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West Georgia

LiVing Jan. / Feb. 2018

Life . Art . Music . People

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January/ February

Features 21


West Georgia has lots of wedding venues for a storybook day.



A trusted photographer can capture those very special moments.

You’re engaged. But now what? Here’s a planning guide for your special day.

PLUS Local couples staying together. - 40 The wedding Momzilla moment - 46 When you want a friend to officiate - 50 Unscripted photos capture a special day - 54

4 West Georgia Living January/February 2018


A local jeweler can craft wedding jewelry as unique as your love story.


A bride shares her story from beginning to end.

On the Cover: Shawn and Meghan Webb celebrate after their wedding in October, 2016. Photograph by Ricky Stilley.

Come By and Visit Us!

Well, It’s been another cold winter, here for just a little while longer they say, but Spring is really coming, so let’s get our yard and garden ready now that spring is on its way!

Whether you vegetable garden, flower garden, or just love having a beautiful yard, it starts with good soil. The # 1 secret to successful growing is knowing if the PH level is correct and you are providing the proper nutrients. • Have your soil tested to determine what’s needed, lime, fertilizer or specific nutrients, Test your soil at least once a year, ideally in the fall or at least two months before any planting. • Observe the location conditions, morning or afternoon sun, full sun, partial shade, ease of watering, well drained but not too dry, free of rocks, and sunny. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of growing fresh vegetables in your own backyard. • The fun part is deciding what vegetables you would like to grow and eat! Use the vegetable chart below to help decide type, when, and how to plant. Keep this chart for future reference Vegetable type Asparagus Beans, Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Lima Beets Broccoli Cabbage Cantaloupe Carrots Cauliflower Collard Corn Cucumbers Eggplant Kale Lettuce Mustard Okra Onions Peas, Garden Peas, Southern Peppers Potatoes, Irish Potatoes, Sweet Radishes Spinach Squash (Bush) Squash (Winter) Tomatoes Turnip Watermelons

When to plant vegetable seed

Distance in ft. between rows (garden tractor cultivation)

Distance in ft. between rows (hand cultivation)

Distance in inches between plants or hills in row

January 15 to March 15 4-5 3-4 April 1 to May 1 3 2 April 1 to May 1 4 4 April 1 to June 1 3-3 1/2 2-2 1/2 February 15 to April 1 2 1/2 -3 1-2 February 15 to March 15 2 1/2-3 2-3 January 15 to March 15 3 2-2 1/2 March 25 - April 20 5 3-4 January 15 - March 20 2 1/2 -3 1-2 March 1 to April 1 3 2 - 2 1/2 February 1 to March 10 3 2-3 March 12 - June 1 3 2-3 April 1 to May 15 5 3-4 April 1 to May 15 3 2-3 February 1 to March 10 3 1 1/2 -2 January 15 to March 1 2-3 1 1/2 January 15 to April 1 2-3 1-2 April 1 to June 1 3 2-3 January 1 to March 15 2-3 1-2 January 15 to February 15 3 2-3 April 1 to August 1 3 2-3 April 1 to June 1 3 2-3 January 1 to March 1 3 2 1/2 -3 April 15 to June 15 3 2 1/2 -3 January 15 to April 1 2-3 1-1 1/2 January 15 to March 15 2-3 1 1/2 -2 April 1 to May 15 5 3-5 April 1 to August 1 5 3-5 March 25 to May 1 3-5 2 1/2 -3 January 15 to April 1 2 1/2 - 3 1 1/2 - 2 March 20 to May 1 6 4-5 Note: Planting Dates in this chart are appropriate for MIDDLE Georgia.

18 3-6 36-48 12-18 4-6 15-18 18 36-48 3-4 18 18-24 8-9 36-48 24 8-10 8-10 4-6 18-24 3-4 1-3 1-3 18 12 12 2-3 4-8 36-60 36-60 30-36 4-6 36-72

Southern Home & R Ranch Garden Center is getting ready for a wonderful year of gardening and growing, in addition we are now w your local re and pasture Southern States brand independent dealer. We carry a wide selection of the best lawn and garden products along with pond care products, from names you know and trust. Come on by, we can help, talk with our knowledgeable staff, bring your ideas and questions, they will be happy to help you with your gardening, yard, pasture and farming needs, hope to see you soon, your friends at Southern Home & Ranch Garden Center.




West Georgia

Li Ving Volume 8 . Issue 1 Jan. / Feb. 2018 Publisher Marvin Enderle

Editor Ken Denney

Advertising Melissa Wilson

Photographer Ricky Stilley

Design Richard Swihart

Contributors Kitty Barr, Taylor Boltz, Melanie Boyd, Angel Bullington, Robert C. Covel, Jessica Gallagher, Mimi Gentry, Sunny Kirby, Erin McSwainDavis, Josh Sewell, Molly Stassfort, Marilyn Van Pelt, Haisten Willis.

ABOUT THIS ISSUE Taylor Boltz gets us started with an in-depth review of what every couple should do when Our photographer Ricky Stilley takes us to they are planning a wedding - from choosing some of the weddings he has photographed, where he captured those small, intimate the dress to getting a marriage certificate. events that make such a day so special. Then we look at some practical tips for And there’s more inside this issue, such as choosing a photographer - from an actual a profile of an artist who makes scrap metal wedding photographer. We also take a look his media. And we review a book by a west at some west Georgia jewelers who create custom wedding jewelry, and review some of Georgia author who tells the tale of a vagabond’s life. our regions best wedding venues.

Submissions, photography and ideas may be submitted to Ken Denney c/o The Times-Georgian, 901 Hays Mill Rd., Carrollton, GA 30117.

Departments A R T I S T' S C O R N E R


Direct mail subscriptions to West Georgia Living are available for $24 a year.


6 West Georgia Living January/February 2018


Who knew welding could be an art form?


Wedding foods that can be served year-round


Nothing says love like flowers


Wedding movies come in all tastes


Vagabond Blue - Riding the Rails and Hobo Trails


Submissions will not be returned unless requested and accompanied with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. West Georgia Living reserves the right to edit any submission.

Copyright 2018 by the Times-Georgian

We’d like to thank our readers and sponsors for our continued success. This issue marks the beginning of our eighth year of serving our community, bringing you the stories of our unique region. So, happy anniversary to us - and happy anniversary to all who will be celebrating their happy marriages during this year.

Erin McSwain-Davis takes us behind the scenes of her own wedding, from the day of the engagement to the date of the ceremony. We also profile some couples who have found the secret to staying together, whether it be for one year, 10 years, 26 years or even 76 years.

To advertise in West Georgia Living, call Melissa Wilson at 470-729-3237. West Georgia Living is a bi-monthly publication of the Newspapers of West Georgia.

We also have some special meals for special days - not necessarily for a wedding. These are winter comfort foods, just the thing for a close family event.

Welocme to our wedding issue - your one stop shop for ideas and information for any couple’s most special day.


You start the year with the best intentions. But within a few months — or a few weeks — those resolutions drop by the wayside. Alan Lakein, the author of several self-help books published in the 1970s, said that “failing to plan is planning to fail.” We are often unsuccessful because we’ve not taken the precautions necessary to succeed. New Year’s resolutions are often the embodiment of this. We

increase your intake of water. Look up recipes online for healthy dishes you can start learning to prepare (a lot of healthy recipes can be found for free in Tanner’s online Health Library, under the Get Healthy, Live Well tab at  Chart Your Progress. Use a graph to monitor your weight.

think, come Jan. 1, that everything will just fall in place. We’ll wake up, maybe pop a couple of ibuprofen to dispense with the previous evening’s festivities, and begin the work of remaking

Losing weight is a slow process, and having a visual representation of how far you’ve come (aside from the notches you’re moving up in your belt), you’ll be motivated

ourselves to be a better, healthier, happier person.

to keep going. How often you chart your weight is up to you, but keeping track helps keep you accountable and can help keep you moving in the right direction. And if you don’t feel

“This year will be different,” you tell yourself. And with a little preparation, it might actually be. Losing weight is the goal that helps gyms sell tons of seldomused memberships every year. It’s essential to get ready now to make the most of your renewed passion for this goal.  Plan Ahead. It’s hard to strap on your running shoes first thing on Jan. 1 — especially if you don’t actually have a pair of running shoes (or any other cold-weather workout clothing for that matter). Dig through your closet for your running shoes and make sure they still fit comfortably.  Know Your Goals. You keep yourself accountable by setting goals that are specific, realistic — and forgiving. Don’t plan to “exercise regularly”; plan to exercise for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Know how much weight you want to lose and how long it should take you, anticipating an average weight loss of two pounds per week. And if you stall or don’t hit your goals, don’t beat yourself up. You’ll get there eventually.  Change Your Diet Now. Your diet should not be a temporary fad, like cutting out all carbs or eating only raw veggies. It should be sustainable and healthy. Now’s the time to start making the changes so that you’re dietary habits are ready for Jan. 1. Go ahead and cut out the sugary beverages and

like breaking out the graph paper and a ruler, there are plenty of free apps for your smartphone that will do the charting for you; just download and start logging your weight.  Learn All You Can. Visit and find tons of information about ways you can start battling the bulge. Take the time to go ahead and sign up for a free class to help you learn to focus on your health, or find a free health education event nearby. You’ll find information and motivation.  Make Time to Unwind. One reason resolutions don’t stick is because we tend to lose sight of them with everything else going on. Yoga, meditation and the Chinese martial art of Tai Chi can help you keep your health in focus. Get Healthy, Live Well’s Tai Chi for Health program can help you keep your healthy weight in perspective and let you find plenty of other positive people who share your priorities. Need more advice on achieving a healthier weight? Check out for upcoming classes and events, health information, success stories and more to keep you going on your journey all year long!


ou’d think the world would have had enough of silly love songs – but no. Romance has been the theme of popular music since time began. Even songs about heartbreak are love songs turned sideways. Love songs are with us always – when we are in love, when we are out of love, when we wish we had love, and when we wish we weren’t in love. Just as human relationships run the gamut of human emotions, some love song has been written somewhere to match each of the complicated feelings evoked by love. And this is true no matter what genre of music, or what era. Love songs have been popular for centuries. “Greensleeves” is a song written sometime in the 1500s, and it’s about a guy complaining about a love who has cast him off “discourteously.” As such, it’s a song about rejection, and that’s a theme that modern songwriters like Adele and Taylor Swift explore endlessly. Love songs express feelings that human beings long to articulate when ordinary words fail. They tell of the joy of love, the pain of love, the regret of love, the absence of love. They speak of regret, of anger, of passion, and of happiness and sadness. Nothing but a love song can carry you home from a terrific first date, nothing but a love song can console your broken heart. And if you think that love songs are, in fact, silly, then you should consider that throughout our history, love songs have reflected changes in society. There’s a music historian named Ted Giola who has written a book called “Love Songs: The Hidden History.” He says that the evolution of the love song over the years has reflected our “growing sense of individualism and personal autonomy.” That’s a professorial way of saying that love songs – which are often about unrequited love, or feelings that cannot be expressed for some reason – are another way of expressing a desire for freedom. Yes, freedom to share your love, but 8 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

Music is more than silly little love songs also the desire to break through the conventions that prevent that sharing. Because love songs are usually written by the passionate young, they are often about their desire to challenge the norms that present obstacles to desires. When you think about the songs of the Sixties (we’re talkin’ bout my generation), the love tunes of that era were about breaking down the uptight rules of The Man – and that meant all his rules, from how long you should wear your hair to how far you could go on a first date. But if you go looking for social themes in love songs, you are probably looking a little too closely. Love songs are, in essence, poems written with music that evoke specific emotions, whether those are happy or sad. If they have any cultural component, then that’s incidental. Yet there is discordant trend emerging in more recent love songs that probably should be commented on. Modern songs are not so much about “love” as an emotion as they are about a transactional, short-term experience in which the word “love” is a metaphor for a purely physical act. You know what I mean. I think there might be something to the idea that modern love songs don’t engage the actual emotion of love - that intense feeling that hits you in your gut and causes you to lose sleep. This may be happening not because that feeling doesn’t still exist, but because our society has learned to mistrust such intense feelings. Love is a powerful feeling and it is risky business, and we are a society that has become averse to risk. We don’t like to enter into any endeavor unless we feel there is a better-than-average chance of winning. That’s why it’s easier, to some, to focus on the physical and de-emphasize the emotional.


If you look at the lyrics for a lot of songs nowadays, you’ll see a distinct lack of such words as “romance,” and a lot more references to guns, cars and money. You’ll also see a lot of disrespectful words directed at women. If this represents a cultural trend, like Giola suggests, then it doesn’t bode well. We need to think higher than our base primal urges. Our current “hook-up” society reduces the people we are hooking up with to mere physical beings; it doesn’t encourage us to respect them as people of feeling and of intelligence. And it doesn’t challenge us to meet those people in all their complexity, to revel in the discovery of the universe that exists in the body and soul of another person. In 2008, Beyoncé wrote “Single Ladies,” addressed to a man who refused to marry his lover – or, as she put it, to “put a ring on it.” Refusal to commit is a long-standing theme of even classic love songs, but the Queen B’s version, written in the 21st century, seems more like a goodbye song to the idea of commitment itself. Love songs of the past, even those sung in the radical sixties, address feelings that many people today seem unable even to imagine: a long-term (if not forever) commitment to another soul who fills in the gaps of our own hearts, and who challenges us to be better than we are. Whether people still believe in love, love still exists. Even those who flit between short-term relationships that sizzle then crash, still feel the pain of loneliness. Those who find themselves still hooked up after the first connection are exploring love, whether they know it or not. Love, hurt, joy, dejection are eternal feelings of the human soul. So, maybe old-time love songs are silly, but what’s wrong with that? I’d like to know, because we need them – now, more than ever. WGL


Wedding movies for all tastes

ovies about weddings have been popular since the medium became a form of mass entertainment. They’re inherently romantic and drama is baked into the formula since the big day – as well as the weeks leading up to it – are so fraught with tension. There are hundreds to choose from and each generation has its favorites. Here are just a few of mine, though the list is far from exhaustive.


“It Happened One Night” (1934) Many critics consider this beloved classic the granddaddy of the romantic comedy genre. Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert shine as a jaded reporter and spoiled heiress trying to reunite with her new groom. The two initially can’t stand each other but find themselves falling in love on a disastrous road trip. Aside from a few unfortunate moments of racism and misogyny (signs of the times), the film holds up remarkably well 83 years later.

“Bringing Up Baby” (1938) and “The Philadelphia Story” (1940) I couldn’t make up my mind which Cary Grant/Katharine Hepburn pairing to include on this list, so I cheated and chose both. The first is a delightful screwball comedy about a professor (Grant) who is about to marry his snobbish assistant, until he crosses paths with a flighty heiress (Hepburn) who holds his career in her hands. The second reunites the charismatic pair and throws in Jimmy Stewart (at the

Elizabeth Taylor, “Father of the Bride,” 1950, Metro-Goldwin Mayer. height of his charm) for good measure. This time around, Hepburn’s character is getting ready to marry a boring businessman when her ex-husband (Grant) arrives with a reporter (Stewart) to cause trouble. Both movies are fantastic reminders of old Hollywood.


“Father of the Bride” (1950/1991) Take your pick: either the original with Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor, or the charming remake starring Steve Martin, Diane Keaton and the adorable Kimberly Williams (who has been married to country singer Brad Paisley since 2003). Both are solid choices. I’ve heard rumors about a third installment of the Martin version for years, especially in this era in which West Georgia Living January/February 2018 9

Kimberly Williams, Steve Martin; “Father of the Bride, 1991, Touchstone Pictures.

“The Godfather,” 1972, Paramount Pictures.

everything’s a franchise, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. He seems content focusing on his bluegrass career right now.

“The Godfather” (1972) I’ll admit this one’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s got one of the most legendary wedding receptions in film history. Plus, there’s Marlon Brando delivering that iconic line: “… instead, you come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married, and you ask me to do murder for money.” Come on! There’s no way that’s not making my list.

“The Princess Bride” (1987) The achingly beautiful story of Westley (Cary Elwes) and Buttercup (Robin Wright), who fall in love but find themselves separated by fate before they can marry. Instead, she finds herself engaged to the evil Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). Westley races to stop the wedding with the help of two new friends, swordsman Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and the enormous Fezzik (Andre the Giant). Filled with romance, humor and adventure, this movie remains just as powerful three decades later. 10 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

“My Best Friend’s Wedding” (1997) and “Runaway Bride” (1999)

Look at that – I cheated again. The first entry features Julia Roberts cementing her status as queen of the romcom in wickedly subversive fashion. I recently watched the movie again for the first time in ages and I forgot how fearless it is in depicting Roberts’ character as the villain. Delightful supporting performances from Cameron Diaz and Rupert Everett (remember him?), as well as that famous sing-along, make this one worth revisiting. The latter movie isn’t nearly as strong, but it’s still a charming reunion of “Pretty Woman” collaborators Roberts, Richard Gere and director Garry

Marshall. This time, viewers get to see Gere act a little crazy instead of being the stoic guy he was in the movie that made Roberts a household name.

“The Wedding Singer” (1998) This sweet piece of 1980s nostalgia, made at the peak of Adam Sandler’s stardom, is still one of the best movies he ever made. His chemistry with Drew Barrymore is swooninducing and there’s a ton of fantastic music. Plus, how often do you get to see Billy Idol as a delightful wingman? (Unless I’m mistaken, the answer is just this once.)

Cary Elwes, Robin Wright; “The Princess Bride,” 1987, 20th Century Fox.

“Wedding Crashers” (2005)

The 2000s ushered in a string of successful raunchy romcoms, which maintained the genre’s sappy center, but also threw in f-bombs, crude jokes and lots of sex. This box office smash starring Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Rachel McAdams is one of the most memorable, thanks to actors who simultaneously evoke laughter in practically every scene - but who also understand there are real emotions involved for these characters.

“Bridesmaids,” 2011, Universal Pictures.

“The Hangover” (2009) Okay, this one isn’t quite as sappy as the previous entry, but it still takes the friendship of the Wolf Pack (played by Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha) seriously. I can still remember watching it in a theater on opening night, laughing so hard that I literally thought I was going to pass out. It’s too bad they never made any sequels. Nope.

Never happened. I don’t care what IMDb says.

“Bridesmaids” (2011) This popular comedy from the underrated Paul Feig proved that women can be just as crude as men. Kristen Wiig (who co-wrote the screenplay with Annie Mumolo) plays a woman who finds her life falling apart just

as she agrees to be a bridesmaid for her best friend (Maya Rudolph). Everyone in the cast earns huge laughs, but it was Melissa McCarthy who emerged from the film as a superstar and received a well-deserved Best Supporting Actress nomination. It’s a feat I’m hoping will serve as a precedent for Tiffany Haddish, who delivered a similarly fearless, hilarious performance in last summer’s “Girls Trip.” WGL

West Georgia Living January/February 2018 11


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We’re ENGAGED! Now what?


ell, you have the ring and are officially engaged! Celebrations are definitely in order, so take time to revel in this moment, because from here on out, it’s planning time. That can become a stressful situation for you, your partner, and anyone else who might be around you. But with a little forethought, your wedding planning can be easier. If you and your intended have a crazy busy schedule, or if you just want to turn your stress over to someone who’s seen everything, a professional wedding planner may be the way to go. But a planner isn’t necessary, and the expense of hiring a pro might actually add to your stress. Going it alone means making a checklist, one that includes strict spending rules that cater only to you and your honey’s needs. So

Wedding planning made easy let’s start by talking money.

Financing Whether it’s you, your fiancé, or your parents, somebody is going to be paying for this wedding. That conversation needs to happen sooner than later, because without a budget the planning has no traction. If your parents are paying, discuss with them what number they have in their heads, then stick to that figure as close as possible. If you and your fiancé are bankrolling the show, it’s time to get real about what is doable. Both of you have to understand each other’s financial situation, because – good or bad – you are about to take on each others’


financial burdens. What are your monthly expenses? The cost of a wedding has to factor in what you’re already obligated to pay for rent/mortgage, utilities/HOA, and credit card or auto payments. You could finance the wedding with a personal loan. With good credit you might not need collateral; with bad credit, you could be asked to borrow against your house, 401K or some other collateral. Therefore, a loan might not be the best option, even though weddings can cost anywhere from $19,000 to $32,000. If you do decide to finance, do your research and talk to lenders, just like any loan.

Wedding party Organizing your wedding party is part of your budget plans; the more groomsmen or bridesmaids, the more expense. West Georgia Living January/February 2018 13

The number of groomsmen and bridesmaids can range from one person for each side of the couple, to 10 or more. But no matter the number, the best advice is to pick people who will de-stress your wedding, or who can give good advice or help with decisions.

Kesha Wimpey tries on a wedding dress, helped by Betsi Strain of Simple Elegance Bridal and Formal Wear.

According to online sources, here are just a few of the best flowers for certain times of year: Winter: Anemones, Amaryllis, Dusty Miller (filler flower), Gladiolus, Lily of the Valley, Lisianthus, Paperwhite Narcissus, Ranunculus, Scabiosas, Silver Brunia Balls, and Star of Bethlehem


Spring: Peonies, Roses, Sweet Peas, Lilacs, Ranunculus, Hydrangea, Tulips, Calla Lilies, Gerbera Daisies, and Magnolias.

As to whom to invite, that is down to personal preference, and that changes from family to family. Like small wedding parties, small wedding guest lists are a lot less expensive in terms of ceremony and reception space. In terms of whom to invite, it’s very easy: whoever you want. Family, friends, co-workers, people you met on the street the day before — you’ll just have to pay for the space.

Venue Decide as soon as possible when you want to get married. Save-the-date notices typically go out about 10 to 7 months before the wedding, so if you decide on a short engagement get them out ASAP. But there are other considerations in choosing the date, starting with where the 14 West Georgia Living January/February 20

Flowers With a budget, wedding party, guest list, date and venue set, now it’s time for flowers. These are seasonal, so that’s why you choose them after picking the date.

Smaller wedding parties tend to be able to do more and have fewer complications. The size of the wedding party also impacts budgets – yours and theirs. There are things they pay for (dress, any bridal showers, gifts and last party) and things you would pay for, including small gifts for being in the wedding party, accessories, styling on the big day, transportation to the wedding and hotel rooms. Needless to say, 10 people in the wedding party racks up a higher bill than three.

Typically, receptions also have food and beverage, so that’s another factor. Many times, couples start with their closest family members, then branch out to their extended relations. After that, other people you would feel bad for not inviting. A lot of times, your parents might want to invite people on the fringes, like that babysitter you had when you were seven. Let them, if that’s what you and your fiancé want – just remember, at the end of the day it’s your wedding and your budget.

be less expensive, as can winter weddings, as neither of those are the peak day or season.

Summer: Cosmos, Orchids, Spider Mums, Hydrangeas, Roses, Calla Lilies, Gerbera Daisies, Peonies, Lilies, Poppies, Dahlias, Freesias, Delphinums, Lavender, Alstromeria, Gardenias and Stephanotis. Fall: Asiatic Lily, Asters, Calla Lilies, Chrysanthemums, Dahlias, Gerbera Daisies, Gladioli, Marigolds, Roses, Sunflowers, and Zinnas. ceremony will be. If you want a religious ceremony in a sacred space, and with a specific officiant (pastor, minister, rabbi) maybe that place is not available some days, or the officiant frequently travels. This actually could make your decision easier, not harder. Barns and other outdoor venues have become increasingly popular in recent years, both for ceremonies and receptions, and those venues tend to book up quite quickly. It’s important to do your research about places and the atmosphere you both want for ceremony and reception, as some places have both together. recommends setting the date before looking for locations, because time of year and day of the week play a huge role into availability. Sunday weddings can

Filler flowers for bulking up bouquets and centerpieces: Queen Anne’s Lace, Solidago, Waxflower, Limonium, Montecasino Aster, Statice Sinuata, Gypsophila, and Hypericum. Flowers available year round: Alstroemeria, Calla Lilies, Carnations, Craspedias (Billy Ball), Daisies, Gerber Daisies, Delphiniums, Hydrangeas, Lilies, Lisianthus, Mums, Orchids, Garden Roses, Spray Roses, Snapdragons, Stephanotis, Stock, Succulents, Thistles, Veronicas Granted, there are so many types of flowers in the world, and some only grow in certain areas of the United States. In addition, prices vary dramatically between the different flowers, so it is important that you inquire well in advance for pricing and availability. Flowers also offer assistance

when picking colors.

Betsi Strain of Simple Elegance Bridal and Formal Wear.


Vineyard – Natural elements. These weddings focus on food and wine. They definitely include a sit-down dinner. Formal or informal, vineyard weddings mix rusticity with elegance for a stylish event. Typically outdoors, there are often elements from the surrounding landscape in this kind of wedding—people find burlap and lace to be a common design trend at this theme wedding.

And that leads us to the next big decision: what kind of wedding do you want? The colors and styles of the season can help you choose from several themes: Traditional - Very formal and involved. Usually a nice, sit-down dinner occurs at the reception and the dress is a classic cut. Tuxedos for men and a very large wedding party are also common occurrences. Professional wedding photos, cake cutting, father-daughter/ mother-son dances, speeches, first dance, and bouquet toss are all expected events at a traditional wedding. Contemporary / Elegant – Formality, with contemporary twists. This can be anything from slight deviations in either dress, design (whether event design or invitation design), venue, or all of the above. Wedding parties in Contemporary and Elegant Weddings are typically smaller, but include a good number of people.

weddings as cocktail weddings, where jazz music, photo booths, and antique cars and venue are all included.

Vintage – Reminiscent of earlier decades. Clothing choices, hair, makeup, venue, and design can all pull from a vintage theme. Mostly formal occasions, vintage themes can pick and choose from traditional aspects. Some people think of vintage

Rustic – the country life. Wood, metal and natural flower arrangements (often including wildflowers) are common elements. They may take place inside barns or outdoors under trees, and the reception is usually held in the same area as the ceremony. Typically more informal, the wedding party is usually smaller and the reception might not have a sit-down dinner. Bohemian – Romantic and natural. Similar to the Rustic and Vineyard themes,

These sliders were prepared by the Little Hawaiian restaurant in Carrollton, which caters many events, especially weddings.

West Georgia Living January/February 2018 15

the elegance here tends to be slightly higher in terms of decor, venue, and formality of ceremony. These weddings also include a natural element, whether it be an outdoor location or lots of green decor. Bohemian weddings appreciate the relaxed and comfortable aspects.

hourglass, banana shapes and petites. Not so good for pears and apple shapes.

Rhonda Brown of Price’s Florist in Carrollton prepares wedding flowers.

Beach weddings – Relaxed and informal. The ceremony usually occurs on the beach and a reception follows in a nearby space. The couple typically wears sandals or no shoes; same with guests and the wedding party—if any. These are usually considered destination weddings, where couples opt to have a handful of people instead of a massive guest list.

Mermaid: Flairs out close to the knee and fitted from the chest down. This is good for slender bodies and hourglass shapes who want to show off any curves. Sheath: Narrow and flows straight. Good for petites, hourglasses, and bananas. Tends to show extra inches and be unflattering.

brides and bridesmaids: Ballgown: Fitted bodice, flairs at waist, full skirt. Typically not good for petites, but great for pear shapes as it hides lower body.

Dress The theme of the wedding is going to be key in figuring out what the bride will wear. There are many traditional dress cuts for

A-Line: Good for all body types, as it is fitted at the waist and flows to the ground. Trumpet: Fitted through body and flairs mid-thigh. Good for small waists like R egis


T oda y

Tea-Length: Good for all body types as it hits between ankle and knee. Mini: Good for banana shapes as it falls above the knee. Not good for plus-sizes. Empire: Cut high and flows down straight Some neckline styles are: Sweetheart, Straight across, Asymmetric (usually has one strap), Semi Sweetheart (does not come



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up as high on the chest as the Sweetheart), Queen Ann (covers the shoulders), Off The Shoulder, Jewel, Boat Neck, Halter, or High Neck.

There are also three different ways to serve food, as mentioned briefly above:

Some style words to know to make shopping easier: Elegant, Modern, Vintage, Fun, Bohemian, Romantic, Glamorous, Classic, Sassy, and Chic. By keeping these words and what kind of style you want for your wedding in mind, the wide array of dresses starts to narrow, making it easier for you to decide what will all tie together nicely on the big day. In terms of pricing and where to go, brides. com offers insight to many places where wedding dresses can be found. Some thrifty couples have found their wedding attire at second hand or consignment stores.

Food At about the three-month mark, any gifts for your fiancé or wedding party should be ordered (most people give little tokens of

Debra Adamson of Daisy Patch Flower shop in Bowdon. appreciation, like cufflinks to the men and bracelets to the women), wedding decor and accessories are purchased and finalized, and any rehearsal dinner invitations have been ordered and perhaps even sent. It’s also at this point that the menu has been finalized with the caterer and a photographer has been booked. There are three different types of caterers; all depend on the type of venue for the reception. If your venue has a serving staff, in-house catering cans save big bucks, about $125 per person. If the venue does not have a kitchen staff, they probably have a list of caterers, or you could hire someone from outside. Just be sure to hire someone approved by the venue.


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Sit-down meal. Usually a threecourse thing, where the plated structure allows you to create your own special menu. However, it can become costly, as one server can usually handle up to 10 guests effectively.

Buffet. This definitely allows for less serving staff, and everyone gets to eat quickly—and prepare to dance quickly! However, this can lead to leftovers, wasted food, and lines. Cocktail party style. This involves small plates and inventive dish stations, without seating charts. This makes celebration freer, but hors d’oeuvres become especially expensive when you want 12-14 per guest and the servers work for the whole party. You typically need one server per 25 guests at this style food service, and you don’t want the party to go over two hours. Whatever style you choose, have some fun with the food by picking unexpected items that will take people outside their box. If

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you set a thematic overtone for the wedding, this allows the caterer an opportunity to make certain that all of the items served will follow suit. Whether you touch on ethnicity, childhood favorites, or dishes from your relationships, this is a moment to pick a caterer that specializes in your area— making certain that your night is perfect. Just remember it’s your day – so during the reception, just be sure you actually get to taste some of the food that you’ve paid for.

The license

over the age of 19, appear in person to complete the application, provide proper identification, apply in any county Probate Court if one of you is a resident of Georgia, and pay $16 if you have Premarital Education (if no Premarital Education, it costs $56). Keep in mind there is always a $10 charge for a certified copy of the marriage license and a $10 fee for the certified copy of the license application at the Social Security Administration. For Carroll County, the probate court is located at 311 Newnan Street Room 204, Carrollton, GA 30117. Hours are 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

Of course, photography is an important part of your wedding event, but because this subject is covered so thoroughly elsewhere (see “Choosing Your Wedding Photographer,” Page 26), let’s skip ahead to the marriage license

For Douglas County, the probate court is located at 8700 Hospital Drive 3rd Floor, Douglasville, GA 30134. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm.

That piece of paper is the only way this whole marriage thing becomes official. If you’re getting married in the state of Georgia, the law requires that both you and your fiancé must be

For Haralson County, the probate court is located at 50 North Main Street, Buckanan, GA 30113. Hours are 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. If you’re planning a destination wedding, you need to research that locale’s

18 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

requirements. For example, if you’d like a wedding on the Vegas Strip, apply for a marriage license in Clark County, Nevada. It’s important to note that even though some licenses do not have an expiration date, most marriage licenses are only valid for a certain window of time in which you need to have the ceremony, sign the license with the officiant and file for a certified license and certificate. ••• After all this planning for the past year, all that should be left is tying up loose ends: final head counts, final haircut/color, payments for vendors, must-have image lists to photographer/videographer, laying out essentials (you can’t forget outfits, rings, and license), wedding rehearsal and dinner, and just relaxing. Don’t forget to eat, breathe, and take in the day because you’ve done it and done it well. Congratulations! WGL

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West Georgia’s

Wedding Venues

West Georgia has many special places for a bride and groom’s special day. Here are just three, all located in Douglas, Carroll and Haralson counties.

PHOTOS BY JESSICA GALLAGHER West Georgia Living January/February 2018 21

The Shed at Westover Farm Bremen, Georgia Located on a 300-acre farm at 920 Old Bushmill Road in Bremen, The Shed is a unique event venue for weddings. It has facilities for rehearsal dinners or weddings, as well as corporate events and celebrations. (770) 856-8942.

22 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

The Centre at Arbor Connection Douglasville, Georgia This facility, located at 7475 Douglas Blvd. in Douglasville features four ballrooms that accommodate up to 400 guests. The rooms can be equipped for wedding receptions or for dining and dancing. The Centre was opened by Sam and Rosco from the acclaimed Sam and Rosco’s Restaurant and Catering Company in 2007. (678) 213-3195.

West Georgia Living January/February 2018 23

The Wright Farm Roopville, Georgia

This venue sits on 53 acres of rolling hills and is located at 1074 Glenloch Road near historic Roopville in Carroll County. This is a working farm that also is a full-time wedding venue. It has an 8,000 square foot renovated barn, kitchen, and bathrooms, as well as a choice of four different ceremony sites. The venue can easily accommodate crowds of up to 300 while maintaining the intimate feel of a small family event.

24 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

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ou found “the one” – your friend for life. Congrats, but now there’s another “one” you need to find:

your wedding photographer.

26 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

Laura Barnes, photographer.

Your wedding day will most likely be a whirlwind. While you focus on greeting long-lost relatives and keeping tiny missteps from escalating into disasters, chances are you won’t be able to see, or remember, everything. Hiring the right photographer can solve that problem. This person will be with you during the entire wedding day, probably more so than your family, wedding party, and even your new spouse. Carrollton-based wedding photographer, Laura Barnes, has plenty of first-hand experience in helping couples achieve their dream wedding photographs.


Barnes graduated from the University of West Georgia with a fine arts degree in photography. She transitioned from fine art photography to wedding photography and opened her own business, Laura Barnes Photography. With over six years in the wedding photography game, and over 100 weddings photographed, Barnes is no stranger to the wedding world. Over the years, she has picked up tips and plenty of stories to help prospective couples find their perfect photography match. Choosing a Style Before even beginning to Google “wedding photographers near me,” she says that sitting down and researching wedding photography styles is a must. Having a sense of

Google. While not necessarily the quickest route to your dream photographer, it will allow you to see more options that other methods. You can view websites to see sample portfolios, read bios and possibly find reviews. While not the most reliable method of choosing, it does allow for a wider search than word of mouth.

Laura Barnes prepares to take photos of Hannah and Nick Neely. what you what your photos to look like will allow you to further narrow down your photographer options. The more research you do, the less stress you’ll have when you interview a photographer. Here are some common types of wedding photography: Traditional/Portrait Posed photos, or portraits, are a wedding tradition. For this style of photography, you’ll have photos with every member of the wedding party, your family, your extended family and your spouse’s extended family in a classic, portrait style, swapping out members so there’s a photo with everyone. This ensures everyone who’s a part of your special day appears a photo and is posed with their best face forward. Documentary This style revolves mostly around candid and action photos – from walking down the aisle, to busting a move on the dance floor, to old relatives embracing for the first time in years, a documentary style wedding album will feel like a story. You’ll be able to

see some spontaneous moments between friends you may have missed. Photojournalism This is best described as a combination of the previous two: mixing candid style shots with well-thought out direction. These allow for beautiful portraits you can put on a holiday card, as well as plenty of shots that people will think are unplanned and spontaneous. This style is most common with more contemporary weddings, especially among the millennial generation. You can list different styles for days, but the these are the most common; you’re more likely to find photographers capable in these genres than more eclectic ones. Many photographers will combine styles to ensure they capture the important moments, as well as the fun, impromptu ones. Not to deter from the unique, but the more niche the photographer is, the less variety you may end up with when you see the final portfolio. Research local photographers One fast way is, as mentioned earlier,

When you’re getting married, everyone around you has tips, anecdotes or just suggestions on how your wedding should go. While these generally are less than helpful, word of mouth shouldn’t be entirely discounted. Hearing a first-hand account from another couple about their photography experience gives a better understanding, not only of how a photographer performs under pressure, but also how a wedding day unfolds. Calling for a brief interview with your top 10 choices can help you narrow down to your in-person interview options. The most important question you need to ask: is he or she available on your date? If they’re already booked or hesitant to make a commitment, move on immediately. Same with money; always ask the photographer for their rates. You may love his or her work, but if he or she is out of price range and won’t budge, it’s time to move on. While this is always hard to stomach, there is always someone equally talented within your budget. Once you’ve narrowed down options to under five, it’s time to set up in-person interviews. Interview in Person This step can be thought of as speed dating with photographers (sort of). While the speed isn’t necessary, the interview is. This West Georgia Living January/February 2018 27

You really need to trust the photographer you choose. When a client is comfortable with me, it puts me at ease and alleviates stress on my end to better help them.” — Laura Barnes Carrollton-based wedding photographer

Having the photographer engage with you and really try to understand your vision will help narrow down candidates. The main characteristic you should be looking for is trust. That’s the basis of the entire wedding shoot; if you don’t trust the person organizing and executing the day, it will reflect in the outcome. “You really need to trust the photographer you choose. When a client is comfortable with me, it puts me at ease and alleviates stress on my end to better help them.” Finding a kindred spirit will reflect in your final photographs. See full wedding albums During the interview process, ask your candidates to bring with them an entire wedding portfolio, not just their favorite photos. You’ll get to see a start-to-finish wedding.

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“Review a full wedding and engagement gallery from your

Photograph by Laura Barnes. is the most crucial moment before choosing your photographer. “Meeting with candidates in person is extremely helpful,” recommends Barnes. “You really want to feel comfortable and at ease with whoever you photographer is going to be. It’s a good opportunity to see if your personalities mix well. All photographers work differently, so finding someone who will be cohesive with you and your significant other is extremely important.”

“Comfortably Elegant”

No matter how talented a photographer is, a lack of connectivity with him or her will just intensify stress. A majority of your wedding day is going to be spent with this person; you want to weed out any clashing personalities ahead of time. When interviewing photographers, you want to give them as much detail about your wedding as possible, including your venue, your wedding party size, your guest size, your style and your timeline for that day. Consulting the photographer on their portfolios and background is an obvious party of the interview process, but you also want them to grill you a little. “I always try to ask the clients questions too, so I can get a feel for how they want their day to be. Things like ‘what time is the ceremony?’ and ‘are you having a first look?’ allow me to get a sense of what their timeline on the wedding day will be like. From there, I can determine what time we’re doing photos before and after the ceremony.” 28 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

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candidates. This will let you know what to expect from start to finish from the photographer during the day. Clients will get the chance to see the whole process, not just the photographer’s highlight reel.” While viewing the album, don’t be afraid to really delve into questions about the photographer’s process: how they got a certain shot, how quickly these were taken, what to expect in comparison to your wedding shoot. “Also ask for a sample wedding day photography timeline, for lighting purposes. The earlier in the planning process the better for this step,” says Barnes. This timeline is your mock wedding shoot. You can see how your photographer will plan his or her day around your schedule, including the getting ready process, pre-ceremony photos, first look photos, ceremony and reception. Choose! You’ve done your research. You know your style. You’ve met the options. You’ve reviewed an inconceivable number of portfolios … now is the time!

Just as you knew your fiancé was “the one,” you will know when you’ve found the right photographer. The natural energy will click, and the styles will match.

The hunt might seem like a lot of work, but the photographs are one of the only the tangible memories from your wedding you will get to keep forever. It’s your day; capture it, but enjoy it! WGL

West Georgia Living January/February 2018 29

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he Centre @ Arbor Connection is an elegant venue owned and operated by Sam and Rosco’s Restaurant & Catering Company who have been providing great meals & memories since 1987. The Centre features a beautiful courtyard for photos along with four beautifully decorated ballrooms that will accommodate anywhere from 10 to 400 guests for your special event.

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Most of us ďŹ nd comfort living in a familiar place. It is a world we all know and can control. Being surrounded by cherished possessions, the comfort of home and familiar items is enjoyable and gives most of us meaning and purpose to life. Moving away from home can be such a dramatic change that it can be an emotional strain on the entire family. Robin’s Nest can relieve the pressure of that decision, usually providing care within 2-3 days, giving an option to see if staying home will work without the commitment of uprooting a person from their home.

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Flexibility is a beneďŹ t of working with Robin’s Nest. You may only need the help of a certiďŹ ed caregiver a few hours a day, or even a few hours a week. Our experience has taught us that frequently a client’s needs change, so our services change to adapt to your needs using the people you already know and trust.

Diary of a wedding Photo courtesy of Todd Baugh Photography.

One woman’s journey from Miss to Mrs Editor’s note: Erin and Cooper Davis attended the University of West Georgia, where they met and fell in love. They became engaged early last year and we asked Erin to keep a diary of how her wedding evolved from month to month, and to share those excited days of planning with our readers. This is a diary of one couple’s wedding, but we think it could be the story of any couple, whether they married years ago, or if they marry years from now.

January 8, 2017 - Engagement

know me a little better.

So, it happened, and I am now one of those girls whose Facebook status reads: “newly engaged.” The love of my life, Cooper Davis, proposed to me at one of my favorite spots on campus.

When that semester ended, and the holidays arrived, I missed our conversations and knew I wanted to see him again. When classes resumed, he asked me out to dinner and our relationship bloomed. I was going to graduate in December 2016; he was a year and half away from graduation. During my last semester, we would often meet in the garden next to Melson Hall before my classes.

We met in school in 2013. Neither of us were from Carrollton, so we had that in common - yet we seemed connected in other ways I cannot describe. He would walk with me after class; he said he wanted to make sure I got to my dorm safely, but I think he just wanted to talk to me and get to


I then entered the “real world,” but early in January, he asked me to rejoin him on campus for a walk. We were walking towards psychology building and he was West Georgia Living January/February 2018 33

I then entered the “real world,” but early in January, he asked me to rejoin him on campus for a walk. We were walking towards psychology building and he was leading me towards the garden. I had a feeling that he might propose, but when he got down on one knee, I found I wasn’t prepared at all.

leading me towards the garden. I had a feeling that he might propose, but when he got down on one knee, I found I wasn’t prepared at all. Of course, I said yes, because for three years we had been able to learn everything about each other. We both share the same fear of separation. Because of that, we don’t fight like other couples. We don’t slam doors or call each other names; if one of us irritates the other, we talk it out. We compromise. When I finally looked down at the ring he had given me, I was shocked to see his great-grandmother’s engagement ring. When we had talked before about possibly getting married, I had told him a ring didn’t matter – I don’t like flashy rings, and I didn’t want him to spend too much. But when I saw this diamond, I knew he was asking me to join his family. January 18, 2017 Planning the wedding Planning the wedding was a nightmare.

Erin and Cooper Davis recreate the day they became engaged. Photos by Jessica Gallagher.

It’s not that anything went wrong, but I found the planning process will give you a headache. I believe that it is not just the bride’s day; it’s also the groom’s day. Because two people get married, I believe they both should work together to plan what they want. It’s also a good way for a couple to see each other at their highest stress levels. But Cooper was still in school, so he couldn’t be as involved as I might have wanted. I must thank my best friend, Jessica Nauris, for telling me about the venue: Glendalough Manor. I have always wanted an outdoor wedding surrounded by trees and flowers. My mother, Alice McSwain, and I set a date to drive down to Glendalough in Peachtree City to check out the dates they had available.

34 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

The night before, I apparently pulled a muscle in my jaw. This was caused by stress, even though the planning process had not even really begun at that point. Nevertheless, we were able to book the venue for October 7 at noon, as well as pick a photographer, florist, band and the wedding cake. May 5, 2017 - The dress Finding the dress was a little difficult. Because I wanted to get married in the cool weather of fall, I wanted long lace sleeves. I was also thinking of a theme wedding: The Roaring Twenties. My favorite book is “The Great Gatsby,” so a giant princess-style dress was out. I had thought about wearing my mother’s wedding dress to save money and time, but, sadly, this was not an option. That dress had been made by her mother, my nana, and together they had sewn on the beading and jewels. But the dress had been in a dry cleaner’s when the store caught fire. My nana heard about the fire and ran to the store to dig through a mound of dresses to find it; when she did, it was covered in soot and had a giant fireman boot print on the skirt. My mother and I went to David’s Bridal in Atlanta, and found a threequarter length lace dress with a tulle skirt. It was beautiful, but didn’t have long sleeves. My mother saved the day by stepping in to say we could turn the dress into what I wanted. After all, the gown was only $5,000 which – in the wedding world – is a steal. My mother can craft and fix just about anything. When she said she was up for the challenge of fixing my dress, I had no doubt in my mind she could do it. We used my mother’s wedding dress as a model of how we could sew beads into the David’s Bridal dress, and as a result my dress was everything I could have hoped for – and more.

Erin’s grandmother, Wilma Williams, and mother, Alice McSwain, discuss the wedding dress. Photo by Manly Williams.

Photo courtesy of Todd Baugh Photography.

My mother can craft and fix just about anything. When she said she was up for the challenge of fixing my dress, I had no doubt in my mind she could do it. We used my mother’s wedding dress as a model of how we could sew beads into the David’s Bridal dress, and as a result my dress was everything I could have hoped for – and more.

Sept. 23, 2017 - New traditions

only be used during the holidays.

So, I have found my dress but there is still so much to do. During this whole planning process I have noticed just how much things have changed since my parents were married in 1989. Some of those old traditions need to get with the times.

And that old superstition of the groom not seeing the bride in her dress before the wedding ceremony. Because I have a slight background in photography, I know how difficult it can be to cram photos in a small amount of time. I had asked the photographer if we could have photos taken before the wedding, so I could capture the moment where Cooper saw me for the first

For example, the registry. My mother kept asking me if I had picked out fine china, but I see no need for dinnerware that would

time. I received some silent feedback when I told a few people - but hey, it’s our day. My bachelorette party also seemed nontraditional, at least compared to other brides in my age group. Most girls plan trips with long nights of partying – but I wanted something “lazy”. Don’t get me wrong; I love to go out and party with my friends, but when it comes to my wedding, I want a party that is relaxing. For my bachelorette

I had asked the photographer if we could have photos taken before the wedding, so I could capture the moment where Cooper saw me for the first time. I received some silent feedback when I told a few people - but hey, it’s our day. West Georgia Living January/February 2018 35

party, my bridesmaids and I ordered a pizza and went to a sip-and-paint, an event where you drink wine as you paint in a class. It was just enough fun, and it calmed my nerves. Sept. 30, 2017 - Waiting Now it is only one week until the big day and everything is set into place. So, I must play the waiting game. I have chosen the venue, found my dress, found the photographer, booked a band, selected a cake and picked out the perfect flowers for the big day. I did not really feel excited before, but now that the wedding is so close, I can’t wait to marry my best friend. Family members from out of town are flying in, and my parents came up with the best idea: to have them stay at a hotel near the venue until the wedding. This is a great idea, because there is no need to worry if someone is late to the wedding. The hotel is only nine minutes away from the venue. October 7, 2016 - The big day It’s the wedding day, and I woke up at 7 a.m. to prepare myself. My mother fixed my hair up into a low bun and my youngest sister Anna applied my makeup. I was so caught up in being ready in time to leave for the venue that I did not even look outside. My dad popped his head into the door of my hotel room and whispered to my mom “it’s raining outside”. This did not faze me, though. I had spent so much time planning, there would be no surprise if something, somewhere, had gone wrong. But I think my dad exaggerated; when we ran to the car for the drive to the venue, there was barely a mist. ** When I arrived at the venue – well, that’s when I went into a dream state. Time was going by so fast but also so slow. They say something goes horribly wrong the day of a wedding, but if something did go wrong today, I did not notice. Because I was too excited about marrying Cooper. It does not matter if you want a big wedding or small. It does not matter what your dress looks like, or if it rains on your day. What matters is this: if you don’t care about what goes wrong on your big day, then it’s a good sign that you are marrying your partner for the right reasons. WGL

36 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

Photos courtesy of Todd Baugh Photography.

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Brett Baxley, Baxley Jewelers, Carrollton.

ow can an object made of metal symbolize the idea of “forever?”

But from time immemorial, that’s what engagement rings and wedding bands have done, signifying a lasting bond between two people. While mall jewelry stores have their place, there’s much to be said for small, locally-owned stores that offer customized wedding jewelry – bling made not only for a couple’s needs, but also for their unique story. To learn more about the nuances of custom jewelry, I spoke to jewelers located in

Carrollton on Adamson Square: Brett Baxley of Baxley Jewelers and Chuck Willis of Willis Jewelry. Each taught me something different about their wonderful craft. Wedding rings have been an ever-changing cultural tradition for centuries. The ancient Egyptians believed the symbols they wore symbolized eternal love. And the custom of wearing a lover’s ring on the fourth finger of the left hand originated from the Greeks and Romans; they believed a vein in that finger ran directly to the heart. That, Baxley said, is why a wedding band is customarily worn behind the engagement ring; it’s closest to the heart. From the origin of which hand the wedding jewelry is worn, to the use of rare stones, Baxley’s knowledge of his craft is impressive. But even more so is his devotion to creating jewelry

which is unique to every couple that comes into his shop. “There is no ideal engagement ring,” Baxley said. “It’s whatever makes the bride happy.” Baxley’s business is built on accommodating the bride’s specific – and sometimes unusual – tastes. His goal is to create “something unique, something that only means something to them,” so he starts off by asking every couple how they met. He then begins to imagine how a ring might reflect that unique story, because, he said, “the ring should have a story, too.” What makes Baxley’s service so unique is his handcrafted, artisan work. A drawn design of the ring is applied to a piece of wax, from which he carves the ring. At this stage, Baxley then brings the bride in to look at the wax mold with the stones placed in it to make sure they are satisfied. The mold is then used to cast the ring in precious metal —platinum, gold, white gold, etc. — and then the stones are set in


the casting. Baxley photographs each stage of the process, from drawing to the finished project, and creates a video as a memento for each couple. Now, if you are a bride who is not a fan of diamonds, have no fear! Baxley has worked with stones such as blue topaz, blue zircon, ruby, sapphire, even rough uncut imperial topaz for one mining couple. Posted at the front of Baxley’s showroom is the slogan: “One of a kind creations ... for that one of a kind person in your life.” He wants his customers to not only have a story of their love, but also a story of how the emblem that symbolizes that love was created. Jewelry Education 101 Just across Adamson Square, Willis Jewelry sits sandwiched between two other shops near the Irish Bred Pub & Grill. Chuck Willis entertained me for approximately an hour, teaching me not only about his own custom jewelry process, but he gave an entire crash-course on wedding jewelry. He called this “jewelry education 101.” For example, Willis informed me on the “fads” with wedding rings: Marquise rings, which are now out of style; or rings made of white or rose gold metal, which is currently in style. Also, Princess cut rings, which are not as instyle anymore.

called it the “house of mirrors” effect. Thus, buyers should not be concerned with size, but proportion because a “rock” can look bigger, but ultimately “is dead.” Mr. Willis said that large retail jewelers often do not tell their customers these facts. After the “jewelry 101” course, Willis showed me how he crafts custom jewelry with two new technologicial tools, the laser welder, and a torch welder. Willis is inspired by “vintage” pieces, and working “free-form with the gold.” Willis took me back to his work area and demonstrated how he works with the laser, a “cutting edge” tool which allows for precision and speed. He not only uses this technology with ring crafting, but in repairing pieces such as watches. Customer’s desires a priority These visits to two Carrollton jewelers showed me that west Georgia merchants offer customizable, unique wedding jewelry, along with consideration for customers’ unique needs. Each jeweler I spoke with stressed the importance of the relationship they have with their customers. As Willis put it, family jewelers like himself and Baxley live

within the community they work, and they know their customers personally. This was perfectly demonstrated as I left Willis’s store: a customer walked in and waited for him to finish up with me. As I left, Willis and the customer began a friendly conversation in which it was clear both merchant and customer knew each other well, including their children’s taste in Halloween costumes. The family-oriented standard of locallyowned businesses means that couples will not only be given a great piece of jewelry, but a place to continue to shop for all their jewelry needs throughout their lives together. In west Georgia, there are other jewelers who do custom work, such as Greg Cook’s Fine Jewelry & Diamonds in Carrollton, and Atlanta West Jewelry in Douglasville. WGL

Additionally, there are three basic stones used in wedding jewelry— diamonds, emeralds, and sapphire. While I originally imagined these stones’ colors to be white, green, and blue, I quickly learned that these hues are not always the case. Diamonds are not always white and sapphires can be any color (technically, rubies are sapphires!). Willis even taught me on the meaning of “carat,” which classifies weight, not size. According to Willis, the “facets” cut into the stone determines how light is reflected; he

Chuck Willis, Willis Jewelry, Carrollton.

January/February 2018 West Georgia Living 39

Staying Together W

hat’s the secret to a long marriage? It’s a question that many couples ask themselves when they start out on their adventure together. In an age when marriage can sometimes seem as disposable as anything else in our culture, there are some couples who take their vows to stay together seriously. Here in west Georgia, we’ve asked four couples to tell us the secrets to their lives together.

stay together as man and wife. That doesn’t mean there aren’t arguments, fights or hurt feelings. Marriage is full of stresses, just as life is full of difficulties. But stress and adversity are tests of character, not just for an individual, but for a couple. It is easier to face life’s challenges as a team, and couples who find strength in each other are doubly strong.

These couples have made a commitment not just Whether they’ve been married one year, or nearly to themselves, but to each other – and that helps 80 years, it turns out there isn’t just one secret. them stay together, through all the adversities of There are as many tips for a long marriage as there life. And that has made the joys of their life all the are married couples. When two sweeter. We hope that you’ll people are meant to be togethfind these stories inspirational. PHOTOS BY MELANIE BOYD er, it seems they find a way to

40 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

1 year Victoria and Michael Chan-Frazier Victoria and Michael were married on April 2, 2017. Victoria is a University of West Georgia graduate. The couple met in 2008, when they were working for Usher’s New Look Foundation and his performing arts and sports management camp at Georgia Tech. Michael was the camp therapist and Victoria taught music. Both believe they fell in love the day they met, but the two weeks at camp were spent cultivating their friendship. Michael proposed at the end of an 8-hour scavenger hunt he had planned for Victoria in Douglasville and Atlanta. He recruited 35 work friends, family, and friends to assist. Victoria had to pick up clues, call people for more clues, ask questions, listen to certain songs. Everything led up to the Georgia Tech campus, where Michael met Victoria and asked if she would do him the honor of being his wife. Her response was “hell yeah!” They say the secret to staying together is being best friends. They continue to go on dates, support and challenge each other, and travel.

January/February 2018 West Georgia Living 41

8 years Yo and Phillip Christian Xiaojuan (Yo) and Phillip of Villa Rica were married in 2009. They met at a friend’s birthday party in Springfield, Missouri. After that meeting, Phillip texted Yo and came by to help her with her broken-down car. They went on their first date right afterward. Eventually, he proposed to her on a river cruise in Branson, Missouri. The couple have a sixyear-old daughter named Julia, and a one-year-old son named Kai. They also have a nine-yeardog, Nina. Yo says the secret of staying together is her homecooked Chinese food. Phillip says the couple both enjoy learning about each other’s cultural backgrounds. It keeps their marriage fresh and interesting, but they have the same family values when it comes to raising their children. That keeps the couple strong, together.

42 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

26 years 8

Charlie and Sheryl Marlar Charlie and Sheryl Marlar of Carrollton met at the University of West Georgia. After dating for a while, they were having dinner one night at a local restaurant. They had just finished and were discussing what to do next – a movie, or shopping, etc. – when Charlie casually pulled a ring out of his pocket and said: “or I could ask you to marry me.” The couple have one son, Kane, who is 23. They say the secret of staying together is to do things together and to be each other’s best friend. Also, don’t go to bed or leave the house angry and always have fun, and that mean’s whether you are going to the grocery store or to the beach.

January/February 2018 West Georgia Living 43

76 years Wilma and Emory Marlow Wilma and Emory Marlow were married on June 21, 1941. Today, more than three quarters of a century later, they are still together, living on the Bowdon area farm that Wilma bought during World War II. They met when they were children, growing up, as Emory said, “across the pasture from one another” on neighboring farms in Burwell. They began “sweetheartin’” when she was 13 and he was 15. After the war, Emory went into the furniture business and in that time the couple raised two children, Myrick Young and Dennis Marlow. The secret of staying married, Emory said, is: “I did just what she said.” Wilma said she remembers advice that her mother gave her: “Don’t ever break a promise to the good Lord.”

44 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

January/February 2018 West Georgia Living 45

Attack of the

(Every wedding has a horror story)

46 West Georgia Living January/February 2018



don’t do weddings.

It is instead, nine times out of 10, an overblown nightmare. So, I decline.

This has become my motto as a photographer. Friends and Now, let’s be clear – this isn’t the fault of the acquaintances still ask me to do their bride or the groom, the couple at the center weddings; family members constantly of attention. Brides talk to photographers. recommend my services to coworkers. They tell us what they want, we do it, and The guilt trips are abundant, and the their requests don’t generally veer far from justifications are many. I have learned, the original plan. The trouble lies in the however, anytime a wedding ceremony is other women in the wedding, namely the described as “just a mothers of the brides laid-back gathering.” – the MOMZILLAS. STORY AND PHOTOS BY SUNNY KIRBY

Agreements for wedding photography generally include a planned set of photos that the bride and groom would like taken before and after the ceremony. In my experience, this itemized list is most often the trigger for disaster. The Momzillas have no qualms about bossing, yanking, and torturing the bride and photographer alike at picture-taking time. “Let’s get Great Aunt Esther in this one! You know, she made the trip from Jersey,” a Momzilla might say just as her daughter the bride poses for a fun group shot with the bridesmaids. She follows up with a not-soquiet whisper: “You know, she may not be around for the next wedding.” The bride doesn’t remember Great Aunt Esther, an ancient and particularly unpleasant woman. Esther is also nigh impossible to locate, as she is likely smoking cigarettes, in her wheelchair, at the side entrance of the church. Also, the Great Aunt Esthers of the world do not want to be pulled into this Pinterest-inspired photo, or any photo, for that matter. But what Momzilla says goes. So, no, I don’t do weddings. But have I ever done them? Oh, yes.

Let me tell you a story about the very last one. I’ve changed some names and details for client privacy – and to protect myself from the very mother of all Momzillas. Beth and Dylan had a beautiful wedding ceremony. Everything went as planned without one hitch. As light streamed through the stained-glass windows, they were pronounced man and wife in a perfect pool of golden sunlight that settled at the altar. It was a photographer’s dream. Beth’s mother, Cheryl, could be heard, crying just a little too loud, in the front pew, but that was to be expected. She had flitted and hovered all day, but the entire wedding party, knew to expect as much. Her sobs and sniffles were barely on their radar. When it came time for the post-ceremony photos, I met everyone at the pillared front of the church, where we reviewed the plan and got to work. The newlyweds were in high spirits, and everything started off well. Funny how quickly things can change. Enter Momzilla. Cheryl had an attitude as big as her overcoiffed beehive. She had already mentioned to me, at least three times during the

day, that she was a former model. Beth had quietly explained that her mother’s modeling career consisted of two fall fashion ads in a department store catalog. In 1978. Beth and I had planned for several pictures later that would include her mother, but at this moment I was photographing the bride with her matron of honor. I watched, through the lens, as Cheryl made her way into the frame, at a brisk stroll. She then heaved her way between bride and bestie, with a toothy grin. Well versed in the antics of this Momzilla, the matron of honor slunk away. Cheryl’s smile widened, as she clutched at her daughter with one arm, and help up two fingers in the peace sign, with the other. “We’re just the best of girlfriends” she gushed, donning a cringe-worthy duck face. This went on for a solid 10 minutes. Though the whole situation was awkward, and Beth was beginning to look slightly annoyed, it was basically harmless. Everyone had a good laugh, and we attempted to move on. Cheryl, however, had a different idea. “Let’s get the groom in on these pics!” she

Allen Chumley and Carolyn Horton portray the newlyweds, while Mimi Gentry portrays “momzilla.”

West Georgia Living January/February 2018 47

chortled, adjusting her generous bosom. Dylan, who had been watching the scene with some degree of amusement, was prepared to play along. He joined the two women on the church steps and beamed at the camera.

Next came the hairspray. “Remind me how much I paid that stylist!?”, Cheryl fumed. “You need more volume. Volume is the key, you know. I recall that from my very own modeling days.” Beth sank down into the folding chair, as her hair grew.

I’ll give him credit. He kept that millionwatt smile going for 10 frames, while Cheryl made a spectacle of herself at his side. He did not break character until she pulled a handkerchief from her pocket, licked it, and began to “wipe the schmutz from his cheek.”

Cheryl pinned a huge corsage to her daughter’s dress. “You remember Donna, down at the florist? Well, she was just going to throw these roses out! Can you believe it?”

From that moment, things went downhill quite rapidly. Cheryl decided that that the makeup artist had failed to adequately accentuate her daughter’s eyes. “Don’t you worry, sweet pea,” she announced, forcing Beth into a chair and pulling a cosmetic bag from her purse. “Mama’s always got some of her good mascara on hand.” She proceeded to lather said mascara onto Beth’s lashes. Dylan watched from the sidelines as his new bride received an impromptu makeover.

She wound a strand of gigantic, faux pearls around Beth’s neck. “I know you said you preferred not to wear a necklace for the ceremony, but I thought this would look great for some classy snapshots.” Somehow, imperceptibly, Cheryl had taken over this carefully synchronized photoshoot. She gave Beth a swift, but solid 1980’s makeover. She smooched red lipstick all over Dylan’s cheek. She pestered and bossed me to take dozens of unplanned photos (“I just came up with the cutest idea!”) She fussed and manipulated while remaining upbeat and rather proud of herself, until Beth yelled, “Mama! Enough! You are ruining my wedding day!”

Then came the waterworks. Cheryl disintegrated into a hysterical puddle of knock-off Chanel and misery. She wailed, incoherently, for a time as the disheveled bride and groom looked on in horror. Finally, Momzilla calmed herself long enough to sob, “You’re leaving me forever and you won’t even let me be a part of your wedding photos!” Dylan hung his head, and moved to scoop up his brand-new mess of a mother in law. Beth joined him, “I’m sorry, mama. Let’s do some more pictures together, okay?” The last photo I took that day was of the three of them, together. Momzilla was wedged right in the middle. The newlyweds were wrinkled and smudged, but submissive, and Cheryl was beaming like a kid on Christmas morning. Momzillas. They are overbearing, overdressed, hairspray toting terrors. Sure, most of the time, they mean well. That does not change the fact that they have surpassed flying, flaming spiders on the list of things that scare me most. And that’s why I don’t. Do. Weddings. WGL

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How to have a friend or family member officiate at your ceremony


ne of the most universal symbols of wedding ceremonies is the threetiered white cake, topped off by a plastic bride and groom facing each other in the traditional rites of marriage. We’ve all seen it, and pretty much all of us who are married have played one of those two roles. But there’s a third person who is necessary to a wedding ceremony, up front and center for all to see — the wedding officiant. Traditionally, that person would be a member of your local clergy, holding a Bible as the happy couple recites their 50 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

vows and “I do’s.” Increasingly though, the “preacher” leading the ceremony isn’t a full-time or even a part-time minister; it’s a family member or a friend, someone who can make the ceremony even more intimate and special by their shared knowledge of the couple. If you’re wondering how to perform such a ceremony for one of your friends, the answer is surprisingly simple. Getting ordained to perform a wedding is much easier than you might think. Assuming


you’re 18 or older, simply visit the website of a group such as American Marriage Ministries ( or Universal Life Church ( and register. As part of my vigorous research for this article, I registered with AMM myself to see what the process entailed. It took about five minutes and was no more difficult than registering for, say, a newspaper website. With just a few clicks, I received a fancylooking certificate with “American Marriage Ministries” in old-English letters and my name in bold. Simple as that! Print out the form, be sure to note the minster ID

number, and you’re good to go.

intent to marry, and are united in wedded bliss by an officiant. Courts in this state have held that the validity of a marriage is not affected by a “want of authority” on the officiant’s part. If the couple recognize that their officiant is qualified to unite them, the state is chill with that.

Clergy, friend or family? When my wife and I planned our wedding, we decided to have a preacher perform our ceremony. But we had moved back into the same town only recently, and we were from different denominational backgrounds and hadn’t established a church. All that to say we were married by a man we didn’t know all that well – though I must say he did a perfect job, and performed the ceremony with confidence and great attention to detail. A few months later, one of my good friends got married and announced the officiant would be his 26-year-old brother in law! The idea seemed silly to me at the time. This was someone barely out of college who I’d probably go out drinking with after the ceremony. How could the wedding be taken seriously with someone so young and secular in charge? But all such thoughts were proven wrong. The speech the brother in law gave was heartfelt, full of details culled from a lifetime of experience with his sister. Turns out there was truly an advantage to having someone so close officiate. Neither approach is right for everyone, of course. I wouldn’t change a thing from my own wedding, but I have more of an open mind now thanks to the experience. Just last year my father, John Willis Sr., performed the wedding ceremony for his sister, Leigh-Anne Smith, and her new

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The only time the legality of a marriage might become an issue, ironically, is if it ends in divorce. Marriage is a legal contract, after all, so states do have a say in how they are performed.

husband Dana Nix. He said it was an experience he’ll never forget. “When it’s your sister, you know about her,” he said. “You know her background and you can tell funny stories about her. Our dad died several years ago, and I made sure to include him as well. I tried not to be too firm, but I intentionally sent a message that he expects good things from the man who is marrying his daughter, and that he expects her to be happy.” My dad went online to get ordained, and joked that he was disappointed when all he had to do was click a button to complete the task. “I figured there’d at least be a weekend at Emory’s theological school,” he said. The legal niceties Most everyone I talked to for this story said they believe friend and family officiating is a growing trend, though statistics backing this up were hard to find. In Georgia, a marriage is legal if the happy couple have a marriage license, have the

The Universal Life Church has ordained more than 18 million ministers since it was founded in 1959 in Modesto, Calif. On it’s website, the organization recommends that the would-be officiant contact the probate court of the county in which the wedding will be performed and comply with whatever paperwork that court requires. The difficult part for the officiant is becoming comfortable with public speaking and being sure to perform the ceremony in the correct order. Lastly, be sure to sign the marriage certificate as well for the wedding to become official. Ultimately, this decision on having an ordained minister, or a freshly-minted officiant preside over your nuptials comes down to personal preference, and who the bride and groom to are most comfortable with. If you follow a few basic steps and select someone capable of speaking in public, either a full-time clergy member or a family friend can become the perfect icing on the cake of your special day. WGL

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Scenes from so

54 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

ome weddings Photographer Ricky Stilley has shot quite a few weddings in his long career. In that time, he’s taken many pictures of happy couples, beautiful brides and handsome grooms. But while the happy couple at the center of the ceremony is the star of the show, there are other things going on at a wedding as well. Small details and unscripted moments that might escape notice, but which nonetheless contribute to the ambiance of the event. Here, Ricky has gathered some of those moments from the weddings he’s seen.

January/February 2018 West Georgia Living 55

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West Georgia Living January/February 2018 57


Flowers speak the O

f course, the focal point of every wedding is the happy couple. While everyone is being seated and anticipating the arrival of the bridal party, they are enjoying the flowers chosen for the big day.

Some brides use greenery alone, with maybe one color of flower intermingled. A venue festooned with various shades and textures of green living plants can be enchanting. When the first bridesmaid appears, the secret is revealed. The colors of the dresses and the types of flowers and greenery she carries lets everyone in on the shades for the event: pink and white or blue, maroon and cream. Possibly yellow, peach and deep violet; the combinations are endless. But why use all those flowers? Are they for beauty or for luck, or both? Flower bouquets and herbal arrangements have long been a staple of wedding ceremonies. Ancient Greek brides would wear circles (also called garlands) of ivy or field flowers in their hair. It was considered a gift from nature and added a sense of formality. People of importance at that time would wear garlands of leaves, probably ivy or laurel, sometimes intertwined with flowers. Some modern brides still wear garlands in lieu of veils. Today’s people of importance are aunts, grandmothers, and elderly cousins who wear corsages pinned on their shoulders and sit with their spouses near the bride’s and groom’s families. The groom too, wears in his lapel a flower that appears in the bride’s bouquet. Modern folk are not so concerned about flower symbolism, but more than 100 years ago many people knew that if you sent roses, it was shorthand for love. Pink carnations meant “I’ll never forget you”, while tulips represented passion. In the 1800s, there were little handbook guides to flower symbolism. It could be very embarrassing to send flowers with the wrong message. Imagine getting red roses (my heart aches for you) when the shy fellow meant bashfulness (peonies) it would confuse any girl, and her mother!       

KITTY BARR AND MARILYN VAN PELT 58 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

Bridal bouquet, Ann Carter Designs.

e language of love Cascade bridal bouquet, Jenny Abrue Images. Superstition has a lot to do with where our floral wedding customs originate. Rose petals, bouquets and confetti are said to give protection, good futures and happiness. Sage promises great wisdom, while dill assures that a new wife will love her husband for all days to come. Husbands can give their wives orange blossoms for eternal love, and calla lilies for her magnificent beauty. Over the centuries, more wedding customs developed worldwide. Weddings in early India involved the use of flower petals. Relatives would sprinkle them over the bride and groom at the wedding ceremony to wish good luck and to ward off evil spirits. In Germany, the bride and the groom held candles with flowers and ribbons tied to them.  Swedish bridesmaids carried small bouquets of aromatic herbs, while grooms carried thyme in their pockets to scare off trolls. And in Austria, brides would crown their veils with small white flowers to signify purity. The Middle Ages also gave birth to the idea of the nosegay to mark each place at the wedding feast, ensuring guests happiness and long lives. Rosemary and

Low table arrangement, Jenny Abrue Images.

Low table creation, Greg Hendrix, Mountain Oak Florist.

replaced most of the herbs in her wedding bouquet with fresh flowers. Here was born the image of the modern-day bride holding a cascade of fresh flowers. Victoria was also the first lady to wear white on her wedding day, thus setting a long fashion trend. Outdoor winter weddings became popular among wealthy European families in the mid-20th century. Brides in these ceremonies would carry a bridal muff (a round tube of cloth, usually velvet or fur, in which clasped hands were kept toasty) adorned with flowers.

lilies were popular choices for nosegays. Wealthy brides would have the option of pairing fruit with edible flowers like marigold for nosegays. Queen Victoria made history in 1840 when she married Prince Albert and

Turkey feathers were the main attraction of bridal bouquets in the American and European weddings of the 1920s. Fortunately, this fad has passed but in the early 20th century, hunting was viewed as glamorous. The weddings of World War II were the first to feature corsages. Prior to that, flowers were not pinned to bridal attire. In recent years, several fads have come and gone, the most memorable being the bridal fans of the 1980s. Instead of bouquets, brides carried hand fans that were decorated with lace, carnations and January/February 2018 West Georgia Living 59

Tall table arrangement, Greg Hendrix, Mountain Oak Florist.

vetting them alongside some of your other professionals early in the process and remember to reserve your venue. Churches are again becoming popular, much to grandmothers’ delight.

gypsophlia, pink flowers that are similar to baby’s breath. Modern weddings have become more personalized. Brides choose their favorite colors for their flowers, and incorporate individual tastes in decoration schemes. In our modern times, brides select their wedding flowers based on their personality, gown and color scheme.

Images are way more telling than words. Bring your inspiration boards, swatches of bridesmaid dress fabric, and a photograph of your wedding gown.  Wedding colors are trending toward pale and delicate. This will help your florist understand the look you’re seeking at your initial meeting.

Choosing your own flowers is one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning. But it’s not as simple as picking your favorite flowers and requesting them in your wedding colors. Do your homework before meeting your florist. Take some time to figure out what blossoms you like, and learn what they are called before you begin meeting with florists. There are two main things you’ll want to know: the names of flowers and floral terms, like types of bouquets (cascade, posy and biedermeier), arrangements and other details. Your wedding locale will greatly influence your floral decisions. If, for example, you’re marrying in a park, botanical garden or vineyard, the flowers can be kept to a minimum. Choose arrangements that look as if they belong in that setting. Keep in mind your table configuration; this can influence the shape and style of your centerpieces. 60 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

Greg Hendrix, Mountain Oak Florist. One of the best ways to find your florist is by word of mouth – ask for recommendations from newlyweds you know. If you’re working with a wedding planner, they should also have some suggestions. Set up appointments with a short list of florists so you can connect in person and view a portfolio of their work. You’ll want to reserve someone six to eight months ahead of time. Florists book up fast, especially if you’re getting married in peak season (May to September), so start

Figure that 10 percent of the total wedding cost will go to flowers and décor – from the bouquets and boutonnieres to the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception details. At the start of your first meeting, share with your florist what you can afford. If your favorite blooms won’t be in season, or if they are too expensive, find substitutes that achieve the same style. Garden roses, which are available almost year-round, can often stand in for peonies, while hydrangeas can pose as sweet peas. And don’t forget the greenery! Be sure your bouquet isn’t too heavy or too fragrant. Fragrant blooms, like lilacs, freesias, lilies, gardenias, tuberoses and jasmine vine, are best used in moderation. Your ceremony will probably last less than an hour, so it’s a shame to not enjoy your

Pew marker, Ann Carter Designs

Altar flowers, Ann Carter Designs. Pastels for spring, Marilyn Van Pelt. flowers that you paid for a little longer.


Pew markers, the bride’s and the bridesmaids’ bouquets, can be taken to the reception and quickly placed near the cake, the drinks table and can add color in other areas before the party begins. Talk to your florist about how you can reuse arrangements to get the most from your flower investment. Also, you might wish to donate the arrangements afterwards such as churches, nursing homes, or a

Don’t let worrying about your flowers keep you from having fun. Visualize your entire tablescape and choose centerpieces that are low or high enough to encourage conversation either over or under them. You don’t want your tables to seem empty, but you also want your guests to easily put down their glass and visit without peering through a mass of peonies and ferns.

Your friends and relatives are going to enjoy seeing the beautiful bride and her lucky man while dancing the night away. Toss your bouquet to the next bride to be and let her start choosing flowers for another fun celebration. The newlyweds have the starring role at the party, so smile and enjoy yourselves. WGL

Come By and Visit Us!

“Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One” Phone: 770-258-7239 Fax: (770) 258-7230

Southern Home & Ranch Garden Center 1110 NORTH PARK STREET • CARROLLTON, GEORGIA • 770-832-0114 HOURS: MONDAY-SATURDAY 8AM-7PM • SUNDAY 12PM-5PM




West Georgia Living January/February 2018 61




Meals for a wedding day or any day STORY BY LEE THORNTON AND RUSSELL IVES PHOTOS BY JESSICA GALLAGHER West Georgia Living January/February 2018 63



etting married soon? We’ve selected a couple of recipes that should be excellent for wedding events – or, for that matter, any family gathering. Or Saturday dinners. Or to celebrate the kids being back in town. Any occasion, really. This is winter comfort food; dishes that help us make the long, cold nights more bearable. There’s nothing cozier than settling in with family and friends to enjoy a savory, warm meal in the warm company of our loved ones, even when there’s nothing special to celebrate. We also hope these ideas will allow you to kick your cooking skills up a notch and wow both you and your guests. You’ll be surprised because they are surprisingly easy, and you’ll guests will be amazed by how great these dishes taste. Whether you hate the winter, or love it to the point that you annoy others, you can’t deny the comfort winter food brings. We’ve tried to capture the comfort of winter food in these recipes.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup 1 large butternut squash (cut in half and seeded) 1 tablespoon olive oil ½ cup chopped shallot 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste) 4 cloves of garlic 1 teaspoon maple syrup 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg Freshly ground black pepper to taste About 4 cups vegetable broth (can substitute for chicken broth) 2 tablespoons butter (substitute for olive oil for dairy free/vegan soup) Toasted pumpkin seeds & heavy whipping cream for garnish Preheat your oven to 425. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place your squash on the sheet. Rub each half with enough olive oil to coat the inside of the squash (about 1 teaspoon each). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the squash face down until it is tender

and cooked completely through, about 45-50 minutes. Allow the squash to cool enough to handle, then use a large spoon to scoop the squash into a bowl. Discard the skin. In a large soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped shallots and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook the shallots until they have softened and are just starting to turn golden, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant while stirring, about 1 minute. If using a blender, pour about 1 cup of vegetable broth in the soup pot and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pot. Pour the liquid from the pot into the blender, along with two more cups of broth, maple syrup, nutmeg, black pepper, and the reserved squash. Blend to your desired consistency. Use the last remaining cup of broth to thin the soup to taste. Add butter, salt, and pepper to taste. If using an immersion blender, pour about 1 cup of vegetable broth in the soup pot and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add

Roasted butternut squash soup.

64 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

the reserved squash, two more cups of broth, maple syrup, nutmeg, and black pepper. Blend with the immersion blender. Once blended completely, bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add butter, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve hot and garnish with black pepper, heavy whipping cream, and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Cranberry & Walnut Stuffed Brie 1 brie cheese wheel 1 package frozen puff pastry ¼ cup dried cranberries ¼ cup walnuts Egg wash (1 egg + 1 teaspoon of water) Set the wheel so that it’s standing on its side, use a paring knife to make a shallow score around the entirety of the wheel. Take a piece of dental floss (non-flavored!) and wrap it around the wheel, following the score. Take both ends in hand and pull in opposite

directions. The dental floss should neatly slice through the wheel without destroying it. Press the cranberries and walnuts into both halves of the now exposed cheese. Put the two pieces of cheese back together.

onto the parchment. Serve immediately with crackers or crostini.

Allow the puff pastry to thaw for a minute or two. Generously flour your work surface and lay your pastry out on it. Roll the puff pastry out to about a quarter inch thick. Place your brie wheel in the center of the pastry. Wrap the puff pastry up and over the top of the wheel (you want the wheel to be completely covered). Use the egg wash as a “glue” to keep the pastry together. Trim off any excess pastry while wrapping the brie. Excess puff pastry can be cut into shapes to use as decoration on top of the pastry.

Zest and juice of one orange 1 cup orange juice 1/3 cup olive oil 1 tablespoon of garlic Half teaspoon of pepper Half teaspoon of rosemary Half teaspoon of thyme Half teaspoon of salt 2 teaspoons of brown sugar Quarter teaspoon cayenne One quarter pound fresh cranberries One two-pound pork loin

Allow the wheel to freeze for exactly one hour before baking. Brush the pastry with egg wash and place it (seam side down) on a parchmentlined baking sheet. Place the sheet in the center of a preheated 425-degree oven and bake for about 20 minutes. The outside should be golden brown, and juices should be leaking

Combine everything except for cranberries, ½ cup orange juice, and pork loin in a large mixing bowl. Adjust seasoning to taste. Place pork loin in a large plastic storage bag and place on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any leaks. Allow to marinate for at least two hours

Orange Cranberry & Herb Marinated Pork Loin

Orange cranberry and herb marinated pork loin.

January/February 2018 West Georgia Living 65

(overnight preferred). When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees and roast pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees (about one hour). Allow meat to rest at least five minutes before slicing. While the pork is cooking, pour remaining marinade in a large sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Add cranberries and remaining orange juice. Add sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Allow mixture to reduce, crushing cranberries as they cook. Cook on low for roughly 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Slice pork loin to desired thickness and drizzle sauce over top. These recipes will taste great exactly as they are, but we really encourage you to experiment to find what you like the best. Remember, cooking isn’t so much a science as an art. Experiment! Try something a little crazy, and don’t be afraid to mix things up. It’s your kitchen. Do what tastes good. WGL

Cranberry and walnut stuffed brie.

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66 West Georgia Living January/February 2018




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68 West Georgia Living January/February 2018



hen Joel Yawn III decided to construct a flower for his girlfriend – out of sheet metal – he thought it wouldn’t be anything more than a nice gift. “I just started making things for her,” said Yawn, a Douglas County native. “It took off after that.” The gift worked out in more ways than one. The girlfriend, Katie Warr, is now Mrs. Yawn. And the metal artwork has become a steady side hustle. Yawn had several pieces of his work displayed recently at the Douglasville/Douglas County Cultural Arts Council’s sixth annual National Open Visual Art Show (NOVAS). Yawn works as a full-time welder and fabricator at Georgia Pump in Austell. He creates metal artwork in his free time. He’s still relatively new to creating art, but likes the experience so far. “The artwork is the fun side of it for me,” he said. A 2004 graduate of Chapel Hill High School, Yawn spent time washing cars and changing oil for a few years

before getting into the welding profession, initially at Yancey Bros. in Austell. He wasn’t necessary a great student and found that he’d rather be doing something else besides school – although he did enjoy art classes and photography. It helps that Yawn’s father, Joel Jr., is an artist as well. Yawn remembers watching his father welding things together as a young child, later working with him directly and taking a greater interest in the work. He also says family friends Bill and Ann Cockerill were a big influence. Yawn’s studio is the garage of his recently purchased home, and he uses whatever pieces of scrap metal might be lying around. Over the years, he’s assembled the necessary equipment to create his art, such as torches, saws and grinders. He’s careful to keep work and art separate, doing all his artwork at his home rather than at his job. Mentally, welding at work and welding art is completely different. At work, strict adherence must be kept to measurements and what the customer expects. Artwork is free range, limited only by his


Joel Yawn and a metal owl.

imagination. The original sheet metal flower Yawn made for his girlfriend wound up becoming part of the bouquet at their wedding. The couple keeps the flower, along with a few other pieces of artwork he created for her early on. So far Yawn hasn’t gotten too aggressive with the marketing of his work for sale. But he figures that’s a logical next step.

The NOVAS show included three pieces by Yawn, an owl, metal flowers and two gears cut out to become bookends. The 31-year-old estimates he’s been creating art using his welding skills for about four years, working whenever he gets inspired and has the time.

detail, like flowers or animals, and then trying to recreate that with metal.”

“I get a lot of inspiration from plants and animals, which is where I got the idea for the owl,” said Yawn. “I like being outdoors a lot, seeing things with a lot of

“I’ll salvage parts off of whatever I see,” Yawn said. “I have what some people would call junk. But it all has a purpose.” WGL

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70 West Georgia Living January/February 2018 Member SIPC

A simple hike through the woods is all it takes sometimes, and even a day at work can lead to some good ideas. Acquiring materials is rather easy as well.

Jason Sparks D.J. Entertainer 770-942-9061




A Note From

Scott Evans


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6 Y.




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Y. 1











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Riding the rails and hobo tales “Vagabond Blue” Frank Allan Solstice Press, 2017


eginning with the first European settlements in Jamestown and Plymouth, Americans have shown a nomadic spirit, a restlessness to pursue the horizon. Horace Greeley’s exhortation, “Go West, young man,” echoes in the American consciousness. One type of traveler that continues to fascinate Americans are “hoboes” – a group that probably came into existence after the Civil War and came to the forefront during the Depression. While some of these transients began their journeys because of familial issues, most were migrant workers who hopped trains to search for work, carrying their possessions in a bindle. Frank Rogers’ novel follows the adventures of Blue Bailey, who leaves home at the age of 16 to search for work and to escape an unhappy family life. His pilgrimage leads him to friends and foes, joys and sorrows, love and loss, as he encounters the pathos of human life. As a transient, Blue Bailey’s life changes constantly, sometimes unpredictably, as he wanders from state to state, from town to town, looking for work. People move in and out of his life. Blue’s friend Halo introduces him to the itinerent lifestyle, teaching him how to hop a freight, how to find work, and how to survive on the road. Blue’s one possession, his beloved Martin guitar, serves as a source of income, and as emotional solace for Blue and his listeners. It also helps him meet people, especially Sherry, a young woman he encounters while

ROCERT C . COVEL 72 West Georgia Living January/February 2018

selling his blood at the Red Cross. Rogers’ novel overflows with interesting characters and vivid details about the transient lifestyle. Blue ekes out a meager living picking potatoes in Alabama, cutting sugar cane in Florida, and picking peaches in Georgia. Throughout the novel, Rogers conveys vivid and often painful details of the brutal lives of these migrant workers. When Blue cuts sugar cane, “The soreness in his elbow and in the cramp in the forearm made him groan each time the knife slammed into a stalk.” The next morning, he can barely move: “The lightning bolts of pain shot from his hips to his ankles as he forced on his pants.” Rogers balances the harsh realities of Blue’s life with the small pleasures of his life, such as when he sees a sign advertising “Fried hen-egg on buttered toast 6 cents”. Blue watches the cook fry the egg, and then “His mouth watered as he chomped down on a corner and tore off a mouthful of the hot egg and buttered toast”. For the nearly destitute Blue, the simple pleasure of an egg and a piece of toast provides a moment of relief. Perhaps the greatest pleasure in Blue’s life is playing his guitar and singing, a pleasure that also earns him a few pennies on occasion. In Dyersburg, Tennessee, Rogers writes, “Instinct and magic led his fingers across the strings as he drifted into that world of sound and feeling inhabited only by the music and the one who gives it life.”

On that transcendent occasion, Blue sees Sherry standing before him as he plays, and she drops a nickel in his cup. The moment transforms Blue’s life. Not only does he perform before an appreciative audience and receives money, he also realizes of Sherry that “it wasn’t her money he wanted, only her approval.” Frank Rogers is a gifted storyteller, who uses concrete language and masterful narrative techniques to develop characters and weave his plot threads into a vivid tapestry. Dialogue always serves more than one purpose, as Rogers develops his characters through their interactions, and extends his narrative through the conversations. Rogers has a sensitive ear for language and intonation, allowing him to portray his characters, not only by what they say, but also by their speech patterns and word choices. For example, Sledge, another of Blue’s friends, has a sarcastic sense of humor and a sometimes-whimsical take on the world. Blue shows him his watch and tells Sledge that railroad men often carry them. Sledge’s response is “About the only time I see a railroad man is when he’s chasing me with a club. I never get a good look at his timepiece.” In addition to the dialogue, the plot line of the novel moves smoothly, interweaving subplots with surprising turns. The subplots

flow with the main storyline, leading the reader to the book’s satisfying conclusion. Rogers’ story of a transient’s life during the Depression is reminiscent of other depictions of the time, including Steinbeck’s epic novel “The Grapes of Wrath” and James Agee’s classic non-fiction “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” with photographs by Walker Evans. Rogers’ story is in the same vein as Steinbeck’s story of the Joad family. Likewise, some of Rogers’ descriptions of his nearly-destitute characters call up Agee’s text, and especially Walker Evan’s stunning black and white photographs of poor sharecropper families. The readers who travel with Blue Bailey through Frank Rogers’ novel will hear the click of the rails and the mournful tones of Woody Guthrie’s song “Hobo Lullaby” as they share Blue’s nomadic quest across the American landscape. Author Bio Frank Allan Rogers has published two other novels, both with a Western theme: “Upon a Crazy Horse” (nominated for Georgia Author of the Year Award for Best First Novel) and “Twice Upon a Time.” He is a member of the Carrollton Writers Guild. He and his wife Mary Rogers, an award-winning oil artist, have traveled extensively, especially in the American Southwest, where both find inspirations for their art. When not traveling, they live in west Georgia. WGL

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Paula Waters Realtor

Cell: 770-301-9154 | Office : 770-834-3000 Fax: 770-830-8415 | 1000 Bankhead Hwy • Carrollton, GA 30117

© 2011 Allstate Insurance Company

January/February 2018 West Georgia Living 73


West Georgia businesses answer consumer questions Other than bragging rights, how

Viewing of our loved one? Does

does hosting Georgia High School

Cremation mean no viewing? Do you

Association and other statewide

know what to really ask for when

events benefit our community?

choosing Cremation?

Carrollton City Schools ............................ 75

Scott & Ellen Wynn McBrayer/ Jones Wynn Funeral Home........................77

Ultrasounds in Cats and Dogs Carroll County Animal Hospital .................. 76

Women and Heart Disease Tanner Health System


Plan Now for a Beautiful Springtime Backyard Wedding- Fall Lawn Tips from NG Turf NG Turf. ................................................79 74 West Georgia Living January/February 2018




Q. Other than bragging rights, how does hosting Georgia High These examples demonstrate how hosting events supports School Association and other statewide events benefit our the community overall. Merchants, restaurants and hotels community? not only gain increases in sales, the tax that comes with those sales goes into city and county coffers to help our schools and The Nov. 12 headline in the Times-Georgian read, “State cross country event a million-dollar meet.� The story was about how governments.This revenue comes into our county and stays here, Carrollton High School’s 24th consecutive hosting of the while the ones who pay the tax go back home, allowing tourism Georgia High School Association’s cross country championships dollars to be one of the most efficient revenue generators for any Nov. 3-4 proved once again to be a financial boon to the west community. Georgia area. Exceptional facilities are critical ingredients needed to create the

Dr. Mark Albertus

Superintendent, Carrollton City Schools Qualifications Dr. Albertus was named superintendent of Carrollton City Schools in 2016 following eight years of serving as principal of Carrollton High School, where he led CHS in the implementation of the International Baccalaureate Diploma program and successfully pushed for AdvancED STEM certification, resulting in CHS becoming only the 18th high school in the world to receive such recognition. Before Carrollton, he was an administrator at Parkview High School in Lilburn, Ga., where he began as a social studies teacher and coach following military service as a U.S. Army officer. Dr. Albertus earned his undergraduate degree from Presbyterian College and master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees from the University of Alabama.

CES String Orchestra members sing at holiday concert

The dollar amount reported is based on a state formula that calculates the economic power of tourism on a community. The estimate for the cross country meet was a very conservative one – it multiplies a $50 per day average a visitor spends in a community by the number of participants/attendees. The number reported in the article did not include overnight stays, which adds considerably more dollars to the total. We know many, many people stayed overnight – hotels were booked for miles around.

The latest event CHS hosted occurred the following weekend, but was not sports-related. The CHS debate program hosted its annual Peach State Classic debate tournament, a massive undertaking that brought 500 competitors to campus in one of the largest debate tournaments in the state. The two-day event was estimated to bring more than $70,000 in economic impact to the area. This spring, we will also host the GHSA state track and golf championships, more opportunities to benefit our local economy.

recipe for an economic pie that we all get to share. As a school system, we take great pride in taking care of these assets and look for ways to further their use beyond the school day that offer revenue-generating potential for the community. We look at this as part of our responsibility of being good stewards of taxpayer money.

Other community partners also contribute in this way. The city and county recreation departments host tournaments and other events at their facilities – and ours when needed – while individual cities and towns also seek ways to capitalize on their tourism potential to lure visitors to the area. Hosting events certainly provides impressive bragging rights from a public relations standpoint, but it also makes great economic sense.

Learn more at

THERE’S NOTHING STANDARD ABOUT OUR STANDARDS. At Carrollton City Schools, exceeding the status quo is our expectation. That’s why we search for opportunity to take all of our students – even the youngest Trojans – to the next level in academic exposure. Our Academies of Carrollton Elementary School program is just one           graders next year – are enrolled in either the Dual Language, STEM or Performing Arts academy program, giving them an extra boost of enrichment to propel their academic journey. CALL TO SCHEDULE A TOUR

106 Trojan Drive I 770-832-9633 I


What every West Georgian should know about ultrasound in dogs and cats


Probably everyone has had a friend or family member

who has had an ultrasound before. Ultrasound is now more than ever become standard of care in veterinary


medicine. Ultrasound has been common place in

human medicine for many years. Having the ability to look inside a patient without having to take them

to surgery is wonderful for the patient and the client, but more important allows us to provide more good time together for pets and their families.

Jason Harden, D.V.M

Ultrasound takes sound waves, passes them

through the body, and based on the density of the

Carroll County Animal Hospital

structure the computer generates an image. This

Qualifications: Dr. Jason Harden is a native of Carrollton, GA. He graduated from Oak Mountain Academy and continued on to the University of Georgia where he received his degree in Biology and his doctorate in veterinary medicine. His interests in veterinary medicine include surgery, exotic medicine, and ophthalmology. Dr. Harden is married to Chloe Harden, and they have 2 children, Maggie and Reese. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Animal Hospital Association. He is the chairman of the Oak Mountain Academy school board, a member of the Carrollton Lions Club, and on the board of directors of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.

technology became popular in veterinary medicine

about 20 years ago and as the technology has

improved so has the capabilities. Now we are able to detect heart defects in youngs dogs much easier than

before, we are able to perform biopsies of questionable area in the abdomen, we are able to evaluate hearts in

older patients and diagnose heart disease much earlier. In the past this level of expertise was only available

at referral centers or veterinary teaching hospitals.

Now at Carroll County Animal Hospital, we are able to offer the latest technology enhancement that ultrasound has to offer. From the earliest pregnancy diagnosis, to quickly assessing a patient that has been in a traumatic accident, to obtaining a biopsy that historically would have taken a surgery, to the earliest assessment of heart disease; ultrasound has allowed Carroll County Animal Hospital to be the leader in west Georgia in advancement in pet healthcare. If you feel like your pet benefit from this technology, feel free to consult one of our doctors at 770-832-2475.

For more information, call 770-832-2475 or 770-834-1000 or visit

Carroll County

Animal Hospital Sometimes your pet’s health care can’t be scheduled Office Hours: Mon. - Sun. 8am - Midnight Regular Office Hours: Mon. - Sun. 8am - 6pm


(770) 832-2475

635 Columbia Dr. 1155 Stripling Chapel Rd. Carrollton, Ga. 30117 Carrollton, Ga. 30116       

(770) 832-2475 Across from Sony(770) Music834-1000



Viewing of our loved one? Does Cremation mean no viewing? Do you know what to really ask for when choosing Cremation? Last column we talked about a funeral and establishing significance. Let’s continue with how to build memories, plan a meaningful funeral or memorial, and cremation questions and what it all means from our experience.

West Georgia businesses answer consumer questions


Scott McBrayer Ellen Wynn McBrayer Jones-Wynn Funeral Home & Crematory and Meadowbrook Memory Gardens As always, we remain “A Family Serving FamiliesŽ....Since 1950�


Scott & Ellen McBrayer are both licensed funeral directors and embalmers. Jones-Wynn Funeral Homes & Crematory has served our community since 1950. We keep our funeral home & crematory synonymous with its name & reputation of serving & caring for families. We are three generations carrying on one tradition. We offer Peace of Mind with the highest quality of service and affordable options. Our funeral home family is always available to help you clarify or answer questions you might need help with.


Should we view our loved one, or as some say “view the body�?

It’s a tradition that varies by location in the country. The time a family chooses for visitation can very greatly. Visitation is also a time that friends and family come by and pay their respects, sign the register book and spend a few moments with the deceased and the family. Visitation is important. Without it and your connection with the community of friends you love, it leaves “visitation� open ended and with no closure. This can create “visitation� for a lifetime. For example, if families and friends don’t have the ability to show the respect for your loved one during a set visitation time, then they will do so whenever they see you. For example, we were friends with a lady who didn’t view her husband or have a visitation and now she said she can’t even go to the grocery store. She said that when people approach her and start talking about her husband and what he meant to them, it just becomes so much heartache and during unexpected times that she just can’t face going into public yet.

We are great believers in the value of the family seeing their loved one, but every family must make that choice for themselves. However, if a family makes a choice to not view, then we would recommend that the family find other ways to face the reality of the loss. Viewing can give a reality and be the first step of a healthy grief experience. Yes, it seems difficult, but in most cases it has a healing and comforting effect on us. Also, remember that our efforts to avoid viewing often leave far too much to the imagination. Imagination will in many situations make things or situations worse than it was in reality. As a grief counselor once told us, “I have seen how much solace this can provide a family, and how little is then left to the imagination.� Cremation, can we view? Often times it’s assumed that if cremation is to be used, then there can not be any viewing of the loved one. There is no basis for this assumption at all. Cremation doesn’t change anything except the final disposition of the body of the loved one. What does Visitation really mean? Visitation is a time for people to come by the funeral home for visitation or calling hours.


How do you make your service your own? Our recommendation is to reach out to your trusted local funeral director and ask questions. Set up a time to make a prearrangement. This doesn’t mean you have to pay for the service in advance. This simply means you start to grasp how many different options are offered and you can start making choices that will provide a healthy and financially smart decision for your family.


$6. XLI (;(57


What every West Georgian should know about Women and Heart Disease

By Dia Smiley, DO

Tanner Heart & Vascular Specialists


Dr. Smiley earned her medical degree from the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens, Ohio. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship with the division of vascular surgery at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., and her residency in internal medicine and a cardiology fellowship at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine Clinical Scientist Training Program in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Smiley also completed a fellowship in advanced cardiac imaging at the Yale University School of Medicine/ Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Conn.

Q. Isn’t heart disease a “man’s” disease? A. Despite the perception that men are more likely than women to experience cardiovascular disease, studies show that the disease occurs in similar rates among both men and women. More than 44 million American women have cardiovascular disease and up to 90 percent of all women have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association.

caused by cardiovascular disease, claiming another woman’s life every 80 seconds. One reason so few women survive cardiovascular events is because they are less likely to recognize the symptoms and that they should seek help. Heart attacks, for instance, can often present differently for women than they do for men. Women may experience: •

Chest discomfort — including pain, pressure, fullness or squeezing in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes

Q. Why are cardiovascular disease rates so high among women?

Discomfort in the jaw, neck, back, stomach, or one or both arms

A. Women tend to put their heart health on the back burner, in part because of the misconception that men are more likely to experience cardiovascular disease. Like men, women must also focus on maintaining a healthy weight, reducing their intake of fat and sodium, controlling their blood pressure and monitoring their cholesterol. Studies show that up to 80 percent of all women’s cardiovascular disease events — such as heart attacks and strokes — could be prevented with lifestyle changes.

Shortness of breath (especially in older adults)

Nausea, sweating or weakness


Cold sweats

Vague pain in the upper abdomen or in different areas of the body at the same time

Unexplained fatigue

Q. Are women as likely as men to survive a cardiovascular event? A. Women are less likely than men to survive a cardiovascular event. One-in-three women’s deaths is

If you experience any of the above symptoms, don’t wait; call 911. Tanner’s accredited Chest Pain Centers in Carrollton and Villa Rica enable you to receive lifesaving heart care fast, providing the advanced care you need to assess, diagnose and treat anyone experiencing chest pain. For more information, visit

Heart disease isn’t exclusively a men’s disease — it occurs at a similar rate in women. And unlike men, women tend to wait longer before realizing their symptoms could be related to their hearts. Don’t let time slip by; start improving your heart’s health today.

To find a heart specialist, call 770.214.CARE or learn more at MEDICINE BEYOND MEASURESM

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If a springtime backyard wedding is in your plans, you really should start working on that lawn now! The steps you take in the fall help protect your lawn throughout the winter and encourage the fastest spring green up possible. Keep Mowing

Nicky Dailey Scheduling Manager & Marketing Qualifications Joined the NG Turf team in 2011. While being the Senior Sales Representative she is also the Scheduling Manager and oversees marketing for NG Turf. She became a Certified Turfgrass Professional in 2012.

As long as your grass is growing, you should keep mowing. As the season winds down, lower your mower blade a little at a time until you get to the lowest setting. Just remember to never take off more than 1/3 of the leaf height in any one mowing. Shorter blades let more sunlight in over the winter, keeping the crowns healthy. Let It Breathe

Using a rented aerator or hiring a landscaper to do it for you ensures enough oxygen, water, and fertilizer reach your lawn’s roots. Don’t worry about raking up those little lawn plugs, either. They will break apart and become part of your topsoil.

down into the roots below the surface to encourage deep roots and energy storage for the spring.

Your weeds are hungry in the fall, too. So now is a great time to broadcast some broad-leaf weed herbicides. Just watch the temperatures. If it gets too cold, the weeds will die back before the weed killer does its job. Repair and Renew

Use a quick-start seed mixture or fresh sod patches to repair any bald or brown spots. Be sure to clear away dead grass and to scrape the surface soil loose with a firm rake or trowel. Water your patched area thoroughly and continue to water as needed to provide 1 inch of water per week. Adjust pH

Most turf varieties that grow in the southeast prefer neutral to slightly acidic soil. You can purchase a do-it-yourself soil pH testing kit at your favorite garden supply store or send your Remove Those Leaves samples off for professional testing. Soil that is too acidic is corrected with lime while basic soil is treated with sulfur or That layer of damp leaves blocks sunlight, encourages fungal disease, and suffocates your lawn. You should aim for removing peat moss. You can find soil pH and testing information on our website under the Resources tab. leaves every several days but no less than once a week. How you remove the leaves is up to you - raking, blowing, and using April showers may bring may flowers, but a mulching mower all accomplish the same goal. Feed Your Lawn (and Your Weeds!)

The fall is the best time of year to fertilize your lawn. The blades are growing slower so more of the nutrients make it

some fall landscaping knowhow is what you’ll need to have a beautiful green lawn for your spring wedding. Let us know how we can help!

Advancing Heart Care At Tanner, we take matters of the heart seriously. That’s why we empower our team of board-certified cardiology and vascular medicine specialists throughout west Georgia and east Alabama to provide the advanced clinical care you need. Our fully accredited 24-hour chest pain centers, multiple clinic locations, advanced interventional cardiology program and state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging capabilities ensure that the care you need is always available — close to home. At Tanner, we’re here for you and your heart — offering exceptional heart care services with medicine beyond measure.

To find a heart specialist, call 770.214.CARE or learn more at MEDICINE BEYOND MEASURESM

WGL January-February 2018  
WGL January-February 2018  

West Georgia's most popular living and lifestyle magazine.