Ailea & Marshall's Tex-Mex lakeside boho wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015

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The offbeat bride: Ailea, Project Manager

Her offbeat partner: Marshall, Chiropractor

Location & date of wedding: Winfrey Point at White Rock Lake, Dallas, TX — April 17, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: While we didn't go out of our way to be particularly different, we did want our wedding to reflect the things that are most important to us. So we took the classic wedding template and tricked it out with a bunch of funky, funny, colorful and personalized details that honored our favorite things, including: our love of the outdoors, my Tex-Mex heritage, his disdain for shoes and ties, our sporty lifestyle (we met playing softball), and our love of candy, alcohol, good food, and dancing.

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So we ended up with a marvelous affair that featured tree climbing, a giant baseball-themed piñata, a mariachi band, and the ubiquitous logo of two trees joined by a heart. We also had bridesmen, groomsmaids, and all the guys in the wedding party wore blue guayaberas. We had margaritas in customized take-home cups, a beautiful assortment of cupcake toppers that symbolized our many hobbies and passions (among them aliens, beer cans, fairies, sports, and dinosaurs, to name a few), and a twelve minute flip flop-friendly outdoor ceremony with vows we wrote ourselves.

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We did a lot of things ourselves, like designing and printing (on 100% recycled banana paper!) our own invitations and programs. The latter included a bookmark insert with wedding fun facts on one side and our vows on the other. And we happily skipped a lot of things that didn't feel right for us, like bouquet/garter tossing, a veil, matching dresses, and wedding favors (made donations to our favorite charities instead).

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Tell us about your boho wedding ceremony: We were cut a bit short by the rain, so didn't get to the Unity Finger Painting, sadly, but we did get in a reading from The Little Prince by Sir Antoine de Saint Exupery, and Sarah McLachlan's version of The Prayer of St. Francis. Both worked out beautifully.

Our biggest challenge: Well, our five-month planning period was pretty quick, so time was a constant factor. We managed to do what we did on that timeframe based on sheer luck, resourcefulness, flexibility, and a whole lot of help.

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Apart from that, things were almost uncannily smooth and easy to manage. The only real bummer from my perspective was: rain!! The beautiful, sun-shiney, golden outdoor ceremony on the clear spring day I had envisioned for so many months dissolved in drizzle.

Oh, and the fire alarm for our venue got set off right as I was about to walk down the aisle–which of course summoned a big ol' fire engine, sirens blaring, that pulled up right as were about to exchange our vows! We dealt with this by finding an umbrella and then laughing, as there was little else we could do at that point. Luckily our candle permits were in order and no fire was found, so the party proceeded as planned. BE SURE TO GET WHATEVER PERMITS YOU NEED FOR YOUR VENUE! Even if it seems like a pain in the butt–it may prove worth it in the end. 🙂

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My favorite moment: A few of the many, in no particular order: Slipping on my mom's lovely altered vintage wedding gown while my cousin sang me Christmas carols to calm my nerves. Being walked down the aisle with both my parents, who have been divorced for about fifteen years. When my grandma cruised right through the ceremony to hand our best man an umbrella when for us when it started to sprinkle. Running from the ceremony hand-in-hand with my brand new husband to sit by the lake and ponder what we just did. The conga line that included every single person at the reception. Being humbled and awestruck by everyone that came to show their love for us that day. Jumping into bed in our honeymoon hotel room in the wee hours of the next morning, giggling with a certain delirious joy I can't quite describe.

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My funniest moment: The fire truck pulling up to the ceremony was pretty hilarious. The speech/toast where my brother told the story of how my boyfriend asked him for his blessing to marry me over shots at a bar one night was also quite amusing. And our friend Brendan stealing the mic and singing Adam Sandler's "Grow Old With You" will be remembered forever. But perhaps the very funniest was watching all our adult friends burst into song and scream the words to Miley Cyrus's "Party In The U.S.A." toward the end of the night after one of my flower girls requested it when she won the dance contest.

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My advice for offbeat brides: In addition to doing what you want, being happy with what you have and showing off who you are… Here are my concrete pointers based on our experience: The day of, plan to arrive an hour earlier than needed. Have someone funny on hand who can use humor to diffuse any stress/tension. Do as much as you can planning-wise as soon as you can. Ask for help and thank people more than you feel like you need to. Start a list of gifts and other things that warrant thank-you's very early so you don't forget anyone. And finally, embrace the fact that while your wedding is all about you and your sweetie, it's also about everyone who loves you too.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your boho wedding? The most wonderful part of the whole experience was learning that weddings bring people together. I know it sounds absurdly obvious, but it kind of surprised me. I loved how frequently I was talking to my mom and dad while planning, how I reconnected with friends and family, and seeing so many streams of relationships come together in one place. It seems that only weddings (and maybe funerals) can do this on such a large scale, and I'm really grateful I was able to witness it. In addition to joining my husband and I, our wedding was like a vortex of love that circled out in unexpected and delightful ways and brought people in toward us. It was really inspiring.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  1. Your dress… is so beautiful! And so sweet that it was your mothers. The whole ceremony shines with love 🙂

  2. This is really a wonderful, joyous wedding! And I agree that your dress is breathtakingly gorgeous. Congrats!

  3. I know it's vintage/altered, but does anyone know where to get a dress that is similar??? I am in love with it.

  4. I love your dress. I had SUCH a hard time finding a dress with similar sleeves, but I just love love LOVE yours. If ONLY my mother's wedding dress looked as good as that!!!

  5. Oh how lovely it all looks! And yes I think the dress is amazing too. It really seems like you had such a fantastic day too – congratulations!!!!

  6. Wow, I was so giddy the second I saw that the wedding was at Winfrey Point! I grew up in East Dallas, and my wedding will be at Winfrey next year! It looks gorgeous! Ailea, I'd love to hear any advice you have for someone planning on that venue! Your solution to the weather was great!

  7. I was thinking of this place as a ceremony area too! My fiance asked 2 weeks ago if we should get married. We decided on Oct 17 of this year (yes, 28 days away!) But I had everything finalized within a week! Miracle, right? I'm also doing a live streaming of my outdoor wedding (wifi, laptop and all) so my family and friends in the Philippines can witness it!

  8. I don't know how I missed this. I love Ailea and Marshall – they are two of the sweetest, most down to Earth people I have ever met and I loved their wedding!

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