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I’ve been lucky in my life to know many Veterans. Men and women who sacrifice so much more than we can ever understand to serve our country, and I am constantly humbled by stories of their service. I have such a huge soft spot for these folks, so when I get to see them on their wedding day where their world finally stops for a minute – it makes my heart so happy. Like this dapper gentlemen, who came back after a year overseas to find that his sweetheart of a Bride had their wedding planned down to the very last detail. I can only imagine they felt like the luckiest people in the entire world that day, and that is the best detail of all. See so much from Bella Grace Studios in the full gallery.

A 140 acre family farm in Shelbyville, Kentucky set the scene for this June 16th, 2012 wedding. After a half-day of bucketing rain, the skies cleared and provided a beautiful backdrop. The groom, an Army officer, thoughtfully planned his proposal to ensure that he would be deployed to Afghanistan for the year of planning, arrived home to find DIY and personal touches everywhere, in addition to the giant event “barn” his mother (an interior designer) had conceptualized and built during his absence. Family heirloom silver was used as containers for the huge numbers of white hydrangea, peony and anemone set in the ceremony space, outdoor tent and inside again for dinner. The bride embroidered table numbers and created the hanging mason jars that adorned each row of chairs during the ceremony (and the four reclaimed church pews in the front of the space). A family friend hand-painted a geometric pattern on oilcloth to serve as an aisle runner. Horses, cows, dogs and cats all joined the festivities, along with 90 friends and family. Guests enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres, dual-plated salmon and filet with locally-grown vegetables and grits, passed bread and wine service, and a beautiful cake by Virginia of Mert’s Cakes. In traditional military fashion, the bride and groom cut the cake with a saber. Food, drinks and a live band helped most of the crowd stick around until the early hours of the morning–couldn’t be more thankful for the lack of noise ordinances!

Venue: Long Ridge Farm, Shelbyville, Kentucky / Photographer: Josh Merideth of Bella Grace Studios / Event Design and Coordination: Jessica Leisl of Essential Details / Flowers and wreaths: Kati Esser of Blooms by Essential Details / Catering: Corbett’s / Cake: Mert’s Cakes / Ceremony Musician: Danny Flanigan / Reception Musicians: Randomonium / Invitations: Flora and Fauna / Bridal gown: Peter Langner for Kleinfeld New York / First necklace (pearls): Thomas Knoell for Kleinfeld / Second necklace (crystal): J.Crew / Bride’s shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaid’s dresses: J.Crew / Linens: La Tavola Linen

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