Bridesmaids Buzz

Real Wedding Q&A

Gavie and Matthew are here to remind us what weddings are all about! From their SF rooftop engagement to their STUNNING Tennessee nuptials, we’re obsessed with their rustic vibe, wooden crafted touches and super cute dog! We also can’t get enough of the beautiful bridesmaids in Nouvelle Amsale from Bella San Francisco!

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How did you meet your Fiance?

One of my best friends (we went to college together) is Matthew’s cousin. Matthew and I were both living in NYC and I was in a group summer share house in Westhampton Beach.  Matt, whose family lives in the area, was always hanging out at our share house that summer.  He courted me for months!

Tell us about the proposal!

We were living in San Francisco.  It was April 2014, Matt had traveled to LA for work and when he returned to SF on Friday afternoon he told me that he was locked out and couldn’t find his keys. I hurried home from work and let him in and he immediately suggested going up to our roof for a drink.  This wasn’t odd since we spent a lot of time on our roof, which had an incredible view of the Golden Gate Bridge.  I was asking how his LA trip was and he got right into it saying he did a lot of thinking while he was in LA… Next thing I know he’s down on one knee!  While still on the roof we called my parents, who live on the east coast, and told them the news.  They were thrilled and said how happy they were for us and to call them again over the weekend.  We make our way back downstairs into our apartment and standing in our living room, with champagne and wedding magazines, were my parents.  It was non-stop crying for all of us.  Matt had asked them to fly out, and when he got into SF he gave them his keys to our apartment. When we walked up to the roof he texted them to come in.  Sneaky!  It was so special to have my parents be able to be part of this incredible event.  We celebrated all weekend!

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How did you choose the location for your wedding?

We were drawn to Middle Tennessee for our wedding, as I spent many spring vacations from elementary and middle school visiting relatives and family friends in Franklin. I grew up rollerblading through town, seeing movies at the Franklin Theater, and listening to seemingly endless family stories as my dad wanted me and my sister to experience a little of our Tennessee roots. It wasn’t hard to sell Matt on the idea of a Tennessee wedding as few of our New York friends and Matt’s family had ever visited Nashville and he knew it would be fun for them to experience someplace new.

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What type of venue were you looking for?

I wanted a place with meaning. My easiest wedding decision was where to have the reception.   Carnton was in my blood – literally, as I am a lineal descendant of Randal and Sarah McGavock, who built the home.   As mentioned in the father of the bride speech, our wedding reception is the first family wedding celebration held at Carnton since January 3, 1884, 131 years ago.  There were more direct McGavock descendants at Carnton that May 9th evening than at any other time since the house was built in 1826.

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How did you decide on your bridesmaids dresses? Tell us about your
experience at Bella!

I had been looking for bridesmaids dresses while we were in San Francisco and had a great experience with Bella SF.   Even after relocating to Los Angeles, the SF Bella still worked closely with me and it all went smoothly.  We wanted simple, flowy, neutral dresses.  The Nouvelle Amsale line had so many different styles and we chose the color nude which was a beautiful blush tone.  The bridesmaids got to choose their own style which was nice.

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My bridesmaids were all in different cities on the east coast.  Because there is a Bella in each area from Boston to New York to DC to Atlanta, it made the process so easy!  The girls went into their local boutiques for courtesy fittings and we ordered all through San Francisco.

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Who designed your bridal gown? Where did you get it?

Monique Lhuillier.  I got it at Monique Lhuillier on Melrose Place in LA.  Matthew and I relocated from San Francisco to LA half way through our engagement so it was great to be able to have my fittings here in LA.

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What was your favorite part of the day?

I truly loved every minute of it so it’s hard to pick a favorite part of the day.  A few favorites — driving to the church with my dad as he reminisced about many memories from my childhood that were flooding his head.  A vivid memory was walking down the aisle with my dad, seeing how packed the church was and everyone’s colorful outfits and familiar, smiling faces… and my soon to be husband at the end of the aisle!  During the reception, Matt and I snuck off outside of the tent and just took a moment to take it all in.  It was really nice to be together and take a step back and appreciate it all.  The surprise ice-breaker for guests, Tennessee Moonshine didn’t hurt and the dance floor will always be a favorite!

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What inspired you when you were planning your big day?

We wanted the big day to feel comfortable and be fun.  We were inspired by neutral colors – whites, cremes, blush and wanted everything to feel very natural and classic.

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It was very important to us that our wedding feel relaxed and not formal.  On a night when all eyes were on us, we felt incredibly comfortable and relaxed. We didn’t feel like we had to adjust how we acted due to the wedding, the wedding adjusted to us, and our energy set the tone.  We made the decision to have our wedding party photos taken at Carnton before the ceremony.  This turned out to be crucial as we were then able to be present for and enjoy every minute of the reception.  While there were 250 people there, it still managed to feel like one tight-knit gathering.

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What advice do you have for other brides?

Let your wedding reflect you and don’t try to have it be anything you are not!  A great piece of advice – At some point during your wedding weekend, take a moment to be alone with your husband.  For us, this meant taking our puppy on a walk together before our rehearsal began.  There will be a lot going on and it’s a nice time to take a step back to be alone together and remind yourselves of what it is all about – you two.

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Photog Credit: Austin Gros

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