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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.

Tennessee farm wedding

Kari Luna and Josh Clarey met in Charlotte, NC, and tied the knot in Tennessee.

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.

Beech Creek Farm wedding

Beech Creek Farm acted as a stunning backdrop for this September wedding.

Tennessee farm wedding

“We had no hiccups the day of the wedding, much to everyone’s relief,” Kari shares of their magical day.

Tennessee Farm Wedding

Kari said “I do” with 10 bridesmaids, two junior bridesmaids and a flower girl by her side.

Tennessee farm wedding details

Josh gifted his groomsmen, and himself, suspenders and monogrammed shirts for the big day. Josh’s mother is known to monogram his initials on the cuff of his shirts, so it was only fitting that she monogrammed all the groomsmen’s shirts, as well! “Charleston natives LOVE monograms,” Kari shares with laughter.

Tennessee farm wedding

Josh had initially planned for the male members of the wedding party to wear bow ties, but in the end they went tieless. The look of the groomsmen matched the casual atmosphere of the wedding.

Tennessee farm wedding

Kari cites herself as being indecisive on the color palette until she landed on her sister’s maid of honor dress. Once this was in place, she found other dresses in complementary tones of rose and neutral shades. And, of course, the bridal party wore cowboy boots. “I am not very flashy, so I didn’t want any bold colors, and neutrals were a good fit for me,” Kari tells us.

Tennessee farm wedding

The couple’s neutral color scheme paired perfectly with the farm setting!

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.

Tennessee farm wedding

The pair exchanged traditional vows beneath a pergola, built by the bride’s sister and brother-in-law.

Tennessee Farm Wedding

Tennessee farm weddings

Tennessee farm wedding

Tennessee farm wedding

Tennessee farm wedding

Tennessee farm wedding

Tennessee Farm Wedding

“My mom had been shopping for burlap, candleholders, runners, tablecloths, napkins and lights over the previous six months, and Myra Farr and Lynn Ramsey put it all together, added their own touches and made it the most gorgeous reception ever. We gave them free rein with the flowers, and they made their own bouquets and table arrangements of roses, peonies and gerbera daisies in shades of white and pink,” Kari says of the flowers and arrangements.

Tennessee Farm Wedding

“There were many things that my family and I did on our own. We took all our ideas to Myra Farr and Lynn Ramsey, a talented design duo from Tullahoma who does everything from interiors to event planning and turned them loose,” Kari shares. “They morphed the space into a dream wedding that we would have never been able to pull off on our own.”

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.

Tennessee Farm Wedding

The newlyweds shared their first dance as husband and wife to “Loving You Easy,” by the Zac Brown Band.

Tennessee farm wedding

Tennessee farm wedding

Tennessee farm wedding

Tennessee farm wedding

Tennessee farm wedding

Tennessee farm wedding

Tennessee farm wedding

The couple bids farewell to their guests and walks toward their future as husband and wife!

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! 

RESOURCES

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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