Every wedding vendor team is created a little differently. In this series we explore how and why each couple selected the right wedding vendor team for their big day.
Originally a 2020 wedding couple, Courtney and Josh, like so many, eventually had to adjust their wedding plans after waiting a few months to see how the pandemic would unfold. Come June, they knew they had to reschedule to the following year. During their prolonged engagement, they eloped in the Valley of Fire in Nevada, and honeymooned in Vegas. But they still wanted to have the opportunity to celebrate with loved ones back home in Atlanta the following summer. The order of events might not have been traditional, but neither was their wedding, which is packed full of some of the best colorful wedding ideas.
From the start—even before any curve balls were thrown their way—one thing was clear: a wedding planner was a must. Courtney and Josh both run their own businesses and couldn’t handle the planning on their own. So they interviewed three candidates they’d heard about through word of mouth and from online searches. Looking for a mix of creative direction and expert-level organizational skills, they found both of those in Natalie Cole of Chancey Charm, who ultimately guided them effortlessly to their out-of-the-box soirée, which drew inspiration from the neon noir aesthetics of the movie Blade Runner 2049, and the intimacy of a supper club in an overgrown garden.
Wedding Venue & Caterer
While finalizing their planner, the couple was also focusing on firming up their venue. They had an idea of their budget, guest list, and the vibe they were going through as they walked through three different venues, House Hunters-style. Ultimately, it was an easy decision to make, as the front runner, King Plow Arts Center, was centrally located and its industrial decor was a blank canvas for their vision to come to life in. The in-house catering and bar was a definite bonus.
Wedding Florist & Decor
The easiest decision for Courtney and Josh came next: their florist. Their planner Natalie sent them a link to Shean Strong Designs’ Instagram profile, and they were sold immediately. They booked him as soon as possible.
“As a flower arranging hobbyist myself, florals were integral to the decor. His portfolio was stunning and, more so than anyone else, he really understood what we were after.” —Courtney, bride
The couple spent a while online trying to get a sense of what type of photography they wanted, and in the end, sought out those with a photojournalistic approach and richly colored style. They made their choice, but then because of their guest count (initially 125, but ultimately reduced to just 70 people), the photographer didn’t feel comfortable moving forward. So as not to leave Courtney and Josh without a photographer, she recommended Kiyah C., a talented peer, and it was another great fit.
“I loved Kiyah’s ability to photograph all skin tones beautifully, and that she partially shot the wedding on film.” —Courtney, bride
Some fashion decisions came into play next. Josh tapped jeweler friend Katie Dirnbauer to design his unique wedding band, which was made using the Japanese technique of Mokume Gane, where different metals are forged and folded on top of each other to create a pattern. A meteorite set in the 18K gold added an extra special touch. Courtney also went the bespoke route, but for her wedding dress, in the form of a colorfully embroidered gown and overskirt by Hermione de Paula that boasted an assortment of florals but also incorporated subtle nods to the couple’s relationship.
The feel of the wedding continued to take shape too, with the next decision made about music. Courtney and Josh debated a live band versus a DJ, starting with the vision that the night would begin with Motown classics that their families would appreciate, and shift into songs from the early 2000s that were staples of the pair’s high school dances. They had attended a good friend’s wedding where DJ Tony Cutlass had people on the dance floor all night long—which is exactly what they wanted—so they hired him for their own wedding.
Wedding Rentals & Lighting
One of the first items on Courtney’s wedding Pinterest board was the next order of business: an LED dance floor. Thanks to Luxury Lounge & Lighting, that pin became a reality, and a major focal point for the celebration—one many of their guests had never seen.
“With our theme, the lighting was the second most important aspect of the decor, alongside the flowers. Our planner saw that the exact same dance floor was available through Luxury Lounge & Lighting and secured it, as well as the other furniture rentals we needed. It was truly the centerpiece of our light up fantasy. I loved that it had double usage being in mirror mode for the ceremony and then it was lit up as soon as the dancing began.” —Courtney, bride
Wedding Hair & Makeup, Sweets, and Photo Booth
The final additions to their wedding vendor dream team had the bride and female wedding party members looking their best thanks to Beauty by Beé’s makeup skills and Brandon Newton’s hair styling. Guests enjoyed plenty of sweets—namely Cult Carts cotton candy and scoops of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream—which added to the playful atmosphere, as illustrated by snapshots taken in the PicMe Photobooth.