Upon her graduation from college in Texas, Laurel Pugliese was ready for a change of scenery. Electing to move north to Washington, DC with her best friend, the pair soon met Andrew Thrash and his roommate through an acquaintance shared by the two groups. “I remember that Laurel was extremely outgoing,” says Andrew. “She made it very clear that we were going to be good friends, which made it easy to open up to her.” Laurel adds, “I was introduced to Andrew as ‘Thrash,’ his last name, and I still call him that because of how much I cherished our friendship and the role that played in our romantic relationship."

Following the passing of his beloved grandfather, Laurel gave Andrew unwavering support during the emotional time – he quickly decided he wanted to propose. On a solo trip to Dallas, the groom-to-be arranged to go to breakfast with Laurel’s father to discuss his intentions. “It was a fun, casual meal, but I was pretty nervous the whole time,” Andrew reveals. “At the end, I basically blurted it all out. Thankfully, I got his blessing.” Recruiting the help of a knowledgeable friend, it didn’t take Andrew long to acquire the perfect sparkling diamond for Laurel. “My friend essentially told me what, where, and how to buy, and the engagement ring showed up in the mail!” he explains. In April, on a nighttime stroll, Andrew got on bended knee. “I was shocked!” smiles the bride. “After, we were just plain giddy.”

With just eight months to plan their dream New Year’s Eve wedding, Laurel asked for the help of her mother and father immediately. “We knew we wanted to get married in Dallas,” the bride notes. “Since I was living in DC, I heavily relied on my mom and dad to investigate venues and vendors in town.” Together with their parents and planner, the couple was able to design a contemporary Southern event.

Held in a landmark Art Deco building owned by the Dallas Historical Society, the wedding was a true nod to the bride’s home state. On the final day of the year, 400 guests gathered for the ceremony in a grand room featuring ornate pillars, intricately designed ceiling panels, suspended antique-inspired chandeliers, and a large gilt Texas emblem on the back wall. With so much architectural beauty in place, the duo elected to include regal floral décor complementary to the deep color scheme at the altar.

Bridesmaids descended the aisle wearing flowing dresses in a red wine hue while carrying deep-toned nosegays of roses, dusty miller blossoms, white lisianthus blooms, and other vibrant flowers. The bride followed close behind, dazzling attendees with a sophisticated sheath gown featuring a sweetheart neckline and long illusion lace sleeves. Following the sweet “I dos,” the newlyweds savored the moment. “Our photographer told us not to rush back up the aisle,” divulges Laurel. “We took this advice and gave high fives, mouthed enthusiastic greetings, and connected with everyone until we were out of sight.”

Moving into another room, friends and family mingled during cocktail hour while the ceremony space was transformed into a stunning reception area. Long and round tables alike displayed light linens, and marsala-hued arrangements featured in the vow exchange were placed in elegant mercury-glass vases to be highlighted as centerpieces. “The venue already had a lot of color to offer, so our additions were classic and thoughtful,” affirms Laurel.

As the festivities progressed, the bride and groom had one thing on their minds: “We wanted to dance!” exclaims Laurel. Adds Andrew, “I may have had a heart attack on the dance floor had the band not stopped when they did – the energy level was through the roof!” Between bites of their six-tier white cake featuring buttercream, raspberry, and black velvet fillings, the newlyweds rang in the New Year surrounded by the love and support of their nearest and dearest. “It certainly was the celebration of our lifetime,” Andrew confirms. As for the endearing nickname for her husband, Laurel admits that “our friends joked, ‘Aren’t you Thrash now?’ and I suppose I am!”