St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner and today I'm bringing you one of the most elegant green weddings I've ever seen! If there is one way to incorporate the color of the year into your wedding this year, take some tips from Sara + Mitchell. Their sweet southern destination wedding at The Fontanel in Nashville was every bit of elegant! The couple wanted to give their out of town guests a great introduction to Nashville through their wedding details. With The Fontanel emulating such rich country music history to the Goo Goo Cluster favors, the thought Sara + Mitchell put into their big day created an experience each guest will not soon forget! Take a look at their photos by Alex Thornton Photography below to see each and every detail of their day...
Sara: We have always been intentional in our relationship. Marriage was something that we talked about very early on and frequently throughout our relationship. For almost the whole year before we got engaged Mitch had been fake proposing to me. So at this point he had been pretty good at keeping me on my toes with the whole proposal. The Monday before Christmas, Mitch proposed (for real this time!) at the park in St. Armands Circle surrounded by all the amazing Christmas lights and decorations. After the proposal, Mitch had organized our closest friends at Daquiri Deck for a surprise engagement party!
What was the vision for your wedding?
Sara: Ultimately we wanted our wedding to be classy and elegant without feeling stuffy. All of our guests were from out of town so we also really wanted to give them the opportunity to experience Nashville and country music history. In an effort to give them the best of both worlds we planned a "Big City and Big Country" weekend. Friday night we had a welcome dinner for everyone at the Johnny Cash Museum downtown just steps away from the honky tonks on Lower Broadway. Then for the big day we took them out to Nashville's country side to the Fontanel Mansion which just exemplifies Nashville history. And what is more warm and cozy than a log cabin?
Can you share any special moments or highlights from your wedding day?
Sara: We had such a wonderful day with so many priceless memories so it is difficult to pick just one. I loved that we were the last ones to leave our wedding! We chose not have a planned exit so we could have the opportunity to say goodbye and thank you to every loved one who made our weekend so very special. We also both have a little bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) so we wanted to be a part of the reception all night. We actually ended up being the caboose of the very last group of friends to leave the venue!
What are some tips you can share with other brides planning their weddings?
Sara: Find a venue with an amazing team. The best decision we made was booking The Fontanel - Jade and Mary are unbelievable. Our wedding was a destination wedding - we planned the majority of it from Florida with only a few trips to Nashville! They were amazing guides to helping us find and organize our vendors for the weekend. We developed such an awesome friendship with both of them through the process.
From the photographer, Alex Thornton: Sara and Mitchell are an almost-impossibly-sweet couple who love everything about Nashville. From country music to Tennessee cooking, Nashville is in their bones. Though they reside in Florida, their dream was always to get married in our wonderful town. The Fontanel was a perfect venue that met all of the couple's wedding day needs. They got married on October 1, 2016, a day that provided warm weather and a comforting breeze. Sara and Mitchell picked a beautiful shade of dark green, accompanied by white, black, and gold for their wedding day color palette. The couple had a first look, where they embraced, shed tears, and spoke of how lucky they were to have found one another. The ceremony took the guests through the story Sara and Mitchell's meeting and falling in love, and every person in attendance could feel that this union was nothing short of amazing. The reception was both fun and romantic, and the joyous occasion continued throughout the night.
Thank you so much for sharing Sara + Mitchell's beautiful wedding with us, Alex! You can find more of Alex Thornton's work on her website here and also be sure to follow her on Instagram here!
With an intimate group of 60 guests and lots of DIY elements, Lindsey + Ryan's wedding at The Horton Building had so much charm! The couple's laid-back feel, complete with barbeque and beers, was planned with the help of friends and family. From the DIY bouquets by Lindsey's aunt and cakes and desserts by her mother and grandmother, the family's love for the couple was sprinkled in so many elements throughout the day. Their love for breweries ties into their love story so well and they made sure to celebrate with their favorite Black Abbey brews during their reception. The Horton Building's historic industrial brick atmosphere was the perfect setting for the occasion! See all of their photos by LMR Photos along with their engagement story below!
The couple's story told by the bride, Lindsey: For Christmas, Ryan gave me a large roadmap where he plotted a road trip and identified all the breweries from Nashville to Fort Collins. I had been wanting to go to Fort Collins ever since I drove through with my mom and grandmother on a road trip to Seattle. I was so excited when I "cashed-in" the road trip in August 2015. Earlier that month, for my birthday I had picked out my engagement ring, but I didn't know that Ryan bought it soon after. In the middle of our Fort Collins trip, Ryan wanted to take me on a hike to find Aspen trees (my favorite). While the trees hadn't turned colors yet for the fall, the hike in the RMNP was beautiful. We hiked from Bear Lake to Emerald Lake ending at an elevation of 10,000 feet. We stopped for a rest at the top and to eat. I took my shoes and jacket off. Ryan still had his jacket on when he walked over to a family to ask them to take a picture of us. What I didn't know was that the family spoke french so Ryan saw it as his opportunity to ask the young girl to take a photo of us while he proposed without me knowing what he was saying. So, the young girl followed Ryan over to me as he bent down to one knee and asked me to marry him. My answer "yes" was interrupted by the young girl who asked us to move to better light.
Thank you so much for sharing Lindsey + Ryan's photos with us LMR Photos! You can also find more of Lindsy's work here on her website and here on her Instagram page! Happy Monday!
Bridal portraits are must-have shots in your wedding photography! Most brides opt to do them before or after their ceremony on the day of their wedding. However, weddings are usually on a timely schedule and you need to make sure you carve out time for every photo you want with your photographer and planner. This is definitely a time where you don't want to feel rushed - especially since emotion can show in each and every photo! Well we have a fun and creative idea that Nashville bride Michelle decided to do with her photographer Jessica Lauren. She took her bridal portraits a few days before her wedding! And what a great way to feel comfortable in your dress and do a trial run for your hair and makeup - to see the look fully complete before the big day!? Priceless! Michelle's gorgeous Rita Vinieris dress graced the historic Riverwood Mansion for timeless photos she will cherish forever. Read below for our interview with Michelle!
How did you get engaged? Tell us about your proposal:
Michelle: We went to take a walk at Marcella Vivrette Smith Park in franklin on may 22 with our dog like we do a lot of weekends. My now husband was walking ahead of me with our dog Lucy and he said why don't you walk her for a little so I did. A few minutes later he said hold on a minute and I turned around and he was down on one knee. It was perfect!!!!
What’s your wedding style?
Michelle: Industrial chic. I loved my venue, aVenue which inspired the style of my wedding.
Tell us about your portrait session. Where did it take place?
Michelle: Riverwood Mansion in east Nashville. It was perfect, I loved getting to get my makeup and hair done and wear my dress on another day besides my wedding day.
What’s the significance of the location?
Michelle: I wanted a place to do indoor and outdoor pictures and this location was perfect! I also loved the old, nostalgic feeling it had.
What was it like working with your photographer?
Michelle: My photographer, Jessica Lauren was absolutely amazing!!! She was so easy to work with, she made everything so stress free and fun. She was super prepared for the day so there was very little downtime. She used the light from the beautiful day to make my pictures even more amazing. I loved working with her every second of my bridal portraits and my wedding day.
Why did you decide to do a portrait session before your wedding?
Michelle: It was really important to me to have as many pictures taken before the wedding as a possible. I just wanted to be able to enjoy my wedding day and not stress about having time to get all the pictures that I wanted.
Would you recommend the photographer and why?
Michelle: The reason that I chose Jessica was because of her attention to detail. She was much more than a photographer that just poses you and takes pictures and that's what I was looking for. I love that she incorporated action into my photos and not just me standing there. She was a dream to work with and her photos are absolutely stunning!!
Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful portraits with us, Jessica and Michelle! You can find more of Jessica Lauren's work on her website here or here on her Instagram page! So very lovely!
Oh my heart - I am so thrilled to share some great news with you today... Draper James is debuting wedding gifts for brides and bridesmaids! The collection which debuts today is filled to the brim with items every bride wants. From champagne glasses with cute phrases to "something blue" totes, Draper James is giving you some eye candy that will dress up your registry list! The whole concept behind Reese Witherspoon's store Draper James is perfect for Nashville brides and bridesmaids. Offering gorgeous dresses for your engagement party, bridesmaids attire or bridal shower, the selections are perfect to celebrate your southern Nashville wedding. Plus, our local Nashville shop offers private events for your bridal shower or bachelorette party where you get the whole store to yourselves (gasp!). And if you haven't taken advantage of the private party aspect of the store, I sincerely hope you've visited the shop here in Nashville to browse all of their beautiful girly finds! Take a look the brand new items below and our interview with Draper James:
Tell us about the wedding gifts, accessories, homeware, etc. you’re debuting this spring.
Draper James is excited to launch several new items that are perfect for the engaged gal in your life! From champagne flutes to cute trinket trays and totes, we know we’re going to make many brides even happier than they already are!
What trends and colors are you forecasting for wedding attire this spring?
We will have lots of pretty floral prints this spring in fresh blues, pinks and greens plus you will see lots of feminine details like lace collars and grosgrain trim.
I also hear you have gifts specifically for brides. Do tell!
Ranging from $25.00 to $95.00, we are offering a collection of glasses, mugs, totes, trinket trays and a super cute sweatshirt that were created for the bride—we want all of the attention to be on her!
What type of bride does Draper James attract?
Draper James appeals to any bride who favors the grace and charm of the South. In our assortment, brides will find pretty dresses to wear to wedding showers and parties as well as special gifts for bridesmaids. We also offer custom bachelorette shopping parties in our Nashville and Dallas stores where brides and their friends sip champagne, nibble on sweet treats and shop after hours.
Thank you so much for sharing all of your incredible new items with us today, Draper James! You can find them at their shop in the 12 South neighborhood here in Nashville (right next to Sprinkles Cupcakes!) or visit their online store here. And they're a must-follow on Instagram with so much fun southern inspiration! Cheers!
Nashville barn weddings can bring out the best in a couple - whether they're from the city or the country! Hailing from the country, you may remember Courtney + Alan from a previous post on our blog. We featured Courtney + Alan's fun summer engagement shoot at the Tennessee State Fair! I'm so happy photographer Derek Couts helped us connect their love story from engagement to wedding day. So please enjoy these photos of the Harris' barn wedding and read more about their story from the pro behind the lens, Derek!
Derek: Courtney is a country girl at heart, so for her to have the wedding at Bagsby Ranch only makes sense. A big thing for Courtney was to make sure there was a way to honor her dad as well. Her dad will be deploying in March, so the wedding was a huge deal for the both of them. Although the day was about Alan + Courtney, they made a point to honor her father by having a beautiful wedding ceremony on the dock.
What was their theme and what inspired it?
Derek: Courtney and Alan had a classy ranch themed wedding. One of the key features they told me when choosing Bagsby Ranch is how classy the venue felt, "even though it was a barn." With the location of the ranch and fall season, they built their wedding day around that, using deep reds and purples as their primary colors and gold to compliment these.
Can you share any special moments or highlights of their wedding day?
Derek: A special moment during the wedding day was about an hour before the ceremony. Alan and Courtney wanted to speak encouragement and love to each other, but did not want be seen before the wedding. Because of how open Bagsby Ranch is, we were able to find a room where Alan could hide and hold Courtney's hand as he prayed for their marriage. It was especially nice however, as I was given the opportunity to be the only witness of this event as others had given them the privacy they wanted. It really is a blessing as a wedding photographer to build relationships so close to the couple that even in their most intimate moments, they trust you to not only capture that moment, but to be present and the only witness of that time.
Did they have any special requests or unique challenges that you had to work together to overcome?
Derek: There was not a cloud in the sky on October 30, 2016. For anyone who is not accustomed to photography, this seems like the perfect day (and in all honesty, the weather really was perfect). From a photographers view, however, this can be problematic as it causes harsh light, which in turn, creates unflattering light. As mentioned before, Bagsby Ranch is very open, and shade that is away from guests is hard to find. Thankfully, this is something I had discussed with Courtney and Alan prior to their engagement session, and they understood the importance of good quality light vs. a picture taken in bad light. So, regardless of where the best light was (even if guests could see Courtney prior to the wedding), we were able to get photos they are in love with. The best part? During the timeline we created a month before their wedding, we built in enough wiggle room for time that when we were off schedule by a half hour, we were still early. Her entrance was still grand and no one saw the bride prior to the ceremony! (:
Thanks so much for giving us the opportunity to feature Courtney + Alan's love story full-circle, Derek! You can check out more on Derek Couts Photography here on his website or Instagram page. And be sure to view this beautiful short video of the heirloom album Derek designed for the couple - gorgeous work!
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