Kathryn Zmistowski and Pelham Wilder IV are Georgia folk, through and through — Pelham grew up in Atlanta, and Kathryn just outside of the city in Covington. As a couple, the two have spent their entire adult lives together here, including the home they now share in Virginia-Highlands. So it just makes sense that their wedding would pay homage to these strong Southern roots with the ultimate Atlanta soiree.
The VaHi neighborhood isn’t just special to the couple because they own real estate there — it served as the backdrop for their first date, entire courtship, even their engagement. For the actual nuptials, the couple kept things in town and had their wedding at Ansley Golf Club.
“Pelham grew up going to Ansley Golf Club in Midtown,” says Kathryn. “We checked it out as a possibility for our wedding, and once I saw the beautiful skyline that serves as the backdrop of the fairway, I knew it was a perfect fit.”
The pair, accompanied by their wedding party of 15+, got married on the practice green at Ansley and had the reception in the club’s ballroom. Though the ceremony was a gorgeous outdoor space, it almost didn’t come to be during last year’s very wet and rainy fall. The day began overcast and rain started falling an hour before the ceremony’s start. Though it was risky to still plan and have the ceremony outside, Kathryn stuck with her original concept. Cupid must have been eavesdropping, because for the exact 50 minutes the ceremony was scheduled, the clouds parted and the sun came out. Though the rain started up again during the photos, you don’t get much better timing.
The family’s Southern roots were proudly represented in the day’s menu: hors d’oeuvres of sugar-smacked bacon, pimento cheese puffs and deviled eggs; dinner featuring fried catfish, shrimp and grits, a macaroni and cheese station and Ansley’s famous chicken tenders; and Southern desserts (minus a traditional wedding cake) of red velvet cake, peanut butter and chocolate cake, and key lime pie.
Though the weather may have temporarily shaken Kathryn’s resolve, the event went off without a hitch. In fact, the only drops that fell were those of happy tears when Pelham delivered his gift to Kathryn — a pair of earrings made from his grandmother’s pearls. The groom’s grandparents have passed away, but he kept their spirit alive in a few sweet traditions — like the gift to his bride and the fact that he used his grandfather’s wedding band. Inside the band, Pelham’s grandparents’ initials and wedding date are engraved; Pelham and Kathryn have now added their initials and their wedding date to the band, as well.
“[Opening Pelham’s gift] was such a sweet moment with his brother, his mother, my mother and the bridal party,” she says. “I don’t think there was one dry eye.”
Though the excitement of planning a wedding has evolved into the quiet joys of married life, Kathryn and Pelham are still having a ball together. “Married life isn’t much different than before-married life. It’s great! The best part about married life for me is my last name is a little easier to pronounce. Seriously though, one of the best parts is making our own new traditions. We are looking forward to hopefully growing our family this year.”
Florist: Susan Massar of The Flower Lady
Band: Crystal Clear Band (Sam Hill Entertainment)
Gown designer: Winnie Couture
Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew bridal collection
Invitations: Paper Source, Virginia-Highlands
Rehearsal Invitations and Save the Dates: Minted.com
Event Planner: Emily Burdette of Ansley Golf Club
Day-of Coordinator: Craig Bing of Rome, GA
Hair (bride) & Makeup: Annagrace Martin
Hair (bridal party): KC Frazier of Covington, GA
Harpist: Fay Ellen Steelnack of Rome, GA
Bridesmaid gifts: Judith Bright
Photographers: Elle Wood of Elle Wood Photography and Matt Montemayor of Matt & Patty Photography