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Preppy Southern Wedding in Kentucky

Lucy and Keenon had a darling June wedding outside of Lexington in Winchester, Ky., surrounded by laurel wreaths, willow trees and one extraordinary love story. The couple’s ceremony and reception took place at Colby Tavern which belongs to the groom’s aunt and is a restored historic site of the Blue Grass Trust and a perfect backdrop for their beautiful outdoor wedding and tented reception planned by Shelly Fortune. Lucy and Keenon chose a palette of blush and ivory which was brought to life by Suzi Hjorth of Magnolia Floral Designs. Farmhouse tables and stunning urns helped to complete the elegant affair. / Images by Melanie Mauer.

012004064 028Says Lucy, “We were married at the historic Colby Tavern in Winchester, Kentucky – the home of Keenon’s aunt and uncle (Cindy and Marc Ford).  This restored house was once a stopping point between Lexington and Winchester for such travelers as Henry Clay and Andrew Jackson.  We stood inside a horseshoe formation, on the steps of the recreation of another historic home – the Griffith Tavern – which the Ford’s rescued and rebuilt to connect with Colby Tavern.  Our wedding day felt like a page from a story book – the grand house enveloping us, lush green fields and a tall white tent in the background, urns overflowing with shades of pink flowers, the sky taunting us with hints of rain before opening into a beautiful sunset.  Our twelve attendants were dear family and friends, with Keenon’s father as his Best Man and my sister as my Matron of Honor; and our three tow-headed nieces coordinated as flower princesses alongside our nephew, the distinguished reader.  The reception tent took my breath away upon our entrance as husband and wife and as Keenon and I swayed to ‘Moon Dance,’ I could look around and see this gorgeous wedding was of my dreams.  The entire intimate evening was summer magic.

002 185 156 207065 158 217159165Says Lucy, “As I pulled up along the long driveway to Colby Tavern and saw the sail-top tent flags waving in the wind, I knew this was going to be the most memorable day of our lives thus far.  Our ‘first look’ in the garden before the wedding turned out to be a very special part of the day.  After slipping into my favorite gown to date, I walked down the grassy path from the house to find Keenon, standing tall with his back to me, looking sharp in his wedding suit.  I touched his shoulder and he turned with his wide genuine smile just for me, and I felt more beautiful than ever before.  It was a quiet moment that we could embrace and breathe in the essence of this magical day together.  It was lovely -amidst bustle of the day- to have a time to appreciate why we were there, for each other.  

278Lucy & Keenon’s Love Story | On our first date we both felt an odd combination of nerves and ease, but even from those first moments we knew that we had found someone magical, as if we had been molded just for one another.  Our second date was on the water when Keenon, the big fisherman, decided to take me out on his johnboat.  Just as we’d settled on the reservoir, dark clouds blew in and shook the clusters of trees along the bank, as weather sirens warned of rapidly approaching storms.  When the sky opened up and started soaking us, all I could do was open my heart to the sky and laugh.  I realized, it didn’t matter what came at us, we just enjoyed being together.  As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, ‘They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.’  

The majority of our dating life was spent three hours apart, while Keenon finished law school at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va.  There were many road trips to the small coal town, where we hiked through the gorgeous forests, cooked special homemade meals, carved our first pumpkins, and continued to build an unshakable bond.  We became best friends and the loves of each others lives – and we both knew how lucky we were to have found such a delicate balance in another human being. 

On September 22, 2014, after a long drive home from Georgia, I was ready to get outside for the afternoon, soak up some sunshine and stretch our legs.  Keenon asked if I wanted to hike through Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, which I heartily agreed to, and little did I know I was playing right into his plan!  I chattered all along the walk to our favorite spot, the Overlook, where we stopped to rest and gaze at the gorgeous Kentucky River scenery.  Keenon suggested we take a picture, so we grinned for our last photo as a dating couple.  We still had a long hike ahead, so I stood up to leave, and noticed Keenon’s footsteps weren’t following me.  As I turned around, I found him dropped to one knee, holding the most beautiful diamond ring I had ever seen, asking me to marry him!  He completely surprised me, which is hard to do when you have a tendency to read each others minds!  We spent the next few minutes laughing, kissing, and jumping up and down before taking a short path home to share our big news, glowing all the way – a feeling that hasn’t stopped.

286Saying our vows to one another was the best moment.  We had the most romantic outdoor setting, tucked into the horseshoe of a historically restored home, and as I repeated the solemn words our priest prompted, I came alive with all the honest and pure love that our relationship is built upon.  I honor Keenon and I was so proud to take his hand and declare these words during our intimate ceremony. 

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328 112 213 183 055211 322293212 320 081 497Lucy leaves us with some advice, “Take the time to envision your special day and set guidelines for size and location.  This day is for you and your fiance, so after you two agree to those parameters, stick with them for a more seamless process.  Hiring a wedding planner was one of the smartest things we did.  Our planner took the time to get to know me as a bride, and us as a couple, and then introduced us to incredibly talented vendors who complimented our style.  We had the greatest team of people working with us on our magical day, and many of the great stressors that accompany wedding planning were relieved.  At the end of the planning adventure, you get to marry the person you love.  Walking down the aisle and looking into Keenon’s eyes became the only part that truly mattered – but it’s great to have someone who knows exactly what they are doing to guide and focus you to that point.  “

Credits: Ceremony and Reception: Colby Tavern which belongs to the groom’s aunt and is a restored historic site of the Blue Grass Trust / Planner: Shelly Fortune / Florist: Suzi Hjorth of Magnolia Floral Designs / Cake: Martine’s Pastries / Caterer:  Cooper Vaughn of Apiary Catering  / Hair & Make-up: Pink LouLou Designs / Tent: All Occasions / Photography: Melanie Mauer

4 Comments

  1. Sarah,

    It’s difficult to articulate what a gift this day was to everyone attended. If we built from our imaginations the perfect wedding day full of love, the most darling couple, and all the best things, this one would fit the bill with graciousness and delight to spare. Thank you for featuring it on Classic Bride!

    warmly, -melanie-

    • Hi Melanie! I’m so glad you shared this beautiful wedding with us. The details are stunning and I’m sure it was a very special wedding to attend! xo, Sarah

  2. katie katie

    How cute are they! What a sweet story 🙂

    • Couldn’t agree more, Katie! 🙂

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