Tell us your love story!
I moved to Lexington in 2008, and after a few years it was home. Mike moved to Lexington in January of 2014 without knowing anyone and didn’t really expect to stay here. After meeting some friends to go running with, he joined a social group on My coworkers were in the same group, and after we all attended a celebration for a mutual friend’s birthday, we ended up exchanging numbers. But the timing just wasn’t right, and we never wound up calling each other. Our flirting towards each other often went unnoticed by the other. But, after buying a round of drinks one night for our group of friends, Mike’s drink and my drink got mixed up. You could say it was fate, and the rest of the evening was history. On our first date, we concluded that I was moving to Japan at the end of February of 2015, and that our relationship would be just fun and short term. During the winter holidays, however, we got to see what we could really be as a couple, and agreed to be “official,” and to try the whole long-distance thing. After I moved to Japan, Mike made visits to come see me and we Skyped daily. I returned home in November and we met each other’s families. In March of 2016, Mike took a sabbatical to experience moving to Japan. He found what made Japan so special to me and grew to love it too. Even though long distance is difficult, we are forever grateful for our time spent learning and growing.

How did he propose?
Mike says that I’m never happier than when I’m outside, and I always joke that he wanted to make sure our dog was involved. We were hiking in the Red River Gorge and sat down on a ledge for a drink of water. Mike told me all the reasons why he loved me, starting with our ability to discuss trivial things with a passion. On a beautiful day overlooking a ravine, he asked and I said yes, and our dog was the first to know.

How did you choose your venue?
Since our wedding was considered a destination to 80% of our guests, we knew we wanted to have a location that did not require a car for transportation. Our home church is St. Paul, so that was an easy decision for the ceremony. For the reception, we loved how the Carrick House offered spaces for the cocktail hour, as well as indoor and outdoor space for the reception.

What elements were most important for your wedding day to you?
Our focus was on creating a celebration to show off Kentucky to our families. Our families are from out of state and weren’t familiar with Keeneland or hiking in the Red River Gorge. So, it was important to provide an opportunity to connect with people for more than just a day. We planned a whole week of activities, including hiking, tailgating at Keeneland, and even golf and yoga before our rehearsal dinner.

For the wedding itself, walking down the aisle was the most important element. In our ceremony and reception, we wanted guests to be a top priority so that each person could enjoy the party. After the wedding day, we were able to meet our guests one last time for brunch before everyone headed home.

What advice would you give other brides?
The most overwhelming part of this celebration was having all our loved ones in the same place at the same time. There is never enough time to show them all how much you care. Take pictures. Get videos. At the end of the day, you get to marry the person you love. Also, make sure you have backup lipstick for pictures later in the evening.

Photographer: Willie Wilson Photography
Ceremony Venue: Historic St. Paul Roman Catholic Church
Reception Venue: The Carrick House
Tuxedos: Geno’s Formal Affair
Wedding Planner: LexEffect KY
Caterer: Lundy’s Special Events
Cake: Batter & Buttercream Custom Cakes
Florals: Stems
Videographer: Reel Special
Hotel Room Block: Hilton Lexington / Downtown
Rehearsal Dinner Location: The Bell House
Rehearsal Dinner Caterer: Blue Door Smokehouse
Engagement Ring: Rivard Find Jewelry
Alterations: The Needle’s Eye Alterations
Dance Lessons: Arthur Murray Dance Studio