Wedding Wednesday: Laid Back in ATL!

I had to skip over my October Wedding Wednesday post, but here I am…back again!  This month, I bring you a lovely lady who attended high school with me.  She and her honey got hitched in Atlanta this summer.  She had so many photos to choose from, I just told her to like the ones she wanted on Facebook and I would rifle through them.  It’s been a while since I have gotten teary eyed over wedding photos, but you truly feel the love emanating from them.  Enjoy!

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Photo Courtesy of Brandon Hunter Photography

LAUREN + REGGIE

JULY 27TH, 2013

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Photo Courtesy of Brandon Hunter Photography

Wedding Date: July 27th, 2013

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Photo Courtesy of Brandon Hunter Photography

Bride and Occupation: Lauren (Lyles) Coachman, Special Education Teacher

Groom and Occupation: Reggie Coachman, Student & IT Project Manager

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Photo Courtesy of Brandon Hunter Photography

Wedding Location: Atlanta, GA

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Photo Courtesy of Brandon Hunter Photography

What was your budget? Around $20,000

My dress + alterations, accessories, and shoes totaled around $1,000

Venue and catering was around $11,000

Cake & cupcakes were around $500

DJ was $900 for 6 hours

Honeymoon to Disney World for 6 nights and 7 days around $5,000

Groom’s Suit and accessories around $250

Floral was $1,400

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Photo Courtesy of Brandon Hunter Photography

How many guests did you have? Around 150

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Photo Courtesy of Brandon Hunter Photography

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Photo Courtesy of Brandon Hunter Photography

Talk About the Ceremony: I will say without a doubt Reggie and I thoroughly enjoyed our wedding. We treated it like one big party. think our biggest focus for our wedding was to have a great time. We know that we love each other and this wasn’t something we were nervous about. Reggie is very anxious when it comes to formalities so the idea of a stiff and formal ceremony where everyone is serious and people are crying their eyes out was far from appealing to us. We worked hard to plan far in advance so the days just ahead of the ceremony were relaxed, but exciting.

Our biggest challenge was being about 2 hours away from our venue and vendors and 2+ hours away from our family and wedding party. Everyone was extremely helpful, but there is only so much that can be done remotely. We both really like nautical trinkets and themed items so we enjoyed theming our ceremony and reception around that. We had fun planning out the little themed details and making all the little things kind of “pop”. For example, we used lighthouses and real sea shells (collected by my mom and maternal grandparents) on the tables, lighthouse post cards instead of a guestbook, and chocolate molded in the shapes of sea shells for favors. The biggest thing we did to save money was keeping decorations to a minimum (the venue was too gorgeous!) and DIY-ing things here are there. My dad made some AWESOME pier posts to kind of “frame” the aisle for us to walk down. They were free because he had the materials and they tied the look together perfectly. The same goes for the chocolate molds were painstaking but I had the help of my littlest sister while we were on vacation. She was a chocolate molding FACTORY!

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Photo Courtesy of Brandon Hunter Photography

Our biggest splurge for the actual ceremony (not sure if the honeymoon counts) was the venue and catering. It was a package deal that was actually a great price for all that was included, but it was definitely a LOT more than we had originally intended to spend. In the end, it was completely worth it! One thing that shocked me was how emotionally calm I was. I wasn’t a wreck or crying a lot. I teared up a few times, especially talking to my dad right before we hit the aisle and during our “last” dance, but overall I’m generally a pretty free crier. It doesn’t take much, usually, so I was pleasantly surprised that all of my tears were “happy” tears and they didn’t last long. One hilarious moment during the ceremony was during the vows. Reggie was listening to our pastor (my brother-in-law, who has a fantastic South African accent) before we were about to say our vows and Ryan says “Do you Reggie, take Lauren…” and before he can get any further Reggie hurriedly and, presumably, excitedly says “I DO”. The entire group of guests roared with laughter and it broke any remaining tension for the rest of the vows and the much anticipated kiss.

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Photo Courtesy of Brandon Hunter Photography

The most important piece of advice I can think to give is to plan and organize everything MONTHS in advance. I was able to work on it for a while (our engagement was a year and a half long) and I had no problems working a little big along. It made it easier to plan trips to family and trips to the venue during weekends and breaks so that we weren’t taking time off or driving all of the time. It also gives you time to save money or ways to make it if you are like us and not made of money or frugal enough to have saved it all beforehand. Planning ahead allows you to enjoy every minute of the day without worrying – Did the cake get here on time? Did Nana get a ride to the ceremony? Does the florist have directions? Did Mom remember to preserve my flowers?. If you have a plan and a way to let everyone know ahead of time – there are no problems! Also, I highly recommend a “who to call” list with useful phone numbers. That way, if there are problems, the bride never has to know!

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Photo Courtesy of Brandon Hunter Photography

SHOW YOUR VENDORS SOME LOVE

Venue : The Piedmont Room at Park Tavern – Atlanta, GA. Lauren Blaska the Director of Sales was absolutely wonderful. I almost feel like she doubled as a wedding planner at times. She helped things go off without a hitch.More Information Here.

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Photo Courtesy of Brandon Hunter Photography

Floral: Chelsea Floral and Event Designs – Atlanta, GA (Buckhead area). David Clarke was a gem! Though Chelsea Floral typically caters to a very high brow clientele, I never once felt as though I was any less important than any other customer. We were treated with the utmost professionalism, despite our smaller budget and David had no problems adjusting the product to fit our budget. More Information Here.

Cake: Frosted Pumpkin Gourmet, Inc. – Atlanta, GA (the outskirts, be prepared for a drive past the suburbs) Jeff Schwerzler did an amazing job on getting exactly the look we envisioned for our cake. The price was reasonable, and was very low-maintenance on our part.More Information Here.

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Photo Courtesy of Brandon Hunter Photography

Cupcakes: Cami Cakes – Atlanta, GA (Buckhead location). These cupcakes were amazing. We ordered the classic flavor with yellow icing and they were JUST right. This was also a very low-maintenance item. They required only 10 days notice to make over 200 mini and regular sized cupcakes.More Information Here.

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Photo Courtesy of Brandon Hunter Photography

DJ: The Pros DJ service – Derrick Utsey. For a national and very large company The Pros did a great job of personalizing our service. Once I was put into contact with Derrick I knew he had the right idea of what would fit with our ceremony. He played just the right mix!

Car Service: Atlanta Limousine. I know this is a small detail, but the car service was perfect. It was extremely reasonably priced, the sedan was very roomy and gave us a few minutes to relax while someone else navigated the midtown traffic. Our driver was personable, kind, and extremely professional.More Information Here.

Hotel: The Renaissance Atlanta Midtown – They gave us a wonderful group rate at this BEAUTIFUL hotel. There was a terrace bar and restaurant that my guests were able to enjoy. There was also a complimentary car service for locations within a 2 mile radius that was perfect for my grandparents who would have had a difficult time getting to their car (not locally parked, or in valet). The front desk was quick to respond to any questions or complaints and made the process smooth. More Information Here.

Photographer: Brandon Hunter Photography.  The pictures speak for themselves!  More Information Here.

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