They say rain on your wedding day is good luck, and we think newlyweds Kari and Colin would agree given their beaming faces in these images from Q Avenue Photo. The couple made their way down from their home in New York City to the bride’s home of Nashville, where they threw a relaxed party of a wedding for their closest friends and family, with a little help from Modern Vintage Events.
From the bride, Kari: Colin and I live in New York City but decided to have our wedding in my hometown of Nashville because we thought it a better setting for the type of wedding we wanted. Being from two different parts of the country, we knew this would probably be the only time in our lives that all of our most favorite people would be in the same place at the same time. Therefore, our priority was throwing a fantastic party to celebrate our marriage with our friends and family. We are both pretty simple, low key people and we wanted our wedding to reflect that. The venue we chose was beautiful and fit our idea of modest but warm and cozy. The grounds are amazingly diverse in setting. We had the ceremony in the front of the house, blanketed under huge magnolia and gingko trees; the cocktail hour was on the house’s sweeping side porch, overflowing into the gardens; and the reception was in the barn in the back. I loved the change of scenery and the creativity it allowed in decor. Plus, the venue was so beautiful itself, it didn’t require a ton of work to make it look good!
The best part of planning (and the advice I would remind anyone planning their own wedding!) was realizing we could actually do whatever we wanted. We didn’t have religious ties nor any traditions to uphold, so we were able to make the day as eclectic and hodgepodge as we wanted. I asked both my parents to walk me down the aisle because I’d seen it in another wedding and liked it; we asked a college friend to be our officiant, and he created an amazing theme about friends, family, and stories; in lieu of readings, we each had a friend speak during the ceremony as an introduction to us, with our officiant then pulling the stories together to introduce marriage; we wrote our own vows. Our ceremony was high energy with lots of laughter. I loved it because it wasn’t possible to make a mistake. There was no protocol or no “right” way to behave. It was wonderful to remember that throughout the day, and remember that we were there to celebrate with those we loved; nothing could possible make the day turn sour—even the mega downpour that struck an hour before the wedding!
In terms of decor, we didn’t choose a theme, rather just chose what we liked. We used wildflowers because they don’t limit your color palette. All the decorations were handmade by friends and family. Colin and I are both very bookish, so we threw in small details like old books and library check-out cards for decor. It felt so rewarding as our guests constantly came up to us and said, “It’s so YOU.” I asked my bridesmaids to pick their own light peach dress, and Colin decked his groomsmen out in matching shirts and pants, adding accessories of their choice. We told our guests to wear something comfortable — suits and ties discouraged. We only had one rule: if you own a seersucker suit, you must wear it. (This is the South, after all!)
Any advice to couples planning their weddings now? Think about everything you want in a great party, and then make that your wedding. Don’t focus on the little details from the beginning. If you want to have a wonderful big family dinner, prioritize the food and floor plan. If you want to dance all night, get a huge dance floor and an amazing DJ. There is no right or wrong when it comes to your wedding; make the day exactly what you want it to be, and with your friends and family there, it will be an amazing, memorable day for all.
Processional: “Blackbird,” The Beatles
Recessional: “That’s What’s Up,” Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes
First Dance: “Sea of Love,” Cat Power; “1200 Miles,” Shovels & Rope
Wedding Location: Nashville, TN / Photographer: Q Avenue Photo / Event Planning and Design: Modern Vintage Events / Flowers and Bunting: Bride and bride’s mother / Personal Flowers: Family Friend / Venue: Travellers Rest / Wedding Caterer: Constant Craving / DJ and Lighting: Showtime Productions / Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Musicians: Austin Filingo (Gypsy Jazz) / Rentals: Southern Events / Tent: Nashville Tent and Awning / Transportation: Signature Transportation