By CATHI AYCOCK
As first dates go, Jennifer and Cole Kilgore may have rated theirs pretty low on the second date possibility scale.
“Cole actually got sick right before our first date. He says now he really didn’t want to cancel. But throughout the date I’m thinking “what is wrong with this guy?” Toward the end of the night, he told me and I kept telling him we could just go home. I think he really wanted that first date,” laughs Jennifer Kilgore.
The two met in college at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and dated for two years before Cole asked Jennifer to marry him.
“It was July 4th and we were at the beach when he asked me. Of course, I said yes. And then the wedding planning started,” Jennifer says.
Both Southerners, Jennifer and Cole wanted a decidedly regional feel to their wedding. Mint Springs Farms, with rolling countryside, a pond and rustic chic venue fit the bill.
“One of the best things about the day was spending time with my bridesmaids and mothers before the wedding,” says Jennifer, who gifted her wedding party with monogrammed shirts to wear while getting their hair and makeup done in the bridal suite at Mint Springs.
Cole and his groomsmen relaxed playing pool and watching television in the groom’s lodge. Most of his groomsmen were fraternity brothers. The ever Southern boy, Cole and Jennifer had one party that offered sweet tea, fried chicken and shooting clay pigeons: the groom’s idea of “heaven”.
“We wanted a relaxed day. Spending time laughing and being with our friends and family. And that is exactly what we got,” says Jennifer.
The couple eschewed waiting to see each other when walking down the aisle and instead, had a private moment before the wedding for the “first look”.
Jennifer waits for her walk down the aisle, wearing her tulle skirted wedding dress. “My something old was a ring from my great-grandmother, my something new and blue were my shoes. I chose them to match the bridesmaid dresses and for a touch of fun,” says Jennifer.
The flowers, a mix of roses and astilbes in shades of white and peach, accented the blue dresses and felt “fresh and summery” to Jennifer.
“We wanted flowers that felt less contrived and more natural. The bouquets are loose and easy. But still absolutely beautiful,” says Jennifer.
The groomsmen and groom wore light gray suits with matching blue ties. The mood was festive: Cole was one of the first of his friends to marry.
“When you know, you know,” said Cole Kilgore, of walking down the aisle with bride Jennifer.
Choosing from some of their favorite foods, the couple served beef tenderloin, macaroni and cheese, Southern-style green beans and more at their seated dinner reception.
Jennifer and Cole met during their time at the University of Tennessee. And both have Tennessee roots. Each guest was given a handmade Tennessee-shaped cookie that Jennifer and her mother baked, wrapped and gave to each wedding guest.
“The day was perfect. Not because everything was perfect, but because we were able to share it with our friends and family. That’s how we wanted to start our married life together,” Jennifer said.
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