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Fashion / Weddings

Young Texas Power Couple Gets Married at a Special Amarillo Estate

Stunning Wedding Pays Homage to Memory of Bride’s Parents

BY // 06.27.18
photography Samuel Lippke Studios

The morning of her wedding day, Katie Bivins took a quiet moment in her grandmother’s dressing room in Amarillo, surrounded by hand-painted de Gournay wallpaper and the vanity where she played as a little girl.

Later that afternoon, she would join her fiancé, Austin–based photographer and creative director Cameron Cone, at the altar of St. Andrews Episcopal Church around the corner. The newlyweds would then return to her grandmother’s estate to celebrate with friends, family, and loved ones in the city where they grew up, just four blocks from one another.

Despite their childhood proximity, the spark between Bivins and Cone didn’t occur until years later, when she was working in Dallas at Grange Hall and he was building his career in Los Angeles. The two reconnected via long distance and, before long, were head over heels. When it came time to plan their wedding, they both knew it had to be home in Amarillo.

Having lost both of her parents, it was important to Bivins that the wedding occur in a place that held special memories of them. The estate — now home to the Bivins Foundation, which provides services for the elderly — was the perfect choice.

“It was a place that always radiated love for me,” Bivins says.

Dallas wedding planner and designer Julian Leaver ensured that the day’s details did just that, orchestrating the reception so that guests would move through the historic Tudor Revival before making their way to a twinkling tent erected on the sprawling lawn.

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The Bivins home, designed by Henry Bowers Thomson in the 1930s for her great-grandparents, is one of many markers of the family’s longstanding legacy in Amarillo and beyond as pioneering ranchers, politicians, philanthropists — and entertainers.

“Katie’s grandmother used to throw epic holiday parties. Almost everyone who was at the wedding had a memory of attending one of them,” says Leaver, who constructed a champagne tower in the same spot where the Christmas tree used to stand. “We wanted to echo the way she used to entertain.”

The newlyweds toasting to a lifetime of love

Another nod to the Bivins family’s cattle-driving heritage was the couple’s custom brand, which was seared into leather for rehearsal dinner invitations. Bivins sketched the monogram herself, inspired by one of her favorite Dallas hideaways: Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

“I loved using the Mansion’s monogram as the inspiration for a wedding in another mansion,” Leaver says.

Every wedding element — from her grandmother’s handkerchief embroidered with her wedding date to her mother’s diamond, which Cone proposed to her with in Austin, where the two currently live — served as joyful reminders of loved ones, both present and in spirit.

Bivins locked eyes with Cone as she walked down the aisle, escorted by her two brothers. But it wasn’t until she reached the altar that she noticed one final surprise detail.

“He was wearing a bow tie made from a tie my dad wore often while serving as ambassador to Sweden,” says Bivins, who recognized the pattern immediately. “It was such a sweet memento.”

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