10.3.2020 | The Retreat on Hiawassee River
How We Met
We first heard from Alexandra in September 2019 when she was referred to us by one of our former brides, Sarah Whitehouse. We met her in-person to go over our processes - she actually had a meeting with another planning company after she met with us and she emailed a few days later to tell us she wanted to work with us! We were so excited and we couldn’t wait to get working!
Learning how our couples fell in love is one of our favorite parts of planning! Alexandra & Taylor have such a unique story - read their journey to forgever!
"We met during Alex's sophomore year and Taylor's senior year of college in February 2014 during what would be known as the 'snow apocalypse'. Of course in a college town such as Athens, most of us were excited to go out and enjoy the snow/ice since classes were canceled the next day! While we actually did go to the same high school, we were never friends as Taylor was a few years older. That evening we sat in a historical bar watching the snowfall, then headed to north campus where we made snow angels with soft smiles. At that moment we had no idea that a playful snowball fight would lead to our first kiss! We continued our journey after that historic evening getting to know one another. Alex quickly learned that Taylor had way too many outdoor hobbies, and Taylor came to find that Alex was quite the independent woman. That being said, Alex had a love for the outdoors as well and wanted to learn the art of backpacking. After a few weekend hikes, Alex was hooked. We became good friends and dated on and off during the spring after that historical snow day. Taylor went off to work at a camp in Maine for the summer while Alex stayed home and we lost touch during those months.
During the following fall, Taylor asked Alex to go to a City and Colour concert at the GA theatre. Maybe it was the lead singer/guitarist.... shout out to Dallas Green's magical voice and talent... but we started officially dating and have been together since then! After Taylor graduated college he got a puppy referred to as Mr. Yogi Bear Stone. Yogi now runs the household, puts food on the table, and is the absolute love of Taylor and Alex's life... but let's get back to Alex and Taylor. It's been almost 6 years since that day and the number of adventures we have conquered together are endless. From many trips to the north Georgia and North Carolina mountains to farther trips in Costa Rica, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Colorado, and California. We have survived 20+ hour car rides together (Alex may or may not have driven Taylor insane), flight delays, cross country travels, foreign bus schedules, a week in the backcountry camping, and long hikes with seemingly very heavy backpacks. Taylor helped Alex to find a love for adventuring, backpacking, and camping while Alex taught Taylor to appreciate the little things and slow down to enjoy the view.
We decided to venture out west in August of 2018. Alex's parents met in Mammoth Lakes, California - a little ski town that would become a base for this trip. Our packed itinerary took us straight to the mountains at 10,000ft. After we spent 4 days camping and backpacking in the backcountry, we headed into town to refresh and grab a bite to eat. We drove up to Minaret Vista that afternoon before we had even showered or checked into our hotel. As we explored the vista and took in some long-range views, Taylor asked Alex to marry him and spend forever together. Alex said yes, of course! Taylor sneakily had hired a local photographer to capture the moment and these pictures will be cherished forever. Alex still can't believe that Taylor had secretly carried around the ring inside his backpack for the four days, as we both go through each other's packs for gear all the time. The rest of the trip was spent adventuring and basking in our alone time celebrating our engagement. We have now been living in our little home in Midtown, Atlanta since June 2019, growing together as we continue to experience and find joy in what life throws at us. We honestly have changed together so much over the last 6 years, but one thing has stayed constant, and that is our love for each other."
Down to Business
Meetings with Alexandra usually included a local coffee or tea shop to talk about all the ideas that Alexandra had to make her & Taylor’s day so unique! Alexandra always came prepared with samples of the bridesmaid dresses and any questions she might have had. When we were a few weeks out, Alexandra, Taylor, and their parents met us up in Hiawassee for a final walkthrough of the space. We got to see some new additions to the venue that weren’t there when they booked. During that final walkthrough, we also got to look through the inventory of the rental closet and decide wanted to use. Excitement was in the air that day for sure!
The Big Day
When we arrived Saturday morning, all the tables were set up and Woodstock Flower Company was already done setting up the ceremony space and had moved on to the tables. Things were moving along so nicely and the weather was perfect! Taylor, his groomsmen, and their dog, Yogi, were hanging out by the river while Alexandra and the ladies were in their cabin getting beautified by Annie East Makeup & Caroline White Cosmetics. As they were getting their finishing touches from hair & makeup, we went to check in on the girls and to drop off the bouquets! When we got to the cabin, we met Katelyn King Photography as she was beginning photos!
Alexandra and Taylor didn’t want to see each other before the ceremony so we made sure everyone was lined up while Alexandra stayed in her cabin with her dad! Once their parents, Taylor, Yogi, & their bridal party were down the aisle, we drove Alexandra and her dad to the ceremony site so no one saw her before we opened the sliding doors!
The ceremony was so sweet and so unique to them. Their friend, Alex Guthrie, played pre-ceremony music and all the processional songs. Alexandra & Taylor planted a tree as their unity with soil from each of their parent’s homes - this was such a fun moment in the ceremony! After they were pronounced husband and wife and had their kiss, they collected Yogi (who was not going to let them leave without him) before walking down the aisle together while guests tossed petals as a celebration! Now that these two were married, they went off to take photos with Katelyn while their guests enjoyed cocktail hour out by the firepit!
Once photos were done, the guests found their seats before we introduced the bridal party and opened the buffet - Epic Catering had such great food! Once everyone was through the buffet, Alexandra & Taylor cut their bunt cake from Nothing Bunt Cakes and guests were welcome to come get the assortment of cakes from Nothing Bunt Cakes which included all of Alexandra & Taylor’s favorite flavors! We heard speeches from the siblings before inviting everyone outside to watch the first dance & parent dances (which were accompanied by live acoustic guitar) before we opened the dance floor with MSA Entertainment!
After we danced for a bit, Epic Catering put out a pretzel bar which was SO fun! We tossed a bouquet and the garter before we lined up for a sparkler exit that went straight to the firepit because these friends were going to continue to party the night away!
At one of our meetings with Alexandra, she told us she had spent the better part of a day in the river behind her grandparent’s house gathering smooth stones. The plan was to use these stones as the guest book! Each guest was asked to sign a stone and place it in a basket - what an original idea of The Stone’s! Alexandra & Taylor also wanted to do something more than just table numbers for their tables. They picked out all the mountains they had hiked together and each table was named a different mountain and had the outline of the mountain on the slate marker! So personal!
Bonus Something Spectacular! Alexandra wanted to use her mother’s wedding dress as her own! There was a little bit of changing (like removing the puffy sleeves) but what a special way to bring even more meaning to your wedding day!
Happily Ever After
We were so happy to be involved in Alexandra & Taylor’s wedding day. The weather couldn’t have been better and the company couldn’t have been more fun! We know these two will continue to adventure and grow together each day of their marriage and we can’t wait to see where the next chapter takes them! Cheers to the new Mr. & Mrs. Stone!
All Hands on Deck
Venue: The Retreat at Hiawassee River
Photographer: Katelyn King Photography
Makeup: Annie East Makeup
Hair: Caroline White Cosmetics
Florist: The Woodstock Flower Company
Ceremony Musicians: Alex Guthrie
DJ: MSA Entertainment
Catering: Epic Catering
Bakery: Nothing Bundt Cakes
Officiant: Reverand Keith Gunter from Sensational Ceremonies
Rentals: Mountain Elegance