Tell us about your first date!
We met through a group of mutual friends and knew each other for five years before we started dating. Our first date was completely random and impromptu. We had run into each other at a local bar, Arcadium, and a commercial for the first Hobbit movie popped up and Clay asked if I wanted to go. I told him we’d leave it up to the Fandango gods and if we were able to get tickets then we’d go! Needless to say, we got tickets. I needed to run home before the movie to drop off my car, so Clay followed me to my mom’s house, where I was living at the time and met my mom.

We told her we were going to see the midnight showing and without hesitation she asked to join us. It was definitely past all of our bedtimes and luckily together we were all able to piece most parts of the movie together on the ride home. By some miracle, Clay asked me on another date, this time without my mom and the rest is history!

Tell us about your proposal!
Clay took me to Texas to meet his family. We had lunch at his grandparent’s house with the rest of his family. After lunch his grandmother wanted to show me family pictures from her impressive collection of photo albums, so we sat on the couch and she began telling me about the cute little boy in the pictures that I was lucky enough to call my boyfriend. Within ten minutes of our trip down memory lane, Clay nervously got down on one knee and proceeded to ask me for my hand in marriage. I couldn’t tell you what either of us said, but somehow I ended up with a beautiful rock on my finger, an incredible upgraded-boyfriend-now-fiancée, a wonderful future family and the special moment that we were able to share with his grandparents.

How did you choose your wedding venue?
I have spent a lot of time at ArtsPlace over the years. I’d be doing homework or exploring the building while I waited on my sister’s dance classes to end, watching my dad and uncle play music or participating in a number of art classes. For those reasons it was a no brainer for us!

How did you choose your wedding date?
We knew that we wanted to get married around a holiday weekend. One, because we love holidays, and two, because we thought it would be easier for many of our out of town friends and family to be able to join us! As we looked through thecalendar at options that met the criteria, the fourth of July weekend was our favorite pick!

What elements were most important to you?
We wanted to make sure it felt personal, was a reflection of us, symbolic and involved closest friends and family! We wanted our marriage to be a “declaration of dependence” and what we wanted as the foundation for our marriage. We were both confident in our strength individually, but knew that we were stronger together, as a team. We also felt our marriage extended beyond just the two of us; it was an extension of those who have supported us, brought us together and made us who we are. We wanted our “Declaration of Dependence” to be a celebration of our deliberate decision to stand together as one, surrounded by loved ones.

Photographer: Conrhod Zonio Photography
Ceremony and Reception Venue: ArtsPlace
Month of Coordinator: The Bride’s Assistant
Caterer: Dupree Catering + Events
Cake: Martine’s Pastries
DJ: DJ Hammuh
Stationery: Stout Printing
Hair and Makeup: April Greene, The Hair Lab
Transportation: Sprocket Jockeys Pedicabs
Hotel Room Block: Hilton Lexington/Downtown and 21c Museum Hotel and Gratz Park Inn
Jewelry: Mithril Limited Wholesale & Custom Jewelers

For more of Mara and Clay’s lovely wedding, pick up a copy of Volume 3!