The world in which Johanna Braddy and Freddie Stroma first fell in love was fictional, but it bubbled over into real life.
The British actor and Braddy first met on the set of Lifetime’s UnREAL, which parodies (and in some ways parallels) smash reality franchise The Bachelor. The first season of the series featured Stroma as the conflicted lead (the “Bachelor”) and Braddy as the recipient of the coveted final rose, but most unreal of all was the romance forming behind the scenes. In May 2016, Stroma proposed during a romantic getaway in Vancouver, British Columbia.
With both stars’ acting careers taking flight—Stroma will soon star on Game of Thrones while Braddy is wrapping the second season of ABC’s Quantico—one person had to step in and take over. The bride’s mother, Jo Beth Braddy, was able to pull everything together for the Southern-meets-British affair within a six-month time frame. “She planned almost everything,” Braddy says.
The pair opted for a bright, jewel-toned palette consisting of plum, peach and lush forest green. “Our florist [Rebekah from Forage and Fleur] has such an eye,” Braddy says. “[She] designed an incredible flower archway for us to get married under.”
The ceremony and reception took place at Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club in Atlanta, Georgia. “We wanted a Southern comfort-rustic feel mixed with English garden elegance,” the bride explains of the theme. The ceremony, held on December 30, was equal parts intimate and emotional, and everything the couple wanted.
“The best moment for both of us was when I walked down the aisle,” Braddy recalls. “There may have [even] been tears… We’ll never forget it.”
For those loved ones who couldn’t be at the ceremony, the couple paid tribute with the inclusion of family heirlooms. “I wore a diamond necklace from my grandmother, who is no longer with us,” Braddy says. “And my earrings were the first piece of jewelry that my late grandpa gave my grandmother.”
Anne Barge custom-designed Braddy’s gown and her cathedral-length veil, which Braddy describes as “classic” and “timeless.” She muses, “I imagined my dream dress and she literally brought it to life. I still don’t understand how I got so lucky to work with her.”
Like Braddy, Stroma paid tribute to family by using a traditional English morning suit accessorized with a tie pin with the couple’s new family initials and custom cuff links.
The couple each had five people join them in their wedding party. Stroma’s groomsmen wore matching head-to-toe three-piece gray suits, while Braddy’s bridesmaids and her bridesman all wore black. “I wanted the day to be relaxed and comfortable,” she says. “Being able to choose a dress that flatters each person and makes them feel great is the way to go.”
The bride found the ideal photography aesthetic in Shala Wills Photography. “[Shala] was one of the major highlights!” Braddy exclaims. “She made us feel comfortable from the second we met her.”
Wedding Paper Divas helped style the stationery, including the couple’s mouthwatering menu, which included English and Southern favorites. “For our menu, they came up with cute ways to incorporate our different cultures, and personalized our programs,” she adds.
Hors d’oeuvres like mini grilled cheese bites with tomato bisque shooters, and mac and cheese lollipops were served during cocktail hour as guests were transported back to the ’40s by the “charming and fun” DJ Duke Korey. “He played the music we requested and had great recommendations of his own,” Braddy says.
Following the meal, the couple sliced into a decadent, naked cake: a three-tier vanilla masterpiece topped with vanilla buttercream. “It was so elegant and understated,” she says of the confection designed by Sister’s Sweet Creations. “The owner, Cathy, is a sweetheart and crazy talented.”
Reflecting back, Braddy now had a few takeaways of her own that she’d share with future brides. “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” she concludes. “The wedding should be about the marriage, not about having a perfect party… Enjoy every second of the best day of your life.”
Pick up The Knot Fall 2017 issue for more exclusive photos and details from Braddy and Stroma’s wedding, plus expert tips on how to plan your own wedding.