Lindsey and Reed at The Barn at Chestnut Springs

You are going to overload on the sweetness of all of the details in these images! I joined Lindsey and Reed at the Barn at Chestnut Springs in Sevierville, Tennessee for their wedding day. It was decked out by Alexa with all kinds of fun details that Lindsey and her family spent tons of time making and gathering. Everywhere I looked, there was something fun and unique to focus on–she even put together a surprise cigar bar for Reed. Melanie and the Barn staff constructed a new building out of reclaimed materials in five days–just in time for Lindsey’s wedding! If that wasn’t enough, Lindsey’s dress was southern charm personified–it made me think of cool sweet tea on a hot summer day.

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How did the two of you meet? Welcome to the digital age, we met how everyone does now, Christian Mingle! Kidding we did meet online though; we filled out extensive background profiles, hired a professional match maker, took Meyers Briggs tests, consulted a CIA profiler and then FINALLY decided we should meet. Yeah Right! Fate happened because we were lazy, we filled out the shortest profile you could and met on Ya-hooooooo-uu-ooooo! I don’t remember exactly how it went, but I remember splashes of country music, beer, and football. Our profiles were nearly identical. Reed actually proposed to me in his first email (No lie, it said. “Will you marry me?”), I quickly declined.  It was all fun and games until one of us ran out of free winks and Reed had to pony up $29.99 to continue the relationship. To this day I tell him it was the best $29.99 he has ever spent. 

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How long have you been together? Four wonderful years. 🙂

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What was your first date like? Our first date was unforgettable! He picked me up at my place; (She had already put a shot of vodka in her 7-11 Slurpee to kill the nerves because I’m such a stud  -Reed) I was dancing around like a fool listening to “Gimme That Girl” by Joe Nichols on my Ipod (a favorite of ours to this day) when he arrived. We both LOVE golf, so we had decided to go to TOP GOLF, a playful golf driving range. We got there, and of course, it’s pouring down rain.  Now anyone who’s ever been to TOP GOLF knows it’s only the coolest driving range ever. You can imagine that if you can hit golf balls in the rain and it’s still a good time, it has to be a good date. After drinking some brew, chatting and getting to know each other a little more the competition began, (word to the wise, if you take a girl who was offered a golf scholarship to college on a first date to the driving range, be prepared to be humiliated just a little) which I of course dominated (No she didn’t, she had a membership card, the computer cheated, it’s like the SEC in college football  -Reed).

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Despite getting his butt kicked (Ask her what happens on the go-kart track, its not even close – Reed), Reed was a great sport and even ended the evening with a good night kiss.  In all seriousness, we had the best time just laughing and being ourselves, it was the best first date either of us had ever been on, it was just so easy. The couple next to us couldn’t believe it was only our first date, they said in a year from now the two of you will be married. Well, it will be four years later, but if only we could find that couple to tell them they were right and that we have been together since that fateful rainy night at TOP GOLF.

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How did he propose? After reading the story of how we first met and our unforgettable first date, you’re probably expecting a romantic proposal that either has to do with football, beer, golf or all of the above. Anyone who knows the two of us would have expected nothing less. You would have anticipated Lane Stadium at half time or over the video screen in big letters “Lindsey, will you marry me? –Reed”; a Hokie tailgate with the family there, me with a beer in hand of course; or even back at TOP GOLF where we had our first date. All of those were far from the story of our proposal.

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I had been giving Reed a hard time (jokingly) about proposing for months and how I swore it was never going to happen (little did I know, he had the ring that whole time) as us girls do when we’re ready. I also made him promise that it would not be something public like on the big screen at Lane stadium, I wanted it to be meaningful to the two of us. Again, I thought for sure it was never going to happen, especially after we had gone to St. Thomas-not there, Vermont-not there, Florida-not there and Hong Kong-not there. Turns out he had planned to purpose in Hong Kong, but there was some drama surrounding the ring. Anyone else addicted to the Bachelor and Bachelorette like me? Reed hates the show and I make him watch it on Mondays, he calls it his drinking night just to suffer through…oh the things we do for love.

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Well then you know about the gorgeous Neil Lane diamonds I fell in love with many seasons ago. They are the ones that Reed and I loved after searching countless jewelry stores (literally every diamond store in St. Thomas). Well he had picked out the perfect Neil Lane engagement ring but when they sized it, the jeweler cut off the Neil Lane signature.  He refused to give me the ring without the signature. They tried to convince him to go ahead and propose with that ring and of course Reed being himself said no way, I’m not giving her that then taking it back. So he was waiting until they gave him the right size with the signature. Plus he was so afraid he’d lose it on the 16 hour flight over to Hong Kong. So no proposal yet!

Knoxville Wedding Photography The Barn at Chestnut Springs_0015That was September; let’s fast forward to December 20th. We were supposed to packing for two trips, one for a few days before Christmas with Reed’s family at a cabin in Tennessee then another for a week after Christmas with my family in freezing Vermont. Reed was acting a little strange or off, I just assumed it was because we both HATE to pack, I didn’t think anything of it. Before I go any further, let me set the scene…I was literally wearing the worst pair of pajama shorts I own, a gator football t-shirt and my hair was a disaster up in a bun. (This is not exactly the way any girl ever dreams of looking like when she is going to get proposed to) So, Reed is acting a little weird and he keeps pushing me to pack, but I push back on opening our stockings to each other first. He finally gives in and opens his first. I start to open my stocking and the first thing I pull out is like 5 bottles of “I love you” hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works, I’m thinking, “am I dirty?”. I keep going to pull out more hand stuff like a manicure kit, at the time this was strange to me because he knew I got my nails done…I still hadn’t caught on. I got to the bottom of my stocking and there was a white box, I opened it to find a play ring (I supposedly gave him off a cupcake years ago) and the taco sauce packet I had given him a few months before that said “Will you marry me?”  I looked up; Reed was down one knee with the ring. To this day I still can’t remember what he said because I was so overwhelmed with emotion and joy.  He says he doesn’t remember either which makes me feel a little better. I of course said, “Yes!”  Turns out he had called my dad and asked for his hand early that evening and he was just nervous. It was so sweet and cute. It did make it a little hard to get back to packing, we had so many people to call and share our news with, I then understood why he wanted to pack first. It was the perfect proposal!

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Do you have a song? Our song is Love Your Love the Most by Eric Church. We both have always felt like this song perfectly describes the two of us and our relationship. This is the song we chose to have our wedding party walk down the aisle to. However, our First Dance song was First Dance by Corey Smith. We felt like this song was the perfect way to describe how we would feel in that exact moment and that no matter what the honeymoon may have started then but will never end.Knoxville Wedding Photography The Barn at Chestnut Springs_0018


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Why did you choose your wedding date? Honestly, we wanted to have our wedding November 9th since neither of us had planned on having a year and half engagement. Seeing as we are a huge college football family it just didn’t work out with the Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Florida football schedules. Not to mention my dad coaches high school football and might not have been there to walk me down the aisle LOL. Plus we had two other friends looking at the same wedding date. November was definitely out…it was onto the spring wedding I had always wanted. April 8th our anniversary was already taken and we wanted to find a date with less probability of rain. You never know what you’ll get in Tennessee in April. So we decided on April 26th, it was close to the end of spring, the barn was available and it’s my mom’s birthday.

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Any particular reason for the theme or venue? The Smokies hold very special memories for both of us. Each and every year the Householder side of family gathers in a cabin tucked away in these mountains and we spend several days celebrating our family and the traditions we have come to cherish. The Maces loved this place so much that they purchased a second home here and continue to come as regularly as they can. They have spent many a day floating building fond memories at Cover Two and trolling around Douglas Lake. It’s where Lindsey calls heaven and her home away from home.  From day one, this was a special connection Lindsey and I shared. Sevierville is where I first met her family and is a place that we visit often.

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We had been searching all over the Gatlinburg area for the perfect barn venue, after seeing the pictures from Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert’s wedding, a country chic barn wedding was all I dreamed of. I had visions of a southern DIY filled wedding.  After stumbling upon the Barn at Chestnut Springs an online search, meeting Melanie Lee and visiting the barn, we knew it was absolutely perfect.  To be honest, we couldn’t imagine a more special place to share with our guests on our wedding day.

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What do the two of you like to do together for fun? We both live and breathe college football, so one of our favorite things to do together is attend Virginia Tech football games and tailgates with family. Reed and I have an 11 year old chocolate lab that we love to take on walks at the park or out for swim in the river. We visit wineries and breweries; attend as many concerts as we can; take trips and love being outdoors.

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What is the thing you love most about the other person? I love everything about Reed (the good, the bad, the ugly included), so it is truly hard to narrow it down to just one thing. Reed’s passion and optimism is the thing I love the most about him. He always sees the glass half full when I see it half empty. He encourages me daily to see the good in everything in life…no matter what the circumstance. His passion for life and people never ceases to amaze me, everyone around him is bettered by his presence and his ability to always make others smile and laugh. He makes my life and me better in every way.
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So hard to narrow down the ONE thing, I love everything about Lindsey including her minor flaws, but I think if I had to say one thing I love most about her it would be her strong independent personality. She was raised to be extremely independent and it is obvious on a daily basis. She is critical of the world and challenges everything. It can come across as stubborn at times (her nickname is mule for this reason) and even drives me crazy at times, but it keeps me on my toes and makes me challenge the way I see the world. She makes every day exciting and helps me to broaden my perspective and experience life to the fullest.

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding day? Everything! Honestly, we loved every minute of our day. It was the best and most fun day of our lives. It was just an amazing day spent with the people we care about the most.

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Did you have any DIY projects? If so, what? Where did you get the ideas? Would you do it again? Almost every detail of our wedding was DIY. We both went a little Pinterest happy.  My mom is amazing and handmade almost all of the décor by herself. One of my favorite details she made, was my sash, I loved it. She also sewed all of the antique dollies to make the dollies banner that was hung outside.  Our “guestbook” which was a pallet with our names and the state of Tennessee she and a family friend made together. The awesome LOVE marquee letters were handmade by my mom, my sister Courtney, my aunt Sharon and my aunt Kimmy. Some of the other items made by my mom were: the ring bible, that was lace we bought in Belgium and bibles my parents got for their wedding; the mason jar glasses for the wedding party, the mason jar wood name tags for guests were carved into wood; all of the various chalkboard signs; the papier-mâché decoupage letters; the programs she created then hand sewed all hundreds of them….there’s so much more. The pennants for waving were cut, glued and tied by me, my mom and our family friend Karen. My mom and I worked together to make the burlap wreaths and moss letters. Our family friend Gary Evans made all of the wood signs. I wanted a DIY wedding and I got one. Would I do it again? Yes! It was a lot of work, but it was fun having the opportunity to spend time with my mom that if it weren’t for the wedding might not have happened. Plus it was “ours”, no one else’s wedding will look the same or have the same personal touches. I can’t thank everyone enough who helped for all that they did.

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Did you do anything special for your honeymoon? We hadn’t taken a “real” vacation that wasn’t either family related or work related in four years of being together. So as our gift, Reed made all of the arrangements for Couples Swept Away in Negril, Jamaica. It was paradise. We had a great time, met some amazing couples, ate and drank ‘til our hearts were content, relaxed and just enjoyed our time with each other. It was perfect!

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Is there anything else you’d like to share? I’m reading a book right now called “What No One Tells the Bride” which is filled with things I wish I had known before planning our wedding. So I’d like to share my advice to other brides, and what I’ve learned and what I wish someone would have told me.
Though it may seem like none of the stress, money and frustrations are worth it in the planning process; they totally are worth it in the end. Dress shopping is not like an episode of “Say Yes to the Dress”; it’s an exhausting process, you may not get the overwhelming crying feeling when you find the “one” like on the show, but it doesn’t mean it’s not the one. Even if you can’t afford an event planner, make room in the budget for a Day of Coordinator. Doing so means enjoying your day with no stress trust me it’s worth it. Hire a videographer, we didn’t at first and I’m so thankful we did. Your day will go by so fast that you’ll blink and it’s over, you’ll find you missed so much because you’re on cloud nine (and let’s be honest, you have a lot on your mind). We can’t wait to actually sit down and see what really happened. Spend money on a great photographer and pictures, at the end of the day; these will be your lasting memories. You’ll learn a lot about family and friends during the planning process; people show their true colors when there’s a wedding. At the end of the day none of the stress they caused you will matter, it’s YOUR day. Breathe, just breathe. You may have some of the worst arguments with your fiancé the two of you have ever had…that’s all part of the stress and normal. It doesn’t mean your marriage is doomed or you should call it off. Just make sure to say you’re sorry. Personalize your wedding in every way you can (don’t go Pinterest crazy though), after all it’s about the two of you. First Looks are the best! It’s so much more intimate than seeing him as you walk down the aisle. We both said it calmed our nerves and gave a calming feeling for the rest of the day. In the same sense it’s okay to be nervous, it’s a huge step and a life changing moment…you’ll have many emotions the day of, embrace them. Most importantly, enjoy every moment. Dance like crazy with all of your friends and make memories that last a life time.

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See where Lindsey and Reed were featured in the fall print issue of DIY Weddings Magazine and on their blog!

Venue: The Barn at Chestnut Springs
Dress: David’s Bridal in Knoxville
Makeup: Southern Belle Beauty
Shoes: Honestly, I have no idea the name of the store. We were driving to my parent’s house in Florida for Thanksgiving and decided to stop at this random western store off an exit in North Carolina.  I loved them immediately, they were perfect.
Groom’s Outfit: Men’s Wearhouse
Decorations: Most of my décor was handmade by my mom, or things that we got together to work on at our cabin for a week in October, it was special because we hardly ever get this much time together. Some was from thrift stores back home in Florida, others from the 10 mile yard sale my and I went to in Sevierville. Other items came from an antique store Reed and I frequented called Warehouse Antiques in Amherst, VA.
Flowers: Melissa Timm Designs
Cake: Bradford Catered Events It was amazing. I couldn’t stop eating it the next day.
Food: Bradford Catered Events
Rings: Kay Jewelers
Jewelry: Handmade by Kasey Schroeder at Angelic Whispers Jewelry in Gatlinburg
Pastor: Reverend Tom Orange
DJ: DJ Ryan Ray with Ogle Entertainment
Day of Coordinator: Alexa Sponcia with Events with Alexa
Photography: Knoxville Wedding Photographer – Star Noir Studio

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