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Author: Marissa

Bride Mary shares her dusty blue wedding at Riverwood Mansion.

We often hear how stressful wedding planning can be, but I love it when the brides we feature share how much fun it can also be! Please meet today’s bride Mary. With the help of her sweet mother-in-law and the team at Riverwood Mansion, she had a joyful wedding planning process that culminated with a super soggy wedding day filled with so many meaningful details even the rain couldn’t dampen their joy. “It rained and it poured all day long. And we still got married and had the time of our lives,” said Mary. She also shared the many ways she and Tyler included their family and heritage into the wedding day: like my personal favorite, how Mary walked down the aisle carrying a bouquet of her late mama’s favorite flowers. Keep reading to learn more!

Thanks for sharing, Cassidy Carson!

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. My sister and I went dress shopping solo. We looked at three boutiques before finding “the dress” at Modern Trousseau in downtown Nashville. I thought I wanted column; it was ball gown. I thought I wanted beading; it was all lace. I thought I wanted sleeves, and well, I got strapless (but then added sleeves!). Dress shopping is a little like love in that way: you might go into it thinking you have one idea, but trying it on makes all the difference.

Our venue was fantastic, because it offered a package that included so many of the wedding components that can add up really quickly (linens, china, flatware, lighting, etc). I think in the end, staying within most of their package offerings saved us a ton of money – and headaches.

You likely can’t tell from the photos, because Cassidy Carson and her team are MAGICIANS, but it rained and it poured all day long. And we still got married and had the time of our lives. So, sit back, relax, and hire Cassidy (or the best photographer you can find!). No better place to invest your limited dollars for piece of mind.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Music is really important to me and Tyler and has been one of the most meaningful aspects to our relationship thus far, so we really wanted to reflect that during our wedding. To start, we hired a band we KNEW we’d love, because they’d performed at two other family members’ weddings! Next, I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s “Canon.” It’s not a particularly unusual choice, but it was special to me as a known favorite of my late mother. Finally, we shared our first dance to Bob Dylan’s “Tonight I’ll be Staying Here with You.” We both love Dylan, and the super sappy lyrics can’t be beat, but even more meaningful, the track was off on the “Nashville Skyline” record and recorded just down the street!

What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? Literally the whole thing was meaningful. From being married by the mother of my childhood best friend (hi, Rev. Cover!), to the speeches and readings by some of our closest friends, to walking down the aisle with a bouquet of my late mom’s favorite flowers (blue hydrangeas), to incorporating so many family photos and Southern touches, I couldn’t have asked for a better or more personal day. And perhaps just as important as the traditions we chose to include are those we chose to exclude (because, hey, publicly removing a garter with your teeth in front of all your loved ones doesn’t have to be for everyone!).

What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? All of the little decisions! The big ones – venue, band or DJ, groom :) – happened pretty fast. But the LITTLE ones were killer (extra draping at the venue? Specific song to play during your introduction at the reception? Ruffled or plain tux shirt?). In the end, I don’t think I will look back and notice all the little things, so to all the future brides out there, try not to sweat it.

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? Cake! It was six tiers, traditional almond flavor with buttercream frosting (plus fresh strawberries) and included in our amazing package (have I mentioned how great Riverwood Mansion is yet?).

What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? Getting to spend so much time letting the creative juices flow with my amazing Mother-in-Law, Sherry! I know it sounds cheesy, and very outside of the stereotypical norm, but Sherry and I share a love of Southern food, blue and white porcelain, fine card stock, details, and my husband, Tyler. My wedding, much like my life now, would not have been the same without her.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We love cats, politics, traveling, fine wine, good food, the South, justice & equity, concerts, supporting each other’s dreams, and each other…a lot…a lot a lot.
Tell us all about the proposal! Tyler and I had been dating for 5 years by the time he proposed (we were in no rush!), but we were actually living in two different places (me, in Washington, D.C. for work, and him in Nashville, TN, which was destined to be our forever home). I flew in to visit Nashville one weekend in October, landing Friday around 1pm, and he offered to pick me up from the airport. On the drive back, I could tell he was acting a little strange, but I just assumed that was because he had a bit more work to do before we could fully enjoy the weekend. But when we got back home, he couldn’t wait to get me upstairs to our bedroom. On the bed was my 16-year-old (at the time) childhood cat, Millie (“Millenium”), surrounded by (and also eating) flowers and the concert ticket stubs from every single show we had seen together. It took me a moment to process what was happening, but when he dropped to one knee and held out the ring, two and two finally clicked and I couldn’t wait to say yes. To top it all off, he somehow arranged to get our families in town (who literally span the East and West coast!) to celebrate. I won’t forget the love of that moment for a long, long time.
When did y’all get married? April 22, 2017.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160.
Did you decide to do a first look? We did. We wanted that moment to just be together before all the fanfare – and to help settle the nerves a little bit (it worked!).
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Tyler and I met interning for our local congressman at his D.C. office and own a home in East Nashville, so Riverwood Mansion – with its famous Tennessee political history, (including events hosting seven U.S. presidents), location (5 minute drive from our house), and gorgeous grounds – stood out to us and immediately just felt “right”. We looked at other places, but in reality, there was no other place for us.
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? That’s too hard to choose! I loved our memory hutch – with photos of loved ones and weddings past – and the fourteen blue and white vases we were able to incorporate as reception centerpieces from my personal collection.
What was Southern about your wedding? We served fried chicken for dinner. ‘Nuff said?
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? The warmth and love from our friends and family. From the ceremony readings to the reception speeches, I have never, ever, felt more supported or loved than during my wedding. I feel blessed to have had so many wonderful people participate and encourage our commitment to one another. I just don’t think it gets better than that.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Find a partner! You may not need a wedding planner per se (though, I hear they’re great!), but you will need someone to bounce ideas off of, and gut check your more “out there” concepts (I seriously considered enlisting my brothers to hang greenery from the chandelier in the reception space, until a kind soul suggested I maybe check with the florist to see if that was something they could handle). Find a sounding board, use them, and then thank profusely.

Photographer: Cassidy Carson | Planner, Ceremony Venue, and Reception Venue: Riverwood Mansion | Florist: Enchanted Florist | Wedding Cake Baker and Caterer: 8 Lavender Lane | Band: Nick Carver Band | Paper Products: BP Calligraphy | Vintage Stamps: Vintage Postage Shop | Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Amanda Gros | Bride’s Shoes: Nina Shoes from Amazon | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Weddingpixie reply

    Love the vintage bridal car, fab! Such a happy looking couple, congrats!

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Bride Ashley shares her Texas hill country wedding at Boot Ranch.

Much to my husband’s chagrin, I’m not much of an outdoors-y gal, but today’s wedding just might have won me over with its beautiful views of the hill country. I’m delighted to introduce you to today’s bride, Ashley. She and her groom, Aaron, chose to celebrate their big day in Fredericksburg, Texas as a tribute to her late grandfather. Not only had he lived there before his passing, but he left his home to her family, creating many fond memories. Ashley said, “When we are down there, the focus is on enjoying the people around you and being present… all the other stuff and stresses seem to melt away.” I cannot think of a better reason for choosing a wedding locale. Of course, said views of Boot Ranch don’t hurt! Keep reading to learn more about Ashley and Aaron’s Texas wedding and their love story.

Big SW hugs to Feather and Twine for sharing Ashley and Aaron’s wedding with us!

My mom and I shopped for “the dress” for several weekends in Dallas – we called it marathon shopping. It felt like we went to every store in Dallas before I found out that one of the stores was doing a Vera Wang Trunk Show. We decided to go and see if I liked any of the dresses. They also had a photographer and a Vera Wang rep from New York present to tell us all about the dresses I tried on. The moment I tried on my dress I knew it was the perfect dress and the one for me. It was timeless, ethereal, and breath taking. The photographer captured those special moments revealing the dress to my mom. Also, the Vera Wang rep gave me a copy of Vera Wang Weddings book and left a special note in it for me.

What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Our first look – having that special moment between us in such a busy day to just put everything on pause and savor the feelings, emotions, and excitement. I will never forget the look he gave me when he turned around and saw me for the first time – his eyes were filled with so much love and adoration for me and at that moment I knew I couldn’t be more lucky to have him in my life.

I wanted a wedding that was classic, timeless, vintage, and romantic while still being a wedding that people said after the fact “that was such a fun wedding” or “I had the best time!” So I choose to do some things as a nod to old Southern traditions: our family hosted a welcome dinner Thursday night at our Fredericksburg house, I wore my mom’s cathedral-style wedding veil, and we did a hora or chair dance. We chose to display small pictures of our families sprinkled throughout the reception venue because as much as it was about Aaron and me, it was also about two families coming together, and our five-piece band with back-up dancers played music everyone could dance to!

Our ceremony was not a traditional ceremony… Aaron is Jewish, and I am Christian. We decided to have an interfaith rabbi conduct the ceremony. We custom-tailored every part of our wedding ceremony to reflect our personalities and the beliefs/traditions we value. I also decided for my mom to walk me down the aisle and my dad to meet her at the alter to do the hand off since my mom was the person who raised me. Our vows were very meaningful to us as well – “I promise to love you, respect you, laugh with you, and soothe your tears. I promise to share my life openly and honestly with you and to encourage and nurture your growth. Together, we continue this journey of exploration, trust, and communication. I promise to savor each day, reveling in our loving relationship and in our pursuit of happiness.” We felt these words reflected our core values and desire for each other to be the best people we can be.

We had a dessert bar filled with fun candy (hot tomales, twizzlers, sour patch watermelons, M&Ms, skittles, etc.), decorated cookies, and an assortment of macaroons in old-fashioned apothecary candy jars all centered around my cake. I decided to have a butter cream cheese and fresh strawberry yellow cake. I wanted something refreshing and delicious and to stray away from what was typically done. The cake was decorated with laurel like greenery and vibrant flowers pin-tucked into the greenery around the base of the tiered cake.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. Timing was everything for us – we had known that we were meant for one another when we dated at LSU, we just had to find out who we were as individuals before we could grow a life together successfully.
Tell us all about the proposal! We had been dating long-distance from Dallas, where Aaron lived, to Nashville, where I lived, for a little over a year. We knew after dating six months that one of us would move so that we could be together and enjoy the little things in life that regular couples get to enjoy, like going to the grocery store together, etc. Well, Aaron flew up to Nashville in January and let me know he had made dinner reservations at this new restaurant I had been wanting to go to. He finished getting ready before I did (as usual), went into my living room, and waited on me to finish up. Shortly after, I walked out of my bedroom all ready and he greeted me and told me how lucky he was to have me in his life and how he couldn’t imagine his life without me. He then got down on one knee and proposed. It was so special and intimate – which was exactly what I wanted. My engagement ring has more meaning than a typical engagement ring does – the center stone is from a ring my grandfather had and left to my mom after he passed away a little less than 5 years ago after a tragic accident. Aaron knew that I adored my grandfather and thought he hung the moon and decided to incorporate a piece/ memory of him into my ring.
When did y’all get married? April 22, 2017.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 156.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For our ceremony I decided to have a more traditional approach and went with a harp and two violinists. I wanted to keep it classic but with a fun twist for the music selections. They played songs that I had always loved. Aaron and I chose our first dance song, “You are the Best Thing,” based on the lyrics and how true it resembled our feelings for each other. We also felt like this song would remain somewhat of a classic song. I chose “Wonderful Tonight” for my dad’s song because I felt it was special in the meaning of how much love a parent can have. Aaron chose to dance with his mom to “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” because he used to sing it to his mom when he was little.
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? I can honestly say it was the most perfect day… I want to go back and relive that day over and over if I could! My wedding was all about the details and making those details reflect Aaron’s and my fun-loving and unique personalities. One of the details I did love was that I chose to wear Kate Spade rose gold sparkly Keds for my wedding shoes. I didn’t want to wear a shoe I couldn’t dance the night away in. So it was kind of funny to have this timeless classic dress and sparkly tennis shoes underneath it!
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? The best part was having all the people I loved the most surround and support Aaron and me while we went through this life-changing event. I have never felt so loved and so special!
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Stressing over the details and the feeling of having to take everything on.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Some of my vendors were local to Fredericksburg and provided better pricing than other vendors from larger nearby cities. Also, I created all my save-the-dates and wedding invitations on Minted instead of from a traditional paper store.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Do what you want to do and not necessarily what you are expected to do or what someone else wants you to do. Also to keep things in perspective – remember that all this planning is for one day, and the things you stress or get upset about beforehand don’t really matter because at the end of the day it is about you getting married to the love of your life and if that is achieved the wedding was a success!

Photographer: Feather and Twine | Planner: Melanie McKinley from Mayhar Designs | Venue and Caterer: Boot Ranch | Florist: Sprout | Wedding Cake Baker: Sophie’s Bakery | Rentals and Lighting: Whim | Band or DJ: Jordan Kahn Orchestra | Paper Products: Minted | Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang | Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil/Jewelry: Stanley Korshak | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Kiss By Katie | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale | Menswear: The Black Tux

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Jackie reply

    Her bouquet is gorgeous, and I love the different dress the maid/matron of honor wore. It looks so beautiful with the blue dresses.

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Bride Taryn shares her pretty, pink wedding at Ravenswood Mansion.

Fellow pink-loving gals, come on in close, and please meet today’s bride Taryn! She said she “wanted the wedding to be rooted in Southern tradition but with elements of surprise.” And y’all I would say that Taryn and her beau Chris did that so well thanks to traditional Southern elements like a receiving line to welcome guests to the Ravenswood Mansion and late night cookies with milkshake shooters for an extra fun twist, plus much more! Keep reading to learn how the newlyweds incorporated family traditions into their romantic wedding day under the clear-top tent!

Big SW hugs to Krisin Sweeting for sharing!

We knew we wanted to have the ceremony in a church. The sanctuary had many design elements that were similar to the church I grew up in back in Mississippi. The reception venue was special because not only were we able to rent the grounds for the reception, but also the gorgeous home that was built in 1825. We used the house all day to get ready that morning, take our first look photos, and then for the reception. The rooms of the home were open and bright, and the grounds were stunning, overlooking the hills of Williamson County. It was the perfect serene backdrop we were looking for.

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I went to A LOT of stores. I travel for work, so I took the opportunity to look for the dress in every town I visited. Even though I traveled far and wide, I ultimately found my dress right in Nashville. I immediately fell in love with the flowing organza skirt and unique lace. It was the perfect mix of vintage with a modern twist.

What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Enjoy the process because it will be over so quickly. Focus on a few key elements that really matter to you, and then trust the professionals with the rest. Let go of what you can’t control (and that includes weather!) Most of wedding planning is really for your guests, but try to come up with a few things that mean something just to you!

My grandfather officiated parts of the ceremony. He also officiated my parents’ wedding and my sister’s wedding. It was so special to have him at the altar with us, to administer Communion and announce us man and wife. The most meaningful part of the ceremony for me was when my grandfather led us through Communion. Only Chris and I were taking part while the guests enjoyed a vocal performance. It was such an imitate and precious moment for the three of us.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes. We choose to go with a first look so that we had a moment just for us early in the day. We also thought (correctly) that there would be tears, and wanted to have that real moment. It gave us more time to spend together on that day and more opportunities to take special pictures.

We included Southern details each step of the way. We chose hand calligraphy invitations. The location of Ravenswood as a traditional Southern mansion for the full day of celebrations. My dad and I rode together to the church in a vintage white Jaguar. We had a formal leave from the church and the reception venue. We incorporated a receiving line as guests arrived at Ravenswood, and we were able to greet each and every one. The guests had Southern appetizers during cocktail hour of shrimp and grits and hot chicken mac and cheese. We offered a seated outdoor dinner, and the bride and groom dined at a sweetheart table. We also had a cold snap right before the event so I ordered ivory pashmina shawls that were given out to guests as they arrived. Also, the cake knife and server were a gift from the bride’s parents in the couple’s silver pattern.

What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? The most memorable moment for me was sitting at the sweetheart table with Chris. All our guests were talking and laughing while being seated in the tent, there was a beautiful sunset, and we were officially married. I just remember that moment so well, of taking in the moment that everything had come together just as we had dreamed.

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? My favorite detail of the wedding was the clear tent. As guests arrived for the beginning of the seated dinner, the sun was just beginning to set. I knew I wanted everyone to enjoy the beautiful, plush landscape, green hills in the distance, and the sunset. The clear tent gave the protection we needed while giving an uninterrupted view for the guests. As the night came, you could see the stars through the tent while the lights inside the tent gave such a romantic feeling.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. A boy from New York City and a girl from Mississippi met on a blind date in Nashville, and we both knew very quickly that this was it!
Tell us all about the proposal! We were supposed to be leaving that day to travel to Mississippi to celebrate my grandmother’s 90th birthday, but Chris had my sister make up a reason that we couldn’t leave until the next morning. So we were on our way to dinner that night when Chris made a detour up to the State Capital Building which sits high on a hill above Nashville. And there, overlooking the city where we met and fell in love, with a gorgeous sunset, Chris got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was just the two of us there, and we were so caught up taking in the moment that eventually his brother called thinking that perhaps something had gone wrong! The next morning we left for Mississippi and surprised my family. My grandmother said it was the best 90th birthday present.
When did y’all get married? May 6, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. During the ceremony, friends of the bride, who are also sisters, sang a beautiful duet of “Wonderful, Merciful Savior.” They sang while the bride and groom took Communion. The song really set the tone for the worshipful moment we wanted to have during the ceremony. I choose “Trumpet Voluntary” to walk down the aisle. The church had an amazing pipe organ, and the song was a great fit for the fanfare of the organ. Plus, I wanted to make a big entrance. Our first dance at the reception was “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis. The groom is a huge Elvis fan, so it was an easy choice for him.
What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? Why did you choose it? Each layer of our wedding cake featured a duo serving. Guests were given a slice of vanilla almond with chocolate, vanilla almond with strawberry, or vanilla almond with dreamsicle. Also late in the evening, we served chocolate chip cookies with milkshake shooters.
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? I really enjoyed putting together the big picture: traditional Southern elegance with a modern twist. I wanted the wedding to be rooted in Southern tradition but with elements of surprise. I really liked planning the logistics of how guests would arrive, move through the house, and then be seated in the tent. I really wanted the guests to feel the Southern hospitality and then just have fun.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? The hardest part of planning the wedding was letting go of the “what ifs.”
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We choose less expensive chairs for the seated dinner. I knew the beautiful natural landscape plus the floral arrangements and tabletop decor would create the perfect ambiance without needing an expensive chair.

Photographer: Kristin Sweeting Photography | Videographer: Matt G Video | Planner, Florist, and Lighting: Regalo Design | Ceremony Venue: Forest Hills United Methodist Church | Reception Venue: Ravenswood Mansion | Wedding Cake: Signature Cakes by Vicki | Caterer: Chef Penelope’s Catering | Rentals: Southern Events | Ceremony Music: Silver Strings | Band: The Respectables | Paper Products: The Lyrical Pen | Bride’s Gown: “Odette” by Modern Trousseau | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Cassie” in Blush by Jenny Yoo from Bella Bridesmaids | Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Transportation: Matchless Transportation

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Wedding Pixie reply

    Stunning bride. Love the Badgley Mischka shoes!

  2. avatar Florent Vidal Photography reply

    Congratulations to the beautiful couple!
    This wedding looks incredible. I agree with the bride, the clear tent must have been such a stunning touch to the reception x

  3. avatar Jackie reply

    Her dress and veil – amazing! I love when friends/family members are officiants for weddings. It always makes it so special.

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