Katherine Bennett and Tavarres Jefferson met in the summer of 2018, while both were living in Nashville. “We met on Hinge,” she remembers. “We were both each other’s first date on the app.” After a successful first meeting, they knew they could delete it off their phones—a relationship formed. Just a few months later, the couple became long distance when Tavarres got a job in Las Vegas. After a little more than a year going back-and-forth, Katherine joined him out west.
“We got engaged in the summer of 2020 at our Las Vegas home,” Katherine says. “Our trip to Greece got canceled because of Covid; my husband was planning to propose there. We instead planned a trip to Oregon. Tavarres surprised me right before we left for the airport and proposed, just the two of us, with our puppy watching!”
Even as uncertainty about the pandemic loomed, the duo began planning—and they made sure to keep the process fun. “We really enjoyed bringing our vision to life. We FaceTimed our families, drank wine while we stamped envelopes, and went on long walks to talk about all the details,” Katherine says. “We loved talking about our wedding—what everyone would be doing, wearing, and how they would feel.”
The event of their dreams—with a final guest list of 140—came together on May 29, 2021. Read on to see all the lovely details, planned by Tara Cox of Scheme Events—“the best in the game,” Katherine says—and photographed by Gaby J Photography.
Katherine knew from the get-go what she was looking for in a wedding gown. “I wanted an open back and a deep V,” she says. A matte lace fit-and-flare by Essense of Australia checked all the boxes, with a bonus: “It felt great and was comfortable.”
“I wore a veil from Etsy—I wanted something simple—and shoes from Amazon. I was told they would get ruined,” Katherine says with a laugh. But, her jewelry held very special meaning. “I wore my grandmother’s engagement ring for my necklace. We were very close and she passed away a few months before the wedding. She had a lot of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and we each get to wear [the ring] for special occasions.”
Tavarres went for a classic look on his wedding day. “He wore a black tux with a U-shaped vest and red lining,” Katherine described. As for the accessories? “He wore monogrammed cufflinks with ‘K+T’ on one and our wedding date on the other. He also wore Christian Louboutin red-bottom shoes—no special significance, but he really loved them.”
It was a beautiful, private moment—just the two of us—that really made me feel so calm and energized for the wedding.
The couple opted for a first look before the ceremony—and it ended up being one of their favorite moments of the day. “It was a beautiful, private moment—just the two of us—that really made me feel so calm and energized for the wedding,” Katherine remembers. “I was so excited for Tavarres to see my dress for the first time, and his reaction was everything. I don’t think he took his eyes off me for the rest of the night. It felt like the perfect way to begin a whole evening of celebrating!”
The bride carried a gorgeous oversize bouquet of white and blush blooms by City Blossoms, and the groom donned a boutonniere featuring a single flower accented with greenery.
Bridesmaids wore long gowns in a champagne shade. “They all had the same color but got to choose their own style,” Katherine says. “I wanted them to be in something neutral that they would feel their best in.”
Since getting engaged, the couple has relocated yet again, this time to California. However, the chose to get married in a place that held significance to them. “Las Vegas was such a fun and special place to us that we wanted to get married there,” Katherine says.
“Picking a venue was the easiest part of planning. We knew we liked Cascata [Golf Club] from the minute we go there.” An expanse of green space with mountains as a backdrop set the scene for the ceremony. Their color scheme was classic—a range of neutrals—and décor was “very minimal,” Katherine says. “We had white chairs and an arch of flowers at the end of the aisle.”
“We had an all-female string quartet,” Katherine says. “They played contemporary songs by Chris Stapleton and Beyoncé. Our bridesmaids and groomsmen came down the aisle to ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran.” For her own walk down the aisle with her father, the bride picked a more traditional melody: Canon in D.
“Tavarres’ stepdad, Phil, did the ceremony and helped select the vows we said,” Katherine says. “Phil told very personal stories and had everyone laughing. It was super special. He also read Psalm 23, which is one of our favorites and has a lot of family history.”
After “I do,” the couple jumped the broom, a Black tradition that, in their case, was also an homage to family. “Tavarres’ mom recently got married to Phil, who did our ceremony; she made the broom herself and she and Phil jumped over this exact same broom for their wedding. For us, it represented family and the beginning of our new life together.”
The newlyweds recessed out to “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. “Immediately following was cocktail hour, where the strings kept playing,” Katherine says. “It was set up right next to the ceremony so our guests just walked [over] and had appetizers and drinks.”
Meanwhile, Katherine and Tavarres posed for some snaps in an epic vintage getaway car—the same one she’d ridden to the ceremony in with her father. Besides being a perfect photo op, their choice of vintage wheels had a special meaning. “ Both my grandads, who have since passed, had blue Cadillacs,” Katherine says. “It was a nod to them.”
Care a lot about the little things before your wedding, so you don’t have to worry about them on your wedding day.
The bride enjoyed the planning process, and her forward-thinking was a bonus day-of. Her advice to other brides- and grooms-to-be? “Care a lot about the little things before your wedding, so you don’t have to worry about them on your wedding day,” she says.
The couple’s Goldendoodle, Nolan—who had been present for the proposal—was featured on the seating chart. “He is the love of our lives,” Katherine says with a laugh. “We got him during the pandemic, and we are so obsessed. He didn’t make the journey to be in the wedding in person, so we had to make sure he was included somehow.”
Most couples select one or two signature cocktails; Katherine and Tavarres had a menu of 13. “The drinks were named after friends and family members and their favorite drinks,” Katherine says of the personal twist they put on the list. “We had drinks named for our moms, a drink called Colton’s Grave—the combination of two friend’s last names—, [and] a drink called the Gamble Valley in honor of where my husband grew up.” If they were feeling risky, guests could order a Hellie—bartender’s choice.
The lovely reception space required little décor; they played off existing elements like rustic wood ceiling beams and cast-iron chandeliers. Wooden cross-back chairs and crisp white linens kept to the clean, natural vibe. It made a lovely setting for the feast, which featured some of the couple’s favorite dishes. “We wanted to serve really good food at our wedding that everyone would enjoy,” Katherine says. “We served a wide variety of heavy appetizers, chicken and waffles, crab cakes, beef Wellington and asparagus.”
After dinner, the duo cut into a simple three-tier almond and lemon cake adorned with flowers.
For their first dance, the bride and groom took to the floor to the tune of “I Found You” by Alabama Shakes. Katherine danced with her father to “There Goes My Life” by Kenny Chesney.
The party was on—and there was plenty for guests to enjoy. They snapped pics in a photo booth, scarfed down late-night sandwiches served on silver trays, and hit the dance floor. “My husband cared a lot about music, so we had the best DJ in Las Vegas, DJ Shai,” Katherine says.
But, there was one big surprise left: Mid-dance party, a confetti cannon exploded, showering the guests with white confetti as they soaked up all the joy and love around them.