Happily Ever After: Lee Ellen Oliver & Michael David Martin


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Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 1.32.21 PMMichael and Lee met during their first year at Nashville School of Law. Through classes and countless hours studying, they became more than study partners.

As soon as Michael and Lee became engaged, they knew they wanted the rich history and southern traditions of their families woven throughout their special day. They decided to get married at Hendersonville’s First Presbyterian Church and have their reception at Hazel Path Mansion. As a lifelong resident of Hendersonville, both locations held a deep, personal significance to Lee.

The church is the same that Lee’s parents, Linda and Louis Oliver III, were married thirty-four years prior. Due to the size, they decided to have a small ceremony with a larger reception. The historic church was decorated with white pumpkins, magnolias, romantic flowers and lanterns. The thing they loved most about the church was the size. They could see every face when looking at the audience. During the final prayer, Michael and Lee were in for a BIG surprise. Lee’s father, who serves as Chancellor and Chancery Court Judge for Sumner County, quietly put on his judicial robe and pronounced them “husband and wife.” Upon their exit, they left the church in a red 1920s Model T to travel to their reception at Hazel Path Mansion.

Guests were greeted on the porch of the mansion with their signature drink, “The 10-10.” Like their wedding ceremony, they personalized the reception by choosing foods that represented their Tennessee and Texas roots. Upon entering the mansion, guests were offered a tasty array of passed hors d’oeuvres with southern influences they both grew up loving that were provided by Chef’s Market. Guests dined on fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese, caramelized bacon bites, curried chicken salads in edible cones along with Michael’s favorite, the mini crispy chicken and waffle cones.

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The autumn theme from the wedding ceremony was carried into the tent using a mix of round and farmhouse tables adorned with white pumpkins, lanterns, flowers, magnolia leaves and armillary sphere’s. Guests had their choice of a variety of food stations which were set up around the tent including a carvery station and an interactive pasta station. Michael and Lee worked with their planner, Carol Norfleet, to offer a craft beer station at the reception that allowed their guests to try different local beers. To keep everyone on the dance floor, the entertainment for the evening was a well-known local Hendersonville band, the Garage Band Revival.

As a Hendersonville native, Lee wanted to use as many local vendors as possible. Every vendor from the photographer and caterer to the invitations were local. Being from the south, they wanted southern touches woven throughout the weekend. One way they achieved this was to use a custom monogram throughout the weekend’s festivities that incorporated both of their families. Once they decided on the custom monogram, with the help of local company Nashville Wraps, they used it everywhere to personalize their day. The monogram was used on the wedding programs, guest book, napkins, bags and a banner that hung over the balcony at Hazel Path.

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