Real Stella York Bride Mary Pat + Eric

When tragedy strikes, love prevails. Erica and Mary Pat looked in the face of adverversity and said “I do” in spite of it all. They celebrated with a southern-style celebration with some added COVID precautions.


The Proposal

We had a quiet night in to celebrate my birthday. Eric made me a nice supper, gifted me some pajamas and we watched a movie. I had done my nightly skincare routine, put my new PJ’s on and gotten into bed when Eric said “Oh wait! Since we didn’t do much for your birthday, I got you a scratch off ticket to top off your gift,” which is something that we’ve gifted each other back and forth. As I scratched off the ticket, the prize side showed a ring, and the number side said “Will you Marry Me?” When I looked up, Eric was on his knee bedside with the most perfect engagement ring!


Finding the perfect Stella York Wedding Dress

Coming into shopping, I thought I wanted A-line, lace detail and an interesting back, but I was certainly open to anything. I live in Arkansas, my grandma lives in Illinois, mom is in Iowa and mother-in-law is in Kentucky. We met up in my favorite city (and where I went to college), St. Louis for a fun “Mom-Bachelorette” weekend and dress shopping. We only had two appointments on the books, and fell in love with my Stella York dress at Ultimate Bride. We topped it off with an Essense of Australia veil, and Grannie and my MIL shed some tears!

Eric and I had dated for five and a half years when we got engaged, and we had attended dozens of weddings together, so we had a good idea of what we wanted. I have a huge family and grew up in a tiny town in southern Iowa, and my home church is very important to me (I was baptized there!) so we knew right away where we were having our wedding! Eric has a small family, and is from Lexington, Kentucky, which is where we met, so we wanted to pull as much “Kentucky” into our special day as possible. We wanted a big party, with everyone that we loved, that looked beautiful and timeless, but focused on FUN. We planned the day out, all the way to the Kentucky-Themed specialty drinks and imported Bourbon Balls.

Cue COVID… and then a tornado hit our home in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and then we knew it was time to postpone. We moved from May 23 to August 8, hoping we would have some relief from the pandemic, but ultimately decided to move forward with additional precautions in place. We limited our guests at our wedding in the church, sticking just to family, requiring masks and social distancing. For our reception, we got bigger tents, turned our buffet cafeteria style, moved our party outdoors and added extra speakers to the band. And it was the absolute best day!

One of my favorite memories was when my matron of honor had all my bridesmaids, family, in-laws and future husband write me a letter to read the morning of our wedding. She put together the sweetest book and I laughed and cried while reading well wishes, advice, funny stories, and memories from everyone that I loved.

📸 : @kelseykaraidosphotography
👗 : @theultimatebridestl
👰 : @marypattycake

Photography by Kelsey Karaidos