Suzie and Jake fell in love amidst the plants in Athens, so obviously the State Botanical Garden in Athens was the perfect place for their reception. Both of these two quiet, gentle people love all things having to do with plants (we shot their engagement session in an ecologically sensitive area because of this) and they fell in love at the UGA Catholic Center, so both of their wedding venues seemed aptly chosen. Jake proposed to Suzie on her birthday at their favorite spot by the stream by the Art College, turning a "chilly, windy December day into a warm, blissful morning."
I could probably say this 1000 times, but the botanical garden is just one of my favorite places in the world to shoot anything romantic, so when Suzie told me she had booked her spring wedding there, I was so excited. Unfortunately, COVID-19 was still lurking, so the planning was no easy process for sweet Suzie. The Gardens restrictions went from allowing up to 90 people at an event to requiring gatherings to be limited to 50 people at a time just a few months before their wedding! She and Jake were absolute champions about it, and chose to split their reception into two so that they could spend time with all their guests and not un-invite anyone. Both receptions got dinner and dancing, but they split up their first dances, cake cutting, and speeches. All in all, I was impressed by the grace they handled this sudden change of plans with.
We started the day at the Catholic Center at UGA, where Suzie finished getting ready. Her and Jake had a beautiful, intimate first prayer/touch in the Friar's Garden, and then we moved into their wedding Mass. It was sweet to shoot their ceremony Mass at the Catholic Center, a place I had spent many an hour praying about my desire to be a photographer full time - a full circle moment if you will. I loved the florals by The Petal Exchange - they were colorful and exquisite! They held their reception at The Terrace Room at the State Botanical Garden, with a delicious southern spread catered by the always fabulous Heirloom Athens. One of the sweetest moments of the reception was when the bride and groom took time to wash each other's feet, symbolizing their commitment to serve each other during their marriage. We ended the day with gorgeous sunset photos in the rose gardens. All in all, it was a fun and beautiful day that I felt honored to be a part of!
Dress: David's Bridal || Florist: The Petal Exchange || Cake: Cecilia's Cakes || Catering: Heirloom Athens || Ceremony: The Catholic Center at UGA || Reception: The Terrace Room at the State Botanical Garden