Caroline + James | Athens Founder's Memorial Garden Wedding

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The story behind this is one that's near and dear to my heart. It is a little bit different, in the sense that it was my desire is to have the entire day to 'feel' like it could be an actual southern garden wedding in Athens, a celebration with the closest family and friends. As a photographer, I often have the opportunity to go to Atlanta and Athens for weddings each year and I am always so inspired by the venues I get to visit during my work. The University of Georgia is such a gorgeous campus, and I almost went there to study graphic design and business in undergrad. Throughout the years, I've had the opportunity to visit The Founder's Memorial Garden and I knew that I wanted to create something beautiful on its premise. Perhaps maybe have my own wedding there one day, too. 

I reached out to Rachel Slauer to help style and design this summer day and after going back and forth, she and I both agreed that we wanted to create an editorial that had more meaning and a story behind it, rather than doing something just for the sake of being pretty. We felt as if it was necessary to use this time to honestly and sincerely illuminate the weight and depth and joy every couple makes to love, serve, and cherish one another on a wedding day, and to accomplish that, we wanted to showcase a day that looked just like that: a classic, southern wedding day. 

We hoped that our images conveyed a sense of sincerity, allowing whoever views them to think either about their own vows that they have made in the past, or think forward in anticipation to the day they stand at the alter. Various shades of blue, lace, and fruit were all incorporated throughout the design and details, as well as thoughtful odes to wedding traditions and religious themes, which are so often present. Hair and makeup artist, Erin Ryser, dolled up our bride with a dewy, natural look, with loose curls that fell gracefully and gently going perfectly with the delicate lace gown provided by Fabulous Frocks of Atlanta.

The ceremony was small, with only a select few in attendance. During the ceremony, our bride and groom washed each other's feet, which couples often do to symbolize outwardly humble themselves and show their commitment to serve each other. It's Christian tradition based off John 13:1-17, where Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Afterwards, we followed with moments showing Caroline and James exchanging rings (which were provided by Goodstone Inc) and reading aloud handwritten vows created by Maia Wong from Quill & Co, all held in handmade vow books provided by Wedding Story Writer

As with most wedding celebrations, a reception followed! The idea behind creating the reception table scape was for it to feel like it could almost be a fellowship potluck after church on a Sunday under twinkling lights. After the ceremony, guests were invited to gather in the courtyard to talk, mingle, and pray together. From the fruit to the taper candles, the entire look was brought together with a centerpiece created by Jenna of Gold and Bloom.

See more of this feature on Trendy Bride Magazine.

Photo: Hannah Forsberg | Styling and Creative Direction: Rachel Slauer Weddings
Floral: Gold and Bloom | HMUErin Ryser | Gown: Fabulous Frocks of Atlanta | Tux: Modern Gent | RentalsOconee Event Rentals | Rings: Goodstone | Vow BooksWedding Story Writer | Calligraphy: Quill and Co.