This originally ran as a Local Love in the 2019 issue.
Wedding Date April 21, 2018
As the lead event stylist and partner at Moore & Co. Events in Bel Air, part of the Collective: Be More Inspired Wedding Studio, Courtney Kappus has executed an insane number of weddings, but never her own. “I always joked, ‘Watch me be the wedding planner who never gets married,’” cracks Courtney. Friends encouraged her to use Tinder and would even grab her phone and swipe right on eligible guys. That could be how Courtney ended up chatting with Ryan Shaw over messenger. He was almost 45 minutes late to their first date, but she stayed, and they talked over dinner. “And we haven’t stopped talking,” says Courtney.
For her birthday in November 2016, he gave her a 2017 calendar—perfect for a self-described Type A like Courtney—with a week in February already marked as “vacation to mystery destination.” For Christmas, she unwrapped a block of ice. After smashing it to the ground, she discovered a picture of a little cottage aglow from the Northern Lights—they were going to Iceland. And it was in that Nordic island nation that, after a day of exploring, he got down on one knee and proposed.
Of course, everyone wants to know where the wedding expert gets married. Courtney and Ryan, who was as much a part of the planning as she was, struggled with the same issue as any other couple: budget versus guest list. When they had both figured out (more than 200 guests were invited), Courtney decided she wanted Ryan to make the final decision on the venue. “I told Ryan I wanted him to pick the location. I can make anything happen at any venue, if that was where he could see us getting married.” Ryan and Courtney’s parents quickly fell in love with the idea of a tented wedding at the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens. “We wanted to bring people to the city where we fell in love,” says Courtney.
Cocktail hour was throughout the conservatory. Each room housed different food corresponding to the flora, like Hawaiian chicken and coconut rice in the tropical greenhouse, and cheese, roasted vegetables, and olives in the Mediterranean room. “It was really cool,” says Courtney. Everyone explored before they all headed into the tent for a big dance party on the checkered black and white floor.
The night was better than Courtney could have even imagined: perfect weather, bars custom-built by Ryan’s mom and stepdad, individual gold acrylic names on each place setting, modern geometric shapes that hung over the dance floor, and Ryan in his signature bow-tie. And, most importantly, Courtney was able to let go of being a planner and just be a bride.
“I didn’t worry about anything,” says Courtney. “I was worried because I am a control person. But Ryan had told me, ‘I just want you to enjoy yourself.’ And I did. I trusted my team. It was perfect.”
ACCESSORIES Faye Daniel Designs BEAUTY Behind the Veil Beauty BRIDESMAIDS K&B Bridals CAKE SugarBakers Cakes CATERER Rouge Fine Catering CUSTOM PIECES Pieces by the Village Carpenter DANCE FLOOR Blondell’s Accent on Events Floral Design Blush Floral Design Studio GROOM & GROOMSMEN JoS. A. Bank HONEYMOON PLANNING Travelworks International INVITATIONS Brooke Shaw (calligraphy, design, and illustration) and Preston’s Stationery (formatting and printing) LIGHTING & DRAPING 27 Studios LOCATION St. Ignatius (ceremony); Rawlings Conservatory (reception) MUSIC Ridiculous Entertainment OFFICIANT Deacon Jim Longenecker PHOTO BOOTH Prints Charming RENTALS BBJ Linens, Select Event Rentals, White Glove Rentals TENTING Party Party TRANSPORTATION American Limousine Photographer Alysia & Jayson Photography VIDEOGRAPHER Wise Films WEDDING DRESS Custom Martina Liana from K&B Bridals WEDDING PLANNER Moore & Co. Event Stylists