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Bacon + Bourbon Make This Southern Affair All the More Memorable

Sweet southern sizzle this wedding is everything. For not only did this pair plan one heck of a celebration, they also made sure guests were well equipped to carry on the fun throughout the night. Translation: A passed hors-d’oeuvre consisting of bacon paired with single barrel bourbon. If that doesn’t get your heart racing then maybe all the stunning captures from Austin Gros in The Vault will do the trick!


From The Bride…Where do you have a wedding when the bride grew up in Maryland, the groom New York, and they are currently settling in Los Angeles.  You dig for roots…

We planned a Tennessee wedding after relocating to from New York City to Los Angeles.  We were drawn to Middle Tennessee for our wedding as I spent many spring vacations from elementary and middle school visiting relatives and family friends in Franklin – rollerblading through town, movies at the Franklin Theater, and listening to seemingly endless family stories – as my dad wanted me and my sister to experience a little of our Tennessee roots. 

It wasn’t hard to sell Matt on the idea of a Tennessee wedding as few of our New York friends and Matt’s family had ever visited Nashville and he knew it would be fun for them to experience someplace new.   My easiest wedding decision was where to have the reception.   Carnton was in my blood – literally, as I am a lineal descendent of Randal and Sarah McGavock, who built the home.   Actually, as delineated in the “father of the bride” speech, our wedding reception is the first family wedding celebration held at Carnton since January 3, 1884, 131 years ago.  Also, there were more direct McGavock descendants at Carnton that May 9th evening than at any other time since the house was built in 1826. 

Most importantly, this was a magical evening for us, complete with a surprise ice-breaker for all the guests, Tennessee Moonshine.   The photographs capture the wedding spirit, complete with a bride and groom dance-off and yes, even doing “The Worm” on the dance floor.   Matt’s reaction early the next morning as he slowly, oh ever so slowly, eased himself into his now father-in-laws car: “That party was the best night of my life”. 

It was very important to us that our wedding feel relaxed and not formal.  On a night when all eyes were on us, we felt incredibly comfortable and relaxed.  I credit this because we didn’t feel like we had to adjust how we acted due to the wedding, the wedding adjusted to us and our energy set the tone.  We were 100% ourselves that night, just as everyones wedding should be.  We made the decision to have our wedding party photos taken at Carnton before the ceremony.  This turned out to be crucial as we were able then to be present for and enjoy every minute of the reception.  While there were 250 people there, it still managed to feel like one tight-knit gathering. 

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Photography: Austin Gros | Coordination: Leigh Bawcom Events | Floral Design: Vintage Florals | Cake: Dessert Designs By Leland Riggins | Ceremony Venue: Church Of The Assumption | Reception Venue: Carnton Plantation | Catering: Kristen Winston | Hair + Makeup: Amanda Gross | Lighting: Bright Event Productions | Band: The Legendary Memphis Icebreakers Of RAM Entertainment | Transportation: Grand Avenue | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Rentals: Southern Events Party Rental & Vintage Prop Shoppe | Stylist: Jessica Sloane Event Styling & Design | Tent & Event Rentals: Music City Tents

A Laid-Back Wedding With So Much Heart. See Why We Adore These Grooms!

This morning we’re taking a little trip to rural Tennessee for a wedding with so much heart we can hardly stand it. These two grooms set out to plan their “perfectly imperfect” celebration with Stunning Events by their side, the end result was a day overflowing with love. Kristin Sweeting captured and there’s lots more right this way.


From The Groom…Mike and I knew from the start that we wanted our wedding day to be above all a celebration of love. We of course didn’t have the most storybook relationship and we knew that we didn’t want to have a storybook wedding, but we did want all of our closest family and friends to know and share in our love for each other. After a very long engagement, which itself took place in the presence of a small group of family and friends, we quickly set to work in planning the biggest day of our lives. We almost immediately settled on a spring wedding due to its association with renewal and life. With a spring wedding planned, we couldn’t bear the thought of getting married indoors, so it was relatively easy from there to land on Arrington Vineyards in Arrington, Tennessee as our venue. The site offered tons of space for our celebration, along with flexibility in planning.

Neither of us are formal people–we are most comfortable in gym clothes with a small group of friends. We wanted this casual vibe to be present in our wedding but in an elegant way–we wanted the day to be care-free for us and our guests while emphasizing elements of simple beauty. We chose blues, whites, and grays as our theme mostly because we knew that they would flow well with the background of spring in Tennessee. From there, it was mostly a matter of choosing our vendors and sharing our vision with them. Many of the people who helped us pull off our biggest day were already our friends, and those who weren’t became our friends during the process. Our two biggest life savers in the whole process were definitely our wedding planner, Kristin Kaplan of Stunning Events, and Kristin Sweeting of Kristin Sweeting Photography. Both were so easy to work with while maintaining a high degree of professionalism. There were definitely hiccups along the way, but these two in particular were right there to smooth them over.

In the end, our wedding day was perfectly imperfect. Our wedding party all looked beautiful, our florals were stunning, the food was delicious, the band was rowdy, the drinks were strong, and the rain held off until the final declaration and then let up right after cocktail hour. Our friends and family were able to celebrate with us for a whole night with more than enough smiles to go around. And the love, which we worked so hard to be able to show to the world, was given right back to us in overflowing abundance.

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Photography: Kristin Sweeting | Event Planning: Stunning Events | Floral Design: Tim Riffle | Cake: Dulce Desserts | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Two Birds Bridesmaids | Catering: Flavor Catering | Hair + Makeup: Brian O'Connor | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss Red Label | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux | Venue: Arrington Vineyard | Cufflinks: Tateossian | Groom's Clothier: Levy's | Groom's Shoes: Magnanni | Invitations, Stationery + Logos: The Groom

When Your ‘Something Blue’ Is Your Bridesmaids’

Looking to incorporate a few wedding traditions in a super stylish way? Why not take cue from Mary Corder and Josh’s Big Day have your Bridesmaids’ be your ‘something blue’? Complete with Alyssa Joy Photography behind the lens this is one celebration that you’re sure to love. See it all for yourself in The Vault!


From Alyssa Joy PhotographyThere is so much to be learned from Mary Corder and Josh and the way they planned their big day. They thought through each and every detail and tradition to make the event most personal to them. The couple has one sibling each, so instead of a big bridal party, they knew they wanted only their siblings at the front, as the maid of honor and best man. To honor her girlfriends, Mary Corder invited her would-be bridesmaids to instead be her Something Blues. The “blues” got to wear any blue dress of their choice, spend time in the bridal loft on wedding day, and sit in reserved seating at the ceremony. This unique spin on the traditional wedding party is just one example of why this wedding was such a personalized day. Mary Corder and Josh were both so grateful for each of their wedding vendors and really chose people who not only were very talented but that they also really “clicked” with. From the very beginning of the wedding planning process, I felt so appreciated as their photographer but also felt like a friend! This connection really made the wedding day itself so wonderful, and I believe it really shows in their photographs.

From the Bride… We didn’t meet in a coffee shop or take a class together in college. We didn’t grow up together or meet through mutual friends. We met on the apparently not-so-silly dating app Tinder, and while I never thought that would be my story, I love to share it because it led me to Josh.

After a marathon of a first date – nearly 7 hours long, best friends and even a sibling (!) included – we promised each other we’d skip the games. We promised to be real and honest and not to wait 8 minutes to respond to text messages just for the sake of waiting.

Fast forward 13 months and Josh was on his knee in my parents’ home, shaking wildly and forgetting the majority of his proposal spiel. (Lucky for him, only one line really matters after all!)

It didn’t take us long to find the venue of our wildest dreams, and then I headed to New York with my mom and sister to find the dress. I had scheduled several appointments and only ended up going to one. I fell in love with Sarah Seven’s Lafayette gown in her flagship shop on Lafayette Street, and then Sarah herself showed up to my appointment. Needless to say, the dress felt totally meant to be.

Our wedding day was truly magical. Josh challenged me early on to really think through the checklist of wedding to do’s and traditions and opt only for the ones that felt personal to us. Our vision was for an intimate and incredibly personalized day, including handwritten vows, a guest list of under 100, a team of vendors who felt more like friends, and breaks in our wedding day timeline for us to just be together and soak it all in. (Perks of having your ceremony and reception in the same place, which we highly recommend when possible!)

I credit our florist, Rosemary and Finch, to making our day beautiful. Mary Love and I met for coffee when I was beginning the vendor hunt, and we immediately clicked. I just knew I had to work with her! I decided very early that I wanted our wedding florals to be wild, white and cream, with plenty of greenery. (What can I say – I just love neutrals!) Mary Love took my vision and ran with it in the most extraordinary way. One of my favorite moments of my wedding day was seeing my bouquet for the first time. I’ll never forget it.

My biggest piece of advice for couples would be to set time aside on the wedding day to be together, breathe, and take it all in. Our planner, Kasey, advised us to take a break from the hustle and bustle to eat together in the bridal loft alone after the ceremony while our guests enjoyed the cocktail hour. I’m so grateful for those first moments as husband and wife, and that I got to spend them with Josh and not buzzing around trying to greet guests or pose for photos.

Bottom line: your wedding should be about you and your spouse. Skip the traditions that don’t give you the feels, choose vendors you genuinely like having around, and take time to sit back and take it all in. Too often weddings are planned for the guests when really, it should be about you.

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Photography: Alyssa Joy Photography | Cinematography: Evan Bruce | Event Planning: Toast of Tennessee | Floral Design: Rosemary & Finch Floral Design | Ceremony Venue: The Cordelle | Reception Venue: The Cordelle | Bride's Shoes: Seychelles "Would I Lie" Flat | Catering: The Chef & I | Hair + Makeup: Kelley Kirker | Calligraphy: Script Merchant Calligraphy | DJ: Russ Pollard | Groom's Suit: Hugo Boss | Bride's Dress: Sarah Seven ("Lafayette" gown with custom lace sleeves) | Cinematography Editor: Josh Harrell (The Groom) | Desserts: Flour & Yolk | Groom's Glasses: Warby Parker | Photography - Assistance: Kristen Fields | Rentals: Southern Events