Caitlyn’s advice to decorate in the style you like, choose food that you find delicious, and play songs that you love, even if they’re not “cool” at the moment, is a great reminder for all of us planning a wedding! Using that mantra as a guideline, Caitlyn + John’s Arkansas wedding at the Pratt Place Barn came together beautifully and joyfully, on what appears to be a gorgeous spring day. Make sure you scroll down to see their chair decor — my favorite detail! — photographed to perfection by Daniel Kim.
Isn’t Caitlyn’s lace gown gorgeous? It was my mother’s dress, and after I got engaged, she mentioned that it was still in the closet. I was more than willing to put it on, and in the first fitting I knew it was perfect. No alterations needed to be done except for taking off the sleeves and adding a “capped sleeve” look to the dress — otherwise, it fit like a glove!
Did you write your own vows? Yes, we used a mix of traditional vows and our own vows. My favorite line was when we promised to sacrifice ourselves for each other’s joy.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? John’s dad read Psalm 16.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. I walked down the aisle to “Sea of Love” by Cat Powers. Our first dance was to “Living of Love” by the Avett Brothers and the father-daughter dance was to “You got a Friend” by James Taylor. We also played “Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.
This photo and the one below it are so jubilant! Love.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. John and I met our first month of college. His friend (who ended up our best man) had a crush on my roommate, and so they would find excuses to hang out with us. We were friends for a year before we started dating, and then were together all through college and got engaged the year after graduating. We were long distance when John was in graduate school in Massachusetts and I worked in Arkansas, and then we got married the following year.
Describe the proposal. For the proposal, John took me on a tour of our relationship. We had dinner where we said I love you, danced in the field where we danced for the first time, painted a picture in the office where we spent our time in college, and then he proposed where he asked me out and we had our first kiss.
In what month did you get married? May
How many guests attended your wedding? 170
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Yes. We felt as though we would be less nervous if we saw each other before the wedding, and we wanted keep the amount of pictures after the ceremony minimal so that guests would not be waiting for us.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My favorite detail was the Mexican banners that were hanging from the ceiling.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our biggest challenge was that we were planning our wedding long distance. John was living in Massachusetts, and I was in Arkansas. Our goal was to make a lot of the decisions together, and the distance made that difficult.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000 – $25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? My splurge was our photographer, Daniel Kim. He was amazing, and really captured the memories of our wedding.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The thing that we remember most was simply having all of our friends and family in one spot.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Our advice is to enjoy the process, and don’t let planning your wedding get in the way of enjoying your engagement and the days leading up to your wedding. Also, decorate, have food, and play songs that you enjoy, even if they aren’t “cool” at the moment.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are moving up north to Massachusetts, where John will finish his graduate degree. We plan on enjoying the New England area, especially in the fall.