SB- So he popped the question! Tell us a little about it.

Maggie- I met Steve in 2006 while working at a golf course on the weekends in college. Steve often played with his father and some of the pro’s at the course, and one day the assistant golf pro covertly arranged for us to play a round together. The round may not have led to our lowest scores, but it certainly was our most important! Fast forward 6 years…Steve’s parents had given us a helicopter ride as an early Christmas present. We took off not far from the course where we first met, and Steve asked if the pilot would fly us over to view it from the sky. As we took in the beautiful panorama, the pilot navigated toward the clubhouse. As we got closer, I noticed a crowd of people standing on the driving range waving at us – and I remember thinking – ‘what are all these people doing?’. A few moments later I realized the reason for all the attention as saw ‘Marry me?’ painted on the course. While I was caught beautifully unaware, Steve’s parents might have let slip to a few friends that their son was proposing to the woman he had met on the course those 6 years prior. I said yes! Shared a kiss, and enjoyed a beautiful trip over Atlanta. The flight ended at Barnsley Gardens where we were picked up from the helicopter and taken around the property for our own private tour which ended at a cabin Steve had rented us. The very last surprise that Steve had planned was dinner with both of our parents on the property. It was amazing to share the moment with our parents who have shown us true examples of marriage.

SB- Tell us a little about your venue. Where did you get married? Why did you choose it? What did you love about it?

Maggie- Steve and I wanted the feel of a destination wedding where family and friends could come and stay. The first place we visited was Chateau Elan Winery & Resort located about 45 miles north of Atlanta. One of our or musts was to have the ceremony and reception at the same location. Chateau Elan was a perfect fit as our friends and family made a weekend out of our wedding- no one even had to leave the property. We were able to spend more time with our loved ones because everyone was in one place the whole weekend! This was a major plus for us, but the property was equally amazing (who doesn’t love the beauty of a winery?).

SB- Tell us about finding THE dress. Was it love at first sight or were you caught off guard when you tried it on?

Maggie- When I went shopping all I knew was that I wanted a full lace dress. After trying on a few, I loved details of several different dresses, but not one dress by itself. So what else is a woman to do when coming to this realization? Design her own dress! I left that day with an all lace A-line dress that was over 4 sizes too big. Did I mention I bought a pre owned (not worn) designer dress for half price? I had the most amazing and patient alterations woman took my vision and transformed it into MY dream dress. I had 6 alteration appointments over a span of 4 months. I took my dress home 3 weeks before the wedding. I walked down the isle in a trumpet fitted dress with an exposed lace train that fit like a glove. (I have some before photos if needed)

SB- What were some of the most important components of your wedding? In other words, what details were you most passionate about and why?

Maggie- We were very passionate about a few aspects of our ceremony (detailed in question 9). We were also very passionate about enjoying the night with our guests- so much so that we extended the reception and bar an hour because we did not want the night to end. It was also very important to keep the night moving and our guests entertained. The flow of our wedding kept the energy level high, and built into an amazing evening.

SB- Tell us about your bridal party. Who did you choose to stand with you? Did you do anything creative to ask them?

Maggie- I had 7 beautiful ladies standing by my side on my wedding day. My sister filled the matron of honor role beautifully, and I had friends from aspects of my life from childhood, college and my early adult life. In order to ask these ladies to join me on my wedding day, I invited them over for dinner one night. I kept it a secret who was invited despite several questions about who was coming. The evening gave me a chance to spend time with all of the girls, after which I presented them with a gift – a personalized hanger with each of their names, and a letter. A few tears of happiness were shed as each of these special ladies said yes to joining me on my wedding day.

SB- Pictures. Pictures. Pictures. Tell us about the photos. What shots were important to you? Which picture is your favorite?

Maggie- As an out of town bride (we moved to Charlotte from Atlanta two years before the wedding) I spoke with my photographer about my ideas for photos. Jared was able to understand my visions as well as prepare me for the big day. He was full of advice and knowledge that proved priceless. Jared and I decided to capture the moments with action shots. Boy did he shine! We have some amazing pictures to show for it. With that said, I can’t just have one favorite photo. Front runners are vineyard shots as well as a photo of Steve and I on the dance floor when he pulled off his tie and draped it over my neck!

SB- Anything unexpected happen during your wedding? Something funny?

Maggie- The groom was enjoying a few moments (and cocktails) with his groomsmen before the wedding in one of Chateau Elan’s restaurants. Steve is a former baseball player, and huge Atlanta Braves fan. Coincidentally the Manager of the Atlanta Braves, Fredi Gonzalez, happened to walk in and order a drink next to the groom and his friends. Fredi was kind enough to share a few jokes, a drink, and even give the groom a ‘good game’ pat on the butt for encouragement on the nuptials that were only a few minutes away. Nothing like a pre-game pep talk from the Braves Manager!

A wardrobe malfunction is pretty unexpected and that’s what happened to two people in the wedding party- a groomsman and the bride! One of Steve’s groomsman had to walk gingerly upon finding that his tux pants were about four sizes too small. If you can imagine an 80’s rock star leather pant (that could split at the seam with any false move) you understand what the poor groomsman had to deal with on his walk down the aisle. The bride had a wardrobe malfunction, but was able to hide it a little easier than the groomsman. Following dinner the bride and groom hit the dance floor to show off a few moves. Unfortunately, the groom’s excitement led to a couple quick spins, dips and lifts…the result was a hook and eye on the bride’s dress popping off. Luckily the bride laughed it off, found her wedding coordinator and photographer (who was prepared with a needle and fishing line) and made a quick fix of the situation.

SB- Describe your feelings and thoughts as you were walking down the aisle.

Maggie- As I was walking down the aisle I was overwhelmed with many emotions – especially joy and love. Everyone was staring at me! Me! I took one look at the crowd as I was walking down the staircase to my groom and never looked back, I just kept my eyes on him. I will never forget as we approached the first row of guest, my father and I stopped and took a moment- Steve wiped a tear from his face (caught by our amazing photographer I must add). I remember saying to my father- he’s crying! I had not expected this reaction as we chose to see each other before the wedding. Even though we saw each other before the wedding I was just as moved (as was he) when we saw each other again in that special moment.

SB- Did you choose to do something totally unique or different at your wedding? Tell us about that and the inspiration behind it.

Maggie- I wouldn’t say we did anything totally different, but I feel like we added unique touches to our ceremony that I will always remember. Steve and I wrote letters to each other as well as asked our parents to write letters to us. These letters remain sealed in a box displayed in our home as a constant reminder of our commitment to each other. We will open the box and read these letters on our 5th anniversary, then write another love letter to each other to be opened every 5 years thereafter. During the ceremony, we collected the letters written by our parents. We wanted to make sure our parents were honored during this time so our minster spoke about the 65 plus years combined our parents have been married-what an accomplishment and inspiration. After honoring our parents, we took a moment to look at all of our friends and family that were at our wedding to support us. I will never forget this moment- we held hands as we faced our audience- one friend stood out in particular- we made eye contact and I gave her a huge smile as she cried and wiped tears from her face. As time stood still, we were able to make connections with our friends and family that will never be forgotten. Not to mention, the crowd was able to see our faces during the ceremony, and see how much it meant to us to have them there at that moment.

SB- As you think back on that day, what stands out as being your favorite moment?

Maggie- How could you ever possibly define one moment from the most exciting day of your life? Moments that will always stand out in my head are seeing my groom for the first time and giving him a big hug- the first look really helped calm my nerves! Speeches- who doesn’t get touched by loved ones sharing their memories and thoughts about you and your partner. The party- who could ever forget the party. All of our friends and family in one place at one time is the most amazing feeling.

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