In October of 2012, Elizabeth Gordon and Kenneth Sicard's mutual friends set the pair up on a blind date. "By the end of the night we both knew it was the start of something really special," Elizabeth remembers. "Kenny's sweet dance moves sealed the deal for me and he says my smile and jokes did it for him." As excited as they were about the prospects for a relationship, Elizabeth still had her doubts: At the time, she was battling cancer and caring for her daughter, Anslie, on her own. "I thought those sort of things would send a guy running for the hills," she says. But Kenny wasn't going anywhere and even told Elizabeth that the things she feared would drive him away only made him love her more. Three months later, she introduced Anslie and Kenny to each other and their instant bond was proof enough that he was here to stay.
About a year and a half later, Kenny popped the question in the kitchen of their apartment. "Anslie ran into the room wondering what was going on," the bride says. "She then burst into tears, hugged us both, and said, 'This is the best day of my life!'" And it only got better for her: Kenny left the room and reappeared with another box, this time dropping to one knee to ask Anslie if he could be her step dad with a pair of earrings.
The couple (and Anslie!) decided to officially become a family on October 3, 2015, at the Muscadine Vine in Powder Springs, Georgia. With a relaxed, natural, and ethereal aesthetic in mind, Elizabeth and Kenny invited 120 guests to watch them exchange vows and asked Julia Fenner of Leggy Bird to capture their gorgeous fall day. Even with less-than-perfect weather, this happy couple and their young daughter made it a day to remember.
"I cried the first time we checked out our venue," Elizabeth admits. "We referred to it as 'The Secret Garden.' It was every bit whimsical and breathtaking and we instantly knew it was where we were supposed to pledge our love and officially start our lives together." Although their October wedding date came with some unexpected rainy weather, it only proved to make the day that much more intimate and magical.
Elizabeth found her lace and chiffon wedding dress from Free People on a whim. "I was casually browsing their new bridal collection and I instantly knew this was the one," she says. "When my dress arrived, it felt like Christmas morning. After that, everything else started falling into place. My dress set the romantic tone for our wedding."
Her fresh floral headpiece, which contained a mix of different flowers including hydrangeas, roses, and greenery, complemented Elizabeth's soft waves. Anslie coordinated with her mom by wearing a full flower crown, filled with lots of greenery and hydrangeas. The bride also donned a long veil handmade by her groom's aunt.
"We decided to go with very neutral colors for our wedding party," Elizabeth says, so she asked her bridesmaids to choose any cream-hued lace dress they loved. While the bride's bouquet featured lots of bright-hued blooms, including roses, hydrangeas, berries, and eucalyptus, her attendants carried arrangements comprised entirely of greenery. "They looked amazing with their cream dresses and the landscaping."
When it came to Kenny's attire, he kept everything Southern classic, but with his own modern spin. He paired his blue Michael Kors suit with a traditional white button down and a vintage bow tie from Elizabeth. His groomsmen all wore khaki pants, white shirts, and tan suspenders.
The family's first look was one of the most memorable parts of the day for Elizabeth, Kenny, and Anslie. Kenny stood beneath an oak tree with his back to his future wife and daughter, and the pair snuck up beneath a big umbrella. "We were giggling and failing to be quiet and sneaky," the bride remembers. "When we turned around and we saw one another for the first time... I can't put it into words."
The three enjoyed some private time together, posing for photos and laughing as a family, before the celebration kicked off.
Anslie served as both the flower girl and ring bearer, toting a basket of greenery and lace and wearing the couple's wedding bands on a chain around her neck, over her heart. Musician Anna Kate Gill played guitar and sang for the ceremony. Elizabeth and her father walked down the aisle to a live rendition of Jack Johnson's "Angel."
Although their ceremony was initially meant to be outside, rainy weather meant the reception barn had to serve double duty. Elizabeth's step dad officiated, making the personalized ceremony that much more special for the bride and groom. "It was a really special way of incorporating him into our wedding festivities," she says. "Reading our vows to one another with all of our loved ones surrounding us was magical. We pledged our love in the barn with the rain beating down on the tin roof. It was so intimate and romantic."
The reception featured a collection of antique and eclectic furniture, including mismatched farm tables and a claw foot tub that was repurposed to hold bottles of cold beer. The bride and groom's sweetheart table was decorated with an old wooden trunk and Elizabeth's bold bouquet.
For dinner, the couple brought in a local favorite: Sweet Auburn BBQ dished out southern staples like pulled pork, pulled chicken, boracho, baked beans, mac and cheese, Texas toast, and cornbread.
The meal closed out with an assortment of cupcakes, arranged on an antique shelf. Flavors like chocolate, cookies and cream, red velvet, chocolate cream, blueberry crumble, strawberry, key lime pie, and almond wedding cake meant there was something for everyone to enjoy during dessert.
Elizabeth and Kenny shared their first dance to "Coming Home" by Leon Bridges before bringing their daughter out onto the dance floor with them. "Then, we danced the night away under the twinkling lights, barefoot until my dress turned brown," the bride says. "We loved around and only saw happy faces full of love and laughter."
Although they planned a honeymoon in the Bahamas for early 2016, Elizabeth and Kenny enjoyed a little alone time following their fall nuptials. "The day after the wedding we packed up and headed to our family cabin in the mountains. The first night we made a fire, ate a frozen pizza, drank champagne, and read our cards and guest book. Reflecting on our big day together in that setting was cozy and perfect."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Muscadine Vine || Bride's Wedding Dress: Free People || Groom's Attire: Michael Kors || Flowers: Victory Blooms || Music: Anna Kate Gill of The Retreat || Catering: Sweet Auburn BBQ || Cupcakes: SmallCakes Cupcakery || Photographer: Julia Fenner of Leggy Bird
Did you love this sweet celebration? Then check out another couple's barn wedding in the video below.