From the moment that Jonathan Goins first met Tanya Boyle, he knew the two were meant to be. He pursued Tanya for two months before she agreed to a date, and in less than a year, they were engaged.
The couple knew they would marry at their stately community church, and they decided on a Saturday in October because it was the ideal month for enjoying the mild fall weather in Atlanta. While there was no theme dictated for the celebration, Tanya knew she wanted it to be "posh" and include a Tiffany blue and chocolate brown color scheme. The elegant InterContinental hotel was perfectly suited to her vision, and with the distribution of aqua and brown save-the-dates, the chic look of the wedding was firmly established.
Wearing champagne-colored gowns trimmed with brown sashes (the matron of honor wore the opposite combination), the bridesmaids led the processional carrying custom-dyed Tiffany blue hydrangeas. The doors then opened for Tanya's entrance and "seeing my beautiful bride walk down the 100-foot aisle" is a memory still fresh in Jonathan's mind. Similarly, Tanya still recalls the image of her groom "surrounded by all our friends and family." The couple met at the altar where they exchanged vows in a ceremony conducted by the father of the groom, a United Methodist Minister.
The reception at the hotel was arranged so that the festivities could spill out from the ballroom into an adjoining garden with both areas elegantly unified by the Tiffany blue and brown color scheme. Indoors, tables were draped in champagne linens and the chairs were wrapped in chocolate brown sashes that mimicked the ones worn by the bridesmaids. The centerpieces varied, with some made of white and chocolate brown orchids, calla lilies, and vines wrapping around glass vases filled with Tiffany blue crystals. Several tables featured five-foot tall floral "chandeliers" made out of dyed dendrobium orchids imported from Thailand and strands of Swarovski crystals. Coordinating crystals secured each blue napkin and the satin rose embellishment on each chair sash.
When not enjoying the dance floor, which was lit with the couple's monogram, guests mingled in the garden lounge. White sofas and tufted ottomans were made even cozier with brown and blue pillows silk screened with the couple's engagement portrait. Martini bars made of ice dispensed blue cocktails, and were further enhanced by Tiffany blue lighting, turning the area into a hip, club-like atmosphere when the sun went down.
The most impressive detail, however, was the couple's wedding cake. Tanya's mother is from Haiti and according to cultural customs, "The traditional Haitian wedding cake is not a tiered cake but an edible work of art," explains the bride. Therefore, in honor of her heritage, Tanya requested that the cake be a four-foot by seven-foot Cinderella carriage riding through an autumn forest. Almost every element of the masterpiece -- including the detailed cushions and tasseled pillows that filled the carriage's interior -- were edible, except for the billowing curtains and the couple's monogram that adorned the carriage door in Swarovski crystals and Burmese sapphires. The cake exemplified the over-the-top look of the celebration that Tanya feels reflected her and Jonathan's personalities. "We both like the spotlight and like to do things big," she says.
But the smallest of rituals was also important to the bride, and she paid tribute to her mother's background once again by dividing her bouquet among the single ladies at the wedding in keeping with Haitian tradition. In fact, every guest left with a memento from the event in the form of chocolate truffles presented in brown and blue chair boxes.
Incorporating thoughtful details such as these into her guests' experiences was important to Tanya, even if it did weigh on her mind from time to time during the planning. Luckily, however, she was able to let it all go when the big day finally arrived; she recommends that other couples resolve to do the same. "Don't let yourself get too bogged down by the minutiae -- no one will notice certain things but you! Just relax and enjoy the show so that you can absorb every memory-making moment."