College sweethearts Megan Adams and Will Jenkins tied the knot on October 28, 2017. The couple first met during their freshman year at University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and nine years later they became husband and wife.
“Will proposed at home one Saturday afternoon when I least suspected it,” Megan reminisces. “It was such a sweet, simple surprise I will always smile looking back on.”
Whereas the couple has lived in Dallas, TX, the past six years and will soon be moving to Austin, it was a given that the wedding would be in Tennessee. Megan is from Memphis, and Will is from the town of Cleveland in East Tennessee.
Megan says that picking the venue was the easiest part of planning their big day. “From day one, Will and I both agreed the most important part of our wedding was to make it a true reflection of who we are and what and who we love,” she says. “And what better place to get married than the front yard of your childhood home?”
But before they could get married, Will had to chop down a huge tree in her parents’ front yard. “It made the day even more special,” Megan said excitedly.
With the venue checked off the to-do list, it was time decide upon the details of the ceremony and reception. Megan enlisted the help of Memphis-based wedding planner Mona Dunlap. “I don’t know what I would have done without her,” says Megan. “Mona Dunlap is the best of the best. She is the most creative, talented, collaborative, patient and kind planner I could have asked for to guide me through what can be an overwhelming process. She took all of my off-the-wall ideas and brought them to life. She is one-of-a-kind.”
So she wouldn’t forget a single moment, Megan stumbled upon a North Carolina-based photographer to document the day. “I feel like I hit the photographer lottery after finding Julia Wade of Julia Wade Photography in a Pinterest wormhole,” says Megan. “Without having any connections or introductions, Julia took the plunge, traveled to Memphis from Apex, NC, and became not only our photographer but a lifelong friend. I can honestly say our wedding wouldn’t have been the same had I not found Julia!”
The ceremony was at Megan’s family church, Christ Methodist Church.
Megan walked down the aisle in a beautiful gown by Rivini that she found at Maggie Louise Bridal. “From the day I walked in the Maggie Louise doors leading up to my wedding day, their team was right there with me. Picking a wedding dress is no easy task, but they gave me the confidence and reassurance to know that I found ‘the one.’”
Keeping with tradition, she had on ‘something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.’ “My ‘something old’ was lace from my mom’s wedding dress, woven into a veil both my sister and I wore in our weddings. My ‘something new’ was the gorgeous bracelet Will gave me on our wedding day. My ‘something borrowed’ were the diamond earrings I wore belonging to my sister. My ‘something blue’ was an embroidered hankie with my new initials woven in from a dear friend and dressmaker in Nashville.”
Breaking a bit from tradition, Megan and Will made the ceremony their own by writing their vows. “We asked my younger sister and Maid of Honor, Katie, to read our vows prior to ensure we were on the same page, and it was really special to see how similar ours were to one another’s. Although very emotional, writing our own vows was probably the most special part of the process,” says Megan. “We have them printed off at home as a daily reminder to continue to chose one another each and every day.”
The couple said their vows surrounded by friends and family. “Coming from huge families and having so many friends whom we consider family, our wedding party was quite large. Both Will and I had 16 bridesmaids and groomsmen! Each and every person has played such a special role in our lives and had no choice but to stand with us on this special day!”
After the ceremony, the couple and their guests headed back to Megan’s parents home for the reception, which began with a cocktail hour gathered around the pool and patio. Tunes by the Charles Treadway Jazz Trio helped set the mood.
“We covered the pool with an acrylic clear top so guests were able to walk across the water with our favorite cocktail, a Moscow mule, in one hand and various passed hors d’oeuvres in the other,” Megan explains.
CFY Catering provided the food at both the cocktail hours and the reception. A few of Megan’s favorite offerings at the cocktail hour included the beef carpaccio crostini (sea salt crostini topped with beef carpaccio, caper aioli, Parmesan cheese and truffle oil), the charcuterie skewer (Port Salut cheese, apricot gelée and apple brandy-smoked duck sausage) and, of course, the sweet potato beignets.
“The CFY brothers, Corey and Kevin, became our new best friends throughout the rehearsal dinner and wedding reception catering brainstorming and execution process. Given we knew exactly what we wanted, which didn’t happen to be on their menu, Kevin and Corey welcomed our ideas with open arms and exceeded all expectations in bringing the dishes to life,” says Megan. “Their organization, professionalism and absolutely delicious delivery made the weekend unforgettable.”
After the cocktail hour, guests proceeded to the reception inside a breathtaking clear tent for dinner and dancing. The food served was important to both Megan and Will. The reception featured various food stations that reflected the couple’s favorite spots and dishes. “First was the sushi station where CFY did an amazing job at duplicating the rolls we love at a sushi spot in Dallas. There were live sushi chefs serving at an authentic sushi bar,” says Megan. “The second station was based on our favorite Thai spot serving chicken pad kee mao, green papaya salad and pork and lemongrass dumplings. Lastly, we had the tried-and-true beef tenderloin station served with Boursin mashed potatoes. We wanted the food to be easy to hold, filling and delicious. I always remember the food at weddings!”
After dining on all the wonderful eats, it was time to hit the dance floor.
The Atlanta Pleasure Band was the entertainment for the night. “Our first dance was a combination of three songs. The first was ‘Do You Feel Me’ by Anthony Hamilton, followed by Aretha Franklin’s ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ and then Frankie Valli’s ‘Too Good to be True.’ We couldn’t pick just one,” laughs Megan.
Megan and Will knew they and their guests wouldn’t want the party to end, so they worked with the band and caterer to transform the last hours of the reception into a late night disco!
“The Atlanta Pleasure Band was amazing! Their team was completely open to the idea of turning our late night into a soul trail disco, and they brought the house down,” says Megan. “The group did a costume change to match our disco attire, multi-colored wigs, mustaches, glasses and soul burgers. It’s hard not to strap on your boogie shoes when the band sets such an upbeat fun tone from the get-go.”
After unforgettable celebration, the couple jetted off to explore South Africa for their honeymoon. “Our trip started in Cape Town where we explored and fell in love with the city, then traveled to Kruger National Park to spend a week at Chitwa Chitwa Lodge on various safaris. We rounded out the trip in Mauritius for a week of beach time. The trip was absolutely unreal, and we would recommend it to anyone who has been interested in traveling to Africa!”
Thank you for sharing your beautiful and fun day with us, Megan and Will! We wish you many years of love and happiness!
Wedding planner: Mona Dunlap Events
Design, decor and rentals: White Door Events
Venue: Bride’s family home
Photography: Julia Wade Photography
Video: Dallas Wilson Videography (See Megan & Will’s video here!)
Bride’s gown: Rivini from Maggie Louise Bridal
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Jill Jill Stuart by BHLDN
Hair: Annie Coats
Makeup: Kendrick Simpson
Groom’s & groomsmen’s formalwear: Hardwick Clothing from Groom’s hometown of Cleveland, TN
Invitations, programs & menu cards: Evr Paper by Christine Bellagamba
Flowers: Greg Campbell of The Garden District
Catering: CFY Catering
Music: Atlanta Pleasure Band – Reception; Charles Treadway Jazz Trio – Cocktail Hour; Simply Strings Quartet – Ceremony; Cortney Richardson Gospel Choir – Ceremony
Cake: Laura Jackson of The Flour Garden
Guest Accommodations: The Peabody Hotel & The Westin-Beale
Check out more amazing Southern weddings in our archives. Click here, and prepare to swoon!