I know that we’ve been featuring a ton of barns lately…but honestly, it’s hard to turn down a wedding THIS gorgeous. With fresh from the garden style flowers, homemade desserts that have left me REALLY hungry and a bride whose style is both ridiculously elegant and yet totally approachable…this is one of those weddings that you just know was magic. Photographed by Tara Kneiser of Dixie Pixel Photography…we’ve definitely fallen in love. Click here to see even more.
Selecting the Lily Barn in Townsend as the site of our wedding was the first decision my husband, Chris, and I made. We found it on a lark and just completely fell for it. The structure is a 19th century cantilevered barn, unique to the region, set on a three-acre property of wildflower gardens, mountain streams, and beds of day lilies. The venue, along with our love of Edwardian elegance and romance, guided us in creating the celebration’s atmosphere.
Chris made a line drawing of the barn, which he used in the design of both the save-the-date cards and the invitations. We gave our guests wildflower honey, Jack Daniels sour mash, and CD mixes Chris and I put together with liner notes that served as our ceremony programs. The paper products also showcased the specific flower varieties we used in the wedding. We wanted lush florals reminiscent of a country garden, and our florist fulfilled our vision with dahlias, blue delphinium and thistle, hypericum berries, and Tennessee’s state wildflower, coneflower, with the petals pulled off! The aluminum pitchers and cobalt blue bottles to hold the flower my mother and I found together in antique markets. Many of the books on the tables came from Chris’s grandmother’s house and incorporate our love of literature. Having just moved 60 crates of books across the country, I can tell you that is a décor element authentic to us. But the awesome deconstructed book mantel display was entirely the idea of our florist and her assistant.
Our desserts, like our flowers, were inspired by east Tennessee’s summer bounty. We requested pies with peach and blackberry, strawberry and rhubarb, which sat on family-owned cake stands. Our talented pastry makers broadened the offerings with individually sized tarts, too, brownie ice cream sandwiches, and lemon meringues. The dinner food also had a relaxed, picnic feel, but the casual party had as its counterweight the 1930s-inspired Alençon lace gown I wore and Chris’s classic suit. The cameo I wore was originally my grandmother’s brooch, given to my sister, who reset it into the pendant for me. Old, new, borrowed, blue – voilà! When it all came together, the aesthetic was part rough-hewn, part refined, and the weekend was a rockin’ good time.
The day of our wedding there was a terrific thunderstorm for the hour or two right before the start. The Smoky Mountains come by their name honestly, and the rain felt pretty appropriate to the environment. Everyone, guests and vendors, rolled with it. We moved the ceremony from the field in front of a gazebo to the dinner pavilion, with my dear friend playing the hammered dulcimer having to set up his instrument and amplifier twice (thanks, Allen!). At the last minute, the sun broke, and from that moment on, there was the most beautiful golden light filtered through the mist that remained. Everything looked and felt enchanted and also intimate. I couldn’t have asked for anything more beautiful.
The Lily Barn may have established the tone, but our photographer, Tara Kneiser of Dixie Pixel Photography, captured the moments. Eventually the rain gave way to dreamy light, but she had to go through some adverse circumstances to get there. Our couples portraits were shot outside in the rain with her under a photographer’s umbrella or else in the pavilion while everyone was setting up, and she made it all look gorgeous and seem effortless. A complete professional, I could not speak more highly of her, and any other couple would be lucky to get her. Best thing I did, hands down.
Transportation: Dancing Bear Lodge / Bamboo Fans: Favors and Flowers / Honey Jars: eBeeHoney.com / CDs + Program Inserts: DIY / Invitations: Designed by Chris / Letterpress: Hello, Lucky! / Venue and Rentals: The Lily Barn, with day-of coordination by Sarah Greenway / Floral and Decor: Whimsical Gatherings, Leah McCall / Decor including pitchers, bottles, cake stands, display books: Bride’s and Family’s / Dessert Buffet: Craft & Spoon / Catering: Luxe Catering & Events, Bettina McCann / Wine: Downtown Wine & Spirits / Beer: Downtown Grill & Brewery / Groom’s Attire: Suit and tie by Ermenegildo Zegna / Wedding Gown: Lazaro, from Mon Amie Bridal Salon in Costa Mesa, CA / Wedding Veil: Colleen Moore of White Orchid Bridal / Shoes: Stuart Weitzman, purchased on Zappo’s / Hair: Brett at Salon Azure / Jewelry: All borrowed or passed down from family members / Bridesmaids dresses: Jim Hjelm