Real Weddings

Barn Weddings: Ashley & Chad | Starrsville Plantation, GA

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From the Photographer:

I couldn’t say more amazing things about this wedding day. It definitely didn’t go perfectly, but it was the perfect day; a sentiment that I try to get across to my brides before their big day very often. There will always be something or many things that don’t go perfectly on that big day, but in the end, it will be the perfect day. This wedding embodies that so much. The first weekend of November is one that I have photographed weddings on for many, many years. It has always been a stunner of a weekend (and we all know it’s also Ga-Fla weekend). This one wasn’t shaping up for that to be the case. As I was watching the weather the week before, it was shaping up to be insanely cold. And windy. So we got everything prepped for a very cold day. And a very cold day it was. And the wind. OMG the wind!! Ashley desperately wanted an outdoor wedding under the pecan trees. The barn, which is normally an option for inclement weather, was taken out of the equation. Just the slightest opening of the barn doors, made all of the wedding reception decor fly all across the barn!!! Not to mention that the ceremony decor couldn’t be set up because it would fly away. So the barn stayed tightly shut, the ceremony area didn’t get set up until just before the guests arrived, and we did our best to ensure that no one froze during pictures. But when I asked the Ashley afterwards to describe her wedding in four words, she said, “Our happily ever after.” She said on Facebook that her wedding was everything she would have hoped except for warm. It will definitely be a day to look back on and remember fondly for the two of them. Ashley took all of the little hiccups in stride and was determined to have a fun and memorable wedding day.

Ashley and Chad spent a total of $10,250 for their day.

On how they met:
Chad and I met at Georgia State University in Atlanta while performing there with our high school chorus. We were standing outside of the auditorium where rehearsal was held when I spotted Chad for the first time. He looked so uncomfortable standing talking to a girl from a different high school. I turned and asked my best friend, “Should I go help him?” She told me yes, go for it. SO I walked over to where he stood, grabbed his hand and said, “Hey Baby! Come with me!” I had never met this guy before! We rejoined my friend and that is where I learned that Chad was my best friend’s cousin. No wonder she encouraged me to go snag him! Chad and I hit it off immediately and dated for a couple months before I moved to California. We went our separate ways and would only talk from time to time when I would come back to visit my family in Georgia. When I moved back to Georgia, seven years later, Chad contacted me via Facebook saying he’d love to talk and catch up sometime. I called him the next day, and we planned a “first” date. The sparks flew and I just kind of knew, this is the guy for me. We have been together ever since. Totally random and completely unexpected.

On how he proposed:
Chad and I went for a hike with Chad’s parents, his sister, and her boyfriend to Long Creek Falls in Blue Ridge, Georgia. We packed a picnic lunch and set out to enjoy a beautiful fall day in the mountains. Once at Long Creek Falls Chad led me over in front of the waterfall, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. It was so perfect! I’ve always loved hiking, the mountains, and the outdoors in general; he couldn’t have chosen a more romantic setting. He even had champagne waiting and had asked his sister’s boyfriend to photograph the moment.

On Ashley’s vision for her wedding day:
I wanted a rustic, country wedding. An event that would not only bind Chad and I together as husband and wife and celebrate our love and marriage, but an event that would bring both of our families near and far together for what may be the only time in our lives together. Fall is our favorite season and it reminds us of family, love, and great times. We chose to decorate in accordance with the season and threw in burlap and lace because these things together are charming, rustic, and FUN!

Decor Inspiration:
Our favorite season is fall so we decided on fall colors. Plum, orange, and burgundy. We also incorporated pumpkins, mums, ferns, and hay bales. I added burlap and lace to the decor because that combination is vintage and charming. HINT: If you snag your pumpkins on Halloween or the day after they are seriously discounted! All of our pumpkins (two car loads) were only $100!

The most memorable moments:
The most memorable part of the ceremony for Chad and I was getting our damn unity candle lit! We got married in 30 mph winds and by-God we lit the damn thing! If only for a second. The other most memorable thing for me was being given away by my Dad and Daddy to the love of my life (Ashley has a biological father and an adoptive father that both walked her down the aisle). I think the most memorable moment for our guests was when Chad sang to me at our reception.

DIY Projects:
I made our wedding invitations. I purchased kraft paper, cardstock, jute rope, envelopes, and kraft paper tags from Hobby Lobby. I cut the kraft paper and cardstock to size (5×7) and (4.5×6.5) and glued the ivory cardstock to the kraft paper after printing the invites. I found a template on Pinterest. I then glued the invite to a 10″ paper doily, tied the whole thing together with jute rope and a kraft paper tag stamped with our initials. Then I trimmed the excess of doily from the top and bottom of the invite. I also made signs for our sweetheart table. I purchased tin trays from Dollar Tree, painted the inside of them with chalkboard paint, then used acrylic paint to write, “His California Girl” on one and “Her Southern Man” on the other. I made “redneck wineglasses” for us to drink out of using Mason jars and candlestick holders from Dollar Tree. I attached the mason jars to the candlestick holders using Loctite adhesive. I then embellished the jars with Lace, jute rope, and burlap flowers with a pearl detail. I also made chalkboard signs to place around the venue. I purchased the signs from a thrift store and wrote cute sayings on them with a bistro chalk pen I purchased from Hobby Lobby. I also decorated the vases for my bouquet and the bridesmaids bouquets. I used quart size mason jars and wrapped them with burlap and lace. I then attached a wooden chalkboard tag to each one with jute rope. My tag said “Bride” and the others said “Bridesmaid”.johnson_aiken_andie_freeman_photography_ashley20and20chad20submission063_low



Photographer: Andie Freeman Photography

Shoes: Ariat //Caterer:Bleu House Cafe//Makeup Artist: Bombshell Creations//Dress Store: David’s Bridal //DJ:David’s Pro Audio//Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Men’s Wearhouse//Event Venue:Starrsville Plantation//Cake Designer: The Posh Cakery//Event Planner: Southern Sophistication Designs//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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