DeAnn Stephens, morning show host of “Officer Don & DeAnn” on 98.1 The Bull and host of “Out & About” on WKYT-TV, was first introduced to husband, Eddie Cox, through a mutual friend in Louisville.
“Eddie reached out to me on social media and asked if he could call sometime,” DeAnn says. “We talked every day for a week and then he finally asked me out. Ed lives in Louisville and when he asked me out he said, ‘have you ever heard of some place called ‘Malone’s?’ A few of my buddies like to eat there, so maybe we could try it?’”
Little did Eddie know that DeAnn and her daughters eat at Malone’s about once a week, but at the time she didn’t have the heart to tell him.
“He probably thought it was strange when we walked in and I knew everyone by name,” DeAnn says. “I arranged for my nephew to wait on us in case I needed an ‘out’, but I knew when Ed grabbed my hand to bless the food that he was a keeper.”
After two and a half years of dating, the couple was engaged. Ed and DeAnn didn’t want a “wedding,” instead they wanted a party. DeAnn enlisted the help of a few close friends, who immediately started the planning process.
“We wanted our friends to be invited to something more like an engagement party that would end up being like a wedding,” DeAnn says.
The couple threw the party on a Friday night in July, so that they wouldn’t interfere with their guests’ weekend plans. The invite read: “Join us for a Southern Summer Soiree celebrating DeAnn & Ed. Special guests arriving at 7:45 p.m.”
As Eddie and DeAnn explained, everyone thought a country music star was coming in for the event because the couple was asked, “Is it Darius Rucker or Garth Brooks?” The reality was, DeAnn and Eddie’s children, her two daughters and Eddie’s son, were the special guests.
“Even the kids didn’t know what was going on until the night before the party,” DeAnn says. “I desperately wanted them to feel special because it wasn’t just about Ed and me, it was about all of of us as a family.”
Officer Don flew the kids in by helicopter right at 7:45 p.m., and while he was hovering around the house, Ed and DeAnn ran inside and changed clothes. When DeAnn’s daughters, Kennedy and Kamryn, stepped out of the helicopter in their matching dresses and bouquets, and Eddie’s son, Ej, in his wedding attire and boutonniere, guests quickly realized what was going on.
Friends of DeAnn and Eddie’s had recently bought a home in Jessamine County with a beautiful yard, pool and back porch. Bobbi and Troy Turner worked on renovations to their home for six months, but moved into their house just three weeks before the Cox’s wedding. As DeAnn and Eddie agree, the Turners home was the perfect place for their wedding.
“When you drive down the Turner’s beautiful winding driveway and step foot into their home, it’s breathtaking,” DeAnn says. “The Turners have five girls, so they’re hoping one day they will all want to get married at their home. What an awesome privilege it was for me to be the first one.”
Since guests thought they were attending a “Southern Summer Soiree,” DeAnn enlisted the help of Darae & Friends Catering. Darae came up with a “Southern” menu including shrimp and grits, tomato tarts and hot brown bites. DeAnn calls herself a bourbon girl, so they served a special bourbon tea as well! Fleur de Lys Designs by Suzanne handled the flowers with help from DeAnn’s aunt, Mary Ellen Stephens. “I told them I wanted Casablanca lilies and pink roses, and they did the rest. I loved what they put together for all of the tables and arrangements,” DeAnn says. “My bouquet was absolutely gorgeous. The only problem was that I was so anxious to get down the aisle, I forgot to carry it.”
Instead of a big cake, the couple wanted something simple like petit fours. Jane Burton made the petit fours and Vicki Gaver of Patty Cakes by Vicki made Ed’s Motocross Cake.
The entertainment was also very important to the Cox’s. As DeAnn explained, Coach Mitchell of the “Coach Mitchell Band” was one of the very first people she contacted in the wedding planning process.
“I knew no matter what, I wanted Coach Mitchell for the entertainment. We worked around his recruiting schedule to make sure we could have him. He brought in his entire band from Nashville—they were phenomenal,” DeAnn says.
This was the second marriage for Eddie and DeAnn, so the couple wanted it to be a celebration instead of a traditional wedding. As DeAnn explained, she didn’t want a first dance, a bouquet throw or a cutting of the wedding cake; she wanted a party for everyone to enjoy.
“Ed and I both feel so blessed to have found one another, which we have the Lord to thank for that, and our families and dear friends. Everyone has been so supportive of our love, our relationship and the blending of our two families. It took a lot of wonderful people to help pull it off, but it was everything I dreamed it would be.”