With a laid-back, relaxed vibe, Dawn and Jeff held their summer wedding at the W.O Smith School of Music. Their wedding was focused on good food and great wedding music, all while mixing in that Southern charm.
Dawn & Jeff
Wedding Date ~ June 22, 2013
Ceremony Location ~ St. Augustine's Chapel at Vanderbilt University
Reception Location ~ W.O. Smith School of Music
Tell me about Dawn and Jeff.
Dawn and Jeff are one of the sweetest couples I've had the privilege to know and work with! They're big social dancers, love a great party. Dawn is a marathon runner and had the idea to do a "I Run to You 5K" the morning of their wedding, even! (The idea ended up getting ditched towards the end of planning, due to time limitations and the sheer chaos of orchestrating a huge event for 150 friends and family, but I loved the concept!) The couple wanted to maintain a "laid-back, traditional Southern tone" for their wedding, and I think they did an excellent job pulling that off.
What was their wedding style?
Relaxed, unpretentious, comfortable; family-oriented with an emphasis on Southern hospitality.
What 3 things were most important to the bride and groom?
The most important thing to Jeff and Dawn was that they celebrated their relationship with loved ones and gave their friends and family a fantastic guest experience. By providing transportation shuttles (charming trolleys!) for out-of-town guests staying in hotels in the city, guests didn't have to worry with Vanderbilt's limited parking or trying to hitch a ride after having a couple of cocktails. The couple prioritized spending money on delicious food, music that would keep everyone dancing until the wee hours of the morning, and a wedding planner who would ensure that they and their families didn't have to worry about a thing all day or night.
Do they live in Nashville or was it a destination wedding?
They live in Nashville, but the majority of wedding guests came from all over! Dawn's family is Virginia born and bred, and Jeff's is from upstate New York. It was a fun group – many guests went out honky-tonking at the end of the evening.
Why did they choose W.O. Smith for their wedding reception?
Dawn works for Vanderbilt and had fallen in love with the stunning cedar chapel for her ceremony. Reverend Lillian Hallstrand, a Chaplain at Vanderbilt's Medical Center, beautifully officiated the wedding. The W.O. Smith School had a similar natural aesthetic.
Planner – Kelly Dellinger Events
Catering – B&C Catering
Music – Cosmo Creations
Photography – Tony Lopez Photography
Transportation – FADDS Trolleys
Florals – Geny's Flowers
Locations – W.O. Smith School of Music. St. Augustine's Chapel
Hair – Salon N'Fuse
Tuxedos – Street Tuxedo
Rentals – Liberty Party Rental
Officiant – Rev. Lillian Hallstrand
Where did they splurge and save?
Two of their major priorities were good food and good music! B&C provided some of their Southern mainstays: SCRUMPTIOUS pork ribs, miniature pies, sweet cornbread muffins and bacon-wrapped green beans.
Cosmo Creations is always my preference for reception DJs, and they were thrilled with how Josh kept everyone dancing all night long. One of Dawn's "non-negotiables" in her wedding planning was that under NO circumstances could she handle hiring a cheesy DJ. Cosmo Creations' Josh Rose was the perfect fit for their wedding – professional, personable, and charming without ever being over-the-top.
Both B&C and Cosmo are favorites of mine regardless of budget – Dawn & Jeff got exactly what they wanted without having to break the bank.
Perhaps the biggest splurge of theirs was a two-week honeymoon in Italy! They saved on wedding costs by opting for mini chess, chocolate, and pecan pies (as well as cupcakes) from B&C rather than getting a four-tiered production of a wedding cake. While they did have a little 6" round cake to cut (which they purchased at Publix the morning of the wedding!), the caterer's desserts stood out the most.
Ha! They were certain they didn't want a cheesy DJ. So glad they hired Cosmo Creations. I know they offer several services for weddings. What role did they play in Jeff and Dawn's day?
Cosmo Creations provided the DJ for their reception dancing, as well as sound equipment to ensure that Dawn's talented singer sister, Mary, could play keyboards and sing the father-daughter dance, a Stevie Wonder medley.
Cosmo's Josh Rose communicated directly with Dawn's sister Mary, a professional musician, to discuss their A/V equipment needs and provided exactly what fit the bill (in this case, microphones and a sound board). Mary and her beau had brought in their own keyboard and bongos. The couple rehearsed with everything hooked up and ready to go while Dawn and Jeff were taking photos after the ceremony, and everything went off without a hitch! Her rendition of "Isn't She Lovely?/You Are the Sunshine of My Life" was moving and an amazing way for Dawn to honor her talented family!
How was this approach to music made personal for the couple?
From time to time, especially working in Music City where practically EVERYONE is a phenomenal artist, close friends and family members of clients will perform during their weddings. I love collaborating with a reputable company like Cosmo in these situations, because I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that every little thing will be taken care of. When planning my brides' weddings, I avoid situations where "surprises" may arise. Working with Cosmo gives me the peace of mind to know that even though I may not know the answers, they'll ask the right questions and come prepared enough to seamlessly flow through the evening.
What did you most love about their wedding?
Dawn and Jeff REALLY cared about their marriage first and foremost. It matters a lot to me when brides have incredible taste and love beautifully designed events, but I always want to see that the love behind the day is what permeates every last detail the most. They might not have cared terribly much about having an elaborate wedding cake, but their love was palpable. That to me is more lasting and meaningful than a zillion Pinterest details thrown together haphazardly. Focusing on throwing a fun and comfortable party for guests, honoring your heritage and family, caring most about the ceremony and not sweating the small stuff? Recipe for nuptial success.