A year that included an engagement, a move, a new job and the purchasing – and fixing up – of a home was capped off with a September 2015 wedding celebration for Kari Luna and Josh Clarey. The pair came into each other’s lives four years prior to the nuptials while logging hours at Ernst & Young in Charlotte, NC.
Kari, from Tullahoma, TN, and Josh, from Charleston, SC, challenged fate when Kari left at the end of their summer together to return to Knoxville, TN, and her alma mater, the University of Tennessee, for a year-long master’s program. Thankfully, though, the distance didn’t deter their love. Once Kari made the move back to North Carolina in October 2012, the two were inseparable (which was unbeknownst to many, as they were having a forbidden office romance). Two years after Kari returned and two years of seemingly spending every moment together, this couple got engaged.
A tearful night fraught with confusion as to why Josh didn’t propose on her birthday while both sets of parents gathered at Josh’s childhood home in Charleston was followed by a lovely day spent at a Citadel football game (Josh’s alma mater), a boat ride in the Charleston harbor and, of course, a proposal. Upon returning to the dock, Kari was greeted – and surprised – by his family, her parents (who stuck around without her knowing) and her sister and brother-in-law. Everyone was in on the plan – everyone except Kari. In a desire to alleviate Kari’s grief, Josh even considered pushing up the proposal to Friday night but her mom kept him on track with the original plan and, needless to say, Kari did not foresee the exciting events of that October day.
The next month, the newly engaged couple headed back to Tennessee to begin their life together. The engagement took place in October, they made the move in November and began their new jobs in December. Nine months later, they were reciting their vows at Beech Creek Farm in Kari’s hometown of Tullahoma, TN, in front of 500 guests. The venue was an ideal spot for the couple, not only because it accommodated the extensive guest list, but also because it was a blank slate.
Kari donned an A-line dress with full tulle skirt and a scalloped strapless neckline as she walked down the aisle to meet her soon-to-be husband under a pergola built by her sister and brother-in-law. After the short ceremony, the wedding party snapped photos and the guests mingled over his-and-hers cocktails (Dickel & Drops and Firefly Arnold Palmers). While the cocktails were a hit, the meal that followed was unrivaled. A buffet, brought to life by Natural Bridge Catering out of Sewanee, TN, included everything from baked Brie and bourbon-baked ham biscuits to mac ‘n cheese, vegetables, herb-crusted pork, roasted Atlantic salmon and citrus-marinated chicken.
Flanked by family and friends, the blushing bride shared a first
dance shag with her husband to “Loving You Easy,” by the Zac Brown Band, followed by a father-daughter dance to the tune of “Just the Way You Are,” by Billy Joel. After the pair cut into their French vanilla cake with American buttercream frosting, the celebration continued until Mr. and Mrs. Clarey left the festivities to make their way to Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada. After their honeymoon, they returned home to Nashville to continue a lifetime of love and happiness.
Thank to the bride and groom for sharing the details of their Tennessee farm wedding with us. We wish you a lifetime of love and happiness!
Location: Beech Creek Farm in Tullahoma, TN
Photographer: Joe Hendricks
Caterer: Natural Bridge Events
Cake: Sunshine Cake Shop
Ceremony String Quartet: Innocenti Strings Quartet
Band: Party Planet
Bride’s Dress: Arzelle’s Bridal; designed by Watters WTOO
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Arzelle’s Bridal; designed by Dessy, Adrianna Papell and Bill Levkoff
Invitations, Programs, etc.: Bride and mother of the bride
Hair/Makeup Artist: Brenna Mader and Mallory Risner
Flowers: Myra Farr & Lynn Ramsey
All Equipment Rentals: Christopher Equipment Rental / Master of Ceremonies
Want more stunning weddings? Check out more Southern love stories in our other StyleBlueprint markets:
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- After 19 Years, They Finally Tied the Knot
- A Blind Date Leads to a Dream Wedding
- A Backyard Wedding That Celebrates Love, Family and Tradition