Rachel Harrison Lee and Thomas Isaac Edmiston were united in marriage on August 8, 2020 at First United Methodist Church Montgomery. Rachel is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Alan Lee of Montgomery. She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. & Mrs. Robert Bart Brown and the late Mr. & Mrs. Norman Harrison “Pete” Lee. Isaac is the son of Mr. & Mrs. Paul Stephen Edmiston of Maryville, Tennessee. He is the grandson of the late Mr. & Mrs. William Kenneth Stricklin and the late Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Leon Edmiston.
Rachel and Isaac met in the Fall of 2018 during Orientation for the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program at the University of Tennessee, the program from which they both graduated in December 2019. In late November 2019, Isaac proposed at Volunteer Landing on the Tennessee River, a place where they had shared many special times together during their time in Knoxville. Both were awarded their undergraduate degrees in May 2018; Rachel from Birmingham-Southern College and Isaac from the University of Tennessee.
The bride’s sister, Meredith Catherine Lee, served as Maid of Honor. She was also attended by her dear friends from Montgomery, Jessica Allen Adams and Jillian Alexis Tinglin; her college roommates, Mary Hannah Gentry Winslett and Melaina Hissam DeSilva; as well as Isaac’s sisters, Acacia Erin Edmiston and Sarah Anne Edmiston. Isaac’s life-long friend, John Patrick Garrett, served as his best man. Additional life-long friends Travis Parker Nuchols and Samuel Wallace Paganelli served as groomsmen along with his four brothers; Daniel Aaron Edmiston, James Ethan Edmiston, Paul Caleb Edmiston, and Stephen Enoch Edmiston.
Escorted by her father and given in marriage by her parents, Rachel wore an A-line Enzoani gown of Alencon lace customized with a sweetheart neckline and eyelash lace. She carried a hand tied bouquet in a natural garden style made up of peonies, O’Hara roses, lisianthus, blue thistle, Veronica, ranunculus, scabiosa pods, Queen Anne’s lace, and eucalyptus. Her bouquet was adorned with a gold cross gifted to her by her maternal grandmother on the occasion of Rachel’s confirmation at the altar where she was baptized and now married. She carried in the pocket of her dress a penny minted in the year of her birth, covered in lace, adorned with a blue ribbon, and gifted to her along with a monogrammed, heirloom lace handkerchief by dear family friend Denise Morgan Snipes. To complete her ensemble the bride chose a veil of chapel length tulle as well as drop earrings both by Haute Bride.
The bridesmaids wore high-neck, spaghetti-strap, halter gowns in flowy mineral-colored chiffon by Jenny Yoo. They carried bouquets similar in style to that of the bride though smaller. The groom and the groomsmen wore navy suits complimented by boutonnieres of petite roses, blue thistle, and greenery. The groomsmen wore navy ties that were a gift from the groom. The groom chose a white tie and navy vest.
After the many uncertainties of planning a wedding during a pandemic, Rachel and Isaac were honored to celebrate their marriage in the newly renovated sanctuary at First United Methodist Church of Montgomery. The officiant for the ceremony was the Reverend Dr. Jay Daniel Cooper, Senior Pastor at the church. Serving as the organist for the service was Joel Gregory. Susan Gill Thomas served as the wedding coordinator. Jackie and Luke Lucas of Jackie+Luke were the wedding photographers.
As a special remembrance of their wedding day, the parents’ of the bride commissioned a live-event painting of the ceremony by local artist Barbara Davis. The ceremony florals, designed by Aaron Ganey of Designs Nouveau, included white and O’Hara roses, lisianthus, blue thistle, Veronica, delphinium, antique hydrangea, Queen Anne’s lace, eucalyptus and other greenery in large arrangements on each side of the altar. Elizabeth Nichols Watts, a dear friend of both the bride and groom from their MSBA cohort, was the scripture reader. The wedding band that Rachel placed on Isaac’s finger as they exchanged rings was the same ring that her paternal grandmother placed on her grandfather’s finger when they exchanged their vows on December 17, 1953.
Following the ceremony, a reception was held at The Oaks Plantation in Pike Road, Alabama. The reception florals, also designed by Aaron Ganey, included greenery surrounding the entrance as well as large arrangements on the porch similar in style to the arrangements at the ceremony. As guests arrived, they were greeted with charcuterie boxes and drinks prepared by Jennie Weller Catering and Events. These were enjoyed while guests waited for the bride and groom to arrive in a vintage white Bentley sedan driven by Chris of Memories in Motion from Opelika. High top tables with ice blue and navy linens decorated with simple blooms in glass bud vases surrounded by votive candles were arranged throughout the lovely venue. The bride’s wedding cake, a three tiered vanilla creation by Peggy McKinney with vanilla frosting and almond filling, was featured in the sunroom on a table dressed with a tablecloth that had belonged to the bride’s maternal great-grandmother. The cake was adorned with icing dots and flowers similar to those in the bride’s bouquet. The groom, a life-long fan of the Tennessee Volunteers, was celebrated with cookie cakes decorated with the traditional checkerboard pattern and the “Power T” in honor of his favorite team.
After the cakes were cut and the toasts were made, the party moved outside for dinner in a lovely outdoor setting. A tent beautifully decorated with string lights and greenery greeted the guests. The tables were set with floral arrangements and candles atop ice blue table linens. All enjoyed a served buffet dinner of Craisin salad, marinated beef tenderloin, balsamic glazed chicken, a macaroni and cheese bar, and roasted vegetables prepared by Jennie Weller Catering and Events. The bride’s and groom’s cakes were served for dessert.
Once finished with their dinner the bride and groom took the opportunity to greet their guests then moved into the Grand Hall for dancing. The bride and groom chose Make It With You by Bread for their first dance due in large part to Isaac’s love of “oldies.” The bride and her father then danced to It Won’t Be Like This for Long by Darius Rucker. The groom and his mother danced to Somewhere in the World by Wayne Watson. Rachel and Isaac invited DJ2, DJ Porter, a favorite from the Knoxville area and a friend of the groom to come to Montgomery for the occasion and emcee the celebration and the night of dancing.
As the evening came to a close, the newlyweds were sent off with shakers of Tennessee orange and white or crimson and white as a nod to the bride’s lifetime of cheering for the Alabama Crimson Tide with her father. Guests were treated to a beautiful cookie decorated with a watercolor of an oak tree baked and hand painted by Lorraine’s Bake Shop as a memento of the evening shared in celebration at the Oaks Plantation.
After a wedding trip to the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina, the couple will reside in Nashville, Tennessee where Rachel is an Internal Auditor for HCA Healthcare and Isaac is a Business Analytics Lead Analyst at Cigna. They look forward to their originally scheduled honeymoon trip to St. Martin in August of 2021 as a celebration of their first anniversary.
The wedding weekend began with a bridesmaids’ luncheon at the lovely home of Jenny and Tommy Andreades hosted by Jenny Andreades, Julie Collins, Julianne Curvin, Ruth McMichens, aunt of the bride, Denise Snipes, Lisa Terry, and Monica Ward. The entire wedding party as well as guests from out of town enjoyed the after rehearsal dinner on Friday night in the Station Room at Dreamland Barbecue hosted by the parents of the groom.
The wedding day began for the bride and bridesmaids with a morning of make-up and hair preparations by Kelly Freeman and Dawna Robinson at the Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Home where they were treated to delicious box lunches prepared by Kate Wheaton of Wheaton Place catering. The groom and groomsmen along with other friends in town for the occasion joined in a pick-up basketball game at The Montgomery Academy on the court where the bride, a member of the Class of 2014, spent many hours during her time there.
The finale to a wonderful weekend was a Farewell Breakfast at the Young House hosted by dear friends of the bride and her family. Guests enjoyed breakfast casserole, French toast casserole, sour cream muffins, bacon, and biscuits with honey, butter, and blueberry compote before they departed for home. Hosts for the breakfast were: Denise and Mickey Allen, Julia and Dean Azar, Pam and Bob Buss, Lucinda and Chip Chappelle, Susie and John Fendley, Gail and Jim Hampton, Gerri and Stuart Hendon, Lee Ann and Roland Hester, Charlene and Lex Holtsford, Heidi and Robert Lee, Diane and Terry Mitchell, Lyvonnia and Sam Poppell, Susan and Gary Scott, Janet and Ned Sheffield, Alice and Larry Sherbett, Diane and Lee Steinhilber, Ginger and John Virden, and Sonya and Chad Wachter.