Melissa and Marshall’s navy and white wedding was rustic, elegant, and so full of love. Captured by Rustic White Photography, this couple was inspired by the love of the outdoors and their families, and the outcome was a beautiful, meaningful Southern fete! Melissa is here with us today sharing her wedding insights- she has some great tidbits, so don’t miss them!
What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?
Jennifer Lackey with Storybook Wedding Consulting :) The couple that owned Rustix Manor, Steve and Karen Marcinko, were also super helpful and made some very helpful recommendations. They really knew their stuff.
What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?
The venue was by far the most important decision. We knew we wanted to get married outdoors, and we wanted a unique venue that allowed us to showcase our personalities. A lot of weddings you see in Atlanta seem very “cookie cutter”and it’s probably because most venues want you in and out so they can generate more business. (I was shocked to hear that some hold 2 weddings a day!) The day we toured Rustix Manor, I knew we found the place. Karen and Steve were passionate about making the day special for each and every bride and groom – they only do 8 or so weddings a year because they treat each couple as if they are family. We felt right home. And the place was absolutely stunning. So many great picture opportunities, places to explore, and options to make the day your own. It was perfect.
I would say the second most important decision for us was our photographers. It was the same feeling that we had when we met Karen and Steve – as soon as we met Robert and Tiffany with Rustic White, we knew we found our match! Of course not only were the pictures they took were beautiful, but Rob and Tiff were also so easy to work with. They put us at ease almost immediately, took control when needed, and captured our fondest memories of the wedding. I highly recommend them!!
Marshall and I LOVE to dance. At any party or event, we are usually the first on the dance floor and the last to leave. We wanted a band that we knew would play great music that appeals to all generations. Nelson Brownstone sure did deliver. They actually played at Marshall’s sister’s wedding and well as at his cousin’s wedding… So we knew they were good :)
When choosing a wedding coordinator, we wanted someone who was detailed oriented so I didn’t have to sweat the small stuff on the big day. Jennifer was great because she kept the whole wedding party in line (literally and figuratively speaking), organized our vendors, made sure our guests were taken care of, and let us enjoy our day without any stress! She was patient, organized, and a lot of fun. Thankfully, she also had a great sense of humor to put up with my crazy fiance who usually doesn’t always like to follow all the rules :)
Also, we love food. We cook together every night and love trying new dishes. Most of our world revolves around food. So, as you can imagine, it was really important that we pick a caterer that not only makes great food, but presents it in a fun and creative way. The same goes for cake. We were MORE than pleased with both (Affairs to Remember catering and Frosted Pumpkin cakes). Everyone loved the mac n’ cheese bar, and both the wedding and grooms cake were to die for.
Tulip, the company that did our flowers, were recommended made by the folks that own Rustix Manor. I told her I wanted gorgeous white arrangements with “touches of fall” to go with the autumn theme we had going (we got married October 25). Since they were the expert on flowers, and I didn’t know much, I told her to go with her best judgement and be creative. I really picked a winner because the flowers were GORGEOUS! I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, but somehow she read me like a book and picked things that I didn’t even realize that I would like.
What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?
The biggest inspiration for our wedding was our family. Both of our families have shaped who we are today and taught us how to love unconditionally. We all love the outdoors and knew we wanted to get married outside (thankfully the weather was perfect…and I mean perfect). We also have some “green thumbs” on both sides, so instead of lighting a unity candle, we decided to plant a tree. We used soil from each of our parents’ homes where we grew up to “plant” the tree (that was done before the ceremony…in a planter) and then watered the tree together as a married couple during the ceremony. It was such an emotional moment that symbolized the joining of two families. We also gave out baby trees as party favors for our guest to help “let love grow.”
There was also a little bike theme going on. We had used my Dad’s old bike (it was my Grandfathers, and Dad restored it) in our engagement photos. We decided to bring it to the reception and Tulip put flower arrangements and directional signs on it so guests knew where to go. Marshall’s Dad loves to ride, so there is where the family inspiration comes into play. We also had a picture of a tandem bike on our koozies with the quote “Let’s have adventures together”…to bring it all home, we rode off on a tandem bike at the end of the night (instead of a get-away car). It was epic.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding?
It’s hard to say just one thing, but if I had to sum it up, I would say how much fun it was! The venue was great, the people were having a blast, the day was perfect. The huge bonfire was a big hit! The band got everyone on the dance floor! I loved being surrounded by all my favorite people and celebrating one of the best days of my life.
(If you asked my husband this – he would say (1) the bonfire (2) the band – especially when we all sang Don’t Stop Believing by Journey and Marshall got to pass around the mic like he was some super rock star)
What is your best piece of advice for other brides?
Use a wedding coordinator! We had Jennifer for the “day of” planning, but she was also available to answer any questions we had leading up to the wedding. She was just what we needed so I could enjoy the day stress-free :)
Also, remember at the end of the day, no matter what happens, you are marrying the love of your life. Don’t worry about what other people think – just make the day your own and enjoy every second. Don’t try to do something because you feel like you have to…if it doesn’t feel right, forget about it! We didn’t do assigned seating for that reason – it felt to formal!
Such amazing advice! Thank you for sharing with us Melissa!
I love how Melissa and Marshall had a focus on their families for their wedding day. What are you planning on doing to incorporate your family into your day?