We know it’s Wednesday all, but we’re gonna go ahead and conclude that Dustin & Brett’s wedding at the Trolly Barn is the most fun thing you’ll see all week. When it comes to a design that checks all the boxes in terms of a modern, romantic wedding (pretty greenery, romantic paper details, gorgeous coupe, you get the idea…) you have to be really intentional about making sure everything comes off as welcoming and authentic, and genuinely represents you as a couple and these grooms didn’t leave a leaf unturned when it came to planning their big day. Enjoy the question and answers below and the gorgeous gallery from One Soul Photography.
Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
A: We met 4 years ago on a good ole dating app, we won’t say which one, ha! After only chatting a few minutes, Brett made dinner reservations at a swanky downtown joint and we quickly became obsessed with each other. We dated hot and heavy until 11/11/17 when Brett popped the big question. We went on a picturesque hike up Amicalola Falls in North Georgia and that’s where it happened. Brett had packed a romantic picnic with wine and of course I said yes.
Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
A: Wow – planning this wedding was such a learning experience for us! It actually brought us closer together because we did almost everything by ourselves. Poor Brett deserves an award for putting up with Dustin during this 11-month journey, ha! What was great is being a same-sex couple getting married, we threw out all traditions and customs that we didn’t like and paved our own way to make a wedding weekend that was not only unique and fresh but that showcased who Brett and I are as a couple. We got to make this ours. Being an Atlanta Set Decorator in film and television, I (Dustin) naturally has a keen eye for detail, design, and decor. From the start of the planning process, which started about 11 months before the wedding, Dustin and Brett wanted to use their creativity and love of making things as much as possible. This resulted in almost every item down to the reception tablecloths being custom made. Dustin and Brett spent every weekend leading up to the wedding making things from the two awesome favors for guests, all of the themed signage, designing their invites from scratch, etc. We didn’t really have an inspiration until we locked in The Trolley Barn as our venue. This is such a magical place and we fell in love with it after looking at 13 other venues. The rich history and detail/architecture is what we fell in love with the most and it’s a hidden little gem in the downtown neighborhood of Inman Park. Once we locked in this venue, everything else sort of fell in line. We themed a few things around trolley’s like our cool Save-the-Dates, our custom vintage trolley stop photo booth and even our color scheme was inspired by The Trolley Barn. Our color scheme was copper, dark green and charcoal. The green architecture of the barn, the big green warehouse lights in the reception space, etc. really helped make our overall design/theme seem cohesive and seamless. We were so happy with how everything turned out, several guests said they felt like they were in a movie set the moment they walked in the reception space and saw all of the 30 foot long family-style tables adorned with handmade wood, glass, and metal candle centerpieces and all of the floral greenery that flanked them.
Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
A: Well other than the expected answer of the big kiss sealing the deal, we incorporated a special part of our ceremony called the time capsule. This was our favorite part of the ceremony. Dustin’s uncle is an awesome woodworker and was asked to design and make a custom time capsule box. Dustin and Brett worked with their officiant to create a very memorable moment where both sets of parents, Dustin’s grandmother, the longest-married couple and most recent married couple put letters of well wishes and advice into the box along with a bottle of wine, custom wine glasses, their wedding invitation, etc. The two will open this box on their 5th wedding anniversary and the box itself looks great in our house as a constant reminder of our special day.
Q: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
A: Talk about a DIY wedding, like I said earlier, every item was either made by or designed by Dustin and Brett. They even had custom wide table tops made for all of the reception tables because Dustin didn’t want the guests to feel cramped at a 30″ wide standard table size. For the ceremony decor – we kept it pretty simple with using walnut chairs with an oatmeal colored cushion with the focal point being a 10 foot high arbor that Dustin and Brett made out of rough cedar timbers. This arbor had 15 vertical strands of fresh greenery that served as a whimsical backdrop to the ceremony. We strung commercial grade patio lights outside that really made a special area for guests in mingle in when the sun went down. Dustin was fortunate in being able to utilize several pieces of furniture/decor from a prop house he uses for film/tv projects – shout out to Georgia Prop Source and owner, Rich Reams. Dustin picked pieces that helped showcase the venue, using wood and metal industrial tables for the guest book table , gift table, time capsule table etc. Two of Dustin’s favorites prop house items were the adjustable copper cake table and warehouse cart that was used as their gourmet coffee station. Another great example of how they used the prop house items was in in the trolley stop photo booth, which included a park bench, Victorian street lamp, vintage luggage and props for guests to use while taking Polaroid photos for the guest book. Every detail down to the color of the pens for the guest book being green and copper were thought of. Dustin made all of the directional signs that were placed around the venue, the wedding welcome sign, cute signs that were placed around the bars, the menu cards at each place-setting etc. He even purchased custom fonts to be used on all invitations/ signage for their wedding weekend. One of their favorite DIY achievements were definitely the centerpieces they made for the reception. These were 8 foot long each with a rough-sawn wood base and the couple made 3 different height candlesticks that alternated on each wood board. These were made out of copper pipe and plastic they painted to match. They bought 14″ tall glass hurricanes that they put a metallic copper band on the top of each which looked romantic as the candle light would flicker off the metallic tape. They used charcoal tapered candles, about 165 in total which truly made their reception memorable and magical. They had lush greenery garlands of eucalyptus and lemon grass flank the centerpieces.
Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
A: Neither Dustin or Brett are fans of fussy over the top florals, feminine bouquets etc. The florist, Elaine with The Flower Shop did a great job in capturing their floral vision of simple and masculine swags of greenery. We wanted everything to be mostly green with subtle hints of silver and white. The florist used mostly seeded eucalyptus, silver dollar, lemon leaf and some magnolia leaves to create this vision. I had her do a lush asymmetrical swag on the outside bar, a lush spread on the grooms table and loose pieces of greenery were placed on the buffet tables, the cake table etc. Lush runs of greenery also flanked the handmade centerpieces on the reception tables which really looked magical when all of the elements came together. We carried this masculine floral plan over to the boutonnieres, ladies corsages and the flower girl’s floral crown. We had the florist incorporate some white roses in the mother’s corsages and used copper wire to tie up the arrangements.The couple wanted to incorporate olive trees/branches subtly in the ceremony and reception decor as a greek symbol of hope and good health on their new marriage. The florist used olive branches in wreaths on the entry gates of the ceremony, two 6 foot high olive trees were used as aisle headers at the ceremony and this theme carried over in the two favors they gave their guests. Dustin and Brett made herb infused olive oil jars with their wedding logo and each guests also got to take home an olive tree sapling.
Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
A: The day before the wedding Dustin and Brett rented a trolley car for their wedding party and families that took a two-hour tour of the sites and sounds of downtown Atlanta. This was a nod to their overall wedding theme and it was a great time for the two families to meet and get to know each other. We made Welcome bags for all of our out of town guests and yes, several of the items like the water bottles and sunscreen were personalized with the couple’s wedding logo/monogram. We had a friend, Connor Crank, sing modern-day love ballads against guitar instrumentals as guests started to arrive at the ceremony. He also sang their prelude song, their first dance song, and the mother/son song then the DJ took over. The music we chose really did play an instrumental part in creating that atmosphere of love and affection throughout their day. We had custom tissue boxes made for the mothers/family that were on theme/color scheme with the wedding.
Q: Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
A: Well one thing we didn’t have to buy was a wedding dress thank God, haha. Brett and I knew we wanted to look cohesive in our suits. We knew we didn’t want to wear tuxes as we didn’t want the event to be super formal and fussy. After looking at what seemed like thousands of suits, we decided on matching each other with a slim fit charcoal suit made by bar III. We, of course, had the suits tailored to fit us like a glove. We wore white Calvin Klein undershirts and Florsheim tobacco-colored shoes. We wanted to incorporate the wedding colors into our accessories so we had custom copper cuff links and a tie bar made with our initials by a local company called Block and Hammer. Dustin wore a dark green and white polka-dot bow-tie and Brett world a green and pale blue argyle necktie, both from a company called The Tie Bar. Dustin had custom pocket squares made for each groom to complement the other. For the rings, we found this awesome couple on Etsy – RobandLean, they custom make all sorts of handsome rings that are the style Brett and I wanted. We went with matching titanium rings made out of desert ironwood wood and meteorite. We also had our wedding date engraved on the inside of the rings.
Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
A: Something we were on the fence with was whether or not to have a videographer and I can’t express enough how happy I am that we chose to go with one, Adam Biss. It’s so easy the day of your wedding to not just sit and enjoy everything, chat with every guest etc. Having a good videographer captured so many moments I didn’t even realize happened. Funny moments on the dance floor, facial expressions of the couple during the vows etc. It is worth it, every penny! If you are a control freak like me and want to manage every detail – I would definitely recommend having a day of Coordinator to wrangle all of the stuff you shouldn’t have to worry about the day of. This person will help ease the wedding stresses and help you to enjoy your big day.
This fabulous Coastal Georgia wedding was made magical by the following team:
Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Macy’s//Transportation: Joyride Pedicabs LLC//Floral Designer:The Flower Shop//Caterer: Gotta Have It Catering//Bakery: Confection Perfection//Reception Venue: The Trolley Barn//Photographer: One Soul Photography//