Chris and his groomsmen, his ... father. “Instead of renting a ... Ron Lewis, and his brother, Drew Lewis of

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
Article by Katy Hall Fleming, friend of the