Mor­gan & Harper

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - In This Issue - By Beth Bright, pho­tog­ra­phy cour­tesy of An­drea Clark Pho­tog­ra­phy

In the sum­mer of 2013, a mu­tual friend of Macken­zie Mor­gan and Matt Harper set them up on a blind date. Af­ter tex­ting each other for a week and a half, they de­cided they would like to meet in per­son and their friend sug­gested that Matt join Macken­zie at her home church to meet. Af­ter that first meet­ing, they were insep­a­ra­ble. The two of­ten visit Macken­zie's sis­ter, Faith, and brother-in-law at their home in Ben­ton which has a whim­si­cal tree swing in an old oak tree.

One day in De­cem­ber 2014, Faith per­suaded Macken­zie to go with her to get a man­i­cure, “just as an out­ing with big sis.”

“She then asked me if I could come to her house the next day to take a Christ­mas photo of her hus­band and her for their fam­ily Christ­mas card,” she said. “Be­ing a shutterbug, I gladly ac­cepted. She also said for me to `dress cute' so she and I could have a sis­ter photo taken, and I could even in­vite Matt to come with me so we could all go to din­ner af­ter the photo ses­sion.”

She will­ingly ac­cepted and af­ter a quick photo ses­sion on the tree swing, Matt knelt down and pro­posed to Macken­zie as her sis­ter took photos.

“Of course, I said `Yes,' she said. “It could not have been more per­fect! What an amaz­ing Christ­mas gift — this day, this guy, and this ring — were to me!

The big day: July 18, 2015 Best Man and Maid of Honor: Matt's Best Man was his younger brother, Mitchell Harper, and my Ma­tron of Honor was my sis­ter, Faith McCal­lis­ter.

The lo­ca­tion: Fam­ily Farm Chris­tian Day Camp in Malvern. The cer­e­mony took place out­side, in a tree-lined field, with the ser­vice held in front of a pond.

The re­cep­tion: The re­cep­tion was held in the lodge at Fam­ily Farm.

We served a sim­ple coun­try din­ner, start­ing with my momma's recipe for le­mon chicken, fol­lowed by a mashed potato bar with fix­ings, green beans, bis­cuits with honey, and fresh sliced wa­ter­melon.

My cake was a four-tier white cake with a honey-al­mond

but­ter­cream and blue­berry fill­ing made by Krista Orr, of Malvern. It was topped with the Wil­low Tree “Prom­ise Me” fig­urine and had baby's breath and fresh yel­low daisies placed on it. Matt's groom's cake, made by his Aunt Mae, was a two-tier cho­co­late cake, dec­o­rated with fon­dant EMS sym­bols and was topped with a toy am­bu­lance dis­play­ing Matt's truck num­ber.

We had a milk and cookie bar with a va­ri­ety of Matt's fa­vorite cook­ies from Sub­way, and a cof­fee bar, in honor of my avid love for cof­fee. For en­ter­tain­ment, our fam­ily friend, Matt Shull, was DJ for the evening with a mix of coun­try, Chris­tian, and a span of mu­sic from the '80s to cur­rent dance songs.

The look: My over­all im­age I had for my wed­ding was “coun­try pic­nic.” My col­ors were corn­flower blue and ca­nary yel­low. I used a va­ri­ety of pic­nic bas­kets in the dec­o­rat­ing to add to the pic­nic theme. The ta­bles had corn­flower blue ging­ham squares topped with a va­ri­ety of lace and burlap cov­ered tin cans and Ma­son jars hold­ing yel­low daisies, baby's breath and can­dles. The re­cep­tion area was also dec­o­rated with var­i­ous daisy bou­quets, child­hood photos, and hand-painted signs.

I car­ried a beau­ti­fully full bou­quet of blue del­phinium, and white monte casino flow­ers hand-tied with yel­low ging­ham rib­bon. Matt's bou­ton­niere was made to match my bou­quet, and I just loved the way all the flow­ers turned out!

The dress: My dress was a lovely Mo­rilee Blu edi­tion dress. It had ev­ery­thing I was look­ing for in a wed­ding dress! It was a del­i­cate ivory chif­fon gown, with an il­lu­sion neck­line and em­broi­dered lace ap­pliqués. A gor­geously beaded belt tied around my waist with a full or­ganza bow in the back. The train was chapel length and was later bus­tled which al­lowed the chif­fon to

still be dis­played so beau­ti­fully.

Most un­for­get­table mo­ment: I think the most un­for­get­table mo­ment was when I walked down the aisle. When our vi­o­lin­ist and gui­tarist be­gan to play “Edel­weiss,” lace cur­tains which cov­ered a rus­tic lum­ber ar­bor were drawn back, and I en­tered the cer­e­mony site. When Matt got his cue that he could turn to­ward me, the ex­pres­sion on his face as he saw me walk­ing down the aisle to meet him at the al­tar dis­played how much he loved me. That was one of my fa­vorite mo­ments of our wed­ding.

The hon­ey­moon: Matt rented a se­cluded cabin up in the Smoky Moun­tains. The cabin was rus­tic and charm­ing, and was a great es­cape. Af­ter spend­ing a few days ex­plor­ing in the Smok­ies, we drove to Nashville for more sight­see­ing, then on to St. Louis where we took in a Car­di­nals game. We love spon­tane­ity, and this first ad­ven­ture­some va­ca­tion to­gether was full of pre­cisely that!

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