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One of the sweetest parts of planning a wedding is the opportunity to show your guests what you and your beau hold most dear in your life together. For Nicole and Martin, those things are their Christian faith and their Southern roots, so their Atlanta wedding day was filled to the brim with prayer, meaningful moments, gestures of hospitality, and their favorite Southern delicacies! Their families also played a huge role in making their celebration so special–their grandfathers officiated the ceremony together, and Nicole and Martin were especially excited to display family wedding photos at their reception “to honor the long line of loving marriages that have been examples for our own marriage.”

Thank you so much to Danielle Nichol for sharing this lovely day with us!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Prayer was incorporated at different moments throughout our entire wedding day. Each of those precious moments will forever hold a special place in my heart. Before my mother helped me into my dress, she held my hands and poured out her heart to God over me and my marriage. Each of our grandfathers prayed over us during the ceremony. In the car riding to the reception, Martin prayed over our new marriage–that it would glorify God and be led by Him. And before the night of dancing began at the reception, my father prayed the most meaningful of blessings over us. These prayers were a testament to the love and support of our family, and we hope to create as powerful a Christian legacy as they have.

A few weeks after our engagement, my parents drove to Atlanta for a weekend of wedding planning. My parents and I started the dress hunt at White Magnolia in Buckhead, which I’m so thankful my mother-in-law had suggested. It was the perfect dress shopping experience! The girls were very attentive and listened to what I envisioned on my wedding day. It was a blast! While browsing around the store, I noticed a dress on display in the window and immediately told my mother “It’s the perfect dress!” I quickly peeked at the dress price and my heart fell–it was over the budget. When I walked into the dressing room later, I noticed the “perfect” dress hanging in the room, and was told by the girl that my dad had requested it to be pulled regardless of price. Needless to say, as soon as I put the dress on, it resulted in a few happy tears–including my father’s!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did, and it was the best decision that we made regarding the wedding! It was both Martin’s and my most memorable moment of the day. It not only allowed us to enjoy that special moment alone, but it also calmed our nerves before the ceremony. Being able to take pictures beforehand and having more time to spend with guests at the reception were a huge plus as well!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Martin’s grandfather, who is an Episcopal priest, as well as my grandfather, who is a Baptist minister, were able to conduct the ceremony together! It was such a sweet memory having both of our grandfathers pour out their love for Jesus over us and our marriage. We wanted the ceremony to feel like a worship service, and for all of our guests to witness our love for Christ and our desire for Him to lead us throughout our lives together.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We are both very traditional and used the traditional Christian vows! However, no matter how many times we had heard the same words at other weddings or in movies, the moment I put Martin’s ring on his hand and promised him my heart forever was the most emotional and overwhelming moment of the entire wedding. It was a moment that we will cherish forever.

Tim at Petals A Florist was able to translate my every dream for the reception and bring them to life. He named his design concept for our wedding a “beautiful mess.” I wanted to bring the soft and romantic feel of an English garden into the ballroom with asymmetrical styling and flowing greenery. The garland used on the tables, as well as the large mirror that was placed at the entrance of the room, was by far my favorite touch! We chose shades of white and ivory colored flowers with a touch of blush pink in the arrangements. The flowers were a mixture of ranunculus, O’Hara roses, English garden roses, and English stock. Tim was even able to insert a few peonies (my favorite flower) into the bouquets without breaking the budget. The greenery used in the wedding was Southern smilax, which happens to be a vine that my mother and I have used many times to decorate at Christmas!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Martin and I wanted Southern hospitality and charm to be the main theme of our wedding! Our goal was to have everyone feel welcome, comfortable, and appreciated for supporting us throughout our relationship, and now marriage. Our menu consisted of all Southern foods, including pimento cheese crackers, chicken and waffles, barbecue sandwiches, and a grits bar. Since I’m from Alabama and Martin is from Georgia, he wanted to incorporate local craft beers from each of our home states into the bar menu. The South loves heritage, so we were able to display our parents’ and grandparents’ weddings pictures to honor the long line of loving marriages that have been examples for our own marriage. To cool our guests off during the band’s break, we served King of Pops, which is a local popsicle company here in Georgia. We received many thanks from our guests over this decision. For our send-off, we ran through Auburn shakers…and a few loud Auburn cheers, as well!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. It was fall of my sophomore year at Auburn University (War Eagle!) and my best friend and sorority sister, Mackenzie, invited me over for a party at her apartment. While there, I met this tall, quiet, and extremely handsome guy who happened to be one of her best guy friends. Over the next few months, I saw Martin occasionally, and each time, my attraction grew, as did my quietness. Spring semester came and Martin’s fraternity held a dinner party for my sorority. So convenient! Of course, I saw Martin that night and decided that being shy wasn’t going to show him I was interested–it was time to cue the flirting. By the end of the evening, he had invited me to a date party, and by that Sunday, he had called and asked me to go on our first date that evening! I knew that night when he got out of the car to open my door that I was sold–this was a true Southern gentleman. He took me to eat at a local pizza restaurant where he learned my first quirk, eating pizza with a fork and knife! He stills teases me over that habit. It was the perfect first date, and from there, the rest was history. I was head over heels!
Tell us all about the proposal! From Martin: Since we had talked about marriage, I knew that I wanted to make the proposal as much of a surprise as possible for her. I teamed up with her mom and closest friends in order to get that done. I asked all of them to give “accidental” hints like saying “Oh, we will be in Atlanta that weekend,” even though there was no reason for them to be visiting. She fell for the bait and was sure that she had figured it all out. Nicole had mentioned a few times that she wanted to have her nails done, but I needed to make that happen without raising any flags. Nicole’s parents were in town the weekend prior (we got engaged on a Monday), so she thought there was a chance it was happening that Sunday. Her mom decided that they should go get their nails done, which immediately sent up a red flag in Nicole’s mind. She was noticeably excited and anxious all weekend, and then somewhat let down when her parents “left” that Monday morning. After nailing down all the details, it came down to the big day. I picked Nicole up from her apartment, all the while trying not to look incredibly nervous in front of her. On our way to dinner, I told her I thought I had left one of my golf clubs on the course while playing the day before and that we had to go look for it. It took a little convincing, but eventually, she played along. I carefully “looked” for my missing golf club while Nicole followed along. Once we got to the spot, and I sloppily went through the speech I had been running through my head all day, and asked the woman of my dreams to marry me. She said yes!
When did y’all get married? April 9, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? The decisions we have made as a couple throughout our relationship have been based on our faith in Christ. We seek to find His will, and strive to be an example of His unconditional love. With the excitement of the engagement and rush of planning a wedding, we consciously chose to place planning for our future together at the forefront. We attended premarital counseling sessions with our church over our ten-month engagement. We also set aside time together every Tuesday night to read a chapter of Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, a book we highly recommend to couples!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I’ve always enjoyed playing around with different styles of handwriting, and my great-grandmother always taught me that a handwritten note held more meaning and sentiment than any other form of communication. I took that advice to heart, and a year ago, decided to start Vine & Olive Design, a calligraphy design company. With our wedding, I had the opportunity to not only complete all the calligraphy for the wedding invitations and other details, but I was also able to design our own save the date, invitation suite, and monogram! It was great experience and marketing for Vine & Olive, and it cut a large amount of cost for our paper products! We also received multiple praises from guests on the sentimentality of the personal touches.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just purchased a home here in Atlanta and love being able to finally live together with our adorable golden retriever, Palmer. It’s a wonderful feeling waking up next to your husband every morning, and not having to leave at the end of the night! With life beginning to settle down after the wedding excitement, we now have time to decorate the house! We’re looking forward to starting the next phase in life as “newlyweds” while enjoying time with each other and friends, and supporting each other as we work towards our dreams. I’ve decided that life is definitely more fun when you’re married to your best friend!

Photographer: Danielle Nichol Photography | Videographer: Ryan Lindsey with Imagine Video Productions | Ceremony Venue: All Saints’ Episcopal Church | Reception Venue: Piedmont Driving Club | Florist: Petals A Florist | Lighting: Up Lighting America | Band: Tayo Reed Band | Paper Products and Calligraphy: Vine & Olive Design | Bride’s Gown: “Ginny” by Modern Trousseau | Bride’s Earrings and Bracelet: J. Crew | Hair and Makeup: Courtney Clifton | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Azazie in Mint Chiffon | Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers | Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Uplighting Rental reply

    Absolutely love the photos, great job!

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As you may know, Kristin and I are virtual BFFs. While we don’t live in the same city, we maintain quite a close bond (we even have our own hashtag!), and I’m pretty sure Kristi would fit right in with us. While we love being modern ladies, all three of us are undeniably traditional Southern brides! After choosing her gorgeous gown, Kristi knew she wanted to throw what she had originally pictured for her wedding out the window, and instead, plan a sweet Southern soirée that reflected her Georgia roots and showed Peter’s family the classic and elegant side of the deep South. Of course, The Georgian Terrace fit the bill perfectly–the final manuscript of Gone with the Wind was finished in the hotel, after all!

Gracious, we’re glad Amy Arrington was hand to capture this lovely day!

I originally pictured myself in something very modern and form-fitting. Although my dress was not the style that I originally thought I would choose, the instant I put the dress on, it took me back to being a little girl. All of a sudden, I realized I couldn’t fight being that traditional Southern bride–it’s who I am! Every detail I originally pictured for my wedding went out the window, all because of the dress. My dress was elegant and made a statement, but was not over the top. I fell in love with the beaded details, the scalloped lace at the bottom, and the sweetheart neckline. It was the third dress I tried on and I knew it was the one.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Peter’s family is from Philadelphia, and many hadn’t been to Georgia before, so I wanted a wedding that would be the definition of a Southern belle’s wedding. Most people think barns and mason jars when they hear “Southern,” but I wanted to show the classic, historical, elegant side of the South, and The Georgian Terrace was just that. It’s a stunning building with amazing history–all of the stars and the director of Gone With the Wind stayed at the Georgian Terrace, and the final manuscript was finished in the hotel. I also have family history at the Georgia Terrace Ballroom. When my grandmother was in her twenties, she competed in twist dancing competitions in the ballroom where our reception was held. Once I decided that the Georgian Terrace was our venue, my mom was over the moon. For months, all she had been talking about was how I had to see Peachtree Christian Church. She went there as a little girl and it is only one mile from the Georgian. The church took my breath away–it is on the National Registry of Historic Places and houses the United States’ largest collection of British stained glass.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. Out of all the wedding festivities, we were most looking forward to the first time we would see each other. I wanted him to see me for the first time walking down the aisle as his bride. It’s a magical moment and we wanted to experience all of those emotions in front of our loved ones.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Peter and I wrote our own vows, but did not read them at the ceremony. We exchanged them in private.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the ceremony, we chose traditional and classic music. “The Lord’s Prayer” was played while our family was being seated. Peter’s family is Catholic, so we had “Ave Maria” sung while they were seated. “Canon in D” played as the bridesmaids entered. “Bridal Chorus” was played during the bridal processional and “Wedding March” was played as Pete and I left.

I think everything about our wedding was Southern! Some of the Southern details and traditions of our wedding weekend were our historical venues and the trolley transportation for our guests and wedding party. My grandfather said the blessing before dinner, which was so special to Peter and I. I gave my bridesmaids pearl jewelry and monogrammed pjs! Our cuisine was also quite Southern, as we incorporated fried green tomatoes and other Southern hors d’oeuvres at cocktail hour.

Describe your wedding flowers. I really wanted peonies, but they were out of season. My florist did a wonderful job of finding similar flowers with the same feel. My all-white bouquet consisted of a variety of roses, ranunculus, lisianthus, astilbe, astrantia, and more. The table arrangements and bridesmaids’ bouquets were elegant and romantic, filled with soft pinks and whites with touches of flowering greenery and magnolia leaves. I loved using greenery in the arrangements to add an almost garden-like feel. We used a combination of the mercury glass vases and tall silver candlesticks for decoration.

Our first dance was to John Legend’s “All of Me.” Peter picked this song out, and we felt it described our relationship perfectly. My father and I danced to Celine Dion’s “Because you Loved Me.” The man who raised me, my dad, is technically my stepdad. He has loved me, guided me, and raised me since the age of four and has done a better job than any dad I could have ever asked for. I chose this song because he has impacted my life in countless ways by loving me and my mom unconditionally.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at a college football game in September 2010 when my alma mater, the University of Alabama, hosted a game against Pete’s alma mater, Pennsylvania State University. We were both visiting Tuscaloosa for annual trips with friends. The two schools only play each other every twenty years, so it was fate that we met! We crossed paths on the Friday night before the game when Pete’s brave friend (and future best man) dared him to strike up a conversation with the six Southern blondes at Gallettes, the hangout where I spent many of my college days. Pete and I were inseparable for the rest of the weekend, before we said our goodbyes and traveled to opposite sides of the East Coast. A month later, we took a secret getaway to New York City and realized that we were meant to be! After a year of long-distance dating, we moved to Santa Monica, California together and lived there for four years. After our September 2013 engagement, Pete was offered a new job in Philadelphia. We moved to the Society Hill neighborhood of Philly in summer 2014, and frequently flew back to the Peach State to plan our Atlanta wedding.
Tell us all about the proposal! Pete surprised me with a weekend trip to the quaint Catalina Island off of the California coast. The island is tiny–only 22 miles long and eight miles across! We spent the day exploring the island, and while we were getting ready for dinner, I noticed a small box in Pete’s suitcase. “What’s this?” I asked. The proposal was supposed to be on the rooftop overlooking the ocean at sunset, but my finding the ring box sent Pete into a panicked frenzy. After attempting to “hide” the box under the bed, Pete realized there was no turning back. He grabbed my hand and nearly dragged me up to the roof deck. Pete was so shaken up that he forgot to get on one knee. We both cried, hugged, and I asked, “You did ask my dad for permission, right?” Once I heard that the answer was yes, I said “Of course!” The proposal happened about an hour earlier than planned, but it was a perfect and very “us” proposal! We had to push back our dinner reservation three times because we spent the next two hours calling loved ones, drinking champagne, and celebrating. It was an evening I will never forget!
When did y’all get married? July 26, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Peter and I did pre-martial counseling through Peachtree Christian Church. Part of this process was to take a very detailed and extensive questionnaires about ourselves and our relationship. It was very interesting, and we learned a lot about each other and ourselves together. The church counselor helped us point out the strongest qualities in our relationship and noted areas where Peter and I are opposite. He gave us tips and encouragement on how to strengthen those areas.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Everything was wonderful, but I will say that I was most happy with our videographer. Hiring a videographer was a last-minute decision, but the best decision we made. You are so filled with emotion on your wedding day that you miss so many of the details. I still cry when I watch it, and it is something I will cherish forever!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are just enjoying married life. We just added a mini golden doodle, Bella, to our family. We are looking forward to traveling together to Costa Rica in a couple weeks and to Africa next summer. We look forward to many more happy years together as Mr. and Mrs. Roman!

Photographer: Amy Arrington Photography / Planner: Event Perfect / Ceremony Venue: Peachtree Christian Church / Reception Venue and Caterer: The Georgian Terrace Hotel / Florist: Mollie Cushing / Wedding Cake Baker: Frosted Pumpkin / DJ: Cashmere of East Coast Entertainment / Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas / Bridal Salon and Veil: Carrie’s Bridal Collection / Bride’s Clutch: Clara Kasavina / Bride’s Hair Accessory: Nina ‘Caleigh’ Swarovski Crystal Comb / Hair Stylist: Mandi Yaptengco of Crush by 124 / Makeup Artist: Paula Xiong / Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “227” in Petal by Bari Jay / Menswear: Vera Wang / Videographer: Ryan Lindsay of Imagine Video Productions / Calligrapher: Faith Miller of Calligraphy Atlanta / Transportation: The Peachtree Trolley Co. / Table Numbers and Place Cards: Place Cards / Bridal Gown Alterations: Dora Baker

marissa Written with love by Marissa
9 Comments
  1. avatar Wedding Venues reply

    Awesome ! just great !

  2. avatar Georgian Terrace Wedding & Peachtree Christian Church : Kristi + Pete reply

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  3. avatar Ryan reply

    To view their video – https://vimeo.com/102141243

  4. avatar Alexandra reply

    What a great way of building a wedding around special things (family history and a great dress)!

  5. avatar Michelle reply

    Wow, amazing pics,so much happiness in these pics !
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  8. avatar Alexandra Bee Blog reply

    Such a fabulous wedding…their happiness really radiates through the screen! Love the bridal gown and bridesmaid dresses, too!

  9. avatar 8 Things to Consider When Planning Your Big Day Transportation – Loverly | Your Virtual Wedding Planner™ reply

    […] Photo by Amy Arrington via Southern Weddings […]

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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