This love story first began in the Fall of 2009 when Carley Cherry and Thomas Herrington were introduced by mutual friends from UT Martin. However, their first official date wouldn’t be until January 2013, when the enchantment truly began. The engagement was in March of 2017, four years after their first date–during a trip to Universal Orlando™, magic would once again astound! Both being Harry Potter fans, Thomas conjured up (for several months) the opportunity to surprise Carley with a proposal. While visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, they decided to ride the Hogwarts Express into Hogsmeade Station to explore the rest of the park. Thomas managed to exit the train before Carley and as she stepped off, she first noticed a friend filming her and then saw her love on bended knee holding an engagement ring. Carley was quick to say YES! When they called their families to share the good news, Carley discovered that she was the last to know about the surprise engagement.
Carley Aileen Cherry, daughter of Kent and Cathy Cherry of Halls, TN, and Thomas Clay Herrington, son of Charles and Becky Herrington of Munford, TN, exchanged vows the evening of June 23rd, 2018, at The Cumberland House in Jackson, TN. Their vows were sealed by Jim Talbert of the Halls Church of Christ, who navigated the couple through pre-marriage counseling during their engagement.
Prior to the wedding, family and friends were wowed by the spellbinding feel of the “Woodland Room”, an outdoor area on the grounds of The Cumberland House. Trees were adorned with hanging lights, and an elegant crystal chandelier hung above the couple’s table in the center of the “room.” Tables were embellished with runners made by Becky Herrington (Mother of the Groom) and flowers arrangements were created by Renea Eddlemon Cupples of Creative Expressions. Guests feasted on a good ol’ southern BBQ meal with all the fixin’s, catered by Backyard BBQ of Jackson, TN.
The magic of the day began as guests entered the garden area and were ushered by Darius Taylor, Lukas Saul, and Hayden Meeks through breathtaking gardens to the Cypress Garden where the elegant ceremony was held. Maids of Honor were Kirby Cherry (Bride’s sister), and Whitney Crow (Bride’s long-time friend). Kelsey Lumpkin, Samantha Sarnowski, and Kerry Radcliffe were Bridesmaids. They wore steel blue chiffon surplice top, v-back gowns with a cascading front ruffle and pearl necklaces. The flower girl was Zoey Cherry (Bride’s niece), who wore a sleeveless champagne-colored organza dress with a pearl necklace. The Groom’s party consisted of Best Man Dustin Lepkowicz, and Groomsmen John Paul Pannell, Mason Hammond, Daniel Guill, and Logan Harber. They wore gray suits with white and blue windowpane checked shirts, blue striped ties, and navy blue high top sneakers. The Ring Bearer, Zealand Brown, wore gray slacks with a white shirt, yellow bow tie, suspenders, and gray high top sneakers. Thomas wore a gray suit with a white and blue windowpane checked shirt, yellow striped tie, and gray high top sneakers.
Once all were in place, the Bride was escorted down the aisle by her father as “Hogwarts Hymn,” composed by Patrick Doyle, was played. Carley was stunning in an exquisite champagne-colored lace fit-and-flare Allure Couture gown, accented by iridescent and pearl beads, with cafe-colored underlay, a scalloped v-neck and back, and a chapel-length train with matching waist length veil. As ‘something old’ she wore a string of freshwater pearls, which was a gift from the Groom from their first Christmas together. Her gown, veil, and crystal headband, purchased at Low’s Bridal in Brinkley, AR, were her ‘something new’, ‘something borrowed’ was a handkerchief which was a gift to the Groom’s great-great-aunt in 1911, and the bridal garter was ‘something blue’. Amy Graves of Haute Heads in Jackson, TN styled Carley’s (and the bridal party’s) hair; makeup was done by Sara Jane Ragain, (a friend of the Bride) for Carley and her attendants.
The backdrop for the couple’s vow exchange was three tall wooden cathedral panels adorned with freesia, white and yellow roses, blue hydrangeas, larkspur, thistle, and seeded eucalyptus, flanked by the surrounding cypress trees in the garden. Once rings were exchanged, the promises pledged and sealed with a kiss, the newlyweds, followed by the bridal party and officiant, danced down the aisle to Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” which set the mood for a fun reception. To start the party, the guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the Woodland Room with a Tuscan charcuterie table catered by Me and My Tea Room Catering of Dancyville, TN, and a bar on the stone steps beneath trees draped in twinkling lights. And then there was the dinner in the Garden Pavillion!
Jubilee by Cathy Cherry (the Bride’s mother) provided white table linens as well as vintage china, stemware, napkins, and silver cutlery service for the dinner tables. Renea of Creative Expressions arranged fresh flowers for each table. A Tuscan style dinner was catered by Me and My Tea Room. Dinah Fewell of Take The Cake in Friendship, TN created a stunning five-tier white Italian cake with detailed layers that were adorned with soft blue and white live flowers. Key Lime Pie was a welcome substitution for the Groom’s cake.
Carley and Thomas started the party with their first dance to Eric Clapton’s “You Look Wonderful Tonight” followed by the father/daughter dance to “Let It Be” by The Beatles, and mother/son dance to “Days Like This” by Van Morrison. During the reception, the Bride was serenaded by her sorority sisters (Sigma Alpha Iota), and by the Groom and his fraternity brothers (Phi Mu Alpha). When the newlyweds began their exit, the magic of the evening was accentuated by floating bubbles as guests cheered and wished them well.
Well wishes came in abundance before the wedding from friends and family, too. The bride and groom were honored at a couples’ shower at the home of Scott and Carol Meeks in Halls, TN, hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Hilliard and Shelby Hilliard, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Cherry and Leah Cherry, Mr. and Mrs. Terry Howell, and Mr. and Mrs. Meeks. A Cinco de Mayo shower, hosted by the bride’s sister, Kirby, was held at the home of Tom and Debbie Orians in Marietta, GA; the brides’ co-workers at Northview Middle School hosted a shower, and the bride’s sixth grade band students hosted a party for their favorite teacher as a send-off at the end of the school year.
The bride’s ring is a pear-shaped diamond, surrounded by diamonds on an 18k white gold band which is cradled inside a matching diamond band. The groom’s ring is a walnut wood band with an off-centered insert of crushed diamonds.
Although magic filled the air, even magic could not produce such an elegant event without the support of a large team of experts. Kathi Leatherwood of The Cumberland House provided the perfect location and setting to fulfill the bride’s vision of vintage Tuscan elegance. Wedding Coordination, decor, and flowers for the rehearsal dinner, bridal party bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, the ceremony area, reception tables, and the surrounding areas were created by Renea Eddlemon Cupples of Creative Expressions of Lawrenceville, TN; Lighting was provided by Ben Johnson of B&J Lighting of Jackson, TN. Music was provided by BJ the DJ, Ben Johnson of Jackson, TN; equipment rental was provided by Eric Rentals of Jackson, TN, and B&J Lighting. The wedding ceremony and reception were recorded in photos by McEwen Photography and Videography of Cordova, TN. Charming, vintage china rentals provided by Jubilee of Halls, TN.
Carley and Thomas plan to live in a Henry County. She is the music teacher, choir director and band director at Dorothy and Noble Harrelson School in Henry County, TN, and Thomas works as a Pharmacy Technician. In the days immediately after the wedding, the newlyweds visited with family members who traveled from California and Canada to be part of the magic. Since band camp began within days of the wedding, followed by the start of school immediately after, the couple plans to honeymoon during Carley’s fall break in October. They will travel to an undisclosed (magical) location to celebrate the enchantment of their new life together.