Abby + Andy | Nov 2, 2019
Garden wedding with a natural color palette, elegant decor and a touch of glam at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Atlanta, Georgia
Abby and Andy became close friends through their circle of peers at UNC - Chapel Hill. Fast-forward from graduating college to five years of long distance, three additional degrees, nine abodes, nearly a decade of courtship, and they were finally ready to take the next step.
“All of these places and the people we’ve encountered there mean so much to us,” said Abby. “That’s why we incorporated little pieces here and there into our wedding weekend and day.”
Chapel Hill being particularly special to them, Andy went to great lengths to plan a special trip to pop the question. There were little mishaps along the way - including Abby nearly finding the ring in Andy’s pocket, and coming across yellow caution tape in the area where he planned to ask her to marry him. However, none of that mattered when Andy finally got down on one knee!
“All those elements actually made the proposal that much more special to me because that’s how life goes,” said Abby, “little things here and there that make it real and your own memorable fairy tale.”
After she said a big “YES!”, their friend who had been candidly taking photos of the proposal took them around campus for some classic shots. They ended the day at a historic hotel, and to her surprise, their families were waiting with champagne and a full weekend of celebrating!
On a fall day in Atlanta’s spectacular botanical gardens, Abby and Andy tied the knot in the most romantic setting with a touch of glam. The urban oasis in the heart of Midtown created a whimsical ambience, paired with blossoming exhibitions, a natural color palette and elegant decor.
“I wanted to have personal touches here and there that really made everyone feel appreciated, a part of our story, and truly felt like our wedding,” said Abby.
The morning of the wedding, Abby lounged in a luxurious bridal suite wearing a floral satin set, just before revealing her bridal look. She was a showstopper in an ivory gown with silver lace and tulle illusion. The gown featured romantic, off-the-shoulder lace sleeves, a chic open back, and a sheer bodice with a V-neckline and pearl beading.
“The dress was all-encompassing to me: a little matureness, sexiness, classically elegant, a little modern, and a silhouette that echoed the location as well as the season,” said Abby.
Her blonde locks were swept back into a clean low bun, and she paired the dress with a stunning veil, floral faux stud earrings, and a crystal embellished hair piece. She was complemented by her bridesmaids in classic, navy blue gowns, and her groom sporting a classic look himself.
“What guy doesn’t look dapper in a tux?” said Abby. “We wanted to pay homage to something traditional and sophisticated, but also elevate and modernize it slightly.”
Andy donned a midnight blue pin dot tuxedo, standing out from the groomsmen who wore fitted black tuxedos. The guys completed their looks with black velvet loafers and custom monogrammed blush linen suspenders. On their lapels, each wore a boutonniere made of a creamy rose and small succulent.
“Abby and Andy looked like movie stars during their stunner of a wedding,” said the photographer.
As guests entered the ceremony area, they were first greeted with a sign reading “to have and to hold and in case you get cold”, with ivory pashminas as a treat to use during the festivities and as a take-home memento. There were also wedding photos of their parents and grandparents displayed around the guest book for a sentimental touch.
“Design and esthetics are something that I’m interested in due to my profession, so I wanted everything to feel custom yet polished,” said Abby.
In addition to the abundance of floral exhibitions in the botanical gardens, they incorporated anemones, blush and pastel pink roses, and plenty of lush greenery to tie in with the rest of the décor and fashion elements. The altar showcased a giant, circular floral installation, and the bridal bouquet held small meaningful elements. Gardenias paid homage to her late grandmother, and various stems were wrapped with the lace sleeve from her mom’s wedding dress.
“The florals were an integral part of our day,” said Abby. “We wanted to really lean into all that the gardens had to offer as a backdrop and also bring the garden inside to our reception.”
The ceremony was gorgeous and full of heartfelt moments, officiated by a close family friend who had watched their relationship develop over the years. One of the most special moments for Abby was the exchanging of rings. Having completed dental school and familiar with the technique, she’d worked alongside her dad and to make Andy’s band, crafted from her mother-in-law’s first two engagement ring settings, and her mom’s sentimental gold necklaces. They ended up having enough to make Abby’s as well!
“Andy had not seen his ring nor knew of its origin until our minister explained the story to our guests and I placed it on Andy’s finger,” said Abby. “This was extremely special to me - it was something that was produced through time, love, and care, just like our relationship. And as luck would have it, my ring fits perfectly inside of his.”
Leading up to the wedding, Abby and Andy had created a wedding “logo” with A and A intertwined, like a partial infinity sign or like holding hands. They incorporated this into the decor including cocktail napkins and seat assignments to really put their mark on things. One personalized component they really had fun with was their table numbers.
“Since we’ve been together for so long and have been blessed by many adventures along the way, we utilized table “places” instead of numbers,” said Abby.
The seating chart was traditional, however, the title read “your journey awaits”, paying homage to the emotional journey the couple had been while traveling on various adventures. Each table had a “location” instead of a number, with a photo of the newlyweds in that place and a little blurb about the significance of the spot. The tablescape design was elegant, featuring gold brushed chargers, gold-rimmed porcelain plates, navy table linens, eucalyptus and geometric candle votives.
“This was a fun way to add a bit of connectivity during the day and also act as a conversation starter for people as they were seated at their tables,” said Abby.
To kick off the evening, they danced their first dance to a very special song, selected to reflect on the strength of a relationship and the many roads and paths taken to get to marriage. Following the parent dances, the band did a stellar job keeping all of the guests energized and entertained for the entire night!
“We love music and being with our family and friends; I truly don’t think we left the dancefloor all night long!” said Abby. “As so many will tell you, while the day is about the bride and groom, the people there are really what make it.”
Additionally, Andy’s family is Jewish, and everyone celebrated the new couple by taking part in the traditional Horah on the dance floor. The moment was such a highlight to have everyone out on the floor, dancing in circles, as a true representation of both their families and friends coming together.
They pressed pause on the dance floor, only to indulge in the many dessert offerings. In addition to the two-tiered buttercream wedding cake, topped with blush roses and tiny succulents, they decided to do a “cake bar” to have some variety. It featured an array of cakes from salted caramel, to red velvet, to cookies and cream, to funfetti - allowing their guests to choose their own “adventure”.
Closing out the night, Abby and Andy ran through a tunnel of their loved ones, under a canopy of twinkling string lights. Their friends and families waved gold pom poms in the air celebrating this couple’s future as lifelong partners.
“At the end of the day, it is really about you and your partner and being surrounded by so many people that love you and are excited to watch your next chapter unfold,” said Abby. “Cherish the day, as it will be the best night of your life!”
Congratulations, Abby and Andy!
Looking for a whimsical venue for your wedding day? Check out our list of vetted vendors HERE!
Emerald Empire Band
The Black Tux
Essense of Australia
Gizelle James Couturiere
Wedding Angels Boutiques
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Pop + Fizz
Unique Floral Expressions
Make Me Up