While most people would only be focused on securing a cup of coffee on a 5AM flight from New York City to Dallas, Cathlyn Jones and Michael Davis were open to finding the love of their lives. As seats are unassigned on Southwest Airlines flights, Cathlyn noticed an open seat in a handsome man’s row. “The moment she sat down, I knew I had to talk to her,” remembers Michael. The two of them, as well as the pastor who sat between them, chatted for three hours and they exchanged numbers after landing. “I got off the flight and texted my mother that I had met my husband, and he did the same to his sister,” says Cathlyn. “The best part is that the pastor ended up officiating our wedding!”
When it came time to propose, Michael secured the blessing of Cathlyn’s father over dinner and worked with her family to plan a memorable proposal that would honor their serendipitous meeting. He arranged for Cathlyn to think she was filming a commercial for a girls’ trip to Dallas at the Frontiers of Flight museum, which is home to the first Southwest plane; however, he had a surprise in store. As Cathlyn entered the plane, she saw Michael waiting to propose with a stunning family-heirloom engagement ring.
The bride spent the next year planning a luxurious wedding alongside her mother, sisters, and event planner. Michael, on the other hand, was not involved in any of the planning process – save for helping with the guest list of 450 loved ones. “It was kept a complete surprise from me!” he confirms. “Seeing everything for the first time was amazing.”
Since the groom didn’t even tour the venues, Cathlyn selected locations that represented them both. “Michael is a West Texas boy who loves being outdoors; I’m a city girl who loves getting dressed up. The venue was the ideal mix of those two things… and a perfect spot for out-of-town guests to enjoy the beauty of Austin in a relaxed setting.”
Cathlyn was gorgeous in a long-sleeve lace gown as she made her way down a custom monogrammed aisle runner designed by The Original Runner Company to meet her groom at the altar. “Michael and I are spiritual and Christian, so to have a traditional and Christ-centered ceremony was very important to us,” she affirms.
The pastor who sat in the middle seat when they first met officiated the heartfelt vow exchange, which included an ode to two of their dearest late loved ones: Michael’s father and the bride’s older brother. “We decided to light a candle in their honor at the beginning of the ceremony, which was special to us and our families,” Cathlyn smiles.
“Take it all in! Look around and see all the people celebrating and loving on you. It is such a sweet blessing, and you won’t get that opportunity to have all of your people there for you like that again.”
Following the ceremony, guests were transported to a nearby hotel for the grand reception. “We wanted it to feel glamorous, romantic, timeless, chic, and personal to us,” the bride shares of the vision for their “his” and “hers” tents. The groom’s tent showcased a whiskey bar, an alcoholic ice cream cart, a cigar roller, and masculine décor dedicated to baseball since Michael has played his whole life, including collegiately at Texas Tech and professionally with the Minnesota Twins.
“The groom’s tent was ballpark themed and really did a great job of bringing a little of my life to the wedding,” he affirms. The bride’s tent was glamorous and incorporated chic décor and upholstered furniture that fit her elegant style and profession as an interior designer. “I am a cat lady and wanted my cats to be there so badly,” she adds, “so we had two large portraits painted of them in my tent, as well as a fashion illustrator draw our guests.”
“My favorite part of it all was our flower dance floor,” confirms the bride of the exceptional setting. Hundreds of blooms were displayed beneath the clear, acrylic dance floor, so guests could dance on top of flowers all night long. To make the space even more whimsical, a ceiling installation of cascading blooms in ivory, blush, and lavender was arranged overhead.
To commemorate their incredible love story that began in the sky, a photo booth offered the opportunity for guests to take pictures in airplane seats and an embosser was on site to personalized leather luggage tags as take-home gifts.
With the memories from the special day in their hearts, the newlyweds were honored to celebrate with their friends and family. Cathlyn urges: “Take it all in! Look around and see all the people celebrating and loving on you. It is such a sweet blessing, and you won’t get that opportunity to have all of your people there for you like that again.”
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