Melissa Ortiz’s interest in Greek mythology inspired the location selection for her wedding to Jason McCourty, a NFL cornerback for the Tennessee Titans. As it turned out, they didn't need to embark on an odyssey to find a most apropos setting: The majestic Parthenon in Nashville’s Centennial Park, complete with an Athena statue, is a full-scale replica of the iconic landmark in Athens, Greece. To complement the venue, the couple chose a white, cream, and gold color palette.

The ceremony was held in a great hall of the museum framed by towering columns. An ivory aisle runner displaying the bride and groom’s monogram led to a fabric-draped altar. “I envisioned feeling like a Greek goddess in Athens,” says Melissa of the big day. She certainly looked divine as she approached her groom in a strapless dress with lace details and a frothy skirt. A headband to which her fingertip-length veil was fastened, dangling diamond earrings, and a brilliant variety of crystal brooches dotting her vanilla bouquet added touches of sparkle to her ensemble. Jason was dashingly attired in an ebony tuxedo accessorized with a black-and-gold plaid bow tie, a pearl boutonniere at his lapel, and trendy dress shoes with onyx, silver, and brass studs.

After the teary, heartfelt vow exchange, the festivities moved to a magnificent ivory draped tent with a transparent ceiling set up adjacent to the venue. “It was like walking into a dream with the most amazing man by my side,” describes Melissa of the unforgettable moment when she made her grand entrance with her newly minted husband. “I felt so blessed.” Offering a great vantage point to the revelry, the sweetheart table was among the celebration’s various custom-built elements. Set in front of a bench, its base was enveloped by vanilla blooms and topped with pillar candles.

At the center of the reception space, strands of sequins and beads cascaded from a modern gilded frame above the dance floor featuring the couple’s monogram crest and wedding date. Towering arrangements of white roses, hydrangeas, and orchids decorated guest tables clad in creamy linens. Bouquets embellished with strands of crystals and suspended glass globes containing tea lights were lined atop long tables. Floating and votive candles set the tablescape aglow. On round tables, centerpieces arose from beds of hydrangeas housed in gold sequined vessels. The remaining tables boasted glass tops displaying the newlyweds' golden monogram. Other bullion elements were present in elegant napkin rings, rims of clear chargers, flatware, sequin table runners, and chairs. Reflecting the overall aesthetic, the seven-layer wedding cake showcased sugar roses and gilded details.

Though it only took eight months to produce the exquisite event, Melissa offers other couples advice on the approach that was key throughout this time period: “Don’t rush the [planning] process. Allow [it] to be a learning and growing experience for the both of you. Always keep God and each other first.”