This Couple's Opulent Ballroom Wedding Had Guests Asking, "Are We Even in Dallas?"
"Collin and I like to say we met the old-fashioned way: online," jokes Olivia Whittaker (now Mangrum!) of her and her now-husband's first chapter. While they originally matched online in 2014, it took nearly two years to get their relationship off the ground. The timing just wasn't right, Olivia explains—plus, she was planning a cross-country move.
Things eventually fell together for the Dallas-based couple, and when they did, it was for good. Nearly two-and-a-half years later, Collin, who owns and operates a commercial real estate firm in Dallas, was in midst of cooking up a proposal his future wife wouldn't see coming. To guarantee this, he tricked Olivia, a model, into thinking she was going to work. "Collin planned a fake photo shoot to propose," the bride recalls. "It was almost a whole year in the making: He arranged an engagement-themed shoot for a local bridal publication (or so I thought) at a family friend's house, complete with professional photography and wardrobe."
When Collin—who was supposed to be in Austin for a golf trip—arrived on location, ring box in hand, Olivia couldn't put two-and-two together. It still didn't click when he got down on one knee. "The pictures are actually quite hilarious because I have this concerned look on my face. I thought something was wrong and he was breaking terrible news to me. Of course, this was all in the middle of what I thought was a real photo shoot!" laughs the bride, who came to when he finally asked to marry her (which was met with a resounding yes).
The duo spent their year-long engagement ensuring that their June 1, 2019, Dallas celebration, held in an ornate ballroom at The Adolphus Hotel, was a reflection of their bond—and of their classic vision, which they met with the help of their planning team at Events by Kristin. "We kept the mood of our wedding very clean, timeless, elegant, and romantic," Olivia shares. "We wanted to look back at our wedding and feel like it was very 'us' and very classic—nothing too trendy or anything we thought we might tire of."
As for the bride's best advice for couple's currently in the thick of the wedding-planning process? "We definitely realized the importance of selecting vendors that you truly click with—not just vendors that you can tolerate," notes the bride. "We're so grateful and appreciative for ours—they truly took such great care of us."
Venue-Inspired Paper Suite
Olivia and Collin chose a simple and elegant Vera Wang invitation suite from Paper Affair. "Mimicking our venue, we decided on crisp white invitations with romantic gold script," says the bride. "To add a personal touch, we included an 'O&C' crest in the header."
Welcome to The Adolphus
Olivia and Collin's wedding festivities—apart from their rehearsal dinner—took place at The Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas. "It had the timeless, classic, and effortless feel we were going for," explains the bride.
With These Rings
Collin designed Olivia's engagement ring himself. The fruit of his labor? A "beautiful pear-shaped ring with a halo and diamond band," notes the bride. Olivia later reinforced the bauble's distinct shape with the rest of her bridal jewelry—her wedding band was comprised of pear-shaped stones and she found the perfect pear drop earrings to match.
The groom, on the other hand, chose a dark platinum band with slightly beveled edges and "Acts 13:22" (one of his favorite bible verses) engraved inside.
Friday's rehearsal dinner—which was hosted at The Mirador, a restaurant nearby—marked Olivia and Collin's last exchange before parting ways on the eve of the wedding (they wouldn't see each other until Olivia made her aisle debut the following day). The bride donned a white mini dress with a tied bow detail at the waist for this celebration, while her groom kept it simple in a striped shirt, suit jacket, and gray pants.
Guests were treated to soft acoustic melodies from Levi Mrozinski, Collin's younger cousin and best man, who played throughout dinner.
Pops of Parisian Pink
On the neutral tabletops, layered with cream-and-gray linens and punctuated with all-white floral arrangements, dusty rose drinking glasses offered a splash of color. The pink glassware nodded to the event's Parisian-inspired dessert table—another detail derived from the Adolphus, which gave Olivia and Collin European vibes.
Peonies in Paris
The petite centerpieces placed along the rehearsal dinner tables—most of which were arranged in gold geometric vases—largely consisted of lush white peonies.
An assortment of rainbow macaroons, served for dessert, drove home the rehearsal dinner's romantic Parisian theme.
An Unexpected Wedding Dress
"I originally thought I'd pick a very simple, silky, slip-style wedding dress," explains Olivia. "I ended up choosing a beautiful gown by Galia Lahav that was anything but simple. It was lacey, sparkly, strapless, and fitted in all the right places—it was perfection." The bride tried on "roughly 25 to 30 dresses" before she found the one. "It was entirely custom and one-of-a-kind," she adds.
Olivia completed her big-day look with a "long, dramatic" veil, also from Galia Lahav, and an heirloom pearl bracelet (her mother, pictured here, had the piece made from one of Olivia's grandmother's treasured necklaces).
Swept back hair—arranged into a low updo—and natural makeup (courtesy of Samantha Landis) kept Olivia's look streamlined, sophisticated, and absolutely timeless.
A Classic Shoe
Keeping with her traditional bridal ensemble, Olivia chose to walk down the aisle wearing strappy satin pumps from Jimmy Choo.
The Wedding-White Bouquet
Composed of cream peonies, quicksand roses, white ranunculus, and Italian greenery, the bride's bouquet referenced the rest of the wedding's floral design in composition (ceremony and reception blooms also included pink garden roses, peonies, and additional greenery varieties). All of the event's flowers were handled by Gro Designs.
Mix and Match
Bridesmaids wore mix-and-match Watters gowns from Bella Bridesmaids. "Two of the dresses were blush with a matte finish and the other two were a blush-toned champagne color with a silky finish, so they complemented each other well without feeling too matchy-matchy," explains Olivia. "I also loved that each dress perfectly spoke to the style and personality of each of my bridesmaids: There was a strapless, a one-shoulder, a low V-neck, and even a flirty, flowy dress for one mama-to-be."
A Go-To Label
Collin wanted a classic tuxedo with a twist, so he turned to Ralph Lauren Purple Label for a custom ensemble. His midnight blue tux featured black satin peak lapels. "Super sharp!" says his bride.
A black satin bow tie, white silk knot cuff links, a crisp white shirt, and custom velvet smoking slippers (emblazoned with a "C" on one shoe and an "M" on the other)—all from Ralph Lauren—completed his getup.
A Little Groomsman
The couple's ring bearer—a young cousin—donned a sweet little tuxedo from Culwell & Son, the label the rest of the groomsmen wore, as well.
Say a Little Prayer for You
"Collin and I opted out of a first look, since we were both so excited to see each other on the aisle," explains Olivia. "Instead, we shared a special moment alone, praying together from around a corner just a few minutes before the start of the ceremony. That tear-filled moment was antsy and calming all at the same time. It was the moment when everything felt real—he would be my husband in half an hour!"
On the Aisle
The 5 p.m. ceremony took place in the 19th Floor Ballroom, which the duo fell in love with for its ornate, Old-World architecture. "The clean lines, white walls, high ceilings, towering windows, and gold details of the ballroom felt so very fresh and French; the rich woods, clean marbles, and dramatic archways of the recently-refurbished hotel gave it an 'Are we even in Dallas?' vibe, which I loved," notes the bride.
Gro Designs crafted a lush ceremony arch that framed the wall's crown molding; a greenery-wrapped cross marked the altar. The service's décor, however, didn't compete with the ballroom's grandeur—an intentional choice, adds Olivia: "The walls, gold-framed mirrors, and natural light made a perfect backdrop, so I knew I wanted to keep everything else simple. The flowers were soft, airy, and romantic in cream, sand, and rosy hues paired with delicate greenery."
Two overflowing peony, rose, and greenery arrangements, situated in dramatic gold vessels, defined the aisle's opening; lit candles lined the rest of the walkway.
On Faith and Love
The director of Merge, the marriage ministry at the couple's place of worship, Watermark Community Church, crafted a ceremony that spoke to both the couple's faith and relationship. Before exchanging a modern take on traditional vows (which their officiant helped the duo rework), they read love notes—they'd written them prior to the service—aloud.
An Everlasting Love
Married at last, Olivia and Collin recessed back up the aisle to "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" by Natalie Cole.
"Following the ceremony, we took family portraits together in the ballroom, pictures with our wedding party down in the lobby, and portraits of just us two near the French Room and all around the hotel," says Olivia.
The duo attempted to snap a few shots outside post-ceremony, but a quick turn of weather forced the session indoors. "Texas weather never fails to be unpredictable," says the bride.
Back to the Ballroom
Following a cocktail hour, held in the ballroom's foyer ("Our string quartet played everything from Frank Sinatra to John Legend, while our guests enjoyed passed hors d'oeuvres and beverages," adds Olivia), guests returned to the ceremony space, which had been flipped in the interim.
On the Tables
A mix of round and rectangular tables, framed by chiavari chairs with cream cushions, defined the space; BBJ Linens provided satin tablecloths and napkins. Small, low-to-the-table centerpieces, crafted using the event's signature blooms (pink peonies and roses!) were clustered together, creating the illusion of an elongated garland.
Olivia and Collin's simple table numbers referenced their invitation suite; the gold-foil cards came from the same Vera Wang set they sourced from Paper Affair.
Let's Eat Cake
The Adolphus also provided the couple's four-tier wedding cake, complete with a few fresh florals for texture. Olivia and Collin decided on chocolate devil's food cake and red velvet cake with Italian buttercream and vanilla mousseline.
A Cake for the Groom
Collin's mother worked with Mom's Bakery to design her son's groom's cake, which reflected his love for golf. "She had the bakery decorate the cake with a stick figure of Collin on the green with his mouth in an 'O' shape, with his golf ball at the edge of the hole—as if he were trying to blow his ball into the hole," Olivia explains. "We both definitely got a crack out of that, since Collin is always (humbly) joking that his handicap in golf is simply his swing in general."
Something Like Olivia
For their first married spin, Collin and Olivia (who had let her hair down and removed her gown's draped lace sleeves for the reception) chose a song that was, in essence, all about Olivia. "Collin thought 'Something Like Olivia' by John Mayer would be the perfect song to have a first dance to, and I agreed. The song has always reminded him of me. Plus, we're big John Mayer fans—and the song brought in a really sweet, southern feel, which we loved!" explains the bride. "Plus, how cute is it that the first few words of the song are 'Well, Olivia is taken"—pretty fitting, don't you think?"
Olivia then danced with her father to "Isn't She Lovely?" by Stevie Wonder; Collin swayed to Rascal Flatt's "My Wish" with his mom.
Photography, Sophie Epton Photography
Location, Catering, and Cake, The Adolphus Hotel
Rehearsal dinner venue, The Mirador
Groom's cake, Mom's Bakery
Dessert, Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery
Event planning and Day-of coordination, Events by Kristin
Flowers, Gro Designs
Videography, Candlelight Films
Stationery, Paper Affair
Day-of paper goods, Pink Champagne Designs
Bride’s gown, Galia Lahav
Bridal Hair and Makeup, Samantha Landis
Bridesmaids' Hair and Makeup, Rocio Vielma
Groom’s suit and accessories, Ralph Lauren
Groomsmen's attire, Culwell & Son
Lighting, LeForce Entertainment