We love a wedding with Southern Charm! Amy and Chris' fun and magical wedding day at the Fontanel Mansion and Farm was full of exactly that. Get inspired by this beautiful day and gorgeous wedding details captured perfectly by Erin Lee with The Collection.
Amy + Chris
Wedding Date ~ September 8, 2012
Ceremony & Reception Location ~ Fontanel Mansion
Guests ~ 116
Describe your wedding in one word?
My word is fun. My husband's word was "magical." I could be on board with that too.
How would you describe your style as a couple?
Fun and unconventional
How did you incorporate that style into your wedding?
We're from TN, but we live in Los Angeles, and most of our guests were from out of town (and many had never been to TN) – so it was important for us to show them a good time and some Southern hospitality. The Fontanel provided the perfect backdrop – a log cabin out in the country filled with country music memorabilia.
For the father/daughter dance, my dad welcomed everyone to TN and said we'd be dancing to the state song. We started waltzing to TN Waltz, but changed it mid-song to Rocky Top. The food served at the reception was also all Southern. We had an extensive bar that started serving even before the ceremony, a photo booth that everyone loved, and a fantastic dj that had everyone dancing. In short, we made sure that people had fun.
The unconventional side came out mostly during the ceremony. The songs we selected were a little offbeat (I walked out to fast-paced, little-known upbeat song from the 90's), and we were married by my older sister, who put a modern spin on the traditional ceremony. I also loved our programs, which were on a fan and very cute and quirky.
What was your favorite aspect of your wedding?
The guests told us they loved: (1) the Southern food; (2) the bar (we had a wide selection of quality alcohol); (3) the photo booth; and (4) giant sparklers they held up while we walked down a red carpet to our getaway car.
Where did you splurge? Where did you save/DIY?
If we splurged on anything, I would say it was the venue – but it was not unreasonably-priced. I suppose you could say we saved on our food selections, but we did actually go with the food we wanted. It was all Southern – pulled pork sandwiches, fried catfish, hush puppies, biscuit and cornbread bar, fried green tomatoes, etc. That food (which was offered at stations) was less than a more formal meal . . . and probably much better. The caterer was amazing.
Now that the wedding day is over, is there anything about your planning process you feel you could have done differently?
I'm very happy with the way everything went – I just wish I had more time. The month leading up to my wedding was the busiest month I'd ever had at work (late nights, weekends), so I didn't have much time to do key wedding tasks. I ended up racing around quite a bit after flying in to TN. With work being so busy, the only thing I could have done differently is hire a planner, but I really wanted to be involved. I think it's a case by case situation. If you think you'll be very busy, it's not a bad idea to enlist some help.
Why did you hire a planner and are you glad that you did?
I only had a day/week of coordinator. I think it's necessary to have someone coordinate those details – whether it's a planner or a very organized friend or family member. For me, I wanted to make sure family and friends were having fun, so we went with a coordinator.
Why did you select your venue and would you recommend it to others?
My parents had visited the Fontanel and suggested it as a wedding venue. I flew out from LA to see it and also the Country Music Hall of Fame. Fontanel was so unique, and the service we received was outstanding. Once we had our visit, we knew it was the perfect venue. It's a beautiful log cabin home, full of country music history, and it has gorgeous lush grounds. I really can't imagine having had the wedding anywhere else.
In one sentence, what words of advice do you have for couples in the midst of their planning?
If you don't have a planner, make sure you cross off plenty of "to do" items well in advance of the wedding.
Week of Planner | A Delightful Day
Photographer | Erin Lee with The Collection
Videographer | Brian Johnson at With This Ring Wedding Films
Gown | Junko Yoshioka/Saks 5th Avenue
Bride's Accessories | Badgley Mischka shoes
Men's Attire | Men's Wearhouse
Bridesmaids' Attire | J Crew
Hair & Makeup | Amy Lynn Larwig
Makeup | Amy Lynn Larwig
Caterer | A Dream Come True Events & Catering
Cake Artist | Dulce Desserts
Floral & Stationery Designer | Brocade Design Arts
Ceremony & Reception Musicians | Jitin Chatlani with Snyder Entertainment (DJ)
Lighting | Nashville Event Lighting
Transportation | Shuttles from downtown to Fontanel – Gray Line of TN; Limo for wedding party to venue – Pro Entertainment; Getaway Car ('61 Bentley) – Matchless Transportation Services
Photo Booth | Party Booths
A Delightful Day/Erin Lee Allender/With This Ring/Junko Yoshioka – Saks Fifth Avenue/Badgley Mischka/Men’s Wearhouse/J. Crew/Amy Lynn Larwig/A Dream Come True Catering/Dulce Desserts/Brocade Design Arts/Jitin Chatlani with Snyder Entertainment/Nashville Event Lighting/Gray Line TN/Pro Entertainment/Matchless Transportation/Party Booths