Handmade Athens Wedding
Newlyweds Deanna and Kevin had not one, but two receptions — one more intimate, and then a grander reception with more friends and family the following day! I have to say, judging from these pictures from Twin Hearts Photography, both days were raging successes. Deanna and her mother DIYed their hearts out, ending up with a wedding weekend perfectly tailored to the couple!
From the bride, Deanna: We wanted a small, private wedding, but since I’m the only daughter, we compromised by having an intimate wedding and reception – with a big party the next day at a local bar! We choose The Hill because it was both rustic and natural while still being elegant and lovely. We hosted our larger wedding celebration at Little Kings Shuffle Club, one of our favorite hangouts in downtown Athens, Georgia.
We kept the wedding and reception under 40 people. Since we chose not to have bridesmaids or groomsmen, we turned the traditional rehearsal dinner into a Weary Travelers’ Dinner for all of our friends and family arriving the night before the wedding. It allowed us to catch up with everyone as they were coming in and took so much pressure off of the actual wedding day because we were all so comfortable with one another by then.
We DIY’d until we dropped. We thrifted suitcases, books, and jars. Kevin hand-poured candles into jars we’d collected, built and finished a set of corn hole boards, glued little pink paper squirrels onto straws, and filled and decorated individual honey jars for our favors. We designed, printed and hand-assembled all of our invitations and programs. My mom and I glued and glittered cut outs, pine cones, and magnolia husks. My mom also created the lovely fabric chandeliers used at the ceremony. The bases of the chandeliers were tomato cages! I found small metal serving trays at a local dollar store, so I painted the interior with chalkboard paint and used them on picture stands as our drink menus at Little Kings. One of my favorite memories is being on a screened-in porch with my mom and a few others arranging flowers in jars while I created all of the corsages and boutonnieres. I’d never seen and smelled so many amazing flowers in my life.
The dress I wore was my mother’s wedding dress from 1979. I had it completely restructured and shortened by an independent seamstress, and I added a fluffy ivory crinoline underneath. I put a framed picture of my mom in the original dress on the guest book table. Kevin and I decided to wear our wedding clothes for both the actual wedding and the wedding celebration the next day. We wanted the gathering at Little Kings to feel as much like the wedding as possible for the people attending, while still maintaining a casual atmosphere. We reused nearly all of the décor and flowers from the ceremony for the celebration at Little Kings the next day.
Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Find a great photographer that matches your style. We can’t tell you how important it was for us to have photographers who captured the details and mood in a way that allows us to relive everything now that the day has passed.
Processional: “Wild Horses” performed by Vitamin String Quartet
Recessional: “God Only Knows” performed by Vitamin String Quartet
First Dance at The Hill: “Come Pick Me Up,” Ryan Adams
First Dance at Little Kings: “Sea of Love,” Cat Power
Wedding Location: Athens, GA / Photographer: Twin Hearts Photography / Wedding Venues: The Hill (owned by Lee Epting of Epting Events) and Little Kings Shuffle Club / Event Coordinator and Caterer for The Hill: Epting Events / Flowers: DIY — combination of flowers from a florist, Kroger and Trader Joe’s / Wedding Dress Reconstruction: Janna Dudley Design, Inc. / Jewelry and Shoes: Macy’s / Veil and Garter: DIY / Hair and Makeup: Bride / Groom’s Attire: J. Crew / Caterer for Little Kings: Hallie Jane’s Catering / Cakes: Cecilia Villaveces Cakes / DJ: Richard Vinal / Officiant: Reverent Alison Eskildsen from Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens / Stationery: DIY using Paper Source paper goods