Before I launch into full on gush-mode about these pictures from Griffon, GA wedding photographer Graceology Photography, let me first say that after reading Sheila & Daniel’s answers to our Q&A, that they have got to be one of (if not the most) over the top in love couples we’ve had on the blog to date. There is, as always, a plethora of eye candy awaiting you in the post and gallery — but don’t miss their story! Their rustic wedding venue, the Reid Barn in Cumming, GA provided the perfect scenery for Sheila and Daniel’s big day.
Can you give us an overview of the event? From the very beginning of wedding planning we knew we wanted our wedding to reflect our personalities as much as possible. We didn’t mind the extra hours spent on the wedding as long as we got the personal touches throughout the event. Daniel and I knew we wanted more of a backyard party than a formal wedding. We daydreamed about our family and friends in a low key ceremony followed by a laid back reception with delicious food and lots of dancing!
Was there a specific theme or style? Our vision for the wedding was “rustic chic”. (Think: salvaged barn wood altar mixed with an antique chandelier). We wanted a little bit of both of us represented throughout the wedding. Because Daniel was such a hands-on groom this fusion of “him & her” taste mixing was easy for us. I never had to make a decision without him and his input was much appreciated.
What inspired the theme or style? Even when we were just dating, we always knew we wanted a barn wedding. There was something so laid back and charming about a rustic ceremony. We took that original idea and ran with it while planning the wedding. Daniel and I also love “antiquing” and spend the majority of our weekends finding great treasures and tucking them away for the big day. I have an unnatural obsession with milk glass. Daniel has been adding bits and pieces to my collection since we first started dating, so I knew I wanted milk glass to be a huge part of our wedding. My affinity for bows made the other theme a no-brainer! We had bows a recurring theme throughout the entire day- from my wedding dress, my flower girl’s hairstyle, the linens on the table, and other small details mixed in the wedding!
What were your playful twists that made the event unique? The wedding party walked down the aisle to “MaMuse Glorious” and out to “Bright Eyes, First Day of My Life”. I loved the light-hearted feel it gave the ceremony both in the beginning and in the end. It was such a cheery way to lighten the mood of such a formal event and I wouldn’t have changed a thing!
(Continued) My absolute favorite twist was during the ceremony. It all started two weeks prior to the wedding, Daniel and I were in his parent’s kitchen discussing wedding details & I casually mentioned the wedding coordinator had asked if we were doing a unity candle or a sand mixing. Daniel said he didn’t want to do either one of them and had a different idea for us. His idea was to mix our favorite drink instead of sand and make an Arnold Palmer as our unity drink! I laughed at him for a straight ten minutes before I realized he was actually serious! I was nervous to do something we had never seen before but the more he explained how “us” it was, the more I loved the idea! So, on our wedding day, Daniel and I had an arrangement of Mason jars set up waiting for us at the altar. When it was time to do the unity drink, he poured in the sweet tea and I poured in the lemonade while John Mark McMillan’s “How He Loves” played in the background. We took our first sip together and everyone still talks about how unique that part of the ceremony was.
What was the most memorable moment? Besides the Arnold Palmer unity, the most memorable moment was before the ceremony, our photographer wanted some shots of us (without seeing each other), the barn door was between us and Daniel held my hand and his voice and laughter was so comforting for me. After a whole day apart and all the hype of wedding preparation I didn’t realize how much everything was a blur to me. Hearing his voice and how relaxed he was calmed my nerves and instead of being nervous to walk down the aisle in 20 minutes, I was excited! I couldn’t wait to be his wife. I remember everyone I knew reminding me not to sweat the details and to take it all in because it goes by so fast. From that instant on I promised myself to do just that. Another memorable moment was his sister’s toast. It was so touching and sweet Daniel even choked up! She learned some Farsi and welcomed me to their family, it was extremely moving and all the guests loved it.
Tell us about the food and desserts: The desserts! Instead of a traditional groom’s cake, my friend Logan baked us an assortment of pies. I loved the homemade vibe it gave, like pies sitting outside a window at an old farm. We had a table full of desserts to compliment the cake, even though the cake definitely stole the show! I still have people texting me a month after the wedding saying how delicious and moist the cake was. It was layers of vanilla cake with strawberry and cream filling and triple chocolate hazelnut cake. We were so busy mingling we didn’t have any, I wish I had someone cut me a slice! The only bite of cake I had was the one Daniel (gently) fed me, no smashing cake in the face at this wedding! I tell Daniel all the time how tempted I am to eat the top cake now and just order a new one for our anniversary, that’s how bad I crave it sometimes!
Tell us how you met! Daniel and I met in college when we had the exact same schedule for 3 semesters. After graduating in May of 2008, we parted ways and I thought that was the end of seeing my funny, lone-ranger, classmate-turned-friend. Little did I know months later we would run into each other on my side of the world (Perimeter Mall) when he was home from work looking for business attire. After some small talk, we parted ways again, only for him to text message me a few hours later seeing if I wanted to go grab dinner. That night, we had our first date at Taco Mac, I was a nervous wreck and didn’t even have a bite of my meal! After a few weeks of fun dates and first flowers came and left, I realized I had met my future husband. Daniel has treated me better than I deserve and after 4 years together his sweetness hasn’t faded a bit. I still get butterflies when I see him and get overwhelmed with joy at how blessed I am to call him mine!
(Continued) Words can’t even describe how thankful I am to Daniel’s family for raising such an amazing guy. They’ve instilled in him the qualities you wish everyone had. Qualities like honor, integrity, loyalty, humility, and honesty- which are extremely hard to come by now-a-days. I’m so blessed to be blessed by dating someone like him. He gets me fresh flowers every Wednesday, hasn’t forgotten a single Wednesday yet!!! I love our old fashioned love and I am proud of our simplicity. The moment I sat on his truck bed playing a childhood game of, “your car, my car”, while eating ice cream- I knew that I was meant to be with this boy. Despite our outwardly differences, we are so similar it’s scary. I don’t think I could be more of a match with any one else! We always say we belong in a different generation, so it’s nice to have found each other. I live for cheesy country songs to be my life one day (think, Randy Travis) and I know with Daniel it is a definite possibility. And this makes my heart happy. I counted down the days to be his bride and can’t wait to grow old with him
Now for the proposal…details! Daniel and I LOVE picnics. We go on them as often as the weather and his schedule allows. We take his 1976 Scout II on a long drive to Temple, GA where a friend of his owns some property and we park in the middle of the field to enjoy our evening. When we went on our anniversary I mentioned how upset I was for forgetting my tripod. I document everything (I have a picture of almost every meal I’ve eaten!) and had to put the camera on the truck bed to get some pictures of us. Before we went on the picnic, Daniel casually mentioned to bring the tripod, because I was so annoyed we had forgotten it last time. I didn’t think anything of it (mostly because Daniel had me thinking I’d be 30 years old before he proposed!) and we drove off to our usual spot. He made us turkey sandwiches with Cheetos, sweet tea, and even thought to bring a mason jar of water to put fresh flowers in. (If you think I should have caught on then, I didn’t, this is normal! He always does this!)
(Continued) I had made us strawberry shortcake in mason jars and we were just about to enjoy them when the sun was about to set and he asked if he wanted us to go ahead and take our pictures before it got too dark. He set up the tripod, had me sit on the truck bed and did the self-timer before running in the picture to sit by me. Little did I know he was trying to get everything in the shot! He ran back to check the picture and said, “nope, we need a redo”, hit the self-timer and ran back- only instead of sitting next to me on the bed of the truck, he was on bended knee proposing. I absolutely died. I was so thrown off guard and shocked I was a crying little baby!!! We hugged and I kept asking him if he was serious, and I shrieked staring at the most gorgeous ring I had ever laid eyes on! A few moments passed and Daniel said, “hope I caught that shot!” I totally didn’t even realize the camera had gone off! We got the shot and I am so ecstatic he thought of my love of documenting life’s events, even with our proposal.
What was the best advice your received? We got so much good advice the weekend of our wedding! From toasts, to words of encouragement at the rehearsal dinner, to family just chatting with us at the wedding. I think my favorite advice was when someone shared with us we are our own family now. It’s us. We’re starting a new chapter of our lives together and we need to put each other first. I felt an overwhelming sense of togetherness after I heard that. I knew Daniel would be my partner for life, and I would be his. I think the extremity of the lifelong decision we took before God and our family sunk in there and I was so happy in that moment. I knew my lifelong goal as a wife would be to meet Daniel’s needs and vice versa. I felt honored to be in Daniel’s life to serve that role! I couldn’t wait to start our own family traditions and build a home together. It really meant a lot to me!
What were the honeymoon plans? We wanted anything but average. We knew we didn’t want the tropics or beach related (call us crazy, I know!) But after a summer full of beach vacations we decided to go to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Daniel found us the most charming place to stay off of VRBO, a chateau called the Heart of the Tetons. We wanted to do things at our own pace, no rushing for room service, or planned activities. We enjoyed all of the adventure and beauty Jackson Hole had to offer. We had a baby moose and its mother visit us twice in our front yard, went snowmobiling, swimming in all natural hot springs, snowboarding, sleigh-riding, and of course ate to our heart’s content! It was the perfect week of being a newlywed couple and Jackson Hole will always have a special place in our hearts forever!