After meeting as camp counselors one summer (and officially becoming a “kanakouple!”), Katie and Adam spent their courtship and engagement in a long distance relationship. While distance can be a challenge, these two put their experience to good use when planning a wedding while both sides of their family were dispersed geographically. After making, borrowing, or thrifting all of the decor, Katie and Adam made BoBrook Farms feel like it had been in their family for years. Obviously, with our love for farm animals here at Southern Weddings, the livestock on site might be one of our favorite parts, but personally, I’m smitten with Katie’s baby’s breath flower crown!
Big SW hugs to Kati Mallory for sharing this fabulous farm day with with us!
P.S. Be sure to read Adam’s favorite moment from their wedding! Y’all, I swear these grooms are trying to make me cry! ;)
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I made an appointment at a cute bridal shop in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, where I’m from. It was such a great experience! My mom and sister came with me. I tried on a few dresses and fell in love with my beautiful dress, especially the soft lace details. We all knew it was the one!
Adam and I didn’t think we would do a first look, but after talking to my photographer and Adam about it more, we decided to do one. I am SO glad we did! It was such a relief to see him before the wedding. The day went smoothly because I was just so happy. Everything felt more casual and there really wasn’t any stress. It didn’t help with the tears though! It was definitely still a challenge to hold it together when I saw him waiting for me at the end of the aisle.
Describe your wedding flowers. I’m so thankful I had Tanarah doing my flowers because I couldn’t really picture what I wanted. They turned out so beautifully though, and were exactly what I wanted, even though I didn’t know it. They all coordinated with the mauve bridesmaid dresses and included peonies, spray roses, veronica, white wax flowers, ranunculus, stock flowers, and dahlias.
From Adam: I will never forget the first look. The actual wedding flew by, but the moment when I turned around and saw my future wife for the first time felt like it lasted forever. I was so excited and nervous, and she looked so beautiful. We were standing alone between rows of berry bushes with only the photographers sneaking around us, and in that moment, in the midst of all of the chaos and excitement, it felt like we were the only people in the world. It was an incredible feeling. I knew she was everything I had ever dreamed of.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We picked Little Rock, Arkansas, because it was a central location for our very dispersed family. I didn’t know the area well, so I spent a whole day looking at different venues, and BoBrook was the last one on the schedule for the day. I loved the outdoor space and I just knew it was right for Adam and me.
I really liked the Southern feel of our wedding. It was on a farm that had ongoing livestock and farming operations, the aisle was covered in hay, the reception beverages (including sweet tea) were served from a barn, the groom’s cake was hunting-themed, and we exited in Adam’s four-wheel drive truck. Adam and his groomsmen wore their favorite boots and new leather suspenders too, which was pretty fun.
Describe your wedding cake. The wedding cake was a delicious, rich vanilla cake with vanilla frosting, covered with flowers. The groom’s cake was a surprise for Adam. Since he loves to hunt, we surrounded a chocolate cake with deer antlers. He loved it!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met when we were camp counselors at Kanakuk Kamps in Branson, Missouri during summer 2010. One day on the dock, Adam sat next to me, introduced himself, and gave me his snacks. Little did he know, the way to my heart was through my sweet tooth! The little free time we had that summer was spent writing each other letters, going on walks, and hanging out on group dates. By the time the summer ended, we were an official “kanakouple.” After that, we spent four long years dating long distance between Florida and Arkansas. We fell in love through weekend visits, long Skype dates, phone calls, texts, and joining up for holidays or vacations anytime our schedules aligned. It was so worth it.
Tell us all about the proposal! On December 2, I read an email from my sorority announcing that we were having a Candlelight that night. A Candlelight is a way for a sorority member to announce to all her friends that she got engaged. Everyone stands in a huge circle and passes the candle around three times, and the girl who is engaged blows out the candle on the third round. It’s always a big surprise and lots of fun! All day, girls were asking if it was my Candlelight (since they knew Adam and I had been dating for a long time), and about half of the time I joked around and said yes. Little did I know, it actually was! During all of this, Adam was on a fishing trip in Arkansas, or so I thought. At the Candlelight, everyone began to sing the song, and the candle started to get passed around the circle. On the third time around, the candle got to me, and I tried to pass it on, but Hillary, my best friend and Kappa Delta big sister, would not let me. After a moment of feeling awkward, whispers from the circle make me look up. Adam was walking towards me, and then, in front of 200 of my friends, he got down on one knee.
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Over 250
Did you write your own vows? It was a pretty easy decision for us not to, actually. We are both in the health care field and have always been more of the science type than the writer type. We knew how we felt about each other and what we believe the covenant of marriage entails.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? I had three of my really good friends (who drove all the way from Florida!) read some of our favorite Bible verses about marriage.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. One of Adam’s friends sang “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” as I walked down the aisle. During the ceremony, my aunt sang “Be Thou My Vision.” Both songs really echo what we believe about God and how we want Him to be the center of our marriage. For the recessional, I had the DJ play “When I’m With You” by Ben Rector as a surprise to Adam. He always used to tell me to listen to it and imagine he was singing it to me. Our first dance song was “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith. He actually used to sing that one to me!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We really loved the colorful handmade pennants Adam’s cousin let us borrow from her wedding!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Relinquishing control. I wanted to DIY and book everything myself. Finally, I realized I couldn’t do it all, and my mom graciously took over. She also had a ton of help from Adam’s mom, my dad, and our wedding coordinator. I am so thankful for all of them!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I either made, borrowed, or thrifted all of the decorations. We also used a DJ instead of a band, and there was still plenty of dancing!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Honestly, every detail and vendor was perfect in my eyes. More than anything though, I am thankful for my parents. I don’t even think the wedding would’ve happened without my dad. He was at the venue all day setting up and fixing every problem that popped up. My mom was with me all day while we got our hair and makeup done. She kept the mood light, got us everywhere on time, and was just a lot of fun.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? One thing people constantly told us, which brought us comfort, was that at the end of the day, no matter how the decorations look, or how the music played, we would be married and that’s what it was all about. That advice helped us enjoy the process instead of stressing.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We just moved into our new house in Memphis. Adam is in dental school, and I am a nurse. We are most looking forward to just doing normal, everyday things together. We weren’t ever able to do that before since we were long distance, so to us, it seems like an exciting adventure!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? From Adam: With Katie and I coming from two different churches in two different states, we were having trouble choosing a minister to officiate the wedding. Thankfully, I had the idea to ask one of my mentors at Kanakuk, Tyler Holland, if he would be interested. He was already getting ordained for another wedding and said he would love to. He was there on the dock the first time we met and he was there to marry us on our wedding day. He is a great friend and person. It was really special for us to have him officiate his first wedding with us.
Photographer: Kati Mallory / Planner: Mary Elizabeth Events / Venue: BoBrook Farms / Florist: Tanarah Luxe Floral / Wedding Cake: Tracy Cakes / Caterer: Simply the Best Catering / Rentals: Party Time Rental and Events / DJ: Central Arkansas Entertainment / Succulent Favors: San Pedro Cactus / Bride’s Gown: “Deidre” by Lis Simon / Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas / Bride’s Floral Crown: Tanarah Luxe Floral / Jewelry: Nordstrom / Hair Stylist: Salon Avatar / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Liquid Jersey dresses in Wild Mushroom by J. Crew / Men’s Attire: Bonobos / Suspenders: NoSlipSuspenders