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A Refined Backyard Wedding in Moreland, Georgia

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Jessica Gold Photography

|Planning by 

Laura Lynn Coody

Katie Jeter and Daniel McArn Bennett first connected at the request of her grandmother, while the two were both in college, and became friends. Their career paths took Katie to New Orleans and McArn to D.C. “10 years later, my grandmother and our all-knowing mothers reconnected and planted the seed that we should meet up while I was up in D.C. for a wedding,” Katie explains. They saw each other that weekend and began their long-distance relationship.

After two years together, McArn proposed to Katie in Kiawah Island, where she had grown up spending her summers. At the River Course, he got down on one knee, as their parents and her best friend’s secretly watched from the porch of the clubhouse.

The engaged pair decided to get married at her parents’ home in Moreland, Georgia. “It made the event even more personal, homey and carefree,” Katie says of choosing the house as their venue. “The aesthetic I was going for a refined, casual backyard wedding—fun, cheerful, and relaxed.” To help bring her vision to life, the couple hired planner Laura Lynn Coody.

To find her wedding dress, Katie went straight to Wedding Belles in New Orleans and gravitated toward the Jesus Perio trunk show. Once she tried on a gown with flutter sleeves and black belt, she knew it was the right one. She kept the rest of her bridal look simple with diamond stud earrings that her parents gifted her and Golden Goose high-top sneakers.

On October 9, 2021, the ceremony took place on the lawn behind the house, overlooking the small pond. Bluegrass band Smokey’s Farmland Band played renditions of classic wedding songs, as everyone walked down the aisle. “After our vows, our family and friends threw hundreds of hand-dried wildflowers over us in celebration—all of which my mother dried herself!” Katie exclaims.

The cocktail hour started at the front of the house with champagne and rosé. And the band moved to the porch to start the first dances. The newlyweds twirled around to a bluegrass version of “This Must Be the Place.” Then, Katie had the band surprise her father with a mashup of “She’s a Rainbow” and “Free Bird” for their dance. “He was so pumped,” the bride recalls.

At sunset, the party moved under the sailcloth tent, adorned with bistro lights hanging above tables covered with gingham tablecloths. A classic southern meal was served, consisting of barbecue pork sliders, mac and cheese, shrimp and grits, cheese straws, and more.

“I know that McArn’s favorite part of the wedding was the second band, Electric Avenue,” Katie states. The ’80s cover band played for hours to a full dance floor. “We went with the ’80 band because we wanted something different from the classic wedding band playing ‘Shout’ or ‘Uptown Funk.'” As the night went on, close friends and family stayed to keep dancing and drinking—a great perk of an at-home wedding. “McArn and I bought our own tower speakers the day before the wedding, so we could keep the party going.”