Bob Liddon and Laura Beth Knight share best friends who are siblings, Lance Minor and Sarah Minor. Bob grew up with Lance, and they’ve remained best friends throughout many stages of life. Sarah, Lance’s sister, and Laura Beth met in high school and became quick best friends. One Christmas break, Bob had just left the Minors’ house, and Mr. Minor, Lance, and Sarah sat around the kitchen table conjuring up a plan to set Bob up with Laura Beth. Within the hour, Sarah texted Laura Beth saying she had given her number to one of Lance’s friends. Bob texted Laura Beth that evening and a week later, they went on their first dinner date. After a few more dates the following weeks, by January 2019, they were inseparable.
By late that December, Bob and Laura Beth were ready for their first Christmas festivities. After the Lessons and Carols service at Second Presbyterian and a delicious brunch with Bob’s family, the couple discussed having dinner that evening to celebrate Christmas just the two of them. “Bob picked me up and, as my roommate would say, I was not making it easy for us to walk out the door.” Laura Beth laughs. Still full from brunch and moving at a snail’s pace, she finally made it out the door, not knowing where they were going. When Bob pulled into Shelby Farms, Laura Beth immediately knew: Coastal Seafood Company.
“I had been dropping hints about how we should go try the oysters there. Oysters are my favorite. I thought we were next headed home to exchange gifts when Bob pulled out of the restaurant into Shelby Farms. I began to worry when I saw the never-ending Starry Nights Christmas lights traffic,” Laura Beth says. Bob then pulled over and said “let’s go,” leading Laura Beth to a horse-drawn carriage. “I thought Bob was just sick of hearing me ask to go to Starry Nights and had finally caved in,” she says. As the horse pulled the couple through Starry Nights, it stopped suddenly. Laura Beth’s brief panic was quickly assuaged when she looked over her shoulder to see “Will You Marry Me?” lit up in the twinkling lights above. Bob got down on one knee and asked her to marry him, and she excitedly said “YES!”
Laura Beth and Bob embarked on a seven-month engagement that Laura Beth says was the perfect length. “Planning a wedding in the middle of a pandemic made it seem a lot longer than seven months,” she says. They hired none other than Memphis planner extraordinaire, Mona Dunlap. “My mom also helped knock it out of the park,” Laura Beth adds. The bride has always loved the Cadre Building since the first time she saw it in high school. “I always knew I wanted to have my reception there.” Laura Beth loved the light, soft blue and when she saw her Jenny Yoo bridesmaids dresses, she knew it was a complementary must. “Other than that, I wanted my wedding to be Southern, simple and personal,” she says.
They picked a wedding date of July 11, 2020, based on Laura Beth’s school schedule (she’s a second-grade teacher). As the pandemic began to creep its way into every part of life, Laura Beth had to make a decision. “We honestly just prayed about it. We felt that we were just ready to get married, and we were going to push through with July 11, even if that meant it was just our families or a larger guest list.”
“My experience picking a dress at Maggie Louise was PERFECT!” Laura Beth reflects. She had smartly sent them some pictures beforehand of the dresses she loved. “I had always envisioned myself in a simple dress with large, sparkly earrings. I went to Maggie Lousie with my mom, my best friend/matron of honor, and my mother in law.” The dress Laura Beth chose was the second dress she tried on. “I knew it was the one. It was a beautiful pebbled satin that seemed absolutely perfect for the summer,” she recalls.
“We changed many things to ensure everyone was comfortable,” the bride says. They cut down on the original guest list to lower the number to about 200. At the ceremony, masks were required, and there were no program attendants. Monogrammed hand sanitizer and masks were provided, and guests were greeted by ushers and guided to seats without touching one another. All parties were seated at least six feet apart in the pews. At the reception, food was served in pre-packaged boxes with their monogram or micro plated behind plexiglass rather than the traditional, open buffet-style wedding.
After an exciting first look and lots of pre-ceremony photo-snapping by the fabulous Kelly Ginn of Kelly Ginn Photography, Laura Beth and Bob exchange traditional vows and walked out of the church Mr. and Mrs. Liddon. To kick off the reception, they offered a signature drink but opted not to do a whole cocktail hour because passed hors d’oeuvres were not allowed for health reasons. Masks and personal hand sanitizers were also given out at the reception to help everyone celebrate safely.
“Cutting numbers helped us ensure there was ample space to make everyone feel comfortable,” Laura Beth says. “We even had a few family friends who enjoyed the evening on the third floor of the Cadre Building without having to come in contact with large groups of others,” she adds.
“All in all we tried to think of everything. Our prayer was that those who came felt safe in every measure that they could. At the same time, we still wanted it to be a beautiful wedding day, and I have to say, our vendors made it wonderful even with all of the curveballs,” Laura Beth remarks. One vendor in particular, Elizabeth Heiskell Catering, delivered big-time. At the hors d’oeuvres station, guests could pick from a charcuterie board, a spread of antipasti and crudités, and silver goblets filled with white cheddar pimento cheese and roasted peppers.
Each food choice was intentionally selected and personal to the Knights’ relationship … or were foods the couple just loved. The “Delta Station” served Joe’s storefront hot tamales with hot sauce, MoonPies and RC Cola. “Biscuit Bar” boxes included dress-your-own biscuit kits with whipped and strawberry butter, assorted homemade preserves, brown sugar smoked ham, breakfast sausage and fried chicken. The raw oyster bar boasted pickled gulf shrimp, assorted hot sauces, saltines, smoked salmon sides, hard-boiled eggs, and freshly shucked oysters. And the main station of beef tenderloin, Parker House rolls, artichoke parmesan dip, summer corn salad with avocado, “sorority girl” pasta salad, shrimp and grits, petite BLTs, grilled summer vegetables, and heirloom tomatoes with goat cheese. Two towering cakes satisfied the sweet tooths of 200 guests.
Laura Beth’s favorite personal touch of the party was the hats they handed out on the dance floor. They said “Bob’s hunt is over” — a nod to the groom’s love of hunting. “They were a big hit!” she says. After their original honeymoon plans were canceled due to COVID, the newlyweds vacationed at WaterColor Inn to kick off a lifetime together.
Thanks for taking us through your beautifully executed wedding day, Laura Beth and Bob! And thanks to Kelly Ginn of Kelly Ginn Photography for the fabulous photos. Cheers to you, Liddons!
Ceremony: First Evangelical Church
Reception: Cadre Building
Planner: Mona Dunlap
Photographer: Kelly Ginn Photography
Videography: Lynn Productions
Flowers: Garden District
Stationery: Menage Stationery
Bride’s makeup: Alicia George Beauty
Bridesmaids’ makeup: Alicia George Beauty & Kendrick Simpson
Hair: Rod Henson Salon
Bride’s gown: Maggie Louise | Rivinni
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Bella Bridesmaids | Jenny Yoo
Groom & groomsmen attire: Black Tux
Catering: Elizabeth Heiskell Catering
Cakes: The Flour Garden
Entertainment: Soul Shockers
Rentals & linens: White Door Events
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