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While they have so many great moments to remember from their wedding day at the beautiful Castleton Farms, for Mary and Dom, the moment when their eyes met as she walked down the aisle takes the cake! It was filled with so much joy and happiness that they know they’ll never forget. Planning a wedding and honeymoon around Dom’s hockey schedule was no easy task, but together, they focused on what was most important to them as a couple and showed their guests the sweet Southern hospitality of Mary’s home state of Tennessee. As for Mary’s sage advice for those planning a wedding? “Don’t let the illusion of perfection distract you from the beauty of the life that is right in front of you.” Yes, ma’am!!

Big hugs to Jennie Andrews for sharing this dreamy day with us!

I loved my dress! A few days after the proposal, I went out with my mom, sister, and sister-in-law to do some dress shopping (they were staying with me for a few days after the big surprise engagement dinner). They were only in New York for a short time, so we made tons of appointments and were ready to hit up every store in NYC. Of course, the first shop we went to, a cute little boutique called L’Fay Bridal, had some of the most beautiful dresses I had ever seen! THE dress was about the fifth one I tried on, and once I put it on, I could not stop smiling. We all knew it was the one, but did not want to pick a dress quite that quickly. After leaving the shop, I called Dom and told him I thought I had found the dress. He was happy to hear it and told me to go for it! The next day, I went in and bought it.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We tried to save some money in every category along the way, skipping letterpress on the invites, buying bridesmaid dresses during major sales at J. Crew, and things of that nature. Most significantly, we worked with our florist to reuse as many of the arrangements as we could. Flowers from the rehearsal dinner were used at the cocktail hour the next day, and flowers from the ceremony were brought up onto the deck of the barn to decorate the bar. Also, we did our rehearsal dinner at Castleton Farms, since we were able to pay for a weekend package. Not paying for a new venue for that dinner was a big cost saver.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a string trio play classics like Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” and “Trumpet Voluntary” for the ceremony. We wanted those sweet and traditional melodies to set the tone for the day.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We had a traditional Christian wedding and said the traditional vows.

There are so many great moments that we remember so vividly about the whole day, but by far, the most memorable moment for us was when I was walking down the aisle. Dom didn’t want to see me too early when I was far away, so he was facing Pastor Wood until I entered the doors and was ready to come down the aisle. When he turned, our eyes met, and we both just exploded with joy and happiness!

We chose Castleton Farms for our ceremony and reception for a few different reasons. First, I am from Tennessee and wanted to have the wedding in my home state! Second, Castleton Farms was stunning. It was every dream wedding Pinterest board come true, and after one quick visit (in the winter, even!), we were beyond interested. We met with the venue coordinator, Darla Walker, and were so impressed by her that we booked that very day! I think I called her around 9 P.M. to book it because I was so set on having that venue and was worried that someone else might take our date! Fitting in a wedding and honeymoon around a hockey player’s schedule is quite a feat!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had the wedding reception in a barn. The night before the wedding, all the girls and I slept over at the venue in the big, Southern mansion they have on property. It was amazing! We had a lemonade tent with all kinds of lemonade for the guests during the cocktail hour. The cocktail hour was more of a game hour, complete with lawn games like croquet, blongo ball, and corn hole–all good, Southern games! We knew it would be hot and people would need to fan themselves a bit to keep from overheating, so we made our ceremony programs fans. We also had barbecue as an entree option at the dinner.

We had a three-layer white wedding cake with fresh flowers on it. We also had some delicious cupcakes (about four different flavors and colors) and little jars of heart-shaped apple pies. The apple pie was supposed to go with the moonshine bar, but they were out on display and got eaten pretty quickly–long before the moonshine came out!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. One of my friends from college played tennis with Dom during the summers. Once we had been introduced, Dom invited me to come and see a game some time (he plays for the New York Rangers). After the first game I went to, I was waiting for him to come out after the game to head to dinner with me and a few friends. When he walked around the corner, my heart jumped. I quickly began to see that I was not the only one with a little crush, since I seemed to be getting a bit more attention than his other guests at the games–and kept getting the invite back. Also, he was playing incredibly well any time I was at a game! It didn’t take long for us to begin dating. We were out to dinner after one of his games when we made it official. We love going back to that restaurant and thinking about that special time.
Tell us all about the proposal! Dom proposed in Central Park! Central Park is a special place for us. We spent a number of different occasions there while we were dating–having picnics, taking walks, going ice skating, and riding bikes. Last December, we were trying to decide if we should stay in New York for Christmas or go home to be with our families. We finally decided to stay in the city, even though we would really miss our families. On Christmas Eve, we spent the day doing all things Christmas-y and just enjoying the day together. Later in the day, Dom suggested we go ice skating. As you may guess, skating with a hockey player is quite a fun experience!! After skating, he suggested we go out to dinner so that I would not have to worry about cooking anything. He called The Boathouse restaurant to see if we could get reservations, and lo and behold, they had some availability. We got dressed up and started walking to dinner. The Boathouse is in the middle of Central Park, so you have to walk through the park to get there. The only things around were the horse-drawn carriages going by every now and then. Somewhere along the walk, words of love were exchanged and a ring was given. We like to keep the details of it between the two of us! :) After getting engaged, we continued our walk to the restaurant, stopping to hug and kiss and laugh every few steps. To my surprise, when we arrived at the restaurant, out popped my parents, Dom’s parents, and my brother and sister-in-law!!! Dom had flown everyone up for a surprise engagement dinner! It turned out that it would be a family-filled Christmas after all, with even more reasons to celebrate.
When did y’all get married? July 11, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? There were about 140 people at the wedding. We felt so loved that so many friends made the trip to Tennessee to be there.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! To be honest, I did not think that through! I did, however, have something borrowed and blue. When Dom and I were first dating, I started wearing one of his blue flannel shirts because I needed a light jacket and didn’t have one, so he let me borrow it. He told me I looked better in it than he did, so I wore it a bunch and loved it! I wore that button-down all day while I was getting ready for the wedding. It was a little reminder of the start of all the love–not to mention, it was perfect for the job and cute!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t forget the whole reason you are planning this event: to unite yourself with the love of your life! Trust me, you won’t even get to see most of the things you spent months planning. You will be so busy gazing at your husband and taking in all the smiles and hugs from your friends and family, that all those details that seemed so crucial will go largely unnoticed by you and your fiancé. Planning a wedding is like most things in life: you should try your hardest to make it the best that you can, but don’t let the illusion of perfection distract you from the beauty of the life that is right in front of you.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are back to work now and are also having fun redecorating Dom’s old place. We both want to have a family and are excited to get started on that in the near future! Also, we love working out together, so Dom spent the summer teaching me to play tennis! We are looking forward to playing together throughout life.

Photographer: Jennie Andrews / Videographer: Alex Widmer / Venue and Coordination: Castleton Farms / Florist: Samuel Franklin / Cake Baker: Cheryl McMillan / Caterer: All Occasion Catering / Rentals: All Occasions Party Rental / Band: Emerald Empire Band / Paper Products: The Happy Envelope / Bride’s Gown: Berta Bridal / Bridal Salon and Veil: L’Fay Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Bangs and Blush / Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Various styles in Misty Rose by J. Crew / Menswear: J. Crew / Transportation: Chariots of Hire / Cupcakes: Scrumps Cupcakes / Invitation Calligraphy: Alice Sword

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Dimity reply

    Oh, what a beautiful piece of advice from Mary! “Planning a wedding is like most things in life: you should try your hardest to make it the best that you can, but don’t let the illusion of perfection distract you from the beauty of the life that is right in front of you.” I will carry this with me as I plan our special day. Thank you for sharing xo

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I’d have to agree with Kathie–being announced as Mr. and Mrs. your-new-last-name is one of the most memorable moments of a wedding (even if it’s pronounced wrong, like when you new last name is Kloess–pronounced “close,” by the way!). There is something so magical about it–it somehow solidifies in your mind that you’re going to spend the rest of your life with your best friend! Along with hearing those sweet words for the first time, Kathie and Matt also shared with us that seeing their stunning tent for the first time was one of their favorite moments of the day, and I can totally see why! They worked with the gals at Karson Butler Events to take the already lovely Inn at Perry Cabin and create a wedding day that was as beautiful as it was guest-friendly. They even provided an on-site nanny for their guests with littles ones–so thoughtful!

Big thanks to our friend Kate Stoops for sharing this wedding day with us for V7!

My bouquet was a lush, romantic, hand-gathered bouquet of beautiful flowers in shades of ivory and soft peach. Our florist incorporated a brooch that has been in my family since the 1800’s.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. The ceremony took place in a small, Catholic church in St. Michaels, Maryland. My brother and Matt’s aunt did the readings. It was very special to us because we had Matt’s family priest from Colorado marry us.
Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony? No, but we did mention my cousin’s husband, who is in the Army and was overseas, as well as my mom, who passed away in 2007.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? That it took me 30 minutes to pick it out! It was the second dress I tried on, and I immediately fell in love with it.
Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? I was not a high maintenance bride, so I let my bridesmaids pick their own dresses. As long as it was within my color scheme, I felt confident that my bridesmaids would pick something that would work for them and look great.

We started our reception with cocktail hour under gigantic trees decorated with string lights. A bluegrass band played in the background to keep the guests entertained while we took pictures. A silhouette artist made our guests their thank you gifts. Guests dined on finger foods, an antipasti bar, and signature drinks inspired by our home states.

We wanted the tent to feel romantic and warm. We used antique silver vases for the centerpieces and had lanterns and flowers hanging from the fabricated tree branches in the tent. Silhouettes of Matt and I hung behind our chairs. The cake stand was made to look like a tree stump with our initials carved into it. We also had couches and lounge chairs for guests to sit on.

What kind of food did you serve? Our appetizers were watermelon cubes with feta and aged balsamic, spicy tuna tartar, mini twice baked potato, Gougéres cups filled with truffled mac and cheese, coleslaw mix on mini potato rolls, shrimp wontons with Asian dipping sauce, and an Antipasto display. Dinner was yellow heirloom tomato gazpacho, pickled cucumber salad, roasted chicken breast, and pan-seared salmon.

Our cake was absolutely amazing. Maggie Austin did such a wonderful job–we couldn’t have asked for anything better. The cake was such a hit that our guests were asking for seconds, and we totally ran out!

Tell us about your grand exit. As the night died down, we left and looked back at our tent. The lights on the fabricated trees in the tent cast shadows, so when you looked at the top of the tent, you could see the shadows of the trees. It was beautiful, and a great way to end the night.

Date of your wedding: August 24, 2014
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Matt was working for a woman running for Congress in Colorado, and my family and I pledged to donate money to that campaign. Before an important fundraising deadline, Matt was required to drive to donor houses to pick up checks, including my house. We met and he picked up my check, and the next day, he called and asked me out on a date. I was supposed to be set up on a blind date through the same person running for Congress, but Matt asked me out first! We dated for six years before getting engaged.
Describe the proposal: Matt took me on a surprise overnight trip to the Inn at Little Washington. We arrived in the late afternoon and decided to have tea before heading up to our room. Normally, Matt would have wanted to take his time, but he kept asking if I was done and if we could go back upstairs. I finally gave in, and as I was getting ready for dinner, he turned to me, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him with my late mom’s engagement ring. It was a complete surprise. I, of course, said yes, and the Inn at Little Washington helped us celebrate.
Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring and how/why your husband (or the two of you!) chose it: My engagement ring was my mom’s. She passed away in 2007. The ring means a lot to me, and it means even more that Matt understands how important she was and is in my life. Wearing her ring reminds me daily that she is still with me.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Memorable, fun, and exhilarating
How many guests attended your wedding? Approximately 60
What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moments for me were the father-daughter dance, our first look, the dancing, looking at the tent for the first time, and being called Mr. and Mrs. Kazan.
Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? My father and I danced to one of my late mother’s favorite songs, “Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.
What’s next for you as a couple? We just had a daughter, so we are looking forward to being parents.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Your wedding needs to be guest-friendly. We provided a nanny service for all of our friends who have small children, so they could enjoy the night knowing their children were close by and safe. Taking care of our guests was an important component of our wedding. Even though it’s your wedding, your guests (family and friends) need to be celebrated–without them, you would not be able to have such an amazing wedding.
Best advice or most memorable comment someone made to you during the wedding celebration: “Walk slowly back up the aisle after the ceremony is over to take it all in.”

Photographer: Katie Stoops / Planner and designer: Karson Butler Events / Ceremony venue: St. Michael’s Chapel / Reception venue and catering: Inn at Perry Cabin / Florals: Amaryllis, Inc. / Cake baker: Maggie Austin Cake / Bride’s gown: “2073B” by Watters / Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka / Hair stylist: Julie Jackson Stylists / Makeup artist: Amie Decker Beauty / Men’s attire: Brooks Brothers / Bow ties: Thomas Pink Ties / Paper products: The Dandelion Patch / Calligraphy: Meant to Be Calligraphy / Tent and lighting: Sugar Plum Tent / Rentals: Party Rental Ltd. / Linens: La Tavola Linen / Silhouettes: Marie Cheek / Transportation: Sunny Limo / Cocktail hour band: Chester River Run-Off / DJ: Michael Bell of My Deejay / Babysitting service: Nannytainment

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Malou reply

    Lovely shoot!

    Loves Malou

  2. avatar Lisa Werth reply

    This was such an amazing wedding for us at Nannytainment. I am sorry for delay in posting as I missed announcement of it being featured. We got some great images of the childcare set up and some terrific glimpses of the fun we had with the kids. It’s great timing to come across this now as I have a bride wanting a quote for there soon.

  3. avatar Richard Photo Lab reply

    […] Pink Virginia Wedding A Bryan Photo – Spring Auburn Wedding Katie Stoops – Inn at Perry Cabin Wedding (design by Karson Butler Events) A Bryan Photo – Spring Auburn Wedding Harwell Photography […]

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Bonnie + Armon wanted to create a wedding day that was a reflection of who they are and a celebration of their new life together. To them, that meant an evening of fun, food and fellowship with their favorite people that have walked through life with them. I think their sweet Texas nuptials encompassed all that and more! Big hugs to the equally as sweet Caroline Joy for sharing B + A’s big day!

P.S. Be sure to check out their proposal story from the groom’s perspective – it made my heart melt. Especially since I married my college sweetheart as well!

I love how Bonnie honored her grandmother by attaching a pair of her pearl earrings her bouquet.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Yes. We wanted to savor every bit of this celebration, and a first look was the perfect way to steal a quiet moment together before the merriment commenced.

When it came to my dress, I knew exactly what I wanted – all lace, sweetheart neckline, strapless and classic. My maid of honor and a friend went with me to try on dresses but after trying on six, I wasn’t wowed. The third dress I had tried on had three out of my four criteria, but it had delicate lace cap sleeves. The consultant put me back in that dress, tucked the sleeves into the bodice and turned me around to see the result. I fell in love! After a few rounds of alterations, I truly felt like my dress was a custom creation.

We did not write our own vows. We loved the idea of saying the same vows our parents and loved ones exchanged at their weddings in years past.

Describe your wedding flowers: Although I didn’t have a clear vision of what our wedding flowers should look like, I knew I wanted something simple and Southern and Lindy absolutely shared my vision. Our centerpieces were a mix of sweet blush blooms in vintage milk glass vases. My bridesmaids carried full bouquets of white hydrangea and garden roses to complement their blush dresses. My bouquet was a dreamy mix of blush peonies and white garden roses – I didn’t want to put it down!

We worked to recreate our most beloved parts of Southern culture – from homemade treats to mason jars to fellowship – in every facet of our celebration! Guests were relieved from the July heat by individual sandalwood fans during the ceremony. We had no shortage of striped straws, mason jars, lemonade or lawn games! My wonderful mother-in-law made all the pies for our pie bar, while my mom and aunt made the cheesecake bites. A family friend baked the raspberry brownies and Armon and his best man constructed the lawn game sign I painted. Sharing every little DIY project with my bridesmaids and mom really helped me savor the journey leading up to our wedding, rather than focusing on a one-day event.

I could eat sweets all day long, so we knew we wanted more than just traditional wedding cake. Armon is decidedly anti-cake so in lieu of a groom’s cake, we added a pie bar, cheesecake bites and raspberry brownies for variety. We did have a beautiful two-tier confection with a bottom layer of vanilla cake and pineapple filling, as well as classic red velvet on top. Our baker whipped up a cream cheese and vanilla buttercream to complement both flavors. We loved it!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. (From the groom) Bonnie and I both went to Baylor University. While we had all the same mutual friends, our paths didn’t cross until we were at a dinner function at a Lebanese restaurant for our honors program. This particular venue had a belly dancer performing and, after the dancer tried unsuccessfully to coerce Bonnie into joining her on the dance floor, she turned to me. As this pretty girl had just refused her, I was happy to oblige and promptly made a fool of myself in front of what would one day be my bride. We wound up having the same course schedule the following semester and became the most intimate of friends. Three years later I’m delighted to call her my wife.
Describe the proposal. (From the groom) I proposed to Bonnie in Waco, where we met and where so much of our relationship blossomed. I got Bonnie’s roommate and best friend Sara in on the surprise. After we arrived, Sara whisked Bonnie off for an afternoon of playing and pampering. I took that time to set out a surprise in her apartment consisting of her favorite dress and a telltale note that this evening would be one to remember. The girls returned to their apartment, and I’m told that Bonnie was overjoyed with my surprise. After getting ready and getting to spend some time with her roommate, Bonnie finally arrived. I then took her on an adventure through our past, taking her to all of the many places on Baylor’s campus and in Waco that were significant to us. After our tour ended back at Baylor, we made our way toward the gardens outside Pat Neff and Old Main, the campus’s two main buildings. As we walked through the gardens in the direction of my old dormitory, I spoke to Bonnie about all of the times we had crossed through this place without ever thinking what may one day happen here. We never made it to my old dormitory because in the middle of the gardens, with our old university’s iconic buildings in the background, I informed my bride that this was the end of the tour — the place where she was asked to be my wife. I got down on one knee at twilight and proposed to her.
In what month did you get married? July
How many guests attended your wedding? 62.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. A sweet friend of mine from high school played his guitar at our ceremony and did beautiful instrumentals of each song we chose. Our processional was “The Scientist” by Coldplay and I walked down the aisle to “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley. Armon and I walked back down the aisle to “You and I” by Ingrid Michaelson.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Armon and I are no strangers to long distance, as we have primarily been in different locations for most of our relationship. Our engagement was no exception as his enlistment with the Air Force stationed him in California for the year. Thankfully, we were able to tour our venue together following our proposal, but the rest of the details were up to me. Although it was a bit of a challenge, it turned into a hidden blessing as I got to spend our wedding meetings and tastings with my maid of honor!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Although it’s impossible to single out one ultimate moment, I can narrow it down to a few. My big brother officiated our ceremony and walking down the aisle on my daddy’s arm with my brother and groom waiting at the end for me was so overwhelming. Exchanging our vows while surrounded by the people closest to me was such a humbling moment. There was so much love and joy encircling us on that day!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are soaking in this new season as newlyweds and are having a blast setting up our home together! We’re looking forward to exploring the West Coast together in the months to come.

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  8. avatar Hannah reply

    Any idea where the groom found the beautiful engagement rings? Love the simplicity of the oval!

  9. avatar Leyka reply


    I know your bridesmaids have different dresses, but I’m wondering if you could list where each got them. They are really pretty!

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