In celebration of their year and a half anniversary as a pair, Matt and Kristi drove up to the mountains for a picnic and returned a couple engaged to be wed! Blackstock Vineyards, settled in the north Georgia mountains, was Kristi and Matt’s venue of choice, and it was there that the two were wed in the warm glow of an October sunset. Inspired by the fall season and the vineyard’s beautiful scenery, Kristi made sure the wedding decorations (most of which she made herself!) had touch of rustic charm, from mason jar centerpieces wrapped in ribbon and raffia to the seating assignment board made from burlap and wine colored ribbon. Join in the day’s autumn magic with these images by Atlanta wedding photographer Photo by Gannon.
Tell us how you met…
Matt and I met on eharmony.com. He had already cancelled his membership because it was wearing him out but was just seeing it through his last week or so. I had just joined and he was the first guy I went on a date with! So I was his last date and he was my first and only. We clicked immediately. One of his eharmony dating pet peeves was girls showing up really late for dates when he likes to be early or on time. I showed up a few minutes early so I earned points just for that. We met at a coffee and wine place called “The Library”. He ordered wine called “Educated Guess” and made some dorky joke about it being a good wine for me because I was a teacher and I liked him instantly then. About 20 minutes into the date I thought to myself “Oh my gosh, I think I’m talking to my husband!” I then made fun of myself in my head because there was probably something wrong with him. He couldn’t be that great. We spent the next few dates trying to figure out what was wrong with the other person but never found it! A year and a half later we were engaged!
Now for the proposal… details!
It was our year and a half anniversary, so we decided to have a “wine and cheese picnic” up in the mountains. As we were driving there Matt told me he bought me some presents which piqued my interest. Matt had told me to show him rings that I wanted and get sized months earlier which of course had me on high alert for proposals at every event, so I was very interested in those presents. As we got up there and set up for the picnic he pulled out his presents which were clearly not anything ring shaped so I stopped thinking about it. We ate some food and drank some wine but he was pretty quiet through the whole meal which wasn’t typical. Then he told me to open my presents. One was a book he thought I would like, one was a movie for us to watch that lazy weekend and at the last one which was notebook shaped he told me he needed to explain before I opened it. He was acting really strange and started this long spiel about me and us and as he was talking I was thinking “What is IN that present!?” Then randomly he paused and said “Oh I got some chocolates too” as he reached in the picnic basket and pulled out a bag of those Godiva chocolate balls. He awkwardly dumped the whole thing all over the blanket and all the chocolates spewed out along with a ring box. Then I knew what was going on and he got on one knee and asked me to marry him. After I said yes I had to know what was in that notebook. I opened it to find a notebook covered in pictures of couples and hearts and wedding pictures that he had cut out of wedding cards and covered the notebook with. Inside was a journal he had kept and wrote things in after he bought the ring (two months before) that he couldn’t tell me. It was little things about what it was like buying the ring, asking my dad for permission, wanting to give it to me all the time but waiting for the year and a half anniversary. It was all the things he couldn’t share at the time and is so romantic and is the best present I ever got.
We want to know about all the wedding details, was it small and intimate or big and traditional?
Our wedding was small to medium sized and casual. We didn’t want things to be too formal or worry about having to do what we were “supposed” to do. We just wanted to have fun and whatever happened happened!
Tell us about your wedding gown and what your bridal party wore.
I wore an ivory lace mermaid shaped dress with a halter neckline. In my hair I had a white silk flower and a fingertip length raw edge veil. The bridal party wore J.Crew dresses in “spiced wine” that they picked whatever style they wanted in that color. The groomsmen wore charcoal suits from Men’s Wearhouse and a “spiced wine” tie.
Can you give us an overview of the event?
We got married October 13, 2012 at Blackstock Vineyards in Dahlonega, GA. We were married surrounded by vines on top of a hill as the sun was setting. It was perfect.
Was there a specific theme or style?
Blackstock is a beautiful vineyard on top of a hill surrounded by mountains with views of the vines all around you. The vineyard’s building itself has a lot of wood elements so we went with a rustic type of style with our décor to blend in with the natural beauty of the surroundings.
What inspired the theme or style?
There were a lot of things that played a part into how our wedding developed. Because our wedding was at a vineyard in the fall I thought a red wine color and orange would be good fall colors for the wedding. Jcrew conveniently had bridesmaid dresses in a color called “spiced wine” so that’s where I got that color and took off from there. The rustic feel was inspired mostly by the natural beauty of the vineyard, etsy.com searches and mason jars. A few years ago I was in a wedding and the bride’s florist brought our bouquets in old mason jars just to hold them in water until the wedding. I remember thinking they looked so pretty with these beautiful bouquets in the plain jar all lined up and it stuck with me. When I was looking for ideas for my wedding that image was still in my head and I wanted that for my wedding.
What were your playful twists that made the event unique?
The only twist that surprised guests was my entry. Instead of walking down the aisle like the bridal party, my Dad and I walked out of the vines of the vineyard in the opposite direction so they didn’t know where I was coming from.
Did you DIY any of the details?
I made almost all my decorations. I would get a lot of my ideas from etsy.com and then go and make the things myself with much less cost. I’m a first grade teacher so crafting with the glue gun and Michaels supplies was pretty easy for me. I made the mason jar ribbon and raffia centerpieces. I also made the little and large mason jar lanterns wrapped in raffia. For the centerpiece flowers, I ordered purple hydrangeas and I put one or two stems in the centerpiece mason jars instead of using a florist made bouquet. The table numbers were tags that I bought at Michaels and I coffee stained them and attached them to the flower mason jars. Then I used some brown paint to paint numbers on them. My Mom made the ring bearer pillows with a natural burlap and the spiced wine ribbon and Matt’s Mom made the seating assignment board out of the burlap and spiced wine ribbon. I bought the little assignment cards on etsy and wrote the table assignments and hung them with mini clothes pins on the ribbons on the ribbon board. I also stained the words “advice for the bride and groom” on a log slice that was displayed next to advice cards for people to write messages to us. The table runners were yards of orange burlap that I cut into runners.
What was the most memorable moment?
I think the most memorable moment of the wedding and reception for both of us was seeing each other for the first time. I think our best funny story memorable moment was when we got to our hotel that night at 1 in the morning and the hotel had given our room away and had nothing left. So there we were with me in my wedding dress and Matt in his suit on our phones calling neighboring hotels to find a room at 1am and needing to be up in a few hours to make our honeymoon flight. We just thought it was funny but some other sweet hotel guests felt so bad they started calling other hotels to help us too. One lady in the lobby was a coincidentally a wedding planner and she found us a place to stay.
Tell us about the food and desserts.
Dinner was black angus peppered beef loin or herb roasted chicken. There also was a pear, feta, and romaine salad, garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli cheddar casserole. Our cake was a Publix cake with one layer chocolate and one layer vanilla. Everyone was shocked it was Publix, it was delicious!
What kind of energy did your entertainment give the guests?
Music was one of the things Matt and I made a compromise on. I wanted a guitarist singing and playing live and he wanted a DJ that was going to make people get up and dance. I found a guitarist Jerry Fordham on Gigmasters.com who was willing to do both! He played and sang music for the ceremony, cocktail time, dinner and a little after dinner. He was really talented. He learned and sang “To Make You Feel My Love” as I was walking down the aisle and played a great mix of music for dinner and dancing. Once we cut the cake and the older crowd left, we switched to Matt’s dance mix. It was fun to have a little of both. Jerry’s talent made the ceremony and dinner beautiful and Matt got the party started with his ipod mix. I think it worked because so many guests told me it was one of the most fun weddings they’d been to and music plays a big part in that.
If there was one thing you could change, what would it be?
We wouldn’t change anything. Things that go wrong just become funny stories and we didn’t care about little details. We wish we could have stayed longer having fun with our friends but that’s pretty much it!
What was the best wedding advice you received?
Don’t worry about what everyone else wants and thinks you have to do. Do what YOU want. Everyone else can just get over it.
Venue: Blackstock Vineyards | Caterer: Honeybrook Catering | Photographer: Photo by Gannon | Floral: Design House of Flowers | Rental Equipment: Lanier Tent Rental | Musician: Jerry Fordham | Stationery: Zazzle | Favors: Oriental Trading | Cakes: Publix | Wedding Dress: Bride Beautiful