As a freshman at Vanderbilt University, Hunter, now 26, slept through his 9 AM Italian class every day and went to the 12 PM class instead, which probably had something to do with his future wife, Megan, attending the lunchtime session. The two started dating a year later, in the fall of 2006, and on May 5th, 2012, Hunter took Megan, now 27, to their favorite spot in Nashville's Cheekwood Gardens and proposed on bended knee with an engagement ring made from her great-grandmother's diamond.
Sixteen months later, on September 1st, 2013, the college sweethearts tied the knot at Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Washington, D.C., then followed the traditional church ceremony with a garden-inspired reception at a private club in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Using gardenias, magnolias, and a blue-and-ivory color scheme, Megan and Hunter created their vision for an outdoor summer party with the help of Ritzy Bee Events. "I always wanted my wedding reception to feel like we've invited good friends and family over for an elegant, festive dinner," Megan says.
Keep reading to see all the details, captured by the talented Abby Jiu.
Megan and Hunter kept their paper goods classic and simple, using their ivory, grey, and slate blue colors on everything from the Save the Dates to the table numbers.
Megan selected two pairs of peep-toe Ferragamo heels, choosing to wear the blush patent wedges for the ceremony and the delicate lace stilettos for the reception.
For the ceremony, Megan wore her grandmother's wedding gown, an Alfred Angelo dress by Edith Vincent from 1957. Made entirely of Chantilly lace over white satin, the dress featured a scalloped neckline, pearl and iridescent embellishments, and a beautiful line of ivory buttons down the back. While both her mother and grandmother wore the dress with a hoop underneath, Megan chose a crinoline lining instead.
Megan's sister surprised her with three embroidered patches for the underskirt of the heirloom dress. The beautiful pale blue-and-ivory patches featured the names and wedding dates of the bride, her mother, and her grandmother, framed with an intricate border design.
A true Texas boy at heart, Hunter gave his groomsmen, father, and father-in-law custom black cowboy boots made in Nashville.
Megan added soft touches of greenery to her white bouquet of David Austen roses, spray roses, gardenias, and larkspur. For a pop of color, the stems were tied with a blue satin ribbon.
Megan's bridesmaids, who wore soft blue Ivy & Aster gowns, carried white hydrangea bouquets accented with dusty miller and a dove grey ribbon. They kept their necessities in delicate straw clutches embroidered with blue and white flowers.
Two urns of hydrangeas and greenery framed the altar. Clusters of white hydrangeas were set on the end of every pew.
During the Catholic ceremony, Father Jim Greenfield read letters that Megan and Hunter had written about each other prior to their wedding day. Family was a major theme of the carefully-planned ceremony, with Megan's two aunts reading from the Old and New Testament and Hunter's aunts reading the intercessions.
The bride and her groom took a moment in the middle of the ceremony to listen to Ave Maria. "We got to soak in all our feelings and the wedding ceremony," Megan says, "and glance out at our family and friends!"
After taking pictures inside the church, guests surprised the newlyweds with blue and white streamers and the sound of a hundred mini wedding bells — and, of course, lots and lots of cheering!
Megan changed into a fitted V-neck gown by Liancarlo, made of Alençon lace, for the reception. After meeting Carlos Ramirez, the Liancarlo designer, twice by happenstance, Megan says wearing the modern, cap-sleeved dress felt "serendipitous and wonderful."
Hunter worked with Alton Lane in Washington, D.C. to make his classic tailored tux. He accessorized with a Ledbury shirt and white suspenders from Albert Thurston. For a personal touch, he had the date of the wedding sewn into his jacket's inside pocket.
Growing up close to the reception venue, Megan fell in love with the club's stone walls, gardenia bushes, and indoor-outdoor space. The outdoor space was transformed with Adirondack chairs, linen sofas, and cozy pillows in the couple's wedding colors. A string quartet played during cocktail hour as guests sipped on His & Hers signature cocktails, a Dark and Stormy for the guys and Prosecco with lemon and basil for the ladies.
Inspiration came from the couple's homes in D.C. and Texas, as well as the time they've spent together in Italy and Tennessee. Round tables were covered with Belfast linens and the mantles were accented with Southern blooms of magnolias and hydrangeas in shades of blue and white.
Wooden farm tables were mixed in with the round dinner tables for a soft, comfortable look. After collecting Ralph Lauren's "Megan" dishes for years, the bride says the dessert plates bearing her name made the perfect table numbers.
Tone-on-tone embroidered runners lined the long tables, accented by clusters of low vases of hydrangeas, garden spray roses, lisanthus, and dahlias. Small gift boxes of Baci chocolates were set on each place setting with a label that read con amore.
Guests enjoyed a lemon cake with buttercream icing and fresh berries, topped with fresh flowers. Megan surprised her groom with another sweet treat: dulce de leche served with vanilla gelato in mini Texas Ranger's baseball "caps."
"Our band, The Source, was beyond fantastic," Megan says. She and Hunter danced to Michael Bublé's "You and I," a song request straight from the groom.
After exploring the Amalfi Coast on their week-long honeymoon, the newlyweds have settled in Dallas, Texas with their springerdoodle puppy, Dash. Megan advises future brides to spend as much time planning the ceremony as you do the reception. "Enjoy every moment," she says. "Remember what the day is all about—and take lots of pictures!"
Ceremony Venue: Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament || Reception Venue: Private Club in Chevy Chase, MD || Wedding Planners: Maria Baer and Kelly Seizert of Ritzy Bee Events || Bride's Ceremony Wedding Dress: Alfred Angelo || Bride's Reception Wedding Dress: Liancarlo || Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo || Hair: Barbara Zuhowski of Appearance Workshop, Toms River, New Jersey || Makeup: Pamela Dennison || Bridesmaids' Dresses: LoveLane by Ivy & Aster from Bella Bridesmaids || Groom's Attire: Alton Lane || Wedding Bands: I. Gorman Jewelers || Florist: Amaryllis Floral & Event Design || Invitations & Paper Goods: Susan Song of SIMPLESONG Design || Music: The Crystal Strings and The Source || Catering & Cake: Private Club in Chevy Chase, MD || Rentals: Party Rental and Amaryllis Floral & Event Design || Favors: SIMPLESONG Design || Videography: Branden Lower of A Bryan Photo || Photography: Abby Jiu