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From her wedding day attire (a lace gown with buttons running down the back, paired with broken-in cowboy boots), all the way to the amazing blooms on top of whiskey barrels, I’d say Alyssa nailed the rustic chic feel at her and Dayton’s wedding! They also may have one of our best replies yet to the question of what was Southern about their day–ceremony in parents’ front yard? Check! Reception held in their barn? Check! Dance floor with a country band for people to two-step to? Check! Chicken fried steak and smoked chicken for dinner? Double check! Honestly, I’m wondering why my invitation got lost in the mail!

Big SW hugs to Rachel Whyte for sharing such a sweetly Southern day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had always envisioned myself in an all-lace wedding dress with buttons down the back, and I like the cap sleeve look. I went to Bliss Bridal in Fort Worth, and knew I had found the dress before I even put it on. It was the first dress I tried on and I absolutely loved it! I tried on a few more just to be sure, but went right back to the first one. I had an appointment at another salon, but while standing in front of the mirror, I told my mom to cancel it because I had found the dress! It was such a great experience having all my dreams start to come true!

The flowers were absolutely stunning. There was a mixture of light pinks, whites, and greenery in each bouquet. We had two wine barrels with beautiful arrangements on top of each. I had shown a picture of wine barrels with flowers on them to my florist as inspiration, and she surprised me with them on the wedding day. I almost cried when I saw them.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My parents live in the country outside of Decatur, and I have always wanted to get married outdoors or in a barn. We both liked the idea of getting married in the front yard and having the reception in the barn. Plus, the venue was free!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows–we probably would have cried the whole time if we had. Instead, we had Dayton’s dad officiate the ceremony, and he included childhood stories and some life lessons for us to take with us into our marriage.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. I have always been more traditional with this aspect of the wedding. I am so glad that we did not do a first look so we could have that moment when I walked down the aisle.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail of the wedding was the barn. The way the tables, flowers, and lighting all came together gave it the rustic chic feel we were looking for.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The ceremony took place in my parents’ front yard, while the reception was held in their barn. We had a dance floor with a country band for people to two-step to. Babe’s Chicken House catered chicken fried steak and smoked chicken for dinner.

The cakes were simple and delicious! The bride’s cake was a three-tiered cake with simple flowers in almond cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. The groom’s cake was one round tier with a golf scene on top and Texas on the front. It was yellow cake with chocolate buttercream icing.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at Abilene Christian University when Dayton was a senior and I was a junior. Before we even met, one of my very best friends thought we would be perfect for each other. We starting hanging out and went on a ski trip, but remained just friends until the spring of my senior year. One of my guy friends pulled me aside one night and asked what I was waiting on, because if I wanted a guy that would love me, take care of me, and always be by my side, then Dayton was my guy. How could I ignore that? Shortly after, we started dating and it did not take long for us to know that we were in love.
Tell us all about the proposal! It happened on November 16, 2013. Dayton had been wanting to go to my parents’ farm in Canton for awhile, and he told me that week that we needed to go because “the trees would be so pretty.” It had been a busy week at school and I was so tired, so when Saturday came along, I tried to convince Dayton to stay in town and just relax. It did not work. When we got to Canton, we fished for a little while and then went to a restaurant called The Shed for lunch. While we were eating some country fried chicken and chocolate pie, I noticed Dayton had been on his phone more than usual, so I asked him who he was talking to. Dayton said that he and his friend, Jeff, were about to make a fantasy football trade. It was that time of year, so I believed him. While Jeff and Dayton were texting about “fantasy football,” I texted my friend Emily to see if she wanted me to gather some things from Canton so we could make a wreath. When Dayton and I got back to the farm, he told me we should go to the dock. I looked toward the dock and there were mason jars and flowers all along it! We started walking to the dock, and then Dayton said some very sweet things, got down on one knee. and asked me to marry him. I said YESSS! After about five minutes, Emily and Jeff popped out of the bushes and I freaked out again. That’s when I found out that the fantasy football texts were all code for when we were leaving lunch and heading back to the farm!
When did y’all get married? April 5, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 250
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We used all Ben Rector songs for the seating of the parents, grandparents, and wedding party. I walked down the aisle to “Forever Like That” by Ben Rector. I didn’t want to use the traditional wedding march, and I liked the words and pace of this song.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was to not get stressed out over all the little details. I knew that at the end of the day, I would be married to the man of my dreams, so nothing else mattered.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We loved all the help we got from Celebration Event Rentals and Shag Carpet. My aunt was able to coordinate and decorate the entire barn with the help of her friend there, and we were so grateful to have that expertise.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable part of the wedding for both of us was when I walked down the aisle. It looked like it was going to rain that day, but a few hours before the ceremony, the skies cleared and we were able to get married outside. I remember being so happy it was finally time to walk down the aisle to get married. I did not even care how cold it was–it was so great to see the look on Dayton’s face when I walked to meet him at the altar.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t stress. All the details get worked out, and at the end of the day, you are married. Nothing else matters as long as you are marrying the right person for you at the end of the day!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are most excited to just relax and spend time together. We want to travel and have as many adventures together as we can.

Photographer: Rachel Whyte / Planner: Gayle Pratt and Shelby Holt / Venue: Private residence / Florist: J.H. Davis Designs / Cake Baker: Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery / Caterer: Babe’s Chicken Dinner House /Rentals: Celebration Event Rentals and Shag Carpet Rentals / Lighting: ES Events / Band: Keith Mitchell Band / Bridal Salon: Bliss Bridal Salon / Paper Products: Michael McCarty / Hair Stylist: Emily Warr / Makeup Artist: Amber Joy / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Forever 21 / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    It feels like this could have been one of my friends’ weddings–everything is so sweet and Texan! Love it!

  2. avatar Lindsay {Everistta} reply

    So rustic and chic. I love it!

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