Although Kerri Campbell wasn't the type of bride that had dreamed about her wedding from a young age, she did have a few key components in mind when she and boyfriend Scott Henley got engaged. "I always knew I wanted an outdoor wedding in the fall," Kerri says. "And ever since my parents built their house in Homer, Georgia, I just knew that I wanted my wedding at their home." The bride was also firm about designing an event that was lovely without being pretentious. "I wanted a wedding that was fun and relaxed -- nothing that had an uptight feeling." With the season, location, and style established, the couple set about creating a unique affair that would beautifully reflect their laid-back personalities.
The casual elegance of the day was established early on with beautifully calligraphed wedding invitations that were simple but richly timeless. The bridesmaids' charming fall bouquets and tea-length chocolate-hued dresses provided the perfect counterbalance to crisp taupe suits worn by the groom and his attendants. Kerri's father opted to wear a full Scottish kilt as a nod to the family's heritage, and the bride herself was resplendent in Vera Wang.
When guests assembled on the Campbell's 100-acre estate for the ceremony, they were promptly offered umbrellas to shade them from the early evening sun. Classic cars from the father of the bride's collection provided style as well as transportation: The bridesmaids arrived in a vintage Chevy pick-up, and Kerri herself made a grand entrance in a gorgeous antique Ford. A set of iron gates wrapped in sheer fabric not only provided a dramatic reveal of the bride on her father's arm, but made an elegant counterpart to the beautiful floral arch at the end of the aisle as well. Scott and Kerri's traditional vow exchange was highlighted with music from a string quartet with trumpet, a gospel choir, and a bagpiper, with the latter leading the way to the hospitality hour that followed. Guests enjoyed poolside cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, live music... and a 20-minute air show courtesy of the bride's father who hired the pilot as a surprise.
A tented reception followed the hospitality hour, where guests were awed by the amazing floral displays. Classic blooms such as calla lilies, orchids, hydrangeas, and roses were mixed with more exotic blossoms including Bells of Ireland, Kangaroo Paws, Fuji mums, and waxflower. Accents of hypericum berries, twigs of birch and curly willow, various herbs, and seeded eucalyptus added a woodland feel to the colorful arrangements. Dinner and dancing commenced, and guests enjoyed sweet slices of classic wedding cake. "No fancy or weird flavors!" asserts the bride. "I wanted yellow cake with white icing." The catering staff also set up a copper cauldron at the reception where they made old-fashioned pecan pralines as guest favors.
One of the most memorable moments of the evening was when Kerri's parents were presented with a special thank-you gift from the couple. "My parents love unique paintings," Kerri explains. "So, we decided to have our ceremony painted as it happened." San Francisco artist Alan Zimmerman traveled to the wedding to create the original composition, and after working since morning on the background and setting, he completed the painting as the couple and their wedding party stood under the arbor. "It turned out absolutely amazing!" exclaims the bride. "It was a total surprise, and when we presented it to [my parents] at the reception, the look on both of their faces was priceless."
The guests continued the festivities long after Kerri and Scott received their official send-off amid sparklers and pyrotechnics -- but the party was so irresistible that the wedding couple returned! "One of the benefits of having a wedding at home is you can stay as late as you want," Kerri laughs. The couple's focus on fun filtered through every aspect of the event, resulting in an outstanding celebration that was anything but ordinary. "Have your own vision, be different, and stand out!" advises the bride. "Our wedding style might not have been the 'trendy' thing to do, but we did what we wanted and loved it!"