Claire Pedregon and Josh Bethany met during the first few weeks of college, but it would take them years of friendly flirting, third-wheeling, and wing-manning to take their connection to the next level. “We were genuine buddies,” Claire explains. “But then one day, literally out of the blue, everything just changed and I started seeing him differently.” After a fateful trip to visit their respective sisters at college, they took a step out of the friend zone and never looked back.
Josh documented their dynamic love story in a book, which he gave to Claire when he proposed in May 2020. “[It] gave me massive comfort that I will always be able to read through all the little details of our early days together,” she shares.
As a wedding photographer, Claire admits that standard venues often feel like her office, so she wanted a space that felt special to them. “I’ve always dreamed of an outdoor, hill country wedding, and my parents’ space is so beautiful,” the bride shares. “I love that we will be able to revisit the spot with all of our friends for picnics and camping our whole lives!”
For their April 24, 2021 nuptials, the couple transformed the Fredericksburg, Texas property with pops of pastel flowers, personalized napkins, and a seating chart that was in full bloom. The result? A fabulous “evening dinner party for the ages,” complete with 220 guests. Read on for an intimate look at their special day, as planned by Foster ATX and photographed by Peyton Byford.
The groom and his inner circle dressed up in classic tuxedos. “I hoped to find a linen-cotton blend, beige suit option for the boys, but was unable to find anything cost-effective that fit the bill,” Claire explains. “We decided to pivot towards a classic [option] from the Black Tux, and I am glad we did! I think the [tuxedos] helped steer our wedding in an elegant and timeless direction.”
It was a slow, peaceful morning before a super full day.
“The morning of our wedding was spent with the wedding party drinking smoothies, eating avocado toast, jamming to ‘90s rap, and playing basketball in the street next to my parents’ house,” the bride shares. “It was a slow, peaceful morning before a super full day, and I am so thankful for those quieter moments!”
When the time came, Claire slipped into a sleek wedding dress from Alena Leena, complete with a modern bustier and statement-making cutout. To finish the look, the bride added a dramatic veil and heels from Sam Edelman.
As for her bridesmaids? They sported an assortment of gowns in dreamy pastels and florals. “I wanted a springy, mixed look,” the bride explains. “I also really don’t love how often bridesmaid dresses are worn once and can never be worn again. I hoped that the Reformation dresses would be re-wearable and could be enjoyed beyond our wedding day!”
The wedding party boarded a trolley from Fredericksburg Tours, with the groom blindfolded so he wouldn’t see the bride before their first look.
Once they reached their destination, the couple swapped personal love letters that they read back to back before turning for the first look.
Of course, the dapper couple wasn’t the day’s only photogenic moment; the festivities also featured statement-making signage, which the bride made herself. “I came up with the idea for the design with my best friend, and we made it over the weekend,” the bride explains. “The pressed flowers in the seating chart and welcome sign were all made with flowers from our garden that we had planted with this purpose in mind about six months before.” The signage was flanked by an assortment of peach and pastel blooms, courtesy of Blumen Floral.
If guests got thirsty, they could grab a cold sip from a beverage-filled wooden boat.
The bride and her father glided down the floral-lined aisle to “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
During our ceremony, I got married in a ring that my grandmother had worn her whole life.
After swapping their personal vows, the couple exchanged rings that were packed with sentimental value. “Josh and I are saving up for a wedding band,” the bride shares. “During our ceremony, I got married in a ring that my grandmother had worn her whole life. The ring originally belonged to my great, great grandmother, and my aunt wears it now. It was so special to feel a connection with those generations of incredible women, who I know are a part of me, even if I was never able to meet all of them. Josh, on the other hand, left his band at home by accident. Our best man stealthy took off his own ring for Josh to wear during the ceremony and no one had a clue!”
I wanted to create a day that was filled with fun for our wedding parties and our guests.
The happy couple recessed down the aisle to “Overload” by Zappacosta.
“I wanted to create a day that was filled with fun for our wedding parties and our guests, and avoided a lot of the fluff that can come with a traditional day—easier said than done,” the bride shares. “I hoped to build spaces, a timeline, and a team that gave Josh and I absolutely as much space as possible to soak each other up and enjoy time with our friends and family.”
Before the reception, the bride slipped into an off-the-shoulder number from Grace Loves Lace. “I loved visiting the Grace Loves Lace store,” Claire recalls. “We drank champagne and I got to run all around the store in every dress I tried on. The ‘run test’ became very imperative to me picking ‘the one’ somehow; I think it just helped me determine how comfortable I really was in a dress.”
The couple enlisted event planning company Foster ATX to transform Claire’s family grounds into an elegant oasis. “[We] could not recommend these gems enough,” the bride shares. “Their primary gig is to host beautifully curated dinner parties; they are pros at creating memorable experiences.” Here, Foster ATX transformed the reception area with string lights, pastel flowers, and lengthy tables swathed in crisp, white linens.
Come dinner, guests enjoyed a flavorful feast that was prepared by El Locavore. Highlights included corn soup with avocado crema and basil oil, roasted vegetable tomatillo enchiladas, as well as a lime and ancho-marinated chicken. The bride gave dinner a DIY touch by hand-dying all of the guests’ napkins from cheesecloth.
The youngest guests also got a pint-sized table of their own for the day’s festivities.
Josh and I smashed cake on each other and cracked up while all of our closest people were laughing and whistling.
As for dessert, the couple enjoyed a strawberry cake with cream cheese icing, made with love by Claire’s sister, Rose. “Cutting the cake was a blast,” the bride says. “I timed it to [when] the sun would be just on the edge of the horizon. While bathed in the glowy light, Josh and I smashed cake on each other and cracked up while all of our closest people were laughing and whistling all around.”
Thirsty? Guests enjoy the couple’s four signature cocktails. “They were perhaps my favorite detail of the evening,” Claire shares. “Our bartender, Coleman of Jitters, did an incredible job creating gorgeous, delicious cocktails made from natural ingredients. We had a spicy margarita, a hibiscus bourbon cocktail, a blood-orange vodka sparkler, and an aperol spritz.”
Claire and Josh shared their first dance (and a big dip) to “La Vie En Rose.”
Meanwhile, the bride and her father selected Jack Johnson’s “Constellations,” while Josh and his mother swayed to “I Believe in You” by Don Williams.
Before the party was kicked into high-gear, the couple listened to a handful of heart-warming toasts. “Our best friends and my dad brought the perfect mix of laughter and tears,” the bride shares. “We are super thankful to have a video of the speeches so we can watch them over and over on anniversaries over the years!”
Guests later danced the night away to a lively setlist from Matchmaker Band—all while sporting flower crowns and shimmery cowboy hats.
The couple drove away from the festivities in a pickup truck and soon headed out to their honeymoon in Tulum, Mexico. Looking back, the couple says the best part of their nuptials was celebrating their love with all the special people in their lives. “There is something so beautiful about a simple celebration of love,” the bride shares. “Keeping the focus on celebrating your love [and] the love you have for the people in your life is what it’s really all about!”