Some of our real brides and grooms are so smart!

We just love it when a couple has helpful, practical, tried and tested advice on how to streamline your big day, keep only what’s important, and save some cash along the way.

So, not only do today’s newlyweds, Lauren & Cory bring us their gorgeous wedding, some cool inspiration and some creative ideas, but they’re also sharing their sagely wedding planning wisdom with too.

Along with the beautiful photographs of their intimate Southern soiree, by Kristine & Scott of Blue Elephant Photography.

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Lauren & Cory got hitched in McKinney, Texas, with a wedding that mixed a cool urban setting with glamorous style, luxurious florals, and rustic details.

Their restaurant style venue, Gather, with its brick walls and chandelier-laced ceilings, paired perfectly with the eclectic, mix and match style of their decor.

Lauren looked so gorgeous in a lace strapless gown, with sparkling jewellery and that incredible bouquet, (you know we love a bride with a glam hair-down style!). And Cory was an entirely dapper gent with a grey suit and dickie bow.

And if you ever needed an idea for the most romantic wedding day moment ever, (and Friday’s couple did it too, so it’s officially a ‘thing’ now!) just imagine dancing arm in arm with your love, as the tables are cleared away, the plates are packed up and the guests have gone, with your favourite song playing overhead.

So freakin’ romantic!

Wedding Day Snapshot

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Our Love Story

We worked at the same company and ended up sharing a wall of a cube.  A group of us from work went out to celebrate one evening over a few beers.  

I made a bet on what type of beer a 60 Minute Dogfish Head was, against Cory… I won, and it was love from then on. 

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The Inspiration

I have always loved the idea of a Southern soiree, with a small intimate group of people that we both loved.  

My favorite thing in the whole wide world are flowers and lush greens and I wanted that to be the main focal point in our wedding.  

The mixture of the jewel tones from our flowers popped against the rustic bricks, chandeliers and the navy of the bridesmaids dresses.  

We are a very carefree couple that wanted an eclectic feel so we opted for navy for the ladies and grey for the men with pops of gold.  

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Advice for Other Couples

Everytime I thought about purchasing things for my wedding I always asked myself three questions; Do I really need it?  Will I re-use it? Is it a memory that I want?  

For example, No, you probably don’t need that $1,000 Jimmy Choos because it would look really great with the dress, and let’s be real, I would probably fall on my face anyway!  

Will I re-use it; Every piece of my wedding décor and accessories I have to put to use or worn again.

No use to spend all that money just to look at it and not ever use it.  

Lastly, Is it a memory that I want; It’s really easy to get into a rhythm of doing things and buying things just because everyone else does it.  

If you don’t want it, or if you don’t feel comfortable, or you dread it at other people’s weddings… then don’t do it.  

Who cares what other people think, just do you.  

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The Honeymoon

We waited a month and half to take our honeymoon just so we could have some type of normalcy after the crazy.  

If we would have left right after the wedding I would have slept the entire time!  

Waiting a little while let us go into the trip in the right frame of mind, to relax, and enjoy being with each other.  

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The Venue

We wanted a very small wedding and the max capacity for this venue was 100.  It had the perfect amount of rustic and modern that I was looking for.  

As soon as I met with Crystal at Gather I knew it was the place we would get married just by her attitude and warmth.  

They also offered catering and the venue in one. A one stop shop! It made things much easier to not have to search for a caterer. Crystal did most of it for us, we just had to show up.  

We wanted a place that had a homey and comfortable feel and Gather was perfect.  

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The Flowers

Peonies, garden roses, ranunculas, poppy-looking flowers, ferns, and more lush greens. 

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What Made Our Wedding So ‘Us’

There wasn’t a lot of fan fair, we wanted to be surrounded by our friends and family, with a good drink, and good music.  

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The Photography

Kristine and Scott photographed my best friends’ wedding and they were so sweet, had their crap together, and took absolutely beautiful pictures.  

I loved their process of using natural light instead of artificial.  It created pictures that we will cherish forever.  

It was so great seeing them for our engagement pictures because it was like picking up where we left off for my friend’s wedding. Perfect husband and wife team.  

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The Budget

The most important thing to me in the wedding were the flowers.  I didn’t care about my dress, what the venue looked like, or what everyone wore.  

Ever since I was little, I loved being surround by flowers, natural beauty and the outdoors.  We also wanted to make sure that the guests loved what they were eating.  

We spoiled our guests with beef tenderloin and an open bar, makes for much happier and crazier dance floor!

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The Decor & Details

Ever since Cory and I started dating and we both realized that we would be together forever, I started collecting Gs. All different types.  

I didn’t use any type of decoration that I wouldn’t use in decorating my own house because I thought it would be a total waste of money.  I repurposed everything I used in my wedding in our home today.  

I bought old windows that still had glass in them/chicken wire and created signs.  

Our wedding was right before Christmas, so I bought a 100 mercury bulb ornaments (no personalization because they were pretty on their own) and used those as party favors and table assignments.  That way our guests could take something home and hang it on their tree!

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The Music

I walked down the aisle to Ed Sheeran’s song ‘Tenerife Sea’.  Cory sent it to me a few months before our wedding when I was having a really bad day and from that moment I knew I would be walking down the aisle looking at his sweet smile.  

Our first dance was by David Ramirez ‘Fires’. Our DJ personalized the song with interviews that he took from us two months before answering questions about each other.  

By far my most favorite memory from the wedding.  

Also, our DJ did a personal last dance after all of the guests left and we had the whole dance floor to ourselves.  We danced to Jason Mraz ‘Sleeping to Dream.’

One of our first and most favorite dates was when we turn off the lights in our house and listened to Jason Mraz acoustic while drinking beer and belting it out at the top of our lungs.   

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Those flowers! What a gorgeous wedding, I just love all the styling, and how the mix of luxe, rustic, and urban all came together beautifully.

And as for Lauren’s three steps to knowing if something’s right for your wedding – she’s basically a genius! So many of us are going to be stealing those tips from now on!

Thanks so much to Blue Elephant Photography and of course, Lauren & Cody, for sharing their stunning Texas wedding with us.

Be inspired by more amazing real weddings

Photographer: Blue Elephant Photography / Bride’s Dress: LeAnn’s Bridal / Accessories: Nordstrom / Groom’s Attire: Joseph A. Bank / Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew and Bella Boutique / Venue: Gather in Downtown McKinney / Flowers & Decor: Holly Viles Design / Cake Baker: Cakes by Design by Tabitha / Invitations & Stationery: Minted / DJ: LeForce Entertainment / Makeup Artist: Makeup by Wendy Zerrudo