As much as I adore a traditional white gown, I absolutely love when brides go their own route. Claire knew she wanted something nontraditional, and worked with the ladies at White Orchid Bridal to create a custom gown. The result was a silvery dress with the most beautiful lacy detailing at the bottom. I’m impressed with Claire, who trusted each of her vendors and left them to work their creative magic. It shows, especially in these photos from Julie Roberts. She was spot-on in capturing the sweet and personal ceremony, where friends encircled the couple as they exchanged vows under an oak tree bearing their initials in moss (could the Knoxville Botanical Garden have provided a more perfect setting?!). I’m still in love with the photo of Claire + Brian right after the first look, it’s just so sweet. Come back for part II; this intimate garden wedding will not disappoint you.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Magical, rustic, comfortable
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We’re definitely in love with food and wine, so those played a huge part in the wedding. We chose to do a really beautiful table of cheeses and charcuterie for appetizers during the cocktail hour following the ceremony. There were two tables filled with an assortment of wines that flowed all night. We didn’t pick just one or two bottles because we wanted it to feel like a dinner party at our home, so there were many different bottles open at any given moment at the wedding. The dinner was really beautiful, but I loved the cocktail hour where everyone was drinking wine and enjoying all these amazing cheeses. It was just so perfect.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The ceremony was under a big oak tree in the garden surrounded by beautiful stone walls. I love that all of our guests stood gathered around us, sipping on sparkling rose, while we said our vows. It felt less formal, and more like every guest there was really a part of our ceremony, which they were.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I wanted the dress to be special, but not necessarily traditionally bridal. Colleen from White Orchid Bridal completely understood my concept for the wedding and created this amazingly detailed dress that was a soft silvery grey color, layering multiple fabrics together to create something unique and vintage looking.
Describe your wedding flowers: I gave Brian at Cachepot free reign to create whatever he felt would be perfect for that day. He did an amazing job! It was really important for me to find people whose work I love and who I really trusted, and allow them to do their jobs. That was what allowed for so much of the uniqueness. I gave them my vision for the feel of the wedding, and basically allowed them to create from there.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The ceremony. I walked down the aisle, which was just the center of the garden, to the most beautiful strings playing “Falling Slowly.” We stood under a huge old oak tree that Brian, the florist had mounted our initials on in moss. It looked like it was just growing on the tree. The ceremony was so personal, and there was so much laughter throughout. We had both gone through so much to get to that point in our lives, and the ceremony truly reflected that and celebrated it. Everyone had told me the ceremony would be a big blur, and would be over before I knew it, so I was determined to be very present and remember it all, and I truly was. It remains my favorite memory of the wedding.
Photographer: Julie Roberts // Coordinator: Lisa Krajewski // Ceremony venue: Martha Ashe Garden at the Knoxville Botanical Garden // Reception venue: The Stone Greenhouse at the Knoxville Botanical Garden // Florist: Cachepot // Wedding Cake Baker: Magpies // Caterer: Northshore Brasserie // Bride’s Dress: White Orchid Bridal // Strings: The Lake Terrace Trio // Calligraphy: Alice Sword