Chris and his groomsmen, his father, Ron Lewis, and his brother, Drew Lewis of Tuscaloosa, Ala, wore gray Calvin Klein suits from Men’s Wearhouse with custom handmade fabric boutonnieres. The bride carried a bouquet made of custom handmade fabric flowers created by her grandma and aunt, Irene Teague and Sharon Benge of LaFollette. She wore a tealength Justin Alexander dress adorned with embroidered flowers from the Something Blue Shoppe in Hartselle, Ala. The bridesmaids, Cressie’s best friend, Dana Belle Wyatt of Huntingdon, and Chris’s sister, Dana Lewis of Seattle, Wash., wore handmade gray tulle and satin dresses which were designed and created by the bride. The custom dresses also included the Beatles lyrics “all you need is love” and “love is all you need” embroidered along the hemline. Cressie was escorted by her father up the aisle decorated with six-foot poles of flowing ribbons and flowers. The ceremony was officiated by Pastor Donna Paramore in front of the historic Croft house. The traditional vows included audience participation when all guests also vowed to “do everything in [their] power to uphold and care for Chris and Cressie in their marriage”. The proclamation of husband and wife and the kiss prompted the guests to wave “Hooray - just married!” burlap flags in celebration. Following the ceremony, the guests were directed to the wild animal carousel for a Sangria cocktail hour complete with a pretzel bar and beer brewed by Chris’s brother and groomsman, Drew (an award-winning brewmaster). The newlyweds invited all guests to join them for “their first carousel ride as husband and wife.” A reception followed in a covered tent with music by Justin Caldwell and the Downtown Band. Guests were treated to Cressie’s favorite meal of BBQ prepared by Jimmy Ashby of Camden and sides provided by Taste of the Wild catering. In lieu of a wedding cake, guests were served petit fours by Peggy Ann Bakery of Huntsville, and treated to an ice cream sundae bar with traditional ice cream fixings. At the reception, the guests were also encouraged to take their turn at the photo booth, custom built by the bride and her father. “Instead of renting a photobooth, I made one with my dad over the course of four months. I provided the software and the equipment (recycled from my old college computer) and my dad engineered a wooden travel case. It was a great father/ daughter pre-wedding activity.” Matron of Honor, Dana Bell Wyatt, painted a vintage-looking photo backdrop and Chrystal Lewis, Chris’ sister-in-law, helped operate the booth during the reception. Following an exit of sparkler fireworks, the couple departed in a white 1961 Cadillac Deville for a surprise honeymoon in Tahiti and Easter Island. Chris shared the location with family and friends by posting a video online of Cressie seeing the tickets for the first time before they departed. After returning from their honeymoon, the couple is making their home in Atlanta, Ga. In the process of wedding planning, Cressie fell in love with zoos and in a twist of fate she was offered a position in the Advancement Department of Zoo Atlanta a few weeks after the wedding. “I appreciated everything the Nashville Zoo was doing for animal conservation and education in Tennessee - I knew I had to work with a zoo in some capacity,” says Cressie. Chris and Cressie would like to thank everyone who made their day special, including: “Todd and Terry of Sharp’s Garden and Nursery in Johnsonville who made stunning flower arrangements and provided our day-of wedding coordination; Jimmy Ashby for the fabulous West Tennessee BBQ; Gary Greer for the best BBQ sauce in the state; Cliff Fulton for the epic wedding video masterpiece; and our special friends in Alabama who drove the petit four wedding cake to Nashville from our favorite bakery in Huntsville.” “We’d also like to say a special thanks to our parents for their enduring love and support. May our marriage be filled with as much love, laughter and companionship as they’ve experienced in a combined 56 years of marriage - we love you!” - Chris and Cressie Photos courtesy of Krista Lee Photography. Article by Katy Hall Fleming, friend of the bride.
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