REAL BRIDE: KATELYN IN JULIET GOWN
SEPT 26th, 2020
When we first saw Katelyn's photos and the story of her big day, we could not help but smile and tear up! Though their wedding is happening in phases as she calls it, they truly embraced their "Ceremony Day" with close friends and family this past May 30th. They even sported masks with their wedding monogram!

"My "ceremony day" was May 30, 2020. Navid and I went the courthouse on April 16th for our "marriage day". Due to Covid, our plans changed multiple times. We were originally planning on getting married May 9th in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Because of the pandemic, we ended up moving our ceremony to my parents lake house on Beaver Lake in Northwest Arkansas. It was small, but perfect."

How did you two meet?!
"Navid and I have known of each other since highschool. We ended up working for the same company and started dating in 2017."

How did Navid propose?
"We had been talking about what our future looked like and wanting to get married sometime in the future. I had been waiting on him and he surprised me at our favorite Art Museum, Crystal Bridges- the week before Christmas 2019. He had been acting strange but I of course did not think that was why! We walked and looked at my favorite exhibit and then he took me outside (as they were closing) and got down on one knee. Our families were standing by for a surprise dinner. It was intimate and perfect."


Tell us about you two love birds!
"Navid and I are both from Northwest Arkansas. We both grew up here, have families here and settled down here. We love this area so much and will probably be here forever! I work for Colgate-Palmolive and my husband works for Campbell's Soup. NWA is the home to the Walmart Global Headquarters, so most CPG's (Consumer Packaged Goods) have offices here. We both live that corporate life, right in our hometown! Navid LOVES to cook, so since we started dating we cook together. We love trying new things and I even started Navid his own # on my instagram (#whatnavidmademe). He is half Mexican and half Iranian, so he has a very diverse pallet and loves cooking all types of yummy things. We like spending time with our families, friends and traveling whenever we can."

How did you choose your venue/date?
"Well, the date and venue chose us, I like to say. We told everyone we were doing a "phased approach" to our wedding experience. Our venue in FL canceled on us due to Covid, and we didn't know what to do about rescheduling. We actually had a hard time knowing what was right. We eventually settled on waiting a while to decide. Our main priority ended up being safety for everyone. We wanted our family (and close friends) to be there but also to feel safe. Eventually after talking it through (for multiple weeks) we decided to have a very small wedding on Beaver Lake at my parents house. Even though our dream wedding was already planned and ready to go, we felt like because of the state of the world, staying close and small was the best choice for us."
    Tell us about your ceremony. Was it religious? Did you choose your own readings, music, or write your own vows? Pick a detail or two to share about.
    "Our ceremony had about 35 people. This was family and people we considered family. We provided monogrammed masks for everyone and had seats spread out. One of our dearest friends performed the ceremony and another friend played acoustic guitar as I walked down the aisle. (This was a bit different from the large wedding with a string quartet planned for Florida!)"
    Congratulations Katelyn! We are absolutely smitten with your "Ceremony Day" and look forward to your "Party Day"!
    Tell us about your dress shopping experience. Where did you find your gown?
    "If I am being completely honest, I was not super excited about dress shopping. I know some women dream of the wedding gown and have everything planned out for years and years. That was not me, I had no clue what to do or what to expect. I also felt like nothing would fit my body properly. I tried to just go in with an open mind and knew I would have a lot of (helpful) opinions with me. I had my mom, aunt, sister-in-law and cousin who joined :) I eventually found my way to Joon Bridal and never looked back."

    Where did you find your dress and how many gowns did you try on before you said Yes?
    "I went to 3 local stores. NWA is very lucky to have some AMAZING small businesses who know the community and provide top service."

    What was your "Old", "Borrowed" and "Blue"?
    "Old- My sister's bracelet that came from my grandmother MeMe. Borrowed- Earrings from India that belong to my best friend, Emily. Blue- I wore strappy blue sandals from Nordstrom that were perfect for my backyard lake wedding."

    Did you have any major surprises on your wedding day (or weekend?)

    "Well, because everything was decided last minute (moving from the Beach to our Lakehouse) we planned the ceremony in a few weeks. It was planned to be outside, but knowing NWA in the Spring, we had to have ANOTHER backup plan. Thankfully, the morning of the ceremony, I woke up with the most gorgeous weather you could imagine.
    How did your dress feel during the day? Anything you would have done differently or anything you feel worked out perfectly? (think bra choice, shoe choice, etc)
    "My dress was 100% perfection. The minute I put it on, I knew it was the right dress for me. It was stunning, but not fussy. I felt 100% myself and I felt support and coverage in all the right ways. I think a lot of this came from the confidence the Joon Girls gave me. I cannot praise them enough for the love and encouragement I got when I stepped into the shop. I just felt like I could be myself and they truly wanted me to find the best dress for me. The experience in picking out a dress, especially during a crazy time like this, can be overwhelming. I felt like everything was falling apart but they helped me see that it wasn't. And by picking the dress that I did, I felt peace that everything would (and did) fall into place."
    What was your favorite part of the day?
    "My favorite part of the day was seeing Navid when I walked through the curtains. He was a rock for me during the wedding craziness and at the end of the day, seeing him at the end of aisle was all that mattered. My second favorite part was that it ended up what it was- our families in our backyard celebrating together and providing a glimpse of hope and fun in an otherwise hard environment."
    Do you have any advice to offer future brides?
    "Celebrate the small things. You cannot control everything and if you try, you will drive yourself crazy. Celebrate the small wins and remember that it's about you and your person committing your lives together."