They say that love always finds a way and that is very much the essence to Noel & Chris' stunning Dallas wedding at Nasher Sculpture Center. Although both lived in different cities when they first met, their bond could not be denied, ultimately opting to relocate from the perspective towns to create a new life together in Dallas. There is a powerful elegance and a gorgeously undeniable romantic undertone to their Dallas wedding. Blooms, which danced all throughout the day, were grown specially by Noel's stepfather. While the ceremony was indoors overlooking the vaulted stairwell leading into the park, the reception however was a dreamy al fresco affair dotted by cafe lights and thin taper candles. A mix of long and circle reception tables created the perfect atmosphere, injecting a lovely and free-spirited vibe into their Dallas wedding. With each little piece of wedding decor, there is a beautiful restraint and captivating elegance. Gardens and sculpture parks make for enchanting wedding venues, and in the case of Noel & Chris utter Dallas wedding perfection.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Flowers, Wedding Cake & Guest Gifts~
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.
Chris and his best man, Alex, created the custom coffee bag labels, which served a dual function as place-card settings and alerted the caterer to the guest meal choices. The guest book was an unframed print from an artist featured at the Nasher, Lilco, which was selected by the couple for its focus on minimalist art (plus, succulents remind them both of their home states – New Mexico and Arizona).
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.
Advice for Future Couples~
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.
Photography: Ashley Rhian | Ceremony Venue: Nasher Sculpture Center | Reception Venue: Nasher Sculpture Center | Event Planning: Keestone Events | Floral: Celebrate Dallas | Stationery: Paper Tiger Printing Co. | Calligraphy: Leyco Lettering | Wedding Cake: Whisk Until Sweet | Rentals: Big D Party Rentals | DJ: DJ CONNECTION | Hair: Salon Pompeo | Makeup: Salon Pompeo | Wedding Dress: A and Be | Groom's Attire: Bonobos | Ties: The Tie Bar | Submitted via: Matchology