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Sarah Cocanougher dreamt up a naturally beautiful wedding day for her marriage to John Hamilton last September. The ceremony at St. Louis Bertrand Catholic Church and with a reception at The Pointe venue turned out to be a perfect fit, complete with a pasta bar and local Louisville Cream ice cream for their guests.

Sarah and John made sure to incorporate sentimental details into their photos on the big day, traveling around via a trolley to hit important spots, such as Hopcat in Louisville, where she and her husband had their first date. 

Wedding Style: Rustic Chic

Color Palette: Green, gold, and rose

Must Haves: We had an extra dessert (Louisville cream) which was a must have for us! The ice cream, along with the traditional wedding cake, was a hit!

Inspiration (Did you have drawings or an inspiration board?): I didn’t have a specific inspiration board, but I did want something rustic and naturally beautiful. I wasn’t looking for sparkle and glam, but more casual and warm for our guests. Our venue used to be an old carpet factory so it had the perfect character!

Bride’s Favorite Memory: I loved getting to take pictures at the place where John and I had our first date. We got to go to Hopcat, here in Louisville, and sit at the very same table where we had our first date three years ago! It was wonderful to sit in the same place where I first was smitten by John, but now on our wedding day. 

Advice to Others: Soak in the day! Don’t get caught up in the little things, but enjoy the fact that you get to spend the rest of your life with the person you love! It will be the perfect day no matter what happens. 

One Thing You Would Have Done Differently: I wouldn’t have done anything differently!

Best Planning Tip: Try to get things out of the way early! I am a planner, so that helped me throughout the process. I would start planning the little things that happen closer to the wedding (invitations, table numbers, décor) at least 5 months before the big day. It will be less stressful if you don’t put things off and just go for it!

Best Money Saving Tip: Look at places like Facebook marketplace to find bridal things. That was the gold mine for awesome finds!

Location of Ceremony: St. Louis Bertrand

Why it worked: The church needed little decorations due to the beautiful décor that already exists in the church. We didn’t have to spend any money on decorating the church, so that was great!

I would have changed: Possibly the time of the mass. 6:30 was a little later for guests, but we tried to make it work with a quick dinner afterwards!

Location of ReceptionButchertown Pointe

Why it worked: The Pointe was perfect, I can’t even think of one bad thing to say about it! The venue had character, and the lights draped from the ceiling made the nighttime reception so wonderful. The Pointe was located in Nulu, which was close to the church and hotels for the guests. Staff was so accommodating and great for us! They put everything up, and took everything down making wedding day/night so much easier. 

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Photographer: Naomi Ruth Photography

Favorite Photo: With our sweet dog, Bailey! We are so glad she got to see us before the wedding. It was sweet to see her, especially to get rid of any nerves that we might have been feeling.

Special Choices: Naomi was so amazing at going with my vision of what I wanted with the wedding photos. We took photos at Hopcat (first date), Cherokee Park (where John proposed), and of course the church/reception area. I loved traveling around Louisville where everything happened in our relationship. 

Videographer: Cameron Campbell

Why it worked: Cameron was there from 7am until 9pm, working throughout the entire time! He was so awesome and flexible. It was a pleasure to have him around.  

I would have changed: More video time with the guys getting ready. 

Planner: Kaela Hammerstrom

Why it worked: Kaela was a lifesaver. She was the one who called all my vendors to make sure everything was good before the wedding day. She was fun, lighthearted, and engaged. She went out of her way to help us with whatever we needed, which was so wonderful. I could not have asked for a better addition to the team on our wedding day.  

Floral Design: Michaelis Events

Your inspiration: I asked for greenery, with limited flowers. I loved how the greenery turned out, along with the green compared to the rose colored bridesmaids dresses. They went with my request and made it so great. 

What I loved most: Very easy going and able to adapt to any changes I would throw at them. 

Dress: Couture Closet

Why it worked: The ladies at Couture Closet were so wonderful throughout the process. I actually created my dress by combining two dresses that I loved. They were able to send off my vision and give me a dress that was perfect for the wedding day. The dress was a one of a kind, so it made me feel special and unique in that aspect! Couture Closet even let me borrow earrings because the ones I ordered wouldn’t be in within the wedding timeline (for free!). That is how kind they are. 

Bridesmaids Dresses: Lulus

Why it worked: It was affordable for all the bridesmaids and great quality! I didn’t want my girls to pay too much money for a dress that they would wear one day, so this was the perfect match. The dress was amazing and twirled very well. 

Tuxes: Men’s Warehouse

Why it worked: Every guy got to go in and plan a time to get fitted for a tux. The flexibility was great!

Catering/Food: Michaelis Events, Louisville Cream, Butchertown Pizza

Special Choices: We had a pasta bar for dinner with a plated salad, ice cream for dessert, and pizza for the midnight snack. It was great, but probably not great for a diet.

Why it worked: It allowed guests to have an option of what they wanted. The pasta bar had three types of pasta, sauces, and topping – so each person got to choose exactly what they wanted for dinner! The ice cream menu was also four different recipes. We picked unique flavors, which were a hit!

I would have changed: Less pizza – everyone was full after the ice cream and pasta bar. But the pizza was wonderful!

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Drinks: Michaelis Events, Old Town Wine & Spirits, Inc. 

Special Choices: We bought our own alcohol from Old Town Wine & Spirits, Inc. in order to save some money. That was helpful because they allowed us to return the alcohol we didn’t use. 

Cake: Brett Barry

Special choices: We chose chocolate and lemon – great combo!

Why it worked: This was John’s cousin who made the cake, which was special for us. 

Music (both ceremony and reception): Todd Hamilton Entertainment

Special choices: We allowed guests to request songs they wanted to hear, which kept the dance floor going until the very end!

Décor (rentals, diy, extras besides flowers)

Special Choices: My father-in-law built our wedding backdrop from the wood in his first house that she shared with my mother-in- law. I had showed him a picture of my vision, and he was able to go beyond what I had ever imagined! It was beautiful, and we took many pictures there. It was also special because of the history behind it. 

Honeymoon: Switzerland

Why it worked: We ended up drawing out of a hat for the honeymoon location, but we were both hoping it would be Switzerland. We traveled to three cities in the area, staying 8 days total. We got to experience the beautiful views, a needed spa day, and exploring the small towns that made Switzerland so unique. It was truly a once in a lifetime trip. 

I would have changed: I would have left a little later, due to use needing to get up and go to the airport at 6:30am the next day. 

First Dance: If I ain’t got you – Alicia Keys

Other Special Things You Did That You Would Like To Include: We traveled around throughout the day on Louisville Trolley. They were so helpful, and had fans and cold rags for us on a hot wedding day!

Length of Planning Time: 1 year

Budget: Approx $35, 000 

P.S. Or what about a rustic farmland wedding?

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