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Country Singer Jillian Cardarelli Marries Sports Agent Brian Parker in Romantic Tennessee Wedding

·5-min read

Matt Andrews Photography Brian Parker and Jillian Cardarelli

When Jillian Cardarelli used to envision the dress she would wear on her wedding day, she always assumed she would go with something rather simple. But the moment she laid her eyes on the Hayley Paige backless stunner with the pearl and crystal details, Cardarelli knew that it was meant to be hers. She also knew fiancé Brian Parker would absolutely love it.

And he most certainly did.

"It truly took my breath away seeing Jillian walk down the aisle in that beautiful gown," Parker, 45, told PEOPLE mere hours after his wedding to the country songstress. "I momentarily forgot to shake her dad's hand after he gave her away. Thankfully, he remained patient and stood there until I noticed and shook his hand. The crowd chuckled, but I just could not take my eyes off of her. She was stunning."

Matt Andrews Photography The chapel

Indeed, it's a feeling that the well-known sports agent, who wore a custom Ermenegildo Zegna one button tuxedo himself, has had many a time since first meeting the singer/songwriter over five years ago. And yes, it was one of the many moments that stood out during the Saturday, May 15 ceremony that took place at the picturesque Wightman Chapel on the Scarritt Bennett Center campus in Nashville.

Wearing her late grandmother's diamond bracelet, her mother's diamond earrings and a custom three stone engagement ring designed by her groom, Cardarelli was nothing short of an angelic vision in white as she walked down the aisle lovingly adorned by flowers provided by Tennessee-based Kennedy Occasions.

"We really wanted the first time we saw each other that day to be when I was walking down the aisle, so we did not do a first look photo," the 28-year-old explains.

Matt Andrews Photography Brian Parker and Jillian Cardarelli

Matt Andrews Photography The reception venue

Granted, many photos awaited them as the couple, alongside their family and friends, traveled via a fleet of luxury tour busses provided by Premiere Transportation to Southall Meadows in Franklin, Tennessee for the reception, which held many small touches that harkened back to a shared love of theirs.

"We both adore Star Wars," says Cardarelli with a laugh. "Our wedding party was announced into the reception hall to the song 'Cantina Band" from the famous Cantina scene from Star Wars A New Hope and Brian and I entered the reception to the Star Wars main theme song. Our dog, Leia, named after Princess Leia herself, was even able to join us for some special photos."

Matt Andrews Photography Leia, Brian Parker and Jillian Cardarelli

As their guests proceeded to dine on scrumptious dinner entrees such as Tuscan chicken and filet provided by Kathy's Sugar and Spice Catering, the glowing couple proceeded to saunter onto the dance floor, where they were greeted by none other than country star Lee Brice.

"The first dance was extremely special to us because Lee was there to sing his No. 1 hit song, 'I Don't Dance,' which is our song," remarks Cardarelli, who also treated guests with cocktail music provided by Nashville-based singer/songwriter Tom Yankton. "That was amazing just by itself. In addition, this song is special to me because I opened for Lee the very night it went No. 1 on the country charts."

RELATED: Jillian Cardarelli Talks About Finding True Love — in Her Condo Complex! — with Brian Parker

Matt Andrews Photography Lee Brice

Matt Andrews Photography Lee Brice, Brian Parker, Jillian Cardarelli and Charles Esten

Indeed, music and food served as a meaningful backdrop to the entire evening.

"Brian and I both have Italian roots," explains Cardarelli, who released her single "If You Had a Heart" earlier this year. "We cut our wedding cake (created by Susan Mathews from Chattanooga-based In Good Taste Catering) to Dean Martin's 'That's Amore' and, as part of our wedding favors, we gave the guests five almonds, an Italian tradition in which the almonds represent health, happiness, children, wealth and longevity."

Matt Andrews Photography The cake

Matt Andrews Photography Brian Parker and Jillian Cardarelli

Soon, it was time for Cardarelli to slip off her Stuart Weitzman shoes and head on over to the couple's very own slipper bar, where guests could trade in their heels for something a little more comfortable.

"As a performer, I have an excellent understanding of what it means to wear high heels for hours on end, so incorporating a slipper bar was really fun for me because I knew what a relief it would be for my guests," chuckles Cardarelli, who changed into a white strapless gown mid-reception, and departed wearing a 'Mrs. Parker' jean jacket gifted to her by her maid of honor. "I can't tell you how many times I have left a performance or an event barefoot."

Matt Andrews Photography Jillian Cardarelli and Brian Parker dance with a guest

Matt Andrews Photography Jillian Cardarelli and Brian Parker

And now, with everyone feeling happy and comfortable, guests proceeded to divulge in a slew of late-night snacks, including Krispy Kreme, Marigold Popcorn, Crumbl Cookies and Daddy's Dogs.

"Our Valentine's Day tradition has been going to the Daddy's Dogs stand in our neighborhood and getting a hot dog for dinner," says Cardarelli. "And then whenever we are in New York City, we love walking through Central Park (where Brian proposed) to grab a hot dog and take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the park. So, it was very fitting that we had these two of our favorites incorporated into our wedding."

Matt Andrews Photography The set-up

Matt Andrews Photography Brian Parker and Jillian Cardarelli

The couple is now off on a 'Minnie-moon' to their 'favorite hotel in Disney World,' but plan to take a longer honeymoon vacation somewhere tropical this fall, where they will certainly reminisce on their romantic wedding day.

"We were both doing our best to hold back tears all day and night," Cardarelli concludes. "It was truly so magical having friends and family from all over come in to celebrate our special day with us."

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