Happily Grey Wedding
This past September, we had the chance to celebrate Mary Lawless and Madison Lee. Two people who have quickly become some of my favorite souls in Nashville.
Mary and I were introduced back in late April, four months prior to her wedding. A mutual friend made the intro knowing our sensibilities and aesthetics would align perfectly. It was an instant connection and now, on the other side, we're the closest of friends.
The thing about Mary, and why it worked so well, was that she wasn't looking for a typical or traditional solution to her wedding. She wanted an experience that felt like her and Madison — only elevated and augmented. We spent the next four months putting together an inspired garden wedding that was equal parts wildly natural and pristinely modern. A complete departure from the traditional "I do."
Below is a small behind-the-scenes look into their day and the design process that went into making it happen. I hope you enjoy!
When you're planning a wedding, one of the best things you can be is self-aware. It's so easy to get lost in the noise of trends and Pinterest. Inspiration overflow. But your day should be a reflection of what you and your fiancé truly care about—not just the latest thing that sparked your interest. Know who you are, know what you're drawn to, and choose to augment that.
One of the things I adored about Mary as a bride was that she had a keen sense of what she loved. We all know her for her great design eye and aesthetic instinct in fashion from Happily Grey, and that translated here, too — quickly and easily knowing which concepts made her heart beat a little faster and which didn't feel like natural fits. There were elements she absolutely wanted, while there were others she had kernels of ideas for and that we fleshed out together. There were a lot of "What ifs..." and "How abouts..." as we went back to the drawing board again and again with fresh ideas.
While we wanted the end concept to be beautiful, Mary and I both love and feel at home in the creative process. Those spaces of creation were the most exciting for us. And when in doubt, we just had another glass of rosé and channeled Kate Moss.
An underlying theme throughout the design process was developing a sensory experience. When you're creating a space, it's so easy to focus only on the visuals. What will people see? But when you walk into a room, you're interacting with so much more. What do you hear, smell, taste, touch? What's really composing your first impression?
From a fresh oyster bar by Henrietta Red (Mary's surprise to Mad) to a handmade paper suite from Kaela Rawson and Tara Spencer to a live first dance performance from Noah Kahan (Mad's surprise to Mary), we focused on nuance — telling a big story through small details.
When it came to the actual wedding, one of the things I appreciated most about Mad and Mary was that they chose intimacy. I've always been a big fan of small weddings. When you're exchanging vows and making lifelong promises, you want those to be witnessed by the people you're closest to — those you want to have walk alongside you throughout your marriage and celebrate and support you through the inevitable highs and lows. Ceremonies are meant to be a remarkably personal, pivotal moment, and that's something Mad and Mary clearly wanted to honor.
With this focus on intimacy and thoughtful environment, we created a small ceremony for thirty people out at Bloomsbury Farm. A fleet of vintage cars drove Mary and her bridesmaids from Bloomsbury's barn down to the ceremony site, where Mad and their closest family and friends were waiting. The modern chairs draped in Turkish-inspired throws were placed in the round so Mad and Mary could be truly surrounded while they read their personalized vows to one another. It was lovely, intentional, and perfect.
After the wedding, the guests were taken back to Nashville proper for a wedding dinner at The Cordelle. Later in the evening, more than 100 of Mad and Mary's friends would join the fun and cheers the newlyweds, sipping cocktails named after the couple's Great Dane duo, Miles and Allie.
The juxtaposition between Bloomsbury Farm and The Cordelle told the perfect story of who Mary is and what she really wanted for her day. On one side, a very natural, organic environment that is rooted in warmth and personableness. On the other, impeccable modernity with clean lines and a blank canvas. Intimate ceremony vs. soul-studded reception. The complete, well-rounded package.
In perfect Mary fashion, at the end of the night she changed into a crisp white jumpsuit and the Lees drove off in a vintage Jag to the "The Dog Days are Over." Truly one for the books.
Ceremony Venue: Bloomsbury Farm || Reception Venue: The Cordelle || Planning + Design The 12th Table || Floral Design The 12th Table || Stationary: Designer Kaela Rawson with handmade paper from Tara Spencer and ribbon from Frou Frou Chic || Rentals: The 12th Table || Bride's Ceremony Dress: Claire Pettibone || Bride's Reception Dress: Pronovias and Dress Theory || Bridesmaids and Flower Girl Dresses: BHLDN || Groom's Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring: Baileys Jewelers || Weddings Bands: King Jewelers || Catering: Beyond Details with oyster bar from Henrietta Red || Mixology: Aperitif Events & Cocktails || Cake: Dessert Designs || Ceremony Music: Belmont School of Music || Reception Music: The Downtown Band || First Dance Artist: Noah Kahan || Favors: Keachia’s Cookies || Vintage Cars: Matchless Transportation || Lighting: Bright Events || Photography: Emmy Lowe Photography and Alaina Mullin || Videography: Cardboard Films || Live Ceremony Painting: Hannah Lee Art
While we no longer offer traditional planning services, see our sister company Union Jane. The new way to plan weddings.