JULIA AND JOSEPH’S WEDDING DAY {A back yard formal wedding day}

Wedding Weekend Info (Written by Julia and Joseph)

Hotel accommodations for guests: Lots of guests were traveling from across the country, so we wanted reasonably nice but affordable locations. We used Ramada Inn, and Embassy Suites (Don’t recommend Embassy Suites on Baymeadows due to safety concerns…one guest was robbed in the parking lot!)

Rehearsal Dinner Location: River City Brewing Company Bridge Room

Ceremony Location: Outside in his parents’ backyard

Reception Location: Same

Caterer: Chef’s Garden

Wedding Coordinator: Cheryl Abbott. She was organized and did a great job helping make sure we were on track with month by month breakdown of what we needed to accomplish. We hired her for day of coordination, as opposed to full coordination of all our details, but she definitely went above and beyond, making sure we had everything we needed and making phone calls to vendors on our behalf. Unfortunately, she fell ill the day of our wedding, so wasn’t able to coordinate the reception activities.

Photographer: Tonya Beaver! Tonya and her assistants were awesome! They all showed up early to make sure and capture everything through the whole day, and even stepped up to help when our coordinator fell ill. The day was definitely chaotic at times, but they were very professional and remained flexible to capture everything, and the photo booth was definitely a big hit!

Cake: His sister in law is a pastry chef and did the wedding cake, but the groom’s cake was done by Metro Custom Cakes. They were innovative, had great ideas, and totally open to designing a cake that captured the vision I proposed in a way I wouldn’t have thought of.

Florist: Anything With Plants & Flowers. Hillary did an amazing job! She transformed the backyard from a backyard with a tent into a beautiful venue! The flowers were gorgeous and her arrangements for the Huppah, table centerpieces and photo booth were definitely far beyond what we expected, even though her plans looked great to begin with.

Officiate: Derrick Luruth. He’s not ordained, but is a notary, and we cannot say enough wonderful things about him! We had an interfaith ceremony, but were having a hard time finding someone who could execute the ceremony, incorporating the elements we wanted to include. Derrick was great, taking the ceremony we had written and making it his own while keeping all the elements that were important to us. He even read up on Jewish tradition, and offered to learn a few lines of Hebrew, if we wanted to have him read it for the ceremony.

Hair: Lindsey at Salon Cherche. She did a great job on my hair, and it stayed styled nicely through the entire reception.

Make-up: Erin Foster from Artistry by Erin. Everything looked great. Very natural, and she was very easy to work with.

Entertainment: The Mix. Deron Baker’s band. They were great, sounded fantastic, and were very willing to work with us on songs we wanted to include.

Wedding Dress: Love, A Bridal Boutique, Jax Beach was great. Daniel at The Tailor Shop was difficult to work with, and the dress never really fit properly despite numerous appointments to try it on for fitting.

Wedding Shoes: I found a great pair of Badgley Mischka shoes on Amazon.com

Bridesmaids Dresses: Our bridesmaids picked out their own dresses, keeping to a theme of black tea length dresses since they were all very differently shaped.

Groom and Groomsmen Wear: Jos. A. Bank


Before the Wedding …

 How did you two meet?   Atlanta airport 9 years ago.  We were both laid over after a delayed flight.  He had to get to a conference the next morning, she had to get home to work, so we both rented a car and drove through the night all the way to Indianapolis.  We went out to dinner while he was in town, but then didn’t see each other for 3 years.  While she was in Florida visiting her sister 3 years later, we met up for dinner, and started dating long distance shortly after.  A year later, we were living in the same town!

 How did he propose?   He had the ring for almost 2 months keeping it a surprise, and even participating in more ring shopping a couple times, even though he already had it.  One weekend when she had the weekend off, he got up early and waited for her to wake up, having placed the ring in an open box in the refrigerator.  As she came into the kitchen, and we said our good mornings, I asked her if she would mind handing me the coffee creamer from the fridge.  She opened the door, and the rest is history!   It was unconventional, but a total surprise that she was not expecting!

 How did you decide on your color scheme, flowers, and cake?   She had seen several arrangements in pictures, and knew we wanted a classic, outdoor springtime combination.  One of the arrangements that stood out was purple and green, which we knew would go well with the natural scenery of our ceremony location.  We went over the colors and location with our florist and asked her to take it from there and she did a beautiful job, especially with the Huppah which was absolutely beautiful!  The wedding cake was a 3 tiered round cake decorated with fresh white flowers.  We wanted 2 flavors of cake so people would have an option.  The wedding cake was almond-amaretto with chocolate ganache, and the second cake was kept in the kitchen, and was champagne with strawberry filling and cream cheese icing.

 How did you decide on your invitations, and who did you use?   We used Wedding Paper Divas.  After looking at hundreds of patterns and styles, we decided on something that was clean, and classic but not too formal, with embossed print.

After the Wedding …

 Where did you go for your honeymoon?   Hawaii!   4 days on Kauai and 4 on The Big Island.

 If you could give yourself any advice prior to the wedding, what would it be?   Hire a coordinator with an assistant…  It turned out to be more important to have a coordinator than we initially thought, and we would probably spend more money on this than we did.  That would have allowed us to enjoy the day a little more than we were able to.   Also, the weekend turned out to be amazing and very special.  Initially, I would have been perfectly happy eloping, and during the planning, thought that maybe eloping would have been the better choice.  Everything was so perfect, though, and having so many close friends and family there to share the whole weekend with us made it such an incredible experience!  The most important thing to me was that we were getting married, but having had it the way we did, I couldn’t imagine having it be more wonderful!   Finally, several people gave the advice that the day will go by very quickly, and to make sure and pause to take mental snapshots of everything as the day went on.  This was great advice, and I’m so glad we listened!




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