A Southern and Timeless Wedding at a Family Farm
Destiny and Taylor
The colorful city of Nashville brought Destiny and Taylor Preston together, officially meeting the day she moved there. They married two years later.
Taylor, who owns a real estate investment and development company, planned a sweet and total surprise proposal for Destiny, who formerly worked in the medical industry at a healthcare tech startup and now assists her husband on the management side of his business. The day before Thanksgiving, under the impression that they were going to meet Taylor's family for an early meal at their farm, Destiny had hot rollers in her hair when he picked her up. Acting exceptionally sentimental the whole drive over, he asked Destiny to go for a walk to their favorite spot by the creek with their black lab, Huckleberry, upon arrival. Originally resistant due to the chilly weather, after some convincing they braved the cold together. When Taylor got down on one knee, Destiny said yes before he could finish. When they returned to the farmhouse, they enjoyed a celebratory dinner with Champagne and a huge Southern-inspired meal with family and friends from all over, which Taylor arranged without giving Destiny the slightest clue.
On October 18, 2014, the duo and their 400 guests gathered for a sweet, simple, and romantic sunset ceremony at that same farm, a place near and dear to their hearts, followed by a celebration under the stars. The perfect fall day, perhaps thanks to following the Southern tradition of burying a bottle of bourbon at the ceremony site, a s'mores bar, and antique couches with cozy quilts later warmed up the cool October night. Southern and timeless, the contrast of elegant gowns and tuxedos with the laid back feel of the farm shaped the whole day and reflected Destiny and Taylor as a couple.
Natalie Chang created the stationery suite, which included a save the date and an illustration of the venue that lined the envelopes. Calligraphy and a wreath emblem brought it all together.
Destiny and Taylor chose to get married at the Preston family farm in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee—the same place they had their first date, shared their first anniversary, and got engaged. The ivory farmhouse and the green, blush, and light blue from the landscape influenced the color palette. With guests from all over the country, the location provided the comforts of a hometown wedding and an opportunity for the duo's loved ones to experience their favorite place. "We look forward to watching our kids fish in that pond someday," Destiny says.
Destiny and her closest confidant, her mom, complete the finishing touches to her ensemble, spending time with just each other as the stress melted away. "It was a moment that I will forever cherish as one of the greatest and sweetest memories of my life," Destiny says. Another special woman—Destiny's grandmother—did Destiny's hair for the occasion, just as she has done for many events prior.
Though Destiny had her heart set on quality time dress shopping with her mom, she purchased the first one she tried on. When she walked out of the dressing room in the Rivini gown, her mother's eyes teared up and they knew she had found the one. A timeless dress with French Chantilly lace hidden in flowing tulle, she opted for a full-length veil to add a bit of sophistication without hiding all of the dress's intricacies.
For her something borrowed, the bride accessorized with her mother's diamond earrings, a gift from her father on her mom's first Mother's Day with Destiny and her brother, John Eric. For her something blue, she chose a sapphire and diamond ring that was also a present from her father to her mother. And of course she donned her engagement ring, a 1920s asscher cut from Walton's Antique and Estate Jewelry that Taylor picked out all by himself.
Florist Lark Foster created the bridal bouquet that boasted seeded eucalyptus, scabiosa, lisianthus, astilbes, and ferns.
"Even as a young girl I have always liked the idea of all the bridesmaids wearing dresses that fit them and their unique personalities," Destiny says. And they did just that. Taylor's sister, Sara, and Destiny's best friends wore Watters, Jenny Yoo, and Joanna August dresses in different shades of blush and pale gray.
Wrapped with thick, vintage velvet ribbon that streamed to the floor, the bridal party bouquets were primarily white and green with touches of blush, consisting of larkspur, delphiniums, lisianthus, freesia, star dianthus, hydrangeas, and the bride's favorite, a garden rose called "Juliet."
A thick Southern garland with clippings of magnolia, elaeagnus, and more from Taylor's grandmother's garden draped the balcony, where the bridal party lounged and got ready.
The Flower Girl
The groom and his groomsmen—his father, Destiny's brother, and his best friends—looked dapper in their tuxedos made by J. Michaels Clothiers. However, later in the evening, two of the groomsmen danced so much that their pants split right down the seam. "It was the joke of the night, and we still and always will laugh so hard at that memory," Destiny says.
A Furry Friend
Bethel, this darling white lab adorned in flowers, is like family to the Prestons. "She belongs to Taylor's father and stepmother and is extremely friendly," Destiny says.
On Dad's Arm
Taylor's most memorable moment of the day was "without a doubt" seeing Destiny walk down the aisle, escorted by her father to the traditional wedding march. "It felt like that day was moving in slow motion. After seeing her everything was right again," Taylor says. Destiny truly felt grateful to be passed from one great man to another.
Standing under a chandelier of flowers hanging from the tree by the pond, the two joined hands in matrimony. Brother Bill Abbott, who officiated the nuptials, also baptized the bride when she was seven years old. "He was such an amazing spiritual role model to me as a young child; it meant so much that he could be a part of the next big decision in my life," Destiny says.
Sweet and sincere, the twosome sent personal written vows to each other beforehand and used traditional vows during their wedding. One of their closest friends, Chelsea Wallace, read 1 Corinthians 13, which served as guidance for the couple's relationship many times, always reminding the pair that, "Love never fails."
The Guest Book
Guests signed this thick slice of aged wood that Destiny and Taylor are turning into a side table for their home.
Not far from the Preston family farm, the reception took place at Leiper's Creek Gallery. While staying true to the comforts of Leiper's Fork, the reception was cozy, romantic, and elegant, with the band keeping the dance floor full and moving the entire night.
Guests chose two words from these wooden boards and mixologists made distinctive moonshine cocktails with fresh fruit and herbs, finished off with foil-stamped stir sticks. Destiny's favorite was the "Fizzy & Frilly" and Taylor's the "Manly Classic."
Custom beer koozies designed by Natalie Chang garnished the specialty Tennessee moonshine bar.
An eclectic mix of vintage candlesticks ran the length of all the farm tables, staggered in heights and sizes and filled with tall ivory tapers. Cloches covered Southern biscuits accompanied by various honeys and jams for guests to nibble on throughout the night.
Placed in one of a kind vessels, most of which were borrowed from Taylor's grandmother's silver collection, the centerpieces showcased either hydrangeas or lisianthus, along with astilbes, roses, pepper berries, and assorted greenery.
The Lounge Area
Arrangements of antique furniture created a place for guests to lounge and chat over candlelight. The florist provided her collection of vintage quilts to keep guests warm while they were not heating up on the dance floor or roasting s'mores by the fire.
The Old Jalopy
Parked near the real and functional moonshine still, this pickup's grill was embellished with a lush wreath made of fresh mood moss and offered a great photo op for guests.
The Wall of Hats
The florist also provided a large assortment of vintage hats, which was displayed near the jalopy as fun props for guests to wear in the photos. "The hats made for funny moments on the dance floor and fabulous photographs! It was the perfect little detail that really tied everything together," Destiny says.
The First Dance
Taylor's father and sister performed Elvis's "Can't Help Falling In Love" for their first dance. "It was the best moment of the day and felt totally magical to us. It was really sinking in that we were finally married. I know it sounds cliché, but I really felt like we were the only two people in the world," Destiny says.
In contrast to Champagne and candlelight, the menu was Southern comfort. For starters, guests enjoyed a biscuit bar with Nashville hot chicken, beef tenderloin, and Benton's ham. The entrée followed offering fried chicken covered with country ham gravy, braised beef brisket with cilantro pesto sauce over Falls Mill grits, collard greens, and mac n' cheese served in tiny mason jars.
With a homemade look, the cake was both simple and delicious. Covered in fluffy cream cheese icing, the layers included traditional white wedding cake, vanilla bean, and chocolate with raspberry filling.
The S'mores Bar
The jalopy's tailgate also functioned as the location for the s'mores bar, which offered an assortment of ingredients and recipes to make five twists on the classic. Destiny's favorite was "The Elvis," a marshmallow, banana slice, and peanut butter cup melted between two graham crackers.
A Sweet Ride
Lent by family friends in Alabama, this vintage Rolls Royce drove the couple from the farm to the reception and also served as a getaway car when everyone waved goodbye with sparklers.
Taylor surprised Destiny with an African safari for their honeymoon, stopping at the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, Mnemba Island off the coast of Zanzibar, and Serengeti Under Canvas. The two watched hippos bathe, tracked down elephants, rhinos, and leopards, and watched lion clubs play in a field. They dove with dolphins, saw an endangered green turtle lay eggs on the beach, and went deep-sea fishing on a catamaran in the Indian Ocean. On their last day they even watched the sunrise over the Serengeti in a hot air balloon. "Each leg of our bespoke trip was full of surprises and adventures we will forever reminisce about," Destiny says.
Photography: Annabella Charles
Location: Leiper's Creek Gallery
Event Planning: Social Graces Events
Catering: The Southern
Flowers: Lark Foster
Videography/Cinematography: B. Flint Photography and Films
Stationery and Calligraphy: Natalie Chang
Cake: Dessert Designs
Music: The Reneaus
Makeup: Angelisa Farmer of Artistry SpaSalon