Real Weddings

Childhood Friends Win A Glamorous Texas Wedding With Military Style

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So much of weddings already makes me cry – proposal stories, the moment they see each other down the aisle, parents & grandparent moments – I already well up with tears enough as it is at all of your beautiful wedding stories!

Now I have to deal with the end-of-week emotions of this beyond-heartwarming story of two childhood friends. With the help of their beloved family & friends, Hebron & Nebyou won a dream giveaway that turns into their glamorous  Texas winter wedding in military-style.

It’s only fair that I make you all cry with me, okay?

Hebron & Nebyou immigrated as children from Ethiopia to the same small community of Kansas. After years of attempts to no avail to woo Hebron, Nebyou went off to West Point to better himself & become who he is today. And in proper rom-com fashion, that’s not where this love story ends…

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Our Love Story

As told by the groom, Nebyou: Hebron and I immigrated to the United States from Ethiopia a few years apart as children but found ourselves living in the same small community in Kansas. Our parents were friends, so we often spent time being invited to the same events and running in similar circles.

It would be an understatement to say I had a crush on Hebron when we were teens. I tried to no avail to try to win her over for years. Finally, on a warm October day, my birthday to be exact, she gave me the rejection I needed. I realized on that day the changes I needed to make in myself to be the best I could be. So, I deleted all my social media, hit the gym, applied to West Point, and moved halfway across the country to the United States Military Academy to become the best version of myself.

Three years later, as I was finishing up the last weeks of summer after my junior year, I decided to turn on my social media accounts, with no intentions other than to see what friends had been up to the last few years. To my surprise, I received a message from Hebron. She likes to say she had no covert intentions when messaging me, but I know she was curious as to who I had become.

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From that moment on we began messaging daily. I was preparing to start my senior year at West Point and she was currently at Yale School of Medicine finishing up an internship and applying to medical schools before her senior year of college. We found time through our compounded schedules to see each other throughout that year and have since been each other’s best friends and support system. I’m currently serving as an Army officer and she is in her final year of medical school.

The Proposal

As told by the bride, Hebron: In regard to the proposal, Nebyou actually surprised me a few weeks before it happened in late October by telling me his schedule allowed him to come see me for the weekend in Kansas. He pretended it was all last minute, but little did I know he had been planning a large surprise for weeks in advance with my best friend and future Maid of Honor.

On October 20th, 2018 a dinner out with the family ended up being a beautiful proposal outside the Kansas City Country Club Plaza with flowers, candles, both families, ALL my friends, a photographer and he even got a guitarist who played my favorite song Boo’d Up by Ella Mai! With all this and a beautiful ring it was an easy yes!

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The Wedding Giveaway

Our wedding story starts with us hearing about the Ivory Oak Military Wedding Giveaway through a mutual acquaintance. We sent in our favorite (goofy) photo of us, a 500-word statement on why we should be chosen and next thing we knew we were competing for the giveaway as one of the top three couples. We worked with our friends, families and communities to get all the votes we could to win this beautiful wedding in Wimberly, TX. We realized how big our support system truly was when we were told we won!

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The Planning

Nebyou was stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX and getting to have our dream wedding in Texas was wonderful because we wanted a winter wedding to accommodate our busy schedules. The December weather in Texas at this gorgeous venue was everything we could have asked for.

One of the best parts of this experience were the vendors that came with the giveaway-from the wedding planning guidance provided by Elaine and Lee to the palette design through 36th Street Events and everything in between it came together beautifully because of the team we had. The combination of large white California poppies, navy and marigold tones to match the Army Service Uniforms (ASU) and bridesmaid dresses – it was beyond anything we could have imagined. We can’t forget the Texas BBQ at the reception – that was *chef’s kiss*.

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The Photography

We can’t say enough about the amazing team we had capturing our day. Angela Lally Photography and ML Photo & Film have given us something we will get to treasure forever. They made sure they focused on catching our most authentic moments and making those shine.

Not only were Nebyou and I extremely comfortable with this team but so were our families – some of whom flew across the globe to share this moment with us. With the schedules we had leading up to the wedding we appreciated Angela’s patience and flexibility and during the day these two vendors worked in rhythm to make sure it was captured beautifully.

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“My Best Man had the guts to have a slideshow, with photographic evidence, running during his speech with the highlights of every embarrassing teenage moment. It culminated in a picture he took behind my back of me – pants-less – washing my clothes in his mom’s kitchen sink after his friend puked on me in his car. My parents knew none of this before that day!”

– Groom Nebyou, favorite moments

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“My favorite part was JOYFULLY dancing with all our guests on the dance floor and then intermittently hopping into the photo booth then proceeding to maneuver to the dance floor when the next song would come on. There was a phone prop from the photo booth that I danced with half the night!”

– Bride Hebron, favorite moments

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Advice to Other Couples

Three recommendations:

  1. Postable is an amazing website (free too) that will allow you to gather all the addresses and contact info for your guests, getting this early and making sure it’s updated between the STD and wedding invites is a must-have.
  2. We went back and forth on providing transportation for our guests but we decided to do so and it was the best move we could have made, we used LuxLimo and we loved the experience and so did our guests!
  3. Kleinfeld Hotel Blocks to help you identify and lockdown hotel blocks, this was one of the best things we stumbled into because as out-of-town wedding hosts we needed all the experience we could use to make the best decision for hosting our guests.

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