When Alyza Helman first met Daniel Dence at a party, she was certain he must have a girlfriend. After all, he seemed like the perfect guy for her, so what were the chances he was single? To Alyza’s surprise, Dan was indeed available. They hit it off right away, but as she left she forgot to give him her phone number before getting into a taxi. “Apparently after I left Dan took off down the street in the direction of the cab that I was in. He later told me he was running after it because he hadn’t gotten my number and was worried he’d never see me again,” Alyza says. However, armed with the knowledge of her name and that she worked in real estate, he was able to find her contact information. “I’m so glad he did!” she exclaims.
As the duo had discussed taking the next step in their relationship and picked out a ring, Alyza had a feeling her beloved would be asking a certain question on her 30th birthday… but nothing happened at the brunch the lovebirds attended before the celebration. “I figured there was no way was he going to [pop the question] if he hadn’t at brunch, and it would happen at another time,” she explains. Later that night, they gathered with friends on a rooftop bar for the fête. The music stopped and Dan walked towards Alyza and got down on one knee, while their friends surrounded them. “I can’t imagine having a better proposal!” the bride exclaims.
Choosing a location was difficult for the affianced pair. Dan is from Ohio, Alyza is from Florida, and they reside in New York City. The bride, who took the lead in planning, knew she wanted a venue with lodging so everyone would be able to spend plenty of time together. “We also wanted to choose a location somewhere in the South but not in Florida because we were worried it would be too hot,” Alyza confirms. Her aunt sent her information on a château with an onsite winery in Braselton, Georgia. “I fell in love with it,” the bride affirms.
With the help of the By BrianGreen team, the wedding was designed to reflect the French countryside with a touch of Versailles in the era of Marie Antoinette. Small blooms in pink and white adorned the structure that made the chuppah, complete with a crystal chandelier in the center. Ivory arrangements of hydrangeas, orchids, roses, and calla lilies marked the aisle alongside vineyard chairs and sporadic lounge furniture in neutral hues.
Despite the clear day projected, as soon as the ceremony ended, rain came pouring down. As a result, the planned outdoor cocktail hour was moved inside, and the newlyweds had to sacrifice their portraits on the beautiful grounds of the venue. While the vow exchange was everything they could have wanted, the bride and groom do wish they had done a “first look” in order to further take advantage of the scenery before the rain started. “Seeing Alyza for the first time that day walking down the aisle was breathtaking. But not having the pictures with her is tough,” Dan admits.
Their spirits were lifted with a gorgeous reception. “I couldn’t even focus on one thing as I was trying to take everything in,” the groom says of seeing the space for the first time. Tables were topped with tall, round arrangements of blush and ivory blossoms, and live trees were brought in to accent the lounge areas. “I wanted our guests to feel as though they were in a garden outside,” Alyza shares. A handmade geometric backdrop of greenery helped add to the alfresco atmosphere while a live band entertained the guests. Once it was time for the revelers to head back to their rooms, the new Mr. and Mrs. Dence relaxed in the reception space as the décor was removed, reflecting on their big day and ready to start their lives together.