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Callie and Chris are a couple after our own hearts! Not only did they celebrate their wedding day in true Southern fashion–in cowboy boots and pearls, surrounded by their favorite people at Classic Oaks Ranch, under the beautiful Texas sky–but they also ever-so-carefully prepared for their marriage while planning their sweet celebration. Callie prayed throughout their planning process that they would not solely be focused on their wedding day, but also be prepared for the days to follow and “the most important part,” their marriage!

Thanks so much of Anne Brookshire for sharing this special day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I wanted something comfortable and romantic. I had been eyeing a dress online and planned to try it on once I had a break from work. My mom and good friend, Megan, went with me, and they were the best support system! I tried on the dress that I thought I would love, but it just wasn’t right. Two dresses later, I tried on the perfect dress–elegant, comfortable, and goosebumps-worthy! There was a Sprinkles cupcake store right next to the bridal salon, so naturally, we made our way over to snack on a cupcake while I made the decision. It was a wonderful experience!

We focused on Ephesians 5:22-33 during our engagement and premarital counseling, so our pastor emphasized this scripture during our ceremony. This scripture is a great reminder of the husband and wife’s roles, and how together, man and wife seek to fulfill God’s purpose through submission and relying on faith. Chris’ grandfather, Pop Pop, also told the story of Abraham and Sarah during our ceremony, which was incredibly meaningful.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We didn’t end up doing a first look. Chris and I both loved the idea of our first moment locking eyes on our wedding day being while I was walking down the aisle, and I’m so thankful we stuck to that decision. It is a moment I’ll never forget!! We did have a first touch, where we exchanged letters and gifts, and boy, was that fun!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Walking down the aisle, hands down. I didn’t think I’d be nearly as emotional as I was during that moment, but I lost it (in a good way!). There is truly nothing else in the world like that moment, and I’ll remember it vividly for the rest of my days!

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? This was something I prayed for consistently during the planning process–to not be so focused on the wedding planning that I didn’t prepare for what was to come after that day, the most important part! I tried my best to enjoy the fun planning moments, but to not dwell on too many specifics. Chris and I had an incredible premarital counselor, and he taught us a lot about specific aspects of marriage that might be awkward to randomly bring up. We feel like we were given so much incredible advice, and now, we are enjoying the ups, downs, hard, and fun moments of marriage! It’s so incredible going through every journey in life with your best friend.

My aunt is a florist, and boy, did she pull out all the stops! We have very similar taste, so I knew she would make everything look just like I envisioned. I wanted big blooms and greenery to be the general theme, so we used peonies, garden roses, eucalyptus and succulents. All of the bouquets and arrangements turned out more perfectly than I could have ever imagined!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The bride’s cake was a very classic white wedding cake with fun, different fillings in every layer, including lemon, raspberry, cream cheese, and strawberry. The groom’s cake was classic chocolate cake with strawberries, but we added a fun twist and put antlers all over the top of it! Chris is a big fan of hunting, so it was the perfect touch at our ranch wedding.

We’re both from Southern states (Texas and Oklahoma) and loved the idea of getting married on a ranch. I looked into some different places, and Classic Oaks Ranch was the obvious winner. The owners of the ranch, Joe and Cathy, were absolutely incredible! They were both so relaxed and such a joy to work with when planning the best day of your life!

From the cowboy boots and cotton boutonnieres to the pearl necklaces and lace dresses, our whole night had both subtle and obvious Southern details! We got married under the Texas sky at a ranch and enjoyed some Southern rainfall as we left for the night, surrounded by our favorite people celebrating with sparklers! We also had bacon-wrapped quail as one of our appetizers, and I’m not sure if you can get more Southern than that! :)

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Chris and I both went to Baylor University, and anyone who went to Baylor knows of a huge tradition we have every February called All University Sing. His fraternity and my sorority performed together during our senior year, and although we didn’t meet during that time, we had a lot of mutual friends and vaguely knew of each other. We eventually ended up at the same place at the same time, and he asked me to a fraternity take-a-date, which was to a minor league baseball game. We ate hot dogs and Dippin’ Dots, watched some baseball, and got to know each other, and the rest is history! He was so kind and pursued me so sweetly from the very beginning. I knew he was the one!
Tell us all about the proposal! Chris casually mentioned he wanted to have a date night, but that he had a special surprise. We live in Oklahoma City, and there’s a riverwalk area downtown where you can ride a riverboat. Every time we go to this area, I ask him if we can ride a boat because it looks like so much fun, but Chris always rolls his eyes because it’s a thing only tourists do. But that night, the big surprise (or so he told me) was that he had rented a boat for just the two of us! I arrived at his apartment (not suspecting anything) in casual clothes with my hair in a braid. He sweetly asked, “Babe, will you wear your hair down for me tonight?” He knew I would want my hair down for the proposal and pictures! I was reluctant at first, but didn’t think anything of it because he loves my hair down, so I unbraided it. We got to downtown, hopped on the boat, and then Chris got pretty quiet–when he asked me to take off my sunglasses, I knew! He asked me to marry him and I said yes. As we continued our ride, we looked around the curve to see our closest friends and family all along the river bridge!
When did y’all get married? June 26, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 325
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did! My something borrowed was my maid of honor’s ring and lipstick! The red lipstick was a last minute decision, and I’m so glad I trusted my best girls on that one! My something blue was a cute sticker I put on the bottom of my shoes with “Mrs. Tkach” on one shoe and our wedding date on the other. My something old was my grandmother’s pearl wedding ring she gave me on my 16th birthday, the sweetest gift. My something new was a beautiful pearl necklace from my soon-to-be husband!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Wedding invitations! It really boggled my mind that it’s possible to spend thousands of dollars on paper that people usually end up tossing, so I went with pretty simple invitations. I addressed all the envelopes using Mail Merge on my computer and printed them on my printer! Lots of labor, huge money saver!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy it! It’s so easy to hope for engagement while dating, and then hope for the wedding day once you’re engaged, but embrace every moment while you’re experiencing it because it will fly by. While it’s so tempting to think of the future, let every day and every moment with the love of your life fully hit you. Oh, and have lots and lots of cake.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are currently learning how to live life with me working full-time as a NICU nurse and Chris finishing medical school. Our next crazy journey will be finding out where he matches for residency. We’re just loving and learning and pursuing the Lord together, and there’s nothing better!

Photographer: Anne Brookshire / Videographer: Jake Brown / Planner: Sunny Looper / Venue: Classic Oaks Ranch / Florist: Annie’s Garden / Cake Baker: Cakes by Charlesa / Caterer: The Reata Restaurant / DJ: Ed Petty / Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas / Bride’s Gown: “Onyx” by Catherine Deane / Bridal Salon: BHLDN / Earrings and Necklace: Mikimoto / Hair and Makeup: Kiss and Makeup DFW / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Celia” by BHLDN / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse / Harpist: Jenny Glass

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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    Inspiration can be so helpful when planning a wedding, but it can also become overwhelming, which is why I can completely understand why Gabriella and Colin were so thankful to have their wedding planner, Eventi by Diana Venditto, helping them edit down all the adorable ideas that they came across. Together, they chose to include meaningful details that were not only sentimental, but also oh so fun, like their bow tie bar and their balloon release! While it was a fun experience for guests, releasing the balloons was also a sweet nod to Gabriella’s parents, who released balloons at their wedding many years before. Including subtle details like this, and having all their friends and family along to celebrate, made Gabriella feel like “the luckiest girl in the world!” Y’all, I hope every bride feels that way!

    We’re so lucky Marta Locklear was on hand to capture this beautiful day!

    I grew up on an island on the Chesapeake Bay–our house on the Magothy River has the most beautiful sunsets. We have a large, close-knit family and lifelong family friends on the island who were all an important part of the wedding weekend. I always knew I wanted to get married on the Island, and having our whole extended family and my island family involved in our wedding was so special.

    What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Diana set up a beautiful bow tie bar, where we asked guests to exchange their traditional ties for bright bow ties! We also walked down the aisle to music by a live bluegrass band.

    Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There were so many little details! Diana, our wedding planner, did such an amazing job tying them all together. It’s really easy to go on Pinterest and decide you want to do every adorable thing you see. Diana really understood our vision and did a great job editing what we wanted to make it special without being overwhelming. The groomsmen and ring bearers wore bow ties that matched the napkins, menus, save the dates, invites, etc. We also had a bow tie bar! I think the most special and meaningful part of the wedding was when we released balloons after the ceremony. It is something my parents did at their wedding, so it just felt like such a beautiful, subtle way to honor them.

    Our main dessert was s’mores! We wanted to do something casual and fun. My parents have a fire pit that created the perfect bonfire. Our caterer, Sascha’s, makes their own marshmallows with coconut, and we provided all different chocolates to use in the s’mores. We also had a small chocolate wedding cake so we could do a traditional cake cutting.

    What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? At the end of the night, the DJ started to play “Piano Man.” All of a sudden, in such an organic way, the entire dance floor made a big circle, singing along arm in arm. I remember looking around the room and seeing both of our our families and friends from all different parts of our lives, from near and far, all together. It was such a powerful moment for me. I knew our wedding would be such a special day for Colin and I, but I never realized I would truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world!

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Colin and I met while working for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Colin started working for Brady after surviving the Virginia Tech massacre (he was shot four times). He is a passionate advocate for gun violence prevention. I started working at Brady after college, before I joined Teach for America.
    Tell us all about the proposal! He surprised me at school! He had a whole plan set up with my principal and the other teachers at my school. They set up a meeting with me at the end of the day, and then Colin showed up. I was really confused at first, but then he got down on one knee. Neither of us can remember what he said! We immediately called our families and friends. Everyone was so happy for us–it was just a great day.
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 260
    Tell us about finding your wedding dress. When I showed my mother and mother-in-law-to-be the dress I had ordered online, they politely told me I should return it. The next day, my mother offered to take me to a bridal salon, which is where I chose my gorgeous Vera Wang gown.
    How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Both my parents and Colin’s parents have amazing marriages, and they have both modeled to us what a happy, healthy marriage looks like. I think it was the best gift they could have given us.
    What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? It was really hard to set our budget! I think having a wedding planner helped us set and stick to our budget because she had a better understanding of how much things would cost. She also helped us figure out what to spend money on and decide what wasn’t as important.
    What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? All of our vendors were just incredible. I would call our planner, Diana, with an idea and she would take it, run with it, and come back with something so perfect. She really was the magic behind the whole wedding! We also had an amazing caterer, Sascha’s, who took our vision and created a fantastic menu that really complemented our wedding. There were bacon straws, s’mores, and Southern bbq–we were in heaven!
    What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are really just enjoying our time together! In the future, we hope to start a family.

    Photographer: Marta Locklear / Videographer: Bowen Films / Planner and Florist: Eventi by Diana Venditto / Caterer: Sascha’s / DJ: Marc Wilner / Band: Skribe / Paper Products: MLC Design / Bride’s Gown: “Delaney” by Vera Wang / Bride’s Veil: Vera Wang / Hair Stylist: Rumors Hair Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Michael Kors / Bridesmaids’ Dresses and Menswear: J. Crew / Photo Booth: Pixilated Photobooth

    marissa Written with love by Marissa
    2 Comments
    1. avatar madeline reply

      what a joy working with eventi by diana and this amazing couple! beautiful feature of this extraordinary wedding

    2. avatar Ksenia reply

      So romantic wedding!

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    Arielle says she has known all her life that she would someday be married on the beach. When it came time to decide where she and Chris would tie the knot, Seaside, Florida was the perfect choice–this Austin-dwelling couple has visited Seaside every year since their first year of dating! While I’m quite the fan of their location choice, I think their vow selection has my heart (be sure to read their favorite lines). They pieced together phrases that fit their relationship perfectly, saying that “every day brings something new, and the best part is walking through it with your best friend!” That’s the sweet stuff right there, y’all!

    We’re so delighted Blue Ribbon Vendor, Dear Wesleyann was there to capture their lovely day!

    I went to visit my family in Cincinnati and we went to the Reading Bridal District. I have a very boho style and have known all my life that I would get married on a beach, so it was a given that I had to find something wispy and light. We went into Yours Truly Kelly for our first stop, and there it was: a light tulle gown with little petals flowing down the train. It was too big, so my mom convinced me to try another shop, but I couldn’t get the dress off my mind! The next day, I went back and purchased the dress, and worked with a seamstress here in Austin to tailor it to my body, which required redesigning the bodice. We also added a belt made out of a hand-beaded fabric from a local shop in Austin.

    Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We worked with the pastor from our church in Houston, Ecclesia, to piece together our vows. In my vows, I especially loved a phrase that said “I take you, Chris, to be my constant friend and faithful partner…I promise to love you unconditionally and support your goals from this day forward.” Chris loved this part of his vows: “I eagerly anticipate the chance to grow together, getting to know the woman you will become, and falling in love a little more every day. I promise to love and cherish you through whatever life may bring us.” These phrases fit us so perfectly because we have really grown up together. Every day brings something new, and the best part is walking through it with your best friend!

    Chris walked my grandma down the aisle to “Edelweiss,” which is her favorite song. My dad and I walked down the aisle to “What a Wonderful World,” because he and I always listened to Eva Cassidy growing up, and we both love that song. Our friend played songs by Zac Brown Band on a ukulele while we did our knot-tying ceremony, which brought us back to our time in Nashville! Our first dance was to “Wagon Wheel,” because it was kind of our song when we first started dating, after lots of fun nights dancing and singing to it together at the bars with friends!

    Describe your wedding flowers. I cried the moment I saw my bouquet. Marja from Florals by the Sea did the most incredible job using coral peonies, white anemones, white roses, lamb’s ear, and bright green foliage. It was breathtaking and looked so beautiful against the ocean and the sand.

    If there’s one thing we heard most while planning our destination wedding, it was “Why Seaside?” Simply put, when Chris and I are there, it feels like the rest of the world could not be further away, and we enjoy a simpler way of life, if only for a few days. We’ve visited Seaside every year since our first year of dating! We invited guests to take time during the wedding weekend to walk through the Seaside farmer’s market, have a beer on the porch of the Great Southern, walk through the Perspicasity market, and pick up a few Seaside t-shirts along the way. Ultimately, we wanted our friends and family to fall in love with Seaside for the same reasons we did. Because of that hope, this quiet little beach town was the perfect choice for our wedding.

    What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The colors, the clothing, the bow ties (Vineyard Vines), the entire look and feel, the architecture of Seaside, Southern food (chicken and waffle skewers, shrimp and grits, and local brews), the music choices, and all of our Southern friends and family…I could go on and on!

    The most memorable moment of our wedding day was the very end of the reception. As the night concluded, Chris and I walked up the stairs to the Bud & Alley’s bar, and I just remember looking down at our guests and seeing so much love. Everyone was beaming with joy. It was beautiful and I feel so blessed to have that memory to think back on every day.

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met while attending Belmont University in Nashville. I was having a dinner party with some of our fraternity and sorority friends, and one of them brought Chris, who had just transferred to Belmont, along. We became very good friends in the following months, and began dating about a year later. We haven’t looked back since!
    Tell us all about the proposal! We had moved to Houston, Texas for work. My family was planning to visit for Thanksgiving, so I had an inclination that Chris would possibly propose during their visit, but I suppose he couldn’t wait! It was a Thursday evening and we got in the car to go out for a late dinner. We had decided to go to Dolce Vita, our favorite spot in Montrose, but Chris started driving in the opposite direction towards Houston’s mall, The Galleria. I remember being so confused (and hungry!). He kept talking on and on (much more than usual) about our new church and our life in our new city. Eventually, he parked in the mall parking garage and told me he wanted to check out some sort of art display. This was very unusual, because he isn’t really the art type! I followed him and the next thing I knew, we were in an unlit park with a large cement wall, most commonly referred to as the Water Wall. Usually, the wall is lit up, but on this night in particular, they were doing some maintenance and there was a boom lift in the middle of it. I looked at Chris and said something along the lines of “Why are we at this dark park…it’s not even open, and there’s construction stuff everywhere!” I turned around to walk away when he stopped me and said, “Well, I was going to ask you to marry me!” I turned around in utter disbelief and laughed, asking if he was joking. After he assured me that he was serious, I, of course, said yes, and then we went to have a celebratory dinner at Dolce Vita!
    When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 75
    Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Probably the cake table, because it was so close to our hearts. The cake stand was handmade by Chris’ dad, and my grandparents’ cake topper from their wedding sat beside it. The hand-beaded starfish chandelier that my mom so lovingly made for us added to the beautiful display.
    Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my veil from my best friend Katie (we were in each other’s weddings, too!). My something old was a family locket with photos of my grandfather and my grandma (God rest her soul) inside, which I tied to my bouquet. My something blue was a handmade garter (seersucker, of course!) from my mother-in-law, Lori, and my earrings from BHLDN were new!
    How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We did a full marriage course with our church. We highly recommend doing this. It helped us to work through tough questions that we will eventually face in the future and taught us to communicate openly and respectfully with one another. It has helped our relationship immensely and I’m forever grateful to our pastors, Paul Randall and Chris Seay.
    If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Chris and I spent a lot of time talking about our wedding, but he always reminded me when we needed to maintain our real life. In the days leading up to the wedding, we spent time just enjoying the moment–we checked into a sweet little cottage and sat inside, drinking wine and listening to the rain. We enjoyed lots of rest and time with family and friends, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. All I can say is to just remember that your wedding is about the rest of your life together and that life goes beyond the wedding day. It’s where your story begins!
    What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Right after the wedding, Chris and I made plans to move from Houston to Austin. We both took new jobs and made the official move in January 2015. We are now making plans to buy our first house. Hopefully, it will be a fixer-upper, because we both love a good project! Aside from that, we’re in the middle of planning our next Seaside reunion trip for Labor Day weekend with our best friends!

    Photographer: Dear Wesleyann / Videographer: Gilmore Pictures / Planner: Heather Archdeacon Williams of Defining Moments Weddings and Events / Ceremony Venue: Coleman Beach / Reception Venue and Catering: Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant / Florist: Florals by the Sea / Cake Baker: Publix / DJ: B Boy Productions / Paper Products: Simply Fetching Paper / Bride’s Gown: La Sposa / Bride’s Earrings: BHLDN / Bride’s Necklace: Liz James / Hair Stylist: Kallie Warner and Ilyssa Glover Goddin / Makeup Artist: Kallie Warner / Bride’s Shoes: “Buti” in Metallic by Castaner / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “778” in Capri by Bill Levkoff / Groom’s Pants: Bonobos / Groom’s Shirt: Façonnable / Groom’s Bow Tie: Brooks Brothers / Groomsmens’ Pants: “Chinos” in Navy by Dockers / Groomsmens’ Shirts and Bow Ties: Vineyard Vines / Nautical Rope Table Numbers: Karen’s Wedding Shop

    marissa Written with love by Marissa
    3 Comments
    1. avatar Irving Gil reply

      Arielle and Chris were such a pleasure to work with and their wedding was so beautiful. Seaside is one of my favorite cities and I was so happy to be a part of their special day!

    2. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #197 – Floridian Social reply

      […] get enough of this colorful beach wedding, especially the groom's poppin' pastel […]

    3. avatar Candance reply

      This is amazing. Gorgeous. The details are absolutely flawless.

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