All you can see are the rich colors adorning the mountainside and all you can hear is the rushing of the waterfall singing the most beautiful song. Sounds like the perfection, right? Well, this was the perfect backdrop for Leslie and Terrance nuptials held at Chota Falls in the North Georgia mountains. On a gorgeous fall afternoon they exchanged vows in front of 196 friends and family members. Enjoy the peace and quiet while you peruse these images by Atlanta wedding photographer Cariad Photography.
Tell us how you met…
Terrence: The first time we met, it was a hostile takeover going on in a training meeting that she was hosting. I remember she had her hair in a bun and was attempting to be patient but the trainees weren’t having it with her on her teammate Sharon (our friend that formally introduced us) that afternoon. I could see her getting frustrated but was very impressed with the fact that she never lost her cool. Which after being with her, seems to be her M-O when things get testy. I had no idea about what we would become then and I am grateful that I didn’t. I wouldn’t trade the building blocks that established our long life friendship and eventually brought us together for anything. Of course putting the hand in the cookie jar a little earlier would have been a treat as well.
Leslie: The first time we met was at work in a training class. I was being badgered by the group and Terrence was encouraging me to take a stand and regain control. We were later formally introduced by a mutual friend, and over time our relationship blossomed into a romance. I can truly say that being friends first was a key part of the development of our relationship. We have such a strong bond and I can truly say that Terrence is my friend, my lover, my all.
Now for the proposal… details!
The proposal was truly special. It was my birthday and Terrence and I spent a romantic day driving around enjoying North Georgia’s beautiful mountainous views. While on our trek we turned down a small winding road that opened up to a beautiful estate complete with country chapel, vineyard and waterfall surrounded by the breath taking mountain side. We arrived on site where we were given a tour by the Chota Falls Staff. After the tour Terrence turned to me kissed me softly and asks me if I would marry him there. Unbeknownst to be this was his plan all along. 1 year, 1 month and 8 days later we made it official!!
Tell us about your wedding gown and what your bridal party wore.
My wedding gown is designed by Pronovias from their Costura Collection. It’s a combination of classic design and modern fashion. It’s was an off white, mermaid pleated organza gown with a tulle tiered skirt and beaded applique shoulder strap. I absolutely love this dress because it gave me the shapely fit and ballroom princess silhouette combined in one. It’s truly one of a kind. My head piece was a beautiful Reece Birdcage veil designed by CastleBride Couture. The shoes were Lissa designed by Badgley Mischka. The bridesmaids were wine dupioni fluted gowns with back skirt bustle detail, strapless surplice neckline with ruched empire band and flower, designed by Alvina Valenta. Their shoes were sling back silver sandals by RSVP.
The junior bridesmaid wore a silver dress designed by Alfred Sung and the flower girl wore a one shoulder tulle dress with cream flower sash. The Best Men (Terrence’s friends were all his “best men”) and Ring Bearer, wore black Biltmore Calvin Klein Tuxedos, black vests and wine ties. For a trendy twist the guys sported black and white converse Chuck Taylors sneakers.
Can you give us an overview of the event?
Our Wedding was held on a beautiful fall Sunday at the stunning private estate of Chota Falls, located in Clayton, GA. The staff at Chota Falls provided everything from my fabulous floral design, wonderful catering, and to our beautiful pictures. The ceremony was held outside in front of the picturesque waterfall, followed by a cocktail hour. The reception followed promptly after in the elegant ballroom, decorated with centerpieces of manzanita branches, hanging candle lit votives and vases of roses.
Was there a specific theme or style?
What inspired the theme or style?
Terrence and I are both very fashionable and wanted our wedding to exude style, class and romance.
What were your playful twists that made the event unique?
One of the really cute things about our wedding was our guestbook. Terrence and I did a Polaroid Photo Guest Book with pages of predictions, memories and advice. It was really great to look back at the pictures of our friends and family and read their heartfelt messages to us.
Did you DIY any of the details?
Yes! Me and a friend designed the wedding favors, which were miniature jars decorated with wine and chocolate bows filled with spiced apple cider mix. I also designed the wedding programs.
What was the most memorable moment?
Like most brides and grooms, we had a very busy day ahead. In order to optimize time with our friends and family, we took some of our pictures before the wedding. Before we got started, Steffi, our photographer, arranged a private meeting for us in the Chapel. We were brought in from separate entrances for a more dramatic affect. When the doors flung open to the sanctuary, where Terrence was waiting, I walked in and we greeted each other with kisses, tears and loving embraces. It was such a beautiful and tender moment of love and adoration, just between us, and one we will cherish forever.
Tell us about the food and desserts.
During cocktail hour we had a host of appetizers, hot chocolate, apple cider, signature cocktail that was served via a champaign fountain for our guests. We wanted our main course menu to have a fall flare so we served as sides sweet soufflé’, mixed vegetables, green beans and as an entrée, stuffed chicken. We served cake for dessert. The brides cake was four tiers. The cake was vanilla with different flavors of chocolate raspberry, amaretto, strawberries and whipped cream, and Baileys coffee cream between each layer.The grooms cake was a 2 tier vanilla marble cake with oreos, peanut butter, marshmellows, white chocolate surrounded by chocolate fondant.
What kind of energy did your entertainment give the guests?
OMG! Our DJ was fantastic. He is a premier DJ in the city of Atlanta. Terrence and I composed a playlist that consisted of three decades of soulful RB, Jazz, and Hip Hop. He was able to appeal to all the age groups of our guests. He also did an excellent job of drawing the crowd in and keeping the party going!
If there was one thing you could change, what would it be?
What was the best wedding advice you received?
Relax, enjoy and savor every moment, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Venue, Catering, Floral Arrangements and Decorations: Chota Falls | Invitations: Gaye Belkin | Photographer and Videographer: Steffi Smith | Wedding Ceremony and Reception DJ: DJ E-Clazz Entertainment | Make Up Artist: Rachel Swire and Natalie Johnson | Wedding Hair Stylist: Erika Delucchi | Barber: Michael Harris (Up-Next Barbershop) | Bride’s Dress: www.weddingretailer.com | Groom’s Tux: Savvi Formalwear | Wedding Ceremony Officiant: Rev. Willie Caldwell (Zion Missionary Baptist Church)