Grace & Kevin's lakeside beer and barbecue wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015

Winter got you down? This week we're bringing you some spring weddings for inspiration from March to May!

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Photos by Samir Solanki

The offbeat bride: Grace, Training Resource Coordinator

Her offbeat partner: Kevin, Contractor

Date and location of wedding: Riverside, TX — April 16, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: I wanted to personalize every detail and I wanted it to be memorable. Most of all I wanted everyone to enjoy themselves. We served BBQ and beer, which was Kevin's one request. I loved it! Not only was it cheaper than a traditional sit-down meal, but it was delicious! I gnawed on ribs in my wedding dress.

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We had about 20 kids at the wedding, and I wanted them to have fun so their parents could relax. There was a kiddie table with crafts and toys. Then my 13-year-old son arranged a photo scavenger hunt with prizes. They also loved the s'mores pit and candy bar. I had parents tell me how great it was that the wedding was child-friendly.

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Tell us about the ceremony: It was simple, quick, and easy. I walked down the aisle to "Bittersweet Symphony" by IMG_4982Vitamin String Quartet. My brother-in-law read a selection by George Eliot, which was a perfect fit for us. It was right next to the lake at sunset and the views were gorgeous.

"To Be One With Each Other" by George Eliot

What greater thing is there for two human souls
than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen
each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow,
to share with each other in all gladness,
to be one with each other in the
silent unspoken memories?

Our biggest challenge: Sometimes I had to put my foot down about decisions. I knew what I wanted, and as much as I appreciated the suggestions, sometimes it was too much. But my bridesmaids were amazing and helped me deal with that. One bridesmaid was there from Kentucky during the height of her spring season when she was expecting foals. Another was 8 1/2 months pregnant! Everyone was very supportive despite everything they had going on in their lives. They were amazing!

Most of all, my mother was a huge help. She was running around fixing things, and she really pulled some things together that would not have happened otherwise.

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My favorite moment: The number one moment was when my grandfather stood up at the altar and announced that he became ordained just to perform the ceremony. He has been married to my grandmother for 50 years and it meant the world to us. Plus, it was a surprise to everyone else! When I walked down the aisle there was no officiant, but then he stood up. It brought tears to some eyes in the crowd.

Another moment was when my grandmother gave me my great-grandmother's hankie. I love vintage handkerchiefs, and to have one of hers meant the world to me. And bonus: it matched my wedding colors.

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My funniest moment: The chicken dance! I told my DJ that they had free rein with requests. We wanted to have fun and this family knows how to do just that. So when the chicken dance came on, we went to town and ended up with some great pictures of my brother and I doing a do-si-do. I laughed so hard!

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? The weather was my biggest worry. I always wanted something outdoors, but I was so nervous about it. We had a tent and a backup plan, including umbrellas and mud boots. Plus, it was likely to be really hot, and most of our relatives weren't used to Texas heat. But to our surprise, the day before the wedding an amazing cool front came in and the chance of rain disappeared. The s'mores pit was a hit because of the cooler weather!

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Hire a day-of coordinator if you can. I loved mine! In fact, I was not informed of the gnat infestation of the wedding tent until the next day. They just took care of it. If it was not for their help, I know it would have been difficult to take care of it on my own.

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The earlier you have your DIY projects done, the sooner you can relax. My centerpieces were recycled wine bottles turned into votive holders. I had to do 170 of them to have enough on each table. I wish I had started them sooner, but good friends jumped in and helped get it done on time.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. Birdcages, candy buffet, Vitamin String quartet…I officially love this wedding! And I think having your grandfather officiate is very touching and personal. Congratulations!

  2. Beautiful! My fiance and I are also planning a BBQ reception and its great to see how well works. I was wondering where you got your dress, I absolutely love it, and I've been looking for a dress that will let me be the dressed up bride without looking too stuffy at a BBQ. Thanks and congratulations!

    • It is the Allure dress pictured above. I actually bought mine from Princess Bridal in Old Town Spring of Spring, TX. I had my dress slightly modified to take down the neck (it was too high for me) and to make sure it all fit plus the bustle. If you are near Houston I say go to them, they are first class.

  3. I've been looking for a purple shawl just like the one pictured here. Can you tell me where to find it? Please, please. Love the whimsy in your wedding air.

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