This Abandoned Pool Turned Into a Secret Garden Wedding
Unique wedding venues make us swoon and this abandoned pool ceremony is taking the cake for out-of-the-box romance. This couple took the off-the-beaten path to marriage with a wedding ceremony that took place in the abandoned...
by Scout

Unique wedding venues make us swoon and this abandoned pool ceremony is taking the cake for out-of-the-box romance. This couple took the off-the-beaten path to marriage with a wedding ceremony that took place in the abandoned pool that sits in their backyard. Covered in vines with a tree growing through the middle, their vows were wrapped in a secret garden magic. 

The bride, Jessie, tells it all, from searching for the perfect venue for over one and a half years to making sure the wedding reflected their casual and eccentric aesthetic. After not only getting hitched in an abandoned pool but also purchasing this four-acre property settled right on the Cumberland River, this wedding sets a new precedent. This bride and groom prove that anything is possible. 

How did you find this property and what inspired you to covert the empty pool into a 'venue space'?

We looked for about a year and a half before we found our spot, and it was sitting right underneath our noses the whole time! It was basically an abandoned junkyard and it was absolutely perfect. A blank slate of four acres that sat right on the Cumberland River. We immediately knew it was our new home.  

It was impossible not to fall in love with the pool right away. For five years everything had sat totally abandoned and untouched. The ivy was unimaginably thick and had overgrown everything, scaling every inch. A tree had sprouted in the middle of the pool, breaking what was left of the tattered lining, and was thriving. It was like a secret overgrown magical garden to me! While I still believe that to be true, I also had to accept that it was also actually a super gross and very smelly pool home to LOTS of snakes and zillions of mosquito families growing by the day :) I knew it had to change but I also knew I didn't want it to completely go away. I imagine in its heyday it had been something really fun and special for the family that lived there before us and I loved the idea of it becoming a special space for us... and what better way than to share our vows in it. 

Where did you draw your inspiration from?

The most important thing to us was that we felt like ourselves and that our friends and family felt comfortable. That's a huge reason why we got married in our own yard. We are pretty casual people. We wanted things to be natural, to reflect the nature around us and the people that gathered in it. I wanted my closest girlfriends to wear what they felt beautiful in. So I guess the vibe I was going for was one that reflected our actual life there and the nature that was around us. This land was our new spot and we had been laboring in the thick of it together to make it our home. I was inspired greatly by the abundance of greenery. My late grandmother, who I adored, always wore an armful of gold bangles some of which were on my wrist that day. I think because of the memory of her classy clanking wrist, I've always loved gold and brass hues.

I did all the stationery and calligraphy in those colors just kind of naturally and the votives and other details just followed. I seem to always have a lot of navy in my life too! So there are certainly touches of that. The big navy sofa is our personal couch. The turquoise of the pools siding was just there! Ha! Couldn't get around that! That is definitely not in the color palette that inspires me in my own work or ever entered my mind when thinking about the wedding, but that's what I loved about it. It might not have all made total sense together but it was a true reflection of that place. It was how it was when we found need to alter it to make it "fit" better.

Tell us about who was involved in this big day :) 

The biggest shout out should definitely go to Tristan. He completely re-built the water-damaged dilapidated cottage (including adding a deck and stairs down to the river) in very little time and made it not only happen but made it beautiful! Tristan's best guy friend, Gardar, married us. Tristan's best girlfriend, AnnaMarie, was his best man. My older sister, Alley, read during the ceremony. And an old friend of mine, Maggie, read a passage by my favorite author as well. A daughter-father duo (Rachael and Hoot Hester) played old country songs during the ceremony and after for the cocktail party. We met Rachael after hearing them sing at a honky tonk downtown and she agreed to come!


Florals: Consider the Wildflowers | Photos: Laura Dart | Stationery: Hew and Co. (bride's company) | Food: Jo's Cakes and Catering | Tents & Lighting: Sperry Tent | Dress: Ruby V (designed by the bride) | Music: Dan Penn + All in One 

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about the correspondent
Jessie Pickren
Creative Director
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
HEW and Company is a design house specializing in stationery, patterning, calligraphy, branding and prop styling based in Nashville, Tennessee. Everything produced by the HEW team is done so in the USA, by hand, through green practices, and with great care. - Website

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