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The Bride Wore Her Family’s Treasured 150-Year-Old Jewelry Set to Her “Grandma-Chic” Wedding in Nashville

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Abigail Lewis

|Planning by 

Read Event House

On February 15—the day after Valentine’s Day—at a local bar, Benjamin Mecklenborg saw Libby Harwell and asked if she would cover his tab. Libby turned down that tempting offer but offered a consolation prize: her number. They went on their first date the following evening. After nearly a year-and-a-half of dating later, he proposed to her on Christmas day.

Having attended many weddings and events in her local neighborhood of Belle Meade in Nashville, Tennessee, Libby knew that she would one day marry at the Belle Meade Country Club. “The space suited my aesthetic of ‘Grandma Chic,’” she jests. Plus, the venue could easily accommodate their large guest list. Lindsy Read of Read Event House planned and designed the day, and Katie Fuller of Music City Events coordinated. White Ink Calligraphy penned the invitations for a summertime date. With this team at the helm, Ben and Libby were fully prepared for #ReturnOfTheMecks, a clever reference to their married name and the Mack Morrison song, “Return of the Mack.”

At the top of Libby’s bridal outfit requests was “a dramatic sleeve moment.” But she was underwhelmed by ateliers selections. Edith and Karen at B. Hughes helped her customize her gown to include voluminous puff sleeves to her strapless dress. Muna Couture spent several sleepless nights finishing her veil by hand with French lace and designing Libby’s second-look sequined dress, in addition to the mother of the bride’s outfits.

Tradition was steeped in Libby’s accessories. She wore bracelets, earrings, and a necklace that the women in her family all wore before her for their weddings. She shares the jewelry’s origins, noting, “The original wearer was my grandmother’s great-grandmother, Margaret Evans, at her marriage to Joseph Horton Fall on October 4, 1872, in Nashville.” 150 years later, these treasures would make an aisle appearance once more.

On June 18, 2022, Libby made her grand entrance at the historic Wightman Chapel at Scarritt Bennett, surrounded by friends, family, and lush floral arrangements by Lisa Rhodes of Fleur de Lis Floral Design. Ben waited for her at the altar in his black tuxedo paired with a Brackish feather bow tie. Abigail Lewis photographed each special moment on camera.

The reception venue featured three spaces with different styles, but shades of blue and green and mixed patterns were continuous throughout. The couple even incorporated custom art pieces made by their creative friends. This included a portrait of their dog and a daisy-inspired monogram painted by one of Libby’s best friends, which was used on the custom Save the Dates, matchbooks, and playing cards. The newlyweds cut into their D’Andrews Bakery cake, which is Libby’s cousin’s bakery, and spent the evening dancing with their guests.

Al Paris and the Heartbreakers kept spirits buoyant and played the couple’s first dance song, “Lady (You Bring Me Up)” by the Commodores. Ben and Libby credit their dance instructor, Claire, for the success of their performance.

Ben and Libby climbed into their getaway Jeep and continued the revelry in a hotel suite with the rest of the Mecklenborg family and friends before spending the night in an Airbnb in Music Row.

Mr. and Mrs. Mecklenborg particularly thank the Kimpton Hotel for continuing their search of a missing piece from Libby’s bracelet that fell down from the 17th-floor elevator shaft. She adds, “We’re holding out hope it will turn up!”