Kacey Musgraves and Ruston Kelly's Charming Tennessee Wedding
When Kacey Musgraves met Ruston Kelly, she could hear music playing. Mainly because she was in the audience at Nashville's famed Bluebird Cafe, where Ruston was performing a "songwriter's round" showcase. "His songs really spoke to me," the country star says, so she suggested they collaborate—and they set a date to work together. "The second that he walked through my door, I had this feeling like my entire world changed."
"We were pretty inseparable from then on," says Ruston, who proposed a year and a half later, on Christmas Eve. He surprised Kacey with vintage decorations in her childhood bedroom and, of course, an appropriate soundtrack: a recording of Henry Mancini's "Two for the Road," which Kacey calls "a really special, nostalgic old song." The pair played the same tune 10 months later for their first dance as husband and wife, after a nondenominational ceremony officiated by Ruston's best friend, on a Tennessee farm "where two rivers flow into one," says Kacey. After exchanging vows they'd written on Ruston's old typewriter, the bride and groom kissed—and 200 guests showered them with confetti in the day's palette of green, pink, gold, berry, and white. Then everyone headed to the barn for a cocktail- and-popcorn hour, followed by an outdoor dinner featuring wood-fired pizza served from a pizza truck. Guests sat where they wanted, if they wanted—some preferred to spend the night dancing to music played by the "Motown Mondays" DJs from the 5 Spot bar in Nashville. As the night ended, the newlyweds "twirled under everybody's gold sparklers, ran down the long gravel road to the carriage house where we were staying, and watched the glow from the sparklers fade out," says Kacey. "It was like a slow-motion movie moment."
The entire night was magical, but for Ruston, the best part was watching Kacey walk down the aisle to songs he had written for her, played on banjo and cello by two of Kacey's bandmates. "The musician in me was like, I can't wait to hear how this sounds," recalls Ruston. "But in that moment, when I saw her, it was like everything went silent in my head." Proving that even for two singers, there are some things in life more powerful than music.
At the October 14, 2017, wedding, both the bride and her horse dressed to thrill. Kacey wore a lace gown by Berta; her horse, a floral wreath made by Bows + Arrows Flowers.Kacey wanted a lush, trailing bouquet and she got it with this cascade of dahlia, garden roses, hellebores, strawflower, lisianthus, cosmo, lysmachia and wildflowers tied together with a honey-colored velvet ribbon.
The First (Non) Look
Kelly and Ruston didn't want to see each other before the wedding, but did want to take portraits together pre-ceremony. They settled on a non-look "first look." Says Kacey, "We were both led to the middle of the field, eyes closed, and placed back to back. We grabbed each other's hands and said hello without looking at each other. He had no idea what my dress looked like but he touched it and was surprised by the beading. I passed him a sweet, little embroidered heart with a personal note on it."
"I love emerald green, and I like the texture that velvet brings to everything," says Kacey. So much so that Ruston found a green velvet jacket to wear for the ceremony.
The best man, the groom's brother-in-law, and another close friend wore green velvet bow ties that matched Ruston's jacket.
With This Ring
Kacey designed her own engagement ring, shown here atop the vows she banged out on Ruston's typewriter.
Instead of traditional boutonnières, gents wore miniature wreaths of rosemary, hyacinth, and wild grasses tied with amber and taupe velvet ribbons.
A Stylish Hankie
Alli K Design created this logo featuring two of the day's main motifs—horseshoes and flowers—and printed it onto a handkerchief as a memento for the bride.
The floral designers at Bows + Arrows Flowers used local greenery and grasses along with dahlias, cosmos, Queen Anne's lace, and larkspur to create a natural "aisle" that looked as if it had grown on the site.
All in the Family
Ruston's brother and Kacey's sister were the wedding's only adult attendants.
The Ring Bearer
The ring bearer, Dash, wore a maroon velvet suit by Appaman.
Flower Girl Power
A Momentous Occasion
The ceremony was short, but sweet, and a perfect conglomeration of the couple's personalities. There were some goofy moments too, including when the couple's officiant said, "by the power vested in me by the State of Tennessee and UniversalLifeMinistries.com.""Looking at this moment that won't ever happen again, and these people who love us so much, we both came to tears," says Kacey. "It was beautiful and bittersweet, the beginning of a new chapter."
The First Kiss
Buckets of Fun
Cocktail hour featured bushel baskets of popcorn, accented with vintage horse ribbons from the bride's home state of Texas. Flavors included jalapeño-cheddar, Parmesan-garlic, regular butter, sea salt–caramel, and toffee-almond.
A guest-book-table photo gallery featured weddings from both the bride's and the groom's families.
Centerpieces of dahlia, roses, zinnia, scabiosa, amaranthus, strawflower, lisianthus, cosmo, lismachia, coleus, tobacco and fall foliage graced long farm tables where guests could rest and eat their pizza between dancing and ducking into the Photo Wagon to take pictures. Each arrangement was contained in terra cotta pottery Bows + Arrows custom made for the event and glazed in different shades of pink, peach, and tan.
A Table for Two
An outdoor bar and seating including hay bales and wooden benches turned this decorative tipi from Indah Events into a lounge for the reception.
Kacey and her father danced to Nickel Creek's "When You Come Back Down."
The Mother-Son Dance
For their song, Ruston and his mom chose "Return of the Grievous Angel" by Grant Parsons.
A Cake to Cut
Vegan and gluten-free desserts included a variety of cupcakes from the Kind Cake, and cookies and chocolate-covered strawberries from Leeuw Bake Shop.
The bride's parents helped assemble the gold horseshoe favors. The motif came from a gift Kacey had given Ruston when they were dating, inspiring him to write the song to which she walked down the aisle: "Horseshoe Ring."
Event planning, Melissa and Evan Tate of Summerfield at Tate Farms
Catering, Crankees Pizzeria
Flowers, design, and styling, Bows + Arrows Flowers
Photography, N Barrett Photography
Videography, Peyton Anne Frank Films
Stationery, Alli K Design
Music, Electric Western
Rentals, Marquee Event Rentals
Bride's gown, Berta
Bride's veil, Erica Koesler Wedding Accessories
Makeup, Carlene K
Groom's tuxedo, Alberto Nardoni
Photo booth, Photo Wagon
Tipi rental, Indah Events
Neon sign, Roadhouse Relics
Popcorn, Popcorn Papa
Bar service, V.I.P. Bartending & Events
Mineral water, Topo Chico
Wine, Silver Oak
Maid of honor's dress, Love Culture