i do BBQ
We got our rehearsal/rehearsal dinner photos back over the weekend and it has been SO much fun to look through them (500 times) and remember every second with the ones we love. The wedding images are to be delivered today and I am on the edge of my seat, but wanted to go ahead and share all the special pieces of our wedding eve with you! If you know me/follow me then you know how much I love and appreciate photography. My cousin Rebecca of The Indie Image just so happens to be a talented wedding, lifestyle, and commercial photographer based in Raleigh , NC - score! So, what happens when two cousins that both work in the wedding industry get married the same year? They trade the most meaningful gift of all - their talents! Stop by my past blog post here to see Rebecca's super special mountain wedding that I got to flower and keep following along with me to see all of her special images of our big weekend. I cannot tell you how wonderful and comfortable it felt to have someone special to me be with us during these special and intimate moments. It makes all of the images just that much sweeter so a big THANK YOU to my cousin for traveling the distance and delivering our forever memories. If you can spend the extra money to have your photographer at the rehearsal dinner, I highly recommend it!
We knew we wanted a classic wedding more on the formal side so we wanted the rehearsal dinner to be a bit more casual and fun - and definitely southern! Martin's BBQ was a no-brainer because of the name (obviously!), but also because it is in downtown Nashville right off Broadway making honky tonk'n afterwards an easy activity for our guests. Our wedding venue was out in the hills because we purposely picked two different Nashville areas so that guests could experience the life of Broadway and the beauty of the country. Since we had a destination wedding, being thoughtful of our guests and their time was a top priority. We did not want everyone spending a lot of time and money having to constantly Uber a bunch of places so we decided to have the rehearsal at the wedding hotel (instead of the venue) which made it possible to have drinks in the hotel bar after and then head to the dinner. Martin's also has a really fun atmosphere and delicious food. We used their private room that is clad in shiplap, of course! A few favorites from the rehearsal.
My uncle Ricky (and the photographer's Dad!) married us. Family affair! I love my Mom laughing in the background here.
Let's start with the invites. Having done the save the dates myself (with my friend Heidi - see that post here) and most of the entire wedding suite myself (coming soon!) I really wanted to find an invite that I loved and just have it personalized, printed and shipped. I could not cut one more thing! I found Pen + Parcel on Etsy after WEEKS of looking and she had the perfect invite! I knew I wanted to go with navy gingham for a modern approach to the infamous red and white check that says "BBQ!", but I did not want it to feel country. Just a slight nod. This invite was the perfect mix of sophisticated and fun. While reading reviews, I noticed that my good friend Katherine had used the same seller for her Christmas cards and I had the actual card hanging in my kitchen! I mean, what are the odds?! Rachel of P + P was a delight to work with and delivered a quality product quickly! Go check her out!
Front + Back
I addressed them myself and used my favorite USPS stamps ever - the special edition Elvis stamps! What better way to incorporate Tennessee and our love of music?! They are no longer making these so I bought several pages to keep in my little collection for years to come.
I made the table runners myself with fabric from Hobby Lobby and used our own personal collection of bottles and cans that we have acquired over the years from our favorite places. Instead of flowers, I decided to use cotton from the farm. I picked it myself (with my nieces) when I was home last fall. Fun photos from that at the end! It was the perfect piece of home and being that my stepdad farms 1500 acres of South Georgia cotton and pecans - using his own cotton was a special way to include him, as well. It is one of my absolute favorite details of the weekend. I did the place cards myself - did you know that if you cannot find the right size of tented cards PaperSource will fold some for you right there in the store at no cost?! Pro tip! My old boss and the wedding guru herself (Darcy Miller of Martha Stewart Weddings) made us the sweetest marriage advice cards with her illustration of us at the top. These served as our guestbook at the rehearsal dinner and we had them placed on my grandmother's silver tray that she gave me before she passed away. Darcy used the same illustration embossed in gold on a beautiful grey leather album that will be our wedding album. Having such a special piece of New York City and a woman that taught me so much of what I know felt very special and made that part of my life feel not so far away. Not to mention, those cards have some pretty hilarious and helpful advice that will be so much fun to look through for years to come! Goo Goo clusters are a Nashville Staple and BBQ, deviled eggs and pecan pie speaks for itself. We were toasted with special words and had a slide show playing during the event with photos from baby years to now. It is a great conversation piece for guests and pretty darn fun to watch.
I just feel so much joy when I look back through these images. Our main goal all the way through was to have meaning etched into every single detail of our weekend and I am so proud that we accomplished that. To all of our family and friends that traveled near and (mostly) far, we love you more than words! Cheers!
I really prefer family style at events like this. It makes it feel like a Sunday supper.
Fun outtakes from the farm!