Though Kristin Culp and Jered Groner grew up together in the small town of Midland, Texas, it took two decades and a trip out of state for their friendship to blossom into love. A few years after they graduated from college, romance sparked between the pair while attending the Steamboat Music Festival in Colorado. “The second night of the festival forever changed my life,” shares Jered. He was attending with his friends, while she was visiting with hers, and they immediately hit it off. The next week was spent skiing together, two-stepping to country music, and getting to know each other on a more personal level. Jered confesses “Although a ways away, I was happy to go all the way to Steamboat, Colorado to find a Midland girl!”
Seven months into their relationship, the groom was diagnosed with brain cancer for the second time. Though his treatment plan required him to move across the country to Maryland for six weeks while he received radiation therapy, his beloved visited on multiple occasions. “My mom said she always knew when Kristin was coming to see me because I would get such a lift before she was set to get in,” muses the groom. On her second trip, Jered knew she was the woman with whom he wanted to spend the rest of his life. “Throughout all of my trials with brain cancer, Kristin has been there with me every step of the way,” he remembers. “I can honestly say that because of cancer, we have grown closer to each other than I would have ever dreamed.” Upon his return, he asked her parents for their blessing, picked out a ring the very next day, and proposed right before Christmas.
With 11 months to plan, the couple decided early on how they desired their sophisticated hometown fête to be celebrated. “We wanted our wedding ceremony to be God-centered, and our reception to be full of life and dancing,” describes the bride. Enlisting the help of Jordan Payne Events allowed them to host the event of their dreams with 650 people in attendance. Upon a visit to their local country club, “Jordan had a vision that excited all of us,” shares Kristin of the idea to build their own tented venue in the parking lot. “It allowed us to accommodate all our family and friends, have freedom of design, and create something never before seen in Midland,” the bride exclaims.
After saying “I do” in front of a custom-made, five-foot cross adorned with foliage and fresh flowers at their church, the couple and their guests were transported to the gorgeous tented reception space. The overall design scheme showcased a watercolor sketch of beautiful roses, greenery, and ivy inspired by the blue-and-white Wedgwood antiques from the collection of the groom's grandmother – the only items left after a devastating fire destroyed the family home. Thus, a palette of various shades of azure and vanilla was established and incorporated into the couple’s wedding crest and watercolor motif. “It was one of my favorite personal and multi-generational details,” admits the bride of the wedding element that was introduced in the invitation suite and later used on all of the paper goods, dance floor, wedding cake, and hand-painted macaron favors.
Two French doors adorned with greenery and ivory blossoms led guests inside the dramatic tent, which was decorated with glistening crystal chandeliers suspended overhead – along with a one-of-a-kind display of vanilla florals and verdure. Lush draping enveloped the opulent setting, which showcased round tables decorated with one of three centerpiece designs: a low, antique gold vase filled with greenery and flowers in neutral hues; a tall, slender gilt vase with the same floral varieties; and a towering tree featuring cascading amaranth and bullion-painted trunks. Attendees found their seats atop translucent acrylic chairs, and each place setting featured cobalt glassware, gilt flatware, and a circular menu card featuring the delectable fare selections in golden lettering. “The attention to detail throughout the reception truly blew me away,” affirms Jered.
Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed the couple’s signature drink, the “Colorado Bulldog” – the same cocktail they had on their first date in Steamboat. Later, slices were served from a towering seven-layer confection featuring the couple’s hand-painted motif in an ombré effect and cascading gold sugar roses, along with pizza wedges as a late-night snack. Midway through the celebration, the bride surprised everyone by changing into a custom-made, A-line short dress with an oversized bow in the back. She and her groom also emerged in LED light-up shoes, allowing them to dance the night away with loved ones who had been given flats as well as glowing glasses, necklaces, rings, and more. “We had people of all ages, from our friends to our grandparents and everyone in between, out on the dance floor for a full four hours,” illustrates the groom.
The couple was absolutely thrilled with how the day turned out. “It was such a spectacular night that Jered and I were so proud to be a part of,” says Kristin. Notes the groom: “The entire day was by far the best one of my life up to this point.”