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A must-see Southern wedding with all of the Kentucky Derby details

fascinator with veil

Elizabeth and Matthew met as so many do - on Bumble! - and were quickly connected by a shared sense of "this is meant to be." Before long, Matthew was proposing at a picturesque bed and breakfast in Shenandoah Valley at sunset. Because Elizabeth works in sports public relations, and many of her clients are in the horse racing industry, it was a natural fit to host a wonderfully Southern, Derby-inspired wedding, especially because Matthew is originally from Lexington, Kentucky! Keep scrolling to see how this incredible day at Moss Mountain Farm in Little Rock, Arkansas, came together with the help of Katherine Benson of Bella Baxter Events and photographed by Kati Mallory Photo & Design.

Southern wedding invitation suite

Summery Southern invitations

Elizabeth and Matthew opted for classic Southern invitations by Dayflower Designs in vibrant, summery colors. Of course, the invitation suite wasn't complete without a custom "B" monogram!

Manolo Blahnik wedding shoes wedding dress with bow

large Derby hat for bride


custom wedding shot glasses embroidered wedding date in suit jacket

Kentucky Derby Wedding

blue pin striped suit

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blue and pink wedding ceremony programs mounding floral installation

high neck low back wedding dress

A classic church ceremony

During their ceremony full of lovely summer florals, Elizabeth and her father put on a touching performance. The couple and their guests then moved to Moss Mountain Farm, a venue with natural allure that captured the couple's hearts from their very first step onto its grounds. The stunning gardens, the rustic charm, and the breathtaking river vistas amplified the beauty of the celebration throughout the day.

photo wall of roses

single stem rose seating cards outdoor Derby wedding cocktail hour

tent entrance floral installation

"Run for the Roses" floral inspiration

Tipton & Hurst brought to life a springtime floral wonderland including plenty of roses, an homage to the Kentucky Derby's "Run for the Roses."

monogrammed wedding decor

blue and yellow place settings gold flatware

draped floralcenterpieces

Hats, Seersucker, Mint Juleps, Oh My!

The cocktail hour was an absolute showcase of Southern charm and timeless elegance, as guests enjoyed the event while attired in seersucker suits, sundresses, and the unmistakable allure of Derby hats. The air hummed with excitement as the lively melodies of Swing Band Reunion set the stage, while guests said "cheers" with the classic Mint Julep (a quintessential nod to Derby Day tradition).


charcuterie table

A culinary ode to the derby

Vibrant Occasions put together a menu that felt Southern, as well as "farm to table." They didn't, however, forget to include bits of fun amidst all of the classic options. For cocktail hour, Vibrant Occasions put together a charcuterie spread that appeared to grow out of a large block of cheese, and they also made sure to carve the couple's wedding logo into a watermelon as part of a special surprise. Initial appetizers also included: mini bacon cheeseburger slider, cheese stuffed mushrooms, and Jamaican jerk chicken picks. These were then followed by: Razorback bites (for University of Arkansas!) and mini New England crab cakes. For the plated dinner, Vibrant Occasions served a garden salad of seasonal ingredients that spoke to the couple's dedication to showcasing local flavors. Entrée options included: Cabernet braised beef short ribs, blackened airline chicken, and stuffed acorn squash.

blue George Bulldogs grooms cake

Creme brulee and late-night chicken 'n waffles

The meal culminated with a vanilla creme brulee and a playful, satisfying late-night snack of chicken & waffles. The late-night snack, in particular, was an irresistible nod to Southern comfort. Through this meticulously crafted menu, Elizabeth and Matthew's celebration resonated as a heartfelt tribute to the Kentucky Derby, culinary excellence, and inclusive hospitality.


Razorback wedding cake college-themed wedding cake

After-the-fact advice from the bride

“Hire a good wedding planner who you deeply trust. We were so lucky to have Katherine Benson of Bella Baxter Event on our team. My husband and I both work in professional services and know what it means to treat a client well. For example, you don’t come to a client having simply identified a problem. Instead, you come to a client having identified a problem as well as a set of potential solutions for them to choose from. Katherine did that every time and we trusted her so much. She was always relieving stress instead of causing it and that made all the difference in the world,” says Elizabeth.


Southern wedding venue

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