First meeting at a local college hangout in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, freshman Meredith Flores was introduced to senior Mason Barker, and though they flirted a bit, they both continued to socialize with friends separately and the night went on. Much to Mason’s dismay, the pretty girl he had intended to talk more with didn’t resurface again for another five years. This time, he beelined it over to where she was sitting as soon as he saw her. “I immediately asked for her phone number and if I could take her to dinner the next time we were both in the same town,” Mason reveals.
Meredith was delighted and agreed to a date. They planned to meet after her finals were completed, in her hometown of Houston, where Mason had been working since graduation. Finally sitting down for their first meal together, Mason was in awe: “Meredith Flores sat down across from me, and I was blown out of my seat from the first instant. She’s not like anyone else on earth.”
The pandemic hit, and the couple were given the opportunity to spend a lot more time with one another, confirming what they already knew in their hearts: they were meant to be together. Mason secured the blessing of Meredith’s father, selected the perfect sparkling engagement ring, and proposed to his beloved on the beach.
When it came time to plan their dream day, the bride had always desired to be married at her parents’ estate, in the same lush landscape in which she grew up playing with her siblings on the perfectly manicured lawns. Vibrant collections of fresh wisteria played a primary role in the overall wedding design. Meredith opted to focus on a garden concept filled with romantic elements and unique details. “I wanted to naturally play into the spectacular gardens of my family home,” she says.
Beginning with a pre-ceremony Champagne reception in the rose garden, friends and relatives soon found their seats at French-style garden chairs that were situated facing the immaculate greenery of the property marked with an impressive arbor of fresh blooms, which served as the spot for the vow exchange. Massive trees enveloped the space that had been adorned with boxed greenery and florals in a gorgeous array of eggplant, lilac, pink, and white hues, all along the aisleway.
“I wanted to naturally play into the spectacular gardens of my family home.”
Bridesmaids, wearing a pretty shade of lavender, preceded Meredith down the aisle, as well as an adorable flower girl. The bride made her grand entrance on the arm of her father and walked down the aisle to the sounds of traditional strings and horns playing contemporary music. She was a vision in a lace gown made complete with a timeless cathedral veil and held a classic all-white bouquet of garden roses, sweet peas, scabiosa, and ranunculuses.
The heartfelt service included personalized vows, favorite prayer readings, and chamber ringers who created beautiful sounds using handbells. “It was such a special moment saying ‘I do’ with all of our closest family and friends all around us,” shares the bride. At the conclusion, the newlyweds and their guests made their way to the reception site, a luxurious hall boasting magnificent architecture, for a night of fine dining, dancing, and revelry.
Professional bartenders, who handed cocktails to attendees to imbibe as they mingled and got themselves acquainted within the vast space, crafted personalized cocktails such as “Lavender Bliss.” The garden theme was carried over into the reception in a grand way, with thousands of hydrangeas, roses, and of course, wisteria seen in all corners of the room.
As partygoers gazed up, their eyes were met with beautifully artistic arrangements of wisteria suspended overhead. “It was magical!” exclaims the bride, who thanks her wedding designer and planner for making her fairy tale come to fruition.
For dinner, loved ones indulged in a variety of food stations from comfort fare to decadent choices. After supper, slices of the multiple-tiered wedding confection, as well as from the groom’s cake, a traditional croquembouche, were passed for guests’ enjoyment – and to provide a sugary treat to ready them for a night of dancing to live musical entertainment, including a surprise performance from guests Brooks & Dunn.
The special day resulted in such beautiful memories for the new Mr. and Mrs., and they relished the feeling of pure happiness as they set off on their mini-moon to St. Barths followed by an Italian escape over the summer.
This real wedding was originally published in the Spring 2023 issue of Inside Weddings magazine.
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