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Author: Marissa

Bride Rachel shares her North Carolina wedding complete with a monogram-filled floral chandelier!

I am delighted to introduce you to today’s bride, Rachel! Her North Carolina wedding to her beau, Sam, was held at her childhood home and filled with some of the most exquisite floral details I’ve seen! Y’all, a floral chandelier with a monogram. Yes!! Inspired by her parent’s upbringing in Louisiana, Rachel and Sam (and Rachel’s sweet mama!), worked with the team at McLean Events to create a wedding day that honored family heritage while incorporating their own style. Rachel said, “it was very special to be able to get dressed in my childhood bedroom and get married to the love of my life in my own front yard.” What a memorable way to start married life!

Big SW hugs to Perry Vaile for sharing this magical day with us!

When did y’all get married? June 17, 2017.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 325.

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. We really just happened upon my wedding dress. I was home in North Carolina with my mom and my sister, and I realized that I probably wouldn’t get to go dress shopping with them since I was headed back to Texas in a few days and wouldn’t see them for a few months. I really wanted the experience of getting to go dress shopping with them so I called Alexia’s Bridal last minute and set up an appointment for the next day. I hated all of the first dresses and probably tried on 7 before my sister pointed to another one in the room and asked if I could try that one on as it looked a lot more like what I had been describing. I tried that dress on and all of us immediately knew that was the dress so we bought it that day.

We knew from the beginning that we wanted to do a first look. I think that it was primarily because we wanted to be able to spend as much time together on our wedding day and spending the morning and afternoon apart was already too much! We also really wanted to be able to experience some of the cocktail hour that we spent so much time planning and wanted our wedding party to get to go straight to celebrating, rather than have to take pictures after the ceremony.

Both the ceremony and reception were at my childhood home. We always had a rather large front yard growing up, and I couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else! At first we considered doing the ceremony elsewhere until my dad asked me why we weren’t doing the ceremony at the house too, and I suddenly didn’t have an answer for him. From there, it all fell so perfectly into place, and it was very special to be able to get dressed in my childhood bedroom and get married to the love of my life in my own front yard.

We had a fairly traditional ceremony and chose not to write our own vows. In truth, I was a little concerned I would forget any vows I wrote, and my husband is way more eloquent than I am! It was important to us to involve some key family members so we asked Sam’s Aunt Lori, my Uncle Philip, and my cousin Bobby to read Bible verses for us. We chose to have them read Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12, 1 John 4: 7-11,18-19 and John 15: 9-12. Because it ended up being rather hot outside, we didn’t want the ceremony to take too long for fear of baking all of our guests!

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? The most stunning and memorable detail from the wedding was the floral arrangements coming from the ceiling of the tent. They looked like these mythical floral halos. We even had our monogram made out of flowers in the middle of the center one. But I also absolutely loved that we served my dad’s wine (that he makes himself) as the red wine for the wedding. It was so special to have his wine being served that I risked the white dress so I could have some and may have been drinking it while leaning as far away from the dress as possible!

What was Southern about your wedding? The entire wedding was inspired by New Orleans. Both of my parents grew up in Louisiana, so the vibrancy of New Orleans is important to me and to my family, and we wanted it to be a part of the wedding. We had servers carry around trays with oysters for guests during cocktail hour and did a second line to help move guests from cocktail hour to the reception. We also incorporated a Southern tradition in order to keep the rain away from our outdoor wedding, and boy did it work! 30 days before our wedding my father buried a bottle of Old Grand-Dad Bourbon upside down near our ceremony site. The day of the wedding, the sky was ominous, and we were all talking rain plans as all 20 weather apps that my mom downloaded said 100% chance of rain during our ceremony. But, the bottle of bourbon was supposed to keep the rain away. Sam and his groomsmen went to dig up the bottle of bourbon around 1:30, but as Sam finally pulled the bottle up from the ground (out of the unexpectedly deep hole that my dad has dug), the sky fell out and the guys had to run inside. The miracle of it was that as the guys killed the last of the bourbon, the weather cleared, and we were able to have the outdoor wedding we had dreamed of.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Sam and I spent a lot of time listening to different songs for our ceremony. We both agreed that we wanted a string quartet, so we were easily able to pick which songs we wanted for the seating of the families (“Canon in D Major”) and for the wedding party processional (“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”). But, it was my mother who really promoted having a trumpet for the bridal processional so it would stand out more outdoors and would give the ceremony more grandeur. We chose to do “Trumpet Voluntary” for the bridal processional, and while I may not have been on board with the trumpet at the beginning, it was perfect! For our first dance, Sam and I chose a slightly untraditional song, “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit. As a couple, we are more goofy than serious so doing a song that was slightly more upbeat suited us great, and as we listened to the lyrics the song fit us so perfectly. We have traveled to 32 countries on six continents together and are always looking for our next great adventure so the lyrics “We have traveled land and sea, but as long as you are with me there’s no place I’d rather be,” could not have been more spot on for our relationship.

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? Sam and I have been to a number of weddings and have learned that neither of us are huge wedding cake fans. At the same time, it was important to us to have the tradition of being able to cut the wedding cake so we compromised and had a small wedding cake amidst a more extensive dessert tent complete with petit fours, fruit tarts, Italian ices, chocolate and Bailey’s shooters, and many other desserts since we couldn’t choose just one. We also had strawberries as an ode to a Vanderbilt (where we both went to college) tradition. During Vanderbilt graduation they hold a large champagne and strawberries party to celebrate, so we wanted to include strawberries and champagne in our dessert tent.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. What started as two people sitting next to each other at a football game quickly turned into two best friends exploring the world together and falling in love in the process.
Tell us all about the proposal! Sam had been talking for weeks about this huge case he had at work on March 15th and how it was going to take him all day so we wouldn’t have any time to be together. But, the day before, he started mentioning that the case might get settled and if so, he wanted to do something fun to celebrate. I had a sneaking suspicion it was coming, since he had asked my dad for permission in November, and this was the longest period of time we had to spend together since we lived in different cities (me in Austin and him in Dallas). But he did a great job of throwing me off. He called me at around 1 PM that day and said that the case was done and that he was picking me up and we were going to go to our favorite picnic spot where he took me on my first trip to Dallas. We stopped off at our favorite wine and cheese shop on the way and then headed to the park. He may have given it away when he pulled out a fully packed picnic basket when we traditionally barely remember a bottle opener, but he was so cute and nervous that I didn’t want to say anything. We sat down, had some wine and cheese, and talked for a little (though he had trouble focusing because he clearly had other things on his mind). We have a tradition that when we celebrate anything big we save the cork and write down what we were celebrating. At one point while we were sitting there he grabbed the cork, wrote on it and passed it to me. On it he had written “The Day You Said Yes” and the date. As I was reading it he got down on one knee and proposed. While neither of us can quite remember what he said, I said yes, and the rest is history!
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? My favorite thing about wedding planning was getting to talk to my mom all of the time. It was fun to be creative and come up with ideas for the wedding that I had never seen before, but getting to brainstorm with my mom was the best part.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? The hardest part about planning our wedding was being able to articulate our vision. I had honestly not put too much thought into what I wanted my wedding my look like prior to actually starting the planning process and found that I never knew how to articulate my style or why I liked something or why I didn’t like something else. There is no way I could have put together such a well thought out and cohesive wedding without an amazing wedding planner and the help of my mom and Sam.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Using my dad’s homemade red wine for the wedding helped save money on the bar.
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? I don’t think I will be forgetting any part of the wedding anytime soon. But, if I had to pick the most memorable moment from the wedding, it would be walking over the bridge my dad had built for the wedding with him by my side, looking to the left at so many of our friends and family there to celebrate with us, and looking ahead to my best friends and immediate family waiting on the island. My dad jokingly whispers (or he thought he whispered) to me, “it’s not too late to turn back” which it seems everyone on the island (including Sam) heard. I was so happy and couldn’t stop laughing at the same time as I could see Sam standing in front of me.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Set a conservative budget, and identify ways to stick to it, but also give yourself a little leeway for those things you realize would make you so happy to be able to incorporate into your wedding. Also, don’t sweat the small stuff. At least one thing will go wrong on your wedding day, but you can’t get upset about it, you just have to enjoy the day and laugh things off – my dogs got out and ran across the yard during the processional and my dad and brother had to chase them down!

Photographer: Perry Vaile | Videographer: Reel Weddings | Planner: McLean Events | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Bride’s Home | Florist: The Watered Garden | Wedding Cake and Dessert Baker: Miel Bon Bons | Caterer: Rocky Top Catering | Rentals and Lighting: Party Reflections | Band: I Love This Band | Bride’s Gown: “Esther” by Vera Wang | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Makeup For Your Day | Bride’s Shoes: “Romance Satin Wedge” by Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Hayley Paige Occasions | Groom’s Attire: “Ivory Shawl Dinner Jacket” by Hickey Freeman | Groomsmen Attire: Bernard’s Formalwear | String Quartet: Elegant Ensembles | Additional Rentals: Party Tables | Italian Ice: Sweet Water Ices

McLean Events and Makeup for Your Day are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar CJOHN reply

    Enjoyed reading this 😊 I have Louisiana roots too!

  2. avatar Paulo Dasilva reply

    I love the black and white shot of the couple walking down the aisle

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Bride McKenzie shares her blue wedding at the historic Garibaldi Cafe.

Call me old school, but I not-so-secretly love when couples opt out of a first look. And today’s bride McKenzie is a girl after my own heart! She and her beloved Andrew decided that seeing each other when those big church doors opened for their ceremony was going to be just enough to calm their nerves, and it became one of McKenzie’s favorite moments of the day. (Though she did do a first look with her daddy: one of my favorite traditions!) Another favorite for this sweet duo? Seeing all their family and friends who made the trip to Savannah to celebrate with them. McKenzie said, “It was such a surreal feeling to look around the room. A year worth of planning had come together in the most romantic way. More importantly, it was the first, and probably only, time that all of our friends and families from both sides were all together.” You’ll definitely want to keep reading about these newlyweds!

Big SW hugs to Shannon Griffin for sharing this lovely Georgia day with us!

When did y’all get married? June 10, 2017.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100.

Our ceremony began at 2:00 p.m., so there was a little gap of time between when the ceremony ended and when we wanted the cocktail hour to begin. One of the things that Andrew and I love so much about Savannah is the history. Most of our guests had never even been to Savannah so we thought what better way to show everyone around than a Historic Trolley Tour. After the ceremony the guests were able to get the party started on air conditioned trolleys with some beverages. The tour guides were hilarious and kept them entertained while the wedding party was busy taking pictures. We had great feedback from everyone on what a great idea it was.

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I had seen the gown on Pinterest in a fall wedding picture a while before I ever got engaged. I loved the dress from the moment I saw the picture. When searching for my gown, every time I would try on a dress I kept thinking about the gown from the picture. I did a little research to find the designer and where there would be a trunk show close to me. Calvet Couture Bridal had a sample at their trunk show, and the ladies who worked there were amazing. They helped me to imagine the dress without sleeves and adjusting the neckline to better fit my style. Our wedding was going to be in Savannah in June and sleeves were just not going to work. The owner talked me through the changes we were going to make, and I couldn’t have been happier with the way it turned out!

Andrew and I wanted to keep the tradition of having our first look be as the church doors opened. Our photographer, Shannon Griffin, made a suggestion that I do a first look with my father instead. This ended up being such a special moment for us. This was a time for just my dad and I to spend with each other by ourselves. It was emotional, but helped me get over some of my nerves. After all… he was going to be the one walking me down the aisle. The pictures of these few minutes of my dad seeing me for the first time turned out absolutely amazing and something that I will cherish forever.

What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? Our ceremony was a half mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Even though Andrew is Catholic and I am Methodist, we always knew that we wanted to get married in a church. I will never forget the moment that those huge wooden doors swung open and I could see him at the end of the aisle. I am typically more reserved and was nervous about being in front of what I felt like was so many people (even though we had a relatively small wedding). When the doors opened and I could see him, all of my nervousness was calmed. Looking around and seeing our closest friends and family was such a blessing.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. A love that started four years ago just keeps getting sweeter each and every day!
Tell us all about the proposal! Andrew and I are both from Florida and have lived here our whole lives, so naturally the beach is our favorite getaway spot. We headed to Seaside for the first weekend in June to spend a little time relaxing after we both finished up our busy season with work. It seemed like a completely normal weekend for us. We stayed at the cutest beach cottage close to all the fun restaurants and shops! We had reservations for dinner at a restaurant overlooking the water, Fish Out of Water, so we headed up to get ready after a short time on the beach. On the way back to the cottage, Andrew mentioned that we needed to leave the cottage an hour early to head to dinner. I thought it was a little strange because we were staying right up the road and were going to just walk. He played it off saying that we should take our time walking there and we didn’t want to be late for our reservation. I agreed and didn’t think much about it. On the way to dinner we decided to walk along the beach because it was sunset. Everything was so beautiful! As we were walking along the beach we came to a spot where it was just the two of us. Before I knew it he was on his knee asking me to be his wife. The moment was perfect!

What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? My favorite part about wedding planning was the time that I was able to spend with Andrew and my family. Andrew and I did as much planning together as we could. Going into the planning process, I didn’t know how much Andrew would want to do, but he was more than helpful! After all, this was OUR wedding. We made little trips to Savannah several times throughout the year to plan, but also made it an excuse to have mini vacations. My family was a huge help when it came to everything coming together and needing an extra hand here and there along the way! It was important to me to include them in as much as possible.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? The hardest part about planning our wedding was definitely the guest list. From the beginning we wanted to make sure that we had an intimate wedding so that we could truly spend time with everyone who made the trip. Having a destination wedding made it a little easier because we knew right off the bat that some people were not going to be able to travel, but nonetheless it was still difficult. There is nothing worse than the feeling of not being able to invite people that you would love to have celebrate with you.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? We chose for our ceremony to be at a smaller Catholic church in Savannah, Sacred Heart. Sacred Heart was built in 1902 and had the charm that we were looking for. This beautiful brick church was filled with stained glass windows, wooden pews and floors, marble steps, gold detailing, and so much more. Our reception venue was a great surprise just when we were about to give up on our venue search. We had been to so many different venues on a weekend trip to Savannah shortly after we got engaged. We were struggling to find something within our price range, inside with air conditioning, while also providing a Savannah feel. We were finishing up lunch before heading back to Tallahassee when my mom texted me telling me she came across a venue that we should just check out really quick. So we did, and… it was perfect from the moment we walked in. Garibaldi Cafe was the original Fire Station of Savannah when it was built. It had a downstairs area to use for cocktail hour and then a gorgeous upstairs for the reception. Upstairs had huge windows and mirrors that made the room feel very large, but still intimate. It was the perfect size for our wedding with 100 people. It was just what we were looking for!

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? If I had to choose a favorite detail, I would say that it was the antique hobnail glass vases that we used for the floral arrangements. Over the year, my mom, grandma, and I traveled to different antique shops collecting opaque hobnail glass. The glass was mostly clear with hints of white and blue that matched everything perfectly. Because they were antiques, we collected each unique piece as we found them. Every table at the wedding had difference vases that made up the centerpieces. I loved that each table was unique!
What was Southern about your wedding? Because we were in Savannah, I feel like almost everything was Southern about the wedding. The old venues, the Victorian home we stayed in, ruffled bridesmaid dresses, wooden trolleys, huge oak trees, antique glass, delicious desserts, Savannah honey wedding favors…

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Andrew and I were both brought up listening to good ole country music. We both feel that there is nothing better than 90s country songs. Picking out our first dance song seemed like an impossible task for some reason. It was one of the last decisions that we made, but we couldn’t have been happier with our choice of “Keeper of the Stars” by Tracy Byrd. We also loved the song “Thinking out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, so we wrapped up our final dance with that one!

What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? There were so many great memories from our wedding day that I could go on forever. I think the moments that stand out to me the most now are the times that Andrew and I stopped to just take everything in. After we did our dances and walked around talking to all of our guests, we sat at our sweetheart table in the center of the room and just enjoyed everything. It was such a surreal feeling to look around the room. A year worth of planning had come together in the most romantic way. More importantly, it was the first and probably only time that all of our friends and families from both sides were all together. We were so blessed and humbled that so many people we love were able to make the trip to celebrate us.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? The best advice I would give is to pace yourself. I had an entire year to plan our wedding and I truly feel like it was the perfect amount of time for me. We started shortly after getting engaged and planned up until about three weeks before. We would do as much as we could on weekend trips to Savannah. We would try to knock out all of our appointments in as few days as possible to cut down on the traveling. Money can become stressful, so we paid vendors all along the way instead of having everything due the month before the wedding. It made things much nicer when unexpected costs came up at the last minute. AND always remember to make time for each other between all of the cake tastings and floral arrangements.

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? Dessert is my favorite course, so we went all out with a Southern-themed dessert table. Our three-tiered cake had layers of both Georgia peach and hummingbird. We also had several other mini desserts for the guests to sample. My favorite dessert is bananas foster, so we had mini bananas foster bundt cakes that were amazing. Andrew naturally picked out his favorite dessert… key lime pie. And no Southern sweets table would be complete without pecan pie. The last dessert we chose was a Savannah staple, pralines that melted in your mouth. This created a variety to choose from that was perfect for everyone’s palate!

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We had a unique way that we saved money, and it turned out to be one of my favorite parts about the weekend. We were sensitive to the fact that our wedding party was going to be spending a lot of money on travel and accommodations because our wedding was destination for everyone. It was important to us that we all stayed in the same place and we knew that the hotel options were not going to be affordable to everyone. That is when we came across Savannah Villas rental properties. They have three different properties that we were able to rent from them. One house was for my family, one house was for Andrew’s family, and one property was for us. The property that we stayed in comfortably fit 26 people! Our entire wedding party and their dates were all able to stay together in one huge house. This ended up being significantly cheaper than staying in a hotel and way more fun. The Victorian style house was built in 1871 and located in the Historic District. It was absolutely beautiful and our wedding party LOVED IT! They even had a penthouse suite for Andrew and I to have our own space that was a little separated from the rest of the house. We were able to have our hair and makeup done at the house with all of my girls while the guys used the downstairs apartment to get ready. We were all on the same property, but completely separated for getting ready. Since we were staying in a house, we were able to stock it full of breakfast foods and snacks for the weekend. It was such a comfortable feeling to have a home away from home for the weekend. Not to mention, the photographs of getting ready were beautiful!

Photographer: Shannon Griffin Photography | Planner: Lacy McLaurin with Design Studio South | Ceremony Venue: Sacred Heart Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Garibaldi Café | Florist: Kato Floral Designs| Wedding Cake Baker: Savannah Hall of Cakes | DJ: The Sound Guy | Paper Products: Do Tell Calligraphy and Design | Bride’s Gown: “Hayley” by Hayley Paige. Gown and Veil from Calvet Couture Bridal | Hair Stylist: Jessica Bailey with Enchanted Salon | Bride’s Shoes: “Imagine” by Vince Camuto | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “N358” in Blue Steel by Nouvelle Amsale | Menswear: The Black Tux | Napkins and Bridesmaid Bags: Monogrammit | House for Wedding Party: Savannah Villas | Guest Trolleys: Kelly Tours | Wedding Party Trolleys: Old Savannah Tours | Favors: Savannah Bee Company | Bridesmaid Robes: Fancy Art Decor

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

    Just love Savannah as a destination for a wedding, such a romantic place. Beautiful wedding! Congrats

  2. avatar John reply

    What a nice wedding :) Really cute. Gorgeous couple :) Congratulations to you guys.

  3. avatar Jackie reply

    Love, love, love the idea for the trolley ride around Savannah between the ceremony and cocktail hour. What a great way to be hospitable to your guests and not waste that chunk of time! I am going to Savannah as part of my 5 year anniversary trip and this wedding made me that much more excited – beautiful!

  4. avatar Groove Collective reply

    Such a beautiful wedding dress -stunning! Thanks for shearing this with us. Just the best for you.

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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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