It All Started at a BBQ

Amanda Harper


Kate and Antonio first met at a friend’s Memorial Day BBQ Party in Athens, GA. They bonded over Shakespeare; Antonio was acting in a local production of one of The Bard’s plays, and Kate mentioned that she hated to miss it. A few months later, Antonio was in The Merry Wives of Windsor and encouraged Kate to see it. To help familiarize her with the play, the two had their first official date at the library, huddled around a dusty old VHS copy of the BBC version. When the library closed before they could finish the last minutes, they had a built-in excuse for a second date.

Once Kate finished her veterinary ophthalmology residency in Georgia, she began looking for her first “grown-up” job,
and a Lexington veterinary hospital was on the list of contenders. The two of them spent a long weekend in the area to see how Kentucky “fit” for them and ended up falling in love with the city. When fellow Bourbon lovers offered to give them a ride back to town from Woodford Reserve – and even gave them two tickets to Keeneland the next day – they knew they had found their home. “From that moment on,” Antonio said, “I knew Lexingtonians were unlike anyone else.”

The couple decided early on that they wanted a winter wedding. Working with a venue that could accommodate their
wishes was important. “Choosing a wedding venue can be a very difficult and frustrating time,” Kate explained. “When we first walked into The Signature Club, however, we knew we had found a special place. They were so professional and easy to work with throughout the whole process.”

Kate wore her mother’s veil and a cloak that her grandmother made for Kate’s aunt’s wedding some  years prior. The bride’s mother made fur stoles for the bridesmaids, as well as the groom’s jacket.

The couple wanted a winter wonderland feel for their wedding day. To achieve it, they steered the palette toward dark
greens, browns and white tones. Flickering candles, pine boughs and woodland decorations helped bring wintry elements. Countless DIY details sprinkled throughout the décor made every moment incredibly personal. The bride even handmade the clay foxes that served as the cake topper for a one-of-a-kind touch!

Kate and Antonio worked with First Dance Lexington to choreograph their first dance to “We Belong Together” by Randy Newman. Her father arranged and recorded the version of “Married Life” that played during their father-daughter dance. Kate and Antonio loved ending the night under a shower of paper “snow” during their official send-off… before escaping for a private moment together alone outside, only to have it begin snowing for real.

TOPS in Lexington | December 2021 Kate and Antonio want to remind other couples teamwork is the key to smooth
wedding planning. “My advice,” says Antonio, “is to not say, ‘I don’t care,’ if your soon-to-be spouse asks for your opinion on something. You may not care, but weddings require a copious number of decisions to be made and if your spouse is asking for help with making some of those, provide that help.”

Kate agreed and added, “Try not to get too overwhelmed with the small things… at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the person waiting for you at the end of the aisle. Things have a way of working out for the best.”