By CATHI AYCOCK

Photos by Melissa Madison Fuller 

For Hailey Blackburn and Grant Minchew, Nashville, Tennessee, was home sweet home.

Though the two lived mere miles from each other growing up, and then both attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, they didn’t meet until post-college. They were both starting out in their careers, but sparks flew between the two true-blue Tennesseans.

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Hailey and Grant Minchew in downtown Nashville at the historic Hermitage Hotel. Appropriately for these two native Nashvillians who both attended the University of Tennessee,  the Tennessee state flag waving proudly.

 

Fast forward several years and Grant was all set to create a surprise proposal for Hailey. With a little best laid plans caveat, Hailey laughs when she admonishes “beware the digital age” when it comes to surprises.

“I was using my mom’s iPad when a text from Grant popped up on the screen. Not thinking anything about it, I opened the text, saw a discussion with dates, and quickly closed the screen,” says Hailey.

Grant still managed to surprise Hailey, he had her parents ask her over after work one evening.  When she got to the house, he had set up their back patio with candles, flowers, music and wine. After the proposal, the newly engaged couple ended the night with a surprise engagement party at Hailey’s best friend’s house.

The wedding weekend started with the entire wedding party staying downtown at the historic Hermitage Hotel.

“I loved being downtown. The bridesmaids and my parents stayed Friday night at the Hermitage Hotel. It was very fun to wake up with our view looking out onto War Memorial and to have a slow and intimate morning with some of my favorite people,” says Hailey.

The wedding party spent the night in downtown Nashville at the historic Hermitage Hotel.

The wedding party spent the night in downtown Nashville at the historic Hermitage Hotel.

Having the wedding in downtown Nashville was also something of an homage to Hailey’s family history. And was part of the “something old” portion of the wedding.

” My something old was my grandmother’s garter. We pinned it inside of my dress. She was also married in downtown Nashville so sharing multiple things, such as a middle name, is very special to me. My something new was a Tiffany’s pearl bracelet Grant gave to me as a wedding gift. My something borrowed was really fun. I had my sorority sisters meet me before the ceremony to serenade me with a ritual song we sang together many of times, right before they each brought their Phi Mu pin and we attached them to my bouquet,” says Hailey.

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The groom and groomsmen wore white dinner jackets and classic black bow ties. The bridesmaids wore champagne halter-style, floor-length gowns. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were a mix of roses and olive branches.
Wedding party
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Hailey’s gown and veil were from Village Bridal by design house Pronovias. The gown was raw silk and the lace veil cathedral length for drama and elegance. The bridal bouquet was a mixture of  white roses and peonies.
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The wedding was held at West End Church of Christ in downtown Nashville.
At the church
After the I-do’s, the wedding party took a trolley to the reception.
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The reception, held at the War Memorial, included a seated dinner and dancing to the band Super T. The dinner menu  caterered by Bacon and Caviar, included chicken and au gratin potatoes, plated green bean salad and beef and vegetable kabobs. The cake was vanilla and buttercream frosting from Dulce Desserts.
Reception
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Newlywed Hailey Minchew prepares to throw her bouquet at her reception.
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Mr. and Mrs. Minchew leave the reception in a flurry of University of Tennessee pom poms. Both Grant and Hailey graduation from UT and are die hard fans.
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