A Refined, Rustic Nashville Wedding
Jayme and Barry
Jayme Place, who never forgets a person she meets, assumed Barry Simmons would remember her from a birthday party they both attended two years prior. He didn't—and so their first date involved a moment where Jayme reminded him that he'd already shared most of his icebreaker stories with her. Luckily, this didn't prevent the two from hitting it off.
After nearly two memorable years together, Barry surprised Jayme with a proposal in his backyard (which would become their yard after the wedding)—and 30 of their closest friends and family hiding nearby. "He decided to do it there so we could go back to that place if we ever needed to remember where it all began," says Jayme.
They decided on a short engagement, setting a wedding date just six months away. "I know I could have belabored the process and questioned every decision I made, so I'm grateful I didn't have longer than six months to do that," says Jayme. "I think the enormity of what we were doing set in, and I was just ready."
On November 4, 2016, Jayme and Barry tied the knot at Historic Travellers Rest Plantation and Museum in their hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, surrounded by 140 guests. The couple worked with Lauren Emerson Events to create the enchanting evening wedding they envisioned, with autumnal tones of taupe, almond, champagne, sage, and burgundy incorporated throughout. Floral touches gave the outdoor wedding a polished finish.
The Invitation Suite
Jayme wanted a wedding where the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception were in one location, with each space having a different feel.
Jayme wore a Rue De Seine gown with off-the-shoulder floral appliques. "It was so important to me to be comfortable in my wedding dress," she says. "I didn’t want to spend the day worrying about sparkles falling off or tripping over a long train." As with her dress, Jayme prioritized comfort when choosing her shoes. She went with wedges for the ceremony and cocktail hour, then changed into a pair of dance floor-ready boots for the reception.
Her leading ladies—all close friends and family—wore two styles of taupe Amsale dresses that matched the flowy, beautiful (but not too formal) style of her gown.
Intertwine crafted the bridal bouquet of roses, ranunculus, anemone, and an assortment of foliage she described as "perfectly imperfect."
Another detail that added to her ensemble on the big day was a ring belonging to one of her college friend's great grandmother. Each of her closest friends from college wear the ring on their wedding day—with an aquamarine stone, it's something old, borrowed, and blue.
Barry and his groomsmen wore navy tuxedos from The Black Tux with taupe ties and matching pocket squares.
The First Look
Before the ceremony, the pair stood with backs to each other while reading a letter the other had written. Afterwards, they turned around. "I will never forget seeing her there in front of me," says Barry of what he considers the most memorable moment of the day. "It was more incredible than I could have imagined: My soon-to-be wife in front of me wearing her wedding dress."
The Ring Bearer
Hampton, Barry's nephew, was the ring bearer.
The groom's 94-year-old grandmother also attended the ceremony (Jayme swears she can operate her iPhone just as well as she can). Barry's father escorted her down the aisle.
The week before their big day, Jayme and Barry attended a wedding at the same venue. At the end of the night, the pair chose a tree they had been eyeing to anchor their ceremony. They even practiced their first kiss beneath it.
Just a few days later, rows of chairs were set for their nuptials. Autumnal arrangements of astrantia, roses, Queen Anne's lace, berries, and foliage lined the aisle.
The Golden Hour
Per her mother's advice, Jayme wore a veil for the ceremony. "I love the photos where the veil is flying with the wind," she says. "It added a sweet simplicity to my look."
At 5 o'clock, the service began. Jayme walked down the aisle with her father as a cellist and pianist played a rendition of Bach's "Cello Suite No. 1" and late afternoon light cast a golden glow on the group.
The I Do's
Jayme devoted most of her planning efforts to the ceremony, which ended up being her favorite part of the day. She and Barry incorporated elements to honor deceased family members, and chose two readings: one excerpt from Timothy Keller's "The Meaning of Marriage," and 1 John 4:9-11, which ends, "Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
"I loved every element of our wedding, but there's nothing like standing before my God, my family, and my friends, and committing to loving this man no matter what happens," says Jayme of the service. "That type of thing only happens once in your life, and it was so special to experience."
A Stolen Moment
As the ceremony concluded, the newlyweds unintentionally snuck away. "We kept walking after we got to the end of the aisle and found ourselves behind the house with no other people," says Jayme. "We both looked at each other and had a sweet moment to take in all that had happened."
As the sunset filled the sky, guests gathered to the side of the house for cocktail hour. Family and friends relaxed in the lounge-style setting, complete with high-top and low bistro tables with leather chairs and long couches. Blue pumpkins added to the cozy feel and plaid shawls were available for guests as the temperature dipped.
A maple rosemary bourbon smash was served as the signature drink. It was a fusion of Barry's favorite drink (the Old Fashioned) and, with maple syrup, Jayme's New England roots.
Al Fresco Dinner
The seated dinner took place just outside the barn, which was dressed up with white curtains and wreaths of wheat, berries, and a blend of foliage.
A Simple Setup
Lush garlands replaced centerpieces on the dining tables, which were set with gray plates and linen napkins. Votive candles and strands of lights overhead created a romantic mood.
The Seated Dinner
Guests enjoyed buffet-style dining by farm-to-table caterer South Fork Catering Co. The menu included a kale salad with shaved pecorino cheese, egg, and bacon dressing; roasted winter squash soup with toasted pumpkin seeds; paprika chicken and spinach with white wine butter sauce; and pork shoulder with caramelized onions and caraway jus. Cornbread and a sweet potato gratin accompanied the mains.
The Cake Cutting
Jayme and Barry couldn't decide on just one flavor, so they decided on one two-tier cake and three smaller cakes to bolster the options. Flavors included vanilla crème with fresh strawberries, buttercream cake with amaretto frosting, marble cake with peanut butter frosting, and cinnamon red velvet with three layers of white chocolate buttercream.
During the cake cutting, the Kohavi's sang a rendition of Sarah McLachlan's "Ice Cream."
Happily Ever After
After cake, the group moved into the barn, where the pair had their first dance to the tune of Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors' "What Would I Do Without You." Guests joined in as a DJ kept the celebrations going.
When the evening came to an end, Jayme surprised Barry with a Tesla getaway car—a dream come true for the groom. The newlyweds spent the next 10 days in Hawaii for their honeymoon, before returning to the home where their engagement began.
Photography, Kristin Sweeting
Event planning, Lauren Emerson Events
Catering, South Fork Catering Co.
Flowers, Kelly Lenard of Intertwine
Stationery, Shine Wedding Invitations
Calligraphy, Hew & Co.
Cake, Dulce Desserts
Cocktail hour music, Kohavi's
Bride's gown, Rue de Seine
Hair, Elan Hair Germantown
Makeup, Katie Russo Beauty
Bridesmaids' dresses, Amsale
Groom's suit and menswear, The Black Tux