Most of Rachel and Dennis's guests came in from out of town, so it was very important to them that their guests experience true Southern hospitality. Starting off with a venue that is a Southern landmark, and followed by a regal wedding reception that was filled to the brim with vintage decor. We know you are going to love every second of this Southern wedding filled with beauty.
Get a better look at all the loveliness of this Southern beauty showcase wedding in the full gallery here, captured by Alea Moore Photography. Bonus! The bride shares advice on how to keep your budget under control while still getting everything you really want! A must read for all you budget savvy gals.
Words from The Bride
The Georgian Terrace in Midtown Atlanta was the perfect venue for us- it is an iconic southern landmark (listed in the national registry of historic places) and was the host of the 1938 pre-premier party for the cast of Gone with the Wind. The grand ballroom is sophisticated, regal, and includes all original light fixtures from the hotel's beginnings in 1911. We wanted our decor to complement the antique and historic aspects of the hotel.
It's so hard to pinpoint just one favorite thing of the whole day, there were so many highlights! Something that was really great to see was all of our bridal party together. I wanted a cohesive look, but still showcase each person's uniqueness. The bridesmaids wore all different styles of BHLDN dresses with individualized beaded sashes, and the groomsmen all had different ties from The Tie Bar. It was so awesome to see everyone together after picturing it in my head for so long!
Another thing that made the day so memorable was how many of our close friends were involved in our special day. One of our lifelong family friends, Susan, worked very long hours in coordination with our florist to create all our centerpieces and decor. She scoured merchandise marts, flea markets, and her own personal collection to create original vintage centerpieces that were absolutely gorgeous. The minister who married us is also a close friend, and it was so special to have him officiate. We were also fortunate to know many talented musicians from our church, who we were able to hand pick and assemble for a band at the reception. The band was an absolute hit! Dennis and I felt so loved on our wedding day; we were so happy to spend the day with so many important people as we start this new chapter in our lives!
Read on for some advice from the bride on how to keep your budget under control while still getting everything you really want!
The absolute only thing I may have done differently looking back would be to have a videographer. I purposefully did not get one as I hated the idea of having an intrusive camera man present for everything. But now, I really wish I could see and hear the band play again, see our guests enjoying themselves, and see our first dance!
I have two major pieces of advice for future brides. Number 1 would be to limit your options! This may sound counter intuitive, but by choosing between thousands of vendors, dresses, florists, etc, the relative value of the choice you choose will be far less, and you will stress out about the things you're missing out on that you did not choose. I purposefully limited my options in virtually every aspect of my wedding, and I think that significantly enhanced the value for me. I chose vendors that other friends had used and enjoyed, rather than setting up appointments with multiple vendors. I also only tried on 5 gowns. Don't try on more gowns or even look at more gowns after you purchase one! Nothing good will come of that.
My second piece of advice is not to be afraid to be a scavenger at your venue! The Georgian Terrace had 5 weddings happening the weekend of our wedding. We realized the night before that we had no floral arrangements for the room where our cocktail hour was taking place. A wedding that had just ended was striking their set up, and they were throwing away tons of gorgeous floral arrangements. We asked if we could have them, and we ended up getting tons of flowers for free!
Our splurge item and largest percentage of the total cost was obviously our venue, which also included the cost of food, drinks, and cake. We were able to cut costs here in several ways: we used polyester tablecloths which knocked off about $5/per person from the total price. We also served chicken and fish instead of beef, which drove down the final price. Also, our very sweet venue coordinator offered to drive us in the company car following our exit, so we didn't have to rent a car.
We were also able to save a lot of money with our decor. We spent about $600 on the actual blooms that were featured on each of the tabletops. Our friend Susan and my mom created centerpieces out of old picture frames, famed mirrors, books, teacups, birdcages, and other vintage nick-knacks. Even though the total floral budget for the room itself was very minimal, the overall look was still incredible!
I saved on my gown by buying if directly off the rack at Kelly's Closet during a sample sale. It was originally $6,000, but by buying it at the sale it was much more reasonable! This is a great way to go if you have a shortened timeline as you don't have to bother with ordering a dress and waiting for it. Just keep in mind that alterations will be expensive!