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Not Even Tearing Her Lela Rose Dress in Half Could Bring Down This Bride’s Perfect Wedding Day

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Rebecca Yale

|Planning by 

Joy Proctor Design

While Jennifer Lynn Kniland was working at a startup called ToutApp, Keith Brian Kniland, Jr., along with several other sales reps from Bizo (now known as LinkedIn) were chosen to test her software pilot. “I had a hard time getting Keith to adopt the software with his ‘If ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality,” Jennifer reveals. In the end, Bizo made the purchase, and the two became friends.

Years later—and both newly single—Keith asked Jennifer out, and their first date was at The Dorian. After six hours, they didn’t want to leave each other’s side. “Many moons later, we revealed that it was that night, we both went to bed thinking, ‘I just met the person I’m going to marry,’” Jennifer shares.

After four years together, Keith proposed at their favorite spot in La Quinta, California—Hideaway Golf Club. On the second-to-last hole, he dropped to one knee, and after saying yes, her family cheered and raced over in golf carts to celebrate on the green.

The decision to get married in the same place they got engaged was a natural and easy one for Jennifer and Keith. Their original date was set for May 30, 2020 with more than 250 guests; however, they ultimately postponed to May 15, 2021—coincidentally, the same day as their first date—and downsized the guest list to 48 of their closest family and friends.

Their wedding vision was “understated elegance with a touch of vintage Palm Springs,” the bride-to-be states. The mountain backdrop and the artistic vision of Joy Proctor Design brought their dreams to life. “I could write a novel about Joy. I remember when I first saw her designs, my heart fluttered.” Katy Haley of Bridal Bliss also stepped in to assist in the coordination of the day, and Shhh My Darling set the tone for the couple and their guests with a fitting invitation suite.

Two days before their golf club nuptials, Keith and Jennifer had a Catholic church ceremony at St. Francis de Assisi—Frank Sinatra’s church. For the religious ceremony, Jennifer looked beautiful in Carolina Herrera’s Hildie pleated dress, Jennifer Behr’s embroidered Meadow mask, and Manolo Blahnik Parola slingback pumps. To complete her ensemble, the bride also held a MrsChaplin custom embroidered clutch and a beautiful lily of the valley bouquet.

Jennifer had always envisioned herself in something classic and timeless for her larger ceremony, channeling a mix of her muses—Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O. After visiting four different places, the bride’s “fairy bridal fashion god-sister,” Gabrielle Hurwitz, advised her to visit jinwang’s salon. There, she tried on a Lela Rose gown and immediately fell in love with it.

On the day-of, the bride got ready with Hailey Hoff and Bradley Leake, who gave her a modern-day Audrey Hepburn-esque ballerina bun and natural makeup. And she paired her gown with her mother’s vintage pearls, Alexandra Grecco’s Quinn Veil, a Cult Gaia clutch, and Monique Lhuillier’s Susanna satin bridal heels.

Bridesmaids complemented Jennifer in mismatched looks in hues of blue and yellow and pretty prints. “I also knew I wanted all my friends to be as comfortable as possible, as five of my 12 bridesmaids were pregnant at the time,” the bride explains. “Gabrielle was a saint helping me style all of them.” Her sisters and mother wore the Zimmermann blue Super 8 polka-dot halter-neck maxi dress, Mestiza Stephanie bow dress, and a Gül Hurgel off-the-shoulder linen midi style.

Keith wanted his bride to be a part of his suit selection, and Jennifer had so much fun joining him on his appointments. He finally decided on a custom navy suit with their wedding date embroidered on the inside. “He looked so incredibly handsome on our special day,” she gushes.

The ceremony was planned to be under a wooden structure to keep guests cool and shaded, but Mother Nature had other plans, and the service was delayed due to 50-mile-per-hour gale force winds in the desert. An hour later, the gusts calmed, and the ceremony began around 6:30 p.m. on the first hole of the golf course, bordered by tall palm trees. Jennifer walked down the floral-lined aisle, created by Bows and Arrows Florals, while a Dart Collective string trio played “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Kina Grannis.

After reciting their own vows, Jennifer and Keith’s close friend and officiant ended the ceremony with an Irish blessing that included the line, “May the wind be always at your back,” which everyone had a good chuckle at. The newlyweds were then announced as Mr. and Mrs. Kniland and skipped down the aisle to “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne.

The couple both say it was the most magical day and nothing could bring them down…not even a torn-in-half wedding dress. Yes, it happened. After the ceremony, the two scooted off in their custom golf cart by Anne Girault to take photos, and the train of the dress got caught under the tire. “It ripped that puppy in half,” Jennifer recalls. With a choice between crying or laughing, the bride chose the latter. And thankfully, she had prepared a Daphne Newman jumpsuit as a backup after-party look.

Once again in a fully sewn ensemble, the bride joined her guests on the patio for cocktail hour with signature drinks and 7th hole tee-flag drink stirrers. Due to the storm, the reception was moved inside the clubhouse. Tables were named after Keith’s favorite golf courses and set with La Tavola Fine Linens and terra cotta chargers, gold cutlery, tea lights, and taper candles from Casa de Perrin.

After the delicious dinner, the two cut their Sweet & Saucy Shop wedding cake, and the rest of the night was filled with dancing with Gen8. At the end of the celebration, Jennifer and Keith walked away from their wedding feeling “incredibly fulfilled, grateful, and so happy.” Next year, they’ll continue the festivities and honeymoon in Hawaii.

Jen & Keith Wedding Trailer from East West.