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Tag: Kentucky Derby wedding

Have you heard? It’s Engagement Celebration Week! Whether you’ve been engaged for two days or twelve months, we invite you to join the party and celebrate like you said yes yesterday. Upload a proposal or ring shot to our hashtag, enter to win giveaways all week on Instagram, or take 20% off our wedding planner with code JOYFULLYENGAGED. We can’t wait to cheer you on!!

The first item most brides look to book is the wedding venue — and with good reason! Your venue sets the tone for everything that is to come, it often helps determine your wedding date, and it can take up a large chunk of your wedding budget. Many brides or grooms also often have a sentimental attachment to the spot they choose to say “I do,” so (as with many wedding decisions) there’s an additional emotional factor to consider.

Since we know many of you are at the beginning of your engagement (how exciting!!), we wanted to share some of the most important things to consider when choosing a wedding venue! To do so, we invited three of the event planners at Keeneland, one of Kentucky’s premier venues, to offer their tips, and combined them with some of the best info from the Joyful Wedding Planner. We’ve sprinkled a few lovely photos from Keeneland’s various venues throughout, too!

Honey Heart Photography

1. The Particulars of Your Wedding. Know your (approximate) guest count, (desired) date and (approximate) budget before starting the search. It’s okay to not have them all set in stone, but you want to have at least a ballpark for each! If you have any must-haves (great view, garden setting, white walls, etc.), write these down, too. Use this information to make a list of possible venues, then narrow it down to your top picks before scheduling tours.

Honey Heart Photography

2. Your Love Story. Do you have a special tie to a location or city? Your wedding should be filled with your unique love story, and your venue is a great place to start! The Keeneland folks love hearing from brides who met their fiancé on property, grew up coming to the track, or were proposed to in between races.

Nina and Wes

3. Catering. There are several benefits of choosing a venue with an in-house catering company (especially if it’s a fabulous one, like Keeneland’s!). Having the food prepared by an in-house team means you don’t need to create a kitchen from the ground-up, you usually don’t have to worry about renting china and silverware, and you know your venue and catering team will work together seamlessly. Of course, if you have a specific caterer you’ve been dying to work with, or you have a particular vision in mind (like food trucks), you’ll want to look for a venue that allows outside vendors.

Lang Thomas

4. Coordination. At Southern Weddings, we believe that every couple should have at minimum a day-of coordinator, even if it’s just a trustworthy and organized family friend. Whether you’re planning to hire a full-service planner or not, make sure that you meet with and get along with the venue contact who will be on site during your celebration! Ask what level of involvement they’ll have with your planning, too.

VRV Photographie

5. Venue Specifics. The frustrating thing about the wedding venue search is that you’re usually comparing apples to oranges, because every venue builds their packages differently and charges accordingly. Make sure to gather as much information as possible! In addition to our basic questions, below, here are a few next-level Q’s:

— How long do we have the venue on the day of our wedding? Will we have access early to set-up?
— Does our rental include tables, chairs, china, a dance floor, a stage, or any other rentals?
— How will our venue coordinator assist us?
— Do you have enough parking to accommodate our guest count? Do you require valet, and is it additional?
— Restrooms: are they big enough and nice enough for your taste?
— What is the rain plan?

6. Photos. Does the venue itself photograph well? Are there pretty spots for portraits? If not, is the surrounding area accessible, and a good fit for your aesthetic?

Honey Heart Photography

Thanks to the ladies at Keeneland for chiming in today with their expert advice! And remember: as you sift through information from your top picks, make visits to each, and consider your options, don’t be afraid to ask questions, get proposals, and use the expertise of the on-site coordinator!

Sending wishes that you all find your perfect wedding venue match as quick as a Kentucky thoroughbred! :)

This post is brought to you by Keeneland, a gorgeous wedding venue and iconic race track in Kentucky. Thanks for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily
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  1. avatar Ryan reply

    LOVE seeing our photographer friends and several past clients on Southern Weddings! The planners and staff at Keeneland are second to none and it is such an honor that we get to produce wedding videos at this beautiful Lexington venue!

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Though the Southern Weddings gals created the My Kentucky Rose editorial for V5 before my time at SW, it has a special place in my heart for two reasons: 1. That cake by Lael Cakes is the most gorgeous cake I’ve ever seen, and 2. It’s one of VERY few editorials we’ve shot outside of the South, and in this case, the venue was just down the road from my husband’s hometown in upstate New York! While it was probably the last shoot from above the Mason-Dixon line to appear in our pages, it was certainly worth it to collaborate with the tremendously talented Jen Huang and Poppies and Posies. We hope it’s a sweet reminder that even if you’re one of our readers outside of the South, you can always add a little Dixie charm to your wedding celebration!

See more from this shoot in our editorial gallery–there are also links to behind the scenes photos and video!

Photographer: Jen Huang | Behind the Scenes Videographer: McKenzie Miller Films | Florals: Poppies & Posies | Hair Stylist: Stacy Pitt | Makeup Artist: Kerry Crawford | Cake and Desserts: Lael Cakes | Stationery and Calligraphy: Paperfinger | Letterpress Printing: Cordes Printing | Custom Coaster Printing: For Your Party | Bride’s Gown: “Bianca” by Ulla-Maija Couture | Bridal Salon: Gabriella New York | Bridesmaid Dresses: Bridal Reflections | Gold Hair Pins: Hushed Commotion | Earrings: Nina and Kate Ketzal | Groom’s Bow Tie: Southern Beaus | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linens | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Gold Flatware: Muhs Home | Pink Coupe Glasses: BHLDN | Props: The Trouve

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Nicole reply

    Love the horse and her one-shoulder dress!

  2. avatar Adrienna reply

    That cake! So stunning!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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Between the big hats, refreshing sips, gracious hosting opportunities, and time-honored traditions, there may not be a more quintessentially Southern event than the Kentucky Derby. Naturally, Derby details are a perfect fit for a Southern wedding! With the Run for the Roses slated for just a few weeks from now, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite Kentucky Derby-inspired wedding day details. Be sure to click through to read more about the sweet couples that chose them!

Kristin and Wai’s pretty paper, mint juleps, dahlia bouquet, and adorable Louisville meet cute. (Photos by Shannon Moffitt – see more here!)

Lindsey and Ryan’s bridesmaid fascinators, race-viewing cocktail hour, tables named after past winners, and silver-hued bar. (Photos by Elaine Palladino – see more here!)

Red rose table inspiration at this supper club celebration. (Photos by Michelle Boyd – see more here!)

Ashley and Jim’s mint julep cup centerpieces, whiskey bar, race viewing at cocktail hour, and appearance by the bride’s horse. (Photos by Maria DeForrest – see more here!)

Vanessa and Jonathan’s pink rose centerpieces, horseshoe escort cards, and fabulous hat-wearing guests. (Photos by Landon Jacob – see more here!)

Kelly and Mick’s bourbon barrel decor, floral centerpieces, horse race proposal, and jockey table numbers. (Photos by Lynnesy Catron – see more here!)

Mallory and Alex’s Derby glass water glasses and sweet Kentucky details. (Photos by Lynnesy Catron – see more here!)

For more Kentucky Derby-inspired wedding ideas, take a peek at our Run for the Roses Pinterest board!

emily Written with love by Emily
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    Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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