After three years of dating, Briana Soria and Grace Hwang took an overnight flight to Paris that would change their lives forever. A friend once told Briana that if she met someone she loved more than the French city, than she should be with them forever, and by the time March 2014 rolled around, she knew she had found that in Grace. "I sneakily took the ring box out from my hiding place in our hotel room, opened it, and showed it to her and she happily accepted," Briana remembers. "We spent the rest our trip celebrating our engagement the classy way: with street hot dogs and crepes!"
The two decided on a celebration in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, with a wedding for 120 at the Estate. "After we visited the first time, we kept finding reasons to come back and look at the ballroom one more time or make sure we were making the right choice," the couple says. "Every time we walked in, we always looked at each other and said 'This is the one!'" With the help of Amy Bending, the pair planned a classic and elegant celebration on May 24, 2015. Keep reading to see all of Harwell Photography's photos from their spring wedding.
"Because we are two brides, we took time to think about how each of us would have our own unique style," Briana says of picking their wedding dresses. For Briana, the must-haves were a textural full skirt and plenty of "wow" factor. She fell hard for her strapless ivory silk organza ball gown from Christos. Grace chose a strapless beaded tulle gown from Marisa. "I wanted something more form fitting and for my 'wow' factor to come from the beading and my rhinestone belt," she says.
Like their distinct dresses, Briana and Grace wanted their bouquets to represent their personal style, too. "We wanted bouquets that coordinated but would each have their own unique touch," they say. Briana preferred the look of a tighter, more uniform bouquet and chose an arrangement that was made largely with O'Hara roses. Grace, on the other hand, wanted a more organic shape and selected a bouquet with mostly dahlias and accented with hydrangeas and roses.
The two shared a private first look before the ceremony. "We wanted to get ready separately and share a special moment seeing each other right before the ceremony," the couple says.
But their private time didn't last long. Grace's neice and nephew, Sara and Riley, served as flower girl and ring bearer and joined their two aunts for portraits before the ceremony started.
Grace and Briana chose to have their ceremony "in the round," with friends and family surrounding them on all sides. Each bride walked down the aisle alone, but at the same time, from opposite doors leading into the ceremony space. The couple's good friend and former classmate officiated their vows beneath a white pergola draped with sheer white ribbon. "He spoke with all of our closest friends and family members to learn more about us as a couple," they remember. "He composed a beautiful compilation of everyone's words and stories to share during our ceremony."
They further personalized their ceremony by writing their own vows, which included funny promises — like Briana's vow to "spend a lifetime making you Mexican food, being a backseat driver, and sitting next to you at a poker table," — to heartwarming statements — like Grace's confirmation that "together we can do anything. We are perfect complements, and together, we are both stronger and more beautiful than we could ever be apart."
After the ceremony, guests found their seating assignments on escort cards with a blush and blue design. While they looked like typical assignment cards on the front, they proved to be anything but that when guests flipped them over. "In order to tie in our love of poker and games, we added 'scratch-off' stickers to the backs of the escort cards over the table number," they say. "Our guests had to use a poker chip to scratch off the metallic hologram sticker and reveal their table."
Once inside the Estate's grand ballroom, Briana and Grace's guests found tables topped with mint linens and low arrangements of hydrangeas, dahlias, and roses in mercury glass containers. Instead of traditional table numbers, oversized black and white playing cards identified each table.
The couple's head table was decked out with sparkling blue linens and a long centerpiece of ivory and blush blooms. Each place setting was set with a clear charged and round menu, which listed the evening's dinner selection. Stations were set up with options like grilled flank steak, soy-glazed fish, and southern friend chicken.
The couple chose a four-tiered pale mint wedding cake that was decorated with gold accents and pale sugar flowers. Beneath the buttercream frosting, the couple chose layers of chocolate cake with raspberry filling and dark chocolate cremeux and coconut cake with mango chutney filling and cream cheese frosting.
Two days after the wedding, the newlyweds set off for their honeymoon in Riviera Maya, Mexico. "Don't be afraid to delegate tasks," the couple advises. "And don't leave a lot to do in the last few weeks. Even if you think they are 'quick little things!'"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Estate || Wedding Planner, Catering & Flowers: Legendary Events || Wedding Dresses: Bridals by Lori || Invitations: Minted || Music: DJ Yvonne Monet || Videographer Derek Chan Films || Photographer: Harwell Photography
Did you love this pretty spring wedding? Then check out another Atlanta celebration in the video below!