Chrissy + Tate’s wedding was one of the very first that we accepted to feature in V5, which gave us plenty of time to get to know their big day. Trust me when I say there is a lot to take in. There isn’t any detail of their big day that escapes without a story behind it, which is how we like it in the South. These two know just how to celebrate a marriage — with plenty of “them” infused in the details and an unplugged ceremony, in which guests were asked to completely turn off their cell phone and refrain from taking photos. It helped guests focus on the vows being said and allowed their photographer to take plenty of unblocked and beautiful shots.
We are so grateful for Courtney Dellafiora who shared this wedding with us and for C + T for sharing their adorable love story (Really, y’all, their proposal story is a must read!). Stay tuned for more sweet photos in Part 2!
Tell me all the basics of your wedding! I am from North Carolina, Tate is from Mississippi, we met in New York, and live in California, so we decided to split the difference and get married just outside of Shreveport, Louisiana. Tate has a larger family, and I wanted to have our wedding close enough for his grandparents to attend. Why Shreveport? The venue. When researching locations online close to his family, I came across a wedding at the Dixie Gin and was instantly smitten. It had so much beauty and character, and my gut told me it was the place. After talking to Lauren, one of the owners (and nicest people in the WORLD), I was even more convinced. We got the chance to visit Shreveport the November prior to the wedding, and as soon as we pulled up to the Gin, we both agreed it was just perfect. Everyone thought we were nuts to get married in a city where neither of us had been or lived (and I have to admit it was quite a leap of faith) but it was well worth the risk. We chose mid-May because it fell in a time on the calendar when the entertainment industry has a lull, the weather wouldn’t be too painfully hot, and because the date was available.
Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: (From the groom) Our shoes! I bought a vintage pair of bowling shoes online, and Chrissy had a custom pair of heels designed to look like mine. It was a nice reminder of where it all started for our relationship.
Describe your bouquet. One of my friends took up floral arranging as a hobby and as luck would have it, she’s a total natural. She made all of the bouquets and boutonnieres for the wedding party, as well as my bouquet. She lives in NYC and I was in LA, so we exchanged a bunch of emails with links and pictures to make sure we both had the same vision. My bouquet was a mix of cotton, succulents, dusty miller, seeded eucalyptus, ranunculus, hydrangeas, and craspedia. The bouquet was wrapped with a doily made by my fraternal grandmother. The cotton used in my bouquet and throughout the wedding was hand picked by my Mom! She scoured North Carolina during harvest season and asked farms if they wouldn’t mind her picking some of their cotton. Thank goodness for Southern hospitality, because everyone said yes!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I wore a full-length lace gown with cap sleeves and a keyhole back by Paloma Blanca. It was the fourth dress I tried on, and the whole store sighed “aww!” when I walked out of the dressing room. I thought it was a setup! I ended up trying on about 50 gowns over a few months, but kept thinking of that one. It was surprising how emotional gown shopping was, I just didn’t expect to react so strongly to a piece of clothing, you know? Looking at my reflection I suddenly realized “oh wow, I’m a grown woman!”
Describe the proposal: On our first date, we met up for drinks and then went to a party thrown by two of our friends at a loft in Brooklyn. The hosts are two really creative people and at the end of the night, they had everyone write their name and address on an envelope and put it in a hat. The hat was then passed around and we all drew out an envelope with the name and address of another person at the party, and we were all instructed to send that person a letter. The following year, we were back in New York City for a friends’ wedding, and Tate blocked off an evening for just the two of us. I didn’t know the agenda, but it turned out to be a night of “greatest hits.” We went to dinner at the first restaurant at which we dined together, then grabbed a drink at the bar in which we met on our first date, and then headed to The Gutter for a round of bowling. We were having a great evening together, and coincidentally had the whole place to ourselves. Just before the last frame, Tate darted away saying he was going to get something from the bar. He came back, bowled his turn (he won), and the music suddenly switched from 80’s hair band music to a song called “Terrible Love” by our favorite band, The National. I joked; “well, you beat me but at least now they’re playing The National,” to which he replied, “I know, because I asked them to.” He then said he had something for me, and pulled it out of his pocket. I stared in total disbelief — it was the envelope from the party on our first date with my name and address. Inside was a letter he read aloud, explaining how he excited he was that night to finally be out on a date together, and that he was thrilled when he pulled my envelope out of the hat. At first he was going to write a letter asking me on a second date, but finally decided to hang onto it for a rainy day, saying, “I think I knew even then that this day would come.” He continued reading as the music swelled, concluding with “you are my life and my love and I hope and pray you always will be.” He then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was the definition of romantic.
Chrissy’s bridesmaids’ dresses are some of my favorites! I was thrilled when she shared where she found them.
“I came across Sohomode one night when browsing Etsy, and loved the designs. They all had the same flattering retro silhouette but were made with a vintage fabric of your choice. Each bridesmaid selected fabric within a certain color family, and I thought everyone looked smashing!”
The ceremony was really powerful. We had a playlist of Vitamin String Quartet playing covers of modern music leading up to the ceremony, and that helped set the mood that ours would be a traditional wedding with a twist. Rather than a more customary song for the processional, we both agreed on “Terrible Love,” as it’s kind of an anthem for our relationship. Plus it has a nice rhythm, great lyrics, and eventually gets so loud you feel it in your gut. The entire wedding party walked out individually as it played, and I followed. Both of my parents escorted me down the aisle, and having them both by my side was really special. Before the three of us walked out, all of a sudden it just hit me “Whoa, this is our wedding!” and the next thing I knew I was standing next to Tate. The ceremony itself is one of the few things that felt happened in real time. Tate has a childhood friend who is a Pastor and he led the ceremony. We had two friends who gave lovely and touching speeches, and said traditional vows as well as our own. We’re pretty open with our emotions, whatever they may be, and were both alternating between crying and laughing the whole time. There was a funny moment when we almost kissed, and both of us said “Oh no! I can’t kiss you yet!” and everyone laughed. I know it sounds cheesy, but something special was in the air that day, and everyone could feel it. The ceremony was a series of very profound, honest moments. It was just lovely.
Did you try anything new or untraditional? In the months leading up to the wedding, I decided I wanted to surprise Tate with something unique during our ceremony. When he was little, he was in the hospital and a puppet came in to visit and entertain him. Ever since, he’s been a fan of puppets and his face lights up like a kid when he sees them. With this in mind, I decided to make sock puppets for each guest attending the wedding to wear on their hand as they cheered and clapped at the end of the ceremony as we made our exit. I locked myself in our spare bedroom for a number of weekends and made over 100 puppets by hand. Half were grooms that looked like Tate, and half were brides that looked like me. They were really detailed so it was quite an undertaking! At the end of the ceremony, our pastor instructed everyone to open the paper bag in front of them and put the item inside on their hand to welcome the happy couple. As all of this was happening, Tate looked over with a smile and said “What did you do?” and I just giggled and shrugged. Suddenly, bride and groom puppets started popping up throughout the crowd, and everyone cheered—it was a really sweet and funny moment, and I loved seeing him so happy.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met a few times through work before actually meeting in the real world. The first time was in the spring of 2008. I was working at a network during pilot season, and Tate came in to audition. I remember noticing a cute floppy-haired guy sitting in the waiting area eavesdropping on one of my conversations (he later admitted this was true). A year later, Tate was in The Philanthropist on Broadway, and a friend of mine from college was an understudy in the same show. She and Tate lived in the same neighborhood and became buddies. Tate and I direct met at her birthday party one night in Brooklyn. We continued to hang out with groups, but were both totally oblivious to the fact that we were interested in each other for about a year. (Yes, a year!) At that time, I was working on The Good Wife for CBS, and Tate starred in one of the episodes. In the spring of 2010, we both attended the wrap party for the first season, and afterward, went bowling with friends at this amazing vintage bowling alley our friends own in Brooklyn called The Gutter. The whole night, we kept high-fiving each other — like, excessively high-fiving — and it finally dawned on both of us that our crushes were mutual. Our first date was a week later, nine months later we moved to Los Angeles, and here we are today!
What is a time together you will always remember? Tate’s apartment had a bad habit of flooding in heavy rains (gotta love New York!). One day, we came home to his place after grabbing lunch during a downpour and sure enough, water was everywhere. We immediately went to the store and bought supplies to clean up the mess and spent about six hours cleaning while singing along to music, laughing, and telling stories. At the end of it all, we were covered in mud and grime but still smiling. Later, we both admitted to falling in love that day. If we could still have fun and work well together when things weren’t so great, then it was meant to be.
Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring and how/why your husband (or the two of you!) chose it: Tate proposed with his mother’s engagement ring, but knew I also had diamonds belonging to one of my grandmothers that I wanted to incorporate. On the recommendation of a friend, we had a custom ring designed at this amazing little jewelry shop in Brooklyn called Elleven. It’s truly special as it symbolizes the blending of our lives and families: the center stone from his mother, side stones from my grandmother, and additional new diamonds symbolizing the life we’re making together.
How many guests attended your wedding? About 115. We had an extra table for “anyone else who shows up” and people did!
Tell us about your invitations. One of Tate’s friends does branding and design, and he helped us create a really unique logo and layout for the invitations. I then used the same fonts and logo to design and word the rest of our invitation suite, as well as the Mad Libs and wedding programs. The invitations became a larger DIY project than either of us anticipated. Tate has the patience of a saint, and spent hours printing, cutting, gluing, and labeling — he was a one-man assembly line!
How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your big day? (From the bride) I spent the day getting ready with my friends and bridesmaids. Another of my closest friends is ridiculously talented with makeup, and she did both that and my hair. It was so nice having someone I trusted and knew well there with me all day, rather than a total stranger. In one corner I was getting ready, in another corner the bouquets were being finished, in another corner friends were laughing and telling stories, family and friends flowed in and out of the room — it was really lovely and relaxed. (From the groom) The morning of the wedding, I discovered someone had ran into my Mom’s car in the middle of the night. It was parked on the street in downtown Shreveport and they completely bashed in the trunk – and we had planned on driving away in it at the end of the night. I spent the morning talking to the police, then ran some last-minute errands, had lunch with friends, and started getting ready. We actually ended up driving away in it anyway at the end of the night, and it was pretty hilarious seeing everyone gasp as they saw the trunk!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? To Tate, I said, “When we had our second date, you expressed some concerns about starting a relationship. You said ‘I’m really bad at dating’ to which I replied ‘well, that’s all right because I’m a DISASTER!’ I’m happy to say we were both wrong” Tate said to me, “You’re the perfect height for me to rest my chin on your head. We fit like the two leftover puzzle pieces in the box. We don’t fit the puzzle, but we fit together.”
Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony? My sister had a ring passing ceremony during her wedding and I found it very touching. We included that as a part of our day as well.
Did you do a first look? Yes, and I am so thankful we did! Having a few minutes with just the two of us was really special. It all goes by so fast, and having some time together before everything started helped keep us grounded.