Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Alex + Brooke - The Wedding Day

We are finally to Alex + Brooke's Wedding Day!! 

1} When and where did you get married?

We got married in Atlanta, Georgia on January 17, 2015. 

2} You told us last week about your venue, tell us a little more.

I just knew Ashton Gardens was where I wanted to get married. They have a beautiful chapel with glass windows + plenty of seating. A few steps to the right of the chapel was a beautiful, large ballroom. It was wonderful to have it all in once place! 

{This is -one- of Brooke's favorites, and I can't blame her!}

3} Did you have any morning jitters? 

Not too many jitters, but there was a lot going on - every bridesmaid + family member knew I got "hangry" so there was lots of coffee + food for us throughout the day. 

4} What was your favorite part of your wedding?

My favorite part was two fold - Walking down the aisle looking at Alex +  Walking back up the aisle with Alex wearing our "#goinggriffin" sunglasses!

{I love this fun way they celebrated their wedding!} 

5} Any honeymoon location/advice?

We went on a Disney cruise to the Caribbean. All inclusive, concierge service. Lots of relaxing, lots of activities. We could choose when to be busy + when to enjoy being together. I would recommend an all-inclusive cruise or resort for anyone's honeymoon since you just did so much planning + you need a break! 

6} What advice would you give to future brides?

You will get all sorts of advice along the way. Listen to all of it but do what is really you. No need to look back + be upset about what you wish you had done! 

This couple has been so fun to share with y'all! 
Just now jumping in? Read all of Alex + Brooke's love story and catch up on our first couple Josh + April

All photos by George Street Photo & Video
Do you or anyone you know want to be featured on #SGGLoveStories? Email me > alliedanae@southerngritsandgraces.com

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Grace Tip #4 - Do you RSVP?

I have a confession - I am the worst at RSVPing for a wedding. Its a huge un-Southern-ladylike flaw.

Have you ever thrown a party and asked for a head count, and then tons of extra people showed up that you weren't prepared for? What about on the other end - showing up for a party that you forgot to RSVP for?

Even for tail-gating, getting a solid head count can be stressful.
 {anyone else ready for some SEC, or just College Football?!}

I really feel horrible when I forget to RSVP for a wedding. The bride's family {or however they have it set up} pays per head for the catering. A lot of caterers will keep a head count and then charge double for anyone over the original "final" number given!

I have 5 more weddings from now until Christmas + its my personal goal to RSVP BEFORE the due date. It will just make the bride's check list shorter + stress level lower if everyone RSVPs on time. 

Does anyone know what R.S.V.P actually stands for? {Hint: its French!}

“Répondez, s’il vous plaît,”  

or "respond, if you please". Emily Post is the queen of manners, so check out her RSVP etiquette guide.

Grace Tip #4: Always RSVP 

It's always best to RSVP in the way stated on the invite...unless you want to receive a text like this...

...and have to respond with "can I still come?"

Sorry Britt, but your wedding last weekend was beautiful! Thanks for letting me still attend ;-) 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Alex + Brooke - The Planning Process

Thanks for allowing Tuesdays to be the new Mondays! The next few weekends are going to be a bit busy, so just be on the look-out for Tuesday posts. 

This week Brooke has a little 'gift' for y'all! So make sure to read all the way down to the end :-)

1} Did you already have your dream wedding planned? Did you use a planner or day-of coordinator?

No, I did not have my dream wedding planned. I had my fair share of Pins, but all I knew is the venue I wanted to use {Ashton Gardens} and the colors {black + white}. We used a day-of coordinator, but our venue was very helpful + did quite a lot of the planning too. 

2} What was the hardest choice to make?

One of the hardest choices was the bridesmaids' dress. I had a variety of heights + body types in the party, + I wanted everyone to feel comfortable all night. We ended up choosing a dress that I love + I think most of the wedding party liked it too! I mean, you can always "shorten it + wear it again." :-) 

{black + white will never go out of style}

3} What was the easiest choice you made?

The groom was the easiest choice! Second to him was the dress. My mom + I went to Bridals by Lori just to see what style we liked. We were both quick to veto anything we didn't like for any reason + when I stepped into the Tara Keely dress, I didn't want to take it off. We ran home to get my dad + then back to the store to try it on again. As soon as a "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta" Consultant said I looked like Grace Kelly, my dad had mushy eyes, + I was a goner for the sure. 

{love this dress, Brooke!}

4} Tell us your favorite part of wedding planner!

The best part of planning our wedding was the little things. Alex, my parents, my sister + I had a little assembly line going to make our wedding favors - we gave out CDs with our favorite love songs! Hailey + I stayed up the night before the wedding to tie ribbons to the glow sticks for the send off, + I spent all day with my bridesmaids getting ready! 

{the girls}

{the CD!}

So, here's what you've been waiting for....Brooke is giving y'all the same favor her guests got at their wedding! Below is the playlist for their Wedding CD! How sweet of her to share this special list with y'all!

1. Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers
2. L.O.V.E. - Nat King Cole
3. Ain't Too Proud to Beg - The Temptations
4. Signed, Sealed, Delivered - Stevie Wonder
5. The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
6. Wild Horses - The Rolling Stones
7. You Give Me Something - James Morrison
8. Let it Be Me - Ray LaMontagne
9. Don't Let Our Love Start Slippin' Away - Vince Gill
10. This Kind of Love - Sister Hazel
11. How Sweet It Is - James Taylor
12. Somebody's Heartbreak - Hunter Hayes
13. Then - Brad Paisley
14. I Hope That's Me - Brad Paisley
15. Lost in this Moment - Big & Rich
16. Best Love Song - T-Pain

I've made a Spotify Playlist for you! 

Photos By: George Street Photo and Video

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Alex + Brooke Griffin - The Engagement Story

Last week I got to introduce y'all to this fun couple - Alex + Brooke Griffin! This week you'll get to hear how they got engaged, and most of it will be told from Alex's perspective (which I'm excited about - I love hearing the guy's side of the story!) 

1} When did Alex propose?

Alex proposed on May 3, 2014 in Athens, Georgia. 

2} Did you have any idea it was coming?

I did know it was coming, but I didn't want to know. I had a henna tattoo on my left hand when I returned from North Africa + my mom asked if I thought it'd be gone by early May...so I had my suspicions. I think we were both nervous, but out of excitement - there was no way I would turn him down!

Here's how Alex tells the story ;-)

Brooke spent January - April 2014 with Cafe 1040 in North Africa. While Brooke was there, I had e-mailed her to ask if we could go to Athens one weekend after she was back so that she could see all her friends and just hang out for the weekend. The weekend finally arrived and I had made a comment a few days before about wanting to do a fancy dinner date as a sort of "Welcome back to America" dinner.

On that Saturday, I went to play golf with some friends while she spent the day socializing by the pool. Once 6 o'clock rolled around (I had told her that the reservations were at NONA at 6:15), I picked her up for our date, and hadn't seen her at all previously that day. We were on the way downtown for dinner when I got a disturbed look on my face (I'm a great actor!). She asked me what was wrong and I said, "I made the reservations online and the computer had messed up; do you mind if I call the restaurant to confirm?" I called the restaurant (but really called my sister) and asked when our reservation was- they told me 6:45- so I decided we would just park and walk around North Campus until our reservation time.

We parked the car and started to walk- but in a direction away from downtown, so I had to kind of jerk her the way I wanted. There was a row of hedges, and just on the other side was a table with some pictures of us, some flowers, and a Bible with her new married name on it and Ephesians 5:31 highlighted, which I had set up earlier in the day. She peeked her head over the hedges and thought (she told me later), "Oh that's cute-someone is getting engaged!" As we rounded the corner at the hedge, she saw the pictures of her and I on the table and finally realized what was happening.

We walked to the table and I told her how much I loved her (amongst some other things) and then asked her to marry me, which she said "Yes", of course. My sister had been behind a tree taking pictures of us, and then finally came out to greet us. Then we met our families at Porterhouse Grill for dinner- somewhat to Brooke's disappointment because she had been told the chocolate dessert at NONA was amazing and was looking forward to it- but I promised her we will be making a return trip to eat it!

Brooke, I hope you've made it back to NONA!! 
Next week, Brooke has a special treat for y'all, Readers + I can't wait to share it :-) 

Thanks for reading along with the #SGGLoveStories Series. If you, or anyone you know, would like to be featured - just contact me here

*photos by Andrea Griffin

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Life Lately: June

June was a busy month!

I launched a new series on the blog #SGGLoveStories June 1st + it has been so fun to see how many people are reading! If you, or someone you know, would love to be featured in this series, just fill out this form + I'll be in touch soon!

The first week of June will forever be a tough one. I lost one grandfather in June 3, 2008 + my other one the very next day last year. So its just not my favorite week. Launching the series that week + knowing I would be back home with my family all weekend definitely helped.

The first weekend in June was my friends' {Sarah + Jeff} wedding weekend!

{Quality time with my family}

{Rehearsal dinner} 

{One Stunning Bride}

{the best, best friend out there}

{if it takes a village, this is our tribe}

Want to know the way to my heart? Daisies, coffee + Brunch. The next weekend I had brunch with one of my favorite photographers + friend from college, Elissa!

        {Shrimp + Grits are a brunch MUST}      {Fluid shorts are great for a casual brunch} 

Freshen up last night's make-up, throw your hair up in a bun + you're all set for Saturday's brunch with friends!

{adult status?! J bought us a lawnmower!}

I've been wanting to eat at this restaurant in Atlanta since I moved here a {almost} a year ago. After playing tennis with friends, we just had to grab dessert here!

I attend Passion City Church here in Atlanta. They have a great women's ministry called The Grove. One Monday night we had a concert picnic in Piedmont Park! Pinterest picnic's were everywhere! So many women from across the city gathered together for a night of fun :-)

And then my favorite band showed up!! 
Drew Holcomb + the Neighbors 
Ellie Holcomb, Drew's wife!!

{such a great night!}

{even my cousin was there!}

The next 6 weekends are going to be full of weddings, showers, + babies. This sweet package from East West Design Co. contains some adorable invites you'll see on the blog after the event! 

  At this point, you should know how I feel about the Braves, so I'll use any excuse to go to a game!
The Red Sox {swoon} were in town, which meant I HAD to see them.
See the Braves are my one true love, but the Red Sox are...the good-looking older brother who will never notice you, and thats okay because you really love the brother that loves you back.
This is Turner Field. 
The Ted. 
It sits close to the original Fulton County Stadium + has a gorgeous sunset view of the city. The sad thing, as much as I love this view, my children will never see this little piece of heaven in person. 
The Ted will only be around for one more season after 2015 as the Braves move out of the heart of the city for the 2017 season. 

{funnel cakes + friends}

I got to help out at my first official wedding! I've helped some friends out along the way, but this was the first set up to tear down wedding. Michaela, of the Eventor, was the lead planner, so I just got to help out, still, I loved it! It was long + exhausting, but I woke up the next day with a huge smile on my face! I love working weddings!
{remind me of that in a few years when I'm burned out of weddings}

College friends came to town for dinner at Anticos! If you're in the Atlanta area, check this cute restaurant out!

Did you catch my post on my skin care routine

The last weekend in June was a relaxing one and it was so needed. I think for 3 weeks straight I had something every night and then the 2 weddings on the weekends. 

Friday night we went to UGA's Young Alumni Night at Sweetwater.
{graduation seems like forever ago}

Saturday started off with coffee in bed with J + our friend, Anna. I went to run one errand + came back to find them still in bed. 

Did I mention I love coffee?

{Sunday afternoon coffee}

Finished the weekend off with great friends, food, + a view!
{SixFeet Under}

As always, you can always follow me on Instagram to keep updated on the little things that I'm up to.

 STAY TUNED: a"What I'm Wearing Now" post is coming soon!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Love Story #2 - Alex + Brooke Griffin

Its Monday again and time for #SGGLoveStory #2. I met Brooke my sophomore year of college, her freshman year. This lady lights up every room with her smile and laughter. I can't think of one time I was around her that I wasn't laughing. 

Brooke, now that we're both back in the same city, let's hang out!! 

She titled this first picture "just so you know, we're funny!" 

Let's meet Alex + Brooke!

1} How did you + Alex meet?

Alex and I met our freshman year at UGA. I was going on a BYX 50's date night with a high school friend. Alex was also in BYX and we ended up riding together. This was not one of those love at first sight cases - Alex is so quiet and so we didn't speak more than two words to each other for the two hours we were in the car! As our college friend group grew, Alex and I became closer friends. Junior year he was my best guy friend and when I studied abroad in Africa, we emailed daily! Fast forward to Fall 2012 and we went on our first date.

{This was before they started dating // 
 Brooke is the lady with long blonde hair + Alex is the guy on the far right} 

2} Tell us about your first date.

{the cousin's wedding // how fun to have a picture from that first date!}
Our first "unofficial" date was a weekend in Augusta for his cousins wedding in early August of our senior year. Read: I met his ENTIRE extended family and spent the whole weekend with his immediate family! No pressure!! 

{haha, no pressure indeed! I'm not sure how I would've handed that!}

Our first real date took some planning. It was the beginning of the school year and I kept having conflicts. Finally he asked me to go to a late dinner after our respective chapter meetings on a Monday night. I was nervous all day long and finally 8:30 arrived and we went to East West Bistro in Athens, GA. Once we finished dinner, we walked around downtown Athens.

3} What is your funniest memory together?

You mean every minute ever?!? We consider ourselves pretty funny, so we're always laughing whether it's him making up a story to make me laugh or us imitating Ginger Zee on GMA in the mornings.

{Braves date night! // I love a couple who loves the Braves} 

4} What was your favorite date?

Alex surprised me with a nice dinner to Porter House Grill and then we saw Beauty and the Beast the Musical at the Classic Center in Athens. I love surprises, so I would list every surprise date as my favorite :)

Next week is their Engagement story, and this time you'll get mostly Alex's perspective on the day! I'm excited to share that with you next week!
Also, Alex + Brooke gave a special gift to their guests and she's sharing it with you in part number 3, so stay tuned!!
The first #SGGLoveStory featured my dear friend April and her husband Josh.
Check out their story here {right now it reads in reverse order // hoping to fix that soon!}.