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Traveling to the West End of Atlanta is not something I usually do, at night, by myself. But I was too excited about this incredibly unique event, that I got gussied up, and ready to wreck the town; actually to attend Atlanta’s hottest Bridal Event, “The Not Wedding”. As I parked on a dark street and made my way over broken sidewalks and potholes, ( in stilettos) I arrived at the door that seemed to be attached to a run down warehouse. Never judge a book by its cover. I didn’t and yet I was still blown away . Above the door read ‘Ambient+ Studios’ , and before I could read those two simple words, the door had been opened, and I was escorted  into a beautifully designed stairwell by an attractive young gentleman wearing a tuxedo. Although I had seen pictures of this event before: a faux wedding ceremony followed by a full reception with a catered dinner, beautiful cakes, boutique cocktails, and a band, I still had not envisioned such a classy and uniquely hosted event. Callie Murray, co-owner with her brother Aaron, of Achor & Eden Photography, started “The Not Wedding” in 2008, and it has been gaining exposure by the day. In their 5th year, Callie and her trustee group of exclusive and high-end (let’s call it ‘bridal couture’) vendors, worked together to surprise potential brides by giving them more than their $35 ticket was worth. Each Atlanta vendor, such as Buzzy Craftery (that designed the beautiful hanging bottles, flowers, and paper decorations on the way in), Four Inch Fold (vintage rentals, such as the church pews, vanities, chairs, typewriters and much more) , Gertie Mae’s Floral Studio (responsible for all of the unique flower designs), and Juli Vaughn Designs (tablescapes and awesome hanging floral embroidery wreaths), collaborated and transformed Ambient Studios into a Bride’s paradise. The hand-picked vendors were responsible for everything down to the makeup and hair of the “bride” and “bridesmaids. Raney O’Keefe , a highly talented freelance Atlanta makeup and hair artist , enhanced the beauty of the girls with wonderful a palette of peach and neutral brown and beige. This was the colour swatch for the event, and frankly the designers hit the nail on the head. Upon entrance, I received a high quality, embossed cardstock menu, and ceremony program. This was no Red Carpet Event, this was a Black Carpet Event! As the beautiful bride walked down the “sparkly black carpet” to meet her groom (her husband in real life, because that kiss was simply killer!) they were taken through a five-minute, poetic”spoken word” ceremony, and then the rest was history. Actually what followed was history in the making. Brides-to-be stepped up to the dinner spread, catered by the oh so wonderful Sun in my Belly Restaurant and Catering Co., greeted with mismatching authentic china plates and miso glazed salmon and chanterelle ravioli to top it off. We were all encouraged to step through the “Tunnel of Love” which is where the bride’s and their beaus would personally meet every vendor. Because of the inviting yet exclusivity of the event, The Not Wedding is loyal to their vendors, keeping only about 20 personally run companies, all with different expertise. A special Thank you to Robert and Tiffany from Rustic White Photography for providing all of the pictures for this blog post. As you can see, they are an amazing duo that knows how to capture the heart and soul of an event, not to mention their impeccable customer service!  I received a “Medium Brown Bag” (reusable) from Bloomie’s and filled it with the little goodies that were offered. Handmade organic beeswax lip balm by Raney, cute hair pins by Fine and Fleurie , and best of all, a wonderful picture keepsake from The Majestic Photobooth Co. (a vintage style photobooth company that was started 7 years ago, before photobooths were all the rage!)

Me and My date Ansley in The Majestic Photo Booth

I got to touch base with an acquaintance and now a friend, Sarah Esther with Sarah Esther Photography, who offers and incredibly unique service: Classy Boudoir Photography. She makes it possible for brides to give their husband a little “steamy” pic to put in their wallet!! I felt pampered, and secretly, I was not a Bride-to-Be. To end the event, ‘A Town A List’ brought us through the cupid shuffle and a new dance I learned, The Wobble. I have never been one for bands at a wedding but these guys are the ultimate entertainers. Both Lead Singers tag teaming it to everything from 70s Disco to Usher , while shuffling their feet to “Moves Like Jagger.” What a wonderful experience. Thank you Callie and your team for such a unique and rewarding experience. If you are from Atlanta or the Tri-State area, Orlando, or San Diego please give some love to these local vendors and hire them for your next event (it does not have to be a wedding!)

Do not forget to follow them on FB and Twitter. You can see a complete list of the vendors for Atlanta, Orlando, and San Diego here .

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