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It’s always so inspiring to hear from a bride and groom who were deeply purposeful and thoughtful through every step of their wedding planning. Anna and Matt are that couple in spades–after deciding to fulfill Anna’s dream of tying the knot in her home state of Georgia, they set out to plan a “peachy affair” that fit their personalities to a tee and graciously welcomed their guests to Atlanta. I loved reading the story of how Anna chose her stunner of a gown (“finding your wedding dress is like finding yourself”), the heart behind the readings and songs they selected, and the fun ways they tied Anna’s Georgia roots into their reception in particular. While they may live on the West Coast now, there was no denying the fact this was a Southern celebration through and through, and I can’t think of a sweeter start to Anna and Matt’s marriage than their Georgian Terrace wedding!

Thank you so much to our talented Blue Ribbon Vendor Amy Arrington Photography for sharing this gorgeous day with us!

Since Matt and I live on the West Coast, we knew we’d have many guests from different parts of the country attend our wedding in Atlanta. It was important to us that we incorporated the richness of the South in our wedding for our guests to experience and enjoy. We welcomed guests with baskets of treats produced by local Atlanta vendors: boiled peanuts, grits bits, pecan bars, chocolate peaches, and Coca Cola, to name a few. We also served Atlanta favorites as late night treats at the reception, including King of Pops and Krispy Kreme donuts.

At the risk of sounding completely cliché, I now tell my newly engaged girlfriends that finding your wedding dress is like finding yourself. One weekend last October, my mom flew to Los Angeles to help me find my dress. We literally went everywhere, from Pasadena to Orange County to Beverly Hills. Nothing I tried on felt right, or made me feel like myself. There’s something about living in Los Angeles that I’ve found more so than in other cities: the city sort of frees you up to be yourself. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and, in my opinion, this city reminds you of that more often than not. I had all but given up when my mom and I made one final stop at Panache Bridal Beverly Hills. I looked at a dress on the rack and knew it was my dress. It was enchanting and unique, and best of all, I felt like myself when I put it on.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! I borrowed my best friend’s veil that she wore at her wedding. My something blue was my shoes. For my something old, I wore my mom’s antique ring on my right hand, and my something new was my dress and earrings.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Just being in Los Angeles while the wedding and the majority of the preparation was taking place in Atlanta. My mom, our wedding planner Kathleen, and several of my mom’s friends really made the wedding happen. They’re the ones who went to tastings and put together wedding baskets, favors, etc. I guess in retrospect, Matt and I had the easiest job of all–we got to enjoy the wedding day without having to do all of the heavy lifting preparation work.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No, we wanted to savor the moment of seeing one another for the first time when I walked down the aisle.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We went the traditional route and used classic vows that our pastor helped us find.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Matt and I each selected a reading. For mine, I chose Psalm 103; a wedding is such a praise-worthy event and I deeply wanted Christ to be glorified in every aspect of the day. Matt selected Colossians 3:12-17, as he felt these were great words of instruction and grace for us as we entered into marriage together.

I had always known I wanted to get married back home in Atlanta. With so many of our friends and family making the trek from the West Coast and around the globe, we wanted to provide them with a truly Southern, Atlanta experience. The Georgian Terrace was just the place–it was where “Gone with the Wind” held their world premiere. Other than that, we knew we wanted to be married in a church, so we decided to have our ceremony just down the road from the reception at Peachtree Christian Church.

Out of the entire wedding process, one of my favorite things to think about during the planning was the flowers. Katie McDaniel at Cloth of Gold creates the most ethereal arrangements that are so unique and customized to each bride. Our arrangements featured some of my favorite flowers: peonies, ranunculus, and Juliet roses. The bouquets were loose and whimsical and the arrangements at each table were soft and sprawling. Katie also incorporated The Peach Truck’s delicious peaches into the decor at each table–at each place setting, each guest had their name card attached to a peach. Matt even came up with a list of different peach varietals that are produced in Georgia as the names of the tables. As wedding favors, we asked guests to “Be a Peach and Spread the Love” with peach jam jars. All in all, it was a peachy affair!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I’m convinced Atlanta has the best sweets–it is the Peach State, after all! With that in mind, we offered guests a selection of desserts, from an assortment of flavors of King of Pops popsicles, to Krispy Kreme donuts, mini strawberry milkshakes, and a traditional wedding cake.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? It can be challenging at times, but try to enjoy every moment! Getting married and planning a wedding is such a gift and a blessing. It goes by so quickly, so treasure that time and try to experience as much of it as possible. Find joy in even the difficult things, like managing RSVPs and seating arrangements–there’s beauty and fun in even those things!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Matt and I are from opposite ends of the country. He was raised in Rhode Island and I was born and raised in Marietta, Georgia. After college, we both moved to Los Angeles. Matt attended grad school at UCLA and I got a job in the entertainment industry. We met and fell in love in what we consider the greatest city on earth. We attended the same church and met there through mutual friends. At the time, Matt was working as a recruiter and sent me a Snapchat video where he typed out the words “Will you go to Korean BBQ with me on Friday?” We share a love for Korean food and had talked about it the week prior. I responded in Google-translated Korean (I don’t speak Korean, y’all), “Sure, that sounds great!” We went out for Korean BBQ that Friday. On our date, I told him that I actually had to cut out early to pick up some girlfriends at Disneyland. It wasn’t that I was wanting to cut the date short–I’m just a terrible procrastinator and told him at the last minute that I had plans later that night too. Matt was so sweet and offered to drive me out to Anaheim (an hour-long drive!) to pick up my friends. We had a blast with my friends on the drive back and it was then that I knew I liked him and could see a future with him.
Tell us all about the proposal! Matt is full of surprises. On Labor Day 2014, I flew home to Atlanta to spend the weekend with my family, while Matt had told me he was going camping with some friends in Northern California. When I arrived home, my mom kept asking me questions about Matt-–how we were doing, when we’d be getting engaged, where we’d want to get married, etc. I was starting to get a little annoyed by all the questions, and texted Matt Saturday morning and told him I was feeling sad that we weren’t engaged yet. Matt told me not to worry, but that he was losing cell service (being on a camping trip and all) and that we’d talk about it more later. That day, my mom and I went shopping in Atlanta. On the way home, she “took a wrong turn” and pulled into the parking lot at the Atlanta Historical Center. I looked over and my sweet mom had started crying, which immediately led to me tear up as well. She said to me, “I want you to get out of the car and walk down that hill; there’s the most incredible future waiting for you.” She was in on it the whole time! Out popped Matt, who walked up to the car and escorted me to the garden and said a million wonderful things that I can’t remember now, and asked me to spend forever with him. I said yes. We walked over to the Swan Coach House, my favorite place in the city, took pictures, and met up with my best friend and her husband. After the proposal, we returned to my parents’ house, where all of my neighbors and many of my friends from childhood were waiting for an engagement party. We both felt so loved and excited for the future together!
When did y’all get married? June 13, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Peachtree Christian Church has one of the largest organs in the Southeast. It really is stunning and sounds so beautiful, so we wanted music that was both Christ-centered and allowed the organ to do what it was created to do. I walked down the aisle to “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.” At the reception, Matt and I danced to Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight.” Continuing with our Georgia theme, my dad and I danced to “Georgia on My Mind.” Matt and his mom danced to “That’s Amore!”
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Our Christian faith is central to who we are and is one of the reasons we were initially even interested in one another. Throughout our engagement, we met with our pastor and his wife and regularly discussed Christian marriage. We also read a few books together and began praying with one another.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? There are endless options and ways to spend money when planning a wedding. From the type of wine you serve to the type of linens used, you can really spend as much or as little as you want. When we started planning, we quickly realized our budget could get out of control if we didn’t prioritize. We often asked ourselves, what are the “must haves” and what are the “nice to haves?” Often, the “nice to haves” got left on the cutting room floor to make room for the “must haves.”
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We’re just settling into our new apartment together in Los Angeles, enjoying our community and our friends, and taking life one day at a time.

Photographer: Amy Arrington Photography / Videographer: Artworks Wedding Cinema / Planner: Kathleen Benedict / Ceremony Venue: Peachtree Christian Church / Reception Venue and Caterer: The Georgian Terrace Hotel / Florist: Cloth of Gold / Cake Baker: Frosted Pumpkin / Rentals: Cover Ups Linens / Band: Momentum Party Band / Invitations: Aerialist Letterpress / Day-of Paper Products: Paper Daisies Stationery / Bride’s Gown: St. Pucchi / Bridal Salon: Panache Bridal / Bride’s Hair Accessories: BHLDN / Hair and Makeup: Logan Baker / Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Juliette” in Cameo Pink by Jenny Yoo / Menswear: Calvin Klein Tuxedo / Event Signage: Stitch & Petal / Calligraphy: Everthine Designs / Peaches: The Peach Truck / Trolley: The Historic Marietta Trolley Company

Amy Arrington is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Georgian Terrace Wedding : Anna + Matt reply

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I was so blown away by Alise + Conor’s movie-like love story. It’s an epic reminder of how powerful love is and how quickly it can work its magic. Giant thanks to Paula O’Hara who shared this wedding with us!

In July of 2010, my best friend and I decided to go traveling through Europe together. The first country on our trip was Ireland. On our last night there, naturally, we decided to go to a pub. Within minutes, I locked eyes with a handsome guy across the room and he came over to talk to me. I was instantly smitten with Conor’s accent and good looks. I never thought I would see him again, as my friend and I flew to London the next day. A few days later, to my surprise, he sent me a Facebook message. My friend and I continued on our journey, visiting England, France, Italy, and Spain, while Conor and I sent messages back and forth to one another. We returned to Ireland on the last leg of our adventure to fly home a few days later. I spent those last remaining days with Conor. We knew we had something pretty incredible, but we also knew the probability of us actually working out was pretty slim. We made promises to Skype and email each other any chance we got until we saw one another again.

So, as you probably guessed, things worked out! We Skyped and emailed each other any chance we got, and I flew back to Belfast in October for two weeks. Those two weeks were definitely the major turning point in our little love story. We fell crazy in love with each other. We would find any way to make the distance between us work.

I was to fly out from Atlanta to Belfast on December 26, 2010. There were snowstorms all along the East Coast and my flight was cancelled. I was so sad. Conor was adamant, though, that I get on the next flight. He called the airlines and rebooked another flight for me. I arrived in Belfast the next evening, luggage lost and exhausted from my trip. When we got back to his apartment, Conor wanted me to open my Christmas presents. Even though we had only been together for five months, he had written “our story” since the night we met. At the end, it said how he felt for me, and that he had to ask me a question that could change our lives forever. When I looked up with tear-filled eyes, he was down on one knee, asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. We choose to wait a while to get married as we had experienced such a whirlwind romance with one another. We flew back and forth every couple of months for over a year and finally tied the knot in April of this year. We chose to get married in Atlanta, because that’s where I’m from and also because I just moved to Ireland! Our wedding was a combination of happy beginnings and heartbreaking goodbyes — very emotional in many ways to say the least. It’s been an amazing experience, one that I only ever thought happened in films and fairy tales.

Did you write your own vows? We choose to compose our vows from many different vows we saw online, just picking and choosing what we liked here and there. Our vows sounded like the ones that have been used for centuries, though. We liked that the idea of reciting the same vows that many amazing couples have said to one another throughout the years, the same ones our parents and grandparents said to one another.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 1 Corinthians: “Love is patient” and the Apache Marriage Blessing.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Our ceremony was a very traditional ceremony. I walked down the aisle to “Bridal March” by Wagner. We had two solos, “Ave Maria” and “The Prayer.” After we said our “I do’s,” we walked back up the aisle to “The Wedding March.” Our first dance was to “No Other Love” by Chuck Prophet. We wanted something different and original that not many people had heard of.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? (From the bride) The most memorable thing for me was Conor’s speech. Those words were the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard in my life and he saying how he felt in front of our dearest family and friends was just surreal and so moving. (From the groom) After wondering all your life what the woman you are going to marry will look like walking down the aisle, seeing Alise was amazing. After all of those months of being apart, it was very surreal to finally see it coming true.

Describe your wedding flowers: I will be the first to tell you that if I was a picky bridezilla on any level, it was with the flowers! I knew exactly which ones I wanted and what colors. I spent months trolling wedding blogs for floral inspiration. Let’s face it, when else do you get to spend that much money on flowers? I wanted a very soft color palette and a dreamy, wildflower look for the table centerpieces. I choose anemones, peonies, dahlias, succulents, garden roses, David Austen roses, heather, lavender, Queen Anne’s lace, dusty miller, scabiosa pods, and seeded eucalyptus, just to name a few.

Alise + Conor’s tagged favors rank among my favorite details from this wedding! Mini + witty = love!

A few of our favorite details were the jam jar favors I handmade with my dad and sweet grandma. My grandma was not able to attend the wedding due to her health, so making those had very special meaning as well as stemming family tradition. The table settings were also a favorite. We handmade the woodland ornament place card settings, and strung together the lavender with ribbon, as well as printed the thank you cards in the napkins.

I have a feel we’re going to have a group swoon-fest over A + C’s chair decor! Lush pink ribbon and wreath initials aside, you can do no wrong with some Johnny Cash embroidery.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Most of my details had Southern or Irish ties to them. I wore my mother’s veil and my great-grandmother’s brooch on my sash at the reception. All the tablecloths were lace with burlap table runners. We served sweet tea at every guest’s place setting. All of the antique pieces we used were passed down from my grandmother, aunt, and mom. We had old mason jars everywhere. The jam was homemade using my grandmother’s recipe that’s been passed down from her grandmother. We served mashed potatoes, had old milk bottles and The Varsity peach pies, Krispy Kreme donuts, as well as old Coke bottles.

In what month did you get married? April
How many guests attended your wedding? 150
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I didn’t know what style I wanted and decided to be very open minded. I knew I wanted to wear my mother’s veil so the stipulation was that the dress had to look good with the veil. I tried on probably more than 50 dresses! I finally went into Sweet Elegance Bridal in Decatur, Georgia and I found three dresses there that I couldn’t choose from. I flip-flopped back and forth between those for a couple of days and finally choose “the one.” I loved it because it was classy, timeless, all lace, and had a cathedral train!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We decided against a first look, just because we’re traditional like that.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: We opted to save money and have a dessert station instead of a huge wedding cake. We still had a small, amazing wedding cake, but we also had The Varsity peach pies, Marlow’s Tavern apple pies, Oreos, chocolate chip cookies, Krispy Kreme donuts, shamrock-shaped shortbread, mini cheesecakes and different chocolates. Our cake was amazingly delicious. One layer was a coconut Funfetti cake, the second layer was a chocolate cake with raspberry filling, and the third layer was vanilla lemon cake with fresh strawberries as the filling. All had a vanilla almond buttercream icing.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? As with many couples, we were on a tight budget and I have very expensive taste. My mom always told me, “You have champagne taste on a beer budget.” She’s so right! I decided to take on every DIY element I could get my hands on! I definitely put myself under a lot of stress with that, so I enlisted the help of my very talented and dearest friends to help me out. Our wedding was truly a labor of love and it wouldn’t have turned out so beautifully without the help of all our family and friends! Also, my husband-to-be living over 3,000 miles away made for a stressful situation in itself. He was an amazing help, though.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Definitely the photography! We wanted images that were going to be timeless. I knew I wanted our engagement shoot in Ireland and once I laid eyes on Paula O’Hara Photography, I fell in love with her work. She puts her heart and soul into everything she photographs and strives with every shoot to tell the couple’s story. After she shot our stunning engagement photographs in the Irish countryside, I tried so hard to find a photographer in Atlanta that would compliment those. I couldn’t find one in our budget and it was actually cheaper to fly Paula over. She agreed to shoot her first international wedding for us, and made us such a happy couple by taking that leap! She’s a dream to work with, very non intrusive, and makes you feel at ease in front of the camera. The way she captured our wedding day is remarkable — the aesthetics, the personal documentary style, the details, the emotion, and all the in-between moments. We couldn’t be happier with our photographs!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? If I could offer any advice to brides to be, it would be to think about what’s really important to you. Many times throughout our engagement and planning, we wanted to call it off and just elope because it all became very overwhelming. Now, we are so happy we didn’t. Being surrounded with all those people who love you both so much and are so happy for you is an amazing feeling and a very special experience! Your wedding day only happens once and is a reflection of you both as a couple, so make it as personal as you want. Don’t stress over the things that are out of your control. As much as you try to plan out your special day, it never goes exactly according to plan, but it will still be beautiful and perfect. On the day of, try to steal a few minutes with your groom to walk around and see everything you’ve been pouring yourself into actually come to fruition. Also, BE PRESENT. That was the best advice I got before my wedding day and I’m so happy I listened. Take in every moment, detail, emotion and all of the love that is surrounding you both. It will fly by and you’re only left with those sweet memories! (And awesome pictures, if you’re lucky!)
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Since I recently moved to Belfast, we’ve just been enjoying our newlywed life together. It’s wonderful knowing we don’t have to get on a plane to leave one another and that we can just relax and enjoy doing the simple everyday things together. Since the wedding, I’ve become a budding wedding stylist. I’m trying to bring creative, fresh ideas to the brides-to-be on this side of the Atlantic! I’m also trying to start a wedding blog for Northern Ireland as there is definitely a market for one! We weren’t able to afford a honeymoon because of all of our wedding costs, flights, shipping, and visa expenses, so we’re saving up for that and hopefully will be able to go by next year around our first anniversary.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
17 Comments
  1. avatar Wholesale Diamonds here reply

    Very nice wedding. I like the bouquet and the bridesmaids outfits are beautiful. I like that they’re in varying shades of blue.

  2. avatar Lauren reply

    What a beautiful wedding!!! The photos are gorgeous, bride is glowing and the flowers are amazing. I’m also happy she was honest and willing to talk about budget…I also have “champagne taste on a beer budget” and am trying to have everything work out while being cost conscious :-)

  3. avatar cathy steiner reply

    beautiful story/wedding/photos/couple…congrats!

  4. avatar Heather reply

    This is one of the sweetest wedding stories I’ve ever read! Good luck to Alise and Conor!

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  14. avatar ann reply

    Hi
    I have made 200 jars of jam for my niece’s wedding in Oct and trying to find tags with SPREAD THE LOVE. Did you make your own tags or order them? I would appreciate any information.
    Thanks

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  16. avatar Maria reply

    I love your shoes!! where are they from?

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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