I don’t think I’ve ever attended a wedding that evoked such emotional joy. On September 22nd, Emily Coakley and Sam Tucker joined hands in marriage, deciding to spend the rest of their lives together. What is unusual about their relationship is that they’ve been a couple since they were teenagers, so in many ways, their commitment to spend the rest of their lives together wasn’t a hard decision. As Emily walked down the aisle, there wasn’t a dry eye in the church. Certainly, weddings are teary affairs, but this wedding was as joyful as it was poignant. Emily was the loveliest of brides; however she was walking down the aisle without her father, Bill Coakley. Bill Coakley, by all accounts, was one of those great guys who touched so many people in so many different ways. His time on earth was way too short, as he suffered a massive heart attack at age 48, leaving his devoted wife, Kim, and five children behind.

What made this wedding so special for me is that we share an unusual connection–my grandmother and Bill’s grandmother were sisters. Together, these two women were opinionated, passionate and so loved their families.
Not only was I privileged to be there, but a good ol’ Catholic wedding is rousing good fun!

The pictures tell the story of the wedding of Emily Coakley and Sam Tucker. If you believe in love at first sight, then you’ll enjoy our wedding post today.

Emily, her mother and sisters model their monogrammed shirts (worn to go get hair and makeup done) and custom Judith Bright drop pearl earrings that were given to each bridesmaid as a “thank you” for being in the wedding.


Almost there–the future Mrs. Tucker smiles with her signature hanger.


Sisters are the best when it comes to the final fluff before the wedding.


The Coakley Family gathers before the ceremony begins.


The bride with her grandfather, Gerry Wolken, who proudly walked her down the aisle.


In keeping with the wedding theme, the wedding programs were embellished with gorgeous peachy silk bows and displayed on silver trays at the church.


Lovely hand-tied bouquets allow for a wonderful color palette. The bride’s bouquet holds a sentimental touch with the bride’s maternal great grandmother’s rosary adorning the bouquet.


Assumption Church is one of Nashville’s unknown treasures. Dedicated in 1859, the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the second oldest standing Catholic Church in Nashville.


As Emily walks down the aisle, Sam looks on, seeing her for the first time on their wedding day. Emily’s brother, Joseph, captures the moment, too.


Boys just wanna’ have fun, even all dressed up in their wedding attire.


Having some fun, the wedding party celebrates the marriage of Emily and Sam.

Twine orbs and lanterns mark the entrance of the Carriage House at Belle Meade Plantation.


Guests were entertained during cocktails by the Smoky Mountain Band.


A stunning presentation, the fried oysters served during cocktails were a hit.


Mark O’Bryan of The Tulip Tree created beautiful table settings using lanterns, candlelight and flowers.


What a perfect day to be married! Dappled sunlight and flowers make a lovely combination.


The simplicity of the table is so appealing. With neutrals and subtle colors, the overall look is understated and sophisticated.


A cigar bar was set up as a tribute to the bride’s father, Bill Coakley.


Magnolias garnish the chandeliers, and guests enjoy a sumptuous buffet dinner by Kristen Winston.

The bride and groom cut the cake. Of course, Nashville’s own Leland Riggan of Dessert Designs created this masterpiece.


A closer view of the wedding cake’s milk glass design, a look created in Venice in the 16th century. Mark O’Bryan reiterated this idea with the containers used for flowers throughout the reception.


The bride and groom at the photo booth, which was hand-lettered by local calligrapher Val Cole. The design was inspired by Dana Tanamachi, who is known for her hand lettering and graphic designs.


The send off: As a nod to the bride’s paternal grandfather, Joseph Coakley, red bandanas were used to say good-bye. He always had one in his back pocket and waved it as his family left.


The bride and groom make an escape in a 1972 MG, which belonged to the bride’s father.


As guests were gathering their things to leave, the Grilled Cheeserie showed up. Each sandwich was named after the bride and groom’s pets.


After dancing all night long, a warm grilled cheese and tater tots hit the spot.



Happily ever after…




Thank you, Emily and Sam, for sharing your special day with us!

And thanks also to Elizabeth James, the event planner responsible for this magnificent event, for helping us coordinate the details of our post today!


Be sure to check out our other wedding stories on StyleBlueprint today:

styleblueprint_bigolesouthern_featureA Big Ol’ Southern Church Wedding: click here







styleblueprint_southernstylewedding_featureA Southern Style Wedding with a Nod to Ole Miss: click here






styleblueprint_flymetothemoon_featureFly Me To The Moon: click here







styleblueprint_heartsuniteheartwoodhall_featureHearts Unite at Heartwood Hall: click here