High school sweetheart alert!
Caroline and Luke started dating as seniors then went long distance for a couple years. After a bazillion weekend trips that revealed they were happiest with one another, that was that. In time, Luke proposed on the roof of what would become their first apartment! Shares Caroline, “He took me out to dinner at a nice restaurant in our hometown of Rome, GA, and we went up to the roof of a building downtown to watch the sunset. I said “Yes,” and our families were waiting for a surprise engagement party in the apartment below!”
Growing up, Caroline spent a lot of time at Lake Rabun and going to summer dinners at Glen-Ella Springs Inn & Restaurant. She’d often tell her mom as a little girl it was where she wanted to get married. Says Caroline, “So, when we started to plan our wedding, I became frustrated with the lack of wedding venues in our small town and remembered beautiful Glen Ella. My favorite aspect of the venue is the Inn that our bridal party and families stayed in for the duration of the weekend. It was so intimate and fun to have our families and close friends stay on the property. It was so intimate and fun to have our families and close friends stay there. It was the perfect mix of classic yet rustic. The inn owners, Luci and Ed, are so helpful and truly love their jobs as well!”
The day was more beautiful and special than Caroline and Luke could have imagined in so many little ways. Shares Caroline, “One of my favorite moments was our private dinner tucked away on a porch. We shared appetizers and just laughed because we couldn’t believe we were finally married after six years together. We are both not very good at dancing, so we practiced our first dance again, including a dip! It was so sweet to see Luke’s face light up when we finally got it down.”
Also, Thomas. Who’s that, you ask? He’s Luke’s college friend who brought shutter sunglasses and the party to the dance floor. “He would dance up to random people and put them on their faces!! If you got the glasses, you just knew you had no choice but to own them in the middle of a dance circle. Seeing all of our friends from different stages of our lives get into it and laugh and dance with each other was hilarious. It brought so much energy to the dance floor. He brings them to every wedding he goes to, so thank you, Thomas!”
Read on for more wonderful details about their day from Caroline, who twirled in Luke’s arms to Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing” for their just-married dance floor debut!
Tell us about your outfits! How did you choose your gown?
“I always knew I wanted a dress with sleeves once we chose our October 2021 wedding date. I tried on various styles at the first wedding dress store, but I wanted to think about it because I hadn’t found anything that truly matched my vision. I had been saving dresses that I had seen other brides wear on Instagram for inspiration, and the Miranda gown was a dress I had previously saved! My best friend and bridesmaid, Sally, initially sent me a photo of the gown, and I loved it! I showed the Miranda gown to the consultant at the second store I had been to, not expecting them to have the exact dress, but they did!! It was a match made in heaven. We decided on a classic black tux from a local menswear store for Luke.“
Tell us about your day!
“My bridesmaids and I stayed in the Inn’s ‘penthouse,’ enjoying breakfast, getting hair and makeup done, and overall, just relaxing and taking in the day. It rained in the early morning, and one of my favorite memories of getting ready was standing on the room’s porch, overlooking the grounds as the day-of preparation started. There was something so peaceful about how the rain sounded in the mountains. Luckily the sun came out and dried up all of the rain!
Luke and his groomsmen played golf at a nearby course while we got ready. The day passed by so quickly after that. One of my favorite moments was our private dinner tucked away on a porch. We shared appetizers and just laughed because we couldn’t believe we were finally married after six years together. We are both not very good at dancing, so we practiced our first dance again, including a dip! It was so sweet to see Luke’s face light up when we finally got it down. Honestly, we were extremely lucky because our day went so smoothly (thanks to our awesome vendors), and it was so full of joy. That’s all we really wanted!
As for details that reflect us as a couple, we had cookies shaped in auburn “AU,” as well as Luke’s favorite, M&M cookies, instead of a groom’s cake. In addition, we chose to have personalized frosted cups, cocktail napkins, and koozies. I loved designing those personalized items- so much fun seeing your design come to life!”
One detail you couldn’t live without?
“So, this is funny because I wouldn’t have guessed this beforehand, but pink/coral dahlias in my bridal bouquet and centerpieces! I don’t know much about flowers, so I told our incredibly talented florist to do her thing within the pink/cream color palette, and I would be happy. But when I saw my bouquet, I fell in LOVE.
Another detail I loved was my invitation suite! I spent a lot of time researching and thinking hard about how I wanted our invitations to look. My mother had her wedding invitation hanging in the powder room of my childhood home, so I’ve always felt it was important to me that I created a timeless invitation that I would want to hang in my home forever! I cannot express enough gratitude towards our wonderful calligrapher and printer that created our letter-pressed invitation suite.”
What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?
“The two P’s: photographer and planner! We did not choose to have a videographer, so we knew the only way we would be able to look back at our day was through the photos. Memories fade, but photos will last!! So, like the wedding dress Instagram folder, I also had a photographer folder. This may seem extra, but about a year before I knew we were going to get engaged (I was truly counting down the days from the beginning!), I would save different photographer’s pages that I liked to an Instagram folder, knowing that one day I would be grateful that I had compiled a bunch of photographers whose styles I knew I liked. Lindsey Larue was one of them!! Her light and airy film-inspired style was perfect for the setting and us. Not to mention her kind and gracious personality!”
What was the funniest moment of your day?
“One of Luke’s college friends whipped out shutter shade sunglasses about halfway through the reception. They immediately became a hit! He would dance up to random people and put them on their faces!! If you got the glasses, you just knew you had no choice but to own them in the middle of a dance circle. Seeing all of our friends from different stages of our lives get into it and laugh and dance with each other was hilarious. It brought so much energy to the dance floor. He brings them to every wedding he goes to, so thank you, Thomas!”
What was your something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue?
“I didn’t actually do this tradition other than the something blue. My parents gifted me a sapphire and diamond tennis bracelet for my college graduation that I love to wear on special occasions!! It was a perfect accessory. I did buy new earrings to wear on my wedding day, now that I think about it.“
Three words that best describe your partner:
“Luke is Faithful, driven, and humble.
Luke says Caroline is loyal, thoughtful, and beautiful.”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“We went to Lanai, Hawaii!! It was absolutely stunning and I highly recommend Hawaii to honeymooners!! Our travel agent Emma recommended Lanai and I’d do it all over again if I could!!”
Any tips for couples getting married?
“Through the planning process—remember to prepare not just for the wedding day but also for the marriage that comes after it!! At the end of the day, I would’ve married Luke in a dumpster if it meant I still got to be his wife for the rest of our lives! Our faith in God is the foundation of our marriage, and I am so glad we were counseled by a trusted couple in our lives beforehand.
For the planning side of things—I highly recommend a wedding planner. Rachel was the biggest blessing, and we couldn’t have done it without her. When hiccups happened (and they will), it was nice to trust Rachel would help find a solution. She was the reason our day went so smoothly, and my mother and I didn’t have to worry about anything. We could be fully present in the day, which is priceless!”
Caroline + Luke’s Glen-Ella Springs Inn Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: Lea-Ann Belter Bridal Miranda and veil via The White Room Birmingham | photographer: Lindsey Larue Photography | planner: Slauer Events | venue: Glen Ella Springs Inn | hair and makeup: Beauty by MP Taylor | florals: Gertie Mae’s Floral Studio | wedding cake: Sugartopia | invitation suite: Gilm Press | calligrapher: Marsha Lassiter Calligraphy | save the date printer: Reaves Engraving | music: The Moxie Band Atlanta