It’s pretty rare for me to actually get to go to the wedding of the albums I go through. I don’t mind, because I love seeing all of the photos and getting a glimpse of their day, then choosing photos to showcase what I think were some of the best moments, but I really love to hear from our couples to find out what they loved. From just looking at their photos, I could tell you that Amy Kaye and Reece had a stunning wedding, filled with people they loved, and each and every detail was thought out to the fullest. I could tell you that their transformation of the chapel and the hall was truly one of a kind. But, what I couldn’t have told you was that Amy Kaye loved their champagne wall as much as we did (it even inspired one of our top 10 Pinterest trends we’d love to see this year!). I couldn’t tell you that she was as touched by her letter reading as I was by my own with my to-be-husband on our wedding day. And, more than anything, I couldn’t tell you what went wrong on their wedding day.

Keep reading below to swoon over their love story, find out Amy Kaye’s biggest piece of advice for couples planning their wedding, and see what some of their most memorable moments were.

The Love Story

Reece and I met through one of my best friends from high school, Kale Slone. Reece and Kale played on the Texas A&M club baseball team together, and I would frequently go watch their games. Before long, I was great friends with all of the boys on the team. Reece and I were just friends for almost two years before we started dating.

One day, out of nowhere (seriously, this kid didn’t drop a single hint that he was even interested in me), Reece asked me on a date… and I politely declined. He spent the next few months pursuing me, but I just couldn’t get past the thought of losing our friendship if it didn’t work out, so I kept saying no.

Until one day, he stopped asking…

Umm wait what?! Was he really giving up?? Noooo! Maybe I did want to date him…

Now it was my turn to do the pursuing.

On May 5th, 2017 we FINALLY went on our first date to the Rockets vs. Spurs playoff game in Houston. We may have been rooting for separate teams, but we had the best time (and obviously the Spurs won, so I also enjoyed rubbing that in his face the whole way back to College Station – Va Spurs Va!)

It didn’t take long for me to realize that Reece is the most loving, patient, loyal, compassionate man I’ve ever met, and that I never wanted to be apart from him.

Why They Chose The Chandelier

The Chandelier of Gruene is a venue that I truly believe is a perfect representation of New Braunfels. I wanted our out-of-town guests to get a glimpse of New Braunfels as soon as they drove up to the venue, and there isn’t another venue in New Braunfels that even gets close to portraying our beautiful town better than The Chandelier of Gruene.

Memorable Moments

While there are countless moments that made our day so special, there are two that stick out in my mind most. The first happened 30 minutes before the ceremony when Reece and I read each other letters we had written for one another. We couldn’t see each other but I did get to hold his hand and hear his voice. Before that moment I was feeling pretty anxious. We hadn’t communicated in any way since we had left the rehearsal dinner the night before and I was just ready to see him! The second I held his hand, I could breathe again, and all my anxiousness fell away. It was exactly what I needed.

Ever since I was a little girl, the song Cinderella by Stephen Curtis Chapman has been me and my dad’s special song. We’ve been dancing in the kitchen to that song for as long as I can remember. It was no question that we would dance to it at my wedding. However, my dad had something even better in mind. During the months leading up to the wedding, my dad went to a professional recording studio and recorded himself singing Cinderella for us to dance to at the wedding. It was a moment I will never forget, and a gift I will cherish forever.

Their Best Advice

Meet with every single one of your vendors to talk through your expectations and what is most important to you. Don’t assume that they know what you want. Specifically, make a photo shot list for your photographer so they know what moments/details you want captured. Your vendors have worked many weddings and every bride has different expectations, so make sure they know what is important to you!

The Little Details

One of my favorite details was our champagne wall at the cocktail hour. It was gorgeous and our guests absolutely loved it. It turned out to be a beautiful backdrop for our guests to take photos in front of too!

Another detail I loved was the dance floor. We ended up renting a white glossy dance floor for the reception, and brought in a spotlight for the center of the dance floor with our monogram on it.

Other details that made our day magical include gorgeous greenery we had cascading down the front of the chapel, the signage for our specialty cocktails featuring our cute fur babies that was hand painted by our amazing watercolor artist, the table assignments for the reception were listed on beautiful acrylic signs that we had hanging from the trees in the cocktail area, the cigar roller we had outside by the fire pit at the reception, and last but not least our sparkling fireworks grand exit!

Their Best Decision

One of the best decisions we made surrounding our big day was that we decided not to do a first look before the ceremony. There are many people who will tell you that you need to do a first look so that you can get your photos out of the way, or because there won’t be enough time after the ceremony. Don’t listen to them‼ Everything will get done/photographed regardless of whether you have a first look or not. I promise, there is no moment that’s more powerful than the feeling you get when the doors open and you see each other for the first time, and suddenly the world stops and it’s just you and your groom… it’s the most surreal moment. Getting to experience that moment with all your friends and family surrounding you is pretty incredible. Plus, what guest doesn’t love watching a groom get choked up when he finally gets to see his bride for the first time?

Their Hiccups

We had a couple hiccups on the day of the wedding, but nothing could ruin our day! First, one of my bridesmaids woke up with a stomach virus the night before the wedding. Luckily, my girls are pretty amazing… she told me not to worry and she took a nap, drank some fluids and powered through the rest of the day without saying another word about it! Another one of my bridesmaids had to get sewn into her dress by my coordinator because the zipper broke. This is just one of the many examples where my coordinator saved the day. A couple hours later she saved the day again, about an hour before the ceremony when we were taking pictures. I lifted my arms to hug one of my bridesmaids when suddenly I felt my shoulder strap pop… That’s right. The thin spaghetti strap responsible for holding up a whole lot of dress, broke right in half. It didn’t just break, it broke in the worst possible place for a strap to break – right in the middle. One hour before the ceremony! EVERYONE REMAIN CALM (I was definitely not calm)! Within 10 minutes, my coordinator had whipped out a sewing kit and my strap was good as new! Needless to say, we highly recommend hiring a coordinator.

Surrounded By Love

Make your wedding yours! My favorite details from our wedding day are ones we made unique to who we are as a couple. The wedding day itself will fly by. Try to frequently remind each other to stop, take a step back, and truly take it all in. Lastly, the planning process can be extremely stressful at times, but don’t forget to be kind and love the people who are supporting you throughout this process.

Y’all, I love these two and their love for one another. It was so evident when I went through their album, and to see SO many smiling faces celebrating them warmed my heart.

You might have noticed that I mentioned something going wrong on their day in the first paragraph of the blog. I don’t point it out to build suspense or focus on the dramatics, but because if you were a guest at The McKinney wedding or just looked through their gorgeous photographs on social media, you probably wouldn’t have known. I’ve made the point at least a dozen times throughout the past blogs, but it’s okay when something goes wrong on your wedding day and it does not detract from the specialness of your day. Like Mrs. McKinney said – “EVERYONE REMAIN CALM.” She herself may not have been feeling too calm, but the day went on, she got to marry the love of her life, and a total blast was had at the reception. It’s so easy to focus on the pretty things (and hellloooo the white draping in the hall was gorgeous!) but I wanted to show off our couples in this way to give you more. I want you to see what they loved and learn from their experiences because I think it will make your wedding planning that much more enjoyable.

And, in the process, I hope you fall in love with our couples as much as we do, because they’re pretty dang great.

Mr. and Mrs. McKinney’s Vendor Spotlight

Cake by Serendipity Cakes

Catering and Bar by Rosemary’s Catering

Draping by Unique Designs

Band by JEBC Band

Ceremony Music by Terra Vista Strings

Coordinated by Clearly Classy Events

Flowers by The Bloom Bar

Hair and Makeup by Makeup Mavens

Hotel Lodging by The Courtyard Marriott 

Lighting by FILO

Cigar Roller by Bobalu Cigar

Photography by Luxe Photography

Lounge Vignettes Furniture by Birch and Brass

Rentals by Whim Hospitality

Videography by ATX Wedding Video

Officiated by Rusty from Oakwood Baptist 

Pyro from Big Dog Pyro 

Vintage Car Service by Transportation Consultants

Dance Floor by Mike’s Dance Floor

Late Night Snack by Gumby’s

Signage by The Inviting Pear

Printed Stationary and Monogram by Marti Loves Print