after recently doing some heavy reading on younghouselove, i was inspired to blog about our wedding and all the details that went into it. i loved loved loved our wedding. shoot, i love any wedding! planning our wedding was one of the most special times in my life so far, and i left no detail unnoticed. so, if you're interested, keep reading! i've broken it all out (partly for yall, but also because its fun to remember!).
first, allow me to brag about my awesome husband. i'll blog about how he proposed later, but needless to say- it was awesome!
|central park, NYC!|
as i started planning my wedding, i wasnt entirely sure what i wanted the "theme" to be- honestly, i wasnt even sure about colors. all my friends assumed that i would go for pink (i'm known around these parts for my obsession with pink & brown), but as i looked around on theknot.com , i feared a scene that i described as looking like "a baby shower threw up on a wedding." no offense, or anything :). so after doing a lot of brainstorming and research, nathan and i agreed that it only made sense to have our wedding be about one common love- coffee!! the more i thought about it, the more confident i was that rich browns, accented with creams and ivory and a light pink, would be perfect!
|we celebrated our engagement at starbucks- no joke, our first stop!|
while deciding on that, mom and i started trying to figure out where we wanted to get married. since i was a berry girl, my dream was to get married at college chapel with a reception at ford
but alas, ford was already booked, and we couldnt find another venue in rome that would meet our requirements. see, we had also decided in the midst of all this that we wanted a huge wedding- we invited over 800 people and ended up serving close to 400. so, we moved on from rome and started looking in the atlanta area. after a site visit, we decided on the beautiful evergreen marriott nestled inside of stone mountain park.
they had a perfect lakeside pavilion for the ceremony, and the perfect balance of coziness yet elegance for the reception in their ballroom. so, we started planning our "destination wedding" around the corner.
first up: invitations. i wanted something unique. beautiful. i found a great company with an online store that i worked closely with to make them exactly what i wanted. they were exquisite. i went for a folded card with a hand tied bow, and two enclosure cards- a reply card and a directions/accommodations card. sandy at invitationpie.com was an angel- she worked with me patiently over email and changed everything i asked to create some beautiful, one of a kind invite that i am still proud of. later, she also helped us with our programs & favor book marks, which i will get to later.
|sample, from the website|
|all the parts|
not pictured here, but i hand tied dainty little pink bows on each one! this was quite some work . also, i and i wish i had taken a picture of it, i hand addressed every single invite. it took hours- we sent out i think 350 invitations. but i was glad to do it.
as the replies started coming in, i kept up with rsvps and dinner selections with a combo of theknot.com and my own monster excel spreadsheet. i love excel. its my hero. seriously it was like 20 worksheets and each one had color coding, checklists, and much more. if anyone wants to see it, contact me and i'll happily send it along.
so with invitations out, we started planning the weekend- because see, we had decided that although it was a celebration of our union, it was even more so a celebration of all the people who had played a part in helping us become the people we are today. so mom and i worked closely with nathan's mom to plan everything.
first up, our wedding party. boy, did we have a great crew! made up of our family and closest friends, we had a large group of folks we love. nathan's three sisters and two brother, along with one of my brothers and my sister , made up the base of the group. to that, we added friends from our childhood, high school, and college. we each had 8 attendants- which was a lot, but there's not one person we would have cut. we wanted these people beside us on our day. for our groomsmen, we picked out some nice and simple tuxs, complimented with a chocolate brown vest and tie. they looked so sharp!
and for the ladies, i picked out a lovely brown tissue taffeta knee length dress. i thought this dress looked great on every girl.
and the final piece of attire that i must brag about- my dress!
i loved loved loved my dress. after a few days of dress shopping all around atlanta, i stumbled upon this dress at the same store that my mom bought her dress from 20+ years ago. on a bright, sunny summer day, mom, ash, and i waltzed into bridals by lori
|in the sample, in the store|
my dress was a rivini layered lace dress and it was perfect. i didn't want to take it off.
so that's that. with our bridal party picked out and prettied up, and my dress ready to go, it was time to move onto the rehearsal. we worked with mrs freeman to plan a perfect night-before bash. because we were all staying at the marriott (and by all- i mean us and about 100 of our wedding guests) we had all night to enjoy a laid back gathering and prep time. after a quick rehearsal in the pavilion, mrs. freeman hosted an awesome back deck dinner party, followed by a pool party. this laid back, familial gathering gave us a great opportunity to socialize and celebrate with our favorite people- with whom we knew we wouldnt have much time to do the next day.
it was a great party, complete with mason jars of daisies and a bluegrass band. the pool party was fully equipped with tin buckets full of sodas and a candy cart with starbucks bags to fill to take back to the room.
which leads me to our welcome bags, which we pre-placed in each hotel room. while i don't have a picture of these, they were one of my favorite little details that we did. full of bottled waters, snacks, gum, maps, and some treaties for the little guys, we wanted all of our guests to fill welcome, relaxed, and definitely not go hungry!
the day of the wedding, we hosted a great bridesmaid luncheon in the hotel room. as my girls and i got ready together (we had someone do our hair and makeup), some of my other favorite ladies surrounded us as we snacked on chicken salad, chicken tenders, cheez its, and berries with fresh whipped cream.
during the bridesmaid luncheon, my grandmothers, mother, and godmother presented me with a new twist on a traditional poem of gifts. i hadn't even thought about my "something old, something new," but of course, i come from a family that is a lot like me- always thinking about the details. so, in one of the most touching times of my life, they one by one presented me with some treasured tokens for the day:
|mom and grammie- with my, something old|
|you cant see it very well, but my something old was my great, great grandmother's 14k rose gold wedding band. both my mom and aunt carried it in their weddings, and it was beautiful. this was presented to me by my grammie (mom's mom)|
|something new- new pearl earrings to wear from my mom|
|something borrowed- my godmother's garter. i had been very firm about not wanting a garter, and everyone thought i was crazy. i did wear this, but i did NOT have it tossed :)|
so that leads us up to the pictures beforehand and the wedding itself. we had a great photographer- mr. kenny wesley. a family friend of ours and an excellent photographer. unfortunately, right before we were to start taking pictures, a massive storm broke out. great. good luck though, right? so we started out taking pictures inside- at the fireplace in the starbucks in the hotel (yet another reason we selected this place). finally, the storm broke and the sun came out and we got to move out side. see the next post for more about the wedding itself!