Hello, friends! Man. I have fallen behind on blogging my weddings. I anticipated 2020’s quarantine would give me more time to do these things, but what a whirlwind of a year it was. I’m starting off 2021 by FINALLY telling you all about one of my grandest and special weddings of 2019.
I literally felt like I was at the royal wedding. Sara + Clay were married at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens on a beautiful June day. From the smallest detail to the grandest gestures, they were so much fun to plan with – also, they are both opera singers (I mean, how fun is that). Their wedding journey started off with the most dazzling of proposals – click here to watch!
They were planning this wedding long distance, so I “met” Sara for the first time over the phone. I instantly loved talking with her. When I met Sara + Clay in person for the first time, we were all recently mourning the loss of some special people in our lives. We all instantly felt comfortable with one another and took a moment to reflect, teary-eyed, before moving on to planning. Honestly, it was such a special moment for all of us. We left that meeting as friends, which we are still to this day!
Their photographer, Kaleigh Rae, absolutely killed it with these detail shots. It was so hard to pick a favorite!
The bridesmaids got ready at Hotel Indigo in Downtown Athens. Can you handle how stunning her dress is??
Sara is the owner of Songbird Sara Jewelry, where she collects custom, unique pieces of stunning jewelry. She handpicked a piece for each of her bridesmaids as a gift.
Clay hung out at the venue with his groomsmen, sipping out of red solo cups.
Don’t they look dapper!?
For their colors, they wanted to bring in subtle blushes with burgundy and greens. The “Botans” as my team calls it, is covered in beautiful trees and flowering plants, so when getting married there, you don’t need too much.
Their wedding party was breathtaking in their mix-matched blush dresses and timeless black suits. Sara had a bridesman, and in lieu of a bouquet, we opted for a gorgeous over-the-top boutonniere.
Our last meeting before the wedding was over a glass of wine and…sheet music. I can honestly say I have never had another couple hand me a binder of sheet music to follow with notes of when to send each person in the processional down.
The ceremony took place in the Conservatory. Sara + Clay opted for gorgeous chivari gold chairs, and my husband built a custom Chuppah for them to be married under.
And get this – they had a choir of friends singing live with Clay conducting up until the moment Sara started her walk down the aisle, accompanied by her parents.
Sara + Clay wrote vows to each other that left very few dry eyes, with Clay telling everyone his favorite things about Sara, and Sara sharing how much joy he brings into her life. There were quite a few laughs, too! Once Clay stomped on the glass and everyone yelled, “Mozel Tov!” it was time to celebrate!
For centerpieces, I brought in antique vases and textures, complete with old bottles and chalices.
The Conservatory at The State Botanical Gardens in Athens is one of our favorite places to transform into a dreamy reception space. With the tall, glass ceiling and live plants, the space itself is so unique. They chose pale pink table cloths, pairing it with the gold chivari chairs, which is just icing on the cake.
Speaaaaking of cake, if I haven’t mentioned before, Sara and Clay live in a camper full time – yes, you read that right! They travel so much for work (though not as much in 2020, thanks COVID) that it’s easier to take their home with them. So you best believe this detail was brought in through the Groom’s Cake. Oh, and Go Dawgs!
Their cake was from Publix, and I added a cascade of pretty blooms.
The rest of the night was quite the party! One of our favorite local bands, Side Hustle Dance Band, brought the entertainment and boy did everyone have a great time.
They capped off their fantastic day with the Horah – SO FUN.
This beautiful couple just moved to Berlin for Clay’s opera career, and it seemed fitting to revisit their day. Sara + Clay, thank you so so much. You both have become dear friends, and I am thankful to have met you and been a part of your biggest day. Continued cheers for you both!
PHOTOGRAPHER + VIDEOGRAPHER // KAILEGH RAE PHOTOGRAPHY
PLANNING, COORDINATING, AND FLORALS // OAKWOOD LACE + CO
VENUE // THE STATE BOTANICAL GARDENS
JEWELRY // SONGBIRD SARA JEWELRY
HAIR + MAKEUP // JENNY SUE MAKE UP
SUIT // PERNO’S FORMAL WEAR
CATERING // HALLIE JANES CATERING
DJ // DAVID OSBORNE – SOUND INSIGHT
LIVE BAND // SIDE HUSTLE DANCE BAND
RENTALS // OCONEE EVENTS
ALSO, fun fact, I did this whole wedding in a boot. I accidentally dropped our wooden sweetheart table on my foot the day before the wedding breaking things, but it sure didn’t cramp my style.
the free guide
A lot of moving pieces go into planning a wedding day timeline and we know it's easy to feel like a hot mess! Grab our free guide to plan the perfect timeline for your day.