Oh. my. word. If ever there was a Halloween wedding done completely right, it would for sure be Gray and Billy’s stunning celebration! They enlisted the help of some incredible pros including Premier W.E.D., T. Villager Designs, White Ink Calligraphy, and Canvas + Coif to help make their fall harvest inspired wedding a dream come true. And a dream it was! With The Estate at Cherokee Dock setting the scene, they pulled out all the stops for their luxuriously moody soiree. The prettiest bold colors, vintage accents, and boho infused decor all played a part in making it an affair that won’t be forgotten. Enjoy these incredible highlights from their gallery captured perfectly by Someplace Wild along with their beautiful video courtesy of Cardboard Films.
Gray + Billy
The Estate at Cherokee Dock
Guests ~ 100
Budget ~ $80,000+
Tell us about your engagement!
Gray: Billy surprised me on a random Tuesday in the kitchen while I was cooking chicken! Very unexpected.
What was the vision for your wedding?
Gray: The opposite of anything super classic or traditional where white and blush were concerned. We decided on a Halloween wedding simply because that was the only date available at that time (this was prior to the COVID pandemic), so we knew our wedding day would always be unique and interesting.
Who was a part of your wedding team?
Gray: Many fantastic people were involved in our planning process. This is in thanks to the good people of Premier W.E.D. The essential team included us and the owner of Premier W.E.D., Dawn Schenkel, as well as her full time director and planner, Katy Peña. After hiring Dawn and her team, they assisted us in choosing our vendors. This included Troy and Jack of T. Villager Designs and their creative team who did a phenomenal job with our flowers and special request projects. White Ink Calligraphy, Post Script Papers and Artisan Abode were all employed for our handmade invitations, calligraphy and same day signage. In addition, White Door Rentals, Spark Vintage, Please Be Seated and Liberty Party Rentals allowed us to hand-pick all of our decor and place settings from the chairs for the ceremony down to the napkin fabric and color. Nashville Event Lighting set the perfect mood with stylized lighting for the ceremony and reception. Chefs Tyler Brown and Andrew Klamar from Southall Farms provided a fresh, locally grown gourmet dinner and Baked in Nashville created an amazing cake for dessert. The entertainment was provided by Viva la Strings, Jimmy Sullivan Trio and Downtown Band along with Brantley Sound and special effects were provided by Impact Pyro. The Nashville-based photographers from Someplace Wild did an amazing job of documenting the collaborative work all these vendors accomplished to create the most memorable evening for us and our guests.
What was your theme and what inspired it (e.g. farm, garden party, contemporary, modern, vintage etc.):?
Gray: As a lover of history, I was inspired by antique furniture and collectables my grandmother had accumulated over the years. In addition, I was influenced by the fall season when the harvest comes in which is my favorite time of year. I also took inspiration from the dark, poetic romanticism of Edgar Allan Poe, imagery from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Victorian era. We were both living in East Nashville at the time, so I had to throw in some boho vibes as well. It culminated into a dark and moody, romantic evening, but with a splash of bohemian vintage atmosphere – whimsical yet tasteful.
What details were used to create your theme (color scheme, decor items, florals etc.)?
Gray: Everything down to the tiniest detail was carefully thought out – from taking advantage of the picturesque setting to the type of material used to bind the programs. We started with finding the location and setting the wedding date, then planned from there as most couples do. And we had to plan fast because we booked in February and the wedding was in October. I already had some really cool ideas in mind, which we did use, but I also researched A LOT!!! For example, I decided on my colors by googling art that represented autumn scenery and all the things I enjoyed most about the season. I used a color picker to start building my palette from these pieces and picked out the colors that inspired me the most, yet also complemented each other. I had a slight advantage using knowledge learned from a few graphic design courses I had taken in the past, so I would create my own mood boards with pictures, textures, etc. and save them to Pinterest by creating categorized sections, such as “furniture and lounge”, “ceremony lighting “, and “flowers”. The planners reviewed what I posted and created their own mood boards to present to me. I think I ended up with about 20 colors which were “must haves” in the wedding! I knew exactly what I wanted in my head, but there was difficulty in communicating those thoughts effectively to the team. I highly recommend mood boards for examining colors, textures, decor, lighting to create the perfect all-around theme for your special day.
Where did you splurge? Where did you save/DIY?
Gray: Ha! As much as we love a good DIY project, our wedding was not the DIY type. There were some minor details we decided to save, but mostly we just went for it!
What words of advice do you have for couples in the midst of their planning?
Gray: My recommendation for brides and grooms who know exactly what they want (and for the ones who don’t) is to hire a wedding planner. It will seriously be the best investment you make for your peace of mind during the planning process. Do your research on the planners your like – look at their work, read their reviews, and see who they’ve partnered with in the past. Ask questions like – Are they currently active in the wedding planning community? How many weddings have they planned? Are they planning multiple weddings at once or will yours be their main focus? Do they have connections/discounts with vendors you’re interested in hiring? And, of course, most importantly do they listen to you? You can learn a lot via social media, but I suggest you interview your favorites in person. You must have working chemistry and build a trusting relationship with your planner. Remember – you might be working with them for many months and they are supposed to relieve the stress of planning, not add to it. Also, the great thing about hiring a planner is they know where to best spend and save your money, especially if you are creating a rain day plan for those outdoor weddings. There are just too many important reasons to have a planner, even if it’s just for the day of the wedding. That way, you get to enjoy the fun part of wedding planning!
Can you share any special moments or highlights from your wedding day?
Gray: Getting to see Billy for the first time, viewing our reception and the memorial area they set up for us inside the reception was really sweet. It was so thrilling and satisfying to see the fruits of our labor finally come together at last.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
Gray: Prepare for the unexpected and make the best of whatever happens. We planned and organized so hard and there were still things that didn’t go exactly to plan, like my dog escaping from the house and walking with me down the aisle! And more importantly, the day is filled with hustle and bustle, then you blink and its gone. It went by so fast! Try to cherish those special moments that fly by so quickly with the people you love the most.
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