Claire + Brian wanted their wedding to be an authentic representation of them and for their guests to feel like they were invited to a dinner party at their home. Personally, I think they pulled it off beautifully. Dinner was served family-style and guests sat together at one long table, toasting and celebrating the couple all night. After the feast, there was cake, of course! Their apple walnut cake, courtesy of Magpies, was left completely exposed, carrying over the rustic and informal feel of Claire + Brian’s wedding. Looking at these photos from Julie Roberts makes me feel like I’ve just spent a day with the newlyweds in their backyard. I’d say their mission was accomplished.
See all the photos from Claire + Brian’s wedding in their Real Wedding Gallery!
Describe your wedding cake: The cake was my favorite. It was an apple walnut cake with buttercream icing that we left completely exposed on the outside so you could see each layer of cake and icing. It felt more rustic and less formal without the finished icing on the outside. I didn’t want to decorate it with flowers, so we placed little sugar pears around it as an accent.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We wanted it to be really personal and comfortable, as if we were just having a big dinner party. That can be difficult to manage as the numbers climb, but our main focus was keeping that feeling of intimacy from the ceremony through the reception. Instead of individual tables, we put them together to create one long dinner table, so everyone was seated together. We served the dinner family style, which gave it more of a casual feeling. It was important to us that our guests felt as if they had come to a dinner party in our home, and leave feeling as if they had truly experienced something authentic from us.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? I wouldn’t really call it a splurge, but I think the photographer is what most brides think of as a huge expense they can cut back on. Julie Roberts was our photographer, and I could not have been happier about making her a part of our day. She SO understood what we were about, and what was really important to us at the wedding, and she captured the most beautiful, interesting moments of the evening.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, but we chose our vows from a book called “Rituals” by Robert Fulghum, and my favorite line was: “we shall bear together / whatever trouble and sorrow / life may lay upon us / and we shall share together / all the good and joyful things / life may bring us”
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We’re both so grateful to be at this place in our lives, and to have found each other. We’re enjoying just being together, being married, and not worrying too much about what’s ahead.
Photographer: Julie Roberts // Coordinator: Lisa Krajewski // Ceremony venue: Martha Ashe Garden at the Knoxville Botanical Garden // Reception venue: The Stone Greenhouse at the Knoxville Botanical Garden // Florist: Cachepot // Wedding Cake Baker: Magpies // Caterer: Northshore Brasserie // Bride’s Dress: White Orchid Bridal // Strings: The Lake Terrace Trio // Calligraphy: Alice Sword