Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Perkins Wedding


On Friday, May 3rd, 2013, I had the joy of watching my baby brother walk down the aisle and marry his best friend and girl of his dreams.  After seven years of dating and one year of engagement, they officially tied the  knot and became husband and wife.

The celebrating began on Thursday in Dahlonega, Georgia with a short rehearsal at the wedding venue, The White Oaks Barn.  You can tell by the pictures that it was a windy and cold afternoon.

Stellar mountain views

After practicing our walk and sequence of events, we made our way to Frogtown Cellars for a rehearsal dinner party.  The dining room had a spectacular view overlooking the vineyards, which we enjoyed from the inside since mother nature graced us with December-like temperatures for this first weekend in May.

Royce and his groomsmen (Mike, Ben, and Chris) took a moment relax amidst the stress of the impending wedding.

Dad was Royce's best man and gave a stellar speech and toast prior to all being seated for the feast.  A few tears were shed as he expressed his heartfelt love and joy for Royce and Erin.

Dinner was served buffet style and included pork tenderloin, caesar salad, sweet potatoes with praline topping, green bean almondine, and french bread.  No meal could be complete without dessert, which featured the couple's favorite - key lime pie - and blackberry cobbler.

Friday morning started rather quietly as the bridal party began to assemble and prepare for the day.  Erin and Royce were faced with the tough decision to move their dream outdoor wedding inside as the temperatures hung in the 50s, winds whipped, and rain threatened.  It was a difficult concession after a year of planning, but ultimately the ceremony shifted into the White Oaks Barn.

Erin and Royce exchanged letters and gifts just prior to pre-ceremony pictures.  We all struggled to keep dry eyes as we caught a glimpse of the love they have for each other.

Erin looked absolutely gorgeous!  From her hair, to the sparking earrings, to the flowing dress, she certainly was stunning on her wedding day.  While anxiously awaiting our 5pm call to the begin the ceremony, lots of pictures were taken.  I can't wait to share the collection of professional photos that were captured.

The grandmother's enjoyed all of the girls getting dolled up for the event.  The general consensus was that we are all quite simple when it comes to hair and makeup - opting for straight hair (frequently pulled up) and nothing on our eyes.  Joy (Erin's cousin) was our stylist and beautician for the day and she deserves all of the credit for our finished looks.

Mom, can you believe your son is about to get married?

White Oaks Barn is nestled in the north Georgia mountains, just a short drive from downtown Dahlonega.  Erin and Royce knew immediately upon stepping onto the grounds that it was the perfect site for them to say their vows.  With just a few short hours to shift from outdoors to indoors, the barn was transformed into a gray and yellow themed scene that was magnificent.

The ceremony was held just in front of the large barn doors.  Just as Erin and her Dad stepped foot down the aisle, the doors swung open and breathtaking views of the mountains captured everyone's attention.

Each table was decorated with a burlap runner, mason jars filled with flowers and candles, and framed pictures of the couple.  Each frame was dated with a year and corresponding pictures of Royce and Erin were featured.  

The cake was a simple, yet elegant white cake with vanilla butter cream and adorned with yellow flowers.

Erin's ideas for decor came to life and included personal touches in nearly every corner.  A framed picture of Grandpa Perkins was placed in a seat along the front row during the ceremony.  I know that symbolic touch meant so much to Royce  - knowing that his grandfather was there watching him become a married man.

After introductions of the bridal party, it was time to eat.  Royce and Erin selected a menu of hawaiian chicken, macaroni and cheese, grilled vegetables, salad, and dinner rolls.  Appetizers of artichoke spinach dip with pita wedges and meatballs were also passed while the bridal party and family gathered for pictures.

Royce and Erin played nice when it came time to cut and serve each other cake.  Not a single crumb was smeared on faces or clothes.  Compared to the nervous energy just prior to the ceremony, they both  were looking much more calm and relaxed at this point in the evening.

When it came time for Royce and Erin's first dance, we were all impressed by their choreographed routine that they had learned in dance lessons.

Mom was surprised when they she was called onto the stage for a mother and son dance.  There was laughter as Royce explained that learning a single dance was a large enough task, and thus impromptu moves sufficed for his dance with Mom.

After a night of celebrated with friends and family, it was time for the newly wedded to make their exit.  We cheered them on with a sparkler farewell as they made their way to the stretch limo.  Their destination for the evening was the Westin in Atlanta.  In the morning they will set out on their honeymoon at the Dreams Resort in the Dominican Republic.

Now, as I write this, it is Saturday morning and it's hard to believe that the wedding festivities have come to an end already.  Fortunately, Royce and Erin have an entire lifetime ahead of them to celebrate and enjoy together.  I'm so happy that my brother has found the girl of his dreams and know that they will continue to bring out the best in each other.  I love you both immensely!  Enjoy soaking up every ray of the Dominican sunshine!