I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

For their wedding, Erin and Rob wanted guests to experience the thrill of Chicago without all the hustle and bustle of traffic and tourists, so they chose their venue Prairie Production, where skyline views were available from the cocktail hour. With a completely blank modern loft space, Erin turned her initial feelings of intimidation into total freedom and creativity! With nothing but white space, she had nothing but possibility–and we love that she turned to total romance (including plenty of coral peonies and soft roses by Floral Del Monte) to fill up the modern room. The couple leaned on tradition and family to add a sense of history and personality to the big day! We’ll let the bride, Erin, tell you the rest of the story, while your eyes feast on images by Kina Wicks Photography.

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production
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What made the wedding special and unique?

What made the day most unique for us was being able to customize every aspect of our wedding to reflect our personal tastes and preferences. We wanted to show our guests a bit of who we are as a couple, rather than following standard protocol. My step-mother is a judge and she married us at the venue. We created the entire ceremony ourselves and recessed to a favorite reggae song. We opted to each have one person in our bridal party and asked close friends to help in other ways, like making a slideshow or helping with place cards. Guests sipped our favorite drinks during cocktail hour while listening to music performed by Rob’s long-time friend and fellow musician Hector Anchondo. For dinner, we served grilled shrimp and steak kebabs, which is what Rob made for me the night we got engaged (and also one of our favorite meals). We wanted to get the dance party started and opted for a sweets table instead of serving wedding cake to the guests at their tables. This allowed people to enjoy a variety of sweets when they felt ready and also helped people pack the dance floor.
We also wanted to have a Chicago wedding without all the chaos of a traditional downtown Chicago wedding (traffic, tourists, etc.). We chose our venue, Prairie Production, in the West Loop neighborhood because it provided our guests an urban feel in a more accessible area of Chicago. We were able to have cocktail hour outside and guests could catch a glimpse of the Chicago skyline without the screech of traffic.

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

I knew I wanted a lace gown. My mother wore lace and I wanted to carry on in that tradition. Like the way I approach many other things in life, I had a vision of what I wanted in my head and the struggle was to find it out in the real world. I went to six different boutiques. I thought I had found “the one” and had an appointment to purchase what I thought was the gown. However, my future mother-in-law was coming in town for our engagement party and I wanted to take her dress shopping with me. Turns out she was good luck! The Alvina Valenta dress I tried on that day at Bella Bianca Bridal Couture ended up being my wedding gown. It was sweetheart lace with buttons all the way down the back. The belt it came with had a large raw silk flower, which was perfect for our garden party theme. I purchased a rhinestone “party” belt that I wore during the reception. I still love my wedding dress! Every time we look at our wedding photos, my husband laughs because that is the first thing I say. Through Pinterest, I was able to locate beautiful Badgley Mischka shoes that perfectly matched the gown.

I was lucky enough to borrow two incredible accessories from close friends. My veil was Vera Wang, borrowed from my good friend from graduate school. I loved it so much I joke with her that I am not giving it back. My college roommate let me borrow her gorgeous (and enormous) rhinestone and pearl hairpiece. She purchased it at the Monique L’Huillier boutique in Minnesota. I loved having a piece of my friends’ with me throughout the day.
If there is a wedding video, we would love to feature that as well!

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production

What were some touches added to make it personal?

Our venue is a completely blank space. At first it was overwhelming to make the space our own, but in the end, the flexibility that the venue allowed is a huge part of what made our wedding personal. We loosely based the decorations on the idea of a formal garden party. My father constructed a large white trellis on which to hang the ombre watercolor place cards. The place cards were attached to satin coral ribbon (same type of ribbon that was used on the wedding invitations). My friends and I made the place cards and table numbers to match our Paper Source invitations. Our florist hung bud vases on the trellis and placed bunches of bud vases throughout the venue to carry on the floral theme. Peonies have always been a favorite of mine and I was thrilled we were able to make them a large part of the wedding decorations. I love how our wedding cake turned out – a small, delicately decorated white cake with a large coral charm peony on top. I even purchased a peony essence eau de parfum by L’Occitance to incorporate the fragrance of the flower into my attire.

Our families were also a big part of making the day more personal. My mother surprised us by having her wedding dress deconstructed and turned into a box in which to hold cards. There is a special lid that will allow this box to become our wedding keepsake box. Rob’s mother, Kim, is well-known for her delicious cookies. She made the wedding favors, which were coral spritz cookies (Rob’s favorite) and raspberry thumb press cookies (Erin’s favorite). Our sweetheart table was candlelit by handmade candle sticks that Rob’s grandfather, Robert, had made for his wife as a wedding present. We were each able to enjoy our favorite beverages with our His & Her signature cocktails (Buffalo Trace Old Fashioned for Him and Pomegranate Prosecco Cocktail for Her). We ate dinner at a sweetheart table and shared a bottle of 2009 Justin ISOCELES wine (Rob works for the company).

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Sitting at our sweetheart table together, enjoying the speeches of our bridal party and looking around at the people whom we love most who were there celebrating with us. Both of us were surprised at how much fun we had at the wedding! From getting ready to the encore performed by our band, it was truly the time of our life.

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production


Tell us how you met and became engaged!

We met at a bar in Wicker Park in 2009 (we went back to the same bar in 2013 to take our engagement photos there!). I initially tried to set Rob up with one of my friends, but it did not work out. I kept in touch with Rob and we went on our first date a few weeks later. We’ve been together ever since.
Our condo has a rooftop deck that overlooks the skyline. It’s one of our favorite places to spend time together. In April 2013, Rob told me her was going to make dinner for us on the roof. I thought nothing of it, even when I got up there and there were candles lit and music playing. When he came up, he had a bottle of champagne and the sun was setting. I actually did not know that he was proposing until he got down on one knee! I was so shocked and deliriously happy that I remember little of what he said while proposing. He reincorporated his proposal speech into his wedding vows when we were married so I could hear what he originally said.

Wedding Blog Rob and Erins Wedding at Prarie Production

Vendors: Photography: Kina Wicks Photography // Bridal Gown: Alvina Valenta // Groom’s Clothing: Suit Supply // Catering: Honest Foods Catering // Custom Printing: Paper Source // Florals: Floral Del Monte // Hair & MU: Chicago Bridal Hair and Makeup // Band: Connexion Band // Venue: Prairie Production

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Shannon and John were married at a brand new venue in SoCal: The Ranch at Laguna Beach. With their closest family and friends, the pair celebrated in an intimate non-fussy reception that included tons of personal details, plenty of help from family and friends, and a few DIYs. We are SO honored to share this sweet wedding with you, especially because our super fab friend, Josh Elliott Photography shot all of these gorgeous images. By the way…a sparkly pinata at the end of your wedding? I’m going to give that a big huge seal of approval!

Wedding Blog The Ranch at Laguna Beach Wedding
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Wedding Blog The Ranch at Laguna Beach Wedding

Wedding Blog The Ranch at Laguna Beach Wedding

What made the wedding special and unique?

For both of us it was nice to have a small wedding with family and just a few close friends. It felt very intimate, not too busy, or hectic. The venue is a newest addition to a 9-hole golf course in town. We were the first wedding there, so it felt really special! It was outdoors, in a grove of eucalyptus trees in the back of a lush canyon – the perfect venue for us! The weather was perfect and the day was smooth from start to finish. It was also extra special creating the vision for the day, piecing together the special touches, AND being the bride!

Wedding Blog The Ranch at Laguna Beach Wedding

Tell us about the dress and where/how you found it!

Dress shopping was a little tough for me. Because we were engaged in January and planned our wedding for May, my dress shopping time was limited. I also kind of loved almost every dress I tried on, so it was tricky to decide. However, most of the dresses I wanted to order wouldn’t arrive in time because of our short engagement. But thankfully, I am sample size! I had a vision of what I thought my dress would look like, and always said that I would never wear lace or strapless. With about a month until our wedding I tried on a strapless lace dress with a train, and it just worked and they were happy to sell me the sample with my time crunch! I picked it up from alterations the day before the wedding, and was so happy that it fit on wedding day!

Wedding Blog The Ranch at Laguna Beach Wedding

Wedding Blog The Ranch at Laguna Beach Wedding

What were some touches added to make it personal?

Everything was personal! From John and I hand painting the bottles for flowers, to pieces of driftwood collected from our travels, John’s dad being the officiant, everyone came together to help in one way or another. One of my bridesmaids is an amazing florist, and she made all the bouquets and boutonnieres full of gorgeous white peonies, dahlias, and eucalyptus. Another bridesmaid is a chef, and she made the delicious cake and cupcakes topped with gold! on the morning of the wedding, my bridesmaids and I came early and setup the ceremony, tables, and floral arrangements.

Both my mom and my stepfather walked me down the aisle, we presented John’s daughter with special words and a beautiful necklace during the ceremony to represent us as a family, we hired the local trolley (an icon of Laguna Beach) to shuttle our guests to the back of the canyon, the pinata, the music, the food…all those details made everything feel really special and were a true reflection of us and our relationship. Above all that though, our ceremony was extra special. Although I was too shy to say my own vows, John’s dad did a great job of basically saying all that we could’ve wanted – there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd, everyone really felt the love!

Wedding Blog The Ranch at Laguna Beach Wedding

Wedding Blog The Ranch at Laguna Beach Wedding

Wedding Blog The Ranch at Laguna Beach Wedding

Do you have a wedding video you would like to share as well?

We don’t! And majorly regret not doing one!

Wedding Blog The Ranch at Laguna Beach Wedding

Wedding Blog The Ranch at Laguna Beach Wedding

What was the most memorable part of the day?

From Shannon:
Our first dance. We had requested that Francisco, an 89 year old man from a local Mexican restaurant come play for us the song he played for us on our first date. He planned to arrive after the ceremony and photos, but he was running late, so we decided to play the song we had planned for the father-daughter and mother-son dance. And figured we would select another song for the parents later on. We forgot to tell our parents that, so when we started dancing, our parents joined in, from both sides! It ended up being a big family dance!

From John:
Seeing Shannon for the first time! Seeing my daughter cry tears of joy after the ceremony, and when Francisco showed up and he played two very special songs for us to dance to. Basically everything!

Wedding Blog The Ranch at Laguna Beach Wedding

Wedding Blog The Ranch at Laguna Beach Wedding

Tell us how you met and became engaged!

We met in October of 2012. We both love music..and met seeing two mutual friends play together. He asked me to dance, we danced the whole evening, and then he asked me if he could take me out the following day. And the next. The rest is history.

Our proposal was actually pretty funny…John picked up the ring on New Years Eve. We had plans for a party at our house that night. He had the ring in his pocket the entire time but just didn’t find the moment to do it. The same happened for the next 4 days…ring in pocket and no proposal. Finally, on January 4th we had plans to visit Santa Barbara and Los Olivos for a wine tasting weekend getaway. He had the ring in his pocket during the drive up the coast, during lunch on the pier, walking around town, sunset, dinner, drinks…and finally, on the way back to the hotel John suggested we go to the beach. As every engagement story goes, I resisted saying it was too cold. He convinced me. We stood below the pier and he asked me there. I said, “Are you sure?!” and then tackled him in the sand. We laughed and cried and then called our families. It was perfect, and private, and just right for us.

Wedding Blog The Ranch at Laguna Beach Wedding

Wedding Blog The Ranch at Laguna Beach Wedding

 

Vendors: Photography: Josh Elliott Photography // Venue: Scout Camp, The Ranch at Laguna Beach // Catering: Chef Camron Woods // Planning/Design: Cargo Creative // Florist: Natasha Kolenko // Dress: Pronovias // 2nd dress: Adrianna Papell // Shoes: Dolce Vita // Pinata: Prospect Goods // Cake: Dominique Fletcher

Lindsay and Giles​ hosted the most gorgeous wedding ever at 701 Whaley in Columbia, South Carolina! Friends and family traveled from afar to be there, so the pair pulled out all the stops not only with a crazy beautiful day, but also with a party that was literally planned around their absolute favorite band ever: The Hackensaw Boys. I can’t even imagine the delight of the couple, as well as their friends, to join in such a fun night!! There’s so much more to the big day, that we’re letting Lindsay take over and tell you all about it! Le sigh!

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley
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What made the wedding special and unique?

Since moving to Columbia, whenever we have out of town visitors it always rains. Literally always. We really wanted an outdoor wedding but since we were cursed and all of our guests would be traveling from out of town, we would bring the garden inside! Fern Studios is an absolute genius! The overflowing centerpieces in vintage boxes to the ladder overflowing with greens, the reception felt like being in a garden. I told Sarah, owner of Fern Studios, to design whatever she wanted and to be as creative as possible, and it was the best decision ever. After all, she is the professional so I wanted her creativeness to run wild. To complete the look, Meagan Warren, my wedding planner, suggested we use farm tables and vintage china. To top it off, we rented vintage furniture from 428Main in Charleston. It was my big splurge and it was worth it! I took all of Meagan’s suggestions and let her run with her imagination! Best lesson I learned is to find vendors with similar styles, take their advice, and let them be creative!

We absolutely love live music. And we especially LOVE bluegrass music. One of our favorite bands, that we’ve seen so many times and traveled many miles to see, is The Hackensaw Boys. It had always been a joke that we were going to have the Hackensaw Boys play at our wedding. Once we finally got engaged, we decided to see if we could make this little joke into a reality. After a little Google-ing, I got a hold of The Hackensaw Boys‘ booking manager. To our complete surprise, they agreed to play a private event. Since we hadn’t set a date, we booked our wedding around when the Hackensaw Boys were available to play. We debated on having them play at the reception, but decided having an after-party was the best idea. The wedding and reception were over, so at the after-party we really got to let loose and enjoy having a private show by our favorite band. It still feels like a dream thinking back at it!!

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Tell us about the dress and where/how you found it!

When my sister, Beth, got married in 2013, my mother and I traveled to DC (where my sister lives) to go wedding dress shopping. I wanted to share the same experience with them. So we traveled to DC and went to many of the same bridal salons. On the second day of shopping, we went to a boutique that my sister’s best friend, who is like a sister to me, got her wedding dress. Mom knew instantly that was my dress because I started swaying and spinning like I was dancing. It was the perfect dress because it was whimsical but classic and most importantly…did not require lots of squats to fit into! Since we found the dress so easily, we had some extra time for the weekend in DC. Beth somehow convinced me to get glitter Kate Spade shoes. I have never owned anything like these shoes and are not typically my style. I figured you are only a bride once, so heck, you might as wear gold glitter shoes!

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

What were some touches added to make it personal?

Our family and friends are scattered throughout the US, so we figured whatever city we decided to have the wedding in, the majority of our guests would have to travel. Many of the guests had never been to Columbia, SC so wanted to stay as southern as possible. We decided to stay as southern as possible, having a low-country boil for the rehearsal dinner, and things like fried green tomatoes and deep-fried catfish at the reception.

We love to drink craft beer so we wanted to feature that at our wedding. Giles’ favorite beer is from a local brewery in Nashville, TN. Since it was the city we met and fell in love in, we definitely had to have it at the wedding. The only problem was they do not sell Yazoo in South Carolina. And its legal to ship across state lines. So to solve this problem, we ordered a keg of Yazoo’s Pale Ale and had a friend bring it with her from Nashville. Not only was it fun to feature Giles’ favorite beer, but also to share a Nashville favorite in South Carolina.

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Besides the vows and getting to marry Giles, I have one memory that always sticks in my mind. It was when my Dad first saw me in my wedding dress. My family means the world to me and having the moment with my Dad was so special. I had accidently sent him a picture of the wedding dress and he was very upset that the surprise might be ruined. (My mom caught the email before he saw it!) Those were probably the hardest tears to hold back. I’ll always be his little girl but he looked so happy for Giles and I to start our new life together.

Giles says his most memorable party of the day is getting to see the Hackensaw Boys!

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

Tell us how you met and became engaged!

Giles and I were set up by a mutual friend while living in Nashville, TN. She knew of our shared love of great music and being outdoors, so she knew we would be a good match. Giles and his friends had weekly Sunday night dinner which I was invited to one night. It was actually at his apartment. Following the dinner, our mutual friend organized the group to go see “The Muppets Movie” later that week. Conveniently everyone in the group cancelled (probably because its The Muppets and we were almost 30 haha) so it was only Giles and I. We left halfway through the movie and went to a bar for dinner and a drink. We talked all night and have spent almost every day together since.

Giles proposed in August of 2013. One Saturday we decided to go kayaking on Deher Island at Lake Murray. When we go kayaking, we take both of our dogs, Hogan, an old beagle and Banjo, a yellow lab puppy. We paddled to one of the many small islands on Lake Murray to let the dogs swim. Giles asked me to turn around because he had a surprise for me. The whole time I thought he had gotten some new toy for the dogs (I kept thinking, did he really buy an inflatable kayak for the dogs?!). But when I turned around, he was on one knee holding a ring box. He had a blanket laid out with champagne and candles. Plus he had both dogs on each side dressed in their finest clothes–Banjo had on a pink princess dress and Hogan had on a bowtie. Of course I said yes! We drank champagne, swam with the dogs in the lake, and then paddled back to call our parents.

Wedding Blog Lindsay and Giles Wedding at 701 Whaley

 

Lindsay and Giles Short Highlight Film from Cinema Weddings on Vimeo.

Vendors: Photography: Landon Jacob Productions // Wedding Planning & Event Design: Meagan Warren Weddings // Floral Design: Fern Studio // Ceremony & Reception Venue: 701 Whaley // Linens: Creative Coverings // Rentals: Party Reflections, Inc. // Ceremony Musicians: Simply Strings // Cocktail Hour & Reception Music: Partytime Djs // Cake & Desserts: Christie Richardson, The Southern Gourmet // Caterer & Bar: Southern Way Catering // After Party Venue: Pearlz Upstairs // After Party Band: The Hackensaw Boys // Bridesmaids Attire: BHLDN // Departure Transportation: 1953 Blue Alpine Sunbeam // Makeup & Hair: MiKel Rumsey // Honeymoon: Breckinridge, CO // Invitations: Poeme, Ohio // Lighting: Ambient Media of SC // Officiant: Rev. Kevin Roberts of VOW // Rehearsal Dinner: City Roots // Lounge: 428 Main // Guest Transportation: Southern Valet // Videographer: Cinema Weddings 

Today, we are overwhelmed with joy to welcome Perry Vaile Photography to our Grey Collective family. Her work is absolutely beyond, so we couldn’t think of a more perfect way to prove our prowess for spotting talent than to share some of Perry’s images with you today. This wedding at The Graylyn Estate is one for the record books!!! Pale blue bridesmaid gowns and stationery (by Rebecca Rose Creative) are paired with bountiful pink flowers by Amy Lynne Originals. We could not be more in love with the absolute romance of it all, designed by Rebecca Rose Events. We know you are going to become obsessed, not only with this wedding, but also with Perry Vaile. Not to pat ourselves on the back or anything, but seriously…we are so dang proud to share her with you.

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography
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Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Blog Perry Vaile Photography

Vendors: Photography: Perry Vaile Photography // Planning & Design: Rebecca Rose Events // Lighting: Sound Illusions // Rentals: Hauser Rentals // Florals: Amy Lynne Originals // Reception & Catering: The Graylyn Estate // Ceremony Venue: Highland Presbyterian Church // Linens: La Tavola // Invitations and Paper Goods: Rebecca Rose Creative // Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Carole // Band: ANITA (East Coast Entertainment) // Cake: Cakes by Chloe // Hair: Ego Hour Hair Designers

If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever.

-Alfred Lord Tennyson

Wedding Blog Poetic Inspired Wedding Ideas
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Today, a little poetic inspiration for you, from stylist Jessica Sloane and Abigail Bobo Photography.

Wedding Blog Poetic Inspired Wedding Ideas

Wedding Blog Poetic Inspired Wedding Ideas

Wedding Blog Poetic Inspired Wedding Ideas

Wedding Blog Poetic Inspired Wedding Ideas

Wedding Blog Poetic Inspired Wedding Ideas

Wedding Blog Poetic Inspired Wedding Ideas

Wedding Blog Poetic Inspired Wedding Ideas

Wedding Blog Poetic Inspired Wedding Ideas

Wedding Blog Poetic Inspired Wedding Ideas

Wedding Blog Poetic Inspired Wedding Ideas

Wedding Blog Poetic Inspired Wedding Ideas

Vendors: Photography: Abigail Bobo Photography // Styling: Jessica Sloane // Calligraphy: Early June // Catering: Beyond Details // Florals: Rosemary and Finch // Gown and Crown: The Dress Theory // Hair and Makeup: Amanda Gros // Rentals: Southern Events Party Rentals // Venue: Carnton Plantation