Southern Wedding at Roselawn Museum: Cartersville, GA

I’ve got a fun post to share with you today.  You’ve all met my dear friend, Vicki.  I’ve shared her on my fashion posts and it’s been awhile since she has appeared on my blog, but her youngest son, Tanner, just got married and it was a fun wedding to attend.  Vicki put together a rehearsal dinner at their church fellowship hall and asked me to help her with the tables so I did and we got that all done.  She cut hydrangeas from my yard and borrowed some of my accessories to set up tables for a travel theme. She did one for the beach and one for the mountains, which was a good fit for the bride and groom.  I’m so happy for this young couple, starting their life together.  I’m a big sap when it comes to romance and love and it warms my heart to see couples in love.  Love is a wonderful thing!  I thought I’d share a bit about the rehearsal dinner tables and then show you some snapshots of the wedding itself, which was at a really pretty venue in downtown Cartersville, GA.  Cartersville is a historic little town north of Atlanta and the Rose Lawn Museum and carriage house was so quaint and perfect for an outdoor wedding.


Let me just start by saying this.  The wedding industry, in my opinion, has gotten completely out of control as far as costs go.  When I hear that the average wedding is over $25K, it makes me cringe.  I know that everyone has their perfect wedding day in mind and weddings are beautiful and a celebration of two lives joining together, but to me it’s gotten way more showy than it needs to be and so much money is spent for that one day.  I love to see couples who do things on a budget and still have a very special wedding planned.  This was the case for Tanner and his bride, Keira.  They did most of it on their own, with some help from friends and family.  It was cute, tasteful and meaningful and the venue made the wedding very special.

First things first, Vicki and I set up their church fellowship hall for the rehearsal dinner.  Vicki was in charge of this and she asked for my help, which I was glad to do.  It turned out simple and pretty, not extravagant, but nice.  Keep in mind these are iPhone pics, which is what I’m using a lot these days as I travel, so I try to do the best with them.


Simple white tablecloths went on the tables for the rehearsal dinner guests.


She used this chalkboard that a friend made for the wedding as her inspiration for a travel theme.  Marriage truly is an adventure, isn’t it?


With many things pulled from my house, we set up a coastal table on one side and a more rustic mountain table on the other side. It was just meant to set the mood for the celebration and activities and Vicki said everyone raved about how pretty the room was.


Just adding coastal themed items gave it a nice feel.


The mountain table of travel  and adventure on the other side.


And this is what it looked like when I left.  A few things were rearranged and added, but it had an overall nice feel for those coming in.  Again, not extravagant, but pretty.  They served BBQ at the rehearsal dinner, by the way, a request of the bride and groom.


The sweetheart table set up for the bride and groom.


Vicki used a map to display their pictures together.  They are one smiling happy couple and I’m so happy for them.  They are both great people and I’m glad they found each other. I’ve known Tanner since he was born, so it’s so nice to celebrate this special time with him and his family.


We added tulle in the middle of the tables with simple arrangements of cut hydrangeas from my yard, along with 3 candles at each table.


Vicki got all the table ware and used disposable items, which I don’t blame her for doing.  Weddings can be so stressful and this is one more thing not to stress over. A friend of hers did the place cards for her.


A friend of Vicki’s from an Etsy shop, Deer and Thyme made and hung the pretty chandelier over the bride and groom table. This is not the best pic, but you get the idea. That was really a nice touch in there!  So that’s a look at the rehearsal dinner and how Vicki pulled it off without a ton of work and expense.  She borrowed all the tablecloths, so that helped too.


Now on to the wedding venue.  Rose Lawn Museum in Cartersville is a historic home dating back to the 1860’s.  I had never heard of this venue before, but was totally fascinated by it.  A famous and beloved evangelist, Sam Jones, was once an owner of the house. The house was renovated and added on to over the years and finally was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, where today it is a museum open to the public.  So great that his majestic Victorian home was saved!

It was a hot day in the low 90’s, but at least there wasn’t rain and the wedding itself was under the trees at the back of the property.  I thought it was a perfectly charming wedding venue and Vicki said it was very cost effective to book this place.  The reception was held on the lawn under a tent and in the carriage house that is so adorable. Wait til you see that!


I took a few pics inside and outside of the house itself.  After the ceremony, everyone went back to the house to hang out for a bit and have a glass of sweet tea until pictures were finished with the wedding party and then the reception began.




Vicki and I managed to get a quick photo together.  She and I have been friends for a long, long time.  We are the same age, 1 week apart, and have known each other since we were 15.  It’s such a blessing to have friends like Vicki!  We’ve been through thick and thin together!  It was a happy occasion and I was glad to be there with her.  Mark went along with me as well, even though weddings are not the most favorite activity for a man, he indulged and kept me company.  It was actually a fun time with a DJ playing music and we even did a little dancing.



The coffered ceiling in the dining room was magnificent.






Original tile floors in the bathroom.  No wonder we all love this again, such a classic pattern.



A beautiful old mirror and pretty acorn wallpaper in the upstairs hallway.


A side view of the house. This house sits on a huge piece of property and perfect for an outdoor wedding.



Everyone enjoyed walking around the grounds looking at everything.


Vicki looked radiant in her navy blue mother-of-the groom dress.


I missed this mirror, but Vicki shared it with me. The bride and groom did a lot of nice touches to personalize their wedding.  Simple and impactful.


A cross with fresh flowers adorned the altar where the wedding party gathered for the ceremony.


Tanner and his friends brought in the logs and they added candles for the ceremony.  Loved this idea, an altar of sorts.


One shot of the happy couple just after saying “I do”.  I loved the expression on Keira’s face, so fun. This shows her personality, even though I’ve only met her one time, I can tell she is a beautiful girl inside and out.  They are a good looking couple and I’m happy for their beginning life together.


The carriage house was all decorated by the bride’s family and looked so pretty!


A tent on the lawn held tables so that guests could be out of the sun and enjoy some shade. The wedding started at 5 pm in the evening and it was a very hot day, but we all managed to have fun in spite of that.


They had some really fun touches that I wanted to share with you, in case anyone else needs ideas for a simple wedding.  For wedding favors, they made CD’s of the songs played all during the wedding, from the ceremony to the reception and some of their favorite songs that were meaningful to them. I thought this was a great idea!


Bubbles were available for the send-off.


Inside the carriage house, a rustic and perfect building for a wedding.  Fans were going everywhere since it was a hot day.  The back door was opened too during the meal, so that helped cool things off with a breeze coming in.


The small wedding cake on the top was cut and then guests helped themselves to cupcakes.  Cute, cute idea! The bride and groom orchestrated this idea and brought in all these wood slices and set this up themselves, along with the lace tablecloths and simple centerpieces. I thought this was a brilliant idea!


This rustic room was the perfect backdrop for a quaint wedding.  There were probably a 100 people or so at the wedding and a full meal was served.


Brick walls are always a great backdrop for lace and flowers.


They added some fun string lights which added to the ambience.


Looking up at the ceiling to the 2nd loft level, which was also set with tables.


A rustic chandelier upstairs in the loft was very eye catching.


Cupcakes for all!  I just loved how pretty and charming the whole wedding was and wanted to share it with all of you.  Weddings are a big part of life and there are many ways to do them, so I think a budget friendly one is great to share.


Mark and I enjoyed the time there and had a fun time dancing and enjoying the ambience of the house and gardens.  It’s a fascinating place and a wonderful wedding venue, so check out Rose Lawn in Cartersville if you are in the area and need a wedding venue.  Rose Lawn doesn’t know I’m blogging this, but I was so impressed with the house and gardens, I wanted to share.

Hope you enjoyed this wedding recap with me!

- Rhoda


  1. Sally Carson says:

    Looks like a beautiful place & day. Is that an old Brownie camera on the travel table? I still have mine from the 50’s!

  2. ThanK you, this is a beautiful post. Everybody had a great time (well except the flower girl ha ha). I agree with you Rhoda, wedding expenses are totally over the top. The mother of the groom looked very pretty.

    • That is SO funny! I didn’t notice the flower girls expression until I went back to take a second look at the beautiful bride.

  3. BBQ is apparantly in vogue now. I grew up getting ours from Fresh Air Barbeque — my dad would drive from our Marietta, GA home to Jackson, GA for this amazing BBQ sold out of a rustic place that is still in business to this day. I went to a wedding at the newly renovated Biltmore Ballrooms in Atlanta, a very upscale reception with food stations, and lo & behold, one of the stations was serving BBQ, cole slaw, and shrimp&grits—a very elegant presentation but BBQ nonetheless. And then earlier this week we were at a very dressy dinner reception at the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown, DC and one of the food stations was serving BBQ as well—-a sushi bar, a prime rib bar, and a good ole BBQ bar. Growing up eating very southern, country fare—it always makes me smile on the inside when I see these foods being gussied up for fancy events.

  4. Such a nice place for a wedding and at a reasonable price! Thank you for sharing this post. I didn’t know about the Rose Lawn Museum, but would love to tour it.

  5. My cousin, who could afford anything she wanted had. Simple southern wedding and reception of homemade pimento cheese sandwiches and chicken salad cups ,ham biscuits, cheese wafers sweet tea lemonade and specially boxed krispy kreme doughnuts as favors that were handed out by two elderly uncles
    In kk
    hats it was perfect, personal, adorable. Another close friend served cake and lavender lemonade, hopefully brides will make that day theirs and stop the compete compare wedding pressure. My son and daughter in law were married in the fall and served several thoess of soup and crackers and cornbread muffins with miniature pies and cider blanket throws for gifts it was at a rustic shelter on the lake and we actually took antiques from home to display the deserts and antique benches for seating before the ceremony we had a coffee and biscuit bar with homemade apple butter

  6. Vendors think if you put the word “wedding” in front of any service you can increase the price! my daughter refused to spend $1200 on their wedding cake so we ordered a 2 tier white birthday cake for $85 and then I made 200 mini cupcakes! For less than $100, we served cake for 200…

  7. Rhoda, what a lovely wedding and a beautiful venue! Congrats to the couple. I know your friend so appreciated all your help in decorating for the rehearsal dinner. Weddings are definitely over the top in expense today, but this wedding is simply gorgeous! Pam @ Everyday Living

  8. donna zoltanski says:

    “Simply” gorgeous……I love all your special touches.

  9. Vicki looks so,young and beautiful!

    • I agree! Vicki looked lovely. Such a perfect dress for her. Rhoda, hope you will feature her again on one of your fashion segment. (Wish she would share her secrets for looking so trim!) Also, would love to hear you advice about what people wear to weddings these days, as I have one to attend in October.

      • Hey, Lindy, I think weddings now are all over the place in regards to dress. This one was outside and fairly casual so I opted for a maxi dress and flat sandals. I think it’s a matter of finding out how formal or dressy or casual the wedding is and go from there. Inside or outside, cooler or what will weather be like? I’d say go with something you feel pretty and feminine and comfortable in.

  10. This kind of wedding is my favorite and the guests and bride and groom seem to always enjoy it more too. Less stress, more fun! It was a beautiful wedding!

  11. I agree that wedding costs are out of control. I have a friend getting married next year and she’s spending close to 100k on her wedding! My frugal self starts twitching when she talks about it. I also know of a few who spent 25k+ and were divorced a year later…I think couples can get so caught up in the excitement of the wedding planning that they forget about the reason for the wedding or don’t feel that they can back out!
    Tanner and Keira did it right! Beautiful but not over the top. Best of luck to them on their new adventure!

    • Julia, that 100K amount makes me choke! I just don’t get it! And yep, too much money to spend and then get divorced a year later.

  12. The wedding was beautiful and wonderful that it was done on a budget. I too think is awful what people spend on weddings now. This is just as lovely as some I have seen that had thousands and thousand of dollars spent on them. I love the cake/cupcakes display that the bride and groom did and how sweet that it was done by them. And your friend Vicki looked beautiful!! Thank you for sharing their day.

  13. Melesa Garrison says:

    Thanks for sharing. I love everything about this sweet wedding. The bride was adorable and your friend, Vicki, looked beautiful as well. The venue was so perfect. My favorite part was how they set up the cake and cupcakes.

  14. Beautiful wedding thanks for sharing. Did this give you and Mark any ideas? You guys are so cute together!

  15. Simply gorgeous, it’s good to know that weddings can be done on a budget although you can’t really tell. It’s the little touches that make it all so special.

  16. Totally agree on the budget thing. This was darling!! Loved the shot of the bride, and the little girl in the background who is probably out of patience 😉 hehe.

    You and your fella look so happy and so cute together!!

  17. Thanks to my life long friend, Rhoda, for helping me set up for the rehearsal dinner! She will tell you I’m not the best at decorating and entertaining, but she “approved” my ideas and helped me execute them. She also loaned me items for the vignettes and the white ceramic vases for the table centerpieces. I cut hydrangeas from you garden and they brought simple elegance to the tables. My sister-in-law arrived from out of town to assist me with setting out the food, etc…We had the BBQ meal catered BUT they forgot to bring the cobbler I ordered for a southern dessert! I was heading for a full blown tizzy! Thankfully some guests arrived early and offered to help so they went to the grocery store and picked up cheese cake and key lime pie. I made a huge banana pudding from scratch and all of it was eaten. The bride’s family is not from the south and it was important to me to offer them “southern hospitality” with some traditional southern fare. Yes, I was very pleased with how the room turned out. The greenery chandelier and garden lights, by Deer&Thyme, added ambiance to the event. But the most enjoyable aspect of the rehearsal dinner was when the bride and groom shared their love story and their heartfelt appreciation to their attendants and parents! We received numerous compliments on how well the evening went, but it was the love expressed that truly made the rehearsal dinner a great prelude to the amazing wedding the next day. Thanks again, Rhoda for sharing in the joy of this exciting event for our family. Your friendship is a blessing to me!

    • Vicki,any friend of Rhoda’s,is a friend of ours. Everything was so pretty at your son’s wedding. The bride was beautiful ( she is a keeper). Those northerners are still talking about the southern hospitality they received. You did us proud. Love you in Rhoda’s fashion blogs.

  18. Stacey Avelar says:

    I agree with everyone here that the best weddings are simple and enjoyable instead of over the top and stressful. My daughter is a events manager at a wedding venue and told me that statistics show that the more money is spent on the wedding, the higher chance of divorce!

  19. What a beautiful wedding. I have to admit what caught my eye was your mention of Cartersville, Georgia. My family is from Cartersville and it is a wonderful small town, the people are friendly and the area is beautiful. The venue looked perfect, good luck to the couple.


  20. Love, love, love! i am from Cartersville and was married inside Rose Lawn 27 years ago next week. Thanks for the memories!

  21. Loved this post and I applaud the bride and groom for not going overboard. I loved all of the beautiful, personal touches. My stepdaughter basically demanded an outrageous sum of money for her wedding and wanting to see his only child happy, my husband obliged. Her wedding venue was $16,00o, and then “I need money for this and this and this. It never seemed to end I felt that since she was not personally paying for anything, that she felt the sky was the limit. Tanner and his beautiful bride look to be a wonderful couple and I wish them a lifetime of beautiful memories!

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