Guests Dug Into a Southern Biscuit Bar at This Gorgeous Nashville Wedding

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Oct 282016
 
Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Bride and Groom Portrait

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

Kevin Wolcott came up with an epic plan for his proposal to girlfriend Mayra Lelli: He'd whisk her away on a hot air balloon ride, and then propose as they glided through the air. Unfortunately, bad weather kept the couple on the ground, but that didn't stop Kevin from making his move. "We went to the spa instead," says Mayra. "The proposal was a success anyway."

The couple's wedding, however, went exactly as they planned. "I wanted our wedding to be a fairytale, as I imagine most brides do," says Mayra. They envisioned a refined-meets-bohemian garden-inspired celebration in Nashville, Tennessee, with a color palette of ivory, blush, rose gold, greens, and subtle pops of blackberry. And with Kristyn Hogan there to capture it all, you can see for yourself that the day was nothing short of magical.

Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Invitation Suite with Hot Air Balloon Details

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

"I was so impressed with Kevin's romantic plan to propose to me in a hot air balloon that balloons became a symbol of our relationship and were featured on everything from our wedding invitations to our signage," says the bride. The romantic suite paired a whimsical illustration with modern calligraphy, all tied together with twine and mailed off in a pale pink envelope.

Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Bride in Strapless Champagne-Colored Lazaro Wedding Dress Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Lace Details on Lazaro Wedding Dress

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

Mayra chose a champagne-colored Lazaro wedding dress with a sweetheart neckline and cascading tulle skirt with horsehair pickups. When she selected the gown at the now-famous Bridals By Lori, designer Lazaro Perez just so happened to be at the salon, too. "We met, and he sketched the dress on me," the bride says. "I framed the sketch and displayed it during our reception."

Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Bride with Bridesmaids in Knee-Length Pink Dresses Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Bridesmaids' Bouquets Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Bride with Flower Girl

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

While bridesmaids wore rose-quartz knee-length dresses with lace detail, the couple's flower girl donned a pale blush tulle dress and a fresh floral halo. Mayra carried a hand-tied bouquet of anemones, silver brunia, ranunculus, roses, stock, dusty miller, scabiosa, and tulips. Using Mayra's own bouquet as the inspiration, her florist differentiated the smaller arrangements with a few extra blush-toned flowers.

Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Groom with Ring Bearer

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

"Kevin wanted to surprise me by picking out his own outfit," says the bride. Other women might have been worried, but Mayra gave him the green light and was happy with his choice: a fitted light gray suit paired with a white tie. The couple's ring bearer wore a coordinating light gray suit and the cutest felt derby hat.

Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Ring Bearer Walking Down the Aisle with Sign Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Bride and Father Walking Down the Aisle

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

The couple chose Historic Cedarwood, a Nashville farm estate that dates back to 1835, for their big day, and immediately knew they wanted their ceremony held outside on the property's well-tended lawn. Before Mayra walked down the lantern-lined aisle with her father, the ring bearer led the way with a sign that read, "It's too late to run 'cause here she comes."

Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Bride and Groom First Kiss

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

The pair exchanged traditional vows in front of an altar made from a patina garden gate that was draped in asymmetrical fresh flowers in hues of white, blush, and blackberry.

Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Barn Venue

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

"I loved the elegant southern estate feel of Historic Cedarwood," Mayra says of their venue. And since there are several spaces to explore within the property's grounds, the bride and groom planned a celebration that would take friends and family through their favorites. The rustic-chic black barn was the first stop for cocktail hour.

Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Cocktail Hour Barn Details Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Seating Chart Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Cocktail Hour Decor Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Floral Details Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Cocktail Hour Tables

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

Inside the barn, guests could enjoy passed canapés of tomato basil, buffalo mozzarella caprese salad skewers, and pastry shells with chicken salad.

"Also, in lieu of a guestbook, and to facilitate table assignments, I provided Polaroid cameras and family name cards with table assignments, which were hung on a twine line in the barn during cocktail hour," says Mayra. "As an activity during cocktail hour, guests had their photos taken and hung them on the twine line to replace their table assignment card. The photos are a great memento for us of who was at our wedding, and much better than signatures in a book."

Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Outdoor Reception Space

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

Guests moved outside to the property's pavilion for the reception. Tables were dressed in ivory linens and set with gold chargers and low floral centerpieces. European-style string lights were hung above the tables for added ambiance. "The lighting was important to me and one of my favorite parts of the décor," Mayra says.

Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Sweetheart Table Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Floral Centerpieces

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

The couple dined at their own rustic sweetheart table, which was done up with a gorgeous arrangement of roses, tulips, and dusty miller.

Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Bride and Groom Chair Backs

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

Mayra and Kevin used the signs on the back of their chairs as another opportunity to call out their engagement story: They were stamped with an image of a hot air balloon.

Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Biscuit and Berry Bar Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Biscuit Bar

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

To celebrate their Southern wedding location and to treat their guests to a local classic, the couple set up a self-serve biscuit and berry bar. Talk about inventive dining options!

Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Gold Decorated Wedding Cake

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

The couple's traditional vanilla wedding cake received an upgrade with blackberry and strawberry filling and glamorous rose gold icing.

Classic Southern Wedding in Nashville, Bride and Groom Reception Exit

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

The newlyweds left the party through a tunnel of sparklers, and then climbed into their brand new car. "I bought Kevin a Corvette as his wedding gift," the bride says.

Looking back on that fairytale day, Mayra has this advice for other brides: "Allow your personal story to shine through, and don't forget to drink in every moment of bliss," she says. "It's okay to be the center of attention for one day with your family and friends."

Venue, Wedding Planner & Florist: Historic Cedarwood || Bride's Wedding Dress: Lazaro, purchased at Bridals By Lori || Shoes: Christian Louboutin || Invitations: Designs in Paper || Music: Chris Marks; Premier DJ || Catering: Epic Event Centre || Cake: Patty Cakes || Photographer: Kristyn Hogan

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Did you love this beautiful wedding? Then check out another couple's southern bash in the video below.

Go Inside This 1920s-Inspired Wedding in Nashville

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Sep 072016
 

Shortly after Lizelle Holstein moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2011, she found herself at an Oktoberfest celebration in the city's Germantown neighborhood. When a man playing guitar on stage made a joke that anyone who came on stage to tie his shoe would leave with a CD, Lizelle's sister-in-law encouraged her to go for it. After the set had ended, Lizelle asked the mystery man how she could contact him if she wanted to know more about his music and rather than offering up his phone number, he told her she could find his tunes all over social media. Despite the apparent brush-off, the guitarist, Jeffrey, was interested, and about a week later, Lizelle's sister-in-law told her she had connected with Jeffrey on Facebook and he wanted to buy Lizelle a drink. She went to his next show and their first date was set for just a few days later. After that, they we were inseparable.

When New Year's Eve of 2014 rolled around, Jeffrey surprised Lizelle with a romantic proposal in their own home. They then shared drinks at a nearby restaurant where their table overlooked the Nashville skyline and the spot where they first met.

Less than three months after their engagement, the couple exchanged vows during an intimate 1920s-themed bash in Nashville. They first invited 23 guests to a ceremony at Cotton Mill Studio and then opened up the party to 85 guests during a reception at The Sutler Saloon. The date of their big day was heavily influenced by the availability of Lizelle's top choice of photographer. Luckily, timing aligned well and Kayla Coleman Photography was there to capture every last detail of their March 21, 2015, wedding.

Despite having just a few months to plan their day, the process was surprisingly simple. "It took about one day and a bottle of wine. Once we answered the basic questions, we had enough constraints to make decisions pretty easily," Lizelle says. "Reminding myself that we didn't have to do all the traditional things was the toughest part."

Lizelle tackled a few DIY projects, like creating invitations for both the ceremony and reception and festive drink menus. As a nod to the story of how the couple first met, the bride included "From tying the shoe to tying the knot" on their stationery.

The bride waited until about a month before the big day to go wedding dress shopping. Lizelle's mother planned to fly in from Cleveland to share in the experience, but when she was set to take off, weather waylaid their plans. "The day of my appointment, there was an ice storm, so my mom had to FaceTime in for the dress shopping," the bride says. With her mom's digital approval, Lizelle chose a Theia sheath with a v-neckline, hand beaded details, and cap sleeves.

She wore gold Jessica Simpson pumps, rose gold earrings with rubies, and her mother's pearl bracelet to complete her look. Her bouquet was a compact arrangement of ivory anemones and ranunculus, accented with gold-sprayed Italian ruscus and wrapped in a black ribbon.

Jeffrey wore a three piece plaid suit by Bar III, paired with Kenneth Cole wingtip shoes. For a personal touch, the groom also wore a custom pocket watch with one of his favorite quotes engraved on it.

His boutonniere contained that same gold-sprayed Italian ruscus as Lizelle's bouquet, plus a few colorful feathers.

The ceremony venue already had vintage chairs, chandeliers, velvet curtains, and gold frames on the walls, all fitting the couple's Gatsby-era theme, so Lizelle and Jeffrey didn't need to do much to the space. The bride put her own touch on Cotton Mill Studio by creating the feather palms that were placed at the start of the aisle.

The bride's father walked her down the aisle while a recorded instrumental version of The Postal Service's "Such Great Heights" was played throughout the room. The couple wrote their own ceremony and exchanged short and sweet vows surrounded by their nearest and dearest.

The party then moved to the Sutler Saloon, where the rest of Lizelle and Jeffrey's loved ones met them for a non-traditional reception. Instead of a plated dinner, the newlyweds focused on plates of appetizers and snacks like a bruschetta, chicken and vegetable satay, a specialty sausage and cheese plate, and seasonal fruit tarts. And, in keeping with their cocktail-style party, there was no shortage of great sips. The duo dreamed up an extensive specialty drink menu featuring 1920s-themed cocktails like the Mint Julep, Vieux Carré, and Old Fashioneds, plus craft beer and wine selections.

"My dad, who is a man of few words, grabbed the microphone and gave the most incredible welcome to all of our guests," says the bride. "It's one of my favorite memories my Dad's ever given me."

Even the couple's guests embraced the fun vibe of the wedding, donning their best Gatsby-inspired attire for the duration of the party.

For future couples contemplating how many guests to invite, Lizelle suggests using the same logic she and Jeffrey did. "How long is your reception in minutes? How many people are you inviting? Divide reception minutes by estimated guests. That's how much time you'll have for each guest — remember each added person equals shorter time with your favorites!"

Ceremony Venue: Cotton Mill Studio || Reception Venue & Catering: The Cellar at the Sutler Saloon || Bride's Wedding Dress: Theia, purchased at The Dress Theory || Hair & Makeup: Alyssa Kraus || Groom's Attire: Bar III || Engagement Ring: Studio 1040 || Wedding Bands: Formonte Jewellery || Flowers: Belles and Buttercups || Invitations: Greenvelope || Catering: Actual Food Nashville || Photographer: Kayla Coleman Photography

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Looking for more inspiration? Then check out another beautiful wedding, packed with incredible ideas, in the video below!

Aug 272016
 
Best Southern Bridal Salons

Photo: Maddison Row Bridal Chic; Virgil Bunao Photography

Finding the right wedding dress may be trial-and-error, but finding a bridal salon shouldn't be. Our editors polled more than 1,500 brides to discover the places with the prettiest dresses (from the designers like Carolina Herrera, Mira Zwillinger, and Houghton, just to name a few!), nicest consultants, and chicest spaces from coast to coast. Every single shop on this list is a true standout in style, service, and atmosphere whether it's the white dress mecca in your state or a gem in the middle of nowhere (we didn't judge!). Get ready for our curated, tested, and fully endorsed list of The Best Bridal Salons in America. Here, our editors narrow down the best bridal salons in the South. Happy shopping!

Ivory & White Bridal Boutique, Birmingham, Ala.
The consultants at this Mountain Brook mainstay are "thoughtful, detail oriented, and stylish," reported one southern belle. "They were able to expertly tie my vision to the beautiful dresses available in the salon," raves another.

Hitched Bridal Couture, Washington, D.C.
The above-and-beyond staff at this Georgetown staple got perfect reviews. Take it from one same-sex couple: "They celebrated us and guided us to dresses that would complement each another. They even pulled my wife's pick from the rack so I wouldn't be tempted to try it."

Chernaya Bridal House, Miami
No need to hit Drybar before your appointment: Priscilla, whom one bride called "the sweetest person ever," is handy with a bobby pin and happy to give a quick updo before she guides you to your dream Elie Saab or Angel Sanchez.

Ever After Miami, Miami
International and local brides agree that this dress mecca is worth the trip because of its seriously chic owner, killer gown selection, and in-house alterations shop/atelier, where "there's no limit to what you can do to customize your dress."

The Collection Bridal, Winter Park, Florida
With some of the best couture gowns around (Vera Wang, Inbal Dror), this light-filled store on Park Avenue wowed reviewers and passersby alike. "When I stepped in the front window during my final fitting, people came in from the street to tell me how beautiful I looked," says a satisfied bride.

Joan Pillow Bridal Salon, Atlanta and Houston
In the South, this salon (with two locations) is the spot to score in-demand designers, like Oscar de la Renta, but don't mistake sophisticated for stuffy. "They didn't bat an eyelash when my young daughter and stepdaughter touched every dress in the store," says one bride.

The Sentimentalist, Atlanta
Down-to-earth brides heart this whimsical shop in Midtown's Berkeley Park, citing the cozy cottage location, two cool chicks who own it, and "unique inventory of modern and antique-feeling" gowns.

Blanc Bridal Couture, New Orleans
It may be the new kid on Magazine Street, but this glam salon is gaining traction, thanks to its bend-over-backward consultants, including one a reviewer was legit girl-crushing on.

Garnish Boutique, Baltimore
Self-proclaimed "Garnish girls" gushed about the "one-on-one experience" and gorge decor at this newly renovated shop a short drive from D.C. "It looks like it came right from my Pinterest board," says a fan.

Hayden Olivia Bridal, Charlotte, N.C.
If you like transparency, this is the place to visit. "Everything is laid out for you" — the dresses, the prices, and the alteration fees — so go ahead and let your squad take a seat while you twirl around in a Hayley Paige or Jim Hjelm gown.

Maddison Row Bridal Chic, Charleston
This salon's high marks come courtesy of the kick-ass seamstresses. "I lost 40 pounds after ordering my dress, and they made what could've been a stressful process seamless, pun intended," says a bride.

Maggie Louise, Collierville, Tenn.
Molly Farrell is the Memphis bride's BFF for good reason: She asks each client to fill out a questionnaire and chat on the phone before she even arrives in the shop. "I love that Molly was able to focus on my individual needs, taste, and style from the get-go," says a fan.

White Dresses, Nashville
It's all about the atmosphere at this year-old salon, which nails it on dressing-room lighting ("insanely flattering") and big-reveal moments. ("The vintage mirror is perfection.")

Warren Barrón Bridal, Dallas
The ladies here always deliver, but especially when a gown is designed by Dallas's own Lela Rose, whom nearly all of our reviewers chose. One says, "My consultant tracked down a dress I had seen at her runway show and had it shipped to the store for me to try on in person."

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See More: 50 Things to Know About Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress

You’ll Love How One Couple Planned a Romantic Wedding in the Heart of Nashville

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Jul 282016
 
Downtown Nashville Wedding, Bride and Groom Outside

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

When Ramie Young met Eric Tieles through mutual friends in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2012, she couldn't have known that just two years later the pair would plan to spend the rest of their lives together. But on May 9, 2014, Ramie came home from work to a house full of candles, paper lanterns, and her favorite flowers — pink and white tulips, peonies, and ranunculus. There, Eric anxiously popped the question, and in a blur of emotions, Ramie said yes!

After a few phone calls to share the big news with family and friends, Ramie called her best friend and future maid of honor. To her surprise, she heard a knock on the door and realized that Eric had already planned for her to visit from Oklahoma for the weekend. Celebrations began with champagne and ring-shaped cookies, and later resumed with a dinner with both sets of parents.

Ramie and Eric invited 225 guests to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center's courtyard and concert hall for their ceremony and reception in Nashville, the city where they first met. "The building's classic architecture and luscious courtyard created a romantic, serene location we couldn't believe was in the midst of downtown Nashville," Ramie says. With help from the team at Sage Nines Event Production and photographer Kristyn Hogan, this couple created lasting memories of their timeless white, blush, and silver themed wedding.

Downtown Nashville Wedding, Bride in Beaded Rivini Wedding Dress Downtown Nashville Wedding, Bride Wearing Rivini Wedding Dress Downtown Nashville Wedding, Beaded Jimmy Choo Shoes Downtown Nashville Wedding, Bride Portrait

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

After trying on several gowns while wedding dress shopping in Nashville and Birmingham, Ramie found just what she was looking for in a fit-and-flare gown from Rivini. It was a pale oyster color, with layers of Italian tulle and French Chantilly lace and hand-embroidered crystal and pearl beading. The finishing touch was a dramatic tulle skirt and chapel-length train, which Ramie paired the gown with a chapel-length ivory veil.

The metallic threading throughout Ramie's Jimmy Choo shoes complemented the beading detail on her wedding dress. For her finishing touches, the bride wore a pair of earnings from Ramie's parents as her "something new" and her maternal grandmother's antique family pin for her "something old" and "something blue."

Downtown Nashville Wedding, Groom Getting Ready Downtown Nashville Wedding, Groom Portrait

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

Eric wore a classic black slim fit tuxedo and bow tie from Street Tuxedo. He paired the tux with monogramed gold cufflinks and a TAG Huer watch, both gifts from his bride.

Downtown Nashville Wedding, Getting Ready with Bridesmaids Downtown Nashville Wedding, Bride with Bridesmaids in Blush Jenny Yoo Gowns Downtown Nashville Wedding, Groom with Groomsmen in Black Tuxedos Downtown Nashville Wedding, Full Wedding Party

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

Ramie's nine bridesmaids wore blush Jenny Yoo dresses with a classic bateau neckline and V-back. They each wore pearl and crystal earrings and finished their looks with soft up-dos and fresh-faced makeup.

Groomsmen wore classic black tuxes similar in style to the groom's. "The contrast of the crisp black tuxedos against the light gray stonework in the courtyard made for a perfect combination," Ramie says.

Downtown Nashville Wedding, Flower Girl Looking Out the Window Downtown Nashville Wedding, Flower Girl with Ring Bearers

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

The couple's flower girl wore a sleeveless satin dress with a full tulle skirt — practically a mini bride! "I loved the fact that the buttons on the back of her dress looked like the buttons running down the back of my dress," Ramie says. The ring bearer and bible carrier matched the men of the wedding party with miniature versions of their classic black tuxedos.

Downtown Nashville Wedding, Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Downtown Nashville Wedding, Bride and Groom Wedding Ceremony

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

As a string quartet played, guests were seated in the venue's flower-filled courtyard. Flower arrangements of gladiolas, peonies, delphinium, and silver dollar eucalyptus in various sizes were used throughout the space. There was also a fountain at the courtyard's center that was filled with floating blush peonies.

Ramie carried an all-white bouquet as she made her way down the aisle, accompanied by her father Robert. The couple selected a meaningful reading for the ceremony and exchanged traditional vows.

Downtown Nashville Wedding, Cocktail Hour Space Downtown Nashville Wedding, Signature Drink

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

Food was a huge priority for this couple. During the cocktail hour, guests sipped on their signature cocktail, a Pimm's Cup, and enjoyed crowd-pleasing food like open-faced mini BLT's, warm brie with caramelized onions and fig jam, and mini chicken tacos paired with margarita shooters.

Downtown Nashville Wedding, Reception Space with Hanging Chandeliers Downtown Nashville Wedding, Round Tables with Tall Centerpieces Downtown Nashville Wedding, Chair Decorations

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

Guests made their way into the venue's concert hall for the reception, where they were seated at round tables covered in blush linens and bathed in romantic candlelight. Centerpieces varied from table to table, with some oversized floral arrangements comprised of garden roses, peonies, tulips, stock, and astilbe, and other smaller arrangements displayed inside mirror trays. The 40-person head table was decked out with tons of blush pillar candles.

For an extra dose of glamour, the couple added dramatic floor-to-ceiling drapes along the walls, which paired well with the glitzy hanging chandeliers already in the space.

Downtown Nashville Wedding, Dance Floor with Projected Monogram Downtown Nashville Wedding, Bride and Groom Cutting Cake

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

Ramie and Eric chose a custom monogram that was used throughout the wedding, including on their invitations, programs, and cocktail napkins. It was even projected onto the dance floor!

For dessert, everyone dug into a five-tiered buttercream frosted cake decorated with a floral pattern and fresh roses and peonies. The table that the cake was displayed on was covered in a sequin blush tablecloth for a little extra sparkle.

Downtown Nashville Wedding, Wedding Exit

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

Guests waved the newlyweds off with sparklers to celebrate their official status as Mr. and Mrs. Tieles. The couple spent two weeks traveling throughout Greece on their honeymoon.

Ramie reminds couples to take time to enjoy being engaged. "There will be stressful times, but it's nothing a glass of champagne can't fix," she says.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Schermerhorn Symphony Center || Wedding Planner: Meredith Zeller and Shannon O'Kelley of Sage Nines Event Production || Bride's Wedding Dress: Rivini, purchased at The White Room Bridal Salon || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair: Ashlea Hunter-Mullins Hair Styling || Makeup: Laura Goodwin Makeup Artistry || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Street Tuxedo || Florist: Enchanted Florist || Invitations & Paper Products: You're Invited || Music: Kevin Sweers Music; Musical Fantasy || Catering: Kristen Winston Catering || Cake: Dessert Designs by Leland || Rentals: Please Be Seated || Videographer: Full Frame Digital Cinema || Photographer: Kristyn Hogan

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On the lookout for more glamorous wedding inspiration? Then you're in luck! Watch another couple exchange vows in a sparkly party in the video below.

One Couple Tied the Knot in a Glamorous Black-Tie Wedding in the Heart of Nashville

 Nashville, Real Weddings, Tennessee  Comments Off on One Couple Tied the Knot in a Glamorous Black-Tie Wedding in the Heart of Nashville
Jun 032016
 
A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Bride and Groom Portrait

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

Two weeks after they first met during a concert in 2010, Andrea and Ford shared their first official date; but one week after that, she was off to finish her senior year at college. The couple knew there was something between them, though, so they vowed to make it work and spent their first three years together in a long-distance relationship. Four years after they met, the couple traveled to California to celebrate Ford's birthday. "We love to travel and have been on a lot of amazing trips while we've been together," Andrea says. "I had mentioned multiple times about wanting to take a scenic helicopter ride on one of our trips and after a drive down the coast, we pulled up at a private airport and I was ecstatic!" Things only got better from there: Once the couple landed in nearby Malibu, Andrea noticed a picnic table with framed photos, roses, and champagne. There, Ford got down on one knee and asked Andrea to be his wife.

The bride knew exactly where she wanted her April 25, 2015, wedding to take place and quickly booked two Nashville, Tennessee, venues for the couple's celebration. West End United Methodist Church, where the couple has attended services in the past, was their first choice for the ceremony, and no space other than Schermerhorn Symphony Center would have worked for the reception. "I was dead set on having the party there," says Andrea. "I called the day after we got engaged and they only had one date open in the spring, so we immediately booked it. It was my dream venue." With visions of a glamorous black-tie bash in mind, the couple worked with planner Jayne Bubis Events (who also planned Carrie Underwood's wedding!) to bring their elegant ideas to life. Read on to see how it all came together, as captured by the talented Kristyn Hogan.

A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Schermerhorn Symphony Center Wedding Venue A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Welcome Bags

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

"I always wanted a black-tie wedding and Schermerhorn Symphony Center was the perfect setting for that," says the bride. "It had the prettiest rooms to get ready in, to have the cocktail hour in, and the amazing symphony hall for the reception." With only one year to plan their wedding, Andrea and Ford got to work early, deciding they wanted the entire ceremony and reception to be done in shades of white, ivory, and blush with plenty of requisite glass and metallic accents to drive their glam aesthetic home.

The pair welcomed their friends and family to the celebration with a gift box filled with their favorite things (Ford's favorite chocolates and Andrea's favorite macaroons) as well as necessities like Advil, water, and champagne.

A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Bride in Strapless Vera Wang Ball Gown A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Bride's Strapless Vera Wang Wedding Dress with Sweetheart Neckline A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Bride's Jo Malone Perfume with Wedding Date Inscription

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

In order to find her dream wedding dress, the bride planned a weekend getaway to New York with her mom, grandmother, and three childhood friends. Her very first appointment was at none other than Vera Wang. "I had a picture of a dress that I had in mind but they didn't have that particular style in stock that day," Andrea says. Although she tried on other looks she loved, none hit the mark. She visited other boutiques and was preparing to see just one last store on her final day in town when her associate at Vera Wang called to say they had gotten the dress she was looking for. "We went immediately so that I could try it on and I fell in love with it."

The strapless lace and tulle ball gown hugged Andrea's body just as she envisioned and with the addition of a crystal belt and cathedral-length veil purchased from Vera Wang, the bride knew she had her big day look locked down.

As a special gift, Ford purchased an engraved bottle of perfume for Andrea to wear on the big day. "He selected the Peony and Blush Suede Jo Malone fragrance because he knew I was carrying a peony bouquet," the bride says. "When I wear the perfume it always reminds me of our wedding day."

A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Bride and Groom Portrait A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Groom's Louis Vuitton Cufflinks A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Bride with Bridesmaids in Black Gowns A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Groom with Groomsmen in Black Tuxedos

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

Ford wore a Gucci tuxedo, which he paired with Louis Vuitton cufflinks that Andrea purchased as his wedding fit. "We went to Paris for our honeymoon so I got him the 'Champs Elysee' cufflinks so they would always remind him of our wedding day and honeymoon," she says. His classic stephanotis boutonniere coordinated with his bride's peony bouquet.

Since they had planned a black-tie wedding, Andrea asked her bridesmaids to all wear black gowns by Monique Lhuillier. Each woman carried a bouquet of white hydrangeas and roses. Ford's groomsmen all wore modern black tuxes.

A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Bride Walking Down the Aisle A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Bride and Groom First Kiss A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Bride and Groom Ceremony Recessional

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

With the exception of two large white floral arrangements at the altar, the bride and groom skipped ceremony decorations since the ornate church looked beautiful on its own. Andrea's father walked her down the aisle while a string quartet performed Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

"We wrote our own vows, which was very important to us," says the bride. "We wanted our ceremony to feel personal and it was special to have our guests hear the promises we had written for one another." The joyous newlyweds left the church as the quartet performed again, this time playing Beethoven's "Ode to Joy."

A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Bride and Groom Outside Wedding Venue A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Escort Card Display with Towering White Floral Arrangement A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Tented Escort Cards on Glittering Linens A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Bite Size Tacos with Mini Margaritas

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

The party then moved to Schermerhorn Symphony Center, where cocktail hour was held in the main lobby. A saxophonist played while guests sipped cocktails, nibbled on appetizers, and found their escort cards arranged beneath a three-tiered floral centerpiece. A major hit with guests? Bite-size chicken tacos that were served alongside mini margaritas in Patron bottles!

A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Reception Setup with Long and Round Tables A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Tall Centerpieces with Roses and Hydrangeas A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Low White Centerpieces with Roses and Tulips A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Bride and Groom During Dinner

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

A mix of long rectangular and round tables were set for the couple's seated dinner reception, all covered with blush and ivory linens with a gold overlay. Each place setting included a gold beaded charger and the couple's monogrammed wedding menu. Centerpieces included a mix of white flowers, like roses, hydrangeas, and tulips, arranged in tall and short vessels.

For dinner, everyone enjoyed a four-course meal paired with the couple's two signature drinks: Hers, champagne, St. Germain, and lavender, or his, an old fashioned with candied bacon.

A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Couple Cutting 10-Foot Tall White Wedding Cake

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

The undisputed showstopper of the night was Andrea and Ford's epic 10-foot-tall wedding cake. "I had a specific vision for every detail of our wedding and didn't need much outside inspiration which didn't allow much rom for my mom to help," the bride says. "But she did request to be in charge of the cake! She still talks about how her contribution was the most talked about by all of our guests." It took two cars to get the towering confection to the reception, but the final look was certainly worth the logistical effort.

The 10-tier cake was decorated with cascading roses and gold leaves from Andrea's great grandparent's wedding cake. "They've been passed down through my family and we used them on top of the white roses, so that made it very special." Beneath a thick spread of buttercream, guests found alternating layers of sour cream pound and devil's food cake.

A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Bride and Groom First Dance

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

The couple shared their first dance to Lana Del Ray's "Young and Beautiful" before letting their band take over. "They played everything from mo town to current pop songs, and then we had a DJ that played more club-like music until 1 a.m.," Andrea says.

A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Confetti Falling Over Dance Floor A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Bride and Groom Dancing A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Bride and Groom Exit A Glamorous Black Tie Wedding in Nashville, Bride and Groom Kissing

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

Guests flooded the dance floor until the very end of the evening, when a surprise confetti drop came during the last song of the night, signaling that everyone should head outside for a sparkler exit. "It was one of our favorite parts of the night," the bride says. "We really wanted to have a surprise for our guests and it made for beautiful photos."

Ceremony Venue: West End United Methodist Church || Reception Venue: Schermerhorn Symphony Center || Wedding Planner: Jayne Bubis Events || Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Vera Wang || Hair: Korie Bernard || Makeup: Dhante Alderson || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier || Groom's Attire: Gucci || Groomsmen's Attire: Street Tuxedo || Flowers: The Tulip Tree || Catering: Kristen Winston Catering || Cake: Dessert Designs || Rentals: Classic Party Rental; Visual Elements || Videographer: Zane Karl Studios || Photographer: Kristyn Hogan

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Feeling inspired by this black-tie wedding? Then you should check out another couple's formal celebration in the video below.

Jul 222015
 
Best Bridal Salons in South

Photo: Kelly Cummings of Spindle Photography

Sometimes in the great search for that one perfect dress, you don't even know where to begin. The answer? With an appointment at a top-notch bridal salon. In our new August/September 2015 issue (on newsstands now!) we call out the best 50 bridal salons — big and small, luxury and budget-friendly, boho and traditional — across America. How did we go about creating such a list? We asked more than 1,100 real brides nationwide to weigh in on the best spots to find that dream wedding dress by rating and submitting their own gown-shopping experience. From precious, personalized boutiques in the South to giant wedding dress meccas in the Northeast to intimate indie shops in California, we found them all. So take note, brides-to-be! These are our readers' favorite bridal boutiques in the South.

Ivory & White Bridal Boutique, Birmingham, Ala.
Been to a few shops but haven't found the One yet? On request, this Mountain Brook salon will reach out to its designers (including Monique Lhuillier and Hayley Paige) and set up a private trunk show of dresses that are exactly your style. "All my friends told me I had to come here, and now I'm recommending it to every bride I meet too!" says a reviewer.

Carine's Bridal Atelier, Washington, D.C.
Take it from D.C. wedding planner Caroline Dutton, who bought her own gown here: "Carine, the owner, treats you like gold, whether you're there for a sample sale or to buy a $15,000 custom gown." Also a draw: the well-curated selection of styles by haute designers like Angel Sanchez and Carolina Herrera. Says one bride, "Every dress in the store was on trend but still timeless."

Joan Pillow Bridal Salon, Atlanta and Houston
Both locations earned stellar reviews for gorgeous gowns (Romona Keveza! Mira Zwillinger!) and bend-over-backward sales consultants, who brides say are pros at finding the best dress for your body.

The Sentimentalist, Atlanta
Housed in a cozy cottage, this shop specializes in vintage gems and airy gowns from indie designers like Sarah Seven and Leanne Marshall. One bride liked the owners so much, she hired them to plan her wedding.

Chic Parisien, Coral Gables, Fla.
This glam salon features the sexy, close-to-your-body gowns that are all the rage right now. "Everything about planning my wedding was stressful except shopping here," says a fan. "I changed my dress three times, and they never once questioned me or charged a fee."

See more: The Ultimate Wedding Dress Guide: The Best Necklines by Body Type

Ever After, Miami
Fashion addicts flock all the way from South America to this famed salon to try on dresses by the likes of Oscar de la Renta and Inbal Dror. "I wanted to look unique, so they used the fabric left over after hemming my dress to trim my veil. I couldn't believe it!" says one bride.

The Collection Bridal, Winter Park, Fla.
Pulling from the area's largest selection of in-demand designers, like Vera Wang, stylists here know what they're doing. "They pushed me out of my comfort zone and into the perfect dress," says a bride. "It's not what I'd imagined, but it's exactly what I needed."

I Do Bridal Couture, Baton Rouge, LA.
Have a momzilla on your hands? "Ramsey, the owner, responded to all my mother's 4 a.m. texts and emails with kindness and patience," says a grateful bride, who loved the salon's fairy-tale vibe and killer selection (including styles by Austin Scarlett and Amsale).

Wedding Belles, New Orleans
Reviewers rave about the friendly staff at this Magazine Street shop, where you can browse dresses by Jenny Yoo, Lula Kate, and Dolly Pearl. "Everyone was so nice, and they pointed me toward great vendors and websites I'd never heard of!" says a bride. Tip: Walk-ins are welcome on weekdays.

Hayden Olivia, Charlotte, N.C.
Not only are all the dresses made in the U.S.A., but sales consultants are totally open to customizing them. Getting married in the cooler months? The salon has a selection of fur stoles and shrugs you can rent for the big day.

Maddison Row, Charleston, S.C.
This downtown boutique has all the designers label-conscious brides are looking for, as well as cost-conscious lines like Monique Lhuillier's Bliss. "The gown I wanted was going to be at a trunk show, but I was out of town that weekend. The staff made a point of getting it in early so I could try it on," says a bride.

Maggie Louise Bridal Boutique, Collierville, Tenn.
Molly Farrell, the salon owner — a former wedding photographer and a recent newlywed — asks her clients to fill out a questionnaire and talk to a consultant before their appointment, then has a rack of handpicked gowns by the likes of Anne Barge and Liancarlo waiting on arrival. "I've gone dress shopping with many friends in many cities. But I've never seen anyone go to one salon and pick out her dress in two hours the way I was able to," says a bride.

Julian Gold, Austin, Tex.
Reviewers couldn't gush enough about Judy Dupre, the bridal manager at this boutique department store. Says one, "I went to a ton of salons in Houston, but after just 20 minutes on the phone, Judy sent me a link to my dream dress." Bonus: There's a lingerie department, so you can do your honeymoon shopping too.

Warren Barrn Bridal, Dallas
Brides in this city take their wedding dresses very seriously, which makes this haute salon's near-perfect reviews even more impressive. (Raves one: "The place is amazing, and the service is from the heart. It looks like a palace but feels like home!") Expect chic styles from Reem Acra, Lela Rose, and Watters, plus an insane selection of luxe lace veils.

For even more of the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES August/September 2015 issue on newsstands now and available for download.

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