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.
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.
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.
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.
- Venue: Ryman Auditorium
- Wedding Planner: Helen Morisette
- Photographer: Joe Hendricks
- Catering: Sharon Johnson Catering
- Cake: Dulce Desserts
- Groom’s wardrobe: Billy Reid
- Bride’s dress: Modern Trousseau
- Band: The Downtown Band
- Flowers: English Garden by Terry White
- Hair and makeup: Euphoria Salon
- Invitations: Donna Birtles