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Merrill and Underwood soak in the serene beauty of Foxhall at sunset on their big day.

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Brittany & Evan

The daughter of Foxhall Resort & Sporting Club’s owner weds her beloved with a charming ceremony and regionally inspired reception, all while keeping the greater good in mind.

For Brittany Merrill, where she would get married was never in question, since her father owns stunning Foxhall Resort & Sporting Club, tucked 40 minutes south of Atlanta. Who she would marry was quickly resolved as well, since she and her husband-to-be, Baxter Underwood, knew within minutes of their first date that they were meant to be together.

The in-love pair got engaged just three months later at a charming monastery in Guatemala. One important element for the philanthropically minded couple was to be frugal enough to donate a portion of their wedding budget to complete a woman’s center that her nonprofit, The Ugandan American Partnership Organization, has been working on in Uganda.

With their meaningful mission in mind, the bride got busy planning the wedding of her dreams, full of simple, elegant touches. With 1,100 acres at the couple’s disposal, all of the events took place at Foxhall. “My father’s dream was to make Foxhall a place where families can gather and create new memories together,” Merrill explains. “We were excited to bring friends to a place that reflects the beauty and hospitality of the South.” The weekend kicked off with a Thursday barbecue welcome dinner, complete with bonfires on the sports lawn. Friday, the couple’s 220 guests spent the day fishing, shooting, four-wheeling, swimming and kayaking at the farm, and enjoyed a Southern feast outside the equestrian barn.

Certainly, the highlight was the elegant wedding itself. “Brittany really wanted to get married in an old, rustic barn,” explains Nathan Johnson, creative director of Dallas-based GRO Designs, who helped Merrill’s dreams take shape. “So, we presented the idea to turn the Polo Pavilion at Foxhall into a barnlike atmosphere.” The transformation came by covering the entire concrete floor with local pine needles, draping the outside of the building and lighting it with copious amounts of candles.

Dramatic floral arrangements made with manzanita branches were suspended over the ceremony area. The couple had their first dance under chandeliers draped with flowers, setting the scene for one of the bride’s favorite moments. “We were surrounded by everyone we loved,” she recalls, “yet could not keep our eyes off of each other.”

The exciting finale of the well-orchestrated weekend came as the couple was driven away in a vintage Oldsmobile convertible, punctuated by a surprise fireworks display. “It was truly a magical weekend that we will never forget,” Merrill says, echoing the sentiments of every guest in attendance.