Amazing weddings. Amazing year.

What a year it’s been! We just want to invite you to join us in celebrating another amazing year of the most gorgeous weddings we’ve ever seen. Our couples are just the best, and are always surprising us with gorgeous and thoughtful details throughout the year. We love seeing all the little details you’ve spent time and effort on during your wedding planning. Even if all your wedding planning ideas all came from Pinterest, no one put them together in the exact way that you did. With those specific colors, or the combination of the wagon with the burlap cushion with lace ruffles. Your weddings have been so unique.
We’ve loved seeing the vintage furniture you’ve brought in to display your wedding reception goodies. And those gorgeous cake stands you created. Oh, and we loved every single groom’s cake this year! You are so creative! You’ve come up with so many different uses for chalkboards and mason jars, and even tree slices! It’s amazing! And your dresses. Each one is so unique, and so gorgeous on you, and you were absolutely breathtaking. Really.
And finally, we hang on every kind word you’ve shared with us. We know your time is valuable (especially the first few months of sweet marriage), and we are truly thankful for the time you put into writing out those kind words. The letters melt our hearts, and we proudly boast about the online reviews you give us.
We’ve laughed with you along the way, and shed some tears, too. We watched as you sweetly promised your love and life to your dearest friend. We helped look for that sentimental thing you lost and had to have for the ceremony. We laughed along while watching your bridal party goof off and make you laugh during your photos. We stood by with warm joy in our hearts as we watched you dance with your Grandmas, and felt like a piece of us was driving away with you at the end of the night. You’ve become a part of the fabric that is Spring Lake. Our wedding venue wouldn’t be what it is without you here.
So, as you’re sitting as snug as a bug in your house tonight, we hope you’re sipping some hot cocoa and remembering the best day of your year–and hopefully, your life. It has been our pleasure hosting you and being a part of something so remarkable and as special as your wedding. It was absolutely amazing. We wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Merry Christmas!! And a Happy New Year!!

Let’s eat cake!

Let’s talk cake. Piece of cake. The icing on the cake. That takes the cake. Let them eat cake! You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. Yes, cake. Besides you and your swirling groom, it’s the main attraction of the reception. After your ceremony, everyone will make their way to the reception barn where your incredible wedding cake will be waiting, in all its glory, to be admired, cut, smashed, and savored. And then savored again on your first wedding anniversary (er…well…sortof. We’ll get to that part later).

Not to overwhelm you here, but the possibilities are endless. If you can dream it, they can probably make it for you. First you get to pick the size of the cake. Or at least you tell them how many people are in your guestlist and they’ll recommend a size for you. For 200 people you’ll probably be looking for a 3 tier cake. (Check out this handy guide: That means you could have 3 different flavors if you wanted! And that’s just for the cake part. There’s also the filling between the layers to think about. Whoah.

Next, you get to choose what you want it to look like. Are you a traditional girl that likes round, cylinder shaped cakes? Or maybe you’d like to go for a more modern twist of offset squares? And colors are a factor here, too. White is the traditional wedding cake color (like wedding dresses), but they’re often adorned with pops of color like colored frosting or flowers (real (We can do those for you!) or sugar). And where will it sit? Does it get it’s own antique table to sit on with a burlap runner? Or what about a display piece? Or want to keep it low key and set it on a thick tree slice? Yeah, we like that, too.

And not to totally blow your mind or anything, but you get to pick out an entirely different cake for the groom’s cake!!! What!? Another cake entirely?! But, thankfully, they guys gladly chime in on this detail of wedding planning. We’ve seen it all from a full size duck sitting in a lily pond to a sheetcake size rounded/shaped can of his favorite  beverage. And there’s always golfballs and sports teams if that’s his speed, too.

And as if all that isn’t enough, you get to cut this gorgeous masterpiece in front of all your guests. (Her hand on top of his, slice straight down.) And then you get to make the mighty decision of how sweetly you will begin your marriage. Will it be a smash in the face kind of marriage with sweet kisses to follow, or just a sweet and gentle sharing of your cake kind of marriage?

Plus. Bonus, here. You get it eat it a year later. Yes, you have to devote half a shelf in your freezer to this lonely little cake top for an entire year to remind you of how sweet it was to begin your married life. And when you open it to get a taste on your first anniversary, it might not taste as sweet as it once did. And the cake might have lost it’s soft decadent texture, but you’ll eat it and enjoy the memory of choking down a stale old piece of cake with your favorite sweetheart. Because love is sweet, even when it isnt.

Important Snuggling.

If you haven’t noticed, it’s pretty chilly outside this week. It’s the time of year for chili, thick fuzzy socks, and snuggling under blankets on the couch with your sweetheart.
While you’re busy snuggling over the holidays, we want to challenge you to work on your marriage-to-be. Once you walk down the aisle, the party starts. It’s a glorious and beautiful day. Then the sun goes down and you drive off into your future with your sweetheart. And I that’s it. It’s just the two of you. Basically forever.
Photography by Tin Can Photography
Don’t get us wrong, there are definitely parts of a new marriage you can’t plan for, but how well do you know your fiancé? Like, deep down know them? Here’s a quick little quiz to see how much you know:
Who was their first kiss?
What is one of their favorite childhood memories?
How many places have they lived?
What are they most likely to cling to during a mid life crisis?
What’s their favorite birthday cake flavor?
Did you answer all of them with certainty? Did you get him to check your answers?
If you got all 5 right, that’s awesome!! If not, maybe you should spend an hour or two to dig deeper into this relationship that’s about to begin and last for basically forever.
There isn’t really room for secrets in a strong marriage, so ask all the questions you can think of now. It’s much better to find out now and work through it than to wait until you’re dealing with the other demands and pressures of married life.
For fun, we’re linking to a blog post (by a wedding photographer, no doubt) with a list of questions you can go through while you’re snuggling over the holidays. It’s a great place to start but feel free to come up with your own questions.

It’s going to be perfect.

So, you’re nearing your wedding date (the 100-days-until-the-big-day creeped up on ya, huh?), and the panic is starting to kick in. When you lay your head on your pillow at night, your mind probably races through all the things you wanted to get done for the wedding, but just haven’t gotten to yet. You still haven’t found the perfect favors, you can’t decide if you want to go with flats or those cute wedges you saw, and did you pay the dj yet? are you even supposed to pay the dj yet? Oh, and there was that awesome idea you saw on Pinterest, but where would you even put that at your wedding?

We know. There are hundreds of decisions to make for a wedding (and that’s just in the first 3 months of wedding planning, ha!), and, much like a final in class, you study all the way up until you walk into the classroom to take the test. Otherwise, you didn’t try your hardest, right? (Okay, if you’re not the type of person that felt that way, you can be dismissed from reading the rest of this blog post, because the rest of this article might not pertain to you.) Let us let you in on a little secret: your brain needs some rest to perform at it’s best (the rhyme is a bonus). That means, it’s time to figuratively put down the book and step away from the library. Or, Pinterest, as the wedding-world equivalent would be. Write it down. Make your list (that’s what Einstein did, didn’t you know? He didn’t memorize anything he could write down). And let it go until you check it off.

That’s right. With just a few days until your wedding, just take a break. Breathe a little bit. Reconnect with your spouse-to-be and remember what this whole event is about anyway. It’s not about the flowers, or the cake, or the color of stitching on your garter. It’s about that man you’re about to walk down that aisle and kiss (and then ride away with at the end of the night).

And the best part is? Even if you step away now and don’t plan another thing….did you hear me? EVEN IF YOU STEP AWAY NOW AND DON’T PLAN ANOTHER THING…’s going to be perfect. It really is. It’s going to be your own perfect day. Perfect in all those little imperfect moments that you’ll inevitably remember. And perfect in those few perfect moments that you remember. Like the moment you surprise yourself with tears while you’re saying your vows. And that moment at the dinner table when he leans over and kisses your cheek. And yes, even that moment when your bridesmaid trips and falls on the dance floor because her heel broke. It will be perfect.

How to save your wedding budget

So, you’re probably looking for the perfect venue at the moment and you have a budget, right? Well, if you don’t have one yet, you probably will create one somewhere along the way. And you’ve found Spring Lake, which you’re totally swooning over (we know, we swoon over it every day), but you’re not quite sure how to make your budget work with your dream wedding venue. Don’t worry; we’re here to help!

The easiest way to save money on your wedding is to choose an affordable wedding venue (ahem). You’ll want to look for a venue that can accommodate your guest list (about 200 sound right?), can provide amazing food (good ol’ southern barbecue what you’re looking for?), and a ton of extras (like flowers, a rainy-day option, and all the seating you’ll need for the whole event). Don’t get us wrong, the venue isn’t going to comprise your entire budget, but it’s usually the bulk of the expenses for wedding day, so you definitely want to make sure it’s a good fit. And it’s important to find a venue that won’t nickel and dime you the entire way through the process.

There are actually some venues out there that will do just that: charge you for every little option. Yep, “Want to get married down by the lake? Oh, that’s an extra $200.” Not us. We know you want to get married down by the lake and the pews are already there waiting on you. And we don’t charge you extra if you opt to hold the ceremony somewhere else. Our rainy day option is always available and ready to be the ceremony location at a (few) moment’s notice, and guess what? That doesn’t cost extra! As a matter of fact, when you open our pricing brochure, you’ll find that all our packages are pretty straight forward. We don’t make you call to find out how much our venue costs. We don’t even make you email us to get your hands on our pricing. It’s all right there on our website. It makes it easy to plan your wedding day and easy to work into your budget because you can tell exactly what’s included in the price.

And you have tons of options for the food, too. Yeah, we mentioned barbecue, but don’t be shy! We have a ton more options if you’re looking for a more formal or elegant dining experience for your guests. While we’re on the subject of our packages, how many other venues include flowers? I mean, really?

Okay, so this blog post went a little off course, but we created our packages to be totally affordable to real couples. And not only that, but we pride ourselves on being transparent and easy to deal with…right down to our pricing and packages. Have a look, you might be surprised what you find. :)

Purple Fall Lakeside Wedding

Hey Y’all! This cooler weather has us doing the happy dance at Spring Lake. It’s amazing what 10 degrees and less humidity can do for you! Not only are we getting to enjoy the cooler weather, but fall weddings are some of our favorites! They stray from the normal blushing pink and sage green that typically accompanies light grey suits at summer weddings, and they do so with bold deep hues of eggplant and pops of zesty orange. There’s an earthiness about fall that just lends itself perfectly to a lakeside barn wedding.

With that being said, it can be tricky to navigate through aisles of orange and brown leaves and carving pumpkins at your local craft store without having a trick-or-treat-ish wedding, so we’re going to show you a perfect example of a festive but elegant fall wedding.

All photography by Once Like A Spark Photography

First, check out this gorgeous bouquet set on our timeless slate stairs. See what we mean about that pop of color?! The purple theme continues on to their invitations.

See how cute but still seasonal they are? And their choice of font adds the perfect amount of elegance.

The girls were in a grayish lavender color and the guys wore deep purple ties. Her bouquet is just awesome. We know a pretty awesome florist (wink wink).

The aisle was lined with these little beauties. Simple but balanced and elegant. And they even have a fall-ish texture about them, too. You just can’t beat shepherd hook and antique pew lined wedding aisles

And what about these tiny little beauties for table settings? Hiding under the doilies is a slice of wood. It’s a perfect touch for a fall wedding, too.

And who doesn’t love a wagon?! A white one, to boot?! We pretty much adore the cozy fall blanket in the bottom.

You want your guests to be outside enjoying the awesome weather and last bit of good sunshine for the year, right? This giant jenga set will entertain them for hours!

Popcorn anyone? Popcorn is such a perfect fall treat. It evokes memories of fairs and camping, and of when times were a little bit simpler than they are today. And check out those adorable bags to put the popcorn into! Couldn’t be cuter!

Nothing smells more like fall than a fire burning in the fireplace on an cool, crispy night. Keep your guests warm and cozy (and maybe keep some s’mores nearby) for an evening full of fun stories and reminiscing.

And snuggle with your man.

And before the night is over, you’ll want to cut the cake. We love how this one is adorned with soft oranges and deep purples, and even some bursts of white to stay festive but keep a touch of elegance in the decor.

And, when the night is over, send your guests home with something sweet with a hint of harvest-time fun, like jams and jellies. Do you remember when grandma went out and picked black berries and then came in to make her famous blackberry jam? Even if you didn’t, your guests just might.

Ultimate Wedding Guest Entertainment

You invited your most favorite people in the whole world to your wedding. (Okay. So some of them are your mom’s favorite people…but still…) And you want them to live it up and have a great time celebrating your union with your dearest sweetheart. One way to accomplish that is with alcohol. Easy and done. But what if you aren’t serving alcohol (or enough to liven the party)? Or maybe your mom invited a few too many of her friends and you’re afraid there will be an entire section of fuddie duddies. Then what?

Never fear! Your friends at Spring Lake are here to the rescue! We’ve found some awesome ideas on Pinterest to keep your guests engaged while you’re busy celebrating.

If you’re not serving alcohol for religious reasons, you’ll probably love our first tip. Have your guests highlight their favorite verse in the Bible for you and your sweetheart to go back and read later. Not Not only will you get some new favorite Bible verses out of the deal, but you’ll be creating an incredible family heirloom that you can pass down through the ages. Want to sweeten the deal? See if you can inherit a bible from someone you love like a mother or grandfather.

Have your guests help you create a list of date night ideas! You’ll get some fun ideas for later on down the road when the fireworks die down after you return home from your honeymoon. And believe me, dinner and a movie does lose it’s sparkle after a few years. ;)

So, want take the date night idea and make it awesome? How about let your guests help you create a couple’s bucket list?  Not only will this totally add to your date night list (because we know no one is going to say go to dinner and a movie for this list), but you’ll be having a blast and sharing experiences together as a new married couple. Even the not-so-pleasant list ideas will be amazing for you as individuals and a couple. You can totally up the ante with this idea by taking photos when you check an item off your bucket list and sending it to the original lister. They’ll love it that you actually did their idea.

So, the bucket list and date night list just isn’t your thing? We get it. Casual is your style. How about letting your guests write you a note. They can give advice, date night ideas and even bible verses on their own accord. It’s like a guest interaction free-for-all, right? You get the best of all the worlds. But consider yourself warned. Unless you give your guests ideas of what to write, you’ll be reading a lot of well-wishes and bits of advice.

One last idea. And you’ve heard it before, but it works every time and is awesome when alcohol is involved and when it isn’t. Photobooth. Yes. It’s one of the ultimate guest entertainment ideas (aside from a cash volcano or something crazy like that) out there. The best part? It’s so easy to DIY the whole thing from start to finish.

Well. There you have it! Your guide to keeping your guests enjoying the celebration while you party the night away!

What every groom-to-be needs to know

Okay, Bride. Stop reading right here! Alright. You can read the next few sentences, but don’t read past this paragraph. We want you to send a link to this page straight to your groom-to-be (use this link: He needs to read this and you need to not read this. You can skip past this blog post and read the next one. Mmmkay?

Hi Groom!!! Welcome to what we assume is your first wedding blog post! We’re going to give you some tips and secrets to make your wedding day amazing. Here’s the scoop: We know you probably haven’t thought of these things unless you’ve been to some weddings recently and been in the wedding party. We’re going to let you in on a couple of secrets your bride wants you to know but probably won’t tell you.

#1. Write your bride a letter. Just this once. Yeah, we know email and texting is all the rage these days, but love is timeless and should be handled with care. And nothing shows that you took time to make it important like putting pen to paper. Old school. Use your best handwriting and the best paper you can find (she’s going to keep this for a long time), and get to writing. Tell your gorgeous babe how lucky you are to have her and how you can’t wait to spend the rest of your life with her. Tell her you are looking forward to growing old with her and that you’ll love her every day of her life. You know, that kind of stuff. And sign it. Don’t forget to sign it (dating it with your wedding date wouldn’t hurt either, since it’s kind-of an important one).

Photography by Nathan and Natosha Photography

#2. Buy a gift!! You don’t have to be rich and get all fancy, but this event is one of the most important ones of your life. The entire day is basically going to be a celebration of how much you love your new wife, and before you ever even see her, she’s going to need a present. That’s right. You’ve got to buy her a present and send it to her on the wedding morning. Here’s how you do it. Go to the jewelry store and pick out something elegant and timeless (it doesn’t have to be diamonds and cost thousands, but the jewelry store is a great place to start). Have the jeweler wrap it. Put it with that sweet note you already wrote back at #1. Pack it in your wedding day bag (or car) without her seeing it. That morning (after your photographer has arrived so they can capture her sweet teary expression of joy) grab your ring bearer or another cute kid nearby and your best man. Send both of them to your bride-to-be with the gift. Make sure the photographer is ready to capture the moment. And sit back and relax knowing you’ve fulfilled your most important pre-wedding duty on wedding day.

Hip Rehearsal Dinners

Let’s talk rehearsal dinners. They’re like the pre-party where your favorite people all get together and hang out for a few hours.

If your wedding is at Spring Lake, you’ll have 2 hours to kick off your wedding weekend with the rehearsal on Friday. You’ll all go over the schedule and practice walking down the aisle in perfect timing. That will probably take all of 30 minutes (unless you’re dealing with pre-partying groomsmen or bashful flower girls). That still leaves over an hour for more festivities!

You’ll probably want to feed those people who have been so kind to spend time and money preparing for your wedding (think: dress/suit, shoes, lodging, travel, an entire weekend dedicated to you and your fiancé). You could take them to a nearby restaurant, but let’s be honest; that’s so 2005. Why not bring in a food truck and feed your peeps in style?

That’s right. A food truck. They’re totally hip right now and you can get all kinds of food options. Loving mexican? There’s a food truck for that. Classically southern barbecue? Yep, one for that. Hot dogs, you say? Check! If you’re a local Atlantan, you probably already know about the Food Truck Park. All those trucks have a route they carry and if you ask, they just might swing by your rehearsal to dish out their delectable fares. And if one of those don’t suit your fancy, these guys might be able to help you find the perfect fit. Their mission is to bring the food truck culture to Atlanta, and they have an entire page dedicated to food truck catering.

It’s so easy to bring in a food truck, too. They bring all the necessary paper goods and utensils (if there are any), and truck right out leaving nothing but tire tracks. They’re used to the mobility and know how to handle a crowd. They usually don’t even need power, so you can park them anywhere!

And if you don’t mind us going off topic for a second…what about using a food truck for your wedding sweets? If you’re looking for a traditional wedding cake alternative, there are food trucks out there who specialize in sweet treats. Cupcakes are another fun wedding trend at the moment, and yep, you guessed it! There’s a food truck for cupcakes, too! Been to Italy (or not) and love gelato but looking for a Southern version?? How about hiring honeysuckle gelato for a post cake cutting treat? Gourmet popsicles for a hot summer wedding? Yes!!! And this is only scratching the surface!

And, if this entire post has you so excited to have a food truck host your venue, but you aren’t sure 2 hours is enough to rehearse and eat, you can always add on an extra hour and table/chair setup for $250. That comes out 3 totally awesome hours to hang out with your greatest and closest friends and family.

We’re loving this trend so much because it’s easy for brides and grooms (and their families who might be paying for part of it) to have an easy, but delicious, rehearsal dinner (or wedding dessert) experience.

Fall Aisle Decoration Inspiration

Check out this pin we found on Pinterest of an aisle design. Did you know you could totally do this at Spring Lake?! We even have awesome vintage pews, a cedar arch, and a lake to enhance the whole scene. Let’s chat about how to achieve this look. What d’ya say?

First off….did you know you can rent stuff for weddings. Think beyond the normal chairs and tables scenario (you don’t really need to rent those here at Spring Lake, anyway because they’re already included). Think antique furniture, darling vintage accents, amazing fabric, or super fun props for your theming.

Yep. That’s right, and even old whisky barrels. Or wine barrels. Or probably even cracker barrels. And to make the deal even sweeter, rental prices usually aren’t so bad. And if you find a good company, they’ll deliver and remove the item for you. Awesome!!!! One less thing to worry about on your wedding day (or the day before).

And instead of using two barrels at the front of the aisle, you can just use our cedar arch to hold the floral arrangements. That means you could just rent two barrels, then use our cedar arch (More dollars saved there!). That only leaves the flowers now!

The next step to getting this look (after you pick out your two barrels) is to give our florist a ring. That’s right. She’ll help you pick out the perfect southern fall floral palette. Going off this photo, we’re guessing she’ll suggest some classic fall yellow mums to line the aisle (maybe drop them into some cool apple baskets or something?). That would make it so you could use the shepherd hooks for lanterns with candles. Since it is fall, you’ll probably want to give off a warm and comforting vibe, and candles are just the trick!

After you get the aisle design figured out, she’ll probably ask if you want peach roses as the base for your bouquet (like the flowers on the barrel to the right). Then she’ll work her magic and make the other large floral elements to adorn the front and back of the aisle with some deep wine red accents, creamy yellow bursts of color, and a subdued peach to soften the arrangements and complement the other flowers in your palette.

And one last thing to think about is what kind and color of petals will your flower girl drop down the aisle? Maybe you want to make it more southern casual and use the mums as the dropped flowers. They would look like adorable little yellow buttons sprinkled down the aisle. Or if you want it to be a more elegant affair, you might want to go with the peach roses like you have in your bouquet. But we’re thinking your best bet would be to leave it up to our florist. She’s a total expert and will know just the perfect flower and color for every element.