brandi + jay {married}

I usually gush about the bride in the beginning of these blog posts, and I will because she is a dream and just one of the sweetest! This post however, I need to mention this groom! The way that Jay looks at Brandi just makes us melt! His tears, his joy, his love for her is obvious. Brandi is a beautiful person inside and out and it is clear that Jay cherishes her.

Congratulations Brandi + Jay! We wish you years of love, happiness, and adventure! {and these two know how to adventure! Their family business is Wander Africa, The Safari Co. Check them out on Instagram @wander_africa}

xoxo, The Couture Closet Gals

Note from the Bride:

We had the perfect wedding day! My husband was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. He moved to LA 13 years ago for college. I moved to LA 5 years ago from Louisville, working as a nurse. We met in Santa Monica on Tinder almost 4 years ago! We recently moved to Asheville, NC and are building our life there now. Though Jay is from Africa, he is of Indian descent. I grew up in Starlight, Indiana in a Catholic family. We come from extremely different backgrounds, but our love was real from the beginning. When it came to planning our wedding, it was very complicated! Each of our families had different ideas of what they wanted for us, and we weren't even sure if we wanted to have a big wedding! Because Jay owns/operates a safari business (Designing luxury trips/safaris for people all across Africa), we originally thought we would have our wedding in Kenya... We got engaged in the Masai Mara, Kenya, and it was the most amazing moment of my life...until our wedding day. After a lot of back and forth, we decided that our wedding should involve all of our closest friends and family and should be in my hometown of Starlight. We knew we wanted to have a small intimate wedding with a large celebration! 

Jay's family found an Indian restaurant in Louisville and hosted the most incredible rehearsal dinner! Most of my friends and family had never even tasted Indian Food. Most of us wore Indian attire, and it was beautiful!

Our wedding was a perfect curation of what we dreamed of for our day! We had a mix of Jay's Hindu background, and my Catholic background, on a beautiful sunny day outside in nature. Instead of having a big wedding party, I chose my two oldest/closest friends as my Matrons of Honor. We had our parents, siblings, closest friends, and relatives at the ceremony, and it was the most intimate experience. We even had a hayride afterwards!

A few hours later, we had a huge celebration, and an insane party with The Rumors playing all night. Huber's Lake house was a stunning venue, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous all day.

After all of this, Jay and I both agree, it was the BEST day of our lives!

We spent a month in Southern Africa for our honeymoon and we will never ever forget this most memorable first half of 2018 :) 

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Photographer: Brandy Roll // Wedding Dress Designer: Lillian West // Venue: Huber’s Lake House // Florals {only headpiece}: Nance’s // Band: The Rumor’s

chelsey + dylan {married}

One winter evening in 2010, Chelsey + Dylan met in the aisles of their local Walmart!  Once they saw each other, they knew they had found someone special.  After some time apart while Chelsey was in Lexington for school, she hurried back to their hometown of Bardstown Kentucky to be by Dylan's side.  This May they walked down another aisle to become husband + wife in their hometown.  

Congratulations Chelsey + Dylan!  We wish you many years of Love, Laughter, + Adventure!

xoxo, The Couture Closet Gals

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Photography: Elaina Janes Photography // Wedding Dress Designer: Lillian West // Videography: Reel KY Films // Venue: Spalding Hall Lawn // Reception Venue: St. Joseph's Parish Hall // Flowers: Lee Miller (groom's cousin) // HMU: True Bliss Salon

 

susan + kevin {married}

This beautiful lady came into the shop + it didn't take long at all for her to find the perfect dress.  We knew she would be stunning on her wedding day and then she went and added a fantastic wedding team that included State & Arrow for flowers, Love Hunters for this beautiful photography, + Noah's for an amazing reception location.  

Congratulations Susan and Kevin!  We wish you a lifetime of Love, Laughter, + Adventure together!

xoxo, The Couture Closet Gals

Words from the Bride:

Kevin + I, met while I was a 4th year dental student + he was a first year orthopedic surgery resident. We knew right away that it was love at first sight. From the first night we hung out at Drakes watching a Kentucky game, I knew he was the one for me. We survived a long distance relationship when I lived in Nashville for a year of work, + the trials of being together through residency. We love the spring because that’s when we met, so we wanted our wedding to incorporate aspects of our favorite season. The floral arrangements + colors [sage green, coral + blush] with the incorporation of my favorite plant succulents made that happen. Most importantly, we had friends + family from all over there with us celebrating our big day.

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Photography: Love Hunters // Dress Designer: Lillian West // Jewelry: Sara Gabriel // Flowers: State + Arrow Design Co. // Venue: Noah's Event Venue // Makeup: Makeup by Dawn // Hair: Dakota Settels

brittany + brandon {married}

This sweet sweet lady purchased her stunning dress while she was going through a very tough season in her life.  We are so happy and honored that we could be a part of some sunshine for her! She has become one of Couture Closet's biggest cheerleaders and we are so grateful for her and her support!  You are just going to LOVE her sweet intimate Kentucky Boho wedding at Red River Gorge.

Congratulations Brittany + Brandon!  We love you and wish you a lifetime of Love, Laughter, and Adventure! Your love story is one for the ages!

xoxo, The Couture Closet Gals

Words from the Bride {you may want to grab a tissue}:

     I spent most of 2017 miserable. Not how you imagine feeling the year of your wedding + what should be the most wonderful time of your life. However, before the year even began my father was admitted into the ICU at Pikeville Medical Hospital with not only pneumonia but congestive heart failure. Nothing, not even planning my wedding, could distract or take away the terrible heartbreak as I began accepting that I was losing my father. During a time in which my father was improving and no longer in the hospital + I started seeing other brides begin dress shopping for their 2017 wedding, I decided it was time to embark on my own dress adventure. In January, I began making several appointments with many bridal boutiques around Kentucky. My first call + appointment was with Couture Closet Bridal Boutique in La Grange, Kentucky for January 17th. Unfortunately, at the time my mom also became ill and was unable to attend the appointment with me, however my matron of honor accompanied me. I discovered Couture Closet from a dress that was posted to Facebook from Amy Wallen Reed who coincidentally is also from Eastern Kentucky + ended up doing mine + my husband’s engagement pictures. Having adored her photography style + the dress she posted won me over to give them a call to set up an appointment. Being an extremely indecisive person, there was no way I thought I’d end up making my decision that day when I had so many boutiques left to visit.

     My Matron of Honor + I found the adorable boutique located in the quaint Main Street area of La Grange, + as you step out of the shop onto the street you’ll find the tracks of a still full functioning train! Inside we were welcomed by the warm and loving personality of Tera Davis who had my name on their chalk board as I arrived, welcoming me into their shop + personalizing my experience as soon as I stepped inside. She immediately began getting to know ME. Not just what I was there for, but about my life + how I got to this point. Tera took a genuine interest in my life, my story + what I was looking for in a wedding dress. We talked vintage, long sleeves, non-traditional colors. If my memory serves me correctly she chose 4 or 5 dresses to get me started, + they were all stunning. She personally helped me not only get into each dress but showed me how to use spanks which I had never done before. Earlier on our way to the shop I felt so alone without having my mother there to help or share this magical moment, but regardless if I had left there with a dress or not, Tera did everything in her power to subside those feelings, + with her selfless compassion made me feel so comfortable every step of the way into finding my dream dress.

     The month leading up to my second appointment at Couture Closet had been filled with nothing but absolute stress, worry and anxiety over my father and his declining health. On top of that my mother fell ill with pneumonia + pleurisy from spending so much of time in a hospital with my father. We both were so emotionally, mentally, + physically exhausted. However, God works in mysterious ways + brings people in your life when you need them the most. The moment Tera Davis helped me into the feminine chiffon, A-line Lillian West dress, even if only for a moment, took all my worries away. It was quite literally one of the happiest moments of my life, one God knew I so desperately needed at the time. Even though my mother wasn’t there to share it with me, + even though I knew my father may not live to see it, here God had given me Tera to make me feel like everything in the world was right. Everything about that moment of seeing myself in that dress, my past, my future, + everything in between filled me with so many emotions. But everything about it felt perfect + it ended up being the one I chose to wear on my wedding day.

     In a time of sadness God blessed me with a day full of happiness + joy. He entered a small business into my life that’s continued to make me feel as beautiful + special as I did the day I found my dress. However, their services + kindness didn’t end there. Had it not been for the several pictures Tera took of me in my dress, the day I came in, my father would have never seen it on me before he passed away. If that alone wasn’t reason enough for me to cherish + adore the ladies at Couture Closet, I now own a dress from their boutique that their other owner Lauren prayed over as she does all her brides for their wedding day. It truly doesn’t get anymore special than that.  I wish all the best health, happiness, love + success to them + their incredibly beautiful + compassionate business, + that every bride can feel as important as they made me feel.

Their Love Story:

 My husband + I met May 14th, 2014 in my mother’s garage in Georgetown, KY, it was love at first sight. Having parents who divorced after thirty-eight years of marriage only two years prior had left a huge impact on my own personal love life + I was the last person who would have believed in “love at first sight.” Ironically Brandon + I are both from the same tiny town of Paintsville, KY and I can’t be for certain if I added him on Facebook or if he added me, but I remember how cute he was (still is) + that surely with all these mutual friends in common that maybe one day our paths would cross. Sure, enough it did, + on May 1st Brandon Smith messaged me on Facebook + we continuously talked for two weeks. The day we met was spent sharing our life stories, listening to vinyl records, and drinking some terrible Kentucky Gentleman Bourbon. As we slow danced to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” on vinyl, Brandon kissed me for the first time, + I was smitten as a kitten. Two weeks later we were living together, + then on October 22nd, 2016 he asked me to be his wife. In the time spent before marrying my husband, + even before he asked me to marry him I learned exactly what it was like to be in love. I found “my perfect person” in an imperfect person. With eyes as blue as Paul Newman’s, lips as luscious as Elvis Presley’s, + a heart as big as Texas, Brandon continues to remind me what love is every single day. He accepts me at my best + at my worst, rejoices with me as I’m thriving + comforts me when I am weak. He is more than I could ever dream of, + I can’t thank God enough for making him my husband, + for who I have the honor + privilege of spending my life with.

One the wedding day once getting ready was over + we were finished with “first look” + group pictures, my groom + I headed to Slade, Kentucky to get married. Brandon + I chose Red River Gorge because it is directly between where we met (Lexington) + where we are from (Paintsville.) It is never forgetting where we are from, + it is also looking to where we are, + where we are going in our lives together. The Gorge is also absolutely the most stunning back drop for any season wedding, but particularly in the Fall. It is quite literally having a canvas of colors painted by God himself, surrounding you on every side. Once we had taken pictures at Princess Arch with My Tiny Wedding we made our way back to meet our wedding party at the trail which takes you to Chimney Rock. From that moment of locking arms with my brother, the man who would be giving me away, I knew this moment would change the rest of my life. As he was giving me away he leaned and told me, “There through the clouds is one single streak of light, shinning on you, where you’re standing, and that is our Father here watching over you.” I stood in that light the whole ceremony as I read my vows, and exchanged rings, + ultimately became Mrs. Brittany Higginbotham Smith.

Brandon + I were married + since we weren’t having a traditional reception we had Spalding’s Donuts for our guests set up on picnic tables right there in the woods. As soon as we scarfed those down, we were off to meet with Heather Rous of The End Photography at Shaker Village. Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill will always hold a special place in my heart. Growing up my family and I spent many years celebrating New Year’s Eve there, + dined at the Trustees’ Table where everything is made from seasonal ingredients from their garden and other local farmers. Little did I know years later this would also be where I would be proposed to. That is why after all the madness + chaos of the day, + planning, my husband + I decided to spend an intimate evening where it all began, to unwind + focus on what was important, + that is always each other. During our session with The End Photography, Brandon + I enjoyed a chocolate bourbon pecan pie made from Midway Bakery instead of having a traditional wedding cake. Once our session was through with Heather, we made our way to the Trustees’ Table for dinner where I had a delicious Grilled Pork Rack Chop with roasted sweet potato grits, crispy Brussel sprouts, + charred apple chutney. Brandon enjoyed the Shaker Village Burger which was made from 8 oz. grilled beef, Brioche bun, lettuce, tomato, pickle, fries, and bacon. All which was farm to table. Like most things for Brandon + me, this simple setting over food, with kerosene lamps fluttering in the background was the most perfect part of our day, because it was just us together.

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Morning Photography: HMJ Photography // Post Wedding Photography: The End Photography // Ceremony Photography: My Tiny Wedding // Wedding Dress Designer: Lillian West // Flowers: State and Arrow // Hair and MU: Something Blu // Accessories: Southern Glitz // Ceremony Venue: My Tiny Wedding at Red River Gorge // Post Wedding Venue: Shaker Village // Donuts: Spaldings // Wedding Pie: Midway Bakery

annamarie + sam {married}

So this bride is near and dear to us because she is the last of 3 sisters to become a CC Bride!  This is so special because, over the course of several years, this family has come back 3 times to celebrate their love with us!  We can't help but feel a little sad that Annamarie is the last one!  However we are so grateful and honored to be apart of the wedding season in each of these ladies lives.  

Annamarie and Sam had a classic Kentucky Wedding with a little twist of some other Southern Sates that are near and dear to them.  They incorporated some great details, and some Kentucky flare, as well as some food and signature cocktails from Tennessee and Alabama!

Congratulations Annamarie and Sam!  We wish you a lifetime of Love, Happiness, and Adventure!

xo, The Couture Closet Gals

Words from the Bride:

As the third daughter to get married, vendors were easy for me to pick out- especially where to buy my dress! I had shopped in Birmingham and found a dress I really liked, but knew I couldn't pull the trigger on ANYTHING until I had visited the same shop my sisters had found their dresses (and am I so glad I did!!). I loved that I was able to share such an important moment with my sisters and mom, who had their own special moments in the very same shop!

Sam and I met in college at The University of Alabama, so it was really important to incorporate details that paid tribute to the state (and our respective home states as well, Kentucky & Tennessee). Our 'signature drink' was the cocktail of choice at the favorite bar in Tuscaloosa, and we used famous foods from each state to make up our entire menu. Another special detail was our cocktail napkins - since my married last name starts with the same letter as my now-maiden name ("C"), my mom offered us use of the monogrammed rice paper cocktail napkins from their wedding, 36 years ago. It was a wonderful tribute to my parents and their marriage.

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Feel free to Pin these images to your wedding pin board on Pinterest! Just use the button in the upper corner and don't forget to tag Bella Grace Photography!

Photography: Bella Grace Studios // Dress Designer: Lillian West // Flowers: Country Squire // Venue: Hurstbourne Country Club // Cake: Mert's Cakes // Coordinator: Libby Coxon

amanda + alex + greta {finally a family}

When Amanda came to the shop she found the perfect Lillian West dress to wear when she became a Wife + a Mother!  She had a fairy tale winter wedding and you can tell from the pictures that not only was the wedding about two lives becoming one, it was also about forming a new family! You can just see the love between this sweet trio.  

Congrats to Amanda, Alex, and Greta Grace!  We wish all three of you a lifetime of Love, Laughter, and Adventure together!

xoxo, The Couture Closet Gals

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Share this picture or any picture on this post to Pinterest by clicking the "Pin It" button on the top left corner of the picture! Don't forget to give photo credit Whitney Knutson!

Photography: Whitney Knutson // Dress Designer: Lillian West // Hair and MU: Audrie Marie Delbridge // Flowers: J. Elizabeth Designs // Ceremony: Duncan Memorial Chapel // Reception: The Village Anchor