It took exactly one year for Kimberly and Jason to go from their first date to their wedding day. As someone who never would have imagined I’d get engaged just eight months after starting to date my now-fiancé, I could not agree more with Kimberly’s sentiment: when you know, you know! These two couldn’t resist tying the knot on the same occasion that fell on their first date, the Kentucky Derby. Drawing from this beloved Southern sporting event for inspiration, as well as Kimberly’s passion for all things equestrian, Kimberly and Jason set out to plan a sweet spring wedding, complete with fabulous hats and an abundance of mint juleps. Marilisa of Chancey Charm Weddings was on hand to ensure the day went off seamlessly, and our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Chris Isham, captured every special moment and detail!
On Saturday, May 4, 2013, a dark bay colt named Itsmyluckyday ran in the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Unfortunately for him, it was not his lucky day, as he finished near the end of the pack, but for Jason and me, that day changed our lives forever. It was the day we sat in a corner booth at The Capital Grille in Atlanta for over four hours on our first date. Less than a week later, we had a second dinner date that lasted over five hours, and by our third date, we both finally understood what the phrase “you will just know” meant. We both felt that all the years leading up to us meeting were years that God had used to mold and shape us to be ready for each other.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? The layout of our wedding day was a bit unusual in that we wanted to keep the ceremony very small and intimate, with only our families and extended families in attendance. Following the ceremony, we had a cocktail hour so that our ceremony guests could mingle, and the other 200+ guests who were invited to the reception arrived. We decided to do a first look before the ceremony, as we wanted a moment that was all ours to read the vows that we had written for each other. This was the most intimate moment of the day, and one we will never forget!
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? When my dear friend, client, and business partner offered her farm to us as a wedding venue, the decision was a no-brainer–it is immaculately kept and so very serene! My horse is boarded at the farm, and I train clients’ horses, so I am there most days of the week. The farm is like heaven on earth to me! You could truly feel the presence of God at the farm on our wedding day.
I knew that our ceremony was going to be an emotional time, so we added a little comic relief by having my dog, Zhou, as our ring bearer! He goes to work with me every day, so he knows his way around the farm. He did perfectly coming down the aisle and sitting with us, but I guess he got a little bored, because he started rolling around in the grass at my feet. It was a great laugh!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Jason and I both agree that when our photographer took us to the pasture to have some photos taken between the ceremony and reception, we were truly able to breathe in the atmosphere. The reception guests had arrived, and the band was starting up, so from a distance, we were able to let everything sink in for a moment.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The Kentucky Derby theme was a lot of fun! It was quite significant considering our first date and wedding day were both on Derby Day. I have also ridden my entire life and have made my career training horses, so it fit my personality and passions. Our guests seemed to really enjoy the Derby attire, and everyone looked so posh! We wanted the overall feel to be elegant, yet comfortable, and I think the Derby theme helped us achieve this. From the Derby props in the photo booth to the lavender mint juleps, it was so much fun!
We wanted an environment that encouraged our guest to be up, moving and mingling. We had enough seating/tables for about half our guests, so those who wanted to sit had the option, but we also had a bunch of high tables set out for those wanting to stand. Mac the Cheese was the perfect fit for our desire to have people “grazing” on the Southern fixins’. They set up a couple of Southern food stations, and also served off the truck. We made sure to have plenty of sweet tea as well!
Jason and I discussed eloping right after we got engaged because neither of us considered ourselves “wedding” people, but it was so important for us to have our family there. I was not a girl who grew up dreaming of a fairy tale wedding, so I had to mentally break things down and think of it like planning a big party. In the end, it all turned out to be a fairy tale wedding, and we were so happy that we didn’t elope.
Don’t miss their teaser from Remedy Wedding Films!
Tell us about the proposal! On a Wednesday evening in early October, after having dinner in Chattanooga, Jason and I took a walk across the Walnut Street Bridge. While sitting on a bench overlooking the Tennessee River, Jason asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. We chose May 3, 2014 for our wedding date, and the 140th Kentucky Derby ran as our friends and families celebrated our union, exactly one year from our first date!
When did y’all get married? May 3, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 75 at the ceremony, about 275 at the reception
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Finding my dress was one of the easiest parts of wedding planning! I thought it might be a daunting task, as I am not much of a shopper, and I had never thought about my future wedding dress. I made three appointments on one day and invited my mom and sister to join me. My second appointment was almost cut short, as I did not want to dig through the hundreds of dresses on the racks at Bridals by Lori, but my sister jumped at the opportunity and started bringing dresses to me in the fitting room. I tried on a few that were beautiful, but the fourth or fifth dress brought a tear to my eye when I walked out to show my mom. The dress was so unique and had so many different elements to it. It was a perfect fit for my personality!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? For the ceremony, we wanted all the glory to be given to God. A childhood friend of mine, who is now an ordained minister, told our story of how God brought us together, and we took communion. We also put a unity cross together to represent two becoming one. We had scripture read, as well as praise and worship music played.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was a hair clip that my sister (my matron of honor) had worn in her wedding. For my something blue, I had fabric that belonged to my late grandmother (a seamstress) sewn in the underside of my dress. My something old was an old Italian handkerchief given to me from our mentor couple on our wedding day. I wrapped it around my bouquet under the diamond horseshoe brooch that I had pinned to the stems.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Breathe…your engagement should be about the marriage, not the wedding. We attend North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, and we were blessed to go through their premarital mentoring program. It was time well spent leading up to the biggest decision of our lives. We loved our mentor couple and continue to seek their wisdom and guidance!
Photographer: Chris Isham Photography / Videographer: Remedy Wedding Films / Planner: Chancey Charm / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Serenity Farm / Florist: Bloomin’ Bouquets / Cake Baker: Cakes by Darcy / Caterer: Mac the Cheese / Rentals and Lighting: Classic Party Rentals / Band: Az Izz / Photo Booth: Wow Photo Booth / Paper Products: Ecru Stationery & Design / Bridal Salon, Bride’s Accessories, and Men’s Attire: Bridals by Lori / Hair Stylist: Studio Todd G / Makeup Artist: The Moore Agency / Bride’s Shoes: Benjamin Adams and Stuart Weiztman / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bravura / Monogram Throw Pillows: I Do Linens / Transportation: Easy Ride Golf Carts
Chris Isham is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!