Just the words “Blackberry Farm” elicit a few sighs around the Southern Weddings office, and rightfully so–it is truly a breathtaking place, not to mention, an incredible wedding venue. Lindsey and Sheldon took advantage of this by hosting their guests for the entire weekend, giving everyone plenty of time to enjoy themselves and make memories. Throughout the weekend, Lindsey and Sheldon scattered postcards all over the farm, and encouraged everyone to jot down their favorite moments and stories. Their rustic welcome dinner and elegant wedding, which was made all the more special by the evening rain, gave everyone plenty to write about, and to this day, Lindsey and Sheldon love re-living this special weekend every time they receive a postcard in the mail!
We are so grateful to Clark Brewer for sharing this special wedding weekend with us!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I wore Vera Wang’s “Isabella” gown, which is made of layered ivory chiffon and organza, with a very simple Vera Wang veil. I bought it at B. Hughes Bridal in Nashville, and we ended up hiring Karen Kaforey, the owner of the dress shop, to plan the wedding. She was amazing.
We were blessed to have the opportunity to rent out Blackberry Farm in its entirety for the weekend. It’s one of the most magical places I’ve ever been, and the fact that the whole resort was “ours” for two and a half days was kind of mind-blowing.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Sheldon and I asked my father’s best friend Chris (who is like a second father to me) to officiate, and the three of us wrote the entire ceremony from scratch. We wanted the ceremony to reflect our deep and eclectic spirituality without drawing too much from one specific religious text. Sheldon and I wrote the vows and ring exchange statements ourselves, and also read love letters during the ceremony.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Craig Duncan, the frontman of the quintet who played at both the welcome dinner and during the ceremony, is supremely talented. Sheldon and I wanted to process to our song, “Simple Life” by The Weepies, and to recess to “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers. Craig and his team learned both songs prior to the weekend and played them perfectly.
It started to get cloudy during the outdoor ceremony, and then literally as the last musician put his instrument away and Clark snapped the last family photo, the sky broke open and it poured rain. We had to be creative with the photography and Sheldon had to carry me around all evening so that I didn’t ruin my dress! My favorite pictures from the wedding resulted from us having to “deal with” the rainy weather: all the photos taken on the swing (the tree above it provided shelter). Another amazing thing about the rain was that it continued throughout the evening and kept us all cool as we danced like crazy under the tent until 2 a.m. I don’t think we would’ve been able to dance like that if the rain hadn’t cooled the night down.
We were so lucky to have Clark and Campbell Brewer shooting photographs and video throughout the weekend. They’re incredibly gifted at what they do, but more than that, they are such precious, open, fun guys who felt like old friends from the first time we met them. They were ever-present and yet never obtrusive, and we were able to be present in our experience without feeling like we were being watched. This was vital to us because we wanted the weekend to feel, for us and everyone else, organic and whimsical and free-flowing. And it did.
We were engaged for more than three years before getting married–jobs kept changing, we kept moving cities, and the timing wasn’t right…until it was. I’m glad that everything unfolded the way that it did, because our wedding was completely perfect and completely “us.”
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in Los Angeles through mutual friends in 2008. I know it sounds silly and cliché, but we knew almost instantly that we’d end up together.
Tell us all about the proposal! Sheldon proposed on the day after Christmas, about a year after we started dating. We were visiting my parents for the holidays, and he asked their permission, like the perfect gentleman he is. On December 26, I awoke at the crack of dawn to him kneeling by the bed in my childhood bedroom with a ring. After I ran through the house screaming about being engaged, I think I went back to bed. Shel was like, “I’m sorry it’s so early–I just couldn’t wait any longer!”
When did y’all get married? August
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 120
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My mother read a prayer from Marianne Williamson’s book Illuminata, and two of my girlfriends read a passage from The Alchemist. I had asked each of them to select readings that fit Sheldon and me, but also asked that they remain a surprise until the day of the ceremony. A few minutes before the wedding began, the girls realized that they’d independently chosen the exact same passage from the exact same book, so they “winged it” with grace, splitting the selected passage right down the middle.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Instead of a traditional guest book, we asked family and members of the wedding party to collect postcards from around the country, and the stacks of blank postcards were placed around the property all weekend. My sister bought a vintage mailbox, and she and my mother decorated it. Then guests were asked to write favorite memories of us as a couple or of the weekend itself, and by the end of the weekend, the mailbox was stuffed with postcards. Every few weeks, either my mom or Jamie (my sister) mails us a few of the postcards, and we read and laugh and cry and keep them in a special box to remind us of the magical weekend.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Sheldon says that for him, it’s when he saw me for the first time before I walked down the aisle. Something small but sweet that just came to mind for me is that after the ceremony, all the guests gathered for cocktail hour and Sheldon and I hung back with Clark and Campbell to take pictures and decompress for a moment. When it was time for us all to come together for dinner, Sheldon had to carry me from the farmhouse where we were to the barn where the dinner was, because it was raining. As he did, I saw many of our guests clustered around the window sweetly “spying” on our little “over the threshold” moment.
Photographer: Clark Brewer / Videographer: Campbell Brewer / Planner: Karen Kaforey / Venue: Blackberry Farm / Florist: Clay Pots Floral / Wedding Cake: Magpies Bakery / Bluegrass Band: Craig Duncan / Reception Band: Burning Las Vegas / Bride’s Gown: “Isabella” by Vera Wang / Bridal Salon: b. Hughes Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Jordan Byers