Legends like President Teddy Roosevelt, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton have received standing ovations at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, and on December 28, 2014, Kerry Dietz and Daniel Bacigalupi followed in their footsteps and took the stage at the Mother Church of Country Music for a one-of-a-kind Ryman Auditorium wedding. Attracted to the convenient location of the venue, the acoustics (Daniel is a music engineer) and the size (the couple wanted a venue big enough to host a ceremony and reception), the pair landed on this National Historic Landmark as the spot for their winter wedding.

“Of course, there are many other perks to the Ryman as well: it was originally a church, and thus well-suited to hosting a wedding; it has a wealth of history and character and is uniquely Nashville; it comes with its own staff, who knows the ins and outs; it provided extra entertainment for our guests, many of whom love music and could appreciate an excellent acoustic environment, as well as the many exhibits. We can rest assured it will be around for a while, offering countless opportunities to celebrate our anniversary, or just to reminisce about one of the best days of our lives, while enjoying a performance of a favorite band or artist,” Kerry and Daniel share.

A stunning wedding at the historic Ryman Auditorium

Personal touches at this unique wedding

DId you know the Ryman hosts wedding? Check out the details here!

As many good things do, Kerry and Daniel’s relationship started at 2-for-1 Tuesday at Mafiaoza’s. The pair hit it off and continued to date until Daniel proposed during a game of Texas Hold’em, which is a common activity among their friends. After a heated game, Kerry was so thrilled to have won the hand that her reaction to “Will You Marry Me?” written on the queen of hearts was a bit delayed. Daniel pulled out her great-grandmother’s engagement ring and the crowd headed to a decorated room with cake and champagne to raise a toast to the newly engaged couple. Once the reality of the engagement set in, they started planning. Helen Morisette, a local wedding planner who knows the Ryman inside and out, came up with the venue, and Kerry and Daniel call this “the best decision we didn’t have to make.” She helped them land the vendors, and things began falling into place.

The historic Ryman Auditorium acted as a stunning venue for this Nashville wedding
Kerry and Daniel had always planned for a short ceremony with a very, very big party. While they loved the feel of many of the repurposed industrial spaces they considered, they were not a good fit. The Ryman fit the bill and turned out to be the perfect setting for folks of all ages, even those who are hard of hearing.
The historic elements of the Ryman acted as the perfect backdrop to this Music City wedding
Throughout the evening, guests were invited to roam the building and embrace the tradition and history the Ryman offers.

See this couple's wedding at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville

Local touches gave guests a taste of Nashville
Goo Goo Clusters were given to wedding-goers so everyone could enjoy a taste of Nashville.
Red accents played in nicely with the feel of this December wedding
The flowers were “understated, but a beautiful complement to our unique venue and event,” Kerry recalls. The red accents highlighted the holiday decor that filled the Ryman. December always made sense for their wedding date: Kerry is in law school; the couple found it easier to convince the folks back in Minnesota to travel to Nashville in the winter; Kerry’s parents were also wed in December–they celebrated their 35th anniversary the day after Kerry and Daniel’s wedding.

Before the ceremony, Kerry and Daniel had their first look on the balcony overlooking the auditorium. Moments later, their parents walked them down separate aisles, they met in the middle and the couple took the stage together. Brenda Wynn, a County Clerk who worked with Kerry in Congressman Jim Cooper’s office, officiated the wedding. Having a relationship with the officiant was an added bonus for the couple. She helped them craft and conduct a personal and meaningful nontraditional ceremony. The couple wanted “a ceremony that, while nontraditional, maintained some traditional elements and sentiment without glossing over our personalities.” Unbeknownst to the pair prior to the ceremony, each of their personal vows referenced the same night, a few days after they had met, when they closed down a bar together after hours of conversation.

After the ceremony, friends and family took turns taking the stage: the couple danced to Caitlin Rose’s “Pink Champagne;” Kerry and her father danced to “You Got It” by Roy Orbison (which they had spent many a Saturday night dancing to in their living room when Kerry was younger); Daniel’s father, who was his band director and an influential factor in the trajectory of Daniel’s career, performed a musical toast, with handwritten music and lyrics. This performance kicked off a night of dancing and celebration.

Vows exchanged on the stage at Ryman Auditorium
The couple opted out of having a traditional wedding party. They incorporated their friends and family through readings and the introduction.
The couple's simple, yet elegant, taste shown through in the small details of their Nashville wedding
While Kerry’s dress shopping experience was “manageable and fun,” Daniel’s shopping experience was a bit more time-intensive. The team at Billy Reid assisted Daniel in deciding on the right outfit that complemented the character of The Ryman.
Enjoy a private dinner allows you to share a moment alone with your new spouse!
The newlyweds enjoyed a private dinner, held backstage in the Minnie Pearl dressing room. This gave them time to eat, toast and take in their surroundings.
A stunning cake with five different layers
With four different buffet stations, the food options were delicious and memorable. Daniel hails from Pine City, MN, and the inclusion of the Juicy Lucy Sliders (a Minnesota specialty) paid homage to his hometown. The cake, which was layered with different flavors from Dulce Desserts, rounded out the evening.
The drink of the night was a Velvet Elvis: a whiskey sour with a splash of Chambord
The drink of the evening was the Velvet Elvis, a cocktail the couple got hooked on at the much-missed Mambu: a whiskey sour with a splash of Chambord.
The couple shared their first dance to Caitlin Rose's "Pink Champagne"
The couple raved about working with Joe Hendricks as their photographer: “Joe is the perfect mix of heart and creativity—he nails the sentiment, but does so in a way that is personal and unique to each couple and event … We’re so glad Joe recommended we choose to hire a second photographer to work with him—we’d have been lucky to have either him or Justin on their own, but together they were masterful and able to capture multiple perspectives on key moments, especially helpful since we walked simultaneously down different aisles!”
Most important part of a wedding? A good band!
The Downtown Band, lucky enough to play on one of the most famous stages in the world, kept the crowd dancing all night long. They “ranged effortlessly between Marvin Gaye, Old Crow Medicine Show, Taylor Swift and Outkast.” The breadth of their talent and energy was clearly displayed as their music filled the space.
The couple left the party in a 1961 sea-form green Bentley
The couple climbed into a 1961 seafoam green Bentley, took a trip around Love Circle, then headed back downtown to meet friends and family at Robert’s Western World.

As Kerry and Daniel told the details of their wedding, the love they share for each other and the joy they felt on the wedding day radiated. Plus, they only had good things to share about their vendors, which are listed below.


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About the Author
Alex Hendrickson

Alex is a Southern writer known for hunting down delicious stories and traveling the world with hunger. Her passions and interests lie in food, travel, interior design and inspiring people, and her dream is to eat a dozen oysters a day.