Though Lillian and Blake Layne briefly dated as teenagers, their story isn’t that of your typical high school sweethearts. The two parted ways after graduation, but little did they know that years later, the stars would align. “We were in the same graduating class and even went on a couple of dates in high school, but nothing came from it. We went to separate colleges and found our way back to Chattanooga a few years after. We re-met and the rest is history!” shares Lillian.
Lillian and Blake married on the evening of December 31, 2022, and celebrated both their marriage and New Year’s Eve with guests during a reception at Gilman Event Hall. “We chose Gilman because it was a beautiful space, and the location was amazing for a New Year’s wedding,” says Lillian. Guests were able to walk a short distance from the ceremony site at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to the event hall, where they enjoyed a cocktail hour before moving to the ballroom for drinks, dinner, and dancing.
Lillian describes the theme of the night as “a modern take on classic black and white weddings,” with a New Year’s twist. Baby’s breath, garden roses, and hydrangeas matched the monochrome décor of the evening, while greenery added bursts of color throughout the room.
The couple staged an exit to capture getaway pictures before returning inside to celebrate until midnight. “Since it was New Year’s and we wanted to go until the ball dropped, we did a ‘fake exit’ around 10:30 p.m. We had all the guests move down to the street right outside of Old Gilman Grill with sparklers, and some guests chose to stay upstairs and watch from the balcony,” describes Lillian.
As midnight ushered in the new year, the newlyweds were able to cheer alongside their loved ones, an experience that Lillian says she will always remember. Looking back, she adds that her favorite parts of the day would have to be “finally getting to see Blake and then dancing into the new year!”
How He Proposed
“Blake sent me to get my nails done and have dinner with my friends while he transformed the house into a beautiful proposal spot for when I got home. We left for Vegas the next day and celebrated!”