Inside Weddings - - Wed­dings - October 15, 2016 Dal­las, Texas | Pho­tographed by Sarah Kate, Pho­tog­ra­pher

October 15, 2016 Dal­las, Texas Pho­tographed by Sarah Kate, Pho­tog­ra­pher


It didn’t take long for Stephanie Brown to feel con­fi­dent in her re­la­tion­ship with Ben­jamin Brown. They had only been dat­ing a cou­ple months, but when Stephanie was in­vited to present re­search at Ox­ford Univer­sity, she knew she wanted to in­vite her new beau. They spent the next sev­eral months plan­ning their first in­ter­na­tional trip, which would take them through the Amalfi Coast and Paris be­fore stop­ping in Lon­don for Stephanie’s con­fer­ence.

In the time lead­ing up to their va­ca­tion, Stephanie had asked if they could have a pic­nic while in Paris, but Ben­jamin had not shown in­ter­est in the idea. How­ever, once they were in the “City of Lights,” he sur­prised her with a lux­u­ri­ous pic­nic, com­plete with Cham­pagne, flow­ers, and bal­loons. Still reel­ing from the un­ex­pected dis­play, Stephanie was shocked when Ben dropped to one knee. “I could not wait to say yes and start plan­ning our next chapter to­gether,” she shares.



Pam Vasko - hair; Lind­sey Arm­strong and Peggy Se­gundo - makeup Bridal Gown/Salon/Veil

Romona Keveža

Brides­maid Gowns



Dal­las Af­faires Cake Com­pany Panini Bak­ery & Cakes Cal­lig­ra­phy

Tara Jones Cal­lig­ra­phy


Food Glo­ri­ous Food

Sourced Craft Cock­tails Con­sult­ing

Di­a­mond Af­fairs Wed­dings and Spe­cial Events

Dress Valet

The Stylish Bride


Han­nah Kuipers, harpist

Jor­dan Kahn Mu­sic Com­pany Joseph Kuipers, cel­list


En­core Pro­duc­tions

Steel City Pops

Su­per­fly Pies Dal­las

Flo­ral De­sign/Linens

Jack­son Durham Events Hon­ey­moon

Le Taha’a Is­land Re­sort & Spa

The St. Regis Bora Bora Re­sort In­vi­ta­tions/Aisle Run­ner

Par­adise De­sign Co.



Ju­nior Brides­maid/Flower Girl Dresses

Anna Tri­ant Cou­ture

Light­ing De­sign

Stage 2 Light­ing


Sarah Kate, Pho­tog­ra­pher


Clas­sic Party Rentals

Posh Cou­ture Rentals


Ar­ling­ton Hall at Lee Park Videog­ra­phy

To help with the preparations, the cou­ple hired Mary Wright Shah of Di­a­mond Af­fairs Wed­dings and Spe­cial Events to make their dreams come true. This proved to be a pru­dent de­ci­sion when the bride re­vealed her de­sire to wed on the front porch of the venue they had al­ready se­cured – a feat that had never been done be­fore. “I could tell by her fa­cial ex­pres­sion that it would be a daunt­ing task, but her team is known for mak­ing the im­pos­si­ble pos­si­ble. I never doubted her abil­i­ties to make our vi­sion come to life,” Stephanie af­firms.

With such a grand venue, the bride knew she would need to find the per­fect gown that would not un­der­whelm. Per her mom’s sug­ges­tion, the mother-daugh­ter duo took a trip to New York City in search of the right dress. “I knew I wanted a South­ern ball gown, but there were very few de­sign­ers that of­fered the full­ness and vol­ume I de­sired,” ex­plains Stephanie. Feel­ing de­feated af­ter mul­ti­ple ap­point­ments with no luck, it was sug­gested that they try the flag­ship Romona Keveža salon. Scrolling through the look book, there was at last a dress that caught Stephanie’s eye. Un­for­tu­nately, she was told it was a run­way ex­clu­sive. Thank­fully, the salon was able to work their magic and find a sam­ple for her to try on. With some mod­i­fi­ca­tions to make it more ap­pro­pri­ate for the Texas heat and a re­fer­ral to a dress valet to help han­dle the mas­sive skirt, the bride at last had her fairy-tale gown.

As nei­ther of their fam­i­lies live in Dal­las, Stephanie and Ben wanted to cel­e­brate all week­end long, so their nup­tials were com­plete with a wel­come party, re­hearsal din­ner, and Sun­day brunch. “I wanted the day to be spe­cial for Ben and me, but I also knew the wed­ding was im­por­tant to our fam­i­lies,” the bride notes. In ad­di­tion to the help her par­ents of­fered through­out the plan­ning, the fa­ther and step­mother of the groom brought in a per­sonal touch to the re­hearsal din­ner. Both es­teemed chefs, they pre­pared nine dif­fer­ent desserts for the event and then gifted the soon-to-be new­ly­weds with a beau­ti­fully made recipe book of the con­fec­tions en­joyed at the sup­per.

At last it was time for the main event. “I think see­ing Steph walk down the aisle in that beau­ti­ful wed­ding dress in front of our clos­est friends and fam­ily was the great­est mo­ment of my life,” Ben con­fides. The grand­fa­ther of the bride led an open­ing prayer, and a close friend of the groom served as the preacher, giv­ing the ser­vice an in­ti­mate feel.

The cer­e­mony flo­rals pri­mar­ily uti­lized white pha­laenop­sis or­chids, com­ple­ment­ing the tra­di­tional South­ern style of the front porch. Jack­son Durham Events tied the same fea­tured bloom into the re­cep­tion, while also in­cor­po­rat­ing pops of color by cre­at­ing ar­range­ments that paired the or­chids with gar­den and tea roses, hy­drangeas, and tulips in shades of blush and cham­pagne.

“I think see­ing Steph walk down the aisle in that beau­ti­ful wed­ding dress in front of our clos­est friends and fam­ily was the great­est mo­ment of my life.”

Well aware that peo­ple of­ten think of wed­dings as be­ing “all about the bride,” Stephanie wanted to make sure that her new hus­band felt ap­pre­ci­ated. She gifted her groom a de­signer watch, while he in turn sur­prised her with a sec­ond di­a­mond wed­ding ring.

How­ever, Stephanie still had a few sur­prises of her own! In honor of Ben’s fa­vorite cock­tail, she or­ga­nized an Old-Fash­ioned bar that also dis­played a groom’s cake, which repli­cated the sta­dium of Ben’s beloved Cleve­land Browns. “It was an un­for­get­table day!” gushes the groom. “I was in awe of my wife’s sur­prises.”

While vis­it­ing her col­lege friend in Chicago one Thanks­giv­ing Week­end, Maria Bra­cho felt drawn to his high school pal, Gre­gory Beck. Meet­ing dur­ing a group evening out, “I felt com­pelled to be a good host to her,” re­counts Greg. They made plans to go to cof­fee just the two of them the fol­low­ing day. “We talked about ev­ery­thing from hob­bies to our ca­reer goals to our mu­tual love of Golden Retriev­ers,” Maria muses. De­cid­ing that they had too much chem­istry not to pur­sue a re­la­tion­ship, the pair elected to date long dis­tance; how­ever, they were fi­nally able to come to­gether af­ter eight months when they grad­u­ated from their re­spec­tive pro­grams and Maria moved to Chicago.

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