As the story often goes, a mutual friend is to thank for connecting Blake Snyder and Jordan Blankenbecler. A late summer party, centered around a shrimp boil, brought Blake and Jordan together, shortly after Blake, a Charlotte-native, moved to Tennessee. New to town, Blake tagged along with a girlfriend — not knowing it would be the day she met her future husband. “He complimented my shoes (leopard print high top Superga sneakers), got me a drink and made me laugh. I was intrigued,” Blake remembers. As summer turned to fall, the pair began spending more time together discussing everything from recently read books to Thai food. “He was so kind and so funny, and I always felt completely myself around him,” Blake shares. Early in their courtship, Jordan planned a date to Leiper’s Fork, and a year later this is where he would bring Blake to propose.
“It is seriously one of the most intimately beautiful places,” Blake says of Leiper’s Fork’s David Arms Gallery, where the proposal took place. “You are transported to a different world the minute you walk in there and it’s magical. David is one of Jordan’s mentors, so when he started thinking about proposing, David suggested he use the gallery because it was so special to both of us. Jordan told me a few weeks before that David was having a friends and family gallery opening, and we were invited. This wasn’t uncommon, so I put it on the calendar and thought nothing of it. On December 3, 2016, with a little over a year of dating, we drove out to the gallery. He opened the door and the place was dimly lit and the most breathtakingly beautiful version of “Silent Night” was playing. Our favorite bottle of wine and communion was set up on the table along with a ring box. I finally started catching on to what was happening, and I was still so shocked! He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I squealed ‘yes!’ We were over the moon!”
When it came to the wedding venue, Blake and Jordan chose Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation. “We loved that while it was still in Nashville, it felt hidden and tucked away,” Blake explains. Known for its history as an old Southern plantation, the venue boasts Southern charm and beauty. “One of the reasons we were drawn to Belle Meade was how green and lush everything was,” Blake continues. “The magnolias were in full bloom on our wedding day, and it was stunning. With it being June and an outdoor wedding, there was some fear it would rain. There were no clouds in the sky that day, and the temperature stayed in the low 80s all day. I remember the light was magical all day long — especially during our ceremony. One guest told us our ceremony felt like we were all in the Garden of Eden. It just felt really sacred and beautiful.”
On Saturday, June 10, 2017, love filled the air.
Blake was a vision in her wedding gown. It took six stops to find “the one,” but when she saw the dress at Charlotte’s Ladies of Lineage, she knew it was her wedding dress. “I wanted a dress with some type of straps or sleeves on them that wasn’t over the top or poofy and huge,” she explains. “I adored how whimsical and beautiful this dress was with the really delicate beading all over the bodice and the fun, flowy tulle as the skirt. It felt like me the moment I put it on! I knew I wouldn’t have to mess with it the whole day, and I just felt really feminine and lovely in it. A big sigh of relief and collective celebrating happened as I said ‘YES’!”
After a first look, the pair met at the altar to exchange traditional vows. “We both agreed that we valued the timelessness of traditional vows that we took from the Anglican tradition,” Blake says of their decision. Donning the beaded dress of her dreams and hightop sneakers, Blake carried a simple bouquet in hues of green and white and was surrounded by five bridesmaids in shades of blue. The ceremony took place under a canopy of trees, with nearly 200 guests as witnesses. “Jordan and I didn’t want a huge, huge wedding, and we wanted our wedding to be just as much a celebration for our family and friends who have raised us, loved us and made us who we are today,” Blake shares.
After the ceremony, guests made their way to the reception, which kicked off with a cocktail hour followed by a seated dinner, which was followed by dancing. Greenery set the tone for the space. “I had a friend do our flowers, and I wanted whites, greens and some light pinks,” Blake explains. “I picked those so they would pop against the darker greens of the magnolia leaves, since those were all around the property. We actually used magnolia leaves as place settings! I wanted the decor to feel natural, simple and elegant. Everything was to accentuate the beauty that was already there!”
Sitting down to dinner was really important to Blake. Long tables were arranged to create an atmosphere where the guests could enjoy a meal with good company, good food and good drinks. “This day was just as much about celebrating [the guests] as it was the beginning of our life together! Getting to pause, sit down and enjoy a feast with our people around us was one of my favorite moments of the night.”
After dinner, Blake and Jordan shared their first dance as Mr. and Mrs. Blankenbecler to “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake, a nod to Jordan’s love of whiskey and to Tennessee, where their love story began. The rest of the night was spent on the dance floor, surrounded by the ones they love.
“Jordan said the most memorable was dancing with our friends and family and celebrating! I’d have to say the same,” Blake shares. “I’ve never had more fun dancing with the people we both love most in this world! It was so lively and fun, and we were a sweaty mess but we didn’t care one bit. The sneakers that I wore also came in handy — my feet could have kept going for hours longer!”
“It was too much fun and it went by way too fast,” Blake says of her wedding day. For the week following their wedding, Blake and Jordan relaxed in the Bahamas. “It was lovely to get to slow down, unplug and spend time with each other as husband and wife! Wedding planning can be a lot in a good way, but we really enjoyed getting to escape and spend that time celebrating just the two of us!”
- Venue: Belle Meade Plantation
- Photography: The Image is Found
- Bride’s gown: Ladies of Lineage
- Bridesmaids’ dresses: Weddington Way
- Hair & makeup: Tina Davis and Alyssa Kraus
- Groom’s & groomsmen’s formalwear: Tailors’ Keep
- Invitations, programs & menu cards: Emily O. Holmes
- Flowers: Shannon McClaughlin
- Catering: Infinity Events and Catering
- Music: Spin Nashville
- Cake: Chef Amanda Lee
- Macarons: Baked in Nashville
- Guest accommodations: Courtyard Nashville Green Hills
- Lighting: Bright Events
- Wedding planner: Lindsay Rothrock
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