Bride: Brittany Bartley
Groom: Jeff Simpson
Wedding gown style: Velvet Roses
Wedding date: 08/18/12
Boutique purchased: b. Hughes
Location: Nashville, TN
Photographer: Elizabeth Glessner
First things first, where did you meet your husband and was it love at first sight?
I met my husband at a sorority event our Sophomore year of college. The sorority met and was told we had 30 minutes to find someone for a date night. The “grab-a-date” event was on, and luckily I grabbed Jeff off of the quad! We had so much fun that night. Neither of us believes in love at first sight, but I did fall in love with his car at first sight (a red 1971 Chevelle with white racing stripes).
How did he propose? Tell us the story!
I am incredibly close to my family, so Jeff wanted to make sure my family was nearby to celebrate after the proposal. My family took a summer vacation to the beach near my favorite city – Charleston, SC. Convinced I was on a “day trip” to Charleston, Jeff and I enjoyed an afternoon meandering the historic downtown streets. Meanwhile, Jeff had given my family instructions on how to decorate the hotel room at the historic Vendue Inn where he would propose. One of my friends who lived in Charleston was also in on the proposal; she lured me to the room by telling me her fiancé had surprised her with a nice room at the Vendue Inn and we should all go grab drinks together. The surprise was almost ruined when we got to the hotel room. When I looked inside the room I saw flowers, rose petals, and a blazing fireplace. Terrified that I was interrupting my friends’ romantic evening, I ran away down the hotel hallway and told Jeff not to go into the room. Jeff eventually convinced me to step inside the room and then he explained it was for us. I was still confused until he dropped down on one knee and proposed. My entire family and Jeff’s mom (who flew in from Kansas City) were waiting for us at the hotel’s rooftop bar after the proposal, also to my surprise.
Once the wedding plans started, what made you decide on a Vera Wang gown?
I was never able to imagine my wedding dress until the moment I put on my Vera Wang gown. My mother, both grandmothers, and one of my friends went wedding shopping one weekend. While we were in between appointments for other dress shops, we decided to pop into B. Hughes bridal in Nashville, TN. My friend pulled my dress off the rack and I was hesitant to try it on. The dress didn’t seem to have any shape on the rack, but the moment I put it on I realized that it was the perfect dress for me. I am so grateful my friend talked me into trying it on, and she will never let me forget that she was the one that found it!
How did you accessorize to make your wedding day unique?
The day before my wedding, my grandmother gave me a gorgeous ring that her husband had given to her. My grandfather passed away before I was born, and my grandmother wanted me to have something from both of them for my special day. To me this ring is a symbol of all the love and support my family has given and will continue to give me me over the years. It compliments my wedding band, which symbolizes the love and support my husband and I will give each other for the rest of our lives.
What was the inspiration or theme for your wedding?
Jeff and I ultimately just wanted everyone to have a good time (from the wedding party to the guests). All the decisions were designed to make our big day a stress free event that people would enjoy. Our colors were navy and off-white, so that the bridesmaids could wear their dresses to other cocktail events. My husband found the groomsmen khaki suits, instead of having to rent a tux. The first big “wedding” purchase was a great band, because Jeff and I are both passionate about music. We were pretty laid back about most of our decisions and it ended up working out for us. We had so much fun on the day of our wedding and so did our guests. If you don’t believe me you can look at the pictures from the dance floor, they are a hilarious!
What tips do you have for new brides picking out their wedding dress?
Bring a friend who will tell you the truth. I knew my mother and grandmothers would say that I looked great in everything, even if the dress was lackluster. So, I brought my friend who works as a stylist in Nashville and she was the one who noticed the dress on the rack. It wasn’t until she forced me to try it on that I knew it was the one.
What was your favorite part of the day? And, are there any other anecdotes you would like to share?
After Jeff and I said our vows a sense of overwhelming joy came over me. I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with my best friend and the best man I know. A wedding can keep you busy, but I think it is important to take a moment and realize the meaning of the vows that you are saying to one another. The thirty seconds after we walked down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs. Simpson is when the sanctity and commitment of marriage truly hit me. That was my favorite part of the day.