Shay and Hannah Tie The Knot & We Have the Pics You've Been Waiting For!
October 22, 2018
Southeast
Classic WeddingsRomanticTented
You might know him as one half of Country musics' most loved duos, Dan + Shay, but I know him as the groom behind one of my now all time favorite weddings. And her as the ray of lovely that made this wedding truly sparkle. Welcome to Shay and Hannah's gorgeous Arkansas celebration. Where laughter and love and a whole lot of perfect flowers came together into what I guarantee you will become one of the most popular weddings on SMP to date. Thanks in large part to a dream team of vendors including Heather Payne Photography, Cinematography: Anchor Heart Films, Styling & Coordination by Jessica Sloane and said stunning florals by Jessica Zimmerman. It's rare that a wedding sweeps me off my feet entirely...but today, one did.
From the Bride, Hannah… Shay and I initially met through social media. We had many mutual friends and kept in friendly communication ever so often for a couple of years. However, in March of 2015 I contacted him out of the blue and asked if he ever played in Arkansas. He immediately responded that he would be there in four days...playing in the very town I lived in! (The odds of this still astound me because he has since only had two shows in Arkansas in the last three and a half years)! So, we officially met, on March 11th, 2015 at George's Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, Arkansas. That night, after the show, he asked me to be his date to the upcoming ACM Awards in Dallas. I agreed. And the rest, as they say, is history! Shay is everything I never knew I needed. (I truly never imagined being with a man in the music industry so it took me some time to come around). But God had other plans. Shay was. and is. patient as the day is long and makes me laugh at every turn. He's my person. I love him more than words can express.
One of my favorite moments of the day was the first look. To give a little backstory, when Shay and I first started dating, he took me to the top of this massive hill on his farm. We just sat there looking out over the land. We talked about our lives and our dreams. We talked about wanting to build a house on a hilltop one day. We talked about how pretty it would be in the fall... Fast forward two years, and there we were again. Back on this hilltop for our first look. The wind was whipping my veil around and I was laughing as I held it onto my head and turned to see Shay, waiting for me. Patiently waiting. The pictures and video captured in these moments will stay with me all my life. It was perfect.

The bridesmaids all wore mix match dresses. I let everyone choose their own. The only parameter I set was the color palette. I wanted shades of nudes, beige, and champagnes. Honestly, I was nervous they wouldn't end up looking cohesive but I was blown away by HOW good they all looked together! Every girl got to choose a style and fit that flattered her own body and at the end of the day, I wanted my girls to feel their most comfortable as well as beautiful!  All of the guys wore crisp white shirts and black suits with slim black tie's. Our precious nieces looked like little angels walking down the aisle. Our precious baby boy, Asher (9 months at the time), and his cousin, Caul (6 months at the time), were both carried down the aisle in their tiny baby tuxedos. Our nephew, Gabriel brought up the end with the ring pillow looking as handsome as ever in his little tux as well.

Shay and I both grew up on farms in Arkansas. It was so special for us to be able to be married on Shay’s family farm in Natural Dam, Arkansas. To be married on the land where we were raised, to repeat our vows at home amongst the people who love us most, in the place we love most was exactly what we wanted. We were married by a very special man. Papa Mooney (Shay's grandpa). We were so honored to be able to vow our love in front of this man. His marriage, and the marriages of all of our grandparents, were and are such beautiful examples of lasting love, founded in Christ. Shay has written songs about this kind of love. I had prayed for this kind of love. And on that day, we were married by a man who is a testament to this kind of love. Truly truly a special thing. Shay and I had written personal vows but we kept them private. On the day of the wedding, we followed Papa Mooney's vow recital in the traditional way!
I have never been a planner, per se, but I am a creative/visual person. We were blessed to be able to work with the unbelievably talented Jessica Sloane. She allowed me to sift through images to pull what I was drawn to - to give her a feel for my aesthetic. More than anything, Shay and I wanted everyone to feel comfortable, like family. To begin with, Jessica offered me a list of words to review to see what adjectives really resonated with me. This really helped highlight the type of atmosphere we wanted. I had always admired rustic Tuscan style weddings (in movies) and imagined something similar set in fields of home. With soft breezes and an Autumn backdrop. Something inviting and warm. With Jessica's invaluable help, we were able to achieve the mood of warmth, timelessness, a touch of romance, and an overall sense of welcome.

We used stoneware dinner plates, and golden utensils to bring the settings to life. String lights hung throughout the sailcloth tent and every table was alight with candles. Some low, in blush and mauve and mercury glass holders, some standing tall on brass candlesticks. Greenery was woven throughout the tables along with gorgeous bouquets of varying sizes; everywhere. The tables were all farmhouse style and the chairs all cross backs, hinting at the rustic warmth I wanted to impart. I loved all of the florals, designed by Jessica Zimmerman, but did I mention the grass that lined the aisle? I do not know the name of it, but it was one of my favorite details of the decor! It looked like sheaves of wheat rippling in the wind as the sun streamed through the stalks, dancing with light. It was airy and light and natural and everything I could have wanted.

We tried to incorporate personal touches throughout the day. One was the groom's cake. Shay is not a huge cake fan. So, in leu of a traditional groom's cake, we had maple glazed donut bars from his favorite local bakery instead! When we first met, we discovered an intense common love of maple donuts, so this substitution suited us beautifully! And our wedding favors were so special to me... My sweet momma made every single jar of jam and jelly (nearly 400)! We labeled them, "Spread the Love" because my mom's maiden name, and my middle name, is Love. This was a small detail, but it warmed my heart to include family where we could.  

I was never the girl who knew exactly what she wanted for her wedding. But I did know the only thing that really mattered to me was the man who would be standing by my side. 

And now... enjoy the sunset ceremony and tented celebration that follows ~ some true movie magic from Anchor Heart Films from Hanna and Shay's love story!
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And because I know you're all dying to hear more about Hannah and Shay's love story, we have more!


HOW SHAY PROPOSED
On August 9th of 2016, Shay told me we had reservations for an early dinner at a nice place in town. I got all dressed up and when we set out on our way to 'dinner' Shay began to stall. He told me he got the reservation time wrong and we needed to kill some time. So, we took a back road in to town. However, the further we went, the farther away from town we headed! I suspected a proposal was coming so I just laughed and let him take me wherever we were going. I never could have dreamed where we would end up, though. As we turned into a narrow, tree lined, drive, Shay's song "From The Ground Up" came on the radio. We both began to cry. At the end of the drive we came to a stop in front of a stunning stone chapel (still wiping our tears as the song ended).
Ivy climbed the rock walls and in each diamond pane window, there was a candle lit. It looked like it came straight out of a fairytale. We got out of the car and Shay led me to a spot in the lawn where he dropped to a knee. I don't think either of us remember exactly what he said in the moment, as we were both so overcome with emotion. I heard the clicking of photographers in the background as I said YES! (My one proposal request had been that there be a photographer present to capture the moment). He then led me around the front entrance of the chapel and asked if I wanted to explore a bit. He opened the ancient European doors and there, in the chapel, were my parents and his own family along with a handful of friends. I cried like a baby. The whole evening was a dream.


WEDDING PLANNING
The easiest parts of wedding planning were: A.) choosing the venue and B.) choosing the cake!
We had both always wanted to get married at home and Shay is not a big cake person so he let me go with some of my girlfriends to pick whatever I wanted for our cake flavor! 
The cake was (almost) naked with touches of gold foil throughout and a trail of blush roses up the 3 tiers. Every cake tier was a traditional vanilla cake. However, every other layer was iced with either buttercream filling or strawberry filling.
Since the wedding was in Arkansas, and Shay and I live in Nashville, it was a bit difficult to schedule appointments with vendors. Not only did this require 16 hours of driving per trip (8 hours both ways) but it also meant sifting through Shay's crazy work schedule to figure out date availabilities.
Once Jessica and I narrowed down the look and feel that Shay and I wanted for our wedding, Jessica worked her magic with the rest. She referred contacts in the wedding industry she thought may be a good fit for us. She also provided vendor options and quotes. Basically, she was my wedding fairy godmother!


WEDDING GOWN SHOPPING
I went shopping with both of my sisters-in-law. (I had a background in pageantry and have been known to be a little picky {ha!}. I had tried on all I was going to try on for the day and finally the girl assisting my search asked me "What do people expect you to wear?" I had specifically mentioned to her that I liked to keep things a little different. So, once she posed this question, I answered by saying I was sure people would be expecting me to where a form fitting gown. And for that very reason I told her I was open to trying on a fuller skirt. She ran and pulled a dress and brought it in. It was designed by Rita Vinieris and was nothing like I had tried on before. The top of the dress was sheer with lace forming a V up the front. Cream buttons were the only adornments on the back, rising from waist to nape over the sheer fabric. The girls thought I was finishing up to leave so when I came out in the dress, they both turned and gasped. Once they put the veil on, we all started crying. It was the one. My momma was unable to make the trip so we Facetime'd her for her thoughts/blessing and that was it! At the end of the day, I wanted to feel like a bride.


JEWELRY and FASHION ACCESSORIES
Since we were married on the farm, I saw no point in wearing heels. I knew they would be sinking in the ground all day. So, while I gave the photographers nude heels to photograph with our other items, I actually wore cream high-top vans under my gown. They made my life easier that day and have the added bonus of being able to be worn again! I love practicality. My jewelry, as well as my bridesmaids' was from Haute Bride. My sweet friend, Lindsie Jones, who owns this company reached out and offered to adorn me for my special day! She was so patient and thoughtful in sending me samples for everything! I made my selections and more importantly made a connection with a sweet momma friend in Lindsie.


DIY PROJECTS
Per usual, I was scrambling around last minute to find just the right guest book. (The one I wanted to order wouldn’t arrive on time). So, I ended up purchasing one of those books that have been carved out to form a letter... Specifically, the letter "M". I didn't love the burgundy cloth covering the book, so I bought gold leaf and adhesive spray and voila! A golden "M" that looks decorative but now holds all of our guest's signatures and well wishes on a shelf in our home!


OTHER TIDBITS FROM THE DAY
Music: We used A Thousand Years – Instrumental Version for the processional and Multiplied by Need To Breathe for our recessional. (All recorded)
At the reception, we had a DJ with a preselected genre of music for the mood. Our First Dance Song was Then by Brad Paisley. The Father-Daughter Dance was to Butterfly Kisses. Shay sang a song he wrote for me, which was completely special and brought me to tears.
Menu: We had bbq chicken, steamed broccoli, steamed asparagus, mashed potatoes, and dinner rolls. We had maple bar donuts for dessert for those who preferred it to cake!
Honeymooon: We honeymooned at Breathless Resort in Riviera Maya


ADVICE FROM HANNAH & SHAY
Shay and I both felt pressure to please our families and guests. We wanted to make sure everyone else was taken care of and everyone had something they would personally enjoy about the wedding. But, at the end of the day, our family only wanted OUR happiness and we recognized we were adding a lot of stress that was unnecessarily. Easier said than done, but, do try to remember whose wedding it is. This is your daI was never the girl who knew exactly what she wanted for her wedding. I won's say don’t stress, because you will. But, at the end of the day, you will have a memory as perfectly unique and beautiful as your own love story.