Out of all the wedding venues I’ve seen throughout the years, this one has to be one of my favorites. Amy and Chris knew instantly that Atlanta’s Fernbank Museum of Natural History was the ideal spot for their wedding day, and with dinosaur bones and statues at every turn, how could we disagree? This wedding wouldn’t be complete without its dream team, which includes some incredible vendors like Jason Hales Photography, Juli Vaughn Designs, and Amanda Ready of Atlanta Event Studio.
From the bride, Amy: We knew the Fernbank Museum of Natural History was our wedding venue immediately. After Chris and I got done looking at the space–filled with natural light, earth tones, and dinosaurs–we walked out of the front of the building and looked at each other. The rest is history. Since we were getting married at a natural history museum, we wanted to mix earthy, neutral tones, with colorful, unique accents. We did not want our decor to be too modern or rustic, so we left the designing to our awesome stylist/designer who decided to use the neutrality of kraft paper for our ceremony backdrop and for our tables. We wanted everything to be elegant and beautiful without feeling stuffy or too formal — we are very playful people and I think that our venue and decor represented our personalities very well.
Our wedding was very elegant in an alternative, shabby chic way. It is hard for me to find words to describe exactly the style of our wedding because I’ve honestly never seen anything like it before! Because the venue itself is filled with natural light and earth tones, I wanted a great neutral color for my bridesmaids that would make all of the color and florals pop. I knew our designer was planning on playing with colors–pinks, oranges, greens, and yellows–so I chose a navy dress with nude heels. The guys worse charcoal tuxes that complimented their simple, classic succulent boutineers. Since the great hall where we were married has very high ceilings, and is very earthy in tone, Chris suggested we do something fun for our napkins. We chose a dark gray table cloth so it would contrast with the museum surroundings, and then we chose a mint napkin that softened up the space.
I love vintage pieces, but since a vintage theme did not really fit in with our venue, I was ecstatic to display my mother’s wedding dress from 1977 on a dress form near the cake table. Having her dress displayed was not only very special for me, but it also added a sense of vintage nostalgia to our reception. Chris and I were on a budget, and we’re pretty creative people, so we made our guest seating board that was displayed during cocktail hour. Chris was able to build a frame-like board out of some recycled pallet wood that we eventually painted a light gray. We printed out table numbers and guests names on some kraft paper and put them in old frames that we had laying around the house and were able to re-purpose. We just cut kraft paper in half and folded, then glued wooden numbers that we had painted in bright colors. Even though it was relatively small in the grand scheme of our day, it was really neat to know that we had contributed something that we had DIY to our wedding day.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Start early and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. If you choose the right vendors, you will be able to trust that they know how to do their jobs better than you do. Details DO matter, so make sure you and your vendors pay attention to the small stuff! Don’t be scared to play around with different DIY ideas.
Prelude: Vitamin String Quartet
Mother and Bridal Party Processional: “La Vie en Rose,” Louis Armstrong; “Come Away With Me,” Norah Jones
Bride’s Processional: Pachelbel’s Canon in D
Recessional: “You Make My Dreams Come True,” Hall & Oates
First Dance: “Into the Mystic,” Van Morrison
Father/Daughter Dance: “My Little Girl,” Tim McGraw
Mother/Son Dance: “Happy,” Pharrell
Wedding Location: Atlanta, GA / Photographer: Jason Hales Photography / Event Design and Flowers: Juli Vaughn Designs / Wedding Coordination: Amanda Ready of Atlanta Event Studio / Venue: Fernbank Museum of Natural History / Venue Coordinator: Britain Lamon of Fernbank Museum of Natural History / Wedding Dress: Lazaro via Bridals by Lori / Wedding Shoes: Audrey Brooke / Bracelet: Cache / Earrings: Golden Stella via America’s Mart / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff (Brides by Demetrios) / Tuxedos: Black Tie by Lori via Bridals by Lori / Wedding Caterer and Cake: A Legendary Event / Music: DJ Josh Whitlock / Transportation: Cooper-Global / Wedding Invitations: Shine Wedding Invitations