Now that the year is coming to a close, we thought it would be fun to share our top fifteen weddings of the year with you! We’re so grateful for our sweet brides & grooms who shared their stories with us. So without further ado, our BEST OF 2016…
I’m not sure what I love most about this wedding, the beautiful boho style, the stunning equestrian venue, or the story of how the bride and groom met… thankfully, I don’t have to choose, and neither do you! Read on for all the fun and romantic details, from bride’s charming floral crown to the food truck caterer to the groom’s musical appearance at the reception. So much here to love!
Photography by Kendra Elise.
How did you go about planning your wedding? I bought my dress at the Sentimentalist in Atlanta. The owners are a mother and daughter team with exquisite taste. Every detail in the store, starting with the dresses, is beautifully curated. I was so lucky to not only get my dress from there, but to experience their love and passion for what they do. They’re also my favorite Instagram account…which is exactly how I decided to plan our wedding. If I liked a photo they posted, I would see who was tagged and write those vendors down. That’s how I found my photographer, florist, and caterer.
Did you have something old, new, borrowed, or blue? I kind of failed on this tradition. I Remember as a young kid playing in my mom’s drawers and finding her garter from her and my dads wedding. I probably loved it because it was so clearly from the 70s with its light blue satin ribbon and small floral appliqué. I love everything about the style sensibilities of the 70s. Well, she must have remembered I loved it (I’m pretty sure I even requested it at one point) because she brought it for me to wear on our wedding day. So I guess I did have something old, borrowed and blue!
“My bridesmaids dresses and the venue were my continual source of visual inspiration,” says Emily. “I told all my bridesmaids to pick out their own dresses in champagne, nude, or metallic tones. I loved the idea of that palette juxtaposed with all the lush greenery and weathered wooded pavilions. I kept coming back to that balance when I was making decisions.”
Says the bride: “We were initially really disappointed with venue shopping – we both wanted to get married on the campgrounds of the musical festival we met at, but were let down with the property. The veil of magic had been lifted without all the colorful musings of a festival. My mom actually suggested Chukkar Farms to us – it’s a Polo Field out in Alpharetta – and it had everything we wanted. Lush green property, beautiful mature trees, and all the grazing horses were definitely a bonus! Essentially, we wanted to be surrounded by nature.”
“Parker is Jewish and I was raised Methodist. We both wanted to celebrate where we came from but didn’t want to exclude anyone. Parker and I were recently at a more traditional Jewish wedding and heard a reading from Numbers (6:24-6:26): “May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” I got so excited because it was also a verse that I grew up saying in youth group. Anything that both families could share during the ceremony was important to us. Parker’s uncle, who is a rabbi, came up and talked about the Jewish traditions we were honoring during the ceremony. He spoke about the symbolism of standing under a Chuppah, and the breaking of the glass.”
Your ceremony in three words. Celebratory, personal, and sentimental.
Who officiated your ceremony? My younger sister, Anne, is an associate youth pastor in Atlanta. She is already so invested and connected to both Parker and myself, having her marry us felt natural and intimate – a feeling both of us wanted to create in our ceremony
What was your ceremony music? Parker is a musician and his good friend from college, Ryan Gregg, is also an accomplished musician. He came to us with the idea of playing the accordion. The wedding party walked down the isle to Bella Notte and my dad and I walked down to La Vie En Rose…it was magical.
What were your vows like? We chose traditional vows. To us, there’s something humbling about sharing the vows that so many people have said before you and will say after you.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? How personal it was. I felt so connected to the family I was coming from and the family I was becoming a part of.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? To remember what the day is really about, committing yourselves to each other. I definitely got stressed about the details even though I knew I would only be wrapped up in Parker on our wedding day. So trying to continually find that perspective was important in calming myself down in moments of stress. Because, truly nothing else matters, and the energy of being lifted up by your entire community of friends and family was the most contagious energy. It fueled us throughout the whole night.
With a Southern summer menu catered by a food truck and the groom and his band playing after dinner, we understand why the newlyweds described their reception as energetic and a “giant danceable party!”
Seating assignments were displayed with miniature clothespins on twine strung across an empty frame. The table included wedding photos from the couple’s parents and grandparents.
Menu: Spinach Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Binaigrette // Pecan Chicken / Bourbon Peach Brisket // Summer Succotash / Macaroni and Cheese
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We had a southern themed dessert bar with lemon bars, miniature apple pies, assorted cookies, red velvet and chocolate cupcakes. We also had a small vanilla cutting cake.
What was your first dance song? They Love Each Other by Grateful Dead. We did a joint father/daughter, mother/son dance to What a Wonderful World by Sam Cooke.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Watching my husband play. The band he’s in, Elegant Bachelors, played the reception and he and one of his best friends joined the band for the entire second set. Nothing beats dancing to your husband playing music.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Not a thing. Actually, no: more food in between champagne!
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? Parker and I met through mutual friends. He was playing a Last Waltz tribute show the night before Thanksgiving. We hit it off and eventually went on our first date. We discovered how many shared interests we both had, especially music. We had both even gone to the same small jazz and funk festival in Live Oak, Florida. After Parker dropped me off, I went back through an old Facebook album that I put up of my weekend at the music festival. I stopped on this picture of my girlfriend and me in a hammock posing with a stranger in a tie-dyed onesie. I remember we pulled this stranger into our hammock for a photo op because of how hilarious we thought his onesie was…well, sure enough that stranger was Parker, a year before we “met”. There’s a Hebrew word that my mother in law taught me, Beshert. It means “destined to be.” She taught me that word after she heard our hammock story, and now I hold the word close to my heart.