Sara + Jim both love nature, so they knew their wedding ceremony would be outdoors surrounded by lots of trees. Once they found Dunaway Gardens (located 30 minutes south of Atlanta, Georgia), they knew it was the perfect spot. Other than that, they just wanted to have a wedding that felt like them and no one else. With every decision they made, they just did what felt right and most like them instead of thinking about what was “proper etiquette.” Such a pretty wedding captured perfectly by Amy Arrington. Congrats to Sara + Jim!
Flowers were personal as well. I got to hand pick each flower that was part of my bouquet and table centerpieces. We included succulents which Jim loves and requested for his boutonniere.
The time Jim and I got to spend together before the ceremony for our photo shoot was very special to us. Seeing one another before the ceremony took away any "anxiety" we had been feeling. We had so much fun going from site to site throughout the gardens posing, taking photos, just spending the quiet time with each other in our beautiful surroundings.
The other most memorable moment was definitely the last dance of our reception. By request, our band played the Beatles "A little help from my friends", what started as a few of our friends embracing us turned into a huge group hug/dance for the entire song. We were laughing and crying and it's a moment we'll never forget!
Creating all the decor using materials borrowed from friends made the wedding feel very personal as well. The top of our chuppah was made by one of our best friends.
Our 8 year chocolate lab (who we’ve had for the entirety of our relationship) escorted Jim down the aisle and sat by our sides during the ceremony. Our wedding party (or lack there of) and processional was also a personal touch for us. We decided not to have a large wedding party since we felt our wedding ceremony was really about the two of us. Of course we wanted to have some ‘back up ‘ :) Each of us having one sibling, (Sara’s older sister and Jim’s older brother) worked out perfectly for our Best Man and MOH. We wanted our nephew/niece (too little to be official ring bearer/flower girl) and brother & sister-in-laws apart of our ceremony as well, so our nontraditional processional included the MOH escorted in by her husband and son, and Best Man escorted by wife and daughter.
Processional: Wedding party entrance: What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong; Bride's entrance: Mouna Bowa – String Cheese Incident
Recessional: All You Need is Love – the Beatles
First Dance: This Must Be the Place – Talking Heads
All of the mason jars and bottles (which I covered in glitter so they would sparkle at night) were borrowed from my friend Betsy’s parents who are avid collectors of all things antique.
I’ve been a hoop dancer for 5 years and as avid music festival goers, we knew our wedding wouldn’t be complete without hula hoops! I instructed all my other hoop dancer friends to bring their hoops and I made several hoops (which I decorated with tape while getting my wedding hair done!) for our guests to use.
Our day would not have been as magical and special without being surrounded by our incredible friends and family. The dress, decor, music, venue is not what is important. We’ve never felt more loved and could not imagine and still can not express what it meant to have all our closest friends from all different stages of life and our family in the same place at the same time to celebrate our love! It was the best day of our lives :)
Our advice for those planning now is to ENJOY BEING ENGAGED! The engagement period and wedding for that matter goes by insanely fast. Jim and I were surprised at how exciting and special being engaged felt, after being together for 8 years, we didn't think it would change much. It's easy to get stressed out by little wedding details and what seems like an endless to-do list, but staying focused on what's important is key. Find time EACH DAY to be grateful for your love and finding the person you want to share your life with.
photography: Amy Arrington // venue: Dunaway Gardens Newnan, Georgia // wedding dress: Ivy & Aster from Kelly’s Closet // hairpieces: custom made with materials supplied by bride at local vintage shop, Agora // makeup: P3Labs via StudioWed // groom suit: Agora Vintage // invitations + paper goods: invitations designed by bride & groom and printed at local print shop // catering: Epting Events // cake: Cecilia’s by Epting // music: ceremony: Ashanti Floyd aka “The Mad Violinist” // reception: Funk You