Today, we launch our February “Wedding Wednesday” series with this post from Amos Gott of Amos Events on a fabulous wedding that just occurred about 6 weeks ago!
Cheekwood is one of Nashville’s greatest treasures. Tucked in amongst the trees next to Warner Park, this Country Place Era Estate is a fantastic getaway to walk through the ever-changing gardens or see the various art and collections in the mansion. It is also an amazing place to host a wedding or event, so I was elated when Cheekwood CEO Jane Offenbach asked me to produce and design her December wedding to Don MacLeod.
An intimate affair for only 25 guests the Saturday after Christmas, the mansion was all aglow for the grand affair of its chief executive. And while it wasn’t on my event itinerary [although I’ll certainly take the credit if I have to!], it snowed that afternoon to give the mansion a nice dusting of white powder to make the occasion that much more special.
It’s a rarity to be able to plan a small and intimate wedding for only family and the closest of friends. But the reward is being able to focus on the smallest details and the experiences of each guest. Jane and Don wanted an evening that was elegant, but focused on their union and celebrated their relationships with each other as well as with their guests. They also did not want to have to worry about any of the details, so that’s where I came in!
Before the evening began, and before changing into her gown, Jane came in to check out the Drawing Room. You can tell by her expression that she was just a little excited by it all…
The entry is the first impression for guests at your event. It’s the first and last thing they see. So make it special, but you don’t have to blow your budget on this one space. Driving up to the mansion, Jane and Don’s guests knew it was going to be a special night seeing candles surrounding the entry, glowing in the fresh snow. So simple, but so elegant. Of course the snow was an added perk!
When guests walked into the mansion, servers were waiting to offer a glass of Champagne to kick off the evening. Don played host as guests mingled to reacquaint or meet each other while listening to the violinist playing from the landing up above. In a last minute change, Jane decided not to be seen until the ceremony.
Guests made their way up to the Dining Room for the ceremony. Simple, but special, with Jane and Don’s adult children sitting on the front row. A commemorative card was put at each seat that recited a verse that is meaningful to Jane.
Following the ceremony, guests moved to the Loggia for cocktails and passed hors d’hoeuvres while Jane and Don took took a variety of photos in front of the Dining Room mantle.
Jane concluded cocktails by thanking guests for joining Don and her for their special day, explaining that she is happy to now be a MacLeod, noting the name’s Scottish significance. Guests gasped with surprise when a bagpiper started to play from up the hall before coming into the Loggia to lead them down to the Drawing Room for dinner.
The 24’ long table placed down the center of the Drawing Room looked like it belonged there. Inspired by the elegance of the room’s scale and décor, I created a tablescape that had height to fit the grandeur of the room and soft tones of gold to tie in to the atmosphere already created by the grand fireplace, priceless chandeliers and Christmas tree.
As part of Cheekwood’s Trees of Christmas, I was asked to design the tree and mantle in the Drawing Room. And because I knew I was producing Jane and Don’s wedding, I kept that in mind so they would coordinate. The tree boasted hundreds of glass icicles and prisms and crystals, along with snow, including some gold snow sprinkled on the branch edges!
Talk about the gilded age! It’s such a luxury for me to design a formal place setting for a seated dinner at a wedding. Jane and Don’s four-course dinner was embellished with the gold flatware and gold-rimmed china. Crystal glassware would later hold water, wine and Champagne. With only 25 guests, the intimacy of the dinner was contagious and guests toasted the couple throughout the night as family and friends celebrated the new couple. Linen napkins were purchased and then monogrammed in just the right shade of gold so that Jane and Don could have them for future entertaining in their home. And the menu card at each place setting was only enhanced by the place cards, with guests’ names in gold ink.
Dessert was the bomb! Literally! Kristen Winston’s menu made what was already a great evening even better. With a first course of a sweet gem lettuce salad boasting a poached farm egg, a second course of lobster, and a third course of Black Angus beef tenderloin cooked to perfection, the fourth course was destined to be amazing. And her Chocolate Bombe fit the bill. Embellished with edible gold leaf on the top, it also satisfied Don’s love of chocolate. And made a great presentation when served to the guests!
The photos above represents why I do what I do. When a client tells me that I’ve given them their dream wedding, as Jane exclaimed to me several times that evening, then I know that it’s a success. As with most clients, Jane and I developed a wonderful relationship through this experience, and I look forward to maintaining that friendship for years to come.
Thank you, Amos!
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The Beautiful Wedding of one of Atlanta’s Best Interior Designers! atlanta.styleblueprint.com