We knew Collins’ wedding was going to be one for the books. She shared her darling bachelorette weekend chock-full of cute moments, so came as no surprise that her big day design knocked it out of the park. It’s a glamourous black and gold affair ending with an epic dance party, including a few family members you just might recognize. See their album from the lens of Chard Photographer!
From the Bride…When deciding the “theme” of our wedding I sat down with my mom and basically said that I really didn’t want a theme. I wanted more of a feel, and an experience. I wanted people to walk away from my wedding saying, “Wow, they love each other and they love life!” Therefore, I decided the overall theme of the weekend, if I had to choose one, would be, “lights and liquor”! I wanted every emotion you get from any kind of lighting (romance from candles, joy from a disco ball, or excitement from multi colored laser lights), and liquor was simply the easiest way to say…A really good party! My husband, Cannon, and I have been together for 11 years, so we wanted our wedding to be a celebration of all the time we have grown together. I would say we both love traditions as much as we like to shake things up, and our wedding was a direct reflection of that. Our venue was an easy choice as it is one block from my parent’s house, and about three from his. Yes, we grew up 4 blocks away from each other ha! I have been in and around the events world my whole life, so I knew from day one I wanted to design and plan my own wedding from beginning to end. I had an amazing team of people that my mom and I assembled, and we would never have been able to pull the weekend off without each and every one of them. I only had a few specific wants for the weekend. One was being able to walk right from the ceremony to the reception, and the second was for my out of town guests to be close to all venues we used. After we chose the Hunt and Polo Club, and made the decision to tent over the pool, the choice became clear that we would use the tent for both nights.
Here comes the first thing we shook up. Instead of your traditional Saturday wedding with a reception following we split up the night into two. Friday we had an intimate wedding in one half of the tent (oh yes, my center isle was acrylic flooring over the pool!!) and in the other half of the tent, that connected to the ballroom, we had a seated dinner. One of my dear friends, Kelly English (James Beard Award Semifinalist) prepared a five course meal that included everything from caviar (my mother-in-law’s favorite) to my grandmother’s caramel cake! Following dinner we had aperitifs in the cigar room and spent time together with friends and family celebrating our first night as Mr. And Mrs. Smith. Saturday night we extended the guest list, flipped all the decor in the tent, and had a big blow out party!
There are too many amazing things from that weekend to describe them all so here are some of my absolute favs! First and foremost, my mom was my warrior and constant provider of peace and ideas throughout this entire process – I would not have stayed sane without her. My husband was game for anything that made me happy as long as he could wear a cool tux, which he did both nights. His favorite being his Tom Ford he wore Saturday night, that was a midnight blue! My dress took 7 months to make. It came all the way from Australia, and I did not even see it until the day it arrived – about a month before the wedding! The dress had an 11 foot train and I wore a hand-made crown that made me feel very Grace Kelly. My best friends and I share a piece of lace that has our initials and wedding date embroidered on it – it has become a tradition to attach the lace under the dress and wear it on the day of the wedding.
The Friday night invitation was a 3×5 replica of Jackie Kennedy’s, simple and timeless, which aligned to our candle light ceremony perfectly. After we said, “I Do!” a gospel choir surprised guests and sang, “Oh Happy Day!” As Cannon and I walked down the aisle as husband and wife the drapes opened into the dining area. We had mirrored tables made specifically for the wedding so we could have an 80 foot long center table for the wedding party to sit together. I had 18 bridesmaids and Cannon had 25 groomsmen, 7 of whom were over 6’5″ (insert monkey emoji with hands over face).
Just as the Friday night invitation was a reflection of the evening, Saturday night was too. The invitation was 6×8 and had a gold glitter envelope liner – the guests knew they were in for a fun and crazy night! The band brought the house down! The dance floor had acrylic flooring over the pool that we lit with LED lights, we had confetti all night, and a light up tennis shoe station where guests could trade in their heels for some kicks and hit dance floor. I even wore bedazzled Nike high tops Saturday instead of heels! We had a live painter and now have a piece of art that captured our first dance forever. We passed out #5 football jerseys (my husbands number) late night that said Team Smith on the front. Guests could customize their name on the back, so they could really let loose. As we left the reception we had a fireworks wall and more confetti that capped off the magic of the night! After we left our guests thought the night had ended, but Cannon and I danced back into the venue and we had a surprise after party with a DJ, a glow-in-the-dark body paint station, and of course, Taco Bell!
Some of my absolute favorite moments however were the small ones between all the madness, like getting ready with all my girls, and having my little brother pop in and hang out. Or watching my nephew absolutely refuse to walk down the isle because it was clear flooring over the pool and my friend having to carry him down the isle. Like my groomsmen playing a little game of touch football Saturday night before the party…In their tuxes! They were silly but so special. There is not a single thing I would have changed about our wedding weekend, from beginning to end it was truly magical. My best advice to brides is go with your gut, and stick to your guns, because in the end it is about making memories with your husband that will last you a lifetime!
Photography: Rich Lander, Chard Photography | Event Design: Collins Tuohy Smith | Event Design: Leigh Anne Tuohy | Floral Design: Paula DeClerk | Wedding Dress: Steven Khalil | Invitations: Stovall Collection | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Sherri Hill | Catering: Kelly English | Band: Party On The Moon | Venue: Memphis Hunt and Polo Club | Cookies: Whimsy Cookie Company | Custom Tiara, Earrings + Bridesmaids' Earrings: Haute Bride | Event Logistics: Howard Stovall | Groom's Attire Friday: Hugo Boss Red Label | Groom's Attire Saturday: Tom Ford | Programs: Hi Y'all | Reception Dresses: Sherri Hill | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Rentals: Hank's Event Rentals | Rentals: White Door Events | Tent Draping: Paula DeClerk