Sit down for a moment. Close your email. Pause your pinning (just for a minute). Because this gorgeous Nashville gala by Photography by Leah needs your FULL attention. It’s a lesson in understated perfection, in infusing details that have personality with a punch, and in choosing touches that make an impression all while hosting a party your guest will be talking about for years. It’s a full gallery worthy of your full day, and we promise pursing it will be time well spent.

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From the Bride… I’m not sure how brides got married before Pinterest. We did a lot of online browsing and found we agreed on elements like kraft paper, red and white twine, letterpress and barn wood. We just went from there. We wanted the day to feel “simply elegant,” and for the most part, we are so pleased with how it all came together. We also enlisted the help of some very talented friends, and without them, it would never have been so beautiful! We were wiling to spend more on our photographer because pictures are the one thing we would always have after our wedding day. We wanted our photographs to be classic and timeless, but we also wanted our photographer to capture the special moments. She did just that and we couldn’t be more pleased. My wedding dress was a sample, so I was able to purchase it for much less than the ticket price. There were a few tears in the lace, but they were fixed during alterations. Also, we did all the paper ourselves: save-the-dates, invitations, programs and place cards. It created a lot more pressure on us, but we saved so much money in the end. We ruled out things that just didn’t matter. We had an online RSVP, which eliminated the need for self-addressed, stamped envelopes. Little things can add up quickly, so stick to the things you really want that are worth the cost, time and effort to accomplish. To honor the memory of my grandparents who are no longer with us, I pinned my grandmother’s locket and my grandfather’s wings from his Air Force uniform to the stem of my bouquet. Also, my other grandmother gave me a ring to wear during the ceremony that belonged to her mother. At the reception, we displayed wedding photographs of as many family members as we could collect. Family is so important to us, and this was a way to honor them. On a lighter note, we decided not to use a traditional guest book, but instead to ask our guests to pose at the photo booth immediately after the ceremony (which we later published into a guest book). I think this gave the guests something fun to do while we finished taking wedding pictures and set a playful tone for our reception. A family friend cut down a tree on their property to make the cake stands. The ceremony was beautiful, but the reception was fun, which was just what we wanted. My favorite moment of the day was when Kurt and I saw each other for the first time. Initially, we were totally against seeing each other before the ceremony, but we also wanted good light and a lot of pictures, so we consented to take wedding party pictures before the ceremony. To our surprise, it was truly such a special time to see each other and spend some time alone. It really did calm our nerves and allow us to enjoy the ceremony. Another favorite time was the dinner and dancing. All the people we love so much gathered together in one place to celebrate with us. It was so fun to be with them.

Wedding Photography: Leah McCormick of Photography by Leah / Wedding Venue: A Private Residence in Nashville, Tennessee / Event Planning: Roger Higgins of R. Higgins Interiors / Floral Design: Lauren Atkinson of The Perfect Poppy Floral and Event Design (lauren.atkinson@gmail.com) / Day-Of Coordinator: Kailey Pauley / Cinematography: John Moessner of Woven Studios / Catering + Menu: Johnny Hafner of Capers Catering (615-352-0350) / Wedding Cake: Leland Riggin of Dessert Designs / Wedding Stationery: DIY by the Bride & Groom / Calligraphy: Kitty Hobbs / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals + BBJ Linen / Music: Andy Davis / Ceremony Backdrop: Triad Construction / Photo Booth: Generation Domination / Wedding Gown: Monique Lhuillier via The Bride Room / Alterations: Kathy of Elegant Alterations / Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Bride’s Jewelry: Kimberly McDonald / Bride’s Hair: Debbie Dover Hall of Fresh Salon / Bride’s Makeup: Brady Wardlaw of John David Agency / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Watters / Bridesmaids’ Shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Bridal Party Hair: Ashley Love of Baxter & Company Hair Salon / Groom’s Suit, Shoes + Tie: J.Crew / Groom’s Shirt: Nordstrom / Flower Girl + Ring Bearer Attire: J.Crew Weddings

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