Lauren Combs and Cody Parker first met in the halls of the Kappa Delta house at Georgetown College. She was fresh-faced with her wet hair wrapped in a towel, but that casual moment would become the beginning of their beautiful love story. The couple began officially dating in October 2012 and stayed together while Lauren, a Louisville native, completed pharmacy school at the University of Kentucky. “Cody stuck with me through many rough times,” says Lauren, and when an opportunity arose for them to relocate to Florida after Lauren graduated, they jumped at the chance to begin a new adventure together. They had no idea that, years later, they’d be joined in matrimony on a beach in Destin.
On August 19, 2018, nearly six years into Lauren and Cody’s relationship, family and friends were gathered at Lake Cumberland to celebrate Lauren’s birthday. The couple was out on the water, with a Yeti cooler full of roses between, when Cody asked Lauren if she would marry him. And, of course, she said yes!
Lauren knew one thing when she started the wedding planning process: She wanted to get married by the water. “I was definitely a newbie to the wedding planning world, and so was my mom,” says Lauren. “However, Cody and I knew we wanted to get married on the beach, so we immediately started searching for the right destination.” They settled on Destin, Florida, for their fall wedding and enlisted the help of Sherri Kuhn of Destin To Wed to help pull off the perfect day. With only two months to plan, there was a lot of work to do.
Lauren and Cody wanted to perfectly capture the laid back vibe of a destination beach wedding, so they dressed their bridal party accordingly. The guys wore crisp white shirts and khakis, and the groom took his attire to the next level with a vest and boutonniere of simple white blooms and greenery. Lauren’s bridesmaids were gorgeous in their floor-length gowns in muted shades of blush and blue. The bride says she wanted her color palette to be subtle and classic, which extended to the bouquets and florals — pale pink with touches of ivory and cream.
With every detail perfectly planned, Lauren and Cody were ready for their wedding day. Unfortunately, that feeling of peace and calm wouldn’t last for long.
“The Wednesday before our wedding, our town in Panama City was devastated by Hurricane Michael,” says Lauren. “We lost all contact with family, and at that point, we were not even sure our wedding was going to happen. We were just thankful to be alive. We spent at least six hours tucked in our closet with two friends and our animals praying to survive the storm. I remember the moment I finally made contact with my wedding planner, and she assured me that everything was still on.”
Still shaken up by the hurricane, Lauren and Cody had a greater desire than ever to gather their loved ones close, and on October 13, 2018, they were able to do just that. With clear skies above and her sorority sister singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” Lauren walked down the sandy aisle in front of about 70 of her and Cody’s closest family and friends. They took a sip of bourbon in true Kentucky fashion, exchanged heartfelt vows they penned themselves and swapped rings before sharing their first kiss as husband and wife. Once they’d said “I do,” their beloved dogs escorted them as they recessed back up the aisle as Mr. and Mrs. Parker.
At the reception, the new Mr. and Mrs. danced to a medley of “You Look Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton and “The Way You Do the Things You Do” by UB40 while the sun set over the ocean. Guests enjoyed a burger bar and taco station and delicious cake before joining the bride and groom on the dance floor to dance the night away. The night ended with a splash — literally — as Lauren and Cody jumped in the pool at the Palazzo Del Sol.
Looking back, despite the trauma associated with the week preceding their wedding, Lauren and Cody are happy to have joyous memories with loved ones in what was an otherwise difficult time. “Cody and I were truly blessed and definitely have one heck of a story to tell about our wedding week,” says Lauren. “After such a traumatic few days, all that really mattered to us was enjoying our wedding day with friends and family.”
We wish you all the best, Lauren and Cody! Thank you so much for sharing a little peek at your gorgeous wedding day with us!
Venue: Palazzo Del Sol
Photographer: Brittany Bailey Photography
Bridal gown: Lillian West, Couture Closet
Bridesmaids’ gowns: Twirl Boutique
Hair: Gallant Glam
Makeup: Yvette Nation, The Perfect Makeup
Groomsmen’s attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Florist: Sally LaCourse, Florals By the Sea
Caterer: KBC Catering
Music: DJ Josh B, BBoy productions
Live music: Taylor Austin Dye
Planner: Sherri Kuhn, Destin To Wed
Videographer: SilverShade Studios
Dive into more beautiful Southern weddings HERE!