What do you get when you mix a classic black tie event, a wedding white ceremony, and pops of pink in a pretty Dolly Parton themed hotel?! A Nashville night you'll never forget.
From big bands and overflowing orchids all the way to a three-course meal, packed dance floor, cake (how could you forget cake?!), and a firework farewell, Preston and Candler spared no special detail and made their wedding day an all around fantastic fete.
This wedding was a special one for me for a few reasons. The wedding date was my dad's birthday, which is always a great day in itself. I mentioned this to Candler in our first meeting and we both agreed it was destined to be a fun time! Another reason this wedding was near and dear to me is because Candler and I used to work together. I've known her family (she's a triplet!) for years--Her mom is a florist that I've worked with on several occasions including this special day, and her sister was also in the hospitality / service industry. We also added to the fact that our hotel sales manager, Emily, grew up and went to school in the same city as Candler and I did. There were so many connections and reasons why I wanted to do this wedding and make it THE best day ever for the couple.
Candler and Preston chose "Month Of Coordination". It was the perfect package for the couple. Month Of Coordination allows the couple to contract all of the vendors individually while planning comes in to tie up loose ends 6 weeks prior to the big day. Candler is an organized bride who already had the entire day mapped out. At our onboarding meeting she had her venue with in house catering, florist, photographer, hair and make up, and cake booked. We only had to finalize the band and some lighting pieces to complete the vendor list. With our vendors in the right places, Candler and I were able to focus on details and timelines immediately. I am almost certain we detailed everything out in full at our onboarding meeting at Barista Parlor. We kept to the same plan for 8 months. As a planner, I deal with a lot of personalities and change of plans. Candler was the golden bride that knew exactly what she wanted and had no hesitation in her decision making skills. I truly think this attitude allowed Candler and Preston to flow into the wedding day with ease!
The day of the wedding turned out to be as smooth as you could imagine. Working with a mostly inclusive venue like The Graduate Hotel Nashville had so many benefits (The room was already set up, the hotel staff was informed and hospitable, the bridal party was able to glam up in the girls' suite). The only hiccup we ran into on the wedding day was that it was a little chilly for a fall day and we implemented our weather plan by moving the bar on the terrace to an indoor location. Other than that, the wedding party was able to relax and enjoy some friends / family time while the planning team was able to manage a flawless day.
We started with a 12-hour booking window. The ceremony site was set up with the chairs, and reception prep was underway in back of house for our "flip". Rentals came in to drop off an aisle runner and linens. Our photographer / videographer team stayed on site and was able to capture the day start to finish. We managed vendor load in, first looks for the couple, wedding party photos all prior to the ceremony. The flip from the ceremony to reception was the only major puzzle piece we anticipated. The benefits to hiring a seasoned event planner are endless, but to have someone on your wedding team to see the big picture is key. Candler, Preston, and I worked on the flow of the wedding and transition from a ceremony set up for 200 to a seated, plated meal with full formal set ups and alternating linens and arrangements. And let's mention the logistical task of loading in a 7-piece band in the middle of it! Through our planning, I was able to see WHO was going to do WHAT during the flip (while cocktail hour service began) and delegate accordingly. We even had time for detailed room shots before letting guests in! Not only did the configuration of the room change from ceremony style seating to mixed banquet rounds, the aesthetics also changed from an all white wedding to a powerful display of colors and lush arrangements. The wedding reception was a perfect mixture of a formal affair and a dance party. Not only did Candler and Preston have the best moves, but we even saw a guest do the worm across the dance floor! We added to the party by passing out glow sticks, glow drink decor, and other light up party favors. We had one last spot on the dance floor for the newlyweds to enjoy a private dance just minutes before we sent them off with a sparkler departure. With all puns intended, the day was literally "LIT", and Candler and Preston sure did shine!
My favorite part(s) from this event: The people, the venue, and the dancing. It'll be a night I know I sure won't forget!
Owner, Lead Planner
Penny Haas, LLC
Rudy Lou (Alterations)