Getting married in a Pandemic is extra stressful. We had been planning a wedding and reception for over a year and then all the sudden all of our plans were flushed away. We made the decision two weeks before our planned date to at least postpone our reception for later in the year. Due to Covid, we decided to “elope” in Cloudland Canyon, Ga. Finding a last minute location was not easy, several parks were still closed and didn’t have an answer for when they would be open. Thankful for pinterest and our last minute photographer (Mae) we decided on Cloudland Canyon. Though we had never been there, the place looked amazing and perfect for a wedding and it was. It wasn’t what we had planned or expected, but we were beyond happy and in love. We had our ceremony on a beautiful overlook, looking into the canyon. We hiked miles, yes in my dress but in Chacos. We chased waterfalls and got very wet and muddy. Ethan even ripped a huge hole in his pants which made for great laughs. It is for sure a day we will never forget and the happiest day of our lives (so far).
We were able to have our reception later in the year at our original venue, The Ledges, masks and all. The great part about postponing our reception was that we were able to take online dance lessons and had a fun coordinated dance for our first dance. I think everyone, including us, was shocked. What we loved most about our reception was that we were able to premier our wedding video at dinner. So it was almost like they were there with us, in Cloudland. Our videographer was able to insert an old voicemail from my dad at the end with some words I wish I could have told him. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room. Another great memory was the anniversary dance, which is where each married couple stands up, then you see who has been married the longest and ask their advice. Ethan’s grandparents had celebrated their 60th anniversary that year and won, by a long shot of course. His grandparents had their first dance together... EVER! It was so nice to share that moment with them and hear their words of wisdom.
Athena Hinkle and Ethan Alexander were married May 20, 2020 at 9:00 in the morning in a beautiful outdoor ceremony at Cloudland Canyon in Ga. With Bobbie Docher officiating. The reception was held at The Ledges in Huntsville on September 6, 2020.
The bride is the daughter of Gina Barnette of Decatur and the late Kenneth Hinkle of Athens. She is the granddaughter of the late Samuel and Nava Hinkle of Athens and the late Apolonia and Florentino Salada, Sr. of the Philippines.
The groom is the son of Monica Strait of Florence and Michael Alexander of Florence. He is the grandson of Mary and Owen Lewis of Florence and the late Billy Joe and Mary Alexander.
The bride chose a dress from David’s Bridal for the wedding and a dress from Cherry Tree Lane for the reception, with shoes from Freebird by Steve.
Matron of honor was Bobbie Docher, best friend of the bride. Best man was the groom’s brother, Austen Alexander.
The reception was catered by the venue, The Ledges. The wedding cake was made by Tina Parker of Bellaria Wedding Cakes. The entertainment at the reception was provided by Kenny Halmark. Hair stylist for the wedding was Bobby pinning by Brittney of Chattanooga, Tenn., and for the reception was Alani Brown of Florence. Make up artists were Michaela Pierard of Chattanooga, Tenn. for the wedding and Alani Brown of Florence for the reception. Wedding day photographer was Mae Grace Photography of Ga., and reception photographer was Ashton Willis of Beloved Imagery. Videographer was KD Docher Films. A huge thank you to Marilyn Ligon, cousin of the bride, for making the reception absolutely perfect.
The couple had to cancel their planned honeymoon to Puerto Rico, and are planning to take the trip on their one year anniversary. They are now residing in Stone Mountain, Ga.
Wedding photos by Mae Grace Photography and reception photos by Beloved Imagery