Susan & Yeatts | Birmingham Zoo Lodge

One of my favorite things about Birmingham is having the options (dining, entertainment, vendors, etc.) of a big city but the simplicity of a small town. Birmingham isn’t large compared to cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, or even Atlanta, and this makes it that much hard to conceal hidden gems. I’m here to tell you, Birmingham has a hidden gem and it is a venue called the Birmingham Zoo Lodge.

The lodge itself is nested away in the woods on the property adjacent to the actual Zoo. The rustic home provides a beautiful location that could serve for both ceremony and reception.

While traveling the world, Susan and Yeatts became avid supports of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The non-profit was formed in honor of David Sheldrick, the famous naturalist founder Warden of Tsavo East National Park in Kenya, and supports the wildlife conservation and management in Kenya. They have even adopted an elephant in their name.

Susan and Yeatts were actually married this past winter in Arlington, Virginia, but wanted to return to Susan’s hometown to hold a reception for family and friends, and the Zoo Lodge was the perfect fit for them.

Susan and her mother, Suzanne, have been great friends and customers of Dorothy’s for years so naturally we were thrilled when they came to us to pull their ideas together for the reception. With Susan living in Arlington, many of the details fell upon her mom to decide. Bringing their ideas together resulted in a jaw dropping event that we were thrilled to have Alisha Crossley of Alisha Crossley Photography to capture for us!

Upon arrival at the reception, guests were greeted by a lovely display letting them know they were in the correct place. A burlap and bamboo sign with Susan and Yeatts’ names was hung among our wood and metal lanterns which lined each side of the path. Bouquets of flowers were hung on the lamp posts also flanking the path. The bouquets included very textural blooms of cherry brandy roses, pincushion protea, green leucadendron, hanging amaranthus, craspedia, gomphrena, antique green hydrangea, and a bit of lorapetalum.

Susan also had us personalize cocktail napkins and drink koozies to go along with the green and brown color palette that blended so well with the scenery. Both had an elephant, to represent their adopted elephant, and the koozies even included information about the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust so their guests could learn more about the organization they care so much about. The koozies were then displayed on the bar in a rustic crate which looked great against the backdrop of the lodge!

The tent, fruitwood padded folding chairs, staging, and tables were rented from Event Rentals Unlimited in Birmingham. Mike and Peggy always take such special care of our clients, and they really outdid themselves on this event. The tent housed guest tables, hi boy tables, and a stage for the band. Andy Tolar of Design Productions provided all of the lighting for the reception including his vintage bulb chandeliers, amber wash {for the ceiling of the tent}, café lighting on the porch as guests arrived, and even an amber wash on the lawn so that guests could play croquet {a favorite game that Susan and her father shared during her childhood}.

Each guest table was covered in a cream taffeta linen with twine pintuck detail. Three different designs were spread throughout the guest tables. Look one was a 16″ cylinder of wrapped twine topped with a loosely mounded arrangement of cherry brandy roses, pincushion protea, green leucadendron, hanging amaranthus, seeded eucalyptus, craspedia, gomphrena, antique green hydrangea, multi colored succulents, and bells of Ireland.

Look two was a shorter, 6″ container of wrapped twice with an arrangement of cherry brandy roses, succulents, pincushion protea, bi color tulips, fresh lotus pods, craspedia, gomphrena, and antique green hydrangea.

The third and final look was a taller, 24″ cylinder of twine, topped with more tightly mounded arrangement of cherry brandy roses, pincushion protea, bi color tulips, hanging amaranthus, seeded eucalyptus, craspedia, gomphrena, and antique green hydrangea.

Hi-boy tables were decorated with a green yuma (synthetic burlap) linen tied in twine. Smaller centerpieces were created using the same flowers as the guest table centerpieces.

Welcoming guests to go inside the house was a beautiful floral and grapevile wreath made from green hanging amaranthus, cherry brandy roses, craspedia, pincushion protea, fresh lotus pods, green leucadendron, antique green hydrangea, and gomphrena.

The same flowers (with bells of Ireland added) rested atop our vine centerpiece for the buffet table. Two arrangements in burlap containers decorated the mantle located behind the cupcake display we created by using turned up crates and cake stands. Kathy G & Company provided the delicious food for guests while Olexa’s Cafe, Cakes, and Catering provided the cupcakes for dessert.

This event could not have been pulled off without wonderful vendors and we personally think we work with the best! Thanks again to Event Rentals Unlimited, Design Productions, Alisha Crossley Photography, Kathy G & Company, Apex Valet, and Olexa’s Cafe, Cakes, and Catering. Congratulations to Susan and Yeatts, we hope you have many years filled with joy and happiness!

Dorothy McDaniel’s Flower Market is also on the web




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