Nina & Wes sent over the photos of this sweet Kentucky wedding, and I think it’s such a perfect example of the impact of a beautiful venue…
Says the bride: “I’ve always dreamed about having my wedding outdoors where I would be surrounded by trees, birds and God’s wonderful creations. I love nature and that is where I feel God’s presence the most. So I knew that I had to have a place that was naturally beautiful without artificial decorations. I wanted our love to be shared with others in a setting that felt free, graceful, and everlasting. I grew up in Richmond and as a child I attended many events at White Hall; there was no better place than to have a wedding where it reminded me of childhood memories. Knowing that my father would give me away on the same land that I had once ran, laughed, and played on as a child was very comforting to me.”
Each bouquet was accented with a special gold dragonfly pin: “There were many details that I loved about my wedding, but there is one that really stands out to me. I am a very lucky girl to say that most of my bridesmaids were ladies that I have grown up with since childhood. We did everything together and loved each other more like sisters than friends. When we were 18, one our best friends, Megan, was killed. It was a horrific, tragic time, but it brought us all closer together. I knew that if she were alive that she would have been a bridesmaid in my wedding, and I wanted to honor her memory on one of the biggest days of my life. Megan loved dragonflies: she drew pictures of them, she admired their beauty and one was even carved into her headstone. I thought long and hard on how I was going to honor her since she was such a big part of all of our lives. After a great deal of searching I finally found someone who created delicate, gold dragonflies. I ordered one for myself and each bridesmaid and had the florist tie them to the stems of each bouquet. This symbol of Megan’s memory was special to each of us, especially her sister Sara who was a bridesmaid. This beautiful dragonfly tucked under our flowers was a way that Megan could walk down the aisle with us, be with us throughout the day, just as if she were still alive.”
Both the ceremony and reception venues were historical sites. White Hall (the ceremony site) was built in 1798, and the Keene Johnson Ballroom (the reception venue) was built in 1896. The bride’s uncle made the large wood cross for the outdoor ceremony.
“My day was overflowing with magical moments,” says Jessica, “however my favorite moment was when my dad gave me away and I grabbed Dylan’s hand for the first time, knowing I would be his wife in a matter of minutes. I was so overwhelmed with happiness and emotions that all I could do was burst into tears knowing that this was the hand I would hold forever.”
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I was inspired by my love for vintage, soft colors, and simple things. I wanted everything to have a vintage theme. Natural colors, lace, classic invitations, vintage car, long flowing dresses, bow ties for the groomsmen, and jewelry (hair brooch, earrings, and bracelet) that look like jewels my great-grandmother would have worn. Walking past that mansion on that gorgeous lawn made me feel very elegant!
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? There were many traditions spread throughout the day, but Dylan and I made new traditions too. I gave my mother, my father, and each bridesmaid a handwritten letter full of memories and love, with a dated, sentimental picture of the each individual and myself. Dylan and I also wrote letters to each other and heard those sweet and humorous words for the first time when the pastor read them during the ceremony. We wanted to keep God front and center, thus our focal point for the ceremony was a large rugged cross made by Uncle Mike.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The best advice I received was to relax, enjoy each moment, and let someone else worry about the details. That advice probably sounds familiar, but it’s so easy for a bride to get caught up in the details of getting her hair done, makeup, pictures, worrying about timing. Honestly take a step back from all the craziness and take a moment to enjoy – it only happens once! I can truly say I experienced many emotions throughout the day and I often had to take deep breaths to soak in the beauty of it all!
What advice do you have for other brides? The best advice I have is to always smile. The day will go on and maybe not exactly as you planned, but when it is all said and done you want to look back and remember that through it all you have a wonderful day and you were happy, blessed, and smiling! When the bride is happy and smiling it is contagious and everyone around you will smile as well.