ASHLEY DECKER & MAXX CUA
September 3, 2016 Nashville, Tennessee Photographed by Chard Photo
CAROLINE EVELO & SHANE DAVIS
During nearly two years of planning, Ashley was surprised by how much she enjoyed coordinating the details of the day with her team of wedding professionals. Since the couple resides in Nashville, they chose to wed in the capital of Tennessee. “We wanted our friends and family to see where we now call home,” declares the bride. “Nashville is such an incredible city and we wanted to share that with our guests.” Loved ones were invited to the festivities by way of a chic black, white, and gold invitation suite featuring a marble motif designed by Nico and Lala.
Prior to the ceremony, attendees enjoyed a Champagne toast in the courtyard of the downtown reception venue before being transported to the traditional house of worship. Since the sanctuary décor is so beautiful as is, simple arrangements of ivory and blush blooms were the only embellishments necessary. Ashley was glowing in a form-fitting gown with a flared skirt as she made her way toward her sweetheart at the altar. The service was officiated by a bishop who baptized the bride and married her parents as well as her brother and sister-in-law. “It was really special for us that he was there to perform our ceremony,” she confirms.
Following the vow exchange, attendees convened at the symphony center to celebrate with the newlyweds. While guests enjoyed cocktail hour, the bride and groom took part in a private dinner and toast. “We were so happy to have that time alone since we did not do a ‘first look.’ The day goes by so quickly, so it was special to reflect and enjoy together,” expresses Ashley. As friends and family entered the concert hall for dinner, they were welcomed with glamorous décor in a festive palette of black, ivory, gold, and silver. Round and square tables strewn with ebony linens displayed both high and low arrangements of snowy blooms. Each place setting showcased an ebony menu card with gold foil calligraphy and a single bloom. A large head table featured a custom mirrored top, which reflected a lush twotiered floral chandelier suspended overhead.
“It was our goal to give everyone a memorable weekend by making sure
they felt as special as we
“We wanted the night to be a celebration from start to finish,” muses the bride. As such, Champagne was a large theme of the event. Mini bottles were sent as save the dates and also placed in welcome bags, a custom cart of bubbly was enjoyed during cocktail hour, a signature Champagne cocktail was served, and oversized bottles were used as table markers. “Music was another theme as the wedding was held in ‘Music City,’” notes the bride. Relatives and friends signed a guitar in lieu of a guest book, which now hangs in the couple’s home, and surprise performers entertained revelers throughout the evening.
A towering seven-layer confection adorned with gold sparkles and the duo’s monogram was on display, and guests enjoyed crafting their own desserts at a cake-shot bar. When it came time for the special dances, the groom’s family surprised the bride by having legendary country star Tim McGraw sing “My Little Girl” for the father-daughter dance. Nolan Neal from The Voice then sang the mother-son dance, and a 16-piece band performed for the rest of the night until confetti erupted, signaling the couple’s grand exit.
More than anything else, Ashley and Maxx wanted their wedding to be a grand party with friends and family from all seasons of life. “It was our goal to give everyone a memorable weekend by making sure they felt as special as we did,” shares Maxx. Ashley confirms that it was all she ever hoped for. “It was truly the best night of my life!” she says. “Our day was absolutely perfect in my eyes. I just wish it didn’t go by so quickly!”
After dating for three years, Melanie Herman and Jason Kravitz were ready to get married. However, Jason’s sister had just gotten engaged, and he wanted her to fully enjoy the spotlight. So the month following her March wedding, Jason was well prepared for his own proposal. He phoned Melanie’s mother to ask for her blessing, but it turned out to be a formality. “When I called and asked her mom if she wanted to go to lunch, she replied, ‘I give you my permission,’” Jason laughs. With his father in tow to help him shop, the hopeful groom searched for three perfect rings: one for his beloved and two for her twin daughters, Olive and Paige. “Any proposal needed to include them,” he confirms.
One day, Melanie arrived home with her daughters after their art class. Though all she had to carry were some papers, Jason met them at the car to help. He then asked them to head upstairs, which to their delight had been filled with candles and roses. A diamond ring – set in the middle of two heart-shaped gemstone rings – was displayed on the ottoman. “He made sure they said yes, too,” Melanie shares of the sweet memory.
Planning began quickly, as the families of the bride and groom came over to celebrate the proposal and a wedding date was picked that very day. Selecting a professional consultant was easy, as Jason’s best friend is married to a very talented event planner: Allyson Levine of Bob Gail Special Events. “I decided that I wanted a very modern look; I didn’t want lace, pearls, or gold,” Melanie shares.
Pale blush tones were used in the florals, and initially the bride thought she would want those hues for the reception as well, but a meeting with the team at White Lilac Inc. proved that dark pink blossoms better suited her contemporary vision. “We decided that the wedding would have an ombré effect as guests shuffled from space to space throughout the day – the ceremony starting with white, cream, and blush, moving to more medium pinks for cocktail hour, and finally culminating the look of the reception with full vibrant pinks,” reveals Melanie.
Honoring the heritage of both the bride and the groom, the couple was wed in a traditional Jewish ceremony. Six bridesmaids in rose-colored gowns preceded Melanie down the aisle, while two maids of honor – her young daughters – were clad in darling dresses with tulle polka-dotted skirts. They carried the same lush bouquets as the bridesmaids so it would be clear to guests they were not serving as flower girls.
To start the reception, Olive and Paige made a grand entrance, followed by the newlyweds. “I love the fact that they felt they were the most important part,” gushes the bride. Melanie and Jason swayed together to “Today Was a Fairytale” by Taylor Swift while the girls danced around them.
The modern vision of the bride was evident throughout the reception space, but it was most apparent with the confection. “How many people can say they had their wedding cake suspended from the top of a chuppah with no table underneath?” asks the groom. Pink lighting helped the structure match the vibrant reception décor, and the floating masterpiece featured an intricate fanned design for a unique look. A live band entertained guests until after midnight, when a DJ took over for the late-night crowd. “The dance floor was packed from the moment the doors opened until the end of the night!” exclaims the bride.
To stay looking picture-perfect the whole event, Melanie had her makeup and hair touched up between each part of the day. She also had a day-of seamstress, who kept her bridal gown clean after outdoor photos dirtied the skirt. “I highly recommend having a seamstress on hand,” she notes. There was nothing she would have done differently, though Jason admits to one thing he’d fix: “I would have proposed sooner.”