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In her interview below, Madeleine says, “Everything is replaceable except people, so making time for our families and loved ones is a must for us.” I imagine that this core belief she and Caleb share is what informed so many decisions as they planned their Tennessee wedding! From their choice to do a first look, to the understated, but incredibly lovely, details that they selected to bring their vision to life, Madeleine and Caleb’s top priority throughout their engagement (and on their wedding day!) was focusing on what matters most to them: being in the presence of the people they love.

Thanks so much to Kristin Sweeting for sharing this sweet day with us!

I found my dress on the very first shopping trip! My mother, aunt, maid of honor, and I visited The Dress Theory, a beautiful boutique that was temporarily housed in a fantastic old train station, Houston Station, in my hometown of Nashville. I chose the second dress I tried on and it perfect for me!

Caleb and I had not really considered having a first look, but after attending several weddings throughout the spring and summer with and without first looks, we decided to do one, and I’m so happy we did! It gave us a priceless, sweet moment together before the ceremony, probably contributed to us being so relaxed, and helped us get to the reception and our guests more quickly.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did premarital counseling with our minister for several weeks, and during that time, we came up with the ceremony with him. He captured us perfectly and created a thoughtful, meaningful, funny, sweet ceremony. We are so grateful.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our minister weaved scripture into the ceremony, and Caleb and I lit a unity candle…which threatened to fall over, of course, but now it’s a funny memory!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think everything was Southern! I was born and raised in Nashville and love all the traditions of our family. We also chose a very Southern chapel, and served food that included pimento cheese on sweet potato biscuits and a macaroni and cheese bar.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? The farm tables and French sofas and chairs from 12th Table achieved the exact look I was going for at the reception, but the most important decision we made was choosing our photographer, Kristin Sweeting. The photos are exquisite and her sweet and professional presence added value to the entire day.

I not a cake person, so I was thrilled to find a cupcake that I cannot get enough of! The Painted Cupcake created a beautiful little almond cake for us to cut alongside mountains of the most delicious cupcakes and macarons.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in high school at Donelson Christian Academy in Nashville–I had attended since kindergarten and Caleb started for his freshman year. We started dating as juniors and both went to Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He’s the extrovert to my introvert, and it’s so much fun!
Tell us all about the proposal! Caleb and I were working on a student film at Union University. He was supposed to be interviewing me for some behind the scenes footage when he dropped on one knee! We have great professional footage of it!
When did y’all get married? September 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 240
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a string quartet for our ceremony music. I walked down the aisle to “Canon in D” and we walked out to “Marry Me” by Bruno Mars! Our first dance was to “At Last I See the Light” from the Disney movie, Tangled. We chose this because seeing Tangled was one of our first dates, so the song has always had special meaning to us.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I wore my mother’s pearl earrings and her 25th anniversary diamond bracelet. We realized the day before the wedding that we didn’t have something blue, so our florist tucked a blue ribbon into my bouquet.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We did several weeks of premarital counseling in the months leading up to the wedding, which I feel is important for all couples. We’d been dating for six years, but I still found it very valuable and special.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? There are so many options and choices, it takes careful planning and organization to choose the things that are important to you, not what someone else had or what you think you are supposed to have. I knew the feel and look I wanted for the wedding, and made decisions based on what would bring that about.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The cheers when we were announced husband and wife were amazing! Everyone was absolute roaring as we walked back up the aisle. I had never seen that at a wedding, and it was so much fun!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Being married is so much fun! We are working hard and pursuing our career dreams while loving on the people around us the best we possibly can. Everything is replaceable except people, so making time for our families and loved ones is a must for us.

Photographer: Kristin Sweeting | Videographer: Peyton Penuel | Planner: Cande Cook of MAC Presents | Ceremony Venue: Scarritt Bennett | Reception Venue: The Cordelle | Florist and Rentals: 12th Table | Dessert Baker: The Painted Cupcake | Caterer: Flavor Catering | DJ: Matt Morris | Paper Products: The Paper Place | Bride’s Gown: “Laelia Floral” by Temperley London | Bridal Salon and Veil: The Dress Theory | Hair Stylist: Michelle Clark of Clark & Co. | Makeup Artist: Annelise Nutt | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Style F15933 in Wine by David’s Bridal | Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Susan Deaton reply

    Thanks Lisa for such a sweet story on my niece Madeleine’s wedding to Caleb. It was a splendid day and you captured it so well.

  2. avatar Bethni Hemphill reply

    Thank you for a beautiful story on my beautiful daughter! It was a joyous day made even more special by all the great people working with us. Thank you!

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I’m obsessed with period pieces, especially about the early sixties, and I currently cannot get enough of the The Astronaut Wives Club. There is something about the style that is so timeless and unfussy, yet modern and chic. I could say the same thing about Jordan and David’s beautiful black and white wedding! Their relationship started at a honky-tonk in Nashville, but when they first discussed moving to David’s hometown of Tampa, Jordan began incorporating flamingos into her classic style. The fun bird played a role in their engagement, so they also subtly weaved it into their wedding design! The Oxford Exchange served as the perfect location for a sophisticated celebration complete with meaningful details, like brass candlesticks collected from yard sales and thrift stores by family and friends.

Big hugs to Kristin Sweeting for sharing Jordan and David’s beautiful day with us!

We found my dress at the first boutique we visited, and I only tried on four! My two sisters, my mother, and my future mother-in-law were there to help with the decision. I knew I wanted something very classic, with simple curves and a clean neckline. I found a dress on the sample rack that needed just a few alterations for size, and we removed the embellished belt that came with the dress for a very polished, modern, sophisticated look. The dress embodied everything that I wanted my wedding to be, and more importantly, it was comfortable and a perfect extension of my everyday style.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our readings were Mark 10:6-9 and Isaiah 62:5. Since I only had my sisters (and my brother) as bridesmaids, it was nice to have my best friends read at my wedding. I love the passage from Mark because it speaks to the very beginning of the institution of marriage, and that there is a beauty in leaving what is known in one way for something that is known in a completely different way. The scripture from Isaiah was important to us because it speaks to the essence of our being and the foundation of our faith as a couple. Marriage is just a small glimpse of what it is like to have a relationship with our creator.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The start and end of the ceremony. I don’t like to be the center of attention, so as the ceremony grew closer, I became anxious. A quick summer storm started as we walked from the bride’s room to the narthex. It was the kind of light rain that has a soft thunder, and smooth rays of light filter through the clouds. The world was so serene and quiet in that moment. By the time the ceremony ended, the storm has passed, but I’ll never forget God giving me that moment of calming assurance, beauty, and peace. As we walked back up the aisle, our guests cheered and clapped so loudly, as if they were just as excited for us to be married as we were. It was such a reminder of the support we have behind us.

We chose not to do a first look. I was willing to sacrifice the time for photos in order to have that special moment of seeing Dave at the end of the aisle in front of our friends and family. The tradition and history of that moment was something I didn’t want to sacrifice and it was like nothing I’d ever felt before.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My younger sister got married in October 2014 in our hometown, so given the close timing, I wanted to do something different. Getting married in Tampa was a great way to celebrate the life I would start sharing there with Dave. We chose to get married in the church that Dave grew up in. At the time of booking the wedding, I was also interviewing for a position with the interior design firm at the Oxford Exchange, Oxford Design (I got the job!). I fell in love with the space and knew I could trust the team at Oxford to bring my vision for the night to fruition. The building fit the classic, yet modern, look I was going for, and almost everything could be handled in-house.

We didn’t want assigned seating, with the exception of the grandparents, but we did want the tables to look inviting and personal. We also wanted the evening to flow organically and naturally, and encourage eating and drinking at one’s leisure, wherever they were. At each seat, we had a card tied with a black velvet ribbon that read: “Eat. Drink. Dance. Your seat is here but your place is on the dance floor. Thank you for celebrating with us!” This politely let people know that they were encouraged to sit, but not to hold onto their seat.

Describe your wedding flowers. We were married in a beautiful sanctuary, and I wanted to make sure we didn’t do anything to hide the architectural appeal of the church. I wanted the service to be very reverent. My older sister created a simple arrangement of palm fronds, cut from my future in-laws’ backyard, and white tulips for the narthex. For the reception, I again wanted to let the space stand out, only using florals as embellishments for the tables. A large, glass arrangement of French white tulips greeted guests at the entrance, while the tables were decorated with a center garland of loose greenery foliage and white roses that were placed in brass candlesticks.

We served a two-tiered raspberry champagne cake from Chocolate Pi, and my uncle hand-made over 20 different flamingo toppers for us to choose from! My sister placed the extra flamingos in a flock formation on a sheet cake iced green in honor of my “yard flock” engagement at the bridal brunch. I also wanted to incorporate our dog, Tux, into the wedding somehow, so Savages Bakery hand-painted “Tux” cookies that were served along with the cake.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I loved all the “extras” at the reception. We had a caricature artist on-site for the first few hours of the reception, which everyone loved–it was a great party favor! I also loved having rock candy sticks in the champagne! The dance floor props of guitars, black and white feather masks, pink boas, and glow in the dark necklaces were crowd favorites, and the band especially loved the pink glitter flamingo glasses!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Dave and I randomly met at a local honky-tonk, Paradise Park, in Nashville. He asked me to dance and somehow, between the loud music and the large crowd, we were able to talk long enough to realize that we shared mutual friends, including my younger sister, Abigail, and her husband, Adam. A few months after we met, Dave asked me to be his date to a wedding, and we’ve been together ever since. I still have a screen shot of our first text message exchange from that night, which is framed above his bedside table.
Tell us all about the proposal! In discussing the future, Dave and I often discussed moving to his hometown of Tampa, Florida. Realizing that Florida may be my new home in the near future, I decided that, as a mountain girl, my aesthetic needed to change a bit, and I started to fully embrace flamingos. I came home one night in December to find my entire yard flocked with pink flamingos and Dave waiting on the porch for me, ring in hand. After a celebratory dinner, Dave had one more surprise. We went to the place where we first met, Paradise Park, and all of our Nashville friends were assembled for a congratulatory cheers! We carried the flamingo theme throughout the entire wedding.
When did y’all get married? May 23, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We chose to say traditional vows. I don’t know about my favorite phrase, but I do remember suddenly panicking over whether or not I should say “I do” or “I will” during the first response part of ceremony. I quickly looked over at my older sister (my maid of honor), who mouthed the correct words to me. During her toast the night before, she had teasingly spoke about always having to speak for me when we were small, and here she was, telling me what to say on my wedding day!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We served true Southern staples: shrimp and grits with collard greens, pecan-crusted chicken and waffles, and butternut squash ravioli. A vintage RV, recently renovated by my father, served popcorn and Coca-Colas as people left, and we drove off in my father-in-law’s restored 1951 red Chevrolet truck. The most Southern thing about my wedding, though? So many family members pitched in to help. Whether it was collecting brass candlesticks from yard sales and thrift stores for the tablescapes, mixing gallons of a special margarita mix, or painting stationery for our guests, our families pitched in and helped make the wedding feel unique and meaningful.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We started to renovate a condo together as our first home right after we got engaged–that will teach you A LOT about the person you are getting ready to marry! Working together on the condo was a great way for us to learn how we worked and lived as individuals, and what that would need to look like as a couple, both socially and financially.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My sister is a stylist and I work in interior design, so we were able to forgo a wedding planner, other than the day-of coordinators, who were amazing! We created our own photo booth using props and a backdrop I found for $5 at a closing sale. We used a personal collection of brass candlesticks for the tablescapes and kept the floral arrangements minimal.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? A day-of coordinator is essential–more than anything, guests appreciate a well-executed weekend. It’s a very emotional weekend, but also a highly logistical one! Make sure the weekend plans are clear and easy for your guests.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are continuing to settle into our new condo and look forward to working on some more renovations together. Mostly, we are just happy to be in the same city, which means that no one has to go home on Sunday nights!

Photographer: Kristin Sweeting / Videographer: Baxter Miller / Planner: Sarah Fairbairn of One Fine Day, Inc. / Ceremony Venue: Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church / Reception Venue, Catering, and Lighting: The Oxford Exchange / Florist: Botanica International Design and Decor Studio / Cake Baker: Chocolate Pi / Rentals: Wish Vintage Rentals / Band: The Voltage Brothers / Special Details: Brittney Forrister / Bride’s Gown: Martina Liana / Bridal Salon: La Raine’s / Hair and Makeup: Jess Waldroup / Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Style D589” by Alfred Sung and “Feathered Hem Dress” by Ann Taylor / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse / Calligrapher: Jenny Elmore / Invitations: Reaves Engraving / Caricature Artist: Tony Hernandez of Carrot Catchers / Cookies: Savages Bakery & Deli / Brass Candlestick Rentals: Wish Vintage Rentals and 12th Table / Red Carpet: Rent-All-City

marissa Written with love by Marissa
11 Comments
  1. avatar Nina reply

    What a gorgeous wedding! I especially love the black and white shots and the ones showing movement. So real!

  2. avatar Michael reply

    they are so Young and beautiful. Hope that you will have the life that you wish for.

  3. avatar Dana reply

    Absolutely gorgeous… Every.single.detail!!

  4. avatar Robert & Sue Pickelsimer reply

    An Awesomely Beautiful Wedding Event of our niece Jordan & “new” nephew, Dave! SOUTHERN WEDDING did a wonderful job telling their beautiful LOVE STORY! Thank You! Uncle Robert & Aunt Sue

  5. avatar Kel Ward reply

    Oh, I love everything about this wedding! That dress is to die for!

  6. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #200 – Floridian Social reply

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  7. avatar charleston wedding photographer reply

    awesome pictures!Looks like old pics from 60’s

  8. avatar Sara and Ken Winston reply

    Ken and I could not be happier having Jordan join our family. She did a fabulous job putting their wedding together. She and her entire family are so wonderful. They came for a long weekend just to help us prepare for the rehearsal dinner that we had in our backyard. Thanks to the entire Forruster Family! Great day a joyous memory forever!

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Out of everything that is magical about the South, we believe that the feelings of hospitality, graciousness, and belonging are what captivate people the most. We adore biscuits, sweet tea, and groom’s cakes, there’s no denying that, but even without a single one of those things, a wedding can be characteristically Southern simply by the way people feel as soon as they walk through the venue doors. Andrea summed it up perfectly when she described her and Erick’s Nashville wedding: “We had people from all over the world, most of whom did not know one another. We ate, drank, danced, celebrated, and felt like family for one night. I’m so thankful that the South I know is filled with a spirit of sharing life stories and experiences, mutual acceptance of differences, blended families of relatives and friends, dancing, delicious food, and fun.”

We’re so glad that Kristin Sweeting shared Andrea and Erick’s meaningful day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My younger sister went with me to the White Room on a Saturday, without an appointment. We looked through every rack and on the last one, I found the dress. I instantly knew it was the one I wanted, and begged the lady there to let me have a dressing room for a very brief try-on, but everything was booked. Serendipitously, someone called and canceled their appointment at that exact time. I got to try on the dress and fell in love, but the neckline went down to my belly button and I’m a little more modest. I bought it anyway, along with some extra fabric to fill in the neckline. When the dress came in, it came without the fabric. The White Room assured me we could get it in time, so I waited. Luckily, they have the best seamstress in the world, Tu Holman–she only had three weeks to take the dress in several inches, hem the bottom, replace beads, and create a new neckline. Five days before the wedding, my mom and I went to pick up the dress, and she had done beautiful work, but it just wasn’t what I had envisioned. My sister and best friend went back with me three days later and we stayed past midnight at the seamstress’ house until we had the top right. I’m so thankful for Tu and her insistence that we get the dress right, no matter how long it took, because on my wedding day, it was perfect and I loved wearing it.

There was an amazing Southern spirit at our wedding. We had people from all over the world, most of whom did not know one another. We ate, drank, danced, celebrated, and felt like family for one night. I’m so thankful that the South I know is filled with a spirit of sharing life stories and experiences, mutual acceptance of differences, blended families of relatives and friends, dancing, delicious food, and fun.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? It was the only place we could agree on! I liked all the small, rustic, restaurant venues, and Erick liked all the big, industrial venues. We walked away from touring Sambuca and both said, “We could get married there.” It was perfect and we love that we can go back there for dinner every year on our anniversary.

When I was in Rwanda, I worked for Monique Lasdosz (Nanny, as we all call her) at the organization Widow’s Might. She started a craft workshop, along with several other business startups, for the widows and orphans of the 1994 genocide. We employed the craftspeople to make place card holders, drink stirrers, and our cake topper. Along with Nanny’s presence at our wedding, these details were extremely special because of the significance of our meeting and our heart for Africa.

We had a two-layer Italian cream cake with raspberry filling, ivory fondant, and gold art deco accents. The topper was intertwining giraffes made my artists at a craft workshop in Rwanda.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Erick is Rwandan, and ten years ago, I spent a summer working in Rwanda. The woman I worked for, Monique (Nanny) was good friends with Erick. She introduced us (with Erick’s girlfriend sitting next to him) and we had an instant connection. Lucky for me, the girlfriend was on her way out, so Erick and I hung out for the rest of my stay, but knew it wasn’t likely we could make a relationship work. We kept in touch and literally chased each other around the world. I started traveling around the world with the intent to go back to Africa, and Erick moved to the States. I returned from my trip six months later, and Erick’s job moved him to Guiana. A few years later, he moved back to the US and came to Nashville (where my boyfriend was sitting next to me). A few years and a breakup after that, we decided we had to make a relationship work. We did two years long distance between Nashville and Boston before Erick made the move South. We were soon engaged in October 2013 and married on October 18, 2014.
Tell us all about the proposal! Erick and I had been talking about getting engaged all summer. However, in September, my older sister got engaged, which was a welcome surprise to the whole family. Their engagement made our plans a little less immediate in every one else’s eyes. One day in October, Erick suggested “we spend the whole day together.” I had my suspicions, so I got dressed and planned a fun day. We went to Arrington Vineyards, shared wine, had wonderful conversation, and left without getting engaged. As we were leaving, Erick asked if I wanted to go out to eat. I was a little let down and neither of us was very hungry, so we decided to just go home and watch a movie. Once we were home, I hurried into my pajamas, made popcorn, and settled onto the couch. That’s when Erick walked over, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. It was private, without makeup or fancy clothes, in our home, and it was perfect. Then we proceeded to call my parents with the surprise of wedding number two scheduled for 2014!
When did y’all get married? October 18, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 40 for the ceremony and dinner, 80 for the reception
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We had beautiful elements all around, but we kept it reigned in and as simple as possible. Also, we knew we wanted a small and intimate ceremony, but to celebrate with all our friends, so we had only 40 people at the ceremony and dinner, and then had a great dessert and dancing reception with all our friends afterwards.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Focus on your relationship and marriage, and let the professionals handle the details. It was so much fun being a guest at my own wedding. I had zero stress because I had zero control, but I knew the people in charge wanted the best for us and I was paying them to do a great job without my help.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We plan to keep our day-to-day very much the same–working, playing with our dog, cooking dinner, hiking, reading, and being best friends. We look forward to working on our house and yard, visiting Rwanda, growing our friendships, and welcoming children whenever that happens.

Photographer: Kristin Sweeting / Planner: Kristin Kaplan of Stunning Events / Venue and Catering: Sambuca / Florist: Brocade Designs / Wedding Cake: Nashville Sweets / Rentals: Visual Elements / Lighting: Nashville Audio Visual / Ceremony Musician: Eric Knutsen / Reception Music: Cosmo Creations / Special Details: Rwandan craft workshop / Bride’s Gown: “Gianna” by Maggie Sottero / Alterations: Tu Holman / Bride’s Hair Accessories: “Art Deco Bridal Headband” by Veiled Beauty / Hair and Makeup: Debbie Dover / Bride’s Shoes: “Angela” by Coloriffics / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “041893600,” “04241040,” and “041885760” in Navy by Adrianna Papell

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Hillary @ Brocade reply

    We were so delighted to share in Andrea and Erick’s celebration with the Event Design, Floral, and Paper Goods design. Thank you so much for the feature!

  2. avatar Olivia Fischer reply

    Love the glittering bridesmaids dresses and nice photography too!

  3. avatar Featured on Southern Weddings | Stunning Events | Nashville Wedding Planner | Event Production & Design reply

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    […] Photo Kristin Sweeting via Southern Weddings […]

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