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    Louisville native Emily Hagedorn, 35, has been Yelp Louisville’s community director for four years, in charge of PR, marketing, event planning and business outreach. She has built relationships with many local businesses — some that grew in a new direction when she chose to work with them for her wedding. Last July, Hagedorn and her husband Niel Pfendt hosted 170 guests at the Pointe in Butchertown for their ceremony and reception. Here, she gives her unique wedding-planning perspective.

    What does your job involve?

    “I’ve planned 100-plus events that have included a behind-the-scenes day trip to Maker’s Mark, a pizza crawl of Bardstown Road atop the Thirsty Pedaler, a night of learning how to become an acrobat with Louisville Turners Circus and a 750-plus-person celebration of Louisville’s creativity, featuring more than 50 businesses, amazing eats and drinks, a fashion show, opera singers and aerialists. Those experiences were so useful when it came to putting together an event for myself and my husband. On a micro level, I used that knowledge when deciding where to put vendors and guests for the best event flow, as well as on what type of signage to create.” 


    What kind of theme were you going for?

    “Since we love Louisville so much, Louisville was a big theme in the wedding. In the ceremony, our officiant surprised us with a bourbon toast. He found a bottle of bourbon from the year we met — 1997. And our reading was from the essay ‘Poetry and Marriage: The Use of Old Forms,’ by Kentucky author Wendell Berry. Our other reading was the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. All the bridesmaid necklaces had Kentucky on them. And all the groomsmen had Kentucky socks from Kentucky for Kentucky. For our reception, we had SnoWhat Snoballs, Ale-8-One, sweet tea and Southern-themed flavors. Our favorite was the SnowFashioned. We had a bourbon ball tasting with four types of bourbon from Art Eatables. We had Akasha beer. Even though it was July, we had shrimp and grits, and the chicken had bourbon glaze. The Old Fashioned was our featured cocktail. And Spinelli’s pizza was our 10 p.m. snack.”


    What was the biggest challenge for you in planning this wedding?

    “Keeping it in the budget! Starting out, I had so many big ideas of what I wanted. But making it fit was the biggest challenge. And keeping expectations in line. I had all these DIY projects I wanted to do. I did some — I designed invites, save-the-dates, programs, signage — but I’d wanted this big art thing, a silhouette of the state of Kentucky, and it didn’t happen. In the end, it didn’t matter.”

    Other vendors include: Arrow Salon, Palace Aesthetics, 21c Museum Hotel, Night Owl DJs, Michaelis Events, Juleps Catering, Flour de Lis Bakery, State & Arrow Design Co., Davis Jewelers, The Bridal Suite of Louisville, Mayan Café and Shop Local Kentucky.

    Photo by Crystal Ludwick Photo

    This originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of Louisville BRIDE. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

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