A Gem-Toned Texas Wedding with French Touches

Samantha and Michael

samantha michael wedding couple
Ryan Ray Photography

It was a traditional love story for Samantha and Michael, who met in college, and then did the long distance thing for a year until finally relocating to be in the same city. But before this San Antonio, Texas, based couple moved in together, they planned a trip to Punta Mita, Mexico. It was there, while walking through the rain forest and enjoying the various courses of a dinner at different lookout points, that they paused at the final vista as the sun was setting and Michael got down on one knee to pop the question, as a hidden photographer captured the whole thing.

There was a photographer on hand to capture another significant event eight months later, back home in Texas. On February 20, 2016, with 250 loved ones present to witness it all go down, first with a ceremony at the Southwest School of Art, and then with a reception at The Argyle. The winter celebration layered colors with deep purple flowers for a bit of drama, light blue bridesmaids dresses and chargers at dinner for some softness, and burgundy ribbons to round it out.

01 of 18

The Stationery

Yellow and Gray Wedding Invitations
Ryan Ray Photography

Southern Fried Paper created the custom suite, which was letterpressed on to thick cotton paper, tucked into blue envelopes lined with a watercolor floral design inspired by a painting in the couple's home, and mailed to guests thanks to calligraphed addresses penned by The Left Handed Calligrapher.

02 of 18

The Style

samantha michael wedding couple
Ryan Ray Photography

After trying on about a dozen dresses, the bride returned back to the first gown she slipped into—a Monique Lhuillier. She paired the strapless silk gauze trumpet-style number with blue satin Jimmy Choo shoes with the wedding date on the soles, a long veil, a Jennifer Behr headpiece, and jewelry borrowed from the groom's grandmother and mother.

Michael sported a bespoke navy tuxedo with black lapels.

03 of 18

The Bridal Bouquet

samantha michael wedding bouquet
Ryan Ray Photography

"Having a moody, deep-hued bouquet was a dream," Samantha says of her bouquet of anemones, scabiosa, a magnolia, thistle, sweet peas, orchids, and berries by The Southern Table.

04 of 18

The Rings

samantha michael wedding rings
Ryan Ray Photography

Knowing Samantha loves vintage jewelry, Michael found a miner's-cut diamond and had it mounted with an Art Deco setting. On the big day, the pair exchanged classic bands—an eternity band for her, and a platinum ring for him.

05 of 18

The Bridal Party

samantha michael wedding bridalparty
Ryan Ray Photography

Bridesmaids wore tulle Amsale gowns and the bride's sister wore a beaded Adrianna Papell gown. Also in the group was the bride's closest male friend from college.

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A Custom Archway

Unkempt Willow Branch Wedding Arch with Pink and Orange Flowers
Ryan Ray Photography

The Southern Table anchored the ceremony space with two large floral arrangements connected with greenery and two smaller urns in front of those. The service took place in the century-old Coates Chapel at the Southwest School of Art.

07 of 18

The Ceremony

samantha michael wedding ceremony
Ryan Ray Photography

Bridesmaids and groomsmen alternated guys and gals on both sides of the happy couple during their ceremony, which was officiated by the groom's grandmother, a retired judge. The couple exchanged vows and had chosen readings to be recited—including one from a children's book Samantha had given Michael on their first Valentine's Day together, "I Like You" By Sandol Stoddard Warburg.

08 of 18

The Cocktail Hour

samantha michael wedding cocktail hour
Ryan Ray Photography

The reception at The Argyle began with a cocktail hour inside the house. A four-piece jazz ensemble played as everyone nibbled on appetizers and sipped on a Murphy's Mule (for him) and blackberry mojito (for her).

09 of 18

The Escort Card Installation

samantha michael wedding escort cards
Ryan Ray Photography

The couple's love of art was honored with a three-panel wooden escort card display using ombré painted tapestries by Kayla Barker draped with fresh flowers. The seating assignments themselves were grey cards featuring plum calligraphy by The Left Handed Calligrapher, hanging with navy ribbon.

10 of 18

The Reception Tent

samantha michael wedding tent
Ryan Ray Photography

Silver dupioni linens were flipped over to showcase a lavender undertone when dressing the tables in the tent, which were finished off with gauzy gray runners. "Instead of having flowers on the table, why not top to have them on the ceiling," the bride explains of the tent's focal point. "There's something quite romantic about being surrounded by flowers and greenery."

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The Table Décor

samantha michael wedding tablenumber
Ryan Ray Photography

French gray taper candles added an elegant touch to the tables.

12 of 18

The Place Cards

samantha michael wedding placesetting
Ryan Ray Photography

Three different shades of blue place cards indicated the guests' meal choice of salmon, lamb, or filet—an idea hatched by the couple's planner, Rebecca Marin of The Wildflowers.

13 of 18

The Sweetheart Chairs

samantha michael wedding chairs
Ryan Ray Photography

The same gauzy open-weave linen on the tables was used to decorate the backs of the couple's chairs.

14 of 18

A French Touch

samantha michael wedding croquem bouche
Ryan Ray Photography

Before jetting off to Paris for their honeymoon, the couple celebrated their union in a French way—by enjoying a croquembouche made by Bakery Lorraine. With the bride's love of all things French it was a fitting touch.

The groom's cake was a more traditional confection. The Cakes by Cathy tiered dessert was covered in white buttercream and featured a golden wreath. A cream puff and a slice of cake were plated together and served to the guests.

A dessert table was also set with blackberry bergamot eclairs; raspberry vanilla tarts; chocolate, caramel, and sea salt tarts; moon pies with crushed rose petals; and a variety of macarons.

15 of 18

Party Time

samantha michael wedding reception
Ryan Ray Photography

Later in the night, after hours of dancing and countless flutes of bubbly, an array of sliders, breakfast tacos, French fries, and chicken and biscuits were served to the revelers. A tray of cigars was also passed during the party.

16 of 18

The First Dance

samantha michael wedding first dance
Ryan Ray Photography

The newlyweds chose Fleetwood Mac's "You Make Loving Fun" for their first dance song.

17 of 18

The Getaway

samantha michael wedding getaway
Ryan Ray Photography

At the end of the night, Samantha and Michael drove off in a 1964 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, complete with a "Just Married" sign in the rear window, jetting off to Paris the next morning for their honeymoon.

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samantha michael wedding couple
Ryan Ray Photography

Photography, Ryan Ray Photography

Ceremony Location, The Southwest School of Art

Reception Location and Catering, The Argyle

Event planning, The Wildflowers

Flowers, The Southern Table

Stationery, Southern Fried Paper

Calligraphy, The Left Handed Calligrapher

Cakes, Bakery Lorraine; Cakes by Cathy

Croquembouche and desserts, Bakery Lorraine

Music, Terra Vista Strings; Drywater Band

Rentals, Bella Acento; Loot Vintage Rentals; Melody's Joy; Peerless Events and Tents

Bride's gown, Monique Lhuillier

Bride's shoes, Jimmy Choo

Hair, Erica Rae

Bridesmaids' dresses, Amsale; Adrianna Papell

Lighting, Holtz Entertainment

Transportation, Star Shuttle & Charter

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