On September 5, Groovin’ Gourmets had the pleasure of catering Samantha and Daniel’s traditional wedding, held at the The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design. The bride and groom, who have been together for nearly eight years, met in 2007 when Samantha was a senior in high school and Daniel was a freshman in college. They were introduced at a party by mutual friends, and they each felt an instant connection and hit it off immediately.
Daniel proposed this past December at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, while he and Samantha were there viewing the annual Gardenfest of Lights. As they were all walking through the grounds, they came across a gazebo strung with all sorts of dazzling lights, so the couple decided to check it out while their friends Dana and Ryan lagged a few steps behind. “Between Dana and Daniel, I could definitely tell that something was up,” says Samantha. As the two entered the decorated pavilion, Daniel romantically got down on one knee and proposed, while Dana documented the entire affair from a short distance away. It started to rain soon after, so they all went downtown to Stella’s to celebrate the happy occasion.
A fusion of old world and new world, Daniel and Samantha’s wedding, planned by Dana Ferguson with Wood Grain & Lace, pleasantly combined the modern colors navy blue and mustard yellow with the charming, tudor-revival design of their venue. “I was inspired by the idea of a timeless wedding – something that was classic and wasn’t going to appear dated twenty years from now. Dana was phenomenal at executing our vision,” adds Samantha. The tall ceilings and cast iron details of the Branch House, blended with modern touches and decorations, helped to create a unique fusion of past and present. Their first dance, which was to Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are The Best Thing,” fit in perfectly with the couple’s modern yet classic theme.
To personalize their wedding, the duo decorated their bar area with an abundance of sentimental photos. Romantic pictures from their “save the date” and engagement photo shoots, in addition to shots from earlier in their relationship, were hung up as decoration. As additional adornment, Samantha and Daniel added small potted succulents to tables as centerpieces, which were also gifted to guests as wedding favors.
Before booking any specific vendor, the couple relied on online reviews for advice and guidance. The blushing bride chose to have her hair and makeup done by Lou Steven’s Glam Squad, due to rave reviews, of course, and the fact that they did both hair and makeup. She wore an intricately beaded, strapless gown from Urban Set Bride, which was complemented by a simple bouquet of white and yellow calla lilies, fashioned by Flowers Make Scents. After speaking with another engaged couple who highly recommended her, they chose photographer Megan Garrison to shoot their photos, and Keith Reagan Film & Video to capture their big day on film.
The couple chose Groovin’ Gourmets as their caterer due to the variety of unique food choices. Says Samantha, “We really liked all of the different options, especially the fact that there were interesting foods to chose from and not just basic wedding foods. One thing we really appreciated was that the chef came in at our tasting to answer questions. He made our final decisions easy.”
During cocktail hour, guests were served Groovin’s famous sweet potato biscuits with roasted ham and apple butter, petite crab cakes with remoulade, as well as tomato and mozzarella caprese skewers. For dinner, a variety of unique pastas were served, along with flavorful proteins including beef tenderloin, rosemary chicken with red pepper pesto, and smoked chicken lollipops stuffed with baby spinach, oven roasted tomatoes, and goat cheese. “One of our main goals was to make sure that we had good food, and every single one of our guests were raving about it, so I think that we succeeded with that!” says Samantha.
In lieu of a large wedding cake, guests were treated to cupcakes from Carytown Cupcakes in five flavors, including traditional red velvet, vanilla, pineapple, strawberry and gluten free strawberry lemonade. Throughout the night, upbeat music from DJ Bill Gilliam, owner of Choice Entertainment, entertained guests. “Bill and Daniel connected because they are both in the music industry, and Bill knew our music taste was special. He was incredible,” says Samantha.
These days, the newlyweds, who ended their joyous night with a glitzy sparkler exit, feel closer than ever. As Samantha says, “We’ve always felt very connected to each other, but even more so now. It’s a good feeling.” Samantha and Daniel – we wish you nothing but happiness and prosperity in your future together!