A Wedding with Timeless Elegance at a Historical Venue in Atlanta, Georgia
In August 2010, Scott was new to his Georgia high school when Dina noticed him sitting by himself at lunch and invited him to join her. "Over the next few months, we became close friends, and on Christmas Eve of the same year, Scott asked me to be his official girlfriend while we were on a walk in a local park," says Dina. "Nine years after we met, Scott took me to the same park. He dropped to one knee and this time, instead of asking me to be his girlfriend, he asked me to be his wife!"
Dina and Scott wanted to create an event they describe as "Old-World romance with a modern touch," choosing the Atlanta History Center's Swan House and Gardens for their 75-person event, held on May 22, 2021. "The location and the décor reflected both of our interests," says Dina. "We love to travel and really enjoy art and architecture. We felt that the Swan House brought a little of our European interest to America in its style."
Their color palette—white, ivory, pink, black, and green—and aesthetic choices, like live string music, classic florals, and gold accents, allowed them to put together an elegant day for their nearest and dearest. "Another priority for us was keeping the event intimate; we only wanted to include our closest family and friends," says Dina. "We chose not to have a wedding party because of the intimacy of the event and because we thought it allowed everyone to enjoy the event equally."
Dina and Scott chose cotton invitations with black letterpress script from Minted, adding black velvet ribbons and a custom wax seal. "The invites, envelopes, and stamping captured the vintage feeling we wanted at the wedding," says Dina.
Her Birenzweig wedding dress, with its illusion neckline, open back, lace sleeves, and dramatic train, was an easy choice. "As soon as I saw it, I imagined it being a dress I could wear at the type of wedding we wanted to have," she says. "I loved the beading and lacework! It checked all the boxes for me and it was a standout beyond other dresses I tried." Though she loved the gown, it didn't cause an emotional reaction—which Dina came to appreciate. "I did not have 'that moment,' which is something I would caution other brides against trying to have on their search," she says. "This dress was perfect and everything I wanted. Don't worry if you don't fall into tears when you walk in front of the mirror the first time."
A Dash of Drama
Dina and Scott chose a covered spot under the columns of the Swan House's front porch for their first look. "I know I was both nervous, happy, and excited all at once—Scott says he felt the same way!" says Dina. "I think we both had a lot of thoughts about how we would end up looking on camera, and in a way that detracts a little bit from the moment. In the end, it still wound up being very special."
In Loving Memory
The bride's bouquet—from Ten Point Floral Design—included cafe au lait dahlias, garden roses, hellebores, pink astilbe, and ranunculus alongside a sentimental bloom: Sarah Bernhardt peonies. "Incorporating Sarah Bernhardt peonies was a special aspect of the wedding for me," says Dina. "While in and of themselves they are beautiful flowers, they hold significance to me because they were my grandmother's obsession; I was close with her as a child. She has since passed on, but peonies represent a connection to her for me."
Wooden cross-back chairs softened the property's dramatic stone staircases and draping greens. "After describing the vintage, garden-style look we were striving for, our planner dreamed up a very romantic open-top arch filled with soft greenery and large blooms," says Dina. "The organic shape and colors made it perfect for a springtime wedding and was a beautiful complement to the surrounding landscape and architecture of the house and gardens."
A Bold Boutonnière
The groom's father, John, escorted Dina to the altar in one of the couple's favorite parts of the ceremony. "Scott's dad walked me down the aisle, as my father passed, so that was a special moment between our two families," says Dina. "We both agree that walking down the aisle was the moment that 'made it real.'"
She Said, He Said
After having two different officiants bow out due to scheduling conflicts, Dina and Scott asked Patrick Brannon of Sensational Ceremonies to oversee their ceremony, and he "turned out to be perfect!" says Dina. The couple wrote their own vows without previewing them for each other, but still found themselves on the same page: "We ended up both including the same story about our first meeting in high school!" says the bride.
So in Love
While guests moved to the cocktail hour space after the ceremony, the newlyweds wandered the grounds to enjoy some time alone. "Plan to enjoy the wedding," says Dina. "While it sounds obvious, there is a lot going on during the big day and you may feel at times that things are 'go, go, go.' Account for some time together as a couple to love on each other and take in the moment."
An antiqued silver mirror on a black stand held the reception's table assignments, allowing guests to find their seat via deckle-edge papers attached with the couple's wax seal.
A vintage car was parked outside of the venue for another Old-World touch.
Rectangular and round tables were dressed with cream-colored linens and set with black flatware. Tall centerpieces on gold-framed stands were flanked by smaller arrangements and mercury glass votives. "We wanted something that had a vintage feel while still being elegant," says Dina.
Cake Envy provided a three-tiered square black cake with a gold-dusted lace pattern on the edges and fresh flowers on top. The couple chose a combination of classic flavors: "lemon and coconut with vanilla meringue, cheesecake mousse, and triple-berry purée filling."
Light It Up
The couple suspended café string lighting above the dinner area and the dance floor, creating a warm atmosphere after dark. The meal from Soiree Catering and Events included a choice of grilled chicken in a lemon, basil, and Parmesan sauce and citrus-glazed salmon filets.
Dina and Scott agreed on "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" by Frankie Valli for their first dance. "Scott and I have somewhat different tastes in music, but we both like a lot of '60s music," says Dina. "This was a song we both liked, and that was it!"
Another favorite moment for the couple: "Cutting and eating the cake!" says Dina. "The band played The Archies' 'Sugar, Sugar,' and we got to do a cute photo op taking our first bites. After the first bite, we both stood there going in for more!"
Photography, Eve Yarbrough
Venue, Atlanta History Center's Swan House & Gardens
Wedding Planning and Event Design, LUXE Atlanta Events
Catering, Soiree Catering and Events
Flowers, Ten Point Floral Design
Officiant, Patrick Brannon
Cake, Cake Envy
Music, Empire Emerald Band; Luna Strings
Rentals, BBJ Linen; Peachtree Tents and Events
Bride's Gown, Birenzweig
Bride's Accessories, Sweet Elegance Bridal veil; Chanel earrings; Jimmy Choo shoes
Hair and Makeup, Make Me Up
Groom's Suit, Todd Goldsmith Custom
Groom's Accessories, Yves Saint Laurent shoes; Tie Bar tie
Lighting, Active Production and Design
Engagement Ring, Shane Co.
Guest Book, Blue Sky Papers
Ribbon, Hey! It's Oh, So Pretty
Wedding Rings, Cartier
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