A Laid Back Rooftop Wedding on Cinco de Miyo

Josh Trahan Photography

October 22, 2019

Liz and Rush were married on Cinco de Mayo in Atlanta, GA. Although they found it difficult to plan an alternative wedding at first, they stuck to their guns, followed their hearts and managed to pull off their dream celebration with a $10,000 budget.

“I gotta tell ya, they make it difficult to have a non-traditional wedding in Georgia”, began the bride, “especially if you’re on a budget. But we did it! I planned the whole thing myself and enlisted talented friends to help us pull it off.”

“We originally wanted to elope in Mexico but there was a big part of me that felt I wanted my family and friends to celebrate with me so we decided to do a wedding. We felt that incorporating elements of Mexico into our wedding theme (and going there on our honeymoon) would be a nice compromise.”

“We got married on Cinco de Mayo and had subtle details that touched on the theme. I wanted to celebrate the natural beauty of Mexico by incorporating bright tropical flowers in my bouquet and arrangements, I wanted authentic Mexican music and food and I hoped to create the vibrant atmosphere that you feel when you are in that incredible place. It was also important to me to respect their culture and not have anything costumey or insulting there.”

The day began with a short and sweet ceremony at Cator Woolford Gardens, followed by a casual reception on the roof of Hotel Clermont. “We had to have our wedding somewhere kid and dog friendly (and laid back!) so we went with the non-profit Cator Woolford Gardens. Your wedding fee goes to support the Frazer Center’s school for disabled children and it felt amazing to know that our wedding would be a donation to their cause “, the bride continued. “We felt very fortunate to find it. The gardens are gorgeous and lush but still very woodsy and hidden away. Somehow it exists right in the middle of the city, on Ponce de Leon. The same street as Hotel Clermont where we had the reception.”

The Clermont was their dream reception venue from the start. “It’s a seedy legendary strip club and a tropical paradise rooftop all in one”, Liz explained. “We were never going to have a traditional wedding, nothing about either of us is very traditional. I didn’t want to have bridesmaids, I didn’t want to hire companies to do anything, I have incredibly talented and generous friends so everyone that was involved in my wedding, we knew.”

“I had originally planned on doing DIY projects for decorations, but we ended up going with venues that we felt didn’t need a lot of decoration. I commissioned my mum to make the vessels for the flowers and she made these gorgeous, translucent porcelain vases.”

Although they were over the moon with how their wedding ended up being, Liz does admit that she wishes she hadn’t read or listened to so much ‘advice’ beforehand, She explains, “I wish I’d realised sooner how unimportant the little details that you stress over are. I wish I had never looked at a wedding guide about what you ‘should’ do. I feel the wedding was very true to us and what we wanted, but once it’s over, every fight you had about it, every late night of anxiety-filled thoughts racing… you want to take those back. I wish I could have believed myself when I tried to tell myself that it wasn’t that big of a deal.”

Liz’ advice to everyone reading this is so bang on: ” Don’t go too crazy with the wedding. It is an important, exciting day but it still only one day of your life….and it flies by. It’s this dreamy magical day that almost doesn’t feel real once it’s over. Just try to really enjoy all your time together and don’t lose your head planning a wedding, you have the rest of your lives to do cool shit together. Also, don’t compromise yourself to fit into ‘the wedding image’. Wear whatever the fuck you want, say whatever the fuck you want, do it however you want wherever you want with whoever you actually want there. I kept confusing my own desires with things I thought I should want out of my wedding, don’t listen to all that outside noise. You know what you want!”