The best things in life come when you’re not looking. “Life has a funny way of bringing people together when they least expect it,” laughs Ashley Barker. “Zack and I didn’t know each other when we both took our first job out of college at Fidelity Investments, eager to pursue careers in the finance industry. Despite both of us having graduated from the University of Kentucky just a few months prior, we had yet to cross paths. She smiles and continues, “We had mutual connections but somehow didn’t know one another; we were complete strangers that always seemed to make eye contact when we passed one another in the hallway.”

Weeks passed and Ashley and Zack had yet to introduce themselves but as fate would have it, a training class forced them to share their backgrounds over an icebreaker exercise. A team outing led to drinks back at Zack’s afterwards with work colleagues and the couple’s first, innocent kiss. Fast forward and the pair were planning for a breathtaking fall wedding held at the Apiary in Lexington on September 28 of 2019. “Lexington is a very special place for Zack and me,” says Ashley. “The Apiary also happens to be just a few steps away from where we had our first date. I vividly remember how alluring the gardens were as we walked past the venue. Once we were engaged, we decided to take a tour of the venue and we knew immediately it was where we wanted to celebrate our big day.”

With an elegant southern wedding theme selected, the couple chose warm ambers and emerald greens to highlight an autumnal background. “One of the many reasons we fell in love with the venue is due to our love for nature. We felt the gardens allowed us to immerse our guests in a setting where we feel most at home,” the couple adds. Contrasting black elements were incorporated throughout their decor scheme from their invitation suite to the black velvet tablecloths and candles creating a perfectly balanced moody, yet classic atmosphere. In retrospect, the Barkers agree that the most memorable aspect of their wedding was the band. They share, “Everyone still raves about them and they played all of our favorite music. They were incredible!”

While we’ve all heard the phrase “don’t sweat the small stuff,” Ashley and Zack disagree. “For us, those small details made the day a reflection of who we were as a couple and how we view our love.” For example, one of their favorite details of the wedding featured Hudson, their 2-year-old black lab. Ashley explains, “He is such a huge part of our lives and we wanted to make sure we incorporated him throughout our reception. To do this we show cased ‘The Hudson,’ an old-fashioned signature drink and used his picture on ivory and gold cocktail napkins that were a huge hit with our guests!” When looking back on the day, Ashley encourages others to “follow your heart in what you feel you need to do to make that day all you ever wanted it to be.” She continues, “Have fun and remember to take it all in and enjoy every second of it!”

PHOTOGRAPHER Shining Light Photography

VENUE Apiary Fine Catering & Events

CATERING Apiary Fine Catering & Events

SWEETS Tinker’s Cake Shop

FLOWERS State & Arrow

PLANNER Shelly Fortune Events

RENTALS/DECOR All Occasions Event Rental

STAGE Bryant’s Rent All
BRIDAL GOWN Monique Lhuillier
BRIDAL PARTY Katie May Collections GROOM/GROOMSMEN Folchi’s

MAKEUP Caroline Lee Makeup
HAIR Hair by Maddie Woff


RINGS Diamonds by Dani
MUSIC Music City Rhythm Revue


For Olivia and James Wang, everything about their wedding day was a dream come true. Olivia said, “I had a blast getting ready with my bridal party, which included all four of my younger sisters and my four best friends. Walking down the aisle to James was incredible, and seeing his smile gave me butterflies. It was perfect!” James also enjoyed his time getting prepared for the ceremony, saying, “I had a great time being with my boys; just waiting for the moment I would see Olivia walk down the aisle to me. I knew she would look absolutely amazing and she was all that and more. I felt like time was standing still while we were up there making our vows to each other.” A special moment for both Olivia and James was honoring their parents with a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony. It was an elegant and symbolic way of unifying their two cultures, and a big hit with everyone!

Though neither were born in Kentucky, the bride and groom called Lexington home from a young age. James, an avid UK fan, graduated from Henry Clay High School and the University of Kentucky, while Olivia graduated from Bryan Station High School and Kentucky State University before working on her Master’s degree at the University of Kentucky. Olivia shares, “We first met at a week-long entrepreneurship camp when we were high school juniors in 2009. Though we didn’t talk much then, we ended up becoming friends on Facebook.” Years passed with hardly any interaction, and as James began his career as an accountant, Olivia embarked on a summer of travel in Europe before beginning her graduate studies. She invited her Facebook friends to follow her adventures on Snapchat; James saw this status and decided to do just that, remembering Olivia as the very cute girl from all those summers ago. After returning home from Europe, Olivia reached out to a new friend request from someone named “Juiceman”, who turned out to be James. “After a week of catching up via novel-length text messages, we had our first date at Baskin Robbins on Tates Creek, where we talked for hours over ice cream,” Olivia explained. “We dated for two and a half years, and in November 2018, James proposed at the same Baskin Robbins where we had our first date!”

On October 4th, 2019, the pair said “I do” to forever at The Galerie in Versailles, Kentucky. “Our florist did an amazing job with the flowers for our ceremony and reception. We also had the greatest wedding favor of 2019: a mixtape CD (with custom album cover) of songs that brought us together. Everyone loved it!” they shared. When asked about the advice they would pass along to others planning their own wedding, the couple suggests affectionately, “Plan it together, and have fun with it! Also, make an excel sheet to keep track of everything. Oh, and on the big day, eat lots of cake!” 

PHOTOGRAPHER Mothwing Photography

VIDEOGRAPHER Cre8tive Visions

VENUE The Galerie
CATERING + CAKE Sweet Lilu’s

FLOWERS + DECOR Bel Air Florist

BRIDAL GOWN David’s Bridal
BRIDAL PARTY David’s Bridal


MAKEUP Mary Miller Bridal Makeup
HAIR Lady Byrds Hair Salon
PHOTO BOOTH Picture Perfect Photo Booth, LLC


Jeremy Rice and Jeremy Cheek first met on September 23 of 2000. Nearly 18 years later, they were joined in matrimony. “The wedding was filled with laughter from the very beginning; from the vows to the cake shoving and dancing, everyone seemed to really enjoy being there with us. Seeing all the people who love and support us in one place at the same time was really spectacular,” shares Jeremy (Cheek).

While the pair were born and raised in different small towns in Kentucky, they both attended college in central Kentucky and were always drawn to Lexington. “In many ways, it is like a big ‘small town’ and we love the scenery and personality that it offers,” the couple says. This shared love of the Bluegrass made Lexington an easy choice for their wedding ceremony and reception, both held at The Livery downtown. “We didn’t want to risk having an outdoor ceremony so The Livery offered a great place to have both while offering history, character and a canvas you can make your own.”

Upon their arrival, guests were greeted by an open bar, a “selfie wall” made from magnolias and white hydrangeas and a photo timeline of the Jeremys through the years. Pillar candles and a 7’ brass circle decorated with magnolia leaves, white hydrangeas, white roses and pheasant feathers served as the backdrop for the ceremony in which they wore matching rainbow heart socks from TietheKnot. org. They share, “We wanted to celebrate the equality of marriage and the opportunity to make it official after all these years.” They continue, “Writing our own vows led to some very candid moments during the ceremony because we chose to not share them with anyone, including each other, until we said them aloud. That kept it personal and very special.” The reception embraced a classy, masculine feel with uplights along the perimeter to keep the vibe fun yet elegant. The focal point was the centered head table with the capacity to seat 24 of the pair’s nearest and dearest.

When they look back on their wedding, Jeremy and Jeremy agree that “It was very much a celebration and a way to show our appreciation to so many people.” This appreciation was reflected back to them in one of their favorite moments from their wedding celebration: the wedding brunch held the day after the reception, and a tradition they advise all couples to embrace. “It gave us a little extra time to spend with our loved ones who travelled great distances to celebrate with us when we weren’t wedding focused and everyone will remember it forever.” In closing, the happily married couple share sage advice that is not only relevant to those planning weddings, but also a pertinent reminder about life: “All the preparation in the world doesn’t mean any wedding, or any plan for that matter, will go exactly as you had imagined so just embrace that and enjoy the moment.”

PHOTOGRAPHER CJ Cruz Photography
VENUE The Livery
CATERING DaRae & Friends Catering

FLOWERS Stems, Natural Endeavors and House

CAKE Tinker’s Cake Shop
INVITATIONS Clayton & Crume, Minted

CALLIGRAPHY Lexington Lettering

RENTALS Bryant’s Rent All, Doo Wop Shop

VALET Xpress Valet