Katherine McDonald and Coleman Breland grew up in Nashville in overlapping circles. When they both became Georgia Bulldogs, they also became best friends, soaking up college life in Athens, Georgia, together. Between their junior and senior years of college, their love really solidified, and the couple faced some serious post-grad decisions together.
After college, Katherine moved to New York City and Coleman moved back to Nashville. Later, right as Katherine decided to move home to Nashville, too, Coleman embarked on a medical school journey in Memphis, thus continuing their long-distance relationship — albeit with a much shorter distance between them. After four years of road trips and phone chats, Katherine finally made the move to Memphis, and the two were in tandem at last — and one step closer to walking down the aisle.
Coleman and Katherine got engaged on the ski slopes in Aspen, Colorado — literally. Coleman popped off his skis in the middle of a run, descending to one knee in the snow, and completely caught Katherine by surprise with the best question he could have asked. The celebration continued with an afternoon sleigh ride, celebratory dinner and the arrival of the newly engaged couple’s friends from Nashville.
They dove head-first into the planning process alongside Dori Waller at The Social Office, who handled everything from start to finish. “Dori and her team are incredible visionaries and made planning seem like a breeze,” Katherine says. After a year-long engagement, the big day fell perfectly in May between Coleman’s medical school and residency. It also gave them enough time to travel to Indonesia for their honeymoon.
The bride had always dreamed of an at-home wedding, but the location of her parents’ home on a hill made the logistics complicated. They kept the backyard ceremony smaller (and tented!) and moved the reception to Belle Meade Country Club — which is also where Katherine’s parents had their wedding reception.
As far as the aesthetic, they wanted to play off nature and the green, bountiful springtime Nashville. “Dark green felt like a new neutral to us,” Katherine recalls. FLWR Shop brought their vision to life from the bride’s stunning bouquet to the floating floral cloud over the bar to the arches in the ballroom. They incorporate so much texture and so many unique plants into their work in such unexpected twists. They also enlisted Vroom Vroom Balloon to fill the ceiling in the bathrooms with clear, fern-filled balloons. “We wanted people to feel like they were at a party… the entire time!” Katherine says.
Picking the dress was one of the hardest parts for Katherine. “Almost every dress is customizable by fabric, color, sleeve, etc., and I tend to be a bit indecisive, so it wasn’t a good combination,” she laughs. Luckily, once she tried on the ultimate winner, she knew it was the right one. She just had to try on a lot of dresses to get there.
After an intimate ceremony that fulfilled a lifelong dream, it was time to party with the roster of roughly 400 guests who joined for the reception. Coleman and Katherine both have large families, and since Katherine’s the only daughter, they kept the number large to include everyone they wanted to celebrate with. Luckily, though, the couple says, “The wedding felt like an intimate gathering to us because it was all of our people.”
During a lively cocktail hour, they served Belle Meade Country Club’s famous Cucumber Cooler (which they cleverly renamed ‘The McBreeze’) with a “B” ice cube in each. Mini ham biscuits, tomato sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches and grilled cheeses were passed, and a multi-tiered ice sculpture raw bar was a huge hit.
One of the coolest moments of the reception, Katherine recalls, was her first dance with her new husband. They danced to a recording of Katherine’s grandmother singing “Time After Time” by Ella Fitzgerald. “She passed away a few years ago after battling cancer, and I loved that we could have her in the room with us during that special moment,” Katherine says.
They went with a buffet-style feast in order to accommodate the large guest count, and FLWR Shop transformed the ballroom with greenery archways. It evoked the feeling of dining in a lush secret garden.
As two indecisive people, the bride and groom went with seven different cakes in a variety of flavors. They really wanted their friends and family to experience their own mini cake tasting, as every couple does when menu planning. “We also decided to skip the traditional cutting of the cake altogether because we wanted as much time as possible on the dance floor,” says Katherine.
The dancefloor was full the whole night, and guests were surprised with lots of treats throughout the night like a custom balloon artist and passed French fries. When the party reluctantly came to an end, they made the most impressive getaway we’ve maybe ever heard of: They perched up in the back of Katherine’s dad’s handsome ’59 Chevy Impala in classic white with red interiors. He’s owned the car since before Katherine was born.
Cheers to you and your beautiful families, Katherine and Coleman! Thanks for letting us relive this day. And thank you to Mary Rosenbaum for the gorgeous photos.
Ceremony: Home of the bride
Reception: Belle Meade Country Club
Planner: Dori Waller at The Social Office
Photographer: Mary Rosenbaum
Videography: Halfshell Films
Invitations: Dear Elouise
Stationery: The Dotted Line
Hair and makeup: Brady Wardlaw
Bride’s gown: Le Spose di Giὸ – Mandi Jackson Bridal
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Jenny Yoo – Bella Bridesmaids
Groom and groomsmen attire: Oak Hall (groom) and Street Tuxedo (groomsmen)
Cakes: Dessert Designs & Copper Whisk
Entertainment: Simply Irresistible – East Coast Entertainment
Rentals: Quest Events, Please Be Seated
Linens: Nuage Designs, La Tavola, Graceful Tables
Transportation: Matchless Transportation
For more dreamy wedding inspo, visit our wedding archives HERE!