Chris knew exactly what he wanted upon meeting Noel. Although both lived in different cities when they first met, Chris knew Noel was the one. Long story short, they ended up together and Chris proposed the night both moved to Dallas from their respective cities.
They had personal details that truly made this wedding their own. Noel is close to both her father and stepfather, and both men walked her down the aisle. She danced with both of them during the father-daughter dance, and her stepfather grew the flowers (gladiolas) that were used in their wedding. Chris’ best man owns a roastery in their escort cards were bags of coffee beans that were freshly roasted just for the occasion. Chris also surprised Noel at the end of the night with a horse drawn carriage as both rode off.
You can see the smiles and laughter plastered throughout all the guests’ faces, and it was a nonstop celebration well into the night! Did I mention they had one of the most beautiful wedding cakes I have ever seen? It was seriously a work of art!
Below are some words from the couple on their journey, and the planning process.
HOW DID YOU MEET?
We met in Denver at a Randy Rogers band concert. Noel was in her first year of medical school and I was visiting my best friend and college roommate who was living in Denver. We hit it off that weekend and we continued our relationship long-distance, traveling back and forth from Phoenix to Denver for the next 3 years.
WHAT IS YOUR PROPOSAL STORY?
Noel matched to medical residency in Dallas and so we both began the process of relocating, me from Phoenix and Noel from Denver. We drove from Denver to Dallas in a UHaul and it rained on us every minute of the two day drive. I had plans to propose to her at the Nasher Sculpture Center once we moved into our first shared apartment. I carried the ring with me in a backpack and wouldn’t take my backpack off, even when eating (which seemed really strange, looking back, but Noel didn’t ask too many questions)! At the end of a long and exhausting moving day, the Nasher was already closed. I needed a Plan B. Practically every restaurant within walking distance downtown was closed, but we found a small pizza joint (Noel and I have a shared love of pizza) for a much deserved meal. We returned from dinner and as Noel walked into the living room, she found me on one knee with the ring.
TELL US A LITTLE A BIT ABOUT YOUR WEDDING
We chose the Nasher because of its location in downtown Dallas and the beauty of the venue: outside, tree-covered, modern. Plus, we knew our guests would find it convenient, since we had a large number of people coming from out of town. It was also supposed to be our engagement venue, so it was a perfect choice for us!
We didn’t really have a vision, per se, but picked things that felt like “us”, focusing on special details that highlighted our relationship and families. We both are pretty minimalist in taste and didn’t want something over-the-top. This also helped the budget and with Noel in residency, we just didn’t have the time. Our colors were aubergine, navy, champagne, and rose with gold as our metallic.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR ATTIRE CHOICES.
Noel’s attire was a beautiful, deep plunge, fitted lace dress from A&Be bridal shoppe. Chris wore a classic navy blue suit from Bonobos with a white polka-dot tie from The Tie Bar.
WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT TO THE TWO OF YOU WHILE PLANNING? WAS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU CHOSE TO SPLURGE ON OR SKIP?
We certainly splurged on the venue (and the wonderful catering) but it was well worth it! We wanted our wedding to reflect our favorite things and the people we love. Finding a florist that would incorporate Noel’s step-father’s gladiolas into our ceremony and arrangements was also very important. Celebrate Dallas was perfectly suited to the task. Noel’s grandfather, who had recently passed two years prior, loved growing the beautiful stem and her step-father lovingly continued the tradition after his passing. He cultivated the florals, then personally drove them from New Mexico the day before the wedding to ensure safe arrival to the florist. The arrangements, including bouquets and ceremony arch, highlighted the family flower. The wedding favors were homemade biscochitos (cookies) made by Noel’s grandmother and cousin and freshly roasted coffee beans from Chris’ best man’s roastery in Phoenix (Press Coffee Roasters).
WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE PARTS OF THE DAY?
Dancing with everyone! La Marcha (a traditional New Mexican wedding dance) was led by two of our very close friends and got everyone on the dance floor, even those not from the bride’s home state. Having the opportunity to exchange and profess our personal vows in front of everyone we hold dear and thank those who had supported our relationship was a very special part for both of us. We rode home on a horse drawn carriage, which was a surprise from the groom. The end of the celebration was such a surprise that Noel was whisked away before she even had time to find her shoes!
My parents also prepared a dance for us. In the middle of the reception, they took over the dance floor (a la Dancing with the Stars) and performed a choreographed version of Besame Mucho! Turns out, they had taken dance classes for over a year in preparation for this! It was jaw-dropping! My mom danced in college and I felt like I was watching her 40 years ago! It was very special.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS.
As soon as we got engaged, Noel’s step-father had planted hundreds of gladiola flower at the family property in northern New Mexico. It was extremely important that Noel found a florist that would incorporate these flowers into the ceremony. Our florist, Megan (Celebrate Dallas), jumped at the idea and was very accommodating, for which we were grateful. She used the flower as the central focus of every bouquet, arrangement, and ceremony arch. It was a reminder on our special day of the family’s blessing of our marriage.
Whisk Until Sweet made a custom three tier cake which consisted of delicious flavors of vanilla bean, lemon with blackberry filling, and Earl Grey, which the bride adored (she loves the tea!). Heather from Whisk hand painted florals onto the top tier, painstakingly whipped butter cream into an ombre for the other, then a final “naked” layer.
DID YOU INCLUDE ANY FAMILY HEIRLOOMS OR SPECIAL TRADITIONS?
Our Welcome Table, with the guest “poster”, also served as a Remembrance Table, featuring framed photos of the couple’s parents and grandparents on their own wedding days. It also included photos of family members who in their passing, were present in memory to share in the special day. It was quite moving for Noel and Chris to look upon those pictures and think of the generations of loving couples to serve as mentors for their own marriage. Noel’s mother had gifted a hand-crocheted heirloom created by the bride’s great grandmother, which was carried by the ring bearer down the aisle.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDINGS NOW?
1. Plan early! Seemingly tiny details fall out of the woodwork when you least expect it (like a week before your wedding when you realize you forgot about calligraphy, or the night before your ceremony and you forgot to buy a veil – these actually happened). Also realize that things you forget are not a big deal (we promise).
2. Use a wedding planner at least for month-of or day-of services!
3. Planning a wedding is stressful and can be trying for the couple (it’s not like the movies) but the joy you feel on your wedding day is beyond description. Try to find ways to focus on your relationship that does not involve wedding planning.