Ashley - H J Benkens
Brenda Pottinger – Pottinger Photography
Karen - KHM Cakes
Rhett Frambes – Music by Request- DJ Butlers
AVI Staging/ Iacono Productions
Say Cheese Photobooth
We actually met on Match.com. Make fun of us if you want, but it worked! Our paths had crossed numerous times before, but we had never met each other. Chris and I met for the first time at Brothers in Newport, KY. Chris set up the date. He was looking for mutual ground between Amelia and Mt. Lookout. We each ordered two beers. I was convinced after our first meeting, that I would never hear from Chris again, but to my surprise, I heard from him the next day. After date two, he met my brother Coleman and future sister-in-law Jacilyn. Just by circumstance, I was being carted around by them. When they heard the news that I was going to meet a guy for drinks after Musketeer Madness, they just had to tag along. Thus the infamous orange sweater story. Ask Chris, Coleman or Jacilyn about that sometime. They would love to tell it. After that night I was POSITIVE I would never hear from him again. Yet...again to my surprise...I heard from him that night with a smart So, did I pass? text. October rolled into November, November rolled into December and I was shocked when Chris agreed to attend my work Christmas party, and then to meet my parents. One week later, I met his and I knew it was meant to be forever. We have lived through a fun Christmas, Valentine's Day, Xavier basketball games, family Easter, boating trips, car rides with dad, Charleston trips, crazy Memorial Day accessories, the Fourth of July red, white and blue dress up day and all the crazy history trivia and silly technical production things.
The day was Friday, October 19, 2012. I had to work aftercare and did not get off of work until 4:45pm. I got a call from Chris at 5:00, on my way home from work, letting me know he was coming over. He wanted to go to dinner at Great Scott. I should have been suspicious, as we never eat in the Amelia area. Chris said he wanted to have a nice dinner and spend the night watching movies on the couch. When he arrived he was dressed pretty fancy for Great Scott. I was still in school clothes and gave him a little gift. It was a jar of three musketeer bars and skittles because he had to work all weekend. After giving him the candy and wishing him a Happy Sweetest Day, I went to my bedroom to change. While I was standing at my dresser, brushing my hair and fixing my makeup, Chris came in and said he had a present for me too. He opened up a box with a beautiful ring inside. My immediate response was Are you kidding me?! His response was , No! Will you marry me? Of course I said yes, and we both stood there holding on to each other. After he put the ring on my finger, we sat down and he told me we were not going to Great Scott for dinner, in fact, we were going to meet my parents for dinner at Firehouse Grill. I felt bad that his family couldn't be there to celebrate as well, and I suggested we call them on our way to the restaurant. He texted his sister who rounded up the family and when we called they played it pretty cool. When we walked into Firehouse, not only were my parents waiting to greet us, so were Chris' parents, his sister Kim and brother-in- law Dan, niece Kelsey, my brother Coleman, sister-in-law Jacilyn, Alex and Christopher. Everyone important to us was able to share in our engagement and we were able to spend family time together. I was also lucky enough to have a red, white and blue cake with numerous cupcakes as well! A perfect touch to a perfect night!
Chris picked out my engagement ring all by himself. I had no idea he was even looking, but he told me that he wanted something vintage looking because he knew how much I loved history, and how elegant vintage jewelry was. We tried to use this “antique/ vintage” flare in our wedding. I also teach social studies, and love history so I added some red, white and blue touches. HJ Benkens graciously made my toss bouquet-red roses with red, white and blue ribbon. Chris and I walked into the reception wearing red, white and blue accessories. Our parents are so important to us, and have been a great model of marriage to us. We put our parent’s wedding pictures on our cake table.
I would say the most challenging experience was balancing your time and finding the time to plan a wedding. We had a short engagement, only six months, and I would not have done it any other way, but you can’t put things off until the end! Use family members and friends when they offer help and ask vendors if you have questions. McHale's took such good care of us! They asked us questions we didn’t even know we had and made sure our day ran smoothly. From making sure we had a drink at all times, to placing our favorite cake flavor on our table. At the end of the night, our car was loaded, cake wrapped up, candle holders boxed, napkins boxed and everything was quickly put into my parent’s car. The service was outstanding. The food was hot, drinks were cold and every server had a smile on their face. I could not have been more pleased with our experience. Working with Megan was outstanding. She was always so helpful and willing to go above and beyond for our event…even adding little touches to make the day better! (i.e. chicken tenders!)
Do not leave for your honeymoon the next day! Wait until Monday, or even a week later. I was dead on Sunday, and there is no way I could have traveled and enjoyed it. We are actually taking our honeymoon in the summer because I am a teacher, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We selected all of our vendors through recommendations, and most were local, independent business owners. Chris also works in the event industry, so it was easy to ask around for recommendations and get feedback on vendors we were looking at. Benkens Florists did the flowers for my mom’s wedding. We met with them and Ashley threw together a sample of flowers and arranged them for us on the spot so we could visually see what we wanted. She helped me add the special broaches and the red roses as a toss bouquet. We were researching reception venues and saw that McHale's was opening a new hall on the 5th floor of Odd Fellows Hall. We just called to see if it would be completed by our wedding date. We checked out the office space that would be renovated into a reception venue and put our trust in McHale's (which was VERY easy because they showed us pictures/samples and were so friendly and easy to work with). We fell in love with our photographer, who worked with us through our engagement session to make sure we knew what to do for the big day. She captured memories I forgot about and really brought out our personalities through photography. She was so easy to work with and so friendly. Karen from KHM cakes did my brother’s wedding and we loved the cake. She was so nice and easy to work with, letting us sample so many flavors. She drew up our cake design on the spot and we were so impressed. DJ Butlers, and Rhett were amazing as well. Rhett met with us prior to the wedding and asked us to set up a “must play” “play if you can” and “don’t play” list. He was friendly and really made the day special. He was open to our requests of two songs for the father/daughter dance and mother/son dance so we could surprise our parents with a song we picked for them. The lighting company helped us create so many wonderful things, and really transform an already beautiful room into a room that was truly ours. All in all, it was a perfect day, and I would not have changed a thing.