Dana & Josh: An At-Home Country-Style Wedding in Georgia

by Allison Micarelli

Offering guests a true taste of the area, Dana and Josh made the most of the inherent beauty of her father's Lake Burton home for their wedding celebration.

THE BRIDE Dana Scharbo, 31
THE GROOM Josh Lieberman, 33
THE DATE June 23
THE SCENE An at-home wedding in Clayton, Georgia

Every guest was invited to the rehearsal dinner Friday night. "We rented a pavilion on a river, brought in some barbecue and some old-fashioned Budweiser long-necks and Coca-Cola, hired a bluegrass band and a clogging crew, and had a good ol' hoedown," says Dana.

The next day, all 240 guests either hopped aboard luxury buses, boats, or water taxis (for those staying on the lake), for a ride to the ceremony site. They started arriving at 4:30 p.m. for cocktails (which included Atlanta micro-brewed beers) and hors d'ouevres. The mood was casual: The bride chose a wedding ensemble that was actually a bridesmaid dress; the groom wore an equally laid-back outfit -- a Khaki-color cotton suit.

Dana and the bridesmaids arrived by boat to meet Josh and his groomsmen, who walked along an aisle crafted of 300 white stones the couple had painted with words such as love, romance, passion, and friendship in numerous languages and that doubled as wedding favors.

To begin the ceremony, Josh and Dana each picked up a daisy, walked down the dock where a classical guitarist was playing by the water, and placed the flowers on a post to honor Josh's sister and mother who passed away when he was a teenager.

Under a gazebo, Josh's high-school friend, who was ordained on the Internet for $9.95, conducted a personal and thoughtful ceremony.

The reception took place outdoors on a stone terrace, which was also perfect for dancing. The DJ, a friend of the bride, played jazz standards and soulful music during dinner, and then disco and swing for the late-night revelry. "He even changed into a disco outfit, complete with a huge afro," says Dana.

To light the terrace, the couple placed hundreds of paper luminaries alongside the water, along with a handful of mason jars, old vases, and other glass objects they had purchased at a flea market, which they filled with sand and candles and hung from the trees.

After hours of partying, Dana and Josh quietly escaped on a ski boat, which carried them away to a very private, ultra-cozy cottage on the water.

-- Allison Micarelli
Photography © Jimmy Clemmons

For the ingredients that make up this wedding, see right-hand column of this page.

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