Jason and I met sixteen years before our actual wedding day. We both never truly dreamed that marriage would even be a legal option for us, so our imagination or dream, if you will, of our “perfect” wedding day never really started until about two years after the Supreme Court ruling. We are a ying and yang couple that truly balances each other out, and we can easily say we have been through a lifetime of rollercoaster moments that have made us stronger as a couple. I married my First and True love!
How and why did you pick your wedding venue?
When we drove up to the Farm, we saw rolling hills, stables, and a mansion that was quintessential Kentucky. We wanted a natural space with character that really represented what we both love about our state.
What did you wear?
We wore custom Joseph Abboud Suits, “J” cuff links, and matching bourbon socks. We were uncertain at first who would wear the dress… just kidding. I wasn’t sure if I wanted us to wear coordinating suits or identical, and Jason ultimately made the decision. We both were so happy with the way our attire turned out.
What special elements did you include?
We had a champagne welcome reception before the ceremony on the front yard. Jason and I really wanted to spend as much time with our guest as possible so we took this time to mingle and welcome each guest as they arrived so as not to be rushed to make our way around to everyone.
Also, I had a surprise for our first dance. We had picked a beautiful song to dance to but there were some lines and versus that didn’t truly fit our story. I rewrote the lyrics to fit OUR love story, secretly ventured to a recording studio in Nashville, and recorded myself singing it. I had a friend interrupt our first dance with an announcement that what we were dancing to was the wrong version. She explained the situation, and then played the correct one. To say Jason cried is the understatement of the year! I was shocked I kept the secret and he truly was surprised.
What did you splurge on?
The venue. The farm was rented out for the entire weekend and had seven guest rooms, so the entire wedding party was able to stay together from Friday through Sunday. We also rented a vintage Rolls Royce! It was perfect addition to the overall ambiance we wanted to create.
What did you save on?
Flowers and alcohol. Our wedding planner and friend was also our florist, and she suggested several ways to cut the cost on the florals but still give us the look we wanted and loved. We also didn’t have an “open bar.” Don’t get me wrong, we wanted people to drink (we knew we were gonna need it), but instead of a full bar, we offered the four B’s: bourbon, beer, bubbly, and bottles of wine.
What worked out really well, and was totally worth the time and money invested in it?
Can we say everything? A few things really stick out but one of the most is photography. We were warned that the wedding day would be a fleeting memory and we both were so worried we would miss something or forget it, but our photographer Crystal Ludwick managed to not only capture all those moments, but also did so in the most effortless way. The photos turned out GREAT!
What is your best planning advice for other couples?
Don’t let the planning outweigh the actual day! Our first and most important advice is to get a wedding planner. Interview a few and find one that truly gets you. You can utilize them to whatever capacity you feel you need, but they are worth every penny.
Secondly, compromise and collaborate. Remember this is a day for TWO people and at the end of the day you BOTH want to walk away feeling like it was the perfect day for you both.
Lastly, soak it all in. We were warned by almost every married couple that we spoke to that the day would fly by, and it did! So take time throughout the day to just acknowledge what is going on, embrace the feelings. It’s your day!
Why are you excited to be featured on Catalyst?
We really just want people to know our story. We’d like to say our story is unique, and maybe it is, but we want to show the world that we are just two normal guys, gay as it turns out, who fell in love. Throughout our 18 years of being together, we have been truly surrounded by people who love us and want us to be happy. After all, we all just want to be loved.
If our story can help a young man or woman who is struggling with imagining their love story because of their sexuality, and then maybe they can see how happy we are and how accepted and surrounded we are with the people we love, maybe their day will come too! SO START DREAMING!
We also would really like to reach a mother or father who may struggle seeing how two men could be happy and how a world can accept it. Maybe hearing our words and seeing the faces of our friends and family can help them be more open to accepting their son or daughter.
Photography | Crystal Ludwick Photo
Florals, Coordination & Overall Aesthetic | State and Arrow Design Co., Jamie Fairman
Venue | Hermitage Farm
Hair | Beauty Patrol, Brooke Meadows
Makeup | Beauty Patrol, Alexis Mattingly
Decor | Pizzazzle
Tent | Rent-A-TenT
Videography | Woodland & Ivory
Catering | Naiman's Catering
Cocktail Music | The Compass Quartet
Cakes | Sweet Surrender
Rentals | Essential Details
Vintage Car | Royal Transportation
Crystal Ludwick is a Louisville, Kentucky based wedding & elopement photographer, but loves traveling for couples and going on an adventure, whether that be hiking to our ceremony destination or just going to City Hall on a random Tuesday. Crystal is a LGBTQ photographer that values diversity and inclusion.