First and foremost, if you read nothing else in this blog, scroll down to the bottom to see Mr. and Mrs. Loera dancing in the foyer because my jaw dropped when I came across those photos. I’ve seen some stunning photos at The Chandelier of Gruene, and it warms my heart to get to see so many couples looking so dang happy on their wedding days, but there are some photos that just stand out still, and these are definitely some of them. But really, you should keep reading, because Brooke and Dalton Loera put so much love and thought into their wedding day and it is so evident.
When they chose to tie the knot in Gruene, TX, they were staying true to their hill country roots and planned a wedding that was all about them and their love for one another. With the prettiest velvet bridesmaid dresses, a super lively bridal party that brought joy to every.single.photo, and a couple that lived by some of the best wedding day advice I’ve ever heard, you don’t want to miss this one. Keep reading to see what their reaction was the first time they visited us, the moments Brooke loved, how she felt about wedding planning, and how they made their ceremony and reception truly unique to them.
The Love Story
Dalton and I have known each other since high school but started dating when we both went to college at Texas State University where we shared many memories. The hill country holds a special place in our heart, so we were so excited to get married right down the road from where our story began 6 years earlier after our first date.
Why They Chose The Chandelier
The Chandelier was the one and only wedding venue we visited. I ran across The Chandelier’s website long before we were engaged and I just knew from the pictures that The Chandelier was it. Once we visited The Chandelier for the first time, I cried the moment I walked into the chapel. Dalton and I knew The Chandelier was our venue and 2 weeks after being engaged, we had our date and venue set. The chapel is the most breathtaking view I’ve ever seen and I cry every time I’m there. The best part of having our wedding at The Chandelier was not only the size of the venue, but the flow of the venue set up. We loved how it was nestled away, set with oak trees which are our favorites, then the distance between the chapel and the hall is perfect. We always envisioned an outside yet traditional wedding and the chapel was just absolutely perfect for us, and let us not forget the grandness of the hall. We had a large wedding (400+) and The Chandelier was the perfect size for that. I will always believe that The Chandelier is the most beautiful venue I’ve ever seen and we still to this day receive compliments on how beautiful it was.
The Planning Process
I LOVED wedding planning. Although many people may not enjoy it, I think its important to cherish because it’s a process you’ll never have again. All of the showers and celebrations leading up to the wedding will pass, and before you know it, your big day will be here and gone. It’s the best day of your life, but it goes by FAST. I think its so important to just take in every moment of that day because although there may be quite a bit going on, that day is about you and your partner becoming one, and all those who come to celebrate the love you share.
Walking Down The Aisle
For both Dalton and I, the most memorable moment was in the chapel seeing each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle with my dad. Dalton and I are very traditional and our wedding encompassed exactly that. The chapel was stunning and had every pew filled with so many of our family and friends there to witness us become one. Our ceremony was full of love, laughter, and happy tears as we read our own vows to each other.
Their Best Advice
We all know planning a wedding can be very stressful but for the day of, all those small things you were worried about become nonexistent. At the end of the day, you’ll be married and that’s what your big day is all about. I have a few pieces of advice. Hire a day of coordinator, it will be the best money you spent. It takes away the stress of having to worry about who is going to do the set up/break down, sticking to timelines, and you can focus on just having a good time which is what that day is about. Second piece of advice is for all you traditional brides – DON’T do a first look. Dalton and I saw each other for the first time that day when I walked down the aisle and our reactions for one another said it all. He was in tears, I was in tears, our guests were in tears. It’s a moment we will cherish forever and we wanted to have that moment in the chapel as I walked down the aisle with my father. Third piece of advice is in regards to photography. We had an early wedding at 3:00 pm and it was our goal to get as many photos done beforehand as possible so we had more time at the reception. It was a great decision and I highly encourage brides to do as many pre-ceremony photos as possible such as bride with bridesmaids, groom and groomsmen, etc., in order to cut down on the time after the ceremony. Lastly this is a piece of advice from the groom himself – “Enjoy the moment, love obnoxiously, and let the rest take care of itself.”
Their Favorite Details
Our ceremony was very traditional, religious, and personable for both Dalton and I as we wrote our own vows for each other. This was a detail I LOVED about our wedding and it filled the chapel with laughs and tears. We each had a vow book and we shared our own vows to one another that we had written, while then reading the traditional unity vows. It was a very special moment for us and our guests.
Another detail I loved were the bridesmaid’s dresses. I decided to go with a burgundy velvet which many were skeptical about velvet dresses, but I wanted something different, something that stood out, and they were a hit. The girls looked bomb, and the dresses photographed AMAZING. So if you’re hesitant on anything, my advice would be to go with your gut and your vision, and trust that it will turn out beautiful.
Their Dream Team
We had a powerhouse of wedding vendors and we are SO thankful for each and every one of them. To follow on that, Dalton and I are both big music people and we believed it was very very important to have a good DJ and let me tell you, our wedding did not disappoint. I have never seen a dance floor at a wedding so full before. We have received so many compliments on our DJ and how our reception felt like a party the whole night, which was exactly what we wanted. I believe a DJ/music can make or break the whole vibe of the wedding so its extremely important to be specific when deciding on this vendor. Our DJ was Power Sounds DJ which works at The Chandelier quite often and they are great about reading the crowd, and keeping the dancing going. At different points of the night, we had a groomsman in the DJ booth, Dalton and I both on stage singing, and they were even great about incorporating a personal song Dalton had written and recorded for our first dance which was a total SURPRISE.
The Biggest Takeaway
Another thing is not to stress because something will go wrong. During the reception someone stepped on my dress and pulled my bustle out. Before the wedding, a groomsmen had a wardrobe malfunction and my veil wouldn’t go on quite right. BUT at the end of the day, none of that mattered or had any effect on our day. We had a BLAST on our wedding day. We danced, we laughed, we loved, and we enjoyed every second of our special day as we were surrounded by our family and friends.
You know how sometimes someone says something and it just resonates? That’s how I felt when I read Dalton’s advice to “Enjoy the moment, love obnoxiously, and let the rest take care of itself.” I backed up, read it again, and then read it for a third time. I was seriously tempted to highlight and bold it because it is such good advice for how to take on wedding planning, and your wedding day in particular. When I look at Brooke and Dalton’s photos, their love for one another is shining through in every photo – and they had a LOT of photos. You might not know a single thing about them or their relationship, but it is clear that they had a ton of fun on their wedding day and that they soaked in every bit of the experience. I can’t help but think that the couple’s mindset of enjoying themselves, loving out loud, and not sweating the small stuff played a roll in that.
One of my favorite parts about getting to feature our couples weddings from their perspective is getting those inside looks that tell you more. It’s so easy to look at pretty photos and watch couples say I Do and be so happy for them, but not really get anything out of it on a regular basis. Hearing their advice though, what they loved, what they stressed over, how they made their wedding theirs and their biggest takeaways, is impactful. If you’re planning a wedding, it can 100% inspire your own day and give you insider knowledge that you don’t get without going through the process. But, there’s also some advice, like Dalton’s, that can apply to a lot of different aspects in life – and I really love that.
Brooke & Dalton Loera’s Vendor Spotlight
Coordinated by Borrowed and Blue
Florals by Reiley and Rose
Photography by Laraina Hase Photography
Videography by Reverent Wedding Films
Hair and Makeup by Vixen Hair and Makeup
Linens and Rentals by Comal Rentals
Bartending by Bartenders4you
Bride’s Dress from Impression Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses by Bella Bridesmaids
Transportation by Rockin R Rapid Transit