Helen + Josh

“From this day forward our thoughts and actions will be for each other…our plans   mutual, our joys and sorrows shared as we become one in Christ.”


These eloquent words greeted guests on the order of service as they took their seats to enjoy the beautiful union of Helen and Josh and watch these two love birds say “I do” to begin a life together as Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins.

Josh and Helen’s fall wedding was at historic Callanwolde. The crisp, fall air was refreshing for the outside ceremony in Callanwolde’s Amphitheater.  As guests began to walk down the grass covered stones to their seats, a three piece orchestra softly played angelic music. The stone stage was decorated with two gorgeous bouquets opposite of each other. Each bouquet was bursting with white and red roses that were so bright they were seen from the entrance of the Amphitheater. 

The ceremony began at 4:20 PM. One by one the bridesmaids walked down the stone path to the stage. They walked with such poise it was as if they floated down the stairs. Their walk and deep red dresses matched the tone of the wedding—elegance and grace. After the bridesmaids finished walking, all eyes turned to the top of the stairs. Helen emerged from the beautiful tall trees, hand in hand with her father. Smiling from ear to ear, she gracefully walked down the aisle and there was not a dry eye in the Amphitheater. She looked beautiful and serene in her white dress and Josh’s face said it all when their eyes locked— happiness. The couple exchanged their vows and sealed their forever with a kiss.

Following the ceremony, guests walked up the stairs to enjoy cocktail hour at Callanwolde’s Front Patio. The patio décor matched the elegance of the ceremony. There were high boys outside draped with white linens. The centerpieces were tiny tree trunks topped with a white candle inside a bronze lantern. Guests mingled and enjoyed the open bar, both inside and outside. Inside was a beverage table for coffee, water and a whiskey barrel with Josh and Helen’s wedding date and last name, Hopkins, engraved on the wooden barrel.

While guests enjoyed cocktail hour, the Courtyard, where the reception would take place, transformed into its own special ceremony. Helen and Josh not only blended their two lives together that day, but cultures as well. Helen is Korean and in Korean weddings a scared tradition takes place- Pyebaek. A Pyebaek is a tea ceremony where the bride and groom are surrounded by only family members. The couple drinks tea from both cups for their future of unity together.

Helen and Josh wore traditional Korean attire and the décor for the ceremony was picturesque with color penetrating the room. A wooden divider was the back drop painted with birds perched on branches and flowers. The wooden table, draped with a red and blue table cloth was the centerpiece. The table was covered with treats and other traditional food for the ceremony. Part of the ceremony is to have dates and chestnuts for the couple to eat to symbolize healthy children. As the couple drank their tea and ate the chestnuts, it felt like another presence in the room as Helen and Josh blended their families together— a presence of respect and admiration for one another. It was magical.

Once the ceremony concluded the doors opened for the reception. The reception’s ambiance exuded more elegance and grace. The tables were draped with clean white linens and each table either had a small wooden trunk with poppy flowers in a vase or tall twigs intertwined with white orchids as the centerpieces. White flowers entangled the lavish greenery for the head table and two white block signs with “Mr. and Mrs.” written for the newlyweds decorated the table.

After the bridal party made their entrance, the crowd cheered and clapped as Helen and Josh gallivanted into the ceremony holding hands as Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins. Following the first dance, it was time to eat! Embracing both of their cultures, there were two food rooms. One served American food and the other served Korean food. The reception continued with laughs, cheers and a toast that filled Helen’s eyes with tears of joy.

The night continued with dancing, a garter and bouquet toss and love floating in the air.

We are so fortunate we were able to be a part of Helen and Josh’s magical night. Thank you for entrusting us with your vision.

Happy Engagement, Happy Planning


Venue: Callanwolde Fine Arts Center | Wedding Planner & Coordinator: Rebecca Niccole Weddings | Floral + Décor: Sean O'Keefe Events | Photographer: Craig Obrist  | Videographer: Brandon Andrews | Caterer: Zest Atlanta Catering | Cake: Mozart Bakery  | Hair: Sandra Restrepo | Makeup: Sarai Mateo | Dress: Wedding Angels

Reception Part Two: Dance the Night Away

Plates are cleared and bellies are full after your guests have dined on the delicious menu you and your now husband chose. Now it’s time for you and your guests to let loose and shake it on the dance floor. Music is another important detail for the reception, and having a good disc jockey, band or wedding singer can make or break your romantic evening. Picking your musical entertainment for the night is usually low on the totem pole compared to catering, wedding dress, seating arrangement and etc., but exceptional music will be the tune your guests and you will remember for days, if not years to come.

Research, Research, Research

 First things first, research who you want to perform at your wedding. There are a plethora of entertainment options and you want a DJ, band or wedding singer that best reflects your musical style and taste, and play tunes that your guests will love. When you start researching your entertainment, have a list of questions prepared when you meet with him or her—think of it as an informal interview. How long have you been performing? What sets you apart from other DJ’s? Describe a wedding you have performed at. What musical genres do you play? These are general questions that can give you an idea if he or she would be the perfect match to get the party started. For a more detailed list of questions, check out DJ Fonix’s “21 Questions to ask a DJ before hiring them for your wedding.” This article is loaded with helpful tips to make the interview process easier.

Customizing the Playlist

Now that you have chosen your musical entertainment, it is time to fine tune the perfect playlist that will have your guests stuck on the dance floor.  Many DJ’s have suggested playlists to offer when selecting your music, but no one knows your musical style better than you. Customizing your playlist is best because it gives you authority on what to play and it is your night, so you want what’s best. 

DJ Aetii, or Jay Page who DJ’s with D Street Entertainment, says he has a sit down consultation with the couples to discuss their playlist. “Most couples will pick music to their style and sometimes their venue,” he said. “If it’s at a barn, then usually Southern rock will be played.” D Street Entertainment DJ’s play all different styles because their DJ’s are talent driven, said Page. But if you’re looking for your wedding to have some extra funk, D Street Entertainment maybe the company for you since they offer club trained DJ’s.

Photography provided by The Reason photography & Sara Wise Photography

Lou Guzzo, DJ manager for Spectrum Entertainment, says Spectrum offers all styles of DJ’s and their DJ’s are well trained in every musical genre. However, Spectrum also offers an eclectic mix of other musical entertainment: bands, jazz trio, harpist, guitar, steel drum and bag piper for your wedding night to be memorable. Spectrum too, does consultations for customizing your playlist, and because musical tunes are ever changing, Spectrum has an online book to help you choose what songs to add to your playlist.

Photography provided by Angela Wilson Photography

Still stressed on what music to choose? Travis Gilbert aka DJ Fonix of Fonix Entertainment, teaches bridal seminars to guide brides on popular songs for weddings. Each seminar is different, but he will identify their services and perform a Q&A style conference for brides and grooms. “A good DJ will listen to their audience in order to achieve an experience wanted all along,” he said. He answers questions related to intros, the Mother-Son dance and processional songs. Fonix Entertainment’s focus is identifying each DJ’s strengths to pair up with clients’ particular taste, said DJ Fonix.

Photography provided by The Reason

If you’re looking for a more intimate and personal song, Kara Claudy is a singer/songwriter who writes and plays songs that tell the story of the couples relationship called, Songs to Celebrate. She will have a sit down interview with the couple and discuss their relationship, and in return, the couple gets a crafted, personal song that reflects their journey. “Songs are a time capsule and can transport you back,” she said. “It’s an emotional way; it’s unique. It’s a great way to resonate with the memory of the wedding.” Playing with her guitar leaves the musical style open for interpretation— folk, pop and blues tunes.

Photography provided by Kelly Lane Photography


Once your musical act and playlist is selected, there are a few key dances to remember and what songs will work best. For the first dance, there are a multitude of musical styles to choose from: classic, romantic, soulful, fun and indie. Your first dance is an everlasting memory. Pick a song that reflects the love of you and your fiancé.  The Mother and Son dance is a sweet dance shared between your fiancé and his mom. It’s a moment filled with joy and love, but also bittersweet as a mother realizes her son is becoming a husband, so remind your sweetie to pick a song that reflects his mom. The Father and Daughter songs are tough to pick because there are few songs to select from and even tougher if your music taste differs. It’s best to select a song that reflects the importance of your relationship.

In the end, the music played at your dream wedding is up to you. Choose songs that will keep your guest shaking it on the dance floor, but songs that also reflect your taste and personality.

Happy Engagement, Happy Planning


|Vendor Information|

D Street Entertainment | www.dstreetent.com 

Spectrum Entertainment | www.spectrum-ent.com 

Fonix Entertainment | www.fonixentertainment.com 

                                                   Kara Cloudy | www.karaclaudy.com                                                                 


Reception Part One: Let’s Eat

Now that you and the man of your dreams have exchanged I do’s, and sealed your forever with a kiss, it’s time to celebrate your magical union with food, laughter, and plenty of pictures. The reception is the perfect time for your friends and family to mix and mingle while eating delicious food, all while honoring your newly wedded bliss. But before the guests can rejoice in your new last name, take selfies, and dine, you and your fiancé spend months perfecting the wedding menu.

When to start planning

Bold American Events Executive Chef Todd Annis suggests planning two to three months before the big day. “Once they [brides and grooms] get the style of food and the scene and whatever else they are trying to get and check on pricing, the last four weeks is when you pick a caterer and sample taste,” says Annis.  However, before you and your fiancé start planning your meal and deciding whether to serve chicken or beef, first check to see if the venue you selected allows outside catering. Certain venues already have their own catering staff when it comes to weddings, and you don’t want to spend months taste tasting only to be surprised to learn that your preferred caterer won’t be able serve the roasted pork you love.

Picking the food can be stressful and time consuming and your guest won’t know you spent hours deciding whether to serve mashed potatoes or green beans. But if you and your fiancé are indecisive, emulating a favorite restaurant menu for your wedding menu cuts the stress in half. Annis says if brides and grooms are customizing their menu it’s helpful if they frequent a restaurant, to give a copy of the menu to the chef and they can research and create a similar style and flavor profile.

 Once you select the scrumptious meal your guest will fall in love with, include a checkbox of any food allergies on your save the dates for your guests. You are creating the menu of your dreams, and don’t want to worry if there will be “hangry” guest the day of your wedding. 

Main Course                                                                                                            

Presentation is key, therefore you want your food to represent your style as well. Bold American Events, whose menu is a Southern food lovers dream, offers three ways to serve food: seat and served, buffet, or stations. If you love a formal reception that’s similar to fine dining, opt for the seat and serve. If you love the idea of your guests choosing themselves, buffet style is recommended. Love experimenting? Stations are ideal. “When it is plated there is more controlling the amount of food; it’s what you get in front of you,” says Annis. “Compared to a buffet or station where guests can pick what they want.”

Stations are becoming more popular and it’s amusing to see the endless possibilities your guests will create: sushi, mashed potatoes, pizza can now be served at one wedding. “Stations are great because the food quality is better because it’s being made right there and you get more variety,” says Annis. “People tend to enjoy stations more because they can mix and mingle rather than sitting down at a table; it’s better guest experience that way.”

Photo credit is Jack Prada


Serving alcohol can be expensive and is a staple on the wedding menu. If you have a large budget open bars are always a hit, however, if you’re budget-conscious check to see if the venue permits bring your own bottle (BYOB). BYOB is an inexpensive option that allows guests to choose freely, with the feel of an open bar. And now thanks to Pinterest you can create your own concoction for the perfect sip—signature drinks. If and your groom love tequila, serve a margarita with a special twist. The guest will get a kick knowing they are sipping the same cocktail you and your husband love. Signature drinks are also an added personal bonus.


Last but certainly everyone’s favorite— dessert. The traditional, lavishly decorated cake is always the center piece and the most photographed item at the reception—besides the bride and groom. But guests will love the inventive presentation of a smorgasbord of tasty treats: mini ice cream sandwiches, cupcakes, single serve mini pies, s’mores bar.

Photo credit is Jack Prada

Photo credit is Jack Prada

The tasty options served are limitless, but the lasting impression of the joyful reception is forever.

Happy Engagement, Happy Planning


Vendor Information| Bold American Events| www.boldamerican.com