A Lexington Kentucky Destination Wedding
Think horse country, rolling fields, the perfect mild weather, and then add in two people with hearts of gold that fell in love and are celebrating their marriage with people who have known them through so many stages of life. That might sound like the perfect wedding day right? Well, spoiler alert – it was! Welcome to Courtney and Cody’s Lexington Kentucky Wedding day!
This day was extra special to me but before I get into why, I want to set the scene for you because it was truly picturesque Kentucky to me; a combination of horse country, Kentucky bourbons, and a strong community.
As you drove through the rolling fields past the hustle and bustle of downtown Lexington, you’re greeted with an instant feeling of calm, it was as if the horses, the birds, and even the butterflies were just asking for you to join them. This was one of the most pleasant drives I’ve ever had going to a wedding day.
As you find The Vintage Barn at Merefield Farm, you’ll see the barn itself, an unassuming structure on the outside that takes your breath away as you’re greeted with extra tall ceilings and chandeliers once you enter and farmhouse tables with mismatched chairs that are just screaming for company to come together and mingle, a true place where laid back people were going to share stories of the couple, find new friends for the evening and join in the laughter and joy. It made so much sense why Courtney & Cody chose this venue once I saw it in person.
For me, this Lexington Kentucky wedding day was extra special because I’ve known Courtney for so long and I’ve seen her at the beginning of her vet journey at Olivet College where she and Cody met 7 years ago. Ironically, she met me at a time when I was just beginning the transition to photographing weddings full-time! It had always been clear that Courtney knew what she was going to do with her life and at times, I was jealous of her tenacity and grit to study constantly. At the same time, how could you not admire such determination? Since I’ve known her, becoming a vet was made for her. While we might not have stayed in touch much, I knew that she was plugging away at university studies and to see where she’s come now is so astonishing! When she reached out when she and Cody got engaged, I could not have been more excited! While I know nothing about how animal anatomy, I do know a thing or two about capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments!
Before I go further, I want to let you know that this wedding blog is going to look a little different because as it turns out, I had too much to write! So what you’ll find is that I’ll be sharing a few photos and then describing some of the more prominent parts of their day so you don’t have to keep reading until you get to the good stuff- their wedding photos!
So let’s dive in!
I began their day in my favorite way but with a twist. I always start with smaller details like their wedding rings, invitations, shoes, etc. It helps me get into the zone of what to expect from the day and get my creativity going immediately. Courtney being Courtney also included unique items like Kentucky Derby Cups, Cowgirl boots, and even their cake topper! Yes, I said cake topper because this one WORKED with all of their details and it was the first time I’ve ever included it during these photos before!
When I was done, Cody had arrived so their puppy, Wren, could get used to her surroundings, have a nice walk, and maybe even some playtime. She was a big part of their wedding day so keeping her happy was key! Fun fact, she definitely was going to sleep well that night from being so happy and excited to enjoy the day with all of her favorite people while her parents got married! She acted like a pro for all photos!
The bride and her ladies got to The Vintage Barn after getting their hair and makeup done at Revive Hair Salon. The bridal suite then became the usual wedding day organized chaos as bags that had carefully held precious garments like Courtney’s wedding dress from David’s Bridal were finally emptied and shoes, jewelry, and GLAM all came together to show off everyone’s natural beauty.
It’s in this moment that certain things begin to become a reality. Courtney and Cody have been planning this day for almost two years. For Courtney, I could tell that when her mom was zipping her up in her dress it was hitting her. She had told me how excited she was for the day and when you put that dress on with your hair and makeup actually done and then add your veil, it becomes overwhelming in the best way!
After Courtney was fully dressed, pink cowgirl boots and all, it was time for her to have a quiet moment with her dad so he could see her for the first time. I don’t think he had seen the dress at all so this was a big deal! These two share a one-of-a-kind bond so making this moment happen was incredible to witness!
And what was Cody doing during all this time? Don’t fret! He was enjoying getting to hang out with some family members and friends (and don’t forget Wren!). I’m so glad that I was able to capture Cindy placing on his boutonnière. A groom’s mother doesn’t typically have as many jobs as a bride’s mother does so whenever we can showcase her love for her son, it’s one of my favorite things to capture! She was overjoyed that Cody had found such a wonderful person to spend the rest of his life with.
And just like that, it was time for the rest of the guests to arrive at this quant destination in the middle of horse country to watch and listen as Courtney and Cody said their vows to one another and officially put on their wedding rings with the rolling horse pastures behind them. Ginger, their officiant, led the ceremony with grace and the perfect touches of sentimental memories, a quick shoutout to Michiganders and a glimpse into the path that has carried this couple to this very moment, standing there with a little over 100 people coming in from near and far.
After the newlyweds made it official as husband and wife, cocktail hour began with the bar ready to serve His & Hers signature drinks, one of Kentucky’s top BBQ catering companies, Black Barn BBQ, serving delights for guests, and again, the weather just making it pleasant for everyone to chat with one another while I photographed family portraits and the full wedding party.
Before we knew it, it was time for all of their guests to see just what this barn was all about. Each farmhouse table was decorated this a book for a September Yearling for Sale 2022 and a different bourbon bottle. This really made the whole day feel like a Lexington Kentucky wedding day!
As guest found their seats, Wired Audio Visual Entertainment (WAVE) announced the wedding party’s grand entrances, and then all enjoyed dinner. During the tail end of dinner, I was able to capture Courtney and Cody with the perfect golden light and pastures behind them before we headed back in for speeches by Emily, Courtney’s Maid of Honor, and a surprise toast from Courtney’s younger brother who was unable to attend the wedding but nevertheless was able to make the reception room cry as his presence was missed.
In true Kentucky fashion, or perhaps this is just a Lexington thing, the dance floor was held outside so you got the views and enjoyed the atmosphere that only a good Kentucky evening with open air could give you. It was there that Wired Audio Visual Entertainment (WAVE) kept that dance floor going and I had so much fun capturing the dance floor, Cody surprising everyone, Courtney included, during their sparkler send off, and the most adorable little girl catching the bouquet!
I won’t interrupt the rest of the evenings photos after this but if you enjoyed this blog, leave a comment for the couple and check out the vendors at the end!
Congrats again you two!
Photography | Stephanie Parshall Photography, LLC
Flowers | Courtney’s Mother, Jeannine
Hair & Makeup | Revive Hair Salon
Wedding Dress | David’s Bridal
Invitations | Truly Engaging by Magnetstreet
Pearl Necklace | Courtney’s Mother, Jeannine
Her Engagement and Wedding Rings | Helzberg Diamonds
His Wedding Ring | Rustic and Main
Cufflinks | Courtney’s Parents
Cake and Cupcakes | Lexington Cake Lady
Catering | Black Barn BBQ