Planning a wedding from afar can be challenging, but Tara and Henry knew they wanted to get married at the the historic Belle Meade Plantation… even without seeing it in person. With the help of Elliott Events, they planned a sweet, Southern soirée in her home state of Tennessee, all while residing in New York City. Of course, after a trip to Belle Meade, their expectations were exceeded–I’m sure a sigh of relief was had by all! With a venue filled with so much character, Tara and Henry decided to keep the things simple, with classic Southern details and minimal embellishments to truly showcase the history and charm of the plantation. A wise choice, in my opinion!
Thanks to Alex Bee for sharing Tara and Henry’s joyous day!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? One of my bridesmaids is an incredible hair stylist, so she did my hair for the wedding. That was really special for me. The guys’ tuxes all came from a store called Peppers in Sydney, so it was really cool for Henry to have something from home as a part of the wedding. And it was so special for both of us to be married by our pastor from our church in New York City, Josh Kelsey from C3 Brooklyn.
We wanted to get married in Nashville because it’s near where I grew up, and we both love the city so much. We love the way Belle Meade is beautiful and well-preserved, but still so authentic, and it has so much history. We actually booked it before we even had a chance to visit. There were so few dates available in the spring, and we didn’t want to miss out on our chance to book it. Luckily, when we went to visit a month later, it exceeded all our expectations.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Choosing the songs was very important to us! We love music, and we have so many special memories connected to songs. To name a few: “Magic” by Coldplay played before the ceremony; the bridesmaids walked down the aisle to “Like Real People Do” by Hozier; I walked down the aisle to “Secret Garden” by Bruce Springsteen; and walking back up the aisle, we played “O-o-oh Child” by Nina Simone. Our first dance was to “Horses” by Daryl Braithwaite, and the bouquet toss and the garter throw were to “Two of a Kind” by Garth Brooks.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I knew that I wanted a pretty traditional dress.I went to look at one store with one of my bridesmaids, and when I tried one dress on, my friend told me I had to get it. It was bigger and heavier than I’d imagined though, so I held off. A few weeks later, I went to a different store with a few of my other best friends. That store happened to have the same dress, so I tried it on again. They all had the exact same reaction–they told me it had to be the one. I trusted my friends’ judgment, and I’m glad I did! I never would have picked it on my own, but I ended up being so happy with it!
It was a little difficult planning from New York, but we had an amazing wedding planner who made it so much easier! Tiffanie Elliott looked after every detail, presented us with options that we loved, and gave us a push whenever we were lagging with making decisions. If it’s feasible for you budget-wise, I really recommend hiring a planner (Tiffanie, if she’s available!). It relieved so much of the stress and fuss and allowed us to enjoy our engagement. This is the only time in your relationship that you’ll ever be each other’s fiancé, so remember to enjoy it!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We tried to maintain a classic Southern style throughout, while keeping things elegant and simple. We felt that the venue had so much character that we didn’t need to embellish it much.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Walking into dinner in the carriage house when we were presented and seeing all of our friends and family together. It was an unbelievably happy moment.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and Henry is from Sydney, Australia. I spent a year in Sydney for grad school, then moved to New York City. Henry happened to move from Sydney to New York at almost the exact same time. In New York, I became good friends with an Australian couple who had also moved to the city. The guy was working on plans to open a cafe, and Henry was his business partner. Despite the fact that we had mutual friends, we didn’t meet for more than two years after that, when the cafe opened and I helped out for the first week. Henry asked me on a date, and we went to a jazz club that night. Before long, we were in love and inseparable! Ten months later, we were engaged.
Tell us all about the proposal! For my birthday, Henry had gotten us a night at a beautiful resort in Big Sur. About six weeks later, we arrived at the gorgeous property. Henry wanted to take a walk before dinner, but the trail we tried to go on was too steep and rocky for me in my heels. Then he started to lead me to a grassy patch, but there was a huge snake there! So, he suggested we go back to the porch off our room for a drink before dinner. He asked me to marry him and pulled out an incredible ring he had designed using a sapphire his mom had given him when he was 12 years old. I was absolutely shocked and so happy!
When did y’all get married? April 2, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 135
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Henry’s sister Lucy read the lyrics of a song that’s very special to us, and our friend Serena read a passage from Ephesians in the Bible.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Henry owns a cafe and a restaurant, and I am an author. We both work at Henry’s restaurant, and I am also writing a new book. We love being able to work together and support each other. Whenever we can, we spend time together and with friends, going to restaurants and shows in the city. We look forward to buying a house someday where we can go to get away and enjoy nature (eventually, with our kids!).
Photographer: Alex Bee Photo | Second shooter: Sur la Lune Photography | Videographer: Loomis Films | Planner and Florist: Elliott Events | Venue: Belle Meade Plantation | Wedding Cake: Dessert Designs | Caterer: G Catering | Rentals: Music City Tents and Events | Band: Emerald Empire Band | Bride’s Gown: Hayley Paige | Bridal Salon: Lovely New York | Hair Stylist: Marissa Martoni and Abigail Swan | Makeup Artist: Katie Russo Beauty | Bride’s Shoes: Aldo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Sleeveless Tulle over Lace Dress by White by Vera Wang | Menswear: Peppers