"This was her favorite place."
At the end of their wedding reception, I rode with the bride and groom in their Jeep to the Lake House where they would gather around a campfire eating breakfast tacos with friends late into the night. As the sparklers faded into the distance, Ryan decided we should take a short detour first and instead drive over to the ceremony location for one last look at the arbor where he and Hailey Catherine had exchanged vows earlier that evening. As I filmed them dancing under the rustic arbor covered in pink roses, they started to talk about what would inspire a couple from Oklahoma to bring almost 500 of their friends and family to a secluded canyon-side lake in the foothills of Texas. The answer lies in the bride's middle name. Whether it's fate or chance, Hailey Catherine grew up to be considered by many to be a carbon copy of her grandmother Catherine, who she was named for. Catherine and her husband have owned this ranch for many decades, and although she has passed away, her love for this lake with its sweet little island is what prompted Hailey and Ryan to make their own vows of eternal devotion in this very spot. They chose to do so not only because it was Catherine's favorite place, but also because of what Catherine said to Hailey before she passed away almost five years earlier.
[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/96112541[/vimeo] Soundtrack: "Your First Light My Eventide" by The Echelon Effect
We have been looking forward to filming this wedding ever since we first spoke with Hailey several months ago. Ryan describes Hailey as "outgoing, sincere, and beautiful." When we asked Hailey for three words that describe Ryan, she said he was "handsome, passionate, genuine, and intelligent" before joking with us that she can't count or prioritize. We adored their spunky, fun personalities, and couldn't wait til this weekend arrived. Hailey wrote to us that they were most looking forward to just finally being married. She said, "A lot of times the huge escapade of weddings take away from what we're here for. On our wedding day we are so excited to be married and call each other husband and wife."
Honestly, Cypress Springs Ranch really ought to be renamed "Surprise" Springs Ranch. As if a family ranch isn't delightful and comforting enough, Hailey's grandfather has gone and created the most magical world for all of his progeny to enjoy--the ranch is filled with bison, elk, camels, zedonks, kangaroos, ostriches, longhorns, miniature horses, watusi, and more. There was even a baby alpaca that was new to the ranch this year. Hailey's grandfather is also known as the chief prank ring-leader -- right after Hailey & Ryan were pronounced husband and wife, her grandfather and some cousins had rigged some tannerite in the canyon to surprise all the guests with its echoey, canon-like boom in celebration.
During one of our consultations, I asked Hailey to list her favorite genres of music. She listed "Disney" as one of the three, and then she promptly confessed that she and her sisters would most likely burst into song and dance over the course of the wedding day. See why we were looking forward to this so much? The lodge on the ranch where Hailey got ready for the wedding is the ultimate hunter's oasis --with more taxidermy than Beauty and the Beast's Gaston could ever hope to find. (Sing it with me: "I use antlers in all of my decorating...") The bride wore sparkling Prada sandals for the wedding ceremony, and custom-monogrammed leather boots that also featured the wedding date on the side straps and said "Texas Fight" across the back.
Their dog, Ranger, was the official ring bearer (look at that sweet face). He wore a properly-dapper American Flag bow-tie, as any classy dog would, and he was escorted down the aisle by several young "cadets" in camo dinner jackets.
At the end of the reception, guests gathered outside the tent for a surprise round of fireworks, and a live fire-dance performance. Guests called out to Ryan, "kiss your bride! Kiss your bride!" as the fireworks echoed overhead.
The proposal story:
On Saturday September 28, 2013, Hailey and Ryan were planning on going sky diving in Skiatook, OK. This was Ryan's graduation gift for Hailey from her MBA. Little did Hailey know, Ryan had plans to propose after they landed on the ground from jumping out of the plane. However, sky diving was canceled due to rain, so Ryan had to think quickly and revert to Plan B, because family and friends were waiting for them both at his parents' house.
He convinced Hailey to go with him under the guise that they "needed to stop by his parents to pick up fair tickets," and as they were walking into the house, he stopped her before the door and got down on one knee. It was not the engagement he planned on, but it was the perfect one in her eyes. Family and friends were waiting inside, including Hailey's two best friends (Brooke Watson and Megan Moran) from Austin who Ryan had flown in for the occasion. The rest of the day was spent celebrating and being with the ones they love.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Private Estate in Kerrville, TX Event Design, Florist, & Day/Reception Coordinator: Tricia Hamil, Viridian Design Ceremony Coordinator: Sherry Wright Wedding Photographer: Brooke Schwab Photography Photo Booth: Smilebooth Lighting: Ilios Caterer: Don Strange of Texas Reception Band: Signed, Sealed, Delivered (from DFW) with Absolute Entertainment Lounge/Decor Rentals: Aztec
Bride's Shoes: Prada
Musical track licensed through The Music Bed