It’s clear from the start that Chrissy + Tate’s wedding is different. From their Dixie Gin venue to their terrarium centerpieces and deer skull-flanked sweetheart table, we love how these newlyweds weren’t afraid of going a little outside the box with their ideas.
“Shortly after we got engaged, Tate’s dad said, “We’re really excited to see what y’all do for your wedding. We have a feeling it’s going to be really…different.” We’re not a run-of-the-mill pair, and we weren’t shy with adding in our taste and personality into the day. People came up to us throughout the night saying, ‘This is the most unique and fun wedding I’ve ever attended! I cried during your ceremony more than at my child’s!'”
We might have shed a few tears of our own, especially after seeing Chrissy + Tate’s sweet-as-pie dance photos. Be prepared, y’all!
Tell us a bit about your first dance. We danced to “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds. I’ve been a fan of his since high school, and the first time I heard that song, I knew I would dance to it at my wedding. Luckily Tate also loves the song and agreed! He doesn’t realize this, but I purposely snuck it into a playlist on one of our first road trips to see if he’d react at all to the lyrics. I remember him reaching over to squeeze my hand after it played and I thought, “Yes!!!” During our first dance, every guest gathered around us in a circle. It was really lovely.
What song did you use for your Father-Daughter dance? We danced to a cover of “Baby Mine” from Dumbo. There wasn’t a dry eye in sight.
What was the design inspiration for your reception? When coming up with a design concept for the reception (and the wedding overall), I tried to think of it in the same way I would decorate our home. Lots of texture, depth, variety, and a homey, vintage feel. Our families and friends were so helpful with setting up the day before, it could not have happened without them!
What advice would you give to someone planning his or her wedding? Planning a wedding is very time consuming. I felt like I had two full-time jobs! Know that everyone wants to help you, and chances are, if you ask, they will. When dress shopping with your Mom (or anyone, really), keep in mind that she may have imagined you in a gown that is completely different from what you would like to wear. Try on a gown of her choice anyway, if for no other reason than to see her smile. Etsy is your new best friend! Not everyone will be able to attend your wedding, but try not to take it personally. Don’t be afraid to take risks! Our save the dates were magnets with the two of us making ridiculous faces and the caption, “Things are getting serious.” At first our families were apprehensive, to say the least. As everyone received theirs in the mail, they called our parents laughing, saying how much they loved having such a cute picture on their fridge!
I’m not much of a flower girl and the venue had so much character that I didn’t want to distract from its natural beauty. Rather than traditional centerpieces, we made terrariums filled with moss and succulents and placed them on a tree stump in the center of each table. We bought house numbers from a home improvement store and glued them to bricks for table numbers. To help the space feel lush, we found squares of moss online and used them as placemats, as well as a moss aisle runner for the ceremony. We also filled blue mason jars with cotton burs, and placed flameless tea lights inside to create a soft glow. Our place settings had gold charger plates topped with a dinner and salad plate made from bamboo and simply folded floral napkins that Tate and I made as a DIY project. We also used the tables as an opportunity for a unique guest book activity: wedding Mad Libs! On a trip together to upstate New York, we played Mad Libs for hours. It is yet another example of how we added bits and pieces of moments in our relationship into our wedding day. Everyone filled out the cards while they waited their turn for dinner, which also made for a fun activity.
Heather of Social Bites of Ruston made us an absolutely delicious white cake with vanilla icing. Of the two of us, Tate has the sweet tooth, so I left choosing a cake up to him. Cake tasting day was probably his favorite day in the whole process! We also found the cutest cake topper on Etsy. It’s a giraffe bride and groom and is a nod to an inside joke we share about giraffes. It was another small way we were able to incorporate our personalities into the day.
Where did you sit? Our head table was a tufted settee surrounded by candles and family heirlooms with two vintage TV trays we found online as a table. It was very comfortable and really cute! The deer skulls on the wall behind us were back from Tate’s hunting days – we have one on the wall at home, too.
What kind of food did you serve during cocktail hour and dinner? Amanda and the staff at Flour Child Fine Foods made the best meal I have ever had at a wedding. For hors d’oeuvres, we had champagne marinated shrimp with spicy remoulade, assorted cheese, and crudités served in cucumber cups. For dinner, we had fried chicken and waffles, pulled pork sliders, bacon-wrapped quail over truffle mac and cheese, cheese grits, a mixed greens salad, and freshly made strawberry lime mojitos. At the end of the night, they brought out individual cups of French fries. It was all absolutely scrumptious!
What was the scariest moment? Tate’s mom warned me early on that no matter how much you plan, something will go wrong at the wedding. With that in mind, the scariest moment was probably when my friends sent me a text saying the bus we hired was 45 minutes late, and a large group of people had to beg the hotel to bring them in their airport shuttle. Luckily, the hotel agreed and everyone made it on time. In general though, our shuttle rental was not reliable, which was frustrating.
Did you toss the garter or bouquet? I completely forgot about purchasing a garter, so we only did a bouquet toss. It was fun! Ironically, the two friends next to my friend who caught the bouquet are now engaged.
Did you include any Southern traditions in your wedding? We had a Groom’s cake, and Tate’s dad was his best man. Tate and his fellow Ole Miss graduates gathered in a circle and yelled Hotty Toddy.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when planning your wedding? Living in another state was tough as it wasn’t easy to see how it would all come together until it actually did. We rented a storage unit and would ship items there in advance, which was really helpful. When marrying in another location, I really recommend getting there at least a week ahead of time to make sure everything is good to go.
What range did your budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where? Rather than have a gift registry, we registered for our honeymoon. Let me tell you, it was so much better than a new blender! We spent 16 days traveling through Southern Italy and it was nothing short of incredible.
Best advice anyone gave you on planning a wedding? Invest in a great photographer, as they are worth every penny. I immediately flipped upon seeing Courtney Dellafiora’s work online. Her talent, style, and eye as an artist is so unique—and you can tell photography is her calling. We were so happy she was available on our wedding day! She captured all of the emotion and moments beautifully. We first saw the wedding photographs while on our honeymoon and we both gasped — they are stunning. We cannot thank or recommend her enough.