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Joe Proposes at Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, Lacy Shares Their Story

Monday, November 24, 2014

What’s not to love about an engagement story that includes historical context? When we heard about Lacy and Joe’s engagement at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, we knew we just had to share it. It has all of the elements of a perfect memorable engagement — surprise date, plot twist, after-hours stroll at Cheekwood and a handsome guy down on one knee!

We don’t want to give anything away before you get to read this romantic story for yourself and see this cute engagement session, photographed by Nyk + Cali Wedding Photographers.

So what are you waiting for? Dig in!

cheekwood nashville engagement session nyk cali photography


Lacy & Joe 
Date of proposal: April 3, 2014 
Wedding date: Sept. 20, 2014 


How did you get engaged?  Tell us about your proposal:  

It was a Thursday night when Joe picked me up for one of his “surprise” dates. Joe is a hopeless romantic, so this kind of a thing was not uncommon, meaning I had no idea what was in store!

He started the evening off with dinner at Sperry’s Restaurant where he convinced me that the next plan for the night was to see a movie. But when we got in the car, it didn’t take long for me to realize that we were not headed to the movie theater. We rolled into Cheekwood after-hours (you’d think I’d have a clue that something was up… I definitely still didn’t) and I suggested that we go walk down to the Howe Gardens so I could show him the Wemyss/Kerrigan gates.  These beautiful iron gates once belonged to my great grandmother, Ellen Wemyss.  Joe was one step ahead of me. When we rounded the corner, I saw that flowers and lights decorated the entryway. Joe got down on one knee and asked me to be his bride. I was completely surprised and happily agreed! 

You are just married!  Congratulations!!  Tell us a little about your wedding.  Who did you hire to help plan your wedding?

My mother and I planned it all together. We are both designers and when we joined forces, so to speak, we were able to do a lot of fun and creative things. We had two close family friends volunteer to help coordinate the day of the ceremony.

cheekwood nashville engagement session nyk cali photography


What was your approach to budgeting for your wedding? 

We're used it as a guide but had some flexibility

How many wedding guests did you invite? 200

What was your wedding style?

We had a very rustic and industrial feel to our wedding. We had iron marquee signs and Edison bulbs dangling over the bar. We used burlap as table cloths and lace for table runners. Beer was served in mason jars and cokes were enjoyed from glass bottles.  


cheekwood nashville engagement session nyk cali photography


What’s was your most fun purchase/hire?

Our band! The SCAT Springs Band rocked the house that night! Every one was dancing by the end. Also, we chose to eat pie instead of cake. The pies from Papa C’s Pies in Franklin were outstanding!

What did you enjoy most about being engaged?

I couldn’t believe the amount of love and support poured out on us during that time! So many friends offered to host showers and parties in honor of Joe and I. I experienced so many loved ones give of themselves to celebrate us and to help in the process of planing. It has been incredible to see the people in our life offer their gifts and talents to make our special day even more spectacular! We both felt so loved and so honored. Thank you to everyone!


About the Author:

Newlywed Leah's avatar
Newlywed Leah

For many women, their fascination with weddings fades after they say, “I do.” Not for me. Even though my wedding was two years ago, I still very much have a heart for weddings and helping brides focus on what’s important — building a day that reflects both the bride and the groom while focusing on the why of the wedding — the marriage. In addition to my job as a personal trainer and wellness coach, I also coordinate weddings part time, offering couples both perspective and a little elbow grease to make sure their wedding day is a success. I’m a huge advocate for life balance and I like to remind and encourage couples to keep their sanity — and a healthy relationship — in the midst of wedding planning. Check out my health and wellness blog at

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send Posted on November 24, 2014 | Filed under: Engagements & Proposals, Photography,

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