I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

“I’ll give you the moon.” For a couple who wasn’t very interested in a wedding theme, Carly and Griffin sure picked an awesome one for their big day at Belle Meade Plantation. It’s a Wonderful Life served as inspiration to the bride during trying times and as inspiration for the details of their day including a large calligraphy banner by Olive Juice Press with the famous movie quote. Event planning and design was by Kelly Dillinger Events and stunning pink and red florals were by Rosemary & Finch and Christy Wilson Photography  was on hand to capture it all.

What made the wedding special and unique?

What made our wedding unique is that we made it to it. Kidding, sort of. Griffin and my love story is full of ups and downs. Mainly downs and more downs, in our case, though. Our relationship started with him knowing that I was not in a healthy place and I hadn’t been so in a long time. I’ve struggled a lot with my health for years and he knew that right away coming into it. He was like a breath of fresh spring time air in the dead of winter. He stepped right into not just my life at a moment when I needed him, but also when my parents needed him. They had been taking off time from work because every few days I was needing to go to an appointment with the doctor or to treatments. He took a large burden off my family. He was a blessing not just to me but to my family. For the first 5 ½ years this unique love story it was like we were trying to constantly push a boulder up a hill, through multiple issues. We take care of each other. We always have and always will. We truly have lived out and shown our vows to each other before even our wedding day. What made my wedding day special and unique? That day I got to marry my guardian angel and not everyone gets to do that.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

The day I went to get my dress wasn’t a really exciting experience it was more of an overwhelming experience. I decided to take only my mom and my future mother-in-law. I was never ever one of those brides who wanted attention. We only went to one store when we were looking for my dress, Olia Zavozina. Every dress was beautiful, every dress had something special, and every dress kept coming and coming. I got overwhelmed. I didn’t know how to do this, my anxiety was off the wall and I had a terrible anxiety attack. I knew what I wanted but I couldn’t figure out how to tell them. I don’t think I could have made it through it without my MIL. She stepped up and helped me through it. She made it easier for me to show the ladies of Olia what I saw myself wearing on my day and after I was able to sit down with those fabulous ladies at Olia Zavozina to design with them exactly what I always dreamed of.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

It’s A Wonderful Life has never been just a Christmas movie in our house. It’s been my favorite movie for as long as I can remember. When I became sick I saw the movie in a different way. It meant something different to me. Griff knew this and we’d put it on every time I was having an anxiety attack and needed to calm down or my depression was bad. Many, many, many sick days were spent watching that movie. I would sometimes question Griff as to why he would want to be with someone like me. Someone sick and broken and he would just reply, “I’ll give you the moon.” When our wedding came around we were pretty set on the fact that our wedding wouldn’t have a wedding theme but somehow we ended up having an It’s A Wonderful Life wedding. We were able to tie in personal touches in the groom’s cake. We recreated the cross stitch Mary goes for George, but George didn’t lasso the moon, Griffin lassoed it. Around my bouquet I had water colored onto silk, “I’ll give you the moon” and behind our wedding cake we had custom water colored backdrop with the quote, “What is it you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Say that’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon.” In the movie George learns to remember that no man is a failure who has friends. I was marrying my best friend and it’s true he’s kept his promise. He still always gives me the moon.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

How do you pick just one moment from such a perfect day? But it was hands down the first dance. When we first started dating I was playing him a song by my favorite band of all times, Big Star, when one song came on. Thirteen, it was simple, it was perfect. We both just looked at each other and knew that it was our song. Naturally it was our first dance song. After having been so overwhelmed with the wedding ceremony that moment looking into the eyes of the man I love dancing and singing every word to each other. For us at that moment no one else was even there. I’m not even entirely sure we were dancing with the music at times.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Griff and I met his senior year of college. Fall of 2008 we both started as freshmen at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Our two dorms shared a lobby, but we never met. At the end of the first semesters we both went to a mutual friend’s birthday party at P.F. Chang’s and we sat at different tables, so we still never met.  Fast forward 3 years to the day, we FINALLY met at that same friend’s birthday party. I showed up early to vacuum. I was in my sweatpants; an extra large ‘I love Qdoba’ tshirt, zero makeup, a messy bun, and I can’t 100% promise that I was wearing deodorant at that exact moment. Our friend went around the kitchen table introducing me to everyone. But he completely skipped over introducing me to Griffin, who was sitting the of everyone at the table. So, Griffin stood up and introduced himself to me and asked if I was coming back for the party later (uh, of course I was, he was a cutie.) A few hours later I showed back up for the birthday party looking, of course, as hot as possible. He asked me out for the next night and I said, “ ABSOLUTELY”!

We got engaged on our 4th anniversary. It was, well, not a dream. It was actually entirely the way that for 4 years prior to that day I had told him over and over that I never, ever, EVER want to be proposed to. Opryland Hotel at Christmas. I love Christmas but growing up in Nashville my whole life I’ve always hated those proposals I had seen there a million times over the years there. On our 4th anniversary he books us a room at the Opryland Hotel, we got there and the room wasn’t ready just yet so they gave us a buzzer and said they would page us as soon as it was ready. We sat in the lobby for 4 hours waiting on our room. Our room had been ready 10 minutes after they had first told us they would page us when it was ready. They just forgot about us and as their gift they updated our room to a suite. I wouldn’t call it an ideal suite our room was right at the entrance of the bridge into the main area of the hotel and our curtains wouldn’t close all the way so all night we  had light shining right on us into the room. We were getting ready for dinner when Griff goes, “I can’t take this anymore.” He stormed to his bag and pulled out the ring, almost got onto his knee to ask, pops up and tries to put the ring on my finger. It didn’t fit. His anxiety was so high from worrying about proposing that he couldn’t make it out to dinner. So we spent our engagement dinner eating $15 cold grilled cheese and watching Bob’s Burgers. 2 weeks later I got my ring back from being resized and I put it on myself. It was not the proposal any girl dreams of but I got the man of my dreams so it was well worth it.

Photography: Christy Wilson Photography // Planning: Kelly Dillinger Events // Stationery & Calligraphy: Simply Jessica Marie  / Olive Juice Press // Florals: Rosemary & Finch // Venue: Belle Meade Plantation // Dress: Olia Zavozina // Videography: Matt G Video // Makeup: MHD Beauty // Cake: Dulce Desserts // Lighting: Bright Event Productions // Catering: Flavor Catering // Rentals: Southern Events / 12th Table  / Rentals: Please Be Seated // Linens: BBJ Linens // Band: 12 South Band