We all have special places. Whether it’s a vacation home in the mountains, a special nook at your grandparents’ house or a favorite tree in your backyard, we all have those little slices of heaven that put our souls at ease. Celebrating one of the most important days of your life at such a spot would certainly make that place—and the day—even more magical. For Katherine Mayer, Lake Martin was her special place, and she knew that she would get married there, surrounded by the people—and the place—that she loved most. But swimming and playing with family and friends, young Katherine could not possibly have known all the beautiful details that would come together to make her lakeside wedding dream come true. Today, we share with you the lovely evening where Katherine Mayer and Kyle Erickson tied the knot.

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Katherine and Kyle were married at Katherine’s “special place,” Lake Martin. A mere two hours southeast of Birmingham, Lake Martin proved an idyllic setting for the fall wedding.

The couple, a Southern belle and a Midwestern musician, met in sunny California because of a shared interest in country music and Southern style. Kyle played guitar at a Venice, CA, cafe that Katherine frequented with friends. She heard him playing country music and he noticed her cowboy boots. After seeing several performances (and working up enough courage), Katherine introduced herself. Two years later on a North Carolina vacation with Katherine’s family, Kyle proposed. The following October, the two were married at Lake Martin, under the tall pines and alongside the peaceful waters, just as Katherine had imagined.


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We can see why Katherine choose this spot for the wedding ceremony and reception … beautiful!

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After the ceremony concluded and guests retired to the front lawn for cocktails, many helpful hands executed this beautiful transformation so that the entire wedding celebration could be along the lake.

Planning an elegant Southern wedding at a casual lakeside venue is no small feat. However with the help of the wedding planning group, Mariée Ami, and Katherine’s parents, the entire celebration came together beautifully. As the couple and their families went over logistics, everyone decided they wanted the entire celebration to be lakeside. Katherine’s California friends and Kyle’s family had never experienced the beauty of Lake Martin, which had been such an important part of Katherine’s childhood. The lake then became a centerpiece of the entire wedding celebration, not just the ceremony. A brief interlude with cocktails and appetizers on the front lawn allowed a flip of the ceremony space into an elegant, seated dinner setting under the stars. Katherine says that “detailed planning, precision execution and many helping hands working their magic” enabled the incredible and breathtaking transformation to take place.

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We love the twinkling lights!

Once the ceremony space was transformed into a seated dinner and reception area, the party began! The seated dinner, catered by Savoie, included a kale salad with fruit and pecans, crab cakes with lemon mayonnaise and remoulade sauce, sausage and grits, and chicken scallopini in a lemon beurre blanc. The dinner also included roasted seasonal vegetables, like squash, Brussels sprouts, beets, cauliflower and carrots, as well as an orzo pasta with tomato and dill. We would bet that no one went home hungry with such a delicious and decadent dinner, though dancing the night away may have helped with any overindulgence!

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For the October wedding, Katherine wanted a bright palette. She chose roses, dahlias and ranunculus in pinks, oranges, yellows and purples to carry in her bouquet and decorate the entire space. We love the stunning colors and variety of shape and size!

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Flowers were everywhere, an obvious element in transforming the casual lakehouse into an elegant wedding venue.

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Unlike many brides, Katherine did not have a specific style or type in mind for her wedding dress. She imagined a gut feeling being the indicator that she had found the perfect one. When she emerged from the dressing room in an A-line duchess satin gown with ivory silk rosette appliques and Swarovski beading by Winnie Couture, her mom began crying. Katherine knew she’d found the right dress. To make it more her own, she added a custom-made, crystal-encrusted Swarovski belt.

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Proud momma putting on the final touches … such a sweet moment. Katherine’s stunning earrings, a pair of her mother’s for many years, served as her “something old.”

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Katherine’s bridesmaids were all family and close friends. We love the same color/different look of their dresses!

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Kyle also chose brothers, in-laws and old friends for his groomsmen, making the whole bridal party intimate.

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Katherine and Kyle shared traditional vows.

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The newlyweds walked back down the aisle to Affinato’s “Oh Happy Day!” The song title was a motto of their wedding day, and the words could be found throughout elements of the celebration, on matchboxes, napkins, etc. Katherine and Kyle wanted everyone to share in the joy of their love and celebration, on October 4, the happiest of their days!

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This buttercream cake with buttercream frosting is from Katherine’s favorite childhood lunch spot, Olexa’s Cafe. As Katherine says, “There was never any doubt in my mind as to who would be making my wedding cake!” We love the contrast between the rough frosting and the delicate blooms. Gorgeous!

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Though they did not have a groom’s cake, the couple wanted to make sure the celebration included a special nod to Kyle. One of the back patios of the lake house featured a cigar bar. Matches monogrammed with the wedding date and “Oh Happy Day!” sat on a silver platter with a matte gold pig (another nod to Kyle, as his family raises pigs on their Illinois farm).

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Following dinner, Katherine and Kyle danced as Mr. and Mrs. Erickson for the first time to Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are.” The couple had danced to the song before at Katherine’s sister’s wedding. On that occasion, Kyle told Katherine that he wanted to dance to the famous song at their own wedding. Though the two were not yet engaged, Katherine remarks, “That night, we both knew that our relationship would end in marriage.”

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Momentum Party Band, the evening entertainment, played late into the night as everyone celebrated Katherine and Kyle’s marriage.

In a follow-up conversation with Katherine, she told us: “I wanted to connect the past and present and feel like everyone knew who I was, where I had come from and how I became the person I am today.” Her Lake Martin wedding provided the perfect setting for Katherine to unify these elements of herself and show the people she loved most just how special a place, a moment and a couple can be.

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Every picture of the couple shows expressions like these: joy, laughter and love. There is just nothing like a love-filled wedding!

Thank you, Katherine and Kyle, for sharing your story with us! Cheers to you, your beautiful wedding and a lifetime of happiness!


Event Planning: Mariée Ami, A Wedding Planning Studio

Videographer: The Film Poets

Photographer: Stacy Richardson Photography

Floral Designer: Carole Sullivan, Lagnaippe Designs

Hair and Makeup: Kerri Bunn

Bridal dress: Winnie Couture, Beverly Hills, CA

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Weddington Way

Wedding cake: Daine Olexa, Olexa’s Cafe

Catering: Richard Bishop, Savoie Catering

Lighting: Jill Garmon, AG Lighting

Entertainment: Momentum Party Band

Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited

Linens: BBJ

Venue: Lake home of the bride’s parents at Lake Martin, AL.


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