Stephanie and Warren’s wedding featured naturally elegant elements with a touch of whimsy, inspired by Southern Living style.
WHAT MADE THIS WEDDING SO SPECIAL
When she was growing up, Stephanie noticed that her mother and maternal grandmother always had Southern Living magazines around their houses. Now an admirer of the magazine’s elegant, easy style herself, she found the O.Henry Hotel through its affiliation with Southern Living Weddings. The multi-generational trio of “Southern Living ladies”—Stephanie; her mother, Kelly; and her grandmother, whom she calls “Sue-Sue”—worked collaboratively on the wedding planning process. Stephanie says, “They were with me and involved in every little planning detail and worked endlessly (even on the wedding day) to make sure the wedding was even more perfect and beautiful than I could have ever dreamed of!” Grandparents, parents, stepparents, siblings, and cousins all participated in various ways in the wedding, which brought family from Georgia, Virginia, and points beyond to share Stephanie and Warren’s special day.
Stephanie and Warren held each other tight as they danced under hundreds of twinkly lights in the Cloister Garden. The couple asked the DJ to play a “Dance of the Ages,” starting with asking all married couples to join Stephanie and Warren on the dance floor, then stay (or leave) the floor based on number of years of marriage. Ultimately, the newlyweds were left dancing with the bride’s two pairs of grandparents, both of whom have been married more than 50 years!
Guests enjoyed wine, conversation and dancing during the reception in the Pavilion and Cloister Garden.
THE COLOR PALETTE
Ivory and gold made for a timeless, classic choice, accented by the greens, browns, and pinks of natural elements. Bridesmaids wore short, pale taupe, one-shouldered dresses, while groomsmen wore vests and ties in the same neutral hue. For the ceremony in the Cloister Garden, the garden’s natural beauty was enhanced with florals by Randy McManus, featuring white and pale green hydrangeas, the palest pink roses and peonies, and lush greenery. At the dinner and reception in the Pavilion and Cloister Garden, tables were set with glittering gold tablecloths, classic gold chargers, and neutral place settings, accented by more elegant florals and hundreds of twinkling lights.
Southern Living-inspired design in the Pavilion featured gold and ivory details, accompanied by natural elements and countless twinkling lights and candles.
During a cocktail reception in O.Henry’s Caldwell Room, passed hors d’oeuvres from Green Valley Grill included Giacomo’s fresh Italian sausage “jacks” served with fresh mozzarella and basil pesto, baked chicken turnovers, mini crab cakes served with chili lime aioli, and fig preserves, shaved proscuitto and Parmesan curls on crostini crisps.
After the ceremony, guests were offered plated dinner choices after a salad of mixed baby field greens and julienne garden vegetables, served with five-herb buttermilk and balsamic vinaigrette:
- Parmesan-crusted chicken with herbed goat cheese, lemon garlic sauce and crispy capers served with mashed potatoes and green beans
- Grilled salmon with chive butter sauce served with polenta and spinach
- Rosemary-crusted rotisserie-rired Angus prime rib with roasted mirepoix au jus and creamy horseradish sauce served with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus
Stephanie got ready with a little help from her bridesmaids, Brittany and Lauren; Warren presented his stepfather, Bill, with a personalized best-man’s gift.
HOW THEY MET
One day, Stephanie went to her favorite Atlanta Starbucks, accompanied by her little Yorkie, Jonas. While she sat enjoying her coffee, Jonas decided to introduce himself to Warren, who had sat down at a nearby table. Stephanie and Warren began chatting and discovered that they had grown up less than an hour from each other in Virginia!
Warren wore Yorkie cufflinks in honor of the couple’s dog, Jonas, who had to spend the wedding at “puppy camp” (Stephanie carried his photo with her bouquet, too); the couple exchanged notes and gifts before the ceremony – she received a vintage 1960s jewelry box, and he received a 1960s Omega watch.
After about 18 months of dating, Warren proposed to Stephanie under the Christmas lights at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. This was an inspired choice, as Stephanie’s favorite time of year is Christmas! She says, “To me, the holidays are a time to be with family and are full of traditions… one of my very favorite parts of Christmas is the Christmas lights. Warren proposing at a garden full of Christmas lights was just perfect!”
The Cloister Garden, accented by florals by Randy McManus, served as an elegant backdrop for this Southern Living-inspired wedding; the bride was walked down the aisle by both her father and her stepfather, whom she thinks of as her “second dad”; Stephanie’s youngest cousin, Hatcher, carried a sign that read, “here comes the bride” on entry, and on exit, he flipped the sign to the other side, which read, “Mr. and Mrs. Rodgers.”
THE WEDDING MAGIC MAKERS
- Wedding Venue: O.Henry Hotel, Cloister Garden and Pavilion Room
- Catering: Green Valley Grill
- Wedding Planner: Martha Bryant, O.Henry Hotel
- Wedding Coordinator: Jennifer Ball, Knot Your Average Events
- Officiant: Cindy Bloxeach
- Florist: Randy McManus
- Bakery: Maxie B’s
- Harp/Flute: Wally West Music Resource
- Photographer: McCardell Photography
Guests were encouraged to sign wood chips, which the couple plans to display in a shadowbox in our house as a reminder of the wedding, instead of a traditional guestbook; Stephanie and Warren left the reception in a shower of bubbles.
Bright and early the next morning, the newlyweds left for a week-long honeymoon trip to Jamaica.