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This Groom Surprised His Bride with a Wedding Hours After Proposing on New Year’s Eve

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Ever Creative

Robin Shah proposed to Katy Smith, who he was introduced to by OTM bride Rebecca Smith and who owns influencer marketing agency Of Note, on the morning of New Year’s Eve in 2019. “Robin woke me up at 8:30 a.m. and told me to get ready for the day,” Katy recalls. “I protested and tried to go back to sleep, and he insisted that if I followed his directions, this would be the best day of my life.”

After he got down on one knee in their home, and she said yes, of course, he explained that he had also planned a wedding for later that day and all of their friends and family were in town to attend. “I was THRILLED!” Katy exclaims. “We had been discussing getting engaged in the previous months, but I had expressed how much I didn’t want to plan a wedding in the midst of us both building new businesses. This was the perfect solution to my apprehension.”

Robin and Katy’s mother booked the Thompson Nashville, right across the street from their condo, for the wedding venue. “We spend a lot of time at the hotel’s restaurant, Marsh House, so it felt so perfect and comfortable to get married at the hotel,” Katy says. 

For the afternoon ceremony, the bride wore her mother’s wedding gown and carried calla lilies. And since the mother-of-the-bride wore baby’s breath in her hair on her own wedding day, a good friend went out to get some for Katy’s updo. Robin looked handsome in a custom green velvet tuxedo from their friend and tailor Eric Adler

“Until the doors opened for me to walk down the aisle, I had assumed there were 30-40 people there, but when I saw 125 of our closest friends and family, I was seriously shocked,” Katy says. “Many people commented that they were on the edge of their seats, watching the surprise unfold along with me.”

Their friend, Tyler Scudder, officiated the ceremony that featured speeches from people key to their love story and advice from couples close to them. And Robin’s mother and uncle also incorporated special Indian traditions. For their vows, Katy recited personal words that she’d come up with moments before, while getting ready with her sisters, and Robin sang his vows to “I Wanna Grow Old With You” from The Wedding Singer with their friend, Jake Rose, on guitar. 

Once married, the reception kicked off at The Hermitage Hotel. Katy quickly changed into a stunning Willowby gown that her friend and business partner India Mayer found for the New Year’s Eve party and rejoined guests in the ballroom, still decorated from Christmas with trees and lights. Dinner was served via international food stations instead of a more formal sit-down situation, which was more in tune with the couple’s style.

The newlyweds had their first dance to “10,000 Hours” by Dan + Shay and then enjoyed the celebration in full swing. “Apparently there were magicians at the reception, but I was having too much fun to even notice,” Katy says. The dance floor was packed from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., and the couple officially signed their marriage license at midnight.

As another surprise, cousins and siblings of the new Mr. and Mrs. performed a choreographed dance to the Backstreet Boys, which they had secretly practiced…along with keeping quiet about the whole wedding day. And after 2:00 a.m., the party continued on Printers Alley with a few more drinks.

Everything was pretty much closing down when we got there, so Robin and I ducked out and headed back to the Hermitage, where we ate Indian food in our robes and reminisced about the incredible day,” the bride shares. “To be honest, this experience taught us and so many of our guests that a lot of the details at weddings really don’t matter. I would have stressed and obsessed over flowers and decor, but I didn’t even notice those. It was such an epic day and party filled with so much love, and I don’t think anyone could even tell you what the flowers looked like.”