Allison & Garrett
These Georgians headed for the cool, crisp air of coastal Maine for the most important day of their lives.
Story by Mimi Pinette
Garrett Spence turned a rainy morning in Atlanta into a day Allison Ericson would never forget.
The couple met as freshman at Valdosta State University. “I fell in love with Garrett the moment he told me he was a Harry Potter fan,” Allison says, and laughs. “Garrett is outgoing, handsome, outdoorsy, hilarious, and absolutely charming. That’s how I knew he was "the one."”
One rainy morning, Garrett surprised Allison with breakfast at a local restaurant. After consuming vast amounts of bacon, the couple decided to take a walk to their favorite spot—a grassy knoll in the center of Piedmont Park overlooking the city of Atlanta. It was a freezing cold and rainy day, and they were the only ones in the park. “Once we reached our favorite spot, Garrett fell to one knee and asked for my hand in marriage,” Allison says.
Their closest friends hid behind some trees during the proposal, photographing the whole event. “It was a rainy, magical morning!”
Allison and Garrett decided to celebrate their wedding in a very special spot—Bar Harbor, Maine. “Our wedding ceremony was held in front of my grandmother’s home in Bar Harbor,” Allison says. “I’ve spent every summer of my life on this property, so there was no way I would have gotten married anywhere else.” The couple’s wedding reception was held on the beach two houses down from grandma’s—on Allison’s parents’ property.
Since the majority of Allison and Garrett’s wedding guests would be from the south, the couple decided on a nautical theme for their coastal Maine wedding. “I had to show our southern guests what New England was all about—lobster bake and all!” Allison says.
The morning of the big day was a blur. Allison, her mother, and her four sisters had been working tirelessly getting ready for the wedding day. “My mom and sisters were setting tables, sweeping the dance floor, and baking cupcakes hours before the wedding,” Allison says.
Allison and Garrett decided not to see each other the morning of their wedding day. While Garrett was outside putting the last minute touches on the ceremony and reception sites, Allison was inside attending to other details. Allison and Garrett passed love notes back and forth all morning, keeping their nieces busy delivering messages. “The little girls had so much fun running back and forth with our notes,” Allison says.
Garrett showered his bride with gifts all morning—a Maine Sea Bag filled with blueberry jelly, a moose cup, and an ornament; a string of pearls; and a pair of emerald earrings—something Allison had been wanting for quite a while. “All of the gifts were paired with the sweetest love notes ever,” Allison says.
Though Allison had gone wedding gown shopping with her bridesmaids and chosen a lacy mermaid-fit wedding gown, she wore something else to her wedding ceremony. “My bridesmaids had no idea I had switched gowns, so it was a huge surprise,” she says. She chose to wear her mother’s long sleeved, A-line, high collared wedding gown on one of the most important days of her life.
About 15 minutes before she was set to walk down the aisle, Allison says everything went blurry. “I remember crying with my sister, crying with my dad, and focusing on breathing,” she says. “I walked through my grandmother’s home and down her staircase to the most handsome man I have ever seen in my life. The walk seemed like forever; tears streaked my face and Garrett’s face the entire time. Once I finally held Garrett’s hands in mine, all of my nerves went away.”
After the ceremony, Allison and Garrett snuck away to take photos while guests walked the beach, grabbed a drink, and enjoyed some snacks. “Once we finally joined everyone under the tent, the party began!” Allison says. She changed into her mermaid-style wedding gown before the first dance. The newly married couple danced the night away and, around midnight, made their exit while their friends and family members held lanterns to light their way.
In Allison’s Words
We asked the bride more about the big day. Here's what Amy said...
I’m so glad that…we are finally married!
One of my favorite moments was…walking down the street to our cabin in the pouring rain in our wedding attire.
I didn’t realize…how stressed I was until after the wedding when I felt all of it melt away.
I wish…I had had my dog in the wedding. But it would have been a nightmare—he can’t sit still!
I really liked…everything about my wedding. My photos, flowers, dress, music…I liked everything!
My advice to other brides is…to take a moment when you’re walking down the aisle to look around you. Enjoy that moment, because it goes by so fast. Pay attention to the little things. I remember taking a brief second to look at the sky and the ocean and to take it all in.