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Both Lisa and Emily know I’m a sucker for pink and gold weddings–I simply adore them. Kelsie and Evan’s wedding took my pink and gold love affair up a notch with their addition of bright, bold pops of coral! I’ve always professed not to be a flower person, but Kelsie’s bouquet of lush coral charm peonies, peony tulips, and David Austin roses has me wondering if the tide is changing. After dancing the night away under a ceiling of flowers, I imagine any guests with my hesitations became converts too! Silks a Bloom brought the outside in with their ornate installation, complete with Edison lights woven within the flowers to up the romantic atmosphere. A surprise late night snack of Chick Fil A nuggets just might be the only thing able to challenge those stunning blooms for the title of favorite detail from this fun celebration!

We’re sure glad Weddings by Christopher and Nancy shared this beautiful day with us!

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I had an early morning appointment scheduled at Proposals Boutique in Little Rock, Arkansas with my mom and my older sister. It was such a special day because it was the first time I truly felt butterflies about our wedding day. We were the first customers at the store and were helped by an old family friend, Betsy. She made the day so special and memorable for us, and even shared a few happy tears! I went in with a completely open mind. Betsy had me try on all different types of dresses and materials. I had my heart set on the third dress that I tried on and thought it was the perfect one. Betsy was about to have me try it on one last time after about nine dresses, just to see if the spark and excitement were still there. At the last minute, my mom found a dress hanging on the rack and suggested I try it on, just to see what it looked like. As soon as I tried on the tenth dress, I pictured Evan’s reaction to seeing me in this dress. Betsy added the veil and the belt, and my eyes began to water. Betsy knew it was the dress for me because she commented on how I kept touching the dress, swaying in it, and moving so differently in this one compared to the others. After walking around the store a few more times, I knew I had found “the dress.” It was perfect, and even more special that it was picked out by my mom. We popped a bottle of champagne after Betsy asked me if I wanted to “say yes to the dress,” and it truly felt like my wedding planning had really kicked off!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The florals! Dancing all night under a cloud of flowers was probably one of the best parts of the day. I also loved my bouquet so much that I sent it off the day after the wedding to have it preserved in a shadowbox. I cannot wait to see how it will look in a few weeks!

We were so thrilled to do a first look! This was something we knew right off the bat that we wanted to do. I had seen one of my friends do one and saw how special it was for them. We both knew it would be a meaningful moment we could share together, and it would help calm our nerves before the ceremony. Our photographers, Christopher and Nancy, also suggested it, and we are so glad we went with our gut instincts. It was one of the most memorable moments from our wedding day.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows! It was something we had decided on months before the wedding, although we ended up writing them a few days before/the night before the wedding. My favorite line was “I promise to continually see the good in you every day, and I will no longer roll my eyes at you, but with you.”

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We had our date for May 29, 2016 already set, and knew that with it being a late spring/early summer wedding, we would want to get married outside. The Terry House was the perfect location! I had seen pictures of friends who had been married there and remembered that the set-up was so accommodating. We wanted our ceremony and reception to be close by, and having them at the same place was even better!

Our wedding colors included different shades of coral and gold. I remember meeting with my wedding planner, Anne Claire, and my florist, Dale, and telling them that I was hoping for bright, bold pops of color! They sure made this request a reality. They built us a ceiling of flowers for our tent that we danced under, which was threaded with Edison lighting to help create a romantic and whimsical atmosphere for the reception. The flowers included pink and coral charm peonies, salmon pink peony tulips, and peach David Austin roses, mixed in with roses and lisianthus. In addition, watermelon snapdragons, assorted poppies, and scabiosa were mixed in, along with maidenhair fern, variegated greenery, and hydrangeas. The flowers truly made my dream wedding come true!

We had a four-tiered wedding cake covered in textured cream cheese frosting. The bottom two layers were chocolate and vanilla, and the top two were lemon with raspberry filling. It was to die for! The groom’s cake was a little unconventional. Evan decided he wanted ice cream sandwiches instead! They were made of two chocolate chip cookies with vanilla or mint chocolate chip ice cream squished in the middle. A refreshing treat on a hot summer day!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We made sure our food reflected the best of our Southern roots. Evan and I met in Memphis, home of the best barbecue in the South! We made sure some form of barbecue was served (sliders), as well as fried mac and cheese bites. To everyone’s surprise, our biggest Southern detail of the wedding was the late night snack: Chick Fil-A nuggets!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. In 2008, Evan and I met during the summer of my sophomore year of college. He and I were the only two students selected to participate in a medical summer internship in Memphis. We had briefly met a few times during various club meetings and in passing on campus, but never had any meaningful interactions until then. Evan didn’t know this at the time, but I had a secret crush on him before we were chosen to work together that summer. I seriously believed it was fate, and now I know it truly was! About halfway through the internship, Evan asked me to go to the Memphis Zoo with him one day after work. We realized that we liked a lot of the same animals, and it was in the herpetarium when I realized Evan actually liked me! While looking at the turtles, he nervously asked me out on a date to go see a movie at the drive-in theater. I misunderstood that he was planning that for another time and not for later that evening. Oops! I insisted that we look up movie times and get dinner beforehand. That night, we sat in the hatchback of his car to watch the Disney-Pixar movie, Wall-E. Of course, something else had to go wrong on our first date, and it did–neither of us had any bug spray, so I got bitten by a ton of mosquitos! I remember we counted exactly 38 bites on my legs and arms, while Evan had maybe only five. We spent the rest of the night laughing about what happened, and soon after that was when I realized that Evan was the only one I wanted to watch all my movies with…but only indoors with air conditioning, or maybe with a can of bug spray nearby.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Evan: Kelsie was living with me in Norfolk for the month while she was doing an away rotation. To cap off a great month and celebrate our six-year anniversary, I planned a special getaway weekend in Williamsburg, Virginia. We checked into our hotel at Colonial Williamsburg, and went to explore the historical town in search for a good place for a picnic. We stopped by The Cheese Shop in downtown Williamsburg and picked up bread, cheese, and some wine. Unfortunately, it was late enough that all of the Colonial Williamsburg attractions had closed, so we adventured on to the nearby campus of The College of William & Mary. It was very reminiscent of our time at Rhodes, where we met. We picnicked in the quad and drank A LOT wine. I had researched a romantic part of the campus in the woods many weeks before, so after our picnic, we went into the woods and I somehow convinced her to follow me (I think the wine helped with this). After a small trek, we came across the Crim Dell bridge, hidden in the woods of the campus. She initially ran across the bridge, while I slowly walked to the crest, looking up something special for her to read on my phone. She came back and asked what I was doing. I had her read the story about the bridge’s significance, which said that if two lovers were to meet at the crest of the bridge and kiss, they would be together forever. After she read the story, we kissed and then I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. Little did we know that on the other side of the bridge, about a hundred yards away, was a group of college girls who witnessed the whole thing. When she said “yes,” a roar of cheers were heard. I had just become the luckiest guy in the world!
When did y’all get married? May 29, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Our officiant, Chaplain West, offered to enroll us in a premarital course online called Prepare Enrich. We took a test at the beginning about ourselves and it analyzed the results so that we could discuss it with our officiant. We had weekly premarital counseling sessions with him every Wednesday night for about six months before the wedding. Because we were planning our wedding long distance, we had to have our weekly sessions over the phone, which worked out perfectly well for all of our schedules. We finally met our officiant in person a few days before the wedding and it was as if we had known him our whole lives!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our biggest challenge was making sure we stayed within our budget. This was definitely made possible by having a wedding planner. Anne Claire was wonderful at giving us different pricing options when it came to vendors. She had things laid out for us so we could compare what we were willing to splurge on versus things we wanted to save money on. In the end, we were able to stay within our budget!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Every month, Evan and I would set aside a certain amount of money from each our paychecks into our wedding savings account. This really helped us not only learn how to save money for the future, but also allowed us to contribute as much as we could towards the wedding. This way, we could ease the burden off of our families and have more wiggle room to add on fun details at the last minute.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We were so happy to have our Filipino and my Indian culture represented in our wedding. This was exemplified throughout the whole evening, from the food, to the attire, and even the ceremony and dancing. Evan and I incorporated the traditional Filipino wedding traditions into our ceremony: coins, cord, veil, and candle. We also had Filipino primary and secondary sponsors as part of our wedding, who wore the traditional Filipino clothing (barong) during the ceremony. I had traditional Indian henna done on both of my hands to represent the other side of my heritage. We served Indian samosas as passed appetizers and had traditional Filipino pancit (noodles) and lumpia (egg rolls) as part of the dinner buffet. Finally, we performed a Filipino money dance, where guests took turn dancing with Evan and I, and pinning money onto us as they did so. It was so fun to see how our guests responded to all the different traditions!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are about to get a puppy! We have been patiently waiting for this day to come and it will probably be the second happiest day of our lives! We are also looking forward to finally taking our honeymoon this August to Maui, Hawaii! We are planning for a mix of relaxing activities, as well as a lot of adventure, hiking, snorkeling, and maybe even surfing. But let’s be honest, we’re most excited about the food!

Photographer: Weddings by Christopher & Nancy | Videographer: Brad Fugere | Planner: Anne-Claire Allen | Venue: The Terry House | Florist: Silks A Bloom | Cake Baker: Sweet Love | Caterer: Simply The Best Catering | Rentals: Confetti’s Party Rentals | Lighting: Central Arkansas Entertainment | DJ: Mario Luna | Henna: Priyanka Badhwar | Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas | Bride’s Gown: Style 14716 by Wtoo | Bride’s Accessories and Bridal Salon: Proposals Boutique | Hair Stylist: Kakki Jones | Makeup Artist: Lorena Somers Makeup | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa

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