Encouraged by their mutual friends, Clare Lioon and Jonathan Rosenfield virtually met 15 years ago by way of instant messenger. They exchanged scanned photos of each other, eventually met in person, and realized they were meant to be. “I know this sounds crazy, but at the tender age of 17, I remember kissing him for the first time and feeling instant fireworks. It was the feeling of a first kiss with your soul mate,” Clare muses. Jonathan proposed to his sweetheart during a surprise weekend getaway to New York City; a trip that Clare will never forget.
The pair based their wedding location off of distinctive milestones in their life. “Atlanta is a special place to us because it is where we first lived together after I graduated from college, and it is now the place where we have settled down and bought our first house together. When we got engaged, we knew Atlanta was where we would be married,” Clare confirms. With help from wedding designer Brian Green, the couple hosted a romantic, secret garden-inspired soirée that began with an interfaith ceremony. They incorporated a candle-lighting ritual to honor Clare’s Christian faith, as well as the breaking of the glass tradition for Jonathan’s Jewish roots. “Our officiant taped the wedding program script to the inside of a vintage [edition of] The Secret Garden that she read from during the ceremony. It was a nod to our theme, but also a lovely touch,” the bride tells.
Guests were instantly captivated by the magical ambience of the fête. “The look and feel of our wedding was extremely lush [and] the 14-foot tall cherry blossom trees, candlelight, and cascading florals throughout made it over-the-top gorgeous,” Clare illustrates. Attendees received unique escort cards pinned to a gorgeous wall of greenery that mimicked the aesthetic of the wedding invitations. They featured an antique key, which doubled as a bottle opener. Clare debuted her second gown by performing a surprise dance with Jonathan to two of their favorite songs, “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga and NSYNC’s hit “Bye, Bye, Bye.” “It’s a moment our wedding guests still talk about,” the bride confides.
Clare additionally affirms the importance of hiring a wedding planner and is overjoyed with her decision: “[Brian] is absolutely wonderful in every sense of the word. He kept me sane, focused, and on budget throughout the planning process.”