Betsy and John’s exquisite country club wedding in Kansas City left no detail overlooked. From the tastefully monogrammed invitations and gift bags by Sarah-Allen Preston Designs and calligrapher Joellen Bax to the stunning florals by The Little Flower Shop, everything was a dream come true – and the couple’s love story is one for the ages! / Images by Liz Banfield.
Says Betsy, “John and I chose to have our ceremony at Second Presbyterian, where my parents got married. The church also allowed us to use our pastors, which was very important to us. As for the reception, we selected the Kansas City Country Club, where my parents are members and where I spent the bulk of my childhood. Both locations were significant in my life, as well as beautiful and timeless, and the best part, they were both available on the same weekend! Not bad for a 5-month engagement!
I only went to three stores before finding my dress. I didn’t need to make some huge statement, or go on some journey of self-discovery when picking a dress. The third store I went to had the best selection of what I’d always envisioned – simple, strapless, and understated. Would Grace Kelley wear this? Absolutely! I was sold. It also didn’t hurt that the fabric was light, (cue the music for dancing all night), and it had pockets. It just couldn’t get much better!
Betsy & John’s Love Story | Y’all, it’s write-a-book good! John and I met at a mutual friend’s nursing school graduation party. I was on my way out, when I was pulled into another conversation. John overhead me talk about volunteering at Children’s Mercy Hospital, and living in Fairway, so when I was free, he stepped in. He was just appointed to a CMH board, and he had just finished a construction project in Fairway. Those weren’t the only things we had in common though. We talked for three hours, before I finally made an exit.
The scenes and chapters that follow are exciting and plentiful. To condense a long story, the relationship ended at the peak of my chronic sickness flaring, yet again, and his work demands straining every ounce of his time. During our time of dating, I felt God say that John was the man I’d marry, so as my heart healed from the breakup, I believed John would return. On his side, he also felt that I would be his wife and that everything would be worth it, despite my health complications.
After two years apart, John awoke from a dream, knowing for certain that I was the one. Then, he showed up on my doorstep, unannounced, where he apologized for leaving and asked to rebuild a relationship. We were engaged within two months.
Favorite memories? Wow, all of it is the best answer, but here are a few specific moments. Giving my soon-to-be niece, Naomi, John’s wedding-day gift to deliver; when my bridesmaids prayed over me as we headed to the church; having a moment with John while taking communion during our ceremony; and of course, walking hand-in-hand down the aisle as husband and wife!
Favorite details? I loved the custom urns made for the table centerpieces, the monogrammed grosgrain ribbon on my bouquet, and of course a ‘surprise’ visit from Big Jay, the KU mascot, a gift for my KU-alum husband.
Betsy’s advice? Don’t stress. It’s actually a choice whether you do or don’t. There are a million and one details and at the end of the day something won’t go right. You can either roll with it or have it ruin the beautiful day before you. I have some news for you: a lot of things will go wrong. A lot. But when you look at the wedding book or video, you don’t see those things. You see the beauty of a family created, your closest friends surrounding you, music and cake. What’s to worry about, if your veil wasn’t exactly where you wanted it or if your day-of-coordinator breaks her wrist right before the ceremony? You won’t realize any of it until later, if you chose to not stress from the beginning. Which leads me to point number two:
Be present. Soak in as much as you can. Savor the smells, the sounds, and rest easy that what you miss will be captured by professional photographers, videographers, and in the sharing of stories with family and friends. Be with the one you love, hold hands and don’t let go.
Focus on your marriage more than your wedding. Your wedding is a day and your marriage is a lifetime. John and I have dear friends who counseled us, (and performed our vows), prior to our wedding. Their wisdom and advice has been invaluable. They walked us through an amazing book, ‘The Most Important Year in A Man’s/Woman’s Life by Devries/Wolgemuth.’ I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a marriage resource, whether you are engaged, newlyweds, or a couple well beyond their 1-year anniversary.”
Where did you honeymoon? We did two weeks, the first in a private bungalow in Jamaica and the second week exploring the coast of California. The first location forced us to rest and relax, and the second week allowed us to stretch our legs, hike, and make up an itinerary as we went, including some putt-putt golf. It was the perfect retreat. And although we are back in Kansas City, we’ve never come back from our honeymoon. It’s a state-of-mind.
Credits: Wedding gown style and designer: Lian Carlo Design, Style 686 silk faille sweetheart strapless ball gown with shirred bodice | Wedding gown shop: Laura’s Couture Collection | Jewelry: Mom’s pearl and diamond earrings, diamond cross necklace from dad | Photographer: Liz Banfield | Invitations: Sarah-Allen Preston Designs with Joellen Bax | Calligraphy: Joellen Bax | Wedding Planner: Sarah-Allen Preston Designs | Event Designer: Sarah-Allen Preston Designs | Groom’s attire: Tip Top Tux and Tie Bar | Florist: The Little Flower Shop | Venue: The Kansas City Country Club | Cake: Dolce Bakery | Entertainment: KC FLO from Patrick Lentz Music | Giftbags: Sarah-Allen Preston Designs