"It is hard to believe that same 6-week-old girl who inspired the lyrics to 'Baby Baby' is now a beautiful married woman," Amy Grant tells PEOPLE exclusively
Chapman, whose father is Grant’s first husband Gary Chapman, married Ben Long on Saturday, April 27 in Nashville.
“It is hard to believe that same 6-week-old girl who inspired the lyrics to ‘Baby Baby’ is now a beautiful married woman,” Grant tells PEOPLE. “Her life has given us a lot of reasons to dance and celebrate through the years!”
Chapman, 29, and Long, 30, who met two and a half years ago on a dating app, wed at Immanuel Baptist Church, then celebrated their reception in the backyard of the home Grant shares with country singer Vince Gill, her husband of 19 years.
“We mainly chose my mom’s backyard because it has always been a place I feel comfortable,” says Chapman. “We wanted to celebrate it somewhere we felt at home.”
Grant adds, “When Millie’s father Gary responded to the question ‘Who presents this bride?’ with the words ‘We all do!’ he captured the joy and healing of our big blended family. As Vince and I welcomed the crowd of family and friends to our backyard reception, Vince said, ‘We didn’t do things perfectly … or everything just right .. but we’re all here now to celebrate this beautiful couple.'”
As for the décor?
“We only had two rules,” Chapman — who planned the wedding with Dori Waller of The Social Office — tells PEOPLE. “No pastels and no monograms! We wanted to create a beautiful reception that still felt like a wedding reception at home. The sailcloth tent provided by Chattanooga Tent was adorned with crystal chandeliers and overlooked the edge of our garden which had hanging votives and furniture for guests to enjoy a quiet moment in the beautiful setting.”
Chapman’s bouquet and all the florals for the wedding and reception had a personal touch — they were by Phyllis Mayfield of Mayfield Events and Design, who also happened to be the bride’s childhood nanny. Chapman’s bridesmaids included her sisters, a cousin, and longtime pal Kathryn Dudley, to whom she previously donated a kidney.
“Ben cried, but we always knew he was going to,” says Chapman. “As I got closer, his face just sort of melted!”
Following the exchange of vows, Grant and Gill welcomed the 230 guests before the newlyweds took their first spin on the dance floor to the “Stand by Me,” sung by the bride’s sister, Corrina Gill. Then came the live band, Az IzZ who “did an amazing job of getting our guests on the dance floor,” says Chapman.
Later, Grant told guests that Chapman was a picky eater as a child — so dinner was a nod to her childhood favorites.
Kristen Winston Catering incorporated family recipes liked mini BLTs, pulled pork on griddle corn cakes and mini grilled cheese. Dinner included filet of beef, lemon herb chicken breast and ricotta stuffed ravioli.
The cake, created by Leland Riggan of Dessert Designs, featured two of the couple’s favorite flavors: sour cream pound cake and chocolate truffle.
Overall, says Chapman, “it was great food, lots of dancing and a fun warm environment for our friends and family.”