Family affairs always, always win my heart. Heartfelt details? There isn’t a single thing better. And when those details are the result of a serious labor of love, and then are captured by the likes of Gema Duran? We enter serious swoon territory - you can see why here.

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From the Bride…After getting engaged, the most important question was “where?”. We knew it would be a large wedding, my husband and his father and sister are local dentists and their family is well-known in his small town. With only four months to plan and after looking at countless venues only to find out they didn’t have the capacity on short notice, I was nearing hopelessness.

Then one day, my fiance’ told me he would really love to get married under a large oak tree somewhere on his parent’s property. I was not sold on the idea, as most of the oak trees were hidden in thick woods, brush and poison ivy. I thought the task at hand was impossible, but I should’ve known better than to underestimate his determination.

After picking out the perfect tree we took our caterer/event planner to the site and she only had two words for us, “good luck!”. However, with the help of many friends and family members, we made everyone into believers. Even the earlier mentioned wedding planner came by the site a week prior to the wedding only to look at us and say “I can’t believe it, but you did it!”

We chose to clean out an old barn where tractors and farm equipment was typically stored and turn that into our reception area. Throw in a large, rented tent, a deejay and some hay bales and we were all set for a party! Almost all of the decorations came from family and friends. I wanted a simple and relaxed feel for our guests, which best represented Clayton and I. The books wrapped in twine came from my in-laws library, vases and valences were borrowed from aunts and even the chandeliers were found at a thrift shop and lent by a friend of ours. We had family church pews for extra seating and hay bales were loaned by the local feed store to give our guests dance-floor seating. Even the cake stands were from the land. Some of the trees that were cut to clear our wedding site were sectioned and stained by our uncle, who even personalized it with an A&M brand for my husband.

To cap off a perfect evening, my new husband convinced me that glow sticks, when broken and sprayed on your clothes, dried clear. Hesitant, but willing to have fun with it, I agreed to let him make me glow even after the sun had gone down. You can imagine the dropped jaws and loud gasps as we entered our reception with a “trashed” wedding dress. Some called me crazy, some even started doing it to their own clothes, but all I know was that I loved every minute of that crazy day because it embodied who Clayton and I are: simple, easy going folks who love to have a good time with our friends.

All in all, our wedding was one giant labor of love. From the people who came out on sunday afternoons to help string up christmas lights to the family members who emptied their closets and let me rummage through their stuff, and to my husband who worked countless hours to create our perfect wedding site, it was all in the name of love.

Photography: Gema Duran | Event Planning: Endless Possibilities Catering | Floral Design: Sams Club | Cake: Andrea Howard Cakes | Catering: Endless Possibilities Catering In Center, Texas | Hair: Beauty + The Blush Make Up Styling | Private Residence: Jackie