If you're a serious fan of Say Yes to the Dress like we are, you may recognize Katie Ginella from this week's episode. The model bride, who splits her time between Orlando, Florida, and Atlanta, appeared on the show, where she said "Yes" to a David Fielden satin sheath at Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City and "I do" to Matt Ginella, a travel insider for the Golf Channel, at Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri.
Well, with a dress that pretty and a venue that gorgeous (seriously, it's one of our top venues in the country!), we knew we had to see more. Read on for a behind-the-scenes scoop on Katie's dream-dress shopping experience and the couple's intimate celebration in the Ozarks.
When it came finding her dream gown, Katie knew she had to go to one place: Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City. She made the trip with her best friend, Abigail, and they made a weekend out of the dress shopping experience. "Shopping at Kleinfeld felt like a dream," she says. "The place is gorgeous!"
Once there, she was paired with Shay as her consultant, and the two hit it off instantly. "He got to know me and my style, and we were able to find the perfect dress," she says. After trying on just four dresses, Katie put on a satin David Fielden number and knew it was the one she would marry Matt in.
She completed her look with a long veil, Jimmy Choo heels, and a lariat necklace made of her favorite gem, moonstone.
The bride also paired her gown with a lush bouquet of flowers picked locally.
For the wedding, the groom had as easy a time choosing the venue as the bride did her dress. As a travel insider for the Golf Channel, Matt visits golf courses for a living, and when he first reported on Big Cedar Lodge in 2015, he called Katie immediately. "He said, 'If we ever get married, this is where it will be,'" she says. And she took his word for it, booking the venue sight unseen.
On October 15, 2016, after a round of golf for the boys and a spa day for the girls, Katie and Matt met at the Chapel of the Ozarks, a stone chapel on the golf course overlooking Table Rock Lake.
Inside the chapel, Katie walked down the aisle to "Let It Be" by Ray Lamontagne and met Matt in front of a large wooden cross (and floor-to-ceiling windows!). There, they exchanged handwritten vows—both laughing and crying—in front of 26 of their closest friends.
After a quick photo session (with the wedding photographers and a whole crew of TLC videographers) on the golf course, the newlyweds led their crew to dinner on Matt's favorite mode of transportation: a golf cart!
Dinner was held at the Osage Restaurant at the Top of the Rock, which overlooks a picturesque lake. For the décor, the bride stayed with her rustic theme, filling the tabletops with candles, local flowers, and wood accents. "Working with our florist, Tam Ashworth of Isari Flower Studio, was the easiest part of the planning process," she says. "She definitely achieved our vision of a small dinner reception in a relaxed outdoor setting."
Thanks to their small guest list, the couple was able to sit at one long table with everyone! Almost all the guests gave toasts to Katie and Matt over glasses of red wine, making dinner an hours-long celebration of the happy couple.
The chefs at Big Cedar Lodge prepared a two-tiered buttercream cake, which they then topped with local blooms and foliage and displayed on a slab of wood (rustic brides, steal this idea!).
As advice for brides-to-be (like you), Katie recommends skipping away to a special place with your nearest and dearest. "Since we eloped with our best friends, we got to spend the entire weekend with them relaxing and celebrating," she says. "It wasn't a blur at all!"
And, of course, she recommends a trip to Kleinfeld Bridal too.