Lindsey and Sheldon’s Blackberry Farm Wedding
by Clark Brewer Photography
Lindsey and Sheldon were married at one of our favorite all time venues ever ever ever–Blackberry Farm. We’re jealous. Add to that an incredibly beautiful and personal wedding, with gorgeous details, a genuine couple, and GORG photos by Clark Brewer Photography…well, we’re hooked. We know you’ll be too!
Tell us about your gown and where/how you found it!
I wore Vera Wang’s “Isabella” gown made of layered ivory-colored chiffon and organza with a very simple Wang veil. I bought it at B. Hughes Bridal in Nashville and we ended up hiring Karen Kaforey, the owner of the dress shop, to plan the wedding. She was amazing.
What made your wedding special and unique?
We were blessed to have the opportunity to rent out Blackberry Farm in its entirety for the weekend. It’s one of the most magical places I’ve ever been, and the fact that the whole resort was “ours” for 2 1/2 days was kind of mind-blowing. And because all of the 120 guests were there from Friday until Sunday, we had a big outdoor party in lieu of a traditional rehearsal dinner so that everyone could celebrate with us. There were lawn games, a buffet filled with all of our favorite traditional Southern foods and a bluegrass band. The “welcome dinner” was almost as fun as the wedding itself!
Another thing that made the wedding unique was that Sheldon and I asked my father’s best friend Chris (like a second father to me) to officiate and the three of us wrote the entire ceremony from scratch. We wanted the ceremony to reflect our deep and eclectic spirituality without drawing from one specific religious text. Sheldon and I wrote the vows and ring exchange statements ourselves and also read love letters we’d written to each other during the ceremony. My mother read a prayer in Marianne Williamson’s book Illuminata, and two of my girlfriends read a passage from The Alchemist. It’s crazy—I asked each of them to select readings that fit Sheldon and me but also asked that they remain a surprise until the day of the ceremony. A few minutes before the wedding began, the girls realized that they’d independently chosen the exact same passage from the exact same book. So, they “winged it” with grace, splitting the selected passage right down the middle.
We also, despite plenty of concern about and extensive preparations made to address the hot, humid, insect-ridden conditions standard in TN in August, had PERFECT weather. Even when it didn’t seem “perfect.” It started to get cloudy during the outdoor ceremony and then LITERALLY as the last musician put his instrument away and Clark snapped the last family photo, the sky broke open and it poured rain. Which meant that we had to be creative with the photography and that Sheldon had to carry me around all evening so that I didn’t ruin my dress. My favorite pictures from the wedding resulted from us having to “deal with” the rainy weather—-i.e. all the photos taken on the swing (the tree above it provided shelter). And another amazing thing about the rain was that it continued throughout the evening and kept us all cool as we danced like banshees under the tent until 2am. I don’t think we would’ve been able to dance like that if the rain hadn’t cooled the night down.
What were some touches added to make it personal?
Craig Duncan, the frontman of the quintet who played at both the welcome dinner and during the ceremony, is supremely talented. Sheldon and I wanted to process to our song “Simple Life” by The Weepies and to recess to “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers. Craig and his team learned both songs prior to the weekend and played them perfectly.
Another personal touch was that instead of a traditional guest book, we asked family and members of the wedding party to collect postcards from around the country and the stacks of blank postcards were placed around the property all weekend. My sister bought a vintage mailbox and she and my mother decorated it. Then guests were asked to write favorite memories of us as a couple or of the weekend itself and by the end of the weekend the mailbox was stuffed with postcards. Every few weeks, either mom or Jamie (my sister) mails us a few of the postcards and we read and laugh and cry and keep them in a special box to remind us of the magical weekend.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
I don’t even know how to narrow that one down. The entire weekend was breathtaking. Sheldon says that for him, it’s when he saw me for the first time before I walked down the aisle. Something small but sweet that just came to mind for me is that after the ceremony all the guests gathered for cocktail hour and Sheldon and I hung back with Clark and Campbell to take pictures and decompress for a moment. When it was time for us all to come together for dinner, because it was raining, Sheldon had to carry me from the farmhouse where we were to the barn where the dinner was. As he did, I saw many of our guests clustered around the window sweetly “spying” on our little “over the threshold” moment. I also should mention how lucky we were to have Clark and Campbell Brewer shooting photographs and video throughout the weekend. They’re incredibly gifted at what they do, but more than that, they are such precious, open, fun guys and felt like old friends from the first time we met them. They were ever-present and yet never obtrusive and we were able to be present with our experience without feeling like we were being watched. Which was vital to us because we wanted the weekend to feel—for us and everyone else—organic and whimsical and free-flowing. And it did.
Tell us how you met/proposed!
We met in Los Angeles through mutual friends in 2008. I know it sounds silly and cliche, but we knew almost instantly that we’d end up together. Sheldon proposed about a year after we started dating on the day after Christmas. We were visiting my parents for the holidays and he asked their permission like the perfect gentleman he is. On December 26th, I awoke at the crack of dawn to him kneeling by the bed in my childhood bedroom with a ring. After I ran through the house screaming about being engaged, I think I went back to bed. Shel was like, “I’m sorry it’s so early—I just couldn’t wait any longer!” We were engaged for more than 3 years before getting married, but jobs kept changing, we kept moving cities, and the timing wasn’t right until it was. I’m glad that everything unfolded the way that it did, because our wedding was completely perfect and completely “us.”
Lindsey & Sheldon from Campbell Brewer on Vimeo.
Vendors: Photography: Clark Brewer Photography // Super 8 Videography: Cambell Brewer // Wedding Planner: Karen Kaforey // Venue: Blackberry Farm // Wedding Gown: Vera Wang from b. Hughes Bridal, Nashville // Florist: Clay Pots Floral, Pat Felts Knoxville, TN // Bluegrass Band (Rehearsal Dinner & Ceremony): Craig Duncan, Nashville // Wedding Band (Reception): Burning Las Vegas, Nashville // Baker: Mag Pies, Knoxville