Happy September everyone! I don’t care if it rains or shines, I’m just happy it’s September. I hope everyone else is happy too…..
We had a wonderful wedding last weekend! A total class act all the way. Latonya and Frederick were married at the Hermitage Hotel with a reception following in the Grand Ballroom. All the details for the entire day were perfectly gorgeous!
But let me start at the beginning.
Lynette and I have been craving a wedding at the Hermitage Hotel forever. We’ve hit every hotel around it and then some, but we wanted the Hermitage! So you can imagine how happy we were when Latonya and Frederick booked us for their wedding ages ago. And we were doubly happy that not only would we have a wedding at the Hermitage Hotel, but that our couple was SO NICE. I’m sorry, but I just have to say that we have the NICEST couples and the PRETTIEST brides in Nashville!
Anyway, Lynette and I went to the rehearsal the night before the wedding and we sure are glad that we did! We really needed to see the room that the ceremony was being held in. It was a LONG LONG NARROW room and was a bit challenging in figuring out the best places to place our cameras (and ourselves!). But we figured it out just fine, and besides, the room was so pretty! It was a pale blue room with the ceiling painted like the sky. And it wasn’t painted like the skies that you see painted in a kids room or baby nursery. Nooooo! This was painted like a grand cathedral. I told Lynette that the hotel was as beautiful and spectacular as any church or cathedral that we’ve ever done a wedding. And it’s true!
We also were able to talk with Latonya and Frederick at the rehearsal, and they looked so happy! I love it when our couples are happy at the rehearsal rather than nervous at the rehearsal. It’s okay to be nervous, but happy is just, well, happier!
We also were able to talk with wedding planner Tiffani Helms of Creative Designs and Events. We were impressed with Tiffani right away. She was totally in control and unflustered. Perfect! We can’t emphasize enough that a good wedding planner is a NECESSITY if you want your wedding day to turn out the way that you always dreamed it to be. Also, there were so many pretty moments at this wedding. No detail was overlooked, and Tiffani did a great job at pulling everything together so that Latonya wouldn’t have to be stressing on her special day.
We were also able to meet the photographer at the rehearsal, and generally we don’t meet the photographers at the rehearsals simply because they usually aren’t there! But this photographer was at the rehearsal because he was from Houston, Texas. We were delighted to meet Earlie Hudnall, Jr of Hudnall’s Positive Images. I knew that I would like him right away when he said, “Just call me Earl”. :--) I must say that Earl added an extra element of “interesting” to the day and we totally enjoyed working with him!
Anyway, after the rehearsal and meeting all the key players, we were ready for the Big Day.
I have to add here that this was another early afternoon wedding, which meant that I needed to be at the hotel by around 9:30 am. That meant that I needed to be out of bed by around 7:00 am. Do I really need to remind anyone that Cheryl does not do mornings well? I think not! By now everyone should know a few things about Cheryl. Cheryl does not do morning well. Cheryl does not do heat well. Cheryl is a pink girl. And Cheryl loves her cakes. And Cheryl likes to refer to herself in the third person! I think Cheryl needs to stop doing that….!
But last Saturday by some miracle I was actually able to get out of bed in time to get properly dressed and ready with time to spare to swing by McDonalds for an egg McMuffin! Wow! It’s rare, but sometimes it happens.
In fact, as I was pulling up to the hotel, I pulled in right behind Lynette and Team Dawn (who were riding together), as they were pulling up to the hotel. I even got to honk my horn at Lynette so she would move a little faster!
After we unloaded our gear and sent our cars off with the valets, we went our separate ways. Lynette and Team Dawn went inside the Hermitage to find Latonya, and I went next door to the Downtown Sheraton where Frederick and the guys were getting dressed. Now Frederick is a very nice man, but I didn’t know if he would be a little camera shy and I was wondering if I would be able to get good “prep” footage for the video. Believe me, I’ve been there a few times where I have a camera shy bride or groom and I get great footage ……of their BACKS! :--)
Well, I should never have worried. Frederick and his guys were totally at ease in front of the camera and agreeable to any suggestions I made, such as “Do you have the rings? Can you turn this way when you tie your tie”? …..I just LOVE my grooms!
Latonya and Frederick chose to not see each other before the ceremony, so I hung out with the guys for awhile, then went over to the Hermitage to take some detail shots….. and there were LOTS of details shots! Oh. That’s another thing we should all know about Cheryl by now. Cheryl loves her details.
I mentioned earlier that no detail was overlooked. And I meant it. Latonya obviously has great taste because she had the prettiest details and accents at her wedding. Everything matched perfectly, but wasn’t matchy matchy, which as we all know is very important! The flowers were gorgeous! And the color of the roses were a perfect coral which was the main color used by Latonya.
When I first saw the flowers and the unique color of the roses, I had to touch one because at first I thought it was silk! I had never seen a rose that color before! So I immediately fell in love with the flowers.
And then of course there was the hotel itself. The ceilings alone were works of art. I spent a lot of time with my camera pointed up. :--)
There were also pictures of Latonya and Frederick placed casually around the lobby along with more flowers and a long table with tiny picture frames that held the guests names and their table assignments at the reception. So detailed! Oh, and instead of assigning guests to “table one or two”, the tables were named after jazz musicians because Frederick loves jazz! I think for our break I sat at the “Herbie Hancock” table. How cool is that!
I was also able to help Team Dawn with the pre-ceremony photo shoot, so I finally got to see Latonya in her gown. She looked so elegant and beautiful! I loved her gown!
Time went by really fast and too soon it was time for us to take our places for the ceremony. Remember, this is a LONG NARROW room. So Team Dawn and I sat about midway up the room and Lynette was in the back. I had the lucky job of getting Latonya as she walked down that LONG aisle! She looked SO PRETTY. I’m sure Frederick thought so too!
The wedding itself was lovely. Throughout most of the ceremony, Latonya and Frederick gazed at each other like they were the only two people in the room.
After they were pronounced husband and wife, Latonya and Frederick, along with family and the wedding party, posed for pictures, while guests were treated to pre-reception hors‘doeuvres in the hotel lobby. Again more details! A beautiful ice sculpture! More flowers! Wedding favors for the guests!
Dawn and Lynette covered the after ceremony photo shoot while I made my way to the reception room to get details before the guests entered. Again, everything was perfection. So elegant. There were so many beautiful details to get that I hardly knew where to begin. I started with the pretty tables and their place settings with menus and pretty flower centerpieces. Of course the chairs all had coral bows on the back, which I loved. And Latonya and Frederick had their own little table with a special flower centerpiece and special bows on the back of their chairs. Details! I love it!
And of course there were the cakes. :--) On one side of the room was the traditional wedding cake. It was vanilla. My favorite! It was VERY pretty. Then on the other side of the room was the groom’s cake, which was a chocolate cake topped with chocolate covered strawberries. It looked extremely yummy as well. Of course I spent a lot of time with the cakes! And a side note here. I had a piece of vanilla cake, but I had a bite of the chocolate, and for this day and this day only, the chocolate cake won the YUM prize! I would have eaten the entire piece if I wasn’t trying to cut back….. :--(
Soon the room was opened for the guests and they made their way to their tables as the band played in the background. Oh, and this band! I mentioned before that Frederick was a jazz lover, and so this band of course, was a jazz band. But I hate to call it that, because that makes you think of only one type of music when there was really so much more…. I know, I’m confusing everyone! But the band was awesome! Joe Johnson and his band played and the only way I can describe it is to say to check them out for yourself here. I’m not a huge jazz fan, but I loved the music at the reception! And so did the guests! Joe Johnson is obviously the front man and he played the saxophone. But there was a percussionist who was totally into his music and he kept me entertained by just watching him play and the enjoyment on his face while doing it. The whole band was great!
After the guests were seated, Latonya and Frederick were introduced and they went into their first dance together as husband and wife. They danced a beautiful waltz. And they REALLY danced the waltz. It was a lovely dance to watch. They looked so handsome together!
After the dance, the buffet was opened and guests were treated to a great meal. I mean, YUM! Guests had the choice of chicken, beef, or fish with all the side dishes. Can I say YUM again? YUM! Latonya and Frederick spent a lot of time greeting their guests during this time as well, but I think they got to spend a few moments together enjoying their reception meal.
After a toast from the groom’s best man and brother, (the same person!), it was time for the cakes to be cut. Then another dance with Latonya and Frederick along with their wedding party and family. Then the dance floor was opened for the guests. It got lively!
Dawn and I covered the reception and I know that we both enjoyed ourselves very much. This was such a nice reception to cover. Everything was just perfection. The room was beautiful. The pace of the reception was perfect. It didn’t feel rushed. Everyone was enjoying themselves. And Latonya and Frederick looked so much in love. It was a happy day.
But as all good things must come to an end, so did the reception. But before the reception was entirely over, Latonya changed from her wedding gown into ……another wedding gown?! :--) Actually Latonya changed into another dress to make her exit in, but it was as beautiful as the gown she wore for her ceremony! Latonya looked gorgeous the entire day!
After a few more turns on the dance floor, and a few more hugs and kisses from the guests, Latonya and Frederick made their way through friends and family and bubbles, into a white limousine waiting outside the hotel. After waving to guests, and waving….. and waving….. they were whisked away to….. I don’t know where! But they sure did look happy wherever they were going!
As they drove away I couldn’t help but think that this had been one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve covered amongst a sea of beautiful weddings. I couldn’t have scripted a better day. I know that Latonya and Frederick will look back on their wedding day with happiness, and I am so glad that they will also have a video to remind themselves as the years go by, of their perfect and beautiful day.
Thank you so much, Latonya and Frederick, for allowing us to spend this wonderful day with you. Our best wishes for you both always for many many many years of love and happiness!
And now it’s time to close this blog for the night. Or for the morning? This girl would love to crawl into bed, but instead she has to get ready for her day. And there goes that third person again! Oh well. Cheryl says, it’s time for her to go to bed…… in about 20 hours!