Natalie & Jeremiah's WeddingAugust 11, 2018
Ceremony: Keeneland Library
Cocktail Hour: Keene Barn
Reception: Entertainment Center
After selecting Keeneland as the perfect spot for their wedding, Jeremiah gave Natalie a necklace with the racetrack’s GPS coordinates on it. This gift inspired the use of other significant coordinates throughout the couple’s décor the evening of their wedding, which were woven into their rustic, chic and romantic wedding vision.
"The Entertainment Center was decorated so perfectly, I can’t imagine it looking any better! Between the drapery, flower arrangements, and the perfect chandelier, this place was jaw dropping."
- Natalie, Bride
Jeremiah and Natalie met as teenagers at a gym owned by Natalie’s mother. Both involved in gymnastics, the two trained at the gym together before turning their friendship into a love story. He popped the question on a family vacation to Florida, which included a nice dinner out for “birthday celebrations” for a number of people on the trip. Towards the end of the dinner, Natalie and Jeremiah were told there was a special dessert arranged for them on the outside patio. The server presented Natalie with this surprise dessert with “Will you marry me?” written on it, and as she turned around Jeremiah was on one knee. Disney fireworks went off in the background, and needless to say Natalie said “yes!”
Following the ceremony on the lawn of the Keeneland Library, Natalie and Jeremiah’s guests transitioned to cocktail hour at the adjacent Keene Barn and were greeted with hors d’oeuvres such as crab & corn fritters, a cheddar scallion biscuit, and also the couple’s favorite of the evening: bacon lollipops. The plated dinner included options of bourbon brined chicken thigh, pan roasted barramundi, and a skillet blackened cauliflower "steak." The night was rounded out by a mac & cheese bar as well as a s'mores bar - to the guests delight.
The Bride's Comments
What was your favorite part about the day?
"I don’t know that I could pick just one moment. I loved the time I had with my dad just before the ceremony while we sat in the carriage waiting for everything to begin. I will always cherish my first look with my husband. I had mixed feelings about doing this, at first., however we got all of our nerves out and still had so many emotions when walking down the aisle. I have to say, one moment that really sticks out when I think of our wedding day, is after the ceremony my husband and I went to take some photos around Keeneland. It was just my husband, myself, my trainer (who I look up to as a father), our photographer and videographers. We spent about 15-20 minutes taking these photos and enjoying some alone time. This is such a special moment from our wedding day, and I’m so happy we took the time to do it. "
Did you decide to do a first look or wait to see each other down the aisle?
"We decided to have a first look up in the Paddock area, before the ceremony began. I had people encourage me to do it, and others told me not to. However, my husband and I decided to see each other before the wedding. Why? We knew we would both be nervous that day, and once we saw each other, all of our nerves were gone, and we couldn’t wait to get the evening started. We were also able to get so many photos before the ceremony, and we couldn’t have been able to if we had skipped first look. So, if someone is telling you not to do a first look, just remember: the first look will NOT take away from the ceremony. You will still have emotions and everything is still special. I think it actually pulled us closer for the ceremony."
What led you to choose Keeneland?
"We picked out 3-4 locations to look at, and none of them gave me the feeling of “I could picture my wedding here.” It was almost like trying on wedding dresses: when you find the right one, you just know. For my parents, there were a few reasons why they loved Keeneland:
1. Keeneland is what Kentucky is about. Most of my family lives in other states, so we were able to show them “Kentucky” in one night.
2. The catering, kitchen and bathrooms were an extension of the venue. You might not consider this, but other venues required us to work with other vendors on items like this and we wanted to make the wedding day as seamless as possible when managing vendors.
3. The parking. There was plenty of parking for our guests and we had absolutely no issues with people finding a spot close to the ceremony site.
4. The amazing staff! We had absolutely no problems when planning with Keeneland. They were there to help and stayed on top of every single question we had. I cannot thank everyone enough! "
What advice do you have for those newly engaged who are currently planning a wedding?
"I can give a few pieces of advice that I learned while planning my wedding…
1. Get a wedding planner! If you work a full time job, or travel for your job, a planner will make the process fun and simple. I hear so many people talk about how stressful their planning was, and that they would never do it again. Comments like this just make me so sad. I had so much fun planning our wedding with Amber, and I would do it again in a heartbeat!
2. Get a videographer! While I love each and every photo we have, the videos are worth so much to me. I could watch our wedding video every single day, and still shed tears of joy. It is the most amazing thing. I feel like I get to relive my wedding whenever I want.
3. Do your research on vendors. We built the dream team of vendors, and that was with the help of my planner.
4. Take every day of planning one-step at a time. Enjoy every moment of it, even if it is something silly like picking the type of fork you want to have. These little details might seem annoying, and some people will not even notice. But, you will always remember planning your wedding, and you don’t want to look back and remember how stressed you were. You want to look back and see how much fun it was and how much closer it brought you and your husband together. "