If you’re getting married in Nashville, there are a few things you need to know. Nashville is now one of the most popular places in the COUNTRY to get married. How crazy is that?! We’ve lived here for about 8 years, and in that time we’ve photographed TONS of Nashville destination weddings – most often for couples who have recently relocated to the area, and want to share their love of Nashville with their family and friends at their wedding! I’ve wanted to write a post on how to plan a Nashville wedding for a long time, so here we go: how to plan a Nashville wedding, from a Nashville wedding pro!
We’re based in Nashville, but we’ve photographed weddings in 10 states (and counting!) and we know what makes Nashville weddings different. I’m recommending things in this article that I would NOT recommend if you’re getting married in – say – Philadelphia or Charleston.
This advice is Nashville specific, from someone who has watched the “Nashville boom” happen from a (sort of) outsider’s perspective! I’m publishing this series in three parts, so let’s get going with Part 2!
Part 2: How to Plan a Nashville Wedding
There are SO many cool hotels in Nashville now, but they book up fast. It’s never not busy in Nashville. So if you want cool accommodations (like the Noelle, the Fairlane, the Bobby, The Hermitage, Germantown Inn, etc.), plan in advance.
There are also a TON of AirBnBs in Nashville, and more are popping up every day. But that means you need to be aware of who you’re renting from and make sure they have the proper permits. Nashville is cracking down on AirBnBs so make sure your host is legit – you don’t want to arrive in Nashville to a cancelled reservation!
In general though, Nashville has a TON of hotels, with more opening every year. If you don’t have a specific hotel in mind where you’d like to stay, you should be able to find a variety of options!
Nashville is not really walkable. It has a lot of cute individual neighborhoods that are walkable, but those neighborhoods are not close to each other. If you’re not getting ready and taking pictures at your venue, you’ll need transportation for your wedding party, and your guests will likely need transportation to get to your venue.
For your wedding party: If you’re getting married downtown (and plan to take pictures downtown), look into golf cart rentals! This is totally a thing in Nashville, and they’re a common way for couples and their wedding party to get around the city to take pictures (because you will definitely need transportation to get around the city to take pictures).
For your guests: While renting a car is a great idea if you’re spending the weekend in Nashville, know that the Uber/Lyft situation in downtown Nashville is awesome. If you just want to stay in the immediate downtown area for your weekend in Nashville, you could get away with Ubers and Lyfts.
If you do rent a car, know that parking can be very expensive downtown, especially on weekends. Pro-tip: street park for free in a nearby neighborhood, then Uber/Lyft downtown if you need to!
If you’re not from Nashville, here’s what you need to know about traffic in Nashville:
- Nashville is a pretty easy city to drive in, which is good because there isn’t much in the way of mass transit (except the Music City Circuit, which is free!).
- Rush hour traffic is rough, especially south of Nashville (anywhere along 24 or 65 south of the city). 440 runs in a circle around Nashville, and also tends to be pretty high volume. (Nashville’s neighborhoods are spread out, and 440 is a connector between many of them.)
- Our traffic isn’t like LA or Atlanta… but when accidents or bad weather happen, they can really screw things up.
I always play it safe on wedding days when it comes to transporting people. Wherever you’re going, plan for it to take 25% longer if you’re traveling around the Nashville metro area.
That’s it for today! Part 3 of How to Plan a Nashville Wedding is coming soon – all about venues, vendors, and where to take pictures!
Want to read more wedding planning advice, and how to plan a Nashville wedding? Check out the “For Brides” series here!