A Rustic-Chic Wedding at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee

Planned by Jessica Sloane, with florals by Amy Osaba Design

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Photo by Tec Petaja

When Miller Morris and Jesse “Patton” Robinette were undergrads at Vanderbilt University they were both heading toward careers in medicine, but found themselves in an "Introduction to Theatre" class in January of 2015. “Neither of us was even interested in acting,” says Miller. They became friends, then Miller headed off for a semester abroad while Patton went from being Vanderbilt’s starting quarterback to being a medical student. “We reconnected, and fell in love quickly,” Miller recalls. On Christmas Eve in 2016, Patton invited Miller on a rainy walk around campus, and the pair reflected on how they’d wound up there together. “Suddenly, on the front steps of the building where we’d first met, he got on one knee and asked me to be his wife,” she says. The couple spent the night celebrating with Miller’s family, then headed to East Tennessee on Christmas morning to celebrate with Patton’s as well.

Patton and Miller both love family traditions, and realized that Christmas of 2017 would really be the only time they’d have away from medical school to say “I do"—so they got to work planning a December 23, 2017 wedding in Tennessee. “The 23rd of December is also Patton’s grandparents’ and aunt and uncle’s anniversaries, and we love getting to share it with them,” says Miller. They exchanged vows in a super-private ceremony at Patton’s childhood church (only their parents, the minister, and a single witness were in attendance!), then celebrated with 50 guests at Blackberry Farm. The evening was cozy and warm, filled with deep tones of black-green and berry as a modern twist on a Christmas palette. “We combined my contemporary taste with Patton’s love for all things rustic, which helped our wedding feel really homey,” says Miller.

With help from planner Jessica Sloane on the design and Tec Petaja behind the camera, this holiday wedding was warm, inviting, and totally chic. Keep reading for more!

barn venue
Photo by Tec Petaja

As an added bonus on their December 23rd date, the grounds at Blackberry Farm were already dressed for the Christmas season.

velvet guest book
Photo by Tec Petaja
invitation suite
Photo by Tec Petaja
black diamond engagement ring
Photo by Tec Petaja

The couple’s invitation suite was full of intricate details, from the watercolor liner and velvet ribbon wraps to the shimmering copper accents. It was all designed to match Miller’s engagement ring, a pear-shaped black diamond set in warm rose gold.

Bride getting ready wedding jewelry
Photo by Tec Petaja
bride carrying bouquet
Photo by Tec Petaja

“I have a less traditional style than my sisters, and was hesitant to go to the same salon where they’d found their wedding dresses,” says Miller. “We didn’t have much luck, until my mom spotted a dress as we were on our way out of the store.” The hidden gem? A Reem Acra gown featuring intricate embroidery on the bodice and a soft, flowing skirt.

bride and groom hugging
Photo by Tec Petaja
fur caplet bride and groom kissing
Photo by Tec Petaja

Miller paired her dress with the Vera Wang veil that both of her sisters had worn on their wedding days. She also added a pair of black-green velvet Jimmy Choo pumps. “That was the accessory that made me feel like myself,” says Miller. “And I love that I’ve been able to wear them again since!” Patton wore a custom gray suit by Loring and Co., with their wedding date embroidered under the collar. “He is going to wear it for his physician residency interviews for good luck,” says the bride.

bride and groom moody winter florals
Photo by Tec Petaja
green bridesmaids dresses
Photo by Tec Petaja

Florist Amy Osaba created lush and wild flowers that paired berry tones with touches of mauve and ivory, all surrounded by deep greenery. Peonies, cappuccino roses, ranunculus, orchids, and sweet pea were arranged to match Miller’s “curated yet unkempt” vision. Miller’s sisters both have small children, so they carried floral wreaths instead of bouquets to make it easier to hold their babies throughout the day.

Photo by Tec Petaja
candle and lantern decor
Photo by Tec Petaja
gazebo ceremony
Photo by Tec Petaja

Though the couple’s religious ceremony was incredibly private, they wanted their guests to be able to participate, so they had a second "blessing of marriage." This took place at the Yallarhammer Pavilion, which they dressed up with lanterns and neutral blankets in case guests got cold.

bride and groom entrance
Photo by Tec Petaja
exchanging vows
Photo by Tec Petaja

Guests sipped hot toddies as the couple exchanged personalized vows before moving straight into their first dance. A string quartet played “To Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan.

long banquet table
Photo by Tec Petaja
candlelit table scape
Photo by Tec Petaja

An indulgent and warming dinner awaited guests inside, where a long table was set beneath an overhead arrangement of organic greenery. A forest-green velvet runner served as a focal point down the middle of the table, which was lit by taper candles and topped with dark dishes and copper flatware on either side.

place setting
Photo by Tec Petaja
floral centerpiece copper vase
Photo by Tec Petaja
floral centerpieces
Photo by Tec Petaja

“Our florist used locally foraged greenery and combinations of ranunculus, peonies, and roses in my grandmother’s antique copper cookware to top the tables,” says Miller.

The four-course meal began with French onion soup (Patton’s favorite!), followed by beef filet with buttermilk potatoes, a cheese course, and wedding cake. “I have celiac disease, so as the cake was served, a flourless chocolate tart appeared at my place,” says the bride.

three-tier wedding cake
Photo by Tec Petaja

For those who were indulging, the ecru wedding cake featured layers of Guinness dark chocolate stout cake and traditional almond cake. “We also had red velvet cupcakes as favors, as an homage to Patton’s grandparents’ and aunt and uncle’s weddings,” Miller recalls.

toast bride and groom kissing
Photo by Tec Petaja

Inclement weather in the forecast meant Miller and Patton had taken their portraits the day before the wedding, leaving them plenty of time between their religious ceremony and the reception to actually see their guests. “Patton had a beer with his college buddies, while I was on the ground in my wedding dress playing with my nephew as my sister got ready,” says Miller. “It was so lovely to spend some ‘regular’ time with the people we care about so deeply.”

Wedding Team

Wedding Planner: Jessica Sloane

Ceremony Venue: First United Methodist Church

Reception Venue: Blackberry Farm

Bride's Dress: Reem Acra

Bride's Veil: Vera Wang

Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo

Hair & Makeup: Bangs and Blush

Bridesmaids' Dresses: Andrew Gallivan

Groom's Attire: Loring & Co.

Engagement Ring: Alexis Russell

Wedding Bands: Giador Fine Jewelry

Floral Design: Amy Osaba Design

Paper Products: Written Word Calligraphy

Catering: Blackberry Farm

Cake: Magpies Bakery

Ceremony Music: Bill Robinson String Quartet

Rentals: Please Be Seated, Nüage Designs

Transportation: Rocky Top Tours, Chariots of Hire

Videography: East West Production

Photography: Tec Petaja

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