Connor proposed in March of 2021 and it was the most perfect day!  I knew we would be getting engaged soon, but I had no idea when it was going to happen.  I was completely surprised and it honestly was everything I had ever dreamt of and more!  Those first few days and weeks of engagement were full of many different emotions for us.  There was the obvious excitement that came along with finally knowing for certain we were going to be married, but there was also a good amount of stress.  I can recall a number of times throughout the planning process when I felt incredibly overwhelmed with all the details and decisions to be made.  And dear friend, let me tell you, it does not have to be that way!  While our season of engagement was full of plenty of highs + love + joy, at times it was more difficult than I imagined it would be.  My prayer for the WMC blog is that you will find it to be a helpful place to find resources and tools throughout your own wedding planning process.  So in today’s post, I want to provide you with a list of our favorite wedding vendors to help you get started.

Erin Drysdale Photography

Hawks Nest Weddings and Events

I could probably write an entire blog post just about Hawks Nest alone, but we’ll save that for another time.  Hawks Nest is our personal favorite wedding venue for so many reasons!  Our wedding took place here, the weddings of so many friends and family have happened here, and my best friend is the owner and coordinator!

Hawks Nest is run by Ally Stockton and her family.  Ally and I grew up together as backyard neighbors, spending countless hours writing silly neighborhood newsletters that surely no one else read, making and selling our own keychains door-to-door for our neighbors, and attempting (and failing) to run a lemonade stand with our one customer that day being the mailman.  As Ally and I grew older, our time together looked different.  We spent our evenings watching The Bachelor, eating ice cream, and dreaming together about what God had in store for our futures.  We spent a few months together as roommates, attended a mission trip together, and helped one another navigate the transition into adulthood.  Ally is the dearest of friends, and we were even able to be each other’s maids of honor in our weddings.  When it came time to decide where Connor and I wanted to be married, there was never another option we even considered– it had to be Hawks Nest.  To be married at the place my best friend dreamt up and worked so hard to make a reality was the sweetest thing.

Hawks Nest is set on a beautiful farm on the outskirts of Winchester, Kentucky, just about ten minutes from Hamburg in Lexington.  There is a stunning bridal suite reserved for the bride and bridesmaids to get ready in as well as multiple other add ons to your venue package.  And to top it all off, you get to spend your day with my best friend and her family as they work together to make your dream day possible!  I'm including a couple of photos below that highlight the barn-- it is truly so beautiful!

Click here to learn more about Hawks Nest! 

Our wedding day | Maddie Baker Photography

My brother and sister-in-law's wedding | Tyler Setser Photography

Relix Bridal

Throughout your life, there are many important outfits you wear, but all pale in comparison to your wedding dress!  Finding my perfect dress was one of the most exciting parts of the early stages of wedding planning!  Where you find your dress, though, is an important part in the dress search.  My sister-in-law, Casey, found her wedding dress at Relix Bridal in Lexington, Kentucky.  Seeing how great of an experience she had, I knew I wanted them to be the first people I went to see when it was finally my turn!  Low and behold, I said yes to my best dress there and they made me feel like the most beautiful bride!  The space is absolutely stunning and these ladies are your biggest hype girls throughout your appointment.  They really do go the extra mile to make you feel seen and valued during your appointment and beyond the wedding day.  We love when vendors care enough about you as an individual to look past the sale and do all they can to serve you in the process.  This place does exactly that.  If you haven’t found your dress yet, we can’t say enough good things about Relix! 

Click here to learn more about Relix Bridal!

Brislin Weddings

One thing I quickly realized in my own wedding planning experience is that wedding planning is full of so many small details!  Those details can so quickly become overwhelming, and for many brides, hiring a wedding coordinator helps ease many stresses, whether that is full wedding planning or just day of coordinating.  Having a point person who knows and understands how weddings work and all those small details to think about is immensely helpful.  And this is where Brislin Weddings comes in!

We met Amberly in December of 2021 at a wedding we were filming at Spindletop in Lexington.  The day ran beautifully!  We were delighted to find out we were working with her again at a wedding in October of 2022 which again, to no surprise, ran so smoothly.  Amberly has years of experience in the wedding industry, pays close attention to the details that make up your day, and truly cares about making your wedding day the most special celebration.  We love working with her, and we know you will too! 

Click here to learn more about Brislin Weddings!

GDA Jewelers

My engagement ring was the exact image I had in mind for what I wanted it to be!  I mean, I only pinned the same thin gold band with an oval diamond ring about a million times on my engagement ring Pinterest board… not too obvious, right?  Connor and I never talked about rings or what I wanted, which definitely contributed to my being surprised when our proposal happened.  One of my favorite things to share with people about our proposal, though, is the story of my engagement ring.  The gold ring portion of my ring is from my mom’s original wedding set and Connor chose the perfect stone for the setting.  He and my mom worked closely with GDA Jewelers in Lexington to make this unique ring a possibility.  So not only is my engagement ring everything I wanted, but it’s also a piece of my mom always with me which only makes it even more special.  

Hearing Connor share about his experience working with GDA to craft this ring together echoes what I’ve heard from so many other locals in the area: GDA is phenomenal at what they do.  They are family owned and operated and they treat you just like family of their own from the moment you walk through the door.  I went back with Connor to GDA shortly after our proposal to have my ring resized and they were wonderful to work with even then.  We love this place for helping to create the most perfect engagement ring filled with so many memories and so much love within it!  If you are currently looking for the perfect engagement ring or are on the search for your dream wedding bands, we can’t recommend GDA enough! 

Click here to learn more about GDA Jewelers!

Our wedding day | Maddie Baker Photography

There are so many more wonderful vendors we have worked with and we could write pages and pages of incredible experiences!  Past brides, who did we miss?  Leave a comment below to shout out your personal favorite vendors and share what makes them so special!