Southern Weddings

I couldn’t help but smile when I read Sally Ward and Patrick’s love story–they met when they were both dating other people and became friends–keeping their relationship platonic for three years before realizing that they felt something more for each other. The beginning of mine and Dave’s relationship was similar, and I’ve said ever since then that you can’t meet your soul mate without it having an effect on you. Sally Ward and Patrick are further proof of this, and every detail of their wedding expressed their joy and gratitude for their relationship and their story!

Thank you so much to Geneoh Photography for sharing this gorgeous, meaningful day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I took three trips to various stores in Nashville without any luck. I knew what I wanted, but I wasn’t finding it! One Sunday morning, my sister-in-law, Caroline Brewer, called me and told me The Bride Room was having a sale, so we went to go take a look. We didn’t have any expectations of finding the dress, but when I put on the second dress, I just knew I had found it! We quickly called my mom and asked her to bring her veil to see if it worked with the dress, and it was the sweetest match!

We did not do a first look, and here’s why: I believe the moment that the groom sees his bride for the first time is a really holy, sacred, and extremely symbolic experience. I wanted to be in the church for this moment, and to wait and see each other until we were living out that significance. Patrick was told that me walking down the aisle to him would be the closest thing to heaven he would ever experience until he gets to the Kingdom. Also, I wanted to walk to him and vow my life to him in the presence of all of our people. That way, that powerful moment that embodies indescribable emotion was seen by “our great cloud of witnesses.”

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our readings were read by two of our favorite and most life-giving couple friends. These two couples are friends with both of us and walk with us in our everyday lives. They read Hebrews 12:1-2 and John 15:1-5.

We loved the second line march from the church to the trolley in the park. We danced, laughed, and waved our flags with all our friends behind us for four blocks, and when we got to the park, we popped champagne before hopping onto the trolley!

See any familiar faces below? Caroline and Clark are on the right–Clark is Sally Ward’s brother!

We felt strongly about getting married in a church. We chose our church as the ceremony venue because it is where we had been going for a year and a half together, and it is in the middle of our neighborhood that we love. We knew that every Sunday would be a reminder of our vows, and that felt really exciting to us. The reception venue belongs to our family friends, and they just started hosting weddings recently. We didn’t want to use the barn because I didn’t want a rustic look, so instead, the barn was a beautiful backdrop to our event (and a nice rain plan!). We knew we wanted the reception to be outdoors–it just fits our personalities, and this farm is simply gorgeous.

I grew up loving to climb trees, and I was especially fond of a great big magnolia tree that sat to the left of my childhood home, so I thought, how cool would it be if I picked leaves from THAT tree and made them the place cards at the wedding? I wanted every detail to hold meaning, and that house is so special–it made me so delighted to see a piece of my childhood with us on our wedding day. Sarah Tate did the most beautiful job writing everyone’s names in white ink on the bottom of the leaves.

Describe your wedding flowers. Simple, elegant, and organic. I wanted to use greenery with some white thrown in just about everywhere. For my bouquet, we paired budding peonies with olive leaves–it was timeless and elegant. For the bridesmaids, we paired silver dollar eucalyptus with budding white tulips, which was a pretty complement to the long blush dresses. On the tables, we ran greenery down the middle of the tables and added touches of white florals. For the arrangements, we used some silver dollar eucalyptus and a few white and pink peonies from our garden!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There are so many, I honestly can’t decide! The first dance was so memorable. Patrick surprised me with Sanders singing “Somewhere.” The lights were on us, and we never even realized that people were watching us! It felt like it was just the two of us dancing around the living room. When the band took a break, Patrick had lined up a list of monumental songs from our past, with friends from all stages of our relationship. It was absolutely priceless and something I will never forget. Patrick also surprised me with a huge fireworks show as we were leaving! It was so gorgeous and overwhelmingly magical.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I dated one of Patrick’s friends/roommates my freshman year of college in 2006, and he introduced Patrick and I on a double date. Crazy, huh!? We quickly became friends and remained just friends for three years. We later discussed that we always felt a magnetic connection when we were together–it’s hard to describe, but I always knew that he was very special! During our last year at Ole Miss, we ended up being the only two of our friends who wanted to go watch a meteor shower out in the country. Patrick kissed me that night for the first time under the gorgeous fall sky as some deer pranced around us! We completely fell in love that summer in 2010, and our hearts hurt when we had to split ways as he had committed to working for Peru Mission for a year after college. We continued to fall in love via handwritten letters sent across the ocean and our third-wheel friend, Skype. When Patrick launched his company, Nisolo, in Peru, I joined him for several months to help, as well as teach English to the Peruvian community. What an adventure! In June 2012, Patrick moved Nisolo to Nashville, my hometown, and we began our lives in the same city again. Bliss!
Tell us all about the proposal! Patrick spent the summer of 2013 in Boulder, Colorado, and I went and visited him at the end of the summer. We planned to drive to Montana for a friend’s wedding and then on to Yellowstone and Jackson, Wyoming. The thought had crossed my mind that he might be proposing that week because he was looking at me in a different way, but I tried not to get ahead of myself at every breathtaking view, wondering if he might drop to his knee! Our last stop was Jackson, where we found a campsite in the middle of nowhere, and he asked me if we could go on a walk. Before I knew it, Patrick was walking me through how he felt and his journey to get to where we are today, and after a lot of really beautiful and powerful words, he proposed! We looked around in complete amazement at what had just happened and saw crazy storm clouds quickly approaching, so we ran back to our car to take cover and head into Jackson Hole to celebrate. During our short drive, we stopped to get out of the car–just then, the sun peeked out of the clouds and there was a crazy brightness on our faces! Overwhelmed with emotion, I cried as I felt the sun on my face and saw the sun beaming out of the darkness. Then, we turned away from the view of the Tetons to the opposite side of the road to find a rainbow stretching across the entire field of sage. It was so beautiful, and we truly felt God’s presence there with us, affirming us in this decision. We will never ever forget that day.
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 315
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I could not choose just one flavor, so the top layer was strawberry, the middle was almond buttercream, and the base tier was pistachio, all with cream cheese icing. It was divine, and made by a dear family friend who just relaunched her local bake shop! We loved the simple white design with touches of greenery and color. We positioned the cake under a hanging wreath that was lit up, and placed it on a silver platter that made it look so elegant.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Ask for what you need (from both vendors and friends)! I had several moments when I had to openly tell vendors where we were with our budget, and many of them found ways to make things work so that it was still beneficial for both of us.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Truly think about what makes your relationship special and embrace that in every detail. Whether it is song choices, readings, activities, venues, or props, choose them because they embody your story. I believe it makes the day so personal and incredibly meaningful to you as the bride and groom. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help! People love LOVE and feel honored to play a part in your day. Finally, stay organized along the way. Get to know Google Docs if you don’t already!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Not having to say goodbye every night! We are so thankful for the time we get to share together now by just coming home! More importantly, marriage has a way of sharpening us, and I am really excited about that.

Photographer: Geneoh Photography / Videographer: Clark Brewer, Campbell Brewer, and Darius Fitz / Planner: Linley Stokes / Ceremony Venue: Midtown Fellowship – 12 South / Reception Venue and Lighting: Hidden Trace Farms / Florist: Mayfield Flowers & Events / Wedding Cake: Franklin Bake Shop / Caterer: Chef Penelope / Rentals: 12th Table and Liberty Party Rental / Band: Erik Blue Band / Invitations: Chelsea Petaja / Paper Map: Anna Woodyard / Bride’s Gown: “JH8360” in Ivory by Jim Hjelm / Hair and Makeup Artist: Giovani Diaz / Bride’s Shoes: “Bolivar Wedge” by Nisolo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “DC Long” in Tiny Dancer by Ceremony by Joanna August / Men’s Suits: Street Tuxedo / Men’s Shoes: Nisolo / Invitation Envelope Calligraphy: Megan Henrich / Place Cards Lettering: Sarah Tate

lisa Written with love by Lisa
10 Comments
  1. avatar Corinna Hoffman reply

    Love the rustic and nature theme of this wedding!

  2. avatar Amy reply

    Beautiful wedding and great imagery Gene!! Stunning!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    I completely identify with everything Sally Ward wrote about her ceremony – love the idea of being reminded of your vows every Sunday at church, and of a “cloud of witnesses” gathering.

  4. avatar Loverly reply

    Love the big bow ties- they look great on the groomsmen! And the leaf name cards are so creative!

  5. avatar Carly reply

    Any contact information for this gorgeous venue?

  6. avatar Kelsey reply

    I love this venue! Any information about how to contact Hidden Trace Farms? Are they still doing weddings?

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