Natalia and Drew are two fun loving people who were married at the beautiful Stoneleigh Hotel, an iconic art deco building constructed in the 1920s in Dallas. Stephanie, one of our Dallas wedding planners, helped bring to life the personal details that truly made this wedding their own. From Natalia having a first look with both her dad and Drew, to having their adorable dog be a part of the wedding by walking down the aisle, to having giant pool floats, you can see the smiles and laughter plastered throughout all the guests’ faces, and it was a nonstop celebration well into the night!
More details from the bride!
HOW DID YOU MEET?
Drew and I can thank the internet for our love story. As a pediatrician, potential suitors were slim at the hospital, so online dating was the next best alternative. One day, I received a message from this “sparty” guy. After several emails and texts, he seemed funny and was new to Dallas, so I agreed to a date. Our first date was on a Monday and we met up for happy hour. However, Drew forgot that he had a flight to Kentucky that evening (typical), which meant that the date was cut short. During our date I divulged my appreciation for whiskey, and when Drew came back, he surprised me with a Maker’s Mark bottle that he had dipped in wax at the distillery in Kentucky. He won me over with that bottle and the rest is history!
WHAT IS YOUR PROPOSAL STORY?
For months, I had been feeling sick because of the lies and deception needed to keep Natalia off of my tracks. To date, my greatest accomplishment in life has been the procurement of Natalia’s engagement ring, in what seemed like 29 stages/visits, without her catching me.
I decided to propose at The Joule hotel because it was where we had our first “fancy” date at CBD Provisions, and I thought it’d be a good place for a return dinner. The rooms and staff are incredibly nice, so I enlisted a co-worker for her help because she had good relationships with them. I knew I asked the right person for support because she connected me with the hotel, and with a great photographer who was able to capture the moments before/during/after the proposal!
Natalia’s best friend from residency was a huge help in planning because she was able to make the “force Natalia to get a manicure” process as seamless as possible. After returning from the manicure, Natalia and I headed to The Joule – the front end staff made sure to remember that they had never met me before and the rooftop bartender kept the terrace free of guests so we could have a private moment and great pictures! It was nearly impossible to get Natalia off of the comfortable couch we sat on, but I convinced her to look at at a random building behind us so I could properly pop the question. Obviously, I knew Natalia would say yes…I was just looking forward to the great dinner and some drinks to help ease the anxiety of Natalia catching me!
It was a Thursday in September, and Drew had planned a surprise date. Prior to the date, however, my friend Jeannette asked me to go get our nails done together. I was originally only going to get a pedicure but there was a “special” that day for free manicures (note: Jeannette arrived early to the salon to tell them to play along with the free manicure since I would not paint my nails because I can’t have nail polish at work. Clever!). After getting my nails done, I headed home to get ready, and then we traveled to the undisclosed location. We ended up at a hotel in downtown Dallas, and Drew said we were going to grab a drink on the terrace before dinner. While there, he started reminiscing about our past 2 years together (our 2 year anniversary was a few weeks away so I still wasn’t thrown off). Then he started saying really nice and sweet things and before I knew it he was on one knee proposing! Of course I said yes and then heard camera shutters going off. I looked around and noticed that Drew hired a photographer to capture the entire thing 🙂
WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE PARTS OF THE DAY?
Our favorite part of the day was the reception. Our family and friends LOVE to party, so we knew we had to step it up for the reception. Our DJ did a fantastic job of playing cross cultural music that spanned generations and genres. The best man even offered the DJ $1 million to play for another hour! After the wedding, we received several compliments specifically noting how great the music was – throughout the wedding, there were very few guest in their seats.
Our videographers were spectacular in capturing our wedding; they knew exactly the experience we wanted to create and created an Instagram teaser that looked like a music video. They even caught when 3 groomsmen jumped into the pool, which was filled with several giant pool floats. Check out the teaser here.
Our other favorite part of the day was our dog, Barbara Bush the poodle, serving as the flower girl. We adopted her 2 years ago and knew she had to be a part of the wedding!
We wanted wedding flowers that matched a burgundy theme and were full of texture. Our florist was great at creating glamorous bouquets and centerpieces that included various complementary colors, textures, and, of course, gold. We were blown away by the gorgeous burgundy dahlia that was used for the groom’s boutonniere.
TELL US A LITTLE A BIT ABOUT YOUR WEDDING (YOUR VISION, COLOR, STYLE, AND LOCATION CHOICES)
Drew and I love Dallas and wanted a space that would reflect all the urban beauty that Dallas has to offer. We also wanted a modern & classic look for our wedding; the Stoneleigh offered us a blank outdoor canvas that could be molded into a chic and modern space. My favorite color is gold, so Drew and I decided that burgundy and navy were the perfect complements. Drew even changed into a burgundy jacket which brought together the whole theme.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR ATTIRE CHOICES
I’ve always envisioned myself in a ballgown dress for my wedding; however, I trusted the consultants at Lulus and ended up in a very figure flattering, glamorous, A-line dress which I fell in love with at first sight. Drew, on the other hand, already had a custom made tuxedo that was perfect for our wedding. I wanted a classic look for our ceremony, but he wanted to spice things up for the reception; he switched into a burgundy jacket with a black lapel that perfectly tied into our theme.
The most important thing to us was for everyone to enjoy themselves and have an unforgettable experience. We splurged on extras that would make our reception super fun. We had an amazing DJ, a well-accommodated photo booth, and a balloon artist who was fully prepared for an adults-only party; the balloon artist went above and beyond in creating balloon hats that our guests could party in all night. We provided glow sticks and light up batons that our guests could enjoy on the dance floor to make the dance party more exciting. With regards to food, we wanted to provide our guests with many different options so we went with action stations. We had a salmon station, prime rib station, a mac & cheese bar, and a salad bar. We also had ice cream sandwiches for dessert; guests were able to pick from several cookie flavors and ice cream flavors to create their ideal ice cream sandwich.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR WEDDING CAKE.
We had quite the dilemma: the groom was keen on ice cream sandwiches as dessert, but the bride wanted a more traditional cake. We compromised by having both 🙂 We had a beautiful 2 tier cake with gold painting at the top of each tier. The cake was finished off with touches of burgundy and blush flowers. The ice cream sandwiches were provided by a local vendor who pairs fresh-baked cookies with unique local ice cream flavors.
WHAT DID YOU DO FOR FAVORS?
Since the entire event was outdoors, we wanted a practical favor, and koozies made perfect sense…you never know how hot Texas weather may get. Keeping everyone’s drinks cool seemed necessary!
PLEASE DESCRIBE ANY DIY, HANDMADE, OR PERSONAL DETAILS.
When we were choosing wedding invites, it was clear that we wanted the wedding invitations to incorporate calligraphy or hand lettering in some form. Pretty quickly, we realized that commissioning calligraphy on all of the save the date & wedding invites would be quite pricey. To incorporate that personal touch, we (the bride) learned hand lettering and addressed the invitations personally. It was an arduous undertaking, but it added a glamorous touch without breaking the bank.
Our advice is to pick 2-3 things that are very important to each person and ensure that they come to life.. For us, finding an excellent photographer and videographer who matched our style and vision was most important. Their final product was incredible and we are super happy we splurged, because they were able to recreate and represent our vision.
It is also important to trust your significant other. We each picked one thing we definitely wanted in the wedding, and we each got to veto one thing. This allowed us to have a wedding day that pleased both of us without resenting the other person.
You can view other weddings Stephanie has planned below: