Kelly + Corey’s wedding blows me away in so many ways. Yes, it’s indeed a lovely affair, but it came together under the sweetest but challenging situations. Kelly is in the Air Force and Corey is in the Army. Though their proposal was a very welcome and loving surprise, it also occurred right before Corey departed for his station in Korea! Despite the distance, K + C put together a wedding that boasts the most meaningful details and traditions (don’t forget to read about Kelly’s dress!) — and looks darn fun to boot! We are so grateful for Amy Arrington, who sent this lovely our way.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My wedding dress was one of my favorite parts! My mom wore the same dress that my grandmother wore when she got married in 1960. I grew up saying I would never wear that dress! When it was my turn to get married, I was overcome with sentiment and knew that I was going to wear their dress. It didn’t quite fit me, so I took the dress to TK Designs in Atlanta and had the top of the dress remade. The skirt is still the original, and they used the same type lace from the skirt to create the top. I was so proud to wear my grandmother’s and mother’s 53-year-old dress and wouldn’t have had it any other way!
My bridesmaids were SO wonderful. They made my wedding planning process so easy, and my day-of so peaceful and calm. (They were running around like crazy people dealing with issues left and right! I had no clue!) They actually helped me do my own baby’s breath bouquets. They also decorated everything the morning of, while I was getting my hair done. The only flowers I had done professionally were two large ceremony arrangements and my bridal bouquet. I wanted something simple, green, and white. My florist did exactly what I had in my head and everything was simple, yet beautiful. I also wrapped an old family handkerchief around my bouquet for my “something blue.”
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Yes! At first, Corey and I wanted to do everything very traditionally. However our photographer told us reasons it may be beneficial. We thought about it and realized that it would create an easier transition to the reception by having pictures before. We also wanted to have that one moment alone on our crazy day. I am so glad we decided to have a first look because it truly did calm my nerves for the rest of the day!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. We did the traditional song for the entrance, Canon in D, then the traditional Bridal Chorus when my Dad and I walked in. When we walked out, the traditional Wedding March played! These were all very important to me since I wanted a very traditional church ceremony. However, to make it more personal, we had everyone stand and sing “In Christ Alone” together so that we would be a reminded to live out a Christ-centered marriage. We had our extremely talented friend Marleigh sing “Amazing Grace” to remind us of how powerful the grace that God has given us truly is.
Did you write your own vows? We did! This was probably my favorite part of the ceremony. Corey is a wonderful writer and much better with words than I. His vows were so romantic, poetic, and intentional. Mine were more light hearted and fun. It totally described our relationship and people got to see who we really were by doing this. At the end, Corey said, “You are my moon, my love, my life.” Our big thing has always been the moon since we have always had distance between us. We both know that no matter where in the world we are, if we look at the moon, the other person could be looking at the same moon. We carried this over to the reception and danced to Frank Sinatra’s, “Fly Me to the Moon” for our first dance.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had our good friend Alix read Romans 12 because it is an important reminder of how to love as an action, always! The pastor who married us was my youth pastor in high school. He made the ceremony so light and fun. Everyone was laughing one second, then crying the next. It truly was such a personal ceremony and we received many compliments about how it was so “us.” That’s exactly what we wanted!
I believe that in the South especially, we have such a pride for our military. The fact that we had such a traditional and military wedding is what I believe made it a Southern affair. We had a traditional saber arch that we walked through, and all the military men wore their dress blues. The ceremony was at the oldest Methodist Church in Savannah and the reception was at the Savannah Yacht Club right on the bay. These two venues truly encompassed Southern charm. We also had a trolley bring all of our guests back downtown after the reception to continue the fun! Savannah, Georgia, is one of the most charming and quaint towns you’ll ever visit. There was no way our wedding wouldn’t be a Southern celebration having it there!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Corey is in the Army, and I am in the Air Force. Anyone who knows anything about the military knows this causes for some issues with being able to see each other. I was finishing up nursing school during the planning process and Corey was living in Korea. He saved up enough leave to take a month to come home, get married, and return to finish his tour. I would say my biggest challenge was not having Corey physically there to help with things. He proposed to me and then left for Korea one week later!
Corey and I are not huge fans of cake and pretty much put the task on the bottom of our list. I actually just went to Publix and asked them to create two cakes, one vanilla and one chocolate. We could not have been happier with that decision and we saved a ton of money by doing so! The cakes really turned out beautifully and tasted great, too! No one could believe that they were from Publix! We also included a Korean tradition in our cake toppers. In Korea, when a couple gets married, they receive wedding ducks that resemble peace, fertility, and faithfulness. Apparently ducks are one of the few animals that mate for life and never take a second partner. We loved adding in something from the culture where Corey is currently living.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
Corey and I met through the best man at our wedding, Mark. Mark and Corey were roommates in college. Corey visited Mark one summer and I got to know Corey better that week. We decided we liked each other and continued talking. I was quite non-committal but that summer when I went to my ROTC boot camp, Corey pursued me through the most beautiful, eloquent letters and I knew then that there was something different about this guy!
Describe the proposal. Corey had just finished flight school and was getting ready to leave for his first assignment in the Army in South Korea. As excited as we both were about this endeavor, it was also very sad since we would be separated. I was convinced we were not going to get engaged before he left, but one week before his departure date, he did it! We were visiting his parents in Savannah, Georgia, and he decided to take me on a walk on the beach. We had our first kiss at a certain lifeguard stand two years prior (almost exactly to the day!) where he got on one knee and pulled out the most beautiful ring! My best friends were hiding in the sand dunes taking pictures and ran out and surprised me afterward! Corey also had a big engagement party planned back at his parents’ house where all my college roommates and friends and my parents were waiting to surprise me again! It was a wonderful day.
In what month did you get married? March
How many guests attended your wedding? 250
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There were so many things I loved! One thing I loved was surprising Corey with an ice sculpture of the helicopter he flies, the Chinook. Corey is more than obsessed with planes and loved this! Another detail that truly made Corey and I feel like we were a prince and princess was having the Model A driven by my grandparents as our getaway car. My grandparents collect Model A’s, and ever since I saw those cars, I knew I wanted one in my wedding. They hauled the car all the way from Oklahoma to Savannah and made my wedding day complete! It was so wonderful to get in the car after the ceremony and drive around downtown Savannah and have all these people wave at us like we were royalty! It was a dream come true for sure!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? One of the most important things to Corey and I are people. We love being around people and we both are very social. I knew that having a lot of guests come to the wedding would mean that I couldn’t spend as much on decorations or other things. I really do think that having all our friends and family be invited was more important than anything else I could have spent money on. The other thing that was important to us was the photography. I couldn’t have asked for a better photographer and am so happy to have spent the money on Amy Arrington! (She and her husband are incredibly talented and actually very reasonable for what you receive!)
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? It is so hard to choose just one moment. We had the most unique and hilarious speeches from our bridal party. My maids of honor did a rap that was so funny! Corey’s best man, Mark, had one of the greatest speeches of all time. We really have such talented and funny friends. Corey and I go on and on about how much we loved seeing all of our friends and family enjoying time with one another. The DJ was so great, and the dance floor was covered the whole night! We saw pure happiness in so many people and realized how blessed we are to have such wonderful, supportive people in our life.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Have fun! I actually miss the planning process because it really can be so fun! Choose things that you really care about and focus on those. Find a cheaper and easier way to handle things that aren’t as important so that you can spend more on the other things! Stay organized and rely on your mom or bridesmaids to help you, especially with day-of events. I was made fun of for this, but actually had schedules for each person with where they needed to be at what time. I didn’t have or need a wedding planner because of the help I got from all my girls and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Corey and I are mainly excited about living in the same time zone! I am stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. Corey will be stationed at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs starting in July. People think we’re crazy for getting married when we knew we would be apart, but it’s what was meant to be! We believe we have a love that can conquer anything and if this is the hardest thing we have to deal with then I think we’re doing OK! We look forward to the time we actually get to live under the same roof. Until then, there’s lots of traveling in our future!
Amy Arrington is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!