With Historic Cedarwood as their backdrop, this impeccably-attired pair shared their perfect day with friends and family, pulling out all the stops with an outdoor ceremony, marquee reception, and tonnes of personalised details at every turn (watch out for the s'mores station!).
And it was captured, oh-so-beautifully, by Q Avenue Photo.
We adore Southern weddings, and Historic Cedarwood always know how to create the most memorable events, with creative decor, thoughtful touches and their idyllic backdrop. But this is more than just your typical charming Southern soiree.
From their chic threads, (Mara in one of our favourite Vera Wang wedding dresses, and Robbie, looking dashing in a navy suit, leather braces and polka dot bow tie) to their whimsical stationery, and their stripped-back decor to their inventive floristry, this wedding is littered with clever ideas and steal-worthy style. (See the cigar bar, the over-hanging foliage, and the adorable little ones!)
A beautiful Southern wedding with a serious side of cool? This is our kind of Nashville wedding…
Wedding Day Snapshot
Our Wedding Day
Robbie: Truth be told, I grew up in the North East, and I would have never imagined I'd end up living and LOVING my life down in the south! I wanted our wedding day to obviously celebrate Mara and I, but I also wanted to show people a bit of our lives below the Mason Dixon Line.
We have been exposed to such incredible friends, killer food and awe-inspiring music in Nashville and so it was important that our guests would be able to share that with us! I wanted to party it up and remember this day for the rest of our lives.
Mara: I was so excited to marry Robbie, and celebrate our marriage with the people we love most. I saw this day as a celebration of the commitment we made to one another, as well as the celebration of our friends and family in their help in getting us to where we each are today.
I imagined a beautiful Jewish Ceremony in a field underneath a white birch Chuppah. I imagined the ceremony would involve friends and family singing and speaking on our behalf. Then I envisioned the best party of our lives.
We had 175 friends and family coming from all over the country and we were so excited to party down with them. In terms of the actual look/style of our wedding- I envisioned a rustic, romantic feel. I wanted everything to feel natural, yet elegant—eg: muted blush toned flowers, barn wood farm tables, and candelabras hanging from the trees!
Our Love Story
We met in Nashville. Mara was finishing up her doctorate and had moved to Nashville for her clinical internship year at Vanderbilt.
Robbie had moved to Nashville several years prior and was working in real estate development. It was fate. Two East Coasters looking for love in the South!
Robbie's Thoughts on Mara: When I met Mara I instantly fell in love (I may have asked her to marry me on date #1).
I've never met a woman like Mara. She truly lives by the highest morals. On top of that, she always pushes me to challenge myself, and be the absolute best person I can be.
Mara's Thoughts on Robbie: Robbie is the most generous/considerate person I know… He takes the extra minute to hold the door for someone down the block, pull over to help someone in need, or sit with an elderly person who may be alone at a restaurant.
He truly thinks of others before himself. He is selfless.
Their Proposal Story
How they knew eachother was ‘The One'
Robbie: Our first date… I proposed!
Mara: Our third date. I was just coming home on a redeye from a trip from San Francisco and Robbie surprised me by picking me up at the airport. It was Valentine’s Day, and so naturally(!) he made a large neon sign that said, “Will you be my Valentine?”
He had brought me flowers and breakfast and was chatting with a group of older women volunteers at the airport gate! He brought such a smile to my face- I think I knew in that moment that he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Mara: Robbie proposed on our very first date… twice. The first time when he found out that I was a Jewish girl living in the South and the second time when I said I loved Bruce Springsteen. But, it wasn't until July 3rd, 2013 on a glacier in Alaska that I said yes!
Robbie: I've always known that family means the world to Mara, and so I was excited to include them on this special day.
But it took a little planning…. I first asked for each family members' permission/blessing and described the details of what I had envisioned for the proposal. I wanted to ask Mara to marry me on the family's trip to Alaska, so that we could all be together to celebrate.
So, on July 3rd, Mara and I boarded a helicopter to the Herbert Glacier in Juneau, Alaska. Seconds before we left, Mara got word that she passed her board exams for her doctorate in psychology. (It was funny to think that this would only be the second best thing that happened to her on this day.)
Once we arrived to the glacier, I popped the question, and she said “YES”. Luckily, the pilot was in on the secret and documented the whole thing! Hours later, we arrived back to the boat and celebrated with the Fleischer Gang!
We tried to be intentional in every decision we made to make the wedding as personal as possible.
For the ceremony, the music we chose (Sting, Ben E. King, Journey, Tom Petty), signs that encouraged family to “choose a seat not a side”, poems that were read, playfulness of the programs, a farmwood TN guestbook, a travel map as our Ketubah (Jewish Marriage Contract).
We had suspenders for groomsmen, cowboy boots for bridesmaids, Nashville Skyline candles as keepsakes, a boat launch following the ceremony (Robbie loves to sail), a bluegrass band during cocktail hour, yard games in the field (ladder golf and corn hole).
For the reception, we used an old window frame used for our seating arrangements, ate Southern cuisine, chose a song recorded by Mara’s grandfather for the father/daughter dance, a campfire with s’mores (just like the one in our backyard), mason jars with our signature drinks (Mint Julep and Moscow Mule), and of course a Bruce Springsteen song for our first dance (If I Should Fall Behind)!
We had our dear friend, Ellen Einstein, officiate our wedding. She has known us as a couple since day one. We encouraged her to share our story and her observations throughout our courtship.
We also had a close friend, Kyndon Oakes, sing Fields of Gold (by Sting) as we, the bride and groom, circled one another during the traditional Jewish Ceremony.
Finally, Mara’s college friends read Lovers’ Knot, by Rachael Boast, which they chose to symbolize our partnership.
Mara: Robbie is all about surprises and so it was important that we included surprises throughout the day for our guests. Whether it was the music we walked down the aisle to (Faithfully, by Journey and Stand By Me, by Ben E. King), bubbles blown following the breaking of the glass, or a boat launch following the ceremony, we hoped to have our guests excited for each moment.
We surprised the guests on a hillside by making wishes as we lit our Chinese lanterns into the sky prior to dinner, and then Mara and her father danced to a song that had been recorded by her grandfather years prior. The night ended with a sparkler sendoff as we said our goodbyes.
Robbie: Honestly, I feel like I was the one that was surprised~ I was most surprised by how it all came together. I was blown away. Everything was stunning.
Mara: The team at Cedarwood is incredibly talented. We could not have had the wedding of our dreams without their help.
Additionally, our photographers (Q Avenue Photo) were amazing! Not only are they true artists, but they also were so supportive throughout our time leading up to the BIG day. They made us feel comfortable and continued to remind us to take time throughout this day for just each other.
Finally, Donette and Steve from Designs in Paper, were fabulous to work with. They brought our vision to life with programs, escort cards, invitations and save the dates!
The videographers (Full Frame) had a drone! And we LOVE Brad and Jen from Q Avenue photo!
Our Favourite Part of the Planning
Mara: Cake Tasting!
Robbie: Cake Tasting!
Our Favourite Memories
Mara: Pure Joy! There was just so much love surrounding us.
Robbie: So many smiles!
Isn't it gorgeous? And a sparkler send off to end the day – how perfect is that?