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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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In our interview, we ask our sweet couples what makes their wedding Southern, and today’s answer may be one of my favorites! There’s the monogram cummerbunds (!!), gorgeous all-white florals from James Farmer, Catherine’s classic lace stunner and TJ‘s white dinner jacket, but I’d have to agree with Catherine that the most Southern aspect was the Piedmont Driving Club! Of course, it’s a lovely location, but the coolest part is that the press party for the premiere of Gone With the Wind was held in the same ballroom! Um, what?! GWTW is an absolute staple in any Southern girl’s movie collection!

Big thanks to Kate Belle for sharing such a fab day!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Both the ceremony and the reception were held at the Piedmont Driving Club, where I had grown up, and where TJ and I are both members. In our opinion, it is the most beautiful venue in Atlanta for a formal occasion.

Susan and Campbell at Joan Pillow pulled a new arrival for me to try on prior to my appointment. It was the second dress I tried on, and was only made more beautiful when I had the opportunity to meet with the designer behind Ulla Maija, Charles Bunstein II, who personally designed a custom overlay top and helped with the fitting and styling.

Now that’s a true Southern crew of groomsmen! Great choice on the white dinner jacket, TJ!

TJ insisted on wearing a white dinner jacket (even in January), which I suppose is quite Southern of him. Doyle Johnson of A.D. Mathis in Gainesville, GA tailored a custom jacket for him and it was very sharp. They even used a swatch of my dress as a reference to make sure it would be a perfect match. The most Southern thing about the wedding, however, was the venue. The Piedmont Driving Club was founded in 1887 and the beautiful original architecture in the main clubhouse and ballroom are extremely special and significant. The press party for the premiere of the movie “Gone With the Wind” was held in the same ballroom which was designed by Hentz, Reid, and Adler.

Our designers at James Farmer Designs transformed the Piedmont Driving Club into a dreamy winter wonderland. The ceremony site in the courtyard was simply breathtaking! Large, white temple jars were full of greenery, flowers and winter branches, and hurricane globes were filled with white hydrangeas, lime green cymbidium orchids, roses, and amaryllis. The white aisle runner was lined with a fresh asparagus fern garland down the length of the tent. The bridesmaids all carried bouquets of mixed roses and hydrangea, and my bouquet was all white David Austin roses. At the reception were trees in large planter boxes anchored at each column. The tables were adorned with low arrangements of creamy garden roses, white hydrangeas, and seeded eucalyptus in silver mint julep cups (a staple of the South!).

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The trees! James Farmer and team knew exactly what I wanted, even though I did not know how to articulate it. I simply told them that I wanted the ballroom to look different. Trees lined the columns in the ballroom, and the up-lighting created the most beautiful look and feel to the room. The ballroom was transformed, and even my dad noticed and was pleased!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I do not like cake, but my mother insisted that TJ deserved a cake. The pastry chef at the Driving Club did a beautiful job, and James Farmer knew just where to place it and how to style it. While I never had a bite of our wedding cake, the picture of the cake cutting is one of my favorites, so thank you to my mom and James for insisting that we have one!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We both attended the University of Georgia. We had lots of mutual friends in college and were in the same circles, but never dated. In 2012, we were both invited to the wedding of our good friends here in Atlanta. Our dear mutual friend insisted that we go together, so TJ called to ask if I would like to join him. We had a great time and became each others’ go-to wedding dates until two years later when we attended our own!
Tell us all about the proposal! TJ had a full day planned for us on a Saturday in February 2013, which I believe was set to begin around 9:30 a.m. His plan was ruined when I got up to leave my apartment at 8 a.m. to go to yoga. Instead of missing his opportunity, TJ rushed in and proposed in my living room around 8:15. Everyone’s next question is if I went to yoga, and no, I did not! We had a great day filled with lots of champagne toasts with friends and a surprise dinner party with both of our families that evening!
When did y’all get married? January 11, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 375
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not. Having daylight pictures was not worth breaking tradition for us.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Since the wedding ceremony did not take place in a church, we wanted a traditional string quartet to play. It was simple and elegant, which was exactly what we wanted.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? James Farmer and Debbie Felker really assembled a dream team for this wedding, and TJ, my mother, and I will be forever grateful! No stone was left unturned and it could not have gone more smoothly or been more beautiful.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Looking down over the ballroom from the balcony of the bridal suite before we were announced. It was absolutely spectacular. TJ and I could not believe that it was actually for us!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a great wedding planner! :)
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? TJ and I are adjusting well to married life. We have settled into our new home in Atlanta and are somewhat back to normal after the wonderful whirlwind of the wedding! TJ is back to working on building his business and I am enjoying my job in development at Skyland Trail. Aside from wishing we were still on the beach in Turks and Caicos, everything is great!

Photographer: Kate Belle Photography / Planner: Debbie Felker, Special Arrangements / Venue, Catering, and Cake: Piedmont Driving Club / Florist and Event Designer: James Farmer, Inc. / Rentals and Lighting: Tent’s Unlimited / Band: Adrian Duke Project / Bride’s Gown and Veil: Ulla Maija / Paper Products: Crane and Co. from Paces Papers / Hair Stylist: Tucker Fascula / Makeup Artist: Tara Young / Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Those trees are amazing–what a breathtaking venue!

  2. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Really a beautiful wedding! Love her dress and the bridesmaid dresses. The venue add so much elegance!

  3. avatar Sneak Peek | Rose & Anton's Wedding – Vermont Wedding and Event Planner | VT Enchanted Events Wedding Planning reply

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Y’all, this post might be the easiest one I’ve written yet, as I used this vendor at my own wedding, and endorsements don’t get much more genuine than that! In fact, there’s a little sneak peek at our wedding below (full posts coming very soon to a blog near you! :)

So yes, it is not hard at all for me to say nice things about Sperry Tents, but I know I’m not alone in that! In fact, in one of my earliest conversations with our florist (who had a Sperry Tent for her own wedding), she said, you know, the nice thing about a Sperry is that they are so beautiful, and create such an experience on their own, that you don’t really need much in the way of extra decor. Mind you, this was a florist who said this, someone who’s a tad invested in “extra decor”!

Jacqueline Campbell via Southern Weddings

The end result is indeed beautiful, but the process to get there is almost as striking. The tents are handcrafted by sailmakers in coastal Massachusetts and are the only rental tents in the country made from genuine sailcloth. The wooden support poles are hand-milled at a historic 1930s sawmill. All of their design decisions prioritize craftsmanship and have a gorgeous, classic aesthetic that’s at home anywhere from a field to a beach to a manicured backyard. You can really feel the love that went into each one when you’re standing inside!

A Bryan Photo via Southern Weddings

Of course, as many of you already know, my very favorite feature of a Sperry Tent is the festive pennant flags atop each peak. They just look so merry and celebratory snapping in the breeze!

Cramer Photo

In case you’re wondering, in my experience, Sperry Tents are more expensive than a standard frame tent (though obviously with good reason). If you start to add anything to the tent like a liner, draping or pole covers, however, the price will usually exceed a Sperry. As I said above, they come with beauty built-in, so there’s no need to cover anything up or add anything extra.

John Unrue

Also, for my peace of mind, it was so comforting to know that side walls come standard with every Sperry rental, so there’s no need to agonize over whether or not they’re worth the extra expense. As you can see from the photo below, we did not have to use our walls, but I’m still glad we had them!

Tanja Lippert

Interested? Sperry Tents are only available through a network of licensed providers and are available for rent throughout the South. You can find out much more on their website here! I personally guarantee you will not regret your decision to go with a Sperry :)

I probably don’t have to say this, but just for the record, this sponsored post is a normal advertising option between Sperry and Southern Weddings, and separate from the rental agreement I made with them for our wedding!

emily Written with love by Emily
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