Whenever Cameron Salehi and Winston Kelly want to relive the memories of their fairy-tale romance, all they need to do is open their very own storybook. After proposing to his sweetheart (whom he first met in high school) with a 110-year-old diamond that belonged to his great-great-grandfather, Winston revealed the custom tome he had created that told the narrative of their relationship, complete with photos, loving words, and signatures from their entire family. “It was really amazing the amount of time and effort he put into it,” Cameron says.
As both Cameron and Winston are natives of Midland, Texas, and currently reside in the city, planning a wedding in their hometown was a natural choice. “A lot of our friends had beautiful destination weddings, but we wanted everyone to come to our home and celebrate with us here,” she explains. To the bride’s delight, Winston remained very involved in helping her and their consultant plan a simple, personalized ceremony at the couple’s church and a tented reception on the lush grounds of a private country club.
In light of the spectacular reception that was to come, the pair opted to keep the décor of the sanctuary minimal, so as to focus the service on their commitment to each other. White flowers of nearly every variety, including roses, hydrangeas, and tulips, were displayed atop bullion urns and as a lovely hedge across the altar. Bridesmaids carried bouquets of matching blooms and wore elegant dresses they designed themselves, featuring gold bodices and floor-length taupe skirts. Before seeing his bride – who looked ravishing in a ball gown with a voluminous ruffled skirt – walk down the aisle, Winston expected to be emotional. “But when I saw her, I couldn’t stop smiling,” he remembers. “My heart was completely fulfilled knowing we were about to become husband and wife.” The groom’s sisters read an Irish blessing, and his cousin rang “The Steel Bell” – a 100-year-old bell named after Winston’s family that was brought out of the historic Fort Worth Masonic Temple just for the occassion.
While their 500 guests enjoyed cocktails outside the reception tent, Cameron and Winston took their first look at the magnificent ivory and gold structure, which had taken a week to build from scratch. “The walk-through of the tent before any guests had seen it was like walking into an imaginary place that had been brought to life,” says the groom. Luxurious swaths of vanilla fabric formed the ceiling and walls, which were constructed around preexisting trees that were wrapped with neutral flowers. “Everyone couldn’t believe they were the same trees that had been there for years!” Cameron exclaims.
A mixture of sofas, banquettes, ottomans, and intimate tables, all in shades of white, taupe, and gold, provided varied seating options for dinner. Tall glass vases brimming with eggshell-hued blossoms and crystals were placed around the room, and crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling. But the focal point of the space was undoubtedly the shimmering installation that was suspended above the dance floor, which mimicked the wedding invitations as well as the dance floor design.
Since the father of the bride is Iranian and several guests had flown in from Iran to attend the celebration, a traditional Sofreh table displayed a spread of symbolic foods and décor elements. A live band with an impressive horn section entertained the crowd, followed by a DJ who spun hits until 2:30 a.m. Cameron was especially delighted by her father’s enthusiasm for their father-daughter dance to songs by Paul Simon and Hank Williams, Jr. and incorporating choreography for a few close friends. In addition to late-night snacks from the newlyweds’ favorite Midland eateries, two wedding cakes were served. Cameron’s dress inspired the first, which was an elegant pearl confection adorned with gold sugar flowers and geometric designs. The second was a stunning replica of the new football stadium at the University of Oklahoma, Winston’s alma mater. Eye masks printed with “Dreaming of… #kellycloud9” (the couple’s official hashtag) were appreciated favors after an unforgettable night of revelry.
Cameron acknowledges how easy it is for brides to get caught up in the small details and forget about the larger significance of the event. But she and Winston savored their moments together and the love shown by their friends and family, who were responsible for some of their favorite moments of their wedding. “At the end of the day you are surrounded by people that love you, marrying the person you love,” she points out, “and that’s all that matters.”