The wedding festivities kicked off on Thursday, Weed's birthday, followed by a drive-by brunch for out-of-town guests on Friday at the couple's home, prior to the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
"We had folks come in from 10 different states. It was just so special and everyone really made the effort to come there and be there," Rachel told ET of the magical weekend. "I think a lot of people are feeling more comfortable now with travel and folks having been vaccinated and getting their booster shots. Several people said, 'This is the first wedding we've been to in years.'"
Having friends and family come from all over the country meant a lot to Rachel and Mike.
"I think what really resonated with Mike and me is we have an incredible support system from coast-to-coast, and in the two cities that we live in, New York and Nashville," she shared. "From coast-to-coast we just have such a support system -- from family and friends and colleagues. Our hearts were overflowing with just joy and love, not only for each other but really for all the folks that were there to support us."
Rachel, whose father Rodney Smith died in February 2019, also lost her uncle last month, who had offered to walk her down the aisle. In her father and uncle's place, Rachel's mother, Beverly Smith, took on the task, and provided her daughter with one of her favorite memories from the special day.
"I think my favorite moment was when we were in the church and 'Here Comes the Bride' starts playing on the organ and my mom and I walk down the aisle. But before we walked down the aisle, we took a beat just to kind of look at the room. Seeing so many faces from different moments of my life collectively in one room for Mike and me took my breath away. I’ve never felt so much love," Rachel, who was Miss USA in 2007, shared. "I looked over at my mom to ask her if she was OK, and she was just smiling ear-to-ear walking me down the aisle. [It was like] she was walking down the runway or like she was Miss USA herself."
Rachel added of her mom, "It was perfect having her there to give me away to Mike."
As for her bridal look, Rachel revealed that her off-the-shoulder mermaid-style gown was designed by Sherri Hill, who she's known since she was 14 and who designed the dress she wore when she won the Miss USA pageant all those years ago.
"I'm a gal that's pretty simple. I'm not like a lot of frill and fuss. I don't really like a lot of bling, so I wanted something very simple, but something that still made a statement," she said of her bridal look. "Actually my mom was the one who picked out my wedding dress. Then we just modified some things from an existing design of Ms. Sherri's due to the time crunch and everything. But my mom goes, 'Rach, that's the one I think.' And I go, 'Really?' And she said, 'Yeah girl, that's it.'"
"It was a full circle moment with her, and I couldn't imagine anyone else doing my dress. It was an honor," Rachel gushed, noting that Sherri Hill designed a second look for the reception, which she described as a "column dress" with a pearl-embellished bow and straps.
Though supply chain issues due to the pandemic presented some obstacles in planning the special day, Rachel said it all worked out in the end.
"Everything just kind of fell into place and, honestly, I just felt like it was my dad saying, 'Girl, I got you. You're gonna be OK,'" she said of her late father.
The bride honored her dad by turning one of his blue ties into a small bow that she wore on the back of her shoe. Rachel's bridesmaids also gifted her with a beautiful charm that included a photo of her and her father, which is pictured above on her shoe, that she attached to her bouquet for the ceremony.
For the reception, the wedding party changed into white Puma sneakers gifted to them by the bride, and ended the night celebrating on Nashville's Broadway walk.
Rachel mused of the late-night outing, "We felt like country music stars!"