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An Ethereal Wedding in Nashville Inspired by ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Planned by Read Event House.

Rebecca “Becky” Delius and Michael Eades crossed paths briefly during the summer of 2009 at Bobbie’s Dairy Dip, a Nashville landmark. But, it wasn’t until Becky saw Michael on OkCupid that they had their first official conversation. “I messaged him to ask why someone like him was on an internet dating site,” Becky remembers. Since they spent the next few days constantly messaging one other, they decided to continue that exchange in person. “We met up a few days later on Record Store Day at local record store The Groove to see if the flirtatious chemistry we had online was the same in person,” Becky explains. “Luckily, it was.” The meet-up went so well, in fact, that they scheduled their first date for the following day. “Thai for lunch and then to Target to buy cat food,” Becky recalls. The rest was history.

In June 2019, Michael surprised Becky with a trip to Mackinac Island, Michigan. On their last night, the two enjoyed an intimate dinner, but Becky could sense an anxious energy coming from Michael. “We settled on the end of the front porch of the Grand. As the sun began to set, Michael got down on one knee and proposed,” Becky reminisces. “Despite us having already been together for seven years, he was still so nervous that he forgot to actually take the ring out of the box and put it on my finger. Instead, he just sort of tossed it in my lap.” They spent the rest of the evening toasting their engagement with Champagne and sharing the exciting news with friends and family. 

Becky and Michael's invitations with illustration of their venue

Photo by Austin Gros

The pair started planning their big day right away, and they made great progress until a pandemic threw a wrench in their plans. “We were rocking and rolling with picking things out and booking vendors left and right. Then, things came to a screeching halt, and all of our plans were thrown sideways,” Becky explains. Since the future was filled with uncertainty, the duo decided to postpone their wedding another year. Although it was a challenging decision, having the extra time ended up working in their favor.

Two years of planning later, Becky and Michael finally tied the knot on June 19, 2021 at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville with 170 guests in attendance. Keep reading to see how their wedding unfolded, as planned by Lindsy Read of Read Event House and photographed by Austin Gros.

Since the couple wanted a summer solstice wedding, they sought inspiration from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Thus, the concept of a fairytale Athenian wedding was born. They settled on a timeless aesthetic infused with personal touches. “We wanted it to be full of ‘us’ with little pieces of the things, places, art, media, and films we love,” the couple notes. The duo turned to Becky’s favorite movies, Dracula and Marie Antoinette, to establish their color palette of red, pink, white, and French blue.

Becky doing her makeup

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky putting a gold leaf crown on top of her loose curls

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky went full glam with her makeup. “We ended up doing a '1960s Lana Del Rey channeling Priscilla Presley’ with heavy brows and eyeliner, big lashes, and rosy hues on the cheeks,” she describes of her look. For her hairstyle, the bride wore her locks down in loose curls and topped it off with a regal gold leaf tiara, a nod to her German and Greek heritage. “I thought having my dark hair down against the ivory of the dress would add to the overall drama of the look,” she illuminates. The finishing touch was a light pink base coat on her nails, which she had painted with delicate white flowers and gold swirls.

Michael in his black tux with spray rose boutonniere

Photo by Austin Gros

Michael spent the morning exploring the venue with his groomsmen before changing into his wedding attire. As a token of gratitude to his inner circle, the groom distributed gift boxes with liquors and mixers curated to each person and a T-shirt.

Becky in off-the-shoulder convertible gown with cathedral veil and romantic bouquet

Photo by Austin Gros

For the ceremony, Becky donned a satin convertible gown with a silk overskirt and a sheer organza long-sleeve top from Halfpenny London. “I told everyone I didn’t really want to feel like a princess, but wearing those pieces made me feel like grown-up royalty,” she notes. Before she found the one, Becky had a certain vision in mind. But, once she tried on her dream dress, it didn’t meet her expectations. Since it was back to the drawing board, Becky decided to go solo to the next bridal salon. “I saw the Daniel top with those voluminous sleeves and knew I had to try it on,” she recounts. Everything clicked once she did. To confirm, she brought one of her bridesmen to the salon the next day. “When I saw his face, I knew it was the one,” she shares. 

Becky's asymmetrical bouquet of roses, ranunculus, and peonies in red, pink, and white

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky's bouquet of roses, peonies, and ranunculus in red, white, and pink with trailing greenery

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky’s romantic bouquet of ivory, red, and pink ranunculus, garden roses, peonies, sweet peas, and snowberries popped against her gown. “We wanted the florals to feel decadent with deep true reds and hues of flushed-cheek pink but with a playfulness that avoided anything feeling too gothic or heavy,” she illustrates. 

Michael's black tux, black bow tie, black loafers, and white floral boutonniere

Photo by Austin Gros

Michael's boutonniere of spray roses, olive branches, and huckleberry

Photo by Austin Gros

Michael sported a black tuxedo from Bonobos, which he paired with a silk bow tie, black Mercanti Fiorentini loafers, and a boutonniere of white spray roses, olive branches, and huckleberry.  

Becky and Michael's ceremony site at a outdoor courtyard

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael's ceremony statue decorated with floral arrangements

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael's ceremony chairs adorned with fans

Photo by Austin Gros

The twosome held their ceremony in the courtyard outside of War Memorial Auditorium. “I really wanted things to be simple since the space itself did so much heavy lifting,” Becky says of the minimalist décor. An oversized statue was the focal point, so the bride and groom highlighted it by creating floral arrangements “to resemble little meadows growing around the base of the large statue.” Urns overflowing with roses, delphinium, hydrangea, and greenery framed their vows. Each seat had a red, pink, or white fan to keep guests cool in the summer heat.

Becky walking herself down the aisle

Photo by Austin Gros

I proudly walked myself down the aisle, knowing he would have loved my independence in that moment.

Becky walking herself down the aisle

Photo by Austin Gros

“My father passed away in 1999, and we were extremely close,” the bride shares. “I’d always been daddy’s girl, so it didn’t feel right having anyone else do the job. I proudly walked myself down the aisle, knowing he would have loved my independence in that moment.” To honor her father’s affinity for their family history, Becky chose “Summer Evening,” composed by distant relative Frederick Delius, for her processional. 

Becky and Michael reciting personalized vows during their ceremony

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael exchanged personalized vows, which was a powerful moment for both of them. “Nothing beat the feeling of reading our vows aloud to one another and getting to hear which experiences from our relationship helped shape the other’s love,” Becky reflects. The couple also selected special readings for their ceremony. One of Becky’s bridesmaids read Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court case that granted marriage equality to LGBTQ+ couples. “It might seem odd for a heterosexual couple to have this as a reading, but it contains some truly beautiful and insightful sentiments about the purity and selflessness of marriage,” Becky reveals. They also had their wedding party quote Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Michael’s favorite movie, and read an excerpt from playwright Tennessee Williams’s letter to film director Elia Kazan.

Becky and Michael sharing their first kiss

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael rejoicing during the recessional

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael during the recessional

Photo by Austin Gros

After sharing their first kiss as newlyweds, the happy couple walked back up the aisle to Felix Mendelssohn’s "Wedding March” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Becky and Michael taking couple portraits

Photo by Austin Gros

We just had the biggest grins and kept saying, ‘We’re married’ over and over.

Becky and Michael taking couple portraits

Photo by Austin Gros

Since the pair didn’t do a first look, they carved out time after the ceremony to take photos and bask in their newlywed bliss. “Immediately after the ceremony, there’s a giddy electricity that’s hard to articulate,” Becky expresses. “One minute you’re still engaged, and the next, you’re husband and wife. We just had the biggest grins and kept saying, ‘We’re married’ over and over.”

Becky and her bridal party in all white

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky had her bridal party coordinate in all white. “I thought having my bridal party in white was a very chic way to say ‘They’re all with me,’” Becky elaborates. Her bridesmaids flaunted white floor-length dresses in their style of choice, and her bridesmen wore white dinner jackets with black lapels.

Michael and his groomsmen in all black suits

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael walking with their wedding party

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael holding hands while walking with their wedding party

Photo by Austin Gros

Meanwhile, Michael dressed his squad in black tuxedos, which provided a nice contrast to their counterparts’ attire.

Becky and Michael's second line band during cocktail hour

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael's guests drinking signature cocktails during cocktail hour in the courtyard

Photo by Austin Gros

A New Orleans-style second line band played during cocktail hour in the courtyard. While listening to the band play, guests mingled and sipped on signature cocktails: “Persephone’s Paloma,” a rosemary and honey paloma, and “Ale of Apollo,” an herbal lemon shandy.

Becky and Michael's reception in the auditorium

Photo by Austin Gros

Everyone moseyed on over to the auditorium for the reception. Since Becky was born in Nashville and Michael grew up in a suburb outside of the city, the duo often attended events at the War Memorial Auditorium. Its architecture and history always caught their eye. “We pretty much knew immediately this would be where we would get married,” the couple shares. “We learned so much more about its history and unique features while planning the wedding, and we felt it was a privilege to have our own personal story become intertwined with its history.”

Becky and Michael's tablescapes with pink linens and tall floral centerpieces

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael's tablscape with tall floral centerpieces and runner with red candles and busts

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael's table runners with busts

Photo by Austin Gros

Towering floral arrangements on gold stands topped banquet tables covered in pale pink linens. Busts of Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, and Athena—Greek goddesses whose mythology tied into the couple’s personal history and relationship—lined the table. The newlyweds had each sculpture wrapped in foliage, flowers, and fruit to blend in with the rest of their décor. 

Becky and Michael's place settings with red goblets, gold flatware, and scalloped dinner plates

Photo by Austin Gros

Since Becky and Michael are both vegetarian, they selected a fully vegetarian menu with Southern-inspired dishes. Guests could choose from Southern hominy and smoked jackfruit; pasta with balsamic tomatoes, asparagus, zucchini, and sun-dried tomatoes; or black-eyed pea cake with chow chow, root vegetables, and herbed potatoes. Everyone ate in style with aqua napkins, white dinner plates with scalloped edges, vintage salad plates, gold flatware, and red goblets.

Becky and Michael's gift box escort cards and favors

Photo by Austin Gros

Miniature bust statues inside small gift boxes secured with ribbon doubled as guests’ escort cards and favors.

Becky and Michael's memory table with photos of loved ones

Photo by Austin Gros

To honor and remember those who have passed, the couple arranged a shrine with framed photos of their loved ones.

Becky and Michael making grand entrance into reception

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael listening to toasts and speeches

Photo by Austin Gros

“Bulls on Parade” by Rage Against the Machine set the mood as Becky and Michael made their grand entrance into the reception. The bride removed the sheer top from her Halfpenny London dress, revealing a strapless number. 

Becky and Michael's five-tier marble cake with gold leaf

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael cutting their marble cake with gold leaf detailing

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael cutting the cake and putting slices on plates

Photo by Austin Gros

For dessert, the couple served a five-tier marble cake with gold leaf detailing decorated with red flowers and greenery. Each slice bursted with the flavor of red velvet, strawberry, and almond. “I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins played while the twosome cut the cake.

Becky and Michael during their first dance

Photo by Austin Gros

The newlyweds showed off their moves while sharing a first dance to “Come Softly to Me” by The Fleetwoods.

Becky and Michael following the second line band

Photo by Austin Gros

At the end of the night, the second line band escorted everyone out of the reception. For the grand finale, Becky removed her overskirt, which left a strapless sheath with a figure-hugging silhouette. 

Becky and Michael grabbing snack gift bags on the way out of the reception

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael's late-night snack bags

Photo by Austin Gros

On their way out, guests grabbed gift bags with Cheetos and strawberry Keebler Sugar Wafers—the bride and groom’s favorite snacks—for late night sustenance.

Becky and Michael following second line band parade from the venue

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael walking through downtown Nashville following the second line band

Photo by Austin Gros

Many of our guests said the second line parade was the best thing they’d ever experienced at a wedding!

Becky and Michael singing and dancing with second line band in front of hotel

Photo by Austin Gros

Everyone followed the band through downtown Nashville from the venue to their hotel while singing along to “When the Saints Go Marching In.” “Many of our guests said the second line parade was the best thing they’d ever experienced at a wedding,” Becky exclaims. 

Becky and Michael dancing with guests in front of their hotel

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael's second line band singing

Photo by Austin Gros

Becky and Michael dancing with their guests at the end of the night

Photo by Austin Gros

For Becky and Michael, the parade was the perfect ending to an unforgettable night. “We ended back in front of the hotel, and our friends gathered around us as the band played their last song. It was probably the most euphoric feeling we’d ever had,” they share. “We felt completely surrounded by love, jubilation, and well wishes.” 

Wedding Team

Venue War Memorial Auditorium

Planner Read Event House

Officiant Lovejoy Weddings

Bridal Gown Designer Halfpenny London

Bridal Salon Ila Bridal

Bride’s Veil Ofrenda Studio

Bride’s Shoes Harriet Wilde

Bride’s Hair Shani Gailbreath of Canvas + Coif

Bride’s Makeup Brittany Bell Spencer

Bridesmaids’ Dresses Reformation; ASOS

Bridesmen’s Attire JM Street Menswear & Tuxedo

Groom’s Attire Bonobos

Groomsmen’s Attire JM Street Menswear & Tuxedo

Engagement Ring Brilliant Earth

Wedding Bands Brilliant Earth; Minor Jewelry

Invitations Cardinal and Straw Fine Paper Goods

Guest Book Starboardpress via Etsy

Floral Design Rosemary & Finch Floral Design

Table Busts Greek Art Shop; ROMARTSculptures via Etsy

Music Jay McElfresh; Halfbrass

Bar BarBees

Catering Two Fat Men Catering

Cake Baked in Nashville

Rentals EventWorks Nashville

Lighting Quest Events

Draping Quest Events

Accommodations Dream Nashville

Photo Booth Design Erin Plew Murals & Designs

Photo Booth Photography Steve Cross Photography

Photography Austin Gros

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