Mary Lawless and Madison Lee did a version of speed dating—with just 51 weeks between meeting and getting married. They first crossed paths in September 2016 at a music festival near Nashville, where he’s a music agent at CAA and she’s the fashion influencer @happilygrey. “The moment I saw him, I knew,” she says. “My mom always says, ‘When you know, you know,’ but I never listened to her!” This time, though, Mary was all in from the start—to such an extent that friends questioned how fast things were moving when she and Madison went on a romantic mountain getaway only two weeks into dating. Within five months, they were engaged.
And just as they were sure about each other, Mary and Madison were certain of how they wanted their September 2017 wedding to look. (They hired planner Megan Proby of The 12th Table to help bring their vision to fruition.) Mary was inspired by iconic images of Kate Moss’s big day in 2011 (girls in white dresses, a vintage car, a field of flowers). They both wanted something out of the spotlight, so they invited just 35 guests—their immediate families and four friends each—to an afternoon ceremony at Bloomsbury Farm, outside Nashville.
Keep reading to see more of Happily Grey's big day—and check out our February/March 2018 issue, on newsstands today, for more!
After a big dress shopping trip in New York City, the bride found her dream gown at The Dress Theory at home in Nashville. She fell hard for the Claire Pettibone's lace design and deep back—but ever the fashionista, she, of course, put her own touch on the dress with the help of Karen Hendrix, a local couture designer. "My favorite elements were the customizations we made—the high neck, extended sleeve, full open back," she adds.
Mary accessorized her stunning, vintage-inspired dress with earrings and a bird cage veil (so chic!) from BHLDN, nude heels by Chloe, a handmade embellished brooch by Karen Hendrix, and her grandmother's wedding band. Her friends all wore white shoes to coordinate with the ceremony's all-white dress code (for the ladies).
At the ceremony site, the bride had her florist add white flowers and greenery to an already wooded area specifically for photo ops with her girls. "We didn’t have specific bridesmaids since it was so small and intimate," says the bride. "Every lady there was very special to me." Which is why Mary hand-selected a white gown for each woman to wear, with the help of BHLDN.
The couple had a total of six nieces and nephews as attendants. "I love kids, I'm in love with my nieces and nephews, and I wanted the images to be really heavy with the kids," she says.
The bride had flower crowns and olive-branch hearts made for the flower girls—and also gave them each a Polaroid to snap their own photos throughout the day's events.
Mary and Madison both journal so they took time to write their vows in small notebooks, which they later read aloud to each other.
Mary and her dad arrived in a 1950s Jaguar, and during their drive, Mary read through Madison’s day-of gift to her—a journal in which he’d written a letter every day of their engagement. The ceremony took place in a forest, where the bride walked down the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun.” Everyone sat in a circle so that, as Mary describes it, “we had their love and wisdom all around us.”
The couple wanted to create the feeling of being embraced by the families, which they did by arranging modern white chairs in a circle and draping them with striped Turkish blankets.
Madison's cousin live-painted the ceremony. "The people who mean so much us were involved in everything," Mary says.
Family was a large part of the program: The groom’s brother officiated, their mothers lit a unity candle, and the couple said a prayer using Mary’s grandparents’ Bible. “We really wanted to capture that special moment with our families,” Mary explains. “We wanted to be with the closest, most significant people in our lives.”
You may now kiss the bride!
The newlyweds exited to applause from their guests before they took a ride around the property to relish in their newly married bliss.
But first: The couple posed for pics in the back of the vintage Jaguar. "The girls piled in the car with us after the ceremony," Mary says. "This is one of my favorite photos from our entire wedding!"
Afterward, the group headed to the Cordelle, a Nashville venue—and the reception soon kicked into a higher gear with the arrival of 90 more guests. “To really make the most of the day, we invited all of our friends to celebrate what we had just experienced more intimately with our families,” says Mary, who changed into a Pronovias gown.
Cocktail hour took place outside the venue, where the lawn was decorated with string lights wrapped in greenery.
An intimate dinner was served at long tables, which were decorated differently on the porch and lawn. The long garland on the outside table evoked the woodsy scenery from the ceremony earlier that day.
But while the party got much bigger, it was no less personal. The couple displayed their vows on oversize scrolls, showed a video clip of the ceremony, and put their touch on everything—from signature cocktails named for their dogs to a late-night gelato cart from their favorite local spot.
The couple also had a surprise for each other: Mary had a fresh oyster bar set up for Madison (a staple at his family’s holidays), and he enlisted Noah Kahan to sing his hit “Sink” for their first dance.
The bride ended the night in a white jumpsuit by Roksanda, which she ordered online just days before the wedding. "I thought it would be fun to exit in a cool jumpsuit," she says. And, in fact, the cool jumpsuit was the perfect ending to Madison and Mary's even cooler day. Mary says, “At the end of the night, we both got in the car laughing and looked at each other like, ‘Whoa, that was awesome.’”
Ceremony Venue: Bloomsbury Farm || Reception Venue: The Cordelle || Wedding Planning & Floral Design: Megan Proby of The 12th Table || Stationery: Kaela Rawson || Rentals: The 12th Table, Music City Tents & Events|| Bride's Ceremony Dress: Claire Pettibone || Bride's Reception Dress: Pronovias || Bridesmaids and Flower Girl Dresses: BHLDN Groom's Attire: The Black Tux ||Engagement Ring: Baileys Jewelers || Weddings Bands: King Jewelers ||Catering: Beyond Details ||Mixology: Gemaal Pratts || Cake: Dessert Designs || Ceremony Music: Belmont School of Music || Reception Music: The Downtown Band || First Dance Artist: Noah Kahan || Favors: Keachia’s Cookies || Late-Night Tacos: Beyond Details ||Vintage Cars: Matchless Transportation||Lighting: Bright Events || Wedding Painter: Hannah Lee || Photography: Emmy Lowe Photography|| Videography: Cardboard Films