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It was Matthew Davis’s intentional, caring nature that struck Danielle Guy when she met him during her freshman year at Auburn. At the time, she was taken, but she distinctly remembers telling her dad on the phone how nice Alabama boys were, specifically using Matt as an example. A year or two later, she invited him to a formal, emphasizing that she wasn’t yet ready for a serious relationship. He responded, “That’s okay. I’ll wait.” He continued waiting until she was ready. The two became quickly inseparable, to the delight of their friends and family, and they dated for five years before he popped the question.

Matt chose to propose to Danielle at one of her hometown’s best-known institutions: Gaylord Opryland Resort. He scoped out his options and landed on the indoor garden. With Danielle’s mom and sister hiding in the bushes, cameras in hand, Matt guided her through the garden — in circles at times — until he finally got down on one knee. Before he uttered the words, “Will you marry me?” Danielle had already said yes, and he shakily pulled the engagement ring from the handkerchief in his pocket to seal the deal.

Bride and groom at their Nashville holiday wedding at the Hermitage Hotel

Matt and Danielle’s love for Nashville is evident by both the proposal and wedding locations, the latter of which took place at the beautiful Hermitage Hotel.

On December 15, 2018, the two married at another beloved Nashville landmark, The Hermitage Hotel. The December before the engagement, Danielle attended an event with Matt around the holidays and decided she wanted to get married around Christmas. She tells us, “The red silk table cloths, the extravagant gingerbread houses and the Christmas trees all spoke to me.” The pair decided on a black-tie Christmas wedding, with wine, forest green, and gold with blush and cream details.

“Each detail of the day had meaning,” Danielle explains of her Nashville holiday wedding. Around her neck, she wore the same necklace her grandmother had worn to Danielle’s mom’s wedding years before. The officiant who married her parents, in that same ceremony, also married Danielle and Matt. Her brother played the piano during the wedding, and her dad gave a touching speech at the reception. Danielle shares, “One of the most special memories from the day was when Matt and I exchanged letters. My best friend handed me two envelopes from Matt with tears in her eyes. I looked at them, and one said ‘open today,’ and the other said ‘Open December 15, 2038, our 20th anniversary.’ I still joke with Matt and ask him if I can open the letter now.”

Christmas pjs- Nashville holiday wedding

Danielle spent the morning surrounded by special women in her life — decked out in their Christmas pajamas, of course!

Groomsmen in team shirts

The guys chose a more sporty day-of look, representing their favorite teams.

jewelry for a Nashville holiday wedding

The bride’s little details sure do shine!

Mom helps bride-to-be

A sweet mother-daughter moment, just hours before Miss becomes Mrs.

The bride and flower girl appreciate the Nashville holiday wedding decor

At this Nashville holiday wedding, the Christmas decor was as delightful for the adults as it was the kids.

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Seasonal dresses for a Nashville holiday wedding

Danielle’s bridesmaids wore sophisticated, seasonal wine-colored dresses.

Bride's dress from Brides by Glitz

Danielle found her dress at Brides by Glitz in Nashville. “I always knew I didn’t want a dress that wore me; I wanted to wear it. Many girls look for an incredibly extravagant dress, but I wanted something simple and classic. I would wear it every day if I could, and I loved how it made me feel elegant without overpowering my small frame.”

Bride and groom in front of the Christmas tree

The bride and groom glow in the lights of the tree (and perhaps the excitement!) at their Nashville holiday wedding.

The double ceremony added even more symbolism and sentimentality. Danielle’s family is Persian, and she tells us that for Iranians, weddings are the most important events in life. The first ceremony was small and candlelit — almost like a Christmas Eve service — on the veranda at The Hermitage Hotel. Then, after the cocktail hour, where fitting appetizers like Nashville hot chicken were served, the second ceremony took place in the ballroom. “Persian wedding ceremonies, sofreh aghd, are purely cultural and are performed by an old or wise relative.” In this case, Danielle’s mom’s cousins helped plan the sofreh aghd for Danielle and Matt.

“Incorporating my culture into our wedding was so important and special to me. Because Matt is not Persian, it gave us the opportunity to teach him and his family more about Persian culture by participating in one of the most important and valued rituals in Iranian culture,” Danielle explains.

“The soft lighting, intricately decorated Christmas tree, and presence of our smiling friends and family truly felt like Christmas Eve service. It was beautiful, and I couldn’t have imagined a more beautiful ceremony,” Danielle tells us.

Persian-influenced Nashville holiday wedding

Danielle explains, “There is a great deal of symbolism in a traditional Persian sofreh. The bride and groom are seated at a table facing their guests. A mirror faces the couple and symbolizes eternity; you look into the mirror to symbolize looking into your future together as a married couple. Candlesticks are placed on either side of the mirror to represent passion for one another. The mirror and candlesticks are traditional gifts for the bride and groom’s home. “

Traditional Persian details at a Nashville holiday wedding

“Mahvash delicately molded the nooné sangak (thin bread) into flowers for our sofreh. Decorative eggs, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts are included to symbolize fertility. Crystallized sugar is included to “sweeten” the couple’s marriage. Gold coins are present to promote prosperity during the couple’s life together. Flowers represent life, a cup of rose water is present for fragrance, a tray of seven spices (all with their own meanings) represent prosperity and add spice to the couple’s life, and a holy book of the couple’s choice is on the table as well.”

Ceremony canopy

“For the ceremony, unmarried women hold a canopy over the couple’s heads as happily married women rub sugar cones over the canopy to sweeten the couple’s marriage. My mom and Persian relatives did this as Ali read a description of the sofreh to our guests and officiated our ceremony. After saying our vows to each other, we dipped our pinkies in a cup of honey to feed to each other before kissing as husband and wife.”

holiday decor

The holiday decor made the evening feel dreamy and angelic.

Once the two ceremonies at this Nashville holiday wedding were complete, it was time to celebrate with the bride and groom. The guests raised their glasses to a happy marriage and enjoyed what Danielle says was one of the very best meals ever. They served a dual plate with scallops and short ribs, accompanied by mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Then, the guests enjoyed a coffee bar with macaroons that were served with the wedding cake by Dulce Desserts. The couple couldn’t land on just one flavor for their wedding cake, so they agreed on three: spice cake with Nutella filling; chocolate chip with chocolate filling; and almond cake with coffee-flavored filling. In addition, they had a lemon-flavored gluten-free cake for the bride’s mom and sister.

The couple swayed to their first dance, “Golden” by Lady Antebellum, followed by Danielle and her dad’s dance to “Brown Eyed Girl.” The dance floor remained buzzing with all 100 guests for the entire evening. Danielle adds, “One of my favorite parts of the reception was my entire family (I have five siblings), including my parents, jumping up and down, clapping over our heads and screaming the lyrics of ‘Uptown Funk.’ It was just such a happy and crazy moment of the day, and as always, we were the life of the party.”

Dulce Desserts cake

Guests enjoyed three different layers of flavors in the Dulce Desserts cake.

Dance floor

The dance floor was the place to be for the remainder of the night!

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This Auburn couple couldn’t leave their big day without a little nod to the school that brought them together. The two exited through a sea of orange and blue shakers, and Matt led the wedding party in a few game day chants before climbing into a Rolls Royce with his bride. They kissed and cheered and sped off in the car, spending time driving through Nashville and downtown, enjoying their first moments of newlywed bliss — with congratulations and cheers for a very happy marriage and long life together, from all those they passed.

The happy couple dashed off beneath the shakers in their alma mater’s colors.

Auburn celebration at a Nashville holiday wedding

And took one last moment for a little Auburn cheering …

Exiting the Hermitage Hotel

… before riding off into the night.

Cheers, Danielle and Matt! Here’s to many magical years ahead.

RESOURCES

Venue: The Hermitage Hotel, Nashville, TN
Photographer: Kristin Sweeting
Bride’s gown: Brides by Glitz Nashville
Bridesmaids’ dresses: David’s Bridal
Hair & Makeup: Brian O’Connor, the brain behind the hair color brand Good Dye Young
Invitations, programs & menu cards: Minted
Flowers: The Tulip Tree
Catering: The Hermitage Hotel
Music: Prime Time Band
Cake: Dulce Desserts

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