Brenna Byler and Caleb Smidt met at a rodeo when they were only 14 years old. “We were both so young and shy,” says Caleb. “I don’t remember talking much.” Nevertheless, Brenna was smitten and took delight in his playful manner. “He was always full of fun… teasing everyone and making them laugh,” she describes. And, so, the seed of their relationship was planted.
Nine years later, they found themselves hunting for the perfect setting to host their wedding celebration. Looking for an outdoor venue that offered beautiful scenery, the couple chose an idyllic lakefront location. Sunlight beautifully bathed the ceremony, as it streamed through the mossy branches of century-old oak trees. The couple timed their vow exchange to coincide with the setting sun, which inspired the décor palette and the attire of the bridal party.
Bright white florals and verdure decorated wooden chairs that lined the aisle leading to a pergola adorned in a striking, but understated, fashion. Bridesmaids wore dazzling golden dresses with sequined bodices and clutched nosegays composed of vanilla roses and peonies, accented with blush rosebuds. Groomsmen donned smart black tuxedos with classic rose boutonnieres at their lapels.
Antique doors opened to the sound of trumpets announcing the bride. Beneath a cathedral veil, Brenna was aglow in a strapless satin gown with a trailing organza ruffled skirt. Carrying on tradition, Brenna also wore the family slip that has been worn by all Byler women on their wedding day. Elbow-length satin gloves and glistening gold heels completed her look. Brenna held a lush bouquet of frothy white roses, tulips, and peonies. “My walk down the aisle was the moment I had thought about my entire life,” says the bride. Once she caught sight of her groom, Brenna was unable to take her eyes off of him. “I’ve never smiled that big!” she muses.
The Christian service was sentimental and heartfelt. “Reciting our vows was such a powerful moment for both of us,” shares the bride. “Not only was it a commitment to each other in front of our family and friends, but we thanked God for bringing us together and promised that we will never separate and love through everything, no matter what.”
Continuing the color scheme of the ceremony, round tables placed under and around the tented reception area were bedecked in a variety of luxurious linens. Ivory and pink floral arrangements sprung from tall gilded risers and candelabra or petite sparkling sequined vases. Another more organic design featured dry branches sprouting from a bed of vanilla and blush flowers and beheld the same blossoms.
In front of a freestanding stone fireplace, the head table was lavishly draped with cream roses, orchids, hydrangeas, and a sprinkling of pink rosebuds adding a touch of color. Floating candles in glass holders and glittering, golden pillar candles cast a warm glow. The ceiling was dramatically decorated with sheer fabric in bullion and ivory hues as well as green garlands, accented with crystal chandeliers and sparkling string lights.
The couple’s first dance was one of Caleb’s most memorable moments of the reception. “Holding Brenna in my arms and twirling her around the dance floor [felt like] we were the only ones in the room,” he explains of the romantic occasion.
After guests had their fill of hearty fare at the numerous serving stations, they enjoyed slices of either the wedding confection or the groom’s cake. The former was composed of five round tiers that boasted gold lace details and cascading flowers set atop two rectangular bullion tiers. The latter was a chocolate masterpiece that resembled wooden crates with leather trim and binding, topped with a bronze sculpture handcrafted by Brenna’s grandfather of a calf roper in action. “Caleb is a professional calf roper, so it represented him beautifully,” she says.
Taking the typical sparkler exit to the next level, Brenna and Caleb departed the evening’s festivities by running through a concert-worthy pyrotechnic “tunnel of fire” to an awaiting helicopter that transported them to the Houston airport. From there, they flew to their honeymoon on the private island of Cayo Espanto in Belize. “Such a heavenly place!” gushes the bride.
Though Brenna found the details involved in planning a wedding for 1,000 guests overwhelming, the only thing she was left wishing for was the ability to “freeze-frame time, to take it all in.” Rightfully so. The entire day was magical, right down to the very last minute.