Father-of-the-Bride Themed Garden Wedding /// #TheHandsomeHowards /// Meredith + Anson, the full film

"Anson, you're one lucky guy"

Be prepared to be inspired by love. This magnolia-filled Southern garden wedding had more than enough laughter and love to fill up a landscape.  Over the course of the film, you'll discover why Anson is one lucky guy, how Meredith has 19 bridesmaids and even more treasured memories, and how a funny card with a picture of a bottle of tabasco sauce set their love story in motion. [vimeo]https://vimeo.com/117348990[/vimeo]

Soundtrack: "Love on the Run" by Kerry Muzzey ---licensing through Music Bed "Sweetness" by Dan Masquelier ---licensING through Creative Commons "It had to be You" by Frank Sinatra ---licensING through SongFreedom.com "Already There" by Josh Woodward ---licensING through Creative Commons "Opposites in Love" by The Speedbumps ---licensING through MusicBed.com "Mount Sol" by Afterlife Parade ---licensING through MusicBed.com "Diamond in a Coal Mine" by Holley Maher ---licensING through MusicBed.com "Tasting Sunshine" by The Rival ---licensING through MusicBed.com "In the Midst" by A New Normal --- licensING through MusicBed.com "How Sweet it Is to be Loved by You" by Marvin Gaye --- licensING through Songfreedom.com

The weekend began with a fantastic fall-themed rehearsal dinner at the Bay City Country Club. With deep roots in Texas, the father of the bride revealed that due to the wonderful people and enduring friendships that Matagorda County had provided to their family, he truly felt that "I wasn't born in Matagorda County, but I got here as quickly as I could."

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 "He's a modern day version of John Wayne!"

On the day of the wedding, Anson and his groomsmen set out for a skeet shoot at Red Bluff Ranch.  Later, they dined on a hearty BBQ lunch at the ranch house, where Anson gifted each groomsman with custom monogrammed shotgun cases. Meanwhile, the ladies enjoyed a magnolia themed brunch with a live harpist playing classical music.  Each bridesmaid was presented with a pewter magnolia embossed tray, and Meredith was given a beautiful mirror-faceted box with letters from each friend, recounting her favorite memory with the bride.

keely thorne wedding planner 032 keely thorne wedding planner 033 keely thorne wedding planner 035 keely thorne wedding planner 036 keely thorne wedding planner 037 keely thorne wedding planner 039 keely thorne wedding planner 043keely thorne wedding planner 044keely thorne wedding planner 045keely thorne wedding planner 046Meredith's favorite movie growing up was "Father of the Bride," so naturally, she and her parents wanted to host Meredith's wedding in their family home! So, back at the bride's childhood home, Elizabeth Swift  and her fantastic crew from Swift + Company bustled in both the front and back gardens setting up every detail.  Magnolia leaf garlands stretched as far as the eye could see in all of the decor---from the circular bar that wrapped around Meredith's favorite live oak tree to the massive chandelier overhanging the acrylic dance floor that had been built just above the family swimming pool.

Later at the Bay City Country Club, Meredith shared a very sweet moment with her bridesmaids when she revealed her wedding dress to them for the first time---a couture dress inspired by her own design.

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Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Special details and tokens were very important to Meredith and showcased in her bridal attire. She had a garter worn by many of her Kappa sorority sisters with each one's initials and wedding date embroidered around the edges in baby blue. Meredith also wore a 1945 British sixpence in her shoe that belonged to Anson's great grandfather, William Anson. He had moved from England to settle the Head of the River Ranch in Christoval, Texas, which is where Anson eventually proposed to Meredith.  Traditionally, a sixpence is a symbol that the couple will be blessed with love, happiness, and success. keely thorne wedding planner 054keely thorne wedding planner 062 keely thorne wedding planner 063keely thorne wedding planner 069keely thorne wedding planner 066keely thorne wedding planner 071keely thorne wedding planner 072

 Oh, Happy Day!

Guests were greeted at cocktail hour during the wedding reception by the Choraleers and bountiful seafood buffets.  They mingled on the front lawn until the gates to the back gardens opened, and the Choraleers sang around them as they passed through the gates to the reception. The gorgeous cakes were positioned just inside the English manor house along with special photographs of the bride and groom.  Anson's cake was especially spectacular---a beautiful chocolate sculpture of his hunting dog, Gunner, in pursuit of quail perched on chocolate-sculpted trees.  Guests could treat themselves to a coffee bar while watching a slideshow of the newlyweds in their early years growing up with their familes.  Additionally, party attendees indulged in an enticing candy display featured in apothecary jars reminiscent of an old world pharmacy.  Outside, lavish buffets were positioned under each tent and along several garden pathways. Stockholm lanterns hung from the wild branches of live oak trees as they stretched toward the starry sky above, illuminating the festivities that ended a perfect day.

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Beyond every magical detail and meaningful moment, this is a story of gratitude:

Gratitude between friends for adventures shared at camp, boarding school, and college.

Gratitude between siblings for camaraderie and family tradition.

Gratitude between parents and children for a lifetime of love already lived.

Gratitude between a newly-married couple for adventures already had and for the lifetime to come. keely thorne wedding planner 080keely thorne wedding planner 095keely thorne wedding planner 098


Event Design & Production:   Elizabeth Copeland Swift, Swift + Company Event Planning:  Katy Priesler with Keely Thorne Events Photographer: Chris Bailey Videographer: Chris P. Jones & Kourtney Amelia Schopper, Mason Jar Films Artistic Director: Peter Duffney, Swift + Company Floral Design:  Wrey Wrest, Swift + Company Sanctuary and Bridal Floral Design: Yvonne Klein and Ester Gomez Caterer: Swift + Company Menu Coordinator:  Melissa Tramuto Fuentes, Swift + Company Bakery: Susie's Cakes Groom's cake: Finale by Glenna Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Bay City Country Club Rehearsal Dinner Entertainment: Lucky Strikes - Austin, TX Ceremony Venue:  First United Methodist Church Ceremony Performance: Divisi Strings Wedding Reception Venue: Private Estate Cocktail Entertainment: The Choraleers - Houston, TX Reception Entertainment Band: Simply Irresistible - Atlanta, GA Skeet Shooting Venue: Red Bluff Ranch Lighting: Lite Productions & Aztec Magnolia garlands: The Magnolia Company - Barberville, FL Transportation: Karr Transportation Getaway car: Jordan Limousine Dress: Casa De Novia Tuxes: Al's Formal Wear Watercolor "Save the Date" Artist: Inslee Haynes Fariss - New York, NY Calligrapher:  Maureen Vickery

Backyard Father-of-the-Bride Themed Wedding /// #TheHandsomeHowards /// Meredith + Anson, the intro

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We have been excited to film this wedding ever since we met Meredith, the bride, in our offices on South Congress in Austin. On a golden afternoon, she sat on our couch with the sunlight in her hair and described to us what her wedding would be like in magical detail--dripping in magnolia garlands, filled with gratitude, and conducted in the place that she loved most--her childhood home. She told us about how special her parents and siblings are to her, and how much fun she and Anson, her groom, have while hunting--so much so, in fact, that the groom's cake was going to be a life-like chocolate-sculpted replica of Anson's hunting dog (Gunner!) going after some unsuspecting chocolate-carved quail. We couldn't wait to see the Marines' saber arch at the ceremony, the choraleers performing in front of her home at cocktail hour, or the boat-neck wedding dress which Meredith designed herself.  While at her rehearsal dinner, we learned during the speeches that her family even has their own vernacular:

fellowship:  (noun) a party, a gathering boppers:  (noun) a person of quality with whom anyone would love to spend time

Their wedding was most certainly a fellowship of boppers if ever we saw one!   Enjoy this introduction to their full film we are creating for them. This little sneak peek video we are sharing today is a highlight of Meredith's love for the movie 'Father of the Bride,' a feature of her own father's poetic story-telling, and a tribute to the future that #TheHandsomeHowards will share together.


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This gorgeous groom's cake was created by Finale by Glenna based in Houston.  Featuring a pointing hunting dog, it was surrounded by chocolate sculpted tree branches with quail perched all around.  The groomsmen were in such awe of the cake that they couldn't even fathom the idea of cutting into it!  Now, you know it's gorgeous if men are hesitant to take a knife to this cake. :)

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The Proposal: "Our favorite thing to do together is hunting and spending time outdoors and drinking champagne! At Anson's Ranch in Christoval, Texas (The Head of the River Ranch), we were on a turkey hunt, and Anson slipped the ring into my glove!" --Meredith

Meredith also told us that she was most looking forward to showing her friends and family how wonderful Bay City is, and having the opportunity to give back to a town that has been so wonderful to her. She couldn't wait to see Anson in his Marine Uniform for the first time, and to show off her wedding dress to her friends since she designed it. She also couldn't wait to dance with all 19 of her bridesmaids to the amazing performances of Simply Irresistible Band, a party band so great that Meredith's family brought them to Texas all the way from Atlanta, Georgia!

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Event Planning:  Katy Priesler with Keely Thorne Events Event Design & Production:   Elizabeth Copeland with Swift + Company Venue: Private Estate + First United Methodist Church Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Bay City Country Club Skeet Shooting Venue: Evan's Ranch Photographer: Chris Bailey Caterer: Swift + Company Events Bakery: Susie's Cakes Groom's cake: Finale by Glenna Band: Simply Irresistible Lighting: Lite Productions & Aztec Magnolia garlands: Magnolia Company Transportation: Karr Transportation Ceremony Performance: Divisi Strings Dress: Casa De Novia Tuxes: Al's Formal Wear