By Emily Williams-Robertshaw
The saying “love means nothing to a tennis player” is far from the case for newlyweds Lauren and William Love.
Lauren, a University of Alabama graduate and Vestavia Hills native, and William, a University of Georgia graduate of Marietta, Georgia, met in Atlanta on the tennis court.
They were paired by their mutual friend, Will Varnado, for a casual game of doubles in the fall of 2017.
“A few months later we got together for our first date and, naturally, played tennis, which led to many dinners, soccer matches, hikes, concerts, etc.” Lauren said.
For their first trip as a couple, Hammonds and Love traveled to New York City for the U.S. Open.
Their proposal took place during a hike at Sawnee Mountain in Georgia.
“Everyone who has ever been part of a wedding can agree that, at times, there feels like an overwhelming amount of uncertainty and details to work through, along with an endless amount of decisions to be made,” Lauren said. “We experienced this challenge firsthand when we first got engaged in September 2019, but the pandemic exponentially multiplied the amount and sensitivity of every decision.”
Following the proposal, Lauren and her mother went on a European vacation, buying something in each country they visited to be used during the wedding.
While in London, they bought a “Love Birds” bandeau silk scarf by Louis Vuitton at Harrods, worn by the bride as a nod to the “lovebirds” wedding theme. Lauren found her gown at Blanc Couture in Paris. Van Clef and Arpels mother of pearl earrings were bought in Rome and, while at the Vatican, Lauren had her engagement ring blessed.
As shutdowns and continued health and safety restrictions colored the year, the Love’s wedding plans changed on a weekly, occasionally daily, basis.
“In that spirit, simply the act of getting married itself was what made our wedding more special to us than we had originally envisioned. We missed some friends and family at the event itself, but strangely this helped put into perspective what mattered most and what the entire event was all about – two people committing to each other for life,” Lauren said. “We feel stronger and more prepared to take on life’s challenges because we, with the support of our family and friends in person and in spirit, overcame obstacle after obstacle to make our special day happen.”
What remained the same was the couple’s desire to get married on their chosen wedding day, Oct. 17, 2020. They chose that date based on the football schedules of their alma maters, hoping to avoid a big game weekend.
“Due to COVID-19, the SEC moved the football schedule around and our schools actually ended up playing on our wedding date,” Lauren said. “We just laughed, as it was somewhat fitting, because we started dating shortly after the Alabama versus UGA National Championship game in 2018.”
Lauren recalls her mother stating on the wedding day that, no matter the score, the couple were both winners for coming together in marriage.
The couple wed in a ceremony at Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta in front of a limited audience of family and friends wearing custom silk masks made by the bride’s aunt Lili Cruz.
A reception followed, held in an open tent at Canoe, Atlanta.
The bride’s parents are Ms. Maria Cruz and Mr. Elton Hammonds of Vestavia Hills.
She was given in marriage by her father, mother and brother Alex. She wore a V-neck, white, shimmer lace sheath Miss Kelly gown by The Sposa group with pearl-beaded roses and white feathers on the straps. The gown had a removable belted tulle train with matching pearl beaded roses and feather details.
Matrons of honor were Julie Hardin of Huntsville and Katlynn Mummert of Atlanta. Bridesmaids were Sarah Beringer, Lauren Dinges and Allison Love O’Neil, sister of the groom, all of Atlanta.
The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Love of Marietta, Georgia.
Best man was Roberto Taylor DaSilva of Atlanta. Groomsmen were Alex Hammonds, brother of the bride, of Vestavia Hills; and Steven Kviklys, Matthew Liedberg, Stephen Malone and Carey O’Neil, brother-in-law of the groom, all of Atlanta.
Due to the pandemic, the couple delayed their honeymoon plans to visit the Greek Islands.
After a wedding trip to Amelia Island, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia, the couple live in Atlanta.