Kristina Anderson never realized that her future husband, Dustin Downey, lived in the same apartment building as her friend. “They had seen each other in the lobby [and she] invited him up to say hello to some of her single friends. Dustin and I met that night and never separated again!” muses Kristina. The lovebirds eventually moved into their own New York City apartment, where Dustin proposed.
They were engaged for six months before walking down the aisle at a historic estate in Dustin’s hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Although they confided in their event coordinators to arrange their elegant soirée in only five months, the couple also included Dustin’s mother throughout the planning process. “Dustin’s mother is a true Southern woman and helped us on many special touches,” Kristina says. Shortly after the touching ceremony, everyone gathered outside the estate for a sophisticated reception. “[We had] a gracefully draped tent with grand chandeliers intertwined with greenery and a flower wall overlooking a magical view as the leaves of trees began to change colors,” the bride describes of the autumnal fête.
Friends and loved ones were surrounded by a plethora of all-white décor accented with hints of gold in the dinnerware. “The reception was all white, including chairs, table linens, flowers, candles, draping, [and] large elevated arrangements of hydrangea and roses, interspersed with smaller collections of the same blooms,” she illustrates. After a few sentimental speeches by the bridesmaids, the newlyweds shared their first dance to Chris Stapleton’s country hit “Tennessee Whiskey” in true spirit of Dustin’s Southern roots. The rest of the evening was dedicated to indulging in late-night snacks and dancing to popular ‘80s songs performed by a live band. “We had a elegant affair but hired a Vanderbilt ‘80s cover band [and] it ended up being a huge hit,” Kristina reveals.
Looking back on the details of her special occasion, Kristina assures that engaged couples should look at the overall picture. “Don’t take every small decision too seriously!” she affirms. “You can drive yourself mad with every little detail.”