Says Kristen, “Growing up, I always adored the Keeneland Racetrack. I wanted my family and friends to have a true Kentucky experience for our wedding. We started the weekend off with a rehearsal dinner at Woodford Reserve and then the reception was held at the Keeneland Entertainment Center and Keene Barn, located within the grounds of the historic thoroughbred racetrack.
I tried on so many dresses it was a tough decision. I finally decided on my dress because it was so versatile. I customized the gown by wearing a lace jacket for the church ceremony, changing to lace straps with a keyhole back for the reception entrance and wearing the gown strapless for the later hours of the reception. It was unique, in that everyone thought I wore THREE different gowns, but all I did was change the top! Kristen & Jonathan’s Love Story | We met at the University of Alabama – Roll Tide! I was starting my senior year and was two months away from leaving for my internship at Elie Tahari in New York City. I questioned if I should date him since I had big city dreams but I knew he was the one so we made it work.
Favorite Memories: Our first look was very special, Rolls Royce ride with my father, marrying my best friend, and seeing how beautiful everything I had dreamed up turned out! My late brother’s navy tie was wrapped around the bouquet to keep him close to me during the ceremony. I also carried an heirloom linen handkerchief which has been carried by every bride in my mother’s family for the last 125 years. My veil was also a special family treasure, originally handmade and beaded by my late grandmother and worn by my mother on her wedding day 32 years earlier. The cocktail hour held in the Keene Barn featured 9 foot tall willow trees decorated with white bulb lights, white draping blowing in the evening breeze and signature drinks – a Bourbon Bow Tie in honor of the groom and a Pink Cotton in honor of the bride. Hor d’oeuvres selections included Kentucky Hot Browns and Pretzel Spoon Short Rib BBQ. Guests were asked to sign a Woodford Reserve Barrel Top in lieu of a guest book.
We acquired real Kentucky thoroughbred horseshoes, and with the help of my parents and family friends, we scrubbed and cleaned them, painted them gold, sealed them and gifted them to each guest to take Kentucky luck home with them.”Kristen’s advice: Plan your budget wisely & make sure you have a timeline for wedding day.
Kristen and Jonathan honeymooned in Mexico.
Credits: Photography: Christine Cornwell | Ceremony Venue: St. Peter Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Keeneland | Wedding planner: Doug Smith | Wedding Gown: Allure Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Jos. A. Banks | Veil: Family heirloom, mother’s | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Paper Goods: Combination of hand made, Gartner Studio, and Paper Source | Cake: Cakes by Leigh | Caterer: Turf Catering | Transportation: Vintage Rolls Royce | Hairstylist: Allison Johnson