The third time was the charm for Danielle Darling and Shaun Collins — when it came to finding a place to exchange vows, that is. It took this couple two changes of venue (in two different cities!) but their ballroom garden party in the heart of Atlanta was worth the trouble. After getting engaged on June 13, 2013, the happy pair quickly started planning a wedding on Maryland's Eastern Shore. But, one year into planning, Danielle was in her hometown of Atlanta looking at spaces for the couple's engagement party and had a change of heart after finding a venue with a gorgeous garden. "When I saw the space, my jaw hit the floor. It was so beautiful," the bride says. "I called Shaun and said, 'We're moving the wedding to Atlanta.'"
He was on board, and the duo spent the next five months planning there, but then they hit a snag: Their garden venue couldn't accommodate their growing guest list, which had ballooned to 350 people. As luck would have it, the St. Regis Atlanta had a cancellation for June 13, 2015 &mdash two years to the day from when Shaun proposed — and checked all their must-have boxes. With a final venue locked in, the pair and their planner, Allison Jackson of Pineapple Productions, got down to work designing a wedding in just seven months. They drew inspiration from Restoration Hardware's style and combined earthy elements with understated and elegant details. In the end, they created an enchanted garden-vibe in a glamorous ballroom in the heart of Atlanta. You don't want to miss this stunning day, so read on to see how it all came together with the photographs captured by Kate Headley.
Danielle and Shaun worked with Cheree Berry Paper to create their custom wedding invitations. Their gray and white suite felt formal but still modern. Once guests arrived in Atlanta, they were treated to a taste of the city in the form of a beautiful welcome bag. Jute totes were filled with Georgia peaches, mini bottles of Coca-Cola, spiced Georgia pecans, local honey, and scones and petit fours from a nearby bakery.
The bride chose a beautiful lace Oscar de la Renta wedding dress for her big day, but made a few custom changes to the style first. "The dress originally had cap sleeves and a tulle underlay on the train, so I removed the sleeves to expose my shoulders and had the tulle taken out so the skirt of the train laid flat," Danielle says. "It was truly breathtaking!" She accessorized with a lace-trimmed veil and leather sandals from Saint Laurent.
For her bouquet, Danielle knew she wanted a large teardrop-style arrangement, so her florist created a lavish display of trailing white orchids with lime green accents.
Shaun wore his own tux that he had purchased from Bonobos.
With twelve attendants each and two flower girls, Danielle and Shaun's wedding party came in at a whopping 26 people. The ladies all wore floor-length gowns from Monique Lhuillier and carried white calla lily bouquets while the men wore classic tuxedos. The adorable flower girls donned white dresses and flower crowns.
Pineapple Productions transformed the venue's ballroom into an enchanted garden thanks to a pergola covered with greenery and flowering branches. The team added a 60-foot-long rustic plank aisle and filled the space flowering trees or curly willow and amaranthus. "The effect was magical," Danielle says.
The two flower girls started off the ceremony. "Originally, both girls were supposed to carry floral pomanders and the ring pillow was supposed to be held by the best man," says Danielle. "Five minutes before their walk down the aisle, one of the girls dropped her pomander and petals were scattered all over the floor. No panic! She quickly became the flower girl-turned-ring bearer and carried the pillow instead."
At 6 p.m., the couple exchanged vows during a ceremony that their minister wrote by incorporating pieces of love letters Danielle and Shaun each wrote.
After the ceremony, guests moved into an adjoining space for cocktails while the couple's vendor team flipped the ballroom for dinner. Everyone enjoyed passed hors d'oeuvres, a Panini station, and signature drinks as they lounged on comfortable furniture or sat at café-style tables.
As everyone moved back to the ballroom for dinner, they were reminded of the couple's enchanted garden theme. Escort cards were displayed on an elaborate floor-to-ceiling wall of boxwood, curly willow, and gardenia that covered the entire hallway wall. On the opposite side, arrangements of flowers were displayed in ornate frames.
Danielle and Shaun chose a mix of different tables and centerpieces to give their ballroom celebration lots of dimension. Mirrored estate tables were decked out in green and white flowers arranged in towering silver mercury glass containers and accented with silver candlesticks, moss spheres, and votives.
Round tables were decorated with linens and either the small tall centerpieces or tall hydrangea trees that were surrounded with succulents and other green and white blooms. Each table was marked with a calligraphed number displayed in a moss frame.
On their head table, the bride and groom splurged on taupe hemstitch dinner napkins that were embroidered with their monogram. "They've been such a sweet keepsake that we enjoy using at home for entertaining," Danielle says.
Because the bride suffers from food allergies, the couple worked with the chef at their venue to create a gluten- and egg-free menu that was still incredibly seasonal and delicious. Offerings like Hamachi sashimi, gremolata-crusted cobia, braised beef short ribs, and quinoa stuffed mushrooms pleased every type of palette in the crowd.
The couple cut into a six-tier wedding cake that contained two decadent flavors: Salted caramel truffle chocolate Devil's food cake and chocolate cream cake with vanilla buttercream. "The wedding cake was entirely Shaun's choice since I can't each cake!" Danielle says. Instead, she dug into Southern-style banana pudding that was part of a large dessert display.
"We anticipate a long night of dancing, so we provided an assortment of different sized flip flops that we displayed in bags that read 'The Perfect Pair,'" says the bride.
The evening came to an end at midnight when metallic confetti fell from the ceiling of the ballroom. "We really enjoyed having an indoor ceremony and reception because it alleviated the stress of weather concerns," Danielle says. "That said, we loved bringing the garden inside!"
Venue & Catering: St. Regis Atlanta || Wedding Planner: Pineapple Productions || Bride's Wedding Dress: Oscar de la Renta || Groom's Attire: Bonobos || Invitations & Paper Products: Cheree Berry Paper || Floral Design: Legendary Events || Music: Party on the Moon || Favors: Swoozies || Videographer: Hart to Heart Media || Photographer: Kate Headley