We’re in love with this elegant bride from Lexington

Christine Bemis and Cameron Hardin met on a cruise ship in 2014 – Christine was en route from Long Beach, California, to Mexico. Cameron was on board with his family, celebrating his aunt and uncle’s 25th wedding anniversary. The young couple’s brief vacation flirtation turned into a casual long-distance relationship as Christine returned home to California and Cameron returned to Kentucky.

The duo eventually lost contact, seemingly moving on with their lives. “Then he moved to California to start working for his family business,” says Christine. “Suddenly he was in my area…I called him, and that’s how we started dating.”

On November 15, 2021, Christine and Cam got married at The Clerestory at Greyline in Lexington, Kentucky.

That was in 2017. About three years later, on February 25, 2020, Christine was facing her final exam to receive her license as an architect. “Cameron had thrown a surprise dinner, assuming I would pass it,” she recalled with a laugh, adding that she was amazed to learn that he had thrown a big party with all their friends. “At the end of dinner, he got up to make a toast,” she says, “and then he got down on his knees and proposed. It was really sweet. I was surprised twice.

Like so many other couples, the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on their wedding plans, but once the two were ready to wed, they enlisted Christy Burton’s help at Christina Burton Events be their coordinator for the day. “I wish I could hire him to do everything,” says Christine. “She was amazing and handled the day really well.”

married behind a bourbon bar

To prepare for the big day — and use it as their home base throughout the weekend — the nuptials rented two separate Airbnbs. The groom’s party enjoyed the amenities of The House of the Bourbonswith billiards and, of course, a bourbon bar.

groomsmen around a pool table

The groom’s party relaxes before the festivities, pool sticks and bourbon in hand.

“I really loved my dress,” exclaims Christine. “I still love my dress. It’s by Anais Anette; it’s the Dakota dress. I actually bought something else…then called the clothing store to change it the next day. I was really in love with it as soon as I tried it on, but I was worried it would be uncomfortable.

the bride is getting ready with her mother

You will see the bride Anais Anette the dress undergoes subtle changes throughout the day. At one point, she removes her arms from the draped sleeves, quickly turning the dress into a strapless number. Later, she attaches spaghetti straps for optimal comfort on the dance floor!

embellished bridal veil

The bride’s veil, which she wore for the ceremony, lends a touch of embellishment to an otherwise simple design.

bridal bouquet

The wedding bouquets, by flowering fieldsfeatured an explosion of jewel-toned flowers with pops of crisp white.

bride in dress

In keeping with a sense of understated elegance, the bride opted for simple accessories – gold teardrop earrings and a delicate, barely present gold chain.

Christine had her seamstress add spaghetti straps to the off-the-shoulder piece to make the dress work. It kept her comfortable throughout the celebration, from the moment she and Cameron exchanged vows to the dance floor. (SB Tip: Convertible wedding dresses with adjustable or removable features are proving to be incredibly popular in 2022!)

The celebration took place at The clerestory in Lexington. Housed in a former bus depot and inspired by the building’s original architecture, it’s an industrial-style venue. Christine opted to incorporate moody jewel tones via her florals and bridesmaids dresses.

industrial wedding venue set up for the ceremony

The Clerestory has a modern industrial feel and large windows, which flooded the space with natural light and then provided a vibrant view of the sunset.

flowers on the arch of the wedding ceremony

Jewel-toned flowers with lots of greenery — including fragrant eucalyptus — lined the aisle and adorned the metallic ceremonial arch.

wedding reception table setting with taper candles

We love these minimalist place settings, with gold metallic place settings, white taper candles, and bud vases topped with dark red flowers.

Before the guests arrived for the ceremony, the bride and groom stole an intimate moment for themselves. “We wrote our own vows and made them privately when we did the first look,” she says, “then we made the traditional vows during the ceremony in front of everyone.”

first look of the bride and groom

Before the guests arrived for the ceremony, Christine and Cam got a first look and shared their handwritten vows privately.

wedding

In keeping with the jewel motif, the wedding party wore different styles of dress in rich hues, complemented by their colorful bouquets.

ceremony

After sharing their original handwritten vows privately, the couple exchanged more traditional vows in front of a crowd of close friends and family.

During the cocktail hour that followed, the couple’s 180 guests enjoyed a selection of drinks with past platters of lumpia, a kind of deep-fried Filipino spring roll. “We’re both half-Filipinas,” says Christine. To ensure guests had plenty of time to enjoy the space and each other, the outdoor cocktail area was filled with classic games like Jenga, Connect 4, high-stakes checkers, and cornhole.

lumpia appetizer

During happy hour, guests munched on lumpia — fried Filipino spring rolls — a nod to Christine and Cam’s shared Filipino heritage.

ladies

Play at your own risk. The loser shoots!

The reception dinner included scallops, brisket, chicken, green beans and potatoes, and the couple’s cake was a three-tier chocolate confection with vanilla buttercream frosting. The stunning cake covered in ribbons of white frosting was adorned with fresh flowers to match the rest of the decor.

wedding cake with red flowers

Their delicious three-tiered wedding cake was accented with dark red flowers and greenery to match the bridal bouquet.

After dinner, Christine moved on to Bruno Mars’ “Count on Me” with her new stepdad. Next, Cameron and his mom swayed to Dianne Reeves’ “Never Too Far.” The couple then shared their first dance to HER’s “Best Part”

Music was a central part of their celebration, with a DJ and a live band. “We had a crazy big band with a horn section and four singers,” Christine says of the reception. “They were so amazing; they absolutely partied.

first dance of the bride and groom

The first dance of the newlyweds! The bride swapped her understated earrings for a more party-appropriate pair for the reception. She also slipped her arms out of her draped sleeves and added custom spaghetti straps to her dress – the perfect marriage of style and function.

wedding band

A huge live band with several singers and instrumentalists for an energetic evening of music and dancing.

wedding reception dance floor

With live music playing in the background, the bride and groom danced the night away with family and friends.

While the details of the ceremony and the boisterous reception were important, the couple paid particular attention to quality time with family and friends throughout the weekend. Christine shares that renting out a few Airbnbs was an essential aspect of their wedding weekend that helped bind everything and everyone together.

“We had a lot of people come from California,” she explains. “I’m from California; he has a ton of family in California, and we also have friends who live elsewhere in the United States.” The couple used the rentals not only to accommodate their many out-of-town guests, but also to serve as party spaces throughout the weekend. “They were like home bases,” Christine says. “One for the bridal party; one for the groomsmen. The groomsmen’s house honor, in particular, was the after-party house.

In fact, if Christine could offer other brides any wedding planning advice, arranging those extra spaces and opportunities for family and friends to enjoy each other is a must. Their guests kept coming back to these “home bases” throughout the festivities. “It was fun,” she says. “We were able to enjoy our guests over a weekend instead of trying to pack everything into one day.”

groom and groomsman in dj booth

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that The Bourbon House hosted the after-party!

Christine also advises future brides to remember to take time with their fiancé to talk about topics other than wedding planning. “I don’t want to exclude them or take it all on you,” she said. “There will still be a lot of planning with them. There’s so much to talk about marriage and so many decisions to make that it can be all-encompassing, and it can really overshadow being engaged.”

“Try to set up a date every two weeks,” Christine says, “something where neither of you talk about the wedding, and you can just enjoy being engaged and happy at this point in your life.”

Thank you so much, Christine and Cameron, for recreating this special day for us. And thanks to Moon Photography for the wonderful photos.

RESOURCES

Place: Clearing
Photographer: Moon Photography
Videographer: Sneaky Movies
Wedding dress: Anais Anettebought at Love and Lace Bridal Salon
Wedding Party Outfit: BHLDN, Festivitiesand Tux generation
Hair and makeup: Georgi at hair bar and Emma Nelson at Emma Nelson beauty
Invitations, programs and menu cards: Shutter
Flowers: flowering fields
Entertainment: 2nd band of wind
Cake: sam’s club
Wedding Coordinator: Christy Burton at Christina Burton Events

**********

Give your inbox the makeover it deserves. Subscribe to our daily emails!

Comments are closed.