Our Rehearsal Dinner

Photo by Selavie Photography

Photo by Selavie Photography

Let's kick off the #caramelizedwedding recap with our Friday evening affair, shall we? 

My new parents hosted the most incredible opener to our wedding weekend! Alex and I couldn't be more grateful for the final product, with details made possible by so many Memphis vendors and creatives. Scroll and see a glimpse of an emotionally-charging celebration (if only we could re-capture the wedding toasts!).

Photos by Brandon Chesbro unless otherwise noted.


Since the wedding day details would, of course, reflect all things "Caramelized," we saw the opportunity to reflect Alex's style for the rehearsal dinner. My creative communications office, DCA, designed a gorgeous wood invitation with browns and bold fonts. The Stovall Collection produced these beauties, enclosing them in a chocolate brown envelope with an Elvis stamp. Our guests were thrilled to receive its presentation, positioned separately from yet complementary to the wedding "look."


409 South Main stands gracefully in the heart of the South Main Arts District, where Alex and I live (and I work!). The space has been recently transformed to accommodate a third-floor event space, which our rehearsal dinner guests were lucky to test out first. A first-floor food hall will be opening later in 2017.

Exposed brick, reclaimed wood floors, and never-before-seen views of Downtown Memphis welcomed our 190 (!!) out-of-towners. The room was perfectly accommodating, with a to-die-for powder room and plentiful space for a cocktail hour and seated meal.


Our friends at L&Jay Florals designed a garden look for the centerpieces, using plenty of greenery and white buds in rustic basins. A vintage fork (collected by my mother-in-law) popped out of each floral arrangement, displaying the table number (reflective of the invitation's style).

Beyond the tables and chairs graciously borrowed from 409 South Main, Mahaffey Rentals provided our tabletop rentals, flatware and stemware, bars and stations. Their complete takeover our rehearsal dinner and wedding day rentals were so comprehensive and on-point.

My mother, also known as the Shindigs by Sheril wedding planner extraordinaire, sourced traditional dishcloths to use as each guest's napkin. I loved the laid-back kitchen feel they brought, especially against an elevated neutral cloth that nodded to burlap. The IKEA dish cloths also served as challah covers for loaves of Ricki's challah on each table.

Guests found their seats through a custom assignment board hand-drawn and designed by Sarah Beth Cohen-Wilcox of Zazu Designs.


We worked with Simply Delicious Caterings to create an approachable yet elaborate rustic Southern menu, and their team went above and beyond!

For passed appetizers, the Simply Delicious chefs came up with a mini hushpuppy cone, Tennessee caviar crostinis with black eyed peas, and Caprese skewers. Alex and I are also obsessed with stadium-style soft pretzels, and their display did not disappoint (see below)...

The entrées had to include the finest of Southern-style and Memphis foods, of course. Alex's mom brought in Delta tamales from Doe's, and Simply Delicious sourced Gus's Fried Chicken, too. A mac-and-cheese bar used stemless martini glasses to top the cheesy mac with ingredients from chives and bacon to parmesan and bread crumbs. We also set up a BBQ-tini station with Corky's pulled pork and chicken, slaw and beans, and a drizzles of barbecue sauce.

For the more healthful attendees of our rehearsal dinner, we also found it important to offer a fresh salad, salmon and roasted vegetables. Unsure of the flavor profile, I requested a tasting of the menu items. My work schedule had been quite hectic, so Simply Delicious offered to deliver a dinner of salmon, veggies and salad for me and Alex to taste and enjoy at home one evening! We approved of the recipes and were so appreciative of their willingness to exceed expectations and prioritize customer service.


Alex's rehearsal dinner attire was outfitted head-to-toe by James Davis Clothier in Memphis. He sported a Peter Millar unlined blazer, mint Peter Millar button-down, and grey slacks with "whiskey" shoes.

I spotted my dress at Saks in New Orleans  -- going for an opposite wedding white look than the wedding, I had so much fun pairing the silhouette dress with Loeffler Randall pom-pom lace-ups and a pair of gold hoops from Oak Hall. Rod Henson, my hair stylist since childhood, played with a tight pony for a dramatic, clean look.


After piling our plates with Simply Delicious specialties, Marcy Milman Productions surprised us with a slideshow! The curated songs, childhood photos and family snapshots were such a beautiful montage of memories. Our video set the perfect tone for the wedding toasts, emceed by our siblings Jake and Lindsey!

Stay tuned for more wedding weekend highlights...