A Flower-Filled Spring Wedding in Texas
Three sentences. That's all Ashley Bryan and Adam Flores shared the first time they met, in 2012. They were at a party, both celebrating the end of their Harvard Graduate School of Education programs, though they'd never met. At one point, as Ashley walked down a hall, Adam stopped her. "He said, 'I've been wanting to meet you all year,'" she recalls. "And when I asked why he hadn't said anything before, he said, 'You always looked so serious in the library.' That was our whole exchange." Adam, who wasn't sure how to keep the conversation going, left hoping for another encounter.
After graduation, Ashley, an education strategist, went home to Dallas; Adam, now a high school principal, moved to Denver. But they had a mutual friend in Texas—and when Adam came to visit in 2014, he and Ashley both had their brief exchange on their minds, so they decided to meet. "When I saw her, I got nervous," Adam says. "I bolted into a bike shop to calm down." It did the trick, and he and Ashley began dating; he eventually moved to Dallas. Two years later, he proposed in the same shop where he'd steadied his nerves.
For their April 21, 2017, ceremony, they chose the historic Frankford Church, on the Dallas prairie where Ashley grew up. As a child, she would play on the secluded property with her best friend (who became her matron of honor) and her sister. The idyllic site offered an intimate vibe and inspired the décor. "We didn't want an overstylized look, so we opted for wildflowers, less traditional floral vessels, and soft linens," Ashley says. The service was officiated by Eliot Howard, Adam's childhood pastor from Minneapolis. "Eliot's a wordsmith who always brings a crowd together," Adam says.
The party continued at the Filter Building on White Rock Lake, an old pump house turned event space with a picturesque view of the water. Guests feasted on biscuits, fried chicken, and other Texas standards from Bolsa, one of the pair's favorite restaurants. And then the dancing began. Ashley's mom's side of the family is Lebanese, and her cousins took out hand drums for the dabke, a traditional folk dance. "We were terrible at it, but it was so fun," Ashley says. "Everyone stayed on the dance floor all night."
Ashley tried on roughly 50 different dresses at five different boutiques before falling in love with designer Limor Rosen. "I loved how unique and non-traditional this gown was, and the detailing was stunning," she says.
Ashley wanted to avoid an overly-stylized bouquet, preferring something "more organic, flowing, and cascading." Those were the only instructions she gave Alicia Rico of
. "Her creation was this giant beautiful bouquet, which was very heavy. Adam took it off my hands a few times during pictures," Ashley says of the arrangement of peonies, muscari, garden roses, and sweet peas, among other spring blooms.
The Flower Girl
Adam's 8-year-old goddaughter, Gwen, traveled from Wales to be flower girl for the ceremony.
The Frankford Church—which was built in the late 19th century and is registered as a historical site—was recently restored to its original look. "It's serene and has big windows that let in natural light," Ashley says. "It was a special place for me and it matched the feel of intimacy and simplicity that we wanted for the ceremony."
Seating so many guests in the small church made for a tight fit, but the ceremony felt all the more personal.
Each bridesmaid chose her own navy- or lapis-blue dress. "I was drawn to the mix-and-match look," says Ashley.
For the seating chart, wedding planner Rebecca Marín Shepherd of The Wildflowers placed pressed wildflowers between a tablecloth and a sheet of plexiglass. The table assignments were attached to the top.
The reception meal was served family-style. "We wanted the experience to feel intimate and warm, like a gathering for a big dinner," says Ashley.
A Warm Welcome
In order to add to the intimate feel of the day, the couple decided to present every guest with a handwritten note. "In addition to thanking them for coming, we shared a memory or an impact they have had on us and why it was important for them to be there with us on that day," Ashley says. It was certainly a labor of love—they were still writing the notes on the day of the wedding—but both agree that it was worth the effort.
A Delicious Wedding Cake
Event planning and design, The Wildflowers
Flowers, Bows + Arrows
Photography, Apryl Ann
Videography, Peyton Anne Frank
Stationery, Bonne Nouvelle Design
Calligraphy, The Left Handed Calligrapher
Bride's gown, Limor Rosen
Hair and makeup, Samantha Landis
Groom's and groomsmen's tuxedos, and groom's bow tie, The Black Tux
Lighting, Absolute Entertainment
Transportation, Premier Transportation
Bridesmaids' hair, Drybar