As a proud University of Texas alum, I cringe a little admitting this, but some of the sweetest people I know went to Texas A&M. While I don’t know today’s bride and groom, Alex and Connor, personally, I can only imagine that if I did, I’d be able to say that same thing about them! From their adorable meet-cute in Aggieland to their prayerful wedding at Chandelier Grove, they’ve approached every step of their relationship with joy and intentionality. Y’all won’t want to miss Alex’s emotional walk down the aisle, their charming, rustic reception, or their meeting and proposal stories below!
Thanks so much to Mustard Seed Photography for sharing this special day with us!
Prayer was a big part of our entire wedding day. As we were getting ready, my bridesmaids prayed around me and Connor’s groomsmen prayed around him. Right before the ceremony, he and I prayed together, and we prayed numerous times during the ceremony. My dad gave a great welcome speech and prayer before dinner. Right before our sparkler exit, Connor’s parents and my parents got together and we all prayed together. God brought us together, so it was really neat to thank Him and feel His presence so often throughout our wedding day!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I found Claire Pettibone’s Chantilly gown online through Pinterest before I was engaged. Once we got engaged, I knew immediately that Chantilly would be my dress. I found out that Claire Pettibone was having a trunk show just a few hours away from me, and my wonderful parents came with me so I could try it on. The second I put it on, it just confirmed what I had been thinking: this was my dress.
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. I really wanted to see his reaction when he saw me for the first time walking down the aisle. We did want to pray together before the ceremony, so we stood on opposite sides of the house where we got ready and held hands. I am so glad we did that, because standing there, hearing his voice, and holding his hand really brought me a sense of peace. I had been so anxious and nervous all day, and it helped me calm down and focus on how sure I was that Connor was the perfect man for me.
For me, the most memorable moment is hands down the moment the barn doors opened and I started walking down the aisle. Just about everyone we know and love was standing right in front of me, but I could only see Connor, who was crying. It was so incredibly sweet seeing him so overcome with emotion at seeing me.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had a dear friend of mine hold a wooden plank with three strands tied to it. While our pastor read from Ecclesiastes 4, we braided the strands together. It was a really special moment in our ceremony that symbolized mine and Connor’s lives intertwining, while making sure to keep God in the center of our relationship.
We had our ceremony and reception at the same venue–a private farm called Chandelier Grove. When we first visited the property, it was still very much under construction, but we could see a clear and gorgeous vision everywhere we looked. The more we talked to Stacey, the owner, the more we could feel God pushing us in her direction. The family who owns the farm are some of the kindest people we have met. Stacey did pretty much all of the remodeling herself, and even buried her husband’s Bible in the foundation of the barn! God just made it clear to both of us that Chandelier Grove was the place we were meant to get married.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding had a Southern vibe through and through. From the pecan orchard ceremony setting to the rustic barn where we held the reception, we wanted the beauty of nature to be highlighted in our wedding. We’re both born and raised Texans, so it was important to us that our wedding reflected our backgrounds.
For the flowers, I wanted very neutral colors and lots of greenery, because I wanted the flowers to enhance the beauty of the barn without overpowering it. Our florist did a phenomenal job! The only guidance I gave her was a picture of what I wanted my bouquet to look like and the colors I was going for, and then I just let her do her thing! We were very pleased with what she delivered.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t let it stress you out! There were times when I would get really stressed out about something, and I had to just take a step back from what I was working on, breathe, and remind myself that this was just a party. The truly important thing is what comes after the wedding–our marriage! When either of us was feeling stressed, we would just put aside all the wedding stuff and watch a movie or go to a nice dinner. It felt really good to occasionally put off wedding planning and focus on each other.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We were both students at Texas A&M University. At the start of our junior year, Connor moved into the house across the street from the one I was living in. His roommates thought my roommates were cute and brought them Skittles. My roommates thought his roommates were cute and asked me to bake some brownies we could take over to them. I did, and that is when Connor and I met for the first time. We hit it off instantly and saw each other every day for the next three weeks, spending hours staying up late and talking. He asked me to be his girlfriend by cooking me dinner, serving it as a candlelit picnic on the roof of his house, and showing me his backyard. He had carved out “Date me?” in pumpkins! Nine days after that, Connor told me he was going to marry me someday, and I knew he was right.
Tell us all about the proposal! He totally surprised me! He showed up at my house one afternoon totally unexpectedly and had me come out to the driveway. He had borrowed a friend’s Corvette and parked it in front of my house. When I got closer, I saw that he had picked out a dress for me and draped it over the passenger seat. While I changed, he packed a bag for me, and then we were off! I had no idea where we were going–each stop was a total surprise. First, he took me to get my nails done, and then he took me to a nice dinner. After dinner, we drove for over an hour, and when we finally arrived at our destination, my jaw hit the floor. He had brought me to the sister vineyard of the one we had gone to on our first date! He led me to a cottage he had rented on the property and took me out onto the back porch, which was decorated with candles, roses, and a bottle of champagne. That’s when he got down on his knee and asked me to marry him! I said, “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!” His best friend was hiding in the backyard taking pictures of us–it was all totally magical! We then spent the whole weekend touring various wineries in the area.
When did y’all get married? May 23, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We used traditional vows. The pastor who married us has very close ties to my family–he actually married my parents 27 years ago! That meant a lot to Connor and I, as my parents and their marriage are our role models.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. “Yellow” by Coldplay is my all-time favorite song, and when I heard Vitamin String Quartet’s version of it, I couldn’t imagine anything more beautiful to walk down the aisle to. For walking back up the aisle, we played “Shut Up and Dance” because it was time to celebrate! Our first dance song was “Duet” by Penny and Sparrow. It’s an extremely moving and tender song that was shown to us by a sweet friend, and the first time we heard it, we just knew we needed to have our first married dance to it!
Describe your wedding cake. We wanted our cake to be simply decorated with flowers. I found mugs to spell out LOVE and filled those with flowers to arrange around the cake. Connor and his dad actually made the wooden cake stand from a cut tree we found in our neighborhood! Our main wedding cake flavor was Italian creme and it was absolutely delicious! I’m not really a big cake fan, but it was so good that we totally devoured the top tier in our hotel room after the wedding!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We met with a sweet couple at my family’s church and had a weekend-long marriage preparation class. I can’t recommend the book we used enough! We worked our way through Dennis Rainey’s “Preparing for Marriage” and learned so much about each other and ourselves. We really grew closer during the process. We also had numerous discussions about our expectations going into marriage.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just finished moving to a new state and setting up our life together here. We adopted the sweetest little kitten, and we are looking forward to traveling together and watching the progress of the house we are in the process of building!
Photographer: Kat Theis of Mustard Seed Photography / Videographer: Jeff Richards of Green Leaf Films / Planner: Tracy Flaherty Events / Venue: Chandelier Grove / Florist: Cornelius Florist / Cake Baker: Virginia’s Cakes / Caterer: Master Chef Catering / Rentals: House of Hough / Bride’s Gown: “Chantilly” by Claire Pettibone / Bride’s Accessories: The Honey Comb / Hair and Makeup: Adorne Artistry / Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “8514” by Watters / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank