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ATLANTA WEDDING PLANNER // Bright & Serene GA Freight Depot Wedding

By: Danielle Cartwright 

I can't hide that fact that I think back to this day often. Oksana, Matt & their families are as sweet as pie & we found the love between them to be contagious on the day of their wedding. Oksana's father gave such a touching toast that I actually ugly cried, and the entire family invited us on the dance floor when they realized we were having a mini dance party in the corner with our team. We're actually kind of known for that y'all , each of us would like to think we have sick moves, we have guests come over and dance with us all the time! HA! 

Victory Blooms killed the floral game (like always) and we absolutely loved working with the staff at the Georgia Freight Depot! 

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Kayla Johnson captured this amazing moment, and the second I saw this photo I felt all the emotions. What a special moment between a father and his daughter. 

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These bridesmaids dresses blew us away! They were so gorgeous on these girls!! 

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Confession...this photo is now hanging in my studio in our gallery wall because its just that adorable! 

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Elisa Anne Calligraphy worked her magic with watercolor table numbers and this vibrant watercolor dessert table signage. 

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This bread that was baked by Oksana's family for the Korovai (bread blessing) was such a beautiful and personal touch for their day. 

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A huge thank you to our amazing vendor team, and a big congratulations to these two newlyweds. It was such an honor! 

Photography: Kayla Johnson Photography  I  Planning & Design: Detailed I Do's  I  Florals: Victory Blooms  I  Videography: Eric Bradberry  I  Ceremony Venue: Shrine of the Immaculate Conception  I  Reception Venue: Georgia Freight Depot  I  Calligraphy: Elisa Anne Calligraphy  I Band: Smokin Aces  I  Cake & Desserts: Miss Mamie's  I  Hair & Makeup: Mari Matthews & Becca Whittinghill   

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Meet Christine

Atlanta Wedding Planner

Photo by: Hannah Forsberg

Introducing this lovely lady is hard, I literally feel like I could go on forever and I'm sure that those who have had the pleasure of meeting her would agree. 

Christine graduated from Georgia College & State University with a BA in Mass Communication, and then accepted a job with Hilton Hotels that officially kicked off her love affair with weddings. She spent five years as a Catering Manager working on hundreds of weddings within the hotel industry. But she found herself craving the ability to work with clients on a more intimate level. In an effort to pursue her dream and passion she began assisting our team with weddings three years ago.  We welcomed her with open arms this spring as an Associate Planner and full-time team member and could not be more thrilled! 

She thrives on execution of a finely crafted plan and she's a sucker for all things floral design. With each couple she works with, it is her goal to truly understand both personalities so that their wedding day is a beautiful reflection of their relationship. 

She is a wife to her college sweetheart, a dog mom, sister. aunt & loyal friend. She was born and raised in Marietta, Georgia which is why her soul craves all things southern hospitality. When not working weddings, you can find her trying new recipes & restaurants, or hosting intimate gatherings with friends and loved ones (because she can never fully turn off the planning). 

Some of her favorite things include:

  • Slow mornings snuggled on the couch with my husband & our one year old yorkie poo Sadie Hawkins with a cup of good coffee
  • Watching the Food Network or sifting through cook books
  • Chats with girlfriends, because there is nothing like a good girlfriend to give you perspective and keep you centered
  • Spending time with my family and sisters
  • A good masculine candle, I have a shelf in her linen closet dedicated to them. Once one burns out it is quickly replaced! 
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Photo by: Diana Lupu Photography

Favorite Cocktail? 

If you know me you know that one of my favorite things to do is craft new cocktails. Right now I am really loving a Bees Knees. I make it with my Uncle Val's Botanical Gin, fresh squeezed lemon juice & agave. My secret to the perfect cocktail is to squeeze your own fruit juice, it makes all the difference! 

Favorite Wedding Flower? 

It may be cliche, but I adore roses. A lot of people are turned off by roses because the first thing that comes to mind are what you see in the grocery store, but there are so many unique varieties of roses. Garden roses are at the top of my list, but did you know there are roses called “Wedding Day,” “Love Song,” and “Pure Bliss.” My florist incorporated the “Christine” rose in to my wedding bouquet as a special surprise.

Favorite Part of A Wedding Day? 

I love the final moments before the ceremony begins. The bridal party always has little jitters that amplify all of their emotions surrounding the day. Even if a bride or groom have a first look, there is the anticipation of seeing each other at the end of the aisle and knowing that all of the work that has been put in to the day has finally all come together.

Favorite Wedding Song? 

“Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis is a classic. Whether it is his version or a cover, it is always sang with so much emotion that is sure to bring a tear to my eyes. Bonus points for any groom spotted whispering the words in to his bride’s ear.

Christine is looking forward to sharing her knowledge, inspiring others with her beautiful designs & logistical skills, getting to know our friendors, and of course making new connections! 

 

 

 

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Brand Vision

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Getting together for the Tuesdays Together Rising Tide meet up every month really fills my creative cup and inspires me to look forward and stay inspired. When Carrie Joy asked me to speak at this months meeting I knew this was the perfect opportunity to share a bit about my journey and be open by sharing what has helped me thrive in such a competitive industry. 

The first question I asked myself when going full time as an atlanta wedding planner was... 

" What is my Vision? "

This helped me to later identify my ideal client, philosophy & mission statement (which I will be sharing in my next post). Your brand vision should feel aspirational in nature and should be comprised of three things: 

BRAND VALUES - What your customers see and feel when working with you, these are normally     1 or 2 word traits. (Examples: Reliable, creative, innovative, cheerful)

BRAND FUTURE - Where you see your company going in 5-10 years

BRAND PURPOSE - An explanation of what you are passionate about, what you are good at & what sets you apart. 

I know this was a short post but I'm hoping this inspires you to shift gears for a few minutes today and think on this for a few minutes. Remember, that your vision can and should shift as your business evolves and grows. You will evolve just like your business so feel free to update your values with those changes. As you meet large goals you've set for yourself in your future add new items to focus your energy on. Finally, as you gain knowledge and find new passions in your industry tweak your purpose. 

Cheers to business planning!

Photography: Hannah Forsberg  Styling:  Detailed I Do's  Stationery: Tiger Lily Invitations Calligraphy: Lairsey Paper Co.

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Wedding Expenses You May Not Be Prepared For

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This short post doesn't include beautiful inspiration or hundreds of stunning wedding photos, but it includes valuable information that each couple should take into consideration early on. As an atlanta wedding planner I always collaborate with my brides on their budget, and during this process my clients are often grateful to have someone on their side that points out wedding expenses they may not be prepared for. Here is my list of those top items:

  • Postage 
  • Beauty Treatments / Hair & Makeup Trials
  • Wedding Accessories - Undergarments, jewelry, shoes etc. 
  • Outfits for Pre & Post Wedding Events
  • Alterations
  • Audio at the Ceremony
  • Lighting 
  • Overtime Costs - Venues may charge a fee for an event that needs access to their facility before or after the timing outlined in their agreement 
  • The Marriage License - Research the cost locally when putting together your budget 
  • Wedding Stationery (not just invitations) - Table numbers, seating chart, addressed envelopes, signage for ceremony or reception etc. 
  • Tips & Gratuities / Vendor Meals
  • Accommodations the night before & possibly night of the wedding
  • Breakfast & Lunch for wedding party the day of the wedding
  • Delivery & Setup Fees
  • Travel Fees - Some of your vendors may charge travel fees, be sure to check your agreements for these 

 

What are some wedding expenses that caught you by surprise? 

 

Photography by Kayla Johnson Photography

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ATLANTA WEDDING PLANNER / FALL FERNBANK MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY WEDDING

It has been a while since our last blog post but now that spring has sprung we are back at it again to share some beautiful celebrations. 

Carolyn + Jason's wedding day at Fernbank Museum of Natural History was both elegant and romantic. Their pretty palette included pops of lake pink & blue and overflowing greenery and candlelight. Their sweet ceremony on the terrace took place under a canopy of cafe lights that created a feeling of intimacy for all of their family & friends. 

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The couples stationery reflected their museum gala inspiration and included a personalized crest wax seal. 

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They started their day off at the Ritz Carlton Atlanta relaxing and getting ready to exchange their vows. 

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Jenna with Gold & Bloom designed beautiful, neutral florals that included Carolyn's favorite...greenery! 

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The guest tables featured driftwood chairs, pale blue glassware & dark gray linens provided by Bold American Events design team. 

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These flower girls & ring bearers were so adorable, they stole everyone's heart during the ceremony and provided some seriously funny entertainment the entire night. 

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Thank you so much to our amazing vendor team that made all of this beauty happen! 

Photography: Bri McDaniel Photography / Planning + Design: Detailed I Do's / Catering & Decor: Bold American Events / Floral: Gold & Bloom / Venue: Fernbank Museum of Natural History / DJ: Nice Entertainment /  Calligraphy: Lairsey Paper Co. / Hair & Makeup Design: Corianne Elizabeth / Vintage Car: Atlanta Vintage Rides 

 

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ATLANTA WEDDING PLANNER / Rest & Recharge During The Winter

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Christmas is right around the corner and most of us look forward to quality time with the ones we love. But one of the things that we often don't think about is making time for ourselves while resting & recharging before heading into the New Year. Whether you are engaged and planning your wedding or a creative who's wedding season picks up in the spring setting aside time to do things that fire you up is crucial for kicking off 2017! 

Now of course spending time with family is something we all love to do, but making time to reflect on the last year and doing things that lighten your mood are equally as important. We talked about this at the last Rising Tide Society meet up and it inspired me to share a list of ideas for recharging during the winter:

  • Baking, and this time of year making christmas cookies + desserts! 
  • Spending time with your pets (cuddling, playing, taking a walk etc.) 
  • Reading a book by the fire
  • Styling your home with winter decor and florals (I just love this one) 
  • Take a class (cooking, art, crafts etc.) 
  • Get together with friends to reflect on 2016
  • Shop at your favorite stores and take advantage of the after christmas sales
  • Use a citrus scented essential oil for a pick me up 
  • Take a hot bubble bath
  • Meditate
  • Take a winter walk and enjoy the scenery
  • Light a christmas scented candle
  • Lounge in comfy socks while watching christmas movies
  • Make a special dinner with your honey 
  • Brainstorm about your goals for next year
  • Make yourself a christmasy cup of tea
  • Volunteer and make a difference in someone else's life 
  • Write someone who inspires you a letter with encouraging words
  • Go see a show
  • Try your hand at a Pinterest worthy craft
  • Declutter your home for a fresh start
  • Get a massage at your local spa
  • Go for a run or try a PureBarre class
  • Gather inspiration for your wedding, home etc.

What fires you up? 

Ask yourself this question during the holidays. Think about what helps you rest and de-stress. What gives you a sense of positivity? Remember that taking care of yourself is the first step to success and self love fuels us all! 

 

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ATLANTA WEDDING PLANNER / Preparing for Rising Tide Tuesdays Together Meetup

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One of my favorite things to do as a creative entrepreneur each month is attend the Rising Tide Society's Tuesday's Together Meetup. I always walk away feeling so motivated and empowered which is a welcomed change in an industry that can sometimes feel lonely & competitive.

A little about the Rising Tide Society...

The Rising Tide Society is a community for creatives that come together to transform the  industry while gaining knowledge and learning from one another. Each member strives to live the concept "Community over Competition", that Rising Tide founder Natalie Franke worked so hard at creating. This community serves individuals from all creative backgrounds including photographers, designers, bakers, boutique owners & artists. The society is also dedicated to providing affordable education for entrepreneurs and small business owners by hosting challenges, webinars & monthly learning material. 

A little about Tuesdays Together...

Tuesday's Together is a monthly meeting that falls on the second Tuesday of every month in  various cities around the country (check out their locations to find a meet up near you). Each meeting includes networking time before the program gets started. This helps you get to know or catch up with fellow creatives from your area. The presentation is always centered around the monthly topic. Examples of previous topics include: client experience, pricing, accounting + bookkeeping & public relations. I always feel as though I walk away with realization and friendship. 

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How to Prepare for Tuesdays Together Meet Up

  • If you aren't already a member of the Rising Tide Society Facebook group & your local Tuesdays Together Facebook group be sure to join before attending your first event! 
  • Make sure you also join the Rising Tide Database to receive monthly topic information and to keep up with challenges and webinars! 
  • Once you become a member of your local groups page be sure to introduce yourself and tell everyone a little about what you do. This is the first step at meeting new friends and connections. 
  • Once the monthly event is posted in the group be sure to RSVP so you are included in the list of attendees if you plan on going. 
  • Be sure to use the list of attendees for networking before you go. Take an extra step to look up each individual attending to see who you really want to get to know. Get a feel for their websites, social media accounts. Follow them and reach out! See if they are available to possibly meet before or after the meeting. 
  • Get to know the Admins of the group who will be able to answer any of your questions, and serve as an awesome contact. Carrie Joy Osborne with Carrie Joy Photography is the Admin of the Tuesdays Together meetings that I attend in Marietta, GA and she is just the sweetest thing!
  • Print the topic material either from your email or from the group page to read and fill out beforehand. This will help you engage more on the day of, and will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed with information. 
  •  Bring your planner or have your phones calendar up to date to possibly plan collaborations or future meetings during the event. 
  • Make sure you have plenty of business cards on hand! 
  • Enjoy and don't be nervous, these meetings are very informal and the admins do a great job of making everyone feel comfortable. This is all about taking that extra step each month to better yourself and your business and that should be your focus! 

Photography: Carrie Joy Photography

 

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ATLANTA WEDDING PLANNER / What to Expect in a Wedding Tasting

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Wedding tastings are a very enjoyable part of wedding planning that is often overlooked. I mean what could be better then sitting down to taste bite after bite of your favorite foods while discussing a plan for your personalized menu? But tastings are a new thing for most of our couples. They've never done this before and want every aspect of their celebration to represent their combined likes. We work with them to not only set up their tastings but we prepare them and stand by them during this important task. We have your back as well with this important guide! 

GETTING STARTED 

Before you or your planner set up any tastings be sure to reach out to a few caterers from your venues approved caterers list. During this step we provide a lot of insight to our clients on our experiences with these caterers and who might be best for their style and budget based on their needs. Be sure to check their availability, collect sample menus & basic pricing information. 

Once you've narrowed down your selections after receiving this information then its time to actually set up a few tastings with your front runners. Be sure to ask about and understand your options and how each caterers tastings work. Some caterers charge for tastings upfront and then credit you if you book with them, or some may not offer full tastings before booking. Your favorite caterer may also have bigger tasting events they invite you to along with other couples in the area, this gives you the opportunity to taste a huge variety of items to help you gather ideas. 

HOW TO PREPARE

Don't Eat Beforehand. Yes, you are trying smaller versions of everything but this normally adds up to be a lot of food by the time you are done, total food coma! So eat light before arriving. 

Know your Budget. Chances are you are going to love almost everything you try. So know how flexible your budget is before arriving and keep that in mind while you are tasting items. 

Decide on Service Type. Talk to your planner about suggestions for what type of meal service to provide for your guests. Do you prefer buffet or station service? Do you have a higher guest count that may do better with a plated meal to help the timing of the event? If your creative and want something unique you may want to consider family style service. These are things to consider and talk to the caterers about before your appointment. 

Make Food Allergies Known. Let the caterer know of any food allergies before your tasting so they can prepare and serve items that are safe during the meeting. Communicating you and your guests dietary limitations will help plan a menu that will work well for everyone. 

Learn what's in season. This will allow you to have a better attitude during the tasting vs. having to find this out and feel disappointment. 

Decide who's attending. Obviously you and your fiancé need to be in attendance, and your planner who is guiding you during the process. But don't feel like you need to bring anyone else. Too many opinions can take the fun out of this step and may cause confusion. 

DURING THE TASTING

Take Notes. Snapping photos or jotting down notes of what you did and did not like will help you later. If your attending two or three tastings in a day things may start to run together. 

Be Honest. This appointment is for the caterer to get to know your likes and dislikes, so don't feel bad about speaking up in a polite way. And also feel free to ask about substitutions or changes that can be made to certain dishes to make it more appealing. 

Trust & Be Open. Of course you want to taste items that speak to you but also be open to thinking outside of the box and trying some items you may not have thought about. Caterers may include some items you didn't list for the tasting and thats ok! Trust their experience and you may love their suggestions. 

WHAT TO NOTICE 

Presentation. Does the style of the caterers presentation match the style of your event? If serveware is on the modern side it may not fit with a vintage or traditionally styled event. This is something to bring up during the tasting. Check out the way the food is presented as well. Does it look appealing? This is the first thing your guests will notice. 

Freshness. Does the food look and taste fresh? 

Table Settings. Check the linens to see if they are steamed and clean, most venues offer linens but if you are wanting to upgrade these may come from the caterer. Is the flatware polished? Do the glasses have water marks? What type of plates do they use and do you like them? Chances are these are the same ones they use for events. Keep all of this in mind! 

Be sure to also check out our blog post on Creating a Delicious Menu and if you are in need of planning help here are our service options! We would love to serve as your support system and stress relief! 

Photography: Hannah Forsberg  / Styling & Design: Detailed I Do's / Catering: Proof of the Pudding

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ATLANTA WEDDING PLANNER // Quick Wedding Registry Hacks

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I am feeling so giddy that we are getting so close to engagement season, well I mean I guess technically we are in it now. YAY! One of the first things couples feel obligated to cross off their to-do list is to register for wedding gifts. This is one of those really fun things that you can knock out together that shouldn't cause stress. I remember doing this myself a few years back with my hubby taking funny photos with those scary looking scanner guns. I wish I had someone back then to share some registry hacks with us to get us through the process efficiently and quickly. Because here's the truth, the first store is fun. The second store still holds some potential and there are still smiles all around. BUT, by the time you hit the third and fourth store you both have headaches and you will hit your ultimate breaking point. When you hit this point 5 or 6 hours later you will give up for your own sanity. 

So I am sharing a quick list of hacks to use as you go shop either in person or online to avoid these feelings and make it easier and more tolerable for you both. These hacks will also help to create a more streamline shopping process for your guests which in all honesty helps you increase your chances of receiving those gifts that make your heart skip a beat that you really want! 

  • If wedding registries make you uncomfortable and you already live together and don't feel like you need much to start your life together consider asking your guests to donate to your favorite charity instead, and don't forget to include a link to the charity of your choice on your wedding website! 
  • Having a hard time figuring out how many high end items and budget friendly items to add? Use these awesome charts from Squirrelly Minds and save them on your phone or print for shopping in person! 
  • Do your guests and yourselves a huge favor and choose stores that you know offer lots of deals and coupons. Wedding Attendees LOVE this! We all know that if people feel like they are getting a deal for something then they are more likely to purchase more! 
  • Don't feel pressured by family, friends or even store employees to register for items you don't want. Those will be the items you stick in the top of the closet and never use. So be realistic and true to yourself.
  • Add personalized notes on your registry explaining why you need certain items and how they fit into your life style. Taking that extra step may sway your guests into spending a little extra to get you something that you see as important.
  • Collect those perks! Quite a few stores like Target offer couples "special gifts" as well as coupons & gift cards to stock up. Take advantage of that! If you register at Crate & Barrel they are currently giving couples two stemless wine glasses in a linen bag, Swanky!! 
  • If you register at Bed, Bath & Beyond check out their freebook. Then if guests buy certain brands you'll receive a gift. Also, consider attending a rock your registry event and receive a free goodie bag.
  • Merge registries from multiple stores on MyRegistry.com
  • Keep in mind that you can add virtually anything to an Amazon Registry, and most of the time its a lot cheaper then in stores! You could also visit stores and use the Amazon Registry App to scan items and find them at the cheapest price! 
  • Some stores offer a group gifting feature with your online listing. Turn it on, and use it! This allows guests to join in on big gifts easily. 
  • Use Honeyfund if you would like guests to contribute to honeymoon airfare, lodging or excursions. 
  • Make sure to let parents & bridal party members know where you are registered and share the links with them so they can pass these along to your guests. Also include links on your wedding website. 
  • Take advantage of completion offers! Most stores offer discounts between 10 - 20% off of any items left on your registry that you want to purchase! 
  • Most registry sites (excluding Target & Bed Bath and Beyond) will compile a thank you card list so check for this feature and use it to make things easier after the wedding. 

Photo: Hannah Forsberg

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ATLANTA WEDDING PLANNER / THE KNOTS BEST OF WEDDINGS AWARD

I am so excited to announce that we have won The Knots Best of Weddings Award! This is a huge accomplishment and we are so appreciative. I want to send hugs and huge thank you's to all of our amazing couples who left us reviews and who contributed to this honor. I am so thankful for the Detailed I Do's community that includes so many amazing people with big hearts who continue to support us even after their dream weddings! I know that there are a selective number of talented vendors who also won this award and I am so proud to be celebrating with them. Having our brand represented among these gifted individuals is so surreal. 

I will be sure to include this in my thanksgiving blessings this year! 

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ATLANTA WEDDING PLANNER / LAUREN + SEAN'S NORTH GA DESTINATION WEDDING

I have wanted to share Lauren + Sean's wedding on the blog for a while just because it was so beautiful and I am thrilled to feature it today for our #TBT post! These photos by Diana Lupu Photography make my wedding planner heart so happy and full! 

I got to know Lauren really really well during the planning process and felt like we really connected since we both have such a strong eye for design and details. As a planner it is always such a breath of relief when your clients can let go of the control a bit and let you work your magic. We worked really closely with Megan from Victory Blooms on wedding florals and color palette and this gorgeous day came together like a dream! 

Check out their Wedding Chicks feature here

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Ok seriously y'all....check out that bridesman shirt with the matching silk pocket. UGH adorable! 

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When Lauren told me about her bridesmaids dresses for the first time I wanted to die from sheer happiness! That may sound a little dramatic but my gosh look at this palette. Just pure perfection! 

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These silver trays turned seating charts created by Lairsey Paper Co. were the perfect addition to the couples vintage garden theme. 

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This ceremony floral paired with the inspiring mountain backdrop was everything and more on this April afternoon. 

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These sweet cupcakes were an ode to Shawn since he is a Assistant Golf Professional, and has such a love of the sport. Don't these just look delicious? 

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Also, take a couple minutes and watch their wedding trailer created by Casto Photography & Cinema! You won't regret it! 

I have so much love for this couple and think back to their gorgeous day often! We had an awesome team of friendors help us pull off this beauty and gosh was a fun one! 

Photography: Diana Lupu Photography / Planning & Design: Detailed I Do's / Floral Design: Victory Blooms / Videography: Casto Photography & Cinema / Venue: Waterfall Country Club / Invitation Suite & Placecards: Tiger Lily Invitations / Calligraphy: Lairsey Paper Co. / Linens: Nuage Designs / DJ: Lethal Rhythms Entertainment / Cake & Desserts: Gigi's Cupcakes at the Forum / Hair & Makeup Design: Hope Ferguson 

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ATLANTA WEDDING PLANNER / RECONNECTING IN THE FALL

I am sitting on my adirondack outside with a cup of tea as we speak feeling uber inspired by this fall weather today! Gosh it just couldn't get any better then this. 

I had an epiphany recently while chatting with one of my clients. She was asking me if I could take a few minutes and write a few of my favorite caterers with our menu thoughts for their wedding to get quotes put together for them. My response? Umm...I WOULD LOVE TO DO THAT! That is the exact reason Atlanta brides hire me! So as I typed away to these caterers I realized how much I love this bride for being open with me and making time for her relationship during the wedding planning. 

I encourage each of my couples to pass along those daunting tasks to me all the time, but I also hope that each day as I am working away they are working on building a solid foundation for their soon to be marriage. I hope they are enjoying this weather with its crisp air and soothing scents. I hope they are going on a hike, or cuddling up on the couch at home together connecting. I hope they are falling in love all over again! 

So I thought I would share a quick list of some of my favorite ideas to reconnect in the Fall:

  • Go on a bookstore date
  • Go on a fall foliage date or hike
  • Have a thermos picnic in the park
  • Rake and play in the leaves with your pets
  • Make apple cider floats
  • Make your New Years Resolution a couple months early
  • Volunteer together
  • Have a Christmas movie marathon
  • Book a couples massage at a swanky city hotel 
  • Discover a new town 
  • Go zip lining through the Autumn leaves
  • Attend a wine tasting
  • Have a bonfire and make s'mores
  • November is National Peanut Butter Month, make a sweet treat! 
  • Go on a trip to the farmers market and then have a farm to table cooking night
  • Plan + prepare for your first hosted Thanksgiving 
  • Boycott Black Friday, cuddle up and share leftovers instead! 

I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving holiday! Remember to reconnect with family, friends & your fiancé! Feel free to share some of your fall date ideas in the comments! 

Photography: Cooper & Co Photography 

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ATLANTA WEDDING PLANNER / SPRING WEDDING AT MAGNOLIA HALL

I hate to admit that I am catching up on blog posts during this off season since I have so many pretty pictures from this year to share! I am so excited about these images from Once Like a Spark of a beautiful day that belonged to Yunhwa + James. What a celebration this was at Magnolia Hall in Piedmont Park! 

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Jenna with Gold & Bloom provided perfect pops of vibrant floral that fit the casual feel of this couples special day to a tee! This bouquet, the perfect weather & Yunhwa's smile made me grin from ear to ear the entire event. She was such a stunning bride and this duo's family and friends were the sweetest crowd! 

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Their first look was such a sweet memory that the whole family got to witness and partake in. James was taken back with Yunhwa's beauty and this really showed during this private moment they shared. 

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These adorable flower girls paired with quite a few furry guests provided laughs all around.  You could tell these pups really enjoyed themselves! 

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magnolia hall wedding
magnolia hall
magnolia hall
magnolia hall
magnolia hall

The reception space featured a variety of centerpieces and overflowed with candlelight. The cake table featured greenery garlands and scattered blooms to dress up their dessert! 

atlanta wedding planner
atlanta wedding planning
atlanta wedding planner
atlanta wedding planner

Wanna know a secret? Yunhwa & James are two of the best dancers i've ever seen together! I was getting tired just witnessing their moves! And all of their guests showed up to party too. Gosh this was the best crowd! 

atlanta wedding planner

Thank you so much Yunhwa & James for allowing me to help plan & design your gorgeous day! It was perfect from start to finish and it was an absolute pleasure working with you both! A big thank you to our awesome vendor team who helped us pull off all this magic and more! 

Photography & Videography: Once Like a Spark / Planning & Design: Detailed I Do's / Floral: Gold & Bloom / Venue: Magnolia Hall / Catering: Endive Catering / Cake: Publix / Hair & Makeup Design: Van Michaels /  DJ: Express Entertainment GA / Transportation: Olympus

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ATLANTA WEDDING PLANNER / HALLOWEEN INSPIRATION FEATURED ON GREEN WEDDING SHOES

Kellum Valley Farms

Anyone that knows me knows that fall is my favorite season and i've always been equally obsessed with dark and moody wedding inspiration. So when i'm asked to partner up with a creative team to pull off both my heart is happy! 

Atlanta Wedding Planner
Atlanta Wedding Planner

I am so excited to share this hauntingly beautiful feature from Green Wedding Shoes today! Thank you so much Rustic White & Lifeview Motion Pictures for sharing your amazing work with us! Check it out here and check out our awesome vendor team below! 

 

Photography: Rustic White Photography // Videography: Lifeview Motion Pictures // Floral: Amanda Jewel Floral Design // Planning: Detailed I Do's // Venue: Kellum Valley Farm // Dress: Elizabeth Dye, The Sentimentalist Atlanta // Hair & Makeup Design: Jennifer C. Nieman // Model: Hailey Garman for Salt Model // Hair Piece: Jennifer Behr // Ring: Susie Saltzman // Stationery Design: Lairsey Paper Co. Ribbon: May Arts Ribbon

 

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Atlanta Wedding Planner // Tips for Creating a Delicious Wedding Menu

One of my favorite things to help each of my couples with is obviously food selections. I mean who doesn't love a feast of flavors am I right? But truthfully this is trickier then expected, and there is a lot of pressure that goes into serving your first meal as newlyweds. 

We have had a lot of fun recently helping our full planning clients with this task during catering meetings & tastings. Which got me thinking that I should probably do a blog post to help all of the other engaged couples out there who may be struggling with the same thing. 

atlanta wedding caterer

Enjoy the Process 

Don't let this part of the planning stress you out! This is supposed to be one of those fun things you collaborate on as a couple. Brides, make sure to include your groom in this step instead of leaving them out. As a wedding planner I recognize strong opinions that seem to come from my male clients during the process of selecting menu items, which makes total sense! So help him feel heard by carefully listening to his suggestions and implementing at least a few during this portion of your planning. 

Think About Budget

Its always fun to go over your options and gather ideas with your caterer and planner. But before you get too far into things be sure to come up with a food & beverage budget and share this with your team. They will be able to offer tips based on your budget, your needs & guest count. 

wedding food

Atmosphere 

Think about what you are trying to accomplish during your event and the styling you are incorporating and make sure your menu fits well with this theming. Also, don't forget to think about your venue. If you are getting married at a rustic venue then a barbecue would be a great addition. If you are getting married at a 4 or 5 star hotel then a plated meal will create a more elegant feel. You also need to think about your guest count. If you have a smaller guest count then a buffet will suffice. But if you have a higher guest count you may really want to think about serving food in stations to break up lines or serve plated meals. If you want something unique you can even talk to your caterer about serving your meal family style. This allows your guests to remain seated at their tables while servers bring heavier servings in bowls and platters around to each table to share among groups. 

Select In Season

Talk to you catering sales manager and or the chef about selecting foods that will be in season during your wedding date. This will help with affordability but will also help to provide the freshest possible products which your guests will appreciate. 

atlanta wedding planner

Personalization 

Think about your relationship and your favorites. Start by asking yourselves questions like where or what do we eat often? Whats my go to every week? What type of cuisine do we enjoy best? You can also throw it back to your first date and think about incorporating a dish that you shared. Do your parents have a special family recipe thats been passed down generation to generation? Think about sharing this with your caterer and plan on featuring this at the wedding! You could even throw in recipe cards as a cute favor if mom is ok with guests replicating it. 

Guests Comfort

As you go through the menu planning process you want to not only think about what you both want to serve but also think about your guests comfort. Messy foods make it tough for mingling and having fun without worry. Staying away from foods like linguini or greasy items can keep your guests looking their best all night. You also want to consider vegetarians and people with food allergies. Make sure to mention any dietary restrictions to your catering team early on and then include this in your final count a week before the wedding. If you are planning on serving from a buffet or from stations try and make sure there are some safe options for these individuals already. This helps them feel included and eases their tension about eating at your event. 

I hope you enjoyed this post! Feel free to share any other tips in the comments below or ask any additional questions you may have! Or share your favorite wedding menu selections. 

 

 

Food Styling / Proof of the Pudding  , Photography / Hannah Forsberg  Styling /  Detailed I Do's  , Floral / Gold & Bloom  , Venue / The Stave Room

 

 

 

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ATLANTA WEDDING PLANNER // How To Put Together A Styled Engagement Shoot

Where are all the newly engaged couples at?  Drop everything because man have I got a great post for you today! I'm sure one of the first things that popped into your wedding brain was capturing your engagement with a photo session. Good for you because thats one big task checked off the good ole' to do list once you have this on your calendar. 

But I want to challenge couples to start thinking outside of the box with the new trend I am just LOVING...a "styled" engagement shoot. Let's get real for a second...engagement sessions are stale and generic. There I said it! But with the help of your photographer & planner there is so many more elements that can be incorporated into these photos, which help take your pictures from boring to beautiful pieces of art. But brides may feel easily intimated when thinking about how they can "style" their session. This is where your team and my tips come in! No worries, we've got you covered! 

(oh) and I will also be sharing a styled engagement session featuring our new couple Katherine & Grant that worked with the amazingly talented Michelle Scott &  Corianne Cowan

Before reaching out to your team spend some time together thinking about what story you want these images to tell. You want them to represent you and your love story of course, but expand on that. Where do you want to tell your story? What parts do you want people to experience? Do you want to include a theme or styling that has significance to you both? 

Pick A Place 

During the planning stage choose not just one location but a few locations near you that you think represent your love or a special time in your relationship. The nice thing about styled engagements is that a lot of times it will feature multiple locations since it is telling a story vs. one location with a few outfits changes. I would even advise reaching out to your photographer  if you have any trouble with this. I know a lot of my favorite photographers are always scouting locations in their area and have beautiful places in mind that they really want to shoot but haven't yet. 

Get Inspired

This is the fun part! Work with your planner on creating a mood board. Mood Boards are collages made out of related colors, images & textures to create a design palette specifically for you.  Try starting with an image that is central to your relationship or your theme and then work off of that. Then once this is created share it with your photographer and other team members so you are all on the same page. 

Focus on the Details

Now that you have your inspiration its time to bring in some details that will bring your story to life. Use props or other items to add an engaging element. Think of these details as the thing that brings your shoot together. Personal props like family heirlooms make for great props as well as a rented gown like Katherine's. If you have a florist booked for your wedding already consider reaching out to them to provide a beautiful creation. If you don't have a florist yet consider testing one out that you've heard great things about by collaborating on this project together. Work with them to create items like floral for your hair, a unique backdrop, or even a installation of cascading flowers hanging over you two if the location allows. Your photographer will also focus some of their energy on capturing these details around you which will make the shots feel more artistic. 

Wardrobe & Styling 

One of the first questions couples ask their photographers is what should we wear? And of course this is a great question! But keep in mind most photographers are not stylists. Stylists like Anastasia with Icon Stylist  are the perfect resource for those couples looking for hands on help. Stylists will help you style your wardrobe from top to bottom including accessories and will even work with your planner & photographer on the day of the shoot to style you both in person and keep you looking fresh as the shoot progresses. They are also there to help you transform with each outfit change which takes the stress off of you and lets you enjoy this time together. They work closely with your mood boards creating their designs and will even work with your hair & makeup artist to help you feel and look your best. 

Pamper Yourselves 

I know this is going to sound crazy but remember this isn't just about the photos. It is also about you both enjoying this time together and getting comfortable in front of the camera before your big day. You want to feel pampered during this shoot so that you can focus on opening up in a big way to family and friends. Consider reaching out to your photographer and asking them for a recommendation for hair and makeup. Corianne Cowan is seasoned in providing these services for styled shoots and works with Michelle Scott often to turn blushing brides into bombshells.

I would also recommend taking this time to test out a artist for the wedding. Most brides try and schedule their hair and makeup trial before their shoot which is ok, but I would try and go for a completely different look so you aren't giving away anything about your wedding day or giving your groom a sneak peek. 

Ultimately just don't forget to have fun together and be yourselves, thats the key here! Bring in elements that represent you both as a couple, and don't feel like you have to do a shoot like everyone else. Think outside the box! 

 

Photography // Michelle Scott Photography , Hair & Makeup // Corianne Cowan

 

 

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ORLANDO WEDDING PLANNER // Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding

I am so excited to be sharing Beth + Jon's Destination Disney Wedding at the Swan & Dolphin Resort  on the blog today along with some tips for couples considering an intimate wedding away from home! This couple has a special spot for Disney in their hearts and knew the second they got engaged that their celebration had to be at the happiest place on earth. Their day was full of laughter, yummy food selections & a few special guests...but i'll get to that later. 

I have been wanting to do a post on destination weddings for a while since a group of our lovely brides each year spring for a fun wedding location. Planning a local wedding is hard enough ladies but add in the fact that you are hosting your event at a place you may not be familiar with and that can be a major stressor.But like every journey preparation is key, and we got you covered...don't worry! Here are my top 5 tips to help make your destination wedding planning process a little easier. 

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Keep it Intimate

It may be hard to not invite co-workers you barely know, or mom's college friends but the biggest way to save money while planning this type of event is to dwindle down that guest list. There I said it...and I know its hard to hear! People understand that destination weddings are expensive and they tend to be more open minded when they aren't invited to weddings such as these. I always suggest only inviting close family & friends to cut down on costs. Then you can put that money towards giving those guests you do invite the best experience possible. 

Hire Help

I know a lot of you bridal babes out there want to plan your weddings yourselves. I appreciate your enthusiasm but when your dealing with a destination wedding it is best to hire a planner. You may not know the lay of the land, the best venues or vendors that are available to you in that area, and that is where we come in. 

Not only do we help with putting together your top notch team of vendors, but planners think of everything from a logistical perspective. Wondering how to put together a room block with the best hotel in town? Or how to schedule transportation for your out of town guests to and from the wedding? What about creating a wedding weekend timeline for your bridal party and vendors? Yep we do it all! 

Here is just a few examples of things we work closely with our destination brides on: venue selection, looking over vendor contracts, putting together a personalized mood board for the event, room block maintenance, menu selection, vendor referrals & communication, wedding weekend timeline construction. 

Think Local

Don't only think like a local when considering designs but also think like a local when planning out your guests experience. Think local food, local weather & local decor. During the early stages of planning while picking your date think about whether this date falls on a heightened visitation period and if so plan accordingly. 

Local food is also something to consider when working with your planner on your menu selections. Get to know the local cuisine and food items that are popular with tourists in the area you are seeking. Beth incorporated a chicken and waffle station with mickey shaped waffles to incorporate Disney into her theme. 

If you have room in your budget consider welcoming your guests with a short reception or welcome party to greet them when they arrive. Beth & Jon invited their guests to a dessert party the night before the wedding that included signature desserts from some of the local disney resorts complete with fireworks! You could also add some local flavor to your reception by hiring local entertainment, giving guests local favors or booking entertainment that will create a unique vibe is a perfect way of personalizing your day.

Go with the Flow

The secret to staying sane while planning your out of town event is to over-prepare and then go with the flow the week of. Unlike a at home wedding you have a deadline to get things done, and a certain time will hit when you can no longer control your day. Whether that is the moment you board the plane, or the second you arrive trust your planner to support you from that moment on. Allow them to make decisions on your behalf and let them take over the control of your wedding weekend at that point so you allow yourself to properly interact with guests and have a unforgettable time. In those final moments you want to feel good knowing you did everything you possibly could to make your adventure go smoothly.

Treat Your Guests Well

Your guests have saved up money, taken time off work and even flew in for your special day. So take the time and effort to make them feel special as well. Putting together welcome baskets that are ready when they check-in is a really nice gesture. Adding a handwritten note thanking them for their travel is even better. Include information about local attractions, some of your favorite restaurants in the area etc. This is really helpful since guests of destination weddings typically try and make a vacation out of the trip. You may want to even share parts of the timeline your planner has put together for you with your guests so they are up to speed on what is going on when. 

Beth + Jon's day was full of Disney touches as well as a little magic and whimsy. I just adored their boardwalk theme complete with mylar balloons, vintage candystick place cards & their pastel palette. I truly have a special place in my heart for Disney Brides and Beth was no exception. I loved working with these two and the Detailed I Do's team wishes you both the best! 

Photography -  Emily Gilbert Photography

Planning / Styling / Design - Detailed I Do's

Venue - Swan & Dolphin Resort

Videography - Beyond Videography

Officiant - Reverend Tim Herring

Floral - Lee Forrest Designs

DJ - Event Concepts

Silhouette Artist - Paper Portraits

Hair & Makeup - The Destiny & Light Hair & Makeup Group

 

 

 

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ATLANTA WEDDING PLANNER // Choosing your Wedding Color Scheme

With Pinterest being so prevalent in the wedding planning world today couples often start putting together their inspiration the second they get engaged or even months before. Even though you may not want to admit it ladies, I know you've been pinning to that dream wedding board way before he even knew you had one! But even with all of those drop dead gorgeous real weddings you are stalking it can be really hard to start off with the basics and choose a color scheme. 

Photo by Bri McDaniel Photography

Photo by Bri McDaniel Photography

Drawing from your Inspiration

Before researching wedding colors on Google or running out to Home Depot for swatches let your design concept and style dictate your selection. Look over your pins or inspiration and recognize your color pattern or those colors you seem to be drawn to. Then take these colors and play around with creating a few color combinations. 

Consider your Venue

Please, please, please consider the colors that are seen within your venue, or the space you will be using for your ceremony and reception. It is so important to choose a combination that complements the space instead of clashing with it. This is one of the biggest mistakes that brides make when starting the planning process. Just keep in mind that no matter how much money you spend on linens or how extravagant your floral arrangements are, if your colors don't work well in the space it will still look odd to your guests and in your photos. If you have a palette you definitely want to incorporate while searching for a venue, be sure to keep this in mind during your site visits and while making that decision too. Think about the carpet in the space, the window treatments and the light fixtures and draw from these elements! 

Be Bold

Don't be afraid to be bold and incorporate a favorite color or two even if you haven't seen them at other weddings or online. Just go for it! A few unique colors can take any event from average to elegant. Open your closet, are there any fun colors you love wearing out? Take that as a sign to possibly sneak that into your special day.

Consider the Color Wheel

It doesn't take a rocket scientist or someone with a fine art degree to consider the color wheel while picking a palette. But of course there are some basic principles to follow. Typically colors that go really well together are opposites on the color wheel because they are pairing a cool and warm tone. Other color pairings that work are called "neighbors" that are similar and share a primary color. A easy way to build your scheme would be pairing a bright saturated color with a neutral. 

Here are some other tips I give my clients when selecting color palette's : 

1. Always have at least one neutral color that you can build off of like ivory, white, tan or blush. These colors work great with stationery designs, linens, and floral designs. 

2. Try not to choose more then 4 colors for your color scheme. After 4 colors your vision can become a little confusing and complicated.

3. Keep in mind that not everything you order or add will match even if they are listed as the same color. Sometimes you may buy one pale blue item and then order another pale blue item somewhere else and they may be a shade off from one another. This is totally fine, just do your best to coordinate and no one will notice when the candles are lit and the bar is open. 

Don't overlook this part of your planning, even though it does seem minimal it is a very important! Once we assist you with choosing your perfect palette we will take it one step further to create a unique mood board for your event that all of your vendors can work from so we are all on the same page. Feel free to reach out and learn more about our design process!  

 

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ATLANTA WEDDING PLANNER // Honeymoon Packing Tips

I felt inspired to write this post today since I have quite a few couples heading out to their honeymoons after their stunning spring weddings...and I'm not gonna lie, i've been counting down the days to my own vacation too. We have had such a blessed month full of fun celebrations and packed weeks but my husband and I are looking forward to reconnecting and having some down time in Punta Cana together soon. I don't know about you but I can just feel the sun, and taste those fruity drinks with the funky straws already! 

To our brides who are almost ready to jet-set, this post is a great follow up to the Detailed I Do's Honeymoon Packing List that you have been provided! 

Go through your packing list + plan ahead

A few weeks before the wedding read over your packing list making any essential notes on key items you may want to bring. Make sure you launder or dry-clean everything well in advance to avoid any last minute emergencies or stress. Trust me, you will be dealing with a lot of nerves leading up to your special day and you don't want to add to that by waiting till the last minute to try on that swimwear that has not touched your body in years! Also always investigate your airline carrier's baggage rules and travel/health advisories for your destination as far in advance as possible.

Pack light + smart

Pack light by choosing mix and match, neutral apparel. Buy Sample sizes of your favorite toiletries and wrap them in plastic to contain any possible leaks. What should you do with that nice silky dress you are wearing to dinner your first night on the island? Roll it up along with all your other dressier items to prevent wrinkling and to save space. Also put any heavier items in the bottom of your bag to prevent tipping.

Have a footwear strategy

Statistics show that most couples go somewhere tropical on their honeymoon, and if you are following trend you should be able to live in flip-flops most of the week while you lounge on the sand. I would also suggest bringing one pair of wedges or dress sandals for that romantic stroll on the beach or candlelit dinner. Shoes are heavy to travel with though so resist the urge to go overboard. And please don't bring shoes you haven't broken in yet or you will just be miserable! All inclusive resorts usually sit on a lot of land which means even though you may not think about it you will be doing a lot of walking.

Be prepared for the worst

You may not want to think about the what if's , but getting sick on your honeymoon is the lowest of the low so take every precaution you can to be prepared. Stockpile over the counter med's, sunscreen, bug spray, aloe, and tissues. This should get you through most disasters. 

Also make sure to get any necessary vaccinations needed well in advance of traveling, just in case you have a reaction. 

Plan for lost luggage

Be smart and divide both of your belongings between two bags. This way, if one of your suitcases goes missing or gets lost you still have clothes to get you through a few days at the resort. Or you could each bring a large carry-on bag of your own essentials and then share one large checked bag. 

Think of the little things

It may be best to remove your ring during certain resorts activities or city visits (some resorts even require removal of jewelry before excursions) so make sure to bring a small box to place these in before heading out for your day of fun. And don't forget to place that box in the personal room safe too! 

Stay off the grid

Your honeymoon is a rare moment in life for the both of you to just be together and enjoy each others company. Either leave your tablet/laptop in the room or better yet don't bring them at all! Instead of bringing your iPhone with you everywhere you go to capture  those special moments, do yourself a favor and invest in a good camera instead. 

 

 

 

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ATLANTA WEDDING PLANNER // Lauren + Sean Engagement

Oh my goodness...I just can't believe we are just a few days away from these two tying the knot! I have so enjoyed working away and planning their perfect day that will be filled with calligraphy, loose florals, amazing views & of course love! 

I thought today would be the perfect day for our first blog post sharing their engagement photos by the amazing Diana Lupu Photography on the new and improved website. These photos captured at the Atlanta History Center at just stunning.

I can't wait to celebrate with these two this weekend at Waterfall Country Club and see all their lovely details come together as they make lasting memories! 

 

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