When Californians Rachel Ferst and Igor Gorodezky, music enthusiasts who work in the Silicon Valley, visited Memphis, they fell in love with the city and decided that their wedding must have a true Memphis vibe. Therefore, they held their wedding at the STAX Museum of American Soul Music. The ceremony was held inside the STAX recording studio, and they walked down the aisle to authentic sounds of a Hammond B-3 organ playing Al Green’s “Love and Happiness.”
This was a standout occasion created by Southern Event Planners, and owner Angela Dacus says, “The wedding was styled to reflect The Partridge Family marries Mad Men, officiated by the Rev. Al Green.” Angela and her team were instrumental in turning every long-distance request by Rachel and Igor into a Southern, soulful reality.
The STAX venue was pivotal to Rachel and Igor’s musical motif. STAX, which began as a tiny record store in an old movie theater at the corner of McLemore Avenue and College Street in Memphis, grew to become one of the most important music recording studios around the globe. Today, STAX is the only soul music museum in the world.
Socially Inked created the invitations, which reflected a record and album cover, an introduction to the musically inspired, distinctively retro evening. A guest list of 120 enjoyed Motown music and classics by soul pioneers like Aretha Franklin, James Brown and Ray Charles throughout the evening with entertainment by a Eubanks Sound Productions DJ. Local musician Chris Cardona and crew played an imperative role that night with live instrumentals on the Hammond B-3, a small drum kit and guitar.
While retro-colored floral arrangements were scattered about, flowers were not the focus that night.
Instead, Angela scoured estate sales and antique stores for decorative elements to bring the ’60s and ’70s alive. The chuppah fabric for the ceremony was custom-made from a graphic of their invitations, and tables incorporated combinations of Angela’s finds, such as record players, View Masters, lunch boxes, Tang pitchers, and crochet and macrame items.
Angela made the bouquets with a collection of brooches, rather than flowers. Rachel’s vintage wedding dress and even the bride’s and groom’s shoes were in keeping with their choice to be seamlessly unique and reminiscent of the recent past.
Rachel and Igor wanted a Southern menu prepared with items that were all grown locally. They also asked that there be enough nonmeat options and plenty of veggies but, of course, Rachel did request a “tiny bit of BBQ.” CFY Catering prepared regional favorites, such as cayenne chicken and waffles with buttermilk syrup, meat loaf sliders and grits, deviled eggs, grilled sweet potato salad, corn pudding, fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese and more.
The couple did not want a traditional wedding cake display. Rachel and Igor asked Angela to design a dessert station that felt like an old-fashioned Southern bake sale, with selections such as banana pudding, sock-it-to-me cake, lemon pound cake and bread pudding. The wedding cake was a small tiered cake layered with pie—not pie filling, but actual pie. There was also an adult milkshake bar with Jack and coke floats and pumpkin mudslides.
The finale of this fantastic musical event was a ride on the famous “Miss Clawdy,” a fully restored, 1959 General Motors tour bus that took Rachel, Igor and their guests to an after party on Beale Street.
Here’s how they pulled of their unique and fabulous wedding:
- Wedding planners: Southern Event Planners, Angela Dacus
- Venue: Stax Museum of American Soul Music
- Photographer: Josh Malahy
- Invitations/Paper Suite: Socially Inked
- Catering: CFY Catering
- Flowers/Design: Southern Event Planners
- DJ: Eubanks Sound Productions
- Ceremony and Cocktail Musicians: Chris Cardona
- Tour bus: Backbeat Tours, “Miss Clawdy”
Want more weddings? Check out the nuptials taking place in our other SB markets today!
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