And just like that, I fall head over heels in love with yet another sweet southern fête. It was bound to happen – we all know I am a sucker for simplistic elegance – but with a drool-worthy gown and light-infused images from Smitten Photography, I had no hope. It was love at first sight, and I can’t thank H Three Events enough for pulling it all together. I have a spot reserved for this pretty party in my favorites folder, but you can see it all right here!

From the Bride… Matt proposed in July 2010, while I was still in college. We chose not to get married until I graduated, which meant a two-year engagement. It wasn’t ideal (and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone), but it gave the two most indecisive people on the planet time to plan. Our keywords for our wedding theme were country elegance and simplistic charm. I wanted the beauty of nature to be the wedding décor.

The first order of business was to email Sharon, our photographer, and get her booked. She was my first “must-have” and number one priority. I had read her blog and been drooling over her pictures for years. We then got an outstanding wedding planning team who helped us lock down the venue right away. Even though we were two years ahead of the game, it was still hard to get an open date at the Carnton Plantation for June 2012. We fell head over heels with the location because of its beauty and deep-rooted history in the Nashville area. On the way up to the plantation house, there is a giant hay field. After we booked there and we drove away, I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait to take pictures with my husband out in the field on our big day. I literally dreamed about those pictures until Sharon finally made them reality.

Catering was really important to me, and I wanted to stay true to our personalities when choosing the right caterer. I grew up in the small town of Nolensville, Tennessee — home of Martin’s BBQ. They have been on numerous television specials for their outstanding BBQ and are critically acclaimed. My brother joined the Marine Corps shortly before Matt and I got engaged, and we had his Afghanistan send-off party there. So it was the natural choice for food when it came to our wedding. The wedding cake was another priority. I knew I wanted a peanut butter and fudge cake. When I tasted Jo’s, I thought I had gone to heaven. Matt is a firefighter, and we also wanted to incorporate that into our wedding. She made a replica of his fire helmet, and he couldn’t believe how much actually looked like his helmet. One tier of his cake was lemon, and the other was white chocolate. I love that we both went for unique flavors, and our guests loved it too.

Hiring our wedding planners was key. I was planning from Knoxville, where I was still in school, but the wedding was in Nashville, so it had the potential to be a difficult scenario. Luckily, Hugh and Anita made it easy-breezy. I was shocked by how much they took care of and thankful for not having to do tons of DIY projects, meet with vendors, etc. I constantly had people telling me they would help me with anything I needed, and I always felt kind of bad turning them down because I didn’t even need the help! It was such a laid-back process.

Wedding Photography: Sharon Clark of Smitten Photography / Wedding Venue: The Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee / Wedding Planning: Anita Hogin + Hugh Howser of H Three Events / Floral Design: Phillipe S. Chadwick / Catering: Martin’s BBQ / Wedding Cakes: Jo’s Custom Cakes & Catering / Rentals + Linens: Music City Tents & Events / Lighting: TechWorks / Entertainment: John Ward of Mid-South Mobile DJ’s / Wedding Favors: DIY by the Bride’s Mother / Wedding Dress: Pronovias “Alcanar” via The White Room / Bride’s Cowboy Boots: The Cowboy Store / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Sung via The White Room / Hair + Makeup: J’on Alan Salon in Cool Springs, Tennessee

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