Donte Noble and Elliott Holt, who is the CEO of medical information company MediCopy Services, recently married in what may be one of Nashville’s most lavish LGBT weddings to date.
Their ceremony was a massive production with a six-figure budget, including everything from a venue able to accommodate three distinct themes in one evening to fine details like a custom chandelier. Dinner was a multi-course affair. Their invitations were even modeled on vinyl records and mailed to guests in boxes.
There was nothing ordinary about the event, but Noble and Holt’s romance began as so many do in the modern era: online. “Pretty much,” said Noble, “Elliot and I met on Facebook. We met through mutual friends—not anyone that either of us even know in real life—but he added me on Facebook I want to say it was January of 2015.”
The two connected through the strangers we now call friends online, and developed a relationship through conversations facilitated by social media. “I want to say it was April that he sent me the very first message,” Noble explained. “That carried into May of 2015, with us going back and forth with conversation, then phone calls. Then I FaceTimed him, and we actually got to have a ... I guess a ‘miniature date conversation…’”
Holt, who was traveling on business in L.A. offered to fly to New York, since Noble was living in New Jersey and working in New York City at the time. Up ‘til then, everything the two knew about one another was based on distant communication, but then the two met in person. “The rest is history pretty much,” Noble said.
From that time forward, the two began to travel back and forth to meet each other regularly. “He has another place in Atlanta,” Noble added, “so I was like, ‘Okay, well I have a vacation coming up. I wouldn't mind coming down to Atlanta.’ He had flown up two or three times, and then I went down to Atlanta that summer, and then, after that, I came down again to go to Nashville for the 15th anniversary for his company.”
After that trip to Nashville, Holt asked Noble if he’d consider relocating to Nashville. Noble had always told himself he’d never live in the South, but his visits, as well as his developing relationship, made him reconsider, and on August 28, 2015 he moved to join Holt.
When Noble moved to Nashville, he knew he’d have to stay busy, and so he immediately began looking for something to do. One day, he was visiting Holt’s company, MediCopy, a health information management company that's been in business for 17 years, and the organizations director of operations joked that he should come to work for them.
“I was like, ‘Well I have nothing to do,’” Holt said, laughing, “and he's like, "Really? Would you do it?" I said I couldn’t be off work any longer and that I need to stay busy. He said, ‘If you'll do it, we'll get you in here next week.’”
Holt said he cautioned Noble, worrying that some people might think he was just there because the two were a couple, but Noble came into the company with the attitude that he was there to work. “I didn't want anyone looking at me as anything other than an employee,” Noble said. “And that's exactly how it's been. So I've been working there since last year. I go to my office, I get to work. I report to him like he's my boss. I don't want anyone giving me any like, leeway or whatever…”
In January 2016, the couple got engaged in Cape Hatteras. “It was scheduled as a birthday trip,” Noble said. “Little did I know that he was planning this huge engagement behind my back. Pretty much two days into the trip, we're sitting on the beach and he's proposing to me at a beach side dinner in a gazebo. There was a violin player! And I'm like, ‘Oh my God, how did you plan all this?’ I'm usually good at figuring this stuff out. And everyone around us knew about it, which was even funnier.”
Their wedding was designed to reflect the couple, and their interests. “The Bridge Building seemed to be the most modern building that we liked,” Holt explained. “We liked the idea of having a rooftop wedding with the skyline in the background and having different places to go in the venue.”
“We had the rooftop where the ceremony was at, then they moved everyone to another outside tent for cocktail hour, and then inside the building for the dinner,” Holt explained. “While they were doing all that, they were flipping upstairs from being set up for the ceremony, which was all white, into a club atmosphere. They added this crazy chandelier that they specially made for us. And then the DJs and they had several bars up there, so it was pretty cool.”
For music, the couple designed their own playlist for their DJ. “We put together about twenty hours of playlists,” Holt said, laughing, “because we didn't want them doing like line dancing or other shit. So we decided to have it just to play our music.”
Music and other touches allowed the couple to bring some deeply personal elements to the happy day. “Some of the songs we had in there were things that his mother would play back home on vinyl back in the day. Both of our mothers passed away last year—his just a couple months into us talking, and then mine just a couple months after he moved to Nashville—so we had to pay homage to both of them and we thought that was a cool way to do that... We also had empty seats for our parents.”
Once the big production was over, the couple got to get away for a relaxing honeymoon in the islands, before returning to Nashville to turn the page and start the next chapter of their journey together.
Photos by Wild Rivers Photography