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Fun fact: the Equestrian Elegance shoot in Southern Weddings V8 has actually been many years in the making! We love working with KT Merry (see past editorials she has shot for us here, here, and here), and have always known that she has a huge passion for all things equestrian. Last year, while driving through the Virginia countryside for a V7 shoot, Emily and I couldn’t stop talking about the beauty of the landscape and that we’d love to highlight it in an upcoming issue. Finally, when we connected with the talented team at Easton Events about creating something magical for V8, all the pieces fell into place for the creation of a truly incredible Virginia horse country shoot. We couldn’t be more thrilled with how it came together!

Biggest thanks to KT Merry, Easton Events, Beehive Events, the team at Pippin Hill, and so many more wonderful folks (see below for the full list!) who brought this gorgeous spring day to life!

As Emily mentioned yesterday, each of our editorials in this issue revolved around the story of a couple we dreamed up. Our Equestrian Elegance bride is an avid horseback rider, and after meeting her groom at the University of Virginia, they decided to tie the knot in Charlottesville at a celebration that highlighted the magic of this corner of the South. This stunning invitation suite by Amber Moon Design perfectly set the tone!

If many of your guests will be traveling to celebrate with you, greeting them with local treats (or simply your favorites) is a thoughtful idea. For this Virginia basket, local wine, apples, and peanuts were musts!

Y’all, how breathtaking is our bride? Beehive Events used plenty of spring blooms (including dogwoods, Virginia’s state flower) in her bouquet, and we love the way they looked against this subtly printed Romona Keveza gown. The pastel shades make a statement, but are still lovely and classic.

We were so excited to finally work at Pippin Hill Farm! The views of the Blue Ridge Mountains make a stunning ceremony backdrop–we used beautiful wicker chairs and two simple floral arrangements that set the space, but didn’t distract from the natural beauty of the venue.

Some of our favorite details from this editorial came out during cocktail hour–from treats for the horses (plus a sign illustrating proper feeding technique, of course!), to local cheeses and meats, to Virginia peanuts, to an ombré display of local wines. As a favor, guests were sent home with “horse feed”–a custom blend of granola served in classic Weck jars.

With the help of natural elements and tons of texture, our neutral color scheme had a big impact. Casa de Perrin kindly sent the most exquisite china, flatware, and glassware for us to use, which were the perfect complement to Beehive Events‘ furnishings and florals.

East West Production also made a gorgeous film to accompany this editorial–take a look below!

For more from this feature, be sure to pick up a copy of V8 online here or on news stands across the Southeast!

Photographer: KT Merry Photography | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Videographer: East West Production | Planner and Stylist: Easton Events | Florals, Linens, Rentals, and Props: Beehive Events | Venue and Caterer: Pippin Hill Farm | China, Flatware, and Glassware: Casa de Perrin | Hair Stylist: Yolonda Jones | Makeup Artist: Lora Kelley | Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | Paper Goods: Amber Moon Design | Calligraphy: Anne Robin | Illustrations: Karina Puentes | Bride’s Gown: RK6408 by Romona Keveza | Vintage Ring: Trumpet & Horn | Groom’s Suit: J.Crew | Bow Tie: Gold Coast Goods | Children’s Clothes: Petite Bebe | Vintage Helmet: Bluebird Creek Vintage

lisa Written with love by Lisa
10 Comments
  1. avatar Marion Blount reply

    This is breathtaking. Easton Events always sets the bar high! Beautiful!

  2. avatar Rhiannon reply

    This is by far one of my fave shoots in V8. It’s beautiful! Kudos to everyone involved!

  3. avatar Erin | Elizabeth Anne Designs reply

    this is absolutely breathtaking—every perfectly planned and styled detail… and captured by the lovely KT Merry!

  4. avatar Katie B reply

    Reasons why this is one of my ALL TIME favorite shoots:

    1) As a horse crazy girl who never quite grew out of it, this really speaks to my heart!
    2) The landscape, wow, I can see why you guys were inspired after driving through this countryside!
    3) Understated Elegance. The beauty of the scenery really took center stage!
    All the hearts for this one :)

  5. avatar Jessica reply

    The couple, the food, the setting is absolutely gorgeous. I love how they included the children in the wedding.

  6. avatar Bethany H. reply

    I can’t get over how gorgeous the bride is! That dress was made for her!

  7. avatar Dana reply

    this is the most perfect virginia wedding shoot in the world!

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    […] Photo by KT Merry Photography, Event Design by Easton Events, Wedding Cake by Buttercream Bakeshop via Southern Weddings […]

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I think some of the loveliest weddings are those that effortlessly combine multiple sources of inspiration, and Kristen and Kevin’s celebration is a perfect example. With the help of their florist, Botanica, they married their love for the old Florida feel of The Gasparilla Inn with their memories of Monet’s country gardens, which they had visited during their travels to France. The result was absolutely stunning, as well as so sentimental to this sweet couple. The heirlooms they incorporated into the decor added even more meaning to this special day–Kristen’s parents’ cake topper and her great-grandfather’s moonshine bottles are a few not to be missed!

Thank you so much to Divine Light Photography for sharing this lovely wedding with us!

Kevin and I first met through a mutual friend during a visit to New York City. At the time, I was working in Atlanta for the Atlanta Braves baseball team and had no plans of ever moving to the city. Five years and a career change later, New York became my new home. Kevin soon reached out on Facebook, asking to meet up. Since a girl’s gotta eat (and New York ain’t cheap, y’all), I said yes and he took me to a Yankees game. We sat first row, third baseline–he was trying to show off, and I guess it worked, because we’ve been together ever since.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed, blue, and old was my great grandmother’s cocktail ring, which is a blue sapphire with diamonds set in platinum. It’s one of my momma’s prized pieces of jewelry, so it was awesome that she chose it for me to borrow. My something new was a gift from my maid of honor, Lori. We lost one of our Tri Delta sorority sisters and best friends in February, so she gave me an embroidered pansy handkerchief with my and her initials. It made me feel like I had a part of Tiff with me as I walked down the aisle.

We wanted a destination-style wedding where both local and out-of-town guests could enjoy the weekend festivities. We chose the Gasparilla Inn and Club for its old world charm and sense of Southern hospitality. The town of Boca Grande (where The Gasparilla Inn is located) sits on an island off the Gulf of Mexico, giving us the seclusion we were looking for, but it also had the amenities to host an awesome party!

Describe your wedding flowers. They were AMAZING!! We wanted the flowers to look wild and as if they had been picked from a garden. The year before we got married, we visited Monet’s country cottage in Giverny, France, and were able to see his beautiful gardens and water lilies, which inspired our wedding and the flowers.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was the moonshine bar. Our florist was able to incorporate my great-grandfather’s moonshine bottles and crocks my parents had collected from Tennessee into the decor. Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine provided the libations and gave the party an extra kick!

Describe your wedding cake. Our wedding cake was very simple. We chose traditional buttercream icing and three different layers of cake: red velvet, strawberry cream, and chocolate. The cake topper was the same one my parents had used when they got married.

Tell us all about the proposal! Kevin and I had just purchased our first apartment together in the city and were making a few updates before moving in. He told me to meet him at the apartment, because a contractor had a few questions for us. I showed up, and there was no contractor in sight. Kevin called me into the guest room, where I found rose petals all over the floor and him on one knee. I freaked out and started crying, and of course, said yes. After the proposal, he surprised me with a weekend getaway to The Breakers in West Palm Beach, Florida.
When did y’all get married? June 29, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did decide to do a first look because we did not want to miss our cocktail hour to do pictures after the ceremony. We wanted to enjoy the bluegrass band and play yard games with our friends and family.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? A bluegrass band, a moonshine bar, and some Hank Williams Jr. and Garth Brooks out on the dance floor!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a day-of coordinator. There is so much vendor coordination and so many little details that you can’t possibly remember all of them. The best money we spent on the whole wedding was Lindsay, our day of coordinator. She kept things on time, she dealt with last minute crisis and coordinated all of the vendors helping ensure things turned out the way we envisioned. Worth every penny!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Soon after our wedding, we were blessed with the news of a baby. Kevin and I welcomed a boy, Wyatt Drummond Wenk, on April 29, 2014. It was exactly 10 months after we were married. Marriage has been full of beautiful surprises and wonderful gifts of love!

Photographer: Divine Light Photography / Day-of Coordinator: Lindsay Jimison / Ceremony Venue: Boca Grande United Methodist Church / Reception Venue, Catering, and Cake: The Gasparilla Inn and Club / Florals, Decor, and Lighting: Botanica Florist / Tent: TentLogix / Band: Bluegrass Band Highway 41 South / DJ: DJ Inpulse Entertainment / Paper Products: Sophie Askew / Bride’s Gown: “Mia” by Mira Zwillinger / Bride’s Earrings: BHLDN / Bridal Salon and Veil: Mark Ingram Atelier / Makeup Artist: Carrie LaMarca / Bride’s Shoes: “N°Prive 120 mm” by Christian Louboutin / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids / Menswear: Joseph A. Bank

lisa Written with love by Lisa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Kristen, I adore your gown! So fresh and spring-y :)

  2. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    A cocktail hour with a bluegrass band and yard games sounds divine!

  3. avatar Gasparilla Inn wedding Featured on Southern Weddings Blog reply

    […] style and we knew right away the SW Mag would be a perfect fit for Kristen & Kevin’s Gasparilla Inn wedding in Boca Grande, Florida. Everything about Boca Grande emanates the Old Florida style that is shared […]

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    […] via Southern Weddings […]

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