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Classic, elegant, and rooted in place are a few words I often use to describe my favorite “type” of wedding, so I was delighted when I saw that Erika and Kenny’s Savannah celebration hit all of those nails on the head. Even though their 11-month engagement was a particularly stressful time in their lives, they pulled off a day that truly celebrated their love for one another, their families, and the traditions and culture of the South. It’s so evident that even in the midst of moving, house hunting, and more, when it came to their wedding, Erika and Kenny worked hard to be intentional and hospitable. I can only imagine their marriage will be marked with those same sentiments!

Thanks so much to Brian Flint for sharing this lovely day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had a few details of the wedding planned out in my head, but a wedding dress was not one of them. I just knew I wanted something timeless and true to myself. My first appointment was at Ivory & Beau in Savannah. After trying on only eight dresses, I went with my gut and chose a beautiful, lace Elaya Vaughn dress by Kate Pankoke. I was in and out of the store in under an hour! Easiest shopping trip ever.

A first look logistically made sense, but we never considered doing one. Every time we imagined our wedding day, our thoughts would jump to the moment when we would lock eyes as I walked down the aisle towards him. Even though I cried my way down the aisle, we have no regrets! It was such a happy and surreal moment!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a harpist at our ceremony and he was great! He played “How Great Thou Art” for the seating of the parents and grandparents and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” for the bridal party entrance. The harp music plus the waterside setting made it so enchanting!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? A family member graciously offered to let us host our ceremony in his yard, overlooking the marsh on Wilmington Island. This site has hosted many shrimp boils, oyster roasts, and celebrations. The moss-draped oak trees and the marsh at high tide provided us with a magical and romantic backdrop for our ceremony. We rented trolleys to transport guests from the ceremony to the reception, which was in downtown Savannah at the Knights of Columbus. We wanted an indoor reception that was convenient to all the downtown amenities. We had many out-of-town guests, and it was important to us to show them all of our favorite parts of Savannah.

Joann’s Florist did such a great job with our flowers! We used a lot of seeded eucalyptus, dusty miller, cream cabbage roses, white ranunculus, white hydrangeas, and white veronica sprigs. Garlands lined the tables and hung over the mantle of the fireplace. It really transformed the reception space! We saved some of the flowers to dry and frame for our house, but the rest were taken to a local nursing home so that they could continue to be enjoyed.

Our wedding cake was from Publix and we couldn’t have been happier! It was pretty, delicious, and affordable! Instead of a groom’s cake, we opted for a flaming donut bar. Our caterer, Savannah Event Catering, fried a Krispy Kreme donut, poured bourbon in the middle, lit it on fire, and extinguished the flames with a Coke. He topped it with pralines and served it with ice cream. Amazing and so entertaining!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met while we were living in Atlanta. Kenny made the first move and invited me to coffee. I let him choose the location and, to my surprise, he chose my favorite coffee shop. It was such a beautiful day and we sipped our coffee next to the river while enjoying great conversation. It really was perfect. We’ve been together, drinking coffee, ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! Traveling is one of our favorite things to do together, so I didn’t think twice when Kenny suggested that we take a relaxing weekend trip to Daufuskie Island, South Carolina. Daufuskie is a charming little island between Savannah and Hilton Head that can only be reached by boat. A local artist told us about a great place to watch the sunset, so that night, we rode our golf cart over to the point. Kenny balanced his iPhone on the golf cart to take a timed photo of us. After a few seconds, he turned to me and started saying sweet things as we were taking in the beautiful scenery. What I thought was a special moment turned into a REALLY special moment when he dropped to one knee. I was so surprised! I didn’t believe him until I saw the ring. He then told me his iPhone had been taking a video, not a timed photo. He captured the moment for us and we were able to freeze shot pictures from it. It was beyond perfect!
When did y’all get married? March 5, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: This is tough because everything came together in such a lovely way. We both really loved our hurricane lamps, though. My dad believes every house should have one (or ten). It was one of the first things my parents gave Kenny and me when we bought our first house. We were able to use my dad’s collection at the reception and it was beautiful. It added just enough light and charm to the space.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? A week after we were engaged, Kenny’s work transferred him to another city. Our engagement was 11 months long and included wedding planning, house hunting, job searching, and moving. It was an eventful, emotional, and often challenging 11 months. We grew so much during this season of change. We learned how to effectively communicate, tackle our challenges together, and keep our relationship God-centered.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was definitely the guest list. We both come from big families and have lived in multiple cities. We could have easily invited 500 people, but we wouldn’t have been able to have the wedding we wanted with that many guests. Cutting the list was a long and painful process, but I think it worked out well.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? With a design background, I knew exactly what I wanted for the invitations. The only issue was the cost, so I decided to take them on as a DIY project. I purchased my beautiful, deckle-edged, homemade paper off of Etsy and my dear and talented friend, Lauren Walker, designed my invites in her beautiful calligraphy. I completed the look with a monogrammed gold wax seal. It was a lot of work, but the outcome was exactly what I wanted.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Prioritize. Figure out what you would consider a successful wedding and plan accordingly. Spend your money on things that will help you reach that vision and save money in the areas that don’t matter as much. It varies couple to couple but it is the best way to figure out where to cutback and where to splurge.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We look forward to working on our historic home, spending a lot of time on our porch swing, continuing to travel the world, and experiencing life together.

Photographer: Brian Flint Photography | Planner, Rentals and Florals: Carlson Premiere Events | Ceremony Venue: Private residence | Reception Venue: Knights of Columbus | Florist: Joann’s Florist | Cake Baker: Publix | Caterer: Savannah Event Catering | Band: A Nickel Bag of Funk | Bride’s Gown: Elaya Vaughn Bridal by Kate Pankoke | Hair and Makeup: Beyond Beautiful by Heather Ferguson | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo, Bari Jay, and Joanna August | Alterations: Stitch | Calligraphy: Lauren Walker with Caroline & Fitz Design Co.

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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There are so many special moments on your wedding day, but I’ll tell you right now: some of the most memorable might not be the ones you would expect! That’s one of the things I love to read in our real wedding interviews–the answers are so different for each couple. Lauren and Kristian, two self-proclaimed “goofballs,” will never forget their first kiss as husband and wife. As Kristian romantically dipped Lauren, he accidentally ripped out her veil, creating their perfect first memory as a married couple. Y’all, I love this so much! While losing her veil could easily upset a bride, it only made these lovebirds laugh! Not everything will be perfect on your wedding day, but being able to take the hiccups in stride will help you focus on the most important part: marrying the love of your life.

Thanks to Blue Ribbon Vendor Amy Arrington for sharing this sweet day with us!

I met Kristian the night of our alma mater’s ball. Long story short, three days before the Ball, my Nashville boyfriend called to let me know he would rather go to a concert than take me to a college dance. I told a good friend of mine the upsetting news. Since I was not in a sorority, this was going to be my first Samford dance, and I was now dateless. My friend quickly found me a date, not telling me who it was. On November 13, the most attractive, respectful, tenderhearted, thoughtful, funny, sweetheart of a man showed up at my dorm with a rose in his hand, just like any Samford PiKap would do, and it was love at first sight. We danced the night away on November 13, 2010 and haven’t stopped since!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. For Mother’s Day, I went home to Atlanta to spend the weekend with my mom. We were driving around Atlanta doing random errands when we drove by Bridals by Lori. My mom and I both looked at each other and said, “Why not? We had no intention of buying a wedding dress that day, especially since none of my bridesmaids or grandmothers were with us, but then I fell in love with the ONE!!! Thankfully, Bridals by Lori has a live stream and I was able to text all my best friends and tell them to log on so they could tell me what they thought of the dresses I tried on. It was unanimous!

My mom told me about the Estate on Piedmont, and when Kristian and I looked it up online, we were blown away by its beauty. We both loved the style, urban feel, and intimacy that it offered.

We went back and forth on a first look. We talked to different couples who did and did not do one, and decided that for our day, there would be so much nervousness, excitement, emotion, and anticipation, that it would be best for us to do a first look. And we are so glad that we did! It was so nice to have those special few minutes with each other that day.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It is impossible to pick just one, but the cross that Legendary Events designed for us was perfect and everything we hoped it would be!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we wrote our own vows. Our favorite line was, “For many years, I prayed that God would lead me to His choice. I praise Him that tonight, His will is being fulfilled.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Ephesians 5:31-32 was read by my longtime mentor and friend, Adrienne Christian, who flew in from the Dominican Republic, where she is a missionary.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? My mom, wedding planner, and event coordinator were a great team! They worked very well together, making it easy for me to make decisions. This allowed Kristian and I the time to go to premarital counseling and do a premarital bible study! So worth it!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Having our wedding at an estate in the middle of Buckhead made the wedding feel very Southern, from the old hardwood floors, to the grand piano, to the chandeliers on the ceilings in the ballroom!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Cake? I was too busy looking at my new husband! I cannot wait to actually eat in when we are mailed a fresh one on our first anniversary!

Tell us all about the proposal! On the morning of Saturday, April 5, 2014, my doorbell rang. To my surprise, Shawn, one of mine and Kristian’s friends, was at my front door with a clue in hand. I was going on a scavenger hunt!! The clues brought me through a fun day full of my favorite things, with some of my best friends showing up at every place. The sixth destination was Red Mountain Park. When we pulled up, one friend told me that another friend and I would be hiking up the mountain. Kristian met me at the top of the mountain, which has a gorgeous view of ALL of Birmingham. It was so beautiful, peaceful, and romantic. After he said some of the sweetest things, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Once he proposed, we still had quite the hike back down the mountain, and I wanted to go slowly because I did not see why we needed to hurry anymore. At one point, I was walking so slowly, Kristian picked me up and started carrying me! It was not until I heard my mom scream that I knew why we were in a hurry! Once we got to the bottom, we were greeted by all of our friends and family!! It meant so much to have all of my close friends and family there to celebrate our engagement!
When did y’all get married? March 14, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Kristian and I decided that I would walk down the aisle to “Holy (Wedding Day)” by City Harmonics. We wanted our guests to not only see the story of Christ loving the church, but also hear it at our wedding. I thought we were never going to decide on our first dance song. A couple at our church told us that “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran would be easy to choreograph to, so we settled on that since I am not a talented dancer.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes, my something borrowed, old, and blue was my grandmother’s garter. My something new was a small, sweet picture frame with my dad’s picture in it that my mom put in my bouquet.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our first kiss. Kristian dipped me, and in the process, ripped out my veil. We are such goofballs. It was a perfect first memory as a married couple!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? If it is in your budget, hire a wedding planner! If not, find a close friend or family member who can help you. Enjoy your engagement!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? I am currently the Associate Minister to Students at CrossPoint Church. Kristian and I love serving the 6th-12th grade students! In May, Kristian will graduate with a nursing degree, and hopefully will begin working at Children’s Hospital.

Photographer: Amy Arrington Photography / Videographer: Connor Wagner / Venue: The Estate / Florist, Caterer, and Wedding Cake: Legacy Events / DJ and Lighting: Chris Watson / Paper Products: Village Press / Bride’s Gown: Style #120747 by Bliss by Monique Lhuillier / Bridal Salon and Veil: Bridals by Lori / Hair Stylist: Bailie Rangel / Makeup Artist: LuLu / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bari Jay / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

Amy Arrington is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Stephanie Scholl reply

    This is one of my favorite weddings to date! Her bouquet is exquisite, and I filed that away immediately!! I love how sincere, down to earth, and cute this couple is, and their wedding day abounds in the most beautiful and meaningful details.

  2. avatar Piedmont Estate and Gardens Wedding : Lauren + Kristian reply

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Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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