Growing up in a small town where you’ve known everyone since childhood may make finding your soulmate a little trickier…unless they come to you! While Madeline and Jordan hit it off as soon as they met, when he was visiting her East Texas hometown for baseball, it wasn’t until a few years later that their relationship really began. Even though they met and got engaged in the town where Madeline grew up, they knew they wanted their wedding to stay on the intimate side, so they opted for a mini destination celebration at the dreamy Vista West Ranch. 150 loved ones from across Texas joined them as they exchanged the vows they had written together and then celebrated in the barn, surrounded by Madeline’s favorite spring blooms and peaches. The best thing about their day though? How much they soaked it in and enjoyed every second–their expressions when Madeline walked down the aisle are proof enough of that!
Thank you so much to Jenna McElroy for sharing this sweet day with us!
Both of my parents, my sister, and our close family friend went with me to choose a dress. I had a distinct style in mind: something flowy with tulle and with a little bit of a boho vibe. At the first store, I found two awesome dresses, both just as I had pictured, but for some reason, I just couldn’t commit to either of them. The next store was a total flop, as I only found one dress I even wanted to try on. The next appointment wasn’t for several more hours, so I considered canceling and heading back to the first place to choose a dress. However, we went ahead, and I’m so glad we did, because I found my dream dress there! It was absolutely nothing like what I had said I wanted–it was fitted, had a lot of lace, and there was a peplum skirt! But, to this day, I am still in love with it!
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. I did not have strong feelings either way, but did kind of want to do one originally. However, Jordan was against it from the beginning. He said “That’s just not the way it’s supposed to be! I want to wait.” Since he had hardly any other opinions or requirements for the wedding, I went with him on this one. I’m so glad I did! It was so special for him to see me as I walked down the aisle, because that is what HE had dreamed of. The entire time I was walking down the aisle, all I could think about was how excited I was to finally show him the only secret I had ever kept from him: my dress!
Surprisingly, I think the most memorable moments were the twenty minutes before the ceremony. I spent those moments looking out the window at all of our guests arriving and finding seats at the ceremony site. I could see Jordan outside, talking with friends and family. One by one, my closest friends, cousins, and aunts came inside to give me a quick hug before the ceremony. I had my parents, my sister, and my best friends in the room with me, and I could see my hero, Jordan, outside along with the most beloved people in our lives who had driven across the state to celebrate this moment with us. It was just the most peaceful, surreal moment of my life.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows. We came up with one set, then we each recited them. I had two favorite phrases. The first was “I joyfully accept all that you are, and I will always celebrate the treasure I have in you.” The next was “I vow to follow you as we seek God’s guidance and wholeheartedly submit to his call for our lives.” To me, these two lines sum up what I pray our marriage will be.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We stood in front of a backdrop that had Psalm 103:1-2 written on it, which says “Let all that I am praise the Lord. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord, may I never forget the good things He does for me.” Our pastor read these verses and discussed their significance.
Describe your wedding flowers. INCREDIBLE. They included all of the light and whimsical colors of our wedding–blush, peach, lavender, and plum. They were wild. They were simple. They included fresh lavender and rosemary and greenery. Oh, and LOTS of peaches! Some tables had greenery going down the middle with peaches placed throughout. Others had a small and short (and wild!) arrangement in the middle, with more peaches. We had a small bundle of lavender placed at every place setting, just to further give that natural and organic vibe that I love!
I had a “naked” cake. I told our baker I wanted it to look messy, and she did it perfectly!! It was a vanilla cake with fresh strawberries in the filling. Our florist topped it with freshly sliced peaches, lavender, and rosemary. A small bowl of sliced peaches sat beside it. My husband played football at LSU, and his cake was so fun. It was a football field with a 3-D LSU helmet on top. One end zone said LSU, and one said A&M!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I think my favorite small detail was all of the peaches. I had no idea how to make it work, I just knew I wanted herbs and peaches…and my florist blew me away! To me, the peaches represented what I have always loved: natural beauty. I also loved other small details that made the wedding a celebration of who we are and our stories: my husband’s LSU jersey displayed, my bridal pictures displayed that were taken in my parent’s front yard and at my aunt’s home, the pictures of my dogs and me, the English bulldog statue (yes, we adore our Bully), our baby pictures hanging on the doors of the restrooms, the puzzle pieces on the back of our chairs that read “perfect match” (I love all things quirky)…all elements that weren’t expensive or fancy. They just told our story.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I first met Jordan during the last few weeks of my senior year of high school. He was a freshman in college playing baseball at the junior college in my small hometown in East Texas. We met through some guys I had grown up with, who also played baseball on this team. Jordan is from Houston, so it was a big deal to meet a boy I had not known my entire life! We hit it off from the beginning and hung out many times over the course of the next month. However, the end of the semester came and Jordan moved back home. The next fall, I started my college career at Texas A&M and Jordan transferred to play football at LSU. I thought I would never see him again, but despite the fact that we had no mutual friends or common ground, we always seemed to keep in touch. Every few months, I would hear from Jordan through a random text or Facebook message. Two and a half years passed, and then Jordan called me to say he was going to be visiting College Station with some friends and he would love to meet up. I was so excited, yet totally nervous about hanging out with this guy I barely knew!! I went for it, and the rest is history. Not a day has passed since that weekend that I have not been absolutely infatuated with him. I knew when I watched him walk away after that weekend that I could never go another day of my life without him.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jordan and I were visiting my parents in East Texas, the most special place on earth to me. It was a Saturday night, and my parents and I had plans to attend the wedding of a family friend. Jordan was not really invited to the wedding, and my sister had plans with friends from high school, so I was not the least bit thrown off that neither of them was attending with us. Towards the end of the speeches during the reception, my parents started saying they were ready to head home. It was an afternoon wedding, so it was still early, and I was not ready to leave! Nonetheless, we headed out, and on our way home, my dad said he needed to run by our church and grab something for the Bible study he was leading the next day. I thought this was totally normal, as my dad has a key to our church and is constantly running by there. As we pulled up, I looked up and saw my sister standing outside the front door of the church. At that moment, I knew, and it was the most surprised I have ever been in my life! I walked in the front doors to see our extremely close friend who is like a sister standing there holding my and Jordan’s baby English bulldog puppy that we had just adopted a few months before. They led me to the doors of our worship center, where I walked in to see Jordan standing at the front of the room by the most incredible and romantic display of candles and flowers I have ever seen. I totally ruined the photo op by sprinting towards him and into his arms. We danced to our song, and then he asked me to be his wife. It was so special that he chose this room where so many incredible moments of my life had occurred. We shared a few moments with family and then headed to my parents’ house, where all of my closest friends were waiting for us. It was so special!
When did y’all get married? May 29, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We prayed. And then we prayed some more. We asked God to lead us, to prepare us to be husband and wife. We also met with our pastor and his wife, who walked with us through scripture and who talked with us about what it really means to be in a covenant marriage with one another–the good, the bad, and the ugly. We left no stone unturned, and it was often difficult to have conversations about in-laws, past heartache, and personal struggles. However, it made us realize that our marriage is worth fighting for, and that there is nothing we wanted more in life than to spend our lives devoted to one another as we follow Jesus Christ.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I am from a small town in East Texas. It’s the kind of town where everyone knows everybody. I absolutely LOVE it. However, I knew that I wanted a more intimate affair with only our closet friends and family. We decided to take our wedding to the Texas Hill Country as a mini destination wedding. It was difficult to have those conversations with people whom I love, but did not include as guests. Typically, East Texas weddings top 400-600 guests in a celebration that involves almost the whole town, and this is so neat! I have loved my friends’ weddings like this! However, with Jordan being from Houston and with a lot of thoughtful consideration, we felt strongly that we wanted only the closest of our friends and family to witness such an intimate moment in our lives. It was the only part of wedding planning that was stressful to me; I hated the thought of hurting the feelings of the people from my hometown!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We used acrylic plates, flatware, and cups, as well as paper napkins (cute ones, of course). I couldn’t even remember this stuff from other weddings I had attended, so I felt it was a great way to cut costs. I also did not make programs for our ceremony. Instead of lots of florals for our ceremony background, I chose to spend only $300 having a banner made, and used it as our only ceremony decor. I felt that God’s creation surrounding us in the Texas Hill Country was the best decor we could have asked for.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Truly, my best piece of advice is just enjoy it. Enjoy this time with your family and your friends. Enjoy preparing for the biggest party of your life, as you will celebrate God’s best gift to you, your husband. Every day, choose JOY. No matter what little things that WILL go wrong, choose to soak up every single moment of your engagement and wedding day. Eventually, the details and the decor will fade in your memory, but you’ll never forget the way you felt.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Jordan is a high school football coach, so next for us is football season and many more football seasons after that! We are most looking forward to the crazy lifestyle his job brings, and seeing how God will use it to grow us and use us to love others through it.
Photographer: Jenna McElroy Photography | Videographer: Adams Film Productions | Planner: Karis Crawford | Venue: The Creek Haus at Vista West Ranch | Florist: Bristol Lane | Wedding Cake: Michelle’s Patisserie | Caterer: Pappas Catering | DJ: The Premier Entertainment Group | Napkins: The Knot | Invitations: Reveleigh and Co. / Seating Display, Reception Signs, and Menus: Paper Mark Creative | Bridal Salon: Blush Bridal Lounge | Bride’s Veil: Kleinfeld Bridal | Hair Stylist: Stacy Squyres of Studio 319 | Makeup Artist: Kalin Hale | Bride’s Shoes: DSW | Maid of Honor’s Dress: “Charlie” in Shell by Plum Pretty Sugar | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Azazie | Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein | Groomsmen Attire: Jim’s Formal Wear | Ceremony Banner: Wondrous Whimsy | Calligrapher: Lindsey Lee
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