The Something Borrowed actress marries Neal Dodson in Nashville

By Alison Schwartz Ulrica Wihlborg
May 29, 2011 08:00 PM
Robin Platzer/LFI

No fancy heels, no bridesmaids, no wedding cake – no problem.

Something Borrowed actress Ashley Williams married her longtime boyfriend, producer Neal Dodson, Sunday evening in a no-frills, outdoor ceremony in Nashville.

“We wanted an intimate, farm-inspired wedding,” Williams, 32, tells PEOPLE of her nuptials, which were held at the home of her sister Kimberly Williams-Paisley and brother-in-law Brad Paisley. “We basically planned an upscale keg party!”

Keeping things low-key, the couple, who met eight years ago in acting class, exchanged vows they wrote themselves and wedding bands they bought from

Flip-Flop Party Favors

At the reception, which was held in the sand pit where Paisley trains his horses, guests were treated to a pair of party favors – flip-flops, “so they can relax and have fun,” Williams says.

About 50 guests, including Paisley and his wife, danced the night away to a four-member local country band, sipping an assortment of Anheuser-Busch beer, wine and their signature wedding drink, “The Smashed,” a whiskey-based swill coined in reference to Williams’s nickname, “Smash.”

For dinner, the menu stayed true to Williams’s “small and simple” vision. Guests passed around pulled pork, biscuits and macaroni ‘n’ cheese, capping off the family-style meal with banana pudding instead of wedding cake.

It’s been about a year and a half since the couple became engaged on Thanksgiving in 2009. Now, Williams says she has married her “best friend.”

“He grounds me,” says the bride, who wore a classic ivory Augusta Jones gown and blue sandals. “He allows me to laugh at myself and calms me down. He puts things in perspective.”