For Ryan Kennedy & Rebecca Lee, Wedding Day Rain Wasn't So Bad
How did the two of you meet?
Ryan: Rebecca was working at a store in the Central West End while going through school. My friends and I shopped there frequently (and availed ourselves of the free beer and pool table). After a while our friend groups intertwined, and when we each became single around the same time, I decided to ask her out. We dated for about three and a half years.
How did the proposal go down?
Ryan: We’d been talking about getting married and kind of planning our wedding and had a number of situations where I probably should have proposed.
Rebecca: He didn’t technically propose. We were on a staycation at the Four Seasons—one Sunday a year, we splurge—and we decided we just had to get married.
Ryan: We decided to start planning in secret until our parents could meet so we could tell them together in person. We didn’t tell anyone for two months. I didn’t have a ring for her at the time when we got engaged and started planning, but I surprised her with one outside of Ted Drewes a few months later.
Rebecca: My grandparents’ response to our untraditional proposal was, “Well, that’s how we did it. That’s how everyone used to do it.”
Planning The Big Day
What vibe were you going for?
Rebecca: We kept telling people it was going to be a barbecue that we happened to be getting married at.
Ryan: We entertain a fair bit, so I just wanted it to be like a bigger, better version of one of our parties with our closest friends and family. Jefferson Underground was the first and only place we looked.
Rebecca: I loved all of the boat details: The owner literally used a ship for the decor. He tore it apart and used the wood and other details to build the tables.
Did you tie in any meaningful accessories?
Rebecca: My earrings from Rack + Clutch were honeycombs. I knew we were meant to be together when I saw that Ryan had eight different kinds of honey at his apartment—the same ridiculous amount as me. Two people who love honey that much need to be together.
What was prep like for the wedding?
Ryan: All of Rebecca’s friends and cousins showed up the day before like an army of decorators to take care of centerpieces, decorations and all of the little touches. We didn’t have a wedding party, but pretty much all of our friends helped in some way. Brian was completely responsible for the oyster-shucking station during the cocktail hour; Cory played guitar during the ceremony; George flew in on his own dime and tended bar and Chris and Jenna took all the wonderful pictures.
The Big Day
What were your thoughts when you saw each other at the ceremony? Rebecca: “Look at all of these people! I know you and you and you and OHMYGOSHTHERE’SMYHUSBAND!”
Ryan: I just remember thinking how fantastic she looked and focusing on her and feeling like we were the only ones there.
How did you showcase your personality for the reception?
Ryan: Pretty much all of our vendors and the venue were within walking distance of our home, so the whole thing felt like we were showing off everything we love most about our neighborhood with our dream barbecue cookout. I had pitched the idea for an epic pig roast wedding very early on. I initially wanted to roast the pig myself, with help from friends, but Rebecca wisely insisted we let the experts at Bogart’s handle it.
Rebecca: Our favorite breakfast place, Athlete Eats (now Revel Kitchen), provided the apps, dessert crisps and crumbles. Ryan’s mom made her famous pickles, and my family made batches of cookies. Ryan’s family is from Pennsylvania, and a “Pennsylvania Cookie Table” is traditional at weddings. George created custom cocktails with us: “The Rye Not” for Ryan and “The Rebecca #2” for me. Mine had cucumber-infused gin, honey simple syrup, lime juice and ginger beer. Ryan’s was a riff on a boulevardier, consisting of equal parts rye, Aperol and white vermouth.
What were some planning challenges you overcame?
Ryan: I think we were both really nervous about the weather in the days leading up to the wedding. The venue is half indoors, but the main dance floor area is an open rooftop. It rained a fair bit throughout the day off and on, but I think by that point, we were just ready to roll with it.
Rebecca: I was so sure the rain would ruin a lot, but it just made our photos more beautiful and interesting, plus it cooled down the temperature a bit.
What were your favorite parts of the big day?
Ryan: Taking pictures and getting to see her for the first time was fantastic. Having everything so close together and in our neighborhood just made it seem like a really special version of our perfect Saturday.
Rebecca: Saying “I do.” Getting married to Ryan. That was the best.
This story appeared in the November 2015 issue.