Fashion / Weddings

Texas Young Professionals Pull off the Ultimate Country Wedding After Hurricane

Cows and Gospel Music Make for One Sweet Ceremony

BY // 08.13.18

With Hurricane Maria dashing their plans for a destination wedding in Puerto Rico, Lauren Reed and Trey McDonald, both originally from the Dallas area, had to scurry to come up with something equally spectacular with only a few months to spare. The high-powered couple — she’s a chemical engineer with ExxonMobil and he’s an attorney with Jackson Walker LLP — opted for a French Country affair that felt far removed from the hustle and bustle of their professional lives in Houston.

The duo went the sophisticated city route for the rehearsal dinner, held at Hotel ZaZa Dallas. But the wedding itself was pure country, make that French Country, complete with mooing cows. The setting was The Grand Ivory in Leonard, Texas. Custom built for weddings, the site includes not only a sophisticated barn that serves as party central but also a chapel that opens with a view to the farm pond, a bridal cottage and a groom’s cottage.

The site, as Lauren explained, “was far enough outside of Dallas to feel like an escape. We took a trip for one day to check it out and loved the serenity the setting provided. The perfect country quietness and the unique chapel doors imported from France immediately grabbed our attention. We loved the simple elegance of French Country and think it perfectly captures our style as a couple.”

Just as the countryside location was not the original plan, neither was the bride’s gown nor the groom’s tux. Lauren had a wedding dress designed specially for her but when it arrived, she “hated” it. So, she recalls, “I ran all over town looking for the perfect dress off the rack! I ultimately found it at a sample sale at Vivienne Atelier, where I convinced the sales woman to take me without an appointment and let me buy the one dress off the rack that they were not selling.”

Likewise, the groom had his wedding tux specially ordered and when he tried it on only two days before the wedding, it was a no go. Trey shopped his closet and settled on his favorite tux that fit perfectly.

With planning assistance from Anna Smith of Taylor and Hov, the wedding was a beautiful affair, preceded by an early morning spring rain that left the country air fresh and delightful.

The groom’s god brother, Robert Garmon, conducted the ceremony for which the couple wrote their vows. And, yes, cows were mooing in the distance, thereby providing the ultimate pastoral background music. Actually, the play list for the entire affair was classic gospel music. When Richard Reed escorted his daughter down the aisle, the hymn was “Shout to the Lord.”

Dinner and dancing followed in the pristine “barn” that was elegantly dressed in garlands and centerpieces featuring roses and hydrangeas.

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