If you believe in fate, then you’ll be inspired by the uncanny number of coincidences that led Jay Pilkerton to marry Katheryn Dennison. For a long time, unbeknownst to them, they were walking along parallel paths. Both grew up in the gorgeous, leafy neighborhoods of Nashville and attended independent schools; both were accomplished athletes and students; and, unbelievably, both ended up at Ivy League schools. They would have met sooner, as supposedly Jay tried to talk to Katheryn at one of their track meets, but Katheryn didn’t hear him or as fate would say, “She wasn’t ready to hear him, yet.” Then they headed off to college to pursue athletics — he went to Yale to play football, and Katheryn went to Princeton to run track.

Mr. and Mrs. Jay Pilkerton

Together at last, Mr. and Mrs. Jay Pilkerton

Even with the unlikely coincidence of Southerners heading up north to college, fate didn’t play its hand until their careers landed them both in New York City. Katheryn says that they “technically met in New York City,” but the truth is they were introduced in Nashville at Thanksgiving, by way of mutual friends. And Jay and Katheryn agree that once fate intervened, it didn’t take them long to know they were meant for each other. In fact, after a couple of dates, Jay and Katheryn were sure this was a lifelong partnership.

In NYC, Jay moved closer to her while studying as a certified chartered financial analyst. They dated for a couple of years and went on a dream trip together to London. It was there, after a visit to the Tate Modern gallery, that Jay proposed to Katheryn.

This fairy tale romance was celebrated in grand style when they wed on September 19, 2015. The bride wanted an elegant feel for the wedding, but nothing too pretentious. By selecting gradations of the color blue for her color palette, Katheryn was able to accomplish a sophisticated look, giving her wedding planner, Jessica Sloane, a ton of ways to embellish her vision for their special day.

Wedding invitations

The invitations reflect the subtle hues of blues and grays that set the tone for the wedding.

Reem Acra wedding dress

The bride’s gown was designed by Reem Acra … simply lovely.

Bridal bouquet

The bride’s bouquet in all its glory offers a lovely complement to her gorgeous gown.

Jimmy Choo wedding shoes

Jimmy Choo shoes in dusty rose are a perfect accent to the bride’s palette of blue.

Embroidered handkerchief

When it comes to something borrowed and something blue, this embroidered handkerchief makes a beautiful statement.


The bridesmaids, all 14 of them, celebrate Katheryn’s marriage overlooking the hills of Cheekwood.

Bridesmaids at Cheekwood fall wedding

Adding gradations of blue to the bridesmaids’ dresses is an unusual element and quite gorgeous.

Father of the bride

The bride’s father, Steve Dennison, waits to walk Katheryn down the aisle.

The bride's family

The Pilkerton family pauses from the celebration to gather for a portrait.


Jay and his dad lead the groomsmen to the reception.

Parents of the bride

Katheryn with her dad and Amy, her stepmom, pose for a quick photo. Fun fact: Amy was a former proofreader for StyleBlueprint!

Bride and groom

Overwhelmed with emotion, the bride and groom grab a moment after the wedding.

The marriage took place at First Presbyterian Church, followed by a reception at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art. Jay and Katheryn chose Cheekwood for its lush, green hills that so reflect where they both grew up. By having a seated dinner, guests were able to enjoy an intimate setting for conversation and experience the Tennessee outdoors. After dinner, the newlyweds danced alongside their guests before heading off to live happily ever after.

Wedding place setting

What a gorgeous place setting. The subtle hues of greens, blues and lavender work so well together, don’t you think?

Outdoor Cheekwood fall wedding

The bride and groom wanted to celebrate the beauty of Tennessee with an outdoor setting. This photo illustrates how their vision came true.

The couples first dance

Under the sparkling twinkle of white lights, Jay asks Katheryn for a dance as the crowd watches.

Father daughter dance

Father and daughter enjoy their dance together.

Wedding celebration

Katheryn and Jay were able to score one of the best bands in the South. The Right On Band played for President Obama’s inauguration and is a consummate dance band. What fun!

Wedding cake

Look at this sumptuous cake, crafted by Leland Riggins of Dessert Designs. The simplicity of the design is attractive.

Mother of the bride

The bride and her mother, Marilyn, share a moment of happiness together.

Cutting of the cake

Jay and Katheryn cut the cake as the wedding guests look on.

The wedding send off

Mr. and Mrs. Jay Pilkerton bid adieu to their family and friends as they leave the reception. All agree: what a night!

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Jay Pilkerton!