Vintage Savannah Elegance with Tec Petaja

I never really thought much about my wedding as a little girl, but when the day came I knew I wanted it to be intimate. I’ve always been drawn to things with a past…the history really draws me in whether it be an old Federal style home, an antique veil or the 1915 engagement ring my now husband gave me.  So, when designing the wedding, we kept elements that were classic, but had a little bit of history to them. I wanted all the beautiful details of our day to carry through for years to come. With that in mind, Jared and I decided to be married in Savannah at the historic Wormsloe Historic Site. We just knew the visual architecture of this beautiful city would serve as the perfect backdrop for our classic Southern wedding. We kept the ceremony really simple as we really wanted the design of the trees and the environment to speak for itself. An antique table and lovely arrangement became our altar, white benches became our pews, and the Savannah oaks became our natural cathedral.

While planning our reception, we kept the idea of a dinner party in mind. We wanted it to feel really comfortable and light, so we chose to have our reception held at the amazing Harper Fowlkes House. A beautiful home built in 1842. To help enhance the feel, we had a family style meal prepared in vintage dishware that kept the theme of our classic Southern feel. All the flatware and floral brassware was vintage and sourced by my mother- she did a fantastic job keeping everything cohesive. The napkins were screen printed with our menu by my talented and sweet friend Meredith of Hazel Wonderland.

My favorite part of day was looking around and seeing all of our dear family and friends interacting, laughing and just enjoying themselves. I will remember this day forever and cannot thank all of them for being such an important part of our day. It would not have been nearly as special without them.

{Wedding Preview} //Featuring Katie & Jared// from Timm Young Films on Vimeo.

Vendors ::Wedding Venue: Wormsloe Historic Site | Wedding Reception: Harper Fowlkes House | Photography :: Tec Petaja | Film :: Timm Young Films | Wedding Gown :: Temperley London | Tiara: antique 1920s  German Tiara | Veil :: 1920s sourced by Cheryl Taylor | Bride’s Shoes : Chloe | Groom’s suit :: Calvin Klein | Groom’s Boutinnerre: antique 1920s  | Groom’s shoes :: Ben Sherman | Bridesmaids Gowns :: BHLDN, Free People, and Neiman Marcus | Hair :: Bride’s Mother | MU :: Dollface by Jules | Florals :: A to Zinnias | China Rental :: Southern Vintage Rentals | Catering :: Paul Kennedy Catering | Wedding Cake :: Two Cakes Bakery | Music :: Matt Palmer | Calligraphy & Paper :: Hazel Wonderland | Tent Rental :: Beachview Rentals | Car Service :: Luxury Limo Services | Pedicab :: Savannah Pedicab | Day of Coordinator :: Morgan Gallo Events | Rentals :: Ooh! Events | Styling :: by the Bride – Singorma Mare

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10.08.13 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

The Not Wedding


Once Wed has had a long relationship with The NotWedding, which is based out of Atlanta. The NotWedding is a faux wedding ceremony complete with dinner, drinks, and a reception, and it has become a staple event in the wedding industry as a creative alternative to a traditional bridal show. Different vendors work together to create an event just as they would for a real wedding, and guests who attend see how the vendors would perform in a real-life situation. But it’s not just the guests who benefit from this unique experience. Participating vendors get to expose their businesses to new referral sources, while also being exposed to a wealth of new inspiration, resources and confidence to take their businesses to the next level!

Since beginning a few years ago, The NotWedding has expanded from Atlanta to include cities all over the country like Nashville, Charleston, San Diego, and New York City. And this year, The NotWedding added another Georgia event in one of our favorite cities in the world, Athens! They found fantastic vendors for the Athens NotWedding that pulled off a gorgeous and memorable event, and we’re thrilled to be able to feature the first Athens NotWedding on Once Wed!

Check out more info from the event here:

Venue & Catering:  Foundry Park Inn & The Melting Point | Event Rentals:  Barron’s Rental Center | Sparkling Wine: Ferrari Wine | Sangria:  Savida Sangria & Stacey Wines | Day-of Coordination & Event Design:  Taylor Larson Group | Vintage Rentals & Event Design:  Re-Find Vintage Rentals | Floral Design:  Bud and Bloom | Stationery: Natty Michelle Paperie and Puddleduck Paper Co. | Paper Flags & Banners: Liddabits | Wedding Gown & Bridesmaid Dresses: I Do I Do Bridal Boutique | Handmade Jewelry: Jessie Jordan Jewelry | Menswear: Perno’s Formal Wear | Custom Bow Ties & Pocket Squares: stellaEM Haberdashery | Dessert Bar: Sugar Kneads Cakery | Cupcakes: Gigi’s Cupcakes Athens | DJ, Emcee and Lighting: Dawg-Town Entertainment | Band: The Highballs | Hair Styling: tease. | Makeup Artistry: Cat Cantrell Makeup Artistry | Videography: Incer Studios Films | Premarital Counseling: Stonegate Counseling Associates | Logistics: Bowtied


Elle Golden Photography | Kaitie Bryant Photography | From the Hip

Giveaway: In addition to having the pleasure of featuring this gorgeous event, we’re happy to give a pair of tickets to The NotWedding’s two newest event locations: Witchita, Kansas and Cape Cod, Massachusetts to two lucky Once Wed visitors. Comment below for a chance to win!

10.08.13 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

Modern Elegant Bardessono Wedding

Like many couples these days, Lisa and Ethan’s family and friends are scattered all around the country. As they began imagining their perfect wedding day, they quickly realized their top priority: Make every aspect of the wedding as memorable, comfortable, and fun for their guests as possible.

With that in mind, Lisa and Ethan began planning. First, they reworked their guest list draft from 150+ to just 30 guests, composed of their closest family and friends. Second, they secured Bardessono Hotel in Yountville. This place has special meaning to Lisa and Ethan. Lisa, an executive assistant to Marissa Mayer at Yahoo, and Ethan, a Front Office executive for the San Francisco 49ers, tend to have particularly intense schedules. Over the last couple of years, Bardessono has become their go-to location for weekend getaways together, to the point where it feels like a second home to them. Unparalleled wine, top-notch food and service, and a beautiful space were all aspects of Bardessono that they wanted to share with their nearest and dearest.

Lisa and Ethan then hired Laurel Anderson at Esla Events. Laurel helped them plan every detail large and small, from the moment guests arrived at SFO to the final farewell. Fresh, modern, and personalized design was also a top priority for Lisa and Ethan, so they also hired Laurel to help with their overall event design. “Modern Elegance” was the inspiration throughout, mixing in just enough romantic and feminine details to make everything feel soft and welcoming, while also using clean lines, neutral tones, and beautifully simple shapes to keep it fresh.

The result was a once-in-a-lifetime, three-day affair, stretching from San Francisco to Yountville. During the events (and the downtime in between), their family and friends had the time and space needed to truly get to know one another and develop even stronger bonds. And thanks to a team of all-star partners, including Jessica Burke, Leigh Okies, The Aerialist, Rev Peadar Dalton, and Bouchon Bakery, Lisa and Ethan’s vision came to life. Alongside their family and friends, they enjoyed what became a perfect wedding weekend.

Event Planning + Design:  Esla Events | Photography:  Jessica Burke | Florist:  Leigh Okies | Paper Goods:  The Aerialist Press | Officiant:  Rev Peadar Daltonhttp | Cake: Bouchon Bakery | Venue: Bardessono

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10.04.13 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Lovely Amelia Island Wedding by the Sea

Thinking back, the ocean was a witness to our engagement and ultimately our wedding. The excitement began one unsuspecting evening during our first visit to Maui. Uncharacteristically insistent, Mike led me down the beach in search of a spot to watch the sunset. We found a gnarled tree, just off the sand with welcoming, bench-like branches. Taking a seat in the tree, our ears buzzed with the sounds you associate with Hawaii: ukuleles and the ocean’s waves. Needless to say, the scene was almost too surreal. Then I felt Mike’s weight leave the tree branch and looked down to see him dropped to one knee, with a ring I recognized and had coveted months before, and a proposal equally as personal.

We had immediately decided that we wanted to have a beach wedding and soon thereafter decided on Anna Maria Island, Florida. I had grown up there until I was seven and this little barrier island in the Gulf was forever present in my memory. The color palette and sea life represented such a period of beauty in my young life that I knew it would be the ideal location to gather our friends and family while also providing the perfect backdrop to our wedding. Anna Maria invokes an old-Florida feel with its single-story skyline and its quiet, calm avenues. And once the long anticipated wedding week arrived, these same streets were being navigated by those closest to us as we rode beach cruisers from house to house.

Mike and I spent the days ironing out the details of the big day and the nights enjoying the time with our friends and family who had come from all over the country to celebrate with us. What I loved most about the planning process are all of the creative possibilities a wedding inspires. For my own wedding, I saw the potential of each detail to become an elaborate art project (and many of them did!) but truthfully, I found this the most overwhelming aspect of the process…the endlesspossibilities! Ultimately, what ended up making every detail possible was the contribution from everyone in our lives. Each guest and even those that couldn’t physically make the trip to Florida, lent Mike and I their numerous talents and shaped our wedding into the magical day it was. I get instantly choked up thinking back on the endless phone calls with my closest friends as they listened to my ideas for all the months leading up to the wedding, or thinking about my brother who selflessly intercepted all potential concerns during my wedding week. And what chokes me up perhaps most of all is the unwavering love and support of my Mom and Dad every single step of the way.

I think it was walking down the rickety wooden walkway that was my aisle that I realized all of these things. Linked to my father’s arm and seeing my handsome soon-to-be husband with the vast ocean behind him, I nearly turned into a puddle of tears. I cannot think of a day more swelled with love and am so grateful to have the opportunity to share these moments on this beautiful blog.

Photography: Odalys Mendez Photography | Wedding Venue: Bean Point Beach Shack on Anna Maria Island, Florida | Band: Hot Sun Quartet | Hair & Makeup: Salon Salon (Nikita Fosmore) | Flowers: Silvia’s Flower Corner | Wedding Dress: Rebecca Taylor | Mike’s Suit: J. Crew | Jewelry: “Something borrowed” from the mother of the bride | Officiant: Reverend Charlie Shook | Wedding Cake: India Powell | Signs: Tally Handmade Signs

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10.02.13 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog