Real Weddings/Rustic Weddings

How Gorgeous Is This Southern Ruins Wedding In Georgia?

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I’ve been pretty open about my envy of European brides & grooms and their endless array of gorgeous, historic venues & cathedrals. Just take a look at this stunning list of venues in Italy.

But what if I told you that you can achieve European wedding old-world charm in your own backyard? If you live in America’s South, it’s true. Barnsley Resort, a gorgeous resort getaway venue made up of ruins & a stately home in Georgia, is our destination wedding at home dream come true, and we have the perfect real wedding to inspire you all.

Photographed by Shauna Veasey, Sara and Lee’s Georgia celebration was like a destination wedding weekend all on its own, which beautiful rustic charm and parties & excursions aplenty.

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Our Love Story

Lee and I met through a mutual friend and instantly had a connection. He told me the first day we met that we was going to marry me!

He proposed on my birthday in the middle of Piedmont Park with our two dogs by our side. I was under the impression that we were just going to take a walk through the park and go to lunch to celebrate my birthday as we had always done. As we walked through the park, he completely surprised me when he got down on one knee and proposed! It was such a special moment having our dogs there with us too.

However, this wasn’t the only surprise of the day! When we got to the restaurant, they escorted us to the back room where Lee had invited 20 of our friends and family to surprise me and congratulate us. It couldn’t have been more perfect!

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The Venue & Planning

We knew we wanted an organic, outdoor ceremony and a place where both of our friends and families could spend the weekend together. As soon as we found Barnsley, we knew it was perfect for us. It’s absolutely stunning and such a unique venue! We chose a very simple color palette to compliment the gardens at The Ruins, where we had our ceremony and reception. We didn’t want anything to take away from its natural beauty.

Also, since many of our guests would be traveling long distances, we wanted to make sure they had plenty of things to do during the weekend and Barnsley has tons of activities for their guests (i.e. golfing, hiking, horseback riding, etc.). It’s truly an oasis in the middle of Georgia.

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The Photography

Shauna is just amazing! I absolutely love her style. It was important to us that our photographer was someone we felt comfortable with and from the first time we met Shauna, it felt as if we had been friends forever.

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Favorite Moments

There were so many unforgettable moments from the day! Seeing Lee’s face as I walked down the aisle is a moment I’ll never forget. It was as if time had stopped and we were the only two people there.

We chose to have a friend ordain our wedding, which I am so glad we did. It felt natural and comforting having someone who knows us on a personal level marry us. Also, writing our own vows to each other made that moment even more important to us.

The speeches from our friends and family at the rehearsal dinner were all so genuine and memories we will cherish forever. We chose to do the speeches the night of the rehearsal because it felt more intimate sharing those stories with a smaller group. My father’s speech on the wedding day was so incredibly special to me as well though. It was obvious he put a lot of thought into it and he totally nailed it!

Also, during the reception, just after dinner, Lee and I took a moment to look around the room to look at all of our guests and see just how blessed we truly are to have such supportive friends and family.

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Advice to Other Couples

Relax and enjoy! The day goes by so quickly, so soak in every moment. Take a moment to look around the room at all your guests and think about how loved you are. It will probably be the only time all those people are in the same room. And eat the cake!

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The Honeymoon

We went to Sugar Beach in St. Lucia for our honeymoon and we had the most incredible time. It was the perfect combination of relaxing and adventurous. The resort staff were all so sweet and went out of their way to accommodate us in any way. Lee surprised me the last time we were there with a private, chef-inspired dinner on the beach!

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