As Amber Ballinger admits, the night she met her husband, Chase, was a dinner obligation she almost canceled.
“Chase and I met at a dinner with mutual friends at Miyako, a sushi and steakhouse restaurant in Lexington,” Amber said. “My friend knew that Chase was coming off of a breakup at the time and that I was not dating anyone, so she thought we should meet. Chase was definitely not part of my ‘plan’ at all, so much so that I ate dinner prior to meeting him in case I wanted to ditch dinner. I also called my sister and complained about not wanting to go. Needless to say, I am very thankful my love for food trumped my mood that night or else I would never have met my happily ever after.”
Both the Amber and Chase were born in Kentucky. Amber was born in Louisville and moved around age 5 to Shelbyville, Ky. Chase was born and raised here in Lexington. Both attended college in Kentucky; Chase attended Georgetown College and Amber attended Transylvania University.
“Although we joke about how close we were, and how many times we were in the same place throughout college, we did not meet until years after graduating from college,” Amber said.
When the couple were deciding where to have their reception, they chose the Signature Club because it was the first place that they said “I love you”. It also was the only venue that they took Amber’s parents to see and once her parents approved, the couple booked it for October 20, 2017.
After picking the reception venue, Amber reached out to Transy, her alma mater, to see if Old Morrison Chapel, a Registered National Historic Landmark on Transy’s campus, was available.
“Transy was a quaint setting for us to have the wedding and special that I could incorporate my college into our day,” said Amber.
As Amber explained, she and Chase are not extravagant people, so they wanted their wedding to reflect their everyday lives. They kept the décor simple and classic.
“Chase let me fully embrace my love for rose gold while planning the decor,” Amber said. “I tried to be practical when picking out decorations, so I purchased many of the items with plans to use them in our house and for parties, etc.”
It was important to Amber to include personal details throughout the wedding. As Amber explained, her grandfather was not only her best friend, but also her biggest fan.
“When I was in high school, my grandfather started bringing me daisies. I never knew they were coming, or why, but it never failed that he would randomly show up with them for me,” Amber said. “He also came to every sporting event that I had, bringing a bottle of water and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.”
Amber created a memory table that included an assortment of daisies with a couple Reese’s lying next to them because she knew her grandfather would have brought them to her on her wedding day.
“Another way I added him into our day was with my bouquet. My sweet sister made me a pendant that had the last picture that I took with my grandfather on it. I attached it to the ribbon on my bouquet, so he was with me every step of the way,” she said.
When Chase was asked his favorite part of the day, he said that family and friends were the stars of the show.
“Other than the bride coming down the aisle, the best part of the day was having our families there throughout the day,” he said. “I think it was just amazing to us to have all of our friends and family, old and new, in one place celebrating our lives together.”
While Amber did most of the planning, Chase saw how much time and energy went into every step and recognized that there are lots of small details that need to be planned and thought of well in advance. His advice for other grooms (and brides) is to enjoy the moment.
“Don’t take your wedding day for granted because it will go by incredibly fast,” he said. “You don’t get your entire family and group of best friends in the same place very often, so cherish it.”