On the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), Carolyn Cate Tidwell and William Miller McLeane saw their friendship transition into a relationship during the fall of their senior year. Due to the year-round, charming beauty of the campus, Cate remembers UNC as a magical place to fall in love. A few years later, the pair would find themselves back at their alma mater — in the arboretum to be exact — with Will on one knee and Cate joyfully accepting his proposal of marriage. The night began with dinner at Top of the Hill, followed by a stroll through campus, dessert in the arboretum and dancing, and it came full circle with an engagement celebration at Top of the Hill with friends. “I will forever treasure that night,” Cate shares.
Last May, Cate and Will recited their vows in front of 450 guests at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville. “We think the vows in the Episcopal church are beautiful, powerful and deeply traditional,” says Cate of the couple’s decision to have a traditional ceremony. Cate wore a classic white dress, a veil that was worn by her great-grandmother Percie Warner Lea in the late 1800s (and many women in her family after that), Mary Louise Lea Tidwell’s bracelet, which was gifted to her a year prior to the wedding, and her late grandmother’s ring. While the church reflects their appreciation for tradition and religion, their reception celebrates their appreciation for sentiment, family and history. Held at a spot that holds many special and formative memories for Cate, the reception took place at her childhood home.
Dining and dancing capped off an evening of splendor in the backyard of Cate’s family home, which has been in the family since 1948. “Words cannot express how incredible it was to have the most significant people sharing our wedding day with us at my childhood home,” Cate says of the no-brainer decision in choosing the venue. The space was decorated with soft pinks, creams and whites to create the soothing, elegant look that Cate desired.
Guests were treated to Tennessee Ginger Ale (Moscow Mules), Carolina G&T (blueberry basil gin and tonics) and small bites during cocktail hour, which preceded a buffet dinner catered by Something Special (which also catered Cate’s parents’ wedding!). Following the dinner, the newlyweds cut into their wedding cake — and groom’s cake — and shared a first dance as Mrs. and Mrs. McLeane to “Unforgettable,” by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole. The evening continued with dancing, laughter and joy until Cate and Will ran out the front door, through a crowd of family and loved ones, to their new life together in Raleigh, NC.
Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. McLeane! Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your special day with us.
Venue: Bride’s family home
Photographer: Mary Rosenbaum
Videography: Half Shell Films
Bride’s Gown: The Bride Room
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo Lux Chiffon Ciel Blue Long, Bella Bridesmaid
Hair & Makeup: Hair by Joey Clay; Makeup by Valerie Ward/Daniel Cole
Groom & Groomsmens’ Formalwear: Street Tuxedo
Wedding Coordination & Planning: Libby Page
Invitations, Programs & Menu Cards: Invitations by The Paper Place; Calligraphy by Valerie Ward/Daniel Cole; Programs by Midtown Printing
Flowers: Reception by Joey Clay; Bridal bouquets by Jim Knestrick
Catering: Something Special
Music: Joseph Dickey and Bluegrass Trio (cocktail hour); The SoulSations (reception)
Cake: Leland Riggan, Dessert Designs
Rentals: Nashville Tent and Awning, Bright Event Productions, Music City Tents and Events, PoshPrivy
Transportation: Gray Line of Tennessee; Hello Trolley
Want more stunning weddings? Check out more Southern love stories in our other StyleBlueprint markets: