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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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Whenever I hear that one of our Real Weddings took place at a historic plantation, I’m instantly excited to see it! Maybe it stems from my love for Gone with the Wind or the amazing antebellum homes of Mobile that I grew up visiting. Either way, they’re so Southern, and completely romantic! Page and Blake chose to tie the knot at the beautiful Pebble Hill Plantation, and just as I suspected, Pebble Hill was the perfect backdrop for their big day! I know Emily (who had a tented reception herself!) would be equally smitten with their classic white Sperry Tent and twinkle light combo!

We’re so happy Harwell Photography was on hand to capture this lovely day!

Describe your wedding flowers. I wanted something simple, elegant, and in all soft colors. We had a great florist who brought my vision to life. My bouquet was full of white and ivory peonies, seeded eucalyptus, and dusty miller.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I was lucky to have had a stress-free experience, and I tried on around ten dresses total. I knew that I wanted something strapless and lace, and once I found one that I loved, I didn’t hesitate to say yes to the dress!

We had a first look, and I am so glad we did. We wanted to have a special moment together, just the two of us. It was also less stressful getting a lot of pictures done beforehand, so we didn’t keep all our family and friends waiting!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We decided on traditional vows. We asked our former teacher and good friend to perform the ceremony, while one of Blake’s groomsmen led a prayer. Having a Christ-centered marriage is very important to us, so we had Ephesians 5:25 and Isaiah 61:3b read: “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” This verse went perfectly with our ceremony under the giant oak tree!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: One neat detail was the horse and carriage we had waiting at the end of the aisle to pick us up after the ceremony. Riding it gave us the chance to be alone together in the moments right after becoming husband and wife. We wanted to remind each other to enjoy every minute, knowing the night would go by fast! It was also our getaway “car,” which was so fun and unique. At the end of the night, we were able to ride around the property for a little bit, already reliving every minute of the day! It was magical.

Our food was very Southern, and it was a hit! We served watermelon salad with candied pecans, quail with tomato jam, fried green tomatoes, and pimento cheese sandwiches. We had several food tables that featured seafood, beef, poultry, and a cheese display with local honey and berries. Our caterers made each table look beautiful and put a lot of effort into making great-tasting food! Towards the end of the night, we surprised our guests with a snack of chicken and biscuits.

We are blessed with awesome family and friends. With our wedding being out of town for many of our guests, we were blown away by how many people traveled to the South to celebrate with us! Our band had us come to the stage to thank all of our guests for being there. I will never forget that moment, and I’m so glad I had the chance to slow down and take that in. It reminded us how much love and support we have from everyone.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I was a sophomore and he was a junior… yes, we are high school sweethearts! We were both trying out for the musical that year, and I am pretty sure I got butterflies the first time he talked to me. Later, he sent me a Facebook message asking for my number, and soon after that, we started dating.
Tell us all about the proposal! The proposal was very much a surprise! Blake took me back to the theater at our high school, which is where we met and our story began. I walked in and he was standing at the bottom of rose petal-lined steps, and the stage was decorated with pictures from our time together. We were so excited and filled with emotion! Both of our families were there to celebrate with us afterwards. I felt so special seeing all the thought, time, and love he put into making his proposal so memorable.
When did y’all get married? May 31, 2014
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Many of my family members are in Thomasville, and I’ve spent every Christmas there, so I knew it would be the perfect location to get married. We chose Pebble Hill Plantation. We held our ceremony under the oak tree, and it fit the vision I had pictured for our wedding day perfectly! We opted for a tent for the reception, which was just steps away from the ceremony site, and kept everyone cool.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Blake chose all of our songs, which I loved, because it was one less decision I had to make! He chose “Canon in D” for me to walk down the aisle to–we loved that it was traditional and beautiful. Our first dance was “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” by Elvis Presley. Blake is a big Elvis fan, and it was perfect!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed/old was my great-great-grandmother’s pin, which I attached to my bouquet. All of the women in my family had it with them on their wedding day, so it was pretty special. My something blue was my garter and my something new was my earrings.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Many of your family and friends will want to help with planning and day-of things, so don’t hesitate to ask for help. It will make your wedding day a lot less stressful if you don’t have to worry about last minute decisions or details. Don’t forget to take time on your wedding day to slow down and take in all the details that were your vision for so long. Most importantly, remember that the day is ultimately about the two of you becoming one, so don’t sweat the small stuff!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We just got a place together in Nashville and are in the process of making it our own. We are just excited to do everyday life together! It is so wonderful to have someone to go through life’s ups and downs with and to have a constant companion and supporter.

Photographer: Jeremy Harwell / Videographer: Shutter Life Productions / Planner: Tricia Willis Custom Event Planning / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Pebble Hill Plantation / Florist: Singletary’s Florist / Cake Baker: Savannah Moon Bakery / Caterer: Jeannie Bracy and John Thomas / Rentals: Sperry Tent / Band: The RiverTown Band / Linens: La Tavola / Bride’s Gown: “Alana” by Maggie Sottero / Bridal Salon: Formally Yours / Hair Accessories: BHLDN / Hair and Makeup: Dreamstate Salon / Bride’s Shoes: “Chrissy” by J.Renee / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “555” by Bari Jay in Misty Blue /Menswear: Joseph A. Banks

Harwell Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
10 Comments
  1. avatar Robyn Van Dyke reply

    LOVE their first look image!! What a gorgeous wedding!

  2. avatar Happy Weekend // Around The Web | Coastal Bride reply

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  3. avatar Finley reply

    This is such a lovely and sweet style. Thanks for sharing!

  4. avatar Wedding Chalkboard Signs: 20+ Ideas For the Best Day Ever reply

    […] it was always you – harwell photography via southern weddings […]

  5. avatar Deb frank reply

    what was the name of the vine you used on chalkboard

  6. avatar Andrea | The Pink Bride reply

    Such a timeless wedding! I love every detail, from the colors to the bride’s shoes. Fabulous!

  7. avatar Photos Not to Miss on Your Wedding Day – Carol Bond Weddings | Carol Bond Weddings reply

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  8. avatar Lindsay reply

    What a beautiful wedding! I just love the bridesmaid’s dresses! Would you mind sharing who the designer is? I’ve fallen in love and would really like them for my wedding!

    Thanks!

  9. avatar Mariya khmaruk reply

    I love your chalkboard! I was wondering where you got it!?

  10. avatar Elisabeth Haas reply

    Hi! So I’m wondering where you got your bridesmaids dresses!

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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