A retrospective of our celebrations of love over the past 15 years. These are the stories of a wonderful year!
In 2008, I became very well acquainted with one of my now-favorite wedding locations: Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia (four weddings over a two-month time period). Cupcakes and candy bars were super popular trends. One of my dreams in creating Circle of Love Weddings was that I would be able to experience and guide my couples in a variety of wedding traditions, cultures, ideas and styles. So I was thrilled that it was another year of firsts: my first pagan ceremony, first LGBTQ+ wedding, and first Brazilian wedding! Viva la variété!
Daria was absolutely wonderful to work with, from the planning stages to the wedding day! She is a hard worker who is extremely well organized and detail-oriented, which allowed us to feel relaxed about the numerous details that go into planning a wedding. She was so quick to get back to us through phone calls or emails, and she could answer any small question we had. She provided so many creative solutions in the process. On our wedding day, she made sure everything went smoothly – I have never been to a wedding that had such a perfect flow from one thing to another. She is simply a delight to work with, and she truly cared about the outcome as much we and our families did. ~ Emily
Lindsay and Wes, married January 5, 2008 at the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Lindsay planned a heartfelt, family-centered Epiphany wedding. My favorite detail was her program, which shared stories about each member of the family and wedding party as well as the family, plus a section describing the meaning of Epiphany. Each one was handmade by Lindsay with different patterned paper covers. I’m pretty sure I still have mine somewhere!
Katie and Dan, married March 29, 2008 at All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody and the Hilton Atlanta Northeast in Norcross, Georgia. The night the lights went out in Georgia… but not to worry, this sweet couple’s radiance lit up the reception!
Elizabeth and Seth, married May 24, 2008 at Embry Hills UMC and Fernbank Museum. My first wedding with the dinosaurs, and it was a great one!
Shana and Richard, married May 31, 2008 at Roswell Presbyterian and Ivy Hall in Roswell, Georgia. Both families have lived in Roswell for generations, so this wedding was a homecoming!
Shannon and Eric, married July 5, 2008 in East Cobb Park and Primrose Cottage in Roswell, Georgia. My first pagan ceremony! I loved observing the circle being cast to honor the four directions (the ceremony took place in the center). And the bagpiper leading Shannon on her processional to meet Eric was unforgettable!
Tania and Howard, wedding reception held September 6, 2008 at Mason Murer Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia. This was the culmination of over a year of celebrations: first a private legal ceremony on their rooftop in Buckhead (which I also coordinated), a ceremony and reception in Tania’s native Brazil (sadly I didn’t get to help with that one) and finally a blowout reception for all their friends and family.
Jonathan and Steve, married September 13, 2008 at Magnolia Hall at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia. My first of many weddings at Piedmont Park, this one happened to fall on the weekend of a tiny little festival called the Atlanta Arts Festival (which attracts thousands of extra visitors to the park). You know, no big deal!
Ramsey and Blake, married October 11, 2008 at Clara Meer Dock at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia. Ah, the good old days when you could have your full wedding reception by the lake, with dancing on the dock. You just had to watch out for the bouquet being tossed into the water! (Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything…)
Angela and Sergio, married October 18, 2008 at Clara Meer Dock at Piedmont Park and the Piedmont Room in Atlanta, Georgia. If it appears I should have moved into Piedmont Park for the fall, that’s right! And there’s more to come!
Emily and Chris, married October 25, 2008 at Callanwolde in Atlanta, Georgia. Over my career I’ve worked with three couples named Emily and Chris, but this one is the original. Emily’s mom decorated Callanwolde absolutely to the hilt, even replanting the urns on the front porch!
Jennifer and Doug, married November 1, 2008 at First Presbyterian Church and the HIGH Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. As an interior designer, Jennifer’s keen sense of style resulted in a stunning, sleek reception.
Angie and Brian, married November 15, 2008 at Clara Meer Dock at Piedmont Park and the Piedmont Room in Atlanta, Georgia. Another beautiful event in the park!
Martha and Grier, married November 22, 2008 at the Holiday Inn in Decatur, Georgia. At this wedding I learned that the coordinator cannot easily send the wedding party down the aisle and run the music from an iPod at the same time. Nice try, would do differently next time.
Craziest Situation Award
To Katie and Dan’s wedding: while they were at the church, the power went out at the hotel. And it didn’t come back on until after dinner! My favorite memory is of the couple and their wedding party being introduced into a fully candlelit room while the DJ played their first dance song on his trumpet (which he just happened to have with him!).
To my husband, who drove the golf cart to bring Shannon from her hiding spot across the bridge in East Cobb Park, to the ceremony. (Caveat with being married in a public park: there’s no waiting room for the couple!)
Most Stylish Decor Detail
As I noted above, Jennifer took the decor for her wedding very seriously. She had fallen in love with the newly available Philippe Starck Louis Ghost chairs, which were only available in NYC at the time. As a result, the price was something like $50 a chair (they are also quite fragile and prone to scratches). No problem! We trucked them in, and she was so happy!
This year I became acquainted with Endive, a fabulous caterer with whom I have subsequently done many beautiful weddings. Their food is simply amazing! The first time I met them and tasted their food was with Tania and Howard, and we were all blown away. Tania, who is from Brazil, wanted a caterer who could make feijoada, a traditional stew-style dish made with beans and all kinds of meat and spices. As we entered for the tasting, we were greeted by Chef Drew himself, who described the extensive research he and his staff had done on this dish. He then presented us with a gigantic and elaborate platter of what had to have been one of everything they make, crowned by a cauldron of feijoada in the middle. Tania pronounced it delicious, and hired them on the spot! And that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Jonathan and Steve’s wedding was featured in Equally Wed, a leading LGBTQ+ publication (now a blog). Check out the beautiful spread here! Working with Jonathan and Steve raised my awareness of the vital importance of marriage equality, which was always in my heart; and helped to make me a fierce LGBTQ+ ally. #loveislove
Gratitude to all of my beautiful couples, their families, and our fabulous vendors who worked together to create unforgettable events.
Blessed Be and Namaste ❤️
Photos in gallery courtesy of Lamar Gee, Dominic Ramirez Photography and Tim Harman