One of our favorite things about weddings in the South is the community they bring together–not only on the day of the wedding, but also in the months leading up to it. Every piece of Hannah and Jacob’s wedding was lovingly touched by a family member or friend–from the wood reception tables that their dads built together, to the cakes made by the same lady who made Jacob’s birthday cakes each year, to the music at the ceremony and reception performed by talented loved ones. The result was an intimate, joyful wedding that was as meaningful as it was beautiful!
Thanks so much to Rachel Moore for sharing Hannah and Jacob’s wedding with us!
We were married at Jacob’s parents’ house, so it was very personal and family-centered. Growing up, Jacob was an adventurous boy who loved his family’s open farmland and the creek that ran along one side of their property. It was a great way for him to seal his childhood and connection to home while planting the seed for his new family. We held the ceremony on a rock jutting out into the middle of the creek and held the reception in his family’s barn.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Being an English academic, I actually wrote the entire wedding script, vows and all. Our “official” quote for the day was one by Robert Fulghum: “We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love.” But my favorite quote was one by a favorite author of mine, Kurt Vonnegut: “And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.” I loved this because it captures the immense feeling you sense on your wedding day when you want to freeze time so badly. What you must remember, and what this quote reminded me, is that the happiness and wholeness you experience on the big day is something that you will carry with you forever.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment of our wedding was definitely standing on our wedding rock and listening to my brother, who read as lector, and Jacob’s father, who served as the officiant, read the words we wrote together. Holding our hands up triumphantly after our kiss and seeing all of our loved ones cheering was also a phenomenal moment.
Jacob, his father, and my father built all the wooden tables for the reception with wood cut from Jacob’s parents’ land. Jacob’s father and his best friend built the barn that we held the reception in, including a bar that was built into one corner. They also built the dance floor from scratch, and my father set up the entire lighting system. The only major thing we had to rent were the chairs. Jacob’s mother made the salad dressing, herbed butter for the bread, and all the vegetarian dishes. I made my own homemade limoncello for the toast and bought thrift store coffee mugs to fill with Starbucks instant coffee and biscotti for the favors.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We were married on a Southern Tennessee farm, held the ceremony on the banks of a creek, and had the reception in and outside the family barn. Another Southern touch was that we had family and friends helping out in every way. Even our reception dinner was quintessentially Southern, with family-style servings. We also had a Budweiser trailer with beer taps, and our custom cocktails were a spiked blueberry lemonade and a Lynchburg Lemonade. Our musical guests sang country classics like “Ring of Fire” and “Rocky Top.” The most Southern thing of all, though, was when Jacob’s family’s neighbor rode over on his tractor to hand deliver our wedding gift of homemade wine and join in on the celebration!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was the family-centered nature of it all. Having family and friends sing through the ceremony and the reception made the day so personal and touching. During the reception, my father, brother, and cousin joined Kevin and Lucas, our vocalist and guitarist for the ceremony, and they played music like nobody’s business. My cousin, Cody Huber, performed mind-blowing Johnny Cash covers that astounded our wedding guests. Jacob and I are University of Tennessee alumni, along with many of our wedding guests, so when my dad, also an alumni, performed the song “Rocky Top,” the entire crowd went wild!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I attended a Greek date party with an abysmal blind date and was about to head home when I saw the most beautiful man’s face beaming above the crowd. Jacob was surrounded by women that he was a good foot taller than, making his smiling face readily apparent. I then saw that it was my own sorority little sister dancing with him. Since they were on the complete other side of the bar, I decided to call it a night and go home. A few weeks later, I was introduced to Jacob at a party, and learned that he was only a platonic friend of my sorority little sister, as well as a best friend of her older brother. Jacob was, apparently, as smitten with my smile as I had been with his weeks prior. We dated, fell in love, and the rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! A week before New Year’s Eve, Jacob told me he was planning the night for me, since I am usually the planner. It wasn’t until we pulled up to the Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville that I found out where we would be celebrating the holiday. I asked Jacob how he could afford a night in such a lavish hotel, and he replied, “With what I had left.” He quickly added, nervously, “of my Christmas money.” This response was odd because I knew what he had gotten for Christmas and none of it was money. It dawned on me that he may have actually meant that the money was leftover after purchasing an engagement ring. I was excited, but I reminded myself that I had no idea if this was true. Getting ready for our evening, Jacob came to the bathroom where I was fixing my hair and, with the most grave expression, said, “I forgot something VERY important.” I immediately assumed he meant the engagement ring. Well, apparently a black belt for a formal event was just as important. He had forgotten his and took off on a mission to buy one at one of the hotel’s clothing stores. When he returned, he seemed surprised that I wasn’t ready yet, but my hands had been shaking from nerves and anticipation and I could barely apply my makeup. After another thirty minutes of primping, I was finally ready. When I heard the song, “You and Me” by the Dave Matthews Band coming from the other room, I knew my intuition had been correct. Jacob, a beautiful writer, had written something breathtaking that he read aloud. He got down on one knee, and before he could even finish the question, I excitedly said “Yes!” After a bottle of bubbly and a lovely Italian meal, we were joined by our best friends, who had just gotten engaged days before. We celebrated in the Opryland ballroom with a midnight countdown and late night dancing!
When did y’all get married? May 24, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cakes came from a sweet lady who lives just down the road from Jacob’s parent’s home. She is largely retired from her business, but was happy to provide her services for Jacob’s mom, who has been ordering her cakes for Jacob’s birthday for over a decade! I handcrafted monogram-style letters to go on each cake and had Jess add some lovely floral touches. Words cannot describe how delicious and lovely they were in their sweet simplicity!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Be realistic about your wedding budget. When beginning the planning process, you think that it will be so easy to cut things that you may want. However, when it comes down to it, you may end up splurging on a few things. Also, don’t take on all the responsibilities yourself. I thought I could get away with planning everything, but ended up hiring a coordinator a few months out and was so thankful for her!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Since the wedding, Jacob and I moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where Jacob started his radiology residency at the Mayo Clinic. I will be starting my PhD program studying American literature at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Jacob’s work schedule is crazy, so we just like to savor our beach days and hiking adventures when we can!
Photographer: Rachel Moore Photography / Videographer: That’s Classic Media / Planner: Porsche Kristina / Venue: Private residence / Florist, Lighting, and Bridal Party Wreathes: Jessica Fell Davis of SOULflowers / Caterer: Gondola Pizza and Steakhouse Restaurant, River Cafe, and Family / Rentals: Christopher Equipment and Southern Events Party Rental Company / DJ: Josh Hearing / Beer Trailer: Budweiser / Paper Products: Beth of All Trades / Bride’s Gown: “MB3491” by Galina / Bridal Salon: David’s Bridal / Jewelry: Kristen Stancher / Hair and Makeup: Jessica Steingard / Bride’s Shoes: Toms Burlap Wedges / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Free People, Flying Tomato, Express, and Altar’d State / Groom’s Attire: ASOS