While I am an aficionado of many things in life, there are very few things that captivate my heart more than friendships, books, and weddings. All three of them have the ability to inspire, to motivate, and to take you on a wonderful and thought-provoking journey. Last night my three passions combined in the form of a book launch for Hitched in a Hurry by author Karley Kiker. Add champagne, delicious bites, and couture wedding gowns and you had a soiree made, well, for a book!
I met author Karley Kiker back in the summer of 2012 at the Miss Texas Pageant. I walked into the pre-assigned hotel room I would be sharing, not knowing much about the woman with which I would spend the next 7 days of stress, anxiety, joy, and exhaustion. I was incredibly blessed to find that my new roommate was a woman filled with compassion, style (she had a multicolored sequin skirt I am still dreaming about), and a heart for Christ. That week was one of ups and downs for both of us, and I am still thankful to this day that we had such a low-stress relationship to come “home” to every day.
Fast forward a bit, and Karley gets engaged to Taylor, the soon to be “forever love of her life,” in March of 2013. Waiting any longer to be with “the one” wasn’t an idea either of them relished, so the pending nuptials were set for July of 2013. Yes, you read that right. In the same year. A wedding planned, dress picked, flowers chosen, and future planned in just 4 1/2 months. Oh, did I mention it was a destintion wedding too?
If that stopped your heart right there, you aren’t alone. (Mine included.) Most weddings take up to 12-16 months to plan, and dresses can take 5-8 months to order. Instead of listening to that panicky voice of planning-paranoia, Karley forged ahead and blogged about her speedy engagement/wedding planning adventure with D Magazine. I read each one of her posts religiously, commented, laughed, cried, and cheered for her along the way. Not only is she a beautiful person inside and out, but she also is an excellent writer.
That D Magazine blog turned into a book idea for other bride-to-be hopefuls wanting to plan a wedding in a short time frame. Enter Hitched In a Hurry. When Karley contacted me several weeks back about her book launch party, I was over the moon. I’m pretty sure I was the first person to RSVP (beyond her family of course). So last night I ignored the thunder and lightning threatening to overtake the Dallas skyline and pranced my little high-heeled feet to couture bridal atelier Nardos Imam, where the launch party was being held.
Dressed to impress in a beautiful white sheath dress, Karley was glowing in a room full of guests wearing chic casual-cocktail attire. Nardos Imam made a beautiful and fitting backdrop for the book launch, lending an air of subtle enchantment to the celebration. After making a bee line to the author for an animated hello, I ran into my fellow pageant sister and dear friend Christine Tang. The evening was filled with laughter, the sounds of champagne classes clinking and Karley’s pen busily signing personal notes as guest after guest bought copies of Hitched in a Hurry. Even newlywed Catherine Lowe from The Bachelor came to offer her support for the launch and celebrate with the crowd. Delicious hors d’oeuvres and deserts by Main Street Bread Baking Co. in Grapevine provided refreshment in lieu of any recent wedding cake you may have missed, and beautiful white blooms with pops of pink and green dotted the showroom (and made me think of summer wedding bouquets). The party lasted well into the night, with guests taking selfies in the stunning floor-to-ceiling mirrors that reflected the amazing couture bridal gowns hung with care behind them.
As I sit reflecting on the delightful and charming party, I am struck by the little things that made last night such a success. Listening to Karley’s mother share the pride she has in her daughter. The Nardos Imam staff sharing their passion for the creative process of a custom bridal gown. The sounds of laughter as new friends met and old friends reminisced. Most of all, the joy radiating from Karley Kiker as she glided through the crowd, stopping for a photo here, extending a hug there, and always finding her husband with her eyes through the crowd. At the end of the night, the event was all about love- for the journey of marriage, for old friends and new acquaintances, and love for others across time and distance who want to share in the rushed but blissful experience of getting hitched in a hurry.
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You can order Karley’s book through her website ashortengagement.com. Click the book cover at the top of the article for a direct link to the site.