Every aspect of this celebration—from the details to the guests—contributed to its winning combination of elegance and pure fun.
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Tanisha was on the road in Washington, D.C., with her friend when they stopped at a red light. In a car beside them sat a man named Erik, who caught Tanisha's attention. She asked him to roll his window down and the two engaged in brief conversation. The chance meeting led to the three hanging out that night, and from there, "as they say, the rest is history," the couple share.
A little over three years later in 2016, Tanisha (a middle school manager) and Erik (a self-employed consultant) were on a date at D.C.'s Dîner en Blanc. During the event (a worldwide get-together held in multiple locations where people dress in white, meet in a public space, and hold a formal fête) sparklers are lit between the dinner and party portions of the affair. "After lighting the sparklers, Erik got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife," Tanisha shares. "It was a magical moment, as friends and strangers gathered to witness the proposal." Funnily enough, the dress code wasn't the only thing that foreshadowed Tanisha's bride-to-be status. "Erik had a picture of the ring on a wine bottle the whole night in hopes that I would notice, but I didn't until he pointed it out after he proposed."
Tanisha and Erik planned their Atlanta History Center wedding together—an event not unlike Dîner en Blanc that set the entire party into motion. The October 6, 2017, celebration was attended by about 150 guests, and was built around their vision of "timeless elegance" with an "unforgettable party vibe." With a color palette of red, white, black, and gold, plenty of natural greenery, a few vintage touches, and a fun-filled reception, their goal was definitely met.
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Though Tanisha and Erik live in the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virgina) area, they decided to wed in Georgia. For their venue, Tanisha wanted to steer clear of what she considers "traditional" wedding settings: a church for the ceremony and a banquet hall for the reception. Erik took her vision to heart and began searching for the perfect spot. He stumbled upon the Atlanta History Center's Swan House and set up a visit. After scouting the location—and without looking at any other option—they knew that it was "the one."
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Tanisha wore a Maggie Sottero trumpet wedding dress, which she customized by adding detachable off-the-shoulder straps. According to her, they gave the dress the vintage vibe that she was looking for. And check out that red lip!
Erik's Enzo Custom tuxedo was white and black, with gold accents that only upped the cool factor.
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Swan House is known for its classic cars on-site, including this beauty, which contributed to the wedding's vintage feel.
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Metallic vessels in the wedding's outdoor ceremony space held white orchids, roses in warm hues, and white hydrangeas.
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Tanisha's father walked her down the aisle to "Fall for You" by Leela James. She timed her entrance perfectly by having the doors open at a precise moment in the song. Erik deems the moment his favorite of the event.
Aside from writing their own vows, Tanisha and Erik performed a candle-lighting ritual, which symbolized the union of their two families.
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After the ceremony, guests blew bubbles to celebrate the couple officially tying the knot. Many took photos to document the milestone, too.
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The cocktail hour took place in the center's gallery. Guests were free to peruse the exhibits while munching on hors d'oeuvres, sipping on cocktails, and listening to a fun mix of R&B, go-go, and slow reggae music. They also took time to each put a piece in a puzzle that served as the couple's guest "book."
Following that, everyone headed to the Grand Overlook, the venue's ballroom. There, they were seated at round tables with the help of escort cards attached to chocolates. The décor included assorted tall centerpieces, consisting of candles, greenery, and blooms.
Come meal time, guests chose their fare from an array of Southern cuisine, in honor of the wedding location. The options were set out buffet-style.
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The bride and groom chose Beyoncé's "1 + 1" for their first dance song. Other important tunes of the night included Boyz II Men's "Mama" for the mother-son spin, and Mariah Carey's "Hero" for the father-daughter twirl, shown here.
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Tanisha wanted their wedding to be "an unforgettable party experience," and that really showed on the dance floor. "Jump" by Rupee set the tone, prompting everyone to get on their feet and wave napkins in the air.
When the energy finally died down, guests ended the night with a touching final hoorah. They circled around the couple and sang Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" in unison.
To thank them for an amazing day, Tanisha and Erik sent attendees home with boxes of two desserts: Jamaican rum cake and peach cobbler pie. Both were kindly baked and decorated by Tanisha's aunt.
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Location, Atlanta History Center
Event planning, Z. Curlett Events
Catering, Affairs to Remember
Flowers, Ambience Décor
Stationery, Sandi Spells
Cake, Cakes by La'Meeka
Music, One Sound and Entertainment
Bride's gown, Maggie Sottero
Bride's shoes, Steve Madden
Bride's hair, Kissed Hair by Kim
Bride's makeup, Tamara Montgomery
Bridesmaids' dresses, Bari Jay
Bridesmaids' hair, Karris Reeves-Robinson
Bridesmaids' makeup, Makeup by Ashley
Groom's attire, Enzo Custom
Groomsmens' attire, Black by Vera Wang
Lighting, One Sound and Entertainment