Bridal Bliss: Kristen and Erik

When Kristen met Erik had a friend’s birthday party, she knew she’d found her prince. Four years later he took her back to where it all began and proposed. Their luxe, royal themed wedding was fantastic. Share their love!

Charli Penn Apr, 03, 2013

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Kristen, 32, an IT project manager, and Erik, 36, a federal lobbyist, first met while attending a mutual pal’s birthday bash at a downtown D.C. restaurant. He was immediately taken with her beauty and she was moved by his charm. She wasn’t single at the time, so instead of her phone number he got her email instead. They remained casual acquaintances, but kept bumping into each other all over town. Eventually they were both available, so they gave love a try. It was a success and four years after they met, Erik took her back to that same restaurant and proposed before their closest friends and a restaurant full of cheering strangers. Their luxe Atlanta wedding was on August, 4, 2012 was to die for. Share their love!

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Kristen says finding her dream dress wasn’t any trouble at all. “ I ended up choosing the very first dress I tried on,” she says of her fit and flare Mori Lee gown. “The dress just struck me and took my breath away.”

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When it came time to pick a stylist for her wedding day hair and makeup, she went with a recommendation from her planner, Eliana Baucicault of ellyB Events.  Baucicault referred Kristen to Tori Johnson, who wowed her during the hair trial. "I was delighted to have her help make me beautiful on my wedding day," gushes the bride.

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"Overall, I loved my dress because it had a sweet, romantic feel, with a touch of sex appeal," says Kristen.

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“There was a royal and majestic theme to our wedding,” explains the bride. “I played off Erik’s last name, Prince, and the colors were purple and platinum with silver accents. Purple is my favorite color and is a color of royalty.”

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“I wanted a romantic and soft look,” says Kristen. “So I decided on all over ringlets.”

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“Erik is truly my Prince Charming who swept me off my feet,” Kristen tells us. “They say don’t wait for the one who you could live with; wait for the one you can’t live without. I realized early on that I absolutely couldn’t live without him.”

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“Erik’s brilliant and clever mind is always intriguing and he constantly makes me smile,” says Kristen. “He’s family-oriented, which was extremely important to me in a mate. He’s ambitious, has a strong work ethic and is successful so I was confident in his ability to provide for our family.”

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Kristen’s outstanding bouquet featured lush roses, calla lily, orchids and accent flowers in a variety of purple, lavender and cream colors. Her florist, Perfect Creations, was responsible for creating the lovely masterpiece.

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“I wanted a long, flowy, ethereal look for the bridesmaids dresses,” explains Kristen. “So, they wore chiffon dresses where the top came together in a center front twist that went into the straps. That gave it uniqueness.” The gowns, if you’re wondering like we are, came from popular bridal designer Monique Lhuillier.

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Kristen and her maid of honor, Kim, who she calls her “sister friend,” lived together in New York City right after they both graduated from Spelman. She met bridesmaids Joi, Natasha, and Cherie the summer before their freshman year in Spelman’s Women in Science and Engineering Program. She met bridesmaid Kellee her senior year, while Laronda is her close cousin of the same age and Sally is her oldest friend—they’ve known each other since middle school.

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There were plenty of stunning bouquets to go around at Kristen and Erik's wedding. Kudos to the florist for a job well done.

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“I wanted a striking and unique venue that would set the tone for the wedding and have some wow factor,” says Kristen. “I wanted to have the ceremony and reception all in one place. I love Atlanta, and it was four hours away from my hometown and more convenient for Erik’s family, who were mainly from Texas.” They wound up choosing The Biltmore Ballrooms in Atlanta.

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“Erik is protective, comforting and gentle at the right times,” says Kristen. “I love his strong sense of self and consciousness, and I love our dynamic together. We can go from talking about serious issues to joking about something silly to reminiscing about an old school hip hop song—all  in the same conversation.”

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“Erik has a real eye for fashion,” says the bride. “He knew the exact look he was going for from the very beginning. He wanted a custom tuxedo and chose a white dinner jacket with a double-vent. He also chose a classic look for his groomsman. They wore black suits with no cuffs and no pleats. He was going for a Euro-modern look with classic appeal.” Yup, we’d say they nailed it. Looking good, guys!

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Erik originally chose his dear friend Lyndon to be his best man. Lyndon had been battling cancer for over a year at the time, and just a few weeks before the wedding his doctors advised him not to travel. Erik’s older brother Kevin, who was already a groomsman stepped in as best man. Erik’s closest college buddies and childhood friends rounded out the group.

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What a classy bunch. Ladies, you looked phenomenal. Here's to hoping you each already have this one hanging in a frame.

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“I loved the beautiful crystal chandeliers, Palladian windows, high ceilings and hardwood and marble floors,” Kristen recalls. “The smaller imperial ballroom felt appropriate for the ceremony. It felt like a cathedral church where the sun poured through the floor-to-ceiling windows and it had a very open and airy feel. Pretty rose petals lined the aisle.

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“As soon as I entered the room, I gazed at Erik and kept my eyes on him while walking down the aisle,” says Kristen. “I felt happiness, amazement and excitement, and I was overcome with love as I looked into his eyes. I felt calmness.”

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Erik's mother passed away, so the couple had a custom memorial candle designed in her honor. It read: "Your everlasting prescence is here with us today and in our hearts always."

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Kristen grew up in the United Methodist church and is still a member, so she and Erik held a traditional Methodist ceremony.

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Kristen and Erik chose to have a harpist and trumpeter play during their ceremony. When the bride entered, the trumpeter played a regal fanfare fit for a queen. After the curtain opened, both the harpist and trumpeter played in unison.

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At the end of their ceremony, Kristen and Erik jumped the broom. Before they jumped, Erik’s niece and nephew, ages 12 and 13, read the history of the tradition aloud.

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The newlyweds were all smiles on their way back down the aisle. What a happy couple! We can feel the love.

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“Love was very unexpected at the time, but Erik proved to be irresistible,” says Kristen.

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“I’m excited about spending the rest of our lives together and looking forward to all of our adventures together,” says Kristen. “We honor God and it’s important to me that I attend church with my husband and we worship together.”

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“I wanted a unique, top-notch, classy wedding with some dramatic and wow-factor elements,” explains Kristen, who says she worked hard to not exceed their set budget. “I stuck to my vision as much as possible.”

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“The grand ballroom, with its columns, high ceilings and handcrafted detailing provided the perfect opulence and swank for our royal theme,” says Kristen.

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Kristen says she couldn’t have pulled it all off without the help of her mother, stepmother-in-law and godmothers who all chipped in to create invitations, wish cards, plan accessories and more.

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Charcoal colored crinkle taffeta linens covered the reception tables, which were decorated with deep purple satin napkins and huge floral centerpieces.

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The wedding cake table was placed at the front of the room to greet guests as they entered the reception. To contrast with the other tables, it was decorated with purple linen, lavender rose petals, and votive candles. To make their wedding cake more playful, each tier was designed as a different height. It was a vanilla cake and it looks so good, we wish they’d saved us a piece.

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Erik and Kristen chose Musiq Soulchild's "Settle For My Love" featuring Aaries as their special song. "We both love Neo-Soul and were both familiar with this song beforehand," she says. "The song, through its rhythm and lyrics really moved us. It was a perfect choice."

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“The main entertainment was a wow-factor surprise for our guests,” says Kristen. “I had an African dance troupe come and perform. It’s an all-women dance company called Guyawwen-Mata. There was a special connection because one of my bridesmaids is a member of the company. I’ve seen them perform on several occasions and I knew that I wanted them to perform at my wedding.”

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They performed African royal traditional dances, and Kristen's bridesmaid Joi danced with them in her gown and heels, then performed a special solo dance as a tribute to the happy couple. Their guests were blown away and Kristen and Erik were overcome with joy.

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For the reception, to get a different look and balance the one-shoulder dress, Kristen pulled her hair to one side and let her romantic ringlets hang over one shoulder.

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“Under his confident and tough exterior, Erik has a compassionate and generous heart along with a romantic side,” Kristen tells us. “He has a zest for living and exploring all that life has to offer.”

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Erik and Kristen were on cloud nine throughout their entire wedding weekend.

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DJ Six Five kept Kristen and Erik’s guests grooving all night long. “He was great,” she tells us. “I had provided a playlist of songs, artists and genres for him to use as a guide. He was the overall emcee, too.  He was great at getting the crowd hyped and playing all the right songs at the right times.”

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While Kristen and Erik got down on the dance floor during their first dance, their bridal party broke into an impromtu two-step groove in the background as the crowd cheered them on.

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For his groom's cake, Erik chose a yummy chocolate raspberry cake that featured a photograph of Capitol Hill on top to represent his work as a lobbyist.

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To complement their royal theme, Kristen’s mother-in-law created mini-champagne bottle favors that were decorated with their names and wedding date and filled with Hershey’s Kisses. 

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As additional favors, guests were given silver spoons filled with Hershey's Kisses and chrome wine stoppers. Kristen and Erik, are there any goodie bags left? What a lovely idea.

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Mr. and Mrs. Prince sneak a kiss while guests enjoy their fabulous, royal-themed reception party.

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"We loved every moment," Kristen and Erik agree. The newlyweds honeymooned in Turks and Caicos. Did you love their royal wedding style? Leave them your congratulatory wishes and a little comment love below! Want to see your wedding featured in Bridal Bliss too? Email us now.

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# Weddings