Real Wedding | Samantha + Keith

I love the way Samantha describes her wedding dress when she exclaims “there will never be another piece of clothing that makes me feel as beautiful as that dress did!”  And it’s no wonder she felt that way. Her gorgeous Paloma Blanca gown was so elegant…so flattering…and simply stunning. From the charming historic chapel where they were married, to the classic Nashville landmark that was the setting for their reception, and that incredible gown, this Real Wedding is a winner from start to finish!

Samantha + Keith  | April 16, 2011 | Nashville, Tennessee

The ceremony

We had an intimate ceremony with 80 of our closest family and friends in the oldest chapel in the state of Tennessee. King’s Chapel is located just south of Nashville, and was built in the 1800’s. The chapel had been restored with a stone front and all natural oak hardwood floors and ceiling. Our bridesmaids wore chocolate brown Jim Hjelm dresses with charcoal gray accents, and carried white roses.  The groomsmen wore charcoal gray tuxes with chocolate vests and ties.

The reception

We hosted more than 300 guests for dinner and dancing, under a gorgeous clear  tent on the steps of the Parthenon in Nashville, which is a full-scale replica of the The Parthenon in Athens, Greece. The Nashville Parthenon was built in 1897, and signifies the moniker, Athens of the South. The evening featured southern food favorites, cupcakes and even sliders for our late night guests. The tent was decorated with clear string lighting, white couches and lounge seating, and chocolate and charcoal linens adorned with white floral centerpieces on our dining tables and bar tops, along with a gorgeous iron tree with tea lights as the events centerpiece.

How Samantha found her dream dress

I began my wedding dress search in Chicago and ended up purchasing a simply styled dress that I immediately fell in love with. We had a 14-month engagement, and I purchased the dress pretty early on, so once I started planning the wedding and the size and style of the wedding continued to grow, I realized the wedding had outgrown my simple gown. I then gathered the bridesmaids and we went on a dress hunt in Nashville. I found THE dress at Arzelle’s in West Nashville. I tried on several strapless dresses and repeatedly pulled dresses with a mermaid style. After eight dresses that were beautiful, but were not the one, I put on a Paloma Blanca dress that was new to the boutique. I walked out and all my bridesmaids said “That’s is it!”  Then my seamstress perfectly fitted the dress to my body style and shape.

How Samantha felt in her wedding dress

Like a princess.

Why Samantha decided to sell her wedding dress

Selling my dress was a very hard decision for me to make. There will never be a piece of clothing that makes me feel as beautiful as that dress did. A bride on her wedding day is a princess and the center of everyone’s attention, and you want it to last forever. The look on my husband’s face when we he saw me for the first time was priceless and will forever be etched in my mind. I could preserve my dress and put it up for safe-keeping, or I could sell my dress and give another bride happiness and joy. I have countless photos from the day, and can always, and often times do, go back and look and remember the dress.

Samantha’s wedding dress: Paloma Blanca, 3854

Photography: Donald Yeager