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"When someone describes their wedding as traditional, I generally think of beautiful, timeless elements that could be en vogue one hundred years ago or today. Our wedding was exceptionally traditional in that it was also overflowing with tradition.
I wanted our wedding ceremony to honor Jeremy’s military service, and he wore the same uniform in which he graduated from the United States Naval Academy. The top two brass buttons on the uniform were replaced with those from my late grandfather’s uniform, and my veil and jewelry belonged to many of the women in my family. Entering guests were ushered by uniformed men, and we exited the church under the traditional Arch of Swords.
The reception was hosted at the home of my parents where Jeremy and I became engaged and where we will be building a home in the future. We had an old pen and ink sketch of the property made into a letterpress die for the reception card to share the personal significance of the space with our guests.
I have been to many Nashville weddings, so it was of utmost important to me that the reception was visually different from those I had previously attended. We enlisted the help of event design team Jackson Durham from Texas to build a beautiful evening from the ground upward knowing they would bring fresh and innovative ideas with them on their journey.
I was reluctant to incorporate color, so the reception was a stunning neutral palette of whites and greys. It was important to me that I not look back on my wedding photos in a decade and have regrets about choosing elements that were trendy, or of-the-moment. I felt that by eliminating color entirely, someone looking at a snapshot of the evening would be unable to tell what time of year or in what decade the wedding occurred, making it frozen in time, timeless, and eternally relevant.
I was initially worried that this might pose a challenge for the designers, but they embraced the concept entirely. Even though my color choices were not particularly risky, I did make a bold move by choosing a stark-white carpet to cover the flooring, which luckily remained pristine despite the unending dancing and revelry. And though there was not an array of color, the tent was not lacking in visual vibrancy. Many of the decorative elements were actually above guests. The tent was fully draped in an airy dove grey fabric, the perfect backdrop for the suspended center white floral ring flanked by several lanterns dripping in dusty miller. Closer to eye level, tables were adorned with high and low white floral arrangements. Soft candlelight illuminated several pieces of family silver including a platter from the winner’s circle at the Belmont Stakes and a champagne cup engraved with newlyweds’ monograms from the cake-cuttings of several generations prior.
Mealtime is an important part of our family culture; we eat together twice weekly. We wanted to duplicate that experience on a larger scale with family and friends, so we chose to have a seated, plated dinner. Being in Music City, it was only appropriate to have live music for entertainment. Memphis Soul Revue provided several non-stop hours of high-energy sounds, never leaving the dance floor lonely.
An unseasonable cool front breezed through the South that night, despite our having “Buried the Bourbon” a month prior for good measure, giving us the beautiful opportunity to add fiery elements to the evening. We warmed cocktail hour with flaming outdoor heaters and toasted marshmallows together at the fire pit. All of this led up to the perfect sparkler exit as we waved goodbye to our beloved guests from a white vintage Rolls Royce through a tunnel of fountain fireworks.
When we arrived at our hotel, stepping out of the antique automobile, he in his uniform and I in my lace and tulle gown with fur stole, I had the distinct feeling that we had stepped back in time. So from start to finish, the night felt just like I had envisioned it would be: timeless and traditional, bespoke and beautiful."