ˈsəT͟Hərn/ ɡrās/ Living in or originating from the south with simple elegance or refinement.
At Southern Grace our goal is to capture the vision you have and create the memories you have dreamed. Whether these dreams include something you have believed would be your day since you were a child, or an event you were asked to coordinate a week ago. Our goal is to bring your vision to life with simple elegance and our team has the experience and integrity to follow through on every “I do.”
Events, Floral, and Design are about a feeling. How you feel when you walk into a beautifully lighted and detailed room or how you feel when you see a beautiful field of flowers, the smells, the beauty, the complete “picture.” All of these things draw you in and capture your senses to create an experience. We are in the business of creating unforgettable experiences and we specialize in creating memories through our events, floral, and design.
Southern Grace started as an event and floral company business plan and transformed into a 1925 6,000 square foot historic and large commercial property in the heart of Flowery Branch, Main Street. After a two month long renovation with long days that led into long nights, 7 days a week we now have a location we can be proud of offering event planning and design, floral studio, and home décor and gift boutique.
Our expansive boutique will fit all of your home décor and gift needs and who doesn’t need flowers? The floral studio strives to not be the cookie-cutter flower shop. With our farm to floral concept and unique containers and floral designs, we hope to have something for everyone. Shop the boutique as a one stop shop for unique gifts for anyone on your list. We also have a fun line of doggie items, lake items, and as the seasons change we will keep up with the turning of the leaves and the holiday spirit.
Our bridal boutique is full of perfect gift for our couple as well as customizable options. We also offer custom farmhouse tables for our clients from a local vendor. What a great gift-a custom dining room table.
With many events happening every day, we offer full planning and design services as well as the availability to rent our space for your event needs. Our Alice Room, named after the former owner of the property, is available for events up to 80 people. We enjoy every event we have the opportunity to be a part of and look forward to making an impact in Flowery Branch.
Who We Are
With a creative edge and true enjoyment to make people feel good about themselves and enjoying important moments I began hosting and planning parties over a decade ago. It wasn’t on purpose, it was on passion. It was not a formal venture, but looking back, many roads led me to formally start Southern Grace. I am frequently asked to plan events and while I love it, I have a few other irons in the fire with multiple companies. I found myself connecting with Merilynn every time for the flawless execution. After much discussion and a glass of wine or two we decided to pursue this venture. Naming Southern Grace was easy, both of my daughter’s middle names are Grace and nothing is more beautiful than the South, the landscape, the people, and those cotton fields always were mesmerizing, hence the cotton in the logo.
Flowery Branch was the perfect location to build this dream and we love being a part of Old Town Main Street. My parents met in Atlanta, my father the country boy from Eatonton and my mom the city gal from Alpharetta who spent any extra time her family could find on Lake Lanier. What started as my grandparents beautiful piece of property on the Lake, turning into a trailer on the lake, and eventually a beautifully custom designed by my Boo aka grandfather and built home has really been a planted seed for my family. I have many cherished memories on Lake Lanier, but growing up military and living in Alaska, Florida, and Hawaii and attending Florida State I never planned or dreamed I would live in Georgia, much less in the exact area my grandparents chose to create some of the best memories for our large family. But, here we are, that seed planted long ago has definitely grown into something beautiful. Going on 7 years now we have enjoyed everything “The Branch” and Lake Lanier have to offer. I met my husband, Will, here and we are raising our three kids in what we feel to be the perfect mix of just enough activity, yet still safe, and a place where the people make all the difference. Madelynn Grace, Landon James, Mia Grace, and now Southern Grace love being a part of Flowery Branch and cannot wait to continue the journey through our events, floral, and boutique with our wonderful neighbors and friends.
Planner & Designer
Born and raised in Gainesville Ga, Merilynn gained her love of events and everything southern from her large, loud, and wonderful family. With over 10 years of event experience. She has worked for one of the worlds largest casino companies, private country clubs, luxury resorts, and private companies; all while building a vast understanding of all aspects of the event industry. At the urging of clients, friends, and family she decided to officially become a full time event planner and designer. She knew she would have to find just the right person to take on this amazing adventure with. When she meet Tracy she knew she found her kindred spirit and Southern Grace was born.
Merilynn loves to create the perfect event for not just her clients but for all the guests. She strives to create a flawless event through detailed logistics, perfect vendor/ client partnering, unique design, and most importantly fun. Growing up in a true small southern town has taught Merilynn you get more bees with honey then vinegar. She uses her strong southern upbringing to negotiate the best deal for her clients while allowing everyone walk away with a smile on their face.
Balancing is Merilynn’s greatest talent. One that she has learned at the small hands of her adorable daughter Evelyn. Keeping up with a spirited little one, being a wife to her wonderful husband Jordan and handling 200 plus events a year would make most people exhausted but Merilynn finds that to be exhilarating.
Business Operations Manager
I was born in Dallas, Texas and raised in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, a small town 10 minutes from the Emerald Coast and the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, a true Florida girl at heart. I have 2 beautiful children, Hailee and Evann and a wonderful husband, Brandon.
I have been in the customer service industry for 10 years. The last 5 of those years I was a banquet manager that dealt with destination weddings at a very busy beachside business. I love making peoples special day just that, special. I recently moved to Flowery Branch at the end of 2017 after living in Florida for 24 years and immediately became a part of the Southern Grace team! While The Branch is completely different from Florida, I’m enjoying learning about this small town, especially coming from a smaller town myself. I know what beauties can be found in such small gems.
I am also a licensed esthetician, I love finding beauty in everything and anything, working at Southern Grace lets me do that with many things. From helping people find special gifts for many occasions, to helping with our beautiful arrangements that go out for either your special someone or an event for that special day, to helping you plan your event at our venue. If I can put a smile on your face after walking into the shop I feel like my job is already done. I’m excited to see what the future has in store for me at Southern Grace and what other special memories I can help create.
Lead Floral Designer
It all started when I met my wonderful husband Daniel 22 years ago in Cancun, Mexico. I was living and had my family in Georgia and he was living and had his family in California. Fortunately, he decided to make the move to Georgia. I’m blessed that his amazing family were gracious about letting him move to Georgia to be with me and my family accepted him like a son.
After being in the dental field for 12 years I decided to find something that allowed me to be at home during the day for our kids. (Drayton, 16 and Emma, 14) I worked nights at Publix in the floral department and after 15 years there I knew I had a love and passion for creating beautiful things and making people smile while doing so. Publix laid a great foundation, but it was time for me to spread my wings a bit!
Everything fell into perfect place after being introduced to Tracy who was looking for a florist for her hometown business Southern Grace. The rest is now history. Every day is a new chapter in the story, no two days are alike. It’s a blessing and I’m proud to be part of Southern Grace here in Flowery Branch. It’s an honor to be part of people’s lives, many birthdays, anniversaries, dance recitals, proms, weddings and even funerals and I am blessed to say I had a part in so many different occasions. I truly love what I do.
I also love my family to the ends of the earth. I enjoy attending my children’s events and activities and spending time with their friends, our friends, and neighbors. It’s just the best feeling to be part of this small town!
McKenna’s face may be a familiar one if you’ve been in to the shop often! As Southern Grace’s Boutique Manager you’ll likely find her in the middle of a mess building displays and styling our ride range of products or hidden behind a computer trying to find the best and most beautiful clothes, shoes, jewelry, home accessories and so much more to fill the walls of Southern Grace. Born in Savannah and raised in Flowery Branch, Georgia McKenna’s love for all things fashion and interior design started at a young age and came straight from her mother, Bethanie. A daughter of two educators, McKenna branched out from the “family business” and earned a degree in Business Marketing with hopes of being a buyer or visual merchandiser. At Southern Grace, she gets to do both!
Her beginnings in “behind the scenes” retail work started during an internship her senior year at Flowery Branch High School. Then, after 4 years at the University of North Georgia, with her degree and 7 years experience under her belt, McKenna started looking for a new opportunity to make use of her merchandising talents. With the encouragement of a close friend, she ended up at Southern Grace, met with Tracy and it was all uphill from there! In her spare time, she repurposes and refurbishes furniture and other home decor pieces for a booth in a local antique shop that she shares with her mom and the same close friend who encouraged her to pursue Tracy and Southern Grace, Sue! If not at Southern Grace or inside her booth, you’ll likely find her at home chasing her high energy miniature dachshund, Frankie (or “Bad Dog” as he’s known around SG)!