Real Wedding: A Festive Nashville Distillery Affair
Andy and Kristin Nelson decided to get married at the place nearest and dearest to their heart–Andy's distillery. As the owner and whiskey maker at Nelson's Green Brier Distillery in Nashville, and whiskey maker of Belle Meade Bourbon, Andy and Kristin have watched this place grow and thrive into a booming business, so it was only right that this would be the place where they celebrated their nuptials. This New Year's Eve wedding was Southern in its own right, equipped with sparkly dresses, a family-style meal, and of course, whiskey. See how this Nashville couple turned an unlikely wedding venue into a sophisticated and elegant night to remember.
The Wedding Theme
Being that it was a New Year’s Eve wedding, the bride wanted to let guests embrace the holiday spirit. The bridesmaids wore sparkly, floor-length sequined gowns in a lead color and the groomsmen wore classic black tuxedos. Guests were asked to dress black tie optional to elevate the attire for the event.
How He Proposed
On a Saturday in September 2015, Andy was working a whiskey tasting event, and Kristin was watching her beloved UT Vols football team with friends at a watch party. When Andy finished his event, he met up with Kristin toward the end of the game, with plans to surprise her with a proposal at Nashville’s 5th & Taylor restaurant later that night. After the Vols suffered an unfortunate loss (a missed field goal!), pouring rain, and too much tailgating, the two decided to postpone what Kristin thought was just a regular dinner date night. The next day, Andy—with the ring burning a hole in his pocket—surprised Kristin that morning with a proposal. The two immediately went to 5th & Taylor to celebrate over brunch.
Planning for the Big Day
"My mom and I planned the wedding without a wedding planner. Neither or us had ever planned a wedding before, but we tackled it together. We did our research online and by crowdsourcing recommendations and advice from friends and family. Ask around for advice—especially about pricing, people are not afraid to tell you what they spent on details as a way to help you understand how your budget will play out," says Kristin.
Keeping with Traditions
Kristin’s “Something Borrowed” was a cathedral-length, lace veil from her sister-in-law. Kristin’s “Something Blue” were her undergarments and reception necklace. Kristin’s “Something Old” was her veil. And of course, her “Something New” was the wedding dress! The night of the rehearsal, Andy’s aunt gifted Kristin with a sixpence for her shoe, along with instructions to pass the sixpence on to the next bride in the Nelson family. Andy’s aunt had worn the sixpence in her shoe on her wedding day.
Walking Down the Aisle
Andy: "Seeing Kristin walk down the aisle [was the best part of the night]. At the reception, I loved being introduced and seeing all of our friends and family that were there to celebrate us."
Kristin: "Saying our vows was a really powerful moment. We both know how we feel about each other, about our relationship. But it was such a meaningful experience to intently say our vows to each other in front of our family and friends. At the reception, I just loved dancing with everyone. I think our wedding being on New Year’s Eve put everyone in an even bigger party mood—our friends and family showed up ready to have a good time!"
The Wedding Party
Kristin affectionately called her bridesmaids “disco balls” because of their head-to-toe sequined dresses. The floor-length, lead-colored gowns featured a small train, and brides created the look with sparkly J-Crew earrings and cream-colored fur stoles.
Andy and his groomsmen wore classic black tuxedos from The Black Tux. Suspenders, bowties and button studs. And —who loves fun, funky socks—accentuated his outfit with a pair of colorful socks.
Why the Distillery was the Perfect Venue
"It was special to have been able to show all our friends and family the distillery, some of whom maybe hadn’t had an opportunity see or experience it and really know what we have been working on for the past 10 years or so. Knowing that we built this space from nothing, and knowing that we celebrated this life moment in such a special place, as opposed to just any rented venue. The energy of the place with our friends and family in it was special, given all that we’ve put into the space," says Andy.
For the flowers, Kristin wanted casual, seasonal looked that matched the roughness of the distillery space: "Our flower concept was elegant, wintry mixes incorporating neutrals, whites/creams, grey, lush greenery and pops of maroon. Flowers included: creamy ivory peony rose, white anemone, dusty miller lacy leaf, dusty miller greenery, burgundy dahlias, red hanging Amaranthus, walk of fame garden rose, and silver brunia."
Why Guests Loved the Wedding
"People were raving about the cocktails we served. I have never been to a wedding where the cocktails were such a topic of conversation—even after the event. Having our reception at Andy’s distillery and serving Andy’s bourbon was extremely meaningful, so it made us proud to be able to make such an impact on people. Also, our band was fantastic! They really got into the night, and the crowd responded. The dance floor was packed from the first song to the last," says Kristin.
The Final Kiss
At the New Year’s Eve countdown there was confetti, streamer poppers, champagne toast… and kisses all around! Guests cheered the bride and groom as they exited the event at 1:00am. Guests waved metallic streamer wands as Andy and Kristin hopped into a vintage truck to drive them away.