Real Wedding | Kirsten + Charles

It was all about friends, family and the gorgeous natural surroundings at this lovely Texas wedding. I love the way Kirsten and Charles mixed it up by encouraging bridesmaids to wear dresses of their own choosing, and mixing up the placement of bridesmaids and groomsmen during the ceremony. Kirsten kept it natural with simple but elegant flowers and a butterfly theme that worked beautifully. So pretty!

Kirsten  + Charles  | September 17, 2011 | Marie Gabrielle, Dallas, Texas

The ceremony

Our ceremony really embraced the organic feeling of the outdoor courtyard. We wanted it to feel lush and green…natural.  We wanted to break the mold of some of the standard ceremony traditions. The bridesmaids carried unique bouquets and wore dresses in different colors and styles with their own jewelry and hair adornments.  I liked the idea of everyone being their own person.  The bridesmaids and groomsmen were distributed on each side.  It felt more like a community of friends supporting us then the girls by the bride and the men by the groom.  All of the children of our wedding party were in the wedding.  It was a little chaotic at the end of the aisle, but again, we wanted the feeling of family and community surrounding us.

My husband has children from a previous marriage and we wanted them to play a special role in the wedding.  They walked down the aisle with their father but were seated with the grandparents for the ceremony.  After the ceremony, the youngest son came running to me to hug me, then his brother followed.  It was a special moment.

The reception

The reception was very natural and green.  We used a butterfly theme throughout the environment. Charley took me to a Coldplay show on one of our first dates. At the end of the concert, biodegradable butterflies were showered over the audience.  I picked up a few on my way out of the venue and later Charley surprised me by framing them in a shadow box.  We had read that in Japanese and Chinese cultures that butterflies symbolize the essence of a human’s soul and that they are believed to mate for life.  These aspects together with the whole idea of transformation made the butterfly theme perfect for our reception.  I found a number of great decorative resources on, including Timeless Paper that did our butterfly-shaped seating cards and menu cards.  The bakery and florist also worked butterflies into the environment.

The three words that best describe how Kirsten felt in her wedding dress

Modern, ethereal, effortless.

Why Kirsten decided to sell her wedding dress

I justified spending more on this dress with the thought that I would sell it.  It seems so pointless to waste something that I loved so much by storing it for a lifetime. I hope that someone is able to wear it and feel as special as I did.

Kirsten’s dress: Romona Keveza

Photography: Vanessa Gavalya