EA Dream Team:
Anne Kelly Acock of Monarch Flower Co. and Ashley Hotka of Good Earth Floral Designs: Flowers and décor
Abbey Leigh Photography: Photography
Dede Palmer of Altar Bridal: Bridal Gown
Patty Johnson of KC PhotoBooth: PhotoBooth
Kati Gonzales of Edible Art Cakes: Cake
Danny Goyer of Encore Elite Entertainment: Musical Entertainment
Amore Dance: Dance lessons
Jack and Ralph Bondon of Berbiglia Wine & Spirits: Alcohol Upgrade
Jackie Waechter of All About Honeymoons :Honeymoon
Donna Heer of Seranade: Ceremony music
Barb & Ken Saathoff of Loose Mansion: Military discount on venue and food services
Heather Medley of Nottinghill Designs/Twiin Studios: Invitations
Christy Guy: Bridal hair & makeup
Mary Perkins: Videography
Bruce Gershon of Arrow Fabricare: Gown preservation
Kathy Fernholz of It’s A Stitch: Monogrammed gift basket
Planning a wedding is stressful enough. Now imagine trying to do it while stationed in Afghanistan thousands of miles away from home and your fiancé. Not to mention dodging bombs daily as you risk your life for the sake of your country. Well that is exactly the predicament Rachel Davenport found herself in. Finally engaged to the love of her life, Justin Savage, Davenport spent much of her planning process in deployment as part of the United States Air Force. She found herself communicating via email to handle many of the arrangements that are often hard enough to handle as it is. And to top it off, the couple was working with a limited budget, although they weren’t concerned, as long as they got to celebrate the day with family and friends.
The couple booked Loose Mansion to hold their festivities, and inquired as to who might be able to do florals considering their budget constraints. That’s when Barb Saathoff called on Anne Kelly Acock, owner of Monarch Flower, creative contributor for EA Bride, and floral mastermind. Kelly immediately knew this would be the perfect opportunity to coordinate an EA Dream Team to help this couple out. She loves to pay-it-forward and thought this would be a chance to do so on a grand scale.
“We realize that this is only one individual in the military, but we hope to inspire others to do the same, as a big thank you to people who do so much for us, especially those in these armed forces. We want this to be a big thing, and our hope is that this creates a footprint for more people following in our footsteps and saying thank you to all people in the armed forces,” says Acock.
Immediately, calls were made, emails were sent out, and an overwhelming response came from people all over the Kansas City metro area to help out with this cause. As soon as they heard about the circumstances of this couple and what they were trying to pull off despite the distance, professionals started coming out of the woodwork to pitch in as their personal thank you to Rachel and Justin, as well as everyone else in a similar predicament.
So, on a chilly evening last November, Rachel had just gotten back from overseas, and she and Justin were meeting with Barb to discuss some final details about their ceremony and reception. Little did she know when Barb walked her around the corner, EA Bride would be there to welcome her with news cameras filming them on this surprise. Nearby, behind the closed doors, all these amazing vendors waited in anticipation to be called out one-by-one to present the couple with their donation towards their big day. At the end of it, there were over $16,000 worth of donations from everyone. Rachel started tearing up almost immediately as she realized the selflessness of her actions and the grandeur of her duties to the military were so appreciated by the community around her. By the end of the presentation, it is safe to say there was not a completely dry eye left in the room.
Their wedding date was set for February 27, 2011, and their big day will be featured along with their personal story in the summer issue of EA Bride. Everyone at EA Bride would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the professionals who stepped forward to help Rachel and Justin. They were exceptionally gracious and grateful for everything you did, and it shows an immense amount of character and goodwill in this industry, and that is one of the things that makes Kansas City a great place to live… and be wed.Read More