American actors, Laura James and Jon-Michael Ecker wedding in the idyllic outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee truly captures the essence of romantic nostalgia.
Among the many highlights of their intimate celebration was the absence of digital-era gimmicks – it was primarily about creating unforgettable memories and capturing timeless moments.
“I wanted a wedding that felt very ‘pre social media’… we really wanted ourselves and our guests too to feel as though we had all been transported back in time.” – Laura James Ecker
Undoubtedly, the star of the wedding was the bride herself, dazzling in a custom couture Liz Martinez wedding dress. A fan of Liz since her college days, Laura’s dream of slipping into one of her designs became a reality on her special day. The breathtaking gown was discovered at the renowned bridal store, En Blanc, in Los Angeles. The moment she laid eyes on it, Laura knew it was “the dress”. When paired with a stunning veil, gifted by her parents, it flawlessly complemented the vintage theme they were striving for.
THEIR STORY IN THEIR OWN WORDS
She came from a one-traffic light town in upstate New York, he was raised in the Texas Hill Country. But they found each other in L.A.. Always hoping that love was just around the corner, they had managed to live a couple of miles from each other for a half decade…frequenting the same bars and casting offices, but had it not been for a dating app, their paths may have never crossed. Jon thought “This one is too good-looking to not be crazy”, and may have never taken the initiative.
But thankfully Laura was a take-charge kinda girl and reached out first to Jon, saying she “just had a feeling about this one.” What they thought would be a quick drink on a Wednesday night turned into a night that would change their lives. They bonded over their love of dive bars, their hatred of dating apps and a desire to get out of Hollywood. A second date quickly followed. On the way home, Jon noticed Laura’s tires were almost completely flat on her car.
Concerned, he asked if she knew how to fill up her tires, to which her response was “Yeah of course, I just fill them up until they are hard”. Jon insisted on stopping on the way home to fill them up, and Laura knew in this moment that he was a good one (and also one that her dad would probably love right away). Almost 4 years, two air compressors, and a 50ft hose later, Laura still doesn’t know how to fill up her tires.
The next couple of years were filled with motorcycle rides, sailing, and happy hours where Laura learned to survive helmet hair, seasickness, and coming to grips with the fact that she’d never be able to beat Jon at darts. Their cats even learned to tolerate each other.
In July of 2021, Jon proposed to Laura with a ring he custom-designed while she was away filming a movie. He made the ring box by hand, out of cedar from Laura’s parent’s house in TN. Jon FaceTimed Laura’s Dad and said “I just wanted to see if you approve of what I made with the cedar”, and showed him the ring inside of the box.
They were both excited for this proposal to happen ASAP, but at the time this was happening, Laura was at the grocery store, hanging out in the parking lot, eating granola in her car, with zero rush to get home. When she finally made it home, Jon asked Laura if she wanted to see what he made in the shop. He opened up the box and said “I made this for you”. She obviously said yes with happy tears in her eyes.
They are so excited to spend the rest of their lives together because they truly just love spending time with each other and really are (as cheesy as it sounds) best friends. It has been almost four years of continuous laughter and love. They not only found a true ‘life partner’, but someone they enjoy being around in all aspects of life, and just have the most fun with each other.
THEIR WEDDING STORY
The theme of our wedding was elegant, vintage, and timeless. I wanted a wedding that felt very “pre-social media”. There weren’t any neon signs, hashtags, first looks, gimmicks, or TikTok dances haha. Not that there is anything wrong with ANY of that, but we really wanted (and we wanted our guests too) to feel as though they had all been transported back in time.
We were married and hosted our wedding on our private property just outside of Nashville, TN. We actually saw the house for the first time the same weekend we got married, one year prior. We originally visited TN to find wedding venues, but instead stumbled upon and found the home of our dreams nestled on 12 incredible acres. We had a moment where we looked at each other, and said this is it….this is where we will say I do. The rest was history.
On the property, there is this beautiful strip of forest. Jon and I had a vision to transform this space into the perfect whimsical journey for the guests to enter, upon their arrival. We (by hand) graveled the pathway ourselves (all 500 feet of it). It was actually really fun, and a great pre-wedding bonding experience! We have lots of great behind-the-scenes videos and pictures that captured this whole process (which was a lot of hard and fun work)!
For the guest seating chart, inside the forest, Jon built the most incredible wooden structure that we hung antique skeleton keys off of each had custom name tags and gold tassels. The name tags were vintage-inspired and handmade. They were stamped with each guest’s last name (each individual letter was stamped with ink one letter at a time). All of the keys were found over the course of the year, from various vintage and antique stores. We really wanted to do something different and something custom.
Something that really felt special for each guest. The keys hung directly in front of the sunset, so they glistened beautifully as the sun started to set. One of the reasons we chose to incorporate the keys is because we wanted it to feel like they were receiving a symbolic “key to our home”.
When the guests first entered the pathway, they were greeted with champagne. When they got to the end of the pathway, they were able to “find their key” and take some photos in the glass mirror that appeared to be floating in the forest under the massive nostalgic disco ball I’ve owned for many years. This pathway was very special because it was also where the wedding party walked through, and where I had my “final walk” with my dad before seeing Jon for the first time.
Myself and my girls arrived at the ceremony about 15 minutes before we had to walk down the aisle via a really cool 1970’s vintage tour bus called, The Iron Man. It was a really nice way of traveling to the venue comfortably and having a moment of decompression before going out. I will never forget the feeling of pulling up and seeing from a distance everyone sitting in the ceremony chairs and the strings playing.
Jon and I never wanted a first look so when we said goodnight to each other Friday night at 8 pm, we didn’t text or call each other until we saw each other the next day at the altar. It was one of the most surreal and powerful moments of our lives.
THEIR BRIDAL ATTIRE
Jon was dressed in a Tom Ford suit, and I wore a custom couture Liz Martinez dress. I have been a fan of Liz since my days in college, where I would pin her dresses with the dream that maybe one day I could have the pleasure of seeing one in person. I visited the gorgeous bridal store, En Blanc, in Los Angeles in January of 2022 to try on some dresses. My matron of honor picked up a dress off the rack, held it up to me, and told me I needed to try this one on. From a first glance of it on the rack, I knew it was the dress. When I put it on, I felt like it was breathing. I felt like it was a moment in itself. I had never seen a wedding dress like that before and I knew it was the one.
Liz gifted me the dress and I paired it with one of her incredible veils that was a gift from my parents. I really wanted a veil that had a blusher because it was important to me to stay true to the timeless look, and it completely elevated my dress.
Jon and I created custom chandeliers made by handing out the vines we found in our woods. We had a really hard time finding the right chandeliers for inside the tent, everything was either really away from our esthetic or just not 100% right. So we got creative and made two 10ft chandeliers which we hung up inside the tent. It was incredible! They really were the perfect missing piece that helped blend the elegant, timeless look with the whimsical, storybook, ethereal vibe as well.
It was truly the most magical day.
Photography Molly Peach
Planning & Flowers Airstream Chapel
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