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Bride Lauren shares her classic wedding–the first to be held in OU’s Great Reading Room!

I will never turn down an opportunity to explore a college campus, and if there’s anything I love more than a leafy quad, it’s a gothic library reading room. So as you might imagine, this on-campus marriage between two college sweethearts had me weak at the knees from the first peek. But then Lauren explained that the Great Reading Room was one of her favorite places to study in college and that, “if our future children choose to go to OU someday, I can’t help but think how cool it will be for them to study in the same spot their parents were married.” Be still my heart.

Lauren and Austin’s connection to their wedding venue doesn’t even stop there, as Austin is currently a law student on campus! As a law school grad married to a lawyer myself, I could certainly identify with Lauren’s strategically-timed wedding DIY projects. That kind of consideration on her part, coupled with his willingness to put the books down whenever possible, sounds like a great foundation for a lawyer marriage! (And their focus on their families doesn’t hurt, either!) But I’ll scoot aside and let our bride take it from here.

Many thanks to Emily Ann Hughes for sending this beauty our way!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Austin and I both graduated from the University of Oklahoma, so choosing to get married on campus was especially significant, as it was the place our love story began. We are so lucky—and honored—to be the first couple to ever be married in the Great Reading Room. When searching for a venue, we wanted something that was unique, historic, and the opposite of “cookie cutter”. OU offered us all of that (and more!) and we will be forever grateful for the rare opportunity. As a college student, the Great Reading Room was one of my favorite places to study, but I never imagined that I would marry the love of my life in that same room. If our future children choose to go to OU someday, I can’t help to think how cool it will be for them to study in the same spot their parents were married. Additionally, the historic ballroom on campus has held celebrations since the 1920s and was the perfect spot for our reception.
Did you decide to do a first look? We went the traditional route and chose not to do a first look. In our experience, forgoing a first look really added to the excitement and anticipation of the day. Not just for Austin and me (no matter what, we would have been excited!), but for our family and wedding party. The whole day felt like Christmas!

What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? My parents were so eager (in the best way possible!) and happy to be involved in the planning process—it made everything so easy and fun! Since we lived in different states, I talked to them on the phone for over an hour almost every single night. We would go over RSVPs, discuss vendor meetings and options, and talk through all of my crazy ideas. It was such a wonderful bonding experience and I’m so thankful for all the special moments we shared together throughout the wedding planning process. From dance lessons to dress fittings, they were there for it all. I will carry those memories with me for the rest of my life.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Austin was in his first year of law school while we were planning our wedding, so I was mindful of his school schedule (papers, mid-terms, finals, etc.) when talking about our wedding. I used finals week to start most of my DIY projects and weekends to talk about guest lists, budgets and timelines. And despite his hectic schedule, he made every effort to attend all vendor meetings and walk-throughs.

When did y’all get married? June 24, 2017.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We are college sweethearts who have known each other since we were eleven-years-old.
Tell us all about the proposal! Austin proposed on an unsuspecting walk with our dog, Honey. I was in leggings and a t-shirt, so it’s safe to say I was taken completely by surprise, which is exactly what Austin always hoped for. We celebrated that evening with our families (our parents are actually neighbors!) in our hometown of Flower Mound, Texas. The next day we drove up to Norman, Oklahoma to tour the University of Oklahoma College of Law (where Austin is currently a 2L). After our tour, we stopped in for a drink at the dive-bar where we had our first kiss almost eight years ago!

I went wedding dress shopping for the first time with just my mom and dad. I have a close relationship with my dad, and I wanted him to be there to experience that special moment with me. All along I thought I knew exactly the type of dress I wanted, but after a few fails, the stylist at Bridal Boutique in Lewisville suggested I try something simple. She pulled a stunning Enzoani gown (which totally had Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy vibes!), and I absolutely fell in love. I had never pictured myself in something like it, but it totally fit my timeless and classic style. We paired it with a Lee-Ann Belter lace jacket and I was sold. The following weekend I returned to the boutique with my mom, sisters, and future mother-in-law and sisters-in-law (5 of us in total and 2 were there via Face-Time) and officially said yes to the dress. I truly had the best experience and was lucky to be able include all of the people I love!

If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? One of my dear friends designed our invitations, programs, place cards, and welcome box details. It was fun to be so involved in the process! We exchanged about 100 emails, so I’m very thankful for her patience and kind heart. I also printed everything locally, which was really cost effective. We took on a lot of DIY projects, too. My dad and I built, stained, and painted all the wood signage for the wedding, and he constructed and hung the garden lights on the patio. I also re-purposed a lot of items from discount stores and antique shops.

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? From the black and gold tiled floor to the dramatic windows, the swinging leather doors, the old books on display, and all the ornate architectural elements, I’ll forever be in awe of all the beautiful details of the Great Reading Room. We added minimal decor, as the space didn’t need a lot. But the arrangements at the altar, the candles, the greenery on the tables, and the string quartet really made the room feel wedding-like. It was beyond my wildest dreams.
What was Southern about your wedding? Both our ceremony and reception were located on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, in buildings that were both built in the 1920s. I think historic buildings and details add a simple and elegant Southern flair. Additionally, we sipped on Southern Comfort (Austin’s favorite!) and Shiner Light Blonde all night long and line-danced to “Copperhead Road.” We also incorporated our “crest” on our wedding cake, invitations, programs, custom-made cups, and signs—and my dad even drew it in chalk along the pathway to the ceremony. We plan to incorporate it in our home someday, too!

What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Saying our vows to each other in front of our closest friends and family will always be the moment that shines the brightest in my memory. We put a lot of thought into our ceremony, and every detail was a perfect representation of everything Austin and I love, value, and cherish.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Save everything! I’m such a pack rat for sentimental items I even saved all my to-do lists (there were hundreds), because I know one day I will love to look back and remember all the hard work we put in. Our guest room closet is now dedicated to anything that was remotely wedding-related. Additionally, hire a planner and a really good photographer. (For us, that was Blair Sims Events and Emily Ann Hughes Photography!) Trust me, it makes a difference. After that, just enjoy the experience. And always remember to be grateful during the happy times and graceful during the stressful times.

Although Austin and I are not really the mushy-gushy type, we always knew we wanted to write our own vows. We heard from so many guests that they were some of the most emotional vows they’d ever heard! My hope is that it helped our friends and family understand our hearts just a little bit more. We had our hometown church pastor marry us, who also led our pre-marital counseling sessions, too. We both felt so comfortable in his presence and it made our ceremony that much more intimate and personal. We spent our honeymoon in Italy and decided to re-read our vows to each other while we were in Rome. (We were both so nervous standing up in front of everyone that it was hard to remember every single word the other said!) Hearing them again felt as special as it did the first time. That ended up being one of the most special parts of our trip. Here’s a line from Austin’s: “No matter what we plan, or what life throws at us, I will do whatever it takes—no matter how hard—to make you feel loved. A person as amazing as you deserves nothing less than that, and I am the luckiest man in the world to be able to give that to you.” And here’s a line from mine: “Today, as I stand here in front of you, I am still captivated by your selfless, humble, caring and respectful nature as I was the day I fell in love with you. Your heart is the biggest I know. It loves unconditionally and without hesitation. It is forgiving and kind. It always seeks to find the beauty in my madness, and most of all, it loves me for me.”

One of the sweetest moments of the day was when our nieces and nephews screamed, “We’re officially cousins now!” Austin and I are both crazy lucky that our families have grown so close over the years, and on our wedding day it really felt like we were all one big happy family. Both of our parents were beaming with happiness and it made our wedding day that much more special seeing their smiling (and sometimes crying!) faces.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had both a string quartet for our ceremony and a live band for our reception. We kept it pretty traditional for the ceremony. I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” and we recessed to Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March.” There is just something about those recognizable songs that just tug at your heart strings. We entered the reception to “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates (one of my all-time favorites!). Our first dance was “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison. We both felt like that was a song we could see ourselves dancing to in the kitchen when we are both old and grey. It is such a classic song that I’ll never get tired of hearing. For our last dance, we chose “If I Should Fall Behind” by Bruce Springsteen.
What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? For our five-tier wedding cake, Austin and I chose traditional white wedding cake, lemon cake, strawberry cake, and coconut cake with decadent buttercream frosting. For Austin’s groom’s cake he chose chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. We wanted there to be a little something for everyone! I often make sugar cookies for holidays and parties, so I thought it would mean a lot to our guests to make some for the wedding. I made 150 iced sugar cookies in the shape of the state of Oklahoma as a take-home gift (and included a print out of my recipe, too!). As stressful as it may sound, it helped take my mind off of things the week of the wedding—even if it was just for a moment.

Photographer: Emily Ann Hughes Photography | Videographer: Glorious Day Films | Planner: Blair Sims Events | Ceremony Venue: The Great Reading Room in Bizzell Memorial Library | Reception Venue: Molly Shi Boren Ballroom at the University of Oklahoma | Florist: Poppy Lane Design | Wedding Cake: Amy Cakes | Caterer: The University of Oklahoma | Rentals and Lighting: Mood Party Rentals | Band: Drive | String Quartet: Norman String Quartet | Bride’s Gown: “Janessa” by Enzoani from Bridal Boutique | Jacket: “Luna” by Lee-Ann Belter | Bride’s Veil: Alisa Brides | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Chelsey Ann Artistry | Bride’s Shoes: “Barby” by Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” in Mayan Blue by Jenny Yoo | Menswear: Jos. A. Bank

Written with love by Catherine
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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
2 Comments
  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.

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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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