Brooke + Nick's tied the knot at the gorgeous Barn at Chestnut Springs, near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Fun fact, the barn was once Dolly Parton's family's barn and has been restored into a beautiful country wedding venue. Jessica Lee Photographic Art did such a great job capturing all of the intricate details from their big day. Scroll through to find out how Brooke embraced her first-look (even though the couple was against it at first), found her wedding dress and dealt with not-so-perfect weather conditions.
One of the details we love from this wedding is all of the handwritten place tags and signs! Coming from Ohio, the couple had a wooden board for their home state and Tennessee for their guest to sign in place of a book. We would have loved to be guests at this southern wedding and end the evening dancing under the bistro lights and moon-lit patio. Let's see more of their beautiful day below…
What were the top three priorities for you when planning your wedding?
1) Location was huge – we wanted to have a destination wedding in the smokey mountains (Tennessee side) because TN is where her family calls home. The bride and groom reside in Ohio.
2) Size – we wanted a smaller wedding so we could spend more time interacting with our loved ones.
3) Price – we were working with a budget and I was a DIY bride!
Did you have a wedding theme/idea/colors etc. in mind before you starting planning?
We wanted to do a woodland/outdoor theme – keeping it romantic but not too girly!
When shopping for your wedding dress, how did you know you found “the one”? What was it like?
I actually bought two dresses. My first dress I was sold 2 sizes too large and was told it would not be an issue to size down. After 3 alteration places later, no one could get it to fit without ruining the design – so it was back to square one! I sold the first dress and actually bought a prom dress online! I altered the front of the dress myself and added lace around the neckline. Something that was extremely special to me was the piece of my late father's plaid shirt i sewed into my dress myself – this way he was there with me all day.
Did you have a bridal shower or bachelorette party?
Yes – I had a bridal shower and bachelorette party.
My bridal shower was wonderful, my best friend and maid of honor (with the help of my bridesmaids) did a huge tea party in my honor. It was complete with beautiful mismatched China, tea cups and lace doilies. We even wore our derby hats and had fun dressing up! The only stress that day was how cold it was in Ohio on a May Day!
Throughout your wedding planning did anything surprise, irritate, or bum you out?
The biggest irritation I had in planning was being 8 hours away from our venue – it was hard to choose vendors we couldn't meet with beforehand. In the end all of our vendors were amazing and so accommodating!
Did you have a wedding planner? If so, what was your experience with them?
I was my own wedding planner – with a little help from Pinterest!
Did you do a first look? Would you recommend it to future brides?
We did a first look – although both of us were very against it for traditional reasons I would choose to do it again. We had a tight schedule for pictures and we wanted to make sure we had all the photos we wanted. It calmed my nerves seeing him before, and it was our own “alone” time that most brides and grooms never get on their wedding day.
Throughout your wedding day, did you have anything go wrong or a “Bummed Bride” moment? If so, how did you handle it?
My only bummer was the weather – it was 95 that day and the humidity was at 90% as well. While you can't control the weather, I just smiled and tried to take breaks in the air conditioning throughout the day!
What was your favorite moment from your wedding day?
My favorite moment was walking down the aisle – we got married in Dolly Parton's parents old barn. They closed the doors when it was my turn to walk down the aisle and before I walked they played our favorite Cadillac Three song “White Lightning”. It was blaring down the valley as I walked down and all I could see was my husband to be waiting with tears in his eyes and the biggest smile on his face. That moment will stay with me my whole life
What is your best advice for brides planning their wedding?
Do what you want!! We didn't do a lot of the traditional wedding things (garter, bouquet toss, etc). We scheduled our day to be what we wanted, how we wanted things to look and we are SO happy we did!
Photographer: Jessica Lee Photographic Art // Caterer: Dead End BBQ // Floral Designer: From the Heart Flowers and Gifts // Hair Stylist: Hair by Melissa Sommers // Event Venue: The Barn at Chestnut Springs // Other: The Pour Guys //