An off-script ceremony, intimate dinner, and glamorous details made this Tennessee wedding unique.
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Keenan first proposed to Brooklyn when he was five-years-old, underneath an oak tree at recess. She had already accepted a proposal from another boy so had to say decline. That answer finally changed in 2017 when, after four-and-a half-years of dating, Brooklyn finally accepted his proposal. "Her expression is engraved in my memory as one of the most blissful experiences of my entire life," Keenan recalls of his proposal, which took place in her backyard (it was orchestrated with the help of her sister!).
Their wedding, which took place on September 29, 2018, was held at the Venue at Twin Oaks in their native Tennessee. They hosted 260 of their loved ones—an energetic group that consisted mostly of church friends, college friends, and cousins. The family element was essential, since both Keenan and Brooklyn are part of tightly knit families.
Dreaming of a fall wedding at an old antebellum house, Brooklyn wanted a traditional and classic color palette of whites, golds, and blush pinks—and that's what she got, with the help of her mother and sister, who own an award-winning company called Southern Sparkle Wedding and Event Planning. They were integral to the process of creating a timeless, vintage atmosphere with candelabras, velvet furniture, ferns, blush pink astilbe, and hydrangeas. Brooklyn's own expertise in the industry (she works for Southern Sparkle, too) meant that she knew exactly which vendors she needed to make the perfect evening. Her planning paid off: "There was just so much love in the air. Everyone (family, friends, and even the wedding vendors) were genuinely so happy for us," she says. Her groom agrees; Keenan describes their wedding day as "the most indescribable day I have ever lived."
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Oak Trees Galore
It was fitting that Brooklyn should fall in love with the Venue at Twin Oaks the first time she saw it, considering the fact that Keenan's first proposal to her was under an oak tree at their elementary school. The antebellum style house was perfect for the party and the oak in the front yard was over 300 years old, giving the sense of a love that lasts.
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A pageant girl in her youth, Brooklyn thought she knew the exact silhouette she'd wear on her big day. After trying on many familiar styles—none of which felt right—Brooklyn's sister Krisy suggested she try something a little different, pointing to a princess-style Hayley Paige wedding dress with an illusion high neckline and full floral skirt. It was sparkly, unique, fun, and easy to dance in—and the one for her. "The style was totally not what I planned, but once I tried it on, I knew it was the dress for me," says the bride.
Brooklyn completed her bridal look with Keds sneakers and a veil made by a family friend, Tonia, who also made her sister's veil five years prior.
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Brooklyn's role in the family business made it tricky to cede control on the big day, but her attendants, a mix of family and friends who wore blush David's Bridal dresses for the occasion, stepped in to make sure she felt relaxed. "I felt the need to actually work my wedding day, but my bridesmaids did a great job of making sure I did not lift a finger," says Brooklyn.
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Mama Flower Power
Brooklyn's mother, Jennifer Parker—the flower guru at Southern Sparkle—is used putting together brides' bouquets on their wedding days. "The bride's bouquet is always a labor of love for me to make. I like to make them early in the morning when everyone is asleep, listen to 'Mercy Me,' and pour my heart into it," she says. In this case, the tears were flowing as she brought together greenery, pink astilbe, blush garden roses, white hydrangeas, blush hydrangeas, and creamy white spray roses for her daughter's bouquet.
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Work and Play
Aside from the floral arrangements, Brooklyn wanted her mom to be able to enjoy the day and relax. "I made sure to hire someone from my sister's company so that my mom, sister, and I could enjoy the day," she says.
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Brooklyn and her father have a lighthearted relationship, so when he saw her and immediately broke down in tears, she was surprised: "We usually don't have any serious moments, so I was shocked when he was overcome with emotion."
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Soaking It All In
Keenan's reaction was less of a shock: When the time came for him to see his bride on their wedding day, he was speechless. "I literally didn't say anything to her for a few minutes," he says of "just trying to soak in her beauty." Brooklyn was similarly moved. "I felt like I was going to pass out! My photographer had to hand me water! It was a very surreal moment," she explains.
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It was in the context of a blossoming group of high school and church friends that Keenan and Brooklyn fell in love, so it only made sense that their wedding was full of the affection and support of friends. "There was just so much love in the air," Keenan says.
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The ceremony took place on the front porch of the antebellum house. Guests sat on white wooden chairs facing the house; Brooklyn and Keenan's parents perched on gray vintage settees in the front row. Two large gold vases held hydrangeas and greenery on either side of the wedding party and long blush drapery outlined the pillars that supported the porch.
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Keenan and Brooklyn's relationship began in the context of church (it was on a church trip in 2012 that Keenan mustered up the courage to ask Brooklyn to a dance), which made their choice in officiants—their church mentors, the preacher PJ Hardy and the youth minister, Luke Guard—that much more poignant. During the ceremony, Luke went off-script and described thinking, at first, that Keenan wasn't mature enough for Brooklyn, but that after four years "he saw the growth and love that Keenan had for (Brooklyn) and he felt very proud of him." Brooklyn says that after this improvisation, "there were plenty of tears that fell between me and Keenan."
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The couple's mustard velvet cocktail hour lounge set the tone for the party—one of spontaneity, fun, and bold beauty. A rounded bar with a crystal chandelier hanging in the oak tree offered two signature cocktails: "The Southern Bride" (a Jack Daniels, Tennessee Honey, and Arnold Palmer mix) and "The Dashing Groom" (Crown Royal Apple whisky with Sprite). Caprese skewers, cheese and basil flatbreads, and bruschetta were also served.
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The sprawling reception took place over three areas of the Twin Oaks: on the property's open backyard, under a tent, and in the reception hall. Brooklyn let her mother and sister take the lead when designing this part of the wedding—a call that certainly paid off. The dynamic set-up featured a mix of blush-covered tables topped with tall brass candelabras, each holding blush pink candles. Gold dinnerware, flatware, and goblets glittered on each tablescape.
Brooklyn and Keenan, however, didn't join their guests during dinner—they sat away from their guests, so they could share their first meal as husband and wife privately. The groom cites this moment as one of his favorite from the day: "No photographers, no videographers, just us for the first time all day."
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Head Table Details
The head table, which is where the couple sat after rejoining their guests post-dinner, featured a rose velvet tablecloth and a mix of tall and small floral centerpieces (no two arrangements were the same!).
As for the menu? The chicken parmesan, fettuccine alfredo, garlic bread, and Italian salad that were served for dinner were delicious and no-frills—just what the couple wanted.
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Brooklyn's sister surprised her with ghost wing back chairs, complete with "Mr." and "Mrs." gold decals. They made the bride and groom feel that much more special on their big day.
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After their private dinner, Keenan and Brooklyn were back with their loved ones. They shared their first dance to the song "Heaven" by Bryan Adams. Three years into their relationship, Keenan knew it would be the perfect song for their wedding night.
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Keenan and Brooklyn decided on two distinct cakes for their big day. Linwood Confections designed Brooklyn's classic vanilla confection, complete with strawberry ganache and vanilla buttercream. The cake's custom crest matched the one seen on their dance floor and invites, which made for a cohesive accent.
The groom's cake looked like a Pokémon ball and was chocolate with raspberry filling and chocolate buttercream. Having two cakes meant that all guests got their way—chocolate fans dug into the Keenan's dessert, while vanilla fans enjoyed the bride's cake.
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After a night of dancing, Keenan and Brooklyn jetted off to Cozumel, Mexico, for their honeymoon—but not before walking through a long line of well-wishers wielding sparklers, the perfect end to a night of sparkling festivities.
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Photography, Kelly Ginn Photography
Videography, Lynn Productions
Venue, The Venue at Twin Oaks
Event planning and flowers, Southern Sparkle Wedding & Event Planning
Catering, Coyote Blues
Bartender, Amber Gooch
Officiant, PJ Hardy and Luke Guard
Calligraphy, Roberta Milam
Custom Crest, Fabled Papery
Dance Floor Decal, Signs First
Cake, Linwood Confections
Music, DeepBlu Entertaiment
Hair, Nina Dowell
Makeup, Sheena MUA of SP Makeup Artistry
Bridesmaids' dresses, David's Bridal
Groom's suit and groomsmen's attire, The Black Tux
Lighting, Rent My Wedding, Clayton Productions and Rentals