Big Apple Beginnings

Carretto+Studio-1062+copyIn October 2011, Holly Smith and Nathaniel Gravely met at a bar in New York City during a music festival. Nathaniel was producing a concert in collaboration with the public relations firm where Holly worked. Nathaniel introduced himself to Holly, and their courtship began. Nathaniel proposed to Holly in November 2014 at the remote Wolf Island along the Mississippi River. It was a special spot for the couple as its unusual geography and history encompass Missouri and Kentucky, Holly and Nathaniel’s home states.

Holly and Nathaniel were wed Aug. 15, 2015, at Missouri United Methodist Church. The Rev. Trista Soendker Nicholson officiated. Holly wore a full-length A-line gown with a chapel-length train by Le Spose di Gio. The dress had a layered silk organza skirt and pleated silk satin bodice with a deep V-neck and back. The bodice and skirt fastened in the back with silk satin buttons and loops over the zipper. A fingertip veil with blusher completed Holly’s classic look. The bride carried a bouquet of hydrangeas, pale pink garden roses and dusty miller leaves. Her bridesmaids wore full-length navy blue silk chiffon dresses from J. Crew. They carried hydrangeas, roses, tulips, freesia and lisianthus in soft pink and ivoryCarretto+Studio-1028

“I love clean, crisp, simple lines that are slightly modern,” Holly says. “I wanted something classic and elegant that I could look back at in 20 years and not regret my decision.”

Nathaniel wore a navy blue suit by Hugo Boss and a navy blue and white striped tie. His boutonniere featured golden rod (the official flower of his home state of Kentucky), hops (because of his love of beer) and seeded eucalyptus. The groomsmen wore gray suits from Jos A. Bank with navy blue ties. Their boutonnieres were included stephanotis and seeded eucalyptus. Nathaniel and his groomsmen accessorized with matching light brown wingtip dress shoes with brogue details, and navy blue socks with polka dots.

The ceremony décor featured two large flower arrangements at the front of the church and bouquets of roses and eucalyptus on some of the pews. The couple exchanged traditional vows in a religious ceremony. As Holly and Nathaniel exited the ceremony, their friends and family showered them with silver confetti.

“The ceremony was kept clean and elegant,” Holly says. “The church is stunning, so we kept the flowers in the sanctuary to a minimum.”

The reception followed at the Country Club of Missouri. The centerpieces alternated between white orchids in tall silver bowls and groupings of clear cylinder vases filled with pale pink, white and yellow hydrangeas, roses, phlox and tulips. White chair covers paired with navy blue satin sashes tied into bows added flair. The five-tier vanilla wedding cake held raspberry creCarretto+Studio-1075am filling. Each tier featured white frosting trimmed with silver ribbon accents.

“Nathaniel is from outside Cincinnati in northern Kentucky, so we served the cake with Graeter’s Ice Cream, which is a Cincinnati staple,” Holly says. “Of course, we had to balance that with a late-night snack of Shakespeare’s pizza!”

The entertainment included a photo booth and music from the Galaxy Red band. Wedding favors included chocolate chip cookies, Oreos covered in milk and white chocolate, and mint chocolate candies.

For their honeymoon, Holly and Nathaniel spent a week on Guana Island in the British Virgin Islands.

The newlyweds live in Louisville, Ky. Holly, the daughter of Patrick and Karen Smith of Columbia, is a graduate student at the University of Louisville. Nathaniel, the son of Tom and Linda Gravely of Edgewood, Ky., is the product marketing manager at Red e App. He is also working on opening a combined brewery and music venue.


Bridal GownCarretto+Studio-1034+copy
Mark Ingram Atelier, New York, N.Y.

Bridesmaids’ Gowns
J. Crew

Sarah Nelson at The Clip Joint
Carretto Studio, St. Louis


Nordstrom, Jos A. Bank

Drew Parker Designs

Galaxy Red, St. Louis

Edith Hall Cakes, Hallsville

Mark Morrell, Concord, Mass.

Tallulahs; Crate & Barrel; Macy’s

Alyssa Weagley, Atlanta, Ga.

Cork Creative, Kansas City

Makeup Artist
Rebecca’s Day Spa, The Clip Joint

Kristen Brown at Hoot Design Co.

Linens & Photo Booth
A-1 Party & Event Rental

Cookies from Amy Schleider; chocolate-covered Oreos from The Candy Factory; Mindy Mints from Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Chocolates & Ice Cream, Salt Lake City, Utah