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In preparation for this weekend’s wedding, for #throwbackthursday I was remembering Sam and Patrick’s beautiful celebration a few years ago. These slippers that @sbresnahancnn bought for her girls are possibly the best bridesmaids’ gift I’ve ever seen! #atlantaweddings #atlantaweddingplanner #beautifulcouple #joyfulunions #weddingplanning #tbt
📷: @vuephoto

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Question of the week for Wondering Wednesday: Many clients have asked me how much time they should take off from work the week of the wedding. My answer: as much as possible! Definitely the day before, and better if it can be 2-3 days before. The whole week would be ideal! Most of my clients say their biggest stress the week of the wedding is finishing up work. It’s hard to fathom how quickly those last few days fly by, with picking up the gown, finishing the seating chart and favors, dropping off welcome bags and final payments, getting nails done, and visiting family who have arrived, and a million other last minute to-dos that just happen, no matter how organized you are! Plus, wouldn’t it be a bonus to have a little time to yourself to breathe before the big day? #atlantaweddings #atlantaweddingplanner #weddingtipsandtricks #weddingplanning #welcomebags #staycalm

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Bright idea of the week: Seating chart board with names listed by table on cards attached to a fabric-covered board inside the frame. The twist? A monogram or pattern to coincide with the wedding theme printed on the background of the cards. When they are put together you see the pattern! A hint for this weekend’s wedding: their background motif is a brontosaurus! Credit @decomarj for this design. #atlantaweddings #atlantaweddingplanner #seatingchart #brightidea

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Happy Friday! It’s a day for #love and #gratitude…the sun is shining, my Christmas cards are going out today, and I am thankful for a lovely thank you note from one of my beautiful brides, @megcantey. She says, “We definitely could not have done it without you. It really was a perfect day.” Look for more details from her #bookthemewedding to be posted soon on circleofloveweddings.com. Happy almost one-month anniversary, Meghann and Jim! Hugs to you! 📷: @leahandmark #dahlonegawedding #beautifulcouple #joyfulunions #atlantaweddings #atlantaweddingplanner

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How perfect that I had lunch on #throwbackthursday with my friend and former bride, Ally Wilinski! She is starting an event decor company, Ally Wilinski Design, @allydubbsdesigns - so excited for her! Here’s one of my favorite pics from her wedding, a gorgeous summer day at @summerourstudio! 📷: @aharonjhill #tbt #beautifulcouple #joyfulunions #atlantaweddings #sparklerdeparture

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Real Wedding: Sam + Joey

Sam (from Georgia) and Joey (from Alabama) both work in Sam’s family business (they own a chain of thrift stores in Atlanta). 

They met on the job, and as one of the fun facts on their water bottle labels stated, Sam didn’t like Joey at first because he got the promotion she felt she deserved. 

Things eventually worked out, and Sam and Joey, with help from Sam’s mom Debbie, were soon planning their wedding at White Oaks Barn In Dahlonega. 

A beautiful property just 20 minutes outside of the historic Dahlonega Square, White Oaks Barn was built as a venue for the owner’s daughter’s wedding in 2012. 

It’s fairly unique as far as barns go, having air conditioning and nice bathrooms - a priority not only for the owner’s daughter, but for Sam as well! 

Sam and her mom, with the help of our floral designer, created a summery palette of navy blue and apple green, with flowers in shades of white, blue and green, accented with silver and mercury glass. 

We were sure the barn had never looked so fancy! After a full day of wedding events on Friday, the wedding day dawned with an 80% chance of rain. 

No worries! Sam and Joey had their first look photos as it drizzled, and as the forecast rapidly changed, we made the decision to move forward with the outdoor ceremony, sited on a gorgeous bluff with sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. 

I had a few moments of worry as thunderclouds gathered just as I was lining up the processional, but the bride and her father arrived in a vintage Rolls Royce, they got married, and the rain held off until a fierce storm swept through during dinner. 

By that time guests were inside enjoying a grits station and carved tenderloin, plus lots of local veggies, so no one even noticed. 

A wedding cake with three different flavors served as dessert, and guests sampled eight different varieties of jellybeans as they danced the night away. 

There were so many fun details: from sunglasses and custom tissue packages for the ceremony, to personalized water bottles, to the table numbers, which were all photos of Sam and Joey and their precious pup, Watson. 

For escort cards, Sam provided small silver frames, which later held the photos guest took in the photo booth (which had been specially sized to fit the frames). 

That’s the kind of attention to detail I really appreciate! Luckily the rain cleared in time for the sparkler send-off, and Sam and Joey departed to their lovely new life together.

Our Favorite Detail? As a wedding present, for “something old,” Sam’s mom gave her a beautiful aquamarine necklace. 

She later shared the story of it with me. Her husband Tom gave it to her over 20 years ago when he was having a bad day…giving it made him feel better and happy. 

She said she wants to pass on the happiness. So sweet!

Our Favorite Moment? The rainstorm cleared away just in time for the photographer to capture some fabulous sunset photos of Sam and Joey. 

While we were outside taking those, I was reflecting on the day, and marveling at how wonderfully everything had worked out and how all our hopes for the wedding had come true: the weather cooperated, the family drama that Sam was worried about never came to fruition, and she and Joey had enjoyed many special moments over the weekend. 

The power of positive thinking!

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Yoo Mee is friends with one of my brides from last year, and Yoo Mee told me later that she knew she wanted to hire me right after that wedding. So sweet!

Yoo Mee is a doctor at Emory Midtown, so the Georgian Terrace was perfect, as she could walk over whenever she wanted to. 

The planning process was a breeze, since she is very decisive and knew exactly what she wanted for the wedding. 

This relaxed attitude translated into a carefree wedding day, which was a good thing, since we had one of the most serious wardrobe crises I’ve had to deal with yet: during pre-ceremony photos, the groom’s tux pants split right down the back, and not on a seam! Yoo Mee could not have been calmer; she and the girls carried on taking photos while James and the guys took a little break and I sewed the pants up. Crisis averted!

They were married in a brief, lovely ceremony, which was officiated by a close friend, and then headed up to the roof for some more photos while guests enjoyed cocktail hour. 

Just look at how happy they look!

The decor was stunning, with flowers in the shades of blush and ivory that work so well in the Georgian Terrace, touches of gold (check out the shiny photo booth backdrop!), and specialty linens on all the tables.

The centerpiece of the reception ballroom was a huge estate table for the wedding party and family, topped with the ceremony floral arrangements and tons of candles.

Each guest found a beautiful favor box at their place, with several of Yoo Mee and James’s favorite goodies. 

After the rooftop photos and before their date, Yoo Mee had changed into her Korean gown and we brought her in for a sneak peek of the room.

Her plan was to change back into her wedding gown after the first dance, but when I came to get her to do that, she said she was so comfortable, she just wanted to stay in the Korean clothes!

Guests enjoyed a stations dinner, with a variety of salads, shrimp and grits, a prime rib carving station, and mini crab cake and burger sliders.

After Yoo Mee and James cut the beautiful wedding cake, the crowd hit the dance floor (a very cool specialty white dance floor that Yoo Mee had fallen in love with) with a vengeance!

Between the great music and the photo booth, guests had to be coaxed outside at the end for the sparkler departure, but by that time Yoo Mee and James were ready to relax, so they headed down the Ponce stairs as guests lit their sparklers.

Favorite detail: Yoo Mee and James provided guests with the ever-popular glowsticks for the dance floor, but theirs had a twist: they came with connectors that allowed guests to turn them into glasses! So cute!

Enjoy the rest of these lovely pictures! It truly was such a fun wedding!

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Beat the Heat

Hello Lovelies! We attended a wedding recently and wanted to take a moment to share a pro tip with those of you who decide not to hire a planner (and maybe for some who do). First, we will let you in on a little secret. SUMMER WEDDINGS ARE HOT. They are hot for the Bride and Groom who are all dresses up in who knows how many layers of lace and tuxes. They are hot for the partygoers dressed in their best. 

If you are having an outside wedding, at any time of day, during the summer months, provide water. The wedding we went to was beautiful, but not one, but two elderly onlookers passed out during the ceremony. Ambulances were called. It was a mess. 

We aren’t saying it could have been prevented with water, but chances are, if you are hydrated, you won’t be passing out as quickly. Not wanting to advertise Deer Park or Aquafina are you shindig? How about these cute personalized water bottle from The Knot?

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Don’t be Blinded By Our Love

Summer is in full swing and man are the weddings hot! We have always admired the bride who braved the 90 degree weather (not to mention the Georgia humidity). There is something about a heat wave that brings out the fun side of summer! We came across these adorable wedding favors the other day and just had to share.

Sunglasses. They come in every color imaginable and are personalized! How cute is that? The best part? They are $0.99 a piece! That is a steal any day of the week! Find these here.

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A Cake to Die For

One of the major perks of our job is the cake. How many cakes have we had the privilege to try? And now, with the onset of wedding cake “alternatives” we have gotten our fill of rice crispies, chocolate cover treats and even the occasional beer cake. But this cake is one we haven’t seen. Brace yourself for the drool that is soon the be escaping the corners of your mouth!

A simple, elegant cake made up of delicate macaroons. What could be more beautiful (not to mention delicious)??

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Photos courtesy of Alea Moore, Gene Ho, Alecia Lauren Photography, Solstice Images and Marc Climie

Design: Butler Creative | Programming: Ben McMath