Swan House Wedding | Atlanta wedding Photographer
In every wedding day, my eyes and ears are searching for the moments that I believe will be most valuable for couples and families to relive through photographs. Before this particular day got underway, I was not sure how much of this I would find simply due to the fact that Hillary and Jerrod described themselves to me as private and reserved people. It did not take long for it to become abundantly clear that this couple shares a strong passion for and with their friends, family and of course one another. Rather than having those aforementioned special moments dotted throughout the day, they showed up so plentifully it was almost difficult to keep up! It truly felt like the entire wedding was one big emotional, heartfelt, joyous piece of time. Exactly what a wedding day should be.
Hillary and Jerrod chose their venue for it’s ravishing historic charm and lush garden atmosphere. The perfect backdrop for an amazing guest experience and stunning wedding photos, The Swan House at Atlanta History Center has become an iconic Atlanta landmark and event space. But I can honestly say that the love and happy enveloping this wedding day far outshined anything the location has to offer. Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Lukacs - amazing individuals made even better by joining together!
Wedding planner KATHLEEN MORRIS | Videography KEVIN HURSH FILMS | InvitationsKELSEY MALIE CALLIGRAPHY | Venue ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER | Bride's gownJOAN PILLOW BRIDAL | Hair & make-up BRUSHWORX | Florals, cake & catering GREEN GABLES EVENTS | BandEMERALD EMPIRE BAND | Photography SARAH INGRAM
I wanted to share this from the wonderful bride, Hillary : WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OUT TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING?
Don’t lose track of the meaning behind your wedding. The planning process is hectic and, at times, all-consuming, but make sure to still take time as a couple to reconnect and remind yourself not to sweat the small stuff – you’re getting married! A wedding is supposed to be a beautiful, loving celebration of your love for one another – one that you get to share in with all of your friends and family. It’s easy to get caught up planning the event and lose track of what it’s all for. Don’t let the stress overshadow the joy that’s to be gleaned from the process and the big day, itself. I would also suggest taking a moment during your wedding day to step back with your new spouse and privately take it all in. Look at the faces of everyone who showed up to support you and know that it’s one of the only times that all of those people will be in the same room. Have a blast and soak up every minute you can!
Read more from this couple at the bottom of the post
HOW DID YOU MEET? We met in law school at the University of Georgia. Jerrod was a year ahead of me and Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review at the time. I was thinking about running for a position on the Law Review executive board the following year, and as I would later discover, Jerrod was planning to wait until I interviewed for a position before asking me out - he didn't want anyone to think that I got a position due to bias. The day that exec board interviews were scheduled turned out to be the infamous "Snowpocalipse" in Georgia! Interviews were snowed out and everyone went out downtown for their day off. That night, Jerrod walked me home, and we shared our first kiss in the snow on the front steps of my apartment. The rest is history!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: About two years into our relationship, Jerrod and I decided we wanted to grow grapes (and make wine). I grew up on a horse farm in the mountains of northeast Georgia, so we planned out a small vineyard in a side pasture of my childhood home. We ordered the grape vines (merlot, chardonnay, chambourcin, and traminette) and gathered the supplies to construct the vineyard. As we got closer to "planting day," the crowd of helpers continued to grow. Before we knew it, nearly all of our family was going to be there to "show their support" for our new passion project. The day finally came and everyone got down in the dirt - for hours - digging post holes and planting grape vines. As the sun started to go down, Jerrod approached me to ask if I'd like to go for a walk. I reluctantly agreed (there was still so much to do!), and we proceeded to walk up the pasture hill adjacent to our new vineyard. When we got to the top of the hill, he stopped me under my favourite giant oak tree. He then turned to me and pulled out a folded piece of paper from his back pocket. It was an old church program from a service we had attended nearly two years earlier in my hometown the first time he ever came home to meet my mom. I didn't know him that well at the time, but I remember him scribbling vigorously on his program during that service. To no avail, I had tried to look over his shoulder to try and see what he was writing. As it turns out, Jerrod was writing down what would one day become his proposal to me in the form of a prayer, asking God to continue growing our relationship and shaping Jerrod into the man that I needed him to be. As he began to read to me the slightly, smudged words he had penciled down on this old creased church program years earlier, the waterworks began. Tears started involuntarily streaming down my face. The next thing I knew he was down on one knee looking up at me in my muddied t-shirt and Nike shorts with dirt caked up underneath my fingernails. I couldn't believe what was happening. When he asked me to be his wife, I, of course, said yes without hesitation. We then headed back to the vineyard where all of our family was waiting for us to celebrate. It was a truly perfect day.
FAVORITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: Signature Cocktail - Our signature cocktail was called an "Emerald Gimlet." We fashioned it after a cocktail we discovered at a restaurant in the lower Eastside of NYC called Beauty and Essex. It was a vodka gimlet made with fresh lime juice, lemon nectar, and then shaken with basil. It came out a bright green tennis ball color so it was beautiful. Apparently, the bartenders made them pretty strong too so they were a big hit with the guests.
Donut Tower in lieu of Groom's Cake - Neither Jerrod nor I are big cake people, and Jerrod loves donuts, especially from this one place in Atlanta called Sublime Donuts. We placed an order for 150 donuts L-shaped donuts and arranged them in a round , multi-tiered display tray that looked a lot like a wedding cake. As it turned out, the donuts ended up being more of an appetiser for the guests than a dessert since no one had to wait for us to "cut the cake" before helping themselves. By the time everyone finished with dinner, all of the donuts were gone.
Poetry on Demand - For our little signature party detail, we hired a guy named Eddie Cabbage that we had stumbled across at a brewery in Asheville, North Carolina about 6 months before our wedding. He made a living writing "Poetry on Demand" in public places. Basically, he would just set up shop at a table with a typewriter and a stack of small sheets of paper. Customers (i.e., our guests) could then go up to him, tell him what they wanted a poem about (anything from your pet, to your relationship, to your favorite TV show). Eddie could then whip up an original poem on his typewriter in 15-20 minutes. His poems were incredible, and he ended up being a big hit with all of our English major/lawyer friends.
ANY OTHER DETAILS THAT HELP TELL THE STORY OF YOUR DAY? Our band was AMAZING. They were an eight piece band called Emerald Empire. They had everyone out on the dance floor all night long which made the night even more memorable. Don't skimp on entertainment!
We also hired a videographer. It wasn't cheap, but we now have a priceless and beautifully crafted wedding video to relive our wedding day for the rest of our lives. (Shoutout to Kevin Hursh Films!). A talented photographer is obviously a must (looking at you Sarah Ingram) but I would highly recommend getting it all on film too (especially if you plan to exchange private vows like Jerrod and I did). In addition to a "feature film," a videographer will also give you all of the raw footage, which, in hindsight, is really special to have.