Kentucky residents are notorious for keeping it local, and our loyalty is especially evident with the growing number of Kentucky Proud weddings that have taken place over the last few years. To honor devoted residents and further support local agriculture, Kentucky Proud recently held a contest where couples showed off their Kentucky Proud weddings for a chance to win $5000.
To enter, contestants simply had to share a photo from their wedding showcasing a local farm on their social accounts, using the hashtag #KYProudWeddings and tag the agritourism venue or farm featured. Entries included weddings hosted at nearly 100 different venues ranging from local farms and wineries to botanical gardens and distilleries. But the Kentucky pride didn’t stop there. Almost every element of these weddings was celebratory of the great state of Kentucky, with menus featuring local chefs and produce, centerpieces and decor made from native flowers and greenery, and plenty of bourbon to go around.
A second contest will be held this fall. Head to ketuckyproud.com/weddings for information on how to enter.
How to make your wedding Kentucky proud
The agritourism venues truly set the scene for these Kentucky weddings that feature our local agriculture. “The deep history and the beautiful surroundings make Kentucky a perfect backdrop,” said Eric Stodghill of Sterling Planning and Staging. Kentucky offers dozens of authentic yet unique venues. A few local favorites are Evan's Orchard for its picturesque elegant farm, Talon Winery for its rustic country barn setting and Yew Dell Botanical Gardens for its lush landscape.
Native and locally grown Kentucky flowers and greenery can add color and life to any special event. Local florists carefully craft bouquets, centerpieces and tablescapes that feature the latest seasonal blooms from nearby farms. Picture crisp white table cloths, adorned with locally grown hydrangea and roses. Top it off with some romance by adding locally made Kentucky beeswax or soy candles. Want to take it a step further? Arrange your florals in Kentucky bourbon bottles and barrels to add some extra local flair!
FOOD AND DRINK:
Catering menus have taken on features and flavors commemorative of Kentucky cuisine. Kentucky Proud wedding contestants served hor'dourves like beer cheese and benedictine with crudités, and 3 Peas in a Pod Catering’s famous bluegrass hot brown dip. Classic country cooking like fried chicken, southern style green beans featuring Kentucky’s wonder beans, and country ham and biscuits using produce and meats from local farms are also popular menu selections.
Wines, bubbles and brews can be brought in from Kentucky wineries and breweries, with Ale-8-One as a common kid friendly alternative.
And what would any proper bluegrass wedding be without bourbon? Kentucky’s drink of choice is integrated into dishes through salad dressings, meat marinades and dessert syrups. “If we can get bourbon in a dish, we absolutely try to slide it in there” said Sarah Moore, owner of 3 Peas in a Pod Catering, which offers an extensive list of bourbon infused dishes, such as Buffalo Trace Bourbon Beef Tenderloin and Buffalo Trace Bourbon Caramel French Macarons. Let’s not forget the option to appreciate our state’s signature liquor the “old fashioned” way: on ice, mixed with Ale-8-One or in Kentucky’s favorite cocktail, the Mint Julep.
Thank your guests for attending by giving them a taste of Kentucky when they leave. Popular party favors include a mason jar filled with local honey, travel sized bourbon bottles, locally crafted soaps or bourbon balls from Old Kentucky Chocolates. By the end of the night, guests of a Kentucky Proud wedding have experienced the best of the Bluegrass through every single one of their senses.