We all know the Kentucky Derby is about as Southern as they come, so Katie + Craig’s decision to host a derby-inspired wedding at famed Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky was a moment of pure Dixieland genius. An extra big hug for Josh Meredith at Bella Grace Studios for sharing this Kentucky wedding, planned and designed by Leann Shields of Wedding Bliss. Katie, in a stunning lace-trimmed Alfred Angelo gown and Craig, in a classic black bowtie, exchanged their vows in a traditional ceremony at the First Methodist Episcopal Church. We love the subtle splash of color in the bridesmaids’ sea-blue Watters & Waters halter-neck sheaths and the pink bouquets from Chambliss Design. Check back soon to see the reception details and even some bridal party portraits on the Keeneland race track!
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Craig and I met at the University of Kentucky eleven years ago. While we were living in the same apartment complex, we became friends and had lots of mutual friends. We reconnected in 2007 tailgating before a CATS game at Commonwealth Stadium. The rest is history!
Describe the proposal: I had been planning Craig’s surprise 30th birthday for months. I was feeling very distracted with the party and was trying to leave the house when all of a sudden he drops down on one knee and proposes. This was early December. He had said he was going to wait until Christmas Eve and do something special, but he decided he could not wait and proposed on a whim! We both ended up surprised that day! It was so fun to celebrate his birthday and our engagement with all of our friends!
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? My design inspiration was our reception location, Keeneland, which is one of the most beautiful landmarks in Kentucky. It’s a very classic, historic and, of course, Southern venue. We incorporated horseshoes, hydrangeas, magnolia leaves and horse racing wherever we could. My favorite colors, blue and green complemented the venue perfectly!
Favorite design element of your big day: Everything Kentucky! I loved the julep cup vases, horseshoes, and the “Daily Racing Form” my father surprised us with. The reception location , of course, was just breathtaking.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I found my dress at the first place I went shopping. I had a dress in mind when I went shopping, but when I put on the dress I just knew it was the perfect one for me. It was very classic, traditional and had a very vintage look to it.
Describe your wedding flowers: My flowers were blue and green hydrangeas, green roses, white and pink roses, pink and white lilies and curly willow branches. My bouquet had blush roses, ivory roses, stephanotis, hydrangea, ranaculus and lisanthus. I attached the bracelet my great-grandmother wore to her own wedding in 1914 to my bouquet.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Happy, genuine and classic.
Check back soon for Part II of Katie + Craig’s Kentucky wedding!