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If Lara hadn’t just replenished my office candy supply with Easter goodies galore, I’d be jonesing for a major sugar fix right about now. Sarah boasted the highlight of their festive reception at the Belle Meade Plantation had been the lavish dessert bar, and she wasn’t kidding! Dessert Designs provided the three-tiered confection that doubled as the couple’s wedding cake and the sweet spread’s main event – yum! Emily loves the fact that Sarah + Tyler wed in a real life horse barn and celebrated in the adjoining carriage home, complete with hay bales and mounted bridles. (I’ll spare you the obvious bridle/bridal pun, because I’m awesome like that.) Hats off to photographer Brion Hopkins for this rustic Tennessee wedding!

Describe your wedding flowers: My bouquet was filled with narcissus, white sweet peas, star of Bethlehem and blue privet berries, surrounded by magnolia leaves and tied with a striped burlap wrap with pearl buttons. I adored it! To me, it was an ideal mix of earthy/elegant, high/low elements.
Describe your wedding cake: Our wedding cake was just one item on our dessert table, which included cookies, carrot cake cupcakes (Ryan’s favorite), caramel and candy apples (my favorites), bags of caramel corn and horseshoe-shaped chocolates, so we chose a relatively small three-tiered cake. The cake was covered in ivory fondant icing and decorated with a simple sugar magnolia.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Finding time to do everything! Ryan and I both have busy careers, and, I admit, I’m a bit of a control freak, so I did not exactly delegate any wedding planning tasks. I do not, however, regret any of the countless hours I spent shopping for perfectly mismatched accessories for the bridesmaids, scouring antique stores for picture frames to turn into chalkboards, rubber stamping burlap sacks to hold dessert table treats, etc., because our wedding truly reflected our personalities and style. Plus, I actually enjoyed every moment of it!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Aside from saying our vows to one another, my favorite moment was walking down the aisle with my father. The stables looked almost magical, I was surrounded by my family and closest friends, and I was moments away from marrying the man of my dreams. I remember thinking, “This is the happiest day of my life.” Ryan says that his most memorable moment is when he first saw me in my wedding dress. Yeah, he’s a keeper.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we wrote and memorized our own vows, and did not say or read them to one another until the ceremony. My favorite line from Ryan’s vows to me was his opening: “For years you were just a dream and a prayer. Now that I have you, I will never let you go.” Ryan’s favorite verse was when I said, “Where you go, I will go. Who you become, I will become the complement.” We’ve placed our vows at the very front of our wedding album and plan to repeat them to each other every year on our anniversary.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Right now, Ryan is interviewing for his fellowship in hematology/oncology, so it is exciting to see what possibilities that will bring. Other than that, I’m hoping to start referring to myself by my married name on a more consistent basis. Some habits die hard, I suppose!

Written with love by Katharine
  1. avatar Sarah + Ryan | December 4 reply

    […] event.   The amazing Southern Weddings blog featured this chic affair; check it out here […]

  2. avatar Southern Bride of the Month: September 2011 | Gift Registry News reply

    […] Photos by Brion Hopkins at a Belle Meade wedding (see more from this wedding here!) […]

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Some of our longtime readers may remember this cute couple. Sarah + Ryan were the winners of the mega-popular photo contest sponsored by Brion Hopkins back in 2010, and we couldn’t pass up the chance to feature their dream wedding at the Belle Meade Plantation. The bride happily donned the Melissa Sweet “Prague” gown she first fell in love with online, but it’s her snazzy Hunter boots – and sweet smile – that really complete her wedding day look. (Her more formal but equally adorable glittery kicks are a J. Crew find.) Y’all seem to love chic sweater ensembles just as much as I do, so you’ll probably swoon over Sarah’s cardigan-clad bridesmaids in matching J. Crew ensembles and carrying rustic bouquets from The Enchanted Florist. Mary Alice Sublett of A Delightful Day offered day-of coordination, and Brion Hopkins (naturally!) photographed the lucky newlyweds.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We actually met at Robert’s, a Nashville honky-tonk one week after Ryan moved to Nashville to begin his residency at Vanderbilt. He asked me to dance, I said “yes,” and the rest is history. What can I say? Ryan’s a great dancer.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Heartfelt, fun and perfect.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Ryan’s favorite detail was the dessert table. He’s the decisive one, I guess, because I can’t name one specific detail that was my favorite. I loved everything about the day: the invitations, the ceremony programs, the acoustic guitar/vocal solo during the ceremony, the bouquets, the décor, the lighting in the stables and, most of all, the sheer joy on every single person’s face.
What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding was very Southern! Our ceremony took place in the horse stables of a Southern plantation, followed by a reception in the adjoining carriage house. We hung magnolia wreaths on every window, and used magnolia leaves as a main element in the floral decorations. For extra seating at the reception, we covered hay bales with ivory quilts and throw pillows. We served mac & cheese out of mason jars, to which I affixed our monogram and tied the lid with a twine bow, and Tennessee brisket. Even our band was very Southern, playing songs that allowed our greatest friends and family to two-step well into the night.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I knew that I wanted an understated and ethereal, yet elegant, wedding dress, which is actually really difficult to find! I looked at what seemed like thousands of dresses in magazines and on websites, and found just one dress that I absolutely loved: Melissa Sweet’s Prague dress. Only one store in Nashville, The Bride Room, carries Melissa Sweet, so I called to see if they also had the Prague. The Bride Room did not have the dress, but they requested it from Melissa Sweet’s showroom and shipped it to Nashville for me to try on the weekend that my mother was visiting. It was the first dress I tried on and, although I tried on other beautiful dresses, I knew all along that I was going to wear the Prague on my wedding day. I am so thankful for the girls at the Bride Room for finding the perfect dress for me!

Written with love by Katharine
  1. avatar Cori Cook Floral Design reply

    Love this wedding. Seems like a easy going bride!

  2. avatar Jenny ~ Something Old, Something New reply

    Beautiful pictures. Love those sparkly shoes!

  3. avatar Sarah reply

    Awesome job Brion! What a cute couple.

  4. avatar Emily Heizer, Photography with Flair reply

    Those Hunter Boots are SOOOO CUTE! I am OBSESSED with them! I am constantly shopping for them and not buying them! It KILLS me! I love brides in Hunter Boots! I’m SOOOO jealous! :D

  5. avatar Maggie reply

    LOVE this wedding! All of the details are so rustic and chic. The couple looks adorably happy in every picture, too!

  6. avatar Kara reply

    Does anyone know who makes the glitter shoes shown above? I am looking for some major glam under 4 inches, without going broke… hard to find!

    • avatar Katharine reply

      Hi Kara! Sarah’s sparkle-tastic shoes are from J. Crew. Amazing, right?

  7. avatar Southern Weddings Magazine « reply

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  12. avatar Winter Wedding Decor | Mint Julep Social Events – Wedding planners & coordinators in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, & Orange County reply

    […] Here a cone. There a cone. Everywhere a PINE cone. Are you planning a Winter Wedding? If so, why not go with a nature friendly theme and use a design element that is readily available this time of year. Buy them by the bag (unscented) or plan ahead and start collecting. Although rustic at first glance, pine cones can be dolled up to be rather glamourous. Take a look at how others have used them in their wedding decor. They make the perfect place setting. Use them to make a sweet and stylish tablescape too. They make beautiful aisle decor. And we are LOVING this bouquet! Oh how darling. Just a pinch of pine cone sweetness for the ring pillow and flower basket. This cake screams winter holiday to me all because of its’ simple cone cake topper. I love this garland too. Here it is shown hanging in a hallway but wouldn’t it make a great ceremony backdrop? If you’re having a December wedding, it would be fun to bring in some holiday color too. And let’s not forget about the fellas. They will be looking rather dapper with just a hint of winter on their lapel. Pine cones speak to the chill of the season but also exude warmth in decor. Use them in small doses in your wedding ceremony and reception and there is likely to be a sense of ‘coziness’ that runs throughout your event. There’s just something about them, right? Maybe it’s because they remind us of the holidays or family in general. I know, for me, I remember that when my mom brought home pine cones I got super excited because I knew that meant we were going to be decorating the tree. Whatever it is about them, using pine cones in the decor for your Winter Wedding is a definite MUST DO. Happy Holidays and Happy Wednesday, lovelies! Images: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here […]

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