It was extremely cold and windy the day Ashley & Chad said their I-do’s under a Georgia pecan tree, but as stated by their photographer, Andie Freeman Photography, “There will always be something or many things that don’t go perfectly on that big day, but in the end, it will be the perfect day.” And when she asked the bride Ashley to describe her wedding in four words she said, “Our happily ever after”; their wedding day was everything she hoped for (except for warm).
Ashley & Chad’s burlap and lace wedding is a true rustic treasure in shades of plum, orange and burgundy, with lots of southern vintage charm surrounded by the warmth of love.
From the bride, Ashley:
On how they met:
Chad and I met at Georgia State University in Atlanta while performing there with our high school chorus. We were standing outside of the auditorium where rehearsal was held when I spotted Chad for the first time. He looked so uncomfortable standing talking to a girl from a different high school. I turned and asked my best friend, “Should I go help him?” She told me yes, go for it. SO I walked over to where he stood, grabbed his hand and said, “Hey Baby! Come with me!” I had never met this guy before! We rejoined my friend and that is where I learned that Chad was my best friend’s cousin. No wonder she encouraged me to go snag him! Chad and I hit it off immediately and dated for a couple months before I moved to California. We went our separate ways and would only talk from time to time when I would come back to visit my family in Georgia. When I moved back to Georgia, seven years later, Chad contacted me via Facebook saying he’d love to talk and catch up sometime. I called him the next day, and we planned a “first” date. The sparks flew and I just kind of knew, this is the guy for me. We have been together ever since. Totally random and completely unexpected.
On how he proposed:
Chad and I went for a hike with Chad’s parents, his sister, and her boyfriend to Long Creek Falls in Blue Ridge, Georgia. We packed a picnic lunch and set out to enjoy a beautiful fall day in the mountains. Once at Long Creek Falls Chad led me over in front of the waterfall, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. It was so perfect! I’ve always loved hiking, the mountains, and the outdoors in general; he couldn’t have chosen a more romantic setting. He even had champagne waiting and had asked his sister’s boyfriend to photograph the moment.
Why they make the perfect match:
Although Chad and I have walked completely different paths, our walk through life up until we started dating again has been almost parallel to one another. We have experienced similar heartbreak, work experience, relationships with our friends and family, and other life events. Chad and I compliment each other. I am stubborn and wild at heart while he is patient and reserved, Chad keeps me centered, and I help him be more adventurous. We share life goals and family values and we are each others best friend.
On Ashley’s vision for her wedding day:
I wanted a rustic, country wedding. An event that would not only bind Chad and I together as husband and wife and celebrate our love and marriage, but an event that would bring both of our families near and far together for what may be the only time in our lives together. Fall is our favorite season and it reminds us of family, love, and great times. We chose to decorate in accordance with the season and threw in burlap and lace because these things together are charming, rustic, and FUN!
Our favorite season is fall so we decided on fall colors. Plum, orange, and burgundy. We also incorporated pumpkins, mums, ferns, and hay bales. I added burlap and lace to the decor because that combination is vintage and charming. HINT: If you snag your pumpkins on Halloween or the day after they are seriously discounted! All of our pumpkins (two car loads) were only $100!
My favorite part of our wedding day was our “first look”. I loved that Chad and I had a moment together before the ceremony to enjoy one another. Also, the first look helped to ease my jitters. Chad said his favorite moment was seeing me walk down the aisle with my two Dads between our loved ones. He said that even though he had seen me before the ceremony that nothing could have prepared him for that moment.
The most memorable moments:
The most memorable part of the ceremony for Chad and I was getting our damn unity candle lit! We got married in 30 mph winds and by-God we lit the damn thing! If only for a second. The other most memorable thing for me was being given away by my Dad and Daddy to the love of my life (Ashley has a biological father and an adoptive father that both walked her down the aisle). I think the most memorable moment for our guests was when Chad sang to me at our reception. From the photographer, ” There are certain times, in certain weddings, where the hopeless romantic in me surfaces and cannot be tamed! Sometimes it’s a father-daughter dance (I am a particular sucker for those), a father-daughter first look, or a particular emotional ceremony. For this wedding, it was definitely when Chad sang to Ashley in the reception. She was just balling and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house, including mine!”
Best decision made during the planning process:
The best decision I made was to hire a wedding coordinator. Jessie Patton with Southern Sophistication Designs was a God-send! She took my ideas and ran with them, she was the one to make sure our wedding was a dream come true. Her skill and creativity truly shined on our wedding day. The last thing a bride needs to stress about on the BIG day is if everything is in place and set up properly. Jessie had us covered!
I made our wedding invitations. I purchased kraft paper, cardstock, jute rope, envelopes, and kraft paper tags from Hobby Lobby. I cut the kraft paper and cardstock to size (5×7) and (4.5×6.5) and glued the ivory cardstock to the kraft paper after printing the invites. I found a template on Pinterest. I then glued the invite to a 10″ paper doily, tied the whole thing together with jute rope and a kraft paper tag stamped with our initials. Then I trimmed the excess of doily from the top and bottom of the invite. I also made signs for our sweetheart table. I purchased tin trays from Dollar Tree, painted the inside of them with chalkboard paint, then used acrylic paint to write, “His California Girl” on one and “Her Southern Man” on the other. I made “redneck wineglasses” for us to drink out of using Mason jars and candlestick holders from Dollar Tree. I attached the mason jars to the candlestick holders using Loctite adhesive. I then embellished the jars with Lace, jute rope, and burlap flowers with a pearl detail. I also made chalkboard signs to place around the venue. I purchased the signs from a thrift store and wrote cute sayings on them with a bistro chalk pen I purchased from Hobby Lobby. I also decorated the vases for my bouquet and the bridesmaids bouquets. I used quart size mason jars and wrapped them with burlap and lace. I then attached a wooden chalkboard tag to each one with jute rope. My tag said “Bride” and the others said “Bridesmaid”.
Photographer: Andie Freeman Photography|Shoes: Ariat|Makeup Artist: Bombshell Creations |Dress Store: David’s Bridal|DJ: David’s Pro Audio|Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Men’s Wearhouse |Event Venue: Starrsville Plantation|Cake Designer: The Posh Cakery |Event Planner: Southern Sophistication Designs