A Heartfelt, Intimate Wedding at a Historic Texan Home
Yolanda and Cedric
Yolanda, a healthcare consultant, first met Cedric, a financial services representative, through his then-college roommate. He thought his future wife was beautiful and enjoyed the time they spent together, and she loved his height and mannerisms. "Everything about Cedric was different from any other man I had met," she recalls. The couple dated for less than a year when late one night in downtown Dallas, after Yolanda had dropped several hints, Cedric suddenly asked her to pick a date to get married!
After Yolanda's mother's untimely passing about a year earlier and with her father's health also slowly deteriorating, the bride really wanted to ensure that he could be present when she got married. So within a three-month window, they made it happen. After seeing a wedding hosted at the Aldredge House in Dallas, Texas, they knew it was the location for them. The couple reached out to the event planner for that wedding too, Wendy Kay of Birds of a Feather Events, and it was another great fit. Yolanda and Cedric opted to keep the celebration intimate, with just five of their closest family members as guests. Other than the color scheme of reds and blue, and keeping things close-knit, Yolanda and Cedric left it all up to Wendy to bring to life. "We wanted a wedding that reflected the season, so we focused on deep tones and fall touches," the planner says.
And so, on November 20, 2015, surrounded by their absolute closest loved ones (and with the bride's mother very much there in spirit), Yolanda and Cedric tied the knot. Sadly, Yolanda's father passed away less than a year after the big day, but his presence at the wedding, as well as knowing her mother was looking down upon all of them, is something Yolanda and Cedric will cherish forever.
With a short time frame for planning, Yolanda left a lot up to their capable planner. On the day of the wedding, Wendy surprised everyone with classy yet understated Harts and Quills invitations in the day's signature blue-and-gold theme, which became the perfect keepsake from this intimate "I do's".
The bride loved the mermaid silhouette of her chosen gown, a Chantilly lace number from Lasting Bridal Couture. She paired the dress with a veil and jewelry from the boutique and Lauren Lorraine shoes.
Cedric looked dapper in a less-traditional take of a groom's suit in his navy blue Bachrach jacket, Ensy's Custom Tailoring shirt, gray Bachrach pants, and Kenneth Cole shoes. He also added pops of color with his pocket square and tie, which complemented the bride's bouquet.
The Bridal Bouquet
The Southern Table highlighted rich rubies and marsala in the bride's harvest-like bouquet of peonies, dahlias, and garden roses. The charm on her bouquet ribbons was a bridal shower gift from a previous co-worker, who had added a photo of Yolanda's mom as a special surprise.
The Ceremony Location
After seeing pictures from a previous wedding that Wendy had planned, the couple knew they too wanted to get hitched under the property's huge oak tree in the backyard. Rather than building something in front of it and taking away from the tree's grandeur, their florist dressed it up with blooms in vibrant berry tones, resulting in an untouched, Secret Garden look. Yolanda's mother was also honored with a chair and flower set up, as if she were there on her daughter's special day.
The Bride's Entrance
At noon on that picturesque fall day, Yolanda's father escorted her down the aisle to "Time After Time" by Cassandra Wilson. This moment was an especially special one for the bride as it meant the world to have her dad by her side.
"The preacher said 'wow' when he saw how beautiful a bride Yolanda was and I concurred," Cedric said of his favorite moment, watching his wife-to-be walk down the aisle.
The twosome exchanged traditional vows under the shade of the huge tree, with their small wedding party bearing witness. "When the preacher began speaking, a small gust of wind came through. As the leaves swirled, everyone paused because it was so serene and beautiful," the bride recalls of that sentimental moment. "It was as if my mom was letting me know she was there in spirit with me."
Yolanda and Cedric kept things tight-knit with their closest loved ones—her father, aunt, cousin, and Cedric's parents. Everyone also looked on theme in marsala and navy ensembles.
The Fruit-Infused Water Station
Fruit-infused waters were on offer and following the ceremony, the cocktail hour was held inside the venue with a selection of non-alcoholic beverages (which the planner infused herself), plus cheese and crackers were readily available for guests to nibble on.
The Reception Set-Up
"We wanted to bring in fruit, natural fall colors, a balance of feminine and masculine touches, while keeping it romantic and simple," their planner explains of the table décor. Brass candlesticks, wooden plates, and gold cutlery tied into the regal, antique look. A deep blue table runner and The Southern Table's arrangements of peonies, dahlias, and garden roses, accented with pomegranates, artichokes and plums, served as the centerpiece.
The Place Setting
Each place setting featured a blue napkin, wrapped in a leather holder that doubled as the guests' escort cards; once again tying in both masculine and feminine details.
The Reception Décor
A fireplace decked out with candles in glass holders and draped greenery brought the Secret Garden vibe indoors.
The Reception Flowers
Lush greenery was featured yet again with wild smilax vine dotted with garden roses and peonies trailing down the manor's staircase.
The First Dance
As their family members snapped pictures, Yolanda and Cedric had their first whirl as husband and wife to Musiq Soulchild's "So Beautiful".
The Father-Daughter Dance
Yolanda also had a special moment with her dad, dancing to Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable."
Photography, Charla Storey
Location, Aldredge House
Event planning, Wendy Kay of Birds of a Feather Events
Catering, Beyond the Box
Flowers, The Southern Table
Stationery and calligraphy, Harts and Quills
Cake, Layered Bake Shop
Music, Noah Galaviz
Rentals, La Tavola Linens
Bride's gown, Lasting Bridal Couture
Makeup, Natalia Issa
Groom's accessories, Kenneth Cole shoes
Transportation, Blue Diamond Limousines