Getting Down to Wedding Business

The time had come for Sean and I to make a trip to Georgia  to start official wedding business. Our first mission was to check out hotels, restaurants, and shopping in the town of LaGrange, Georgia. Since LaGrange is only 15 minutes away from Hogansville (where the wedding venue is) we thought it would be a perfect city to host our guests for the wedding weekend. 

We stayed overnight at the Wingate by Windam Callaway Gardens hotel. Which was beautiful and newly constructed. Features include rooms either with carpet or hardwood flooring, flat screen TVs, refrigerators, microwaves, and a continental breakfast each morning. We thought it would be a great weekend escape for our guests so we made it our official wedding hotel!

The city was great too! Besides all the common restaurants and stores, LaGrange offers Callaway Gardens and the Pine Mountain Animal Safari nearby.

The next day Sean and I to had our first meeting with our wedding planner/coordinator Vickie Brown, who also owns our venue Victoria Belle. The mansion was decorated so beautifully for Christmas!  Us three definitely hit the ground running and we left with three pages of "To Dos" before our next appointment in February. I brought my inspiration board along and felt a little, well, obsessed and one of THOSE crazy brides! To my surprise, Vickie LOVED the board and it actually helped translate my vision of the big day to her. 

After our meeting with Vickie, it was time to meet our potential photographer, Karen Ann Yontz of Mac and Cheese Photography. We met at the Dancing Goat in Decatur - a swanky Starbucks lookalike with a less commerical feel to it. We talked for over an hour with Karen Ann and definitely hit it off. We then took our conversation to the Brick Store Pub where the beer selection was outrageous and contracts were signed for her to be our wedding photographer! 

Needless to say, it was a very successful 24 hours!

Inspiration

As the bridal magazines stack up so do the ideas! I've been cutting out pictures for inspiration since even before the bling graced the finger! After hundreds of clips and cuts, I started seeing everything coming together in one direction. To get organized, I bought a foam board and started spreading out my ideas to get one clear picture. It's a work in progress, and some pictures are blacked out/pixeled to keep a few details under wraps, but here it is so far...


Of course these are only ideas and things will differ; however, I am excited to see how much of it comes to life on our wedding day!

Always a Sorority Girl

Ways to Add a Phi Mu Touch to a Wedding


*Use a quatrefoil theme throughout your wedding for invitations, programs and the shape of the cake.
*Use pink as one of your colors.
*Give each Phi Mu present a pink carnation corsage
*Have a Phi Mu row marked with pink ribbons
*Give each of the Phi Mus present a pink carnation. When the you walk down the aisle, collect one flower from each of sisters stationed at the end of the aisles to make your bouquet.
*Pin your badge on the inside of your gown.
*Wear a pink garter if you do not want pink to be your primary color.
*Take a group photo of all of the Phi Mus present at the reception
*Ask Phi Mus to sing a song to you during the reception, such as "Sisters" or “Picture a Girl.”
*Play the “P-H- I to the M-U” rap song at the reception

A Weekend with David Tutera

IT FINALLY CAME! Time to meet David Tutera! Saturday I flew to Atlanta and stayed with one of my friends, Ashley, who was also a David fan and attending the weekend's events. We got all dressed up and headed to Che'ne Rouge in Hiram, Georgia for the cocktail party titled, A Southern Enchanted Evening with David Tutera.

After we hit the open bar and returned to our table, the lights dimmed and David came walking through the door! Oh. My. Goodness. What a hottie!


The best part was when we got to actually meet him, take pictures with him, and have our books signed!




What an amazing night!!! I couldn't wait for tomorrow's wedding planning session with him!


When I woke up Sunday, I jumped out of bed and we headed back to Che'ne Rouge for The Tutera Touch: Creating a Wedding with Personal Style.



After a fashion show from Savvi, it was David time! We made sure to get good seats!




He had GREAT stories and tips that I was able to take away and incorporate into my planning!

And, we just had to talk to him again and get another picture with him!




What an AMAZING weekend!!!!

And The Shopping Continues ...

This time, my mom and I took the bridal gown search across the bay to St. Petersburg to CC's Boutique. As we walked up to the entrance, we noticed the street number was 770. Anyone from Atlanta would know that number! Not one to believe in "signs," I took it as one this time!

We walked in and the inside decor reminded me of an old southern house. I loved it, obviously! We met with my consultant Katie who lead us to the gowns I had in mind.

I tried on the two gowns that were stuck in my head from Olga's Bridal. My mom didn't care for them (nor the price) before and the second time around didn't seem to change her opinion much! I was willing to compromise but I was set on the designer (who shall remain anonymous!).  Katie pulled another dress from the same designer that had everything I was looking for. I put it on and it was gorgeous! Everything was perfect about it - I loved it, my mom loved it, and the price fell within the budget! Even better, a trunk show was scheduled in September which translated into getting a discount off the dress! Success! 

It would be the last dress I tried on because we put down a deposit for it! Thanks Mom! It was a brand new dress in the Fall 2010 collection and I was the first customer to order it from CC's!

Wedding Dress Shopping!

The time had come to go dress shopping! Any excuse to go shopping, right? My mom and I set out to tackle wedding boutiques in Tampa. In one day we hit David's Bridal, Diana's Bridal, Olga's Bridal Boutique, and Alfred Angelo. Whew! There were A LOT of dresses and we had very different experiences at each location.

I think each bride tries David's Bridal because of the convenience for the entire bridal party. Convenience was pretty much all I got out of it. Even with an appointment, my consultant often left me to assist other customers while I was just standing in a dress I didn't care for. Next!

Down the block was Diana's Bridal. Maybe David's wife? With one quick look around, my mom and I knew that we weren't the demographic that Diana had in mind for her target market. Let's just say we saw more quinceaƱera dresses than bridal gowns. Moving on!

Next we went to Olga's Bridal. I was excited for this one because it carried the designer I was interested in. I found two dresses that I liked A LOT however the customer service there was HORRIBLE! I tried on the dresses with my clothes on underneath due to the lack of service! At least David's Bridal had it right by being prepared with the correct undergarments and bustles. Olga's wins worst customer service award in my opinion!

Our last stop of the day was Alfred Angelo. What a nice change and breath of fresh air! My consultant Christie was phenomenal! She was very knowledgeable and patient! Although the gowns were very pretty, I could not get the other two from Olga's Bridal out of my head. Being that I did not want to go back to Olga's Bridal, I decided to research if other stores in the area carried the designer I wanted. No other stores in Tampa carried it but there was one in St. Petersburg ... needless to say, the appointment is already set for next week!!!

To be continued ...

Save the Date!!






The date has officially been set! Sean and are will be married on ....


OCTOBER 01, 2011
 
at
 
Victoria Belle Mansion
 
in Hogansville, Georgia
 


We can't wait! 

My [Other] Dream Man

OH. MY. GOODNESS.

David Tutera is coming to Georgia in September and I AM GOING TO MEET HIM! And I am BEYOND excited!!!! September cannot come sooner!




September 11, 2010

V.I.P. Cocktail Party With David Tutera Upclose and Personal!
Saturday Evening in the Grand Ballroom
Semi-Formal Dress
  • White Glove Passed Hor d’ouevres provided by Gabriels Desserts of Marietta
    Complimentary Beer and Wine served in The Pub (Indoor Bar)
  • Enjoy your complimentary Mimosas outside at Carmen Veranda’s Bar & Deck
  • Book Signing of David’s New Book, “The Big White Book of Weddings” which will be on sale at the event
  • Professional Photographer and Videographer will be on hand
  • Parting gift bags with party favors for each guest
  • Valet Parking
  • Silent Auction/Proceeds go to Alzheimers Association Georgia Chapter

The Tutera Touch: Wedding Presentation and Book Signing

September 12, 2010

Join Celebrity Wedding Planner, Bridal Designer and host of WeTV’s
“My Fair Wedding” David Tutera at Che’ne Rouge to learn how to create the personalized wedding of your dreams.

View images of some of some of his favorite weddings as he demonstrates examples of ways you can add the Tutera Touch to your own wedding!

  • Elegant Bridal Fashion featuring Savvi Formal Wear & Elaine. M. Bridal
  • Intermission at Twelve; lunch is served provided by G & W Catering
  • The Tutera Touch: Creating A Wedding With Personal Style
  • Questions & Answers; There will also be plenty of time to ask him questions!
  • Book Purchase & Signing of David Tutera's new book, “The Big White Book of Weddings”
  • Professional Photographer and Videographer will be on hand

Georgia Engagement Pictures are Here!!!

A BIG THANK YOU to Jason Meek of jm photographics for taking these amazing photos. We couldn't be more happy with how they came out!!




Check them out at Georgia Engagement Pictures

If you're in need of a photographer check out jm photographics

Georgia Bridal Expo

What are the chances that the same weekend we visit Georgia, the HUGE Georgia Bridal Expo would also be going on? I think it's fate! I loved our "Bride" and "Groom" stickers! Sean was so excited to be there, can't you tell!


I talked Sean into getting into one of those money booths. He caught $220 which goes towards tux rentals. The sales represented doubled it and gave us more discounts. In all, we received $720 off all the tux rentals! See, I know how to save money! :)

Location! Location! Location!

Sean and I finally were able to get away and visit Georgia to search for venues. I was looking for the perfect southern mansion. We visited 3 beautiful places near the Atlanta area.


First stop, Flint Hill Mansion. A beautiful home built in 1835 in Norcross. Sean loved this one after hearing "Sports Team Ice Cream Bar." Everything being told to us went in one ear and out the other. All he could think about was USF Bulls ice cream!

Next up was The Whitlock Inn in downtown Marietta. This home is set right off the charming Marietta Square. We decided to look at this venue not so much for the "Southern Mansion" aspect, but more because it was in my hometown. Built in 1900 it is considered the most beautiful bed and breakfast in Georgia. Beautiful is was, but it wasn't what we were looking for.


Our last stop was the one that I was most excited about. Early Friday morning we set out for Hogansville, GA. Being a Georgia native, I had never heard of such a city! However it is about 20 minutes south of Newnan. We arrived VERY early so we decided that we would check out the city and find nice hotels and restaurants for future planning.

We turned off the exit and all poor Sean could see was small town country! Hogansville is very, VERY, small apparently and it didn't take us very long to find the Piggly Wiggly! Haha! Downtown Hogansville yet small, was very pretty and welcoming. I do believe the movie Sweet Home Alabama shot the scene where Reese Witherspoon visits the the bank in that very city.

We found this gem nestled right off the main street of downtown Hogansville and it was love at first sight. Introducing Victoria Belle Mansion.


The house, the grounds, even the owner/wedding consultant were absolutely perfect!

Now it's time to crunch numbers and see if these beautiful houses are something we can make happen! More to come when a decision is made ...

Party Time!



The first chance we got, Sean and I took off for Georgia to celebrate our engagement with the family and friends that couldn't be there for the proposal. My best friend, and matron of honor, hosted our bbq themed engagement party. Being that I LOVE to plan parties I couldn't resist helping with the planning! So I made favor cookies and the decorations! It was so much fun!!!


I LOVE party planning!






Georgia friends!






Engagement in Georgia (Teaser)

Sean and I took our first set of engagement pictures in Atlanta, Georgia to capture where I'm from. We shot in Piedmont Park with Jason Meek of jm photographics. He was absolutely awesome and we are so excited to see the rest of the pictures!!!

Here are a few teaser pictures!





My Big Fat Southern Wedding

After countless hours reading and obsessing over my favorite blog, "Southern Weddings" at www.swsmag.net, I decided that I wanted its magazine. Correction, needed it!

Two days after ordering it, not only did my magazine arrive, an additional magazine was included (for free!!!). What a great concept - one for looking though many times, covering in sticky notes, and tearing out for inspiration for the absolute "MUST HAVE" ideas! And one to keep in pristine condition!



The magazine had a ton of inspiration that was used in Sean and mine Georgia engagement photos. It also had a great article "60 Ways to Have a Southern Wedding" which could not be more perfect for me!

Here are a couple of my favorite "ways":

16. Tea-rific. Have a wait staff standing by at the end of your ceremony with trays of sweet tea. Go rustic and serve it in mason jars. For adults, offer trays of Sweet Tea vodka.

22. Grit and bear it. Mashed potato bars? Delicious, but not particularly Southern. A grits bar? Southern through and through. Set out cheese, gourmet salts, bacon, honey, brown sugar, hominy, and shrimp for mix-ins, and have an attendant standing by ready to grind fresh black pepper.

32. For peanuts. Another favor option or to have at the reception is boiled peanuts. A true southern treat!

Bridesmaid Invitations

I wanted a creative way to officially invite my friends to be bridesmaids. Being that I had nine girls to ask, I knew it was going to take some time if I was going to make the invitations myself. After falling in love with an idea found on Once Wed, I knew there was no turning back for my small army of bridesmaids! Here's the finished product:













I can't wait to have my girls with me on my big day!