Lauren Rucker and John Pustulka met while working at a Nashville pharmacy. As their friendship progressed, their love deepened, and John surprised Lauren by proposing at Liberty Common — the restaurant where they had their first date.
They married in May by the Reflecting Pool at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens. Dr. Paul Lim officiated while harpist Meg Boulden and a string ensemble arranged by Craig Duncan played an array of orchestrations including Vivaldi’s “Spring” and “Princess Leia’s Theme” from Star Wars.
“Anyone planning an outdoor wedding knows the stress of wondering what the weather will be — and this was no exception,” said the bride’s mother. As the date approached and weather reports predicted storms, plans began for moving the ceremony into Cheekwood’s Historic Mansion. At the last minute, the skies cleared, blessing attendees with the beautiful garden wedding the bride had envisioned.
Lauren wore an ivory satin gown with a portrait neckline and off-the-shoulder straps. She had seen the Jasmine Bridal design in a magazine and knew it was the one. The timing, however, was going to be tight: the dress wasn’t to arrive from overseas until a mere week before the wedding. This gave the bride some sleepless nights, so she selected a second dress just in case. Both dresses arrived on time, and Lauren wore them both, alternating her mother’s original veil and a stunning veil named “Horsehair” — a nod to Lauren’s equestrian background.
Cheekwood’s Frist Learning Center Courtyard was the site of the reception, and strings of tiny lights branched off from a chandelier in the center of the white tent. Emily Gould of Chef’s Market catered the dinner and included special appetizers — all of which were nods to the heritages of both bride (Austrian, African American) and groom (Korean, Polish). Whitney Opalek of Ivey Cake in Brentwood created the Chantilly wedding cake, Caprice Palmer at Enchanted Florist designed the florals, and Marcia Husband was the wedding planner.
After their wedding trip to Spain and the South of France, the couple returned to Nashville where the bride works in healthcare, and the groom is a pharmacist. Lauren graduated with a major in chemistry from Carson-Newman University, and John is an alumnus of University of Michigan with his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Belmont University. Parents are Harold and Dianne Rucker of Franklin, Tennessee, and Thomas and the late Sonja Pustulka of Detroit, Michigan.
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