Do me a favor on this beautiful Monday morning, lovelies. Take a moment from all of the chaos that Monday mornings typically bring and really dive into this East Texas wedding. I mean, really dive in. Read the beautiful description (it’s amazing), soak in all of the meaningful moments (there are plenty) and learn all about these two cuties (they’re adorable). And when you’re done doing that, head on over to the full gallery captured by Jess Barfield Photography, because it’s one moment after another of beyond breathtaking images and, believe me when I tell you, you don’t want to miss a minute.
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And an amazing film from WhenItClicks Photography & Video for even more inspiration. Enjoy.
From the Bride… My name is Rachel and my husband, Luke, and I got married in the Fall in my hometown of Nacogdoches, TX. Everything about our wedding was extremely personal to us. As soon as we got engaged, we sat down and prayed about what we wanted our wedding to be about. We settled on three “theme words”: restoration, worship, and inclusion. We had a pretty messy dating past with a couple of break-ups, so we wanted our wedding to be about how God had redeemed our lives and restored our relationship. We also wanted our wedding to be worshipful, and we wanted to have a time of worship during our ceremony. Finally, we wanted to be inclusive rather than excessive; we decided we wanted to be able to include everyone who was special to us, rather than be excessive in spending money on the reception. We also wanted to be inclusive in choosing our wedding party, which is why it ended up being rather large!
Since I was a little girl, I knew that I wanted to get married at my parent’s home. I love my family and my hometown is very close to my heart. I also knew that I wanted to plan the wedding myself. The location set the tone of our wedding’s style. East Texas is known for its towering pine trees, so we knew we wanted it to be outdoors, and October is a perfect month for that. Like any modern bride, I did my fair share of Pinterest pinning to get inspiration. While I wanted to do everything myself, I knew that practically it was impossible to put together a 350-400 guest wedding without help. So I hired four local women who decorate weddings as a hobby to help me. Besides a few items that I rented from them, I found virtually everything else online (primarily from Etsy) and at local antique stores. From old brown snuff bottles, mason jars, and eclectic green vases, to laterns, candle votives and bow ties, I was constantly looking for and accumulating stuff!
We wanted everyone to feel comfortable and fairly casual. We picked gray suits and brown accents for the guys, including brown boots. I chose a simple cotton dress for my bridesmaids. My husband and I wore matching Lucchese cowboy boots.
Since it was really important to us to be inclusive during our wedding planning process, we decided to include all of our siblings in the wedding party. Between the two of us, we have 6 brothers and 3 sisters, so this was quite a crew to include! One of the most special things to me was having two of my little brothers open the doors before my dad and I walked down the aisle. My parents found these doors at a local antique shop that were originally from an 18th century English church. My dad had one of his friends, Brian Best, build the structure that the doors hung on, and we hung burlap in the openings. Brian also built the arbor that we stood under during the ceremony. My dad supplied the antlers used on the tables, in the barn and chandelier from actual hunts. He also had the tree stumps (that were in the aisle during the ceremony) cut from trees on our property. My mom did an enormous amount of work preparing the grounds for the wedding. For our wedding favors, we wanted to find something that accurately represented us as a couple. Because I am a photographer and Luke is a “Colorado mountain man,” we decided to give our guests a simple wooden frame. I ordered them in bulk at a craft store and my bridal party helped me stain each and every one of them. We utilized all 4 horse stalls in the barn for different things. We had a gift stall, photo booth stall, drink stall, and favor/sparkler stall.
Our original plan was to have dinner and dancing outside of the barn. But that is not what ended up happening! Gotta love the unpredictable nature of weddings. It was incredibly windy on our wedding day, so we were not able to set the tables or light candles like we had originally planned. Instead, we used whatever battery-operated candles we had and many of the vases of flowers were placed inside the barn. The 350 picture frame favors that we so carefully stained were supposed to be put at each place setting, but because the tables couldn’t be set, they were left in storage and never passed out!! Oy vey. Also, it started sprinkling during dinner, so our guests took cover under the barn and the band had to break down the stage. The rain only lasted a few minutes, but since the band took down their sound equipment, they didn’t have enough time to set it back up. Instead, all of our guests relocated to the barn and the band quickly put together an acoustic set. While none of these things were ideal or planned it actually ended up working out. We believe our reception was as fun as it was because so many people were crammed into a small space. And even if the tables had been set, because of the rain, no one would have been outside to enjoy them. All of these mishaps taught me so much about how to just let things go when everything goes wrong. Our wedding was amazing and I have nothing to complain about!!
Finally, I chose our photographer (Jess Barfield) and videographer (Daniel Estrada from WhenItClicks) because I had closely followed and respected their work for a while. Jess obviously did an incredible job on our pictures, but I want to especially honor Daniel for our wedding video. We have gotten SO many raves about it, and we couldn’t be more pleased with what he produced. He is an incredible story-teller and did an beautiful job telling our story. We had him come to our rehearsal dinner, and the way he tied the speeches from that into our wedding was just perfect.
Photography: Jess Barfield Photography | Cinematography: WhenItClicks Photography & Video | Flowers: Steph Ybarra | Venue: Bride’s Family’s Home, Nacogdoches, Texas | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Shoes: Lucchese Boots | Dress: Alvina Valenta from Stardust Celebrations in Plano, TX | Bridesmaids: The Dessy Group | Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Express Suits | Band: Prophets & Outlaws | Cake: Andrea Howard Cakes | Catering: JD’s Catering | Ceremony Painter: Carolynn Seibert