Claire Scruggs loves to dance – on New Year’s Eve in Nashville, she and some girlfriends decided to go out to listen to some live music before midnight struck. Once there, she met a young man named Mitchell Truban who was out and about to watch his alma mater, North Carolina State University, play against Vanderbilt University in the Music City Bowl. “Mitchell swept me off my feet and we danced the night away! We believe it was ‘divine intervention’ that brought us together,” Claire beams. “December 31st is also Mitchell’s birthday, so he always tells people that I was Jesus’ best birthday present to him.”
After over a year of dating, Mitchell decided that it was time to propose to his beloved girlfriend. “Mitchell and I were long distance our entire relationship: he lived in Georgia and I’m from Arkansas,” Claire notes. In order to make the proposal special, Mitchell selected Dallas as the setting – as it had been the location of their first long-weekend date. As a disguise, he told his sweetie that he had a big meeting in town for work and that he wanted her to join him. “When I checked into the hotel the receptionist handed me a coupon booklet that I later learned Mitchell had made,” Claire recalls. “The booklet was full of dates and experiences [from] the first year of our relationship. The coupons were to help guide me for the next day’s activities.”
The following afternoon, Mitchell took Claire on a romantic journey with a few pit stops around the area: first, they stopped at a nail salon, where the nail technician taught Mitchell how to complete a pedicure step by step. “He did everything but paint my toe nails!” laughs Claire. “Later, he explained that the washing of my feet was symbolic of Jesus Christ washing the disciples’ feet and how he wants to serve me the rest of his life.” Next, the nervous young man took his girlfriend to a pizzeria. “When the waitress brought out the pizza, [I noticed] it had ‘FH’ spelled out in pepperonis, [which] stands for our relationship motto, ‘Forever Happy,’” Claire reveals. To further throw off his future wife, Mitchell then drove the two of them to a jewelry store to ring shop, making it seem as if an engagement would take place sometime in the unforeseen future. However, “after ring shopping, Mitchell said he needed to pick something up really quick, but he pulled into a church parking lot,” Claire says. “At this point I knew he was going to propose and my stomach did flip-flops!” Sure enough, after viewing a slideshow of their happiest moments, Mitchell got on bended knee to ask for Claire hand. “I said ‘yes,’ of course!” she exclaims.
Mitchell had popped the question with a stunning, one-of-a-kind, custom ring that he had designed himself; so when it came to the planning, the duo knew they wanted a wedding that meant just as much. As for their location, the decision was simple. “We chose Nashville because it was where we met – we feel in love with the chapel and it was a central spot for both families,” the bride explains. Claire relied on her groom, her mother, and her planner from Fête Nashville for every detail of the coordination, and they were able to bring their collective vision to life in a just over a year.
The Tennessee air was crisp on the May morning of their nuptials. Claire donned an exquisite A-line gown with a sweetheart neckline and light crystal embellishments around the waist. The bride chose only one bridesmaid, who sported a floor-length dress in a soft, feminine shade of blush, and the two had matching blooms of ivory and pink in their bouquets. Both the bride and groom elected to jot handwritten notes to one another that they shared during their “first look” before the ceremony. After having a moment of quiet reflection as a couple, the two loaded into a car with their bridesmaid and groomsman to jet off to the church together.
After a traditional Christian vow exchange lead by Claire’s childhood church, friends and family gathered at a local event center for the reception. The space exuded a dreamy, romantic feeling – long, sheer sections of fabric were draped from corners of the ceiling, which created a soft, cloudy concept. Pastel blossoms filled the room to the brim: “I wanted flowers everywhere!” Claire exclaims. “Our florist made a floral table runner to span the entire length of the head table to the floor. We [also] had flowers draping from the chandeliers and orbs suspended from the ceiling.” The celebration included a large, white dance floor with a custom monogram of the couple's initials in the center.
The event brought Mitchell and Claire’s relationship full circle, as the newlyweds got to dance the night away, just as they had the night they met. “Our band was incredible and really made the night beyond memorable because no one left the dance floor!” smiles the bride.