Amy and Charlie’s lovely Nashville wedding was designed with a single theme in mind—an umbrella and we totally love it! The bride loves both the design and symbolism of the utility item, which has a history of special meaning in her life. Umbrellas are combined with a cheery yellow and gold color palette for a delightful and bright event planned by A&M Events and we know you’re going to love the adorable images by Wild Cotton Photography. Enjoy!
What made the wedding special and unique?
We wanted to have FUN. I was thinking elegance, clean lines, simple flowers. I started with navy, gold, and ivory. It was a spring wedding and I love daffodils, so we incorporated pops of bright yellow. Then I started to run with an umbrella idea. I was inspired by the Morton salt girl on the classic blue and yellow salt container. She’s always holding an umbrella. It sounds a little cheesy, but umbrellas are my life symbol.
We picked a few themes that we wanted to carry through various celebrations. For example, umbrellas appeared on the invitation postage stamps and the RSVP cards, they were the gifts for hosts of our engagement party, and they finally appeared as focal pieces in the wedding reception tent. My bridesmaids all received tote bags that said “Here comes the sun” which was the song for the father/daughter dance. A few years ago, I read “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. The book prompts readers to identify their own life symbols, providing the example giving Buddhism’s 8 “auspicious symbols.” One of those eight is a parasol. I knew an umbrella was a perfect fit for me. A picture book, “Amy Loves the Rain,” was one of my favorites growing up. My grandmother, who passed away last year, had a photo of (toddler) me holding a colorful umbrella framed on her wall.
One of the most special elements was having my sister cater the desserts. She’s 22. She had no formal culinary training and no prior catering experience. But she has talent, passion, and a huge heart. She took on my 250+ person wedding and totally rocked it. I can’t even remember all of her creations. There were tiramisu shooters (my favorite), truffles (some included bourbon, which is Charlie’s drink of choice), traditional Canadian desserts (butter tarts, Nanaimo bars), strawberry trifle shooters, and cupcakes. She handled all this with grace while also being a superstar maid of honor. She was over the moon with joy and relief when the dessert table was rolled out. I’m an incredibly proud big sister.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
I first saw the dress in a magazine spread – my eyes were drawn to all the sparkle! I learned it was a Monique Lhuillier from a few seasons ago called “Champagne.” It took some time to track it down, but I knew it was the perfect mix of princess, high fashion, and glamour. It seemed to fit the wedding. The dress was the most fun! Aside from marrying Charlie, that was definitely the part I found most exciting.
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
We had a harpist play before the ceremony and at the beginning of the reception. I played the harp for many, many years.
I wore two sapphire (something blue) rings – one from each of my grandmothers.
We had pictures from family weddings set out on the guest book table. Some of my favorite pictures are those of the grandparents holding their own wedding photos and reflecting on the love that’s endured for decades.
I’m a BIG reader. I love books and the library. For Christmas each year, my mom always wraps up a few used books for me. There’s something about a book that’s been previously explored. Last Christmas, Charlie picked up that tradition. In the last year or so, we’ve started collecting old books. As a wedding gift to him, I found a signed 1893 edition of “Reveries of a Bachelor.” Neither of us have read it yet, but the title is great.
We tried to find ways to tie in my Canadian background. Our signature cocktail was a maple old-fashioned, several of the desserts are Canadian favorites (butter tarts, Nanaimo bars), our late night snack was poutine. And somehow a Canadian flag saved from the rehearsal dinner made it onto the dance floor.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
Walking down the aisle with my dad was a highlight. I started to walk a few seconds too early, but the head of the church altar guild pulled me back. I laughed over the misstep and paused for a few seconds to collect myself (and wait for the right music to start). But I couldn’t help giggling a little more as we walked down the aisle. It was a grounding moment. I felt my dad by my side, looked out into a sea of friends and family, and realized my future husband was waiting just a few steps away.
Another standout memory: having dinner with Charlie. We arrived at the reception, had cocktails with the guests, and then disappeared upstairs to have dinner on our own, at a tiny table set for two. It was 10 or 15 minutes to breathe, embrace all the excitement, and grin at each other while saying, “wow, we’re married.”
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
We were both having a good time on Broadway one night in 2012. Charlie ran into a law school classmate of mine – she was an RA in his freshman dorm at UVA. They started chatting and she introduced us. It took us a few weeks to schedule a real date, but the delay ended up being a way to learn a little about how he spent his time. I was impressed that many of his evenings were packed with coaching responsibilities for a middle school football team, and I liked that he balanced work with trivia nights and fun local concerts. When we finally met for dinner, we had a lot to talk about. The conversation flowed so easily.
On the front steps of my home church in Canada. It’s a very meaningful place for me, so I try to attend any time I’m visiting my parents. Admittedly, though, I almost didn’t wake up in time to make it to the service! We’d been out late the night before at my high school reunion. Charlie had been awake for an hour, was dressed and ready to go – my mom panicked when she found me still snoozing 20 minutes before the service started. Good thing he’d asked my parents the day before and told them his plan!
As we stepped outside after church, Charlie grabbed my hand. I turned, and he was down on one knee. I think he described the look on my face as “horrified.” I was just so surprised! And then there were happy tears.
We drove home and popped champagne (and orange juice – it was early!) with my family to celebrate, and then flew back to Nashville eager to see his family.
Photography: Wild Cotton Photography // Event Planning: A&M Events // Floral Design: Jane Sloan // Stationery: The Paper Place // Ceremony Venue: St. George’s Episcopal Church
// Reception Venue / Catering: Belle Meade Country Club // Cake: Dessert Designs // Dress: Monique Lhuillier // Bride Shoes: Kate Spade // Bridesmaids: Bella Bridesmaids // Earrings: Paolo Costagli // Groomsmen: Street Tuxedo // Hair/Makeup: Katie Russo Beauty // Band: Number 1 Party Band // Lighting: Bright Event Productions // Photo Booth: Let’s Booth It // Rentals: Southern Events // Draping: Quest Drape