Of course, y’all know I love this wedding because it’s super Southern, ultra-feminine, and perfectly classic, but when you add in a baseball stadium reception, you’ve especially got me hooked! Hayley is a girl after my own heart–she can talk sports with the boys, and still has a perfect Southern bump! Sound like anyone y’all know? Ahem! ;) With all of the stress that can sometimes accompany a wedding day, we all know how important it is to focus on the moments that have deep meaning, but I also agree with Hayley and Barton about the importance of having fun! When the bride and groom surprise their guests with face paint – yes, face paint – at their reception, I can only imagine how much fun their wedding must be!
Thank you so much to Mustard Seed Photography for capturing this blast of a big day!
My something borrowed was my matron of honor’s delicate silver bracelet, which she received on her own wedding day. My something blue was my delicate blue lace garter from BHLDN. My something old was the diamond earrings I wore, which belonged to Barton’s grandmother. My something new was my brand new Jimmy Choo pumps!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. The wedding dress I ended up getting was exactly what I had always envisioned: all lace, strapless, mermaid style. It was simple, classic, and timeless. I went into the process knowing exactly what I wanted, so it was an easy decision as soon as I tried on the Romona Keveza dress. I added a crystal sash from BHLDN, a beautifully delicate diamond headpiece from a bridal boutique in Houston called Mia Bridal Couture, simple nude Jimmy Choo peep-toe pumps, and a dramatic cathedral-length veil. I knew Barton would love the look, but more importantly, I felt like myself.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look, and it was a very mutual decision that we felt strongly about. We wanted to fully experience that sweet, priceless moment of him seeing me for the first time as the church doors opened up and as I was walking towards him to finally become his wife. There was something so precious, special, and innocent about that moment for us. We loved our decision and feel that it made our day that much more special.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I absolutely adored the twenty minutes Barton and I had to ourselves after the ceremony, right before the reception. During this time, we retreated to our own private room at the reception venue, where we were able to eat some of our delicious food, sip on one of our signature drinks, and simply revel in the precious moments together. It was exactly what we needed right before we were formally introduced to everyone as Mr. and Mrs. Simmons, and it was a great little breather before we danced the night away with all of our friends and family.
We selected Christ Church Cathedral because, in our opinion, it was the most beautiful church in all of downtown Houston. The stained glass windows and gorgeous outdoor courtyard made a perfect backdrop for our special day. As for our reception venue, we chose Union Station at Minute Maid Park for so many reasons! First, it’s also located in downtown Houston, and we wanted our guests to be able to experience the heart of the city and all that Houston has to offer. Union Station is connected to Minute Maid Park, where the Houston Astros play baseball, which is a prestigious landmark in Houston. It made for a pretty cool cocktail hour (our guests were able to venture out onto a balcony that looks over Minute Maid Park), but most importantly, it’s an absolutely breathtaking space! Our venue had huge, soaring ceilings, elegant arches, exquisite white and marble columns, and an open, airy feel. It was beautiful on its own, yet it still provided so much opportunity for us to add our own personality through delicate, pretty, personal touches.
We absolutely adore seeing how y’all use products from the Southern Weddings Shop in your weddings, and H + B’s showcase absolutely did our prints justice!
Being from Texas, I absolutely wanted our wedding to give our out-of-town guests a taste of the South! We had white wedding cake, thick ribbons tied into big bows around the gold chiavari chairs, roses in mason jar-style vases, straw cowboy hats for all our guests to wear while dancing, and the most adorably Southern prints from the Southern Weddings Shop, which we framed in antique white wooden frames and placed around the venue. We made sure our guests’ welcome bags were super Southern too, and combined both mine and Barton’s home towns of Texas and Tennessee: Texas Hot Sauce, Texas-sized jelly beans, Tennessee-made GooGoo Clusters candy, and tiny Tennessee Jack Daniels bottles. One of our favorite Southern touches was the plates of Shipley Do-Nut holes we passed around as a little treat sometime after 10 p.m., when the party was in full force. Shipley’s Do-Nuts is a staple in Houston and I grew up eating them for breakfast as a little girl.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. For the brides’s cake, we had a five-tiered traditional white wedding cake with buttercream filling. The design alternated smooth and quilting designs with gold candy dots and gold fondant ribbon, with all-white shimmer icing. The groom’s cake was designed to look like the Yale football field, since Barton played football at Yale. It was a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling, covering in green icing and accents in navy and white fondant (Yale colors). We added a little football helmet with Barton’s name and football number painted on it, which he loved.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Barton and I first met very briefly in June 2010 through mutual friends. We introduced ourselves and shook hands, but I didn’t think anything of it, mostly because he was wearing a neon bandana wrapped around his forehead and a T-shirt with the sleeves ripped off (don’t ask). Little did I know, blindingly neon colors and strange headgear would soon become a constant in my life. Fast forward more than a year later, to August 2011. I had just been asked to write a column for a new sports website called Outkick the Coverage. As soon as my article was published, I immediately had both a Facebook friend request and Twitter follower request sitting in my inbox from Mr. Simmons himself. He had met me over a year ago, yes, but I didn’t truly catch his eye until I started talking about sports on the Internet! Without even realizing it, I had accidentally found the keys to his heart: sports and social media. After I accepted both of his friend requests, he Tweeted at me the next day, asking me to hang out over the weekend. We ended up going on our official first date, and exactly two years later, he proposed!
Tell us all about the proposal! Barton and I took our dog Milo for a walk around Barton’s neighborhood before dinner on Friday, July 26th. Barton, the self-professed leader of our walks, strayed from our usual route and started directing us down a path we hadn’t been down since a walk we took when we first started dating. Barton ended up leading me to a quiet path on the outskirts of the neighborhood. He stopped me in the middle of the deserted road and had me hold Milo’s leash as he took out a piece of paper, on which he had written a poem. I had been begging Barton to write me a poem for at least a whole year (and he hadn’t), and now here he was, standing in front of me reading the poem he’d written for me. When he finished the poem, he got down on one knee and proposed. Milo was the only one who witnessed it all. After that, we went straight to the best surprise party EVER–all of our close friends and family were waiting for us at an intimate dinner. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect night.
When did y’all get married? May 10, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Approximately 200
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance song was “I Like To Be With Me When I’m With You” by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. We chose this song because of its simple message: we love that we can be ourselves with each other. Every lyric in that song is so sweet. One line says, “If I could live on the moon, I’d rather stay in Tennessee with you,” which was fitting since we both live in Nashville, Tennessee!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $75,000-$100,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? One way we saved money was by adding a fake layer to the bride’s cake! No one noticed and we still had plenty of cake left to go around.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Do it together! While I did the majority of the planning, Barton was definitely vocal about many of the decisions. It was so fun hearing his ideas (ahem–the face paint), and I valued his input. We loved spending evenings together playing song after song after song, searching for the perfect first dance song (and practicing dancing with each other to each tune). We also did a lot of food menu research together, as we consider ourselves amateur foodies and both had a ton of cuisine ideas. He also pleasantly surprised me by having opinions on things I wouldn’t expect, like his preference to not do a first look and what to do for our send-off (we ended up doing these fun poppers with metallic streamers). While weddings are typically touted as the “bride’s day,” I knew this day was equally as important to Barton and I wanted him to be happy with it, too. I truly loved getting to embark on the planning journey with him by side.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Honestly, as exciting and exhilarating as planning this wedding was, we were most looking forward to just getting back to normal life! (And I’m pretty sure Barton was most looking forward to getting OFF of the wedding diet, which didn’t allow for our beloved pizza nights). In our hearts, we already felt like we were married, and just couldn’t wait for it to be official. Another ridiculously fun part of married life is getting your wedding photos back, printing them out, and framing them around your house, to always have a reminder of that incredible day! Our living room walls may or may not already be covered in wedding photos, not leaving room for much else…but what else do you need?!
Photographer: Mustard Seed Photography / Videographer: Green Leaf Films / Planner: Sharon Leahy / Ceremony Venue: Christ Church Cathedral / Reception Venue: Union Station at Minute Maid / Florist: The Bloom Room and The Senter Piece / Wedding Cake: Edible Designs by Jessie / Caterer: Greg Herbst at Houston Astros Hospitality Group / Rentals: Avalon Event Rentals / Linens: Over The Top Linen / Lighting: J&S Audio Visual / Band: In10City Band / Candle Votives and Vases: BHLDN / Champagne Glasses and Cake Servers: Kate Spade / Prints: The Southern Weddings Shop / Thanks Y’all Sign: Z Create Design / Paper Products: Darby Cards / Bride’s Gown: “L216” by Legends by Romona Keveza / Bride’s Headpiece: Mia Bridal Couture / Bride’s Veil: B.Hughes Bridal / Bride’s Belt: BHLDN / Hair and Makeup: Glam Studio by Misty Rockwell / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Style 776” in Petal Pink by Bill Levkoff / Groom’s Attire: Tom James / Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse