The wedding story of Jennie and Gary, who were married June 30, 2018, at the Whitley Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. A Brady Bunch-style blended family came together in an artful and musical celebration of love.
Jennie didn’t really want a big wedding but since Gary did, she turned to me to help them plan it from start to finish. They wanted an elegant, fun event to honor the blending of their families (between them, they have five teenagers!).
Our first challenge: finding our venue. We had six months to plan, and the date of June 30 was important to Jennie and Gary. Being that summer is a popular time for weddings, we were concerned that we might not have many choices for venues. However, as I always say, the right venue is out there: we just have to find it. And we did!
After several options fell through, and despite their insistence they did not want a hotel, Jennie and Gary went to see the new Whitley Hotel (formerly the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead) and fell in love with the newly built ballroom adjacent to the totally reimagined bar area.
From there, the details fell into place, and soon enough it was the big day!
Jennie and the girls had a blast getting ready in one of the smaller ballrooms at the hotel.
Meanwhile, one of the boys entertained the guys by playing his sax! (He also played during the ceremony processional!)
It was a gorgeous day for outdoor photos around the hotel property!
The Art of Love
All the kids were in the wedding party, and we were racking our brains for a unique and meaningful unity ritual that could include everyone. Finally we found it: Gary owns a painting company, and he and Jennie collect art.
So, they painted a canvas as their unity ritual! We called it a Blended Family Celebration.
We hung up a drop cloth behind the canvas to avoid spattering the hotel walls (as you can see below, this was a wise move as some of the kids squirted their paint!), and the group had a great time adding their own artistic touches (each person was assigned their own color), while the musician played Humble and Kind. The result is a one-of-a-kind keepsake that they will always treasure!
After cocktail hour on the terrace, guests entered the ballroom to find gorgeous flowers in shades of white and green, a classic carving station plus lots more delicious food, and a fabulous cake. It wasn’t long before the band enticed everyone to the dance floor, although the terrace was popular all night as well (as was the photo booth).
Jennie and Gary’s departure to Whiskey Blue for a private drink sparkled with love, just like the two of them and their beautiful family. And Jennie ended up loving her big wedding celebration after all!
Congratulations, Jennie and Gary! It was a joy to companion you on this journey, and I wish you a lifetime of love!
Ceremony and Reception The Whitley Hotel
Photographer West Destiny Drive Photography
Officiant Matt Abbott (friend of the couple)
Hair Stephanie Hatcher
Makeup Rachael Martin
Florist Faith Flowers
Draping Unique Event Elements
Linens BBj Linens
Caterer and Baker The Whitley Hotel
Photo Booth Shutterbooth
Stationery and Paper Goods DecoMarj
Rehearsal Dinner Del Frisco’s
Photos courtesy of West Destiny Drive Photography