Anne Sydney and Jesse have known each other so long, neither of them even remembers how they met. Their families still attend the same church in Pikeville, where they both attended preschool as toddlers. The two moved from being childhood friends to high school sweethearts to falling in love over the course of two decades.
Before a long holiday weekend Anne Sydney thought they had planned to spend apart, the pair went to dinner at their favorite restaurant in downtown Lexington. With a Tiffany blue box burning a hole in his pocket, Jesse took Anne Sydney back to his house where he fell to one knee. They celebrated their engagement in style with their parents on a pre-arranged trip to The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV over that Memorial Day Weekend.
Choosing a location for the celebration of their wedding vows wasn’t difficult. The church they attended as children held many memories for them, so it was a natural fit for the ceremony. However, the site for the reception was a different story, requiring much thought and a lot of welcomed cooperation from friends of the two families. The party took place on top of a mountain with spectacular views. Unequipped with water, power, sewer or other modern conveniences, the degree of planning to pull it off was immense.
Anne Sydney traveled with her mother, future mother-in-law and mother’s best friend to New York City for dress fitting appointments. She eventually chose a Peter Langner gown with hand-draped silk organza layers. Her bouquet featured garden roses, ranunculus and peonies, wrapped in brocade ribbon.
On the morning of the big day, Jesse and his groomsmen played a game of basketball at his old high school gym, afterwards taking a tour of the sights of Pikeville guided by Jesse’s father. Anne Sydney spent those moments at her childhood home with her parents, sisters and bridesmaids preparing for the big afternoon and evening ahead. The bridesmaids wore different styles of dusty shale, silk chiffon J. Crew dresses and each carried a bouquet wrapped in navy ribbon. The groom and groomsmen wore navy suits from Jos. A Bank with peach and sage green striped ties from Collared Greens.
To give their 470+ guests a taste of the lush mountaintop reception that was to come, the church was staged with several varieties of trees and plants. The couple’s childhood pastor officiated the wedding ceremony, which featured several touching musical moments.
Guests took Big Blue buses up to the mountaintop reception site, overlooking the city of Pikeville. They were each given custom tickets proclaiming that it was “Time to Celebrate, Y’all!” Upon arrival, they enjoyed a cocktail hour while listening to the sounds of a local all female bluegrass band, Coaltown Dixie, and were impressed by the spectacular views of the city below.
The stunning sailcloth tents provided a soft, illuminated feel. The couple chose a mix of round, long and square tables with dusty shale toned linens. The centerpieces featured wooden or glass vases. Custom wooden bars were built by Anne Sydney’s brother-in-law especially for the wedding. Large polished blocks of coal laid atop the bars, as a nod to both families’ heritage in the coal industry. Smaller pieces of coal attached to push pins secured the hand-calligraphed seating charts, which matched the couple’s paper suite, place cards, directional signs and marriage certificate.
Guests were treated to live music from Jump Street Band from Washington, DC, delicious catering from Lexington’s own Apiary Fine Catering, and hilarious toasts. A touching tradition was continued by utilizing the bride’s maternal grandmother’s wedding mint recipe, which she had lovingly used to prepare mints for all five of her children’s weddings. At the end of the night after a late night snack of beignets and mocha milkshakes, guests formed a path of glittering sparklers as the bride and groom dashed to their departure vehicle, a shiny navy Bentley convertible. Fireworks fountains illuminated their drive down the mountain. The end of a most wonderful day was spent with Anne Sydney and Jesse being chauffeured by the groom’s father through the streets of their hometown, reflecting on the day’s events and how special it was to them both.
PHOTOGRAPHER | Melanie Mauer
VIDEOGRAPHER | Blueberry Creative
CEREMONY VENUE | First Baptist Church, Pikeville KY
HAIR | Lux Hair Bar, Justin Greer & Ryan Reeves
MAKEUP | Applied Cosmetic Services, Ana Crane
BRIDAL GOWN | Peter Langner, "Puccini"
BRIDESMAID DRESSES | J.Crew
CATERING | Apiary Fine Catering & Events
DESIGNER, FLORIST, & DECOR | Jaclyn Journey
CAKE | Martine's Pastries
WEDDING PLANNER | Weekend Wedding Warrior
RENTALS & LIGHTING | Camargo Rentals
LINENS | La Tavola and Wildflower Linens
CALLIGRAPHER | Rachel Fisher Calligraphy
PAPER GOODS | Hound Dog Press
TRANSPORTATION | Bluegrass Tours