It was the perfect September day for a romantic, laid back outdoor wedding. Kristen and Kris got married in the backyard, in front of the cottage before heading to the barn for an evening of good food and carefree dancing. Hear their story and see their wedding here.
Meet the Couple – Kristen & Kris
The Bride – Kristen is a nutrition coach and soon-to-be Registered Dietitian.
The Groom – Kris is an officer in the Marine Corps.
Honeymoon Location – St. Pete Beach, Florida We stayed at the Pink Palace!
First Dance Song – “Homesick” by The Marcus King Band
This is a song Kris sent to me while he was deployed for some of our engagement and it meant a lot to both of us. For a Christmas present, Kris actually surprised me with tickets to a private concert and we got to meet Marcus King and his band. We told them about our first dance song and he actually played it during the concert and called us out. It was amazing! I cried!
Favorite Date Night – We love trying out local places or going somewhere out to eat where we can walk around and try several places in the area. Our favorite thing to do is get a drink and try one appetizer at each place we stop at.
Kristen, tell us your story…
TELL US YOUR LOVE STORY!
We met at a small Crossfit gym. At the time we were usually the only two people there most days at the 5:30 am class and that’s how we got to know each other. I first knew Kris liked me when he started helping me to put my weights away. I later found out that Kris never went to the 5:30 am class until he found out that’s the class I went to and he started going at that time because I would be there.
TELL US YOUR ENGAGEMENT STORY!
We had a special spot we like to hike at the Twin Peaks in Berea, KY. It was our favorite hike to do together because it was so steep and pretty challenging. On our birthday weekend, we were driving home from a Marine Corps family event and we stopped in Berea to hike on our drive home. We hiked to the top and stopped for a snack. We were chatting over a bag of dried mangoes when we were talking about what a great weekend we’d had and how we felt about each other. Kris took this as his opportunity and directed the conversation into a proposal.
Before I knew it, he was holding my ring in his hands! Then I screamed and squeezed him while he squeezed the ring so it didn’t fall down the rocky cliff we were sitting on. Then we smiled the whole hike down! Turns out our families knew this was the day all along and were eagerly awaiting our phone calls all day. It’s a funny story because it was supposed to rain that day and I remember saying we could reschedule the hike for another time if the weather was bad and Kris was very committed to hiking in the rain either way.
Kristen, tell us about planning your wedding…
What are three words you would use to describe the style of your wedding day? How would you describe the feeling?
Relaxed, romantic, breathtaking.
Each and every one of our vendors absolutely hit it out of the park delivering exactly the best version of what we had envisioned for our day. Every single detail I noticed stopped me in my tracks. Everyone just understood us so perfectly and made our dreams a reality. Sometimes I didn’t even know how to describe what I wanted but the right people helped me figure it out. So many people on our wedding day told me that I was the “most relaxed bride ever”. And that’s how I felt! One of my big goals for the day was to not let it pass by in a whirlwind and miss everything. And I feel like I made that happen. I didn’t want any detail to go unnoticed and I wanted to savor every minute of the day.
Where did you gather inspiration from for your wedding day?
Most of our wedding decisions were made based on what felt right to us. We just went with our gut instinct on pretty much every decision. Kris and I knew we wanted something that felt intimate, classy, and personal. We didn’t want to follow a particular theme or anything like that. Instead, we just wanted it to feel like someone was coming over to our house to celebrate (if we lived in a Gothic mansion- haha) We wanted it to feel romantic and southern and really reflect our personalities.
Why did you choose to have your wedding at Warrenwood Manor?
Warrenwood is actually close to where Kris grew up in Danville. His parents live there now and it felt like a great central location to our families. My family is from Virginia, West VA, and Illinois, and Kris’ family is from all around Kentucky. We chose Danville as a quiet, more intimate spot than busy Lexington. Kris and I visited Warrenwood and pretty much knew before we even got there that this was the place for us. Every inch of Warrenwood feels so romantic and special. I just fantasized about spending my entire wedding day at this place and spending time in every spot on the property.
The location for us was so important and we wanted it to be meaningful and for everyone to feel comfortable. There are a million reasons why Warrenwood was the one for us. We just couldn’t have gotten married anywhere else. I felt like a princess every time I was on the property and like everyone there was there just for me to make me feel important and special on our day.
What were you most excited about on your wedding day?
I was so excited to hear Kris’ vows (we wrote our own)!
He was most excited about the first look!
In what ways did you personalize your wedding day?
We had a sword detail at our wedding comprised of Kris’ closest friends from the Marine Corps. They formed a sword arch as we entered our reception before we walked into our first dance. This is a really special moment for the bride because this is their way of initiating her into the military community and officially becoming a Marine Corps wife. The senior Marine stops you on the way out and introduces you to the Marine Corps family and gives you a special message before you pass through.
Kris was able to wear his dress blues (which are always so stunning) and he got to wear the white pants. The white pants are saved for when you get married so you really only ever see them one time! I loved seeing him in those. It really felt real for me then.
Of all of the beautiful moments of your wedding day, which do you cherish the most?
Kris delivered a bag of snacks to me on the morning of our wedding day. As the bride, you’re there for a lot longer than the guys and it was so sweet he knew I would get hungry. That meant a lot to me.
For him, it was the first look. We both just cried when we saw each other. I felt like my heart was going to explode. It was beautiful to have that private moment together and let it all sink in. It was really special to take the time to really see each other before the day kicked off.
We cherished the entire day. We just really love spending time with each other, no matter what we’re doing, so it was overwhelming (in a good way) to have such a perfect day together. I loved seeing all our dreams come true. I was so proud of the wedding we created from the food to the playlist to the decorations. Everything felt so representative of us.
What was the funniest thing that happened on your wedding day?
Our little ring bearer didn’t want to walk down the aisle. He waited so long to get up the aisle because he kept getting distracted and wandering off. Then when he finally got up there he ran away. His dad was on the sidelines to grab him before he got far!
What advice would you give to a newly engaged couple starting the wedding planning process?
Trust your gut and follow what feels good to you. Don’t take advice from everyone! Too many opinions will start to feel overwhelming so keep things as simple as possible. Don’t feel like you need the perfect version of everything either. Give yourself plenty of time to plan and explore your options and it will all work out.
What is something about your wedding that you thought you would care about, but ended up not?
We planned to bring giant Jenga and cornhole for the reception but completely forgot to bring cornhole. I was upset at the time but then when the reception came around, giant Jenga was the biggest hit ever! People had so much fun. Multiple people told us that we didn’t even need a second game.
Is there anything else you think our readers need to know about you, your wedding, or your experience?
The Warrenwood staff was so helpful! Working with them was so special for us and we couldn’t have asked for a better team. They really care about you and make you feel like you’re their #1 priority and give you lots of advice on how to make your day happen the way you’re planning it in your head. We love you guys!
What have you been up to since your wedding day?
Kris got a new job in the Marine Corps and we moved to Virginia!
What are you most excited about when it comes to your future together?
Kris and I will be moving about every 3 years or so and we are really excited about all the fun places we will get to live and explore. We love adventuring together, seeing new places, and being active outside so it will be so fun for us to hike or camp our way through all our new homes.
What vendors contributed to your Laid Back September Wedding?
Venue | Warrenwood Manor
Photographer | Cassie Lopez Photography
Videographer | Love the Renauds
Florist | Wild Roots
Baker | Tinker’s Cake Shop
Caterer | The Caterer
Bartender | The Caterer
DJ | Riptide Productions
Transportation | Thoroughbred Limousine
Hair | Becca Hooker Atea Salon
Makeup | Becca Hooker Atea Salon
Dress | I Do… A Bridal Boutique