Chic Weddings/Real Weddings

Emotional Southern Wedding in a Kentucky Distillery

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I know that whole ‘Southern charm’ thing is pretty cliche, but really, there is something just so charming about Southern weddings.

MaKenzie & Brandon are college sweethearts who met in an 8am history class at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. Their home state has played a huge role in their relationship so they made it a central focus for their wedding planning too. 

A historical home for their ceremony, a famous bourbon whiskey distillery for their reception, a Southern feast for food, and homemade local treats for favours. With a November wedding date, the couple gave their celebration an elegant, cosy feel with rich burgundy hues, luxurious textures and lots of greenery.

The day, filled with emotions – just wait until you see their first look! – was captured by Brandi Potter Photography, who said she welled up throughout too. You might want a box of tissues close by for this one, just in case. 

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Favourite Moments

The day was all that we could ever have asked for. There’s something very special about being able to marry the love of your life and to allow those who you both love the most to share in that memory.

Choosing one moment would be impossible, but seeing my groom’s face during our “first look” is one that I will never forget.

Our wedding in three words? Warm, Affection, Charm.

 

 

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The Setting

My husband and I were both born and raised in Kentucky and are Kentucky proud. We mutually agreed that the theme of our wedding should reflect the traditions and the history of our beautiful home state.

With that, we headed to the state capital and booked the historic Berry Hill Mansion for our wedding ceremony and Buffalo Trace Distillery, the world’s most decorated distillery, for our reception.

 

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The Photography & Videography

I am forever thankful for the convenience of the World Wide Web. When browsing for a potential wedding photographer, I took to the internet and looked through the portfolios of, I’d say, well over one-hundred Kentucky photographers.

I had a specific style in mind. I wanted a photographer who could tell a story in a way that others in their field could not. I appreciate warm, dark tones and creativity, so I let those themes guide my search.

I stumbled across many talented people, but no one’s work matched my ideal photography than that of Brandi Potter’s. She’s easily one of the most creative people I have met and I could not have been happier with the photos that displayed the most joyous day of my life.

She’s incredible. She did an exceptional job with our engagement photos months before and I reached out to her for videography recommendations for the big day.

She offered the information of several talented videographers with who she had personally worked with, but it was an easy decision for me when deciding to go with Justin Skeens to tell our story.

His photojournalistic style and attention to detail had me sold. I feel that my photographer and videographer’s work complimented each other very well. I am so very thankful and feel privileged to have had both of theses talented individuals capture our wedding day. 

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Advice for Other Couples

To all of the brides planning a wedding on their own (as I did) – be thoughtful in the vendors that you choose.

Do your research. Start early. Utilize your time wisely.

Choose vendors who you trust and then allow each and every professional to do their job. In doing so, you’ll be able to kick back and have a mimosa (or two) once the big day rolls around.

The day goes by very fast, so make sure to focus on enjoying your friends and family with the love of your life.

Make sure to give yourself five minutes alone at some point in the day. It’s therapeutic. You’ve worked hard and you will look stunning!

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The Decor & Details

The rustic beauty of our chosen venues with the natural wood and architecture left us with very few additional décor details. I wanted the details to create a warm and romantic setting.

Our main color was burgundy/merlot, which were the color of my bridesmaid’s dresses and the table décor.

Personally speaking, I have always insisted that generous greenery is more beautiful than any bouquet of flowers and I envisioned that the greenery would compliment the natural wood of the venues very well.

My mother, Trish McWhorter, and her good friend, Sylvia Reed, arranged an array of dried plants/twigs/flowers for the table arrangements, boutonnieres and corsages. They looked amazing!

 

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The Food & Music

Not only did we want things to look nice, but we also wanted people to get their bellies full and cut a rug on the dance floor.

A buffet-style Southern feast featuring fresh strawberry salad, open-faced pulled pork and chicken on a slice of garlic bread, home-style green beans, and a mashed potato bar were on the menu. Becky Farmer prepared a phenomenal meal.

Furthermore, a live band was a must to compliment the environment we envisioned for our reception. Kudmani, an exceptional cover band out of Louisville, Kentucky, rocked the house!

To bring our Kentucky themed wedding full circle, our guests left with bourbon balls homemade by the groom’s family.

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The Honeymoon

Our honeymoon was an active one. We took a few days to tour San Francisco and eat some of the best meals of our lives, spent a day in wine country touring Sonoma and Napa Valley, and then ended our vacation in Vail for their opening weekend of the ski season.

We were exhausted by the time the week was over, but we had the best time visiting some of the most historic cities of this beautiful country. Laying on a beach with a marg in hand wouldn’t have been a bad alternative though!

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