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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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Thanks Upon Thanks

This is by far one our our favorite thank you from one of our favorite couples! (Real wedding post to come!) They had these lovely little thank yous at each place setting instead of place cards! How sweet!

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Real Weddings: Emma + Patrick

Emma, whose parents are from South Africa, and Patrick, whose family is from the Northeast, met at a tiny school in North Carolina. 

They planned their wedding as Emma was finishing up law school and doing a summer internship, and Patrick was beginning his teaching career at a Jesuit school here in Atlanta.

Consequently, Emma’s mom Charlene did most of the planning. 

She and Emma agreed that they wanted to keep it simple, warm, traditional and classic, with the focus on the church ceremony and on visiting with loved ones.

The wedding was an international affair, with guests traveling from around the US, England, Canada, and South Africa.

The ladies had a relaxing morning getting ready at Emma’s sister-in-law’s condo - a highlight was Brigid playing the piano for us as we were packing up to leave (her rendition of Ave Maria brought Emma to tears).

The ceremony, which took place at the beautiful stone church St. Jude the Apostle in Sandy Springs, was officiated by Patrick’s boss, who also knew Patrick growing up. 

Guests then had the afternoon to themselves, while Emma and Patrick went for a private photo session at shady Winn Park in Midtown.

An evening reception followed at the Commerce Club, and the ballroom was gorgeous with garden-style flower arrangements in shades of ivory, peach and coral. 

One of our favorite things about the Commerce Club is the unparalleled nearly 360 degree view of Atlanta, and on this evening we were gifted with a gorgeous sunset, which the guests enjoyed as they scarfed down their dual filet and chicken entreés.

Emma and Patrick always said they wanted a good mix of conversation and dancing, and they got their wish as they visited with some guests at their tables and others on the dance floor throughout the course of the evening.

Emma’s dad gave a moving toast, and soon enough it was last dance (to Anna Sun, which they heard at a Walk The Moon concert) and time for the happy couple to depart, as guests waved ribbon sticks, to their Perdido Key honeymoon.

Our favorite detail: Emma’s dear grandmother passed away unexpectedly just two months before the wedding, and Emma misses her terribly. 

To ensure she was remembered on the wedding day, we affixed a photo of Oma along with a charm to Emma’s bouquet.

Our favorite moment: Towards the end of the evening, We had the opportunity to sit and observe the dancing for a while. 

The DJ played a couple of slow songs, and we watched as Emma’s parents shared a sweet moment, as did Patrick’s sister and her boyfriend, and then Emma’s other grandma (still young and vivacious in her seventies!) led Emma’s Opa (who had just lost his wife) onto the floor.

 It struck me that the two of them must be remembering back to Charlene and SA’s wedding 30 years ago, and we just thought about how much love was in the room at that moment. 

Isn’t that one of the reasons we live - is to enjoy those moments together with family and those we love?

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Love Notery

Whether you are looking for the perfect wedding gift or want to surprise your spouse with a precious memento, look to Love Notery. They specialize in custom pieces of art centering around your love story (which is our favorite part of getting to know each of you)! The results are beautiful!

They offer a variety of packages including wedding vow or toast options. The best part? They are right here in Atlanta!

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Did you see this?

Apparently we aren’t the only ones who think Atlanta is (one of) the best cities to get hitched! But now we have the numbers to prove it!

From Patch.com:

Atlanta is the third best city in the U.S. in which to get married, according to a new survey from WalletHub.

With couples spending an average of $26,444 on their wedding, the personal-finance website took an in-depth look at 2016’s Best & Worst Cities to Get Married.

WalletHub analysts compared 150 of the biggest cities across 18 key indicators of a cost-effective and convenient occasion, from average wedding cost to number of venues and event spaces to hotel availability.

Here’s what Atlanta ranked in the scheme:

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Atlanta’s Chief Bicycle Officer Becky Katz to Speak at Young Professionals in Transportation Event Sponsored by TSW March 3
Sold! Recent home sales in Midtown
Getting Married in Atlanta (1=Best; 75=Avg.)

47th – Average Wedding Cost
42nd – Number of Wedding Chapels & Churches per Capita
51st – Number of Event Planners per Capita
5th – Number of Bridal Shops per Capita
6th – Number of Flower Shops per Capita
1st – Number of Venues & Event Spaces per Capita
20th – Number of Attractions
3rd – Number of Hotels per Capita
2nd – Number of Musicians & DJs per Capita
6th – Number of Videographers & Photographers per Capita
No. 1 was Orlando, while No. 2 was … you guessed it … Las Vegas.

Dead last for matrimonial engagement convenience was Moreno Valley, CA.

See the original post here:

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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