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As a young girl, Sam never imagined her wedding, but she did spend hours on her grandparents’ peanut farm, daydreaming about moving to a big city and falling in love. When that dream came true, she and Jamie chose Hidden Valley Farms as their wedding venue–it combined their appreciation for the city that brought them together (Nashville) with Sam’s childhood dreams. Their venue was not the only meaningful detail–Sam and Jamie’s goal was a wedding celebration that represented “our heritage and our hearts.” Isn’t that the most precious way to combine two so very important aspects of life? There is so much more beauty than meets the eye in this lovely wedding, from decor collected from family, the most incredible something borrowed (don’t miss that story!), and florals inspired by Sam’s late grandmother.

Gracious alive, I’m glad Rachel Moore was there to bring it all to life for us through these photos!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I wore my grandmother Bobbie’s pearl earrings and diamond tennis bracelet as my something old, and my dress and veil were new. My something blue was a keepsake box that belonged to my great-grandmother, and my new sister-in-law gave me a silver sixpence for my shoe. My something borrowed was such a surprise. On the morning of our wedding, my aunt and my grandmother came by to share a piece of family history with me, and they let me borrow several trinkets, including my great-great-grandparents’ copper wedding rings. My great-great-grandparents immigrated to the United States from Italy in the mid-1890s, and they were madly in love, but had to come overseas at different times for financial reasons, so they were married by proxy. One of the rings says “Amore” which means love in Italian. I felt so honored to pin those rings to my bouquet along with the other family heirlooms.

Finding my wedding dress was such a special experience. I had just finished writing all of my final papers for graduate school when my mom and my two younger sisters traveled all the way to Nashville to go dress shopping with me. After several stores and several dresses, we went back to see the third dress I had tried on at the first store. I felt so effortlessly “me” as soon as I put it on, and knew it was what I was looking for. My dress was classic and comfortable, while also being unique and romantic, which is very much in line with my style.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look and we were glad that we did. We are both pretty private people and I don’t like to be the center of attention, so as the day progressed, I became a bit anxious. Right after we saw each other, it felt like everything else disappeared in an irreplaceable moment that just the two of us shared, and it is a memory we will cherish forever.

We decided to recite traditional vows. I was not expecting to be so emotional when my eyes locked with Jamie’s as we were joined as husband and wife, but I’ll never forget him wiping away my tears while I said my vows. We had so many guests comment on how sweet and reverent our wedding ceremony was, and that was our main objective.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? As a young girl, I never really imagined what my wedding day would be like; instead, I would spend hours on my grandparents’ peanut farm, looking up at the blue sky over hundreds of acres of land, while imagining what it would be like to one day move to a big city and fall in love. We had our wedding on a middle Tennessee farm to combine our appreciation for the city that brought us together with my childhood daydreams of falling in love on my grandparents’ south Alabama land.

Our flowers were picked to honor my late grandmother Bobbie, who was an Alabama Master Gardener and my hero. She could find beauty in any flower growing wild on the side of the road, and her perennials still blossom every spring, so I carried her small garden spade in my bouquet to have a piece of her with me. We worked with a farmer florist to pick the most elegant and natural flowers that were in season. All of our flowers were locally grown and free flowing, just like I wanted them.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail might be the one hundred candles we had in the barn. The brass candlesticks were a last minute addition and they not only took our breath away, but also added such an intimate and cozy feeling to the rainy day.

We had a three-tiered wedding cake with red velvet, vanilla buttercream, and carrot cake layers to cover all of our favorite flavors. We placed two gold “love birds” as toppers on the cake because Jamie’s nickname in his family is J-Bird, and his nephews call him Uncle Bird. We also had an incredible pie table with pumpkin, coconut cream, key lime, and blueberry pies. At Thanksgiving, my great-aunt Betty always has a quaint pie table that my family gathers around after the meal to enjoy time together, and I loved having a subtle nod to this tradition.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We both joined Teach for America as corps members in 2011 and were placed in Nashville. We met the day we moved and spent that summer in the Mississippi Delta teaching summer school and becoming friends. We tried to stay just friends, but we couldn’t deny that there was something special between us for very long. On one fateful August afternoon, Jamie was going to the Nashville Public Library to do some work for school and asked me if I wanted to go, too. The two of us have been a happy pair and by each other’s sides ever since that first “date” at the library.
Tell us all about the proposal! After celebrating three years of dating, Jamie proposed on August 22, 2014. His birthday fell on a Tuesday, so I kept telling him to pick out a restaurant to go to for a nice Friday night dinner. Friday came and he hadn’t picked a place yet, but he called me that morning to say that we had reservations at one of our favorite little cafes in Sylvan Park. When I came home later that day to white rose petals on my front steps, I certainly suspected a proposal. I walked in and there he was, holding a colorful bouquet in the candlelight. He said the most beautiful words and got down on one knee in the kitchen. Before he could even finish the question, I exclaimed the happiest “Yes!” with the happiest tears. We decided that we wanted to wait to call our families until a little later in order to take in the moments of only us knowing. As we walked up to the restaurant, all of a sudden, I heard a group say “Congratulations!” I looked closer to see my sisters, Jamie’s brother and sister-in-law, and both sets of our parents, all of whom had never met each other before that night. It was the perfect private proposal on a regular Friday afternoon, and then the most charmed evening with our closest loved ones.
When did y’all get married? October 3, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? When a North Carolina groom marries an Alabama bride, it is bound to be inherently Southern. Aside from that, we wanted our wedding celebration to represent our heritage and our hearts. We collected old photographs to showcase our beautiful families. My grandfather Sammy worked tirelessly for months leading up to our wedding to cut down a dying oak tree on his farm to make the wood slabs for our reception centerpieces, and my uncle let us borrow bottles that he had collected for decades to sit atop the wood. We had a very Southern menu of barbeque, macaroni and cheese, shrimp and grits, veggies, and biscuits, served with local jams and honey. Sammy is an important person in my life, so it was an honor to have him say the most touching blessing before our reception meal. It felt just like home.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? With all of the anticipation leading up to our wedding day, we knew that laying the foundation for a strong marriage was the most important part. We read books together, prayed together, and attended premarital counseling courses together. We genuinely enjoyed the season of engagement because we viewed it as a time to prepare for marriage.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Looking at each other during the ceremony and reciting our vows was the most memorable moment. We had the dreariest weather on our wedding day, but only joyful tears came down my cheeks during our intimate ceremony. Although our outdoor ceremony was quickly moved indoors, we could have been anywhere in the world, and all that mattered was that we were publicly committing our lives to one other in the presence of God and everyone we loved.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Breathe before and on the day of your wedding; be completely present and take in both the small and monumental moments. Understand that the best is yet to come, but do your best to savor the time that is fleeting.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Right now, we are soaking in being newlyweds and we love it. It still blows us away that we get to spend the rest of our lives together. We love coming home and just being married, as simple as that sounds. We are currently saving up to buy our first home. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for us!

Photographer: Rachel Moore Photography | Planner: Modern Vintage Events | Venue: Green Door Gourmet at Hidden Valley Farms | Florist: Basil and Bergamot | Caterer and Cake: Whole Foods Catering | Rentals: Southern Events Party Rentals | Lighting: Bright Event Productions | Band: 24/7 | Paper Products: Marked | Bride’s Gown: Ti Adora Style 7451 by Alvina Valenta | Hair and Makeup: Katie Russo Beauty | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan | Menswear: Jos. A. Bank | Musicians: Mockingbird Musicians | Getaway Car: Matchless Transportation

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Nashville Wedding Planners: Sam + Jamie’s Tennessee Farm wedding | Modern Vintage Events reply

    […] heartfelt and beyond lovely. We were thrilled when their wedding was chosen to be featured by Southern Weddings Blog. Congratulations again, Sam and Jamie and here’s to many beautiful years […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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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

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Jessica reply

    I love the character in each of these photos! Rachel absolutely captured the joy in this special day. Beautiful!

  2. avatar Breanna reply

    I have never seen such a beautiful ceremony site! The wedding rock was amazing. Completely took my breath away. I love the little meaning behind everything in the entire wedding. There was such sentiment in every piece of this celebration and the photography caught the love in every shot. Gorgeous!

  3. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #153 – Floridian Weddings reply

    […] feeling like this Tennessee ceremony spot is straight out of a Fern Gully […]

  4. avatar Dana reply

    their ceremony venue is breathtakingly beautiful!

  5. avatar Dana Stevens reply

    Hi my name is Dana Stevens and my sister is getting married in August of this year. We happened to come across a picture of one of the bridesmaids in the Tennessee county wedding by Rachel Moore and was wondering what the brand of the dress is? It’s the dress that’s high- low, mushroom color with spagetti straps and lace on the chest part. Let me know if you have any idea where the dress is from! Thank you!
    Dana Stevens

  6. avatar Top 4 Bridesmaid Dresses Trends Your Maids Will Love in Fall/WinterBridesmaid Dresses Ideas & Wedding Color Trends | reply

    […] Wedding Chicks | Sisterlee Photography via Inspired by This | Rachel Moore Photography via Southern Weddings | Bicyclette […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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