“As a wedding photographer, I attend dozens of wedding every year. Recently, I have been musing over the personalization of weddings. Weddings should be personal. And so many times that isn’t the case. It’s easy to fall into the trap of just picking the normal thing that everyone does because there are so many decisions that need to be made for a wedding day. But the easy choice is not always the best choice. Maybe “How Sweet It Is” really shouldn’t be your cake cutting song just because that is what the DJ suggests. Personalization is what makes a wedding truly about the bride and groom. And this wedding was all about personalization…
..Erica really thought about the things that were important to her and Bill and incorporated those unique aspects into their wedding. Here are some great examples. Bill is a pilot. So for an exit from the chapel, the guests flew paper planes at them. They danced their first dance to “Come Fly With Me.” The groom hand painted his airplane cake topper. Bill is a car collector, so they used his personal vehicles for their getaway cars. Erica had recently received a monogram machine as a gift and had become obsessed with monogramming. So she monogrammed all of the ribbons for the bridesmaid’s bouquets with their initials. She used distressed wooden boxes and hand painted Roquemore & Co on them. And her reception dress was an altered version of her mother’s wedding dress. Their first look occurred at the location of their first date. All of these little touches truly made their wedding all about who they are as a couple. It was so much more unique and special than a generic wedding day. So while you are planning your wedding, think about who you and your fiancé are as a couple and plan your wedding accordingly. Remember, the day is about the two of you and no one else. – Andie Freeman Photography
What is your favorite wedding day memory?
My favorite moment of the day was seeing my groom for the very first time at our first look. The anticipation for this day had been building up for 14 months and I was so ready to see him waiting for me at Herty Field. It was all I could do to walk calmly to him… when I wanted to sprint! Fortunately (for the sake of photos), my 4″ heels and ball gown prevented me from running across the lawn.
My groom says his favorite moments were seeing me walk down the aisle toward him and kissing me as his wife for the first time.
What did you DIY for your wedding?
I found a single picture of an old wooden basket full of peaches and greenery that inspired all of my wedding decor. I loved the idea of working in a fruit with my florals and a peach was perfect because after all, Georgia is the peach state! I wanted to make sure that everything was southern and pretty so I…
..monogrammed a ribbon for each bridesmaid’s bouquet. I also monogrammed the pew bows. I designed the ceremony programs and printed them at the UPS store. My handsome groom hand painted the topper that we used on his grooms cake display – it was painted to look like our airplane for an extra special touch. I also made all of our napkins used at the reception from extra chair ties that we had. Another DIY was for some of the centerpieces. I purchased distress wooden boxes and then hand-painted a “Roquemore & Co” design on each end. I hand-painted wooden signs that were placed along the road leading to the ceremony. I painted small chalkboards to label the buffet and bar items. I created welcome baskets to leave at the hotel for our out of town guests. These included homemade peach pepper jelly, crackers, bottles of water, and information about things to do in Athens. I enlisted the help of my little cousins and folded paper airplanes for our departure from the chapel. I made a chalkboard to display our store on for the reception from an old picture frame and foam board.
Something old, new, borrowed and blue?
Old: I wrapped the stems of my bouquet with lace from my mother’s wedding gown. New: Shoes. Borrowed: Pearl earrings. Blue: I had a small blue pearl charm tucked into my bouquet that I now wear as a necklace.
Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?
Make your wedding a reflection of you. If you don’t like flowers – don’t have them! If you want ice-cream instead of cake – go for it! This is one of the most memorable days of your life, you don’t want to look back with regrets. Also, make sure you spend time together and go on dates that don’t involve wedding planning. – Erica, the bride
Photographer: Andie Freeman Photography // Venue: The Day Chapel and The Terrace Room at the State Botanical Gardens // Florist: Georgia Blooms // Catering: Campus Catering // Cake: Bill Rhodes Bakery // Music: Dawg-Town Entertainment // Videographer: Brody Bearden Films // Transportation: Personal Vehicles // Rentals: Barron's Rental Center // Dress: Jim Hjelm // Shoes: Vera Wang // Hair + makeup: Bomshell Creations // Bridesmaid dresses: J.Crew // Men's attire: US Army