Our super-fun trip to Atlanta for my brother’s beautiful wedding

And just like that, my older brother, Matthew, is happily married to his wonderful wife, Stephanie. Yay!

Dave, Brady and I spent Wednesday through Saturday in Atlanta last week for the events and nuptials with family and friends, and we had such a grand time. Every single day was super fun, and we loved the whole trip! We haven’t been to a wedding in quite some time and were both looking forward to it — and it totally delivered.

This pic below totally makes me laugh, because Brady was so good the entire time, until we wanted to include him in an official photo in the outfit I got him for the wedding, bow-tie, melt-down and all …

Our little family at Matthew's wedding by A Lady Goes West

Wedding weekend highlights

Here are a few highlights from our special trip …

  • A big one: My brother and my dad meeting Brady for the very first time and holding him and spending time with him (so long overdue and so sweet — they totally bonded).
  • Spending time with my mom, who just happens to be my BFF.
  • Celebrating with and hanging out with all of my brother’s friends (many of whom are my friends too), whom I haven’t seen since we all lived in Orlando together, nearly six years ago. We make each other laugh, and I love it.
  • Watching Matthew and the beautiful Stephanie share their vows on wedding day, which they wrote themselves and were so heartfelt (they even tied a fisherman’s knot with a white and blue rope during the ceremony, which was so cool and unique).
  • Introducing Brady to my brother’s dogs, who had a good time licking his little face over and over again. He didn’t seem to mind either …
  • Hanging with my mom, Stephanie’s mom, the bridesmaids and Stephanie on wedding day, getting our hair and make-up done and sipping on mimosas out of personalized glasses while singing to Justin Timberlake in the bridal suite in adorable colorful robes that Stephanie bought for us.
  • Using a babysitter for the very first time in our hotel room for the rehearsal dinner and wedding. We found a sitter through Elegant Event Sitters, and we LOVED her so much and wish she lived in the Bay Area to be our go-to gal. Brady did so well with her, and it was such an awesome thing to have him looked after for a bit, so we could be free to celebrate.
  • Breaking it down on the dance-floor during the reception like crazy with all of the other guests and bride and groom. Ohhhh so much dancing!
  • Going to Publix (where shopping is a pleasure) three times!
  • Wedding cake.
  • Being part of the wedding party with Dave and even getting a chance to walk down the aisle with him to exit the ceremony. Brings me back to our big day!
  • Family time.
  • Catching up with old friends at the hotel lounge until way past my bed-time.
  • Wine.
  • Champagne.

And I could go on and on. Not only was it amazing to be there and be a part of the celebration, but it felt like a little escape for Dave and for me — as fairly new parents with very busy lives, it was nice to get away and just hang out. We also enjoyed the extra hands with Brady and didn’t mind passing him around the table to all who wanted a chance to hold him. My parents entertained him in their room quite a bit, and he always came back happy from these visits hehehe.

While I did put up a post on Friday, which I had finished about 75 percent of the way before our trip, I mostly kept my phone away during the trip, except to snap pics and post a few things here and there. I loved that, and I loved being PRESENT during every event, rather than have my nose in social media. That being said, I don’t have a ton of photos because of it, knowing that Matthew and Stephanie had two photographers who were going to capture it all. 

As far as the travel was concerned — it was basically seamless. Our flights were on time, Brady slept a good portion of the flights, and we had no trouble renting a car and getting around. Brady’s been on quite a few trips, and he’s definitely got the hang of the whole flying thing. (Outside of an unfortunate diaper situation, which had me running to our return flight and boarding as the last person — thank goodness Dave was able to go early and score our threesome a row to ourselves.)

The wedding venue and details

The venue for the wedding was Chateau Elan Winery & Resort in Braselton, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta, and it was gorgeous — the perfect place for an intimate wedding of about 60 guests total. Mostly everyone stayed on property (or at another hotel across the street), so we saw a lot of everybody and met at the hotel bar both nights before the wedding too.

Now for some more pics from the big day …

My mom and me at Matthew's wedding by A Lady Goes West

Dave and Brady at Matthew's wedding by A Lady Goes West

Bridesmaid at Chateau Elan by A Lady Goes West

(How gorgeous were our bridesmaids dresses? They were comfortable too. And all the bridesmaids wore pink shoes for the ceremony and changed into some flats for the reception. Here are my heels shown above.)

Matthew and Stephanie planned everything down to a tee, and there were so many thoughtful touches, including the hashtag #PinderEverAfter — (fun fact: Pinder is my maiden name!).

They hand-picked all of the perfect songs, had an amazing officiant and also gave the bridal party such great gifts. Like really, they put together one awesome celebration. (Although if you ask Matthew, Stephanie did 99 percent of it, which I totally believe hehehhe!)

Matthew's wedding napkins by A Lady Goes West

Matthew's wedding hashtag by A Lady Goes West

Matthew's wedding ceremony site by A Lady Goes West

Bridal party at Chateau Elan by A Lady Goes West

(Yes, they included their sweet dogs in the ceremony and wedding party — another memorable touch.)

The wedding trip agenda

Shortly after arriving, we had dinner on Wednesday night at the pub on property for our families to officially meet. (Stephanie’s family is the sweetest, and I had been able to meet them before when I traveled to Chicago for her bridal shower.)

Then on Thursday, we explored the resort, hit up Publix, I got a spray tan, and we did a wine tasting on property at the Chateau. (Love a good wine tasting, of course.)

Ashley tasting wine at Chateau Elan by A Lady Goes West

(My shoes and my cardigan.)

On Thursday night, we all attended the rehearsal dinner at a totally adorable place in downtown Buford, called Sperata, and the food was so delish — so was the company.

Rehearsal dinner by A Lady Goes West

(My dress and my purse.)

Then, Friday included wedding prep all day with the big event that night. And as I said before, the wedding, ceremony and reception were all absolutely perfect. And Brady was safely with his sitter in our hotel room for the entire evening, outside of coming to visit for the photos.

After a casual brunch and recounting the night with friends and family in the hotel lobby, we left on Saturday around lunch-time and were safely in our home in Pleasant Hill by 10 p.m. It was a quick and eventful trip, with basically no down-time at all, but nearly every moment was a good one. 

We’re back home and into our routine now, but it sure was nice to veer off of it for a few days for such a fabulous occasion — one that made me so darn happy. I left my sneakers and sports bras at home, soaked up some rest days and had my fair share of adult beverages (but really, who’s counting?), dessert and all the good stuff. And it was well worth it all!

Overall, I left the trip pretty tired, but so happy to be able to call Stephanie my sister and welcome her into our small, but mighty little fam. The happy couple are off on their honeymoon to St. Lucia as we speak, and they deserve it!

Before we go, I’m excited to be able to share one official professional photo from their photographer … which is just so gorgeous! 

Matthew and Stephanie's first look pictures before wedding at Chateau Elan by A Lady Goes West

(These two together make me smile!)

If you’re in the Atlanta area, try Abby Breaux Photography. She was so awesome and got a ton of great shots! I can’t wait to see the rest. 

Alrighty, I hope you had a wonderful weekend, my friends! I’ll be back on the blog later this week with some fitness, food and healthy living, so thanks for letting me share about this special trip. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

A beautiful wedding and fun in Atlanta over on A Lady Goes West ... Click To Tweet

Questions of the day

How was your weekend?

What’s your favorite part about getting away for a bit?

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19 Comments

  1. What a beautiful, gorgeous and joyful weekend!

    And you looked beautiful, gorgeous and joyous yourself. So happy you got to create lots of wonderful family memories on behalf of your brother’s big day.

    Xoxo.

  2. Such a beautiful recap of what obviously was a WONDERFUL and MEMORABLE weekend! So happy for Matt and his gorgeous bride. Thanks for sharing, Ashley!

    (Did anyone share with Stephanie how lucky she is to be a Pinder?)

    1. Hi Principal!! Thank YOU for reading and sharing in this with us. I will be sure to tell Matthew that you said hello and read the recap. And Stephanie is lucky to be a Pinder — but I mean, Matthew is pretty darn lucky to have her too hehehe! It’s a FAIR deal on both sides! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hey Ashley, what a beautiful weekend you had. Nothing like sharing time with family and friends at a such an important time in their lives. I love Brady in his bow tie. That picture was better than if he had a perfect smile. It brought a smile to me. By the way while you were celebrating those Indiana Pacers did everything they could to defeat those Cavaliers for the Warriors.

    1. Hi Richard! We had some Pacers fans in attendance at the wedding, believe it or not! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I agree — the crying baby makes me laugh in that picture heheh! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Brady’s little bow-tie…..so so cute!! haha! So glad you guys were able to get away for a bit. It’s always a nice change of pace, and not having to do housework is so relaxing…haha!

  5. Wow Great,

    It is really a memorable scene to include dogs in the ceremony. Thanks for sharing the journey to Atlanta for your brother’s wedding. I enjoyed a lot reading your post. Photographs are quite beautiful.

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