This Southern wedding embraced an adventurous pair's love of the outdoors and their dogs.
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Memree and Rich
There is far from a shortage of unique interests that Memree Phillips and Rich Roberts share. The Tennessee born-and-bred pair met while planning an engagement party for mutual friends. Before long, the adventurous duo discovered that they both loved hunting, fishing, traveling, and collecting antiques—and became an item.
It wasn't long before the Nashville-based couple moved into a log cabin built in 1783. In line with their love of travel, it was on a trip to Israel that Rich popped the question. After they placed their prayers in the Wailing Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, "my husband got on one knee and asked me to make all his prayers come true by marrying him," says Memree. "It was the sweetest proposal in the holiest place on Earth. It can't be topped!"
On May 21, 2016, Memree and Rich tied the knot on their 2,400-acre farm with 125 guests in attendance. The rustic feel of their big day included lots of personal touches specific to both their families and interests. Drawing inspiration from the wedding's Nashville locale, music played a major role in the big day. Six different musical acts performed throughout the night, one of which, (a gospel choir), was a surprise for the groom. As soon as the officiant said, "you may now kiss the bride," the singers came out from both sides of the wedding ceremony gazebo singing "Happy!" by Pharrell. "This moment was epic!" says Sara Fried of Fête Nashville, the couple's wedding planner. "Rich was completely surprised and the guests all jumped right in on the moment. Everyone was singing and cheering and then the choir led everyone to the front of the house for cocktail hour." Dinner and dancing under the stars followed making the night a true Southern fairytale.
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The horizontal invitation by Tenn Hens incorporated Rich's family crest which was further personalized for the couple with the addition of their dog Amos at the top of the design. Inside the crest, there was also a watercolor painting of the couple's log cabin home. Each suite was wrapped with brown twine and a tiny turkey feather from the pair's farm.
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The Bridal Party
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The Bridal Bouquet
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After entering through the driveway, guests saw this hand-painted wooden sign lettered by Tenn Hens that served as the evening's itinerary. Memree and Rich opted for two cocktail hours, one before the ceremony and one immediately after.
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The travel-loving couple wed in this handmade wooden gazebo that they were inspired to build in their backyard after a trip to Africa. The space was transformed into a rustic altar with the help of heavy linen draping pulled back with lush green garlands and groups of pillar candles at the bottom. The mantel and hearth featured more candles in varying shapes and sizes as fresh logs burned in the fireplace.
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Two of the couple's beloved seven dogs, Amos and Muddy, were escorted down the aisle with flower crowns around their necks.
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The laughter-filled ceremony was officiated by Rich's former fraternity brother from the University of Alabama who is now a Presbyterian pastor.
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The Wedding Cup
Memree and Rich drank from this engraved heirloom silver cup that had been used for three generations of wedding ceremonies in Rich's family. Other familial touches included portraits of the their parents displayed at the ceremony.
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All of the wines for the celebration came from Memree and Rich's personal wine cellar, with some special bottles purchased on their most recent trip to Napa.
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The Reception Setup
To give guests the feeling that they were dining in an enchanted forest, white lights were strung both horizontally and vertically. "It felt like it was raining the most delicate little white stars," says Memree. Two trees from the couple's farm were spray-painted white and positioned in between the two rows of dining tables, on which hundreds of ivory pillar candles provided a warm glow.
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The Place Settings
Bone china and vintage flatware anchored each place setting, which were topped with white linen napkins holding menu cards that featured the watercolor drawing of the couple's cabin, and a turkey feather from their farm tucked in.
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A special dog-height table was set for the couple's two pups that attended the wedding. Bones, kibble, and even calligraphed place cards set the scene. Guests were sent home with cookies from Famous Amos at the end of the party in honor of their dog Amos!
The newlyweds' custom spice blend was another personalized favor given.
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Dinner After Dark
Guests dined on family-style Southern classics amidst the sounds of a jazz quartet and emotional toasts. "My favorite part of the wedding was the toast my husband gave me during dinner," says Memree. "It was the most sincere and full-hearted moment for our family and friends."
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The five-tier confection by Wolfe Gourmet Cakes featured a woodgrain finish to match all the wood-inspired details throughout the event. Fresh peonies and thistle decorated the white chocolate, strawberry, and chocolate bomb cake that rested on a wooden stump.
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The "Memree's Homemade Banana Pudding" custom flags on these mini desserts were an inside joke between the bride and groom. When they first started dating, Memree would buy banana pudding and tell Rich she had made it. It quickly became one of his favorite desserts before he found out what she had been up to!
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Photography, Kristyn Hogan
Event planning, Fête Nashville
Catering, Chef's Market
Flowers, Enchanted Florist
Videography, The Heart Behind It
Officiant, Billy Barnes of Covenant Presbyterian Church
Stationery, Tenn Hens
Cake, Wolfe Gourmet Cakes
Music, Scenic City Jazz Band (cocktail musicians); Travis Patton String Quartet (ceremony musicians); MLK Chorus (ceremony choir); Chuck Cannon and Lari White (first dance singers); Andy Childs Band (reception band)
Rentals, Southern Events
Bride's gown, Custom couture by Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija
Bride's accessories, Jimmy Choo shoes
Hair and Makeup, Debbie Dover of Element Salon
Bridesmaids' dresses, Jenny Yoo
Groom's suit, Custom from Giorgio Armani
Groom's accessories, Levy's
Lighting, BrightEvents Production
Cookies, Famous Amos
Valet, PMC Parking