Downtown Surprise Party!

Rafa Calderon was the guest of honor at his surprise party from his wife Karla. Originally from Costa Rica, he works in the import/export business. The guest list was comprised of country music stars to CEO’s of companies and family/friend from all over the world. However, the atmosphere was far from stuffy or pretentious due to the couple’s fun and laid back personalities. Rafa’s personality was reflected in the party’s style and design which Premier W.E.D created entirely. They filled an empty space with every last detail, including hand-selected art and rugs. Southern Sky Event Lighting created custom lights from designs Dawn (Premier W.E.D. owner) submitted. Beyond Details Catering brought Costa Rican cuisine to Nashville with chicken, pork and beef tamales and empanadas, and the desserts, which could stand up to any baker in town, were treats from the wife’s Aunt. 

Credits: Village of Flowers- florals, Aerial Event Space, Southern Sky Event Lighting, JD's Music- DJ, Catering- Beyond Details: Nashville Office-Brandy Dyer and Chef John Moon. 

Julie and Jonathan's Wedding at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center

 What was something you wanted your guests to take out of/remember most from your wedding?
We had more than 100 people coming in from out of town for our wedding. I wanted to make the most of the event for them, so they would feel like it was worth their travel. I spent the majority of our budget on things that they would get the most out of: the food, drinks and band. I put less money toward things like my dress and the flowers, because I didn't think that would make their experience any more enjoyable. 

 What was something unique about your wedding?
My husband and I were introduced by his uncle, who was my former co-worker. Since he was the one to introduce us, we only thought it made sense for him to marry us too! He officiated the wedding ceremony, and did a fantastic job. It was incredible to have someone, who knew us both so well, sharing stories from our lives, and telling the audience why he thought we were right for each other in the first place. 

What’s some advice you would give to future couples planning a wedding?
My biggest regret was not hiring a wedding planner as soon as I got engaged. Instead, I tried to do it on my own. When I realized I was in over my head, that's when I brought in the team at Premier WED. At that point, I had already finalized deals with vendors, that I probably wouldn't have, had I had Dawn's advice.

 What did you love most about your wedding being in Nashville?
My husband and I moved to Nashville soon after we started dating, and we both quickly fell in love with the town. We were so excited to have our friends and relatives travel from all across the country to have fun in our new hometown.  We spent the night before the wedding going to honky tonks and karaoke bars. Our guests had so much listening to live music and experiencing a city, that's unlike any other.
But then the next night, we gave them a completely different experience. We had our wedding at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center; so while we were still downtown, they got to see the sophisticated side of music city.

How did Premier W.E.D help create your wedding day vision?
What I loved about working with Premier W.E.D is that they put my vision into reality, even though I couldn't even put it into words. It's like Dawn knew exactly what style I was looking for just by showing her a few pictures. She was able to take those ideas and run with it, and create something more stylish and sophisticated than I ever could have dreamed of.

 What vendors would you suggest to future brides? 
The great thing about having a wedding planner is that Dawn handled most of those details. I trusted her advice, and went with the people and companies that she recommended. I wouldn't change a thing. Dawn suggested Burning Las Vegas for our band, and they were fantastic! Not only was their music great, they put on a show for our guests.

Abbey and Dan's Downtown Nashville Wedding

"My mom met with several planners and felt like Dawn, more than the others, really understood our needs and the vision we were trying to create from the get-go. Our overall experience with Dawn and her team was superb - I mean truly excellent! Everything came together beautifully. We are most thankful for Premier W.E.D.'s responsiveness to all of our questions and for taking our ideas and making them even better!"
When did you and Daniel first meet?
Daniel and I met in early 2007 through our friends Brittany and Mark. She was dating Mark, a senior at West Point (USMA) who happened to be roommates with Daniel. With 800 miles between us, Daniel and I were "introduced" via Facebook message and developed a healthy history of AOL instant message dialogue for about a month before he got my number. From March 3 to April 7 (Easter Weekend) we talked almost every day, for hours on end. That year, Daniel made the trip from New York to spend Easter with Mark's family in Fishers, Indiana while I spent the holiday at Brittany's house - also in Fishers. We officially "met" that weekend. The rest is history....

How did he propose?
On May 7, 2011 Daniel made a surprise trip from North Carolina to Indiana where I lived and worked after graduation. He had already been on two deployments to Afghanistan and Haiti and was gearing up for his third tour, this time to Iraq at the end of the month. We had plans to see each other one last time at our friend's wedding the weekend of May 15 so I had absolutely no expectation of seeing him a week early. I had been away on a business trip until late Friday night and around 1 o'clock on Saturday Daniel was knocking on my door with nothing more than a suit bag draped over his shoulder. I was stunned. How did he even know I would be home!? But there he was. I didn't think for one second he was there to propose (we had already figured out that it would be prudent to wait until he returned from Iraq to get engaged.) Hah! It just so happened to be my birthday on May 10th so he coolly played it off that it was all just a big birthday surprise before he left for 8 months ... and I bought it. 

We spent Saturday afternoon at a local winery where Daniel wanted me to open my birthday present, wrapped in a pretty white bag. I removed the tissue paper and knew (well, thought I knew) exactly what my gift was - he was going to give me his West Point class ring to take care of while he was deployed. How sweet - he loves and cherishes that ring. I opened the wooden West Point-emblem engraved ring box very casually, expecting to see his gold and blue-star sapphire class ring sitting inside. Instead, I was blinded by a gorgeous glimmering round rock. If you haven't gathered... I said "yes." There were no tears involved, however - just pure shock.

Did you incorporate any DIY crafts into your wedding or any family heirlooms/ sentimental objects? 
Family heirlooms were wrapped around my bridal bouquet. My late paternal grandmother's precious rosary which now belongs to my dad, my maternal grandmother's hankerchief that my mom also carried, and Daniel's late paternal grandmother's blue-star sapphire pendant he gave her upon during his senior year at West Point.
As far as DIY projects, my mom and sister found an idea on Pintrest to tie streamers to wooden spools for the guests to wave upon Daniel and I arriving. It was an unexpected and fun surprise!

What month did you choose to have your wedding and why?
We had talked many times about wanting an October wedding for no other reason except we both just love the fall. Plus, October in the southeast is beautiful - the smells, colors, and temperature make for a perfect wedding backdrop. 
Describe your wedding cake.
For one, delicious. I'm not a cake person at all, but I could've eaten an entire tier on my own. It was a white cake with almond extract, carmel filling, and buttercream icing. YUM! As far as the design, it was a last minute choice. I was set on having a ruffle cake but learned that the fondont wouldn't taste as good as a frosted cake. At the end of the day, I'm glad I went with the yummy one especially because I really don't think I looked at the cake all night ... except to steal the first bite! 

What was your wedding style?
My style is a more of a spectrum: classic, chic, vintage, rustic, and bohemian if that even makes sense. I am drawn to delicate-feminine looks and muted tones along with a variety of textures. Daniel likes what I like - at least that's what I tell him :) 

 Where was your reception held?
Our reception was at aVenue on 3rd Avenue downtown Nashville. We loved the exposed brick and piping as well as the rustic, loft vibe. It was also the ultimate blank canvas. The idea of giving the space an "extreme makeover" was appealing to us, albeit a little more difficult!

What do you love most about Nashville?
There is something for everyone! Old southern charm meets modern eclectic culture. Oh, the music makes it pretty great too!

What do you love most about your wedding dress?
Lace. That's a complete sentence, right? But seriously, lace. My dress was just about as feminine and delicate as you can get. The shape was a dropped waist with a sweetheart neckline. 

Why did you choose Premier W.E.D over other local wedding/event planning businesses and how was your experience with us? 
I was living in Indiana and Daniel was living in Arizona as we were planing our wedding (with my superwoman Mom helping to orchestrate everything). My mom met with several planners and felt like Dawn, more than the others, really understood our needs and the vision we were trying to create from the get-go. Our overall experience with Dawn and her team was superb - I mean truly excellent! Everything came together beautifully. June, one of Dawn's assistants was the lead on coordinating our weekend events and did a wonderful job. We are most thankful for Premier W.E.D.'s responsiveness to all of our questions and for taking our ideas and making them even better!

What vendors would you suggest to future brides?
Planner: Premier W.E.D. - of course!
Venue: aVenue (Nashville)
Dress/Bridesmaid Dresses: BrideRoom (Greenhills); Stephanie, the dress consultant we worked with is amazing!
Cake: Dessert Designs (Greenhills); Leland Riggan has amazing cake flavors and designs
Catering: Chef's Market Catering (Goodlettsville); Jim was great to work with, and the tasting they set up for us was unbelieveable
Florist: Village of Flowers (Nashville); gorgeous arrangments!
Band: The Downtown Band (Nashville); Justin Caldwell, the lead singer, is incredible
Invitations: The Paper Source in Greenhills. They were very helpful and fun to work with on my invites!