Gabi + Brian | Oct 7, 2018
While Gabi and Brian were living on Long Island they were set up on a blind date and hit it off immediately. After just a few short months of dating, Brian’s job sent him to Charlotte, permanently. It didn’t take much convincing to get Gabi to follow him down south.
After rescuing a dog, traveling the country and buying a house together, it was about time for a proposal. They went to visit a family friend with their family and watch the solar eclipse. After what was already a pretty memorable moment, Brian decided to make an even better memory and propose.
Having fallen in love with the brewery scene in their beloved city of Charlotte and both having German heritage, it was only fitting that the couple planned an Oktoberfest themed wedding. Between the beer pouring unity ceremony and log cutting ceremony, mixed with the natural outdoors and focus on greenery, it was perfection.
As Gabi’s dad opened the door to the house where she got ready, he saw his daughter standing there in her wedding gown for the first time. She had on a fitted, lace mermaid gown. There were buttons down the back and a sweetheart neckline. She added some glitz to the look with her DIY copper glitter shoes and rose gold necklace Brian gifted her.
After the first look with her dad, Gabi and Brian shared a private first look and the moment couldn’t have been more special.
“The first-look was one of my favorite parts of the day,” said Gabi. “In the middle of getting ready and being bombarded by family and friends, it gave us a chance to be alone and share a special moment with each other.”
While the couple shared their private moment, their guests began to arrive. As they walked down the winding pathway into a wooded area, they were greeted by a set of freestanding white wooden doors. Next to the doors was a rustic wooden ladder scattered with greenery and copper dipped vases.
Once guests stepped through the doors, the waterfront ceremony site was revealed. At the front was a wooden arbor draped with a greenery garland and a hanging copper lantern off each side. Down the aisle were copper dipped vases holding baby’s breath and lavender.
Brian took his spot at the altar with his groomsmen following behind. The groom stood out in a dark grey suit while his groomsmen and groomswoman all wore black. The bridesmaids made their way to the front, each in a matching mint dress and carrying a bouquet of baby’s breath and lavender, matching the aisle markers.
“Lavender is my favorite flower, so I knew that I wanted to incorporate it into the bouquets and décor,” said Gabi. “It's a delicate flower, so we paired it with baby's breath to make a small and rustic bouquet for the bridal party and table decor.”
The bride walked arm in arm with both her mom and dad down the aisle until they reached Brian. The couple found two very unique ways to personalizethe ceremony and tie it into their Oktoberfest theme.
“We found a fun tradition of log cutting, and decided to incorporate that into our ceremony,” explained Gabi. “We had a lumber saw used by the bride's great-great-grandfather and used it to cut a cedar log that came from the bride's parent's land.”
The other piece of the ceremony the couple personalized was the unity ceremony. Instead of a traditional sand or wine ceremony, Gabi and Brian opted for a beer ceremony. Could there have been a more perfect way to tie in their German heritage with the Oktoberfest theme in a meaningful way?!
After the ceremony, guests headed to the bar to enjoy a beer (or two!) during cocktail hour. The couple made sure to offer a variety of Charlotte craft beers to give their out of town guests a taste of their favorite local selections.
“We really enjoy the brewery scene in Charlotte and wanted to incorporate the social atmosphere and variety of craft beers that you'd find at a brewery,” the bride said. “Most of the guests had never visited Charlotte, so this was our way of bringing our favorite piece of the city to life in our wedding.”
While guests played the oversized Jenga, enjoyed pretzel bites with beer cheese and signed the wooden pallet guest book, the final touches were put on the tented reception tent.
Inside the tent, three crystal chandeliers hung over the dance floor. Surrounding the dance floor on each side were two long rectangular head tables. A greenery garland ran down the middle of each table with more copper dipped vases filled with baby’s breath and clear votive candle holders. At the round guest tables there were similar centerpieces of greenery and baby’s breath.
There was also a rustic wooden farm table for the sweetheart table, filled with greenery and candles. Sparkly copper Mr. and Mrs. signs sat in front of their seats alongside two copper mugs, that also read Mr. and Mrs.
With the exception of the sweetheart table, all the tables were set with white linens and wooden bistro chairs for that rustic feeling. There was a mint napkin at each seat, topped with a brown kraft bag that read “love is sweet.” Inside the bag were two cookies for the guests to take home; one in the shape of the state of North Carolina and one in the shape of a beer mug. It was just another way the couple shared their love of their state and beer with the guests.
Once guests found their seat on the wooden seating chart, they headed inside the tent to await the couple’s introduction. The new Mr. and Mrs. were announced, and the reception kicked off.
If there ever was a dancing group, this was it. There wasn’t a moment when the dance floor wasn’t full, and the couple wasn’t in the middle of it! That is until it was time for dessert!
Instead of a traditional wedding cake the couple opted for a donut dessert display, and our mouths are watering just looking at it. In the midst of all the donuts, there was actually one small cake – decorated to look like a donut, of course – that the couple did something fun with. Rather than a normal cake cutting, they sang happy birthday to all the October birthdays in their family, since there was a lot of them. Talk about sweet – literally and figuratively!
After the birthday celebration, everyone went right back to dancing the night away. Before the night was officially over, everyone grabbed a sparkler and gave the couple a sweet send off.
Congratulations to the happy couple!
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