Christina Wright and David Sienema met in San Juan, Puerto Rico, when the two were seated next to each other at a restaurant. While Christina was traveling for work, David was living there full time. Christina’s sister, Alysa, encouraged her to ask David for his number so that he could show her around the next time she visited. “We were both very attracted to each other,” Christina admits. About a year later in November 2020, David asked Christina’s father for his blessing in marriage and proposed to her in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia at Forsyth Park.
Looking for a mix of Southern charm and city elegance, the couple invited 200 guests to their September 12, 2021 wedding at Perry Lane Hotel in downtown Savannah, Georgia. They were drawn to the rooftop and ability to have a sunset ceremony, but more importantly, the couple could memorialize Christina’s family history. “Christina’s father’s family were sharecroppers and slaves in the South, specifically near Savannah, David says, “Savannah has a sense of sublime but haunting beauty and it was important to us to come together as cultures and families in this place that has had such a tumultuous and tortured history.”
Although David’s loved ones in Canada and Europe couldn’t attend due to pandemic restrictions, the couple invited them to attend the ceremony virtually. The couple went with a black, gold, ivory, and maroon color scheme and had a vision of a “Night At The Sienema” (cinema) themed wedding. Luckily for the couple, their photographer and planner were actually their close friends “and also absolute professionals in their field,” Christina says. Ahead, see the stunning wedding planned by Abby Gallagher of Blue Orchid Events, and photographed by Lara Cenovski of Lara Rose Photography.
Christina planned a family trip to Savannah with her mom, mother-in-law, sister, and cousins to find her wedding dress. Looking for a simple look for the ceremony, she chose a long-sleeved, off-the-shoulder gown from Camelia Bridal with buttons down the back. For her reception look, Christina’s cousin got her in touch with designer Niiamar. The bride loved the fact that she and the designer shared some personal history, including being FAMU alumni! The result of their collaboration was an ivory jumpsuit with a detachable skirt and unique neckline.
Christina wanted to highlight her natural beauty on her wedding day, so she went with a simple makeup look and wore her hair natural with a blue clip for a pop of color. She worked with her friend, hairstylist Sharay Barham at Polished Hair Collections to plan her wedding day look. The bride also got skincare treatments leading up to the big day at Amaira Med Spa, which is co-owned by David’s brother.
Christina had four mother figures in her life; her two godmothers, her spiritual mother, and her professional mentor. Her close friend suggested that each mother figure hand the bride flower bunches as she walked down the aisle to create her bouquet. The arrangement featured ivory and burgundy florals embellished with greenery.
For his wedding day look, David wore a navy suit with a matching tie and a white button-down shirt. He also wore a Rolex watch, which was a gift from his brother and best man, Craig.
It gave us a private moment to come together and to recite our vows to one another before doing it before everyone.
Christina and David shared their first look in Forsyth Park, where they got engaged. “It gave us a private moment to come together and to recite our vows to one another before doing it before everyone,” the bride shares. “We also wanted to capture us in Forsyth Park and other places in Savannah. Because it was a sunset wedding, it allowed us to have an ideal flow with the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.” Christina’s cousin Ethan drove the couple to a few spots around the city to take photos before the ceremony began.
The couple’s ceremony took place on the hotel’s rooftop, where a welcome sign greeted guests as they arrived. A wooden arch decorated with chiffon fabric and a white floral arrangement served as the focal point.
David made his way down the aisle, followed by the wedding party, which included David’s brother Craig as the best man and Christina’s sister Alysa as the matron of honor. The couple had three flower girls who were dressed as ballerinas as a nod to Christina’s professional dance background. “They paused at the end of the aisle to ensure that each and every flower petal was tossed,” she says.
Christina’s dad walked her down the aisle as singer Gina Cunsolo performed a song she wrote custom for the couple called “Our Time To Love.”
We each took a minute to speak about how thankful we are for our parents and everything they have given to us.
Even though Christina and David exchanged vows privately during their first look, they were excited to share the vows they wrote for each other in front of their loved ones. “We each took a minute to speak about how thankful we are for our parents and everything they have given to us,” the bride says.
Christina’s uncle officiated the ceremony. Once he pronounced them husband and wife, the newlyweds recessed as guests blew bubbles around them.
The couple and their photographer, Lara Rose Photography, stole away for portraits around the venue and downtown Savannah.
The couple’s reception took place in the hotel’s ballroom, where round tables were topped with black cotton linens with matching napkins and paired with black and beige chairs. A trio of floating candles were surrounded by greenery, florals, and smaller candles served as the centerpieces. Christina really wanted rose gold chargers for the place settings, so her planner and family members drove the chargers from Miami to help complete her vision.
Custom menus highlighting the Southern-inspired menu were tucked into each napkin with a sprig of greenery for a special touch. Guests also found their favors on the table; lenses with the word “Together” on them, purchased from the couple’s friend Kim’s company Love Lens.
The couple shared their first dance to “Love” by Musiq Soulchild, an artist the couple discovered on a double date with Christina’s sister and her husband. The bride and her father danced to “Through The Eyes of My Father” by Brianna Haynes, while David shared a dance with his mother to “Time After Time” by Iron & Wine.
David’s brother Craig’s best man speech was one of the couple’s favorite moments of the day. “He began with the line, “I am glad that David has finally admitted that I am, indeed, the best man,” Christina says.
Christina changed into her custom reception look featuring pants and an overskirt before the couple hit the dance floor with their guests. They were entertained by DJ Ric Spice with Amp’d Entertainment and the couple’s friend, Nigerian-American singer Emma Nyra.
To other couples planning their wedding, Christina and David suggest creating memories that will last beyond the wedding day and including family and friends in unique ways during the planning process. “These memories are particularly significant because Craig passed away on April 30, 2022, seven months after the wedding. Craig was deeply honored to have been Best Man and was very proud and happy for our marriage.”