While living in Minneapolis, Melissa and Bryce decided Nashville was the spot they’d like to celebrate their love. They held their romantic outdoor wedding at Reunion Stay that included eucalyptus garland, a classic sprinkling of gold accents, and DIY elements that gave their day that extra special touch. Planning an out of state wedding isn’t easy, but Melissa ironed out the details of her vision with the help of a vendor team that executed the day perfectly. See how it all came together in these images from Roberts Photography below!
Melissa + Bryce
Guest Count ~ 90
Budget ~ $10,000 – $20,000
How did you guys meet?
Melissa: Bryce and I had our very first college class together. It was a Freshman Seminar Poetry class. He saw me & day one wrote an anonymous note that was going to be read to the whole class that read “the girl across from me is a cutie” everyone laughed but no one knew who wrote it or who it was about. The next time we had class, I just to be funny, wrote a note that said “the guy across from me thinks I’m a cutie” & Bryce was soooo caught, he brushed out laughing so we all knew it was him who wrote the first note. Somehow, we started talking that very day & found out the notes were written about each other & we literally have been together ever since that day. January 2021 will be 9 years of “officially dating”
Tell us about your engagement!
Melissa: We were in Cancun for his best friend’s wedding. Bryce was his best man. I was not expecting it at all! On every trip we take, we always plan to do our own little photo shoot so he wakes me up the second day of the trip & tells me to get ready for photos. We are snapping pictures of each other we see a guy and ask him to take our photo, that man’s photo was so good of us so we ask if he’s a photographer, he happened to be there for another wedding as their photographer. Bryce asks him if he doesn’t mind being paid to take a few pics of us. He tells me to go pick a spot by the beach that I like & as I’m walking away tells the man that he has to go grab his best friend & some cash & that he is about to propose to me. I pick a spot, Bryce his best friend & his wife all come back & we take a few group pics & then just couple pics & Bryce gets down on his knee & pops the question. The photos are beautiful! It was amazing.
Who was a part of your wedding team?
Melissa: I did most of the planning, creating, crafting, & executing myself. It was a year of crafts! My husband and I live in Minneapolis & shipped everything to TN & a groomsman’s mother who happened to live in TN stored all the decor for us. Without her (Debby), I wouldn’t have been able to have any of my decor or crafts. My sisters were my weekend of helpers! They helped once we all flew into town & arrived at Reunion Stay to help decorate & make my vision come to life! Day of, Patrice Armstrong of PLS Coordinate was honestly the life saver! I was so stressed being an out of state bride & never seeing our venue in person, the week leading up to the wedding & unpacking my boxes of decor & figuring it all out, so having her come in on the day of and allow me to just relax & enjoy my day, was amazing!!!
What was the vision for your wedding?
Melissa: We knew we wanted an outdoor wedding with greenery, white, & hints of gold. We ultimately wanted to pick a venue where our bridal party could stay the night at & Reunion Stay was so beautiful! The venue however is not a wedding venue, it’s more like an Airbnb so that was a bit of a struggle being out of state, not knowing what the property looks like, where I’d set things up, etc. It was a risk, but somehow, it pulled together well! We rented everything for the entire ceremony & reception. So the day before we were out there decorating ever in the dark. Haha. My vision was just a fun party with our favorite people, great TN BBQ, & a mix of Latin & pop/hip-hop music!
What was your theme and what inspired it?
Melissa: I’d say it was closer to garden party, but honestly like I said, just greenery, gold, twinkle lights. I wanted the only pop of color to be the bridal party outfits which were light and dark blue.
What details were used to create your theme?
Melissa: Eucalyptus garlands, gold candle holders, white candles, twinkle lights. My older sister made my bouquet from Publix flowers the day before the wedding & it was absolutely gorgeous! Only real flowers we used. Only bouquet too.
Where did you splurge? Where did you save/DIY?
Melissa: We splurged on food, day of coordinating, and overall rentals (tent, chairs, tables, dance floor) . We saved on everything overall though, I somehow got soooo lucky to find my photographer Roberts Photography & my DJ at great prices & quality. We last minute decided we needed a video! So happy we did! We saved on all our decor by creating my aisle runner, our arch, small decor pieces all around. I shopped at a ton of dollar stores , FB marketplace, & thrift stores for decorations & lighting. My little sister made our donut wall & it was gorgeous!! Donuts are much cheaper than a cake! We also splurged on portable luxury toilets also haha.
What words of advice do you have for couples in the midst of their planning?
Melissa: Get a day of coordinator!!!! PLS Coordinate was seriously THE best investment of our entire day. My husband and I couldn’t believe it & kept saying it all day how lucky we are to have someone else running the show so we can be in present on our big day. Plan the big stuff first, venue, food, drink, photography. Keep a spreadsheet of your vendors & update it often. Also keep a spreadsheet of your spending because it is sooo easy for things to just stack up. Pick a theme & make sure everything you’re buying goes with it. Do a ton of Pinterest-ing before you buy anything because it will change your mind on your theme! Have fun & breathe!! Things will go wrong but honestly, you will be so happy the day of that it won’t even matter! But that’s also why you have a coordinator so you don’t have to deal with anything day of! 🙂
Can you share any special moments or highlights from your wedding day?
Melissa: I’d say one of my favorite moments that our coordinator actually recommended was right after the ceremony & photos, my husband and I took 15 minutes to just be alone & spend quite time together before we go back out to the cocktail hour with everyone. It was surreal being married & that moment was super special! We also did a blind prayer before our ceremony together with our backs against a door & it was very beautiful since we hadn’t been around each other all day. I’d say being in the rooms getting ready with our bridal parties & family was also super special. It was amazing to see all the people we care about most all together.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
Melissa: We thank all of our family & friends who all had to travel to celebrate with us. We love you all so much! We are so grateful to our vendors who came out & made our day super special. I highly recommend each of my vendors & highly recommend Nashville as a destination wedding location! It’s such a fun city! We had a blast! Thanks for having us TN!