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.”
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.”
“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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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