Amanda always dreamt of a fall wedding and after Steve popped the question, Amanda + Steve decided to plan the perfect fall wedding that encompassed the things they both loved and held dear to their hearts: home + family. With that and their favorite song for each other (“Home” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros) their theme + vision was born – the comforts of home. They really wanted their families and guests to feel relaxed and comfortable, have fun, and feel “at home” at their wedding. To create this atmosphere, they incorporated lots of homespun, handmade, and personalized details, along with vintage furniture and rustic accents that reminded Amanda of her great grandmother’s house. The goal was for each and every person attending to feel like there was a special touch in the day just for them. :)
Dinner was served on farm tables, decorated with a mixture of coffee tin cans, mason jars, glass bottles, and wooden crates for the flowers. The flowers were arranged to look as though they had just been picked from the backyard. At the table settings, there were personalized place cards with each guest’s name handwritten on small, circular cuts of wood and stamped with the heart-and-arrow logo from their invitations. The desserts were set up on antique tables and a fabulous pie safe, just like the one Amanda’s great grandmother had in her home. So many sweet + personal details to love! Thanks so much to Ashley Baber Weddings for the planning and W. Scott Chester Photography for the gorgeous photos.
Processional: Since our wedding theme and ceremony planned to honor our closest friends and family, we decided to pick special songs for each group’s entrance into the ceremony. Our family members walked in first to “Fan” by Brasstronaut – a beautiful & uplifting instrumental. Steve and the groomsmen walked in to one of their shared favorite songs, “Building Steam with a Single Grain of Salt” by DJ Shadow. The Bridesmaids then walked in to “Anthem” by Emancipator – a song as beautiful as the two of them. Finally, I made my grand entrance on my brother’s arm, to “Moosebumps” by Dr. Octagon (instrumental remix of Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”). I’ve always loved the traditional processional song, but I knew that I would be overcome with happy tears upon hearing the first note. This remix allowed me to have both – it’s hard not to laugh when the beat drops. We both knew we needed to insert things throughout the day to keep us laughing.
Recessional: “Home” – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. This song speaks for itself.
First Dance: “Mushaboom” – Feist. We had a hard time finding the perfect first dance song. There were many options considered, but after we found ourselves goofing off and dancing together in our kitchen to this song on the morning of my 31st birthday, we knew this was the right one. This is a song about building a home, starting a family, and growing old together – it couldn’t be more perfect.
The day was full of memorable moments from beginning to end, but the part that was the most special and will stay with us for years was the love box portion of our ceremony. We wanted to find a way to honor our closest friends and family not only with special processional songs and notes in our program, but also up at the altar with us. When we came across this idea, we tailored it to match our theme and tone. Our parents, bridesmaids, and groomsmen all wrote letters to us with their thoughts on the day and advice for the future. In addition, we wrote love letters to each other, and then one by one, each person was called up to drop his or her letter in a box that had been placed on a table at the altar. Getting the chance to share a special word and hug with the most important people in our lives served as a great reminder of how important a moment this was, but also provided a bit of levity with those friends who knew just what to say to make us laugh.
With all letters enclosed, we added a small tree branch to the box to remind of us a hard time we had already overcome and a brand new bottle of Blanton’s bourbon. We then locked up the box with two keys, each of us placing a key on a bracelet around our wrists (although it took a little maneuvering to get Steve’s on!). The idea is that we only open the box if life gets so tough that we forget about our feelings on this day – the letters are there to remind of us our love for one another and the support that surrounds us, the branch to remind us that we can get through anything together, and the bourbon to share a drink or two. If we make it ten years without needing to, then we plan to open it as a celebration of our love and write new notes to each other, adding in special tokens from our first ten years. Today the box sits locked up on our mantle and although we’re certainly curious about the letters within (and their authors, who are especially proud of their content, want us to check them out), just looking at it on a daily basis reminds us of that happy moment.
I so totally love this idea! Wish we had done this for our wedding – would be so fun to read all those letters on our 10 year anniversary…
From Amanda, One of our favorite touches were the table markers made out of old barn wood and designed to look like old street signs. Tables were all named after streets that had special meanings to us – streets where we and our families had lived during various parts in all our lives. To help personalize the evening for our guests, they were assigned to tables where the street name had meaning for them (our parents at the streets where we were born, friends at street addresses from college, and the bridal party at our current street address, etc.).
We had an amazing trifold mirror vanity for the gift table, old dining table with stacked blueberry crates and file drawers for the favors table (homemade hot cocoa mix in mason jars), and another antique vanity with baskets for the guest book table. The guest book was not a book, though – keeping with the theme, we fell in love with the idea of creating a quilt of signed pieces of fabric as our guest book. We used hanging embroidery hoops to display the various fabrics and instructions for the guests. The quilt fabric was also used to tie in all the details together – fabric banners lining the aisle during the ceremony were later used to hang behind the bridal table and on the vanities and pie safe and a handmade quilt-like curtain that hung between the doors at the altar.
The process of building our “comforts of home” theme started with deciding on what foods to serve. Since providing a delicious meal is the central part of any family gathering, we knew that food selection would help set the tone for the evening. We choose a meal that brought together homemade favorites from both sides of our family: summer squash casserole, green beans wrapped in bacon, three cheese macaroni, and pulled pork barbeque. For dessert, we opted against having a traditional wedding cake. I grew up surrounded by true Southern women who are amazing bakers, so it was only appropriate for us to provide a selection of our favorite baked goods. We had pies in four different flavors (peach, apple, strawberry rhubarb, and Oreo chocolate mousse), brownies, pecan bars, lemon bars, and three amazing flavors of cookies all from local bakers in Atlanta.
First and foremost, figure out what’s most important to you at the beginning. Once you do, that’s where most of your investment should go. For us, it was great photography and the ability to enjoy every moment. The photography was a given – it’s the one thing that lasts. We knew talent and creativity came with a price, but it was worth every penny. Leading up to the wedding, we heard time and time again that “it all goes by so fast!” and “try to be present so you can remember everything.” To ensure we could enjoy every moment of our wedding day, we invested in a day-of coordinator. Steve and I are natural planners and did 100% of the wedding planning ourselves, but on the day-of, we knew we wanted to let it all go, breathe it all in, and let someone else take care of everything. A coordinator wasn’t included in our original budget, but after the wedding was over, we both agreed (as did our families) that having a coordinator was the best investment.
wedding artists + details:
photography: W. Scott Chester Photography // venue: The Cotton Warehouse in Monroe, GA // event planner: Ashley Baber Weddings // floral design: Gardenia Floral & Design // wedding dress: dress & sash by Modern Trousseau from Kelly’s Closet in Candler Park (Atlanta, GA) // hairpieces: Kelly’s Closet // shoes: Banana Republic // bridesmaid dresses: Amsale from Flutter Boutique // hair + makeup: Rage Hair Salon in Athens, GA // groom suit: Denver Bespoke by A.J. Machete & Sons // invitations+ paper goods: Magpie Paperworks // catering: Beyond Details Catering & Floral Design // cake: Pies, brownies & bars from Pastries A Go Go // cookies: Kent’s Country Cookies // music: DJ Mike Zarin // vintage rentals: Four Inch Fold // officiant: Ed Wilson of Get Wed by Ed