If you ask Chandler Hampton about her first date with Justin Thompson, she’ll admit that it wasn’t love at first sight. Back in February 2012, the two were living and working in Dallas when family friends set them up on a blind lunch date.
“It ended with this awkward handshake hug,” she says with a laugh. Months went by with the two connecting off and on, before sparks really flew at a music festival in June of that year. They’ve been inseparable ever since.
Over the next few years, the two continued to date before Justin proposed on New Year’s Eve in 2015. The two were on a ski trip with friends in Copper Mountain, getting ready to leave for a dinner reservation when he popped the question.
“It was just after we finished a group cheers,” she says. “Turns out the cheers was meant for more than just a Happy New Year.”
Soon after, the pair were busy planning their spring 2017 celebration to be held back in Chandler’s hometown of Kansas City. The first thing on their to-do list? Secure Kindra Browne of Simple Elegance to help plan all of the details.
“The day wouldn’t have been what it was without her help,” she said. “Kindra endured everything from our monthly meetings to family tiffs. She gave us advice when we asked and didn’t judge.”
Justin and Chandler chose David Riffel Photography to capture the event, Studio Dan Meiners for floral and event design and the iconic InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza to serve as the backdrop for the ceremony and reception.
“I’ve been to a lot of weddings, so I chose what I liked and didn’t like, especially when it came to the schedule and timing of things,” she said.
If planning an elaborate wedding wasn’t enough to juggle, the two even squeezed in a move back to the City of Fountains just ahead of the nuptials, accepting roles at Block Real Estate Co.—the KC-headquartered firm founded by Chandler’s grandfather.
But on that spring evening, all stress melted away. Brookside Strings played as Chandler walked the flower-and candle-lit aisle in a silk organza, off-the-shoulder Romona Keveza gown. She paired it with a custom veil from Stanley Korshak Bridal, heirloom jewelry and Badgley Mischka peep-toe pumps. Her bridesmaids donned custom MCK Brands diamond accessories with their strapless, hi-low Alfred Sung dresses.
The groom and groomsmen wore formal tuxes with tails from Michael’s Fine Clothing—Justin in a white bow tie and everyone else in black. They rounded out their look with Texas-themed socks—an homage to the groom’s Lone Star upbringing.
Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the hotel’s rotunda before Chandler and Justin made their grand ballroom entrance, kicking the party off with a choreographed first dance and a lavish seated dinner.
The band Simply Irresistible played as guests enjoyed charred beef tenderloin and blackened tiger shrimp. Following dinner, everyone flocked to the dance floor, stopping only to enjoy the ice cream bar and the multi-tiered confection from Kay Benjamin.
As midnight neared, Justin and Chandler surprised everyone with a sparkler departure, making a brief getaway in a 1955 Bentley Saloon, only to return for after-hours fun with Chandler in a ruffle-sleeve scuba dress from Neiman Marcus and Justin in his unbuttoned tux. Hot, flatbread pizzas helped fuel the crowd as DJ Ashton Martin played.
“He played until two-something in the morning, but we were having so much fun, we convinced him to play longer,” she admits. “We have lots of energy!”
WHO DID WHAT
Ceremony / reception: InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza
Photographer: David Riffel Photography
Videographer: Anecdotally Yours
Wedding planner: Kindra Browne of Simple Elegance
First dance choreography: Overland Park Ballroom
Music: Brookside Strings (ceremony); Simply Irresistible (reception); DJ Ashton Martin (after-party)
Invitations: BP Creative Group
Wedding dress: Romona Keveza, Stanley Korshak Bridal;
Jovani, Neiman Marcus (after-party)
Groomsmen: Michael’s Fine Clothing
Hair: Opal and Orchid
Makeup: 7th Row Productions
Rings: Ascot Diamonds (engagement),Dallas, TX; Tivol; (bridal band) Stonebrook Jewelry (groom’s band)
Cake: Take the Cake by Kay
Flowers / décor: Studio Dan Meiners
Catering: InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza
Transportation: Pech Limo