Today we’re sharing the brilliant engagement story, along with the wedding photos from The Cordelle for our featured bride and groom, as it’s too good to miss! We shot Lori + James’ engagement shoot also– check it out here.
This proposal story is pretty sweet — hold on to your hats ladies and gentlemen!
James proposed on May 16th, 2015 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. He had always known something was different about Lori from the day that he met her, and wanted to do something special, in a location that meant something to them and their relationship. A strength of their relationship has always been communication (you can imagine how hard it was to keep this secret from Lori!). Something they agreed upon early on in their relationship is that loved ones needed to be around to enjoy the special day. James secretly built a list of people that might want to be there with the help of Lori’s Big Sister in Alpha Delta Pi, Ashley. Lori unknowingly recommended the weekend the proposal was planned for Ashley to come visit – it was almost too easy!
Prior to the big day, the Ryman helped James coordinate the engagement. Before it all went down, James made a variety of maps, a schedule, a Facebook group for everyone attending all to coordinate the big moment. Under the guise of Ashley being in town and wanting to do touristy things, James suggested they take a backstage tour of the Ryman. On a drizzly Saturday, they walked into the Ryman while James “went to buy the tickets” (aka picked up the pre-ordered tickets). Looking back on it, there were so many little hiccups that could have happened to blow the whole surprise. At one point Lori was holding the tickets without realizing they had “Hold for Proposal” printed on them. It was a little awkward when James snatched the tickets out of Lori’s hands and had to “go make sure they gave us the right tickets.” To James, it seemed as though the time they were waiting for the tour to start was lasting an eternity, but eventually the tour guide gave him the nod and then signaled for the tour to start. If you asked James to repeat any of the tour he’d be able to tell you little – everything was washed out, and all he could hear was his heartbeat in his throat. While touring backstage, James messaged the group of family and friends, coordinating their move into the audience pews, ready with cameras for the tour to emerge on stage. All of the friends and family had maps and brochures hiding their faces from James, Lori, and Ashley. As James and Lori inched closer in line to the stage while he fumbled with the ring in his pocket, Lori looked over and started to recognize one of James’ parents, looked a little confused, and then put the pieces together. As they walked up to the stage, she said, “OH MY GOD.” James took her hand and then went down on his knee on stage at the Ryman, in front of an audience of loved ones, while he asked her to be his partner on this journey together. Lori said “Yes!” + the audience erupted in cheers. “It was such an amazing moment to be surrounded by those we love, in a location we love, and on a stage where so many artists we love have shared their passion.”
Clearly James planned a wonderful proposal. Both the groom and bride like to plan so, together James and Lori made a wedding planning power team! Their day at the Cordelle here in Nashville was full of beautiful details and centered around the theme of their sweet dog Pancake and their love of Fall!
Their love and joy radiate.
Day-of Coordinator: Rachael Ann’s Event Design
Location: The Cordelle
Invitation Designer: Minted
Caterer: HoneyFire Kitchen
Floral Designer: Rachael Ann’s Event Design
Cake and/or other desserts: The Cupcake Collection
Dress Designer: Mori Lee
Bridal Shop: USA Bridal
Groom’s suit: D&K Menswear
Bridesmaid dresses: Weddington Way
Getting ready robes: Button downs from Etsy Shop KNK Monograms & Gifts
Groomsmen’s suits: D&K Menswear
Bride’s shoes: Jack Rogers
Groom’s shoes: Aston Grey
Videographer: Dog & Doe
Rentals: Liberty Party Rental
Hair/Makeup Artist: Blush & Honey
Wedding Rings: Gossage Jewelers
Sarah Sidwell is a photographer located outside of Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee and specializes in Wedding, Maternity, Newborn, Baby, Child, and Family photography.