Kelly & Derek
Updated: May 18
9.18.2020 | The Butterfly Pavilion
How We Met
Derek and Megan’s husband, Brandon, met during their freshman year of college. These two have been best friends ever since. From living together for 4 years to countless hiking and rock climbing trips Derek & Brandon have been inseparable. When Kelly came into Derek’s life, we knew she was going to be the one. Derek was Megan & Brandon’s Best Man at their wedding so in December 2019, so after Derek proposed, naturally, he asked Brandon to be his Best Man. We were so excited to be a part of their wedding!
We love hearing the behind the scenes on how our couples met & fell in love. Derek wrote that their story was full of "love, faithfulness, & endurance" and we can't think of 3 better words to describe their journey. Read an excerpt from their love story written by Derek...
"Kelly and I met while I was a Christian missionary in Quito Ecuador. I lived there for about two years and met Kelly serendipitously my first year through her brother who invited me to come to their house for a traditional holiday. Kelly would say that she had an instant crush on me and had to see me again, but over time settled for a friendship with me instead. For me it took a little longer to realize what was going on. I left for the summer to visit friends and family in the US and then returned for my second and last year to Ecuador. As a group we all went dancing at a local salsa club and after dancing the whole night with Kelly I was done for.
My heart about exploded once I realized the feelings that I had for Kelly, but that I had rules and an authority I had to follow and that if I didn't they would likely take me out of the country and send me back home to the US without finishing the mission work I was doing.
A month before I left the country in June, my bosses gave me a green light to officially start dating Kelly. This time was heaven to finally be able to be honest about our feelings and actually act on them. All of the time waiting helped me to grow so close to her as a friend and once we could date I quickly fell in love with her even more.
As I am writing this I realize that it is so hard to actually sum up the depth of our relationship and the way that her love has healed so much of my past. God gave me the most tremendous gift in getting to love Kelly and having her love me back. And after a month that felt all too short I left to go back to the US and start my masters.
December 22nd, 2019, as she was visiting for Christmas here in Atlanta, I planned a whole night to see her favorite ballet, The Nutcracker, which she used to dance in as a little girl.
After months of planning and praying with a ring in my pocket, my heart beating out of my chest, and the most beautiful woman I had ever seen with me, I ask Kelly to marry me. After a completely shocking moment, she said yes and crowds of people at the Fox Theatre all applauded.
Our wedding date was for December 12th 2020 and it would have been Quito, Ecuador to celebrate the coming together of my family and hers.
Just shortly after New Years Kelly left to go back to Ecuador with plans for me to go to Ecuador for my spring break. Just as I was about to get onto the plane to travel the next week, Ecuador closed its borders to all other countries due to COVID-19 leaving Kelly and I now separated without knowing when we get to see each other next.
In August, Kelly and I finally were able to see each other and she flew here for a visit. In that time, it looked like our Ecuador wedding wasn't going to happen so we switched our plans to get married in the states in under a month. It was a huge undertaking but the day was perfect!"
Down to Business
As you read above, Kelly & Derek’s plans changed drastically due to Covid. Kelly came to visit at the beginning of August and by the middle of the month, they decided to change all their wedding plans and get married in the states. They called Megan and told her the plans and they began searching for venues! Within the week, we had a venue, every vendor found and booked, and just had to worry about the small stuff! We met to create decor like their welcome signs and seating chart and to talk details as the wedding day quickly approached!
The Big Day
It’s not a secret - we love Friday weddings and this one was no different. When we arrived at @The Butterfly Pavilion Marc & Anna from Marc & Anna Photo & Video and Woodstock Flower Company were setting up the table decor, installing the florals on the ceremony arch, & putting out the personal flowers. Since Kelly & her girls were getting ready off-site, we didn't get to meet Nimzy or Elizabeth but both of them did an amazing job on Kelly! We set out the decor as Kelly and her girls & Derek and his boys arrived to finish getting ready before photos started.
Once everyone was ready, Kelly got zipped into her dress and they did the First Look. Seeing Derek’s reaction to Kelly was the sweetest! They had a few private moments to themselves before getting a few more photos knocked out before guests started to arrive for the ceremony! We escorted the guests down to the Starlight Dance Floor where the ceremony would take place. During the ceremony, Kelly & Derek read their own vows, participated in communion, and took meaningful moments during the ceremony to be together.
Guests were released back up to the pavilion where Sweet Auburn BBQ Food Truck had the apps in individual boat plates while family photos and the remaining couple photos before introducing Kelly & Derek and going into their first dance which ended in bachata before sending guests to the food truck for BBQ. After dinner, we cut the cake and did toasts before Estebon from Espeute Productions kicked off the dance floor! Derek & Kelly continued to steal the show with light-up masks!
At the end of the night, we went back down to the Starlight Dance Floor for one last dance for Derek and Kelly and a sparkler exit before sending them off!
Two very special moments of Kelly & Derek’s day stem from the change of plans and the fact that her brothers and the majority of her family couldn’t come to the states for their wedding. The first is the translation of their ceremony by one of their friends that were on Derek’s missionary team in Ecuador - this was live-streamed for all the family back at home. The second super special thing that happened was that each of her brothers recorded a speech that played over the speakers at the wedding - giving them a way to be there for Kelly even when she didn’t think they would be able to.
"Marmaros Production planned our wedding in a week, yes, A WEEK!!
Megan had all the contacts and also allowed us to decide all the little details, even with such short time notice."
Happily Ever After
Even though it wasn’t the day they originally planned, these two took the changes and embraced them so gracefully. We loved being there for Kelly & Derek and can’t wait to see them take on marriage! Congratulations Kelly & Derek!
All Hands on Deck
Venue: The Butterfly Pavilion
Photographer & Videographer: Marc & Anna
Hair: Elizabeth Thomas
Makeup: Nimzy Kabibi
Florist: Woodstock Flower Company
DJ: Espeute Productions
Catering: Sweet Auburn BBQ Food Truck
Officiant: Pastor Jon Schock
Dress Shop: Aisle & Veil