“My favorite spot at Cheekwood, and all of Nashville, has always been around the Reflection Pool overlooking the hills, and I’ve always envisioned myself getting married in that same spot,” Liz Beck tells us. In October, as she was exchanging vows with Warren Beck, her vision became reality. “Our ceremony had this beautiful backdrop of decades-old boxwoods, stone statues and sweeping views of the Tennessee hillside. Around 5 o’clock on an October evening in Nashville, you get the most amazing golden light. We even had a group of deer stroll across the hillside in the middle of our ceremony,” she shares.

Elizabeth (Liz) Brittain and Warren Beck had their ceremony at Cheekwood, followed by a reception at Belle Meade Country Club.

Liz, then known as Liz Brittain, met Warren during the first semester of their freshman year at Auburn University. “Junior year, I asked Warren to go with me to a date party. Some of his friends were going with some of my friends, so a few of my pledge sisters suggested I bring him along. He asked me out on our first date the next month, and the rest is history!” Liz shares.

After graduation, the pair began building a life together in Nashville. Together, they purchased a home in Germantown. Scheduled to host a house warming party, Liz and Warren took some time to themselves to toast to their new abode before the party began. In a room filled with candles and champagne, Warren greeted Liz with an engagement ring. “Although the proposal came as a total surprise, the biggest shock was 10 minutes later when Warren’s family (who live in his hometown of Auburn, Alabama), my whole family and some of our closest college friends showed up at the door. After champagne and lots of pictures, we all walked over to the Mad Platter for a big celebratory dinner. The fun continued when I got to surprise my high school friends with the news later that night.”

It was the perfect October evening!

It was the perfect October evening!

Cheekwood is a 1930s estate with a Georgian mansion and 55 acres of gardens and vistas that has been converted into a botanic garden and museum. Growing up going to Cheekwood, it was here Liz dreamed of having her wedding. After convincing just about everyone that the lack of rain plan and limited seating weren’t deal breakers, the decision to host the wedding at the place of Liz’s dreams was made. “The weather that day couldn’t have turned to be more perfect. And it was such a treat for our out-of-town guests to see Cheekwood.”

Liz donned a stunning lace dress that was both elegant and unexpected. “I found my dress at The Dress Theory in Germantown, which was the first and only place where we made an appointment, and my grandmother (my mom’s mother), my mom, my aunt (my mom’s sister) and my sister all came with me. Going into the day, I had a fairly clear vision of what I wanted — a dress with sleeves, flowy, lace, absolutely no beading. The stylist pulled four dresses: two that matched my description, one that my grandmother picked out and one that was prefaced with, ‘Just try it on and see what you think.’ As luck would have it, that fourth dress, which was strapless and covered in tarnished beads stitched into the lace overlay, was the first one I tried on, and I instantly fell in love with it. After trying on the other three, I kept coming back to that first dress, which was fitted to the waist and fell loosely to the floor. We decided to give it some thought over lunch at the Germantown Café across the street. We came right back after lunch and bought the dress, along with a beaded branch belt that we all felt tied the whole dress together. My seamstress was then able to create and add sleeves that matched the gorgeous lace for the perfect final touch!”

Behind Liz are those sweeping views of Tennessee hillside that Liz mentioned.

Liz’s dress was the first she tried on — simply stunning.

The garden spoke for itself and only needed a single arrangement to mark the entrance.

At Cheekwood, the garden spoke for itself and only needed a single arrangement to mark the entrance.

“My something old was an antique pearl and sapphire ring that was an older gift from my mom. My something new was both my dress and veil. My something borrowed was a pair of diamond stud earrings borrowed from my aunt. My something blue was an antique handkerchief I carried with my bouquet that had an embroidered blue E,” Liz tells us.

The bridemaiids' blue dresses offered a gentle pop of color against the natural setting.

The bridemaids’ blue dresses offered a gentle pop of color against the natural setting.

Here is Liz with her mom and her dad before she was walked down the aisle.

Here is Liz with her mom and her dad before she was walked down the aisle.

The Beck men looked dapper on the day of the wedding!

The Beck men looked dapper on the day of the wedding!

The wedding party gathered together for a group shot.

The wedding party gathered together for a group shot.

Melissa Broadwell of Vintage Florals is to thank for the beautiful arrangements.

Melissa Broadwell of Vintage Florals is responsible for the beautiful arrangements.

Warren patiently waiting for for Liz to join him!

Warren patiently waiting for Liz to join him

The setting of the ceremony allowed Liz and Warren to give their traditional ceremony a personal touch.

The couple exchanged traditional vows in the place of Liz's dreams.

The couple exchanged traditional vows in the place of Liz’s dreams.

The two youngest gals in the wedding party looked too cute frolicking in the garden.

The two youngest gals in the wedding party looked too cute frolicking in the gardens.

A picture as perfect as the day.

A picture as perfect as the day.

Set in such a stunning location, the ceremony required minimal decorating. White chairs and a large flower arrangement to mark the entrance was all the space needed. After exchanging traditional vows with 100 of their closet family and friends as witness, Liz and Warren welcomed guests to the reception at The Belle Meade Country Club. The casual garden aesthetic of Cheekwood was mimicked at the club with vignettes of wildflowers, loosely arranged florals and greenery. “The ceremony location became much of the inspiration for the flowers and color scheme of the day, with a lot of blues, greens and other natural elements taking center stage. We also wanted to incorporate more seasonal flowers and greenery to keep it budget-friendly. Beyond that, I put my trust in the aesthetic and expertise of my wedding planner and florist. My style is simple and classic, and I felt like the entire day reflected that perfectly.”

Jessica Sloane was Liz’s first pick for wedding planner. She guided the process, worked with all of the vendors, made sure they were on budget and on time and also was an amazing mediator. “She was able to tie together everything so beautifully and seamlessly,” Liz says. On the day of the wedding, Liz and her mother didn’t have to lift a finger or think about anything other than getting to the ceremony on time, which alleviated a lot of stress. “Ease of planning was a consistent theme with us.”

The wedding guests were joined by an additional 150 guest for the reception. After a quick cocktail hour, the buffet opened and the band began playing. Guests sat down to family-style tables decorated with beautiful floral arrangements and draping greenery that spanned the length of the tables. Liz and Warren opened the dance floor with their first dance to Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing,” followed by a father-daughter dance to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Mr. Brittain insisted on this version as it is much better to dance to!

The cake cutting ceremony was a bit unique in that the wedding cake doubled as a birthday cake. “Our wedding day ended up falling on my birthday (not my first choice, but wedding planning means a lot of compromising!),” Liz shares. “One of the most memorable moments of the day was blowing out birthday candles on top of our four-tier wedding cake. It was an unexpectedly great moment.”

Long tables filled the room at the Belle Meade Country Club.

Long tables filled the room at the Belle Meade Country Club.

The cake was a combination of sour cream pound cake and sour cream and caramel pound cake.

“There was a time at the beginning of the reception during the cocktail hour when my wedding planner told me to grab my mom and look around before the craziness of the reception got underway. I’m so glad we had those five minutes alone to walk around and see how everything came together after the months of planning and anticipating,” Liz shares.

The florist chose colors outside of the white and green color palette to add depth to the arrangements.

The florist chose colors outside of the white and green color palette to add depth to the arrangements.

The invitations, by Emily Holmes, captured the simple elegance of the wedding.

The invitations, by Emily Holmes, captured the simple elegance of the wedding.

The newlyweds share a first dance.

The newlyweds share a first dance.

Liz let her father chose the song and he insisted on one that was good for dancing!

Liz let her father choose the song they danced to, and he insisted on one that was good for dancing!

Cheers to Mrs. Beck!

Cheers to Mrs. Beck!

Bidding the sweet couple farewell as they head off on their honeymoon.

Bidding the sweet couple farewell as they head off on their honeymoon

A good time was had by all.

A good time was had by all!

The morning after their wedding, Liz and Warren boarded a plan bound for Italy. After five days in Florence, four days in Capri and 24 hours in Milan, the newlyweds headed back home to Nashville to begin their happily ever after. Cheers to the happy couple!

Resources

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