Nashville Rehearsal Dinner by Michael Howard
September 14, 2010

This day has ben chock full of pretty parties and rehearsals but I ask you, what girl doesn't love a great fete? You see, for every amazing wedding out there, there is usually an equally fantastic rehearsal dinner and this little ditty from Denise Sikes of Big Events Wedding is case in point. We love it so very much because it encompasses all the great things about Nashville (food, music, southern charm). Plus it is completely swoon-worthy AND totally unique. You can find all the fun details photographed by Michael Howard in the full gallery.

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see more of this Puckett's soiree here!

From the Bride:

When my husband, Dan, and I started planning our wedding last summer, he felt strongly about getting married in my hometown, Nashville, Tennessee. Being born and raised in Connecticut, Dan thought this would be the perfect opportunity to host his family and friends here in the South – a mostly foreign land for many of them. It was important to him that they get a real taste of where we will be settling down and starting our own family. So, immediately, we knew that we had to choose venues that were “truly Nashville” – with all the southern charm that won my Yankee husband over to the South. What better place to kick off the weekend than a Rehearsal Dinner at Puckett’s Grocery, a legendary “meat and three” known for its comfort food, homey atmosphere and local songwriters nights. It was also important to us that the Rehearsal Dinner be focused on the people who have shaped our journey. In fact, as a couple that has survived four years of long-distance dating, we have a great appreciation for the concept of “journey”. A quotation that we both have always loved is: “Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” – Souza That quote and the concept of journey was woven throughout our wedding, and we even had antique suitcases on display at both our Rehearsal Dinner and Reception. Guests were encouraged to leave a note of wisdom from his or her own experience, filling in one of two phrases: “Happiness is…” and “I wish you a journey filled with…” The Rehearsal Dinner at Puckett’s was an intimate affair, with just close family and friends. Dan and I toasted our families and presented our parents with framed photos of them on their respective wedding days. His brother Mike emceed the evening, and my sister and maid-of-honor Mary played a slideshow featuring pictures of us and our loved ones from throughout our lives.

The great thing about Puckett’s is that if you do too much decorating, it detracts from the fabulous natural environment. To the colorful stacks of grocery items lining the walls, the hardwood floors and twinkle lights, we added: • Red and white striped table clothes • Wild flowers in coke bottle vases (+homemade photos, see below for more detail) • Lanterns and votive candles on the tables • Strung photos and table seating cards from twine. One of my favorite features of the Rehearsal Dinner décor resulted from my DIY arts & crafts project! I have to thank my mom, sister and husband for their assistance in pulling it all together. Dan and I selected 10 places that are special to us from throughout our journey and those were the themes for the dinner tables. Along with each theme we selected a dozen or so pictures to represent that time or place. We made sure that everyone who was present at the dinner was featured in at least one photo. We pasted the photos on matted brown paper, then pasted them onto squares of burlap. The burlap squares were then glued back to back onto a flower pick and placed into the coke bottle table arrangements. Leftover photos were strung around the room. It was such a joy to watch our guests laugh and smile over the photos throughout the night. To us, it made the evening feel very intimate, very personal.

Photography: Michael Howard / Event Planning: Denise Sikes of Big Events Wedding / Rehearsal Dinner Location: Puckett's Grocery, Franklin, TN / Invitations: Ian Petty of Proud Lion / Dress: BCBG