Real Weddings

Pine Lake Wedding – Leah & Brandon

“Brandon and I met in a Texas government class in a small town most people haven’t heard of. I remember I didn’t take many notes in that class yet Brandon always seemed to ask me if he could copy down the one sentence I wrote the week before, maybe just to talk to me, or maybe because he was failing the class and needed all the help he could get…nevertheless, it’s now one of our favorite college memories. At the end of a hard semester the year after Brandon had graduated and moved back to Houston, we hadn’t been able to see each other hardly at all for such a long time we decided to plan a mini-vacation to Gorman Falls in Colorado Bend state park. We both had never been and weren’t sure how it would actually look but in my head, it didn’t matter, I was just ecstatic to be anywhere with him. Brandon however, was somehow obsessed with looking up pictures and checking the weather reports so much that it started getting weird. Of course, in his head, he had been planning something much bigger. When we got to the base of the waterfall it was more beautiful than pictures can show and words can describe. It was amazing! This is where my best friend asked me to marry him and me, being partly in shock, partly crying, but mostly completely happy said yes!”

“The inspiration for our wedding was simple; joining our lives, celebrating our love, bringing our friends and family together, and giving thanks to God for the incredible journey and our theme was centred around just that. As soon as we saw the most beautiful oak tree in Texas at Pine Lake Ranch, we knew this was where we would get married. The tree represents so many things in our lives. I can look at it and think of our families coming together at the foot of its branches and know that our family tree will continue to grow as well. I also see a foundation. As the tree is rooted deeply in the ground, we began our marriage rooted in Christ and can grow strong for years and years because of it. The tree is such a beautiful creation that man can’t replicate and it was the perfect spot to begin our lives. Religiously, we are both Christians and actually grew to know Christ better through this wedding process and we give all the credit and gratitude to our officiant and his wife, Jim and Kelly, for leading us and changing our lives.”

“We decided early on that we didn’t want to fit into a traditional wedding, we wanted the wedding to fit us instead and suddenly so many things started coming together. Details such as the shed antler centrepieces came from my husband’s passion for hunting while the wedding colours were my favourite shades of blues and greens. I created the welcome sign featured at the ceremony and included small details throughout the reception to add my personal touch. But the most meaningful piece of decor was a painting I created to hang in our first home of the beautiful oak tree we were married under.”

“I wanted to keep the floral arrangments simple and timeless and decided to go with white roses and eucalyptus leaves. To include the wedding colours and make my bouquet a little more unique we added some blue thistle which turned out so beautiful! Our floral designer also made the most beautiful arrangement on the cedar arch at the end of the aisle. I will never forget how incredible it looked under the oak tree! It was definitely an important element to our day.”

“One of the focal points of our wedding day actually happened hours before the ceremony. My husband is a bow hunter along with his two best friends. Instead of choosing a single best man himself, they decided to hold an archery shoot off. The morning of the wedding the two best men shot their arrows across the pond at a target 100 yards away. Our pastor, our families, and most of our friends showed up early just to watch it happen. The best man who was closest to the centre of the target would be the one to stand next to Brandon during the ceremony. Now, this all sounds fun, but as a bride, I could not for the life of me figure out how I was going to print wedding programs without knowing who to list as the best man. So I came up with the solution of leaving out printed wedding programs and making a sign instead with the entire wedding party. The best men were written on removable labels which I could move around at the last minute when the best man was decided. The wood pallet was from a coworker who was close to throwing it away before I offered to use it and create the sign featured at our ceremony entrance.”

“My look was actually the easiest decision for me throughout this process. My style has always been sweet and simple but most importantly, comfortable. My dress was decided in my head before I ever when shopping or looked at pictures online. This made wedding dress shopping a little challenging because nothing was exactly what I wanted. At the end of our first wedding dress appointment at Lulu’s Bridal in Dallas, my stylist looked at my stressed out self and said “listen, we have a dress that just arrived this morning. No one has even tried it on yet but I think it’s what you’re looking for.” And she was right. The dress was simple, yet had the most beautiful and intricate beadwork, yet was so light and flowy I knew I could eat as much cake as I wanted and dance all night long! But my favourite part was the opal beads on the top of the dress, which happen to be my birthstone. And speaking of dancing all night, I could not have done it without my wedding shoes, the Kate Spade Keds. My love for style yet comfort was completely satisfied. Jewellery wise, my earrings were raindrop earrings from Tacori that included sky blue topaz gems in them. They were the most perfect gift from my husband given to me the day we picked out our wedding bands. My necklace, a far less interesting story, was found on sale on Etsy but ended up being the most fitting detail of our oak tree themed day.”

“I think for both of us, the most anticipated moment of our day was finally getting to read our vows to each other. I remember all day long, I could not wait to get down the aisle to Brandon and it was so surreal finally being in that moment, getting to marry the most incredible man I’ve ever met. We wrote our own vows which made it so special, it was definitely my favourite part of the entire day.”

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Photographer: Nichole Livingston Photography // Venue: Pine Lake Ranch // Event Designer: Events for all Seasons // Cinema & Video: Reverent Media // Design & Decor: Sweet Tea and Linen // Bakery: Bavarian Cakery // Makeup Artist: The Beauty Lounge

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