Lauren Cherry and Stephen Harber have known each other for their entire lives — literally! Their families have been friends for as long as each can remember and the couple has photos together dating all the way back to pre-school. When they became close friends in high school, no one was surprised that the relationship transitioned into more the summer before their senior year. They went on their first date to see The Dark Knight and officially became a couple on August 14, 2008. After six years of dating, Stephen proposed on the beach in Cozumel and Lauren happily accepted.
The two Georgia natives knew they wanted a wedding in their hometown, and that their June 12, 2015, celebration had to be indoors. "Atlanta in June is hot and I wanted an open space that had an industrial feel that I could really make my own," Lauren says. Summerour Studio, right in the heart of Atlanta, was just what the couple wanted: An industrial space with a romantic twist thanks to wooden floors, walls covered in ivy, and skyline views. The space quickly guided their dreams of an industrial garden party, and Leah Economos of EEP Events helped the bride and groom bring that vision to life. Read on to see how it came together, as photographed by Harwell Photography.
"We wanted the wedding to feel like a romantic garden with the contrast of metal beams and old windows," Lauren says of Summerour Studio. "I wanted the evening to be fun and really be a reflection of Stephen and me and what we like." The bride and groom didn't go into planning with a set color palette, but Lauren noticed one naturally evolving. Pinks, cream, and green ended up ruling throughout the ceremony and reception, and red and orange were noticeably absent. "I have red hair and those colors do not work for me," Lauren laughs. "I feel crazy saying that out loud."
The crafty bride created all of the couple's wedding stationery and went bright and bold with their hand-painted invitation suite. "My favorite part of wedding planning was painting all of our save-the-dates and invitations," she says. The result was a personalized and poppy selection of stationery, complete with a quirky illustration of the bride and groom.
Lauren worked with Terry Carothers of Gracious Presence on a custom-made wedding gown. "It was the dress of my dreams," she says. "I knew exactly what I wanted my dress to look like, but could not find it anywhere, so we got in touch with Terry and she created it for me." After trying on over 100 gowns in salons and boutiques, Lauren knew there were tons of beautiful options out there, but none that really spoke to her. So, with Terry's help, the bride walked down the aisle in a tulle, illusion netting, and lace modified ball gown. Complete with a sheer high neckline, low back, and fluffy skirt, Lauren could not have been happier with the beautiful silhouette.
As a last minute decision, Lauren decided to wear her mother's gorgeous veil, complete with delicate lace applique. "I'm so glad I decided to do it. It was long and beautiful and the touches of lace matched my dress," she says.
Her bridal bouquet was a fluffy mix of peonies, roses, ranunculus, and eucalyptus.
Stephen wore a classic black tuxedo, but personalized his boutonniere with bright blooms and a spring of rosemary. "He loves to cook, so we wanted to incorporate that in some way," says Lauren.
Although the bride and groom's attire were totally classic, their shoes were decidedly not. The fun-loving bride wore Vans covered in flamingos while her groom chose Star Wars-themed kicks.
Lauren and Stephen's flower girl looked adorable in a giant tulle skirt, pink fairy wings, and a delicate flower crown.
The couple exchanged vows in front of an antique window (that they found at a salvage yard!) that was flanked with tall topiaries. "The man that married us is someone we both respect and love so much," the bride says. "He knows us personally so our ceremony was incredibly special because of that." After the couple left the ceremony, they asked their officiant to read a letter they wrote to their guests.
Meanwhile, immediately after exiting the ceremony, Lauren and Stephen snuck away to share personalized vows they wrote for each other but chose not to read during the ceremony.
During the outdoor cocktail hour, guests were asked to paint a portion of a blank canvas in place of a traditional guestbook since both the bride and groom love art.
Once back inside, guests found the room transformed for Lauren and Stephen's reception. String lights hung across the entire ceiling and loved ones were seated a mix of round tables topped with brown linens and long farm tables. Eucalyptus garlands flowed across some tables while others were topped with a punchy mix of flowers and a hand-painted table number.
As another DIY project, the bride created the colorful dinner menus set out for each guest.
While guests dined inside, the bride and groom enjoyed a private open-air meal. "It was so special to be able to take a few minutes totally alone and take in the evening," Lauren says. "Everyone told us the night would go by so fast and it did, but having that alone time was one of the best moments."
Although dessert was certainly tasty, it wasn't necessarily sweet. Instead of a traditional cake, the cheese-loving bride and groom opted for a stack of parmesan, brie, and blue cheese wheels. The top "tier" was decorated with two keys the couple had given each other when they first started dating.
The newlyweds spent the evening dancing with friends and family before exiting in a spray of bubbles. "Don't let wedding planning take over your relationship," Lauren advises. "It is so easy to get caught up in all of the details, but remember that more important than the wedding day is getting ready for marriage and spending your life with someone."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Summerour Studio || Wedding Planner: EEP Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Gracious Presence || Groom's Attire: The Black Tux || Florist: Lauren's Floral Art || Invitations: Honey and Fig Designs || Music: The Gentlemen of Swing || Catering & Linens: Affairs to Remember || Videographer: Lamp Post Studios || Photographer: Harwell Photography
Did you love this gorgeous wedding? Then check out another couple's Atlanta celebration in the video below.