Tell us about your love story!
How did you meet?
Ronnie met my mom at his office. She thought he would be an older man based on his email etiquette. Low and behold, he was a stunningly handsome young man. After helping her sort out all the details of her new home, my mom said, “My daughter owes you a date.” Ronnie took her up on her offer, and here we are!
How did you know he/she was “The One”?
Ronnie: Time flies when Mackenzie and I are together. There was this incredible peace that overwhelmed me. I knew she was the one because everything I had ever prayed for was answered through the kind of person she is.
Mackenzie: I truly found my best friend & my soulmate. When we met, I knew almost immediately there was something special about this guy. He became the person I wanted to spend all my time with and know more. I prayed for someone as caring, intentional, thoughtful & kind as Ronnie. He is an answer to prayer in every way.
How did he propose?
We headed to a “work dinner” in Bryan, Texas, where Ronnie was to be recognized for his seven year “work anniversary.” We stopped at a “co-worker’s house,” to pick up him and his wife. While there Ronnie lured me to the backyard to check out a “new outdoor kitchen.” The backyard was decorated with a light up sign that said MARRY ME along with balloons and different bible verses. Friends and family enjoyed watching the proposal from the windows of the house.
Describe your wedding planning process.
What planning tools did you use?
I used Aisle Planner. Outside of that, Brooke Conway, our wedding planner, was the mastermind of everything.
Did you hire a planner or day-of coordinator?
Yes, we chose to use Cat Haus Rentals, Brooke Conway. Brooke is the sister of my “Big Sister” Macey. We had the opportunity to see Brooke’s eccentric style and knew if anyone was going to bring a memorable wedding to life, it was Brooke.
Did you have a specific theme?
We both loved The Great Gatsby which became the inspiration for everything. With the wedding on New Year’s Day, we wanted a romantic, classic look.
Where did you save the most?
We saved the most with our save the date and invitations. We have a good friend who does design work, so she helped us design everything that was printed: save the dates, invitations, menus, seating chart, etc. We then used a local printer to get everything completed.
Where did you splurge?
When we thought about our wedding, we wanted it to be a timeless night that we would always remember. Making the event itself fun through our entertainment and being able to look back through photos & videos was most important to us.
Live Band – A live band creates the entire feeling of your wedding. We were skeptical at first, but we heard so much positive feedback about the Royal Dukes that we decided to go for it. It not only elevated the feeling of the wedding, the energy from live music had everyone captivated.
Film – A videographer is not something you consider at first, but it is a must. You will appreciate being able to relive the experience because it happens so quickly. Oak & Sparrow is a husband and wife team. The final product has us in tears.
Photography – We had a wonderful experience with our photographer. Lauren Crumpler and her team were like family. We shared laughs, received some awesome advice along the way, and they made sure we were enjoying our wedding day. You spend about 97% of your time with your photographer, so do not settle.
Why did you choose your venue?
The Chandelier of Gruene is owned by friends that have been like family to us. When Ronnie popped the question, we started the process of looking at venues. After checking out a few, we could not find anything that compared. The Chandelier was beautifully and intentionally designed. We hosted friends and family for both our ceremony and reception in one place. To decorate, all you need are things to accent the space. You do not need to bring in U-Hauls with decorations to alter the space to your style.
Did you incorporate any special traditions or sentimental details in your ceremony or reception?
When we thought about what we wanted our wedding to be, we realized we did not care about the “fluff” of the day, but rather we made meaningful decisions about our ceremony to reflect the love we have for each other & the commitment we were making.
We used my great grandmother’s French Provincial furniture as the outdoor setting. It fit in beautifully with our timeless look, and meant so much to our family.
My Grandmother, Gran, gave me the Bible she was given by her Grandmother at her wedding as she walked down the aisle.
My grandfathers both passed away when I was seven years old. Leading up to the wedding, it became very hard not to have their presence as a part of the day. Unbeknownst to our family, we had special frames with photos & notes of Bubba & Papa Jim with yellow roses placed on the front row. The families reaction to the tribute was truly special.
Butterflies are a symbol that we use to remember Bubba. The day of the wedding, both Ronnie & I experienced seeing butterflies all over the venue. Also, the heels I wore had butterflies on them.
When my parents got married, my mom made her father a baseball cap with a bowtie on it. We used the same bowtie to make a hat for Jonathan Arnold, my dad, & we made the same style hat for the father of the groom & the brother of the bride.
Saundra, Ronnie’s Mom, gave me a special family bracelet to wear as my something borrowed on our special day.
My (and now Ronnie’s) dog was our “dog of honor” in our wedding ceremony.
My dad is a lover of traditions, so since it was January 1st, we had shot glasses of black eyed peas for guests to partake & use as a party favor.
What was your most stressful decision?
Everything! All jokes aside, Brooke really helped us to navigate anything that could be stressful, and she did it well. When considering a wedding planner, find someone who is easy to communicate with, is not afraid of confrontation, and will not just say “yes” to everything. You need someone that will keep it real and make sure the ball is rolling.
What turned out to be your best decision surrounding the big day?
We have bragged about Brooke throughout these questions, but it is because it is absolutely true. It was our wedding, but Brooke owned every moment, detail, and decision as though it were her “Big Day,” too. It was so awesome to work with someone that communicates well, keeps you on track, and if something came up, could make magic out of madness.
Tell Us About
I wanted something that would look timeless with a little bit of uniqueness to fit my style. The extra umph was a custom-made European overlay.
We chose to go with all white flowers, mainly hydrangeas, accented with greenery.
We chose to do a duet of filet mignon & salmon, served with sautéed vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes. We still have people going, “Uhhh, those potatoes were so good.”
For the wedding cake we chose Italian cream. The groom’s cake was chocolate cake with peanut butter.
Recap your big day for us:
What made you laugh?
The best man’s speech was one of the best we have heard. He did a great job of getting everyone to laugh to near tears, but then hit everyone with some strong sentimental words.
Something that gave us a great laugh was a “first look” with Jacob, my brother, dressed up in a wedding dress. That was very unexpected as we had committed to not doing a first look.
What made you cry?
Everything! As a couple, we are both very intentional with what we do, especially when it incorporates other people. The institution of marriage is something that we both believe is near and dear to God’s heart. As we worked with Brooke and family to bring this special day to life, we kept that in mind. Throughout your wedding day, the most meaningful words and conversations manifest whether you are speaking with friends, family, or people who are bringing your big day to life. It meant a lot to both of us to share those moments with people and to see others enjoying themselves on a day that holds so much emotional weight if you focus on the God given beauty of what marriage means.
What were the most memorable moments?
My Gran opening up our wedding day in prayer was truly special. She is a survivor of brain cancer and is a cornerstone of faith for those around her. As we prepared to become one before God, friends, and family, it was amazing to have her prepare the way for the Holy Spirit during our ceremony. We wanted to focus on God more than ourselves.
We truly wrote our vows separately from one another. Ronnie wrote his vows the night before the rehearsal dinner and finalized them the morning of our wedding. I wrote my vows the morning of our wedding in the chapel. What we both realized is that although we wrote them separately, our covenants to one another were in tune with the other.
For the bridal entrance, we had Momma B, my Grandmother, play Canon in D on the harp. The sound of the harp was truly beautiful as I came down the aisle. What made this even more memorable was that about halfway through the wedding, my parents realized that in the shuffle of the wedding – NO ONE REMEMBERED TO GET MOMMA B FROM BEHIND THE BRIDESMAIDS. We still laugh about it to this day, but she did get a special front row seat.
Gage Loflin, Ronnie’s Best Man, gave one of the best speeches of his life the night of our wedding. As a self-proclaimed comedian, he really did an incredible job of making everyone laugh. The best bit was him asking us to stare into one another’s eyes for an exercise about marriage. He then proceeded to drop a joke that the person you are looking at is the person that is statistically most likely to kill you. It caught us completely off guard.
Did anything unexpected happen?
For the most part, we can say that on our wedding day there was not a thing that went wrong that “ruined” the experience. The caterer did serve filet mignon with brown gravy, the contract stated chipotle butter, but we survived.
The only unexpected thing that was kind of funny was during our vows. We chose to take communion together. Brooke set up a goblet with wine and a fresh roll. For some reason, flies decided to land all over the backside of the roll. We couldn’t make a scene, so we both looked at each other, chuckled, and pinched a teeny tiny piece of the front side of the roll.
What’s the best advice you can give a bride and groom planning their wedding?
- Your Wedding Planner will MAKE or BREAK you. Find someone that you can connect with and hang out with. They are going to be all up in your business for months, so make sure you love them.
- Be intentional with everything you do leading up to your wedding day. For us we focused on sentiments to make everyone feel special on our day. Sure it is about the bride and groom, but you are folding in memories that you and all your guests will carry with them.
- Enjoy your day!! Soak in every single moment. Something will go wrong, but the purpose of the day is far greater than any inconvenience.
What did you look forward to most as Mr. & Mrs.?
Our real life begins. It is amazing to go from dating, to engaged to married. Each one of those parts has their own struggles and beauty to it. As your love evolves, we feel that you both want to be recognized as one and not as a part of the whole. We both bring a unique set of God Given Gifts & Talents to the table, it is great to now take that wedding planning time and attention and invest it into our church, community, family and friends.