Small wedding at Long Hollows Garden with The Happy Campers featured on Nashville Bride Guide

Stunning Small Wedding from The Happy Campers

When the pandemic left couples planning 2020 weddings confused on what to do, Caity and Paul decided to make the most of the situation. While they originally planned a large garden themed wedding at Long Hollow Gardens, they decided to still say I do with a stunning small wedding. They held their ceremony in the wildflower field of the venue followed by an intimate reception at a family lake house, utilizing services from The Happy Campers and Liberty Party Rentals to make the day everything it was — which was gorgeous! These photos by Andrew Allen Morton are sure to whisk you away and highlight the beauty of simplicity!

Caity + Paul

Long Hollow Gardens + Private Residence

Guests ~ 30

Budget ~ Less then $10,000

How did you guys meet?

Caity: A few years after I moved to Nashville I started working at a local whiskey distillery. A very close coworker of mine asked if i was single because he had a friend who was “the best guy in the world” that he wanted to set me up with. For reasons I still can’t explain, I said no! For six months my coworker tried to set us up and I just never would go for it. Months and months later I decided to give Bumble a try and I matched right away with a really handsome guy with the best smile and we immediately hit it off. One of the first things he said to me was “My really good friend works at the same place you work at! Maybe you know him?” Yes, Paul was that amazing guy that I could have been set up with months earlier! Just goes to show that when you get in your own way, fate takes over and what is meant to be will be.

Tell us about your engagement!

Caity: On our first date Paul took me to Rosepepper in East Nashville which is one of my favorite places to go in Nashville. We sat outside on the patio, drank (too many) margaritas and talked for hours. It was one of the best first dates I had ever been on. Over the years when we want a fun date night or are celebrating something sentimental we go to Rosepepper and reminisce. 2 years and one day from our first date, Paul took me to where it all started for lunch. As I walked by the infamous sign they have out front, I saw something that looked like my name and I froze. The sign read “Caity Happily Ever After Starts Here. Will You Marry Me?” I turned around and he was on one knee saying some really sweet things that I don’t even remember now. People in the restaurant were cheering from the windows and people were on their balconies across the street yelling “Yay Love!”. It was the most spectacular and amazing moment. I’ve always been the girl who wanted a fairytale story and Paul gave me exactly that.

What was the vision for your wedding?

Caity: Well, being a Covid Bride, I’m not sure a wedding vision is really a thing anymore haha When the wedding planning started, it was a romantic garden theme. Long Hollow Gardens has always been my dream venue with the vineyards and the green house feel so we really ran with that. As the wedding date got closer and things started to fall apart due to the virus we had to make some tough decisions. We initially postponed our wedding to August hoping things would calm down by then but when that didn’t look promising we decided that the best thing we could do was make the most out of a really hard situation. Long Hollow Gardens was gracious enough to let us hold our small elopement ceremony on our original wedding date and we got married in a stunning wildflower field. It was small and intimate (something that was the exact opposite to what I had always envisioned) but it felt important. It felt like our love for each other was too powerful and strong to go another minute not being husband and wife. So yes, I had lost my beautiful centerpieces, the fancy menu for dinner and our 8 piece band that I was going to dance the night away with but I wore my dress, my dad walked me down the aisle to an important song played by a gracious friend and I got to marry my best friend. So even when your vision isn’t realized, it can still be everything that you had hoped for.

What details were used to create your theme (color scheme, decor items, florals etc.)?

Caity: Because I’m in the Event Industry, my wedding vision was big and grand. When that changed to an elopement situation, it was important to me to at least have a few things that felt specialty and pretty. The Happy Campers has really come in clutch with that! With a smaller guest list I was able to put up two Tee Pees and place our guest tables underneath so we could have dinner and speeches under the stars. Our amazing florist, Elizabeth Earnest, created beautiful installations for the Tee Pees and the tables. I used the Bubble Bar and served two signature cocktails, beer and wine. Having those elements to add interest and sparkle, really helped make a backyard reception feel special.

What words of advice do you have for couples in the midst of their planning?

Caity: The only thing I think I can say to any couple going through wedding planning, especially during this pandemic, is that it will be okay. I know it doesn’t feel like that, I know your heart has been set on certain things and I know that it feels really gut wrenching and devastating to postpone, lose vendors, be thrown curve ball after curve ball BUT it will be okay. I have had a really hard time coming to terms with losing my wedding vision. It’s something I have dreamed about for a really long time and it’s been a struggle learning to let that go. But this will pass, the world will become whole again and 1st Anniversary parties are going to be bigger and better than ever! But it is also ok to be sad about it. Things are out of your control and you feel like you’re loosing something so precious to you. Friends and family want to lift you up and make it better for you but know that it’s ok to be sad, mourn what you wish could have been, and find a way to bring light into a really difficult situation.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?

Caity: Obviously, my wedding story didn’t go the way that I initially planned or wanted it to go. I eloped and am now married to the greatest man I could ever ask for in a life partner. We are both ready to move forward with our marriage and have kids and settle in as husband and wife. But that doesn’t mean that we have to settle for the Covid-19 version of our wedding. We are going to have an epic 1st Wedding Anniversary party next year with the fancy dinner I missed out on and the beautiful centerpieces I didn’t get to have. I am going to make our wedding party wear their dresses and suits and walk down an aisle and I am going to renew my vows to my husband in front of our families and our fiends. I’m going to get to have my first dance with my Dad and it makes me teary just thinking about that. But my main point is, that I will have the celebration I have always wanted but for now, I am cherishing the marriage I get to start with my husband. And I hope every other bride and couple out there gets to fnd their joy within this process as well.

Thanks so much to The Happy Campers for sharing this stunning small wedding with us and congratulations Caity and Paul! We know it must have been hard to see your original plans go awry, but we love how you adapted and turned it into something so beautiful!

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