True Romance

Brides don’t have to look far in Kansas City for inspiration when planning weddings that are infused with elements that reflect their personal style. Landmark venues, flowing designer gowns and bridesmaids frocks that are anything but frumpy, flowers that are rich and romantic and cakes that are creative masterpieces of design and taste all add to the sparkle of love embarking on a new adventure. 

With Kansas City as their muse and backdrop, two carefully conceived and executed weddings created memorable events for families and friends who gathered to witness the nuptials of young couples starting their happily ever afters. 

Amanda Beaver and Rob Holland and Ashley Kay and Stephen Hiatt had carefully culled visions of their wedding days and chose superlative vendors such as wedding designer and stylist Diane Boone of Arcadian Events and Decor and Karyn Brooke, AIFD, of Sidelines Custom Floral Designs, Inc. to bring their dreams from drawing board to reality. Boone and Brooke are known for their exacting attention to detail and their fresh approach to every wedding, and the Beaver/Holland and Kay/Hiatt fetes were no exception.

Glorious, sun-dappled Kansas City fall weekends and vintage venues played host to the dinners, brunches, luncheons, ceremonies and parties that celebrated each couple. Unusual colors and flickering candlelight, along with linens, lush flowers and inspired food were the personal signatures of each wedding that helped create events that symbolized romance, joy and the soft glow of love.

Beautiful traditions, sweet romance and personal statements of style are forever mementoes of these Kansas City weddings. We take a peek into the Big Days of two couples celebrating their love and unbridled futures.


Amanda Beaver’s September 2010 wedding day started on a romantic note: Her fiancé, Rob Holland, presented his bride-to-be with a lovely necklace nestled in a satin-beribboned Tiffany’s box. Later in the day, during the ceremony at Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, guests would applaud Amanda’s token to Rob: a custom-made cowboy hat from the famed American Hat Company in Ft. Worth, Tex. Amanda’s father, Bryan Beaver, kept the hatbox tucked under his pew at the church and following the couple’s first blissful kiss, handed the hat to Amanda to give to her new husband. The hat has a personal inscription on the inside from Amanda to Rob; no doubt that chapeau will play a role in the newlywed’s anniversaries throughout the decades.

Nancy Beaver, mother of the bride, planned the wedding along with Amanda and Karyn Brooke, AIFD, and owner of Sidelines Custom Floral in Martin City. The dream: a traditional and classic affair, imbued with romance and a contemporary sensibility. A blushing color palette of ivory, champagne, pewter and amethyst for the bridesmaids and a vivid panoply of autumn tones including coral, deep orange, butterscotch, dark pink, burgundy and purples punctuated the bouquets, centerpieces and décor at the church and reception at Kansas City’s grand Union Station.

“Amanda, who is charming and smart, romantic and a little bit girly, wanted an interesting juxtaposition of old and new,” says Karyn. “I wanted to capture not only her sophistication, but the celebration of her deep love for Rob.”

The stunning bouquet Amanda carried down the aisle was composed of stephanotis and fragrant gardenias, the latter of which Nancy carried when she and Bryan married.

Indeed texture and dimension were evident throughout the day, including Amanda’s stunning dress that floated on her. “My daughter has always been a ruffly girl,” says Nancy. “We attended a trunk show at the Gown Gallery and I saw the dress on a hanger. I was awestruck by its beauty, but wanted Amanda to make her own choice.”

When Amanda slipped the dress on and walked into the room at the Gown Gallery, Nancy says everyone who was there stopped and looked. “Our mouths dropped to the floor,” she recalls. “It was Amanda, perfectly. It moved with her when she walked and looked like it had been custom designed just for her personality.”

The Beaver/Holland wedding captured Kansas City’s nostalgic past. The reception for nearly 600 guests at iconic Union Station provided a grand canvas for the reception. Underneath the generations-old clock that has kept time for thousands of people walking through the station over the years–catching a train to go off to the service, to visit family, to see theatre in Chicago and go on honeymoons, including Nancy’s parents–Amanda and Rob danced the night away. Signature drinks, including mojitos and Coors Light, a favorite of the younger crowd, and sumptuous food stations created by PB&J were part of the festivities. Rob picked out the Rama Sola cake that was adorned in creamy roses and ribbons of votives.

More than 600 candles added a cozy glow to the main hall at Union Station and Karyn created striking centerpieces of celosia, dahlia, zinnias, tuberoses and hydrangeas that originated from two local growers, along with South American peonies, roses and gloriosa lilies, plus deep purple hydrangeas from California. Pewter pintuck tablecloths mimicked the color of the sash on Amanda’s gown and beveled mirrored containers and sleek chrome lanterns on each guest table added elegance and a hip quality to the ornate marble room.

At the end of the evening–which was actually early Sunday morning–Nancy did a quick mental assessment of Amanda and Rob’s wedding. “It was romance personified, and the guests could feel it,” she says. 

Photos by Jessica Roark.


Ashley Kay and Stephen Hiatt were married on a picture-perfect October 2010 day in Kansas City. Not only was love in the balmy autumn air, a traditional celebration steeped in the romance and beauty of carefully selected exquisite details was carried out. Diane Boone and Karyn Brooke were hired to attend to every minute of the church ceremony and reception at the regal Carriage Club.

“Stephen and I wanted a day where family and friends were comfortable, one that was warm and surrounded us with the love of the special people in our lives,” says Ashley. “It was the happiest day of our lives. We felt so loved.”

It was also a day with sentimental pieces woven throughout.

“They had a beautifully laid out table with traditional Italian handmade wedding cookies baked by members of the Hiatt family,” says Diane. “That was a very sweet gesture that was part of the reception.”

Guests received the classic engraved invitation suite from William Arthur that set the mood for the couple’s wedding.

The guestbook was a linen-covered volume of Kansas City photographs by Kevin Sink, a memory filled with inscriptions and messages from friends and family plus images of the city that will be a coffee table treasure for the newlyweds.

Flowers were elegant–a unique blending of colors and organic items including purple kale, bittersweet, cockscomb, burgundy dahlias, hydrangeas and dusty miller mixed artfully with orange roses, purple stock, gold cymbidium orchids and calla lilies. Reception centerpieces were pin spotted and the back wall of the Carriage Club was draped in ivory voile with a curtain of twinkle lights behind. Ivory crushed satin bichon tablecloths and double ivory and gold lamour satin napkins, along with custom foil-wrapped chocolates from Halls, adorned guest tables. The Karen Davis Project kept the dance floor full until late night when the bride and groom were whisked away into the waning hours of a day drenched in romance.

Photos by Parigo Studios.

words: Kimberly Winter Stern