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A Naturally Beautiful Wedding at a Private Estate in Texas

by Staff

Kelsey and Grant met through a dating app, and connected instantly as expat Texans living in Fort Collins, Colorado. “He was really easy to talk to,” Kelsey remembers, “And, we had a lot to talk about. My first impression was that he was very kind and I liked that he was really close with his family.” They got engaged on a hike in Lory State Park in May 2019. They’d planned to get married in the mountains, too, as an homage to that special hike. When the world proved it had other plans, “moving mountains” became the theme of their wedding, from planning to “I do.” 

“Changing the wedding three times due to COVID was a challenge,” Kelsey says. “Since the original date was in March 2020, it was early in the pandemic and we weren’t really sure what to do. We chose to postpone to September. Unfortunately, September 2020 turned out not to be possible in Beaver Creek either. We made the hard decision to postpone again until May 2021, and bring the wedding to Texas and closer to home.” 

Luckily, their Colorado-based wedding planners, Megan Grose and Michelle Sutton of Brindle + Oak, were on board. “When everything changed, their team never missed a beat,” Kelsey remembers. “We decided to move the wedding from Beaver Creek to Spicewood, Texas, and they quickly pivoted, got on a plane to Texas, and familiarized themselves with everything Austin and who our new vendors would be.” She goes on: “We developed a second new wedding plan and I think it turned out even better than our original.”

With a direction finally set in mind, planning went smoothly for a wedding of 180 guests on the property surrounding Kelsey’s family’s lake house, set against the backdrop of Lake Travis. But there was an 11th hour hurdle yet to overcome. The bride’s mother remembers it: “On top of all of our best laid plans, the night of the rehearsal dinner, a storm came through and devastated our entire setup,” she says. “The tent was gone, glass rails broken; it was a mess. Megan kept her cool and stayed up all night formulating a new plan.” It was seven days worth of production, gone in 45 minutes—with 20 hours until the wedding, Megan adds.

“As the sun rose, the vendors came together to rebuild the set,” she says. “At one point, I counted 70 people on property rebuilding, replanting flowers and bushes that were torn from the ground, doing everything we could to reset. ‘Teamwork makes the dream work’ took on a whole new meaning after that special day!” They made a quick decision: “We ditched the tent and dined al fresco under the stars and lights,” Kelsey’s mother says. “It was truly a magical experience!”

Read on to see how Kelsey and Grant’s dream wedding finally came together, planned by Brindle + Oak and photographed by Danielle DeFiore Photography.

“The words and values we used consistently when designing this wedding were romantic, Southern, polished, textural, cozy, welcoming, thoughtful, elegant, and floral-forward,” Megan says. The color palette was timeless and romantic. “We wanted classic neutrals in gray, greige, cream, and evergreen tones,” Kelsey adds. “Touches of dusty and muted hues of blue and sage added texture, with small pops of navy.” The invitation suite—which featured a custom map and monogram and cheeky envelope liner declaring “It’s happening!”—set the tone from the start. 

The weekend began with a rehearsal dinner at Austin County Club. “I took my mom’s wedding dress and had it redesigned into a dress for the rehearsal dinner,” Kelsey says. “It felt so special to be able to wear it.” The next morning, beauty prep began at the wedding venue—the bride’s family lake house. “I grew up going there with my family and friends, so it was a special place for me,” she says.

For her beauty look, the bride wanted something soft, natural, and practical. “The wedding was outdoors in May in Texas, so we wanted it to hold up to the heat and keep with the simple elegance of the day,” she says. “I opted to keep my hair down with gentle curls and a very natural feeling. I wanted to look like myself.” 

Kelsey’s mother helped her into a stunning Liancarlo gown, and loaned her some family heirlooms to pair with it. “My earrings were my mom’s diamond hoops,” Kelsey says. “My sister had worn them for her wedding as well.”

Meanwhile, Grant got ready with his family and groomsmen. He wore a classic suit from The Black Tux in a navy tone that played into the wedding palette, and a stephanotis boutonniere that popped against the dark color.

“We decided to do a first look because we were already technically married, due to COVID making us change our wedding date,” Kelsey says. “We also thought it would make both of us less nervous at the altar.”

Floral designer David Kurio crafted a bridal bouquet of garden roses, ranunculus, veronica, peonies, stephanotis, and mixed foliage. The green-and-white combination played beautifully against the landscape.

“We wanted our bridesmaids to choose their own dresses so we gave them a palette—darker gray, no strapless or sleeves,” Kelsey says. “They also got to choose their own jewelry, delicate and minimal.”

The men wore clean navy suits to match the groom. “Grant had the guys wear solid gray ties and he chose a patterned one that was different but complementary.” 

We decided to really emphasize the beauty of the estate.

“When redesigning the ceremony for the Texas wedding, we decided to really emphasize the beauty of the estate,” says planner Megan Grose. “The property has three stunning trees that were the epicenter of the nuptials. We sketched a concept and presented it to David Kurio who knocked it out of the park in bringing it to life!” He incorporated roses, hydrangea, tulips, and ranunculus into the organic design. “The three trees were also utilized in the paper suite and graphics throughout the event as a thematic component unique to the property.”

A string quartet set the mood as guests entered the ceremony, which began with Grant’s three young cousins entering as ring bearers. “They were adorable. And, as you might expect, they added their own touch to walking down the aisle,” Kelsey remembers. “Grant’s mom had made a special ring pillow for them to carry that was made from her wedding dress and my mom’s wedding dress.”

For her own walk down the aisle—accompanied by her father—Kelsey added a custom lace-edged tulle veil by Sara Gabriel. 

I was really happy that we were able to say our vows and have our ceremony in front of our family and friends after it was delayed for so long.

Pastor Steve Harris led a traditional ceremony. “We did write our own vows,” Kelsey says. “We weren’t planning to for the original date of the wedding—in March 2020—but then decided we wanted to when we had to reschedule to May 2021.” Even without running them by each other in advance, “we both gave a shout out to my cats in our vows,” she says. 

It was all worth the wait. “I was really happy that we were able to say our vows and have our ceremony in front of our family and friends after it was delayed for so long,” Kelsey remembers. In this particular moment, “I was relieved that saying our vows in front of everyone was over with!”

The welcome sign was right on theme. “Moving mountains was an understatement,” planner Megan says. “We designed a winter wedding in the mountains, then a fall wedding in the mountains—so when the family decided to move it to the estate in Texas we loved the idea of bringing in small Colorado elements to the day, but making it Texas focused.” There were homages to nature at every turn. “The rock place cards symbolized the mountains, along with the table covered in wax florals and mixed greenery as a nod to the Colorado Rockies.”

“Our drink wall was dedicated to our cats!” Kelsey says. “We had two signature drinks named after them.” The George featured Veuve Clicquot and Grand Marnier with orange juice and a splash of pineapple; the Cinder was made with tequila and a splash of lime served in a salt-rimmed Topo Chico bottle. Felines George and Cinder made additional appearances on cocktail napkins and other signage. “They are a big part of our family.” 

“Grant is a car guy, and we wanted to represent that in some way,” Kelsey says. “Megan came up with ‘Grant’s Garage,’ an area for the guys featuring Colorado beer tasting, outdoor games, and car-themed decor.”

Following the storm of the previous evening, the reception fell on the perfect warm spring night. “Guests were greeted by a structure as they entered that dripped in candlelight and blooms,” Megan says. “Creating an intimate environment in a large space is important to make guests not feel swallowed by the tall peaks of a tent or open air. For the tablescapes, we did this by having lower arrangements that overflowed onto the table, curated designer place settings, and of course lots and lots of candlelight.” 

“The place settings were so special to create,” Megan remembers. “The family really wanted guests to feel special when they arrived to their custom place setting. Wooden chargers mixed with the ceramic china enhanced the southern polished charm, and were topped with a stunning floral piece for each guest to keep.”

After ditching her gown’s detachable sleeves for a party-ready look, Kelsey danced into the outdoor reception alongside her groom to “Crazy In Love” by Beyoncé and Jay-Z. 

We wanted the stage to feel like a cohesive element to the event; custom building everything from deep tones of wood helped melt the tones throughout the space,” Megan says. “The Italian cream slate-inspired dance floor created a natural transition to be the epicenter of fun!”

The talent was worthy of the beautiful structure. “Our band was the best!” the couple says of Dallas-based Intensity. “They had everyone dancing from the start of the evening—including having us all up onstage to sing along.”

Keith Urban’s “Making Memories of Us” served as the newlyweds’ first dance song. Later, Kelsey and her dad danced to the perfect tune—“My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw. Grant and his mother swung to “Days Like This” by Van Morrison. 

The couple cut into a classic vanilla cake for photos, but there was a surprise for Grant: a chocolate groom’s cake paying homage to his passion for cars. It was designed to look like his favorite BMW driving over the famous Austin bridge.

Take time to appreciate and enjoy having friends and family surrounding you with love.

Late-night Tex-Mex from local favorite Maudie’s refueled guests for dancing before the newlyweds’ sparkler exit. Then, it was off to Bora Bora for a honeymoon. Looking back on the process, the duo advises other couples, “Take each day as it comes. There will always be things that don’t go as planned. Don’t forget to stop and enjoy each step of the process.” Then on your wedding day, they say, “Take time to appreciate and enjoy having friends and family surrounding you with love.” 

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