner. He took me to Dominick’s in downtown Norcross, and after dinner, we walked around near the fountain area and he said something about our future that I don’t exactly remember. He then knelt and proposed and gave me the most beautiful engagement ring that he had picked out himself. He had arranged for our families to be together waiting for us at my parent’s house, so afterwards, we were all able to celebrate together!
When did y’all get married? October 5, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 225
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. I knew I would be way too nervous, but I think James would have preferred saying our own vows if I hadn’t adamantly vetoed it early on.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We chose three scriptures to be read by our siblings: my brother read Genesis 2:18-24, James’ sister Stephanie read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, and my sister Jill read Colossians 3:12-17.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a very talented trio of women play stringed instruments for the ceremony. They played “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desire” when my grandmothers were being seated, “Canon in D” when my dad walked me down the aisle, “How Great Thou Art” when we took communion as husband and wife, and “Wedding March” when we walked up the aisle together. We both thought all these songs were so beautiful, especially when played by stringed instruments. The band at our reception, Sweetwater Junction, was also extremely talented. They played our first dance song, “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green, which we love, because it’s so classic, fun, and upbeat.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Since the whole wedding was outside, our biggest challenge was coming up with a plan B in case it rained. I must have checked the weather 10 times a day the week of the wedding, especially when the forecast called for rain on our wedding day. Our plan B was to put a tent where we had the reception and then have both the ceremony and reception there, which would have still been beautiful and fun, but I’m so glad we were able to stick to the original plan.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? All of our vendors were so awesome and we were very happy to have all of them there, but the owners of the venue went above and beyond. They would let us come over anytime we asked (the venue is actually their home), their daughters helped drive guests around in golf carts, and they were always so friendly and accommodating. I asked for a bonfire in 80 degree weather, and they said sure, why not? They definitely made everything from the initial planning to the day-of much less stressful.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Try not to stress about it too much. I know that is way easier said than done, but you really just have to tell yourself that the day will be beautiful and memorable no matter what. I couldn’t even talk about the wedding two weeks beforehand because it got me so worked up to think about. I wish I could have told myself to relax and not stress. It’s supposed to be a joyous time, so enjoy it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We still reside in Nashville and are loving married life. I’ve enjoyed trying out new recipes and we’ve had a lot of fun furnishing and decorating our apartment together. We adopted a little kitten a month after getting married and he’s been the perfect addition to our new family. I’m looking forward to future trips and vacations with both of our families and our own kids, and we are both excited for our family to one day grow.
Photographer: Melissa Schollaert / Videographer: Joseph Edwards / Venue: Rustix Manor / Florist: Tulip Blooming Creations / Catering and Cake: Legendary Events / Band: Sweetwater Junction / Bride’s Gown: “Style 953” by Marisa Bridals / Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas / Bridal Salon and Veil: Bridals by Lori / Bride’s Necklace: Tiffany & Co. / Bride’s Earrings: Kate Spade / Hair and Makeup: Serendipity Designs Salon & Boutique / Bride’s Shoes: J. Crew / Bridesmaid Dresses: “Newbury Long Style 40442” in All Tomorrow’s Parties by Joanna August / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank
Melissa Schollaert and East Coast Entertainment are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!