After meeting at MTSU’s Kappa Sigma, Elaina & Andrew bonded over mutual friends and their Greek heritage. They shared a 7 year courtship before deciding to get married in big, fat, Greek style!
Colorful. Sparkly. BIG!
Those are the 3 words that best describe this amazing couple’s wedding day. Elaina and Andrew said ‘I do’ at the beautiful Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Nashville with a reception at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. I cannot decide which detail I loved the most: the bridesmaids peacock blue headpieces, the 80’s cover band, or Elaina’s fabulous shoes. (We all know how I feel about shoes)
I can say that I LOVE the fact that photography was super important to them. They even rented a huge bus to transport the entire wedding party, me, and my 2 assistants downtown to Printer’s Alley for photos between the ceremony and reception. Adding time to their photography package (and their busy day) to ensure unique, fun images really made my creative heart smile!
Elaina takes us through her vendors below:
Wedding Venue: “Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, the church I was baptized in and grew up in. Father Paul is the priest that married us.”
Florist: A Village of Flowers
“Melanie and Lydia did an amazing job. I met with them about 4-5 months prior to the wedding and explained what I was looking for- They completely understood my vision and did a fantastic job giving me what I wanted, but also staying within the budget, again, I’d highly recommend them to ANYONE. They did a beautiful job!”
Elaina had 3, yes 3 gowns!
“I bought the first dress at LaRaines Bridal in the Virginia Highlands in Atlanta. It is by Pattis Bridal; however Corinne, their alterations guru helped me transform the top of the dress into my own creation. She was my fairy godmother with this dress.”
“My bridesmaids dresses came from Bridals by Lori in Atlanta, and Ashley Kudzick was absolutely FANTASTIC to work with. Again, she really understood by vision and didn’t second guess my decisions. She gave me great advice and even got on the phone and called the girls to make sure everything was as easy as possible. With having a lot of bridesmaids, she really made the process extremely easy on me and I’m very grateful for that.”
“My bridesmaids/flower girls hair was done by two of my best friends and bridesmaids, Mackenzie Marchman of A Shane Buffkin Salon, and Marie Griffies of Jon Alan Salon in Franklin, Tennessee. They both did such an amazing job! They worked ALL day and got 9 girls ready (whew!) I am so grateful to them and everyone looked so beautiful! I’m so lucky to have so many talented friends. This again, was really special to me. I am so thankful I had these talented ladies there!”
“My hair was done by the amazing Shane Buffkin and Bree Buffkin, from A Shane Buffkin Salon in Pechtree City, Georgia, where I also work. They have been so supportive and helpful and it was really special to me having them there. I’m lucky I work for such amazing people!”
“We went with Joseph A. Banks on the tux rental; however we purchased the ties for the groomsmen.”
After the formal family photos, we loaded up the bus and headed to Printer’s Alley. Transportation: Grand Avenue Limo
“Highly recommend them. They were prompt, great to work with, and were the ONLY transportation company in the entire Nasville area that was able to get us handicap accessible transportation (I called nearly 12 other companies) Our driver was amazing and very helpful. He even managed to get the police to block off part of Printer’s Alley so we could get the pictures we wanted!”
Cake: “Sandy Nash made our beautiful and delicious cake. She came all the way from Georgia to make our cake (luckily her son lives in Nashville). She makes the most gorgeous and delectable cakes ever! It was so special that she was willing to do this for us.”
Reception venue: Loews Vanderbilt Hotel.
“Erin Wilkinson and the Loews entire staff was AMAZING to work with, they were flexible and made us feel so special. I would recommend Loew’s for their impeccable customer service to ANYONE!! We were very happy with them, also the food was amazing. We spoke to almost every hotel and reception venue in Nashville, and this was BY FAR the most accommodating and friendly venue we came across. There was no pretentiousness. This is by far one of the best decisions we made. Can’t say enough about them!”
*Side note: I concur! The food was the best reception food I’ve ever had!*
Enter gown #2:
“The second dress I purchased at Priscilla of Boston in Atlanta. Again, my neighbor and friend, Patricia Nava helped make this dress fit me perfectly and altered the hemline to make it fun and easy to move around in. She really did an amazing job, and she got it done so quickly! She made it perfect!”
“The Band was 80z Enuff from North Carolina. We worked with Mathew Thomas at East Coast entertainment to book them. They were amazing! We had so much fun. We didn’t want your typical ‘wedding band’, we wanted to have fun and enjoy great music. These guys are amazing musicians and we were really excited that they could be a part of our celebration.”
Elaina and her Dad danced to a recording of a song on which she sang and he played guitar. Sweet!And finally some traditional Greek dancing in dress #3: “The third dress was my little white dress from Bloomies, it is BCBG.”
Elaina and her ladies jumped on stage and rocked out to ‘I Love Rock-n-Roll.’Your favorite and least favorite part of planning? “Favorite- picking out the flowers with my mom. Least favorite- planning, planning, and more planning! I’m not a planner! It was hard to work, it kind of took over my life.”
The most memorable moment of your wedding day? “I have a few. My dad walking me down the isle and then seeing Andrew, he had tears in his eyes. It was very special. And the topping on the cake was to look over at my beautiful girls and see them lined up, standing by my side and they were so radiant and colorful and SPARKLY! I was so just excited to see everything come together. Another was when my mom walked down while we were taking pictures. She looked so beautiful, she took everyone’s breath away. My other favorite memory was when we were being announced, I had changed into my second dress and Andrew picked me up on his shoulder and walked me into the ballroom. The look on everyone’s faces was priceless. It was completely unrehearsed and it was just a lot of fun, I’ll never forget that moment.”
What you would change, if anything? “I wouldn’t change a single thing. I feel that we were both very blessed and we had so much support and we both worked really hard. I did so much research and I honestly believe I had the best of the best vendors. I think I had a great team and there wasn’t a single thing that I would do differently. I have a lot of thank you cards to write!!!!”
Where your budget was best spent? “I’d definitely say the photography- because pictures are what last and remind you of everything else about your day.”
Any advice for future brides? “Elope!! Haha! No, not really! I’d say surround yourself with amazing people. It doesn’t matter where you are or what your budget is, the only thing that really matters in the end is having amazing people around you that are going to be excited for you. Its the friends and family that make the whole experience so special. (and the groom, of course) but if you are struggling with numbers vs. Nicer food, etc… Go with the people. Invite everyone that is important to you, because thats what you remember. It’s not the food, or any of the other details, it’s always the people and memories.”
©2011 Bledsoe Photography