The Couple Followed Up Their Elegant Farm Wedding in Tennessee with an Epic Dance Party—and Firework Show
Claire and Dan were brought together on a dating app in April 2014, but work commitments kept them from meeting right away. "Our first date kept getting delayed and almost didn't happen, but we finally met up at a tiki bar in Brooklyn, where we played Connect Four over a bowl of Goldfish crackers," says Claire. "Three hours later—after a couple more bars, more snacks, and a game of darts—we knew there was something there." Four years later, the literature-loving pair got engaged in Oxford, Mississippi, at Rowan Oak—the home of William Faulkner.
Claire grew up in Nashville, so the couple knew they wanted to choose a farm just outside the city as their venue. "But mostly we just wanted to throw an amazing party for all our friends!" says Claire. They also wanted out-of-town guests to get to know the city itself. "We held our welcome party at The Bridge Building overlooking the river in downtown Nashville so we'd get the city vibe one night, and the rural farm feeling the next night," says Claire. The welcome party featured chips and queso from Claire's father's Tex-Mex restaurant, and after the festivities, guests walked across the bridge to the enjoy the nightlife in downtown Nashville.
Wanting to infuse the wedding with their own personal style, the pair commissioned booklets filled with favorite literary quotes for their favors. Both Christian and Jewish elements were incorporated into the ceremony: the officiant was a non-denominational Christian minister; the pair stood beneath a chuppah for the vow exchange; and Dan stomped a glass per Jewish tradition after the service. Claire and Dan also chose their music carefully. The bride walked down the aisle to "Emmylou" by First Aid Kit, and the couple recessed to "Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold" by The Lone Bellow. "We had the most amazing wedding band ever, and we stayed on the dance floor the entire evening," says Claire. "We kicked off the party with a choreographed dance to 'September' by Earth, Wind & Fire because we got married on September 21," she adds.
As another nod to their personalities, the pair served New England IPAs (Dan's favorite) and canned rosé (Claire's favorite) throughout the evening. The cocktail napkins had a drawing of their dog, Mumford, who also walked down the aisle with the flower girl. But the highlight of the night? "We were surprised with a big fireworks show as we departed our wedding in a 1962 Cadillac limo once owned by Waylon Jennings," shares Claire. "It was a moment we will never forget."
The couple's letterpress invitation suite incorporated their wedding color palette of soft pinks, grays, and greens and featured hand-drawn fruits and florals from the talented women behind Tenn Hens Design. It also included a custom monogram that was threaded throughout the wedding. "The reply cards had a drawing of our dog, Mumford," says Claire of the additional personalization, "and our save-the-dates said 'Bookmark the Date' to reflect our literary interests and theme."
A Vintage Vibe
Claire wore a Marchesa wedding dress for her big day, a boho floral number with romantic bell sleeves. "I knew I wanted sleeves and an open back, and this dress was like nothing I had seen before," she says. "I loved the vintage feel to it."
The bride brought some glam to her look with a pair of blush Badgley Mischka heels.
An Inspired Bouquet
Melissa Broadwell of Vintage Florals incorporated blushing fall hydrangeas into Claire's bouquet as a nod to her wedding dress, which featured a hydrangea blossom lace pattern. Distant Drum garden roses were added alongside local blooms like Japanese anemone, celosia, bronze amaranth, and honeysuckle. Cinnamon-hued chrysanthemums, cappuccino roses, mauve sedum, chocolate cosmos, nandina, and viburnum berries were interspersed for tone and texture.
A Dapper Look
Dan was handsome in a textured suit from Suit Supply, accented with a burgundy bow tie and suspenders. "Dan wore a bow tie as a tribute to his dad, who has worn bow ties his entire life and has a collection of more than 120," shares Claire. Dark brown suede loafers completed his look.
Opting to forego a first look, Claire and Dan saw each other for the first time on the aisle. They exchanged traditional vows beneath a chuppah adorned with flowers and greenery overlooking the Tennessee hills.
Sealed with a Kiss and a Stomp
A family oriental rug adorned the platform on which they stood. "We had two special readings," adds Claire. "My friend Krista read a passage from The Velveteen Rabbit, and Dan's friend Josh read a love letter written by Mark Twain to Olivia Langford." Just before sharing their first married kiss, Dan smashed a glass with his foot—a Jewish tradition.
The Look of Love
The couple enjoyed some time together during a post-ceremony photo session; their excitement over finally being husband and wife was clear as they beamed at each other.
An Elegant Cocktail Hour
Claire and Dan joined guests on the patio of the farmhouse for signature drinks following their photo session. Round tables were set up for lounging, and cocktails were served out of an Airstream trailer as a nod to the couple's love for traveling to the nation's parks. "After dinner, the trailer switched from serving cocktails to coffee roasted by our officiant's company, Vivid Coffee in Vermont," adds Claire.
Tray-passed nibbles whet guests' appetites for dinner; offerings included mini BLTs composed of toast rounds topped with tomato slices and crumbled bacon.
Stunning Floral Arrangements
The entrance to the farmhouse dinner was decorated with two urns filled with flowers and greenery that stood sentry at the doors.
Blonde farm tables were surrounded by coordinating chairs and draped with nude runners that ran the length of each station. Woven overhead lighting lit the space, and garlands of greenery were wound around wooden pillars.
Each place setting displayed a booklet that echoed the hand-drawn invitation motif and contained the couple's favorite handpicked literary quotes.
A Fabulous Floral Installation
Chrysanthemums, cappuccino roses, sedum, chocolate cosmos, Nandina, and viburnum berries were threaded throughout masses of greenery of a floral installation suspended above the dance floor.
Tiny displays of flowers were grouped together down the center of the reception tables, which were also dotted with votives and fresh figs.
Numbers and Quotes
Gilded table numbers also included quotes—another nod to the couple's love for literature.
Engraved Toasting Flutes
During the reception, the couple drank from sterling toasting flutes, family heirlooms engraved with Claire's mother's initials.
Fresh Fruit-Topped Cake
One of three cakes created for the day, this vanilla-bean confection was accented with figs and fresh berries.
The First Dance
The duo selected "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" by Death Cab for Cutie for their first dance. "We chose it as huge fans of the band, and it's a sweet song that reminds us we will always have a partner in each other, all the way until death," explains the bride.
Late in the evening, the dance floor was slowly dotted with "fatheads" (blown up cardboard heads on a stick, explains the duo) of the bride and groom. Each displayed a photo from Claire and Dan's life, from different ages—a baby Dan here, a teenaged Claire there—to the couple's pet. "People waved them while they danced," says Claire of the surprise, which was arranged by her brother Toby.
Photography, Brandon Chesbro Photography
Venue, Trinity View Farm
Wedding Design and Styling, Jessica Sloane
Flowers, Melissa Broadwell for Vintage Florals
Invitations, Tenn Henns Designs
Bride's Gown, Marchesa via White Dresses
Bride's Shoes, Badgley Mischka
Hair and Makeup, Hannah Farmer
Groom's Attire, Suit Supply
Wedding Bands, Catbird
Music, Cindy Musselwhite Band (ceremony); 12th South Band (reception)
Catering, Kristen Winston Catering
Cocktails, Aero Bar
Coffee, Vivid Coffee
Cake, Dessert Designs
Rentals, La Tavola; Music City Tents & Events; Please Be Seated Rentals
Lighting, Bright Event Productions