With the sun high in the Columbia, Missouri sky, bride Kaysen Gregory stood looking into a mirror surrounded by her bridesmaids in a quaint bridal cottage disguised quite romantically with ivy nearly covering the white-washed porch (complete with a traditional Southern blue ceiling, of course.)
Kaysen knew prior to beginning wedding planning that she wanted a venue close to home, but dreamed of a place with the Southern touches her Savannah-loving heart yearned for.
The blue-eyed beauty states, “Being from the south, Georgia to be exact, my parents would take me and my sister to Savannah a few times a year. That is where I initially saw the ginger jars and I always thought they were a quintessential example to southern living and décor. Due to my current location (Missouri) I knew Georgia would be too far for my wedding to be but I still wanted to bring some of home to my big day.”
This is how she found Blue Bell Farm. Blue Bell Farm is a seven generation farm and wedding venue in northern Missouri. According to owner Jamie Bryant, it’s one of the oldest family farms in the state.
What makes this venue so much more than another barn wedding venue aside from it’s deep history? Jamie says, “the legacy of the land inspires us to create events, products, and food that will honor its rich tradition.” And yes, indeed, they do honor those traditions; from the fried chicken with hot honey that they make in-house for their couples’ receptions to the farm-to-table style dinners hosted in the flowing fields at sunset, this venue is the quintessential location for the Midwest bride looking for something that feels like home but has all the amenities of a luxury retreat.
Jamie states, “Our barn was added to the property in 2014 but was designed to appear as if it has always been there. Its beautiful timber-framed interior is spacious and airy with whitewashed walls and elegant rope chandeliers. Other areas within the barn include a foyer, loft, reclaimed wood bar where the groom and his men get ready, [and] catering kitchen… The scenic veranda is located beside the ceremony lawn and includes comfortable weathered teak furniture, rustic tables and a reclaimed wood bar cart. Beautifully lit, the veranda provides the ideal location for an intimate dinner or cocktail hour.”
This is the backdrop for high school sweethearts Austin Jacobelli and Kaysen Gregory’s nuptials. In regards to their Southern-inspired intimate wedding design vision, Kaysen says, “I love soft blues and pinks and I think when they are done correctly they can look super romantic. I guess you could say my vision was Southern charm with a little bit of ‘regal-ness.’ I really wanted something that felt quaint and close knit. Our family and friends meant a lot so having long family tables where we could all sit and just enjoy each others company was important to me.”
Of course, by having family close she also meant the family husky– Diesel! He made his appearance not only during the ceremony as the “ring bearer,” but also made a cameo (and loved every minute of it) during family portraits.
Quite too humble to brag on herself, this belle of a bride actually designed her own wedding suite to match her Southern-inspired vision throughout the rest of the décor. Talk about a DIY! In addition to this project, Kaysen said, “funny enough all the ginger jars at the venue were mine. I spent two years gathering them and although it’s not DIY they each were a little treasure to find. My father built me the table the wedding party sat at which will now forever be in my husband and mines home.”
And what a vision that table was during the reception; the bridal party table featured not only the bride’s preciously collected heirloom ginger jars with locally grown flowers by Sugarberry Blooms, but was adorned with taper candlesticks and watercolor escort cards to greet them as they sat down with their signature cocktails– whiskey sours and palomas.
Kaysen stated about her favorite moment of her wedding day, “Sitting at dinner, looking at the candles and my dear friends across from me eating and smiling, that’s a moment I will never forget!”
The thoughtful details were plentiful at this elegant, farm-esque gathering, including the bride’s flowers and gown: “My flowers, oh my gosh my flowers, Emily at Sugar Berry Blooms outdid herself. I told her from the beginning I wanted white flowers with soft hints of pinks and blues and she totally delivered. For the ceremony we kept the flowers white in the ginger jars and I loved it because it kept it elegant and simple and let the jars steal the show.”
“As for my gown, I really just wanted to look and feel like myself. I tried on only three dresses (all Sarah Seven) and once I slipped it on I thought about my fiancé and just knew it was the one. It was simple and timeless and let the real me shine.”
These high school sweethearts with a penchant for Savannah-inspired design took a seven generation farm in the middle of Missouri and made it feel like they were right at home in Georgia. Surrounded by family and friends on the porch, watching the sunset with a whiskey sour in hand, nothing could have felt more magical and true to their spirit as a couple.
When asked what piece of advice she would give brides-to-be, this Southern belle said, “Do your wedding as big or small as you want and believe in the process. You have probably thought of this day your whole life and only you truly know your vision. Listen to your gut, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Finally, make sure give yourself time alone on the big day and just sit and take a moment to think about how far you and your significant other have come. It’s easy to get caught up with everything and it’s important you have a moment to slow down and enjoy the moment!”
In-House Planning – Blue Bell Farm & Plan it Terra – Terra Nickelson – 573-644-4286
Catering – Blue Bell Farm, Jamie