Photography by Jeremy Harwell.
This is a classic Southern church wedding with a fun, feminine twist – from the bride’s dreamy Tara Keely strapless gown with layers and layers of tulle, to the blush pink tablecloths with pink and peach floral table runners, to custom marquee lights of the bride and groom’s initials! Be sure to read on for all sorts of inspiration, including their personalized, spiritual vows, and our favorite detail (which we can see becoming a very meaningful trend) – the private last dance, just you and your brand new spouse!
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? I did! Something old: my diamond was my grandmother’s, and it is an honor to wear it every day knowing the amazing, loving relationship that she and my grandfather had. // Something new: my Tara Keely dress. // Something borrowed: I borrowed my sister’s veil and loved that we got to share something so special. // Something blue: my socks were blue, which I needed for wearing my Keds for kate spade new york glittery sneakers. I got to dance the whole night away and not have to worry about my feet hurting at all!
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? When we first got engaged I knew I wanted a rustic style wedding. From there I found a photo on Pinterest of bridesmaids in sage dresses with bright fuchsia flowers and I fell in love with the entire look. I love the softness of the sage with the pop of fuchsia!
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? We knew we wanted to have our ceremony in a church, but also wanted it to be close to downtown so our guests would have easy access for sightseeing to the aquarium, the Coke museum, etc. Once we found First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, we knew that was it. The stained glass windows lining the sanctuary were absolutely stunning and we knew the courtyards throughout would provide amazing pictures.
Your ceremony in three words. Religious, intimate, traditional.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your ceremony? We chose not to do a first look, which I really loved. I know it was tougher for pictures, but it was really special seeing Chris for the first time walking down the aisle.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? How personal and loving it was. I could feel it the moment the doors opened and I saw everyone that had come to witness our commitment to each other and celebrate our love. Once those doors opened, everything was finally real and it hit me that I was actually lucky enough to marry the love of my life and have all of these family and friends there to join us in our journey together. I hadn’t been emotional up until that point (and I wish I had been, because once I was hit with that feeling I couldn’t stop the happy tears from streaming down my face!)
How did you go about planning your ceremony? First Presbyterian provided wonderful coordinators to help guide us in planning the ceremony. They provided a template to help us, but it was also important to us that the ceremony be very personal. We loved that we included details important to us, like a thank you we wrote to our guests for helping us along our journey to marriage and being there to celebrate our lives together.
(Be sure to read on below for more on this heartfelt thank you!)
Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? Dr. Tony Sundermeier officiated our wedding, and although we did not pick him out (he is the senior pastor at First Presbyterian), we could not have been happier with him. He really took the time to get to know us and wanted to make the ceremony everything we envisioned.
What were your ceremony readings? Romans 12: 9-16.
What were your vows like? Our vows were the traditional vows, but along with those we wrote letters to each other saying how we saw God in one another, how the other person made us better and lastly what we saw for our future together.
(You can read the vows Caroline & Chris shared with one another right here!)
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? We lit a unity candle.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? Our thank you to our guests: “We want to thank all of our friends and family, not only for joining us today to celebrate our love and commitment to one another, but for also being there along the way on our journey, not only as a couple but from the moment we came into this world. You have been our teachers when we needed guidance, our shoulders to lean on when we needed lifting up and our biggest supporters in all of our accomplishments along the way. You have helped shape us into who we are today and helped us grow closer with God so that we can love one another more completely. Without y’all we would not be here today and we cannot express how blessed we are to have each and every one of you in our lives.”
Why did you choose this location for your reception? Honestly, Summerour Studio was the only location we looked at. I found it on Pinterest randomly before we were even engaged and told my mom this was it. When we did get engaged I knew exactly where I wanted to look first and that was it. Between the beautiful courtyard and stunning staircase leading into the main reception area, I knew I didn’t need to look any farther.
How delicious do these duck and fig mini pizzas look, which the couple offered for passed hor d’oeuvres?
How would you describe your reception? Our reception was everything we could have dreamed of. It was the perfect balance of rustic and romance. I loved the industrial feeling of Summerour mixed with our soft color palette of blushes and sages. The venue also overlooked the downtown Atlanta area which I thought was pretty amazing especially for all of our out of town guests.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The best advice I got was once you find something you love and would be happy with stop looking. There are so many options out there for every detail of a wedding and I think you could really drive yourself crazy if you keep looking. Once I found things I loved, I stopped looking and I can honestly say I had very little stress planning.
I love a mix of designs and Eva of Belle of the Ball Events really helped pull it all together – there’s no way I would have been basically stress free without her! Once I gave her my general idea of what I wanted everything to look like, she ran with it and did an amazing job of pulling everything together! We also really wanted to personalize the space and did that with the matches, napkins, and large ‘C&C’ marquee letters.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. I think a really awesome touch we had was the courtyard where we had a cigar bar and cornhole boards (paying tribute to our colleges, ole Miss & Furnham!) Not only did the guys enjoy it but it gave the reception a great extra element that everyone loved!
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We had a beautiful three tier wedding cake with two flavors – a red velvet cake with buttercream frosting and a vanilla cake with lemon and raspberry filling.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? I think its really important to know whats most important and spend a little bit more on that. We knew that pictures and a great band were very important to us, so we started our focus there.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? I think it’s really important to just have fun with it. My brother told me in the middle of planning that in the long run the wedding is not as important as the marriage and he’s completely right. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted my wedding to be perfect, but at the end of the day I married my best friend (cliche I know, but it’s true!) and that’s what I remember most from the wedding.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? I was really happy with how everything turned out. I think the only thing I might change is that we went around to all the table and greeted our guests after we ate. I think its a really great thing to do, but it just took quite a while and all Chris and I really wanted to do want start celebrating. We would have been fine with people coming up to us. Don’t feel like you are obligated to go around to each table!
What was your first dance song? How Long will I Love You by Ellie Goulding.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? My favorite moment of the reception was by far our private last dance. It gave us a moment at the end of the night to really spend some alone time together and reflect on all the day. I will always cherish that time slow dancing to At Last by Etta James. On our last day of our honeymoon in Italy we were sitting at dinner and At Last came on in the restaurant and it just brought me back to that moment the week before… I just couldn’t help but realize how in love I am.