There’s something completely enchanted about saying your vows in the lush, serene Tennessee forest. Katarina and Andrew’s ethereal wedding celebration was perfectly captured by Abigail Bobo, using mostly film. From the bride’s romantic gown, to the sweetest first look, to dinner and dancing in an elegant, rustic barn; this day was as close to a fairytale as you can get.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? “Have a mimosa.” The entire week before the wedding, a few of my bridesmaids stayed with me and really took care of me. The morning of the wedding I was absolutely crazy, I just wanted to get down to the venue and do set up and arrange everything. My sweet friends Meg and Patty looked at me very sternly and told me that I needed to calm down and have a mimosa and let everyone else do their jobs. Calm down, have fun and trust in the people around you to take care of last minute things so that you can focus on you and your (soon-to-be) husband.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Narrow down the things that are most important to you and book those first. For us, the photographer was the most important thing because we knew we needed someone we could trust, which is why we chose Abigail Bobo. You’ll feel best about your purchases if you prioritize and invest in the things you believe in.
Katarina was like a dream in her stunning gown with its floral-covered bodice, flowing tulle skirt, and sweeping train. She says that her something old, new, borrowed, and blue were “thrown together by my parents and bridesmaids moments minutes before the ceremony.”
“The Wren’s Nest is an elegant, rustic barn setting that was naturally lovely—we instantly fell in love. The lush, green woods gave a secluded, private ceremony and the restored barn served as a beautiful place for the reception. We tried very hard to make our wedding day very personal for us and the people that attended. We wanted to make sure that the ceremony really felt like and reflected us and we wanted each person who was present to know that, as we took the biggest step of our lives, we genuinely wanted them there as a witness.”
Your ceremony in three words. Ethereal, natural, and intimate
Who officiated your ceremony? David Fredriksz officiated our ceremony. He is our spiritual mentor and premarital counselor and we met him while attending G42 Leadership Academy in Mijas, Spain. He is such a special person in our lives and we couldn’t picture anyone else joining us in the covenant of marriage.
What was your ceremony music? Our ceremony music was a mix of traditional and modern. We had quartets, hymns, and some more recent acoustic tunes – we tried to give a very soft natural feel with the song choices. We finished the ceremony with the recessional song, “She Said Yes” by The Wedding Band because it is such a joyful, funny song. It made a perfect bridge from the soft, sweet ceremony to the party that was to follow.
What were your vows like? We repeated traditional wedding vows after the officiant.
What were your ceremony readings? We did not have any readings. We tried to stay away from the usual ceremony traditions in order to make time for the things that mattered most to us.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? We included communion with the guests during the start of wedding ceremony and a washing of each other’s feet after our vows. Our favorite part of the ceremony was the communion that we personally handed out to each of our guests. The time allowed for us to see, hug, and thank every person that was there.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Be you. Don’t listen to everyone else’s opinions of what your day should be. Don’t get caught up in trying to get every single idea that you see to be a part of your wedding. Do what feels natural to you as a couple and when the day is over everyone will have had the best time because they love you … and if the ceremony shines like you do they will love that too.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? I wouldn’t do anything differently, except be less stressed about the details.
“The Maple Barn at the Wren’s Nest served as a perfect location for our wedding reception. The top of the barn was where dinner was held and it was beautiful with very little extra décor needed. The bottom floor was an excellent place for dancing.”
How would you describe your reception? A party that was full of life.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Pinterest, DIYs, and wedding blogs were a major inspiration for us in our planning. With so many resources out there, sometimes you can get lost in the details. We were very fortunate to attend many weddings the year before our wedding and it helped us figure out what mattered to us, instead of trying to do every beautiful and clever idea that we saw.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? My mother planted each of the succulent plants herself and made some of the mercury glass planters. It was a very special addition and I still have the plants in my home.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We served white almond wedding cake with buttercream icing, and a dark chocolate groom’s cake with dark chocolate icing.
What was your wedding menu? Georgia chopped pork and roasted chicken. Garlic red skin mashed potatoes, fire-grilled veggies, and honey buttered corn bread muffins. We didn’t have a signature cocktail, but we served wine and craft beer, two of our favorites.
First dance: “Thinking Out Loud” Jasmine Thompson
Father/daughter: “Sweat Pea” Amos Lee
Mother/son: “Forever Young” Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers
Mother/daughter: “Three Little Birds” Renee & Jeremy
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. In addition to the traditional speeches, we opened the mic to our bridal party. It allowed for very kind words to be said over us and for a hilarious, impromptu speech given by the flower girl.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? The dancing was our favorite part of the reception! Kevin from Choice DJs knew exactly the kind of music people wanted to hear and he was very involved with the crowd without being overbearing. Everyone in the barn was dancing! I only requested one song and although he didn’t have it—because it was a very obscure song—he got it for me and played it. It meant so much and everyone who knew the song just went crazy for it.