Heather Perrin: Macon, GA Wedding Planner
Heather Perrin Weddings
Wedding Coordinator in Macon, GA
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What is a wedding coordinator? This service can go by many names (Day-of Coordinator, Wedding Management, Month-of Coordinator) but it is essentially this: a wedding coordinator takes the plans you have worked tirelessly on, and makes sure they happen smoothly and that you have a fun, stress-free day.

Posts tagged middle ga wedding coordinator
Styled Shoot | Dreamy Boho Wedding Inspiration

Y'ALL. Do I have a Valentine's Day treat for you! I could not be more excited to share this totally swoon-worthy shoot that I worked on with some amazing Middle Georgia wedding pros!

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It's always a treat to work on a shoot like this because so many creative folks get to cut loose and showcase their dreamiest work. It's a fun opportunity for some really talented people to stretch their creative muscles and create something wonderful and collaborative. And I loved being able to pull it all together!

On top of the excitement of the finished project, we also found out this week that the shoot is going to be published on Cake & Lace! I'm so excited to see it on a major platform soon!!

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All of the talented pros who made this happen:

Photographer: Ann Steward Photography

Dress: Carrie’s Bridal Collection Macon

Calligraphy & Invitation Design: Erica Stewart Calligraphy

Coordination & Styling: Heather Perrin Weddings

Floral Design: Mulberry Weddings

Videography: Payton Arts

Hair & Makeup: Pink Pearl Artistry

Vintage Tableware, Rugs, & Bottles: Southern Vintage

Venue: The Wedding Barn at L'Horne

The couple: And I have just the sweetest story about the "models" we featured in the shoot. In the days leading up to the shoot, we quickly realized the weather was NOT going to cooperate for our planned date and had to make some last minute adjustments. The couple we had originally slated to model for us were not able to make the new date and we had to scramble to find some new subjects! I started reaching out to folks, and immediately thought of Zac and Mia. These two are still pretty newly-wed and very much in love (and not to mention totally gorgeous) so I had high hopes they'd happen to be free on the new date. When I asked if they'd be interested, Mia's first response was "Zac is great at stuff like this!" And she was so right! These two had so much fun getting all dolled up and cuddling up in front of the camera, and the photos totally show it. They were crazy sweet to work with and just so excited to be a part of it that we all had a blast. 

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So grab a box of chocolates or some wine and enjoy all the dreamy boho goodness!

5 Reasons to Attend a Local Bridal Show

This post originally appeared on Ann Steward Photography's blog, a sweet friend and featured vendor at the Afternoon at the Grand Magnolia House! She asked me to share some of the reasons I'm excited about this event, and why brides-to-be should make this a part of your planning process!

Newly engaged and overwhelmed with the planning process? Where do you even begin?! From magazines, to Pinterest, to your mom and every newly married friend, there are tons of resources at your disposal, and that in itself can cause some stress. One great way to tackle that feeling of overwhelm (and to have a lot of fun in the process) is to attend a local bridal show. These smaller, interactive events give brides-to-be the opportunity to get important wedding planning questions answered while enjoying a fun afternoon with your bride tribe. Dozens of wedding pros are gathered in one place, excited to meet you and help you plan your day. Need more? Here are 5 reasons to find a local bridal show in your area and make plans to attend.

Be Inspired

If you’ve never planned a wedding before, the process can seem daunting. There are so many decisions to make, and you’re not quite sure where to begin. Pinterest is overwhelming, and you can’t sift through what is feasible and what is way over your budget. You need ideas, but in a realistic and practical way. A bridal show is just that! Actual wedding pros, who work at actual weddings in your area, are presenting their actual work. You can see, touch, and smell it. They can help you narrow down what you’re searching for, even if you don’t find it there. Plus, there are usually multiple vendors in the same category, each offering something different in their service or overall experience. Every vendor is not a perfect fit for every bride (and they don’t want to be!) so it’s important to compare and see who suits your needs and vice versa. The experience of meeting face to face and sampling what a vendor has to offer will give you so much more guidance and direction for the rest of the planning process. Even if you don’t come away with booked vendors, you have a better sense of how to keep looking.

Meet wedding pros

This one seems obvious, but there is more to booking your wedding vendors than you think. The best wedding day experiences happen when you have an actual relationship with the professionals who are making the day happen. They know you, your tastes, your priorities, and you feel confident in their talents, abilities, and the decisions they’ll make. A bridal show is a great way to initiate that kind of relationship. Your initial impression of these vendors won’t be from their website or social media, but from the actual people. Do you enjoy talking with them? Then you will probably enjoy working with them. It is still important to find the professionals who are a good fit for your style, budget, and personality, but spending some time with them at a bridal show can be a helpful way to do just that. Especially if the show is on the smaller side and you have the time to talk one-on-one.

Special deals

A bridal show is an event designed to serve you as the bride-to-be by giving you the most valuable experience, which often means added benefits to attendance. Whether this is in the form of giveaways and raffle prizes from the hosts, special offers or discounts from the vendors, or free bridal swag just for attending, there are often lots of bonus goodies available to guests. Both the hosts and the participating vendors want to design an event that wows and impresses the attendees (because they also want to wow and impress your wedding guests), so you’re likely to run into some awesome deals.

Visit a venue

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Some bridal shows are hosted at huge convention centers with thousands of guests, which can be a good thing in terms of efficiency. However, I am partial to the smaller, more relationship-driven events you often find at a local venue. Not only do you get the one-on-one attention, but you get an inside look at a wedding venue. If you haven’t yet secured your wedding location, this can be a great way to tour and check out an option you love, while enjoying the benefits we’ve already seen. If you already have your venue, this is still an opportunity to see how the vendors operate in a more natural setting. How did the caterer dress that table? How did the floral designer set up her display? The professionals have more freedom for creativity, giving you a better feel for their style and delivery.

Enjoy!

What other time in your life do you get the opportunity to go to a bridal show? This is it! Enjoy the process. Be called bride, sample some cake, and dream about your one and only wedding day. Bring your bride tribe and plan together. It’s just fun. The professionals gathered at the show want to celebrate with you – it’s why we do what we do – so come and be celebrated. And hopefully you’ll come away with some of those tasks crossed off your planning to do list!

For all of those reasons and more, I was thrilled to plan the Afternoon at the Grand Magnolia House. The venue is a gorgeous, classic Southern home, and the vendors are thrilled to meet you. I hope you’ll make plans to join us February 25!

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Sarah + Cam | Milledgeville, GA Wedding

Thank you Sidney Middlebrooks Photography for these beautiful images!

From the first time I spoke with Sarah, I knew her wedding would be a blast to be a part of. She is kind, laid back, and beautifully organized - the bridal trifecta - and was so sweet to work with! Sarah knew she wanted to enjoy her wedding and not worry about the little details that can cause so much distraction, so she very intentionally assembled a team to make that a reality. She and Cam wanted to celebrate with a small group of friends and family and enjoy one another. Now that's a wedding vision I can get behind!

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The Venue

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It was such a pleasure to work at the new Milledgeville venue, Adam's Acres Riverside Events. The location is absolutely picturesque, situated right along the water with lots of greenery to explore. Sarah and Cam's photographer, Sidney, has a blast exploring the property and the pictures show it! This sweet spot has been in the owner's family for many years, largely unused, so he decided to turn it into something beautiful! The arbor sets a perfect backdrop for the ceremony, and the covered pavilion is ideal for a reception - rain or shine. With so much gorgeous scenery, this fall wedding was absolutely breathtaking. Because they built the venue from scratch for this express purpose, no detail was left out. A warming kitchen, bride and groom's suites, and plenty of storage for their tables and chairs are small conveniences that make a huge difference on a wedding day! 

 

The Flowers

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Lizzie from Little Blue Knot designed a wedding that suited Sarah and Cam to a T! Sarah is classic, romantic, and laid back, and Cam is a wilderness lover at heart. Lizzie incorporated wild floral elements, soft flowing drapery, and a s'mores station - all to represent and reflect the couple's unique traits. She even helped source mini pies to accompany the brides' and grooms' cakes! Lizzie's style is artistic and organic, and she loves to create a floral design that is true to the couple she's working with.

 

The Food

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In the days leading up to Sarah and Cam's wedding, I had several folks tell me how excited they were to have Heirloom Cafe from Athens catering the reception. Having spent very little time in Athens, this was new to me and I was excited to try it! And ohhhh man. They did not disappoint. This local spot is known for its farm-to-table cuisine with a unique flair. The menu included classic southern dishes like collard greens, mac n cheese, and pulled pork sandwiches, all with a special twist. The meal was served family style on funky dishes you'd find in any southern grandma's kitchen, and each dish was scrumptious. And they were just a ton of fun. Great food, awesome service, and a really good bunch of folks.

Other vendors: 

Officiant: Reverend Gale York | Ceremony Music: Kazanetti String Quartet | DJ: Memory Makers Music & Lighting | Cakes: Slice

Congratulations, Sarah and Cam! What a sweet day!

Venue Spotlight: The Grand Magnolia House

This Middle Georgia Wedding Venue is just dripping with classic Southern charm. The Grand Magnolia House, located just 11 miles west of Perry, GA, is a real gem. With a timeless antebellum home, acres of Magnolias and pecan trees, and multiple outdoor ceremony locations, this spot hits so many checks on the southern bride's list. One of my favorite parts of getting to know these local venues is that there is no one-size-fits-all venue. Each is as unique as the bride who falls in love with it! 

I am also pumped to share this spotlight with you because I am working on a VERY EXCITING (yes, that needed all caps) project here! On Sunday, February 25, the Grand Magnolia House and I are hosting a bridal show and open house! I have been eager to plan an event for brides-to-be to get an inside look at a local venue and to introduce them to the many amazing vendors we have in Middle Georgia, and I am so thrilled that it's coming to fruition so soon. I'll have more details for you at the end of this post, but feel free to check out the Facebook event here!

Photo: We Do Photography

Photo: We Do Photography

From Tamara, the owner:

It was on Dec. 23, 2014; Bruce was on his way from a duck hunt when he first saw the big beautiful Southern home with the inviting red doors at 320 E. Main St. in Marshallville.  He could hardly wait to get home to tell me that it was up for sale and he wanted me to go online to check it out. You see over the years we had looked at many many properties and continued to dream about “one day”… But on this day it was different. We quickly made an appointment to see the property and it was love at first site all over again as we fell in love with this Southern beauty. Together with our family we started praying, “God if it is your will for us to buy this property please give us the wisdom, courage and peace to know; and if you open the door for this opportunity we will give you all the glory and use it to further your kingdom.” We continued to pray and on April 1, 2015, Joy filled our hearts as we became the proud owners of what is known today as The Grand Magnolia House. Built in the 1860 it is both gorgeous inside and out, oozing with Southern charm.    

We quickly got to work making our dreams a reality. The Grand Magnolia House became an event and wedding venue with its timeless Southern Charm for every occasion. Our desire is to continue to host the most memorable celebrations for our guests by sharing The Grand Magnolia House with them. Each and every time they become part of the Grand Magnolia Family and we consider it our privilege to be selected to be a part of their special day.  We want the opportunity to provide our guest with an extra dose of Southern hospitality to ensure their event goes smoothly, without all the hassle and stress which can steal the joy from planning a celebration.

Ceremony & Reception:  Inside & outside for both! Inside: for a small wedding in the front foyer or beautiful veranda. Outside at the pergola, wrought iron gazebo, near the fountain or up on the large deck. Our beautifully landscaped backyard is great place for the wedding/reception. 

Prep areas provided: Bridal suite, large dressing parlor, an inviting veranda, intimate and comfortable parlors, gathering rooms, catering kitchen, as well as lodging for up to 14 guests!

Capacity: 200 outside and 75 inside

Tables and chairs: Twelve 60 inch round tables, two 8 foot rectangle, 3 high-top tables

Alcohol: Beer and wine

Vendors: You are welcome to bring your own, but we would love to recommend some!

Social Media: FacebookInstagram

Website: www.grandmagnoliahouse.com 


An Afternoon at the Grand Magnolia House

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The Afternoon at the Grand Magnolia House is a small, intimate bridal show featuring more than 25 of Middle Georgia's best wedding professionals. Caterers, photographers, musicians, floral designers, and so many more, will be showcasing their best work. What I love about this kind of show is that each bride-to-be will have the chance to get to know these incredible professionals and see who really is the best fit for their wedding day. The best experience comes from building relationships with your vendors, and this is a time to do just that. We'll also have insider tips and presentations, raffle prizes and giveaways, and it's bound to be so much fun. Plus you get a fantastic look at this beautiful venue! Tickets are on sale now at www.grandmagnolia.eventbrite.com, and you can see more information on the Facebook event. I hope you'll join us!


Candace + Grant | Macon, GA Wedding

Thank you to Holly Von Lanken for capturing these lovely photos! It was a pleasure working with this fabulous photographer!

What a sweet surprise when Candace and Grant walked into church on Sunday morning, visiting with their friend (and mine too!) and soon-to-be usher, Marshall. "Hey! I know them! I'm coordinating their wedding!" I had met Candace briefly a few months before when she inquired about me coordinating her fall wedding, and it was so fun to see them in my home and church! Little did I know that by the time their September wedding rolled around, Candace and Grant would be regular members of our church and small group!

I had a unique advantage in preparing for this wedding, because I got to befriend this sweet couple before I even started working with them. So the process was a little extra special as I got ready to help them celebrate - both as a coordinator and a friend.

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These two have Georgia bulldog blood running through their veins, and a whole tribe of people who couldn’t wait to celebrate with them. A bridal party of 8 on each side, plus 4 ushers, sure makes for a party! Throughout the entire process both Candace and Grant were ready to be married, to love one another well, and to enjoy the day.

The Venues

Newton Chapel

Candace and Grant didn't meet in Macon, but they moved their lives here when Grant began preparing for Med School at Mercer and Candace graduated from nursing school and took a nursing position in middle Georgia (yes, they're a very medical family). In my humble opinion, there are few better places for a ceremony than Mercer's own Newton Chapel (as you can see here and here). My heart. After tying the knot in amid the stained glass and wooden pews, they took the party to another Macon favorite: The Blacksmith Shop. This classic venue was the perfect place to host the celebration Candace and Grant had in mind. Elegant and cozy, with plenty of room for a dance floor. 

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The Food 

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Sometimes brides and grooms must look no further than family for their wedding pros, and this family is blessed to have a real gem in Alexander’s. The groom’s aunt and her team were not only a full-service catering company, but they handled all of the décor for the reception and executed a fabulous meal for both the reception and rehearsal dinner. The food was impeccable, and the service was so impressive! Y’all know that I am a sucker for a well dressed table and a professional staff, and Alexander’s definitely brought both. They were an absolute pleasure to work with.

 

The Entertainment

There are SO many great dancing shots of these two. They just know how to boogie.

There are SO many great dancing shots of these two. They just know how to boogie.

Candace and Grant wanted to spend their day having fun, and the reception entertainment was certainly no exception. Rusty Pearson with Entourage Entertainment kept the party going and kept my feet on the dance floor more than once! Candace and Grant’s guests knew how to have a good time, and Rusty was just the person to set the stage. If a DJ is part of your vision for a perfect wedding day, Entourage is a fantastic choice!

Other vendors:

Photographer: Holly Von Lanken | Bouquets and Boutonnieres: Roy Lamb Floral Design | Organist (Ceremony): Martha Clay | Hair and Makeup: Amber Amick

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It was a special privilege to serve these two and to be a part of their day. Congratulations to Candace and Grant!

Victoria + Jess | Milledgeville, GA Wedding

Thank you Zach Robinson Photography for the beautiful photos!

If you have spent any time around here, you know that I am a firm believer in making your wedding day look however you want. If you want a six-piece band and a party that lasts all night – go for it. If you want an intimate dinner with your closest people, do that. If you want to get married at 10:00 AM so you can hop in the lake that afternoon, by all means! So I was thrilled to hear that Victoria and Jess had planned a sweet lakeside ceremony and brunch reception at Victoria’s parents’ home. It was SO. Much. Fun.

These two lovebirds were about to embark on a new journey - Jess was about to be stationed in Anchorage, Alaska, so it was important to both of them to soak up this precious time with family and friends. Jess' dad was the officiant, childhood friends and siblings made up the bridal party, and the day really did end with a dip in the lake! Victoria and Jess make intentional choices about their wedding day - choices that reflected who they are as a couple, their values, and that allowed them to relax and enjoy each other. 

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The Venue

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It’s hard to go wrong with a lakeside view, and Victoria’s parents’ home was picturesque. Goodwin events set up lovely dark brown chairs to face the water, and the bridal party made their entrance over a gorgeous sun-dappled bridge. I nearly teared up (let’s be real, cried big tears) as the bride crossed the bridge and the sun lit up her beautiful face. Ugh. Mesmerizing. Just behind the ceremony area were cocktail tables and seating for guests to enjoy the beautiful morning.

 

The Food

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Cast Iron Catering (formerly Kudzu Catering) was just fantastic. I have a serious problem with breakfast food (as in I love it way too much) so I was delighted to hear waffles, grits, egg casserole, and coffee were the menu. The food was fantastic, and the staff was exceptional. I always appreciate a catering team that values presentation as highly as quality of the food, and CIC has it down. It was not only beautiful, but so tasty! No matter the time of day, you can’t go wrong with waffles.

 

The Flowers

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Mindy at Luella Floral Design has a fabulous vision and execution. The central piece of the day was an amazing flower-draped arbor set at the ceremony altar. Mindy and her team assembled the flowers on site and created a perfect backdrop for Victoria and Jess to tie the knot. They also brought three gorgeous urns filled with blush and green garden tones that added elegance to the backyard affair.

Other vendors:

Photographer: Zack Robinson | Hair and Makeup: Fringe Salon | Rentals: Goodwin Events | Videography: Dynes Media | DJ: Legacy Events 119

I have been privileged to work with some amazing families, but I don’t think any of them have been as laid back as Victoria and Jess’ crew. They were happy to be together, to be celebrating, and to be at the lake. It was a beautiful morning to get married. Congratulations again Victoria and Jess!

Venue Spotlight: The Library Ballroom

The history nerd in me is thrilled about today's featured Middle Georgia Wedding Venue. I have always been fascinated by Macon' history, and I love getting to know the story behind some of our city's 100+ year old buildings. Today's spotlight is on a popular wedding venue located in the heart of downtown with a wonderfully weird backstory. 

The Library Ballroom is an impressive structure that sits on Mulberry Street in downtown Macon. The fun turret at the top makes it stand out from its peers, another feature that is just quirky enough to work. Beautifully restored in recent years, this space is home to music festivals, community events, and (of course) dozens of weddings throughout the year. The rich, elegant details immediately make you feel like you've stepped back in time.

From the Library Ballroom:

The Library Ballroom was constructed in 1889 by the "Macon Public Library and Historical Society" to house Macon’s first public library. In the 1960's and 70's the building was known as the College Discotheque and was actually the first paid show of the famous Allman Brothers Band. Eventually, the ballroom fell into disuse, but was later acquired by the Historic Macon Foundation after it faced demolition in the 1990's. More recently, the building was purchased by Tony Widner, of Widner & Associates, Inc., who performed a complete renovation restoring the building to its original beauty. In 2007, the building was awarded by the Historic Macon Foundation for the renovations and was placed on the National Registrar of Historic Places. 

 

Ceremony & Reception: Either or both!

Prep areas provided: Prep kitchen and bridal suite, plus the bridal party gets to stay in the bridal suite overnight!

Capacity: 175 seated, 250 standing

Tables and chairs: Included

Alcohol: Renters are welcome to provide alcohol to guests.

Vendors: We would love to recommend some, but you are welcome to choose your own.

Social Media: Facebook, Instagram

Website: www.libraryballroom.com

 

Also from this series:

The Ultimate Middle Georgia Wedding Venue List

New City Weddings

The Wedding Barn at L'Horne

Twin Oaks Farm

Venue Spotlight: Twin Oaks Farm

Happy Wednesday! This week I am excited to share our next spotlight in the Middle Georgia Wedding Venue Series: Twin Oaks Farm in Pineview, GA. This iconic Middle Georgia venue is home to a gorgeous Grand Barn, a grove of pine trees, a pond, a majestic pecan tree, and acres of peaceful and scenic land. I was able to take a tour of the venue a few weeks ago and wanted to spend the whole day there! Not only was it beautiful, but there was a sweet sense of being away from the busyness of the city and resting in the country. (Although I'm sure it's a little less serene when your friends and family are getting down on the dance floor!) I have so enjoyed getting to know Twin Oaks, and I hope you will too!

From their Venue Manager, Laura Lyn: 

Our property has strong family roots and was never originally intended to grow into a wedding venue. In 2010, the owners' son asked if he could get married on the property, and inquiries and interest grew organically from there. Our Grand Barn was built in 2013 to accommodate more clients and larger weddings. We have the unique opportunity to also offer with our venue onsite lodging, which sleeps up to 29 guests.

Photos: Amanda Sumner Photography, Ashah Photography, Kanella Photography

Ceremony & Reception: Indoor and Outdoor ceremony locations available, including a giant pecan tree, a gazebo by a pond, pondside, or in front of the barn doors. We can also host indoor ceremonies in our Grand Barn.

Prep areas provided: We have a bridal suite as well as a Groomsmen Room for the wedding party to get ready in. Each has kitchen access and full bathrooms. Our Groomsmen Room is equipped with leather sofas and a television. For caterers, we have a serving kitchen with direct loading and unloading access.

Capacity: 400

Tables and chairs: Included.

Alcohol: We require a licensed bartender for serving any kind of liquor.

Vendors: We have a great selection of recommended vendors, and you may also bring in your own. 

Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest

Website: www.twinoaksfarmweddings.com

 

More from the Series:

The Ultimate Middle Georgia Wedding Venue List

New City Weddings

The Wedding Barn at L'Horne

In Defense of a First Look
This AMAZING photo is of my dear friends and past clients, Bryan and Sarah, taken by the lovely  A. Thomas Photography . Yeah, I'm crying too.

This AMAZING photo is of my dear friends and past clients, Bryan and Sarah, taken by the lovely A. Thomas Photography. Yeah, I'm crying too.

The tradition of a groom not seeing his bride until he meets her at the altar has taken some serious heat in the last few years as “first looks” have surged in popularity. It seems almost more common that the couple meets face to face a few hours before the ceremony for some special photos, rather than waiting until the walk down the aisle. What do you think about this stray from tradition? Are you superstitious and think it is bad luck to see the bride before the wedding?

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While I am firmly in the you-do-you camp when it comes to wedding day traditions, I do have some thoughts on this particular choice, both from a professional and a personal standpoint. So while you bear in mind that I will always encourage you to do whatever is best for the two of you, here are some thoughts on the first look (and because I am notoriously sappy, I have accompanied each with a gif for your amusement. Let's be real. If I used a bunch of photos like the first one, we'd all be dead with emotion).

1. Timeline #goals

Ohhh man. What wonders a first look does for the logistics of the day. It is like timeline magic. With a first look, a photographer can capture most if not all of the wedding party photos before the ceremony, meaning you join your guests at the reception sooner. It also leaves some wiggle room in the day in case you do run behind (things happen) to catch up after the ceremony. Overall, it gives flexibility and ease to the many events happening during the day.

Me and your photographer when you decide to do a first look.

Me and your photographer when you decide to do a first look.

2. Photo #goals

With time set aside for just you and your honey, and no rush to get to the reception, your photographer can capture some beautiful moments. The reaction photos are a precious way to capture the raw emotion you have both been carrying around for weeks, and are a treasure for years to come (even if you ugly cry like I did). After that initial moment passes, you have time to laugh, hug, and take some gorgeous couples shots without an audience.

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3. A Moment Together

How much time do you think you get to spend with your new spouse on your wedding day? In reality, very little. You have dozens, or even hundreds, of friends and family who have gathered to celebrate you. You have dinner to eat, cake to cut, and dances to dance. Even when you are together, you’re surrounded by a sea of loved ones. All of this is wonderful, and part of what makes a wedding so special, but what if you could steal away a few minutes with just the two of you? This was my favorite part of my wedding day. Just to have a minute to talk to him, laugh about what had happened that morning, and breathe in the reality that we were going to be husband and wife—like really really soon. It gave me a chance to step back and soak in the beauty, anticipation, and excitement of what was about to happen.

Ok, so I know this isn't  their  wedding, but it is a really precious moment.

Ok, so I know this isn't their wedding, but it is a really precious moment.

4. TWO Special Moments

One reason couples may choose not to do a first look is they worry it steals some of the magic of the walk down the aisle. In my personal experience, having seen Tanner a few moments before only heightened the emotion of that grand entrance. The first look gave us a few minutes to be us – to be goofy, to talk, to share in the day together. When they opened the doors and I started walking toward him, it was entirely different. In that moment, I was walking toward my husband—and I couldn’t get there fast enough! These two parts of the day were so special—each in their own unique way.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—the choices you make for your wedding day are just that: choices. There is no wrong one. So if you decide to wait until the altar to see your loved one, I say go for it! It’s gonna be magical. But for me, and for many of the sweet couples I’ve served, the first look makes the day that much more special!

3 Must-Haves for a Fun Wedding Day

Months of research, Pinterest, phone calls, and planning go into preparing for your wedding day. The ceremony, the wedding party, and the reception have all been meticulously mapped out to celebrate the start of something new (High School Musical, anyone?) and you can’t wait for them to start! While these are the main events of your wedding weekend, they’re not the only opportunities you have to celebrate and enjoy.

Gorgeous bride, Mindy, and her girls | Photo:  Ashah Photography

Gorgeous bride, Mindy, and her girls | Photo: Ashah Photography

The time before the wedding begins – hair, makeup, set-up, and prep – have so much potential to set the tone for the day. How often do you and your closest friends get to hang out in your PJs and get pampered for hours? These precious hours are not only the prelude to the main event, but are an important (and fun!) part of your celebration! So as you are preparing for a day full of festivities, here are my recommendations to make the most of the time you have.

1. Music

My sweet friend, Katelyn, dancing it out before my wedding | Photo:  Goodman Photography

My sweet friend, Katelyn, dancing it out before my wedding | Photo: Goodman Photography

Make the whole day a dance party. For real. From the time you roll out of bed – bright and shining with bridal beauty – to the minutes before you say “I do,” make it a party. Dance with your girls, sing T-Swift at the top of your lungs, or just swoon to love songs and imagine the magical moment when you see your groom. There is no reason to be bored on your wedding day! Put a bridesmaid in charge of the playlist and dance all day.

2. Snacks

It is not uncommon for a bride to have some wedding day butterflies and lose some of her appetite (at least that’s what I’m told. I ate like a champ all day, but I just really love food). However, you are much more likely to enjoy the dance party, photoshoot, and many festivities to come if you have a little something in your stomach. And your bridesmaids will certainly have a better day cheering you on if they’ve had some pigs in a blanket, amiright? Lots of brides forget to plan meals for the day of (how can we blame you, with so many details to plan!) leaving her and her girls a little hangry by the time they make it to the reception. So grab some granola bars (or seriously, pigs in a blanket are an excellent wedding day snack) and fuel your party.

3. A Plan

Ok stick with me here. I know this post is about having fun on your wedding day, but trust me on this one. The quickest way to dampen a good pre-wedding party is to realize you’re an hour behind schedule and don’t have time for mimosas. If you have a solid timeline in place and someone to make sure you stick to it, you won’t miss those moments you’re so looking forward to. This principle holds true in so many areas of life, but especially on a day that goes by so quickly: a good plan reduces stress, eliminates the need to rush, and allows you to rest knowing it is all taken care of.

Precious flower girl getting pampered next to the bride | Photo:  Ashah Photography

Precious flower girl getting pampered next to the bride | Photo: Ashah Photography

You only get one, so plan to have a great day. Even before you put on that gorgeous dress and say yes to the man of your dreams, take a deep breath and remember to celebrate! It is a wedding after all 😊

Venue Spotlight: The Wedding Barn at L'Horne

Hey party people! It's time for week #3 in my Middle Georgia Venue series! I am excited to share this week's spot with you, especially because its owner is so sweet and has become a friend to me. The Wedding Barn at L'Horne is a new venue in Middle Georgia, but its history is actually not new at all. For those of you looking for a rustic chic atmosphere, take a closer look!

From the owner, Anna:

"L’Horne was started in 1900 when the L’Horne family loaned the start-up money for the farm and their name was used in honor of that loan. The old barn was built in 1900 and we love its history! It used to host the Byron City dances upstairs back in the day! My husband is nearing retirement and we want to travel the country in our fifth wheel and see the sights. Our son thought rather than having to travel across town to take care of our property we should buy some land together and he would be here to manage it when we traveled. We came out to see this property and fell in love with it. The realtor mentioned allowing weddings in the old barn to help cover some of the costs - that was the first time I had heard of a barn wedding. Little did we know it is a BIG thing! We decided to build a new barn farther back on the property. It has been a labor of love and a great bonding time with our son!"

Photos: C. Hope Photography, Jay Bentley, Ashley Zoltak

Since Anna and her family embarked on this new journey together, they have made every effort to serve brides and grooms in Middle Georgia well and have become such sweet members of our wedding vendor community here. It has been so fun to get to know them and watch their new business grow! Here are some fast facts:

Ceremony & Reception: Either or both! We also host reunions, Birthday parties, dances, meetings, fundraisers, photo sessions, etc.

Prep areas provided: Caterer, Bride, Groom and restrooms all have heat and AC.

Capacity: 315

Tables and chairs: We have 14 farmhouse tables, 12 round tables, 10 bistro tables, and 200 cross-back chairs.

Alcohol: Beer, wine and champagne are permitted.

Vendors: We have a list of area vendors, but you are welcome to choose your own.

Social Media: Facebook and Instagram

Website: www.theweddingbarnatlhorne.com

 

Also from the series:

The Ultimate Middle Georgia Venue List

New City Weddings

The Ultimate Middle Georgia Wedding Venue List

You’ve been dreaming of fluffy peonies, crisp white linens, and a rocking live band, your Pinterest board is full to the brim of fabulous details, and it is time to start turning some of those dreams into realities. But where have you imagined those glorious details coming together? The venue you choose for your wedding often sets the tone and vibe for the day and provides the canvas on which you paint the picture you’ve been dreaming of.

As you are brainstorming places that fit your style and vision, I want to make sure you don’t miss any! Macon and the surrounding areas have an incredible diversity of venues, from barns to ballrooms and everything in between. Over the next few weeks, I will be pulling together as many details about these venues as I can to help you narrow your search to those that fit your style, budget, and guest count. Soon you will have a one-stop-shop for middle Georgia wedding venues. Today we start with the ultimate list, and I’ll fill it in as we go!

*Disclamer: None of these venues have solicited me to publish them here, this is solely based on my research of middle GA venues. This also means that I will do my best to be as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but I may make mistakes. Always refer to the venue if you have questions or concerns!

Ballrooms & Conference Centers:

Anderson Conference Center

Armory Ballroom

Emerson Ballroom

Hephzibah Children’s Home

Library Ballroom

Macon State Conference Center

Marriott City Center

Wesleyan College

Barns & Farms:

Green Bell Bed and Barn

Morgan View Farm

Plantation Farms

Southern Bridle Farms

The Wedding Barn at L’Horne

Twin Oaks Farm

Estates & Country Clubs:

Brickyard Golf Club

Healy Point Country Club

Idle Hour Country Club

The Grand Magnolia House

The Estate at Stone Creek

Museums & Historic Sites:

1842 Inn

Cannonball House

Cox Capitol Theater

Georgia Sports Hall of Fame

Hay House

Museum of Aviation

Sidney Lanier Cottage

Tattnall Square Center for the Arts

The Big House

The Neel House (Federated Garden Clubs of Macon)

Tubman Museum

Urban & Industrial:

New City Weddings

Terminal Station

The Blacksmith Shop

The SoChi Gallery

Parks & Gardens:

Amerson River Park

Central City Park

Tattnall Square Park

Tryphena’s Garden

Washington Park

Did I miss any? What are other middle GA wedding venues you’d like to see included? I intend to make this list as up to date and inclusive as I can, so feel free to leave a comment and let me know!

Be sure to follow along as I investigate these venues and give lots of juicy details on each. I am looking forward to journeying through Macon wedding venues—so come along!

 

Mindy + Jake | Dublin, GA Wedding
My sweet friend, Ashah Photography, captured these beautiful images! I know, she's amazing, it's true :)

Earlier this year, I found myself in the middle of a fairy tale. From our first phone call, I knew Mindy and Jake’s celebration would be the stuff of wedding day dreams, and it certainly did not disappoint. This true southern garden wedding draped in elegance and sparkle was one for the books!

Dublin GA Wedding

Mindy is not only a blushing bride, but she is a kick-butt entrepreneur who has opened her own floral business and shop. She is taking the middle-GA flower scene by storm and is a force to be reckoned with! Her incredible eye for design has not only helped her business to blossom (pun intended) but it made her own wedding remarkable. Her husband-to-be, Jake, was kind and fun-loving and couldn’t wait to be married to his girl and celebrate with their friends and family. This spring Dublin day was one I won’t soon forget, and I am so excited to share it with you!

1. The Venues

Dublin GA Wedding

Let’s set the scene. Born and raised in Dublin, GA, Mindy and Jake were true to their roots and tied the knot on Mindy’s family land. The ceremony backdrop was her gorgeous childhood home, and the reception was just a few yards away under a magnificent tent. Macon Tent Rentals never disappoints with their products or fantastic service and created a magical environment for all of the details to come together. Timeless Event Rentals provided the chairs for the ceremony, farm tables for the reception, and several other design elements that were just phenomenal.

Macon Tent Wedding

2. The Flowers

Southern garden wedding

As a florist herself, Mindy had immense dreams for her floral design, and Roy Lamb was the perfect person to carry them out for her. Lush, soft shades of blush mixed with wild sprigs of magenta, along with giant lanterns, candles, votives, and textured vases created a wonderland of texture and color. At the entrance to the tent, Roy crafted an incredible piece that stood over 6 feet tall and left a lasting impression. The tablecloths—a mixture of Mindy’s, Timeless’, and Celebrations by Alexa’s—tied the pieces together and gave the reception a luxurious, finished look. Truly, I’m still swooning over the design of it all.

 
Macon GA Wedding

3. The Food

Celebrations by Alexa has an incredible reputation for not only delicious food, but a flawless presentation. Alexa and her team don’t simply set up the dinner and refill the plates, but they contribute to the overall design and execute a remarkable dining experience. Boiled peanuts, macaroni and cheese, and a mashed potato bar never looked so extravagant. The food was delicious, the service was spot-on, and the staging of the tables was beyond any I’ve seen. I was incredibly impressed by their professionalism and Alexa’s keen eye. If you are looking for a caterer with as much of a passion for presentation as delicious food, Alexa is your girl. Also, did I mention there was macaroni and cheese? Hello, awesome.

Macon GA Caterer

4. The Special Extras

Macon GA Live painter

In addition to the glamour and beauty of the day, Mindy and Jake included some sweet extra things that made the day special. Rather than a traditional father-daughter dance, Mindy’s dad sang “Tennessee Whiskey” for the newlywed’s first dance instead. Also, Elaine Burge painted a portrait of the ceremony on-site! I was blown away by her skill and the beautiful treasure Mindy and Jake have in that portrait. Finally, I loved the choice for the groom’s tie: a pheasant feather bowtie from Brackish Bowties—a classy and fun southern touch.

Dublin GA Wedding

I could go on for days about this dream wedding I got to be a part of. It was such a privilege to work with a team of incredible vendors, and to serve such a sweet family!

3 Unlikely Macon Venues You May Have Overlooked
Can you see the potential in these unlikely spaces? Think outside the box with me for a minute and spend some time with these venues you may not have considered!
Central City Park

1. The Round Building at Central City Park

Central City Park

I have admired this odd Macon landmark since I considered it for my own wedding in 2015. Nestled in historic Central City Park, this unique structure is home to several local events during the year and is a hidden gem. Each year Macon’s Fired Works event has an exhibit here, and it hosts several exhibits during the Cherry Blossom Festival. What stands out to me most about this space is its amazing light. The high windows near the ceiling fill the room with soft, vivid sunlight and make the space come alive. Recently renovated, the building has a gorgeous combination of historic design elements and updated finishes.

Best for early spring or late fall, this amazing spot would be ideal for a ceremony space. While a reception is also possible here, you come up against the obstacles of power, water, and space for a catering team. The Round Building is a beautiful park venue, but it is still a park and should be considered as an outdoor venue.

2. Porter Pavilion at Amerson River Park

Amerson River Park

This diamond in the rough has become a thriving part of Macon’s outdoor community since its renovation, and is a huge hit with families all over town (Bowden is a big fan of walks here). There are lots of beautiful spots for outdoor weddings here, but I think the main pavilion has been too long overlooked! This large permanent tent overlooks the Ocmulgee River and has just the right amount of space for an intimate dinner or ceremony. It has a concrete floor, electrical outlets, and is covered in case of rain. While it may seem plain on its own, I have no doubt that some candles and string lights would transform this outdoor space into a riverside wonderland.

If you are looking for an outdoor venue that has some of the conveniences of an indoor space, this unlikely spot may just fit the bill! If you’re planning your wedding here in the summer (which you should reconsider, because hello it’s hot), be sure to wave hello to the folks on the river as they float past!

3. Tattnall Square Center for the Arts

I have to admit, I’m a bit biased on this one, because this is actually where Tanner and I held our ceremony in 2015! The building had just finished renovations and we were the first ones to be married there—at least since its original life as a church!

This historic building sat on the edge of Mercer’s campus for many years, empty and dilapidated, until the University purchased it to house their theater program. Now it is not only exquisite from the outside, but bright and new on the inside. It is full of unique elements like stained glass windows, a gorgeous inset stage, and white columns, and has plenty of space for your ceremony, rehearsal dinner, or a small reception. One of my favorite elements of this venue is actually the dressing rooms! Since it is a functioning theater, there are two full-size dressing rooms for your guys and gals to get ready in. This is a small piece that makes a huge difference on a wedding day!

As you are thinking about where you might say I do here in Macon, don’t forget about these hidden gems. I’d love to see what you could do with these overlooked spaces!

Yes, this is my dancing face. Aren't these mirrors the bomb? | Photo:  Ross Goodman Photography

Yes, this is my dancing face. Aren't these mirrors the bomb? | Photo: Ross Goodman Photography

Kathlyn + Andrew | Macon, GA Wedding
Thank you to Amber Phinisee for the lovely photos featured here! She is an incredibly talented artist and I'm so excited to share these with you.
Downtown Macon Wedding

Kathlyn and Andrew are two of the sweetest and most genuine people I have ever known. Kathlyn is unbelievably kind-hearted, and makes everyone around her feel welcome, and Andrew has such a heart for loving people. I met both while a student at Mercer but they didn’t get together until they were both working on Master’s programs and had overlapping assistantships. These two leave you with the feeling that you have been seen, heard, and cared for, and it was an absolute joy to serve them on their wedding day!

Macon GA Wedding

There were a few details in Kathlyn and Andrew’s wedding that were a little less than traditional, and I absolutely LOVED that. They didn’t stray from the norm in order to stand out or be remembered as a unique wedding, but they made intentional decisions based on their priorities—not someone else’s standard. So if you are planning a wedding, or even dreaming about one to come, remember that you don’t have to look like everyone else. It’s your wedding, so do whatever the heck you want! Just be sure to remember that behind all the flowers, sparklers, and tulle, two lives are becoming one. And that alone is beautiful.

The Venues

Library Ballroom

True Mercer sweethearts, these two tied the knot in the beautiful Newton Chapel on Mercer’s campus. I am a little bit obsessed with this building—gorgeous stained glass, rich dark wood, and an immense organ that serves as the perfect backdrop to “I do.” They took the reception downtown to another historic Macon building, the Library Ballroom. This is another favorite venue for its vaulted ceilings, beautiful light, and classic charm (not to mention the huge history nerd/book lover in me that loves that it was Macon’s first public library!).

The Food

One of the choices Kathlyn and Andrew made that was a bit outside of the usual was that they had a 10:30 AM ceremony! They loooove breakfast food and wanted to have a brunch reception with their family and friends. And since so many of them travelled from out of town for the wedding, they wanted to give them some time on Saturday to travel home if needed. Michael’s on Mulberry (just a stone’s throw from the Library Ballroom) provided some fabulous eggs, grits, bacon, biscuits—my mouth is watering as I type. They even had a coffee bar (duh) and custom coffee cups!

The Flowers

Kathlyn+Andrew_0174.jpg

While I am a huge fan of flowers and am so grateful for my friends who are talented in that area, I was totally floored by Kathlyn’s craftiness with her florals. Y’all. She. Made. The. Bouquets. Kathlyn and her mom made the loveliest paper flower bouquets for her and her bridesmaids, and supplemented the décor with some fresh flowers delivered from Costco. Major props for making this their own.

*Side note, if you are hoping to make your own bouquets for your wedding, I highly suggest following Kathlyn’s example and using paper or silk flowers. While fresh flowers are beautiful, they are much more temperamental and difficult to keep alive the days leading up to the wedding. Don’t add that concern to your plate. Make some fabulous paper or silk ones in advance and they’ll be good as new on wedding day!

Macon GA Wedding

The Cakes

Oh man. What a dream. Kathlyn and Andrew had not one cake, not two cakes, but A DOZEN CAKES at their wedding. I don’t even have to tell you how awesome that is. You’re smart people. They ordered six cakes, including a two-tiered wedding cake for them to cut, in a variety of flavors, and Kathlyn’s grandmother made the other six. Pure heaven.

Other Vendors

Hair & Make-Up: Kristen Andrews | Cake/Desserts: Rita Beachy and Kathlyn’s Grandmother | Photographer: Amber Phinisee

Macon GA Wedding

Every wedding is unique, because each couple brings their own experiences, desires, and personalities to the table. In our highly visual and comparison-driven world, it can be difficult not to compare ourselves to the perfect pictures we see online (can I get an amen?). However, when we choose to make decisions in planning a wedding that value and honor our families, our community, and our soon-to-be spouse those comparisons hold little weight.

With love,

Heather

8 Questions to Ask Your Venue Coordinator

What is the difference between a wedding coordinator and a venue coordinator?

Many venues have a staff member available on-site during a wedding, but some even provide coordinating services. Each venue is different (and may even call this service different things) so how do you know if you need a wedding coordinator, or if your venue will take care of everything?

A common misconception among brides-to-be is that the event coordinator at their wedding venue will also serve as their wedding coordinator. It is understandably confusing when we use the same words to describe what we do, and when every venue operates a little differently. Some venues provide full service planning, some provide day-of coordination, and some just unlock the doors and say good luck! As I talked about here, a wedding coordinator is there to ensure you have a smooth, enjoyable, stress-free wedding day, so it is important to know exactly what is provided and what you may be missing in your venue.

So when you are considering whether or not you need to hire a wedding coordinator in addition to the venue coordinator, make sure you ask these questions.

Setting the table for a styled shoot at  New City Weddings . | Photo:  Ashah Photography  | Flowers:  Southern Florals and Drapes  | Tableware:  Southern Vintage  | Chairs:  Macon Tent Rentals

Setting the table for a styled shoot at New City Weddings. | Photo: Ashah Photography | Flowers: Southern Florals and Drapes | Tableware: Southern Vintage | Chairs: Macon Tent Rentals

1. Will we meet before the wedding weekend?

It is imperative that the person running your event knows the intimate details of the day. This person will be the go to for vendors, guests, family members, and bridal party for any questions during the day. They will also be the one to make last minute decisions when things go awry, so they need to understand your vision and your priorities. To make sure they have the correct answers to all of these (and aren’t checking with the bride) you need to spend some time going over the big picture and the tiniest details.

2. Will you communicate with all of my wedding vendors?

With so many wedding professionals coming together in a short period of time, you need to make sure their arrival, set-up, break-down, and departure times work in harmony. When the caterer calls for directions to the loading dock, the coordinator should be ready to take the call and give direction. The best way to make sure your rockstar team of vendors has everything they need is to have a point person connect with them before the big day.

3. Will you create a comprehensive timeline for the wedding day?

This goes hand in hand with #2. Once your coordinator has talked with each wedding pro, confirmed their needs and timelines, they need to consolidate all of that information into one concise timeline so they can keep it all on track. This is KEY to a smooth wedding day, and is something a coordinator should take care of.

4. Will you facilitate our ceremony rehearsal? 

If your ceremony and reception locations are at the same venue, will the venue coordinator direct your rehearsal? An effective, efficient ceremony rehearsal plays a major role in a smooth ceremony. More than likely (actually, I guarantee it) your officiant does not want to do this, so you will need someone with an understanding of ceremonies, processes, and traditions to take the lead. If your ceremony is at a different location, do not pass go, do not collect $200, you need a wedding coordinator. By definition, the venue coordinator is tied to a specific location. If you have multiple locations, you need someone who will be present at both during the day.

5. Will you set up and break down our décor?

If not, you’ll need a team of family members and friends who can take care of this. Be sure to consider how much time you have in the venue to set up, whether or not those family members are in the bridal party, and if they need to be present for photos by a particular time. This may limit who is able to set-up in time for the party to begin.

6. Will you manage day-of emergencies?

Every wedding day will have them. I promise. It doesn’t mean you won’t have a spectacular day, it just means that you need someone who is prepared to handle them. Not only physically, but emotionally. Will they be able to solve the problem quickly, calmly, in the way you would have chosen, without consulting you?

7. Will you make sure the day runs smoothly and on-time?

See #3. It’s not enough to make the big, beautiful schedule if you don’t stick to it. While each participant and vendor is aware of his or her own timeline, they may not realize what is supposed to happen immediately before or after. The coordinator should be able to follow the timeline all day to make sure everyone works together seamlessly and nothing runs behind.

8. Will you coordinate with the other vendors to make sure they have what they need to do their jobs well?

It takes a village to execute a wedding. Florists, caterers, hair stylists, photographers, cake makers, the list goes on and one. In order for each of these fabulous folks to do their best work, they need someone who knows their needs and can make sure they’re met. The live painter needs an easel to display the finished work at the reception, the photographer needs a plate of food at the same time as the bride and groom, and the cake maker needs the cake stand to be in place 2 hours before the ceremony begins so she can set up. A coordinator’s role is to set everyone else up for a successful day.

The finished product | Photo:  Ashah Photography  | Flowers:  Southern Florals and Drapes  | Tableware:  Southern Vintage  

The finished product | Photo: Ashah Photography | Flowers: Southern Florals and Drapes | Tableware: Southern Vintage 

If your venue coordinator answered yes to all of these, fantastic! If not, you may need to hire someone to take care of the details he or she isn’t able to manage.

Remember, each venue is going to have a different set of roles and expectations. If a venue coordinator doesn’t provide these services, that doesn’t mean they’re deficient or lacking something. It just means they don’t have the time, resources, or manpower to provide a full coordinating service. Lots of venues provide excellent assistance and support on a wedding day, but they’re just not equipped for this extent of coordination.

 

I’d love to talk more about how I can fill these roles and more. If you think you may want to have a wedding coordinator manage all of the details that go into your wedding day (and beyond!), click the link to fill out my contact form below. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Sarah + Bryan | Macon, GA Wedding
Thank you to A. Thomas Photography for the beautiful photos featured here! See more on her blog at the link below.
7204_16copy.jpg

My heart is full to overflowing with love for these two. It is unbelievably fun when friends and clients overlap and I get to serve the sweetest couples. Bryan and Sarah share a heart for loving and caring for people. They desire to know and love the people in their lives well, and always put others first. Their wedding was a beautiful Christ-honoring celebration, full of love, laughter, and community.

Bryan and Sarah both value relationships and are very intentional about pouring into the people around them, so their wedding was full of friends, family, and love. One of Sarah’s specific requests for me reflected this: At the end of the night, she knew it would be easy for her to get swept away in the hustle and bustle of her exit with Bryan, so she asked me to make sure they had a few minutes with their bridal party and family to say goodbye and give hugs before being sent out. This is another great example of making sure your wedding day reflects your priorities and what matters most to you.

 
Newton Chapel Wedding

The Venues

A pair of college sweethearts, Bryan and Sarah said I do in one of my favorite places—Newton Chapel on Mercer’s Campus. I am obsessed with the beauty of this place, and I love any opportunity to return to my alma mater. Their reception was at a classic downtown spot—the Blacksmith Shop. This gorgeous venue was originally (you guessed it) a blacksmith shop, and hosts dozens of weddings each year. The space is so versatile, you can arrange it to suit your event. Bryan and Sarah for instance hired a barista company to make espresso drinks at the bar! (Can you tell we like coffee around here?)

 
Coffee bar wedding

The Food

Jonah’s on Johnston from Forsyth, GA, made the most delicious treats for Bryan and Sarah’s hors d'oeuvre reception—and even made fresh pralines on site! The coffee bar was by Mocha My Day, and it was insanely cool. Lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos on demand? Sign me up! Sarah and Bryan share a love of coffee, so they collected dozens of unique mugs throughout their engagement for guests to enjoy and to give as favors at the end of the night.

 
Macon GA Wedding

The Dress

Sarah’s dress was worn by not only her mother, but her grandmother as well. So much sentiment and love in those pieces of lace, and a true picture of Sarah and Bryan’s deep love and care for their families.

The Photos

Abigail Thomas is such a delight. You can see from the photos that she is incredibly talented, but she is also a ton of fun. Sarah and Abigail grew up in the same community, and were close family friends. Abigail is a total girl boss and was so much fun to work with! You can see more photos from Sarah and Bryan's day on Abigail's blog.

Other Vendors

Hair & Make-Up: Kayla Whittle | Floral Design: Blueberry Spring Florist | DJ: Simply Celebrate

Don’t mind me, I’m just sobbing over here thinking about these two and their celebration. I am so blessed to know these two, and so grateful to have been a part of their day!

Blacksmith Shop Wedding
5 Reasons You Need a Wedding Coordinator

You’ve booked the florist, the photographer, and bought the perfect dress. What else do you need? If you’re in the process of planning a wedding, you know that the list of “what else” can seem never ending. But there is one piece of the puzzle that can help make all of the others fit together seamlessly, and it’s a piece you may have overlooked: a wedding coordinator.

What is a wedding coordinator? This service can go by many names (Day-of Coordinator, Wedding Management, Month-of Coordinator) but it is essentially this: a wedding coordinator takes the plans you have worked tirelessly on, and makes sure they happen smoothly and that you have a fun, stress-free day. From a wedding coordinator, here are a few reasons to consider adding this role to your wedding team:

1. You should be celebrating, not stressing

A wedding day is an immensely emotional day. It is full of love, anticipation, expectation, and joy. Sometimes, it is also full of anxiety and stress. We have been led to believe that this is just part of it—brides always feel stressed on their wedding day—but I firmly believe that does not have to be the case. I want brides and grooms (and moms and dads) to have the opportunity to take it all in and enjoy the experience. My job as a coordinator is to take that stress (whether or not the centerpieces were delivered, if the band was on time, or if the photographer has enough light for portraits) from your shoulders so you can enjoy all of the beauty of a new marriage.

2. You can’t star in the show and cue the lights

If you’ve ever been in a play (I haven’t, but it’s a secret dream of mine!), you know that there are actors, and there are stage managers. Wouldn’t it be difficult for the lead in the play to also have the responsibility of telling the lighting team when to cue her spotlight? How on earth is she supposed to do both at the same time? The stage manager has the vitally important role of making sure all of the actors and the many other hands involved know their cues and present a flawless show to the audience. She is prepared, equipped, and knows the play backwards and forwards so the star can focus on her dramatic monologue while she runs the show from the wings.

3. Your vendors do their best work when they work together

If you’ve ever planned a wedding (or if you’ve ever been to one for that matter) you know that it takes a village to pull it off. Photographers, caterers, venues, florists, hair stylists, the list goes on and on. You have selected and hired these professionals because you love their work and know they will provide an exceptional experience for you and your guests. But it is hard for them to do their best work if they don’t know what the others are doing. If your makeup artist doesn’t know when the bridal portraits are supposed to begin, you may miss precious time for those photos. Or if the caterer wasn’t aware that the band required food before the reception, your entertainment may have to leave to grab dinner during cocktail hour. In order for your team of wedding professionals to deliver the service they want to give you—their absolute best work—they need to be on the same page. A wedding coordinator acts as the glue for all of these important people. Serving and preparing them so they all work in harmony.

4. You need someone who is 100% on your team (and isn’t in a fancy dress)

Among this village of professionals (and friends) who are putting your wedding together, you need someone who can see the 30,000 foot view. Someone who knows what you’ve imagined for your day and can make sure everything stays on that course. A wedding coordinator acts in your place when you aren’t able to make decisions, because she knows what you would have chosen. Each vendor has their own priorities (because they want to deliver excellent service), but someone needs to make sure they all align with your vision for the day. While you have LOTS of people who have your back and want the day to be perfect for you, you need someone who can step outside of the situation and keep the day on course.

5. Everything is going to be OK

It is. It really is. At the end of the day, you’re going to be married and you’ll ride off into the sunset with your handsome prince (right after you take some killer golden hour photos, amiright?). Truly, no wedding is flawless, but they are all wonderful. A wedding coordinator can foresee the bumps in the road long before they make it to you, solve problems before you know about them, but also remind you that hey—you look hot, and today is going to be awesome. An important part of my job is staying calm and making sure my brides do too. Because weddings are lovely, but marriages are even lovelier.

 

If you want to enjoy your wedding day, to take a deep breath and celebrate, then you should hire a wedding coordinator. We want to carry the stress, manage the details, and make the decisions so you can get on with the party.

Much love,

Heather

Your Friendly Neighborhood Wedding Coordinator

Welcome! 

I am so thrilled that you're here. This journey of mine keeps growing and evolving, and I am grateful for all of you who are along for the ride! Today I am PUMPED to kick off the next development for HPW: the blog! (Blog is a weird word. I don't like the way it sounds so much like "blah." And the g certainly doesn't help either. I'm gonna work on another word for blog.)

As we go on, you can expect stories of real weddings, planning tips and advice, and a little bit of the things that fire me up, but to get things started, I wanted to share a few things you may not know about your friendly neighborhood wedding coordinator (that's me!).

Enjoy!

 
All About Animals Macon GA

1. I am obsessed with my dog.

OK, so if you've spent any time around me (or on my Instagram), you probably already knew this. But people who are obsessed with their dogs do not miss opportunities to talk about their dogs. Especially on the internet.

Bowden is a three(ish) year old rescue that we have had since February 2016. He is the best dog in the world (completely objective of course) and we are so lucky we found him. When we rescued him, he had just arrived at All About Animals Rescue in Macon when he ESCAPED into the wilderness--with fresh stitches from being neutered no less--and was lost for several days. When they found him he was exhausted, dirty, and sick, but we knew immediately he was the one for us. 

He only barks at the mailman and the doorbell, sheds all over everything I own, and loves belly rubs. 

See? Obsessed.

 
Plus it's just beautiful. Historic homes like  the Hay House  just kill me!

Plus it's just beautiful. Historic homes like the Hay House just kill me!

2. I am a proud Maconite.

When I first moved to Macon in 2010, I was a bit skeptical. I moved here for college, so it never occurred to me that this would become my home. It didn't take long for the city's sweet soul to win me over and for me to fall in love with this place. The pace suits me better than a big city, and there is always more going on than my introverted-extrovert self can handle. Live music, amazing food, parks and walking trails, and some really cool people make this place home.

Macon is a place that you can be proud to be a part of for so many reasons. One of the things that first made me realize this could be home was the fact that change in Macon was happening from the ground up. People who live and work here are investing time, money, and energy to make this city a great place to live. We're still getting folks on board, but it is so exciting to see neighbors coming together and creating something beautiful. I am proud to live in a city like that.

 

3. I like to take care of people.

For better or for worse, I am a bit of a momma bear. I want to gather you up, make you some brownies, and wrap you in a blanket. I don't do this perfectly, but my nature is to nurture (haha. see what I did there? I'm also really good at corny jokes). I think this is part of the reason I love coordinating weddings. I love looking at a worn out bride-to-be and telling her, hey, I've got this. You go have some champagne. Or talking to her mom and telling her not to worry about lighting the candles at the reception, it's already done. That relief that lets their shoulders relax and their brows un-furrow is what gives me so much joy.

What does that look like? Read here to learn a little more about what a wedding coordinator does! Or here to hear from some sweet brides and moms.

And of course, I couldn't do it without the one who takes such good care of me. This is Tanner. You'll likely hear a lot about him. He is my supporter, encourager, and best friend, and has already been an amazing partner in this crazy ride. I'm thankful for him.

This adventure has already been such a gift, and I am having the time of my life! Thank you for coming alongside and celebrating each step of the way with me.

Much love,

Heather