In our interview, we ask our sweet couples what makes their wedding Southern, and today’s answer may be one of my favorites! There’s the monogram cummerbunds (!!), gorgeous all-white florals from James Farmer, Catherine’s classic lace stunner and TJ‘s white dinner jacket, but I’d have to agree with Catherine that the most Southern aspect was the Piedmont Driving Club! Of course, it’s a lovely location, but the coolest part is that the press party for the premiere of Gone With the Wind was held in the same ballroom! Um, what?! GWTW is an absolute staple in any Southern girl’s movie collection!
Big thanks to Kate Belle for sharing such a fab day!
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Both the ceremony and the reception were held at the Piedmont Driving Club, where I had grown up, and where TJ and I are both members. In our opinion, it is the most beautiful venue in Atlanta for a formal occasion.
Susan and Campbell at Joan Pillow pulled a new arrival for me to try on prior to my appointment. It was the second dress I tried on, and was only made more beautiful when I had the opportunity to meet with the designer behind Ulla Maija, Charles Bunstein II, who personally designed a custom overlay top and helped with the fitting and styling.
Now that’s a true Southern crew of groomsmen! Great choice on the white dinner jacket, TJ!
TJ insisted on wearing a white dinner jacket (even in January), which I suppose is quite Southern of him. Doyle Johnson of A.D. Mathis in Gainesville, GA tailored a custom jacket for him and it was very sharp. They even used a swatch of my dress as a reference to make sure it would be a perfect match. The most Southern thing about the wedding, however, was the venue. The Piedmont Driving Club was founded in 1887 and the beautiful original architecture in the main clubhouse and ballroom are extremely special and significant. The press party for the premiere of the movie “Gone With the Wind” was held in the same ballroom which was designed by Hentz, Reid, and Adler.
Our designers at James Farmer Designs transformed the Piedmont Driving Club into a dreamy winter wonderland. The ceremony site in the courtyard was simply breathtaking! Large, white temple jars were full of greenery, flowers and winter branches, and hurricane globes were filled with white hydrangeas, lime green cymbidium orchids, roses, and amaryllis. The white aisle runner was lined with a fresh asparagus fern garland down the length of the tent. The bridesmaids all carried bouquets of mixed roses and hydrangea, and my bouquet was all white David Austin roses. At the reception were trees in large planter boxes anchored at each column. The tables were adorned with low arrangements of creamy garden roses, white hydrangeas, and seeded eucalyptus in silver mint julep cups (a staple of the South!).
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The trees! James Farmer and team knew exactly what I wanted, even though I did not know how to articulate it. I simply told them that I wanted the ballroom to look different. Trees lined the columns in the ballroom, and the up-lighting created the most beautiful look and feel to the room. The ballroom was transformed, and even my dad noticed and was pleased!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I do not like cake, but my mother insisted that TJ deserved a cake. The pastry chef at the Driving Club did a beautiful job, and James Farmer knew just where to place it and how to style it. While I never had a bite of our wedding cake, the picture of the cake cutting is one of my favorites, so thank you to my mom and James for insisting that we have one!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We both attended the University of Georgia. We had lots of mutual friends in college and were in the same circles, but never dated. In 2012, we were both invited to the wedding of our good friends here in Atlanta. Our dear mutual friend insisted that we go together, so TJ called to ask if I would like to join him. We had a great time and became each others’ go-to wedding dates until two years later when we attended our own!
Tell us all about the proposal! TJ had a full day planned for us on a Saturday in February 2013, which I believe was set to begin around 9:30 a.m. His plan was ruined when I got up to leave my apartment at 8 a.m. to go to yoga. Instead of missing his opportunity, TJ rushed in and proposed in my living room around 8:15. Everyone’s next question is if I went to yoga, and no, I did not! We had a great day filled with lots of champagne toasts with friends and a surprise dinner party with both of our families that evening!
When did y’all get married? January 11, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 375
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not. Having daylight pictures was not worth breaking tradition for us.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Since the wedding ceremony did not take place in a church, we wanted a traditional string quartet to play. It was simple and elegant, which was exactly what we wanted.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? James Farmer and Debbie Felker really assembled a dream team for this wedding, and TJ, my mother, and I will be forever grateful! No stone was left unturned and it could not have gone more smoothly or been more beautiful.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Looking down over the ballroom from the balcony of the bridal suite before we were announced. It was absolutely spectacular. TJ and I could not believe that it was actually for us!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a great wedding planner! :)
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? TJ and I are adjusting well to married life. We have settled into our new home in Atlanta and are somewhat back to normal after the wonderful whirlwind of the wedding! TJ is back to working on building his business and I am enjoying my job in development at Skyland Trail. Aside from wishing we were still on the beach in Turks and Caicos, everything is great!
Photographer: Kate Belle Photography / Planner: Debbie Felker, Special Arrangements / Venue, Catering, and Cake: Piedmont Driving Club / Florist and Event Designer: James Farmer, Inc. / Rentals and Lighting: Tent’s Unlimited / Band: Adrian Duke Project / Bride’s Gown and Veil: Ulla Maija / Paper Products: Crane and Co. from Paces Papers / Hair Stylist: Tucker Fascula / Makeup Artist: Tara Young / Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids