Kaí and I met at the University of Georgia, and really got to know each other on our spring break mission trip to Texas with The Baptist Collegiate Ministry. She was stuck with a lot of freshmen on the slower bus, so we started calling her Mama K. Kaí graduated from UGA and then attended law school at Georgia State in Atlanta. When I moved to Atlanta for a few years, we reconnected through Passion City Church (yep, my first 3 weddings are partially thanks to PCC!). It is always an honor for a friend to trust you with their wedding day, and any excuse to get me back to Athens, I’ll gladly accept!
Why did y’all choose the Thompson House and Gardens in Athens, Georgia?
When we were looking for venues, it was really important to me (Kai) that we find a place that was as all-inclusive as possible. I really didn’t want to task our families or the bridal party with set-up or tear down, and I loved that the Thompson House and Gardens offered those services. I also loved their floral designs, which were included in the venue fee. We loved Thompson House and Gardens’ classical feel, the natural light, and the decor. We also loved that it was a house- the idea of inviting our loved ones to celebrate with us in a home felt really special and intimate!
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Shaun’s favorite part of the day: seeing Kai walk down the aisle. She looked so beautiful, and she was all mine!
Kai’s favorite part: singing “It Is Well” during the ceremony. That was my grandma’s favorite hymn, and it was so special have our loved ones join with us in singing about God’s faithfulness and trustworthiness
Do you have any wedding planning advice for other brides?
It was really helpful to step away from wedding planning and spend time with Shaun talking about what our marriage and future would look like. It’s so easy to get consumed with planning the wedding and to focus only on that big day, but being intentional about having time to dream about what the days and years after the wedding day would look like made us even more excited for the wedding day!
What is the best part about marriage so far?
Getting to spend time with each other every day is so sweet! We don’t have to say goodbye at the end of our dates anymore.
Why you chose to hire Katharine Marie Weddings to be your month-of coordinator?
We chose to have a month-of coordinator because we knew that we wanted to spend time with our families and friends in the 4 weeks before the wedding. Having a coordinator gave us the freedom to soak in the joy of those weeks, rather than trying to juggle timelines, vendor details, and all of those things.
AllieDanae, you were the absolute best. Thank you so much for working with us, for being patient and understanding and always on top of everything. It was so great the day of the wedding to not have to worry about anything but showing up and soaking everything in. So many people told me that the day would go by in a blur, but for me, it really didn’t, and I think that’s because I knew that I didn’t have to worry about any detail going wrong because I knew you were handling everything. You were such a blessing, and I’m so thankful.
From the planner’s perspective:
It was really nice to have the wedding ave reception all in one location. The Thompson House and Gardens is a very beautiful home and although it was scheduled to rain during the cocktail hour, we were able to open the doors to the back patio for a little more space for the guests to mix and mingle. Shaun’s family brews their own beer and brought their own bar top and beer to the Thompson House and Gardens. This was such a hit!! They even had a menu with different ways to mix flavored syrups in the beers for new drinks.
They chose not to have a first look and used their cocktail hour to take all group photos. I’m 50/50 on first looks – they can save you a lot of time and some headaches, but I love that first look down the aisle!!
Some of my favorite moments from the day were when Kaí’s aunts saw her for the first time and just how close they all are. After losing my mom, my aunts have become even more special to me, so let’s just say I had to grab a tissue! Also, let’s just note how much fun Kaí and her mom have together!! Anytime they were around each other they were laughing and smiling from ear-to-ear.
The preacher that married Kaí and Shaun was Franklin Scott, our campus minister at BCM. He has married so many of my friends and had an huge impact on all of our lives. Just weeks before this wedding, we celebrated his retirement from UGA/BCM and you could tell how loved he is!
Scroll on for more photos from Kaí and Shaun’s wedding day!
Carrie Tabb Photography
Austin Geter Videography
Thompson House and Gardens (Venue, Rentals, Florals)
Martine Dulcer (Makeup)
Island Sound Live (DJ)
Katharine Marie Weddings (Month-of Planning)