After a proposal surrounded by Christmas lights, Casey and Kristen celebrated their marriage in their home of Knoxville, TN.
Tell us about the proposal, surrounded by Christmas decorations.
I proposed during a weekend in Knoxville/Gatlinburg. We went to a Tennessee football game on Saturday afternoon, followed by a walk-through Gatlinburg Village that night. Kristen loves Christmas lights, so the intent was to be surrounded by them. I found a path secluded from the village, lined with lights and had other Christmas decorations. Kristen was completely surprised and, for some reason, thought we were breaking up because I grabbed both of her hands before starting to talk to her.
My entire family was there, so not sure why she had that idea. She would later tell me that I had been acting weird since we got back from the football game (definitely the nerves). Shouts from my sister and brother-in-law, “I’m by the Christmas tree,” will always be a funny memory as they were getting in position for photos.
The proposal was followed by tons of pictures and dinner at a local restaurant.
Talk to us about your wedding day.
We went a little more traditional and spent the night in separate rooms with our bridesmaids. We rented multiple lofts at Downtown 211 following a rehearsal dinner on the rooftop in Market Square. The day started with the rotation of our bridesmaids getting hair and make-up done as they were set up in the main loft where Kristen and her bridesmaids were. They were all highly focused on ensuring that we didn’t cross paths as we tried to get everyone ready. Next, we ordered lunch from a local restaurant on the square, close to when Erin, our photographer, was going to arrive.
Kristen and I saved the final touches for when Erin was there so she could start with shots of us getting ready with different members of our individual families. Before starting with our families, Erin got really creative with our attire and all of our accessories, utilizing the loft space and uniqueness to create big moments out of small details.
Que our favorite moment of the day, our first look. Immediately, all the day’s stress melted away when we finally got to see each other. We spent a lot of time just the two of us, taking in each other’s outfits, hair and make-up, and small details in our accessories for the first time. We made sure all the bridal party, including the boys, had flowers following the first look, and we headed to the venue.
Kristen and I walked the streets of downtown Knoxville to the venue while Erin captured moments along the way. There were lots of fun murals, street space, and unique backdrops that we utilized to create more memories leading up to the ceremony. Finally, we got to the venue and took family photos and pictures with our bridesmaids. We got a small break after all the images were done, as we wrapped up right as our guests started to arrive.
The ceremony was great. Our officiant Colleen had done a great job working with us to customize it to exactly what we wanted. As a result, we were able to share our love and commit to each other in front of all the people we love. Following the ceremony, we had a fantastic meal, drinks flowed, and we danced the night away.
What are your favorite moments?
As mentioned above, our first look was by far our favorite moment of the day. We spend a lot of time together in our daily lives and have been waiting for this particular day for so long. Kristen’s wedding dress hung in our closet for months, and somehow (partly because I thought she would kill me), I never looked at it. I knew how important it was to her for me to see her for the first time in it on our wedding day. A lot was going on throughout the day, the normal wedding day family drama, but the second we turned around and saw each other for the first time, we were reminded why we were there. Being with her is always like coming home, and it was the best feeling, finally getting to see each other.
Another favorite moment was right after the ceremony. We went to the bridal suite at the venue, and our families and bridal parties had left for cocktail hour while we were waiting for golden hour photos. We were able to hang out just the two of us, Angie got us food and drinks, but we could be alone. It was an excellent start to the reception; we had a moment to decompress while Erin was scoping out places for photos.
What does marriage mean to you?
Well, obviously, now we have a permanent emergency contact. But, all jokes aside, marriage is showing up for all the good times but, more importantly, during the difficult ones. It’s a responsibility to protect each other’s hearts and always put our marriage first. It’s being exactly who we are and having someone love all the ugly as well as all the pretty. It is changing with each other as we grow individually and always ensuring that we continue to grow together. And it’s choosing each other every single day.
Photography by Erin Morrison Photography
Accessories Oakley, La Gartier
Arbor & Cake Stand Marsh Made Designs
Cake Magpies Bakery
Catering Bradford Catering
Cinematographer Ryan’s Productions
Dress Boutique Bridal & Formal
Dress Designer Maggie Sottero
Engagement & Wedding Rings Shane Co
Entertainment & Photo Booth Stephen Goff Entertainment
Florist Echelon Florist
H&MU Southern Sirens
Officiant Colleen Munyan
Planner | Stylist Absolute Wedding Perfection
Shoes Christian Louboutin, Freebird
Signage & Stationery DIY by couple
Suit Designer Little Black Tux
Venue Jackson Terminal
Wedding Party Outfits Birdy Grey