Just 10 Guests Joined This Couple as They Exchanged Vows at Their Home in Fort Worth, Texas
Five years after meeting in the dorms at Texas Christian University, Patrick asked Caitlin to be his wife at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, on November 23, 2019. "We visited the museum many times prior, which made for a perfect surprise when Patrick took me there one fall night and got down on one knee," the bride says of their engagement. "He [flew] my parents in from Colorado to enjoy a celebratory dinner afterwards with his parents, as well."
While the pair initially planned for a 300-guest wedding in August in the backyard of Caitlin's childhood home in Colorado, the COVID-19 pandemic caused them to rethink their big day. After deciding to have their larger celebration on their one-year wedding anniversary, they opted for a micro-wedding in their own backyard; the smaller event took place on July 31, 2020, and was attended by just 10 guests. "Brynn Swanson with First Look Events has helped us throughout the planning process for our Colorado wedding and has been an integral part in the pivoting process as we looked to not only postpone our larger Colorado wedding celebration, but also create an intimate wedding day at our own home in Texas," the bride shares.
As they reimagined their nuptials, they looked to their future celebration for inspiration, drawing on their favorite details to craft their backyard ceremony and reception at Ellerbe Fine Foods. "Our Colorado wedding was going to be a modern take on a garden wedding with hues of blue and interesting patterns," explains Caitlin. "When my mom and Brynn saw the restaurant space and the amazing quaint vibe it had, we decided to pivot to a vintage garden wedding in Texas." To other couples planning their weddings during COVID-19, the bride suggests navigating these unchartered water with optimism and perspective. "We chose to get married regardless of the circumstances because the most important thing to us was to start our life together," she says. "Finding comfort in our decision to postpone and excitement in our new plans has made everything so much better."
For the backyard ceremony, Caitlin wore a pair of powder blue lace-up shoes from Beehive. "The heels certainly stole the show and quickly became the accessory I was most asked about," she says.
Dressed in White
Since the bride decided to save the wedding dress she originally selected for their bigger celebration down the road, Caitlin needed a new one—and quickly realized that this Ulla Johnson gown would be just right for her micro-nuptials. She loved that the cotton garment was comfortable and light, but still felt elegant enough for a backyard event.
Nice and Neutral
Neutral-toned blooms, including cappuccino roses, cafe au lait dahlias, and tweedias defined the bride's bouquet, which was arranged by Adriana Smith of Moss Floral.
It was a hot one—with the Texas heat peaking at over 100 degrees, the couple's guests, the bride's father included, gathered indoors ahead of the ceremony.
The couple kept their ceremony décor to a minimum, using just two bunches flowers to detail their altar. "We decided to highlight a modern arch structure with soft garden florals that complemented a large draping tree in our yard perfectly," Caitlin says.
Aisle Eye Candy
Each chair along the aisle was adorned with antique carnations and summer roses.
Beat the Heat
Guests were assigned seats and given a parasol for shade.
Patrick wanted his ensemble—a gray suit with a subtle checkered pattern from John L Ashe—to be a surprise, so the couple didn't see each other until they locked eyes on the aisle. "The blue in his suit ended up perfectly matching the shoes I was wearing," Caitlin says.
Tying the Knot
Though the pair decided to keep their service brief to reduce their time in the Texas heat, they exchanged intimate vows with the homily, which their pastor facilitated.
The pair formally became husband and wife in front of their 10 guests—and sealed their union with a kiss (and a dip!).
"Since we only had family attending the ceremony, we didn't have a specified cocktail hour," the bride explains, "but directly following the service, we had a Champagne toast in our backyard. Patrick and I thanked everyone for the sacrifices they made to attend our special day."
Just Us Two
After toasting to their marriage, the pair posed for a few portraits on a nearby golf course before rejoining their guests for the small party. They cherished this time together. "These were our first shared moments alone as husband and wife and the familiarity of the space made the day even more surreal," says Caitlin.
Ellerbe Fine Foods was the perfect space for the couple's reception—it is one of their favorite restaurants in Fort Worth and offers farm-to-table dining.
Rose and peony centerpieces—arranged by Moss Floral—were placed atop each reception table, which were positioned to face each other.
Colorful dishware, including vibrant green chargers, blue watercolor dinner plates, and coral salad dishes, punched up simple white linens.
Brenda Martin of BKGallerys hand painted the Veuve Clicquot Champagne bottle that was placed on the newlyweds' personal table.
The intimate reception gave everyone a chance to talk, share speeches, and simply spend time together—a major plus of a pared down guest list, notes the bride. "The simplicity of the evening created an intimate environment for all involved," she says.
Moments to Remember
"Rather than a large reception where it is easy to lose track of your guests, our small dinner gave us the feeling of a close, warm family dinner," the bride continues. "We couldn't have asked for abetter end to our special day."
Crème de la Crème Cake Company baked a classic white two-tier with buttercream icing for the couple's cake. A large peony was the finishing touch.
Photography, Brittany Partain
Reception Venue, Ellerbe Fine Foods
Wedding Planning, Brynn Swanson of First Look Events
Flowers, Adriana Smith of Moss Floral
Paper Products, Mallory Pettas
Officiant, Josh Storie
Bridal Gown, Ulla Johnson
Jewelry, Foster & Son Fine Jeweler; Scully & Scully
Hair, Maeve Kearney
Makeup, Samantha Brophey
Groom's Attire, John L Ashe
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands, Grissom's Fine Jewelry
Cake, Crème de la Crème Cake Company
Rentals, Posh Couture Rentals; Taylor's Rental
Champagne Bottle, Brenda Martin of BKGallerys
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