Soft Summer Tones and Beautiful Florals Abounded at This Family-Centric Celebration in Texas Hill Country
Dyan Elizabeth Fox, a wedding photographer, had a night of freedom—an extremely rare occasion, says the mother of two—and was in the process of catching up on editing and emails with some Netflix in the background. A true-crime lover, she had finished Dirty John and was on to You when she had a "single girl realization:" Dating was, well, kind of scary. She posted the sentiment on Instagram, and moments later, her phone buzzed with a message from a sorority sister; if she was still open to it, she had the perfect guy for her. Enter Ryan Jack Laney, who was most certainly not a doctor she met online or a clerk in a city book shop. "Ryan and I were introduced that night and have spent every day since sharing our lives with one another," notes Dyan.
Dyan and Ryan—how's that for fate?—became engaged earlier this year, on February 20, 2021, while posing for family portraits with their children after an unexpected, unprecedented Dallas, Texas, snowstorm. Ryan hired one of Dyan's favorite photographers—Jennefer Wilson would, just months later, shoot their wedding—and formulated the perfect plan: "After taking some gorgeous shots, Jennefer had us line up and hold a pose," explains Dyan. "What I didn't know was at that exact moment, Ryan was getting down on one knee with the boys looking on in excitement. Jennefer told me to look at Ryan, and my breath was completely taken away as he asked me to marry him!"
The pair didn't want to wait to get married, and with a venue selected and sorted—the bride's family's ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas—they got to work. With the help of Linda Lyons of Lyons Events, who they hired in April 2021, they executed their English-garden-meets-Texas-Hill-Country celebration on May 22, 2021, surrounded by 65 guests. Their event was all about their blended families, lush, romantic summer hues, and "florals, florals, florals," says Dyan.
Hint of Blue
The defining part of the couple's digitally-printed paper suite, created by Pink Champagne Designs, was the envelope liner; it featured a custom watercolor illustration of their venue, Fox Hollow Ranch, which belongs to the bride's family. "Our family land in the Texas Hill Country holds a very special place in our hearts—not to mention, it is outstandingly beautiful and peaceful," says Dyan. "There was no question that Fox Hollow Ranch would be where we started our lives together as husband and wife." The invites featured dusty blue calligraphy, which nodded to the big-day palette.
The Perfect Fit
Dyan, a "wedding photographer and fashion enthusiast," first noticed this Berta wedding dress at its debut during New York Bridal Fashion Week in Fall 2019. She knew immediately that it was the one, and loved the feminine detailing, open back, dropped neckline, floral appliqués, and soft, shimmering fabric.
Room to Grow
A Colorful Arrangement
The bride's gathered floral bouquet featured a myriad of colorways; its organic shape was the result of a nuanced floral palette, which included yellow tree peonies (Dyan's favorite), cappuccino roses, café latte roses, caramel antique roses, white majolica spray roses, sweet peas, lisianthus, peach ranunculus, blue muscari, blue tweedia, frittilaria, butterfly ranunculus, and greenery. The tree peonies drew some very happy pollinators to the party: "We have a very small honey farm on the property, and the bees loved the tree peonies," explains Dyan. "I had to have a pep talk with the 20 or so hanging onto the blooms in my bouquet. I made a deal with them: If they promised not to sting me, I would share my moment and walk down the aisle with them!"
Ryan had a custom suit made at Men's Wearhouse, complete with a silk lining emblazoned with the Dallas Stars' logo. "We are huge hockey fans," explains Dyan.
Over Your Shoulder
The couple shared a first look in the property's butterfly garden, on the front side of the house. Before, says Dyan, she felt all the excitement in the world—and, aptly, stomach butterflies. "During was pure joy," she shares, "and after, I felt at peace, calm, and ready to start the ceremony!"
We Are Family
On the big day, Dyan and Ryan's respective families became one. Their sons—both the bride and groom have two boys—dressed cohesively to illustrate this, matching the groom in cerulean blue.
The ceremony space was situated in front of the property's lake. An entrance altar, notes wedding planner and stylist Linda Lyons of Lyons Events, marked the start of the space. "It was built with pipe and drape to create a dramatic unveiling of Dyan's entrance," she says.
A wildflower-inspired installation anchored the back row of the ceremony's X-back wooden chairs; if you look closely, you can see the bees flocking to the yellow tree peonies.
Lining the Aisle
The grounded florals continued along either side of the aisle, drawing the eye forward towards the altar and lake.
On a Pedastal
Dyan and Ryan's planning team constructed a platform, which slightly elevated the pair during the vow exchange. The true focal point of the space was the dramatic arch, which was studded with dusty blue, yellow, pink, and coral florals, courtesy of Stems of Austin.
The bride's sons, Harrison and Wallace, escorted their mother down the aisle. "This was the part of the day I dreamed of the most, both in design and in emotion," explains Dyan. "My boys walking me down the aisle to meet Ryan and his boys at the altar, surrounded by our closest friends and family—and of course, all those florals." A moment of humor cut through the emotional processional: "One of our sweet two-year-old guests said, 'Elsa!' as he saw me walking down the aisle. Every bride wants to feel like a princess on her wedding day, I was actually mistaken for one!"
Brian Radabaugh of Dallas Bible Church officiated the pair's Christian ceremony. The couple decided against specific quotes or readings, but note that the service was "incredibly special to our relationship and love story." It was also centered around their boys: "Dyan and Ryan had medallions made and presented them to their sons during the ceremony to show unity and family values," explains Linda.
A Flurry of Petals
"We wrote our own vows, and listening to the tenderness of the loving words and promises my groom read to me was the most important part of the day," says Dyan. As the newly-minted spouses recessed back up the aisle, their loved ones showered them in fragrant petals.
Ryan and Dyan posed amongst the wildflowers around the pond post-ceremony; they decided to skip the concurrent cocktail hour for "portraits and a surprise." The bride's mother gave them a peek at the house's primary bedroom, which had been transformed into a honeymoon suite "complete with custom personalized robes and slippers, over 10,000 rose petals, and candles everywhere!"
Meanwhile, their loved ones sipped on one of the duo's favorite summertime ranch drinks—lavender lemonade—which came in both cocktail and mocktail form. "For the wedding, we mixed Limoncello La Croix with either homemade lavender-infused Dripping Springs Vodka or Miller Creek Lavender Farm lavender simple syrup."
Under the Tent
"Designing on private properties with tons of land is always a new adventure," says Linda. "We had to build a tent onsite—load-in and installation were challenging—and make it work within the existing greenspace, while being mindful of trees, wildlife, and spatial constraints." And since the spring had been unseasonably wet ("I think only one dry weekend the entire month!" says Linda) they needed a rain plan—which meant the tent had to stay. "It was a hard sell to both Dyan and her mother, who had visions of an entirely outdoor and tent-less setting," Linda continues. "It was dry the entire day prior, but on the day-of, monsoon level rains hit—luckily everything cleared up in time for us to have a beautiful ceremony and reception!"
Linda's team repurposed many of the ceremony aisle florals into a lush garland for the head table; this station was left bare, which allowed the florals to take center stage.
The reception design was centered around a European garden party; dusty blue linens and white stoneware place settings were anchored by taper and votive candles.
A Few Words from Dad
Both Dyan and Ryan's fathers spoke during dinner, which the pair note as the highlight of their party. "The heartfelt speeches from our fathers brought us all to tears and filled the reception tent with love," says the bride.
Warm and Fuzzy
"Our wedding day served as such a beautiful union and a much-needed joyous occasion for both of our families. We know we have so many more blessings to look forward to within our marriage," she adds.
What a Cake Table
Rolling in Thyme and Dough perfectly executed the bride's dream cake design. "I knew I wanted something unique, and that dusty blue buttercream surrounded by florals was pure perfection," she says of the vanilla-raspberry confection, which was placed on a gilded stand, poised on a linen-topped table, and situated under the ceremony arch (which had been transplanted closer to the party).
As for Dyan's best advice for couples currently planning their own events? "Find and hire vendors you completely trust—and do not skip on having a planner," she says. "This is advice I give all of my clients and experiencing it as a bride was beyond valuable. I was stress free from start to finish, and my wedding day was a complete dream come true."
Photography, Jennefer Wilson
Venue, Fox Hollow Ranch
Wedding Planning, Styling, and Day-of Paper, Lyons Events
Videography, Matthew Reid Films
Flowers, Stems of Austin
Invitations, Pink Champagne Designs
Officiant, Brian Radabaugh of Dallas Bible Church
Bride's Gown, Berta
Bride's Shoes, Christian Louboutin
Bride's Jewelry, Collections Fine Jewelry (engagement ring and wedding band), Luisa Rosas (earrings), All About Romance (crown)
Hair and Makeup, Concepts by Anastasia
Groom's Attire, Men's Wearhouse
Groom's Wedding Band, Robbins Brothers
Catering and Cake, Rolling In Thyme and Dough
Rentals and Lighting, Marquee
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