A Country Picnic
In the summer of 2013, a mutual friend of Mackenzie Morgan and Matt Harper set them up on a blind date. After texting each other for a week and a half, they decided they would like to meet in person and their friend suggested that Matt join Mackenzie at her home church to meet.
After that first meeting, they were inseparable.
The two often visit Mackenzie’s sister, Faith, and brother-in-law at their home in Benton which has a whimsical tree swing in an old oak tree.
One day in December 2014, Faith persuaded Mackenzie to go with her to get a manicure, “just as an outing with big sis.”
“She then asked me if I could come to her house the next day to take a Christmas photo of her husband and her for their family Christmas card,” she said. “Being a shutterbug, I gladly accepted. She also said for me to ‘dress cute’ so she and I could have a sister photo taken, and I could even invite Matt to come with me so we could all go to dinner after the photo session.”
She willingly accepted and after a quick photo session on the tree swing, Matt knelt down and proposed to Mackenzie as her sister took photos.
“Of course, I said ‘Yes,’ she said. “It could not have been more perfect! What an amazing Christmas gift — this day, this guy, and this ring — were to me!
The big day: July 18, 2015
The location: Family Farm Christian Day Camp in Malvern. The ceremony took place outside, in a tree-lined field, with the service held in front of a pond.
The reception: The reception was held in the lodge at Family Farm.
We served a simple country dinner, starting with my momma’s recipe for lemon chicken, followed by a mashed potato bar with fixings, green beans, biscuits with honey, and fresh sliced watermelon.
My cake was a four-tier white cake with a honey-almond buttercream and blueberry filling made by Krista Orr, of Malvern. It was topped with the Willow Tree “Promise Me” figurine and had baby’s breath and fresh yellow daisies placed on it. Matt’s groom’s cake, made by his Aunt Mae, was a two-tier chocolate cake, decorated with fondant EMS symbols and was topped with a toy ambulance displaying Matt’s truck number.
We had a milk and cookie bar with a variety of Matt’s favorite cookies from Subway, and a coffee bar, in honor of my avid love for coffee. For entertainment, our family friend, Matt Shull, was DJ for the evening with a mix of country, Christian, and a span of music from the ’80s to current dance songs.
The look: My overall image I had for my wedding was “country picnic.” My colors were cornflower blue and canary yellow. I used a variety of picnic baskets in the decorating to add to the picnic theme. The tables had cornflower blue gingham squares topped with a variety of lace and burlap covered tin cans and Mason jars holding yellow daisies, baby’s breath and candles. The reception area was also decorated with various daisy bouquets, childhood photos, and hand-painted signs.
I carried a beautifully full bouquet of blue delphinium, and white monte casino flowers hand-tied with yellow gingham ribbon. Matt’s boutonniere was made to match my bouquet, and I just loved the way all the flowers turned out!
The dress: My dress was a lovely Morilee Blu edition dress. It had everything I was looking for in a wedding dress! It was a delicate ivory chiffon gown, with an illusion neckline and embroidered lace appliqués. A gorgeously beaded belt tied around my waist with a full organza bow in the back. The train was chapel length and was later bustled which allowed the chiffon to still be displayed so beautifully.
Most unforgettable moment: I think the most unforgettable moment was when I walked down the aisle. When our violinist and guitarist began to play “Edelweiss,” lace curtains which covered a rustic lumber arbor were drawn back, and I entered the ceremony site. When Matt got his cue that he could turn toward me, the expression on his face as he saw me walking down the aisle to meet him at the altar displayed how much he loved me. That was one of my favorite moments of our wedding.
The honeymoon: Matt rented a secluded cabin up in the Smoky Mountains. The cabin was rustic and charming, and was a great escape. After spending a few days exploring in the Smokies, we drove to Nashville for more sightseeing, then on to St. Louis where we took in a Cardinals game. We love spontaneity, and this first adventuresome vacation together was full of precisely that!
Florist — Debbie Rainey made my bouquet and Matt’s boutonniere; family and friends helped with the rest
Hair and Makeup — My sister, Faith, did my hair and makeup; family friends Britney Armer and Catherine Bearden did the bridal party’s hair and makeup.
Cake — Krista Orr made my bridal cake; Mae Norman, Matt’s aunt, made Matt’s groom’s cake.
Band/DJ — Ceremony music by violinist BreAnna Bearden and guitarist Matt Shull. Reception DJ was Matt Shull.
Caterer — Chef Franklin Dye and family friends.
Photographer — Andrea Clark Photography