Katie Campbell had no idea when she left Ole Miss for a sorority retreat that she would walk into the Memphis Zoo and be named the one-millionth visitor. To celebrate this historic achievement, Katie was given an amazing prize package from the zoo, and a giraffe that was coincidentally born that day was named after her. Fast-forward 10 years, and she was once again at the Memphis Zoo, very near her now-10-year-old namesake giraffe, but this time, she was at her wedding reception, celebrating with her husband Joey Madere.
Katie and Joey first met through a mutual friend in October 2011 when they were both out on the town at Silky O’Sullivan’s on historic Beale Street. Six months later they had their first official date on March 1, 2012. It’s a date the couple will never forget since it’s also Katie’s birthday. After four years of dating, the two decided to tie the knot. “We got engaged on February 27, 2016,” Katie recalls. “We were having a romantic dinner at Chez Philippe in The Peabody Hotel.” Friends and family were waiting in the hotel lobby to celebrate the good news after Katie said “yes.”
As Katie and Joey were searching for wedding venues in Memphis, they discovered that The Lodge at Teton Trek in the Northwest Passage in the zoo was available. With Katie’s connection to the zoo, they immediately knew that it would be the perfect venue. “I have always been a big fan of the Memphis Zoo,” Katie says. “We also knew we would have many out-of-town guests, and I think it’s something really nice in Memphis for everyone to see.” For the ceremony, the historic St. Peter Church was the obvious choice. “Joey was a parishioner of St. Peter, and it’s such a beautiful church,” explains Katie.
The bride chose a beautiful dress with lace and a low-cut back. Her 10 bridesmaids wore royal blue dresses from Azazie. Each picked the style dress she preferred, but all were the same stunning shade of blue. The nine groomsmen looked handsome in traditional black tuxedos. Katie’s family helped her with her “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” “My grandmother’s earrings were my something old and something borrowed. For something new, my parents gave me a new bracelet, which also had blue in it.”
Roses and various blooms in blush and white tones adorned the altar and the bridal party’s gorgeous bouquets. As for how she chose the flowers, Katie recalls, “L & Jay Productions had asked me to send them pictures of things I liked. When I got to their studio, they had provided samples, so it made it easy to choose.”
After the ceremony, the newlyweds snuck away to have a few photos taken at various locations throughout downtown Memphis. Then, they headed to Overton Park to meet their guests at the Memphis Zoo.
The party at the Lodge at Teton Trek at the zoo was full of laughter and dancing — and, of course, delicious food. Simply Delicious Caterings provided the food and service for the cocktail reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres. The couple chose tasty small-bite dishes such as individual mac-n-cheeses, tomato caprese bites and mini crab cakes, which were served at various stations throughout the venue.
The wedding cake, a four-tier white buttercream cake with varying layers of vanilla, strawberry and pumpkin, with gorgeous cascading roses, was absolutely beautiful. But it was the topper that was the show-stopper – a pair of bride and groom giraffes, a nod to Katie’s special connection to the zoo and her namesake giraffe. The groom’s cake provided a fun connection for Joey. “Joey is originally from New Orleans and loves King Cake,” Katie explains of this fun Mardi Gras-inspired creation.
The couple’s first dance was to “Sea of Love” and Katie is quick to point out that it was “the Cat Power version!” After that first dance, she and Joey spent the evening dancing among friends and family to the tunes of the Memphis-based band Almost Famous. Katie says this was the best part of the night for her. “Dancing at the reception with my friends and family, I remember thinking how I did not want the evening to end.”
After the festivities, the newlyweds jetted off to the Grand Cayman Islands for a romantic honeymoon.
Congratulations, Katie and Joey! We wish you many years of love and happiness!
Photos: Creation Studios
Flowers: L & Jay Productions
Cake: Frost Bake Shop
Caterer: Simply Delicious Caterings
Makeup: Jessica Robinson, 901-413-3356
Hair: Michelle Copeland
Wedding dress: Jessica’s Bridal & Formal
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Azazie
Groom and groomsmen’s formalwear: American Tuxedo
Invitations and programs: The Stovall Collection
Music: Almost Famous
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