Intimate wedding ideas at Cheekwood Gardens

bride looking at groom in front of a stone wall outdoors before the wedding ceremony

Cheekwood Gardens is a hidden oasis located on the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee. Sapphire Events partnered with 12th Table to execute a style shoot that would do the beauty of these grounds justice. The Giles Deacon dress perfectly captured the ethereal, romantic feel of the gardens. The movement of the dress and lush surrounding greenery became the theme of the shoot, consistent with the gorgeous Silk and Willow ribbons to accent the plush bouquet. The elegant Oh My Deer invitation suite was styled on a rustic, neutral cowhide rug to ensure that the soft blue and ivory hues of the stationery popped. Archetype Studio Inc. captured all of these details to showcase the beauty and charm of this stunning venue.

I teamed up once again with the Archetype Studio team for an inspiration shoot taking us on the road to Nashville, Tennessee. I LOVE Nashville: the music scene, the food, and the atmosphere in general makes me feel so happy. I enjoy the adventure, getting out of below-sea-level New Orleans and into the rolling hills and mountains (landscape to me is a sight for sore eyes!) and visiting our family that lives there.

Cheekwood is one of the most beautiful places in the South, with eleven distinct gardens throughout the property. I wanted to use the inspiration of each of the beautifully landscaped vignettes to inform the design I had in mind for an intimate wedding celebration in horse country. I found the gown first: Giles Deacon designed this dress with a white leather bodice, and a substantial heavy skirt with watercolor imprint of galloping horses. This was the dress of my dreams for this project! The drape of the fabric was perfect, allowing the silhouette of the gown to hold its own against the majestic mountaintop backdrop in the fall.

I pulled together other tactile pieces for this design that I felt would be appropriate not only to represent the time and place of the intimate wedding I imagined would take place here, and also keeping in mind that the smaller the guest list, the more license for artistic expression in each and every element of the celebration. This held true for the invitation design (another favorite element to create), and I collaborated with Chelsea Petaja for the calligraphy and stationery design. She incorporated her graceful lettering on real leather pieces in the invite suite, which fit perfectly in the overall design, along with hand-painted details inspired by the motif of the dress.

When it came to sourcing furnishings, I knew 12th Table would be able to deliver the look I was going for. I selected gorgeous hardwood table top with organic, tactile details. The wishbone chairs reminded me of hand-carved pieces a carpenter might have built for the property in a by-gone era. I also loved the pop of white, to soften the lines and also serve as a beautiful contrast against the stone, wood, and leather elements we used in other places.

I had so much fun on this project, and the chemistry between this real couple serving as our models for this shoot made me feel like we had a front row seat to their intimate wedding celebration. I hope you find this project as a source of ideas and inspiration for your intimate celebration!

White floral bouquet with eucalyptus and an ivory sash sitting on a taupe chair

Wooden table set with white plates, gold flatware, blue napkins and white rose floral centerpieces in the middle

Table setting with white plates, light blue napkins, gold flatware sitting on a mahogany table

Wooden table, white chairs, white rose floral centerpieces with a lush forrest in the background

White roses in a table arrangement with eucalyptus next to light blue napkins

Table setting with white plates, gold flatware, and a white rose centerpiece

Beautiful wedding invitation suite with blue watercolor, and natural tones and blue calligraphy

Beautiful wedding invitation suite with blue watercolor, and natural tones and blue calligraphy

Beige wedding invitation with blue calligraphy wording and olive green RSVP cards

Couple sitting under a iron arch with ivy around it holding hands

Bride and groom sitting down In white chairs under an iron arch kissing in front of a lush garden

Cement column detailing and trees in the background

Tall fountain flowing over cement blocks under an arch with ivy flowing

Couple sitting on a stone wall dangling their legs with lush green trees hanging over them

Groom carrying his bride in the grass kissing her with a large mansion in the background

Bride and groom posing for a picture in the forest with trees all around them

Up close photo of a groom in a black and white tux looking at his bride

Groom going to kiss his bride

Brides white and grey patterned wedding dress and gold sparkly pumps

3 tier blue and white striped cake with a branch of blackberries hanging on the side

A gorgeous pool with sculptures around in front of a green forrest

Bride and groom looking over a stone wall balcony with the light shining on them

Bride holding an all white rose and eucalyptus bouquet while wearing a gold a turquoise necklace

White rose bouquet with eucalyptus, greenery and baby's breath

Groom in a black and white tux standing by a balcony

Bride sitting on a balcony with her groom laying over her lap looking up at her with a lush green tree above them

Bride and groom holding hands walking away in the grass

Bridal bouquet with white roses and eucalyptus

Couple standing in the grass in front of a beautiful house and the groom is going to kiss the brides forehead

Bride and groom standing by a pool with a stone sculpture while they are talking to each other

Bride and groom holding hangs whispering to each other lovingly

Bride holding her arms around the grooms neck with a large gorgeous stone wall in the back

Couple walking up stone steps in their wedding attire

Groom placing a wedding ring on his brides hand

Planning and Design: Sapphire Events  | Venue: Cheekwood Gardens | Photographer: Archetype Studio Inc. | Stationery: Oh My Deer | Dress: Giles Deacon | Ribbon: Silk and Willow | Rentals: Twelfth Table | Film Scans: Richard Photo Lab


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