This Couple's Dream Wedding Took Place at a Sculpture Museum in Dallas, Texas

bride and groom outside on walkway
Allen Tsai

Though Dmeca and Anthony shared mutual friends, hobbies, and classes at Columbia University in 2011, it took an introduction from Anthony's football teammate at one of Dmeca's sorority events for them to really hit it off. "We became fast friends and began dating the following year," she says. In May 2019, on a trip to Anthony's hometown—Dallas, Texas—where they closed on their first house, Anthony surprised her with an engagement ring. "Anthony proposed, just the two of us, on the first evening in our new home," she says. "I was actually wearing pajamas!"

After planning for an October 2020 wedding, they decided to postpone their nuptials until October 10, 2021, to ease travel for out-of-town guests who joined them for the ceremony and reception at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. "It's a classic yet modern venue with over two acres of beautiful gardens with towering trees and lush greenery," says Dmeca. "We loved that it has an intimate garden feel, but is located in the heart of downtown Dallas' bustling arts district. Its halls and gardens hold one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary art, which provided a unique and stunning backdrop to the most magical day of our lives."

By keeping their guest list to just 80 family and friends, the couple was able to access the museum's indoor and outdoor space; their ceremony took place under a towering steel sculpture, the al fresco dinner unfolded by the fountain, and dancing was held in an interior room during a thunderstorm. "Our guests absolutely loved the 'after-hours' museum experience," says the bride.

Dmeca took over the creative design and most of the wedding task list herself, bringing in a month-of coordinator to handle the final details. "I wanted to ensure the celebration felt like us and reflected our love story, so I decided to take on the planning," she says. The result was an intimate, personalized weekend that included group workouts, a trip to the state fair, a cohesive aesthetic of white, cream, gray, and blush, and personalized playlists that kept the dance floor packed. "Remember that your wedding day is about celebrating you and your spouse," she says. "During the planning process, focus on what matters to you both most. On the wedding day, spend time with each other and really soak in the moment. It might be the only time you have all the people who mean the most to you in one room!"

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Watercolor Crest

wedding invitation suite with pink and white flowers
Allen Tsai

Dmeca relied on her marketing background to create a one-of-a-kind invitation suite. "Stationery is the first glimpse into what's to come on the wedding day, so I enjoyed designing the set to reflect the romantic intimate garden wedding we were planning," she says. She dreamed up a "classic and elegant design" focusing on watercolor florals as a nod to the garden location; a custom crest from Lana Dreams Design; and, "for a bit of whimsy and formality," a calligraphy font. "My mom painstakingly printed the envelopes to ensure they came out just right!" she says.

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Toasting to a Full Weekend

bride and bridesmaids in robes holding champagne glasses
Allen Tsai

Dmeca and Anthony planned a full line-up of activities for their guests, including a Friday night barbecue, a morning workout session—yoga for the bridesmaids, basketball for the groomsmen—and a group visit to the Texas State Fair. "We spent so much time planning every detail of the wedding day and weekend that everything around us truly felt like a reflection of our personalities," she says. Dmeca kept details of her gown a secret from everyone except her mother, leading to an emotional first look with her bridesmaids, who she spent time with in the getting-ready suite. "I loved seeing their reactions—one of my bridesmaids cried!" she says.

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A Garden-Ready Look

bride looking out the window wearing delicate lace accented veil
Allen Tsai

After trying on gowns at multiple A-list boutiques, a friend suggested Dmeca visit Mark Ingram Atelier, where she spotted her strapless silk Mikado wedding dress as a stylist was pulling it for another bride to review. "It was timeless and classic, with an understated elegance," she says. "It felt like 'me,' and I knew I would continue to love it in the years to come."

An oval-shaped tulle veil from Peter Langner and flower-covered Jimmy Choo heels complemented her gown. "As my dress was more understated, I knew I wanted a contemporary veil," says Dmeca. "The cathedral length paired well with my dress' ruffle train for a bit of drama in the back. And I loved the flower embellishments on my veil and heels; they worked perfectly for our garden theme and were so fun!"

04 of 27

Creamy Bouquet

white floral bouquet with bride and groom in the background
Allen Tsai

Florist Slow Darling created the bride's ivory bouquet from textural flowers that included garden roses, sweet pea, lisianthus, ranunculus, and gomphrena. A silk ribbon tied the flowers together with eucalyptus and jasmine vine. "After previewing our florist's vision board, Lana Dreams Design was able to paint the flowers in our crest to match the varieties used on the wedding day," says Dmeca.

05 of 27

'Maids in Pink

bride with bridesmaids wearing pink, silk gowns
Allen Tsai

Satin Jenny Yoo petal-colored gowns shifted from pale pink to shimmering gold as the light changed, says the bride. "Each of my bridesmaids chose their own style—something they felt comfortable and beautiful in and that reflected their unique personalities," says Dmeca. "I wanted them to choose something they could hopefully wear again!"

06 of 27

Suiting Up

groom and groomsman getting ready
Allen Tsai

Anthony matched his bespoke black tuxedo from 18th Amendment with a made-to-order white tuxedo shirt from the same company, black Allen Edmonds shoes, and pearl and silver cuff links from OTAA. "We knew we wanted a more formal, traditional ceremony and reception," says Dmeca. "We love to dress up, so black-tie was the dress code!"

07 of 27

Dapper Gentlemen

groom with groomsmen in matching black tuxes
Allen Tsai

All of Anthony's groomsmen donned black tuxedos—two in custom versions from 18th Amendment and four in timeless styles from The Black Tux.

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The First Look

bride and groom first look inside wedding venue
Allen Tsai

Before the ceremony, the bride and groom met in the Governor's Ballroom at the Adolphus Hotel, where the herringbone-patterned floor, ivory paneled walls, soaring ceilings, and gleaming accents provided an elegant backdrop. "I was excited about our first look and curious to see Anthony's reaction," says Dmeca. "We hadn't talked about my wedding dress at all, so he had no clue what style or direction I'd gone in. The look of surprise and delight on his face was well worth it!"

  • Pro Tips for Capturing That First Look Magic
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Private Vow Exchange

bride and groom reading vows to one another
Allen Tsai

In the ballroom, the couple also exchanged private vows they had written for each other. "[This] ended up being my favorite part of our wedding day," says Dmeca. "We were able to be completely vulnerable and really take in the weight of the moment in a private setting. It was so special to have an intimate moment together before socializing and celebrating with our family and friends. Not a huge surprise for those that know me, but I cried when Anthony read his vows!"

10 of 27

Flower-Lined Aisle

outdoor wedding ceremony set up with flower arrangements down the aisle
Allen Tsai

Dmeca and Anthony chose an oversized steel sculpture by artist Mark di Suvero, called Eviva Amore, as the backdrop for their ceremony. "'Eviva Amore' translates to 'Long Live Love' from Italian—a very fitting name!" says the bride. "We kept our décor minimal to accentuate the garden's natural beauty: Our wow factor was a lush floral runner lining both sides of the ceremony aisle." White, cream, and blush-colored roses and delphinium were placed in growing arrangements next to each set of light oak chairs.

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Keeping Cool

monogrammed ceremony fans
Allen Tsai

With the early fall heat of Texas in mind, the couple placed sandalwood fans tied with custom tags on each seat; cones filled with rose petals awaited the newlyweds' recessional.

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On the Sax

wedding saxophonist
Allen Tsai

Jazz saxophonist Vandell Andrew performed the couple's favorite R&B songs as guests were seated and during the processionals, including "All My Life" by K-Ci and JoJo for the bridal party, and "Ave Maria" for the bride.

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Here Comes the Bride

bride walking down the flower covered aisle
Allen Tsai

For Dmeca, walking to the altar with her mother was one of the most sentimental parts of the day. "I've looked up to her for as long as I can remember and she is my biggest supporter, so it was incredibly special to share this moment with her," says the bride.

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The Ceremony Begins

bride and groom exchanging vows
Allen Tsai

After exchanging their own vows during their first look, Dmeca and Anthony recited the traditional versions for their "religious yet contemporary" ceremony. They also included readings from 1 Corinthians and The Art of Marriage.

15 of 27

Back Up the Aisle

bride and groom recessional as guests toss flower petals
Allen Tsai

After they were pronounced husband and wife, the couple was showered with white rose petals as they recessed to Natalie Cole's "This Will Be."

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Light Bites

plate of cocktail hour appetizers
Allen Tsai

Along with his and hers specialty drinks—whisky sours and French 75s—servers passed trays of small bites from Wolfgang Puck Catering during the cocktail hour. The menu included New York steak crostini with yuzu butter and shiitake mushrooms, pork potstickers, toasted lobster rolls, and mini bao buns with roasted duck and hoisin sauce.

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Let's Mingle

guests outside at cocktail hour near water feature
Allen Tsai

The bride and groom joined their guests for the second half of the cocktail hour in the garden, where bubbling fountains and stone walls were a natural complement to the trees and landscaping. The couple stacked their cocktail hour playlist, performed by the saxophonist, with R&B and soul classics from Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, and Marvin Gaye (among others).

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Please Be Seated

wedding escort cards with wax seals
Allen Tsai

Dmeca also designed and created the wedding-day paper goods, which included traditional calligraphy escort cards adorned with pink wax seals.

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Time to Dine

circular reception tables outside with gold chairs and string lights above
Allen Tsai

Round tables, oak chairs, and white linens allowed the garden's towering trees and soothing water features to remain the highlight of the outdoor dining space. "Once we began planning, we loved the idea of juxtaposing the natural and organic elements of a garden wedding with modern, big city vibes—a subtle nod to New York City, where I was raised and where our love story began," says Dmeca.

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Organic Centerpieces

reception table with white floral centerpiece and stemmed glassware
Allen Tsai

Lush arrangements of white and cream-colored florals, backed by fresh eucalyptus and jasmine vine, were surrounded by shimmering tea lights. Table numbers stood in natural-toned wooden blocks.

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Personalized Menus

table setting with beige napkin wrapped with green stem
Allen Tsai

Pale gray napkins and personalized menus sat at each place setting, while an olive branch tied with a pink silk ribbon was a symbolic accent.

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Raising a Glass

guest toasting glass into the air
Allen Tsai

A sophisticated plated dinner included roasted beet salad with berries and goat cheese, slow-braised boneless short rib with polenta, braised chicken with dumplings and wild mushrooms, and sweet corn risotto with pecorino and tomatoes. Imagery chardonnay and Décor cabernet sauvignon were both poured tableside.

  • How to Choose the Perfect Wine for a Small Wedding
23 of 27

Personalized Dance Floor

personalized monogramed dance floor
Allen Tsai

The ceremony aisle florals were repurposed to edge the couple's dance floor, which featured their custom crest. "After dinner, guests moved indoors for dancing," says the bride. "This move was expertly executed by our coordinator," not a moment too soon: "A few minutes after we moved indoors, there was a pretty severe thunderstorm!"

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Their First Dance

bride and groom first dance at the reception
Allen Tsai

For Dmeca and Anthony, choosing Sam Cooke's "Nothing Can Change This Love" for their first dance required no compromise. "We're old souls at heart and knew our first dance song would be an oldie," she says. "Sam Cooke is one of our favorite artists and 'Nothing Can Change This Love' is a song we'd always sing to one another over the years. I don't recall us even discussing it—it was sort of always known that this song would be it!"

Afterward, they opened the dance floor to guests, cueing up a playlist of R&B, afrobeat, soca, and reggae hits with their DJ from A Bowtie Affair. "Working on the music was an aspect that we really enjoyed," says the couple. They played all of our favorite songs—we knew the words to every song, and it felt like our personal concert!"

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Cake Moment

three-tiered wedding cake on table with glasses of champagne
Allen Tsai

Sugar Bee Sweets provided the couple with a three-tier cake in two flavors—almond with vanilla buttercream and Champagne cake with strawberry jam—iced in smooth white buttercream and decorated with olive branches and roses.

26 of 27

Confetti Exit

bride and groom wedding exit as guests throw confetti
Allen Tsai

After a day full of beautiful moments, Dmeca and Anthony savored every minute of their reception. "It sunk in that I was married to 'my person' and celebrating with all of our favorite people! I've never had so much fun at a party or on the dance floor," she says. Before their confetti send-off, the couple shared a private last dance to "At Last" by Etta James. "Literally," says the bride, "the best day of my life!"

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bride and groom with wedding party
Allen Tsai

Photography, Allen Tsai Photography
Location, Nasher Sculpture Center
Month-of Coordinator, Keestone Events
Catering, Wolfgang Puck Catering
Flowers, Slow Darling
Officiant, Thomas Green, Love Notes Weddings
Stationery, Cards and Pockets (printing)
Cake, Sugar Bee Sweets
Music, A Bowtie Affair (reception); Vandell Andrew (ceremony and cocktail hour)
Rentals, BBJ Linens; Center Stage Floors
Bride's gown, Mark Ingram Atelier
Bride's accessories, Peter Langner veil; Jimmy Choo shoes; Design by Kara earrings,
Hair, All Things Glam By Jee
Makeup, Makeup by Jamie Dionne
Bridesmaids' dresses, Jenny Yoos
Groom's attire, 18th Amendment
Menswear, 18th Amendment; The Black Tux
Groom's accessories, Allen Edmonds shoes; OTAA cuff links
Transportation, Premier Transportation
Bride's rings, David Klass
Confetti launchers, Flutterfetti
Crest design, Lana Dreams Design
Guest book, Luna Paper Company
Groom's ring, Jangmi
Petal toss cones, Yin Vivo Weddings
Vow books, Rebecca Green Design

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