Kelsey + Brandon met, fell in love and said their vows just a few minutes down the road from us! The NC State alums created a perfectly sweet Southern fete full of details and traditions that we adore. Though the couple’s bourbon bar (adorned with bow ties, no less!) and beautifully lined tent rank as highlights from this wedding, I have to say that Brandon’s wardrobe change before the reception is a favorite feature of mine! Who says gents can’t have a dapper white dinner jacket to dance the night away in? Big hugs to Kellie Kano for sharing this wedding with us! P.S. Remember Kelsey? We featured her bridal shower a few months back! She’s also one of our Southern Bride Bloggers :) P.P.S. Be sure to check back in on Saturday to see this wedding come to life in a video by Inkspot Crow!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I tried on dresses a few times (including an impromptu appointment at Saks in New York) before heading to Alexia’s. I knew I wanted a flowy and romantic dress, but was open to help from my consultant. As I was describing what I thought I wanted, my consultant said she had a dress in mind. I tried on a bunch of dresses that day, but the Reem Acra really stood out in my mind. I really loved the blush under layer, but when we looked at different sash options, I was sold. I love that my dress was traditional, but had some personal touches too.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did! It’s something that Kellie (our photographer) really believes in and she sold us on it at our very first meeting. It was wonderful to be able to take that time for just the two of us. The rest of the day was such a blur that I truly cherish those moments we had together. It made me even more excited to walk down the aisle to Brandon. Both moments were completely different and perfect in their own way.
Did you write your own vows? We decided to recite traditional vows. In our meetings with our minister, we discussed the different options and decided that the traditional route was the right thing for us. It was so special to know that we were saying the same vows that so many happily married couples have also said.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? “Union” by Robert Fulghum and 1 Corinthians Chapter 13
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Walking down the aisle, walking back up the aisle, first dance? Our entrance music was Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring and Air from Suite #3. I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Cannon, something that I’d always pictured myself doing. We exited the ceremony to Hornpipe, Water Music. We had a string quartet for the ceremony and they made everything sound so beautiful. It was so exciting to hear the music start up and get to experience the moment I’d been picturing for years. Our first dance was to Joshua Radin’s “You Got What I Need.” We both really liked that it wasn’t your typical first dance song and the words really resonated with us.
Describe the proposal. Since our story began on our now alma mater’s campus, Brandon decided that it would be the perfect place to ask me to be his wife. I unknowingly helped the proposal along when I sent my class ring to get fixed. Our friend Cody was in charge of ordering class rings at the time and he helped Brandon get everything in place. As planned, Cody called to let me know that he had arranged for my class ring to be placed in the belltower overnight, per NC State tradition. Cody and Brandon arranged for the 3 of us to meet at the belltower after the Homecoming Parade. I was completely oblivious to what was about to happen as I rushed ahead of Brandon to meet Cody to get my class ring. Cody proceeded to tell us a little about the history of the memorial inside the belltower as he unlocked the doors and took us inside. I picked up and opened the box expecting to see my class ring. Instead was a note that said, “turn around.” I turned around in confusion and there was Brandon down on one knee! I was so surprised that I asked a few times if it was all real before saying, “Yes, of course!” It was such a special and memorable proposal and I’m so happy that Brandon was able to surprise me. As an added bonus, we are the first couple to get engaged inside the belltower!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Everything. We were both born and raised in the South and that’s definitely helped shape who we are, and we tried to reflect that in our wedding. I think the biggest Southern tradition we included in our wedding was our faith, family, and friends. There’s nothing more Southern then getting together with the people you love to have a great time and to eat, especially when it’s fried chicken, grits, and biscuits. We also included Southern touches in our décor. Brandon and I made strawberry jam for our favors and used cotton bolls as our escort cards.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was the bourbon bar. We wanted our wedding to reflect both of our personalities and interests, and bourbon is one of Brandon’s. We spent so much time and care picking out all of the details and it turned out perfectly. We used vintage bourbon barrels for the base and a 100+ year old door as the bar topper. We also tied some of Brandon’s favorite bowties around my mom and aunt’s mint julep cups for a final touch.
For our cake we wanted something simple. We went with white buttercream icing accented with fresh flowers. The best part of the cake was definitely what was inside. We chose a white cake layered with French vanilla mousse and fresh strawberries. It was delicious.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Brandon and I first met when my sorority was partnered with his fraternity for NC State’s Homecoming in the Fall of 2007. I was living in our sorority house and Brandon was president of his fraternity at the time, so we were both very involved in that week. During the Homecoming activities, we got to know each other and decided to pursue our relationship. For our first date, we grabbed some coffee before taking a walk. Despite the cold weather and the terrible coffee, we had a wonderful time talking and just being together. We both knew we had found something special.
In what month did you get married? June (June 30, 2012)
How many guests attended your wedding? 170
Describe your wedding flowers: I adored our flowers. Since we were having a tented outdoor reception, I wanted it to feel like a garden party. The mix of soft peaches, pinks, and creams of the peonies, roses, and Queen Anne’s lace with the green of the lamb’s ear did exactly that. We also mixed mercury glass and glass cake stands in to give the centerpieces an almost antique feel.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Our photographer. We not only treasure our pictures, but we’re so happy to know Kellie Kano. She is so talented and it was wonderful getting to work with her for our wedding. The way she captured our day and the emotion is exactly how I had pictured it in my mind and it doesn’t get any better than that.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? This isn’t our “most memorable moment”, but I just have to throw it out there. Y’all, it was HOT. We got married the last weekend in June which just happened to be the weekend that we broke some heat records in North Carolina. It was 105 at the peak of the day and still in the high 90s at 10:00 that night. Our guests were so amazing and I am so grateful that they dealt with the heat to be there for us. Our entire wedding was full of moments that we’ll never forget, but the most memorable moment of the day was the surprise fireworks. Having planned out every single detail of the wedding, I really wasn’t expecting any surprises. Our best man’s dad went to South Carolina to get the “good kind” and along with some of our friends, they shot them off toward the end of the reception. It was such an awesome surprise and made us feel so great to have friends that would go above and beyond for us on our wedding day.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take it slow. I know it’s exciting in the beginning and all you want to do is plan, plan, plan, but just enjoy that time. There will be plenty of time to figure everything out. Meet with a bunch of vendors and then meet with some more. You’ll find people that you just click with, and that might not happen the first time.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Brandon got a new job not too long after the wedding, so we’ve been enjoying settling into our new routine and enjoying life as a married couple. We’re also hoping to get a dog in the next few months.
Inkspot Crow Films is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!