Claire + Spencer | Apr 7, 2018
Elegant, European-inspired spring wedding with a neutral color palette and an enchanting snowfall at Annesdale Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee
Claire and Spencer first met in badminton class while they were both students at Washington and Lee University, and eventually became each other’s person. Fast-forward to one very special New Year's, the couple went on an unforgettable trip to Spencer's family's home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
After a long and tiring trail run, Spencer convinced Claire to go on one last run. She asked him to please take her on an easy blue, nothing exciting - to which he laughed and asked, “are you sure you don't want anything exciting?'. He pulled off to an overlook at the top of the run, where he asked her to be his wife!
“We skied down to the bottom of the mountain so we could meet his family and FaceTime mine - but when we got there, he surprised me again with having flown out my parents for the occasion!” said Claire. “I was in tears.”
Claire and Spencer tied the knot on a snowy spring day at an 1850s Italianate villa, boasting Old World romance in the heart of Memphis. The mansion’s European architecture and vintage Southern charm, combined with elegant decor and fresh ivory florals, created the most enchanting setting for this couple to say “I Do”.
“Claire and Spencer's April wedding was quite a cold one,” said the photographer. “The weather in the Mid-South is always a little bonkers, but none of us ever expected it to be snowing in April!”
Inside the most lush bridal suite, boasting gold accents, crystal chandeliers and marble fireplaces, Claire made finishing touches to her exquisite bridal look. She was breathtaking in a satin ivory gown with a trumpet skirt and romantic train. The dress featured a deep “V” neckline, lace bodice, sheer lace quarter-length sleeves and a row of delicate buttons down the back.
Her blonde hair was twisted back into a chic low bun, and she completed the look in a pair of blush satin kitten heels and dainty pearl bracelets. She descended the grand spiral staircase to meet Spencer outside, who complemented her effortlessly in a classic black and white tuxedo.
Out on the picturesque balcony, Spencer took his first look at his bride, and was left speechless by her beauty. She wrapped a creamy faux fur shawl around her shoulders for some stunning shots, with her bridal bouquet in hand, a combination of cream and blush peonies, ranunculus, roses and baby’s breath.
Their wedding party joined them for some more photos outside the mansion where the cobblestone path and intimate fountain area created the most romantic setting. The groomsmen all looked dapper in classic black and white tuxedos, and the bridesmaids added a gorgeous pop of color in their strapless, satin steel blue gowns.
“A little cold couldn't slow us down,” said the photographer. “Fortunately, Claire and Spencer (and their bridal party), were all troopers and we were able to get some phenomenal shots.”
Following a traditional and intimate church ceremony, the newlyweds and their guests made their way to the mansion - where the space had been transformed into the most elegant indoor-outdoor reception. There was a luscious floral installation with waterfalling greenery on every marble fireplace mantle and staircase railing, and crystal chandeliers dangling from each hand-painted ceiling.
"For me, the venue is just so beautiful and historic, so I really wanted the decor to accentuate that with a classic, elegant, and traditional design,” said Claire. “I wanted mostly white flowers with greenery, and a unique, architectural floral design for the dance floor.”
Outside in the courtyard, they set up a clear tent in the garden area, allowing all the guests to see the trees and twinkling lights throughout the night. There was a greenery arbor around the French doors to the tent, and when guests looked up, twinkling string lights were intertwined with chiffon drapery. Hanging over the center of the dance floor, there was a statement installation with strands of white ribbon and single stem roses.
Upon entering, guests were invited to share “helpful hints for Claire” in a cookbook that rested on a marble table, surrounded by silver bowls of macarons. It was the first of many French-inspired elements that were incorporated into the evening’s decor and menu! They served French wine and even replicated the infamous burger from their favorite French restaurant in DC.
“I also asked our wedding planner to help incorporate some French flair as a play on Spencer's last name, Frantz, and our hashtag (#HiggyGoesToFrantz),” said Claire. “I certainly have my mom to thank for bringing everything to life and meticulously thinking through every detail to create her daughter's dream wedding."
Around the space, there were cocktail tables and rounds set with marled diamond linens, gold Chiavari chairs, floral and candelabra centerpieces, and small candle votives. There were cozy blankets draped over the backs of chairs and candles lit on every surface to add warmth to the evening. Guests found their seats after a visit to the seafood raw bar, hot buffet and immaculate charcuterie table.
At the edge of the limestone patio, a beautiful mirrored bar served bubbly for guests to sip while gathered next to the space heaters. When the band cranked up the music, Claire and Spencer joined their friends and families on the dance floor, where they really warmed their bodies up! Off to the side, people got cozy in lounge areas complete with taupe upholstered armchairs, gold accent tables and a tufted chaise, with lush blankets and plush pillows.
Inside on a rose petal textured linen, their wedding cake was an enormous work of art, boasting six tiers and creamy ribbed frosting. Each layer was made even more beautiful with clusters of ivory roses and ranunculus, mixed with tiny sprigs of fresh greenery. Every little detail added to the wedding night of Claire’s dreams.
"All of the vendors were incredible and great to work with, but our wedding planner was the glue that held everything together and made our dreams come to life,” said Claire. “She listened to each request with detail, helped cultivate my vision, and more than anything helped calm my nerves...I can't thank her enough!”
Following an evening full of toasts and twirls, Claire and Spencer climbed into a sleek, vintage Bentley as their friends and families sent them off with love and well wishes.
“Spencer and Claire's wedding was an absolute dream,” said the photographer, “and we were honored to be a part of it!”
Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs.!
Still looking for your dream wedding venue? Check out our list of vetted vendors HERE!
Carine's Bridal Atelier
Cakes by Mom and Me LLC
Paper Goods + Calligraphy
Infinity Show Band
Rentals & Decor
White Door Events
Elizabeth Heiskell Event
Taylor Square Photography