Drew Baldridge Marries Katherine Kraus — All the Details from Their Music-Filled Wedding
Drew Baldridge and Katherine Kraus are married!
The "Beach Ain't One" singer-songwriter, 29, and the model and dental treatment coordinator, 26, tied the knot at Saddle Woods Farm in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on Friday — and PEOPLE has all the exclusive details.
During the ceremony, Kraus walked down the aisle to Ruelle's "I Get to Love You," and she and Baldridge exited to James Taylor's "Your Smiling Face."
"We have sung this song to each other since we started dating," Baldridge tells PEOPLE. "It's always been one of our favorites."
Baldridge's cousin Christopher Tanner is a pastor and married the couple, who wrote their own vows. "It's gonna be really special to have him do our wedding because he's seen me and Katie's journey since the beginning," he says.
Standing by the couple's side during the ceremony were 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen, including songwriter Michael Tyler and LOCASH's Preston Brust. Kraus had a maid of honor and a matron of honor, her two childhood friends Lauren Kerr and Kayla Wilson, while Baldridge's brother Jordan served as his best man.
For the big day, Baldridge and Kraus got their tux and dress made by Olia Zavozina in Nashville.
"Katie originally bought a dress somewhere else but then realized she really wanted to have hers custom-made," Baldridge says. "So Katie and her friend Kristen Brust (Preston's wife) went to Olia and designed her dress and reception outfit. Olia did an amazing job and worked very closely with Katie on making it everything she could ever dream of."
Kraus surprised Baldridge by taking pieces of fabric from his grandmother and grandfather's clothing and having it stitched inside of his tux. "They meant the world to him," Kraus says.
Baldridge accessorized with Ariat boots while Kraus went barefoot for the ceremony. As for the rings, they were designed at the family-owned American Jewelry in Brentwood, Tennessee. Baldridge's wedding ring has "She's Somebody's Daughter" engraved into it on the inside, and Kraus' wedding band was passed down to her from her mom.
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With the new bling, wedding band passed down from her mom and a blue garter, Kraus has almost all of her bases covered for the "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" tradition aside from the something borrowed.
At the reception, which was planned by Morgan LeGate, they chose a song Baldridge wrote a few years ago called "Collide" for their first dance as a married couple.
"I've never let anyone really even hear the song, and to be honest I never thought anyone would," Baldridge says. "It's Katie's favorite song though, so that means a lot to me."
For the mother-son dance, Baldridge wrote a song for his mom called "Can She Have This Dance?" Baldridge also recorded a special version of his song "She's Somebody's Daughter" for Kraus and her dad's father-daughter dance.
"I wrote this song a couple of years ago with Katie in mind so it has always held a place in our hearts," Baldridge says. "And to be able to hear it on our wedding day will be overwhelming."
Town & Table Catering provided the food for the reception, which was set up at different stations. On the menu were biscuits, candied bacon and jam, baby back ribs, mac and cheese and sliders. Yuengling beer and Cantera Negra tequila were on hand to wash it all down.
Before the wedding, the couple had a rehearsal dinner at Mere Bulles, one of their favorite restaurants in Brentwood. Ahead of the ceremony, they also got lunch catered in for the bridal party from Chick-fil-A.
Gigi Butler from Gigi's Cupcakes in Nashville personally made their wedding cake, and they also served some of her pies and pie bars from her new concept Gigi's Kitchen for dessert.
Baldridge — who is currently in the middle of the second leg of his Baldridge and Bonfires Tour and hosts a weekly show each Saturday and Sunday on L.A.'s Go Country 105 starting at 9 a.m., as well as his weekly podcast "Behind the Song" — says he and Kraus feel "lucky" that none of their wedding plans were majorly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We did have to keep our guest list smaller than we may have otherwise wanted, but luckily there weren't any major wedding plans that were affected," he says. "It really affected the proposal though!"
"I was going to propose in Paris and two days before we were supposed to leave on the trip, the travel ban to Europe happened," he explains. "I had to change all my plans — and quickly. I had written a song, 'Before You,' that I was going to play for her on proposal night with lyrics like 'I never thought I'd fly to Paris.' But we ended up flying to Aruba instead. It worked out perfectly, and I was even able to slip into the studio the day before we left to change the lyrics in the song to, 'I never thought I'd fly to an island.'"
Baldridge and Kraus first met back in 2014, while at a music venue called the Forum in Macomb, Illinois.
"I was sitting at a back bar after I performed that night, and Katie was sitting two stools over," Baldridge says. "Some guy kept trying to talk to Katie so she scooted down a couple seats and said to me, 'Talk to me until this guy leaves.' That night we became friends but it took us a year and a half to have our first official date. After some back-and-forth long-distance dating, Katie moved to Nashville in 2016, and we've been together ever since."
After five years as a couple, Baldridge and Kraus knew they were ready for this next step.
"We were ready to settle down together," Baldridge says. "We started talking about starting a family and a life together, and we knew we needed to take this next step so we could make that happen. Katie makes me a better man. She reminds me to put others first and to love with a bigger heart. I really can't picture my life without her anymore and I know if she wasn't in it, I'd feel empty."
Kraus adds: "Drew always reminds me to look to God no matter what the situation is. After seeing the love he has for God and how he treats his momma, he would be almost impossible not to love."
As for what keeps their relationship strong, Kraus says it's "communication."
"Every night when Drew is on the road he texts or calls before going to bed no matter what," she says. "With being gone so much you really have to have high communication. Also honesty. We are so honest with each other on how we're feeling and what we need from the other. These two simple key parts in our relationship have helped us to stay close and true to each other."
The couple is now looking forward to forever — and "starting a family," says Baldridge — but first comes the honeymoon.
"We're going to Oahu, Hawaii for 10 days!" Baldridge says. "It's going to be a good, relaxing trip, and the longest trip we've ever had together with just us two. My uncle Doug gave us his timeshare there as our wedding present. Couldn't be more thankful to him for that. And Katie LOVES a good spa, so that will definitely be a part of the trip."
"We're probably going to spend a lot of time on the beach relaxing, but Drew has a hard time sitting around too much," Kraus adds. "I'm sure we will end up going to see what all the island has to offer!"
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