One of inRegister’s favorite fashion experts Katherine Patrick married her high school sweetheart Clay Wood this past October in their hometown of Monroe, Louisiana. What made their stylish big day different though, was that Patrick did all of the planning herself.
After deciding to have the wedding in her hometown, Patrick quickly realized when interviewing wedding planners that she already knew the vendors better than they ever could. Not wanting to waste time and money explaining the ins and outs of such a small town to a coordinator, Patrick put the money back into her budget and began planning her dream wedding day.
“I didn’t want anyone making big decisions for me,” Patrick explains. “And by planning it myself, I had a finger in every single aspect of the wedding weekend; from the band, dance floor and cocktail menu, to the tiny details that were hardly noticed.”
While a wedding planner would typically hire others to handle certain design aspects like invitations and florals, Patrick took matters into her own hands.
“I did everything from designing the wedding invitations and save the dates from scratch, to individually picking out each flower included in the arrangements,” she says. “I wanted everything to exude my style from start to finish.”
The location of their ceremony was another differentiating detail of their wedding. “It was held in the historic and beautiful Biedenharn Gardens,” Patrick explains. “They don’t allow any big events there, but because I’m family, we got to hold it at a place that’s so near and dear to our hearts. Clay and I have so many pictures there from high school homecomings and other dances.”
Thinking back on her big day, she says the ceremony was her favorite part. “Many people nowadays put a huge emphasis on the reception, and I totally get that, but when I look back at my wedding day, I’ll think of walking down the aisle and seeing everyone we love,” Patrick explains.
“One of my favorite things I did–and I got great feedback from my bridesmaids–was a laid-back morning on the day of the wedding,” she says.
After being in multiple weddings herself, Patrick knew that this day could be extremely hectic and stressful. “We went to my grandmother’s house in our pajamas, ate a huge breakfast and just got to relax and talk, taking the morning super slow and easy. No one was allowed to get ready before 11 a.m., and it was perfect,” she notes.
While Patrick may have made it look like a breeze, she admits that all of the planning was no cakewalk. “One con of planning my big day was just the sheer pressure from hosting a 400-person party,” she admits. “Not having the background and history that wedding planners have made things challenging.”
But the day went off with a hitch, and ended with a bang. “We had a seven-minute firework show as we exited on the bayou we grew up on,” she says.
Scroll below to see more photos from Katherine & Clay Wood’s big day.