Salina & Casey’s Rustic and Romantic Fall-themed (with a Touch of Fairytale) Wedding
Happy Monday and welcome to another week of creative weddings, everyone! Salina and Casey had a rustic chic fall-themed wedding in October of last year in the mountains of Dahlonega, Georgia. And because the bride is a self-confessed Disney / Royal Wedding junkie, their wedding just had to have a touch of fairytale to it — and believe me, it really was magical as it came complete with bold autumn colors and whimsical elements like pumpkin coaches, a horse-drawn carriage, and bright, twinkly lights!
I loved this beautiful wedding at first sight and it’s thanks to Steffi Smith of Cariad Photography (see her previously featured work) that we are witnessing it today. Here she is with a few more details about the event:
Salina and Casey’s wedding was a real fall wedding. Not only were the color of the trees at their best, but Salina chose dresses for the bridesmaids that absolutely matched the colors of the leaves. The decorations were quite unusual and very much fall related and kind of woodsy in feeling even Salina’s bouquet followed into this theme. The reception was decorated with so many twinkle lights and fall related decorations it made you feel like you had stepped into a fairy land. One thing that was really neat was the cappuccino station… the guest could have the coffee of their choice made right in front of them.
Isn’t everything just stunning? It’s time we met the lovely couple too — Salina is a communications specialist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Casey manages a steakhouse in Downtown Atlanta. He is 29 and she’s 27. You can read more information about them on their wedding website.
From this point on, I’ll let Salina guide you through all the details of their wedding and tell you how they made their wedding unique to them:
I’d have to say that I provided the vision, and our parents helped us to make it a reality. I was looking to do something that was really different, but that still held to most of the standard wedding fare. Here are some of the things we did to make this wedding our own
All of my bridesmaids wore a different color dress – all fall colors. Each of those colors was also in my bouquet (red, persimmon, green, chocolate brown and purple). The bouquet itself was quite unique – and included a pomegranate, mushrooms, and even a tiny birds nest in the back to hold my “something borrow, something blue” – a sapphire and diamond necklace from my grandmother. Each bridesmaid carried wheat as their bouquet. Groomsmen matched the bridesmaids and each had a sprig of wheat as their boutonniere.
We decided to serve light refreshments and drinks at the ceremony site. We provided pumpkin coffee, warm and cold apple cider, and bottled water. There was also snack food, such as peanut mixes and my mom’s homemade raw balls (delicious organic treat).
The ceremony site was full of all kinds of magical touches. When we were brainstorming, I decided that I wanted the wedding site to look like someone had pulled back the curtain to reveal a quaint and magical scene (sort of like a fall version of the laguna scene in the Little Mermaid). The ceremony took place outside in a clearing with a oversized gazebo. My mom’s friend built us an arch out of grape vine and hung flowers and other natural elements in it, as well as candles. Every corner was filled with lanterns, pumpkins, or other natural elements. A smaller gazebo – at the beginning of the aisle – was elegantly draped with burlap and filled with grape vine.
We provided pamphlets at the ceremony site. It included a schedule of the evening, names of the bridal party, the dinner menu and special thanks from the bride and groom. There was also a romantic fall poem on the back and pictures of the bride and groom.
I created a playlist for the guests that included some of my all-time favorite love songs – from Bobby Darin to Bruno Mars. We played a lot of fun music to get people excited before the wedding. I didn’t want to include any of the “classic” wedding songs, so for the processional music (where family and wedding party were seated), we played the theme from Braveheart.
A carriage brought my mom and me to the ceremony site, and as we rode up, the theme from Lord of the Rings played. I walked down the aisle to the instrumental themes song from A Princess Bride – Storybook Love.
The flower girls – who were both daughters of my bridesmaids — tossed leaves instead of flower petals and wore ivory dresses to match mine. Their sashes and hair ribbons each matched the color of their mother’s dress.
Our recessional music was the very last song of Sixteen Candles (If You Were Here by the Thompson Twins) – and as a special surprise – the crowd had been instructed to light gigantic sparklers for our exit.
The candy buffet was my white whale, and it took me months to pull everything together. It included about 20 different kinds of candy. Each side of the candy buffet was flanked by a 6-foot wrought iron tree, where we hung candy, chocolate and caramel apples for the guests.
Each guest received a coffee mug with the Celtic Love Knot etched on the side (which matched the same etching on our toasting flutes). Each handle had handmade fall leaves tied with raffia. Inside the cups was a printed card with the meaning of the love knot.
My mom and stepdad created a brand for Casey and me and printed it on every burlap favor bag. It was the intertwining of our initials with est. Oct 27, 2012 at the bottom.
We provided a coffee bar for the guests that included a barista who made lattes, cappuccinos and other coffee drinks. (I am an absolute coffee-aholic, which is why this was such a special touch.)
The centerpieces are thanks primarily to my mother and stepfather, who took my vision and ran with it. There were four different table designs that all came back to the fall theme. One example was a rustic garden cloach wrapped with grapevine and filled with all kinds of natural elements and green or red apples. The bottom of the cloach was tied with raffia.
The head wedding table is where the fairytale part really came into play. My mom created a sweetheart table flanked by our bridal party, with our table elevated about a foot off of the ground. In front of our table was a “magical white pumpkin patch”. There was another arch behind our table that had vine woven throughout it and mimicked our wedding arch on a slightly smaller scale.
A family friend created a canvas with a tree on it. In lieu of a guestbook, each guest stamped their fingerprint to look like leaves.
The groom’s father built a wishing well to hold cards from guests. We had seen wells all over the venue property and thought it would be a great tie-in, as well as good symbolism.
We worked with the DJ to create a unique introduction. The entire bridal party ran into AC/DC’s Thunderstruck. The bridal party formed a “kiss tunnel”, and in order to break through their hands, we had to kiss each time. It was actually a lot of fun. Our DJ was amazing. He sang some of our songs and really energized the crowd – came out and danced. He was awesome.
One of the best moments were all my best friends and my mom dancing to Madonna’s Vogue.
The maid of honor gave the most beautiful toast that ended with her calling all of my best friends to the stage to wish Casey and me good luck and support. It was a moment I will cherish forever.
And now for some parting insights and wedding advice:
Weddings are full of life’s little lessons, so I imagine most people’s individual lessons look somewhat different. But here are a few:
Learn to embrace the bumps in the road, because no matter how hard you try, there will be a few. Vendors change, items are lost, and money will be spent. Just keep your head down and do what needs to be done to get to the big day. And remember, it’s all about you and that special person you’re meeting at the end of the aisle – all the rest is just noise. (It also doesn’t hurt to surround yourself with people who really love you and don’t mind to hear you complain from time to time.)
Perfection is for wimps. Do not go into the big day expecting everything to go right because that’s not going to happen. Enjoy the zaniness – it wound up being the favorite part of my day. (That included my dad almost tripping over my dress when giving me away and my two-year old flower girl dropping to the ground to eat grass during the ceremony.) The perfect things you don’t even remember.
Thank you Steffi for sending your gorgeous photos of this wonderfully whimsical wedding my way, and congratulations Salina and Casey! Thank you for giving us a VIP pass into your special day.
Photographer: Cariad Photography
Event Venue: Forrest Hills Resort
Floral Designer (ceremony and reception): Sabrina and David Williams
Hair Stylist: Layla Brown with Ego Hair Lounge
Cake Designer: Celso’s Cakes Inc
DJ: Jesse Giles
Coffee Bar: Mocha My Day
Dress: David’s Bridal, Vera Wang collection
Image submission via Two Bright Lights