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When a musician from New Orleans and a boy with a heart for the mountains meet in Nashville, no where but the rolling hills on Tennessee will do for their wedding! Lindsey and Brian chose Front Porch Farms for their celebration, and with the help of their florist, Cottonwood Floral, they added just the right amount of personal touches to point guests to their love story and personalities, but never distract from the beauty of the landscape. I can only imagine how much their family and friends cherished this sweet day, as well as enjoyed the introduction to the great Southern tradition of a bluegrass pickin’ party!

Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Abigail Bobo, for sharing Lindsey and Brian’s joyful day with us!

I met Brian at a 70’s birthday party for a mutual friend, and after a long talk by the fireplace, I guess I became smitten…maybe it was the glorious polyester suit from Goodwill he was wearing! At the time, all he talked about was moving from Nashville to Colorado. I figured that he would probably move soon and started dramatically drumming up lyrics to my next blues song, “I lost him to Colorado.” As it turns out, I didn’t lose at all! He hung around Nashville for three more years, and we began dreaming dreams together. Last summer, Brian finally got a job offer in Boulder, Colorado. After three years of knowing his heart to go there, I basically kicked him outta town. We were not engaged yet, but I couldn’t let him turn it down. He moved in August and we began our long distance relationship. Shortly thereafter, he popped out a ring in front of both of our families, and now we are on a westward journey together!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom and I went to Yvonne Lefleur in New Orleans, a beautiful French dress boutique. When I was growing up in Nola, we would go to the shop and dream about the day when we could make a wedding dress appointment there. The shop has a special bridal room where all the dresses are hanging from the ceiling. My dress was the sixth one I tried on, and we didn’t shop anywhere else.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We wanted a venue that featured the scenic views of Tennessee, and the moment we stepped foot on the property, we fell in love. It met our needs, it was rustic and elegant, and it just felt like the right place for us.

Our friends, Kyle Aaron and Erika Chambers (of Mercy Child), and Lauren Pittman played an original song called “Trade These Moments” for our processional. The three-part harmony, guitar, and fiddle were absolutely stunning. The bluegrass fiddle tune “Blackberry Blossom” was our recessional, and it played as our friends and family tossed flower petals and we walked up the aisle.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my grandmother’s ring to wear on my right hand. My something blue was the sapphires in my engagement ring and an embroidered handkerchief made from my other grandmother’s fabric. My something old was my great-grandmother’s pocket watch that she wore on her wedding day–I tied it around my bouquet.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We saved money by the grace of our friends and family and all they did for us. My bridesmaids helped make our decorations and set everything out the morning of. Brian’s good friend, Peyton McCollum of Cardboard Films, filmed the day. Our friends played music throughout the evening. We were so blessed by the gifts of so many.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Fried chicken, the bluegrass pickin’ party (cigar box guitars, fiddles, a washboard, and harmonicas galore!), banana puddin’, and the Tennessee hills.

Brian and I danced to Chris Stapleton’s version of “Tennessee Whiskey,” I danced with my dad to “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans,” and Brian danced with his mom to one of her favorites, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” We also had a pickin’ party at the reception, where several friends and family members played, sang, and jammed the night away.

Tell us all about the proposal! Our families have spent Thanksgiving together in my hometown of New Orleans for several years now. The day after Thanksgiving, we all decided to go to a fancy dinner at Commander’s Palace. Immediately after we sat down at the table, Brian stood up and said “I need to get out of here…can we take a walk?” I agreed, thinking that something was clearly terribly wrong, and followed him down the stairs, through the kitchen, and onto the back courtyard with concern. There, we came upon three musicians on a “break” who asked us if we had any requests. Brian looked at me, and I shrugged and requested our song, “Misty.” As we began to dance in the moonlit courtyard, I became very confused. I could see our families staring down at us from the dining room windows above. This is NOT the place you leave your table waiting so you can dance randomly in the moonlight! Suddenly, Brian got down on one knee and presented me with the most beautiful ring. I could not believe it! After I said yes, we were whisked back upstairs to the dining room where everyone applauded and we drank champagne. It was an absolute dream. At dinner, I learned that Brian had flown to New Orleans two weeks prior to ask for their blessing.
When did y’all get married? September 5, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 153
Describe your wedding flowers. Wildflowers–as colorful and “spriggy” as possible!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We served Coca Cola cake, banana pudding, and cupcakes!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Be patient with each other and try to have fun along the way! Be thankful for the support of family and friends.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Exploring Colorado and adventuring out west!

Photographer: Abigail Bobo / Videographer: Payton McCollum / Venue, Farm Tables, Barrels, and Prop Decor: Front Porch Farms / Florist: Cottonwood Floral / Catering and Cake: Mrs. J’s Baking and Catering / Chair Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Band: Mercy Child / DJ: Nashville Party Authority / Special Details: Lindsey Bunt / Paper Products: The Prints & The Paper / Bride’s Gown: Yvonne Lafleur / Hair Stylist: Samantha of A Moment’s Peace / Makeup Artist: Lauren Pittman

Abigail Bobo is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Abigail Bobo Photography reply

    This day… so much genuine emotion, laughter and fellowship between people who love each other. Honored to have been asked to document this for this pair! <3

  2. avatar Ruth reply

    very pretty

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Although I’m sure most brides wouldn’t consider rain one of the best parts of their wedding days, with a well thought-out backup plan, it sure can make a wedding a little extra magical, don’t you think? Lauren and Brandon’s garden ceremony was moved to the stables of Belle Meade Plantation thanks to the weather, and spruced up with jewel-toned florals by Brocade Designs and seamlessly coordinated by My Bellissima, it became a perfectly cozy place for them to become husband and wife. I love Lauren’s sentiments about their ceremony (“Rain or shine, we would be just as married when the day was over.”) as much as I love that last romantic portrait under an umbrella!

Thanks so much to Melanie Gabrielle for sharing this gorgeous celebration with us!

My dad actually picked out my dress for me! My parents were in Nashville visiting, and after two boutiques, we hadn’t found anything that really stood out to us. I thought I had found the dress, but I didn’t get the response I was looking for. We decided we would look for another dress when I went home to visit them again in September. When we got to the boutique in New Jersey, my dress was on a mannequin, and my dad said that it was the one I was going to end up purchasing. I probably tried on twenty dresses, and in the end, the dress my dad picked was the winner!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we did a first look. When we were planning out the day, it just didn’t make sense to me to not see Brandon for the majority of the day. It sounded crazy to me that I would only get to hang out with him for five hours. It was also a lifesaver for pictures–we were able to get all of our shots done without having to worry about cocktail hour and if our guests were happy or hungry. We got to enjoy the whole reception and not miss a thing!

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We went to a pre-marital counseling class at our church and met with our pastor a few times prior to the wedding. It was a great way to open some discussions we hadn’t thought of or hadn’t talked about in awhile. Our favorite exercise was family mapping–neither of our families live close to us, so we talked about how we would handle holidays so that both families were included.

We originally thought we were going to get married in the garden, but we had to implement our rain plan at the last minute. We couldn’t imagine what our ceremony was going to look like in the stables. When I was walking down the aisle, I remember thinking how beautiful everything looked, and Brandon had the biggest smile on his face. It was a great reminder that, rain or shine, we would be just as married when the day was over.

Describe your wedding flowers. In one word, our flowers were ubiquitous. Hillary from Brocade brought my vision to life–I never imagined that my wedding would be so beautiful. She used dahlias, roses, chocolate cosmos, ranunculus, stock, and rosemary, just to name a few. She used lots of ruby reds, pinks, apricots, purples, and peaches. The color combination gave depth to the blank canvas of our venue, and I don’t think she could have come up with a better color scheme to fit Brandon and I.

I didn’t have the ability to take much time off of work, so Brandon took my parents around for an entire day and went to about seven different venues to narrow down the options. The next day, I went with my parents and looked at the top three that they had chosen. I was originally set on having a small wedding with just family and a few close friends. When I went to the Belle Meade Plantation, however, my whole idea was turned upside down. I imagined filling it up with family and friends who were going to fly in from New Jersey. I wanted to entertain them with a big Southern celebration. I think the biggest significance to the venue was embracing the fact that I am truly a Southerner at heart. The venue allowed us to show everyone the culture that my husband and I love so much. It was the opposite of the weddings everyone in my family had experienced before–I mean, who gets married in a stable?

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Music has always been a big part of our relationship. Brandon always has top 40 music playing while tailgating for football games or getting ready to head to the apartment pool with friends. I always have Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin on while I’m cleaning or cooking. And we both love country music. Needless to say, our wedding had a very diverse sound! For the ceremony, we chose some non-traditional songs with acoustic and fiddle instrumentation. For the cocktail hour, we stuck with your traditional dinner songs by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Michael Bublé. During the reception, we played top 40 playlist songs and mixed in a few disco songs to appeal to my side of the family. And it wouldn’t have been a wedding in Tennessee if we didn’t play “Rocky Top” at least once!

We each had our own cake. Mine was very girly and traditional: a traditional white cake with strawberry filling for two layers and lemon cake with a lemon custard for the others. I chose lemon because it’s my dad’s favorite, and it was extremely refreshing on a hot summer day! Brandon had a groom’s cake that was Tennessee-themed. It was decorated in orange and white checkerboard, and the top was the blue and white tri-star emblem that you find on the Tennessee state flag. It was a nice way to incorporate his school pride, as well as embrace our new home state.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Brandon and I met while we were out with friends. I was new to Nashville and thought it would be fun to watch some live music with the only two girls I knew in town. Brandon happened to be out with a large group of friends for one of their birthdays. We literally bumped into each other, and the rest was history! We talked for the remainder of the night and have seen each other every day since.
Tell us all about the proposal! Knowing that I have a huge love for the beach and my family, Brandon proposed to me on a trip home to see my family in New Jersey. We drove to the Barnagate Lighthouse, where he gave me a beautiful letter and had rose petals waiting at the top of the lighthouse and a burlap banner he had made reading “Mrs. Emerson?” It was so magical, as if it were out of a Nicholas Sparks book. When I was reading my letter on the staircase, the wind from overhead was blowing the petals all around me. I thought he was doing it on purpose, but he was actually panicking because the ladies who manage the lighthouse had informed him that there couldn’t be any garbage left behind! After we had a wonderful moment embracing as the sea air whirled around us, we had to pick up 300 red rose petals as we walked back down the 217 steps!
When did y’all get married? August 30, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 135
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The mini biscuit bar! We’re both big lovers of the Southern biscuit. It was a great way to show off our Southern pride to my Northern family members. My aunts raved about it, and even took some of the biscuits home because they liked them so much!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? In order to use beautiful and high-end linens in our reception space, we toned down the linens that we used in other areas. This allowed us to use some fun sequin linens on the tables in the carriage house, as well as a fun linen on our cake table.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Melanie Gabrielle was the best decision we made regarding our wedding. We were actually teammates in college, and she reached out to me via Facebook regarding photography. Unfortunately, I had already booked a photographer. Over the next few months of following her business on social media and her blog, I fell in love with her work and her vision. I ended up parting ways with my former photographer and booked Melanie. She was so thoughtful throughout the entire process–she even sent me inspiration pictures prior to the wedding and a few sneak peeks during our honeymoon!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Relax! Your engagement is a time to celebrate the marriage you’re about to enter. Take time to enjoy your family, friends, and most of all, each other. Often times, you’ll be tempted to get bogged down by all of the details. Just remember that at the end of it all, you’ll be married to your best friend!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Brandon has recently been accepted into a graduate program in Chattanooga. We just moved and are getting settled in a new city! We’re looking forward to exploring our new town and making new friends. After he graduates from his program, we’re even more excited about figuring out where our “forever” home will be. We’re also looking forward to having some land where we can grow a garden!

Photographer: Melanie Gabrielle / Videographer: PF Films / Planner and Designer: Lauren Emerson Events and Design / Day-of Coordinator: My Bellissima / Venue: Belle Meade Plantation / Florist: Brocade / Cake Baker: Dulce Desserts / Caterer: Red Pony Catering / Rentals: Music City Tents and Events / Lighting: Bright Event Production / DJ: Nashville Party Authority / Calligraphy: Script Merchant / Paper Products: Dauphine Press / Bride’s Gown: “LZ3108” by Lazaro / Hair Stylist: Rachael Holton / Makeup Artist: Cayla Poindexter / Bride’s Shoes: “Fable” by Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Heidi” in Bright Coral by J.Crew / Menswear: Street Tuxedo

lisa Written with love by Lisa
5 Comments
  1. avatar caroline reply

    I love this! Where are the day-of pjs from?

  2. avatar Lindsay Madden reply

    An autumn wedding done right!

  3. avatar Kel Ward reply

    Such a pretty bride and wedding!

  4. avatar Marcie Lynn reply

    You captured this special day beautifully, Melanie!

  5. avatar fall carriage house wedding at belle meade plantation. featured on southern weddings. » melanie gabrielle photography reply

    […] the feature HERE on southern […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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