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What's Up Weddings

Real Wedding: Kara Kinsey & Ross Kistler

Jun 16, 2017 02:43PM ● By Cate Reynolds
September 10, 2016 // Chartwell Country Club // Krista A. Jones Photography

The Beginning

Kara and Ross met at Clemson University as architecture students. They became fast friends their junior year when they were in the same studio class. “He became my best friend and I just loved being around him,” shares Kara. “He makes me laugh uncontrollably and smile for no real reason – all while challenging me to grow daily into the person God intends me to be.”

The Dress

Before trying on any dresses, Kara did plenty of research and had a very clear vision of what she wanted. “I was looking for a classic and timeless style, no lace, simple but sophisticated, and most of all, I wanted a high neckline and low back.” One of the most exciting parts of planning the wedding was shopping for her dress. Living in Dallas, it was a big deal to get all of the women in her life in one place to go shopping at the same time. She found the perfect gown at the second shop they visited and she will never forget sharing the moment surrounded by so much love and support.


The Venue

Kara’s family grew up swimming and playing golf and tennis at Chartwell Country Club and she had known for a long time that she would marry there. “My sister had just gotten married there two years prior and the wedding was flawless, so we were excited to do it all over again with a little different twist to make it our own! Chartwell has an amazing team to help coordinate every second of the day and were great to work with! The sky is truly the limit with them and they will do anything they could to make our dreams come true for our wedding!”

The Ceremony

Prior to giving Kara away, her father chose to give his speech at the beginning of the ceremony instead of during the reception as is the typical custom. It meant so much to the couple and added a very personal touch to the ceremony.


The Dance Floor

The focus of the reception was not on the food, but on the having a good time on the dance floor. As soon as the cocktail hour was complete, they had a grand reveal of the reception space and their 27-piece band started the party off immediately. Instead of a sit down dinner, the couple had buffet stations set up to allow people to eat as they pleased. Stations included pasta, salad, corned beef, and chicken skewers.

The Ladders

The couple went for an “elegant garden theme” look and feel for the wedding. When walking around their florist’s storage units one day, they came across a few old apple picking ladders that immediately spring boarded inspiration. “Ross and I love repurposing old items for our home, so the idea of being able to do this for a wedding seemed the perfect way to personalize the space. The ladders ended up being suspended above the tables and wrapped in florals. It was absolutely breathtaking!”


The Happily Ever After

Married life is busy for the newlyweds, but they are enjoying every second. They are completing renovations on their fixer upper home and looking forward to finally moving in. “After buying the house about a year ago and working on the renovations while also trying to plan a wedding, this has certainly been a long time coming, but we can’t wait to make it our home!”

The Advice

“Start slow,” the couple suggests. “Unless you have a specific date you are targeting, take a little bit of time to simply enjoy being engaged. This also allows you to do plenty of research to find all your favorite vendors before locking into a date and risking them not being available.”

The Details:

Décor, Florals, Designing, and Styling: Nicholas Codd | Band: Mood Swings | Caterer: Chartwell Country Club | Cake/ Baker: La Cakerie | Bridal gown store: Blushing Bride Boutique | Gown designer: Sincerity | Bride’s makeup: Amie Decker Beauty | Bride’s hair: PSC Hair Artistry | Engagement ring store: Carolina Fine Jewelry | Wedding bands store: St. John’s Jeweler | Bride’s other jewelry store: Anthropologie | Bride’s shoes: Nina | Bridesmaid dress designer: Dessy / After Six | Men’s attire designer: Generation Tux | Favors/ Gifts: Chocolate Chip Cookies | Wedding hashtag: #KinseytoKistler | Registry: Zola, Macys