Image courtesy of Gracie Blue Photography (www.grblue.com)
It was a warm Georgia day in May. The bride was barefoot and the groomsmen arrived via vintage pickup truck. The groom wore a boutonniere made up of wheat, hypericum berries and a single pheasant’s feather. The 160 guests perched on hay bales under a 200-year-old oak tree to listen to the couple recite their vows.
In every way Jenna, 24 and Andrew Lombardi’s, 23, May 2012 wedding on an 1860s-era farm outside Athens, Georgia captured the authentic, outdoorsy, charmingly old-timey vibe the couple sought. Though their wedding was an utterly personal, DIY affair, planned out by Jenna and a host of friends, it was also distinctly on-trend. The Lombardi wedding is part of a growing movement toward garden and farm weddings that highlight natural settings, authenticity and an all-American aesthetic.
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The couple met when Jenna was studying early childhood education at the University of Georgia and Andrew stopped in Athens during a traveling stint. He eventually settled down at the University of Georgia to study international relations. The couple bonded over a shared love of nature, vintage mason jars, faith and a dream to someday move to Haiti.
They wanted their wedding to reflect those shared values. “I had always envisioned myself getting married outside,” says Jenna. “I wanted for it to be really natural,” says Jenna, who planned the day’s event on her own, enlisting friends for help along the way. Her father donated an old wheelbarrow to hold the wildflower seeds given out as favors to wedding guests. A friend crafted the crown of baby’s breath, daisies and lavender worn by the bride. And on the morning of the wedding, Andrew went to a secret location to pick wildflowers for his bride’s bouquet.
The wedding location was a former cotton, corn and cattle farm at one time owned by country legend Kenny Rogers. A rustic design scheme of hay bales, copper cook pot, fabric bunting, wooden boxes filled with posies, a bluegrass band and the occasional horse venturing into wedding photographer Gracie Dinwiddie’s frame gave the day an aura of magic.