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Like most 20 and 30 somethings in America today, the Southern Weddings gals are big fans of Mrs. Joanna Gaines and HGTV’s Fixer Upper. BIG fans. So when we got the chance to interview one of the sweetest couples from Season 3 (the owners of one of my all-time favorite exterior transformations!), there may have been some squeals and a little happy dance done in the SW office. Luke and Rachel Whyte were kind enough to share some Fixer Upper secrets in addition to their newlywed advice, and as diehard fans, we all loved comparing what their house looked like done-up for the show and after a few months of loving and living.

If, like us, you’ve always wondered what goes on while the Fixer Upper cameras are rolling (and after they’ve packed up!), this post is for you!

The couple: Rachel (27) and Luke (27) Whyte
Years married: 3.5
The littles: Haven (22 months) and James (3 months)
Where you live: Waco, TX
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. We moved to Waco nine years ago to attend Baylor University. We got married the year after we graduated, and have been here since! When we decided to stay in Waco, we did it for a very specific reason: we wanted to invest in the city. We knew that Waco was growing and that if we were to stay, we would get to watch it undergo a major transformation. This was one year before the Fixer Upper phenomenon began, so as you can see, we were right! And we most definitely made the right decision. Luke is a young adult pastor and I am a wedding photographer. I’ve also had the privilege to work as a photographer for Magnolia and for Fixer Upper. We have two little babies under the age of two. Life in ministry, owning a business, and having a toddler and newborn isn’t easy, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We are two broken people who, because of God’s grace, have been redeemed so that we can tell His story of redemption.
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? It’s amazing to watch your life change and family grow, and at the same time, still feel like those two crazy college kids who first fell in love. Sometime we look at each other and say, “How are we parents? How do we live here??” It’s all so surreal. Life moves so fast. And it’s a lot easier to become friends and teammates than I would have thought before getting married.
Tell us a little bit about where you live. We live in Woodway, which is essentially a suburb of Waco, in our own home. We live very close to Lake Waco and we love to go on walks and experience nature there.

Tell us about the process of moving in together. When we first moved in together after we got married, I recycled most of my old college decorations. Now living in this house, we kind of started from scratch. It’s been fun to blend our styles. When we sat down with Joanna for our design meeting, we both stated our biggest preferences. Luke wanted to incorporate Colorado and the mountains, and I wanted a big, bright kitchen. We got both of those things and more. Joanna did an amazing job combining our styles and we couldn’t be happier with our home!
Where did you live while your home was being renovated for Fixer Upper? While our home was being renovated, we decided to live as nomads rather than finding semi-permanent housing. We stayed with various friends and acquaintances and were astounded at the hospitality we encountered. We also traveled quite a bit since it was the summer. We stayed in 17 different beds total during the 11 weeks. We did not peek at all during our renovation process. Luke loves surprises and I agreed to stay away so that we could be surprised together.

What happens after “reveal day”? Do you keep all of the furniture and decor? On reveal day you meet Chip and Jo at a location near your house. You get all mic-ed up and then they drive you to the house. You close your eyes and Chip and Jo lead you to the canvas, and they pull it back to show you your new home! It really is like what you see on TV. We kept some decor but not any furniture, as we had our own. There is a separate budget to buy the furniture and things used to stage your home, but I would expect that most people have their own furniture already.

Did Magnolia renovate your entire house? What about rooms we didn’t see on the show? There were two rooms and two bathrooms that were not renovated for the show. We did them ourselves after moving in, which I don’t recommend. In hindsight I wish we would have included that in our budget so that Magnolia could have done the renovation for us.
Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? I personally really love our kitchen. I also love our master bath, but haven’t gotten to spend as much time in there since having two babies! We just recently finished the Whole30 diet, so I spent a lot of time cooking creative meals. It’s such a blessing to have a large kitchen!

Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? We use our knives most often. Like I said, I’ve been cooking three meals a day for a month, so I’ve been getting really good use out of them!
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you know now? I would get fewer serving and entertaining pieces. You only have so many parties and host so many showers!

What most makes your house feel like home? Being a photographer you might expect this, but I have a ton of photos up around our house, and they really make it feel like home. I love adding more as we have more kids and move through new stages of life.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? I try to buy quality, and buy once. I’m not a big bargain shopper, although I wish I was!

What is your favorite part of being married? I love getting to do life with my best friend.
What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? We have defined boundaries and we stick to them. We also communicate when things feel off and are willing to adjust accordingly.

How does your family handle finances? We have a set budget, but we both seem to make incidental purchases quite often, so we have a big “miscellaneous” section in it.
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? We send each other encouraging texts sharing things we’re thankful for about each other.

Do you have children? We have two kids, Haven and James. We hope to have one or two more, and adopt as well. Our biggest desire for them is that they would grow to love Jesus and give their lives to serve Him.

Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… that if you submit yourself to the process of being refined and sharpened by your spouse, you will slowly but surely start to grow in the same direction. It’s dying to yourself. In the moment it is painful, but long term you see the life and beauty it brings.

Big hugs to Rachel and Luke for sharing, and to Sarah Best for the Whyte family photos! Keep up with Rachel on her website and blog and Instagram! And if y’all have questions about the light fixtures, paint colors, or materials used, feel free to leave them in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer them!

emily Written with love by Emily
64 Comments
  1. avatar Meredith reply

    LOOOOOVE!! So fun having them interviewed! Love their beautiful home!

  2. avatar Michelle reply

    Love this post!! Question- where are the kitchen stools from? I know it’s not about paint or light fixtures but I thought I’d try and see if y’all knew!

  3. avatar Kate reply

    What brand is the real couch?

  4. avatar Dulcey reply

    What paint colors were used in the craft area and master bedroom?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Dulcey! I’m pretty sure the color in both the office/craft room and the master bedroom is “Agreeable Gray” from Sherwin Williams!

    • avatar Heather reply

      Do you happen to know if that is the same color that was used in the other living areas of the house? I was wondering about the paint color in the living room and above the wainscotting around the stairs.

    • avatar admin reply

      Hi Heather! We are pretty sure the living room is also “Agreeable Gray” by Sherwin Williams, but Rachel also mentioned “Anew Gray.” Hope this helps!

  5. avatar Tomasz Kornas reply

    That house is amazing!

  6. avatar Naomi Stinebaugh reply

    Love this remodel! Do you happen to know which colors were used for the exterior paint and trim?

    • avatar admin reply

      Hi Naomi! We are not sure about the trim, but the exterior paint color is “Alabaster White!”

  7. avatar Heather Carone reply

    Please please please tell me the name/brand of the hard wook floors! I’m picking mine out now…and these are it! Gorgeous!

    • avatar admin reply

      Hey Heather! The floors are laminate planks in Parisian Maple and Eiffel Maple! Good luck picking yours out!

  8. avatar Nichole reply

    Love the cabinets! What is the color used for them?

  9. avatar Jessica reply

    So so beautiful! I’m especially wondering if you remember the name or brand of backsplash! And grout color :) That would be so helpful. Thank you!

  10. avatar McCall reply

    Where is your dining table from??

    • avatar admin reply

      Hey McCall! The dining room table was made by Rachel’s friend, Clint Brooks (@clint.brooks), out of reclaimed wood!

  11. avatar Raquel reply

    I love the hardware on the kitchen cabinets and am looking for similar ones. Where are they from?

    • avatar admin reply

      Hey Raquel! The kitchen hardware is from myknobs.com: Lewis Dolin 3 inch Round Bar Pulls in Brushed Brass!

  12. avatar Meaghan White reply

    I was also wondering where your dining table is from. Beautiful home! The exterior is AMAZING!

    • avatar admin reply

      Hey Meaghan, thanks for reading! The table was made by Clint Brooks!

    • avatar Tiffany Ross reply

      Can you tell me what stain color was used on your farmhouse table in the kitchen? Currently testing stain options for our kitchen right now and I love that color. Beautiful!

  13. avatar Ali reply

    I’m moving into a new place and recently scored a beautiful farm table (that needs some TLC) – I love the table with the more industrial chairs. Do you have a source for those wonderful metal beauties? Thanks!

  14. avatar Amanda reply

    The small rug in the kitchen! Where’s that from?
    Basically I want this whole house to somehow be inside my house. This is gorgeous .

  15. avatar Katy Keesen reply

    Thank you so much for sharing. May God continue to bless the Whyte’s as a family and in their minds is try. Their house is beautiful. What is the color used on the kitchen cabinets?

  16. avatar Jamie reply

    Hello!! Wondering where the chandelier is from???? ?

    • avatar admin reply

      Hi Jamie! The dining room chandelier is from Pottery Barn, and the kitchen and bedroom lighting is from Magnolia Market!

  17. avatar May reply

    What color is the kitchen and the kids room

  18. avatar Kathay Lovell reply

    Love your photos and decor. What is the dimension of your farm style dining room table. I see it seats 10 comfortably.

  19. avatar Karly Leib reply

    Where is that dining room chandelier from? I am killing myself trying to find the perfect light to go above our farmhouse table. This looks just right!

    • avatar admin reply

      Hi Karly! The dining room chandelier is from Pottery Barn! Good luck picking yours!

  20. avatar Jessica Lizardi reply

    I was wondering if you can tell me the color of the shutters. Thank you so much

    • avatar admin reply

      Hey Jessica! The shutters are a custom Sherwin Williams color to match the metal roof! It’s in the Sherwin Williams system as “Whyte Shutter Match.”

  21. avatar Ingrid hoover reply

    Hi,
    I was wondering about their fabulous front door. Do you know who the mfg is? Thank you!

  22. avatar Rose Tai reply

    Is the dining room area paint color agreeable gray as well?

  23. avatar Christina White reply

    Love your home! It’s beautiful! I picked agreeable gray for my home as well…. such a nice clean color! I want to order the dining room chandelier

  24. avatar ruthann reply

    where is that awesome comforter cover from? The one in the infant room that is on the daybed?

  25. avatar RUthann reply

    I am also looking for where to find that shelf above the bathtub in the master? Thanks.

  26. avatar Kendra Grady reply

    where can I buy the light fixture that is above the kitchen table? I am in love with it and I would love to put it in my new house.

  27. avatar leigh bravo reply

    please advise where you got the chandelier over your dining room table next to kitchen.

  28. avatar Keri Koncak reply

    Hi, I was wondering if you could provide the source of the tile backsplash? Thank you so much. What a beautiful home!

  29. avatar Kim Graley reply

    your home is beautiful. would you mind sharing what paint color is on the walls?

  30. avatar Kathy Thomas reply

    Where did you purchase your glass hanging shelf in the bathroom.
    Moving to the beach in a small house trying to make the most of it. No more driving.
    I need to open up the bathroom.
    I saw this episode.BEAUTIFUL HOUSE BEAUTIFUL COUPLE.
    THANKS
    KATHY THOMAS

  31. avatar melissa reply

    Hello I wanted to know what color is the island in the kitchen it looks like a greenish color. Thank you beautiful home Happy Holidays :)

  32. avatar Judy reply

    Your home is beautiful but I would like to know how the marble countertops are holding up. I hear and read so many negative comments on installing them in the kitchen but see that Joanna uses them many times. I would love to have them I my kitchen. What are your thought now that you have lived with them for some time please? Thanks

  33. avatar Betsy reply

    Such a beautiful home and story! I would love to know the cabinet paint color!

  34. avatar Susan reply

    Could you tell me where the set of 6 nature prints and frames in the dining area are from? I would love to put those in my dining room! Thanks!

  35. avatar Jen reply

    Do you know the source of the tile backsplash? Is it white glass tile? Are the dimensions 3″x12″? Thanks.

  36. avatar linda perry reply

    Love this blog!! I know you said the kitchen cabinets were painted argos.. do you know what the paint color of the kitchen island is?? i’ve been dying to find out as I would like to paint my island that color. It looks like a really pretty grey/blue/green ish! Thank you!!

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  38. avatar Brittney reply

    Does anyone know where the table and chairs can be purchased??

  39. avatar Kelly reply

    Hi, I’m in love with the botanical art frames. Where can I buy them?

  40. avatar Kirsten reply

    Kind of a silly question but do you know the size of rug under the kids play table?

  41. avatar Meghan McGlothin reply

    I am doing the exterior of my house like this hat color are the shingles on the roof thanks!!

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  43. avatar Amanda Ledoux reply

    Hi! I saw you had posted the exterior color is alabaster, but do you happen to know the shutter colors?! Thanks!

  44. avatar Shana reply

    I love th. It looks similar throughout the whole house. What color is it?

  45. avatar Bruno Rosa reply

    I love every single image of this post.

    The house is incredible awesome!

  46. avatar Lacey reply

    I would love to know where your kitchen cabinets are from atleast the company that made them.

    Thank you!

  47. avatar Karen Hewett reply

    Is the paint color agreeable grey or mindful grey? Which rooms are painted that color? Does it still work for you?

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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
4 Comments
  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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