Real Wedding | Melanie + Alex

What do you get when you combine small town southern charm, creative DIY details, and a touch of music city style? The answer is a fabulous wedding and reception that friends and family will remember warmly for years to come. A lovely couple and a lovely celebration…this is rustic elegance at it’s best!

Melanie + Alex | September 25, 2010 | Nashville, Tennessee

How they met

Alex and I met exactly three years ago at a Christmas party!  Alex didn’t know a soul at the party (besides the buddy he came with) and I came very close to NOT going to the party that night.  I’m so glad I did!  A few weeks later, Alex got my contact information from his friend, who was an acquaintance of mine.  A few weeks after that, Alex and I went on our first date.  In April of this year, Alex had my boss fly me to Austin, TX, for a fake business trip.  He surprised me there and proposed!

The ceremony

Alex and I wanted to get married in a church so we found a lovely old church in historic Franklin, TN that was perfect!  The church, built in the 1870’s, was designed by the same architect that designed the famous Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.  Alex and I each had seven friends by our side and my matron of honor’s husband, who was recently ordained, married us!

The reception

I’ve always loved small towns like Leiper’s Fork, TN, which is where we chose to have our reception. We found a venue off the beaten path called Moonshine Hill that was the perfect location for the wedding reception that I’d always dreamed of. A cute bed & breakfast on 22 acres, Moonshine Hill had the southern charm and rustic elegance that I was looking for.  With its picturesque lake, red barn, hill-top pavilion and fire pits, Moonshine Hill didn’t need much gussying up so I kept it simple with ivory damask linens and lots of white string lights.

The moment that Melanie will never forget

There are two things about my wedding that I will never forget.  The first is the tremendous amount of help I had from my family and friends the weeks and days leading up to my wedding.  A DIY affair – it definitely was – so I had a lot to accomplish the weekend of the big day.  My parents, brothers, sister in law and bridesmaids came to the rescue and, thanks to them, we pulled it off.  The second memory that I’ll never forget is ringing the huge bell in the steeple of the church after the ceremony was over.  The bell rope was located in the little foyer of the church and its customary there for the new Mr. & Mrs. to ring the bell post-ceremony.  Alex and I rang the bell together and everyone in the church cheered!

How Melanie knew her wedding dress was “The One”

I tried on probably 10-12 dresses at various stores before I found “Cinderella.”  It didn’t take me long to figure out that Monique Lhuillier was my favorite designer but when I put on Cinderella, I knew she was the one.  I didn’t try on a single dress after that.

Why she decided to sell her wedding dress

More guests complimented me on my dress than any thing else.  My dress (along with the groom, of course 🙂 was my favorite part of my wedding day but I can’t see that it would do me any good to keep it in a box.  I’d rather someone else to get to enjoy it like I did.

Melanie’s dress: Monique Lhullier, Cinderella

Photography: Abbey Lindsey from Dylan Blue Photography