“My favorite spot at Cheekwood, and all of Nashville, has always been around the Reflection Pool overlooking the hills, and I’ve always envisioned myself getting married in that same spot,” Liz Beck tells us. In October, as she was exchanging vows with Warren Beck, her vision became reality. “Our ceremony had this beautiful backdrop of decades-old boxwoods, stone statues and sweeping views of the Tennessee hillside. Around 5 o’clock on an October evening in Nashville, you get the most amazing golden light. We even had a group of deer stroll across the hillside in the middle of our ceremony,” she shares.
Liz, then known as Liz Brittain, met Warren during the first semester of their freshman year at Auburn University. “Junior year, I asked Warren to go with me to a date party. Some of his friends were going with some of my friends, so a few of my pledge sisters suggested I bring him along. He asked me out on our first date the next month, and the rest is history!” Liz shares.
After graduation, the pair began building a life together in Nashville. Together, they purchased a home in Germantown. Scheduled to host a house warming party, Liz and Warren took some time to themselves to toast to their new abode before the party began. In a room filled with candles and champagne, Warren greeted Liz with an engagement ring. “Although the proposal came as a total surprise, the biggest shock was 10 minutes later when Warren’s family (who live in his hometown of Auburn, Alabama), my whole family and some of our closest college friends showed up at the door. After champagne and lots of pictures, we all walked over to the Mad Platter for a big celebratory dinner. The fun continued when I got to surprise my high school friends with the news later that night.”
Cheekwood is a 1930s estate with a Georgian mansion and 55 acres of gardens and vistas that has been converted into a botanic garden and museum. Growing up going to Cheekwood, it was here Liz dreamed of having her wedding. After convincing just about everyone that the lack of rain plan and limited seating weren’t deal breakers, the decision to host the wedding at the place of Liz’s dreams was made. “The weather that day couldn’t have turned to be more perfect. And it was such a treat for our out-of-town guests to see Cheekwood.”
Liz donned a stunning lace dress that was both elegant and unexpected. “I found my dress at The Dress Theory in Germantown, which was the first and only place where we made an appointment, and my grandmother (my mom’s mother), my mom, my aunt (my mom’s sister) and my sister all came with me. Going into the day, I had a fairly clear vision of what I wanted — a dress with sleeves, flowy, lace, absolutely no beading. The stylist pulled four dresses: two that matched my description, one that my grandmother picked out and one that was prefaced with, ‘Just try it on and see what you think.’ As luck would have it, that fourth dress, which was strapless and covered in tarnished beads stitched into the lace overlay, was the first one I tried on, and I instantly fell in love with it. After trying on the other three, I kept coming back to that first dress, which was fitted to the waist and fell loosely to the floor. We decided to give it some thought over lunch at the Germantown Café across the street. We came right back after lunch and bought the dress, along with a beaded branch belt that we all felt tied the whole dress together. My seamstress was then able to create and add sleeves that matched the gorgeous lace for the perfect final touch!”
Set in such a stunning location, the ceremony required minimal decorating. White chairs and a large flower arrangement to mark the entrance was all the space needed. After exchanging traditional vows with 100 of their closet family and friends as witness, Liz and Warren welcomed guests to the reception at The Belle Meade Country Club. The casual garden aesthetic of Cheekwood was mimicked at the club with vignettes of wildflowers, loosely arranged florals and greenery. “The ceremony location became much of the inspiration for the flowers and color scheme of the day, with a lot of blues, greens and other natural elements taking center stage. We also wanted to incorporate more seasonal flowers and greenery to keep it budget-friendly. Beyond that, I put my trust in the aesthetic and expertise of my wedding planner and florist. My style is simple and classic, and I felt like the entire day reflected that perfectly.”
Jessica Sloane was Liz’s first pick for wedding planner. She guided the process, worked with all of the vendors, made sure they were on budget and on time and also was an amazing mediator. “She was able to tie together everything so beautifully and seamlessly,” Liz says. On the day of the wedding, Liz and her mother didn’t have to lift a finger or think about anything other than getting to the ceremony on time, which alleviated a lot of stress. “Ease of planning was a consistent theme with us.”
The wedding guests were joined by an additional 150 guest for the reception. After a quick cocktail hour, the buffet opened and the band began playing. Guests sat down to family-style tables decorated with beautiful floral arrangements and draping greenery that spanned the length of the tables. Liz and Warren opened the dance floor with their first dance to Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing,” followed by a father-daughter dance to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Mr. Brittain insisted on this version as it is much better to dance to!
The cake cutting ceremony was a bit unique in that the wedding cake doubled as a birthday cake. “Our wedding day ended up falling on my birthday (not my first choice, but wedding planning means a lot of compromising!),” Liz shares. “One of the most memorable moments of the day was blowing out birthday candles on top of our four-tier wedding cake. It was an unexpectedly great moment.”
The morning after their wedding, Liz and Warren boarded a plan bound for Italy. After five days in Florence, four days in Capri and 24 hours in Milan, the newlyweds headed back home to Nashville to begin their happily ever after. Cheers to the happy couple!
- Venues: Cheekwood Estate & Gardens and Belle Meade Country Club
- Photography: Cassidy Carson Photography
- Wedding planner: Jessica Sloane
- Bride’s gown: Sarah Seven from The Dress Theory
- Bridesmaids’ dresses: Joanna August from Bella Bridesmaids
- Hair & makeup: Hannah Farmer
- Groom’s & groomsmen’s formalwear: Combatant Gentlemen and The Tie Bar
- Invitations, programs & menu cards: Emily Holmes
- Flowers: Melissa Broadwell of Vintage Florals
- Catering: Belle Meade Country Club
- Music: Number One Party Band
- Cake: Dessert Designs by Leland
- Guest accommodations: Courtyard by Marriott Nashville-Brentwood and Homewood Suites by Hilton Nashville-Brentwood
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