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Finding your soulmate takes patience, faith and, of course, love — all traits around which Abby and Brad Ruffkess built their intimate wedding. On April 3, 2016, they enjoyed a magical affair that not only lauded the connection they share, but also the city that helped bring these two special people together, along with friends and family always by their sides.

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“Midtown cool” is how we’d describe the wedding of Brad and Abby Ruffkess.

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The couple was married at JCT Kitchen at Westside Provisions, which overlooks the train tracks running through West Midtown.

The two, who met through a shared friend, fondly recall their courtship throughout Atlanta — first date at KR SteakBar, subsequent meet-ups at Antico Pizza and the Atlanta Botanical Garden. In fact, Abby and Brad lived less than a quarter-mile away from each other for the previous five years they’d lived in Atlanta, off Peachtree Road. Call it fate, kismet or just plain luck, but it seems this young couple was destined to be together. The blossoming romance between Abby, born and raised in Marietta, and Brad, who has lived throughout the Southeast and settled in Atlanta 11 years ago, reached a crescendo when he proposed during a getaway weekend in Charleston, South Carolina. The couple, who so clearly value their intimate connection, decided to keep their proposal a secret from everyone for 24 hours.

“We went through our day in Charleston and took in the exciting memory for ourselves, prior to letting our parents and friends know the following day,” says Abby.

StyleBlueprint Atlanta wedding Abby and Brad Ruffkess

Abby wore the Longines watch given to her by Brad the morning of the wedding. Her stunning dress featured lovely lace detailing and beading.

StyleBlueprint Atlanta Weddings Brad and Abby Ruffkess

The small wedding party, consisting only of the couple’s siblings and best friends, stayed true to the colors of the event: gray and navy.

StyleBlueprint Atlanta wedding brad and abby ruffkess

The couple, who is Jewish, followed traditional wedding customs, which includes having a ketubah (Jewish marriage contract) signing service before the ceremony begins. Abby and Brad found their lovely ketubah on Etsy.

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The ketubah signing is an important and special moment for the bride and groom. This intimate moment is usually only shared with close friends and family. The ketubah must also be signed by two witnesses — this one was signed by Brad’s closest friend since kindergarten, Andy Feuerstein, and Jenna Shulman, who introduced Brad and Abby.

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The gorgeous flowers and bouquets came from Heirloom Gardens. As Abby puts it, “Paula’s flowers are absolute perfection! We met her at our local farmers market and, lucky for us, she did weddings!”

StyleBlueprint Atlanta wedding brad and abby ruffkess

About 125 guests watched as Abby and Brad made their vows under the chuppah, a canopy open on all sides, which symbolizes the home that the new couple will build together.

StyleBlueprint Atlanta wedding abby and brad ruffkess

A traditional Jewish ceremony ends when the groom stomps on a piece of glass and everyone gets to shout “Mazel tov!” Abby and Brad were then able to spend a few minutes alone, just the two of them, and reflect on their new status as husband and wife while the rest of the guests headed to the cocktail hour.

The cozy vibe of their engagement continued through their wedding itself, all while paying homage to the city that brought them together. Their 125-person wedding took place at JCT Kitchen in West Midtown, an easy venue to choose, they both agree.

“We both love great food, knew we wanted a place that supports our local community, had an outdoor space and, overall, felt more like a great dinner party than an event,'” says Abby. “The space itself is so beautiful and inviting, we didn’t have to do much to make it perfect for the wedding.”

The “dinner-party feel” continued throughout the event — a small wedding party that just included siblings and lifelong best friends, the rejection of a large band or DJ for rare dueling pianos, and cool details using local flowers grown right here in Dahlonega. The floral design came from the talented Heirloom Gardens, after the couple discovered them during one of their many weekly trips to Peachtree Road Farmers Market.

StyleBlueprint Atlanta Wedding Abby and Brad Ruffkess

Hors d’oeuvres included Southern staples like deviled eggs, smoked Georgia trout, fried chicken lollipops and truffle fries.

StyleBlueprint Atlanta Wedding brad and abby ruffkess

JCT Kitchen was transformed to accommodate everything that the couple wanted — a wedding that felt like a dinner out with close friends.

StyleBlueprint Atlanta Wedding brad and abby ruffkess

You can never go wrong with truffle fries from JCT Kitchen!

StyleBlueprint Atlanta weddings brad and abby ruffkess

“Our wedding party was quite small, with just my sister as the matron of honor, my best friend of 21 years as my maid of honor and my niece as the flower girl,” says Abby. Brad had his three best friends from grade school as his best men, as well as his brother and my brother.”

There were other lovely ways Abby and Brad created an event that focused on celebrating their relationship with each other, their friends and family, and their culture. “One of the best details that meant a great deal to me was the fact that I was able to wear my mother’s veil — almost a year to the day she got married — 43 years later. I hope that one day — many, many years from now — my daughter can do the same.”

The couple, both Jewish, followed traditions like signing their ketubah (Jewish marriage contract) before their ceremony began. In fact, the two say their favorite part of the entire evening was their yichud (seclusion), where the bride and groom go immediately after the ceremony to spend some alone time together, grab a snack and drink, and exchange gifts. While their guests moved on to the cocktail hour, Abby and Brad were able to take time for themselves and reflect on their new status as one family.

StyleBlueprint Atlanta weddings abby and brad ruffkess

Photos of the couple and their family throughout the space created a close, intimate setting — almost like being at their house for dinner.

StyleBlueprint Atlanta weddings brad and abby ruffkess

Abby and Brad’s first dance was to “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.

StyleBlueprint Atlanta weddings brad and abby ruffkess

Another Jewish wedding tradition is the chair lift, where brawny guests lift the bride and groom up in their chairs to celebrate the happy couple, while everyone else dances the hora around them.

StyleBlueprint Atlanta weddings brad and abby ruffkess

Instead of the standard band or DJ, Brad and Abby hired dueling pianos, The Andrew Brothers, as their wedding entertainment.

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Besides the cake of almond and chocolate filling, desserts included mini pastries, lemon curd tartlets, chocolate peanut caramel tartlets and vegan chocolate mousse.

Styleblueprint Atlanta weddings brad and abby ruffkess

A moment on the dance floor

Besides the connection with their religion and each other, Brad and Abby continued to pay homage to Atlanta, itself. Their guests, who stayed at the Loews Atlanta Hotel, received gift bags specific to the A-T-L — the bags, from the Peachtree Road Farmers Market, included Coca-Cola bottles (a nod to where Brad works), Little Tart Bakeshop chocolate chip cookies, a list of Atlanta sites to see and much more. And in lieu of party favors, the couple made a donation to Atlanta’s The Farmer Fund, which exists to support farmers and help them keep working in the face of natural disasters.

Though the event has come and gone, the love between Abby and Brad continues to grow and evolve. The two describe each other with heartfelt descriptions — Abby says Brad’s intellect, thoughtfulness and unwavering dedication are just a few things she loves about him; Brad goes on and on about Abby’s integrity, youthful attitude, passion for all-things-local and beauty.

“We continue to have fun together every day, no matter what we are doing,” says Brad. “We’re appreciating that we both finally found our forever.”

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Abby says that, “The space at JCT Kitchen itself is so beautiful and inviting, we didn’t have to do much to make it perfect for the wedding!”

StyleBlueprint Atlanta weddings brad and abby ruffkess

A great end to a fabulous evening — congratulations to Brad and Abby!

A huge thank you to Anne Simone for sharing the wonderful photos she took of Brad and Abby’s stunning wedding!

RESOURCES

Photographer: Anne Simone
Videographer: Rusticus Films
Venue/caterer/cake: JCT Kitchen
Florist: Heirloom Gardens
Bridal gown: Wedding Angels Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaids: J.Crew
Band/DJ: The Andrews Brothers Dueling Pianos
Invitations: simply put. PAPER and GIFT
Event planner: Britain Lamon
Party favors: Donation to The Farmer Fund

Wedding in the rain

And for one more wedding to check out today, it’s this wedding that took place in the rain … grab some tissues; it’s quite a story! It also took place in Atlanta! Read all about it here.

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See more beautiful Atlanta weddings — click here!

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