A Dreamy Garden Wedding in Nashville, Tennessee
Margaret and Jonathan
Margaret Waltemath, owner of interior design firm Margaret Ash Design, and Jonathan Ash, an investment banker, met at a martini bar in San Francisco through mutual friends. "I was immediately caught by the figure of a woman across the room," he recalls. "I made it a point to introduce myself." At the end of the night, Jonathan walked Margaret home, and the two shared a kiss with promises to follow up with a date.
After two years of dating, Jonathan had plans to propose and enlisted the help of a photographer to capture the big moment. Jonathan convinced Margaret to go for a walk with him in a park before a dinner reservation. Upon completing a final loop around a pond, Jonathan got down on one knee and recited the lines he had been memorizing. Margaret said yes, and shortly after the two ventured up to Sonoma Valley for a celebratory trip, complete with a hot air balloon ride.
With the help of event planner Linley Stokes, the pair tied the knot about a year later, over Memorial Day Weekend, on May 29, 2016. The third milestone to occur in May, between meeting, getting engaged, and tying the knot, in the same month but different years. "We were 'May-ed' to be together" says Jonathan. They celebrated with 188 guests at the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in the bride's hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Following the secret garden-like ceremony, there was an elegant reception at The Belle Meade Country Club, which combined themes of their Southern roots with their new life in California.
The Stationery Suite
Margaret and Jonathan's wedding wax seal—poured by the bride's father—featured a protea flower that the bride designed herself. The couple fell in love with the flower—which is native to California. "The most notable characteristic of the protea is its ability to endure," says Margaret. The knotted ribbons on the flower's stem symbolize the union between husband and wife, and the green is a nod to the bride's favorite color. Hardink Calligraphy penned the pair's names for the invitation, and the bride's stepmother addressed the envelopes by hand using a soft gray ink.
The Welcome Bags
Margaret wore a Monique Lhuillier lace gown with Badgley Mischka shoes. Her custom veil from Muna Couture incorporated the lace from her mother's wedding veil as her "something old". Margaret accessorized her look with an aquamarine ring belonging to her stepmother and diamond-and-pearl earrings, borrowed from her mom.
The Bridal Bouquet
The Bridal Party
Margaret's bridal party, which included friends from high school, college, and interior design colleagues, wore sea glass-colored gowns by Jenny Yoo. The couple opted out of selecting a single maid of honor or best man; instead, they referred to their attendants as the matrons of honor and the best men. The junior bridesmaids of the group wore Dessy dresses made of chiffon and palomino lace. The flower girl donned a dress handmade by the bride's mother decades earlier, which underwent some repair for the special occasion.
The Family Portraits
Margaret took portraits with her mother and grandmother, both of whom were all smiles.
Family was also honored and on display thanks to Jonathan, who came up with the idea of paying tribute to Memorial Day and the couple's four grandfathers who had served in the military. Notes about their service were framed alongside photos of each man.
The First Look
The bride and groom had their first look by the reflection pool and wisteria arbor of the mansion. They embraced as they shared the precious moments before the ceremony.
Just before sunset, Margaret met Jonathan down by the perennial garden, in between two Grecian urns holding flowering arrangements. During the service, which was officiated by the bride's sister, Reverend Elizabeth Waltemath, a special poem was read by the bride's 93-year-old grandmother.
The newlyweds recessed up the aisle together and shared a passionate kiss as husband and wife.
The Cocktail Hour
The Lounge Area
Using scraps from her interior design studio, the bride customized pillows (sewn together by her stepmother) to create a bespoke lounge area.
The bride worked with Linley Stokes to design the reception tent, which overlooked the club's golf course. Champagne-colored drapery and endless greenery created a lush feeling, meant to mimic moss that cascades from Southern trees. A large, crystal chandelier (the biggest Margaret could find in the area) was covered in greenery and moss from Vintage Florals.
The table décor was kept neutral with greenery arranged along the cream linens. "The brass candlesticks were from my mother and grandmother," says the bride. "Each year we gift each other more at Christmas." Along with taller, gray candles were smaller white ones in mercury glass votive holders.
The Place Setting
Each place card was calligraphed by Margaret's stepmom and featured the couple's gold wax seal. Gold-rimmed plates held delicately tied napkins.
The Couple's Entrance
The newlyweds entered their reception, hands intertwined and in the air, as their guests cheered.
Dinner included a pink grapefruit and avocado salad, roasted chicken with green beans, and smoked gouda grit cakes.
The Kid's Table
The children at the celebrations were offered their own menu—complete with chicken fingers and tater tots—and colored pencils to draw with.
The Live Painting
Margaret had a special gift for her groom—a painter who was commissioned to do a live painting of their celebrations. The piece currently hangs in Jonathan's 'winebrary' at the pair's home.
The First Dance
The couple shared their first dance to Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody". "We picked a song that we knew all of our guests would enjoy and pulled them all onto the dance floor with us for the second half of the song," says the groom.
Dessert Designs created the couple's white, four-tiered confection, with lemon, chocolate truffle, caramel, and sour cream pound cake flavors inside. "I wanted a simple cake, with cascading jasmine," says Margaret. The tasty dessert sat atop a bed of moss.
Margaret and Jonathan hopped into a trolley for their getaway—symbolizing their love for their new home in San Francisco.
Photography, Cassidy Carson Photography
Ceremony Location, Cheekwood
Reception Location and Catering, Belle Meade Country Club
Event planning, Linley Stokes
Flowers, Vintage Florals
Videography, Needle and Thread
Officiant, Reverend Elizabeth Waltemath
Stationery, Ink Nashville
Spot Calligraphy, Hardink Calligraphy
Cake, Dessert Designs
Bride's gown, Monique Lhuillier
Groom's suit, Hugo Boss
Groom's cufflinks, The Flaming Galah
Transportation, Hello Trolley
Guest boxes, A Signature Welcome