When McKenzie Redmon and and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a player for the Detroit Pistons, met each other they didn’t even live in the same state. McKenzie was working for a Dallas clothing designer who made hostess dresses, and while she was checking on a club client in town Kentavious noticed her. “After we spoke for a while he invited me to come see him play,” she recalls. “I had no idea what he meant, but he explained he played for the Pistons and was in town for a game. I went, and we’ve been together ever since.”
Their long-distance romance sparked a romantic proposal: “One day I was getting into a car to fly back to Dallas when Kentavious stopped me, put a ring on my finger, and said he couldn’t let me leave again without the promise that my home would be with him from then on,” says McKenzie of the October 2015 surprise. They planned their Gatsby-inspired—though not overly themed—ballroom wedding in just five months with the help of Alchemy Event Studio and the St. Regis Atlanta, which she says made everything seamless and effortless. The sophisticated 200-guest affair took place on June 11, 2016—see how it came together below!
The best part of getting dressed for the big day, McKenzie says, was discovering Kentavious had left her a handwritten love note on the bottom of her Louboutin pump.
Due to a shipping snafu there was almost a wedding with no rings! Fortunately the team from Mednikow in Memphis actually drove Kentavious’ ring—featuring five rows of black diamonds, since he wears number 5—down to Atlanta the morning of the wedding.
McKenzie walked down the aisle to John Legend’s “All of Me,” sung live. Their officiant was former Atlanta Hawks basketball player Pastor John Battle, who led the traditional Christian ceremony that included personal vows they wrote for each other. The soft space the wedding planners created, McKenzie says, included dove-gray drapery, white carpeting, mirrored church windows, and Lucite boxes with flickering pillar candles inside.
In addition to a laser-cut dance floor, the pair had Jenny’s Paper Ink create laser-cut menu cards, ceremony programs, place cards, and escort cards, which they placed atop a table with a large floral arrangement in the pre-function area of the reception. “We kept this simple as many people overthink this aspect of the evening—beautiful calligraphy goes a long way,” McKenzie says.
For the seated dinner, guests moved into the Astor Ballroom, where they had a variety of tables covered in black sequin linens and surrounded by clear ghost chairs. Floating candles, orchids, gold-rimmed stemware and gold-beaded chargers added the final touch.
Before the end of the reception, Kentavious took over musical duties and serenaded his bride, ensuring the reception stayed lively. The newlyweds had their first dance to Beyonce’s “1 + 1.”
The reception included an exciting champagne sabering and McKenzie’s outfit change into a lace jumpsuit . “As the dancing got serious I wanted something white and sparkly with a dramatic train," she says.
At the end of the day, says McKenzie, she wouldn’t change a thing about the wedding. But during the busy process, she has this advice: "Thank your family, your team, your fiancé. And breathe deep when things seem too much!”
Venue & Catering: St. Regis Atlanta
Planner and Floral Design: Alchemy Event Studio
Bride’s Dress: Galia Lahav
Bride’s Jumpsuit: Walter Collection
Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Groom’s Attire: Cielo
Groom’s Shoes: Gucci
Hair & Makeup: Scoobie West
Music: CoResonance; DJ Nabs
Invitations: Jenny’s Paper Ink
Photography: Reichman Photography
Videography: The McKellars