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A Traditional Southern Wedding in Nashville with Contemporary Tropical Touches

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Melissa Marshall

|Planning by 

Molly Sohr

Margaret “Ellie” Eleanor Fike and Tyler James Thompson are both from Nashville but ended up meeting in college. “He went to high school with a few of my close girl friends at University of Tennessee, and we were introduced about three times before it finally stuck,” she explains. After three years together, he proposed to Ellie in French, while on a walk by the water at Villa Tri Men in Combat, France. 

The engaged couple decided to host their late summer wedding in Nashville to include as many family members and friends as possible. Ellie wanted to create a modern, tropical reception in a classic Southern venue, and to help execute her vision at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, she hired Molly Sohr

Finding the dress was harder for Ellie than she’d previously expected. “Like many brides, I was hoping for that tearful moment where ‘you just know,’ but that moment really never came,” she explains. After several visits to bridal boutiques and a trip to Chicago, where she said yes to a dress and then cancelled the order that night, she landed on a Pronovias gown at The Dress Theory. “There were no tears of joy, but it just felt comfortable, and I loved the way the fabric hung.”

To complete her look, Ellie added a Daphne Newman veil and floral appliqué blusher and earrings from her dear friend, Maria, who owns Anatra Jewel. Bridesmaids complemented the bride well in dresses from Bec & Bridge, and on the morning-of, Ellie got ready with Debbie Dover, who perfected her beauty look throughout the day.

At Scarritt Bennett’s Wrightman Chapel, the two were wed in a traditional Catholic ceremony officiated by a deacon from Ellie’s parish. “I joked with my bridesmaids that before every wedding I have ever been in, I have been so nervous to walk down the aisle, but before my own, I was so calm and happy,” the bride explains. Once announced as a married couple, they stylishly took off in a vintage, blue Jaguar to Cheekwood.

After a delicious seated dinner, the dancing began with Number One Party Band, and no one left the dance floor by the time the newlyweds made their exit. “Our request was to have only the classics played, so we danced the night away to Al Green and Stevie Wonder,” Ellie explains. The new Mr. and Mrs. had a sweet first dance to “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” and the last song of the night was “Everlasting Love.”

To end the day, Ellie and Tyler stayed at the Thompson hotel—perfect for their first of many nights as The Thompsons!