Here’s a fun little Southern Weddings fact: Emily assigns who gets to write each real wedding post. While we all love every wedding we feature, there are definitely some characteristics that make a wedding automatically go to either Marissa or me–for example, if it’s pink and gold and glam, it’s a Marissa wedding, while I have an unofficial dibs on the Texas Hill Country, my very favorite corner of the South. Rough Creek Lodge may be a little farther north, but I was still tickled pink that I get to share Robyn and Nick’s day with y’all! Their friendship grew over evenings of front porch sittin’ before Nick admitted his love for Robyn, and the two started dating. While the timing wasn’t perfect (Nick had just moved from Midland to Austin), they didn’t let the distance hinder their new relationship–he wrote her a letter every single day while they were apart! It wasn’t long before he was back in Robyn’s hometown, and the two of them started planning their wedding–in the spirit of true Southern hospitality, opting for a venue that fit their vision for a celebration chock-full of Texan charm, but that was also super convenient for their out-of-town guests.
Many thanks to Heather Rowland for sharing this lovely day with us!
Growing up in Midland, Texas, your dress shopping options are limited! I hopped on a plane and met up with my parents in Houston, the shopping mecca of Texas. We had appointments at several bridal salons around Houston and I assumed that my dad would drive my mom and me around to each place while he found a Bass Pro Shops to explore. (After all, wedding planning was happening right in the middle of hunting season.) Instead, we pulled into the parking lot of the first store and he turned off the car with a grin–he seemed to be more excited than either of us! By the end of the day, he was able to distinguish eyelash lace from Chantilly. I think those moments with my dad were my favorite part of the day. Our third appointment was at Casa de Novia with a lovely lady named Carmen. I felt like she listened to exactly the type of dress I wanted and only put me in dresses that matched that. She knew I wanted lace sleeves, so she kept out a custom lace overlay for the strapless dresses I liked. A few dresses later, we found the most beautiful dress in the store. It was a strapless gown made of scalloped edge Alençon and Chantilly lace overlays with a custom-made overlay top and train. It was perfect.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Nick is from Knoxville, Tennessee and I am from Midland, Texas. With the majority of our guests being from out of town, we hated the idea of them spending a small fortune on traveling and finding lodging in Midland. Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose, Texas was the perfect place because it is less than an hour drive from the Dallas airport and has plenty of accommodations for everyone to stay on the ranch. RCL is an all-inclusive wedding venue, offering all services and rentals needed, including a darling wedding chapel. We arrived on Friday and they served us the entire weekend. We didn’t leave until the morning after the wedding to drive to the airport!
The most memorable moment of the day was being swept away into a side room while the guests exited the chapel. Nick and I got to spend our first few minutes as husband and wife just the two of us. We laughed and hugged. We held up our hands and looked at our long-awaited wedding bands. We talked about how crazy it was that we were finally married. We got to sip champagne and have a snack before pictures. It was nice to have a moment with my husband before the long evening of greetings from loved ones and dancing kicked off.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I have very talented friends who offered their services to me. My friend, Sutton Stallworth, does beautiful calligraphy, so she designed the invitation suite and programs, and then addressed all of the invites. My other friend, Helen Sledge, recently bought an old letterpress and I got to be one of her first customers. My mom and I had a great time coming up with all of the decorations. Giant mason jars and gold spray-painted deer antlers made for an easy and affordable tablescape.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The day of the wedding, the men filled their morning with fishing, golfing, tomahawk throwing, and skeet shooting. Friends have told us it was the most fun wedding weekend they have ever been a part of. My fellow Aggies and I formed a giant circle on the dance floor and swayed to the Aggie War Hymn. All the Tennesseans followed that up with some more Rocky Top. It was Tennessee’s “off week” in football, and Texas A&M beat Auburn that day. All the guests received a Texas praline as a treat on their way out.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From Nick: I knew the name of one person who lived in Midland, Texas when I moved here, and we’d never met, but Shane and his wife invited me to their home for dinner. It was through Shane’s driver-side window that I first met Robyn, in a Young Life building parking lot. She and a few other volunteer leaders offered to add me to their group text message, and just like that, the Lord had provided friends for me in a very distant and very unfamiliar place. A group of about six of us would spend nearly every evening on Robyn’s front porch, shifting back and forth in rocking chairs, spouting off whatever came to mind. That porch is where I fell in love with Texas, but it’s also where I began to love my wife. I found every excuse I could to spend time with her. Our friendship was obvious, but the deepest desires of my heart were still a mystery to the love of my life. In November, I was offered a job in Austin that I couldn’t turn down. I was thrilled for my career, but I was sorry for my heart. Leaving Robyn would mean heartbreak, and she wouldn’t even know. Then, a funny thing happened. I’d never seen Robyn cry before, but for the two weeks before I left Midland, Robyn couldn’t stop crying. Finally, on my final day in Midland, Robyn paid me a visit, and she mentioned a particular moment we’d shared when she’d wondered if I cared for her more deeply than I was letting on. I opened my journal and read Robyn some of what I’d written about her in the previous months. Nearly every day of the five months I lived in Austin, I wrote Robyn a letter. (For any fellas out there taking notes, that’s called “sealing the deal.”) I was eventually offered an incredible opportunity to move back to Midland, and Robyn and I were overjoyed to finally be dating short distance. On June 21, I spent 10 hours making my way to Crooked Creek Ranch, a Young Life camp in Colorado where Robyn was on the final day of a three-week assignment. It was in those mountains that the most incredible woman I know agreed to spend the rest of her life with me.
When did y’all get married? November 8, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
Did you write your own vows? Our vows were made up of various scriptures. One of my favorite lines was “As Christ taught us to serve, I will serve you.”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to “Come Thou Fount” by Sufjan Stevens. It’s our favorite hymn and the banjo makes it perfect. My husband is a Tennessee Volunteer, so we walked out to “Rocky Top” by the Charlie Daniels Band–no explanation needed! Our first dance was a Texas girl’s dream! We had a hard time trying to find the “perfect” song for us to dance to, but then Nick was driving home from work one afternoon “Girls From Texas” by Pat Green and Lyle Lovett on the radio. It was super cute since I’m from Texas and he’s from Tennessee!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Of course! My something borrowed was a sixpence that had been in my mother’s and sister-in-law’s shoes on their wedding days. My something old was so special–my mom sewed a ribbon from her bouquet and a ribbon and button from my baby dress into the hem of my wedding dress. My new and blue was the garter I wore, given to me by a close family friend.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? It couldn’t come soon enough! It was the longest four months of our life!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Since our wedding, we have moved from Midland to the beautiful Hill Country. We live on the outskirts of San Antonio. I teach at a school in Boerne and Nick works at USAA. On Sunday mornings, we walk across the street to our church that meets in the Leon Springs Dance Hall, and sometimes grab a bite to eat at Rudy’s BBQ. You can’t get more Southern than that!
Photographer: Heather Rowland Photography | Videographer: HMH Productions | Venue, Planner, Caterer, Rentals, and Lighting: Rough Creek Lodge | Florist and Wedding Cake: HEB | DJ: DJ Cone Events & Entertainment | Bride’s Gown: Monique Lhuillier | Bride’s Accessories: BHLDN | Hair Stylist: Amanda Franco of Sapphire Salon | Makeup Artist: Marci Franco | Bride’s Shoes: Anthropologie | Menswear: Jos. A. Bank