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TO P S We d d i n g s 2 0 1 2


vol. 3 no. 1


Heather & Rock: Destination Kiawah Island, SC


Terran & Derrick: Timeless Bridal Style


Rebecca & Michael: Unique Antique Touches


Elise & Barry: Cheery Family Affair


Lucy & Shane: Luxe Meets Rustic


Purvi & Paras: Traditional Indian Beauty


Bethany & Drew: Pink & White Glam

Account Manager


Sarah & Ben: Destination Anna Marie Island, FL

Buffy Lawson


Raina & Dustin: Fairy Tale Elegance


Crystal & Brian: Classic Autumn Wedding


Advertiser Directory

Kristen Oakley

Associate Publisher, Sr. Account Manager

Editor / Magazine Design & Layout

Amanda Harper

Head Writer

Danielle Pope

Account Manager


Melissa Meatyard

Teri Turner

Account Manager

Katherine Tierney

Account Manager

Cover Photo: Raina & Dustin (p 68) Alicia Fierro for Aesthetiica Photography

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Keith Yarber


Tops Weddings

ď ™

Top Marketing Group

465 East High Street, Suite 201 Lexington, KY 40507 859.543.TOPS (8677) 859.514.1621 (fax)

Heat her & Rock April 22, 2011

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ď ™ 8 Photography by Tim Willoughby

Heather and Rock first met at Starbuck’s to collaborate on a charity event that Rock was coordinating. But something clicked, and months of Facebooking and phone tag followed. They finally got together for a date at Bourbon & Toulouse, which led to a long walk with Heather’s dog, Sophie, pizza and a bottle of red wine. They’ve been inseparable ever since. The couple headed to Asheville, NC to celebrate New Year’s, but Rock had something special planned for Heather. She nearly ruined his plan for a proposal under the fireworks at midnight when she said she wanted to lay down and “rest her eyes for a bit” at 10:30PM—he knew she’d be out for the night if she fell asleep! So to help her “ring” in the new year, he slipped the ring on her finger.


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The couple didn’t have a traditional wedding party. Instead, they considered each of their 30 guests to be a part of the wedding ceremony.

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The couple’s mothers wore bracelets made of white ranunculus to coordinate with the bride’s bouquet and the groom’s boutonniere, while the bride’s father, stepmother and aunt wore matching coral ranunculus. The groom’s tie featured a coral monogram, and Heather carried her mother’s brooch in her bouquet for a personal touch.


During the ceremony, which the couple wrote themselves, the rings were passed through the crowd for each guest to hold and bless. Heather walked down the aisle to Train’s “Marry Me”.

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Heather and Rock were married at The Sanctuary Resort on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. The couple fell in love with its southern charm and they were both familiar with the area. Rock used to live in nearby Charleston and the couple frequently visit the bride’s aunt and uncle there. Following a cocktail reception with Southern Coastal passed hors d’eouvres, the couple and their guests loaded onto a white trolley and were taken to Pane e Vino restaurant in downtown Charleston. There, they enjoyed Italian favorites and plenty of wine. Instead of a traditional cake, they served the Ultimate Coconut Cake from Peninsula Grill and tiramisu alongside limoncello, a popular Italian digestif.

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The father of the bride sang “My Girl” to his daughter, the song she’d always dreamed would play as they shared their dance. Local musical duo The Red Letters played through the ceremony and reception, keeping the tight-knit group of guests celebrating well through the night.


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Give yourself time to enjoy being engaged before the wedding planning process begins. Once it starts it becomes a bit consuming of your time and thoughts! Keep a binder for ideas and information and put everything from contracts & receipts to vendors & timelines in it; being organized minimizes the stress as the big day approaches and everything will be at your fingertips. Have as much wrapped up by the week of the wedding as possible so you can truly enjoy the days before. Don’t save little tasks until the last minute. Most importantly, realize that no matter how organized and prepared you are, things will not go perfectly as planned and you just have to let go of perfection and go with the flow. The things that go wrong make the best stories anyway!

In hindsight, I would definitely hire a wedding planner, especially for a destination wedding. It would have saved me a lot of time and stress in researching the vendors and handling all of the details and little issues that popped up along the way.


Funny Anecdote: My veil caught on fire from the exit sparklers, though I didn’t realize it until the next morning when I found a huge hole in my veil! One of the guests put it out, everyone kept it hush-hush and, miraculously, my extremely hairsprayed ‘do did not go up in flames.

- Heather

Details Venue: Grand Lawn of The Sanctuary Resort on Kiawah Island, SC Photographer: Tim Willoughby Florist: Stems in Charleston, SC Makeup: Pamela Lesch Music: The Red Letters Invitations: Minuteman Press Trolley: Absolutely Charleston


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Terran & Derrick May 21, 2011

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ď ™ 16 Photography by Angela Anderson

Terran and Derrick met while she was an intern for the Kentucky House of Representatives and Derrick was interning for the Kentucky Senate. Lifelong residents of Kentucky, the pair grew up in adjoining counties and both are occupied as attorneys.


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While the bride’s dress for the ceremony was new, her reception gown was something old. It was her grandmother’s wedding gown from 1952. It had been rescued from a house fire by a fireman just a month before the wedding. The bride’s Debra Moreland is PARIS bracelet and reception earrings were custom designed by the bride, bride’s sister and bride’s mother. Her garter was made from lace from her mother’s wedding gown and blue lace from one of the bride’s childhood dresses, bought for her by her late grandmother. Her veil was handembroidered with “Mae”, the bride’s middle name and late grandmother’s name.

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The couple had a large wedding party with seven bridesmaids and groomsmen, one junior bridesmaid, six ushers and a ring bearer. A sign pointed guests to the “Albany” or “Jamestown” side of the petal-covered aisle, as a nod to the couple’s childhood homes. The couple was married on the steps of Spindletop Hall while the reception was held inside. Each room at Spindletop had a unique color scheme. The mantle in the ballroom incorporated all of these colors with an ombre effect. A cigar bar was set up outside on the veranda in memory of the bride’s grandfather, who adored a good cigar.


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As Terran and Derrick descended the stairs, they were surprised to see all of the guests lined up outside the entrance of Spindletop to send them off on their honeymoon.

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ď ™ 22 Details Photographer: Angela Anderson Planner: Lauren Chitwood (Lauren Chitwood Events) Venue: Spindletop Hall Wedding Gown: Priscilla of Boston, The Bride Room, Nashville, TN Jewelry: Debra Moreland is PARIS (custom designs) Hair & Makeup: Ana Crane Simpson Band: Bueller, Nashville, TN Cake: Judy Myers Florist: Lauren Chitwood Events String Quartet contact: Jessica Tzou Transportation: Lake Cumberland Limousine Video: Creative Video Solutions


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Rebecca & Michael August 27, 2011

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ď ™ 24 Photography by Nina Mullins

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The bride wore a green vintage 60s fascinator and a her mother gave her a small silk purse that carried a handkerchief that belonged to her father and a POW/MIA bracelet that Rebecca has worn for 16 years.


Rebecca and Michael met at a local Marine Corps League meeting in Richmond. They volunteered there so often that they became friends. Out of the blue, he asked her out on a date and Rebecca was hesitant to jeopardize their friendship, but she took a chance that she says she will never regret. While cooking dinner one night, they were discussing their future. He dropped to one knee and pulled a ring out of his pocket, right there in the kitchen. She was so surprised she choked on a french fry—but that didn’t stop her from saying yes!

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A bridesmaid gave her a penny from her birth year, which she taped inside her shoe. The most touching moment for Michael was when Rebecca rode down through the paddock fences in the horse drawn carriage. He said he knew it was something she had dreamt about and now it was coming true for her. He said he had prayed that there would be no disappointments for Rebecca that day, and to see her in the carriage filled him with love and pride. The couple wanted their wedding to reflect their personalities and have meaning to each of them. They fell in love with the venue (The Ashley Inn B&B in Bryantsville) with its period-accurate decor. The groom made an arbor from trees grown on his family farm—it was so beautiful, the venue decided to keep it for future weddings! They used a family heirloom table for their sand ceremony. The decor featured mason jars that the couple collected from Kentucky antique malls. Handmade signs invited guests to have their pictures taken in an outdoor photo booth or play cornhole on boards the couples’ friends made. The couple’s own antique glass insulators and Christmas lights added rustic charm to the reception. They searched across Kentucky for the mix and match china and silverware, picking up pieces at antique shops and thrift stores. For their guest book, they used individual papers and envelopes so that their guests could leave the couple personal messages. Rebecca’s childhood antique doll house was where they would place their notes of love and well wishes. TOPS Weddings

The couple and their guests enjoyed a beautiful evening filled with antique elegance, plenty of fun and an abundance of love.

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Go with what you like, not just what’s on the inspiration boards and what you think is trendy. You can save money if you DIY, there’s nothing wrong with that. Utilize your friends and family, lean on them and ask them for help when prepping, creating, and setting up; most won’t mind and are thrilled to help and to be a memorable part of your day. Remember to tell your friends and family you love them, and especially your fiancé. Try not to have meltdowns (it’s ok if you do, just say I’m sorry and mean it) and remember that if you plan on perfection, it won’t be…but no one else but you will know what went wrong, so just go with it and enjoy the day and expect happiness!

With a little bit of effort and research, the wedding of your dreams is possible on a budget. The key is to not give up and continue to look if you do not find something that fits within your price range. Be creative, check out the bridal magazines, see what they are doing and visit your local craft and thrift store—even look inside your own home to find ways to hand craft the details.


- Rebecca

Details Wedding Planner: Sarah Burton, iDoSignature Events Cake: Here Comes the Cake by Judi Sandlin Photographer: Nina Mullins Photography Venue: The Ashley Inn B&B, Bryantsville, KY Videographer: First String Media DJ: Robert Napier Officiant: Reverand Johnny Adamson Carriage: Destiny Horse & Carriage Florist: A Pretty Posy Hair & Makeup: Hair Expressions, Mary Beth Stockton and Candi Bell Catering: Sonny’s BBQ


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Elise & Barry August 20, 2011

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ď ™ 32 Photography by Melanie Mauer

The bride had always wanted to get married on her family’s property, Three Fields Farm. They found a semi-circle of trees that made a natural arbor for the ceremony. As guests arrived, they were served Arnold Palmers in mason jars to help them beat the August heat. The ceremony was traditional and religious.


Two days after Christmas, Barry took Elise out to dinner at Merrick Inn. After dinner, they went home and Elise found champagne, roses and candles waiting for her. Tearyeyed, Barry got down on one knee.

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Barry had actually seen Elise several times before they were formally introduced. When a mutual friend set them up, Barry was surprised to find that the girl he’d had a crush on was his date. Both from Harlan with families in the coal industry, the pair had a lot in common.

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As the sun set, the band started playing. Elise and Barry shared their first dance to Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me”, then spent the rest of the night on the dance floor! They stayed through the whole reception, having fun with their guests and enjoying all the love and support that was shared.


They had a four-tiered lemon cake that featured yellow polka dots and tangerine bands circling each layer. The groom’s dessert featured chocolate chip cookies on shots of milk or mini chocolate shakes with chocolate brownie garnishes.

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Following the ceremony, the barn doors were thrown open, allowing guests to mix and mingle during the cocktail hour. Dinner was served on long family-style tables, covered in white linens and a burlap runner. Light bulbs were strung over the table in lieu of a tent, creating a rustic, open-air feel.

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Tip Don’t look at too many wedding magazines. Options are torture. Go with your instinct, make your decision based on what sticks out, and never look back! Just remember what it’s really about and no matter what happens you will look back on it as one of the best days of your life. Funny Anecdote:

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Two days before the wedding, Barry and my dad were working on a stone walkway in front of the barn. Barry somehow gashed his head open while he was working. Of course, he had waited until the last minute to get a haircut. When he went to get his haircut the same day, no one would cut his hair because of the injury. Luckily, I called my hairstylist at Cha Cha’s and they graciously cut his hair. Thank goodness!

- Elise

 38 Details Photographer: Melanie Mauer Venue: Three Fields Farm Florist: House byJSD Designs Wedding Coordinator: One Fine Day Catering: Dupree Catering Band: Inception (Dixie Entertainment) Makeup: Ana Crane Simpson Invitations: Daffodils Programs: Grey Ink Stationery Cake: Martine’s Hair: Megan at Você Rentals: Purdon’s


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Lucy & Shane September 10, 2011

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ď ™ 40 Photography by Conhrod Zonio

Family is important to this couple. They were married on the bride’s parents’ farm in Winchester. The groom’s cousin performed the introduction to the ceremony, his maternal grandfather performed the service and his paternal grandfather gave the rings; offered on a tray with an E.E. Cummings poem in remembrance of his grandmother. The bride wore boots that carried a special token—a sixpence the bride’s mother wore in her own shoe on her wedding day. The bride also wore her great-grandmother’s Rolex watch and changed into a dress for the reception that belonged to her late grandmother. The couple spent months planning out the details of the wedding. They undertook a number of DIY projects, resulting in a hand-crafted, rustic feel for their nuptials.

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Lucy and Shane went to middle school together, but didn’t reconnect until their two best friends got engaged and they were both asked to be members of the wedding party. Later they shared a traditional dinner and a movie date and have been together ever since. When Lucy came home from work one night, she found a beautiful ring tied with a ribbon around her dog’s neck, and it seemed that they were headed toward a wedding of their own!

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 42 The couple hung chandeliers in the barn, offering some Southern charm. The barn also housed a photo booth and full bar. They hung a mantel on one wall of the barn, which bore photographs of the couple’s mothers and grandparents on their wedding days. An antique trunk was filled with dog treats for furry friends who weren’t in attendance. An “I Spy” game with disposable cameras gave guests a fun activity to enjoy. Instead of a traditional guest book, guests filled out little tags and filled a tree with their warm wishes. The dinner menu consisted of light, summery fare. The threetiered wedding cake featured antique brooches, fondant flowers and peacock feathers. As the evening’s crowning fireworks display came to a close, Lucy and Shane made their exit to begin their lives as one.


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Tip Make it about the two of you and the rest will come together. Try not to stress the small things. Nothing should take focus off the most important part of this process which is gaining your life partner. Personal Anecdote:

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We actually changed our wedding date twice in order to get our photographer. Having taken pictures myself, it was the number one priority for us. Turns out finding a weekend in the fall when there wouldn’t be an evening UK football game, and when we could get the photographer we knew we just had to have was tricky. Luckily it all fell into place for September 10th, 2011; which would have been my grandfather’s birthday. It couldn’t have been a more perfect day to be with friends and family to celebrate not only the future, but also the life of an amazing man who I know was watching over us.

- Lucy

44 Details Photographer: Conrhod Zonio Reception Band: Jordan English Band Ceremony Music: Jordan English Flowers: Haggard Flower House Hair: Você Make-up: Amy Hoffman Catering: DaRae & Friends Tent & Rentals: Purdon’s Wedding Dress: European Bridal Cincinnati Reception Dress: Bride’s Grandmother Alterations: Rifka’s Bridesmaid Dresses: Twirl Boutique Groomsmen Attire: Geno’s Cake: Tinkers Day of Coordinator: Nikki Pergram


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Purvi & Paras


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September 10, 2011

Photography by Shaun Ring

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Purvi and Paras met while she lived in Louisville and he lived in Cincinnati. After a stressful week, he made a last-minute decision to head to Lexington to spend the weekend with his family and got talked into going to a party. Purvi, meanwhile, was so busy with her Neonatal ICU rotation she wasn’t sure if she’d make it to the same party—her brother’s graduation celebration! When Paras walked into the party, he saw a girl in a red sari he couldn’t take his eyes off of. They shared their first date over Cuban food in Louisville and discovered a lot of mutual interests and similar backgrounds—they even share a birthday!

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When a number of mishaps threatened to derail his original proposal to Purvi, Paras made a quick decision to take her back to that Cuban restaurant for a date. They went for a walk along the river after dinner and he got down on one knee. Before the ceremony, Purvi received a beautiful card from Paras that expressed his love.

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The celebration began two days before the actual wedding with a Mehndi ceremony, where the bride and women from both sides of the family enjoy dancing, food and music while covering their hands in henna. The day before the wedding, the couple’s families had a prayer ceremony in their homes. The evening before the wedding, the bride’s side hosted a traditional Garba/ Raas, an event with live music and traditional Indian dances to welcome the groom’s family into town.

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Like any wedding ceremony, Indian weddings come with a great deal of tradition. The couple chose to have their wedding at Embassy Suites because the staff there has so much experience coordinating Indian weddings.

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The couple chose to have a traditional Indian wedding ceremony, which typically does not feature a wedding party. The bride, her mother and sister spent four weeks in India doing all the shopping for the wedding. This included the bride and groom’s attire, resulting in a beautifully-coordinated ceremony and celebration.

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For lunch after the wedding, guests enjoyed South Indian food. For dinner, they sampled North Indian fare and full bar. During the cocktail hour, guests could try a number of Indian finger foods. After the wedding, the couple drove away in a classic Bentley.



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Any bride that is planning a wedding, especially one that is from a different culture, should really do her research when picking her vendors. Working with someone that has done a wedding similar to yours makes a huge difference. Ask them if they’ve ever done a wedding like yours; ask them to show you samples of their previous work and don’t be afraid to ask for references.  For me, it made a huge difference working with vendors that had covered Indian weddings before.  Their comfort level with navigating the Indian ceremony helped us, our family and guests enjoy the day without worry!

– Purvi

 52 Details Venue: Embassy Suites, Lexington, KY Photographer: Shaun Ring Food: Shalimar (Louisville) and Banana Leaf (Lexington) Cake: Tinker Cake Florist: Stems Décor: Mandap World (Atlanta, GA) DJ: DJ PM Sounds Bridal makeup: Ana Crane Simpson Bridal Hair: Kinnari Shah


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Bet hany & Drew September 24, 2011

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ď ™ 54 Photography by Schmidt Studio and Gallery

The couple decided to be married in the church where they first met. Their pastor officiated the ceremony, which included worship music from their church’s band. The couple chose to perform a salt covenant to signify their union. To announce their union before they exited down the aisle, a blessing horn made from ram’s horn was blown.

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Drew made Bethany think that they were just going out to the movies one night in early 2010. Secretly, Drew had their families sneak into his house while Bethany and her sisters were getting ready. When she came downstairs, she was surprised to be greeted by a crowd. Drew expressed his love and gratitude, then got down on one knee. The crowd went wild!


Bethany fell in love with Drew when he first came to her church with a mutual friend...she was only seven. They grew up in neighboring counties and after years of waiting, Drew finally asked her to be his girlfriend when they were on a trip to King’s Island with a group of friends in 2004. Their first official date was to the movies, and they spent the next several years getting to know each other better and falling more in love.

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The reception location was the church youth building, right next to the church where they were wed. A great deal of work went into transforming the space into a grand reception hall, including the addition of a huge canopy of fabric and plenty of lighting. While the space is normally a gym, for this event, it felt like a beautiful ballroom.

As Bethany and Drew danced for the first time, the bride’s sister sang a song. During the evening’s sit-down dinner, guests enjoyed a version of TGI Friday’s Jack Daniel’s chicken, one of the bride’s favorite dishes. A family friend served as the DJ, playing fun music for everyone to enjoy.


Since Drew played baseball for the Chicago White Sox for two summers, the couple gave their bridal party baseball bats. The groom’s cake also reflected Drew’s love of baseball. Guests lined up with sparklers, forming a tunnel for the bride and groom to walk through. They drove away in a 1930s car down a long pathway lined with candlelit lanterns.

Be careful when ordering custom pieces online to make sure you’re getting what you pay for (as custom orders are non-returnable).


- Bethany

Start early—especially if you are planning the wedding yourself without a coordinator. I had a vision in my head and it definitely took a LOT of time to make my vision come true; even with the help of family and friends. The earlier you start planning, the less stressed you will be leading up to your big day. It’s the wedding you’ve been dreaming of since you were little, so don’t settle for less. You can bring your dream to life, even if it’s DIY. I found ideas about flowers and decorations from a floral design company that could have cost a fortune, but I took those ideas and altered them to things we could do on a budget and they were just as gorgeous.

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Details Venue: Fellowship Christian Assembly, Mt. Sterling, KY Photographer: Schmidt Studio and Gallery Cake: Root-a-Bakers Bakery Gown: Monique Lhullier from Bridal and Formal Shoes: Badgley Mischka Bridesmaid Gowns: Twirl Grooms Suit: Men’s Wearhouse

Sarah & Ben Oct ober 22, 2011

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ď ™ 60 Photography by Schmidt Studio and Gallery

TOPS Weddings Sarah’s family hosted an Australian family during the World Equestrian Games and had a huge party to celebrate the event. At the end of the night, Sarah and Ben were sitting under the twinkling lights with a bottle of red wine and a plate of macaroni and cheese when Ben popped the question with a dozen roses inhand. The intimate moment was perfect for them both.


Sarah and Ben are natives of Kentucky who love the outdoors. They met while still in high school thanks to a well-planned “chance” meeting. They watched “School of Rock” together and have been laughing together since.

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Their families both had connections to Anna Maria Island, Florida. Sarah and Ben had vacationed there as children, so it made the perfect setting for their October nuptials. Little oceanic touches made their way into the decor and accessories, complementing the seaside wedding. The couple was married beneath a bamboo structure hand-built by the bride’s father. The palm leaves were taken from the back yard of the bride’s Florida home. They had a sand ceremony to represent the union of their lives and two families. The reception was held at the Manatee River Garden Club in Bradenton, FL. Surrounded by tall trees dripping with Spanish moss, the guests sampled Greek fare, a nod to the couple’s love of travel and trying local foods.

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While the party continued late into the evening, the bride and groom stayed ‘til the end—since they’d done all the planning themselves, they also helped clean up afterward!

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Just three weeks before the ceremony, the groom’s mother and sister were in a horrific car crash. They were both still in wheelchairs at the time of the wedding. They rode up the sandy aisle in special beach wheelchairs with huge wheels. The groom’s father and mother took a spin on the dancefloor together, a moment that brought tears to the couple’s eyes.

Tip Start planning NOW! There are so many details to pull together and the time goes very quickly. We started planning less than 24 hours after we were engaged, and we both feel that we could have used more time. Wherever you can, do it yourself. It is much more beautiful to look at your wedding day with all the details you and your fiancé put together. It was wonderful to see all the details we had put into our wedding from vintage mason jars to handmade boutonnieres.

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In hindsight, I would have prepared better for the week leading up to the wedding, while last minute touches were being put together. There were a lot of supplies scattered in different places, and it took a lot of time to put everything together for the reception and ceremony. We would have saved a lot of time had we planned a bit better. Also order all the invitation pieces together. We scrambled to find a place to print a 3.5” by 5” postcard to fit into an envelope and we were down to the wire to get them finished.

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Funny Anecdote: When my father was giving me away on the beach, he was asked “Who presents this woman to be married?” and he answered back “Her wife and I” instead of “Her mother and I.” It got the entire crowd laughing so hard some were in tears.

- Sarah

Details Photographer: Schmidt Studio and Gallery Venue: Coquina Beach, Anna Maria Island, FL Reception Venue: Manatee River Garden Club Catering: Basil Restaurant Cake: Halley Hartzog Bridal Gown & Bridesmaid Dresses: Wedding Wonderland Hair: Aveda Salon, Anna Maria Island


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Raina & Dust in Oct ober 22, 2011

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ď ™ 68 Alicia Fierro for Aesthetiica Photography

A deeply religious couple, Raina and Dustin had all of their guests join together to sing “How Great Thou Art” during the ceremony. They stood beneath a Celtic cross, a symbolic gesture of their union and belief in God. To add another unique touch, the couple had a trumpeter from UK play “Call to Post” before the bride came down the aisle and “La Cucaracha” after the couple was pronounced man and wife.

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After five months of dating they knew they were meant to be. Over Memorial Day weekend in her hometown of Campbellsville, Raina and Dustin went for a walk outside under the stars. Dustin pulled her to face him and had lots of sweet words for her before he got down on one knee. The couple laughs about Raina’s reaction—she was so surprised, she kept wondering if it was all real, forgetting for a long time to finally say “Yes!”


Raina and Dustin met when they were members of the same wedding party. Their first date was a double-date with their newly-married friends at Sonny’s BBQ. Dustin convinced Raina that he was Jessica Simpson’s cousin, making his chances of being her new boyfriend a lot higher, Raina jokes.

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The Kudmani Band kept guests entertained and having fun. The bride’s father and uncle auctioned off the first dance with the bride, something fun for all guests to participate in. The couple savored their time with family and friends, dancing and feeling deeply grateful for all their blessings.

The reception was held in a tent outside. Guests enjoyed salad, rosemary-crusted chicken breast, roasted sockeye salmon, baby root vegetables and fresh sushi. The wedding cake had three different flavors. A Bible verse (Matthew 6:33) which had special meaning for the couple, was placed in the middle of the cake.


Since the wedding was held at CastlePost, there was a definite regal feel to the decor. Rich reds and golds paired with black and white gave a classic color palette to this beautiful wedding. Each of the bridemaids carried a bouquet of red roses with one of the bride’s late great-grandmother’s brooches attached.

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Do not plan alone, hire a wedding planner or beg a friend or relative to help you make your decisions. Choose three things that really mean the most to you and start your budget there, then spend the rest of your money on the other things that must be done. My three were: cake, photographer and location. When you send out save the dates or invitations remember to keep those addresses handy and saved, you will need them again for thank you cards. Send your thank you cards out as soon as each shower is over with; if you don’t you will be overwhelmed with them all at once. Lastly, the most important advice I can give is to remember the purpose of your wedding! You are getting married to be united to your husband for God’s glory, not so you can throw an expensive party and pay for everyone’s meal. What matters is your future marriage, don’t get aggravated with all the small details in the planning, keep a good relationship with your fiancé and don’t get too carried away. If it wasn’t for his grace and forgiveness, I wouldn’t have made it through.

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- Raina

Details Photographer: Alicia Fierro for Aesthetiica Photography Venue: CastlePost Wedding Planner: AshBy Wedding & Event Planning Band: The Kudmani Band Catering: CastlePost Hair: Xtreme Styles Florist: Teresa Wolford Cake: Jeanie Douhilt

Cryst al & Brian November 5, 2011

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ď ™ 76 Photography by Rob Mould

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Brian took Crystal to his family’s farmhouse in Bloomfield. They stood where his grandparents had gotten married on the front porch and he explained how important the farmhouse was to him, and that he wanted it to be just as meaningful to her. It wasn’t until he got down on one knee that Crystal knew this place would always be special to her, too.


Crystal and Brian first met while their shifts at DeSha’s coincided on Sunday mornings. Even though Brian knew his cell phone didn’t have an alarm on it, he asked her to figure out how to set it, just so he could talk to her. They shared their first date at Joe’s Crab Shack in 2006. Brian wanted to impress Crystal (who was a server at DeSha’s) so much that he tipped their server 50%. The only problem was, Crystal never saw the check!

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When the couple met, Crystal didn’t like The Beatles and Brian had never held a dog. That changed when the two started dating. So they played Beatles tunes before the ceremony and the couples’ dogs served as the ring bearers. Brian’s uncle was the officiant at the ceremony, which was held on the lawn of The Carrick House. Since they were wed in November, choosing to have the ceremony outdoors was a gamble that paid off in beautifully-colored foliage and cool but comfortable weather.

The couple decided to have an after-party at DeSha’s pub, The Horse and Barrel, allowing close friends of the couple to sip bourbon and celebrate this beautiful marriage.

The bride changed into a short white party dress and performed in a flash mob choreographed dance to cap off the reception.


For the reception, the couple opted to serve bourbon meatballs and mini hot browns as a nod to Kentucky, as well as a number of other delicious treats. The bar was stocked with the couple’s favorite brands of bourbon.

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A cocktail reception followed immediately after the ceremony inside the mansion. The reception was held in the ballroom.

Crystal and Brian (now respectively a marketing professional and teacher) decided to be married in the city where they met and fell in love, which sits halfway between their families’ hometowns of Bardstown, Kentucky and Hamilton, Ohio. TOPS Weddings

Crystal carried Brian’s mother’s gold pendant and her grandmother’s gold ring on her bouquet and wore a white gold and emerald ring that Brian gave to her the morning of the big day. Crystal presented Brian with a pair of cufflinks made with wood from the original basketball floor at Memorial Colliseum.

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Funny Anecdote:

Details Photographer: Rob Mould Photography Venue: The Carrick House Day of Coordinator: Majda Mustafic Florist: Kim Ross Cake: Martine’s DJ and Lighting: DJ Hill Accoustical: Wayne Whitehouse Videographer: Jeff Hill Invitations and Programs: Affordable Invites Stylist: Mollie Monthie Caterer: Lundy’s Wedding Party Suite: The Bodley Bullock House Gown: Casablanca, Wedding Wonderland Shoes: Badgley Mischka Jewelry: Swarovski

I was gathering up my wedding dress and accessories on the morning of the wedding and used the latch lock on the front door of our house to hang up my dress. We never use the latch lock. Later that day, Brian was gathering his own things and putting them in his car. He took one load out to his car and when he was coming back in, the latch had caught on the door and he was locked out! Without his phone or keys! He had to climb over the fence to the back yard and break in through the back door. He actually did this with ease, and we have since installed a burglar alarm!

- Cryst al

Make an itinerary of the wedding day events from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep and make sure the groom has a copy! And make sure all of your personal items get back to where you are sleeping that night.


I really enjoyed going to all the local wedding shows and looking though magazines when I first got engaged. I always thought I knew exactly what I wanted for my wedding, but when the time came to plan it, I couldn’t make one decision! It was great to see options and talking to professionals (especially the ones who genuinely care about you as a person and not as a sale).

TOPS Weddings

First and foremost, enjoy your engagement! Being married will last a lifetime, but your time as a fiancé is so short! We purposely did not begin making wedding plans for four months because we wanted some time to celebrate our engagement without the stress of wedding planning. Best decision we have ever made.

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TOPS Weddings March 2012  
TOPS Weddings March 2012  

Beautiful and real Kentucky weddings with great stories, photography and inspiration for future brides.