It's always a sweet story when childhood friends become lifelong partners. And this was Mary + Daniel's story that happened right here in Nashville! As you scroll through the photos by Alyssa Joy Photography, you may recognize a familiar face as Mary's dad is Jim Hagy who owns Nashville catering company Chef's Market. The family business brought the two together (since Daniel had managed the restaurant), so it was only fitting to have food as the centerpiece of their organic Nashville wedding. Each element was carefully chosen to create an atmosphere that was so very Mary and Daniel. Keep scrolling to see their full day!
Mary + Daniel
Long Hollow Gardens
Daniel and Mary's families were good friends, and they first met when Daniel was 5 and Mary was 3. One of Mary's first memories is chasing Daniel through a field to ask him to marry her at a Fourth of July party. He said no and ran away, but more than 20 years later Mary had a more positive response when Daniel returned the question to her... once again on the Fourth of July!
The happy couple lost touch after their childhood meeting as they went to different schools. It wasn't until Daniel took a job at Chef's Market that the two reconnected. Daniel managed the restaurant and also used his photography background to serve as the food photographer for Chef's Market throughout the years. This connection to both food and photography served as cornerstones of their wedding planning process. Of course, Chef's Market served as the caterer for the wedding, and their photographer was a friend Daniel and Mary met while on a service trip together in France.
Even wedding industry pros can face the challenge of finding a balance between the wishes of the bride and groom, and the well-intended ideas of their parents. Jim had envisioned a plated/served dinner so that he could serve a nice meal to our guests, but both Mary and Daniel preferred a more casual party style of service. With this in mind, the family brainstormed together and short plate & wine pairings menu that pleased all parties involved.
The menu highlighted some old nostalgic family favorites, as well as some fun special items for the bride and groom. For example:
- The family's fruit tea recipe was featured with a fun spin of being served in juice pouches with a paper straw tied with a gray ribbon.
- They created a miniature version of the signature dish (fried catfish and hushpuppies) at the Hagy family's other restaurant called the Catfish Hotel in Shiloh, Tenn. The extended family appreciates this nod to a family favorite because they all grew up with this restaurant as a meeting point for the family. Jim even found disposable serve ware that mimicked what this item is served in at the restaurant, which completed the item and made it true to the dish.
- As a fun spin on a Nashville classic since both Mary and Daniel grew up in Music City was the Nashville hot chicken served in a miniature waffle cone. It was served with a pipette of hot sauce so the heat level could be controlled by each guests preferences making it accessible for anyone to eat.
- For the salad course, one of the options was a recreation of the salad Mary served the first time she cooked dinner for Jim, Cheryl (her mom) and Daniel. It was a baby spinach salad with roasted garbanzo with a whipped Tahini vinaigrette. A second salad offering was a grain salad with a Roasted Sesame Vinaigrette that has been favorite at Chef's Market for 20 years. The table sparkled as salads were served in beautiful coup dishes that made it easy for guests to select, grab and go.
- Desserts are a favorite to the family, so in addition to the lovely wedding cake by A Frosted Affair by Jay Qualls, they added a pie station with ice cream and converted the charcuterie table to a dessert bite table featuring more family favorites.
Jim wasn't the only father that played a special role at the wedding. Daniel's father performed the ceremony giving the service an extra special personal touch.
When selecting a venue, Mary and Daniel both loved the idea of an outdoor wedding, though Daniel felt that having an air conditioned space was a non-negotiable. With this in mind, they searched for a venue that could strike a balance between an indoor and outdoor venue, and they were thrilled with the way The Cedars at Carr Farm provided both an amazing outdoor location and a beautiful indoor (air conditioned) spot for the reception. They took advantage of the great venue accommodations in order to plan a fun morning for both the bride and groom - the groomsmen went skeet shooting on property and the bridesmaids spent the day together relaxing pushing away any wedding day jitters.