Shakespeare famously wrote that “Journeys end in lovers meeting,” and for Haley and Matt Norris, no words could have proved truer. The couple met through mutual fraternity and sorority friends in college and although their story may not follow the traditional dating curriculum, the chemistry between the pair was undeniable. Haley explains, “We’ve always said that our relationship just happened. We didn’t have your typical ‘first date’ or the formal ‘meeting of the parents’. We just knew we liked each other enough that we didn’t want to stop seeing each other!” Needless to say, a one-and-a-half-year college relationship turned two-year long-distance romance blossomed into much more when Matt, who is originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, moved back to Lexington to be with Haley. “It took a lot of convincing to get a strong Volunteers fan to settle down in Kentucky,” laughs Haley, “but Kentucky has always felt like home for us since that’s where our journey began,” she says.
When the time came to plan their wedding and source their perfect venue, The Barn at Cedar Grove was a natural fit. “After visiting the space, I immediately fell in love,” shares Haley. “Not only is it serene and beautiful, it has a lot of amenities and included benefits, one of our main reasons for booking,” she continues. Pulling from her own experience as a wedding planner through Halo Weddings + Events, a business she co-owns with a close friend, Haley’s attention to detail is heightened not only by her profession as a graphic designer but through her wedding stationary business, Haley Michelle Designs. Thus, Haley knew the checklist items she was looking for as she began planning the wedding of her dreams. “The other main reason I wanted to book this venue was the owner, Amy Mitchum. She was a godsend! She was so sweet and truly made us feel like family!”
In addition to the décor provided by the venue, Haley incorporated beautiful elements throughout to carry out her modern garden vision. “One of my favorite pieces was the climbing vine on the barn entrance doors, created by Zachary Brady Designs, who was such a joy to work with! It was such a stunning statement piece that really wow’d all of our guests and truly transformed the venue space,” she exclaims. The main details throughout the space were all created personally by Haley, which made it all so much more special to see on the day of. She explains, “I knew I wanted to have brushed acrylic signs for all my signage to exude that modern, yet whimsical, feel!” Other handmade details included the mirror seating chart, which was a HUGE eye-catching detail that Haley claims her guests still talk about today, the calligraphy menus and marble tile place cards, and the greenery chandelier that hung above the sweetheart table. These personal touches not only made her wedding day even more special, but they gorgeously conveyed the “garden wedding” feel that Haley dreamed of.
Apart from the stunning décor right out of a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Haley and Matt have unique memories from their wedding day on August 18 of 2018 that will stay in their hearts and minds forever. “My favorite moment (other than walking down the aisle to my husband, of course!) would be having my first look with my dad. It meant so much to me to have him be the first to see me in my dress before everything started. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl and seeing him so proud of me meant more than anything I could imagine. It was such a special moment for the both of us, especially me being his first little girl.” Matt’s favorite moment was seeing Haley in her stunning gown for the first time as she walked down the aisle to become his wife. “Choosing to not do a first look allowed us to experience such true emotion and creating a moment we’ll both never forget,” Haley says. The couple also shares their appreciation to all of their friends, family members, and wedding party who joined them in celebrating, and for all of those unable to attend, the bride added a touching tribute by creating a handmade “In Loving Memory” sign.
Looking back, the happy couple would not change a thing about their special day! The memories they created with all of their loved ones is something they could never replace. One piece of advice from Haley is encouraging all brides to invest in a wedding planner and/or coordinator. She advises, “When it comes to your wedding day, you want to be able to relax, celebrate and enjoy every second! No bride wants to stress about timeline and all the little details. Having someone there who is in charge of just that will take a huge weight off your shoulders that you won’t regret!”
PHOTOGRAPHY | Amy Wallen Photography
VENUE | The Barn at Cedar Grove
CATERING | Ruckel's Restaurant
PLANNER | Halo Weddings + Events
COORDINATOR | White Cat Weddings
FLORALS | Zachary Brady Desigtns
RENTALS/DECOR | The Barn at Cedar Grove, Bryant's Rent All, M&H Rentals
GOWN | Rebecca's Bridal Boutique
BRIDAL PARTY ATTIRE | Lulus
GROOM/GROOMSMEN ATTIRE | The Black Tux
HAIR/MAKEUP | Luxe Salon & Spa, Lebanon KY
STATIONERY/CALLIGRAPHY/SIGNAGE | Haley Michelle Designs
DJ | Complete Weddings + Events
ACCOMMODATIONS | Garrison Farmstead