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Katherine and Chris contacted us to help them plan their destination wedding in Nashville, Tennessee. They had an idea of what they wanted but needed help pulling their ideas together, staying on budget, and finding exactly what they wanted without knowing a lot about the city.
We initially met with Katherine to discuss her vendors. What was her dream venue? What type of food did she want? What story did she want the photos to tell? After hearing all of the bride’s dreams, we went to work and was able to secure and find the perfect vendors for the couple.
After the vendors were booked; the schedule, flowers, and details of the day were established. Since floral design and décor are a part of our full-service package, it was simple for Katherine to express her design ideas and let us make it a reality. Katherine wanted a “greenhouse” feel although her wedding was in winter. She wanted shades of white and green, ribbons that hung to the floor, gold accents, pops of butter crèmes, yellows, dusty blues, and a plethora of candles.
During all of the planning, site visits, tastings, flower and décor meetings, snow was just a small thought. We would laugh and say, “How pretty would it be if it snowed a little.” Katherine and Chris had no idea what an impact snow would end up making on their wedding weekend.
It was a Friday morning, late January, and Nashville was projected to receive 1-3 inches of snow. The forecasters were calling for a “dusting” late afternoon on Friday. By 7am, Nashville’s “dusting” was already reaching 3 inches and still going strong with a projected 8 -10 inches still on the way. Winter Storm Jonas had arrived and showed no signs of making a speedy departure.
At 7:30 that morning I called Katherine. She was enjoying the beautiful snow. After discussing alternative plans we moved forward with the original schedule which was to rehearse at 2:00 p.m. At noon, I received a call from the bride letting me know that the rehearsal dinner venue had cancelled. They weren’t going to open their doors and so we weren’t going to be able to have the amazing rehearsal dinner that was planned. After numerous calls to local venues and vendors it quickly became apparent that the worsening road conditions were eliminating all of our options.
Approximately 30 minutes later, I spoke with Katherine again and was informed that her family was going to rally around them, order pizza, and have the best rehearsal dinner possible. It was in that moment something changed. It’s that thing that we try to get our clients to understand from the beginning. Katherine and Chris made the decision to have an amazing wedding. Despite all of the obstacles that seemed to be in front of them due to Winter Storm Jonas, they would not let the elements determine their enjoyment of the day they had been dreaming of for so long.
The rehearsal was still on for 2:00 p.m. When we arrived at the Scarritt Bennett Center we were greeted by the staff who was busy scraping off the sidewalks despite the fact that the entire city had shut down. Nothing was open and even FedEx and UPS couldn’t deliver packages. The favors never arrived, the specialty ribbons for the bouquets were on the truck but couldn’t make it due to the snow.
The rehearsal went off without a hitch and we let everyone know there would still be a wedding the next day… and it was going to be the best day ever. Immediately following the rehearsal, the bridal party headed out for an afternoon of sledding. To top it off they would enjoy a feast complete with pizza served on paper plates and coke served out of plastic cups. There were no fancy flowers or linens. What they had was greater than all of that. They had love… and a lot of snow!
We were witnessing a couple take every piece of advice we had given to heart. When things are out of your control you must make the decision to make the best out a situation. At this point it didn’t matter that we had spent months planning a perfect destination wedding in Nashville. At this moment what mattered was that Katherine and Chris were surrounded by an amazing bridal party and family.
Immediately following the rehearsal, we started hearing from all of the vendors who wondered if there would even be a wedding. To which the response was, “Of course there will be a wedding!” We warned each person to plan on extra time for travel. At this point, there was no other option. Everyone needed to work together to make this wedding happen, and we did.
Saturday morning began at 6:00 a.m. with hair and makeup. That was the first scheduled event and the stylists and bridal party had to venture out onto ice covered roads. Nashville hadn’t seen a storm like this in years and the roads had only gotten worse overnight. The first task was a success and hair and makeup was starting.
The next step was to get to the church. We loaded our van with all of their flowers and décor and started the journey downtown. About 10 minutes into the drive we were stuck on the icy roads. How were we going to make it? Everything for the day was in the back of the van. If we didn’t make it we there wouldn’t be a wedding.
After what seemed an eternity spinning our wheels in an attempt to break free of the ice, and witnessing multiple accidents by those trying to avoid our van, a good Samaritan came to the rescue and rammed the van repeatedly until we crested the hill. This was it! There would be a wedding!
Everyone made it to the church and the bridesmaids and groomsmen all arrived and started photos. The bride’s bouquet was made of white hydrangea, light yellow garden roses, bright yellow ranunculus, white anemone, and eucalyptus seeded. The bouquets were finished with dusty blue ribbons flowing down. With the freshly fallen snow as the backdrop, Jack Hoyle Photography did a masterful job of capturing all of the beauty.
As the guests were arriving for the ceremony the reality of the storm set in. Only a third of the 180 expected guests were able to make the trip from various destinations across the country. However, those that made the journey had a blast and enjoyed every minute of the evening.
After the ceremony, the bridal party headed out to take photos around town. Along their journey, their shuttle got stuck in the ice. Have you ever seen a bride and groom on the side of the road trying to hitch a ride? It is quite a sight to behold! After great effort to get the shuttle out of the ice, the transportation company sent another shuttle to rescue the bridal party. They were off for more photos and ultimately to the reception.
Upon arriving at the reception, the bride and groom were escorted into the hall to see the flowers and décor we prepared for them. As Katherine entered the room to see her reception for the first time she was overcome with emotion.
She had chosen an ivory, gold, green and dusty blue palate, and it was stunning. The ceiling was draped with ivory fabric panels and lit with Italian string lights. The tables were filled with candles and beautiful arrangements of white hydrangea, white garden roses, light yellow garden roses, hanging green amaranths and eucalyptus seeded. Each place setting was adorned with a sprig of baby eucalyptus.
The reception was a big party filled with delicious food from Chef Penelope’s catering, cake from Signature Cakes by Vicki and dancing all night long thanks to Emerald Empire Band. Even the groom got in on the entertainment as he sat in with the band on a few songs behind the drums.
In the end, the day was perfectly imperfect. Winter Storm Jonas couldn’t stop the bride from walking down the aisle, the guest from having an amazing time, and the bride and groom from saying “yes” to forever. Here’s to many more memories made and a life filled with choosing to be happy.
See all of the photos from this beautiful wedding here.
Planning, Flowers and Decor: Nashville wedding planners Regalo Design
Photography: Jack Hoyle Photography
Ceremony Venue: Scarritt Bennett Center
Reception Venue: Noah Liff Opera Center
Catering: Chef Penelope’s Catering
Baker: Signature Cakes by Vicki
Rentals: Music City Tents and Events
Ceremony Music: The Corwin Trio
Reception Music: Emerald Empire Band
Transportation: Matchless Transportation
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Nashville Wedding Planners, Florist & Event Decorator