A Wedding Under the Texan Sun
Amanda and Marty
There's at least one reason it would be fair to say that the night filmmaker Marty Snyder met Amanda Gorski in New York City, in 2008, he was on the prowl. "He was wearing a brown sweatshirt with a wolf on it," says Amanda, the owner of an interior design firm. It was his personality—not his predatory outerwear—that drew her in that evening at the bar of the Beatrice Inn seven years ago. "He was funny and outgoing, and even though we'd just met, he seemed like someone I already knew," she recalls. The feeling was more than mutual. They soon became a couple, and in 2010 moved in together in Manhattan.
Three years later, on a vacation with Amanda's family in Belize, Marty dropped to one knee in the sand and asked for her hand. "I was completely shocked," she says, but her answer was a resounding yes. Then Houston-born Amanda realized she had her work cut out for her. "I'd always wanted a big Texas wedding—romantic and elegant, yet also very natural," she says. The only problem? Choosing a locale that meant something to her fiancé as well. "Marfa's a magical town full of art galleries where the movies No Country for Old Men and Giant were filmed," she says. "Finally, I found Cibolo Creek Ranch, which is near Marfa, and he was sold." Marty ended up so sold on the charm of Texas, in fact, that post-wedding, the pair relocated to the bride's hometown.
On October 25, 2014, the couple's family and friends gathered on the lawn of the ranch, 600 miles from the bride's family's house, and more than 3,000 miles from Lima, Peru, where Marty was born (he was raised in California and Miami). Amanda walked down an aisle lined with wild grasses and flowers to a chuppah draped with hydrangeas, dahlias, and foliage. There, the two exchanged vows, written by the groom and their officiant, in a nondenominational ceremony that included some traditional elements from his Jewish heritage, like breaking a glass at the end of the vows.
At the cocktail hour in the ranch's adobe courtyard, partygoers ate mini corn-bread cups filled with pulled pork and jalapeño-wrapped shrimp, while Marty's dad played harmonica along to the live band's classic rock songs. A buffet of beef tenderloin, fried chicken, and shrimp Veracruz followed on the lawn—as well as an emotional speech by the groom, who thanked his bride "for showing me what love is." Later, as guests danced under Marfa's canopy of stars, those who listened carefully could hear coyotes howling joyfully at the moon. As for that wolf sweatshirt: "We still have it," says Amanda. "I won't let him throw it out!"
Historic Cibolo Creek Ranch, where they wed, sits just south of town, at the foot of the Chinati Mountains, on 30,000 acres of land.
Welcome to Marfa
Mexican papel picado inspired the welcome-party invite.
One side of the invitation, by Katie Hyatt of Signora e Mare, featured an original watercolor of the ranch and the Texas sky; the other was foil-stamped with the day's details.
Marty designed Amanda's engagement ring using an antique diamond.
Man's Best Friend
The couple's goldendoodle, Oscar, wore a bow tie for the special event.
The ceremony was anchored with a chuppah dripping in flowers in the fall harvest color scheme—deep oxblood, pinks, white, and ambers. "It was so beautiful, I was so sad to leave," Amanda notes of the mix of peegee hydrangea, pistachio foliage, garden roses, amaranthus, café au lait dahlias, cotinas, and vines.
All Along the Aisle
Of the aisle, Amanda says, "I wanted to feel like I was walking in a field of wildflowers."
Showered with Petals
As the newlyweds walked back up the aisle to George Harrison's "What Is Life," guests showered them with petals from dahlias, chrysanthemums, dianthus, and asters.
A Moment Together
"I have a very specific memory of when I realized I wanted to marry Amanda. It was a cloudy, snowy day, and we were having lunch at a restaurant. I was feeling down, and Amanda said something private that I found very meaningful," Marty says. "Suddenly the clouds broke and a beam of sun came in, and it hit me—not just me, but everything around me and in my life. That was when I knew she was the woman I wanted to marry."
A Decorated Doorway
Sage, cotton, and pecan foliage hung in wreaths from the barn doors, which separated the cocktail-hour courtyard and the dinner-party lawn.
Post ceremony, guests mingled and sipped elderflower Champagne cocktails in the courtyard while a three-piece band played acoustic covers of classic rock 'n' roll songs. Marty's dad also cruised around with his harmonica.
Baron, the son of one of Amanda's bridesmaids, served as the ring bearer. According to the bride, he was also the best dancer of the night.
The Guest Book
A handmade camel-colored velvet guestbook found on Etsy was set out for guests to write their well wishes to the Mr. and Mrs. in.
The Reception Décor
Tables were set with garden roses, amber amaranthus, basil, and café au lait dahlias; each plate held a personalized menu calligraphed in plum ink.
The buffet-style dinner was served alfresco, under tree boughs and bistro lights.
The First Dance
The duo chose Sam Cooke's "Nothing Can Change This Love" for their first dance, for which Amanda wore her second gown, by Carolina Herrera. Years before the pair was engaged, Amanda had played the song for Marty and said that if they ever get married that she wanted that song to play during their first dance. And it did.
The couple also had the band learn "Harvest Moon" by Neil Young as their "backup" first dance song. "We loved both songs so much, we just had our wedding party join in on this one," Amanda recalls.
One of the Cakes
Three cakes were on offer at the reception; this beauty was frosted in buttercream and topped with pistachio foliage and dahlias.
Later that night, attendees toasted s'mores at a fire pit and lit sparklers with custom matches.
Guests took home Lone Star State–shaped sugar cookies from the bride's favorite Houston bakery, Moeller's.
Location, Catering, and Cake: Cibolo Creek Ranch
Event Coordination: Keely Thorne Events
Flowers: Bows and Arrows
Photography: Aaron Delesie
Videography: Ellie Connell of Reeling Films
Stationery and Calligraphy: Signora e Mare
Music: [cocktail hour] Rick Ruiz, 432-386-3408; [reception] The Drywater Band
Rentals: Laura Carrillo Designs
Hair and Makeup: Amy Clarke
Groom's ensemble: Ralph Lauren
Groom's shoes: Costume National
Sound and Lighting: Marfa Recording Company
Kids' attire: Zara
Wedding Rings: Cartier
Cookies: Moeller's Bakery
Table Numbers: Bhldn