Stephanie had a lot to share, so we’ll just let her tell it in her own words!
“Our love story:
Matt and I met on June 23, 2013, at Backstage in Downtown Evansville. As I walked into Backstage that night, Matt immediately caught my eye. He was tall, and very handsome, so I decided to go talk to him. We hung out the rest of the evening and talking until the sun rose the next morning. The next day he took me out on his boat, where spent the whole day together on the river, meeting some crazy new friends and ending the evening with dinner. Our relationship and feelings towards one another grew by the day. However, before and while dating Matt, I was in the process of interviewing for a job out of state. The summer of 2014 I moved for the out of state opportunity even with the pressure of statistics that ‘long distance relationships don’t work.’ Matt has two amazing daughters from a previous marriage who live in Evansville, whom he did not want to move away from, and I wouldn’t ask him to either. Putting those statistics to shame, Matt and I made the long distance work. Matt and I got engaged in Los Angeles on May 6, 2016, and I moved back home the following July.
I of course had been planning the wedding in my head for awhile, but now it was time to put those ideas in place! Two words I had in mind throughout the process: elegant and classic. I had envisioned white decor, greenery, black tuxes and blush accents. I wanted to be able to look back at photos of our wedding years from now and it not feel dated.
First was the venue and coordinating it with a date we had in mind (June 24, 2017, as close to the anniversary date we met). We toured a few country clubs in Newburgh and Evansville. When we walked into Oak Meadow Country Club, it was the classic feel we were looking for. The main ballroom was beautiful with its vaulted ceiling and large windows letting in an abundance of natural light. The Mulligans Room was perfect for cocktail hour, our photo booth (we made ourselves), and late night pizza after hours on the dance floor. The veranda was a wonderful place for guests to relax outside with views of the green golf course. The staff was great to work with. Brandon Wilson (our Oak Meadow contact) answered our never-ending list of questions, the food was delicious and our day-of servers were friendly and courteous. [The m]ajority of our wedding would obviously be spent at the reception, and we knew this would be the perfect place for ours.
Matt and I are both Catholic and wanted to be married in the church. There was no where else but St. Mary’s Catholic Church we wanted to be married. The architecture alone is so breathtaking. It was such an honor to marry my best friend in such a beautiful church.
Next, choosing our photographer. I saw Morgan William’s work on House of White’s website and decided to email her. We met at a local Starbucks. She is so sweet and had great wedding planning advice for us. Her photos are engaging and personable, just like her! It was a bonus she was in our budget!
I had my eye on a Blush by Hayley Paige dress before we even received our engagement photos back. A strapless sweetheart, fit to flare gown with an elongated lace bodice and a tiered tulle skirt with horsehair trim (clearly I was/am obsessed). One Friday I was scrolling through my Instagram and saw that House of White was having a Hayley Paige trunk show that very weekend! I called to make an appointment and by that afternoon I had said “yes” to my dream dress. The staff at House of White is amazing and they really help you find the right dress for your vision. Thomas Knoell, a jewelry designer, was also at House of White the day I found my dress. He made me custom earrings with crystal and pearl accents and a coordinating belt with a satin sash.
Matt [had] secretly took off work one day and drove to Memphis, Tennessee to meet with a jewelry broker (recommended from Matt’s cousin). He found a classic and timeless engagement ring: round diamond with diamond band. We went to Brinker’s Jewelers for our wedding bands. We knew they had amazing service and a great selection; they did not disappoint.
Matt and I are people who love cake at a weddings, so other trendier dessert ideas just wasn’t for us. Our cake was 5 tiers and all white. We made it a little less traditional with the tiers not all being the same height. It was accented with fondant lace and real flowers. Piece of Cake did an outstanding job. It was just what we had imagined and it was delicious! I have very high hopes for our top tier on our 1 year anniversary!
Flowers play a big role on a wedding day. I stopped by the JoElle Elise Designs booth at the Contemporary Bridal Show and loved the way her previous works were all so cohesive. She took the classic/elegant vision and designed the bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, and my favorite was the decorated mantel at our reception. It highlighted Matt and I’s parents and grandparents wedding days. The greenery was gorgeous against the shades of white and blush accents.
Both Matt and I’s family and friends enjoy a good party and getting out on the dance floor. Recommended from one of Matt’s co-workers, we chose Matt Kelly & Associates for our DJ entertainment. Greg Bane (one of the “Associates”), gave us exactly what we wanted during the cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing.
Highlights that made it special:
Matt’s two girls, Jerzi (10) and Tinsley (7), [are f]un-loving amazing girls who danced the night away with friends and family. Watching the joy on their faces throughout the day and evening really solitified our decision to take the next step in our relationship in becoming a family unit.
Our officiant, Father Freddie Byrd, is a long time family friend to Matt. Matt has grown up with him as a mentor in faith and life coach. It was very special to have him marry Matt and me. His homily was very personal watching Matt go through difficult times throughout his life. Telling me ‘Matt is going to wear you out praying for him.’ Noting that daily prayer for each other is one very important part of a successful marriage.
Working with Morgan was wonderful. Her eye for capturing the moments is amazing. At one point she asked us to trust her. A few minutes later Matt and I were standing in a field of tall grass with crickets in my dress skirt. The photos came out breathtaking and are some of our favorites!
For our first dance we did the cha cha to Michael Buble’s ‘Everything.’ We took lessons for 3 months to perfect the almost 4 minute routine. We were so nervous about the performance, we did the dance right after our reception entrance. I was so proud of us because we nailed our dance and all of the hours spent practicing paid off.
Some people say their wedding day was a blur and went by so fast; for us, it was perfect.
Nothing felt too rushed, Matt and I got to enjoy one another, our family and friends.”
CEREMONY St. Mary’s Catholic Church
RECEPTION Oak Meadow Country Club
PHOTOGRAPHER Morgan Williams Photography
WEDDING DRESS House of White – Blush by Hayley Paige
BRIDAL JEWELRY House of White – Thomas Knoell Designs
BRIDESMAID’S DRESSES David’s Bridal
TUXES Men’s Warehouse
WEDDING BANDS Brinker’s Jewelers
CAKE Piece of Cake
FLORAL AND DESIGN JoElle Elise Designs
DJ Matt Kelly & Associates – Greg Bane
DANCE LESSONS The Dance Hall
INVITATIONS Alphagraphics (now Slade Print)
PAPER GOODS done by bride
TRANSPORTATION SUV Limousine
BEAUTY Posh International Hair Studio (hair, eyelash extensions, nails); makeup – done by bride
DRESS ALTERATIONS AND DAY OF COORDINATION family friend – Laura Neal