When Birmingham natives Ginger Swan and Zack Lindsey met, he was just her best friend’s step-brother, nothing more. Three years later, Ginger was invited to watch an Alabama game with Zack and his friends, but her best friend wasn’t in town to go with her. She went anyway. “After the game, and after talking for hours, we ended up on the front porch hovering and still talking,” Ginger says. “Luckily, the mention of church the next morning offered Zack a segue to finally get my number and invite me to go to church with them. I know God understands, but I couldn’t help but be distracted during that whole service.”

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Birmingham natives Ginger Swan and Zack Lindsey enjoy a sweet moment at their reception at Houston Station in Nashville.

After four years of dating, during which they both attended graduate school and lived in separate cities, Zack took Ginger on a date to the Alabama Theatre to watch The Sound of Music. They arrived early to watch the opening trailers and hear the organ play. “But after the first trailer, only trailers of our favorite movies began to play,” Ginger says. “It really is slightly embarrassing how long it took me to understand what was happening — that we were not just extremely early, but that we, in fact, were the only people in the entire Alabama Theatre. It was so dark that I hardly even realized he was down on one knee.”

Zack asked, and she said yes.

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The bride spent the morning getting ready with her girls.

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This bride loves the history of wedding traditions, so of course she included something old, new, borrowed and blue — and even a sixpence in her shoe! This heirloom wedding belt was Ginger’s “something old” and is made from jewelry and fabrics from all of the women in her and Zack’s families.

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Dainty details: Ginger borrowed her grandmother’s handkerchief to carry behind her bouquet.

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The bride’s shoes, one pair for the ceremony and one pair for the reception, are perfectly vintage-inspired and give a sweet nod to her love of travel. The oceans of the maps lining the shoes also served as her “something blue.”

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Ginger knew the look she wanted in a dress but also knew that she wanted it to be very comfortable to wear. “I wanted a very sweet, vintage look with lace but also wanted it to be really high quality and very comfortable, soft and lightweight,” Ginger says. She ended up finding a gorgeous sample dress from Pronovias that was everything she wanted — and it was also within her budget! “I felt so comfortable and never weighed down by my dress! I wish I could wear it again and again!”

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The invitation featured the Lindsey crest, which just so happens to have a swan on it — a perfect nod to Ginger’s maiden name!

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Zack makes for such a handsome and refined groom in his dapper wool suit and tartan pocket square.

Ginger and Zack both have a lust for travel that quickly established itself as a central component of their relationship and life together. After dating for only a few months, they spontaneously went on the first of many trips around the world together: backpacking through Ireland and Scotland with friends. They fell in love with both countries and used them, as well as their love of travel as a whole, as their inspiration when planning the wedding. “Truth be told, we really wanted a wedding in Ireland,” Ginger says. “Since neither one of us wanted to elope, we decided to bring the magic of adventuring to our friends and families.”

The Wightman Chapel at the Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville had long been Ginger’s dream wedding venue. Built in 1928, the breathtaking stone chapel captures the romance of a European wedding while still close to home. Lanterns hang from the dramatic vaulted ceiling, light pours through ornate Gothic windows, and wooden pews flank the center aisle. When planning a wedding with Ireland and Scotland in mind, there simply was no more perfect option.

A rich, earthy color palette would complement the wooden and stone elements of the chapel. “Green has always been my favorite color,” Ginger says. “We were incorporating a lot of Scottish and Irish elements, so the greens, oranges, grays and browns also went well with the Lindsey tartan.” The flowers were a feast of color and drama. Roses in rich shades of orange and cream, dramatic white anemone and ranunculus were complemented by green succulents, scabiosa pods and thistle.

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The gorgeous florals played in both color and texture with lush ranunculus and rose in shades of orange alongside the earthy green of thistle and succulents.

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Ginger’s angelic flower girl presents her floral crown.

RELATED: Tradition Meets Style in this Colorful & Stunning Indian Wedding

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Muted and metallic: Ginger’s bridesmaids are gorgeous in their mismatched dresses.

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You can’t help but love a shot of the groom and his guys that looks like it could be an album cover. These men give off seriously cool vibes in their gray wool suits.

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Instead of a “first look,” Zack and Ginger had a “blind look,” ensuring that the groom didn’t see the bride before the wedding. How sweet is this moment?

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Sneaky pre-ceremony hand holds!

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The Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville has just the right amount of history and European charm for Ginger and Zack, who, were it not for their beloved friends and large families, just might have eloped in Ireland.

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We love the breathtaking architecture and soaring ceilings of this gorgeous cathedral.

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A hand-drawn “Marauder’s Map” on the reverse side of their programs served to guide guests from the ceremony venue to the reception and gave a little nod to the bride and groom’s love of Harry Potter.

On a crisp fall day in Nashville, Ginger stood at the end of the 90-foot center aisle as the uilleann piper began to play. It’s one of those moments that remains clearest in her mind from a day that felt like a dream. “Walking down the aisle obviously sticks out, because it meant this was all really happening,” Ginger says. “We had an uilleann piper, and it was very emotional. I had to listen to the song, ‘The Braveheart Theme,’ dozens of times to get my ugly cry out in the days leading up to the wedding.” At the end of the aisle, her groom was waiting for her, and before around 115 of their loved ones, Ginger and Zack became Mr. and Mrs.

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The notes of the Braveheart score filled the chapel as Ginger made her emotional walk down the aisle toward her groom.

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We can see why Ginger fell in love with this venue. The Gothic architecture is an absolutely breathtaking backdrop for this gorgeous ceremony.

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Sealed with a kiss, it’s official: Mr. and Mrs. Lindsey!

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The bride and groom recessed to a mashup, kindly composed and performed by friends of the bride and groom, of the bridal march that turned into the “Raiders March” from Indiana Jones. Just as the music transitioned from the traditional march to the Indiana Jones tune, Zack’s brother expertly tossed him his fedora — made by the same man who made (and with the same felt as!) the original Indiana Jones hat.

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The newlyweds pause for some portraits outside of the chapel before heading to the ceremony.

The exposed brick and beams at their reception space at Houston Station had a touch of the historic charm that Zack and Ginger love, but it was the personal touches that invited guests along for the ride. Boarding pass escort cards, tables named for the bride and groom’s most beloved destinations throughout the world, a menu inspired by Scotch-Irish fare and a balsa wood plane sendoff were among the many gorgeous details that brought this beautiful celebration of love, adventure and romance to life.

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Elegant, creative and warm: celebratory lighting illuminates the space.

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Ginger and Zack named each of the tables at the reception for a destination they have traveled to and loved.

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Vintage maps and photos of the couple on their travels provided a fun, personal touch above the guests’ escort cards.

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“I also really liked the boarding passes as escort cards that my maid of honor helped me make,” says Ginger. “They were just something fun and different, and we chose all of the table names from our favorite places we had traveled.”

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Guests enjoyed beer brewed by the groom and a delicious Scotch-Irish-inspired menu. They were gifted coffee mug favors with the Lindsey crest logo on one side and the lyrics to Ginger and Zack’s first dance on the other. “Je vous la vie en rose.”

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The personal touches at this wedding and reception really made it special.

The reception was a feast of beautiful, thoughtful details. While Zack and Ginger stole away for blissful post-ceremony photos and a sweetheart dinner before entering the reception, guests were welcomed with fall-themed beer brewed by the groom. Guests found their “boarding passes” and made their way to their seats. Long tables were draped in white linens and adorned with gatherings of green vases — a nod to the bride’s favorite color — filled with flowers in shades of orange and cream. Globe lights and sparkling chandeliers cast a romantic glow over the space, and the bagpipes played as the new Mr. and Mrs. Lindsey were introduced to their beloved guests. They shared their first dance to “La Vie en Rose,” and then spent the night dancing, grinning, eating and laughing their way into their new life together.

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The bride and groom share their first dance to Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose,” which became their song after their planned first date at the French-inspired Birmingham eatery Chez Lulu, in a moment that Ginger says sounds like it came straight out of a romantic comedy. An older gentleman playing the accordion came up to their table during the meal. “He asked what song we wanted to hear,” Ginger says. “I had been listening to a lot of Edith Piaf recently and was about to say ‘La Vie en Rose.’ Before I could spit it out, he said, ‘Oh, I know which one you want to hear.’ And he started playing it! I was so shocked that I told our server, and she rained on my parade by saying, ‘Oh, ha. Yeah, that’s a very popular song.’ But it still meant something to me, especially on this very memorable date.”

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These two clearly revel in each other’s presence.

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Ginger and Zack served an amaretto wedding “mini-cake” alongside the bride’s beloved breakup cookies from Church Street Coffee & Books. “The topper was made by an artist using a Lindsey family crest graphic that my maid of honor helped me create. We used the crest on our invitation, favors, topper and more. Even though it was the Lindsey crest, it felt almost equally important to my family as our surname is Swan — the animal featured on the actual Lindsey clan crest!” A pumpkin groom’s cake topped with a tiny Indiana Jones hat figurine suited Zack perfectly.

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Ginger cuts a rug!

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Ginger says her best advice to those planning a wedding is to take it slow. “If you love planning and especially if you’re a very sensitive and emotional person, don’t rush it! I thoroughly enjoyed having almost a full year of slow, low-stress to plan and put meaningful thought into nearly every detail,” Ginger says. “The wedding itself moved like a flash. Having all of the time to enjoy the process beforehand really helped it not feel like a blink that just happened and was gone.”

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Ginger and Zack share some tender moments alone among the cool vintage guitars in Houston Station.

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How’s this for a unique sendoff? Balsa wood airplanes!

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The idea was inspired by a wedding Ginger attended with a paper airplane sendoff. “As I was brainstorming with my mom about the airplane idea, she mentioned loving playing with balsa wood planes as a kid. So, I found a place to buy them in bulk,” Ginger says. “They flew so much higher and better, but the only downside was having a few impish groomsmen who aimed their planes at Zack’s head. He actually entered our getaway car with a tiny cut above his eyebrow!”

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This bride stresses the importance of hiring talented photographers and videographers to document your big day. “Remembering the memories, your love and the event of your commitment year after year is what makes a wedding worth having.” And we couldn’t agree more! Cheers to you, Ginger and Zack!

At the end of the night, Ginger and Zack were ushered off into the night on cheers and good wishes and the wings of balsa wood planes. A fitting farewell to a beautiful day perfectly suited for two hearts traveling the world together.

Thank you so much for sharing your sweet and thoughtful day with us, Ginger and Zack! We wish you a lifetime of adventures together!

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RESOURCES

Photography: Spindle Photography and Morgan Trinker
Wedding coordinator: Kelly Dellinger Events
Wedding dress: Pronovias from Bella Couture
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Various – Anthropologie, Bridesmaids Inc., etc.
Groom and groomsmen attire: ASOS
Cake: Church Street Coffee & Books
Flowers: Rosemary & Finch
Ceremony venue: Scarritt Bennett Center – Wightman Chapel
Reception venue: Houston Station
Catering: Martha Stamps Catering
Hairstylist: Chelsea Crawford
Ceremony music: Preston Lovinggood & Katherine Huskey
Uilleann piper: Dave Boling, (256) 653-3728
Strings & piano: Lori Cheng, Richard Hsiung, Landon Rogan
DJ: Jared Foldy
Merchandise & stationery design: DIY and Minted
Videography: Matt G Video
Guest accommodations: Scarritt Bennett, Aloft, Union Station

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