Amy and Hank Gabbard knew each other long before they fell in love. They grew up in Hazard, Kentucky, and Amy was in the same grade as Hank’s older brother, Bart. Hank got a kick out of bugging Amy when she was a senior and he was a freshman. In their twenties, age no longer mattered and the two shared mutual friends in Lexington. But things didn’t get serious until Amy and Hank both moved back to Hazard, where they bumped into each other at a local hot spot. Their first official date took place at Summit Community Church for morning service and they have been together ever since.
One important person that became a part of Amy’s life due to her relationship with Hank was his daughter, Zoe. She even helped with the proposal. Three days before Valentine’s Day, Zoe gave Amy a rose and asked her to smell it. When Amy leaned in, she saw a diamond ring glistening from within the petals. Hank got down on one knee and asked for her hand in marriage. Delighted, she said yes, and wasted no time planning the wedding.
The wedding took place at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Hazard on August 23, 2014. Amy and Hank loved the traditional setting, as well as the requirement of pre-marriage counseling, as it helped bring them even closer together.
Due to the beauty of the church, little decoration was needed. Amy grew up loving the outdoors due to her father’s work as a landscaper, so she wanted to give the church a simple, garden feel. The décor included lanterns, ferns, and fresh flowers.
Mark Combs, the pastor at Summit Community Church where the couple had their first date, officiated the ceremony. Once the couple was pronounced man and wife, the party continued at the Hazard Country Club.
At the reception, there was an entire kid’s area with bubbles, coloring books and crayons, for Zoe to celebrate with her friends. Dinner included traditional fare, as well as a kid’s bar with chicken tenders and Mac and Cheese.
One highlight of the reception included speeches from the Maid of Honor and Best Man. Hank’s brother, Bart, gave a speech that prompted tears and laughter. Vanessa, the bride’s best friend since she was three, spoke about love and friendship. From there, the DJ helped the 200+ guests dance the night away.
When the couple was asked what advice they could offer to other couples planning their big day, they recommended not sweating the small stuff because you can’t plan for everything. They also stressed the importance of a great photographer. “They capture moments that you don’t even realize are happening. One day, you’ll want to be able to show your kids how it all started.”
Photographer: Christine Cornwell
Ceremony Site: First Presbyterian Church
Reception Site: Hazard Country Club
Catering: Four Star Catering, Red Fox, KY
Wedding Planner: Jamie Haynes
Bridal Gown & Bridal Party Attire: Ruth’s Bridal, Lexington, KY
Groom & Groomen: Dion’s, Hazard, KY
Cakes: Teresa Caudill Cakes, Hazard, KY
Wedding Rings: Barnard’s Fine Jewelers, Hazard, KY