Mary Katherine Farish Smith and Robert Edward Boykin met on a double date with their mutual friends in Richmond. “They didn’t quite work out, but it worked out well for us!” MK says. After nearly four years of dating, Bob proposed while on a trip to Paris for MK’s birthday.
They booked the trip in October, and at that time, she had no suspicions of him proposing, but as the April date rolled around, she started getting her hopes up. “I started snooping around a bit before we left but didn’t find anything suspicious. I even rummaged through his carry-on, while he went to the bathroom on the plane! Needless to say, I didn’t find anything before we landed,” MK admits. Once in the city of love, Bob took out the ring from his suitcase and carried it around in his front pocket, waiting for the perfect place to get down on one knee. After dinner, while on a stroll through the Jardin des Tuileries, MK was taking a picture of the Eiffel Tower, and when she turned around, she finally found the ring.
The couple had taken a memorable trip to Blackberry Farm for their first Valentine’s Day, and MK had decided early on that if they were going to get married it would be the perfect place. “There was an ice storm, and the power went out during the middle of dinner service! The staff scrambled and built fires for everyone, and we stayed up way too late drinking wine, and it ended up being such a fun night,” the bride remembers of their romantic weekend. To help plan their Tennessee summer wedding, they relied on Jennifer Laraia of Jennifer Laraia Designs and Savannah Sullivan at Blackberry Farm.
The bride-to-be and her mother went dress shopping in NYC and didn’t agree on a single gown until she tried on her Oscar de la Renta look, which they bought on the spot. For the rehearsal dinner, Hampden Clothing in Charleston found her the perfect Zimmermann dress.
Before walking down the aisle herself, MK watched everyone walk out from a window and got to admire the floral arch and matching floral-lined aisle by Floressence Flowers. Then, the bride made her way, while “Amazing Grace” played—her grandfather’s favorite song. Right as they were pronounced husband and wife, a gospel choir surprised the guests with a performance of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” by Stevie Wonder, which led into the outdoor cocktail hour.
Everyone then made their way inside the barn for the seated dinner portion of the reception. A delicious meal was served, ending with an almond wedding cake with blackberry compote and European buttercream icing, by Sugar Cloud Bakery, that everyone was asking for seconds of.
After dinner, guests were escorted to Bramble Hall for the party. Speaking of party, their band, Party On The Moon, kept everyone on their feet until 1:00 a.m. The newlyweds took to the floor for their first dance to “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. “I thought I was going to hate doing a first dance,” MK admits. “But it was actually really special, and I’m glad we did it.”
One of the most magical parts of the day for the bride was the sendoff. The two drove away in a 1964 black convertible Jaguar and ground fireworks went off as they made their exit—the perfect ending to a dream day.