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Though we like to think that gals from around the world can pull inspiration from any of our features, the truth is that many of the details we dream up are very specific to the area of the South where we shoot them. That’s on purpose, of course — we love exploring what makes every corner of our beautiful home unique! — but it does make it extra important to create editorials in a variety of Southern states. One such state that we hadn’t had the pleasure of visiting before Southern Weddings V8 was Kentucky. Having the chance to craft a story involving the Bluegrass State, traveling to Louisville, and meeting so many wonderful readers and vendors in KY was one of our very favorite parts of #MakingSouthernWeddings this year, and we hope y’all (Kentuckians and otherwise!) love the result!

Biggest hugs to photographer Whitney Neal and stylist and florist Jaclyn Journey for working with us on Our Kentucky Home!

We were so happy to have Rachel Fisher Calligraphy on hand to create paper details as the shoot unfolded, including escort cards and signage. She did make our beautiful invitation suite ahead of time, however!

Some of you may recognize that smiling face — it belongs to Kayla, who was one of the bridesmaids on V7’s cover! We adored working with her so much that we asked her to return as a model for this issue, this time with her sweet husband!

Jaclyn created the most amazing wildflower- and bluegrass-inspired bouquets for our ladies. Blue is not always an easy color to work with in flowers, but she pulled together a gorgeous handful of scabiosa, delphiniums, Queen Anne’s Lace, bachelor’s buttons, sweet peas, stock, and grasses that was a perfect fit.

There were so many fun fabric patterns to play with in this shoot! From the gingham groomsmen shirts to the coordinating flower girl dresses and mix and match bridesmaid tops, we were inspired to incorporate all shades of blue in the attire.

Jaclyn’s talented husband built our ceremony arch! It looked right at home paired with rustic white pews from the Pew People.

One of my favorite photographs from this issue — I think everyone who’s been married can remember the joy of walking (or running!) back up the aisle as husband and wife!

There’s nothing like down-home favorites at a wedding reception, and Wiltshire Pantry knocked our socks off with their spread of delicious (and beautiful!) Southern food! I may have been partial to those deviled eggs, but skillets of mini hot browns were a non-negotiable for this Kentucky-themed editorial.

We couldn’t resist wrapping up the evening with a little bluegrass music — we were in the Bluegrass state, after all! Local couples, take note: we adored working with the talented gents of Fresh Cut Grass! They would be a perfect complement to any cocktail hour!

If you haven’t already, pick up your own copy of Southern Weddings V8 here, or on newsstands across the South! This is the last editorial to share from this issue, but check back in the new year to see more from our featured weddings!

Photographer: Whitney Neal Photography | Film processing: Richard Photo Lab | Planner, stylist, props, and florals: Jaclyn Journey Event and Floral Design | Venue: Farmington Historic Home | Caterer: Wiltshire Pantry | Dessert: Wiltshire Pantry and Kentucky Woods Bourbon Barrel Cake | Hair stylist and makeup artist: Carley Randall Beauty | Paper goods: Rachel Fisher Calligraphy | Pew rentals: Pew People | Farmhouse table: Louisville Farm Tables | Glassware: 12th Table | China: Lancaster Court, LLC. | Bluegrass band: Fresh Cut Grass | Bride’s gown: “Lafayette” by Sarah Seven | Bridal salon: The Dress Theory | Bridesmaid fashion: Anthropologie | Jewelry: Dress & Dwell | Floral bow tie: Lord Wallington | Striped and gingham bow ties: High Cotton

Whitney Neal and Jaclyn Journey are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Dana reply

    Love the blues and all the patterns! Beautiful styling!

  2. avatar Lindsay C. reply

    The food in this shoot looks DELICIOUS!

  3. avatar Drawing Inspiration from Southern Weddings V8 – Kyla Mary reply

    […]  I especially love the pie bar, the mismatched groomsmen, and their bowties. View the original post here. […]

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When your groom’s aunt and uncle offer their beautiful lakeside estate to you for your wedding, the question of where to tie the knot quickly becomes a no-brainer–at least, it was for Mallory and Alex! They added one more meaningful layer of family history to this special place, and in turn, it gave them a handful of their favorite wedding day moments and memories (be sure to read about Mallory’s favorite detail below). With the details in the capable hands of planner Nicole King and florist Petal and Pine, Mallory and Alex were free to turn their attention to what mattered most to them: preparing for marriage. Y’all know how much we applaud them for that!

Thanks so much to Lynnesy Catron for sharing this gorgeous day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I wanted something simple, elegant, timeless, and feminine, but not over the top. My two sisters, my mom, a close friend, and my future mother-in-law went wedding dress shopping with me in Louisville. We started out at Rebecca’s Bridal Boutique and I tried on about 7-10 dresses. There was one dress there that stood out to me–it was unlike anything I had seen before. I felt comfortable in it, and I felt like “me.” I didn’t really say anything because I felt like it was too early to commit. After trying on about six more dresses at another boutique, I kept going back to the other one in my mind. I rushed back to the first store to try the dress on again, and as soon as I had it on, I knew it was the one.

We went back and forth, but eventually decided that we would prefer to see each other before the wedding. As everyone warns you, the day is fleeting, and we knew that after the ceremony, things would go even more quickly and we would have lots of people to visit with. We did a first look not only to help save time with pictures and ease some nerves, but we also wanted to make sure we had a special moment for just the two of us.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Our marriage was always more important to us than our actual wedding–I feel like this mindset allowed both of us to be laid back during the planning process. We just wanted to have a fun night of celebrating with friends and family. Our church is very important to us, so we also met with our pastor to ensure that we were spiritually ready for marriage.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we did not write our own vows. Our pastor, Jeremy Linneman, help us select the vows for our special day and also put together a homily that we absolutely loved.

Our venue was very special to us. Greystone Estate is the home of Alex’s aunt and uncle. It is breathtaking from every angle, and was a no-brainer when it was offered to us. Alex’s brother and sister-in-law were married there and Alex’s dad was remarried there.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Greystone Estate sits on the Ohio River, and at sunset, the Louisville Belle came by and blew its horn in celebration. Everyone ran out from under the tent to wave as it went by–it was a detail of the night that we had not planned, but loved so much.

We love the city of Louisville, especially Alex, who grew up here, so we had Derby glasses from all different years that served as the water glass during dinner. They were later packaged up and left on the guest’s tables for them to take home as favors. They added such a great pop of color and a great vintage feel to the wedding. During cocktail hour, we served mini hot browns. For dinner, we didn’t want anything fancy–just a good meal that all would enjoy. We served fried chicken, brisket, biscuits, mac and cheese, green beans, and garlic mashed potatoes. We also made sure a variety of bourbons were served at the wedding.

We found a wonderful lady who makes cakes out of her home. Our cake was three tiers–the largest was a white cake and the top two layers were strawberry with buttercream frosting. We also had an assortment of cookies made by Alex’s mom and a dear friend of the family. As a surprise, Alex’s brother and sister-in-law had Tasty Tuxedo Treats come to the wedding–they showed up on a motorcycle in tuxedos with three different types of ice cream sandwiches.

Our first dance was to “That’s My Kind of Woman” by George Strait. Alex loves George Strait, and it is actually one of the first concerts that we ever went to together. I told him we were dancing to something else and then surprised him with this song. He loved it!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We went to the University of Kentucky together and had many mutual friends, but never met each other while we were in college. I stayed in Lexington to teach after graduation and Alex moved back to his hometown of Louisville to work for Hilliard Lyons. During Labor Day weekend of 2010, I went to visit some friends of mine who lived in Louisville. We went to the Kentucky vs. Louisville game, where I met Alex, and we were pretty much inseparable for the rest of the holiday weekend. Alex traveled to Lexington that same week to take me out on our first official date.
Tell us all about the proposal! During the 2013-2014 school year, I was working on my National Board Certification for Teaching. I was submitting all of my assignments, and to celebrate, Alex had made reservations at our favorite restaurant in Louisville, Jack Fry’s. When Alex came to my house to pick me up for our dinner celebration, he proposed! Not only was I surprised with the proposal, it also turned out that we were not going to Jack Fry’s after all. Instead, Alex had invited my family to town, and both of our families were waiting to celebrate with us over dinner and drinks at The Louisville Boat Club. After dinner, we continued the celebration with a group of our closest friends.
When did y’all get married? June 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 230
Describe your wedding flowers. Our wedding flowers were perfect and exactly what I had envisioned. We went with soft sage-y creams, ivory, and touches of blue, and our florist used open garden roses, peonies, hydrangeas, forget me nots, and berries. I wanted the arrangements to be loose, but not too wild, and I loved the idea of having lots of greenery everywhere. We had beautiful garlands on the head table, and the centerpieces were a mix of milk glass bud bases, vintage wooden candle holders with candles, and wooden boxes.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The weather definitely threw us for a loop. We knew that having both the ceremony and reception outside was risky, but didn’t truly feel the pressures of that until the weeks leading up to the day. The remnants of a hurricane left us with a wedding day forecast of 100% chance of rain with strong winds. God was truly with us on our day–it was a gloomy morning with rain, but then around 2:00, the clouds began to clear and the rest of the afternoon and evening was absolutely perfect.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We both just truly enjoy being with one another, so we are looking forward to the memories we will make now that we are married. We both love kids and would love to have a family of our own someday, but for now, we have a beagle puppy that consumes a lot of our time and love.

Photographer: Lynnesy Catron / Planner: Nicole King / Venue: Greystone Estate / Florist: Petal and Pine / Cake Baker: Melanie Gunn / Caterer: Masterson’s / Rentals: The Rental Depot / Band: 64 West / Paper Products: Minted / Bride’s Gown: “Farah” by Watters / Hair Stylist: Whitney Kessinger of Hali B. Salon / Makeup Artist: Sloane Winters of Circe / Bride’s Shoes: Nina / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “D660” in Midnight by Alfred Sung / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Twirl Boutique / Menswear: Joseph A. Bank / Table Numbers: The Paper Exchange

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Dana reply

    love the look of the wedding party! her dress and flowers are also so pretty!

  2. avatar Wedding: Mallory & Alex » Lynnesy Catron Photography reply

    […] I don’t think I’ve ever photographed at a more beautiful venue, especially here in Louisville.  Check out more of Mallory and Alex’s gorgeous day over at Southern Weddings. […]

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When it comes to wedding themes, the Kentucky Derby will always be one of my favorites–preppy accessories, shiny silver pieces, mint juleps, and monograms? Sign me up, y’all! What makes a Derby-inspired wedding so much more special though is when that inspiration is chock full of meaning for the bride and groom, like it was for Kristin and Wai. Neither of them is originally from Kentucky, but one fateful night in downtown Louisville, their paths crossed for the first time, and the hometown of Churchill Downs has been extra special to them ever since. They brought some of their favorite Kentucky details to Virginia Beach for their wedding, and loved sharing them with family and friends from across the country!

Thank you so much to Shannon Moffit for sharing this special day with us!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Wai and I met in Louisville, Kentucky. It was truly fate that brought us together, as I am originally from New York, Wai is from Virginia, and neither one of us ever thought we would ever be living in Kentucky. We owe our love story to Wai’s co-worker, John. John and I both went to Yale, but didn’t know one another. In Louisville, the Yale Alumni Association frequently puts on events and happy hours, and for some reason, on February 8, 2013, I decided I would check it out. John had also decided he was going to go and asked Wai to crash the event with him. Wai was resistant since he went to Princeton, a rival school, but John insisted, telling him, “You never know, you might meet a girl!” When Wai arrived at the bar–a craft beer joint called Holy Grail–he came up to speak with me right away (apparently, he was impressed by the super dark stout that I was drinking). Despite having to wait out an older Yale alumnus who, in Wai’s opinion, was monopolizing my time, Wai was able to catch up with me at the end of the night to get my number. Against the advice of his friends who advised him to wait at least 48 hours, Wai called me bright and early the next morning and asked me out!

Finding my wedding dress was surprisingly easy. I loved every single dress that I tried on–I literally wanted them all! While searching in magazines and online for dresses, I came across a sweetheart-style dress, Bobbi by Augusta Jones, and I knew that was it. I went to a bridal salon called Ava Clara the next day and told them that I especially liked that particular dress. Luckily for me, they had it in the store! The woman helping me brought out several dresses for me to try and requested that I wait to try on Bobbi until last. I loved all five dresses, but when I tried on Bobbi, that was it–it was my dress!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? It was a tough decision for us, because I really loved the idea of Wai not seeing me until I walked down the aisle, but I also loved the idea of Wai and I seeing each other for the first time in a more personal setting. We wanted to have as much time as possible after the ceremony to share with our guests and did not want to be pressured to squeeze all of our photographs in in a short timeframe. In the end, we decided to do a first look. We both cried, and it was perfect!

I think our wedding flowers were spectacular! We wanted very soft flowers in shades of pink and white, and we wanted them to look very natural and loose with lots of dark greenery. My bouquet was one of my favorite wedding details. It was so full and wild, and included the most beautiful white dahlias. I might have to have the florist make me a similar arrangement to put in a vase at home–I cannot stop thinking about it!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had both Old and New Testament readings at our ceremony. The Old Testament reading came from song of Solomon 2:10-13, 8:6-7. It’s a really beautiful love poem and Wai’s sister, Shelley, read it. Of course, she started bawling about five words in, prompting all the other bridesmaid to cry as well! The minister offered her a handkerchief and she made it through. The New Testament reading was from I John 4:7-12, and explains how God’s love is perfected in us when we love each other. Wai’s good friend from college, Ira, gave an eloquent reading (with no tears!).

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We buried a bottle of bourbon at our church a month before the wedding, though that didn’t ultimately pay off with good weather on the wedding day! More prominently, our whole wedding was Kentucky Derby-themed, with details like Derby-inspired specialty drinks, horseshoe name tags, silver mint julep cups, a Derby hat photo booth, Derby-themed invitations, bourbon truffles, our horseshoe monogram, and Wai’s jockey cuff links. And of course, Wai and his groomsmen all wore the most Southern bow tie and cummerbund sets anyone had ever seen, custom made by High Cotton Ties!

We knew right away that we wanted to have our wedding in Virginia Beach. It is where Wai grew up and it was a favorite vacation destination of mine growing up. After looking at a few venues, we knew that the Oceanfront Hilton was the perfect spot for our reception. We loved the gorgeous ocean views, the amazing presidential suite for getting ready, and the fact that we could have an outdoor cocktail hour with a solid indoor back-up option in case it rained. It was a great decision, because boy, did it rain that day! Picking the ceremony venue was a tougher decision for us. We had both dreamed of having a beautiful outdoor ceremony by the water, but also knew the significance of having our ceremony in a church. In the end, we decided on Wai’s family church, Bayside Presbyterian, and it was one of the best decisions we made.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There were so many details that I loved, but my favorite may have been our specialty drinks. Since our wedding was Kentucky Derby themed, we served Oaks Lilly and mint juleps. It was very personal to us, as we met in Louisville, and the drinks brought back memories of the times we spent together there (it also didn’t hurt that the drinks were delicious). To thank our wedding party, we had a private toast with them during the cocktail hour where we gave everyone their own monogrammed silver julep cups.

Tell us all about the proposal! It happened in Disney World, the happiest place on Earth! We were out at the Magic Kingdom all day and Wai had the ring in his pocket. Since he was nervous that I would see the box in his pocket, he took the ring out of the box and safety pinned it to his pants pocket! We even went on Space Mountain that day! He said he was really nervous the entire day and was rehearsing all of his lines in his head during the rides. The actual proposal happened back at Disney’s Grand Floridian Hotel. He had secretly booked us a fancy room at the hotel and had it set up with flowers, candy, and pictures of us. He told me he wanted to go up and see a “model room” in case we wanted to stay at the Grand Floridian the next time we went to Disney World, and when we got to the room, he got down on one knee and proposed. I immediately started crying and don’t remember one word of his rehearsed lines. I just remember being the happiest I had ever been!
When did y’all get married? July 11, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We didn’t write our own vows. In hindsight, we wish we had, but at the time, I was very worried about getting nervous and forgetting my lines (and also not being able to get through my vows during the ceremony with about crying the whole time). We did write each other letters that we read the morning of the wedding. I was an emotional mess reading mine, but it was wonderful! Who knows, maybe one day we will renew our vows–if so, I will definitely insist that we write our own.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We were fortunate that both of us really took an interest in planning the wedding (Wai’s family liked to joke that he was a groomzilla!). We agreed on all of the big decisions, such as the theme, venue, band, etc., but we had some different opinions on some of the smaller details. We overcame this challenge by really listening to one another and then making compromises, just like we will need to do throughout the rest of our marriage. In a way, wedding planning can really be a great prep course for married life!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $75,000-$100,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? The devil is in the details. We found that parts of the wedding that we stressed the most about, but that our guests also loved the most, were the little accents that really personalized the event to us. Also, we can’t emphasize enough how great the party was with a band, especially one that worked with us to choose amazing music that kept the dance floor hopping all night (Wai would have been crushed if we had had an empty dance floor). The one thing all of our friends remember the most was the last hour and a half of crazy dancing!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are looking forward to sharing our lives together and growing our family. We just bought our first home in Virginia Beach and are so excited to put our personal touches on it and make it our own!

Photographer: Shannon Moffit / Ceremony Venue: Bayside Presbyterian Church / Reception Venue and Caterer: Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront / Florist: Palette of Petals / Cake Baker: Incredible Edibles Bakery / Lighting: Stage Right Lighting / Band: Attraction / Paper Products: Jacobson Fine Paper & Gifts / Signage: Lynnea Midland / Bride’s Gown: “Bobbi” by Augusta Jones / Bridal Salon: Ava Clara Bridal / Bride’s Jewelry: Tiffany &. Co / Hair Stylist: Shaelynn Riddle / Makeup Artist: Kristine Marie / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Style 334” in Petal Pink by Bill Levkoff / Groom’s Attire: Polo Ralph Lauren / Bow Ties and Cummerbunds: High Cotton Ties

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Shannon Moffit reply

    Ahh, love this couple! Thank you for the feature!!

  2. avatar Elle reply

    That bouquet is seriously incredible!

  3. avatar Kentucky Derby Wedding in Virginia Beach » Shannon Moffit Photography | Virginia Beach and Destination Weddings reply

    […] Vendors listed below! Featured on Southern Weddings! […]

  4. avatar Kristin reply

    Stunning!!! I’m new to Lexington, KY and I love the idea of this theme. I’ve been putting off planning because it all seems so overwhelming, but this gave me some really great ideas :-)

  5. avatar Rudy reply

    Love the stunning decor and detail in these photos!

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