One of the best things about weddings is their ability to take people away from their everyday lives, inviting them into the most special moments of a couple’s story, and reminding them that what truly matters, more than anything else, is love and family. This was certainly the case at Anne Sydney and Jesse’s wedding, where they literally transported their guests up a mountain, overlooking their beloved hometown. The setting was breathtaking, and dotted with sweet details in honor of their Kentucky roots, it was a magical place for these childhood sweethearts to celebrate their marriage!
Tell us all the basics of your wedding! The wedding was on June 29, 2013 at 5:30 P.M. at the First Baptist Church in Pikeville, Kentucky. The location was chosen because it was the church that we attended as children and both of our families were active in membership. We share many memories of our younger years there, as we participated in church plays, musicals, vacation Bible school, and other church-related activities together.
Our welcome boxes for our guests included macarons, sour hard candies, and M&M’s, all in our wedding colors. We also included a fun folded map and directional guide, which also included information on local restaurants and other attractions. For logistical purposes, we had all the guests bused up to the mountain after the ceremony. We included custom-made “bus tickets” with the ceremony programs, proclaiming that it was “Time to Celebrate Y’all,” and that this was their “Ticket to Ride.”
What was your favorite detail of the wedding? I was surrounded by ladies who played large roles at different stages in my life. Whether they were from high school, college, or my family, they were there to support me on the most important day of my life as my bridesmaids and maids and matrons of honor.
We wanted the flowers to reflect the feeling of the event–classic, laid back, sweet, fun, and beautiful. We chose white and ivory garden roses and mixed in some pops of peaches and corals, plus some dusty miller and lamb’s ear to bring in the greyed jade tone of the bridesmaids’ dresses. We used ivory Jeanne Moreau garden roses, caramel antique garden roses, white ranunculus, peachy coral Romantic Antique garden roses, peach and coral ranunculus, peach Juliet David Austin garden roses, dusty miller, and white peonies.
Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? From Jesse: My grandfather on my father’s side. The Saturday before, he had buried my grandmother and his wife of over 60 years. I knew he was still reeling from the loss, but his presence in the front row of the church was a reassuring presence on our big day.
Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: While not planned to intentionally coincide, our wedding date was also my parents’ 39th anniversary. In addition, our rehearsal dinner and wedding ceremony were at the same country club and church where my parents tied the knot all those years ago. It was a special feeling to know that nearly 40 years ago to the day, my father and mother were standing in the same place, committing themselves to each other.
The mountaintop venue inspired quite a lot of the design. We knew from the beginning that we wanted a sailcloth tent because we love the soft, illuminated feel that they bring. We had it set up at the edge of the mountain so that guests would have an incredible view. We wanted everything to feel soft, sweet, and classic. One of my favorite details was the custom wooden bars my brother-in-law built especially for our wedding. We also included a few pieces of polished coal on top of the bars, as well as affixing coal on push pins to secure the calligraphed seating charts to their display boards, as a nod to our Eastern Kentucky roots.
Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? We did! The all-female bluegrass band, Coaltown Dixie, provided the music for the al fresco, café-lit event, which was immediately next to the sailcloth tent, facing the town of Pikeville below.
Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? My maternal grandmother made wedding mints for all her five children’s wedding receptions, as well as many other church weddings. It was fitting that a dear family friend used her recipe and made them for our wedding reception.
Dinner was served once all guests had arrived at the reception site. The meal was fully prepared at the remote location by the caterer and was simply some of the best food that we have ever eaten. Next on the agenda was dancing under the tent to music by the Jump Street Band. They were fantastic, playing a mixture of old and new, fast and slow tunes, keeping the dance floor overflowing from the time they began playing until the night was done. Late in the evening, late night snacks of warm beignets and mini coffee milkshakes were passed to guests.
After exiting the winding road to the beautiful mountaintop venue, we did not want the night to end yet, so we ended the evening by driving though our small hometown, being chauffeured by my father-in-law, reflecting on the tremendous day that we had just enjoyed.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. From Jesse: It was so long ago that I’m not sure either of us truly remembers. Our families went to the same church when we were kids. We think our first meeting was in a children’s Sunday school class. In any event, Anne Sydney’s family moved into town when she was in 6th grade and we went to school together thereafter.
Describe the proposal: From Jesse: It was the Thursday night before Memorial Day in 2012. We were planning to be apart that weekend so Anne Sydney could attend her friend’s bachelorette party. Little did she know, she wasn’t making the trip. In anticipation of our days apart, we had dinner at our favorite restaurant in downtown Lexington. My initial plan was to pop the question on our walk home from dinner down the historic and quaint South Mill Street. This idea was frustrated by the un-concealable size of the little blue box. Instead, we walked in the door to my home, and as Anne Sydney started up the stairs, I fell to a knee. The next morning, we traveled to the Greenbrier Resort to meet our parents and begin to plan for the great time ahead.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Magical, surreal, and breathtaking.
How many guests attended your wedding? About 470
What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? Logistics–the site offering beautiful mountaintop views was not equipped with water, power, sewer, or any other modern convenience. The degree of planning to pull it off was immense. All of the needs of the over 450 guests had to be anticipated and provided for the 4+ hours that they were to be on the mountain celebrating with us. Luckily, my father is an engineer and was able to speak the language to the vendors and suppliers to pull off the event without a hitch.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I, my mother, my future mother-in-law, and my mother’s best friend traveled to NYC for appointments. After numerous fittings and rejections at Kleinfeld, I reluctantly took the advice of the consultant assisting me and tried a strapless Peter Langner gown. At first sight of me wearing this dress, everyone in the traveling party said in unison that this was it!! We kept our other scheduled appointments and learned that Mark Ingram Atelier carried Peter Langner gowns. Late that night, my mother went online and discovered that Mark Ingram was currently hosting Langner’s trunk show. She called at the first opportunity the next day, scoring an appointment for that same day. We later discovered that it normally takes six months for an appointment at this salon. I knew at that point that this was the dress that was meant for me!!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? During the planning process, be sure to spend time with each other and make an attempt to not discuss wedding plans! It’s difficult, but planning a large celebration can become very overwhelming and stressful, and it is easy to lose sight of the true purpose of the celebration!
Photographer: Melanie Mauer / Videographer: Blueberry Creative / Planner: Weekend Wedding Warrior / Designer, Florist, and Decor: Jaclyn Journey / Ceremony Venue: First Baptist Church / Caterer: Apiary Fine Catering & Events / Cake Baker: Martine’s Pastries / Bride’s Gown: “Puccini” by Peter Langner / Bridal Salon: Mark Ingram Atelier /Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bride’s Earrings: Marco Bicego and “Paisley” by Justine M. Couture /Bride’s Veil: Peter Langner / Bridesmaid Dresses: “Kylie,” “Sinclair,” and “Louisa” in Dusty Shale by J. Crew / Bridesmaids’ Earrings: Kendra Scott / Flower Girl Dress: Isabel Garreton / Guest Books and Pens: Blue Sky Papers / Ribbons: M & J Trimming and The Ribbon Jar / Vintage Postage: Verde Studio / Favors: The Little Candy Cake Company / Ceremony Music: Highland Chamber Players / Cocktail Hour Band: Coaltown Dixie / Reception Music: The Jump Street Band from East Coast Entertainment / Pyrotechnics: Louisville Wedding Fireworks / Hair Stylist: Justin Greer and Ryan Reeves of Lux Hair Bar / Makeup Artist: Ana Crane of Applied Cosmetic Services / Men’s Suits: Jos. A. Bank / Men’s Shirts: Brooks Brothers / Men’s Ties: Collared Greens / Paper Goods: Hound Dog Press / Calligrapher: Rachel Fisher Calligraphy / Rentals and Lighting: Camargo Rentals / Linens: La Tavola and Wildflower Linens / Transportation: Bluegrass Tours