Photos by Davy Whitener Photography
On a beautiful September day, Christina and Steven hosted a hometown wedding in Atlanta. Now living in Chicago, the couple honored Christina’s southern upbringing by celebrating their wedding where she grew up: Atlanta. Infused with sentimental details, these two medical professionals were thrilled to celebrate their COVID-postposted union safely.
Despite failed setup attempts by mutual friends, Christina and Steven met on a service trip to Ghana as Vanderbilt students. Their romance quickly sparked, but the pair faced long-distance hurdles as their education and careers split them from Nashville to France, Atlanta and Chicago in the early years of their relationship. Fortunately, daily FaceTime calls kept them close, and the couple now claims Chicago home (both work at Northwestern Memorial Hospital). Working in health, it was important to ensure all guests were vaccinated, and they moved their original May date to September to allow for guests to take the proper precautions.
As Christina proudly hails from Atlanta, the city is a key character in Christina and Steven’s love story. The groom even plotted with the bride’s mom to plan the proposal in the family backyard (filled with sentimental souvenirs from their courtship). So the bride immediately knew she’d want to share the same hometown location with her bridesmaids for the wedding morning.
“I’ve always known I wanted to get ready for the day at my house in Brookhaven,” says the bride. “My parents built our home in 2000 and it is the most comforting and loving location. I grew up in the house and I felt so calm throughout the morning of my wedding day.”
Paying tribute to special lifelong spots, the ceremony was at First Presbyterian Church, the church Christina grew up in and was baptized in. And furthermore, the reception at the Capital City Club, another spot Christina grew up going to.
Self-proclaimed foodies, the couple introduced their wedding with a welcome bag of hometown staples: Garretts Popcorn from Steven’s hometown of Chicago; Georgia pecans from Christina’s hometown of Atlanta; and GooGoo Clusters from Nashville, where the couple fell in love.
Adding in more foodie delights, the wedding day menu honored their Indian and Greek family cultures, with sweet potato samosas and spanakopita, and continued with more Southern essentials like candied bacon and pecan-crusted chicken tenders with honey bourbon sauce. In fact, Chick-fil-A nuggets made a late night appearance, along with mini brie grilled cheese sandwiches! As for cocktails, French Rosé and local favorite Atlanta Spirit Works were representative of the couple’s history.
Flowers also held a decadent role in their wedding style, with an oversized floral welcome sign, towering reception centerpieces, adorning the cake and creating the mantle backdrop. Another wow dazzled guests when they left the dinner ballroom to enter the dance party tent: a super-sized floral chandelier above the checkered dance floor and flanking the stage where Atlanta Showstoppers soon packed the floor.
In Christina’s bouquet and throughout the wedding, blooms from previous family weddings were incorporated, including Stephanotis for her paternal grandmother, Garden Roses for her maternal grandmother, Calla Lilies for her mother and Sweetheart Roses for her mother-in-law. Florist Julie Coffin even surprised Christina with a few peonies (to honor their original spring wedding date). After the stress of 2020, the couple were so grateful to host their friends near and far with heartfelt touches.
NUMBER OF GUESTS: 230
PHOTOGRAPHY: Davy Whitener Photography
VIDEOGRAPHY: Hud Productions
CEREMONY VENUE: First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta
RECEPTION VENUE: Capital City Club Brookhaven
EVENT PLANNER: TOAST Events
OFFICIANT: Rob Sparks
FLORAL & DECOR: Unique Floral Expressions
BRIDE’S ATTIRE: Mira Zwillinger, from Mandi Jackson Bridal
BRIDES SHOES: Gucci
RINGS: Solomon Brothers Jewelers
BRIDESMAIDS’ ATTIRE: Jenny Yoo & Bella Bridesmaids Atlanta
HAIR & MAKEUP: Ryan Anderson of The Moore Agency
GROOM’S ATTIRE: The Black Tux
STATIONARY: simplyput Paper & Gift
CATERING: Capital City Club
CAKE: Frosted Pumpkin
DESSERTS: Jeni’s Ice Cream
WHISKEY SUPPLIER: Atlanta Spirit Works
ENTERTAINMENT: Atlanta Showstoppers
TENT RENTAL: EventWorks (formerly Peachtree Tents)