Tell us about your love story!
How did you meet?
While living in Houston, I went to visit my brother at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, for the weekend. When I arrived, Tats was there, and the first thing he said to me was, “Can I see your truck?” When he called my 2011 Toyota Tundra “badass,” I should have known he was the one. The next day my brother invited me to go wakeboarding with them, and I laughed and smiled more than I think I ever have in a single day. I thought to myself, “I want this guy to be in my life forever.” Tats and I grew as friends for the next few months, bonding over Japanese food (He was born and raised in Japan.), country music, and riding horses. We started dating soon after. Since then, I have had so many people tell me how happy I look.
How did you know he/she was “The One”?
Tats has brought so much fun into my life, but he has also been someone consistent and selfless. He is someone with whom I can look up to and rely on, and is committed to making me a better person and Christian as I am for him. Most people say opposites complete each other, but I think for us we are just teaching each other how to be more complete.
People say you’ll find love unexpectedly when you are not seeking it. Emma’s brother, Rex, has been a great friend of mine since I moved to Texas. One day he told me his sister, Emma, was in town visiting him. I’d heard about how she lives in Houston and barrel raced. I was excited to meet her and hear her stories. The day I met Emma I was amazed at how happy she looked, laughing with a beautiful smile on her face. I was surprised to find myself happy and smiling just looking at her. That’s the moment I felt, “I’d be happy with her. She’s the one.” She’s passionate, caring, kind, strong and gives one hundred percent to everything she does. She pushes me everyday to be a better version of me. She teaches me different views that I never imagined. I am beyond excited to grow alongside her for the rest of my life.
How did he propose?
Tats says he decided two hours before proposing that it was the right time. He has always been spontaneous, not really what I would call a planner. I was gone all day with two of my best friends riding our horses. While heading home, I called Tats, and he said he was meeting friends at University Camp in Wimberley on the Blanco River. I had always wanted to go there but could sense Tats wanted a guy’s night. I made other plans to go country dancing with my friend at Maverick’s. Tats called me back and told me I should come with him to U-camp. I found out after the fact that he decided in the shower before this call that this would be a good time to propose (sunset, beautiful river, etc). However, I didn’t get home until 9 PM, so the sunset plan was now out of the question. When he makes a decision, he will always follow through, so it didn’t matter. He had already told his friends the plan and to bring cameras. We ended up getting there at 11:30 PM and he proposed at midnight. The stars were so beautiful reflecting off the water on the river. It was perfect.
Describe your wedding planning process.
Who helped with the planning?
My maid of honor and my mom’s best friend, Michelle Green were so supportive and such a big help during our wedding planning process.
Did you have a specific theme?
Our theme was country and country!
Where did you save the most?
We really tried to save any place we could. I got a previously owned wedding dress which actually ended up being the same price as a new one because of dry cleaning and alterations! We also got a reasonable venue which ended up being the perfect place.
Where did you splurge?
Our splurge was the photographer and a hair and makeup artist for me. I wanted to feel beautiful and have beautiful photos to look back on.
Why did you choose your venue?
We chose Texas Rock House because it fit our budget, and they let me bring my horse. They were very flexible and had everything we wanted!
Did you incorporate any special traditions or sentimental details in your ceremony or reception?
I rode my horse down the aisle, something I have dreamed of doing since I was a little girl. I was not willing to compromise on doing this. We also branded a calfskin with our brand that we designed and are planning on using for our own ranch one day. My maid of honor, in addition to being the floral teacher at Davenport HS, is also a welding teacher and welded our brand for us. She is amazing.
What was your most stressful decision?
One of my most stressful decisions was what braids I should use for my horse’s hair. I wanted him to look very majestic, but I don’t think we even got many pictures with his mane in it, so it probably wasn’t as big of a deal as I imagined it to be.
What turned out to be your best decision surrounding the big day?
It was a perfect day. I don’t think one decision would be called the best because when I think back on the day as a whole, I wouldn’t change anything.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
I don’t know that I would have changed anything necessarily, but I was determined to enjoy my day as much as I could, so I didn’t spend as much time talking with guests as I probably should have. Considering how much I enjoyed the day and dancing with everyone, I am not sure I would have prioritized any differently.
Tell Us About
Your dress: My dress was the perfect blend of elegant and eclectic to fit my personality.
Your flowers: My maid of honor did all of the flowers with her students. She did a fantastic job. I could not have asked for a better florist or maid of honor. I wanted a lot of colors in my wedding and a lot of green, and she really nailed it. It was perfect.
The food: My mom’s friend Michelle Green provided all of the food for our wedding as a wedding gift. I can not thank her enough for everything she did. We had the most amazing whole roasted pig and incredible appetizers.
The cake: We wanted a cake that resembled the theme of the wedding, so we did cow print with a rope around one of the tiers. I had different flavors on each tier which I later realized might not have been the best choice because we had to finish one tier before being able to cut into the next. All of the flavors were amazing, as was the presentation. We bought a horse cake topper that we now have displayed in our home.
Recap your big day for us:
What made you laugh?
The funniest part of my wedding is when my horse ate my maid of honor’s bouquet as she was walking down the aisle leaving the ceremony. I love that our photographer captured the moment!
What made you cry?
I was pretty stressed during the day because there was supposed to be a torrential downpour, and our whole ceremony was outside, so family had to rearrange everything which caused a slight delay. We ended up incorporating a first look into the wedding, and when I saw Tats for the first time that day, all of the stress melted away. I was so happy to be marrying him that I broke down crying happy tears.
What were the most memorable moments?
We almost started a fire that Tats’ groomsman, Kanta, had to put out. I went to the buffet to get food, and because of the impending thunderstorm wind, a napkin flew into the little gas burner. The napkin caught the tablecloth on fire and flew onto my dress so I almost caught on fire. Kanta quickly put out all of the fires by stomping them. That moment will always be incredibly memorable!
Did anything unexpected happen?
Another memorable moment would be that the torrential downpour held off for the entire duration of the wedding until the very end. I was running around in my dress while it was thundering, lightning and pouring rain trying to get all of the stuff packed up and in the house. Everyone else was running around trying to help as well. My dress is in my closet with mud all over it, but we had fun. It’s a day I will never forget! Most people might be upset that these things all went wrong, but I think they are what made my day so special. As Bob Ross would say, “There are no such things as mistakes, just happy accidents.” These things made me feel like the day was mine and no one else’s.
What’s the best advice you can give a bride and groom planning their wedding?
I think the stress of having all of the little details in line is so fervent in soon-to-be brides. Stressing over the little details that no one will probably remember (goodie-bags, tablecloths, perfect music, perfect everything) could get in the way of really being able to enjoy the period leading up to the wedding. Sometimes the most enjoyable weddings are when everything goes wrong, when people feel like they can just enjoy themselves. At the end of the day, your wedding day just needs to be perfect for you. It often will be just by having your person there to spend it with. As rewarding as marriage is, it can be very difficult, so make the most of your time as an engaged couple and really invest in premarital classes or programs to prepare you for the life ahead. You probably won’t remember all of the little details at the end of your wedding that had you stressed so much, so I would prioritize these things first and enjoy being with your fiancé.
What did you look forward to most as Mr. & Mrs.?
We look forward to being able to serve God together in the future. I love that I am able to share my faith with the person I am spending my life with. This is such an essential part of a long-lasting marriage.