I shot Lindsey and Mario's wedding in October last year on the same weekend as Rachel & Andy's wedding. I also recently met with the woman who helped with the venue to put it on, Linda Shulin. When I initially met Lindsey & Mario and heard they picked a beautiful location that generally doesn't host many events, I didn't think much of it other than "cool! I new venue to check out!" During and after the wedding, I came to find out how much work went into just getting the wedding approved there, let alone the WORK they all put into it!
When Keri and I had our wedding, we did it semi-DIY by choosing venues where we could bring all our own stuff versus paying the venue to do it all or contract it out. We thought that was a challenge at times. Lindsey and Mario chose a historical home owned by the city of Dunwoody that had never seen a wedding in recent years and was being modestly maintained by volunteers. Lindsey, Mario, their families, Linda and I'm sure a number of others made it happen through much paperwork, permitting, and heavy duty landscaping! It helps that Lindsey is a lawyer and Mario is a landscape architect. :)
I was told a number of hours were put in for many days making the venue as beautiful as it was that fall day. The most notable of which is that the location where the actual ceremony took place (the grassy area with the hand-made-by-Mario white arbor) was an old swimming pool just 2 days before the wedding! Mario, friends, and family filled it in and sodded it so they could hold the ceremony there! I don't know about you, but I've never heard of so much hard work going into a wedding on top of all that jazz about finding a dress, caterer, DJ, and god-awful photographer. ;) Check out the photos below from one of the most beautiful DIY weddings I've ever heard of.
This was a POOL a few days prior!
And finally, a groomsmen idea. :)