A Timelessly Classic Wedding at the Brooklyn Arts Center in Wilmington, North Carolina

It was important to Christi Laite (22 and a teacher) and Tanner Milson (23 and a commercial real estate agent) that their venue reflected a sense of t

It was important to Christi Laite (22 and a teacher) and Tanner Milson (23 and a commercial real estate agent) that their venue reflected a sense of timelessness. The Brooklyn Arts Center in Wilmington, North Carolina, proved to be the perfect space because of the rustic brick walls and its historical significance as a former Presbyterian church. Christi’s grandfather was previously a Presbyterian pastor, which gave the couple an opportunity to honor their newly united family’s heritage. 

Using primarily white, ivory, and blush pink, Christi produced a soft yet elegant feel that contrasted beautifully with the venue’s industrial look. “My goal was to have a wedding that I would still love in 20 years,” she says. Flowy, light-colored bridesmaid dresses and fitted navy suites for the men created an elegant aesthetic for the entire wedding party. Keeping the decor to a subtle minimum, the pair had a 15-foot cross draped loosely with fresh flowers and greenery built as a backdrop for their ceremony. The aisle was lined romantically with candles and Le Vie en Rose played dreamily in the background as the newlyweds took their first dance together. As a tribute to their hometowns, Maryland native Christi and Texas native Tanner featured Natty Boh and Shiner Bock as their choices of beer for the big day, and let the rough beauty of the historic venue truly inspire a day of timeless sophistication. —Juliette Cheatham

Christi knew she had to have a cathedral-length veil to complete her look, because she wanted the dramatic sophistication created by the veil for her wedding day outfit.
Tanner designed Christi’s engagement ring after purchasing an oval-cut diamond that he knew was her favorite. The bride’s fingerprint is engraved on the inside of the groom’s wedding band, along with the phrase “I’ll come running.”
These floor-length bridesmaid dresses flattered each woman’s physique perfectly; especially in the light color Christi chose. “I love the romantic, easy feeling of the dresses,” she says. It was important that the dresses possess a subtlety, nothing too dramatic for this elegant affair.
Tanner knew that the formality of a tux wasn’t the look he would feel comfortable in on his big day. Instead he chose a fitted navy suite from Jos. A. Bank for himself and his groomsmen that could easily be worn again.
Fresh white peonies surrounded by greenery create this classic boutonniere. They contrasted beautifully against the sharp blue suits worn by Tanner and his groomsmen.
Christi ad Tanner knew that having a sophisticated wedding they could look back on and admire in years to come was very important to them. Instead of going with some of the trendier looks, the pair stuck to a simple palette and dressed the wedding party in classic-cut navy suites and floor-length gowns.
The Brooklyn Arts Center in Wilmington, North Carolina, created a gorgeous backdrop for the reception and ceremony. Industrial tall ceilings, exposed brick, and distressed paint created a rustic look.
Candles of various sizes were placed at the end of each row to line the aisle during the ceremony. The couple had a 15-foot cross built for the stage and hung fresh flowers and draping greenery from it to complete the romantic look.
A handwritten chalkboard sign was used to give the guests a schedule for the night. It was hung rustic wood draped in fresh greenery, and as a tribute to Christi (a Maryland native) a little chalk crab was drawn on the top.
The beautiful bridesmaid bouquets were cleverly repurposed for the reception after the ceremony. Each bouquet was placed along the middle of the dining tables, and the abundance of peonies and roses created a lush feel while also keeping the floral budget in check.
Wild-looking greenery was used as the table runners for the reception. Gold china and menus decorated with pops of gold completed the simple yet elegant look next to the crystal stemware.
A former volleyball player, Christi stunned in a fitted mermaid-style dress. It flared out at midthigh and had a delicate strapless neckline.
The pair featured a three-tier multilayered naked cake with tiers of ascending size. The cake was decorated with fresh flowers and greenery and photographed beautifully against the exposed brick.