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A Cali-Meets-Kentucky Backyard Wedding

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Alex Davis Photography

Katie Keller Geer and Hank Geer, who run a social media agency and host yoga and brunch pop-ups and retreats together, met at a college party. After nine years of dating and a move to Santa Monica, he proposed to her while on a trip to Spain. “We flew to Madrid together, where Hank had planned to have a picnic and propose, but it rained every day. Despite the awful weather and much to my surprise, Hank dropped down on one knee in an alleyway at 4 a.m. before we flew to Barcelona. We both cried and then drank mimosas on the plane,” Katie remembers.

“Before we got engaged, Hank said he’d love to get married in my parents’ backyard in Kentucky. They live on an old horse farm, so there are black picket fences and lots of greenery,” Katie says. They made it a backyard black-tie barbecue with a Cali-meets-Kentucky aesthetic. To help plan and coordinate the big day, they hired The Lindsey Baer Company

Hank got a custom tuxedo from Romualdo in Cincinnati. “His getting ready routine was just showing up on-time day of. So easy!” the bride says.

Katie’s looks required a bit more attention. The weekend after her engagement, her girlfriends booked her appointments at multiple boutiques. At the first stop, Happy Isles, she found the perfect silk rehearsal dinner dress. Back home in Cincinnati, the bride tried on a few looks at Lace Bridal Couture and ended up walking away with a Pronovias dress from off the rack.

Beauty was a whole month-long process, involving Sakara Life, Training Mate, Take Care micro-current facials, massages by Kumi Sawyers, a mani-pedi at Olive & June, lash lift and brow tint at Striiike, and a haircut with Dax at Mare Salon. “We all stayed out until 2 a.m. dancing the night away before the wedding, so my good friend, Carmen Jones, had her work cut out for her doing makeup!” Katie says. And on the day-of, Tanyas Image & Wellness Salon came to the bridal suite to do everyone’s hair.

Then it was time to walk down the tree-lined aisle in Katie’s parents’ backyard, where guests were seated on antique wooden benches, provided by Amber at Queen City Vignette, while a string quartet played. Katie’s Blooms decorated the space with Kentucky-native and Ohio-native blooms to elevate the feel. The ceremony opened with a moment of meditative silence, which helped the couple feel supported and grounded. Then, Chuck Mingo from Crossroads Church officiated the service and spoke well about the power of marriage and the importance of community. 

After the reception, Kentucky Mules by Aaron Strasser and southern passed appetizers by Jimmy Cornwell from Sarte took over. Then the newlyweds rejoined everyone under their clear tent for their first dance to “Real Love Baby” by Father John Misty. For dinner, Kentucky BBQ, mac and cheese, grits, and watermelon salad were served with natural wines, picked out by their friend, Akari Yamamura, from Hayden.

Around 10 p.m., Katie’s parents organized a surprise fireworks show that lit up the sky. And then guests continued to groove to The Company Band’s ’70s disco tunes, while Skyline Chili cheese coneys and Graeter’s Ice Cream were available to keep everyone energized. Next to the bonfire, people also sampled from a bourbon and cigar bar to cap off the night.

And for their exit, the newlyweds walked through a sparkler send-off and drove off to the 21c hotel, where out-of-town friends met them for drinks until 3 a.m. The 9 a.m. recovery brunch had to be rescheduled to about 11 a.m.— the sign of a great night!