Submit a Feature Advertise Subscribe

the wedding scoop

Open Doors: 7 Locations for Your Nashville Wedding Ceremony That Don’t Require Membership

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Whether you’re having a Nashville destination wedding, haven’t found a spiritual home or your church just isn't an option, there are plenty of lovely options for your wedding ceremony at churches all over Nashville that welcome non-membership couples. And the options won’t disappoint. Big or small, grand or quaint, our city pretty much offers what any bride would want. Check out some of my finds below.

1) The Downtown Presbyterian Church

Telephone: 615-254-7584
Location:154 5th Ave North, Nashville, TN 37219


Image courtesy of and Brocade Designs


How about a grand pipe organ playing “Here Comes the Bride” as you walk down the aisle? The Downtown Church’s sanctuary is spacious, illustrious and has its impressive organ as the centerpiece for the ceremony. There are two main aisles and the church’s rich history is apparent through the décor and architecture. William Strickland, designer of the Tennessee State Capitol, created the church in an “Egyptian Revival” style. These elements are clearly shown throughout the building, including the sanctuary, with Egyptian scenes and design displayed on the walls and woodwork. For more information you can visit their site for the non-member and member guidelines.

2) College Grove United Methodist Church


Image courtesy of

Contact: Rev. Justin Collett
Telephone: 615-368-2191
Location: 8568 Horton Highway, College Grove, TN 37046

This adorable, cottage-esque church has been a part of the Williamson county area since 1861. With a long past of additions and remodeling, the building was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1988. And in my opinion, what’s even cooler about the church is the bragging rights that come along with it. After your ceremony you can say, “I got married in a church that’s been in a Madonna music video.” Not to mention it’s been used in an Alabama and Waylon Jennings music video and Tom Hanks’, “The Green Mile” used the church to film a portion of the movie.

3) Vine Street Christian Church

Telephone: 615-269-5614
Location: 4101 Harding Road, Nashville, Tennessee 37205

It’s safe to say Vine Street Christian’s sanctuary may be one of my favorites. They have long, open windows and tall ceilings giving brides their “grand entrance” storybook beginning. They also have an option to hold ceremonies in their chapel for smaller weddings. Pricing and guidelines are available on their site.

4) Woodmont Christian Church


Image courtesy of Lotus Blossom Photography

Contact: Marion Greenlee
Telephone: 615-383-3344, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday - Friday
Location: 3601 Hillsboro Road (at Woodmont Boulevard), Nashville, TN 37215

Woodmont Christian has a great variety of music formats! Brides have the opportunity to use an organ, piano, strings, trumpet, and even bagpipes. And their music director and organist, Michael Graham, who holds a Masters from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, may even play at your wedding and if not a CD of his stylings on the pipe organ is included in the wedding package. And just a smidge more importantly, the church is quite picturesque. Their steeple is a site to behold and, as their website suggests, will serve as a “beacon” for a couple’s big day.


Image courtesy of Lotus Blossom Photography

5) Franklin Cumberland Presbyterian

Contact: Director, Stephanie Hyden
Location: 615 West Main Street, Franklin, TN 37064

Franklin Cumberland Presbyterian has more than a traditional ceremony space….it has an impressive history. Before the Ryman was even a sketch on an architect’s pad, Franklin Cumberland Presbyterian was designed. The same man who designed the church, Hugh Carthcart Thompson, would later become the visionary behind Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. So, if you’re the type of bride interested in a more traditional, subdued ceremony without all the hullabaloo of a downtown wedding; this Presbyterian Church can accommodate up to 225 guests, grants access to a small reception area and they even offer pre-marriage counseling.

6) Scarritt Bennett Center


Image courtesy of Joy Marie Photography

Telephone: 615-340-7500
Location: 1008 19th Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37212

Their Wightman Chapel was voted “Best Place to Get Married” in the Tennessean’s 2010 “Toast of Music City!” That’s enough to get my attention. Their other chapel, Skinner, is similar to Wightman because of their shared gothic-stone style. I have to say, after all my research the Scarritt Bennett Center definitely fell on the top of my favorites list. Their buildings have a very romantic feel and, in my opinion, perfect for evening weddings. The center offers catering, options for rehearsal dinners, bridal showers and engagement parties. It’s the perfect all-in-one. They even offer overnight accommodations for up to 139 guests.

7) Tulip Street United Methodist Church


Images courtesy of

Telephone: 615-255-6248
Location: 522 Russell Street, Nashville, TN 37206

I’m one of those people who wishes there was a time machine that could throw me back into the Medieval Times. So for now, I’ll settle with visiting Tulip Street United Methodist. Its sanctuary is beautiful and has the ability to transform any wedding into a “royal” affair. On their site, they tell a bit about the building’s historical background and I love some of the little tid-bits including, “the cherub faces on the four corners of the exterior of the bell tower are placed above the gargoyles, symbolizing the presence of “good over evil”. The hand-carved cherub faces overlooking the main chandelier inside the sanctuary symbolize angels “watching from above”.

Posted by Grace | Filed under: Wedding Venues and Locations 0 comments »

10 Great Wedding Venues for Your Ode-to-Nashville Wedding! Part 2

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Yesterday, I shared five of my ten favorite Nashville-Style Wedding Venues.  I'm back to share my remaining five today. This list reminds us that Nashville's got tons of wedding venue options that will provide an exclusively Nashville feel!

6) Noah Liff Opera Center

Contact: Jessica Sneed
Telephone: 615-832-5242
Rate: $2,000 - $4,000. Call for details


The Noah Liff Opera Center has four different spaces for weddings and receptions, depending on the size of your guest list and the feel you want to go for.  Perfect for more contemporary brides who are seeking an elegant, more metropolitan feel to their weddings.



7) Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Telephone: 615-687-6500
E-mail: request information online
Rate: call for details


Image courtesy of Premier W.E.D.

Schermerhorn Symphony Center reminds me of a fairytale. If I drew a picture of a venue other than the castle, it’d be the Schermerhorn for Cinderella’s wedding. They offer different size spaces for any size party but it doesn’t matter because every corner of this building is beautiful. Recently reopened, the Schermerhorn took its fair share of the flood’s angst. But despite its setback, it’s one of Nashville’s timeless treasures.


8) Belle Meade Plantation

Telephone: 615-356-0501 x25
Rate: call for details



Images courtesy of Divine Images

Belle Meade gives you the option of an outdoor/indoor wedding. Even though the space isn’t the actual mansion you get the chance to snap some shots of you and your bridal party with the notable building. The actual event will take place in the Carriage House, Stables and Boxwood Garden. Tenting is also an option in a separate area of the plantation. Guests will get a beautiful view of the space on the drive in and will get a true taste of plantation life when they arrive. The land is covered with sunflowers and includes a working winery. It’s a great spot for a laid-back, relaxed celebration.


Image courtesy of Belle Meade Plantation Facebook Page

9) The Parthenon

Contact: Gordon Richard, Events Coordinator Community Affairs Office
Telephone: 615-862-8400
Rate: call for details


Images courtesy of Jen McDonald Photography and

The Parthenon is located in Nashville’s Centennial Park and rests as the showpiece for the area. It’s a complete replica of the Athenian beauty paying homage to the classical architecture and serving as home to one of Nashville’s art museums and our own statute of Athena. The Parthenon has become a popular site for nuptial parties and for engagement photos. Standing on the steps of Greece’s legacy has the potential for some “pinch me” moments.

10) Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum

Telephone: 615-354-6377
Rate: call for details


Cheekwood is for lovers of art and wonderful scenery. It’s a 55-acre botanical garden with its own art museum. Packed with history, the estate is a great place for a ceremony and/or reception. It’s the once home of the Cheek family (Maxwell House coffee) and acts as a place of inspiration for any Nashville native or visitor. They offer a handful of locations based on your need for accommodations, all with their own exclusive beauty. My favorite would have to be the Reflection Pool. 


Image courtesy of Kristyn Hogan, lifestyle photographer

Posted by Grace | Filed under: Wedding Venues and Locations 0 comments »

10 Great Wedding Venues for Your Ode-to-Nashville Wedding! Part 1

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Every city has their own niche. Ours is filled with contemporary entertainment and cozy, family warmth. Nashville is known for being the capital of music and hospitality but it’s also known for its rich history and tourism. For fellow Nashvillans looking to celebrate not only their love but their home and for out-of-towners who have chosen Music City for their destination wedding, these are some great “Nashville Only” venues.

1) Ryman Auditorium

Contact: David Collier
Telephone: e-mail for rental request
Rate: Ceremony starting at $8,000 – Plus reception starting at $10,000


Image courtesy of The Ryman Auditorium's Facebook

The Ryman Auditorium has a piece of my heart not only for its historic nature but because my sister was married there in 2007. The coolest part of the entire experience was right before the ceremony. All the ladies had the opportunity to get ready backstage in the dressing rooms. As I was adorning my sister’s eyelids with pink chiffon shadow we just couldn’t resist imagining that we were some of the top performers getting ready to go on stage. We just kept saying to each other, “O my goodness, Elvis stood on that stage,” or “Patsy Cline used this dressing room.” Aside from the picturesque stained-glass windows and the wooden pews that bring a down-home, country essence the Ryman brings a “wow” factor to any ceremony or reception.

2) Country Music Hall of Fame

Telephone: 615-416-2001
Rate: request info online for details


Image courtesy of McLellan Style

The Country Music Hall of Fame is quintessential Nashville. It’s a top spot for celebrating Nashville’s musical heritage. The Hall has more than one space to offer for a reception or ceremony. My favorite spot would be the Hall of Fame Rotunda, which can hold up to 300 for a reception and where the legacy of our favorite artists is preserved.

3) Shelby Street Bridge

Contact: Marilyn Edwards
Telephone: 615.862.6024
Rate: call for details

Even in February, you get perfect days such as the weekend we just had where it's warm so outdoor venues like the Pedestrian Bridge downtown can be used pretty much year-round.  With stunning views from all sides of the Nashville skyline, the river and wide open sky, it's become one of the more popular venues for weddings.


4) Gaylord/Opryland Hotel

Telephone: 615-458-2152
E-mail: or
Rate: call for details


Image courtesy of Gaylord Hotels

Personally, choosing Opryland Hotel for your big day is like receiving a two for one venue spot. Of course they have a ballroom option for ceremony and reception. But you could also pick to be wed in the Delta Pavilion or Delta Landing depending on the size of your ceremony. This is like having everything you’ve ever wanted for an outdoor wedding, with no worries of how hot it is or if it’s going to rain. In total, they offer five choices and they all pack their own “oomph”.


Image courtesy of

5) Frist Center for the Visual Arts
Telephone: 615-744-3322
E-mail: events at fristcenter dot org
Rate: call for details


Image courtesy of

From the first time I heard the idea of having a wedding at a museum, no matter the type, I was hooked. The Frist is a unique venue serving as home to a variety of exhibitions and spaces for any type of event. What’s even better about the space – it’s right in the heart of Nashville. It’s in walking distance from some of Nashville’s best, including the Country Music Hall of Fame. Rental fees include security, available table and chairs and an event manager.


Image courtesy of Frist Center Facebook Page

Posted by Grace | Filed under: Wedding Venues and Locations 2 comments »

Favorites from the Enchanted Brides Show - Part 2

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Yesterday, I shared my favorites from the Enchanted Brides Bridal Show at the Hutton Hotel and today, I'm back with part 2.



The White Room -

The White Room was another favorite before the show. I got two of my prom dresses from the Lebanon store while in high school and I brag about them all the time. And when we shopped there for my sister’s wedding dress they had a great selection of gowns. Now I need a buddy to go snoop around the Murfreesboro store and look at all their pretty things. At Enchanted, they had two great dresses on display, one being from the Blue by Enzoani collection that really caught my eye. 


Photo Booth Nashville -

Pictures are the best way to share memories. What a better way to remember and share memories with your guest than to have a photo booth to capture all the crazy friends, old roommates and new in-laws at your reception? Photo Booth Nashville provides the props, allowing guests to dress up in their boas and take picture.  Such a fun idea.


Derrick Pierce Studio -

D. Pierce Studio had my favorite photos and set-up of the night. Not only do they specialize in a romantic style of photos they also offer a photojournalistic style for the more modern, cutting-edge bride and groom. Derrick and Laura were lovely to talk with and made you feel right at home. It’s hard to have your picture taken with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable, but the pair was warm, inviting and super creative. Their display stood tall with beautiful photos checker-boarded up and down their wall of brides. Some couples like to play a slideshow of pictures at their rehearsal dinner or even their reception, but I think having something like this displayed would be a great show piece.


Other ABG favorites at the show included StudioWedRegalo Design, Ribbons of Chocolate (, Mere Bulles and for the boys, Street Tuxedo.


Regalo Design


Handmade brooch bouquet by Regalo Design


Street Tuxedo

Posted by Grace | Filed under: Bridal Shows & Events, Luxury Nashville Wedding Finds, Wedding Resources 0 comments »

Grace Shares Her Favorites from the Enchanted Brides Bridal Show - Pt. 1

Monday, January 17, 2011

When you work in a certain industry, no matter how much you love it and how deeply passionate you are about it, it's easy to get caught in the mix and to forget what it's like to see it from a fan's point of view.  Last week, I went to the Enchanted Brides Show at the Hutton Hotel with one of our ABG contributors, Grace.  Grace is a student at UT Chattanooga and our new intern!  We're so lucky to have her onboard, as she learns more about the wedding industry.  

She is a fan of weddings and it was her first bridal show to attend - ever. I had a blast hearing her thoughts on things and it was really refreshing. We're happy to share Part 1 of the Enchanted Brides Bridal Show recap today.

Take it away Grace! - Tabitha


The Enchanted Bridal Show was full of fun people and things to see. I heard through the grapevine that the smaller bridal shows can be a bit more fun, and as someone who’s never been to such an event I was perplexed. Why would a smaller show be more fun? Well, it’s not that Enchanted was “small” but it was small enough to have time to get information with no rush, but it was big enough to pack in some inspiring surprises. 

As a bridal show newbie, I was really excited to scurry around to all the different booths, taste some goodies and talk to the creative minds behind all the beautiful Nashville weddings. 


Chef’s Market -

Before seeing the Chef’s Market booth I was a fan, so when I found out some extra tid-bits about services they offer I was super impressed. I go there all the time for lunch when I’m home from school and I already knew they catered, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out they can also produce some pretty awesome table and chair décor. Their set up was a mix between old and new, punched up with a girlish charm. My favorite part was the ghost chairs covered with springy, flower cushions. And I can’t forget to mention their sampling of French macaroons, perfect as favors.


Music City Events -

I had the pleasure to meet Sarah Willard, owner and designer, of Music City Events. She was vibrant and definitely had that creative presence that a lot of artists have. She had a mock-up table displayed, pairing a pale blue with a deeper red. It wasn’t matchy-matchy, it was more like “this doesn’t make complete sense but it works perfectly”.




Designs In Paper -

All I have to say is, paper fortune cookies and cootie catchers = cute, cute, cute! The Designs In Paper booth was full of cute patterns and pictures and some fun, new ideas. As a lover and collector of stationary and greeting cards, I was giddy when I was showed the paper fortune cookies sitting in a Chinese take-out box. What’s even cooler about the cookies is you can get them in any color or pattern and have whatever fortune you want displayed inside.  {They specialize in wedding invitations and paper goods.}



Royal Icing -

First of all, Royal Icing’s tagline, “Have your art and eat it too”, got my immediate attention. In my opinion, all wedding cakes are artistic pieces but these cakes are particularly special. I spoke with the owner, Carolyn King Pennekamp and she told me all about her ideas when it comes to bringing art to the cake batter. She created an edible paint that acts as an acrylic and uses fondant as the canvas to create beautiful designs and paintings. Pennekamp teamed up with Nashville’s own, Rob Hendon, known for his work with Les Paul, and together they’ve started to create a whole new meaning to “artsy icing”.


Two Fat Men Catering Company -

My favorite yummy surprise of the night came from the Two Fat Men Booth. They had some of the most unique choices, including chocolate covered bacon. Granted, I’ve heard about it before and you can buy a bar of it at places like World Market, I’d never been brave enough to try it! I’m not a huge bacon lover, but after I took a bite I fell in love. The bacon was crispy and the chocolate was creamy and it was a perfect combination. The ladies running the booth were a joy to talk to and told us about an open house coming up on January 22. You can R.S.V.P online and enjoy the unveiling of their new menu items and “Fat Man Favorites”. And another shout out to one of their treats goes to the strawberry bruschetta – tasty!


Please check back to see more of Grace's favorite finds on Tuesday!  Did you attend the show? What were your favorite finds?

Posted by Grace | Filed under: Bridal Shows & Events, Luxury Nashville Wedding Finds, Wedding Resources 0 comments »