I Do, I Do

Haley Harris marries George Gatewood

Photos by Josh Merideth, Bella Grace Studios

After meeting in the spring of 2017, Haley Harris and George Gatewood quickly knew that they were meant to be. Their nuptials took place on the property of the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation in Lexington on Sept. 14, 2019. We recently spoke with Haley to learn all about the spectacular big day.

When and how did you two meet?

“We met at Dudley’s On Short Restaurant during Rolex weekend on April 29, 2017 while my girlfriends from Atlanta were in town,” Haley recalled. “My friend Laura Medley had worked with George on interior design projects and her brother’s home. George and I sat next to each other after some musical chairs, and we shared some food. I was intrigued with his height and eyes, and personality was key. George invited me to the horse park the next day. I couldn’t go because of work obligations, but he did manage to ask my friend Laura for my phone number, and he proceeded to take me on two dates in the same week thereafter.”

When and how did you get engaged?

“We got engaged Memorial Day Weekend of 2018 on a Friday afternoon in our home,” she said. “I was actually packing for a trip to Nashville for my best friend’s bachelorette party, and George just couldn’t wait anymore. Little did I know, he’d had the ring for a few weeks. He waited because his original plan to propose at a favorite restaurant of ours two nights before wasn’t the right moment (when we walked in, there was an impromptu karaoke session in progress near our reserved table.) He got down on one knee and said, ‘I love you and can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you any longer.’ He also sang a song, which was titled “The Proposal Song,” on his guitar and serenaded me. I was not expecting that at all and pleasantly surprised my friends at the end of the bachelorette weekend.”

Who assisted with planning the big day?

“Sheila Ferrell, the executive director of the Blue Grass Trust, was a huge part of our wedding,” Haley explained. “She was the on-site coordinator, day-of coordinator and general. She was the first person to offer their venue and expertise, and we are forever grateful for that. Her assistant and preservation specialist, Jackson Osborne, also coordinated the day of and the logistics. Donna Potter with Catering by Donna was also a huge part of our planning. We wanted amazing food, and as fun as weddings are, the food needs to stand out for your guests. As she’s hosted many famed parties and clientele, we knew that we could trust her vision and execution. They both did a remarkable job, and we couldn’t have asked for more dedicated women like Sheila and Donna to flawlessly give their all on the big day.”

What moment from the wedding stands out most in your mind when you look back on it?

“The best moments were when all of my dear friends and family came up for a quick moment or picture after the ceremony to greet me and my new husband,” she said. “Also, my stolen moments with my bridesmaids who truly served me all day and kept me relaxed and protected. You will never have all the people who matter the most to you all together within that moment for a long while. It was an amazing reunion and party with an impromptu Elvis rendition from our friend Edward James, which everyone talked about.”

What advice would you give to couples who are in the middle of planning their wedding?

“Weddings are exactly what people say they are: ‘stressful’ and complex events,” Haley affirms. “But what matters most is that the wedding is about you and your spouse. A lot of people will take the focus away or shift matters, but keep your vision and focus on your desires and needs throughout. Also, if your spouse isn’t a planner, let it go! A funny fact, George accidentally left our wedding license and rehearsal bag in his ride to the venue. I thought he was joking until it wasn’t retrieved until nearly midnight before the wedding.” V


Ceremony Venue: Hopemont, The Hunt-Morgan House Garden

Reception Venue: Thomas Hunt Morgan House

Wedding Gown: Pronovias Atelier Couture from Hyde Park Bridal – Cincinnati, Ohio

Suits: Custom from Jos. A. Bank – Lexington, Kentucky

Bridesmaid Dresses: Brideside

Hair: Jason Kellione at The Hair House – Cynthiana, Kentucky, as well as Dry Bar and BLO Salon in Lexington

Makeup: Bride did her own and bridesmaids were done by themselves and/or by Dry Bar and BLO Salon

Flowers and Arrangements: Bonnie of Stems LLC – Lexington, Kentucky

Catering: Catering by Donna Potter – Lexington, Kentucky

Cake: Tinker’s Cake – Lexington, Kentucky

Photographer: Bella Grace Studios by Josh Merideth

Band: Joslyn & The Sweet Compression

Officiant: Jerry Johns of Winchester, Kentucky

Rings: Shelia Bayes Fine Jewelers – Lexington, Kentucky

Invitations: Graddy Johnson (groomsman and dear friend)