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Brides 2013

from the editor In a world full of celebrity weddings and reality TV bridezillas, it is easy to lose focus of what a wedding is really about. Outside of Hollywood and beyond your TV screen, the rest of us do remember that a wedding day is a happy occasion, full of beautiful moments that will last forever. It is things like the dresses, the location and the reception that add to the day. And it is also about the stories themselves. Stories of how the couples met, each one different, but each one leading up to the momentous occasion when the two officially become one. This year, in our third annual

Presented by Cobb Life magazine EXECUTIVE

full-lenth Brides issue, we wanted to not only cover everything a bride needs for a wedding, but also share the unique stories of some of Cobb's brides and grooms. We found stories that span continents, time, chance meetings and more. And even one story that brought two people together came courtesy of us — a Cobb Life issue. (You can read more about that on page 68). All in all, we hope you enjoy this issue. We hope it inspires you as you prepare for the big day, not only in what you need, but in who you are.

Sincerely, Stacey L. Evans




Jay Whorton E D I T O R I A L S TA F F BRIDES 2013 EDITOR


Mark Wallace Maguire LAYOUT AND DESIGN

Stacey L. Evans, Mark Wallace Maguire CONTRIBUTORS

Carla Barnes, Joan Durbin, Therra C. Gwyn, Stacey L. Evans, Meredith Pruden PHOTOGRAPHER

Jennifer Carter PHOTOGRAPHY

Samantha M. Shal

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS A Dove’s Nest 22 & 55 Allure Dance Studio 54 Arlene McCoy & Julie Fogard 32 Aroma Ridge 54 Atlanta Communities 70 Atlanta Dance 46 Atlanta Fine Homes - Jim Glover 28 Atlanta Lyric Theatre 70 Balloons By Bernadette 52 Bel Fiore Bridal 49 Bethany Cleaning Service 55 Blackwell's Jewelers 35 & 54 Brenda's House of Flowers 61 Carol Ann King 32 Cartersville/ Bartow Conference Center 79 Chateau Elon 73 Cherokee County Farm Bureau 46 Cherokee County Historical Society 28 Chic Occasions 50 Cindy Suto Photography 27 City of Smyrna - Bridal Show 10 Merle Manders Conference Center 77 City of Woodstock - Magnolia Thomas Restaurant 51 Cobb Galleria 67 Cochran Shutters 17 Coconails Upscale Salon 55 Community Welcome House 48 Cruise Planners 23 Cumberland Diamond 37 Cupcakelicious 61 Dallas Civic Center 77 David Hylton 32 Debbie Redford - All Around Atlanta Realty 56 Dermatology Consultants 29 Diamonds R Forever 13 DJ Erupshun 65 Fleming Carpet 36 Fox Theatre 6 Fresh N Fit 20 Gabriel's 18 Gail Holman 40 Gay Locke & Jennifer Prange 32 Georgia Aquarium 84 H & H HVAC 31

Harry Norman Realtors - Marietta 27 Hugh Gilliam 32 Integrated Massage and Bodywork 55 J Lancaster 21 Joanna Conyngham & Carson Wernz 64 Joe Hartley 32 Julia’s Signature Candies 60 K Mike Whittle 71 King Tux Rentals 46 Kiss My Grass 31 Log Cabin Community Church 20 Marietta Conference Center/Brumby Gardens 47 Marietta Garden Center 30 Marietta Power 3 Northside Hospital Cherokee Conference Center 75 Northside Physicians Group 11 Olivia Morgan 54 Opulence Aesthetic Medicine 16 Plastic Surgery Center of the South 7 Promo Photo 26 Red Gate Home Furnishings 81 Robbins Realty 10 Roswell Convention & Visitors Bureau 26 Roswell Street Baptist 12 Salon Spa Vanessa 49 Sawyer Bailey Salon 53 Stanley House 65 State Farm - Linda Rodriguez 64 Sue Hilton 50 Sundial Plumbing 57 Superior Plumbing 2 Synergy Medical Weight Loss 33 Tate House 78 The Bottoms Group 5 The Brickyard 45 The Framery 40 & 54 The Pavillion 72 The Strand Theatre 66 Three - 13 Salon 41 Tybee Island Beach Weddings 21 Wellstar 83 Whitlock Inn 19 Workout Anytime Fitness 52 Ye Olde Christmas 18



Stephanie deJarnette, Dawne Edge, Paula Milton, Candace Hallford, Tara Guest, Katelyn Ledford, Liz Ridley GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

Beth Poirier, Jennifer Hall, Anna Clark PRODUCTION CREATIVE DIRECTOR


Matt Heck I N F O R M AT I O N

Cobb Life magazine is published nine times a year by the Marietta Daily Journal and distributed to more than 33,500 homes and businesses. Brides is published annually and distributed to more than 30,000 readers throughout Cobb County. SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES

To request a copy or to subscribe, visit our website at ADVERTISING

To advertise, contact Wade Stephens at 770.795.4001 SUBMISSIONS

Please send all editorial correspondence to Follow us on facebook and twitter



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W H AT ’ S I N S I D E 8 LUCKY IN LOVE One couple won their dream wedding in Cobb 16 CATERING Ideas on food for your guests

24 24 PICTURE PERFECT Wedding photos that make a statement 34 RINGS Dazzling gems 38 BEAUTY Tips on how to shine bright on your day 42 TALK OF THE GOWN We’ve got the scoop on this year’s trends 58 FLOWERS What type of bouquet suits you?

62 TYING THE KNOT WITH TRADITION Two local couples blended their heritage into ceremonies and receptions 74 KEEPING GUESTS ENTERTAINED Game ideas for the reception 76 VENUES Places to say your vows 82 REFLECTION Carla Barnes looks back on her wedding day

on the cover East Cobb resident Denise Bengtson (formerly Herrera) married Ben Bengtson at Montaluce Winery in Dahlonega, Ga. on Sept. 18, 2011. Photo by Slavik Photography



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{Matt & Julie Traylor} Kennesaw residents | Married 10.11.12

Matt + Julie =


hough Matt Traylor and Julie Stone went to high school together, they never spoke until graduation practice. Sitting next to each other, they began to talk and make jokes to pass the time. Something clicked. “It was amazing; we immediately became friends,” said Julie. A strong friendship blossomed over the summer of 1999, with the promise to keep in touch after going their separate ways to college that fall. After graduating from Clemson, Matt moved to Tampa for a few years, but the two did remain in contact through the occasional email and instant message. And then in 2005, Julie received a phone call.


Cobb Life Brides 2013

“I was concerned because my mother never calls me at work,” said Julie. “She told me that Matt was trying to get in touch with me and didn’t have my number, and I should call him back.” Julie’s mom was urgently relaying the message because she sensed something special. “I could hear her smiling over the phone,” said Julie, who at the time was recovering from a previous breakup. “I was really focused on work and wasn’t going out having fun. She knew how much I liked Matt as a friend. She always really liked him and was happy that he came back into my life.” Matt had moved back to Cobb, and wanted to catch up. He asked Julie to dinner.

“We drove from Marietta to Canton, down to downtown Atlanta and back to Marietta, talking non-stop,” said Julie. “When he dropped me off at eight in the morning, we both knew something special was about to begin.” The couple dated for six years before Matt popped the question. “I knew I wanted to propose pretty early in the relationship,” said Matt. “But money was tight, so getting a nice ring was a challenge. It was a matter of being able to get Julie what I felt like she deserved.” On the way home from a trip together in November of 2011, Matt took a different route as they neared Marietta. “I was confused as to why he missed the exit, and he said he just wanted to go a



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{{{Newly weds}}}

Matt and Julie Traylor incorporated a baseball theme into their wedding because of their shared love of the game. Julie played fastpitch softball in high school and college; Matt played in high school and currently plays on a local team.

a winning combination BY Stacey L. Evans | PHOTOGRAPHY BY In The Moment Wedding Photography ( different way. I didn’t think much of it until he turned to get back on the interstate,” said Julie. “He proceeded a little, and then pulled over on the shoulder. I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on until he turned to me, with tears in his eyes, and started telling me how much he loved me. He then pointed to the huge billboard that read, “Julie, Will You Marry Me?” I enthusiastically replied, ‘Of course I will!’” Matt had won the stone in Julie’s engagement ring and the billboard to propose from D. Geller and Son after participating in a radio contest. A few months later, the couple learned of a wedding giveaway hosted by Say “I Do” in Cobb. With such luck winning one contest, Matt decided it would be worth a shot. The winners would receive a full

wedding package. “Matt entered the contest for a couple of reasons. He wanted me to have the wedding of my dreams and with him starting his pest control business and me getting my specialist degree, we weren’t able to afford what we envisioned. Also, since we’re both Cobb County natives, and that’s where we fell in love, we felt it was perfect.” Four couples were chosen as finalists, and they competed for the most online votes through the Say “I Do” in Cobb web site and through Facebook. Word got out to family, friends and the entire community at Cheatham Hill Elementary, where Julie is a fourth-grade teacher. “My students would come in first thing in the morning and update me on the

number of votes Matt and I received,” said Julie. “It was so cute because they would send me emails and post on my blog the vote count. One student called it the “Marry Ms. Stone Mission.” Matt and I are still extremely touched by the support we received from everyone, and we are beyond appreciative.” With over 9,000 votes plus 200 ‘likes’ on Facebook, Matt and Julie were



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favorite moment

{Julie: My favorite moment was being introduced as husband and wife after the ceremony, turning around and looking out at the people who love us and feeling such happiness. Matt: Being introduced as husband and wife before the reception.}

The City of Smyrna and Georgette Lake and Company present the First Annual City of Smyrna

Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013 • 12pm – 5pm Tickets: $5 in advance when purchased online, $10 cash at the door. Ride the Marietta Trolley between locations, visit with local vendors and plan your wedding all in one day! DOOR PRIZES, FOOD TASTINGS, FASHION SHOW AND EDUCATIONAL SEMINARS Come see how you can have the wedding of your dreams for $5000 or less at these venues.

Mock Wedding Reception at Taylor Brawner House by Creations by Cookie

Goodie bags to the first 100 brides! DJ ERUPSHUN 678-949-8738


Cobb Life Brides 2013

announced winners during a special ceremony at a boutique bridal show in March 2012. Then the planning began for an October wedding. “We were able to bring our ideas to the vendors, and they were able to make our vision a reality in a professional manner,” said Julie. “We wanted a ‘southern-rusticchic’ theme. Our colors were white, muted powder/periwinkle blue with a hint of muted tangerine.” About 65 guests attended the intimate evening ceremony at the Marlow House in Marietta on October, 11, 2012. After a traditional vow exchange, a reception followed. Later, Matt surprised Julie with a trip to Costa Rica for their honeymoon.



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{{{Newly weds}}}

Saying yes to the dress. I fell in love with a dress from David’s Bridal; I had always envisioned wearing a lace jacket. When I saw this jacket initially at David’s Bridal, I knew this was the one meant for me and I’d look for a dress to match it. Luckily, I found a dress that afternoon to match it at David’s Bridal. It’s a Grecian-style strapless dress, which I had spaghetti straps attached to provide additional support. After trying on numerous dresses I knew this dress was perfect for me. It was extremely comfortable and suited my personality.

First dance

“Then” by Brad Paisley “It’s a beautiful song we both really love and makes us think about when we’re older and our future together,” said Julie.

What was your favorite thing at the wedding/reception? We loved and were impressed with everything. We absolutely loved all the floral arrangements! The table arrangements were beautiful and my bouquet and bridemaids’ bouquets were exquisite.

what they won Venue - The Marlow House Planning - Something Blue Weddings LLC Catering - Clement Catering Co. Bridesmaids Dresses - The Red Carpet Bridal and Events Boutique Jewelry - Anna Bellagio Floral - Petals and Treats Wedding Cake - TKS Cakes & Catering Dove Release - A Dove’s Nest Save the Dates & Invitations - Confetti Wedding Night Accommodations -The Stanley House Makeup - Dina Marie Makeup , LLC Hair - Hair Art Day Spa Entertainment - Fonix Entertainment Photography - In the Moment Photography

Say “I Do” in Cobb Interested vendors can contact or 678.439.1114



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would you give to

couples planning

their wedding?

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Cobb Life Brides 2013

Marriage is about teamwork and communication. When planning your wedding, communicate your ideas with each other and really listen to what your future spouse may want because they are part of the process too. You may want to delegate responsibilities with your future spouse, but yet come together to discuss final decisions. Organizing ideas and time management are very important. I created a master folder on my computer with folders labeled with floral ideas, cake ideas, guest list, etc. Start creating documents and save them in these files. Vendors are able to understand your vision better with ideas and pictures. Establish a timeline and stick to it.Things become really hectic, and time management is crucial so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Also, create a wedding email account you both can equally access will help when communicating with all the vendors. Enjoy the process. What’s the biggest challenge and the greatest thing about being newlyweds? Challenge: We feel our biggest challenges have been adjusting to living together and compromising on certain issues that weren’t relevant in our single lives. Greatest thing: Getting to be with your best friend every day and looking forward to laughing on a daily basis.



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Chef Jeff Brister of Carriage House Catering served up roasted pork loin with apple bacon, tilapia with pomegranate butter, sauteed vegetables and roasted fingerling potatoes at Lindsey Baggett and Kevin Shannon’s December wedding at the Brickyard in Marietta.



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The ceremony is over and it was as magical and wonderful as you had hoped. Now it’s time to celebrate your union with family and friends. For many brides, planning that reception can be just as stress-inducing as getting the details right for the wedding itself. No matter what the budget, that burden can be eased with help and advice from a top-notch caterer, allowing the newly married couple to relax and enjoy their own party. The less-than-stellar economy doesn’t appear to be putting much of a damper on post nuptial festivities. Though last year fewer receptions cost into the five figures, Chef Jeffrey Brister of Carriage House Catering said the company handled more weddings than usual. “Our median per person was $100,” Brister said. Buffet dinners with stations showcasing different dishes and courses continue to be popular, he said. “We have done a lot of stationed dinners because it offers so many food choices to accommodate your guests. “Stations allow us to work with food allergies and diets better. We offer gluten-free and vegetarians options all the time, but also work with any other allergies people have.”


Cobb Life Brides 2013



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Corynne Leduc of Athens samples fig and goat cheese en croute, shown right, from Chef Jeff Brister.

Buffet stations also offer an opportunity to emphasize personal style, from beautifully elegant with silver chafing dishes and candelabras to using cross-cut wood to elevate platters for a more natural look. “We are seeing a more rustic trend last year and at the Shannon wedding into this year, with uses of Appetizers: Crab lots of burlap cakes and fig and goat and natural cheese en croute woods in the décor,” Brister Salad: Spinach with said. “Colors poached pears, sweet that are popupecans, gorgonzola lar are grey and balsamic and yellow.”


On the menu

Creating a Entree: Roasted pork menu that reloin with apple bacon, flects the coutilapia with pomegranple is ate butter, sauteed something at vegetables and roasted which Brister fingerling potatoes excels. “Southern Dessert: Almond cake food is still with raspberry filling very popular, but we like to add twists,” he said. “Recently, we took some Southern favorites and added some Latin and Cajun flavors and techniques.” At the carving station at that reception, for example, guests were treated to prime rib and mojo pork tenderloin with the Cuban flavors of orange, garlic and cumin. A grits station offered stone ground cheese grits with shrimp, crawfish or Brides 2013 Cobb Life



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Carriage House Catering’s Jeff Brister, chef and co-owner, left, and Al Freeman, operations and co-owner. Below, the salad.



sautéed crab cakes embellished with tasso ham cream gravy, a Louisiana staple. Some “fool proof” items that have always been favorites, Brister said, include his crab cakes, classic shrimp cocktail, pecan crusted chicken and grilled beef tenderloin. Other popular items are the chicken salad cones, seared quail breast with cranberry butter and herb crusted New York strip. The advantage to having a fullservice caterer like Carriage House is “we come set up with all the linens, china and glassware, we manage the food, have servers, bus the plates and do the clean up,” he said. But Brister and his partner, Al Freeman, and event manager Sandy Edwards are more than happy to work with the bride and

groom to beautifully customize the experience and still keep costs down. One way to do that, he said, is to have platters made up and delivered to the reception venue. Another suggestion, Brister said, is if alcohol will be served, try offering a signature drink along with beer and wine, but not a full bar. It’s quite possible to have a memorable reception without breaking the bank. Keeping spending under control for receptions is something Chef Mike Flowers knows quite a bit about. The Marietta caterer has written a book, “Cater Your Own Wedding: Easy Ways To Do It Yourself In Style.” He’s a firm believer that tight finances shouldn’t stand in the way of having a wonderful reception.



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“It breaks my heart to see so many couples get buried in debt before they even get started,” Flowers said. “Last year, families spent an average of $27,000 on their wedding in the United States. The catering accounted for nearly half of that. I’d rather see them invest a substantial portion of that money into something other than petit fours, fondant and chocolatecovered strawberries.” His company, Eastside Catering Services of Marietta, does handle many receptions that are full service, Flowers said. “Today’s couples usually start with the basics and work their way up as far as their budget will allow. Fresh fruit trays, domestic cheese trays, hot and cold dips, fresh vegetable displays, chicken and beef, a salty item and citrus fruit punches still rule the roost,” he said, adding that gluten-free items, sandwich wraps and vegetarian dishes have been requested more often lately. “Our typical bride will spend $20 to $30 per person and the average guest count is 150. Obviously, most reception halls that can accommodate up to several hundred guests have their own in-house catering staff. Therefore, our services are primarily performed in churches, clubhouses, homes and smaller venues.”


Cobb Life Brides 2013

Bite-sized crab cakes were served as an appetizer.



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PERFECT MAN Kelly and Jared Crowder opted for a buffet style dinner at their wedding, also at The Brickyard. Carriage House Catering provided beverage services with a bar inside and outside.

Michelle Scott Photography (

since your guests will have already eaten lunch.” Or have a dessert reception at 1 p.m. or 8 p.m. because guests likely will already have had their lunch or dinner. “Often you can rent a nice clubhouse in a friend’s subdivision for your reception. They’re much cheaper than most churches and absolutely cheaper than a reception hall,” Flowers said. “If this is not an option, rent your church or reception hall on a Friday.”

Eastside Catering Services (404) 578-1653; Carriage House Catering (770) 426-9852;


Typically, a sit-down meal is cheaper than the heavy hors d’oeuvres option, Flowers said. There’s normally much less labor required by the caterer. “We charge half price for children under 10 and they eat from the same menu. Most caterers will do this. You just have to ask.” Flowers has a few other suggestions on how brides can significantly reduce their food costs. Have a mid afternoon wedding reception, between 2 and 3 p.m. “Light finger foods will be sufficient

TIP: Many couples offer a signature drink or two along with beer and wine, instead of a full bar, said Chef Brister.

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taking the cake {and other desserts, too} IDEA! Instead of a groom’s cake, the Crowders ordered a varied dessert bar from Gabriel’s Desserts, below. Their wedding cake, left, was made by Lisa’s Cakes and Catering.

Carrriage House Catering designed this almond cake with raspberry filling for Lindsey and Kevin Shannon’s wedding.


Michelle Scott Photography

Your wedding day is a dream fulfilled, treasure every moment!

local bakeries Avante Catering 2800 Canton Road, Marietta 770.427.0145; Canvas Cafe and Bakery 724 Cherokee St., Marietta 678.213.2268, Confection Perfection 678.898.6625; Gabriel’s Desserts 800 Whitlock Ave NW, Marietta 770.427.9007, Miss Mamie’s Cakes, Cupcakes and Such 156 Roswell Street, Marietta 678.290.9811, Sugar Cakes Patisserie 101 N Park Sq NE, Marietta 770.218.9994,

White Dove Release & Displays 770-575-0616 • 22

Cobb Life Brides 2013

Sugarplum Visions 137 Church Street, Marietta 678.354.7586; Sweet Caroline’s Cakes 770.639.2211; The Perfect Wedding Cake 770.971.1700,



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{ { { Ph o to g ra p hy } } }

Above: A great wedding album has memories of the whole day, not just shots of the ceremony and portraits. Sometimes the most beautiful and poignant shots come from candid moments, like this shot from Slavik Photography of the bride’s sister pinning the veil. “ What ’s interesting is dynamic composition and contrast of dark and light. I like the bride’s expression — she’s ver y concentrated in this moment,” said Slava Slavik. Right: A background of lush greener y can add a dreamy ambiance to your photos. This setting was an ideal complement to the bride’s intricate dress. Opposite page: One of photographer Christopher Brock’s favorite shots to compose is what he calls the ‘cinderella dip.’ The sweeping, pose and dynamic lighting creates a grand and romantic feel.


Cobb Life Brides 2013



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Last a lifetime Tips on how to get wedding photos you’ll cherish forever

Perspectives have changed when it comes to wedding photography. Long gone are the days of stiffly posed wedding portraits and cookie-cutter background settings. Every couple has a story to tell, and if you want your wedding photos to pop, you may have to break a few rules first. Wedding pictures do not have to gather dust in an album stuffed in a drawer, only to be pulled out on anniversaries or when children want to see their parents “back when.” Your engagement story can be a mini-movie on YouTube. Your wedding pictures might have their own website. In wedding photographs now more than ever, every picture tells a story. “Brides want art,” says Christopher Brock of Christopher Brock Photography. “They put a lot of thought into their wed-

ding day and they want it represented artistically - not in a formal, posed, way.” One tradition that has changed, he says, is that many brides don’t want a photographer they only see on the day of their wedding but want someone who will document their journey from engaged woman to wife. Brock has photographed over 2,000 weddings in locales around the world and specializes in the candid, photo-journalistic style that is fast becoming a favorite for many brides. He also finds what he calls “cinema photography” to be extremely popular, where he combines photographs, video, music and memorable moments, creating an entire story about the bride and groom. He presents a finished and polished movie to the BY THERRA C. GWYN



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{ { { Ph o to g ra p hy } } }

Sarah Slavik of Slavik Photography saw this picturesque landscape as a great setting for a beautiful shot shortly before the ceremony. The bride is walking with her dad toward the chapel.


Cobb Life Brides 2013

newly-married couple that they can share online with family and friends. Another old-school wedding rule has dissolved in recent years, according to Slav Slavik of Slavik Photography in Kennesaw. He insists that a groom should absolutely see the bride in her dress before she walks down the aisle. Slavik and his wife Sarah increasingly recieve requests from couples to take “First Look” photos. Pictures that capture the moment when the bride and groom first see each other decked out in their wedding finest make for impactful, memorable photos. “Most couples in Europe get together in the same room or location before the ceremony,” he says. “It’s nice, and it’s fun for the couple.” There are other pluses to First Look photos versus traditional photos taken later after a couple says “I do”: the bride’s make-up, hair, and flowers are at their freshest, it’s a special time the couple can share before the wedding, guests won’t have to wait for the couple to finish taking pictures before the reception and often the photographer will have better lighting in the afternoon than later in the evening. Once the wedding is over, your photographs are what you have to remember one of your life’s most important events. Don’t be afraid to bend a few rules to get that perfect photo finish.



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L ight magic

Another of photographer Christopher Brock’s signature shots is using flashes to add ‘sparks of light ’ on the couple. This adds an ethereal element to the photograph. On left, Brock calls this the ‘glamour Hollywood shot.’ A strobe light placed behind the couple provided the effect. On right, the illuminated couple in a forest creates an air of myster y.

Brides 2013 Cobb Life




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{ { { Ph o to g ra p hy } } }

C apturing the emotion of the day

On left, Slava Slavik was thrilled when he caught this “beautiful moment ” between a bride and her grandfather. “This moment happened during a formal portrait; we were posing the family and they just got closer and hugged. Even if focused on one task, a photographer should be ready for something like this to happen,” said Slava. At right, the first kiss as husband and wife is a moment all brides want in the photo album. “ What ’s interesting in this photo is the reaction of maid of honor and how bride and groom are hugging each other ver y intensely,” said Slava.

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Cobb Life Brides 2013



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{ { { Ph o to g ra p hy } } }

SPONTANEITY IS KEY: In this shot, the groom lifted the bride after their posed portrait session. The Slaviks like to encourage fun interaction between couples to give life to their photos, rather than give a lot of guidance. “ When we do portraits we tr y give the couple more space for their interaction. It ’s like fishing, you get a catch if you don’t stomp on the bank of the lake,” said Slava.

Brides 2013 Cobb Life




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F lash fire

Left, the “sparkler exit ” is both popular and makes for an extraordinar y photo. In the top photo, the Slaviks used a fisheye lens to create an interesting perspective. In the bottom photo, the Slaviks used off-camera flash to give dimension to the shot and highlight the bride and groom, rather than the people standing closest to the camera. Top right, the Slaviks wanted to capture the ambiance of a ceremony at King Plow Arts Center in Atlanta. “It was pretty dark but the two lines of candles point toward the bride, which stands out in the shot. Also, the contrast of wedding with a rustic, industrial place was ver y interesting,” said Slava.


Cobb Life Brides 2013



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{ { { Ph o to g ra p hy } } }

CAUGHT ON FILM: You never know what moments may make an interesting photo. Above left, a peek behind the scenes as family members fluff up the bride’s dress before the portrait session. The addition of the umbrella adds to the composition. Right: An intimate exchange between a couple is captured during dinner.


Tips to consider when ch o o s i n g a p h o t o g ra p h e r for your wedding

1 2

Start looking as soon as you set your wedding date. Many of the best photographers book up well in advance.

Don’t go low budget. This not the time to shop in the bargain bin. There is just one chance to get your wedding photos right. They are keepsakes and in many families are passed down through generations. Make sure your photos look great for the Facebook of the future! Yes, you can negotiate price with many professionals but expect to spend 12% of your wedding budget to get the right cameraman or woman.


Interview photographers on the phone before you decide on an in-person meeting. Ask how many weddings they have photographed. There is no substitute for experience. Are they a seasoned outdoor photographer (if you are having an open air wedding)? Do they have an online gallery of work you can check out?


Do you want them to shoot digital photos, film, or both? Talk to photographers about benefits of each and the photo packages they offer before you decide. Look for a personality that meshes with yours. You will be spending a great deal of time with your photographer. Make sure he or she is someone you will enjoy having around during one of the most exciting (and often intense) times of your life.


Brides 2013 Cobb Life




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{ { { Ph o to g ra p hy } } }

Left: Placing a bride and groom in an unusual setting can create an intriguing photo, like this Christopher Brock portrait of a couple in traffic. Right: Using color to highlight certain parts of a black and white photo creates a striking effect.

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Cobb Life Brides 2013




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YOUR WORLD It all begins with the ring. We found a few that sparkle, shine and are as endearing as

your love.

Forevermark 18K white gold, three-stone diamond with 1.33 total carat weight from Cumberland Diamond Exchange



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{{{R ings}}}



18K white gold mico pave’ set hand-engraved mounting with two trapezoid diamonds totaling 0.55 carats, with 0.55 carats of round brilliant cut diamonds surrounding. The center stone is a 2 carat princess cut diamond.

<<<< 1carat round brilliant cut diamond center set in 14K white gold paveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; set mounting with 0.75 carats. $8,499 at Cumberland Diamond Exchange

Forevermark 14K white gold halo style mounting with 0.31 total carat weight round brilliant cut diamonds in mounting and 1.08 carat round diamond in center. $11,999 at Cumberland Diamond Exchange

Cumberland Diamond Exchange 770.434.4367;

Prentice Johnson, general manager of Cumberland Diamond Exchange, said halo mounts are increasingly popular. The rings feature a circle of diamonds around the center stone, which emphasizes sparkle and increases appearance of its size.



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{{{R ings}}}


1 1. North American 14K white gold halo semimount with .33 carat round cut diamond, $1,779. Shown with a 14K white gold pave band with .12 total carat weight diamonds $1,299 2. Verragio 18K white gold halo, three-stone insignia ring with .55 total carat weight with a round sapphire center $4,270 3. North American 14K white gold halo semimount for princess cut diamond, .50 total carat weight in mount $2,449 4. Tacori 18K white gold emerald cut and round diamond scalloped semi-mount, antique style; .70 total carat weight $5,010

3 4 D. Geller and Son


2453 Cobb Parkway SE Smyrna 770.955.5995 840 Ernest W. Barrett Pkwy Kennesaw 678.331.3100

5. Tacori platinum .86 total carat weight round diamond in pave semi-mount $9,600 all rings shown from D. Geller and Son

THE FOUR C S : What you should look for when choosing a diamond Color — A colorless diamond emits more sparkle because it allows more light to pass through it. Truly colorless diamonds are rare, but diamonds graded G through I have color that is virtually invisible to the trained eye. Clarity — Refers to the prescence of flaws on the surface or within the stone. VVS and VS grades have great value and appearance, while grades SI1 and SI2, which are more affordable, have more flaws, but are still virtually impossible to see with the naked eye. Cut — Refers to the diamond’s reflective qualities, not its shape. The better the cut, the more brilliant the diamond’s shine. Carat — Refers to the weight of the diamond, not its size.



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<<< 6.28 carat GIA certified radiant cut fancy yellow diamond set in platinum and 18K gold, with 2 carat total weight mounting, at Cumberland Diamond Exchange

<<< 14K white gold three-stone Asscher cut diamonds, 2.02 total carat weight, at Cumberland Diamond Exchange Brides 2013 Cobb Life




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putting your best

FACE FORWARD tip s for l ook i n g y o ur be s t o n y o ur wed d in g d a y You’ve spent countless hours choosing a dress, the décor, the flowers, the setting, even the music. Amidst all that planning, it’s easy to forget perhaps one of the most important aspects — skincare. Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day — it is probably going to be her most photographed day ever. While many think last minute beauty tricks and crash diets are the way to go, those are likely to do more harm than good. Don’t risk looking like the bride of Frankenstein. Renew Day Spa esthetician Iwona Higdon and the Dyer and Posta salon team of Chelsea Luna and Rachel Carter gave us tips on how to ensure you’re looking your absolute best.


START AS SOON AS POSSIBLE WITH SKINCARE. Ideally, a bride should start thinking about skincare five to six months before the big day. That will allow time for deeper treatments like glycolic peels or mircrodermabrasion, which will help achieve smoother texture and even skin tone. It will also allow time for the esthetician to address any concerns like acne scars or hyperpigmentation. “Those treatments are designed to really deeply improve the skin,” said Iwona. “Both can make a huge statement on the skin.” If you don’t have that much time, you’re not a lost cause. Three months ahead is not too late to improve skin but it’s not advisable to have intense treatments at that point. Finding an esthetician six months or more in advance is ideal to establish a relationship with that person. “We learn your skin and what you like or don’t like so there is less chance of risking any bad reaction,” said Iwona.


FOLLOW A GOOD SKINCARE REGIMEN AT HOME. “Home care is the most important thing,” said Iwona. Use a good cleanser; creamy ones are often best for the skin. Exfoliate at least twice a week to get rid of dead

cells, which will allow your moisturizer to penetrate better. Moisturize morning and night. Always wear sunscreen of at least SPF 30, even if you don’t spend much time outside. UVA/UVB rays can travel through windows, car windshields and more.

By Stacey L. Evans | Photography by Jennifer Carter



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And don’t forget your neck and shoulders — you want to treat that area the same way you do your skin. This is especially important if you plan to wear a strapless or low-cut gown. Exfoliation tip: A good tool to use at home is the Clearasonic brush. NEVER start a new routine weeks before the wedding. No change of skincare product, no change of makeup. If there is any change to be made, do it at least a month before wedding. “Even if you have a makeup artist coming to do makeup, even if they have fantastic products, we are all different and all have possible reactions to new things,” said Iwona. GET A FACIAL UP TO A WEEK BEFORE THE WEDDING.A facial will hydrate your skin, which in turn will make it more glowing on your wedding day. It will also help your makeup look fantastic says Iwona. >>Recommended treatment: Algae-Marine >>Grooms will benefit Detox Facial is an excellent one to get prefrom getting a facial as wedding, said Iwona. She recommends one a month for well. “They will be taking three months before the wedding, but even one a couple so many pictures that of weeks before will produce results. The treatment imday and having a lot of proves circulation (through massage) which helps blackheads or razor detoxify, and re-mineralizes the skin. Renew Day Spa bumps doesn’t look so also offers a Décolleté Renewal treatment, which revigreat in pictures,” said talizes the often neglected area. Iwona. “They should be DO NOT get a facial in less than a week before the exfoliating and moisturwedding day. “You’re stressed out because you’re planizing at home as well.” ning the wedding, getting excited, getting nervous,”


Accenting hair with flowers or jewels is a great way to add a little pizazz. Incorporating braids into updos is also a popular trend for brides. Model Lauren Cerny’s hair was styled by Rachel Carter of Dyer and Posta. Opposite page: Far left, Dyer and Posta makeup artist Chelsea Luna applies makeup to Whitney Betts. Left, esthetician Iwona Higdon of Renew Day Spa massages a client’s skin during a facial.

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HAIR & MAKEUP TIPS It’s best to book a trial hair and makeup session at the salon nine to six months in advance, said Rachel Carter of Dyer and Posta. If you have photos of your wedding dress, bring that to the trial. What matters when choosing a hairstyle? Rachel said type of dress, time of day of ceremony and bride’s personality are all factors, but what’s most important is what the bride feels most comfortable with. A trial will let you explore different styles.  It’s a good idea to start hair and makeup 3 or 4 hours before pictures, especially if your whole bridal party is getting done. Dyer and Posta team prefers to go to the venue and do hair and makeup there to be on hand for touch-ups.  Most brides keep the same hairstyle from ceremony to reception, but if you like to switch it up, choose a style that can easily transform. One option is a loose half updo that’s held by a few bobby pins that can be taken out at the reception.

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WHAT’S POPULAR Hair: Loose updos, braids and curls, very chic look. Makeup: We see a lot more natural looks because they don’t want to be completely different than their husband knows them as.

Rachel Carter of Dyer and Posta salon gets ready to style an updo. DIY TIPS  Use a primer before applying foundation. It will help prolong makeup. Also, start prepping your skin a few days before, said makeup artist Chelsea Luna. Drink lots of water and keep moisturizing.  For hair, it’s best to go dirty. Wash your hair the night before, not day of. That will help it hold product and style. RECOMMENDATIONS:  Bumble and Bumble’s spray de mode, prep and styling lotion.  Dyer and Posta also offers a shine treatment, which Rachel recommends having done a week before the wedding. “The gloss adds great shine to the hair,” said Rachel. 770.514.1620 600 Chastain Rd., Kennesaw



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said Iwona. “With all those hormones going through your system it’s just better not to take the chance with any changes or new things to your skin.”


PAMPER YOUR WHOLE BODY. Skin Glow Body Polish features a sugar scrub exfoliation followed by a vichy shower, which rains softly from six showerheads as you lie down. A quenching cream is applied afterwards to hydrate.


DO NOT DRASTICALLY CHANGE YOUR DIET. Changing to a healthy diet six months before the wedding will greatly improve not only your body but your skin. However, crash dieting a couple of weeks before may cause your skin to detoxify, resulting in nasty breakouts.

waxing If you get waxed, go to same place you normally go so you know what products they are using. Waxes have different ingredients — you want to be sure you are consistent with the same one to avoid a reaction. R E N E W DAY S PA 4347 Shallowford Rd Marietta 770 998-8592;

essentials on your wedding day  Make sure you get enough rest the night before. Lack of sleep and stress will show on your skin.  Don’t skip any of your normal skin care routine.  Take a brisk walk in the morning. “When you walk you increase oxygen and it helps to make your skin much brighter and glowing. After a walk you have rosy cheeks and your skin is going to feel so much more alive,” said Iwona.  Lay down for five minutes Iwona Higdon with a cool ice pack on your eyes. That will refresh the skin around your eyes and help eliminate dark circles or puffiness. Renew Day Spa offers an eye treatment that can be added to any facial.  Drink lots of water. “You don’t feel good and you don’t look good when you’re dehydrated,” said Iwona.

Brides 2013 Cobb Life




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{ { { D re s s e s } } }





B R E AT H L E S S by Meredith Pruden photos Jennifer Carter


Cobb Life Brides 2013



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At an estimated $58.5 billion annually, the wedding industry has become big business. One might think it would be easier than ever for a woman to find her perfect dress given the ever-expanding range of products and services that contribute to this surging industry. But, the seemingly limitless options can be overwhelming and actually make it much easier than ever for a woman to experience paralysis by analysis when shopping for her gown. No blushing bride wants to struggle with selecting the most important dress she’ll ever buy. She wants to look in the mirror and have the image reflected there take her breath away. No matter a woman’s personal style, these fashionable, and oh-so-wearable, 2013 bridal trends are sure to leave her breathless. <<<<Old Hollywood glamour never goes out of style. This lace over charmeuse Alfred Angelo gown showcases three trends for 2013 with its lace overlay, satin floral appliqués and keyhole back. Crystal beading, pearls and a chapel train add eyecatching detail to this super sexy, yet classically styled, dress (style #8507). Alfred Angelo gowns are available at Bravura and CC’s of Rome.



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If the thought of a formal ball gown doesn’t make you weak in the knees, this ivory charmeuse sheath dress by Modeca, featuring a flirty side flounce, delicate choker neckline and portrait back with floral appliqué details, may have you saying, “I do” (style Olba). The experts at Blackwell’s Jewelers know you can never have too much sparkle with a less-is-more silhouette and paired this stunner with an equally dazzling pair of diamond and sapphire drop earrings ($9,789) and an antique look marquee diamond ring with champagne diamond accents. Modeca gowns are available at Encore Formals and Bridal.


Cobb Life Brides 2013

Bouquet by Milestones Floral Decor, see more on page 58



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GOLDEN GIRLS\\\\\\\\ From left On Amanda: If you’ve been bitten by the color bug but bold hues seem a bit too extreme, this beige Modeca ball gown with illusion neckline, keyhole back, full skirt and intricately embroidered overlay may be your perfect fit (style Olivia). To set off the muted hue of this gown, the team from Blackwell’s Jewelers paired it with a demure, yet impactful, oval sapphire and diamond 18KT white gold ring ($11,900) and matching diamond and sapphire drop earrings ($9,789). On Lauren: Another take on this season’s trend toward golden hues, this satin and Venise lace gown in blush by Alfred Angelo, with metallic accents, crystal beading, sequins, pearls and a semi-cathedral train, looks like it belongs on the red carpet (style #875). The team at Blackwell’s Jewelers knows a dress this striking needs a true statement piece to complete the look, so they paired it with a 14KT yellow gold and diamond floral pendant necklace ($2,989). Alfred Angelo gowns are available at Bravura and CC’s of Rome. Modeca gowns are available at Encore Formals and Bridal.

Our models: From left, Amanda Border of Roswell, Lauren Cerny of Acworth and Whitney Betts of Kennesaw.

On Whitney: This net over satin and re-embroidered lace gown in ivory, café and plum by Alfred Angelo is ideal for an evening wedding with its crystal beading, sequins, pearls, grosgrain ribbon and chapel train (style #876). The high neckline, intricate detailing and rich plum highlights in this dress speak for themselves, so the team from Blackwell’s Jeweler chose to keep it simple with a pair of striking 18KT two tone drop diamond earrings ($4,000).

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Cobb Life Brides 2013

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Looking back: Details on the back of the dress also really stand out as your’re walking down the aisle and standing to take your vows. This re-embroidered floral applique and button down style by Alfred Angelo (style #876) is just as gorgeous in the back.

TREND #1 : Picture


A natural transition from last year’s charming illusion necklines, this season’s sought-after portrait back comes in a variety of fashionable styles—from sexy to sophisticated. This spring, look for lace frames and peekaboo keyholes to add an unassuming bit of sex appeal to even the most traditionally styled bridal gowns. There’s never been a more classy way to show a little skin.

TREND #2 : Karma Chameleon Hints of color have been gaining in popularity for several seasons now, with red and blush hues gracing everything from belts to bows. Last year, we showed a bold black gown and thought the vibrant trend may have reached its conclusion but, this season, color is back and better than ever with even more designers making daring choices in blue, gold, plum and, yes, black.

TREND #3 : Old


Elegant bridal gown detailing with a tip of the proverbial hat to the old world first gained favor in spring 2011 and, although evolved, this trend is certainly here to stay. This season brings a new take on last year’s modest illusion necklines and lace sleeves, ushering in intricate lace overlays and delicate floral appliqués that will make any bride feel like royalty.

TREND #4 : Drop Top Luxurious accents like jewels, sequins (yes, sequins), peplums at the waist and bold headpieces are trending this spring, but gowns you can dress down are also all the rage. And, nothing better exemplifies this stylish new look than convertibles. Why bust the wedding budget buying two dresses when a cocktail length reception dress is just a zip, snap or hook away? Brides 2013 Cobb Life




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Invest in Hope

For the bride who wants beauty and comfort, this silk charmeuse and tulle Jasmine Bridal gown, featuring a front slit that shows leg for days and an on trend portrait back, feels like your favorite silk pajamas. Classic pearls never go out of style, and no one knows this better than the pros at Blackwell’s Jewelers. They paired this sultry, yet elegant gown, with a 64-inch strand of freshwater pearls ($159), 18KT white gold pearl and pink diamond earrings ($5,975) and an 18KT white gold Tahitian South Sea pearl and diamond ring >>>>

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Blackwell’s Jewelers 2265 Roswell Rd. #500-B, Marietta 30062 770.973.7881



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This elegant drop waist satin, net and embroidered lace gown with chapel train by Alfred Angelo proves there really is no occasion to which you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wear black. It features luxurious embellishments that really pack a onetwo punch, including a rhinestone pin, crystal beading, sequins and black taffeta flowers (style #2368). Alfred Angelo gowns are available at Bravura and CCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of Rome.>>>>

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{ { { D re s s e s } } } <<<For a modern twist on the classic Cinderella ball gown, this Alfred Angelo satin, organza and net dress features rhinestones, crystal beading, pearls, sequins, grosgrain ribbon and organza flowers that fit nicely with this season’s trend toward floral appliqués (style #2341). Alfred Angelo gowns are available at Bravura and CC’s of Rome.

Bouquet by Unique Floral Expressions, see more on page 58

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flowers by Unique Floral Expressions

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Cobb Life Brides 2013

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This high waisted lace over satin gown by Alfred Angelo features a strapless sweetheart neckline, crystal beading, sequins and taffeta flowers in a classically form fitting silhouette (style #2380). When a gown is minimalist chic, why not set it off with some sparkle? The team at Blackwell’s Jewelers chose a timeless look with lots of shine—a diamond Rivera necklace ($14,000) and matching white gold and diamond tennis bracelet ($15,500). Alfred Angelo gowns are available at Bravura and CC’s of Rome.



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<<<< The simple silhouette of this tulle and net Jasmine Bridal gown belies the detailing in its high-end construction, including an intricate (and on trend) lace overlay and Tiffany train (style #F151001). Jasmine Bridal gowns are available at Bravura, Brides Atlanta and A Formal Occasion.



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<<<< Want to make a bold statement on your big day? You won’t have to say a word, except, “I do,” in this daring ivory tulle gown with purple appliqués by Blue by Enzoani (style Farley D). Love the style but not ready to wear purple on your wedding day? Never fear, it’s also available in all ivory. With this much color in the gown, the experts at Blackwell’s Jewelers knew the look needed a dynamic piece, so they paired it with a 14KT tri gold and diamond pendant necklace ($4,500). Va va voom! Blue by Enzoani gowns are available at Encore Formals and Bridal.

S P E C I A L T H A N K S \\\

Hair by, from left, Rachel Carter and Stephen Posta. Makeup by Chelsea Luna, right. Dyer & Posta Salon 600 Chastain Rd. NW #216 Kennesaw 30144 770.514.1620;

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Cobb Life Brides 2013



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{ { { D re s s e s } } } W H E R E TO F I N D

D RESSES Bravura The Avenue East Cobb 4475 Roswell Rd. # 1610 Marietta 30062 770.977.8916 x 1 CCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of Rome 2710 Town Center Dr. Kennesaw 30144 770.425.3067 Who said you have to buy a reception dress? With this organza Alfred Angelo convertible gown, featuring re-embroidered lace with metallic accents, pearls, crystal beading, sequins and a removable chapel train, you get two dresses in one (style #2219). Alfred Angelo gowns are available at Bravura and CCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of Rome. >>>>

Brides Atlanta 6842 Douglas Blvd., Ste. H Douglasville, GA 30135 770.942.0171 bridesatlanta A Formal Occasion 4489 Bells Ferry Rd. Kennesaw, GA 30144 770.591.5424 Find them on Facebook Encore Formals and Bridal 3718 Dallas Hwy. Marietta, GA 30064 770.630.9730

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...don’t forget the shoe!

No offense to Cinderella, but she sort of had it backwards. The shoe should be at the end of the to-do list for a wedding fairy tale. After the engagement, first consider the venue, then the dress — then the shoes and other accessories, experts say. Collectively, they should have a complementary vibe. "It’s all a picture that comes together," says gown designer Reem Acra.

No flip-flops for a formal setting and dress, and satin pumps would be silly on the beach. Tanya Dukes, accessories editor at Brides magazine, suggests these practical questions: —How high for the heel? Think of the proportions of the dress, how tall you’ll stand and if you are used to wearing heels at all, she says. —Is the wedding outside? A lawn wedding, for example, could be trouble for a spiky heel. A wedge would fare better. —How formal is the occasion? Fabric matters here. "Satin is the traditional choice, and it’s a safe bet," Dukes says. And then there’s deciding whether you ever want to wear the shoes again. "Most women don’t wear their bridal shoes again not because they’re not wearable, but because they’re a memento," says footwear designer Stuart Weitzman, who got his start in business in bridal more than 25 years ago. He sees as much variety in wedding-shoe styles as he does on the street: Women want sandals, stilettos, platforms and lace booties, but the traditional pump is the most popular. Shoes often spend most of the big day covered by the gown’s hemline, but they can be a glimpse of the bride’s personality. The moment the shoes will probably get the most attention is right before she kicks them off to dance, says Acra with a laugh. Crafting a head-to-toe mood is a delicate balancing act between modernity and timelessness, she explains. Now, the shoe? That’s a place to have a little fun. "If I have a bride in the showroom, I might say, ‘Why not an orange shoe?’" Acra says. "It’s fun to have something different. I love playing with shoes. I really prefer colored shoes or something with bling or fun." Metallics are a good middle-of-the-road option, as is blush pink, and even black is doable, especially if you add a black ribbon sash around the waist of the dress. "I do think more out-of-the-box choices will be revisited and worn again," says Brides’ Dukes. "Maybe something with a lot of color, you’re more likely to wear that again, like a red shoe, or cowboy boots or sneakers." She adds, however: "If you want the memento, your Cinderella slipper, and you want to keep them pristine, then white is a valid choice." There is more variety now than ever in gown silhouettes — including shorter cocktail dresses, asymmetrical high-low hemlines, slim columns and mermaid shapes, in addition to the ballskirt — and that does mean almost endless choices in footwear. Bring multiple pairs of shoes to gown fittings to explore the options, recommends Acra, who chooses the overall look for models in her bridal runway shows and personally consults with some private clients. The most important thing, as with all decisions on the bride’s look, is that she is happy and comfortable in it, Acra says. "When you’re walking down the aisle, really no one will be looking at your shoe. But you’ll remember what you were wearing, and if it was bright red, when you talk to your children 20 years later, you can say, ‘I was ahead of my time.’" By SAMANTHA CRITCHELL, AP Fashion Writer



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L BLO SSOMS V E by stacey l. evans

ulie Coffin, Owner and Creative Director of Unique Floral Expressions in Marietta has provided flowers for more than 800 brides in her 13 years in the business. Unique Floral Expressions has won several industry awards and is listed as a preferred provider by several of the area’s best wedding planners and at many of the metro Atlanta’s elite venues. Coffin, who was first drawn to flowers as a child while spending time at her grandmother’s floral shop, says flora is an important part of the wedding ceremony because it makes the first impression on each and every guest. “A bride’s sense of style will be known to her guests even before she steps into the aisle,” she said. Her favorite part of her job is the moment when she presents a bridal bouquet to the bride. “It usually takes her breath away and that makes all of the hours of preparation worth it for me,” she said. Coffin provided some helpful tips to help brides-to-be navigate the floral world:



Cobb Life Brides 2013

I don’t have a clue what flowers to choose. Where do I begin? Our website, of course! Actually, today’s brides have so many tools at their fingertips. My current favorite is, an online inspiration board that allows brides to gather pictures and collaborate through the website. About 75% of my brides have a Pinterest account. When a bride arrives for a design consultation, I pull up her account on my iPad and instantly see her ‘vision.’ However, some of my brides arrive without a clue as to their vision. They know what colors they like and have their dress and venue picked out, but décor-wise, they are a bit lost. For those clients, I have books of flowers, sorted by color, they can peruse. I also have an inspiration portfolio containing pictures of bouquets, centerpieces, etc. I will ask my clients to page through these images and narrate for me the aspects of each that they like and don’t like. From that, I am able to surmise which elements to combine to best encompass her wedding vision.

shades and blush tones (both peach and pink). In flower type: The most popular flower is still the rose, but we like to offer a modern twist on that romantic standby—the garden rose. It opens like the expensive peony, but is much more readily available and at nearly half the cost. It’s fragrant and ruffled and gorgeous! Bouquet style: The most popular is still hand tied. Arrangement style: Right now “rustic chic” is all the rage. Brides are utilizing items like burlap, raffia, mason jars, lanterns and birch containers with unstructured, loosely gathered flower arrangements. Rather than utilizing tall statement pieces, they prefer clusters of vintage bottles with single blossoms, gathered together. Those opting for a more traditional fairy-tale reception (still, by far, the majority of our brides) will book ballrooms with lots of opulence. There we make tall arrangements that are full and lush. We are using a mix of silver and gold containers and chargers with lots of candles at various heights.

How much should be budgeted for flowers? A typical rule of thumb: Eight to 12% of the overall wedding budget should be reserved for floral and décor. What are current trends? In color: Aubergine, green

Two top tips: 1. Choose flowers from what’s in season. That way you can choose from the freshest, most robust flowers available. 2. Choose a reputable florist with lots of experience.



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A loosely gathered, lush, garden style bouquet, featuring peonies, lisianthus blossoms and shoots, ranunculus and soft greenery accents. “It is a very popular style currently and we often incorporate soft touches of pale pink or peach to ‘pop’ the bouquet off an ivory or white dress,” said Julie.

Right: Julie Coffin, owner of Unique Floral Expressions.



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What type of bouquet reflects your personal style? Eco-concious brides typically like to include organic elements like succulents, pods, greenery, etc. Those bouquets are typically loosely gathered and hand tied (not perfectly roundy-moundy). A “princess” bride typically chooses a large rounded, mounded bouquet, often utilizing several types of big ruffled blossoms (like peonies and roses). She wants the overall feel of the bouquet to exude softness and romance. A bride with contemporary taste will choose a more structured flower for her bouquet, like the calla lily or orchid. She often asks us to make her entire bouquet from just one or two types of these blossoms.

A classic red rose bouquet symbolizes fire and passion. “I’m not a huge fan of using just one type of flower in a bouquet, so I used two types of red roses (Rio “hearts” and standard Charlottes), and gave the bouquet a small leaf collar to pop the red roses off the dress,” said Julie.

A nod to the popular aubergine color that pairs Picasso callas (ivory with an artistic splatter of purple in the throat) with white dendrobium orchids and lightweight greenery accents. “The small nosegay is the perfect size for any bride,” said Julie.

Julie’s favorite ceremony “The most beautiful ceremony we’ve ever done was last June at the Atlanta History Center. The ceremony was on the Swan House Gardens at the base of the grand staircase. To be honest, what I liked the most was that the bride (a high powered, busy attorney) gave me her color scheme (cream, palest pink, gray and navy), a sense of her style and a budget and then said, “Please just make it happen.” The ceremony arrangements were garden style, large and lush, overflowing. The reception featured a mix of tall and short arrangements, but all were lushly mounded with fragrant garden roses, peonies and cascading orchids. The Grand Overlook at the History Center was Unique Floral Expressions breathtaking!” 770.650.7426


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Purple is hot this year, and having a unique blend of flowers and greenery is perfect for the artsy bride. This dreamy arrangement blends kale, white hydrangea, purple stock, lavender roses, deep purple trachelium, waxflower, deep purple lisianthus and seeded eucalyptus. Designed by: Milestones Floral Décor for Events, a division of Village Green Flowers & Gifts 3246 Atlanta Rd Suite H, Smyrna, GA 30080; 770.435.9393;

The perks of consulting a florist: Several years ago my team provided both rehearsal flowers and wedding flowers for a lovely couple. To be frugal, the bride’s family saved the buffet arrangement flowers from the rehearsal dinner on Friday night to use on the altar at the church the next day. Unfortunately, they left Dad in charge of the flowers and he packed them in the trunk overnight. The wedding was in mid-July so when they opened the trunk the next day at 4 p.m., every blossom in the trunk was shriveled. The mother of the bride was devastated at the thought of having a bare altar so she asked if there was anything I could do to help-with the wedding just one hour away! I calmed her down and then reached out to my florist network to secure the raw materials to make two new altar arrangements. The bride never knew what happened and was thrilled with everything. —Julie Coffin



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{{{Newly weds}}}


Old&New something

Today’s couples often choose to bring elements of their past – from family heritage to cultural traditions or favored geographical ties – into the day that is all about celebrating their future . Everyone comes from somewhere. You don’t have to have a PhD in DNA or have a massive familytree printout to know that your heritage is a part of who you are. For some, the past is very close at hand in relatives or community who provide a real-world link. For others it’s in often-told family stories of how kin emigrated from one country to another, or in heirlooms handed down through generations. Then are those who do not feel especially connected to their history by genealogy, but by geography. Being raised in, or having lived in, a special place that helped shape your worldview can also add to the treasures of personal history. No surprise then that many couples want to add elements of their heritage or culture to their wedding celebration. Whether it’s a small, special nod to a long-ago legacy or a full blown melting pot marriage, there are many ways to unite the past and present on your wedding day. Here’s how two couples did it.


Cobb Life Brides 2013

By Therra C. Gwyn



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Photography by KVC Photography

Phillip Blakely Justman and Marium Khalid combined traditions from her Pakistani culture, elements of his Irish heritage and their Georgia roots in their wedding. Top, the couple made their own wedding bands with help from blacksmith Mark Hopper, and inscribed them with messages. Left, instead of bouquets, the bridesmaids walked down the aisle with trays of flower petals and dias, or lamps. Once pronounced husband and wife, the bridesmaids showered the couple with petals.



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{{{Newly weds}}}

{Marium & Phillip Justman} Atlanta residents | Married 10.13.12

theatrics and tradition Marium Khalid, 26, and Phillip Justman, 24, both theatre professionals, met as students during play auditions at Kennesaw State University. Justman’s family are solidly rooted Georgians with ancestors from the British Isles. Khalid was born in London to Pakistani parents. They dated for 3 years before marrying in an autumn outdoor wedding. True to their artistic union and


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Cobb Life Brides 2013

varied backgrounds, they decided to mix their collective cultural influences into their nuptials. “We honored all the traditions from my culture,” Khalid said. Instead of a rehearsal dinner they celebrated a Mehndi, where the females from Justman’s family brought henna to the bride the night before the wedding.



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Pakistani custom also stipulates the bride play a trick on the groom before they marry. Khalid seized the occasion to don the best man, similar in height and weight to her, in a wig and traditional female dress - complete with veil covering his face - for a pre-wedding party. Justman had no idea that the “bride” who solemnly entered the room to dance for him wasn’t the one whose hand he’d asked for in marriage. He became unnerved as “her” dance moves grew progressively wilder and less G-rated. Eventually the veil came off and as he realized the joke the room exploded with laughter. There was more dancing when Justman paid tribute to his own heritage by dancing

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an Irish jig. Their wedding was mostly pure Americana but at the reception the bride wore a red dress and the groom donned a turban, per Pakistani tradition. A three-tiered cake, topped by an elephant figurine, was an aside to Khalid’s culture, where a groom’s family would often travel, usually by horse or elephant, long distances to meet the bride. Created by Miss Mamie’s in Marietta, the flavor of each tier of the cake represented their backgrounds and their Georgia home: peach basil, pistachio rose and Guinness. “It was perfect,” said Khalid of their wedding. “One of the best parts is that it was a group effort.”

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Mehndi is the night before the ceremony. Guests wear yellows, greens and oranges to symbolize the different shades of the henna (Mehndi), and henna is symbolically placed on the bride’s hands and feet. During Mehndi, the women place a spot of henna in the groom’s and bride’s hands and give them sweet treats. “All of this is to symbolize ‘may your lives be rich with color, and may your lives be sweet, never bitter,’” said Marium.


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{Lola & Akin Ogundipe} Smyrna residents | Married 9.1.2012

Lola and Akin Ogundipe had two separate ceremonies to reflect their American upbringing and African heritage. Above, the groom's family presents gifts to the brideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family and vice versa. Here, the bride's parents are receiving the offering. Top, the groom places the engagement ring on the bride's finger to signify a "re-proposal" in front of family and friends.


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It’s a small world after all Akin and Lola Ogundipe were married in 2012, yet both travelled halfway around the globe before meeting in Georgia, falling in love and settling in Smyrna. Lola Ajayi, 32, was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Nigerian parents. She spent her summers in West Africa as a child. Dr. Akin Ogundipe, 44, is a native New Yorker with a Nigerian father and a Ghanaian mother. He, too, spent time in Nigeria and has done a fair amount of globetrotting. The two did not know each other when their respective careers brought them to Georgia, but that would change. Four years ago, Ajayi modeled for Cobb Life in a

fashion article. Ogundipe saw the story and was intrigued, especially when he noticed that the model in the photos had a last name he recognized as distinctly Nigerian. He inquired about the young woman in the photographs, but every lead turned into a dead end. Then they ran into each other in a grocery store. He realized who she was and introduced himself. He also, very quickly, realized something else: a colleague was the brother of Ajayi’s fiancé. To his disappointment, the woman in the magazine was engaged to be married. They went their separate ways. They bumped into each other periodically for

By Therra C. Gwyn



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Lola and Akin Ogundipe had their second ceremony at Peachtree Christrian Church with a reception at the Intercontinental Buckhead hotel. Opposite page: Far right, the groom and his groomsmen lie flat on the floor in front of both sets of parents to show respect and gratitude for what they have done to bring the bride and groom together. Right, Lola and Akin at the reception.


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three years before once again meeting in the same grocery store, only this time circumstances were different. Ajayi was no longer engaged and Ogundipe asked her on a date. “It was definitely fate,” she said. When they decided to be married, they considered their very strong cultural ties. “We were both raised by Nigerian parents and they are very traditional. One of the things that attracted us to each other is that we both really love our parents and heritage, but we also have the American culture in common because we both grew up non-African,” explained Ajayi. They knew they would have to fit both worlds into their wedding plans. Their solution was a bit daunting: they had to have two weddings. The first wedding was on a Friday at the Smyrna Community Center, complete with native Nigerian dress, décor, food and music. Friends and family came from England, Africa, Canada, and Holland to attend the traditional services. “There was a lot of dancing, a lot of prayer,” said Ajayi. The next day they had what they dubbed their “All-American wedding,” complete with white wedding dress and modern cuisine. Although they had balked at first at the idea of planning two completely different weddings, they soon realized it was the right thing to do. Ajayi, now pregnant with the couple’s first child, reflected on that choice and smiled; “Looking back now, it was a very, very, good decision.”

156 Church Street Marietta, Ga. 30060

(770) 499-1700 Brides 2013 Cobb Life




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The bridal party and bride in traditional attire. At the ceremony, the bridal party dances into the venue and creates a circle around the bride to hide her until her big reveal. At that point, the bride begins to dance in joy.


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AP Photo, Lynn Barsigian Photography, Lynn Barsigian

Wedding guests are ready for a trip into a photo booth sponsored by Exceptional Receptions in Binghamton, New York. Couples are starting to include photo booths as an activity for the guests during wedding receptions. Wedding planners say the activities make the evening more fun.

reception raves Guests may enjoy games, contests, icebreakers at reception At Bernie and Jordan Hajovsky’s wedding reception, it was useful to know details about the happy couple: Guests had to answer questions about them before they could join the buffet line. The newlyweds hoped the trivia game and other activities would make the reception more memorable. “I really wanted people to walk away feeling they had been involved and that it was the most fun wedding reception they had ever attended,” said Jordan Hajovsky, of Austin, Texas. Games, contests and other icebreakers have become increasingly popular at wedding receptions, said Sarabeth Quattlebaum, spokeswoman for the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners, in Dallas. “Couples want a party atmosphere and have realized that the more guests mix and mingle, the more relaxed they’ll be,” said Quattlebaum, owner of Sarabeth Events in Keller, Texas. “This also adds a personal touch to their reception party.” Disc jockey Peter Merry says more and more couples are asking him to help organize reception activities, such as contests to win table centerpieces or asking guests to serenade the bride and groom with songs that include the word love in the

lyrics. Other couples are incorporating photo booths, where guests can have their pictures taken in silly hats and holding goofy props. With guests from different phases of their lives who may not know each other, brides and grooms want to provide opportunities to interact. “If you can break down any discomfort, guests will stay longer and have more fun on the dance floor,” said Merry, of Dallas, author of “The Best Wedding Reception Ever” (Sellers, 2010). DJ Jimmie Malone, who owns the company Exceptional Receptions in Binghamton, N.Y., encourages couples to include activities to set the tone and help balance the wedding’s “pomp and circumstance.” “It keeps guests engaged,” Malone said. Stephanie Goetz of Binghamton said the games at her 2011 wedding “helped break the ice. Between the different families and friends, the majority of people didn’t know each other. It was a lot of fun.” Malone sometimes leads guests through an elaborate game in which they must pass a drink, a set of car keys and a dollar By MELISSA KOSSLER DUTTON, Associated Press



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AP Photo/Peter Merry, WED, Jim Kennedy

A bride and groom playing a version of the "Newlywed Game," in Newport Beach, Calif. The bride and groom hold up their shoes in answer to questions like "Which of you is the better driver?" and "Which of you has the crazy family?" They are seated back to back so they cannot see each others' answers. bill around the table. He keeps the crowd laughing and guessing about what the items mean. At the end, he announces that the person holding the money is “$1 richer” and that the holder of the drink must serve as the table’s bartender for the evening. The person with the car keys? Malone tells them jokingly, “Congratulations you just won a new car.” The centerpiece goes to the “generous person” who donated the $1. If you can get guests “laughing early in the night, it sets the tone for the rest of the reception,” he said. At other receptions, he has organized a version of “Let’s Make a Deal,” rewarding guests who can produce an expired driver’s license or the oldest penny in the room. Of course, the games may not work for all the guests. “It’s very easy for people to duck out,” Malone said. “If a table chooses not to play,” it’s not a problem. Most times, the games help create a sense of camaraderie at the table where guests may not know one another, he said. Along with trivia, the Hajovskys arranged for an instructor to teach line dances. Jordan Hajovsky loved watching her new friends interact with her college friends and family. “It got everybody on the dance floor,” she recalled of her March 30 wedding. Quattlebaum likened the trend to decadesold traditions such as stealing the groom’s shoes at an Indian wedding, or lifting the bride and groom in chairs while dancing at a Jewish wedding. “These are all examples of wedding guests coming together as strangers and doing something to unite each one of them by working together toward a common goal or game,” she said.

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Brides 2013 Cobb Life




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{{{ V enues}}}

The Whitlock Inn 57 Whitlock Avenue, Marietta; 770.428.1495; One block from Marietta Square, this Victorian home features fragrant gardens, a spacious ballroom, and regal fireplaces.

PLACES TO SAY â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I DOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

The Brickyard at Marietta Station 129 Church Street, Marietta The open floor venue was originally constructed in 1920 in historic Marietta and features: barreled wooden ceilings, original brickwork, a main room, gallery, patio, dressing area and kitchen. Accommodates up to 200 people. Information: 678.404.0129,

The Conservatory at Waterstone 4849 N. Main Street, Acworth Historic building with brick walls in downtown Acworth includes two levels of large space for seating options and a covered balcony overlooking a garden; packages include catering from the Waterstone Grill. Information: 770.974.4899, The Vinings Club 2859 Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta Featuring a breathtaking view of the Atlanta skyline from the outdoor terrace and elegant ballroom. Information: 770.431.9166, www.

Grande at Kennesaw 3030 North Main Street, Kennesaw An open structured, Victorian-style home with a ballroom and gardens. The florist, chef, wedding coordinator, disc jockey, videographer and photographer all work out of the venue. Information: 770.514.8524,

The Pavillion of East Cobb 736 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta Over 5,000 square feet of outdoor space, including a custom built deck with landscaping and outdoor seating. Also features a free-flowing ballroom with a 50-foot portico, 6-foot antique chandelier and large dance floor. Their catering company, Avenue Catering Concepts, has also won over 3-dozen industry and hospitality awards. Information: 770.578.1110, Hollycrest Hall 2235 Sewell Mill Road, Marietta Features hardwood floors, antique furniture and oriental rugs. The ballroom has

floor-to-ceiling windows. Information: 770.565.4146,

Marietta Country Club 1400 Marietta Country Club Dr., Kennesaw With a breathtaking view of Kennesaw Mountain, the Marietta Country Club provides a ballroom, veranda, and in-house catering. Ceremony space is available both indoor and outdoor overlooking the golf course. Accomodates up to 500. Information: 770.426.1808; Olde Towne Athletic Club 4950 Olde Towne Parkway, Marietta The Olde Towne Athletic Club in Marietta has exquisite cuisine provided by Chef Bill Flanagan and an in-house culinary staff responsible for everything from ice sculptures to fresh flowers. The venue also includes a tented ballroom and a sleek clubhouse. Information: 770.578.9901;



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Log Cabin Community Church 2699 Log Cabin Drive, Smyrna This charming chapel in Smyrna has a beautiful stone structure that was built in 1949 and hosts weddings that can be held inside or near the memorial garden on the grounds. Log Cabin also provides a brideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s suite. Information: 404.351.1912, The Marlow House 192 Church St., Marietta This 1887 Victorian home features a grand entrance with a winding staircase, a courtyard with a gazebo and fountain, and a covered back deck. Packages can include caterer, photographer, minister, flowers, tables, wedding cake, videographer and live music. Information: 770.426.1887, Cedar Plantation 4610 Northside Drive, Acworth Built in 1850, this mansion features gardens, a huge magnolia tree and a front porch with wrought iron tables and chairs; the home features 28-foot ceilings, a large crystal chandelier, three fireplaces and a grand staircase. Accomodates 300 for reception, 125 for sit-down dinner. Services provided includes catering, cake, flowers, music, and servers. Must use on-site caterer. Information: 770.917.0067, The Marietta/Cobb Art Museum 30 Atlanta Street SE, Marietta The museum makes an ideal venue for weddings with its spacious, elegant and picturesque setting. The Carriage House Events Management is the exclusive event coordinator for the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art. Information: 770.528.1444,

Cobb Galleria Centre 2 Galleria Parkway, Atlanta The Cobb Galleria offers an elegant and uptown feel for a wedding that includes in-house catering, personal wedding coordinators and white-glove services. The John A. Williams Ballroom and The Gallery are at high demand at the Galleria, and the rooms are great for receptions or weddings. Information: 770.955.8000,

111 Davis Road | Stockbridge, GA 30281 | (770) 389-5982 Brides 2013 Cobb Life




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{{{ V enues}}}

Gardens at Kennesaw Mountain 1127 White Circle NW, Marietta The Gardens at Kennesaw Mountain offers a variety of unique wedding packages, and Parsleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s award-winning culinary team can also accommodate plated dinners, rehearsal dinners and customized menus. Information: 770.396.5361, Brookstone Golf and Country Club 5705 Brookstone Dr. Acworth Brookstone Golf & Country Club offers a variety of indoor and outdoor event space to suit your needs, including beautifully landscaped croquet lawn for wedding and vow renewal ceremonies, elegant ballroom for receptions and their experienced, on-site catering and event specialists. Information: 770.425.8500 or

Pinetree Country Club 3400 McCollum Pkwy, Kennesaw Pinetree Country Club offers 27,000 square foot of their clubhouse that includes a spacious ballroom and a full service gourmet, private restraint, The Playerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club. The clubhouse also offers a variety of wedding reception packages which are listed on their website. Information: 770.422.5902, Indian Hills Country Club 4001 Clubland Drive, Marietta Indian Hills offer their beautifully landscaped grounds and elegant clubhouse with a variety of wedding packages available. They also have an array of vendors available: photography, videography, floral arrangements, entertainment and much more. Information: 770.971.2605,

Marietta Educational Garden Center 505 Kennesaw Avenue NW, Marietta Enchanting antebellum home with gazebo in garden and the first floor of the home which is decorated with exquisite, period antiques and rugs. Information: 770.427.3494,

The Georgian Club 100 Galleria Parkway SE, Atlanta The Georgian Club offers floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of Atlanta, Buckhead and Stone Mountain. They have a variety of reception packages and ceremonies can be held outdoors in the Galleria Gardens just adjacent to the club. The Gardens include a 20-foot cascading waterfall and bell tower and can seat 200 guests. Information: 770.952.6000,

Smith Gilbert Gardens 2382 Pine Mountain Rd., Kennesaw Strolling through the gardens, guests enjoy a distinctive blend of sculpture, history and plantings in 16 acres of botanical gardens including a rose garden. Information: 770.919.0248,

The Strand Theatre 117 North Park Square, Marietta This 1935 Art Deco theatre was renovated and reopened in 2009; the auditorium seats 531 and features a projector, movie screen, stage, orchestra pit and 4 dressing rooms back stage. Information: 770.293.0080,



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The do-over

Five things this Southern belle would change about her wedding day BY CARLA BARNES

Carla and Doug Barnes on their wedding day.

n my early twenties, I worshipped at the church of the Southern belle. I think that explains a lot about why I simply love Maryln Schwartz’s book “A Southern Belle Primer, Or Why Princess Margaret Will Never Be a Kappa Kappa Gamma.” In it she humorously addresses many of the things in our culture we hold dear and, of course, nothing is steeped more in tradition than a Southern wedding. One of my favorite sections, “The Twelve Patterns of the Southern Silver Zodiac,” delves into the type of Southern belle you are based on the sterling silver pattern you select as a bride-to-be. The ornamentation or lack of pattern can reveal everything from a shy belle to a rebellious belle. (Make sure to refer to the section that warns against belles who select acorns.) It is no surprise that I chose Towle’s Old Master. According to the book, the woman who chooses this pattern has spirit, but maintains a sense of tradition. And while this perfectly describes who I am there is a part of me who wishes for a do-over in regards to some of the choices I made for my wedding day 16 years ago to my husband, Doug. Call this a woman’s version of Monday morning quarterbacking, because after all if you marry only once it is our version of the Super Bowl and a ring is included. I actually chose my wedding gown four years before I got married in it. I was at a trunk show and it took exactly 30 minutes to pick the dress that would make its debut at the annual Charity League of Albany’s Debutante Ball. Another something “old” was my mother’s lace-trimmed mantilla she wore to marry my father back in 1970. With two essential items in hand, of course I could not leave well enough alone and check them off the list. I insisted on having the gown’s poufy sleeves (think Princess Diana) tailored to a simpler design and put a headband on the mantilla instead of using its attached comb. My do-over in this circumstance would have been to resist the need to make alterations for the sake of alterations. I should have been focused on finding fabulous shoes. Today I would choose to make my something “new” and “blue” – my shoes. They would be rich, beautiful blue – almost turquoise – and feature buckles covered in pearls and crystals. I also should have allowed my bridesmaids to pick their own style of dresses and shoes. They are the women I would trust with my life – certainly they could have picked an appropriate gown and shoes that would not have left them blisters to remember the day by. I chose 6:30 p.m. September 14, 1996, as kickoff for our wedding festivities. The only trouble with this is that the real game time was over in South Carolina where my beloved Georgia was playing football. The groom most certainly loved me because he enjoyed only stolen moments with a pocket-sized radio and he did not balk at having to wear white pique and a tux that made him look like lord of the manor. He




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did, however, refuse to wear white gloves. This do-over would be to depart from the rules of etiquette and let the man wear what he wanted. I am proud to report that I have since stopped trying to make him over into a more glamorous version of himself. The biggest do-over of the day I offer on behalf of those who will remain anonymous in carrying out what I now consider a bridezilla-esque task. As part of the wedding day décor I insisted on having two verdigris stone bunnies with floral wreaths around their necks placed at the front entrance of Radium Springs Casino where our reception was held. I never heard their whimpers that day and I am quite embarrassed at what negative feelings they may have about garden statuary today. All in all it was a lovely wedding. My changes are simply those that would have allowed more spirit to shine through the formality. Before I sell myself short in this department – the father-daughter dance was certainly unexpected. When the band jammed to “Soul Man” made famous by the Blues Brothers everyone erupted with laughter. A friend said afterward, “Your dad must be crazy.” I just giggled because it was clear I had captured that something “special” – the spirit of a Southern wedding. Even then I knew it was one thing I would never want to do over. Brides 2013 Cobb Life




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pa rting s ho t East Cobb residents Ben and Denise Bengtson were married at Montaluce Winery in Dahlonega on Sept. 18, 2011. “For our wedding at Montaluce, everything was beautiful — the venue, the scenery, the bride and the photos,” said Ben. Photo by Slavik Photography



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Cobb Life Brides 2013