That was seriously the best day of my life. We couldn't have done it without you!
-Joe (groom)     

Joe & Martin
August 31, 2013 · Atlanta, GA

About The Wedding
Joe and Martin hired me a year out to help them plan their commitment ceremony. Martin is Austrian and Joe is American, and they share a love of sports and the outdoors, so they chose the Piedmont Room at Park Tavern since it's in Piedmont Park, their neighborhood. Rustic elegance was the aesthetic, and our event designer helped us come up with a lock and key theme to represent unity. The room was stunning, with a focal point of three farm tables placed end to end (Martin's favorite part of the decor), and tall, branchy trees placed across the front of the room. We had originally planned the event as a traditional wedding runs: ceremony, then cocktail hour, then the dinner and dance. However, about two months out, Martin and Joe decided that in light of the recent advancements in gay marriage rights, that they would go to New York to actually get married, which they did in early August. Never fear, the party was still on! They initially wanted to cut the ceremony altogether, but as we got down to the end, they slowly added parts back in and our party structure fell into place. Guests arrived to find cocktail hour in full swing in the Piedmont Room foyer. Joe had bought a batch of antique keys, and these were attached to the escort cards, which were clipped to wire strung within an actual doorframe, complete with doors. The curtains were opened to reveal the gorgeous room, and guests found their seats as the theme from Harry Potter played, creating a magical vibe in the room. Then, as guests sat at their tables, the wedding party entered, followed by the grooms on the arms of their mothers. A brief but wonderfully moving ceremony followed, officiated by a dear friend of Joe's and culminating in the two of them locking together two antique padlocks - a unique twist on the traditional unity candle. They then went straight into their first dance, once the cheers from the crowd subsided. After a buffet dinner, cake and Joe's mother's famous homemade cookies, they hit the dance floor and the photo booth, much to Joe's delight. We snuck outside to Piedmont Park for a few night shots, and then the grooms departed as sparklers lit up the night.

My Favorite Detail
Joe and Martin love Starbucks, and in our search for an interactive idea to replace the traditional bouquet toss, we decided they would each toss a Starbucks card, which Joe had attached to a decorative wine stopper. The lucky winners were very excited!

My Favorite Moment
As the ceremony concluded the guests applauded as usual, but the energy in the room swelled with amazing love as the guests spontaneously rose to give a standing ovation. The moment felt very historic to me, as we move a little further down the path of marriage equality for all.

Ceremony and Reception The Piedmont Room at Park Tavern

Sean and Amanda Photography
Alexandra Abbott
The Piedmont Room at Park Tavern
Baker Sweet Caroline's
The Savage Garden
Mike Zarin
Joe Buckel (groom)
Host Hotel
Loews Atlanta Hotel
Photo Booth
Wow! Photo Booth
Transportation Uber

Comments From The Couple
"We hired Daria for our commitment ceremony a year ago after we selected our venue. I researched a lot to find the perfect match for us. She was the first and afterwards the only one we interviewed because the second we met her we knew she was the right person for us. I don't think we could have done it without her. She was always available and knew exactly which vendors would work best for us. You can tell that she has a lot of experience. Everybody should hire Daria! She is amazing. We actually introduced Joe's sisters to her with the following statement: This is Daria your future Wedding planner :-). LOVE LOVE LOVE." ~ Joe and Martin (grooms)

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Photos courtesy of Sean and Amanda Photography

Design: Butler Creative | Programming: Ben McMath