Sara Shepherd, co-owner of Burdoc Farms Weddings and Events, has noticed a trend: More brides are traveling to southern Kentucky to have the destination wedding of their dreams.
“My generation used to think of a destination as the beach or Jamaica, but that’s not the case anymore. Brides are becoming more mobile and willing to go farther because they want to have an experience that nobody else could provide for them or they want to go somewhere no one else in their community is going to,” Shepherd said. “That’s what we see (at Burdoc) is brides who want a unique venue and a unique experience, so they are willing to travel.”
Shepherd said most of her brides come from the north (as far as Boston) and the west (as far as Texas).
“I had a bride come here from Dallas — she brought her whole family, her photographer, her floral designer, everybody. She said it was cheaper for her to fly all of them here than to have it in Dallas because it’s so expensive.”
With that being said, Shepherd said there’s a momentum that’s putting southern Kentucky on the map for weddings.
Here are her top 5 reasons why:
- Price. There are so many things you save money on: venues, vendors, hotels (or AirBnB) and things to do. Pro’s tip: I advise my couples to use all Kentucky vendors because when you’re hiring a vendor in TN, you’re going to pay more sales tax.
- Transportation. From locally owned transportation services to national ride-sharing companies, getting around is never an issue.
Pro’s tip: 5 Star Transit and Black Beauty Transportation are both equipped to get groups of guests to and from their hotels. Lyft and Uber are available for less riders.
- Logistics. Southern Kentucky has a variety of vendors, ranging from the least expensive to the most expensive.
“In a small town, you know everybody, they know you and you know the expectation. We’re in a hospitality industry, so we work well together because we want you to have a once-in-a-lifetime event,” Shepherd said.
Pro’s tip: Ask around for suggestions. One vendor can usually suggest another great vendor for your big day.
- Accessibility. Christian County is just an hour south of Evansville. Three hours from St. Louis. One hour from Nashville. A couple of hours from Louisville and Lexington. And, we’re just minutes from I-24 and I-69.
- Location. Southern Kentucky is sprawling with land for an outdoor or rustic wedding. Many venues welcome nature’s beauty inside by incorporating wood, stone and glass into their architecture. With that said, southern Kentucky weddings are for nature lovers and those who like wide open spaces and the charm of agriculture.
By Zirconia Alleyne