~ Hailee + Erick ~ Real Nashville Wedding!
I met Hailee and Erick in September 2010 over coffee to chat about their upcoming nuptials... 3.5 hours later we were still laughing and talking and getting VERY excited about planning together! Their wedding took place in May 2012 - on a ridiculously hot day - but everyone was a trooper and we got BEAUTIFUL photographs to commemorate this amazing couple's wedding day.
Get your Pinning fingers ready and dive right in - after taking a nice, long peek at these stunning images from Chris & Adrienne Scott, Photographers
Photography: Chris & Adrienne Scott, Photographers / Floral + Event Design: Belles Fleurs Designs/ Event Planning: Music City Events / Ceremony Location: Bicentennial Amphitheater / Reception Location: Marathon Village / Invitations: Prim + Paper / Dress: Arzelle’s / Caterer: Savor the Flavor/ Makeup: Amy Lynn Larwig, MUA / DJ: REM Entertainment / Coffee Bar: Beve Coffee / Bar Service:Hamilton Bartending Services / Rentals: Music City Tents and Events
From the groom … Hailee and I have been in each other’s lives for quite some time. Being five years apart in age, while we grew up knowing of each other, we typically spent time in different circles. Hailee had her group of friends, and for the most part all of my friends were their older brothers. Hailee and I got to know each other as she got more involved in the youth group at our church, but it actually wasn’t until the summer after my freshman year at college that I got to know Hailee well.
I spent that summer working as a Youth Ministry intern for the youth pastor at our home church running random errands and working with the youth. By this time, Hailee was a freshman in high school and already becoming the passionate, fascinating, clever person that she is.
The amazing thing about Hailee that became apparent to me very quickly was how comfortable and open I felt I could be around her. Having typically been a rather shy and reserved person, the feeling of being comfortable and open around someone I had not known well for years was new to me. But for reasons I could not understand, as Hailee and I got to know each other, I felt complete freedom to simply be myself.
It’s that feeling that always stuck with me about Hailee. That feeling that told me that I could be who I was. After that summer ended and I went back to school, Hailee and I kept in touch for a little while but not nearly as much as we had. She spent the next few years finishing high school, and I forged my way through college. The only times we really interacted after that were those random weekends I found myself back in Nashville. Even then though, whenever I might make it to church on Sundays before I began my drive back to Atlanta, I would always quietly hope to run into Hailee who never failed to find me with a hug and a big smile.
Several years later when I was living in Massachusetts and Hailee in Chattanooga, TN I randomly got a message on Facebook from her. We hadn’t really spoken much over the last few years, so I wasn’t really sure what to say at first. But over the next week, we began to chat more and more. After a month or two of doing this, I couldn’t seem to start my day without sending her a text just saying “Good Morning.” I didn’t want to fall asleep until we had said “Good Night.” Once again, all of my normal reservations and second-guessing of myself disappeared. I wasn’t only okay with being myself, something about the way she wanted to talk to me made me want to be myself that much more.
At the end of October, I decided to move back home to Nashville. There were several reasons I came home, but I would be lying if I said that I did not spend the majority of that 1100 mile drive thinking about her. About just driving right through Nashville and straight on to Chattanooga. All the other reasons I was coming home didn’t matter. I just wanted to see her. Luckily she ended up coming up to Nashville the very next weekend so I didn’t have to wait long.
From the bride … After we had been together for about two and half years we knew we wanted to get married, but not right away. I was still completing my undergraduate work and Erick was about to begin a Master’s program. We decided we were ready to be engaged but wanted to give ourselves plenty of time to plan a wedding and complete our programs. Erick and I picked out my ring together before we got engaged so it was going to be VERY difficult for him to surprise me with a proposal. But he sure did try!
June 19, 2010 I woke up to Erick crawling back into bed. To be honest. I never really knew he had left. He gently woke me up and just held onto me for a long while. He started recalling our relationship, all of our joy, excitement, pain, and struggles. He very thoughtfully considered where we had been and where we were at the time. As he spoke, I could feel his heart beating faster and faster and after a while it was all I could hear. He nervously began to tell me how happy he was to be with me and that he woke up this morning and knew he couldn’t wait any longer. He pulled out the beautiful ring we had selected weeks earlier and he asked me to marry him right then and there. According to Erick, it was not at all the way he had planned to do it, but he just couldn’t wait anymore. It was perfect. Completely intimate and completely about us.
We wanted that intimacy to become the theme of our wedding. My family alone consists of nearly 60 people so we weren’t going achieve our intimate wedding by keeping numbers low. Our fabulous wedding planner (and, more importantly, my Maid of Honor) Sarah Willard met with us and had us nailed in the first 45 minutes of our consultation. With her help, we planned a wedding that was whimsical, classy, and intimate (three adjectives you do not see combined very frequently).
Our ceremony took place on the stage of the Bicentennial Mall Amphitheatre. We had all guests join us on the stage because we wanted that feeling of togetherness. All the children you could ever imagine were part of our celebration. From the flower girls to the young ladies who announced our arrival as we walked towards one another, everyone had a role because we wanted the people who have loved and nurtured us, as individuals and as a couple, to be an active participant in our union. Our friends and family performed the music at the ceremony and each of our four (that’s right, four) pastors played a heart-warming role in making our day perfect.
Of course things went wrong, no day is perfect, no wedding is without some sort of catastrophe (although, thanks to Sarah’s team at Music City Events, I didn’t have to know about any of them). But at the end of the day, we got married. We got to celebrate with those closest to us, and then we go to dance the night away. After all, isn’t booty dancing with your photographer really what love is all about?(fun for me! These two wonderful people have become my two best friends in the whole wide world! They are my son's god parents and I cannot imagine life without them. I am eternally grateful for meeting them and for the career that I not only love but that brought such amazing people in my life!)