Blake Hix always had a vision for her wedding, and when a gorgeous farm with a barn opened up for a September wedding date, she and her then-fiancé, Matthew Russ, knew it was the site for their special day. Turns out, they were right. They got married September 30, 2017, and have only looked back with joy.

The two actually met on Twitter, of all places, and dated for four years before getting engaged in July 2016. “We had just gotten back from a family vacation in St. Joe’s Beach, Florida,” says Blake. “I knew he wasn’t the kind of person to make a big ordeal out of things, so I kinda knew he wouldn’t propose in Florida. But, of course, it’s always in the back of your mind because we had been talking about it. He waited until we got back, and I was actually putting groceries away. I found the ring hidden in the groceries.”

They immediately started planning the wedding. She had heard of Old Blue Ribbon Farm from a hairstyling client of her mother’s. “We’re a pretty on-top-of-it team,” she said of their swift and decisive planning.

Blake and Matthew Russ!

Because the wedding was about 45 minutes outside of Louisville, the couple and their guests spent the entire weekend at Old Blue Ribbon Farm in Eminence, KY, and in hotel rooms in nearby Shelbyville, so they could enjoy their weekend together, beginning with the rehearsal dinner Friday night at the farm. “The remoteness of the wedding made it seem a bit like a destination wedding, without being too far away or too expensive,” says Blake.

Her color scheme was inspired by her love of sunflowers. “He once surprised me with a bouquet of sunflowers, and he didn’t even know how much I loved them,” Blake said. She tested out other color schemes with sunflowers, deciding she liked lavender best. The result is a vibrant, romantic and fun look that captured the couple’s personalities.

Her great-grandmother’s engagement ring had been passed down to her from her late grandmother, which became her ‘something old.’ Her ‘something borrowed’ was her bridal belt, borrowed from her sister-in-law, who wore it in her own wedding. ‘Something new’ was her own wedding gown, designed by Lis Simon Bridal, and the blue of the eye in an elephant brooch on her bouquet rounded out the superstitious set and gave an additional nod to her beloved grandmother. “The symbol that my family recognizes as my grandma is elephants because she loved elephants,” says Blake.

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The bride and her bridesmaids getting ready for the big event.

Mimosas are a key ingredient!

The brooch on Blake’s bouquet was an elephant, which represents her grandmother, who loved elephants. The blue eye on the animal was her ‘something blue.’ Her engagement ring, which belonged to her great-grandmother, was her ‘something old.’

Getting her dress buttoned up.

The ladies see the bride in her gorgeous gown.

Blake, looking resplendent

The groomsmen, looking suave

A fist bump for good luck!

Blake said she’s always been obsessed with sunflowers.

The Old Blue Ribbon Farm was a beautiful backdrop.

Matthew knows he chose the right girl.

Blake and Matthew share a laugh.

Man and wife!

Their smiles say it all.

Emily and Barry Neubauer performed during the ceremony and during the pre-wedding cocktail hour.

The flower girl Josie keeps a good grip on her teddy.

The wedding ceremony took place on the front porch of the farmhouse at Old Blue Ribbon Farm. The bride and groom said traditional vows before 250 guests. Afterward, they moved to the old tobacco barn for a reception full of Kentucky tradition.

The couple danced to “Uneven Trade,” by Kentucky country-rockers, Sundy Best. “It is a band that he and I found when we first started dating,” says Blake. “We quickly became obsessed with them. We’ve been to a bunch of their concerts. He found the song and played it for me one day about a year into our relationship. I just started crying, and we said that it would be our wedding song.”

The guests enjoyed an array of bundt cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes, and the bride and groom had a white chocolate-raspberry cake to cut into. “Their cakes are awesome!” Blake says.

“The most fun part was the reception,” she says. “My dream was that everybody would be on the dance floor and having a good time. If they wanted to talk to us, they could come find us. We have a really fun group of friends and family, so I knew they would have a good time. I didn’t want to be worried about anything. I just wanted to have fun and dance with our friends and family on the dance floor, and that’s what happened.”

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The tables were named for Kentucky counties. What’s more Kentucky than that?

An amazing tobacco barn before the festivities began.

Peppermints for the guests — not actual horse treats.

Of course the bar was made of bourbon barrels.

The bride and groom’s table

Matthew shares a dance with his mom.

Blake has a tender moment with her dad.

The bride and the ring-bearer.

Blake enjoys the party with her mom and sister.

Blake breaks it down on the dance floor.

A sweet kiss for the bride and groom.

After the wedding, the couple didn’t have plans to go on a real honeymoon, as Blake was in school getting her master’s degree and working toward becoming a nurse practitioner.

“We weren’t going to do anything at all,” says Blake. “Then our family decided to go to Florida after our wedding, and they invited us to go with them to get away.”

And spending their “honeymoon” with their fun-loving family didn’t bother these easygoing lovebirds in the least. Plus, for their one-year anniversary, they are going to Asheville, NC, for a romantic getaway. Says Blake, “Now that I’m out of school, I’m making up for it!”

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