Palmetto, GA was an experience of the country many of us had not experienced until the wedding of Roberta & Christian . The roads were endless, lit only by headlights and foxes darted across the roads; something a few of us had only seen growing up watching the Disney movie Fox and the Hound. Driving through the country sighting deer, foxes and cows gated on massive farmlands will force you to instinctively slow down and take in everything around you. The only use of our phones served as GPS. Palmetto featured some of the most picturesque farmhouses and rolling hills. It was truly breathtaking.
Forty minutes later we entered the gates of The Retreat at Guidestone Hills for the Setzu Ortega Wedding. Immediately, we could tell this wedding was going to free spirited and more than likely vegetarian. There were only a few buildings standing on the retreat. A grand lodge to our immediate right boasting a cabana and pool with an expansive outside deck for entertaining, relaxation and weddings. Further down the path was a stable that did not look to be used often if at all. The owners of the retreat really left the environment open to the possibilities of disconnecting from technology: as for miles the well-kept hills were surrounded by endless miles of wooded area.
Our invitation was quite strict on bringing a pair of comfortable shoes for this wedding. We arrived in our heels and quickly understood why we should change into the sandals we had tucked away in our handbags. The actual wedding took place at the far end of the property directly in front of a not yet bloomed blueberry orchard. Rows of white farmhouse style chairs lined in front of an arched entrance into the blueberry field. The hike from one end of the property to the other allowed the wedding party and guests to really get to know each other. No one was scrolling social media due to the poor cellphone reception. Roberta Setzu, the gorgeous bride, found a way to incorporate her Sardinian heritage with that of her Spanish groom. And it was stunning!
TFT: Georgia is becoming well known for its variety of landscapes. Many of us had not heard of Palmetto, GA until your invitation. How did you come about The Retreat at Guidestone Hills?
R: We were looking for locations close to Serenbe farm, a favorite of ours but above our price range, and came across Guidestone.
TFT: You looked stunning in your dress by the way! So, how did you bring Sardinia, Italy to Palmetto, GA?
R: Sardinia is in the blood! But we integrated some elements of our tradition. The jewelry was Sardinian a technique called filigrana. Also my mom did a blessing in language and also sang a song. Also she cooked that amazing lasagna!
TFT: We had our fill on lasagna! We really enjoyed the authenticity of the meal and how carefully chosen each dish was. So, what were some of your wedding day must haves?
R: I had to fight for the right chairs, shape of tables, and table placement. Also we made the flower arrangements and runners! [It]was beautiful! The jazz band was definitely a must have and the highlight of it all was our baby ring bearer Whisper [their dog]! True magic.
TFT: The jazz band was a favorite. The setting was so relaxing and the band added that cherry to top off your celebration perfectly. The song choices were so classic. Every Big Day has a crazy story or situation that took place leading up to the day of. What was yours?
R: Mine is still happening! I had so many problems with this venue! If I only knew the kind of people that own /manage it, I would have stayed far away from it! Yes, it looks beautiful but not worth the stress and the abuse they will put you through.
We have mentioned the stresses of the big day. Sadly we don’t know many married couples who had not experienced a stressful situation leading up to or after the wedding day. But Roberta & Christian had a lovely wedding with family and friends from Italy and the States. Authentic Italian and perfect weather…in a nutshell their wedding was perfect. Congratulations you two!