This fall, we have had the pleasure of having Christina, a senior at UNC, as our editorial intern! Her sweet disposition, positive attitude, and love for weddings have made her a delight to have in the SW office, and we will certainly miss her. We couldn’t let her leave without introducing y’all to a beautiful wedding, so we invited her to write today’s post! – Lisa
Recognize these college sweethearts? Y’all just might have seen them on the last page of V7! Cody’s surprise proposal to Meredith at a photo shoot is one of the sweetest moments I’ve ever seen, and when the proposal is that special, you just know the wedding will be even more meaningful. So many elements of this Nashville wedding, from the family barn venue to the original songs performed by dear friends, were so true to their home state, and we can’t think of anything more Southern and meaningful than wearing your momma’s veil! This couple’s love makes our hearts so full, and we are so delighted to share their special day, photographed by The Image is Found!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did, and my favorite was my old and borrowed! I was able to wear my mother’s veil that she made herself years ago. She grew up in Brussels, Belgium and used actual Belgian lace from my great-grandmother to hand sew the cathedral veil, almost 35 years ago. It felt like wearing a piece of family history.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did a first look, and it was perfect. We wanted to have time to take a breath, slow down, and enjoy each other on our wedding day. Having no one else around made the first time we saw each other really special, and it helped us feel like we hit pause for just a second when there was a lot going on.
We got married just outside of Nashville in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee. Our ceremony was in an open field next to my uncle’s house, and we had the reception at his barn. We love the small town feel of Leiper’s Fork, and we have spent a lot of time out there. We even have family holidays in the same barn.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Lucky for us, several of our friends are amazing musicians. Jillian Edwards and Parke Avery played cover songs at our ceremony, and I walked down the aisle to one of Parke’s original songs. Living in Nashville lends itself to having incredibly talented friends! During communion, Parke played “Your Love is Strong” by Jon Foreman. Standing out in the field, listening to those words of truth was such a grounding moment and a reminder of why marriage was designed by the Creator–to show His unconditional love and commitment to us.
Our flowers were literally exactly what I had envisioned. Lauren Ledbetter and I searched for flowers that I loved and incorporated greenery as well. She arranged the bouquets with peach garden roses, pink spray roses, white anemones, dusty miller leaves, seeded eucalyptus, willow eucalyptus, and peach ranunculus. However, what I think tied it all together (literally as well) was the handmade silk ribbon from FrouFrou Chic.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Most weddings in Tennessee are naturally pretty Southern, but Leiper’s Fork is about as Southern as it gets! Having our ceremony in the land trust and reception next door at our family’s barn was pretty special. It meant a lot to us, and it’s a place that we can always visit and relive our wedding day. We used a tractor’s trough to hold cold beer, hay bales were covered in quilts for extra seating, and we drove away in a 70’s Chevy K-5 Blazer.
Since our venues were an open field and the family barn next door, the biggest challenge was being the first wedding held there. There were no blueprints to follow or anyone saying “We often do it like this.” My mom and I spent a lot of time planning out the logistics… and the lack of a rain plan! We were so blessed, as it turned out to be such a beautiful day in October.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Cody and I met during our freshman year in college. We had the same math teacher, and our classes were back to back, so we would pass each other every day and catch each other’s eye from time to time. Cody and I fit into the “opposites attract” category. I came from a small school in Nashville, am a perfectionist, and I was social, but an introvert at heart. Cody, on the other hand, was always the life of the party, smart without even trying, never forgot a name, and was incredibly charming. I went to Knoxville devastatingly homesick for Nashville, catching rides home every weekend. Finally, a few weeks into the semester, I had to face my biggest fear: staying the weekend on campus. Somehow, I ended up hanging out with Cody, and it changed everything. For the first time, I got to see Cody in his element: his city, his family, and his abundant excitement for life. After that, I never could quite shake him. I learned that grades didn’t have to come at the expense of my college memories, and I learned that getting an A+ is not always worth the adventures missed out on. The next seven years have been nothing but incredible adventures with a man who quickly became my best friend. I assure him it’s okay to simply stay in alone and watch Crazy, Stupid, Love, and he convinces me to stay out until 3 a.m. to sing karaoke. Regardless of being so different, there is something to say for being “known” so deeply in all of your quirky ways. After five years of dating and two years of long-distance (and me making the mistake of casually saying “I don’t want to be engaged during school”), I graduated from Vanderbilt on a Thursday, and less than 24 hours later, he asked me the question that he without a doubt knew the answer to.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Cody: Well, I can tell you right now that I’ve always known I was going to marry Meredith. Like Mere said earlier, she once made the comment, “I don’t think I want to be engaged during school,” so naturally, I proposed the day after she graduated. We were at a wedding in December when Rachel Moore unknowingly kicked my plan to propose in high gear. She asked Meredith’s friend Tori (the bride) who we were and if we would be models for a styled shoot. Before the shoot, I called Rachel, and she LOVED the idea of a proposal during the shoot. I talked to Mere’s parents, got the ring, and coordinated with Rachel (all under Meredith’s nose), and the big day finally arrived. I hid the ring all day, we had so much fun, and Meredith still had no idea what was about to happen. At the end of the day, Mere had changed into her “getaway” dress, and Rachel set up the shot for us to be “leaving the reception” so I could pop the question. We waited till the end of the shoot was so that if Meredith cried, her makeup wouldn’t be messed up for the entire shoot! Sure enough, before I could get all of my words out, the waterworks were in full effect. Mere still didn’t believe it was happening (as her face shows in the pictures) until I pulled out the ring, but she said yes!
When did y’all get married? October 12, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: In honor of both of our grandparents who had passed away, we had each of our brothers carry a flower down the aisle during the seating of the grandparents and set the flowers in their chairs. It was a way for us to remember them on our wedding day and remind us that they were cheering us on from even better seats.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Pick three things that are most important to you, and budget around those three. If you have a certain photographer, dress, or band that you absolutely have to have… go for it! Budgeting can be so difficult, but we would say invest in what you care about and find a way to cut costs and make sacrifices in areas that do not matter to you as much. For us, we were fully invested in photography and band, but the cake was not so important. Every couple is different, and when you look back, you just want it to feel like “you.”
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? The next big thing on our list is buying a house! We know the house hunting process might take a while, but we’re excited to plant some roots in Nashville and have a place to call home.
Photographer: The Image Is Found / Planner and Florist: Lauren Ledbetter / Venue: Private residence / Cake Baker: The Painted Cupcake / Catering: Temple Catering / Rentals: Music City Tents & Events / Band: Groove Addiction / Paper Products: Hardink Calligraphy / Bride’s Gown: Allure / Hair and Makeup: Amanda Gros / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale / Menswear: Express / Silk Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic
The Image is Found is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!
It took exactly one year for Kimberly and Jason to go from their first date to their wedding day. As someone who never would have imagined I’d get engaged just eight months after starting to date my now-fiancé, I could not agree more with Kimberly’s sentiment: when you know, you know! These two couldn’t resist tying the knot on the same occasion that fell on their first date, the Kentucky Derby. Drawing from this beloved Southern sporting event for inspiration, as well as Kimberly’s passion for all things equestrian, Kimberly and Jason set out to plan a sweet spring wedding, complete with fabulous hats and an abundance of mint juleps. Marilisa of Chancey Charm Weddings was on hand to ensure the day went off seamlessly, and our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Chris Isham, captured every special moment and detail!
On Saturday, May 4, 2013, a dark bay colt named Itsmyluckyday ran in the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Unfortunately for him, it was not his lucky day, as he finished near the end of the pack, but for Jason and me, that day changed our lives forever. It was the day we sat in a corner booth at The Capital Grille in Atlanta for over four hours on our first date. Less than a week later, we had a second dinner date that lasted over five hours, and by our third date, we both finally understood what the phrase “you will just know” meant. We both felt that all the years leading up to us meeting were years that God had used to mold and shape us to be ready for each other.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? The layout of our wedding day was a bit unusual in that we wanted to keep the ceremony very small and intimate, with only our families and extended families in attendance. Following the ceremony, we had a cocktail hour so that our ceremony guests could mingle, and the other 200+ guests who were invited to the reception arrived. We decided to do a first look before the ceremony, as we wanted a moment that was all ours to read the vows that we had written for each other. This was the most intimate moment of the day, and one we will never forget!
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? When my dear friend, client, and business partner offered her farm to us as a wedding venue, the decision was a no-brainer–it is immaculately kept and so very serene! My horse is boarded at the farm, and I train clients’ horses, so I am there most days of the week. The farm is like heaven on earth to me! You could truly feel the presence of God at the farm on our wedding day.
I knew that our ceremony was going to be an emotional time, so we added a little comic relief by having my dog, Zhou, as our ring bearer! He goes to work with me every day, so he knows his way around the farm. He did perfectly coming down the aisle and sitting with us, but I guess he got a little bored, because he started rolling around in the grass at my feet. It was a great laugh!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Jason and I both agree that when our photographer took us to the pasture to have some photos taken between the ceremony and reception, we were truly able to breathe in the atmosphere. The reception guests had arrived, and the band was starting up, so from a distance, we were able to let everything sink in for a moment.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The Kentucky Derby theme was a lot of fun! It was quite significant considering our first date and wedding day were both on Derby Day. I have also ridden my entire life and have made my career training horses, so it fit my personality and passions. Our guests seemed to really enjoy the Derby attire, and everyone looked so posh! We wanted the overall feel to be elegant, yet comfortable, and I think the Derby theme helped us achieve this. From the Derby props in the photo booth to the lavender mint juleps, it was so much fun!
We wanted an environment that encouraged our guest to be up, moving and mingling. We had enough seating/tables for about half our guests, so those who wanted to sit had the option, but we also had a bunch of high tables set out for those wanting to stand. Mac the Cheese was the perfect fit for our desire to have people “grazing” on the Southern fixins’. They set up a couple of Southern food stations, and also served off the truck. We made sure to have plenty of sweet tea as well!
Jason and I discussed eloping right after we got engaged because neither of us considered ourselves “wedding” people, but it was so important for us to have our family there. I was not a girl who grew up dreaming of a fairy tale wedding, so I had to mentally break things down and think of it like planning a big party. In the end, it all turned out to be a fairy tale wedding, and we were so happy that we didn’t elope.
Don’t miss their teaser from Remedy Wedding Films!
Tell us about the proposal! On a Wednesday evening in early October, after having dinner in Chattanooga, Jason and I took a walk across the Walnut Street Bridge. While sitting on a bench overlooking the Tennessee River, Jason asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. We chose May 3, 2014 for our wedding date, and the 140th Kentucky Derby ran as our friends and families celebrated our union, exactly one year from our first date!
When did y’all get married? May 3, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 75 at the ceremony, about 275 at the reception
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Finding my dress was one of the easiest parts of wedding planning! I thought it might be a daunting task, as I am not much of a shopper, and I had never thought about my future wedding dress. I made three appointments on one day and invited my mom and sister to join me. My second appointment was almost cut short, as I did not want to dig through the hundreds of dresses on the racks at Bridals by Lori, but my sister jumped at the opportunity and started bringing dresses to me in the fitting room. I tried on a few that were beautiful, but the fourth or fifth dress brought a tear to my eye when I walked out to show my mom. The dress was so unique and had so many different elements to it. It was a perfect fit for my personality!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? For the ceremony, we wanted all the glory to be given to God. A childhood friend of mine, who is now an ordained minister, told our story of how God brought us together, and we took communion. We also put a unity cross together to represent two becoming one. We had scripture read, as well as praise and worship music played.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was a hair clip that my sister (my matron of honor) had worn in her wedding. For my something blue, I had fabric that belonged to my late grandmother (a seamstress) sewn in the underside of my dress. My something old was an old Italian handkerchief given to me from our mentor couple on our wedding day. I wrapped it around my bouquet under the diamond horseshoe brooch that I had pinned to the stems.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Breathe…your engagement should be about the marriage, not the wedding. We attend North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, and we were blessed to go through their premarital mentoring program. It was time well spent leading up to the biggest decision of our lives. We loved our mentor couple and continue to seek their wisdom and guidance!
Photographer: Chris Isham Photography / Videographer: Remedy Wedding Films / Planner: Chancey Charm / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Serenity Farm / Florist: Bloomin’ Bouquets / Cake Baker: Cakes by Darcy / Caterer: Mac the Cheese / Rentals and Lighting: Classic Party Rentals / Band: Az Izz / Photo Booth: Wow Photo Booth / Paper Products: Ecru Stationery & Design / Bridal Salon, Bride’s Accessories, and Men’s Attire: Bridals by Lori / Hair Stylist: Studio Todd G / Makeup Artist: The Moore Agency / Bride’s Shoes: Benjamin Adams and Stuart Weiztman / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bravura / Monogram Throw Pillows: I Do Linens / Transportation: Easy Ride Golf Carts
Chris Isham is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!