After dating long distance from Louisville to Lexington for almost five years, Jake West proposed to his college sweetheart, Lauren Henson, at a most unexpected time. They were running late on their way to church one Sunday when Jake got down on one knee and proposed. They did make it to church and then spent the entire day with Lauren’s family, who was in on the surprise, as well.
Lauren planned her own wedding in Louisville, and made sure to include so many details that showed her love for her family and for Kentucky. This love is reflected in her carefully chosen guest welcome bags, her invitations, the grass-fed beef dinner entree from her family farm, the bourbon barrels throughout the reception and even the horse-themed tables.
Lauren’s Monique Lhuillier dress was everything she dreamed of for her big day. It was formfitting, yet soft and romantic, while still being current and modern. She really wanted Jake to be able to see her looking like herself in the dress, but she also wanted to feel very bridal at the same time. Her only regret is that she’ll only wear the dress one time.
Lauren is one of three girls, or as they are known, “three peas in a pod,” which is also the name of the family farm in Shelbyville. Her sisters helped with many parts of the wedding: Lauren’s something old was three lace handkerchiefs made from their mother’s wedding dress, one for each of the girls to use.
Lauren, Jake, Lauren’s sisters and her parents all helped plan the wedding, tending to all the details. Some of the bride’s favorite touches were the hotel welcome bags, the handmade invitations and the guest favors at the wedding. For the invitations, they bought the supplies at Paper Source, and everyone helped with the design and assembly of all the print materials. Her sister designed the wedding monogram, which was featured throughout the weekend. Each guest left the wedding with a mini bourbon-soaked praline cake (The Louie’s Derby Cake from Mert’s Cakes). The cakes were wrapped in individual boxes with gold ribbon and the wedding monogram on top.
When asked what the best part of the day was, Lauren replied “Hands down, when the church doors opened and Jake and I saw each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle with my dad. Jake and I were so happy that we waited to see each other until that moment. It was also a very sweet and tender moment for my father and I.”
The couple had their reception at The Pointe in Butchertown. They picked this venue because they loved the history of the building. It was a former 19th-century leather, lace and cotton sash factory. It was close to the ceremony site and featured large open spaces that would accommodate their wedding size and allow them to bring in their own caterer. They also loved the interior features, like the exposed brick, original hardwood floors and large windows.
The bride picked a color palette of gold, cream and blush tones, which created a dreamy ambience for the event. There was a lot of candlelight and soft gold uplighting throughout the room.
Guests dined on Kentucky Bibb salads, shrimp and grits, bourbon-glazed pork loin and special grass-fed beef from Lauren’s family’s farm. The catering was all done by Chef Tony Efstratiadis, from Wild Eggs, where Lauren is the director of marketing. A special treat on the menu was the Everything Muffin from Wild Eggs.
Dessert and sweets were a big part of the wedding. First was the grand wedding cake from Mert’s Cakes. It was a four-tier cake that featured handmade sugar magnolia flowers with gold button centers and Southern flavors. Layers were red velvet cake with cream cheese filling, lemon cake with raspberry and cream cheese filling, and sour cream pound cake with Bavarian cream. Mert’s Cakes also made the groom’s cake, which was a horseshoe-shaped chocolate ganache cake topped with homemade bourbon balls provided by Jake’s mom. In case guests needed more sweets, there was also a candy bar from Something Sweet Candy Buffets in Lexington.
Guests danced to the tunes of The Matte Gray Band out of Nashville. But a special surprise came when former Major League Baseball player and close family friend Jim “Mudcat” Grant sang “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong for the father-daughter dance.
Congrats to the beautiful bride and groom! Cheers to a lifetime of happiness!
Church: St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Venue: The Pointe
Photography: Todd Pellowe
Bride’s gown: Bliss by Monique Lhuillier
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Custom LulaKate
Makeup: Amelia Evans
Hair: The Pink Lou Lou, Allison Johnson & Dana Peddicord
Hairpiece for the reception: Britni Knable of HeadCandi
Groom’s & groomsmen’s formalwear: JoS. A. Bank
Invitations, programs & menu cards: DIY, with supplies from The Paper Source
Flowers: Wayne Esterle, In Bloom Again
Catering: Chef Tony Efstratiadis, Wild Eggs
Cake: Virginia Rankin of Mert’s Cakes
Guest accommodations: Hyatt Regency Downtown Louisville
Wedding coordinator, “day-of”: Meredith Emmert from Kisses to Mrs.
Wedding reception coordinator: Kayla Hammerstrom at The Pointe