Full disclosure: I have known Mary Brette Clippard for a long time. In fact, she and her sisters danced the night away at my wedding when they were young girls. She is related to my husband and has always charmed me with her engaging smile and adorable dimples. The story of how she met her now-husband Cook Wylly was especially poignant since we had recently talked about the trials and tribulations of being single in Nashville.

Mary Brette Clippard — cool, calm and collected as she prepares to walk down the aisle.

The story of their romance is classic! Her best friend’s older brother was always her secret crush, but the age difference of three years seemed to get in the way. Their paths crossed when they were both lifeguards at Hillwood Country Club, but once again, she was still only the friend of his kid sister. Life is about timing, and it just wasn’t the right time for their story together to begin.

A traditional “save the date” announces their wedding date to close family and friends.

I have a philosophy that good marriages stick when the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Such is the case with Mary Brette and Cook — both from established families, both love Nashville, and both were wanting to put down roots in their hometown.

Cook and Mary Brette see each other for the first time as they prepare to get wedding photos taken.

They may have found each other sooner, but Cook did his thing and pursued his business stints in finance and tech in New York and San Francisco. Mary Brette stayed in Nashville and pursued her career in marketing and PR at the Music City Center Authority.

Here’s where Cook’s sister comes back into play. Apparently, she had always thought they should be together, so she worked her magic so they would be at the same engagement party. This time their “chance” meeting wasn’t a coincidence; neither had married, and they were ready to change the status of their past relationship.

Mary Brette and Cook with his family at the entrance of the Union Station Hotel

The bride’s family gathers for a portrait.

They dated long distance for over a year, and then Cook moved back to Nashville. By 2015, they were engaged to be married. Cook bought a great place in the Gulch, and living in urban Nashville inspired them to create a truly downtown experience with their wedding.

Knowing that so many out-of-town guests would come, Cook and Mary Brette wanted to showcase some of the historical treasures in downtown Nashville. To kick things off with the rehearsal dinner, they chose Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery at Marathon Village, then Cathedral of the Incarnation for the wedding and the newly renovated Union Station Hotel for the wedding reception.

Originally built in 1900, Union Station’s imposing Gothic design — with its turrets and towers — is a beloved Nashville landmark. Mary Brette and Cook wanted their out-of-town guests to get a taste of downtown Nashville.

Mary Brette’s mom buttons up the lace overlay of her wedding dress. The overlay allows brides to create two looks — one for the wedding and another for the reception.

Pam, Cook’s mom, adds the final touch to her son’s bow tie.

Mary Brette is pictured here with her mom and sister Lizzy before the wedding ceremony. When it came to the tough decisions, Lizzy always cast the tie-breaker vote!

The bridesmaids, including Mary Brette’s other sister Kathryn, admire the bride. The bridesmaids’ dresses, each somewhat different, came from Bella Bridesmaids.

Liam and Pierce, the bride’s twin nephews, were the ring-bearers. Boy, did they have fun!

Absolutely lovely! Mary Brette is photographed here on the upper balcony of the newly renovated Union Station Hotel.

Cathedral of the Incarnation is one of Nashville’s most beautiful churches. The dramatic dome of the sanctuary creates a stunning visual as Mary Brette’s father walks her down the aisle

Relaxed and beaming, Mary Brette and Cook walk down the aisle as husband and wife.

It’s hard not to smile at this photo given the path it took for them to find each other.

Guests toasted the couple as they were transported to the hotel via the party bus.

The bride and groom make their entrance.

Guests were serenaded on the veranda of the Union Station Hotel by Craig Duncan Music and Entertainment. (Craig is on violin.) The view is gorgeous with the twinkling lights of the Gulch.

The flowers were simple yet elegant and designed by Knestrick By Design.

The wedding was the first event to be held at Union Station after the renovation. Note the dramatic chandeliers and historic clock. Mary Brette and Cook decided to have a formal wedding with a seated dinner.

Barbara, Cook’s grandmother from Atlanta, wouldn’t have missed the wedding for the world.

Continuing the theme of simple yet elegant, Dessert Designs made the wedding cake. Leland Riggan continues to wow us with her ingenuity!

The first dance with the bride and her father.

The Atlanta Allstars rocked the reception. Party favors like sunglasses and glow rings added an element of fun to an already rousing party.

Crowd check! Yep, everyone seems to be having a darn good time.

Mr. and Mrs. Cook Wylly bid adieu to the crowd.

Thanks to Clark Brewer Photography for the use of the gorgeous photographs of the wedding.

RESOURCES:

Ceremony: Cathedral of the Incarnation
Reception Venue: Union Station Hotel
Photographer: Clark Brewer Photography
Event Planner: Ellen Hollis
Bride’s gown: The Bride Room
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Bella Bridesmaids
Hair: TRIM Nashville
Makeup: Woo Skincare + Cosmetics
Invitations & programs: You’re Invited
Flowers: Knestrick By Design
Caterer: Union Station Hotel
Cake: Dessert Designs by Leland Riggan
Music: Craig Duncan Music & Entertainment and The Atlanta Allstars
Rentals: Music City Tents & Events and Bright Event Productions

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