A down-home Kentucky farm wedding photographed by fan favorite Leslee Mitchell is perhaps the best way to usher in the last month of summer and turn our thoughts to all things fall. While we all love the sunny days and balmy night of summer, don’t the cheery sunflowers in the bridesmaids’ Amazonia Flowers bouquets and the towering cornstalks behind the snapshots of Sarah + Benji secretly make you wish for cooler weather, changing leaves and handpicked apples? The attendants’ adorable chocolate brown pleated sheaths from Bari Jay and the bride’s romantic Joli Bridal gown already have me looking forward to those September weddings that are just around the corner! And as you may have noticed, my eye seems to go straight to the personal elements of each wedding (after all, it’s these little details that really make a wedding, right?), and I just love that the couple was married on Sarah’s family farm and that their three-tiered Swiss dot wedding cake was handmade by Benji’s mother and aunt! While we’re on the subject of changing seasons: what makes you think of autumn?
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story: Benji and I were both summer camp counselors at a day camp in our hometown. We spent the first summer giving each other advice about therelationships we were in at the time and got to be good friends by the summer’s end. We ran into each other the following spring and Benji started coming to the ice cream shop where I worked on a regular basis. By the second week of that summer, we had our first date, which ended with a kiss on my mother’s back porch.
Describe the proposal: I had been working in Chicago for a week and was flying home to spend the weekend with Benji for our sixth anniversary. Though we made plans to go to dinner and a movie that night, my flight was delayed a few hours and our plans seemed to be ruined. When I finally got home, we decided to just grab a pizza and eat-in at my house. But when I turned into my neighborhood, there were bright lights lining the street. At first, I thought there must have been a neighborhood function that I didn’t know about, but as I drove the final quarter mile to my house, I realized the lights led straight to my driveway. I got butterflies knowing that Benji was up to something. I parked and followed the lights all the way to my backdoor. I opened the door to find over 100 lit candles surrounding a large wrapped box while Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” played in the background. I opened the box to find a smaller box, which held a smaller box, which held a smaller box that held a ring box. When I opened the ring box, it was empty. Then Benji, dressed in a nice suit, spoke up from behind me. He gave me huge hug and told me how much I meant to him as I cried. He took a step back, got down on one knee and asked me to make him the luckiest man on earth. I said, “Yes!”
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Simple Southern elegance down on the farm.
Favorite design element of your big day: The church where we held the ceremony! I was married in the same church where my my parents were married and where my grandparents attend services every Sunday. Benji’s favorite elements were the wooden arch his father built for us to stand under during the ceremony and having a cake made by his mother and aunt for the reception.
Describe your wedding flowers: I carried a bouquet of white roses and hydrangeas while my bridesmaids carried simple bouquets of sunflowers. The groomsmen wore single white rose boutonnieres.
Describe your wedding cake: Benji’s mother and aunt made and decorated our wedding cake. It was a three-tiered white cake with buttercream icing. The top and bottom tiers had raspberry filling, while the middle was filled with lemon. The cake was topped with fresh sunflowers and our initials in chrome lettering.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The warm, southern feel of being surrounded by our guests at my family’s farm. Kentucky is beautiful in the summertime; all the corn fields were lush and green and provided a great back drop for all our wedding festivities.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Benji and I wanted to do a lot of the planning and coordinating ourselves, which was difficult because we both lived in Florida and the wedding was to be held in Kentucky.
Were there any special family traditions you included in the wedding? I carried my grandmother’s hand-sewn handkerchief and wore a veil my mother made.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My favorite moment was taking pictures on my family’s farm. It is a special place where I spent many summers with my grandparents. Being able to share that with everyone was my way of remembering my grandparents and having them be a part of our beautiful day. Benji’s most memorable moment was standing in front of the church waiting for everything to begin. He couldn’t look at anyone, for fear that he might start crying, so he stared at the ceiling. Once the doors opened for me to walk down the aisle, our eyes locked and a huge smile came across his face. I don’t think that smile left his face for the rest of the day!
Funniest moment? Benji and I had decided not to see each other at all the day of the wedding. We were staying at the same hotel, but on different floors. I got up Saturday morning to go the farm for final wedding preparations, and as soon as I stepped out of the elevator and into the hotel lobby, I saw Benji sitting right in front of me eating his breakfast. He turned his head quickly and I jumped back into a hallway pretending it didn’t happen. Our not seeing each other lasted all of five minutes!
Threewords that describe the day are: Family, friends and fun!
What advice would you give to someone planning their wedding? Enjoy it and don’t worry about every detail. No one will notice if everything isn’t just right. Really take time on the day of your weddingto take everything in. I promise, it really does go by SO fast!
Best advice or most memorable comment someone made to you during the wedding celebration. The most memorable moment of the day was when our best man’s daughter told me I looked like a princess. She was too cute!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are looking forward to spending time together as husband and wife with our dog, Tuck. We have many projects around the house we want to get started on, followed by many years of travel and adventure!
Congratulations, Sarah + Benji! We hope you enjoy setting up your new home and finding time to travel!