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Tyler and David
Sometimes soul mates show up early. Take Tyler Gober and David Beneski, who stepped out as 13- and 14-year-old eighth graders in Colleyville, Texas—and never saw a reason to date anyone else again. "We ran around with the same group of friends, but we'd never actually met," Tyler recalls. Mutual pals brought them together a few times, and, although he thought Tyler was out of his league, David got up the nerve to ask her out at a football game. That was that.
Their lives changed, but the two remained a couple, even while attending rival high schools and going to different Texas colleges, a three-hour drive apart. "From the first day of freshman year, there was a countdown until we could be together again," David says. "Once we reached the halfway point, I knew we were going to make it." Tyler, who now works as an accountant in Dallas, where David is a corporate banking analyst, says the time apart "helped us grow individually, which made us better." By the summer before senior year, they had picked out an engagement ring, which David presented to her on a Cape Cod beach at sunset during a family trip.
With graduation nearing, the pair were eager to get on to the next stage of their relationship. They decided to make May 2014—already a big month—even busier: Tyler graduated on the 9th, David on the 17th, and the wedding was set for the 31st. "Our last semester was quite the whirlwind!" says Tyler. But it all came together beautifully at 6 p.m. on the appointed day, when 150 of their nearest and dearest gathered at The Orchard in Azle, Texas, a 100-acre property with 50 acres of century-old pecan trees. They picked the venue because "we wanted a relaxed, semirustic, organic feel," says Tyler, and they set the scene using a palette of light pink, mauve, green, and blue, inspired by their oceanfront engagement. After the Christian vow exchange and cocktails on the lawn, the festivities moved inside for a dinner of pecan-crusted chicken, beef tenderloin, risotto, zucchini and squash julienne, and an assortment of naked cakes decorated with fresh flowers.
Dancing took place on the patio, with a DJ spinning favorites from the couple's not-so-distant childhood, including tunes by boy bands like 'N Sync and Backstreet Boys. "They were at their height when we were in fifth grade, so we're unabashed fans," says David. But the most memorable song came courtesy of the two maids of honor, who put together a rap about Tyler and David to the tune of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme, which began, "In Colleyville, Texas, born and raised/Middle school's where they met, back in the day." Says David, "They basically told our entire story, from eighth grade through our wedding." Then the newlyweds hopped into a vintage car and drove off into what promises to be a bright future.
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Both Tyler and David were focused on their last semesters of college, so they relied heavily on planner and event designer Stefanie Miles to help craft the celebration. "The wedding was influenced by a piece of abstract watercolor art," says Stefanie, who created a mood board of pictures, including that painting, to communicate her vision. "Once Tyler shared the ocean-inspired colors she was considering, the image came to mind. I used it as a jumping-off point for the look and feel of the watercolor details.
Julie Song Ink designed, calligraphed, and hand-painted the suite, which was then flat-printed onto thick textured paper.
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"Dating long distance was so hard but so rewarding," Tyler says of their undergrad years. "I tried to cherish the time we were together—even if it was only for a couple of hours—but in the back of my mind there was always that feeling that we'd have to part again soon. Living separately for so long made our wedding day even more special. We kept saying to each other, 'We don't have to say goodbye again!'"
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Each boutonniere was unique, using poppy pods, ranunculus, scabiosa, china berry, and various herbs tied with lavender, blush, or cream-colored ribbon.
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Six bridesmaids and two maids of honor wore a mix of pastel chiffon dresses. There were 21 members total in the Texas-size wedding party.
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A wooden arbor was dressed for the ceremony with swags of linen, lace, and flowers.
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Having a Moment
The pair's three-year-old ring bearer panicked but recovered once his mom met him at the aisle. "He didn't walk the whole way, but it made everyone smile," Tyler says.
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Time with Dad
The day of her walk down the aisle, Tyler and her dad had a special breakfast date together. When it came time to enter the ceremony, the twosome walked down the aisle as Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years" played.
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During cocktail hour, guests sipped a signature drink: green tea Champagne punch with mango and kiwi.
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Fruit-and-mint-infused water was on offer to help attendees keep cool throughout the warm evening.
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The Head Table
The bridal party sat at a farm table draped with a lace runner. There were four different table setups throughout the space, each with its own china pairing.
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At dinner, tables were set with sage, peach, or silver linens, and centerpieces that included peonies, scabiosa, and clematis in terra-cotta vessels. Over 1,000 peonies were used in the day's décor.
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Tyler had her heart set on naked cakes topped with fresh flowers. She and David cut into the towering spiced-carrot confection by Cakewalk Bake Shop, which was flanked by minis in other flavors like burnt-sugar cake with strawberry and dark chocolate cake with espresso buttercream.
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Time to Dance
After a first dance with her new husband to Train's "Marry Me," Tyler took to the floor with her dad, swaying to "My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw.
"What I'll always remember about our first dance—and the entire wedding, really—is that you could not wipe the smile from Tyler's face," recalls David on his most memorable moment.
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A Perfect Photo Op
A 1941 Packard was used for photos and as a getaway car.
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The Getaway Car
Their getaway car was adorned with a "Just Married" sign framed with peonies, garden roses, and clematis.
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Location, The Orchard
Event planning, styling, and design, Stefanie Miles Events
Catering, Tastefully Yours Catering
Flowers, Bows + Arrows
Photography, Ryan Ray Photography
Videography, Mason Jar Films
Stationery and calligraphy, Julie Song Ink
Cakes, Cakewalk Bake Shop
Ice cream sandwiches, Melt Ice Creams
Music and lighting, Astounding Sounds & Lighting
Rentals, POSH Couture Rentals; AFR Event Furnishings; Perch Event Decor; Todd Events; La Tavola Fine Linen
Bride's gown, Saja
Bride's belt, Tessa Kim
Bride's shoes, J.Crew
Bride's jewelry, Betsey Johnson
Hair and makeup, Lindey Duckworth; Amy Clarke
Bridesmaids' dresses, Camilyn Beth; Bhldn; Ann Taylor; J.Crew
Flower-girl dresses, Nordstrom
Flower-girl shoes, Jumping Jacks
Groom's suit, J.Crew
Groom's tie, Tie Deals
Groom's tie clip, The Tie Bar
Groom's shirt and other menswear, Jos. A. Bank
Groom's shoes, Sebago
Valet, VIP Valet Services