Liudas & Kristen
A fall wedding in Atlanta, GA.
About the Wedding
Please, tell us your engagement story.
My favorite! The two of us met in 2015 while working at YikYak(!!). I acted as a campus rep at my university in FL, while L worked in the Atlanta office. Not long after starting, I needed help with an on-campus security issue and L stepped in with his best Jason Bourne impression to save the day. Later, while visiting the office, I shared a photo online taken near his desk—he could not believe that I stopped by and didn’t say hello after he had helped me. So he did what many would do and sent a Facebook message. On future office visits, we were able to connect and knew from early on there was something special between us. We consider that first night out our first date and the start of our relationship.
Fast forward 7 years: we were living together and just brought home our second dog! I had been aggressively sharing that I was ready for the ring (even going as far as sending a detailed checklist of what I was dreaming of) and he never seemed to pay too much attention. On a random Friday night, we were set to have a date night but didn’t have any actual plans. I suggested we go on a date from Adventure Challenge (a book of scratch-off activities that gives you a few details prior to scratching about the time commitment, cost, etc. which I gifted us last Christmas!). I usually let him choose since I am down for anything, and this time he chose a challenge called “Deja Vu with Boo.”
This specific “challenge” required us to recreate our first date—down to the outfit. We put on the clothes we were wearing on our first date and headed off to sit by the Chattahoochee River. (Yes, we still had the outfits from all those years ago because we knew it was special!) While sitting in our swing, I looked at him and said “Now you can never propose here because I will KNOW what’s happening!” Not even 5 minutes later, he was down on one knee and it was the surprise of my life.
What made you choose a backyard wedding?
From the beginning, I knew I wanted a fall wedding. I live in the south and that seems to be the only time of year with limited risk of rain and comfortable temps. As someone working in the wedding industry, I knew how busy the Fall 2022 season was, but Fall 2023 seemed so far away. I told my now-husband “if we don’t get married this year, we’re eloping!!” The thought of trying to find a venue that checked my boxes with a quick turnaround stressed me *out.* Thankfully, a month into our engagement, we’d purchased our first home together—a brick house on one acre, with a beautiful garden, in the suburbs of Atlanta. In other words: the perfect venue to host our close friends and family.
So we got the tent, a bathroom trailer, a DJ, photographer, caterer, and everything in between to bring our dream wedding together in our own backyard. Candidly, backyard weddings are not as cost effective as you might think. Everything is a separate cost and from different vendors and it can be a ton of coordination, so we probably ended up spending more than if we found a venue, but I don’t regret it at all.
You had a relatively short engagement. What was your wedding planning timeline and how did you pull off the planning so quickly?
I knew from the start that if I took too long to plan, I would over-plan. I am incredibly type A and am well aware of my ability to get lost in the smaller details of wedding planning, so I knew I needed this process to be quick. I decided in July of 2022 that we’d be married by that October, so I had about 4 months to plan.
The first step of this process if you’re planning on a tight timeline like this is the wedding dress. I knew a good dress would take 12-16 weeks, plus alterations—and I didn’t have that kind of time! I made an appointment at the Grace Loves Lace Atlanta showroom and found *the one!* the weekend after I decided on the 4-month timeline. I paid for an expedited process, so I highly recommended doing the dress shopping ahead of anything else when wedding planning to avoid this extra expense.
Next, I used Instagram and TikTok to find a photographer to quickly get engagement photos to make our wedding website and invitations. The rest of my vendors I found through attending The Big Fake Wedding back before I was engaged. I could not stop thinking about the cute Tapwagen bar I saw there or how incredible the DJ was at that event. I was so lucky that both of them were available for my date. Thankfully, my matron of honor helped me source the rest of my vendors through The Knot. Again, I just got lucky that they were available for my wedding date. They took care of mostly everything, which lifted a huge load from me. From the tent to the dancefloor to the decor and even the florals—they handled it all!
I didn’t hire a planner or a day-of coordinator. Other than my aunt stepping in to help on the day-of, it was mostly a one-woman show. Let’s just say there were countless hours spent sifting through information on WeddingTok and making lots of detailed spreadsheets for my vendors. In the end, they all asked me if I ever considered wedding planning because of how detailed I was in every step (even down to the song list with time stamps! Learned this tip from our friends, @theweddingduo!).
Planning a wedding in 4 months is not for the faint of heart but it did force the procrastinator in me to get it done fast and required me to make quick decisions instead of being indecisive and overwhelmed with options.
We love your color palette! How did you choose your style?
Originally, I had wanted a very classic and neutral palette and planned on having my groom in the Classic Black suit. However, I needed to leave some choices to him. Immediately after reviewing the options, he landed on the Dark Green suit. He loved the elegance of the color and he just looks great in green, so there was no arguing.
Keeping with the neutral tones for the rest of the wedding, I had my maid and matron of honor stand beside me in champagne dresses from Mumu Weddings. Their dresses matched the champagne ties on my groom and his two brothers who stood with him. I had 7 other bridesmaids that did not stand with us but who wore rust (also from Mumu Weddings), and I just love how the photos turned out!
I’ve learned from TikTok that satin, neutrals, and metallic colors are here to stay, so I definitely felt like a bridetok trendsetter with this pallet!
Family seemed to be a big piece of your celebration. Were there any special ways you incorporated your family into your wedding day, and do you have any tips or ideas to share?
Family is very important to us, and I really wanted to incorporate each person into our wedding tastefully.
To start, it’s important to note that my step-dad has been in my life since the age of three, so he played a major role in my development alongside my bio dad! With that, he acted as my officiant, so as one dad walked me down the aisle, the other met me at the end to help me tie the knot. I gifted both of my dads a special black tie with a photo of us together when I was young and made sure to have a first dance with both of them. This was incredibly special to me.
As the only girl in my family, I felt it crucial to include my brothers in a special way—especially since my groom’s brothers stood with us at the altar. I had them each dress in a Navy Blue suit, and they walked down the aisle together as my “something blue crew.” My middle brother did a beautiful scripture reading and gave a heartfelt speech.
My groom is from Lithuania, so we upheld some Eastern European wedding traditions throughout the ceremony and reception, too. His parents gave us their blessing at the altar and presented us with the classic Bread, Salt, and Water gift to represent health and prosperity. Later, during the reception, they presented us with a small hearth to symbolize a source of warmth at the center of the new family we were creating together. Having our parents give their toasts and share their joy with us on this day was something I hope never to forget.
I was very keen on planning every moment of the wedding day, so my tip to including family authentically is to leave space for serendipity so that people can come forward in their own way whenever they’re ready.
We'd love to know more about your experience in working with SuitShop.
Finally, it’s my turn for a SuitShop review! I am biased (Marketing Director here!), but I could not have asked for a better experience. My groom and his brothers have family just outside of Chicago, so luckily for them, they got to have the full showroom experience. They had a great time with the team and left feeling super confident about their sizes. A week later, I had each of their items at my house. A big task was taken easily off my plate. The alterations needed were minimal, so it was a very affordable experience all-in.
While we only had the groom and his brothers in Dark Green, we ended up suiting 10 people total in SuitShop, including all of the dads, my step-mom, and my brothers. A few guests also turned up in SuitShop’s Deep Teal and Brilliant Blue suits!
Any advice for marriers-to-be?
Don’t get too caught up in the small details. Things might go wrong or not turn out the way you planned. There is a good chance you won’t even notice—especially with the right vendor team!
The day goes by FAST. Do everything you can to savor the moment and enjoy what’s happening around you. There are very few moments in your life where everyone you and your partner love will be in the same place at one time. The people you choose to have with on this day are there to celebrate, but time is not guaranteed, so don’t forget to slow down and really enjoy this moment with the people you love most.
I have two main regrets from my wedding day. The first was that I did not take the time to stop by each table before the festivities started. I was so strict on the timeline that I missed getting to see everyone, if even only for a minute. The second was that there were gaps in time when I wasn’t with my groom! TikTok told me to stay glued at the hip, and if I could do anything differently, I would have listened to that advice and would have never left his side. It’s so easy to get pulled in different directions throughout the event, so make a plan to stay together!
I could not have asked for a better experience... we ended up suiting 10 people total in SuitShop, including all of the dads, my step-mom, and my brothers!
— Kristen, Bride