When Lee Anderson Roper and Walter Barnett tied the knot, one word rang true — experience. The matrimony of two compassionate, dynamic individuals brought the community together for an affair for the senses: sights of exquisite and ornate details, tastes of the couple’s most covetous cuisines, sounds of soulful musical genres and a truly touching union for all to cherish.
Upon becoming engaged, Lee Anderson’s childhood dreams of her wedding day were draped in long-time admiration of the inspired designs by her mother, Carmen Bond, owner of local fine home goods boutique Social. Thus, it was a natural call for Carmen to run the show, as Lee Anderson had total trust in her mother’s vision and energy.
“My mom has the best taste of anyone I know, so, naturally, I wanted her to take control,” says Lee Anderson. “It’s truly impeccable — her creativity is one of a kind.”
The team behind this extravagant affair — mother of the bride Carmen Bond and wedding planner Sheril Greenstein of Shindigs by Sheril — made every single detail, every corner of the venue, every taste, every presentation, every vision come to life with full force.
“Mom had ideas that had not been done before in Memphis or, in some cases, anywhere,” says the bride. “And coupled with Sheril, whose hard work ethic, willingness to implement our ideas and ability to add to those ideas to make things come together perfectly truly put her way ahead. Working with Sheril was an awesome experience that led to lifetime friendships.” Since the wedding, Carmen and Sheril have conceptualized three new events (and counting!) together.
The duo worked with The Stovall Collection, who designed and produced a custom invitation suite with a watercolor map and wedding crest hand-painted by the artistic bride herself. Lee Anderson’s creative genes were employed not only in the paper suite, but also in the details of her wedding day look, captured by Nashville-based wedding photographer Brandon Chesbro and film company Film Poets.
“My ‘something old’ and ‘something blue’ were one in the same,” said Lee Anderson. “I had a heart cut out of my late father’s favorite blue shirt. I also had a heart cut from the dress my mom wore in their wedding; both were sewn into my gown.”
Lee Anderson’s “something borrowed” was a pair of fabulous pearl and diamond earrings from a dear friend. For her “something new,” the bride strutted a pair of stunning Gianvito Rossi wedding shoes she found at Barney’s New York after her second Monique Lhuillier dress fitting.
The wedding ceremony was held at Independent Presbyterian Church. Authentic bagpipes led the bride down the aisle, accompanied by a symphony of instruments arranged by Beth Luscombe Strings. The grandeur and magical aura of this moving musical entrance was just the start of an illustration of mother Carmen’s love for music, which grounded the guests’ experience throughout the evening.
After the ceremony guests headed to the Memphis Country Club for the reception, which wedding planner Sheril summarizes simply as “not your typical wedding reception.”
“No detail was left unturned thanks to Carmen’s brilliant vision,” Sheril said. “Every turn inside the Memphis Country Club, as well as in the five tents outdoors, entailed a new surprise for the guests.”
Dedicated spaces with themes were executed to a T, for example, an all-red speakeasy featured crooner Jeremy Shrader, smoke effects, a custom neon sign and a martini bar. And the groom was surprised with a dedicated sports bar space with his favorite teams on display and bar foods served.
A candied bacon wall with the phrase, “I don’t like bacon … said no one ever!” produced by White Door Events, kicked off the Southern soirée amidst an impeccably designed array of bars, lighting, seating and lounge rentals by both White Door and Mahaffey Event & Tent Rentals.
One of Lee Anderson’s favorite collaborations was with The Grand Bevy, a company flown in from Los Angeles, who create signature cocktails in gimlet glasses with edible printed photos of Walt and Lee Anderson on each!
“They also brought in molecular shots on spoons,” said Lee Anderson. “I can’t even begin to describe what these were like, but they were a huge hit with guests!”
Memphis Country Club took catering to a new level, executing details from praline candied bacon for the dedicated candied bacon wall display to late-night specialty milkshakes. Food stations, which were strategically placed throughout every room of the reception, featured Walt and Lee Anderson’s favorite foods. To name a few, guests enjoyed Philly cheese and tater tot stations, elaborate charcuterie displays and raw bar presentations on a custom ‘moon and stars’ ice sculpture, flatbread and pasta stations and gorgeous prime cuts, including tenderloin and lamb chops.
The couple’s first dance was “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra, followed by both musical performances and interactive opportunities from room to room. The 10-piece Right On Band flew in from Virginia Beach and grounded the live entertainment on the main tent stage. Blind Mississippi Morris brought jazzy tunes to the indoor bar area. A silent disco room brought various music genres into its space with custom headphones for dancing. Marcy Milman Productions produced a custom green screen for photos, and local favorite Amurica Photo Booth offered photo ops, as well.
When asked which wedding night detail was the most memorable for Lee Anderson, her answer was understandably torn.
“I will never forget our Pronto Pups truck (yum!) and our fabulous fireworks! Oh — and my cake! We were on Pinterest looking for ideas for our cake, and when I saw it for the first time at the reception, I had no idea it’d be as big as it was. Plus, it was absolutely delicious!!”
Cakes by Mom & Me produced wedding and groom’s cake replicas – a Royal Wedding-inspired replica with some personal touches, as well as a Yankee Stadium groom’s cake, a complete surprise to Walt, with a working jumbotron. The couple also created a champagne tower to commemorate the occasion.
Late night desserts included passed donuts from Gibson’s, cupcakes by Miss Muff’n Bakery, tasty confections from Patti Cakes and Shirley Sweets and 17 Berkshire’s assorted authentic French macarons. “She’s local and just opened her own shop,” says Lee Anderson. “Her macarons and homemade chocolates are delicious!”
Yet desserts weren’t the only late-night surprise! Both Elvis and Santa Claus arrived for special late-night appearances and performances. The mother-daughter duo Carmen and Lee Anderson have a special shared love for Elvis Presley, so his live tunes to conclude the celebration were a must.
A white vintage Rolls Royce getaway car awaited the bride and groom through a path of shooting fireworks. After the stunning celebration, the happy couple set off for the Maldives and Dubai for a romantic honeymoon adventure.
Cheers to the happy couple!
- Wedding planner: Sheril Greenstein of Shindigs by Sheril
- Photographer: Brandon Chesbro
- Videographer: Film Poets
- Church: Independent Presbyterian Church
- Reception venue: Memphis Country Club
- Caterer: Memphis Country Club
- Invitations & programs: The Stovall Collection
- Rentals: Mahaffey Tent & Event Rentals and White Door Events
- Entertainment: Beth Luscombe Strings, Right On Band, Blind Mississippi Morris, Jeremy Shrader, Amurica Photo Booth, Marcy Milman Productions
- Beverages: The Grand Bevy of Los Angeles
- Cakes: Cakes by Mom & Me
- Desserts: Gibson’s Donuts, Patti Cakes, Miss Muff’n, 17 Berkshire, Shirley Ann’s Sweets
- Bride’s dress: Monique Lhuillier
- Transportation: All Star Limousines, Guardian Concierge
- Fireworks: PyroFire Displays
- Florist: Le Fleur
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