An Elegant-Meets-Rustic Wedding in Tennessee
After meeting Kimberly Trautmann on the first day of business school, James Elbaor knew he wanted to sweep her off her feet. "Over the course of our first few dates, James snuck me into the David Zwirner Gallery after hours to see the Oscar Murillo candy factory exhibit, took me to the High Line to see Mars through a high-powered telescope, and scored front-row tickets to Swan Lake with the Bolshoi Ballet," she says. His creative, thoughtful dates workedâ€”and three years and a move to Chicago later, James was ready to make it official. "I'd bought him a refurbished typewriter from the 1940s for Christmas, and he used it to leave a note at the end of a trail of rose petals in our apartment," says Kim. The note led her to what is now the Ambassador Chicago hotel, where James was waiting on the rooftop. "He'd decorated with white roses and typed up his proposal, reading it to me before giving me the letter as a keepsake that I'll always cherish," Kim recalls.
The couple quickly got to work planning their rustic wedding, setting the date for March 10, 2018, and deciding to head south to Tennessee for the big day. "Allenbrooke Farm is on a beautiful, secluded property that's easily reached from Nashville," Kim describes. "The organic farm was the perfect backdrop for our vision!" The couple teamed up with FĂŞte Nashville to create an elegant yet rustic celebration, swapping out flowers for fruits and vegetables and executing Kim's most important vision: a wheat wall. "My favorite part was that, after the wedding, all of the fruits and vegetables we used to decorate the tables were fed to the farm's animals!" reveals Kim of the creative and sustainable design choice.
With a fantastic team of vendors at the helm and Cassidy Carson Photography behind the lens, this Tennessee wedding is full of inspiration you definitely won't want to miss!
Kim designed all of the paper goods herself, swapping out a traditional floral garland for one of lettuce, radishes, grapes, and plums. The couple's hand-drawn crest featured nods to their home states of New York and Texas, and even the ceremony programs were decked out with fruits and butterflies.
Hoping to add some drama to her Romona Keveza gown, Kim worked closely with designer Veronica Sheaffer to create a custom satin-faced organza coat with a long train and bell sleeves. She wore Aquazzura slingbacks topped with soft pink pom-poms, as well as custom diamond, pearl, and rhodium earrings by Zwikker & Zacher.
"My wedding dress was actually a sample that I bought off the rack," says Kim. "I wanted a simple silk gown that I could top with the coat, which was the really special piece for me."
She asked her bridesmaidsâ€”three of whom were pregnant!â€”to choose their own floral dresses. "I hoped it would be easy for them, and that they would be comfortable," she says.
Kim paired her gown with a soft bouquet of orchids and trailing jasmine vine. James donned a black J.Crew tuxedo and velvet smoking slippers.
Kim had her heart set on a wheat wall from the beginning, and Enchanted Flowers made it happen. Bunches of golden wheat were compiled to create a refined ceremony backdrop that fit right in with the farm setting. "We really loved how the golden interior of the barn contrasted with all the white you see on a wedding day," Kim explains of the indoor set-up.
"We really wanted to bring out the best of Nashville," says Kim, so she and James filled their celebration with two things they love: barbecue and country music!
Instead of floral centerpieces, each farm table was topped with a lush garland of lettuce and cabbage, studded with apples, artichokes, and pomegranates to add a touch of red and burgundy to the design.
At each place setting, a place card was tucked into the leaves of an artichoke. Gold chargers added a metallic pop to the organic reception design. A strand of wheat was tied to the menu, which detailed the family-style meal of sweet chili cornbread, Texas-style smoked beef brisket, and (of course!) macaroni and cheese.
Bouquets of wheat, tied with vibrant greenery, were affixed to the back of Kim and James's cross-back chairs.
Why have one wedding cake when you can have five? "James and I built all of the cake stands ourselves," says Kim. The couple offered five different cake flavors to their guests: almond amaretto, caramel, hallelujah (a combination of chocolate brownie and vanilla cake), white wedding cake, and vanilla bean.
Though Kim thought she knew every detail that had been planned, James was able to surprise her with help from the team at Allenbrooke Farm. "We headed outside, and James and Stephanie had coordinated a surprise fireworks show!" says Kim. "It really reminded me that the most important part of a wedding is marrying your special person. If you keep that in mind, all the other decisions become simpler."