I took a little break from the blog, but I am back to share the details of our big day! I have had several different publications reach out with interest in sharing our wedding and what they do is send me specific questions. So, I thought the easiest thing to do would be to share my answers to all of those questions with you! We got married in Nashville, TN on February 24, 2018 at one of Nashville's oldest restaurants - The Loveless Cafe. Loveless built a barn about 5 years ago and that is where we were married. Stop by here to read about the history of Loveless and why we fell hard for it! I never wanted a barn wedding and the word rustic makes me cringe - I actually wanted it in an all white room with exposed beams, but life has a funny way of changing directions and here we are! I felt like this barn was more industrial on the inside and with the design choices we made, it was a great fit for us. We were supposed to be married outside under the magnolia trees, but winter weather had a different plan so we made a ceremony space inside. We planned our wedding in 10 months and poured ourselves into every single detail. I will warn you that this is a long post, but I hope you will read through it and really feel like you were there.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our celebration!
Bride: Lindsay Lanier Martin Bride’s Hometown: Albany, Ga Groom: Michael Martin Hometown: Noblesville, IN Wedding Location: Nashville, TN
The proposal: I walked in the house to one of my favorite songs playing – Susan Tedeschi’s version of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright. “. We laugh now because it’s actually a sad song about leaving, but Mike was a bit nervous so the timing of the playlist he made was off. Mike looked up at me and asked if I wanted to play tic-tac-toe and I thought to myself: "wild Friday night!". As soon as I sat down he asked me if I remembered the first time we played this together and that's when I knew. He was recreating our first date in NYC when we played a fancy coffee table version of tic-tac-toe over drinks. Mike got down on one knee and told me all the reasons he loved me and why I made him a better person. He opened a little, tiny velvet box with a ring we had designed together. The ring of my dreams! The Preparation: Being from the deep south, having worked for the editor of Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine for years, and owning my own floral + event design company was both a blessing and a curse. I knew exactly what I wanted but also knew how many options there were. The hardest part was the guest list and being so far away from my Mom (I had recently moved from NYC to Indiana and she lives in Georgia). I made most of the invitation suite and save the dates myself and the bouquets and bouts myself, too! I made it my mission to include as many personal and family heirloom details as possible.
The Big Day: The day started with a bridesmaid luncheon given by family at The Harding House, Belle Meade Plantation. Ladies went to my Aunt Sandra’s home in Franklin, just down the street from Loveless, while men stayed at the hotel. We had southern snacks + mimosas while we got ready – in matching monogrammed robes, of course! We had bluegrass hymns played while guests were seated and my Uncle Ricky (my photographer’s Dad!) married us. We saw each other for the first time at the altar, my Mom waked me down. We ate fried chicken and danced to live oldies and rock and roll songs that we picked. Two of our good friends sang our first dance and my 11-year-old niece sang “You are my sunshine”. We had family photos of generations past, cotton from my parent’s farm as centerpieces, and friends and family from all over the US. We left on Platinum Record’s party bus and headed to the after-party!
Honeymoon: We did a “mini-moon” for two nights in Louisville where we stayed at the famous Seelbach Hotel and explored the town. We decided to do a delayed honeymoon in the Bahamas in August. Looking back, it was one of the best choices we made because it gave us time to catch our breath (refill our wallets!) and have something to look forward to when those end of event blues hit. We leave for the Bahamas next month and can’t wait! Personal story about couple: I, Lindsay, grew up in Albany, Georgia - a sweet little city nestled in the southwest corner of the state and outlined by plantations and red dirt roads. I moved to New York City where I lived for a decade and worked as a celebrity nanny, personal assistant and project manager. Mike is an Indiana boy from Noblesville, a sweet little city nestled in cornfields just outside of Indianapolis. Mike was visiting NYC for a concert when our paths crossed. We started chatting and found all of these crazy coincidences that we shared – like the fact that family friends of his from Indiana now lived next to my parents on a small lake in South Georgia. One of those coincidences was our shared love of Nashville. The music, style, history and community resonated with both of us and became a place that we spent quite a bit of time together. We decided to keep in touch, visit each other, and meet in different locations across the country. Music is what originally connected us because it’s what makes each of us tick. Over the year of long distance dating – we would send each other a song on Spotify every single night before bed and add it to a playlist called “Us”. That modern mixtape would later be the music that played during our cocktail and dinner hours. The odds were against us and everyone thought we were crazy, but after MANY 6 am Southwest flights, teary goodbyes and failed face-time dates – we decided it was time to give this a real go. I moved from New York City to Noblesville in September or 2017, was engaged in May of 2017 and we were married in February of 2018.
Inspiration for planning: My main inspiration for planning was southern, personal, and timeless. I wanted the choices we made to feel just as true to us in 25 years as they do now. I wanted my southern roots to be present from the very beginning. My mom always said that your save the date and invitation suite serves as a first glimpse into your event and that is something that really stuck with me. For the save the date, I worked with my close friend Heidi Heth, of Haven Paperie, to design our own take on the iconic Nashville Hatch Show Print. My love of music is only matched by my love of design and letterpress- a dying art. Hatch Show Print is steeped in southern history and every time I look at their concert posters in our home, it makes my heart happy. It’s like a celebration of a memory on paper. I wanted the save the dates to be fun and playful so we did a miniature concert poster in our wedding colors with a ticket stub that was printed with details. I printed and cut all 224 of them and addressed them myself with custom stamps. See my previous post on them here. I had Rebecca Meixner, of Sweet Invitation Co., design and print my wedding invitation. The modern, yet traditional, script printed on cotton paper was a nod to my hometown. She was amazing and a treat to work with! I cut 224 pieces of velum and wrapped the suite with grey and white twine, complete with a green wax seal that was adorned with a fern leaf. My Mom, who is a self-taught calligrapher and has had her own little business since I was in high school, addressed our envelopes. A detail that will forever be one of my most treasured. We used vintage stamps from the states we lived, met, and got married in – Georgia, Indiana, New York, Tennessee. This was considered a destination wedding for us and most of our guests so we wanted the welcome bags to have little details to represent where we came from and where we had been. I made cards that listed our favorite places in Nashville and we had bags of Georgia peanuts, popcorn from Indiana, “I love NY” chocolates, music note confetti and more! My Mom stuff 200 of them in a hotel room after driving 8 hours so shout-out to her!! I made the welcome board for the wedding and the wreaths on the front barn doors. I wanted a modern spin on a traditional element and loved the idea of using brass wedding bells with plaid bows. My flower girls would later walk down the aisle ringing the same bells, signaling my entry to the ceremony while our ring bearer carried a hemstitched pillow adorned with our married monogram. As guests entered the barn, there was a table with photos of our parents and grandparents, Hatch Show Print coffee table books serving as our guest book and marriage advice cards that my former boss and inspiration, Darcy Miller, made for us. I wanted them to enter the ceremony space to soft candle light and bluegrass hymns. I wanted everything touched with greenery. I wanted all white loose flowers and magnolia leaves with navy privett berries in low compote vases. I made the bouquets with fresh gardenias I had shipped in the night before and all of the bouts and cocktail table centerpieces from cotton we picked ourselves at my Mom and Stepdad's farm in Georgia. We wanted our head table family style. We wanted people to actually eat and Loveless is famous for their fried chicken and homemade biscuits! I wanted a simple cake with my favorite inside – peanut butter! The cake was decorated with only jasmine vine, which grew wild all over my yard growing up, and sat atop a vintage lace tablecloth that my grandmother made. We wanted oldies and rock and roll. We wanted corn hole, dancing, laughter. I kept envisioning standing far away from the barn, seeing it full of people we love, the glow of string lights and music belting through the rafters. We wanted people to feel the love we have for each other and the love we have for them in every single detail and I think we did just that.
Special Moments from the day: My Dad passed away when I was nine and I dreaded the feeling of his void on this day for most of my life. While we were getting ready, my older sister brought me an envelope. Inside was a swatch of one of my Dad’s old blue gingham shirts. It was my something blue. I pinned that swatch on my bouquet right under my thumb and had a brass charm with a photo of him tied on as well. That swatch was so unexpected and so very special. It made a hard moment feel warm. My Meme was given a sixpence from a close friend the year I was born. She typed up a tiny note with her signature that read “Mrs. W.C. Beck brought me a sixpence dated 1956 for each of the brides in the Lanier family to wear in her shoe for good luck. Jimmy (*my dad) is to keep until I can call for it. Mother.” I wore that coin in my shoe, just as my sister had.
We chose not to do a first look. Having that moment at the alter before God and our family and friends was really important to us. My Mom walked me down the aisle, holding my hand. Being with her and seeing my soon-to-be husband for the first time truly felt like I was walking into the next phase of my life and combining the two. It was a very emotional moment. As a wedding gift, I gave Mike cuff links that had needlepoint, baby-blue Grateful Dead bears – the concert we met at! I also gave him a tiny little hand-crank music box that played “What a Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke. I said I love you, not with an expensive watch (not that there is anything wrong with that!), but with thoughtful keepsakes.
I remember my Dad singing an old Willie Nelson song in his car when I was little, Blue Skies. It’s actually an old swing song, but Willie did a soft version of it and it has always been a very special song to me. I had Blue Skies engraved in Mike’s wedding band and we walked down the aisle as husband and wife to his rendition of Blue Skies.
What advice do you have for future couples? Don’t lose sight of what is important to the two of you. You get opinions from EVERYONE and it imposes guilt on you when it is from people you love and respect, but this is about the two of you and that is what matters. Try and incorporate personal details to make your guests feel close to you, like they are truly sharing this life-changing event with you! Don’t go for the cheap food – it matters! If you can make it work, always choose the open bar. It’s the best way to say “thank you!”.
With heartfelt thanks:
Photographer: My talented cousin Rebecca Mill of The Indie Image (Raleigh, NC)
Bouquets + Bouts and all design concept: Lindsay Martin of Southern Sky Design
Altar + reception flowers: Cottonwood Floral of Nashville – Abigail Curtis
Wedding Cake : The Sweetest Day of Nashville – Stephanie Feltz
Ceremony Musicians : John + Julie Pennell of Nashville
Reception Musicians : Circle City Royals of Indianapolis
Leslie Hair + Make-up : Indy friend/awesome vendor! Her assistant Shellee is wonderful, too!
Programs: Linen & Birch Creative