When college sweethearts Blythe Key and Ford Torrey (who fell in love at Auburn University!) relocated from New York City to Atlanta in August 2014 after four years of dating, the groom-to-be decided that a mid-week proposal was the best way to pull off his surprise. "I wasn't job hunting yet and was bored out of my mind while Ford was working full time," she remembers. "On a random Tuesday night he surprised me by tying the ring box to our dog, Spanky, who carried it over to me. He got down on one knee and the rest is a blur."
They decided on a wedding the very next spring and quickly set off to find an industrial space to host their modern and understated wedding. The winner? King Plow Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia. "We loved that it was a 'one-stop-shop' where our ceremony and reception could be held in one room, but be completely flipped during cocktail hour so guests had a different experience when entering the second time," Blythe says. The couple worked with Morgan Matte of We Tie The Knots to plan and coordinate their May 9, 2015 nuptials. Keep reading to see all of W & E Photographie's photos from their day.
Val Marie Paper designed the couple's formal black-and-white invitation suite. The traditional cards were paired with contemporary gold envelopes and hand-written addresses to play up their modern aesthetic.
Guests received a mini survival kit, complete with all the necessities to get them through the big day in sickness and in health. They included Emergenc-C packets, the couple's favorite salty snack, and muscle pain relievers.
Blythe enjoyed some private time with the first man in her life before primping with her six bridesmaids before the wedding. "I went to breakfast with just my dad that day," she says. "It helped me take a step back and enjoy the moment. It was so special to eat a quiet meal and focus on the bigger picture of marriage." After, she relaxed with her attendants as a team glammed each gal up with full hair and makeup.
The bride chose a silk crepe wedding dress from Rivini. "It had a high neck in the front and was completely open in the back," she says. "I second guessed my dress up until the week before our wedding, but when all the details came together on the day of, I was obsessed with it." So obsessed, in fact, that she says she wishes it was acceptable to wear her gown to work!
Blythe loves the look of neutral-hued bridesmaids' dresses, so she dressed her attendants in mismatched white gowns. The bride and her 'maids all carried bouquets of white blooms, greenery, and moss. "They were very loose and organic," she remembers. "And they looked great against our all-white dresses!"
The couple wanted a more casual look for their wedding, so Ford chose a navy suit and tan shoes. "He completed his look with Auburn socks!" Blythe says. His groomsmen all wore the same navy suits and collegiate socks from their own alma maters.
Blythe and Ford enjoyed a private first look before the ceremony. The rest of their bridal party joined them for formal portraits after.
The bride and groom loved King Plow Arts Center because the modern and industrial space didn't need much dressing up. "The venue could speak for itself, so little décor was needed," Blythe says. "We had a large wooden farm table with beautiful clusters of moss and vases with floating candles and a sheer white drape that hung above as our altar." Twinkling string lights hung from the ceilings and the aisle was decorated with more floating candles for a romantic glow.
The pair wrote two sets of vows for their ceremony — one that they read in unison and then individual vows that each heard for the first time during the I do's. "Ford was extremely nervous about having to speak in front of a large crowd during our ceremony," Blythe says. "I've never seen him so anxious!" But once they were pronounced husband and wife, she says all of those jitters fell away and the pair exited to Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered." "I'll never forget the moments after walking down the aisle together and seeing the sheer excitement and joy on his face. It was such a rush for us both, and we couldn't even form words for how happy we were."
The ceremony space was flipped during cocktail hour and when guests returned for dinner, they found tables topped with white linens, gold runners, and plenty of lush green-and-white floral arrangements waiting inside. The bridal party sat at one long table decked out with mismatched centerpieces and votive candles.
In keeping with their modern vibe, the couple swapped a traditional guestbook for an oversized metal letter "T" that their loved ones signed.
Blythe and Ford loved the delicate script on their wedding invitations so much that they decided to use it again on their favors — koozies with their names and wedding date on one side and an illustration of their beloved dog on the other.
Dinner was served buffet-style, with selections like macaroni and cheese, BBQ pork sliders, fried chicken, and a "make your own mason jar" station where guests layered their favorite foods into one glass jar. Their wedding cake, while classic in appearance, was far from the traditional layered desserts most couples choose. "Rather than a large wedding cake, we have a few smaller cheesecakes in flavors like key lime, Oreo, strawberry lemon, and salted Carmel," Blythe says. Classic Cakes and Cheesecakes created a two-tiered version covered in frosting that the couple could slice into for their cake cutting.
To make sure all of their guests were inclined to dance, Blythe and Ford asked guests to write in song requests on their RSVP cards. To amp up the fun, they handed out glow sticks, glasses, and bracelets for guests to wear on the dance floor.
The couple closed out the night with a sparkler exit before a vintage car drove them to Ford's parent's hotel room where the party continued. "We ordered pizzas and danced the night away with our closest family and friends," Blythe says.
"Enjoy just being engaged!" Blythe and Ford, who honeymooned in Antigua, advise other couples. "You don't have to rush to plan anything. There is something about being someone's fiancé that is so fun and romantic."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: King Plow Arts Center
Wedding Planner: We Tie The Knots
Hair & Makeup: Makeup Couture
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Weddington Way
Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Jos A. Bank
Wedding Bands: Worthmore Jewelers
Flowers, Catering, Rentals: Bold American Events
Invitations & Paper Products: Val Marie Paper
Music: Amp'd Entertainment
Cake: Classic Cakes & Cheesecakes
Accommodations: Loews Hotel
Photography: W & E Photographie
Did you love this Atlanta wedding? Then watch another couple tie the knot in the same city in the video below!