Alex Trent and Lauren Wilson met 10 years ago at The University of Tennessee and remained close friends for years before they officially started dating in the summer of 2015. Alex graduated a few years before Lauren, and moved back to his hometown of Nashville after graduation. A few years later, when Lauren made her separate move to Nashville, Alex helped her get her first job. We’ll bet he’s very happy he did. For more than two years, the best-friends-turned-partners grew together over many dates at various Mexican restaurants or grilling in the backyard of the home they bought together with their new pup, Banks.
Come February of 2018, things got real. Lauren spent her childhood summers in Charleston with her family, so it’s a place filled with happy, sunny, sandy memories. When Alex and Lauren decided to take a last-minute jaunt down to Charleston, Alex lept at the chance to ask Lauren for forever. He dropped to one knee in the pouring rain by the fountain in Waterfront Park.
“King Family Vineyards was always a dream wedding venue for me,” Lauren says. “Alex grew up in Nashville, but I was raised in Charlottesville, Virginia, so it was very special to be able to have everyone together in my hometown. King Family Vineyards is located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so the scenery is just beautiful.” The operating vineyard and polo grounds were a surreal and very classic Charlottesville option for Lauren.
With such an expansive view of the vineyard and the Blue Ridge Mountains, the couple wanted their flower design to feel like a natural extension of the property. They used lots of soft whites and creams with a lot of texture. The owner of Blue Ridge Floral Design, Amy Webb, also owns a farm down the road from the venue. She foraged for local ivy and greenery to include in the Trent wedding — how cool is that!? They had a variety of garden roses, peonies, freesia, hellebores, ranunculus and little hints of rosemary throughout. “The reception room smelled unreal,” Lauren says. “My favorite addition may have been the tall beech trees they brought in for each corner of the room.” Little globes with candles lent warmth and magic.
Dress hunting seemed so intimidating to Lauren before she started going through the motions. “I actually had my wedding shoes before my dress, believe it or not. It sounds crazy now.” Lauren was searching for something timeless and on the simpler side. When she slipped into her silk Anna Maier dress for the first time, she fell in love.
Lauren and Alex opted to exchange traditional wedding vows. “I love when people write their own, but my emotions are unruly, and I get stage fright, so it seemed too tricky for me to pull off!” she laughs. The bride and groom also wrote each other letters — Lauren’s maid of honor delivered her letter to Alex, and Alex’s best man delivered his to Lauren that morning, “which was a special touch,” the bride adds.
Lauren is beaming as she talks about how fun cocktail hour was. “We actually cut our pictures short because the band we had for that portion of the evening was so good, and we didn’t want to miss out on that hour with our guests!” This foray into the reception was out on the vineyard’s veranda as the sun was setting, complete with an open bar and their signature drink: sparkling lemonade and vodka with a lavender sprig. We’re thirsty!
As for the food, Lauren and Alex had a lot of little passed appetizer options. “Food was a big deal to my husband, so we loaded up on options.” Little Virginia ham biscuits with differing jams and spreads; toasted brioche with local strawberries, chèvre, basil and white balsamic; and fried truffled mac and cheese pops. They created a white-drenched lounge area, with string lights and good jazzy music, on the lawn and veranda for their 150 guests to ease into a nightlong celebration.
“We mixed up the layers of our cake — we couldn’t choose just one!” Lauren says. They ended up with a citrus cake and a vanilla butter cake. The vanilla butter cake was filled with strawberry compote and cream cheese icing, and the citrus cake was filled with strawberry compote and triple cream. Strawberry season was in full force during the Trent wedding, so local strawberries were a highlight throughout the entire evening’s menu. The cake had sugar ivy draped down the side. “I was so impressed — it looked so real!” Lauren says.
For dinner, they couldn’t decide on a menu, so they opted for stations. There was a traditional chef-manned carving station with beef tenderloin, asparagus, “the best macaroni and cheese ever,” a mashed potatoes bar, grilled seasonal veggies and some beautiful mixed salad options,” Lauren says. And to top it all off, they had a Mexican station (inspired by Alex’s undying love of Mexican food) with tacos, fajitas, street corn, jalapeño cornbread, guac and assorted salsas.
They surprised guests with Dr. Ho’s (a beloved local pizza joint) out on the dance floor with little Coke bottles for some late-night snacking. “We ended up with three full pizzas in the trunk of our getaway car, so that was fun to devour post-festivities,” Lauren says.
Lauren and Alex departed through a sea of sparklers and into an elegant vintage getaway car! Lauren laughs, “Alex had one big request for the evening: that there be champagne and pizza in the back seat of that beautiful car for us. They loaded us up — it was hilarious.”
Cheers to the Trents! We wish you a lifetime of smiles as big as the ones you’ve shown us here. And a big thank you to Kylie Martin for these gorgeous photos.
Ceremony and reception venue: King Family Vineyards
Photography: Kylie Martin
Wedding planner: Amore Events Planning and Design
Wedding day stylist: Avenue 42
Bride’s hair: AJ Johnson with Spoke and Weal
Florals: Blue Ridge Floral
Cake: Cakes by Rachel
Stationery: Emily Mayne Studio
Calligraphy: Kathleen Petro Calligraphy
Bride’s gown: Anna Maier Couture
Brides shoes: Chanel
Jewelry: Bride’s grandmother’s pearl and diamond earrings, mother of the groom’s tennis bracelet
Hair and makeup: Avenue 42
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Jenny Yoo in color Alpine
Groom’s tux: Hart Schaeffner Marx; shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo
Caterer: Harvest Moon Catering
Ceremony music: Bloom Trio
Cocktail hour band: Jeff Decker Quartet
Reception band: Affirmative Groove
Transportation: Albemarle Limousine
For more stunning Southern wedding inspo, visit our wedding archives HERE!