Stephanie and Bryan were set up by mutual friends who arranged a double date night in Nashville, where they both lived. “Although the date was at an outdoor concert, we ended up spending most of the night talking and not listening to the music,” recalls Stephanie. “We immediately hit it off, and the rest is history!”
Bryan proposed to Stephanie in New York City’s Central Park just a few days before Christmas. “He even had a secret photographer there to capture the special moment,” explains Stephanie. “It was also exhilarating because a large crowd of bystanders had gathered on the bridge in Central Park and were cheering us on as I said, ‘yes’! New York was one of the first trips we took together as a couple, so it is a very special place for us (now even more special).”
Bryan’s acceptance into a medical fellowship meant the pair was moving to California in six months, so they worked hard to set a date and find a venue. Stephanie was thrilled to find the perfect location in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, and everything began to fall into place.
Stephanie desired a wedding where people got to see who they really were as a couple, learn more about their story and feel like they were a part of our journey.
Stephanie says, “I received much inspiration from being a bridesmaid in many friends’ weddings, as well as trying to listen to all the advice from those who had already walked down the aisle. My mom also played an integral role, as she really has a true talent when it comes to organizing and planning, and I trust her taste completely. I wasn’t always able to travel in from Nashville to Louisville for wedding meetings, so I’m very thankful for all she did to help our day come together.”
The pair chose their venue because they loved its blend of Old World elegance and modern day charm. “The Crystal Ballroom almost takes you back to the roaring 20s with its high ceilings, decorative molding, and crystal chandeliers,” says Stephanie. “We also had a guest list of over 200, and it still provided plenty of space for a seated dinner and lots of dancing.”
Stephanie says, “I knew that I wanted a very classic, feminine, and elegant look, and I was leaning towards a ball gown fit. However, I also wanted to make sure I could enjoy the dance floor, and was worried about a full ball gown for the duration of the night. After trying on many dresses, we ultimately designed the perfect wedding gown in my eyes. I found a gorgeous tulle sheath gown with jeweled beading and paired it with a detachable silk ballgown skirt, which I was able to remove midway through the reception. I also knew I wanted a low back, and my fabulous seamstress helped me achieve the look I was going for.”
"My something borrowed was especially meaningful,” says Stephanie. Wrapped around her bouquet was an embroidered, linen handkerchief with her mom’s monogram that she carried on her own wedding day.
With pink being Stephanie’s favorite color, she designed a wedding full of blush pink, gold and ivory. The romantic palette was also complemented by Stephanie’s bouquet of cascading white orchids. The bridesmaids’ bouquets and centerpieces were graced with blush pink roses, lush hydrangeas, and peonies with lots of greenery.
Advice from the Bride
What advice does this #HappilyEverHartley bride have? She says, “Enjoy this amazing time! You are about to marry the man of your dreams and best friend–stay focused on that.”
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