Real Bride Spotlight: McKenzie
Updated: Mar 13
Middle school sweethearts McKenzie and Austyn exchanged vows before friends and family during a beautiful, bohemian ceremony at The Greystone Estate. Learn all about their incredible love for one another below.
Austyn and I met when we were thirteen or fourteen years old in middle school. My best friend at the time was his step-sister, we began dating when I was in the 8th grade and he had just turned sixteen, so this year makes year eight for us being together! We were engaged on December 26, 2015. Every year, the day after Christmas, my family travels up to South Carolina to spend the day with my grandparents. Sadly, we had just lost my grandmother a few weeks before that Christmas, so Austyn thought it would be a great idea to propose to me in front of my entire family that day. It brought us a lot of happiness on an otherwise sad day. We were engaged two years before actually getting married!
I didn't really think I had a theme for the wedding until my photographer kept calling me a "bohemian goddess." I definitely agree that our wedding had a bohemian vibe to it, presented throughout the ceremony with everything from our macrame arch to our send-off with lavender. We used the colors burgundy and gold with accents of green. My bridesmaids wore burgundy dresses and we also used this color for the ceremony rug and throughout all of our handmade centerpieces for the reception.
For the fun centerpiece, my mom collected lots of bottles and filled some with pearls or burgundy buttons and then stacked them on top of old books. We also used the gold color on several picture frames among the tables showcasing old photos of Austyn and I growing up together over the years.
When I think of our wedding day, I just think of how happy everyone was. Seeing everyone enjoy themselves and come together to celebrate the union of me and my best friend was my favorite memory from our special day.
I waited about a year to do any planning, but during that year my mom and I attended a bridal show in Atlanta where I came across my dress on a mannequin from another store. We took pictures of it and knew from that moment on that it was "my" dress...we would just have to find it when the time came.
Flash forward a year later, we finally booked our venue, The Greystone Estate, which meant that I could officially begin shopping for wedding dresses as well! I had temporarily "forgotten" about that dress from the bridal show, and was simply focused on just going dress shopping, so we booked my first appointment at Wedding Angels per suggestion from Greystone.
When we got to Wedding Angels, we were greeted by the owner Jacquie, who ended up being my consultant as well. Because I had never tried on any dresses prior to my appointment, she had me try on at least one silhouette of every dress just to be sure that I knew which style I liked! This was a tremendous help, because it helped me to narrow down my choices a ton. I believe I tried on at least 25 dresses before deciding that I wanted to make one more round before we called it quits.
Jacquie took me back through the boutique and I noticed the same lace pattern on a dress in the corner that was on the dress from the bridal show. We grabbed it and took it to the dressing room. As soon as I got the dress on, Jacquie and I both had the biggest smiles on our faces... I had just found the dress. The same dress from the bridal show! It was fate that I would end up with that dress, and it was so perfect for the aesthetic and feel of our big day.
My favorite part of my dress was how simple it was. It fit perfectly, and complimented every aspect of the entire wedding so well. I had also never seen anything like it before, which is initially what drew me to it. The lace wasn't your typical "wedding lace" and the fact that it was a two-piece was also not traditional. I just loved how me it was...
Like I said, I always felt at home at Wedding Angels. They made sure that every appointment worked for my mom and my's schedule, and, if not, could change it in a heartbeat. I always received a courtesy call a few days before my appointments, which I loved. I also loved how every time I came in the shop, the workers recognized me as if they had known we my entire life. They were as huge a part of the process, and I really appreciated that. The boutique wasn't a place where I simply just bought my dress, it was a place where I felt others truly cared about each and every aspect of my wedding.
The seamstresses also made our experience great! They had so many suggestions, and I can't tell you how many times we walked down the aisles at the salon just to make sure that I wasn't kicking my dress as I walked, or that I wasn't going to trip! I never felt pushed to make an alteration that I didn't want to, and they always made sure that we were happy before we left the salon. I have only good things to say about Wedding Angels and my experience, and wish that I could get married all over again just so I could come back and shop there again!
Venue: The Greystone Estate
Planner: Karen at Winey Blonde Events
Videography: Watson Wedding Videography
Catering/Cake: Coast 2 Coast Catering and Events
Florals: Blooming Hites
Make-up: Gracie Parker
Dress: Wedding Angels