It was the summer of 2006 when Betsy Killough and Nick Pepe were invited to the same BBQ party in New York City. Barely knowing anyone in the crowd, they found each other and hit it off. Six years later, on June 30, 2012, they tied the knot in the bride's hometown, in a celebration of love, life, and, of course, barbecue.
Guests received a grouping of thoughtful items when they arrived in Lawrence, Kansas, for the celebration: a bar of handmade goat's milk soap from a nearby farm, a weekend itinerary and letter from the couple, trail mix in a Mason jar, an invitation to the Sunday brunch, doorknob signs that read "We Partied 'Till the Cows Came Home With Nick and Betsy", and sugar cookies made by Nick’s mom in the shape of different farm animals.
Betsy had worked with Lela Rose for nearly six years (she's the director of sales for the company), so when it came time to find her dress, she knew the first person she’d go to. “Designing together for this special day was such a pleasure," Lela said. "The appliqued lace we chose was both romantic and modern. We wanted to create a gown that felt formal enough for her church ceremony but also something that would be comfortable for the outdoor reception. She looked gorgeous and getting to share this day with Betsy and Nick was the best part of the experience for me.”
Nick donned a navy blue Corneliani suit, Charles Tyrwhitt shirt, and Bruno Magli shoes. In addition to a light blue tie and a crisp white pocket square, he accessorized with an IWC Portuguese watch Betsy gave him the night prior that was engraved with the message: "Nick, today I love you more than yesterday, less than tomorrow." The sweet words were also embroidered on his pocket square.
The groomsmen wore complementary ensembles.
For this family-centric wedding, the ceremony location was a no-brainer: The church in which six generations of Betsy’s family married. "It was a really overwhelming feeling to think all of these people that mean so much to us have stood here before us," Betsy said.
The traditional service took place inside the building, with the Tiffany windows on full display. The couple chose not to see each other until the ceremony, so when Betsy started her walk down the aisle, the emotions kicked into high gear. Another tender moment came with the exchanging of vows, particularly the recital of “in sickness and in health,” as the couple had stood by each other through the intense two years that Betsy battled cancer.
Stone Barn Farm (Betsy's uncle’s farm) provided an incredible setting for the post-ceremony celebration -- the first of it’s kind on the property. The bride grew up spending time on the farm and the pair felt it was the perfect spot for their relaxed yet chic country fete.
A self-serve station of the couple's signature drink (a variation of "summer beer" made of beer, lemonade, and vodka) included wooden stir sticks bearing the pair's initials.
Servers also passed napkins to guests that read "If you're holding this napkin, you’re among our favorite people in the world. Thank you for your love and support. -- Nick and Betsy."
The family-style meal was served alfresco in a field overlapping the vast pasture that showcased the clear Kansas summer night as the sun set. Guests dined on brisket, BBQ chicken, hay stack potatoes, Bismarck Garden corn, hot rolls, and summer harvest salad at long tables, arranged around the dance floor. The meal was created by Southern Accent Catering using local ingredients, including corn that was picked that morning from a family friend's farm.
The newlyweds chose to forgo a wedding cake, and serve a few of their favorite desserts prepared by Cami's Cake Co. Apple caramel crumble and peach cobbler were served in doily-topped jars, and the strawberry shortcake bar included homemade biscuits and whipped cream. Antiques from the barn enhanced the presentation with authentic flair and dimension.
Photography: Mary Beth Russell of epagaFoto
Event Planning and Flowers: Red Door Event and Design
Catering: Southern Accent Catering
Day-of Paperie: Allie Statler of Announce This!
Calligraphy: Amy Birdsong Golden of Golden Ink
Dessert Table: Cami's Cake Co.
Music: Holmes Music World
Hair and Makeup: Nikki Leach-Meisenheimer for Lou & Co. Hair Studio
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