A Downtown Dream

Inside a romantic wedding in the heart of Kansas City

Kansas City native Sarah Smart first met her future husband in the fall of 2012 in Los Angeles. Smart, who works in television, took notice of Bernard Parham, a fellow officemate, and decided to do something about it.

“I just sent him an email telling him I thought he was cute,” Smart says. “I think he was taken aback at first, but he obviously liked it. We went on a date a week later and have been together ever since.”

Three and a half years later, Parham took Smart on another memorable date to Il Cielo, rated the most romantic restaurant in L.A., where he got down on one knee and popped the question.

“I don’t even think I said anything to him at first, I just grabbed the ring and put it on my finger,” Smart says. “I was so happy, I called my parents and woke them up. It was really exciting.”

To kickoff the yearlong wedding planning process, Smart hired Hannah Schumm of Weddings by Hannah to turn her ideas into reality.

“From the first day, she got everything done,” Smart says. “I could not have done it without her.”

The bride knew she wanted to incorporate peonies into her big day, and she had one florist in mind to get the job done.

“I knew 100 percent I wanted Dan Meiners to do my flowers,” Smart says. “Everything he’s ever done is insanely gorgeous.”



As for the groom, he had one request: to say “I do” surrounded by books.

“Bernard is super smart and has a degree in English, so I started looking into libraries,” Smart says.


The Kansas City Public Library’s downtown location turned out to be the perfect fit for the duo’s spring ceremony. As for the reception, the Brass on Baltimore’s dark oak accents and chic chandeliers matched Smart’s overall vision.


“I just wanted a romantic, fairy tale wedding,” Smart says.

Added to the romance was Smart’s blush pink Monique Lhuillier gown, the first dress she saw on a shopping trip with her mom.



“It just fit me perfectly,” Smart says. “I really wanted a jaw-dropping reaction when I came down the aisle, and I think I definitely got it.”

Another jaw-dropping element included the couple’s floral wall, which also acted as a backdrop for their photo booth. Copper, blush and white details accented the table settings and local band 2 Proud 2 Beg kept guests on the dance floor until midnight.



“I was in awe,” Smart says of the wedding day. “I couldn’t believe how good it turned out.”