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