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We first got to know today’s bride, Cynthia, when she styled our Love Never Fails tee for Cozy Fall. At that point, she and Andrew were just a few weeks away from tying the knot, so you’d better believe that when their wedding day came around, I was checking in on her blog and Instagram for sneak peeks of the newlyweds! As you can imagine, we were delighted when Happy Everything Co. sent their lovely day our way, and we got to hear the whole stories behind Cynthia’s beautiful gown, how she and Andrew selected their dream outdoor venue, and even about the abundance of Southern cuisine our Blue Ribbon Vendor Sun in My Belly whipped up for the celebration. Cynthia and Andrew were no stranger to hardship throughout their engagement, so seeing what a joyful wedding day they had is all the more sweet!

Tell us all about the proposal! It was a complete surprise to me! We went to dinner on our third anniversary on January 11, 2013. Afterwards, he took me on a walk down this moonlit path at Roswell Mill. At one point, Andrew held me close and asked me if there was anything about our relationship that I would have changed over the past three years. I thought he was trying to be romantic, so I gave in to his cuddling and said, “No, we’ve had a pretty good run, would you change anything?” At that moment, he said “Yes I would. I’d change your last name.” He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, to which I, of course, responded “Yes!”

Like many sorority girls, I had been pinning wedding things onto my Pinterest board for years, and once I was engaged, I recalled pinning the most gorgeous gown. The problem with Pinterest is that pins don’t always take you to the retailer’s website, so I spent weeks looking for this dress. I finally found out that it was by Stella York and started searching online for where I could buy it near me. A bridal boutique called Atlanta Bride Couture had it in their store, so I made an appointment for when my Grandma was going to be in town, and had my mom and my friend Ellie come with us. I picked a couple of dresses to try that day, along with the Stella York, and almost had a heart attack when I saw that the dress I had been lusting over for almost a year was under $900. When I put it on, I knew it was the dress for me!

I really love that earthy, organic style that looks as if you’ve gone through a meadow and picked a bunch of wildflowers for a bouquet. I loved the romantically wild look of our flowers created by Victory Blooms. She did a spectacular job creating table runners of silver dollar eucalyptus and a stunning mantel piece. Our head table was like something out of a dream, and the flower girl really loved her crown made of wax flower! She looked like a little princess.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes! I love first looks. I think they are so romantic and a great way to ease the butterflies in your stomach. Andrew and I met by the lake and exchanged our written vows to each other, and shared some kisses and stories about our day. Besides that, we were also able to get all of our wedding party pictures done before the ceremony, which left more time for eating and merriment afterwards.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows and exchanged them before our ceremony. We also said the traditional vows during the ceremony.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had a knot-tying ceremony at the wedding, which was a lot of fun and helped ease the nervous tension with laughter from the crowd when we messed up.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My favorite detail was the calligraphy we had done by Emily of Foster Pen and Ink. It was the smallest touch that I thought added a lot of personalization to our wedding. Andrew’s favorite detail of the wedding day was probably that he and his groomsmen got to go shoot the trap course the day of leading up to it. Our favorite detail together was definitely the venue. It was beautiful, the weather was perfect, we hardly needed to decorate because the interior was so gorgeous, and the sun sets just behind the ridge you get married on at Legacy Lookout. It was a dream! You hardly feel like you’re 25 minutes from the Atlanta airport.

True life: I married someone who hates cake. At cake tastings, I’d ask Andrew his opinion on the cake and he would just say “Well, you know I don’t like cake, so…I guess it was good.” I realized I’d be going at it alone when deciding on a cake. I found my baker through an open house at Foxhall. Lush Cakery was there for everyone to try. It’s perhaps the best cake I’ve had in my life, and she only uses buttercream to decorate with. We ended up getting the salted caramel and amaretto white chocolate raspberry flavors. We had a three-tiered cake with ruffles, pearl dots, and a cascade of garden roses and antique hydrangeas. I got a cake topper that said “Cynthia & Andrew” off of Etsy that we had painted gold.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. It was never the right time for us. I had a boyfriend when we first met on a bus to a band party my sorority was hosting. After staying in touch loosely through the months, he held the door open for me to the parking deck one day, and we both had an “Aha, there you are” moment. However, he had a girlfriend at the time, so we stayed friends. One day in October, when I realized I was getting feelings for him, I decided to tell him I couldn’t hang out with him anymore. Fate had a funny way of intervening that day, and he and his girlfriend broke up the same day I mustered up the courage to end our friendship. A couple of weeks later, we had our first kiss and the rest is history!
When did y’all get married? October 23, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 110
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Andrew and I are both into outdoor sports: he’s a hunter (he only hunts for meat he will eat, not sport) and I ride horses competitively. When we found Foxhall, we were captivated by how it combined both of our interests, and the setting was spectacular. We loved that we were able to bring our own food and drink onto the property to help save some money as well.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The food! I am a huge Southern food advocate and I wanted to include as much Southern flair in our cuisine as possible, so we hired Sun in my Belly to cater our reception. Appetizers consisted of mini lumps of crab cake, shaved ham on a sweet potato croquet, duck confit and bing cherry toasts, and fried green tomatoes. For dinner, we served baby spinach salad with a balsamic drizzle, fried chicken, fig braised pork loin, truffled fingerling potatoes, and mac and cheese. We also served local beer from Sweet Water Brewery for our guests.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Andrew and I already had great communication skills, but we had other areas we needed to work on. We both had talks with our families about marriage and how we are a team now. We worked on being better people for the other person’s sake and we talked about supporting each other’s dreams for the future. He wants to go to grad school and I want to have my own business, so it was important to us that we were ready to accept the challenges that lie ahead for those dreams of ours.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We didn’t have a fairy tale engagement, and we even pushed our wedding back from June to October because my mom was diagnosed with small intestinal cancer a month after we got engaged. It was a really scary time for us. During her treatment, all wedding planning was off, but we were conflicted as to what to do: do we get all the big things out of the way and pray my mom was going to be there for the wedding, do we wait and just push off getting married indefinitely, or do we elope and just skip the wedding altogether? There was no right answer for what to do during this situation. Thankfully, my mom finished her treatment in October and has since received a clean bill of health.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? As a couple, we hope to figure out our lives as adults in the next couple of years. We have a lot of goals we want to reach, like being debt free, buying a house, and opening a business, so we are going to work on attaining those before we bring in any other responsibilities.

Photographer: Happy Everything Co. | Planner and Paper Goods: Shelley Legg of Aubree Elle Events | Venue: Legacy Lookout at Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club | Florist: Victory Blooms | Cake Baker: Lush Cakery | Caterer: Sun in My Belly | Linens: Creative Coverings | DJ: DJ Q-Tip | Calligraphy: Foster Pen & Ink Calligraphy | Bride’s Gown: Style 5932 by Stella York | Bride’s Earrings: Kendra Scott | Hair and Makeup: Linda Margarita | Bride’s Shoes: “T Strap Wedges in Blush and White Crystal” by Dune London | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Style 6639 in Celadon by After Six | Menswear: Savvi Formalwear

Sun in My Belly is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Kristin Winchester reply

    So much to love about this sweet day!

  2. avatar Katie reply

    I see you post the link to the dresses- and I love them so much! What color are they from the site?

  3. avatar Vicky reply

    I love the color of these bridesmaids dresses! What brand and color are they? You have them listed as Celadon but that doesn’t seem to be the color in these pictures.

  4. avatar Gosia reply

    Beautiful colour scheme. And I agree- lovely bridesmaid dresses!

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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Talented, professional, compassionate vendors are the backbone of every smoothly running wedding day. When you hire people who are great at what they do AND good people to boot, your only job on your wedding day will be to act as a gracious hostess, love your family and friends well, and say “I do.” What a blessing! That’s why we’re passionate about our Blue Ribbon Vendors – because we want y’all to be worrying about those three things, and nothing else. Here are a few we’d love to introduce you to!

Name: Anna Kerns, Anna Kerns Photography
Where you call home: Frederick, Maryland
Favorite part of a wedding day? The quiet moment the bride and groom share together during portraits! As much as I love spending time with family and friends, I remember on my wedding day how refreshing and romantic it was to have some alone time as newlyweds. It’s a chance to take in all the excitement and joy of becoming husband and wife! Plus, your photographers will get some really sweet photographs for you to treasure for years to come.

Name: Christopher and Nancy Nolan, Weddings by Christopher & Nancy
Where you call home: Little Rock, Arkansas
Things you’d write home to your Momma about: We have been featured in a number of national and local wedding blogs and magazines like Style Me Pretty, Ruffled, Southern Brides Magazine, and Arkansas Bride Magazine, and have even photographed weddings in Hawaii, Boston, and Florida, but we are most proud of the relationships we have made with our couples. A lot of them have turned into longtime friends, and that’s the best thing.

Name: Mariah Diehl, Diehl Farms Events
Where you call home: Wimauma, Florida
How I got into weddings: Diehl Farms Events was created four years ago after Frank and Ora hosted their granddaughter’s wedding at the ranch. Ever since then we have opened our doors to public. All we ask is that you bring your imagination.

Name: Erica Luttmann, Hey Lovely Makeup
Where you call home: Deep in the heart of Houston (Texas, of course)
Favorite part of a wedding day? The prettifying part. The camaraderie between bride, her best friends, and relatives is special. And when the bride puts on her gown… Disney princess moment for sure!

Name: Julie Bunkley, Invision Events
Where you call home: Auburn, Alabama
How I got into weddings: After working with a sweet group of girls in college directing weddings on the side, I decided to turn it into a business for our area. It’s been non-stop ever since!

Name: Max LeBlanc, Sun in My Belly
Where you call home: Atlanta, Georgia
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? The best piece of advice we can provide to any couple is provide your guests with menu items that you love and want them to experience. Your guests all love you and they will love what you provide. The sky’s the limit.

Name: Mary Louise Kennedy, The Event Group
Where you call home: Auburn, Alabama
How I got into weddings: ​Honestly, as a company founded by a couple of guys, we never expected to get into weddings. However, we have never accepted anything less than perfection in the execution of an event, which naturally pulled us into the wedding business! We’ve always loved bringing a unique feel to every event and that has only grown for each wedding we’ve been a part of. The individuality that our team has been able to bring to each wedding has certainly played a big part in the growth of our wedding business.

Name: Ty McBrayer, Twirl Boutique
Where you call home: Lexington, Kentucky
Favorite part of a wedding day? The groom’s face when he sees his bride at the end of the aisle is an all time favorite moment of ours. It doesn’t matter if they’ve already shared a first look or not, his expression when he sees his soon to be wife in her gorgeous dress is one of pure delight and joy. That moment never ceases to send our hearts soaring!

Name: Tori Austin, Victoria Austin Designs
Where you call home: Fairhope, Alabama
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? Don’t sweat the small stuff. Always remember this day is about you, your fiancé, and the Lord. Do your research when booking vendors, sleep on it, and don’t hire on a whim!

Name: Angela Mazanti, Angela Mazanti Event Design
Where you call home: Memphis, Tennessee
Favorite part of a wedding day? That moment when what I have created specifically for the bride and groom is unveiled. I am a giver by nature. I give more than is expected and I give more than I promise. I just can’t help it – it’s the way that I’m wired.

Check out all of our favorite vendors in the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory! I also wanted to mention that we’re working particularly hard to expand some of our areas of slim pickings – namely, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. If you would like to recommend someone (or nominate yourself!) for any of these states, please email emily at!

emily Written with love by Emily

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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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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

“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
  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 – 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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