Leah and James were going for a timeless, elegant and romantic wedding!! Their RT Lodge Tennessee Wedding was just that!! Erin Morrison Photography did an amazing job capturing all the loveliness of the day!
Meet Leah and James!!
How did you meet?
Funny story…we actually met online. More specifically, on match.com. We dated for a few months then broke up. A few years later, we ran into each other again at Walmart, became friends on Facebook again, and started dating again!!
Tell us your proposal story!
I don’t “do” Valentine’s Day, but James insisted that he wanted to make a special diner for ‘Not Valentine’s Day.’ A few days before the commercial holiday, I came home to him making homemade pasta (his first ever attempt at it). The table was set beautifully, and dinner was amazing. It was during dessert (homemade chocolate mousse) that he popped the question. My initial response was “Are you kidding me?” because he jokes around a lot… I obviously wasn’t expecting a proposal, and was absolutely clueless that he had purchased the ring 2 months before and had been holding on to it until the right time.
What is your favorite date night?
Our favorite date night varies – but more often than not, we decide to stay at home, cook a new recipe together, and try to free up some space on our DVR.
What was the inspiration behind your wedding?
We wanted an intimate ceremony and reception that reflected our quirky, fun relationship. We wanted something timeless and classic. While looking over inspiration photos, I saw a lot of weddings that had the color of the moment prominently on display – in the bouquet, in the bridesmaids’ dresses, ribbon all over the chairs, etc. I wanted to make sure I didn’t look back on my wedding photos in 20 years and think “OMG, it looks like a chartreuse bomb went off, that color is so 2015, what was I thinking??”
James and I are big nature lovers, so we also wanted to keep things as natural as possible while adding in elements to make it feel timeless, elegant and romantic. The floral inspiration came from my huge love of English roses, peonies, and hydrangea. I was going for soft and romantic, yet bold and unique. The Tennessee Whiskey and cigar bar inspiration came from our desire to make our guests feel comfortable and welcome as well as our desire to add a little extra fun and ‘masculine elegance’ (if there is such a thing!) to our big day. It ended up being a fantastic way to include some great vintage pieces that we were able to use in our home as well.
We had an equal number of out of state and local guests (the guests traveling the longest distance came from Thailand!), so it was important to us that we get to spend time with our guests, and allow them into our world together. Many of our guests were James’ friends from out of state (he grew up in upstate NY, and completed several deployments with the Air Force, so we had guests traveling in from all over the country) that I had never met before – a big gala type wedding would not have been suitable for us at all.
We fell in love with our venue, the RT Lodge in Maryville, on our first visit, and the Lodge has such a great ambience that we wanted to make sure the additions we made for our wedding reflected that same feeling of cozy, warm, familiarity. Blush, navy, and gold were the colors of the day as they were neutral enough to mesh well with the existing decor of the Lodge.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
I think we agree that our absolute favorite part of our wedding day was after all the pomp and circumstance was over and we were able to sit back around the fire pit and enjoy a glass of whiskey and a cigar with some of our closest friends and family.
Aside from this, I particularly loved that James included my girls (12 and 14, from a previous relationship) in his vows – it was so sweet and there wasn’t a dry eye to be found during this. Another favorite moment was when I managed to ‘rick-roll’ James (and all the guests) by starting my vows “James, I’m never going to give you up. I’m never going to let you down…” and the DJ started playing the song in perfect time!
What is one piece of wedding planning advice you have for our readers?
If your venue doesn’t include a wedding coordinator, HIRE ONE! Because I knew everything was being taken care of by someone else, I was able to relax and enjoy my wedding day with my family and friends. I was able to laugh off any little things that didn’t go as planned, and not once did I have to worry about the time, where I was supposed to be, or where I was supposed to be next.
Other than that, do what you want. Don’t worry about what others will think. We had a completely secular ceremony, and I heard many comments (even from my religious family members) about how wonderful the ceremony was. I’m so glad I went with what I wanted instead of trying to do what was expected.
What is one piece of couple/marriage advice you have for our readers?
Laugh together often. Things will go wrong. There will be arguments and disagreements. One of the best things about our relationship is that he and I can be in the middle of a serious discussion and we sometimes just start laughing at something really silly.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Between the kids, both of us being full-time students and working full-time, there was no time for a honeymoon. We spent some extra time with our out of state guests the day after the wedding, and went right back to school/work after that.
What do you love most about your wife?
I love the coquettish smile she flashes when she pretends to be annoyed at my antics. I love that she doesn’t ask me questions like this.
What do you love most about your husband?
I love that he’s always willing to do whatever it takes to make me feel good – whether it’s making himself look like an idiot to make me laugh, telling me how beautiful I am, or simply picking up flowers for me EVERY TIME he goes to the grocery store.
How has marriage made you grow as a person and/or couple?
Considering we were awesome already, there wasn’t much room for improvement… Actually, it made us realize that even though we know that neither of us is perfect, we are perfect for each other. We’ve come to realize that as long as we remember that small fact, we can make it through most anything life throws at us.
What are you looking forward to in your marriage in the next 10 years?
Learning more about each other, growing together and individually, and traveling.
From the Photographer:
Leah and James’ wedding at RT Lodge in Maryville, TN was so amazingly fun! I don’t think that I have laughed that hard at a wedding in a long time. The rainy September weather could not damper the smiles, love, and spirit! And their bridal party was laughing right there with them! The groomsmen broke out some pretty good dance moves during Leah’s vows to James. All jokes aside, the minute that James saw his bride I could tell that these two were made for each other. The way that he looked at her was simply amazing!