Photos by Kelly Ginn Photography

In a wooded area, under the perfect tree, Suzanne Hanover and Joshua Zide became husband and wife. Surrounded by family, Suz, as she is affectionately called, had the wedding of her dreams.

“Suz has an instinctual love of nature,” said mom Rebecca Gerber. “In college, she studied the environment and sustainability. As a young girl she was involved in athletics and loved the outdoors.”

That love inspired the natural setting, a theme carried throughout the evening, bringing the outdoors inside.

Working with event planner Sheril Greenstein and Holliday Events and Flowers, the outdoor ceremony on the grounds of Temple Israel in Memphis was complete with a family of deer running across the far side of the field.

“Suzanne has such amazing sense of style and knew exactly what she wanted,” said Sheril. “We worked hard to create exactly what she envisioned. The ceremony space among the trees was magnificent.”

Suzanne lives in New York and works as an international public relations professional for fashion designer Tory Burch. While busy coordinating international press coverage, currently Fashion Week in New York, she still had time to communicate with all of her vendors to create the perfect scenario, right down to choosing the fonts for invitations and other paper goods. She even designed the lining of her invitations.

A Southern girl at heart, “I wanted to reflect that feeling throughout the day by including wildflowers and cotton, wood and cooper,” said Suzanne. “Coincidentally, during New York Fashion Week, I’m helping with an international dinner with a Southern theme and am able to recycle the wedding decorations!”

“Every choice Suz made was intentional,” said Rebecca about the florals, paper goods, linen napkins, copper silverware, wooden tables and chairs, the greenery and pressed flowers in her cake. “When she came to town to look at venues, she was touched by the beautiful tree large enough to build a chuppah underneath.”

Josh and Suz with a family wedding party: Noah Hanover, Zach Hanover, Josh Mandel, Daniel Zide, Stephen Zide, Sammi Zide, Amy Zide, Julie Mandel, and Jackie Side.

Vintage rugs covered the grass to create an aisle to the wooden chuppah. Adorning the chuppah, centerpieces and bouquets were wisps of organic greenery, dried elements and natural flowers along with vintage raw silk and linen ribbons.

Edible flowers covered the cake made by Jessica Lambert from Paradox Catering.

“Her dress, by Australian designer Suzanne Harward, had a bodice that was as beautiful in the back as it was the front,” said Rebecca. “She was beautiful and natural, not formal or fussy. Her custom-made bronze tiara was decorated with mother of pearl. And her long train was simple – not taking away from the incredible skirt fabric designed with eyelash feathers.”

“I knew the second I put it on it was going to be my wedding dress!” said Suzanne. “I wanted something different, not typical bridal.”

Place cards covered the gazebo, centerpieces by Holliday Events and Flowers, Laurie Samuels hand-painted the table numbers.

From the moment the guests entered the venue, they were enchanted by the woodsy garden. Jackson vine and Italian lights glitter above the reception hall creating an outdoor vibe. The plates were made of bamboo as were the cheese boards.

Coming back to Memphis to be married among her close family and New York friends was very special for Suzanne and her family. “We incorporated many meaningful family treasures under the chuppah,” said Suzanne. “We used my stepfather, Tommy’s, grandmother’s gold band in the ceremony – the ring my mom and Tommy used in their wedding; my dad, Jeff Hanover’s, family Tanakh (Hebrew bible) covered in the most beautiful lace; my grandfather, Ted Winestone’s kiddish cup, and Josh’s grandfather’s tallis.

“I was so lucky that all of my grandparents were there,” said Suzanne. “Unfortunately, my grandmother, my mom’s mom, passed away just a few months later in December. She was so happy having the best time dancing in her wheelchair!

“Having a wedding in the woods and being among many generations of family was very meaning,” explained Suzanne. “My grandfather, Ted, is a Holocaust survivor who lived in the woods for two years before the liberation. Maybe that’s how I inherited my love for the outdoors. If he had not survived, we would not be here today.”