by Amy Serrago
Valerie and David met on eHarmony. Valerie says she’d been on “some pretty terrible dates” and was losing her optimism before she met David. David joined the site at the behest of a close friend and Valerie was his very first online date! That night they went out to dinner at Valerie’s favorite Italian restaurant and then went for ice cream with her dog, Lola, in tow. Valerie calls it “the perfect first date”. It must have been, because they’ve been together ever since! These two nature lovers chose to have their wedding at the Bull Mountain Lodge in the North Georgia Mountains, one of their favorite places to adventure and explore the great outdoors. The day started with a truly personal ceremony, officiated by the couple’s dear friend, Rob, who wrote the whole thing. Friends and family members shared readings and Valerie and David planted a tree using soil from their home states of Massachusetts and Georgia as a unity ritual.
Valerie was stunning in her sparkling lace ballgown with its sweetheart neckline, ruched bodice and pockets! She finished her look with a classic updo, long veil and her mother’s pearls, as her something borrowed. Her bouquet was one of her favorite elements of the day, a hand-carved, wooden “rose” bouquet that she found on Etsy. Valerie and David wanted things to feel “homemade and mismatching” and they chose a color scheme of coral, orange and gray. Coral, because Valerie’s mom had used the color in her wedding and orange and gray as an homage to David’s favorite college football team, Tennessee! The bridesmaids rocked individual looks in varying shades of coral and David wore his favorite gray vest and a “Tennessee orange” tie. The groomsmen were dapper in gray slacks, suspenders and ties to match David’s.
They chose the Bull Mountain Lodge, as they put it, “specifically because it is already beautiful decorated” and then put their DIY skills to work. Valerie’s Mom, Aunt and cousins assisted by creating all of the centerpieces for the reception tables. They used baby’s breath and roses and brought in rustic touches like burlap and raw wood. Greenery accents and twinkling votives completed the table decor. The couple made their own signage using palettes and every beam in the lodge was wrapped in twinkle lights to give the space a warm, romantic glow. Valerie and David got the party started with their first dance, which they had perfectly choreographed. Valerie says surprising everyone with that dance was “a highlight” of the reception. After dinner, the newlyweds cut their naked wedding cake, which was decked out in Tennessee orange flowers. Then it was back to the dance floor to party the night away with their guests. Congratulations Valerie and David!