A bride and groom in wedding attire sitting on the back of a boat on a lake, holding champagne glasses and looking into the distance.

Ritz-Carlton on Lake Oconee Wedding in Greensboro, Georgia


May 10, 2024
Words by Kristi Blane
Photos courtesy of Sarah Bradshaw Photography

These lovebirds met online, but Brittany playfully disputes AJ’s claim that she “ghosted” him. After a few missed connections, fate stepped in on Halloween night. AJ (with a few tricks up his sleeve, just in case!) met Brittany for wine, and one glass turned into a delicious dinner date. As Brittany says, “It was game on from there.” This connection led them to love and, eventually, a beautiful destination wedding at the Ritz-Carlton on The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia!

With friends and family scattered around the world, a traditional wedding just wouldn’t do. “A quick pivot table on an Excel spreadsheet” (AJ’s words!) revealed a geographically diverse guest list. Atlanta’s international airport became the ideal hub, leading them to the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton on Lake Oconee. “The property is unique and special,” says Brittany, “traveling is a huge part of our lifestyle. We wanted a big vacation with all of our loved ones, and this venue gave us exactly that.”

collage of a Jewish wedding indoors

The couple’s dream venue blended their unique styles. Brittany’s Southern roots met AJ’s California cool at the Ritz-Carlton. “Our wedding planner was amazing,” says AJ. “We wanted a warm, Southern feel, but with a modern twist. The velvet décor and custom oval bar were a huge statement piece – simple yet impactful.”

bride and groom smile at camera walking down the aisle after tying the knot

The festivities kicked off with a celebratory glass of champagne for arriving guests. Brittany remembers, “Our flower girl stole the show, cruising down the aisle in a remote-controlled car!” The ceremony itself was a reflection of their personalities. “We worked with an officiant who shared our sense of humor,” says AJ. They opted for private vows, adding a layer of intimacy to their special day.

seat yourself sign, groom with groomsmen in front of reception hall, martini espresso with couple's initials

Despite being away from home base, AJ and Brittany had a stress-free planning experience. “We had one pre-wedding site visit,” says Brittany, “but our planner was incredible. She even came to our food tasting!” Their advice? Hire a team that goes above and beyond. “Our vendors worked together seamlessly,” says AJ. “We felt like guests, not hosts, and that made all the difference.”

aerial view of couple on dock next to boat on Lake Oconee, couple in wooden boat with American flag on back, reception hall with long table and black chairs

For AJ and Brittany, a destination wedding wasn’t just about the location, it was about the experience. “It wouldn’t have felt like us,” says Brittany. “We loved spending the entire weekend with our loved ones, by the pool, at the coffee shop – it was perfect.”

reception decor with white roses and candles

AJ and Brittany have some golden nuggets of wisdom for fellow soon-to-be-weds: “Focus on what matters most to you both,” says AJ. “Write it down! It’ll be a lifesaver during planning.” They also recommend a full-service planner and getting to know your vendors. “They’re with you all day,” says Brittany, “so make sure you click!”

bridesmaids in reception hall, couple at first dance with cold fireworks, couple cutting cake groom lifts his bride up by waist as they dance at their wedding reception

Vendors: Photographer: Sarah Bradshaw Photography; Wedding Planner: Allie Barham at Beckon Events; Venue & Cake: The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee; Florist: Sejour Events; Stationery: State of Grey Co; Hair & Makeup: Latia Curtis; Gown Designer: Martina Liana; Men’s Attire: The Black Tux; Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale; Boat: Oconee Classic Boats; Videographer: Up and Up Weddings; LED Robots: Extreme Airborne Entertainment; DJ: Curate Entertainment; Ceremony Musicians: Elite Strings

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