As soon as Clay Cook spotted Ashley Green at a housewarming party for a mutual friend, he knew he had to meet her. He struck up a conversation and, after hours of chatting, the two knew something had clicked. Two years later, on August 8, 2014, Clay asked Ashley if she wanted to go out on a special date. "We had started going on fancy date nights every so often that summer, and this happened to be one of those nights," Ashley says. "I thought nothing of it. We made plans to meet some friends for drinks afterward at an urban park nearby." But when they got to the park, instead of leading Ashley toward the bar, Clay took her down a path decorated with chandeliers. "As we were walking down the path, a photographer approached us. He said he was taking pictures in the park for a local magazine and asked if it was okay if he snapped one of us." Then, the photographer handed Clay what Ashley thought was a business card, but she was wrong. Instead, her groom-to-be was given a ring box, and he promptly got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife. Across the park, their friends and family were waiting to celebrate with champagne and cake, the bride-to-be's two favorite things.
When the pair started planning their July 11, 2015, wedding, they let Ashley's love of sweets and bubbly lead the way. "I wanted to incorporate the glamour and fun that a glass of champagne evokes," says the bride, so she asked Meredith Commender of Significant Events of Texas help bring her vision to life. Shaun Menary Photography captured every glamorous, glittering detail of this couple's Texas bash.
Ashley originally intended to learn calligraphy so that she could create and address her own invitations, but quickly found that creating pretty lettering is easier said than done. In the end, the couple left the job up to the pros at Southern Fried Paper and selected elegant pink and gold invites with a bubble motif.
"I expected to be one of those brides who would have to try on 500 dresses before deciding on the One," says Ashley. In reality, it was much easier than that, which the bride attributes to finding an incredible consultant that understood her vision. She left the bridal salon with an ivory tulle and crystal embellished Jenny Packham gown, complete with an open keyhole back. "It evoked classic glamour, which first perfectly with our venue. I never wanted a cookie-cutter, strapless lace gown. This gown was so different and beautiful." A major selling point for Ashley was the flowing skirt—she knew she would be able to move around, eat, and dance without feeling constricted.
This bride felt strongly about having her "something blue," and a cool one at that! She chose blue satin Manolo Blahnik pumps.
While soft hues ruled at the ceremony and reception, Ashley went bold when it came to her bouquet. She loved the look of her pink and burgundy bouquet. Garden and cabbage roses, ranunculus, and pops of white Queen Anne's lace came together as a stunning, garden-inspired arrangement.
Clay's look proved that classics never go out of style. His black J.Crew tuxedo and ranunculus boutonniere matched the formality of the couple's venue.
The bride asked her four bridesmaids to wear floor-length metallic dresses of their own choosing. "I wanted them to wear something that flattered their figures and fit their personalities," Ashley says. "We are all in our thirties and I think having everyone in matching gowns would just look a bit silly and unsophisticated." They nailed the mismatched look, with each 'maid selecting a stunning gown with just a hint of sparkle.
Like Ashley, the bridesmaids carried punchy bouquets comprised of garden and cabbage roses, tulips, ranunculus, and stock.
"We wanted a classic and sophisticated look for Clay's groomsmen," Ashley says, "so we chose black tuxes with black bowties. You can't go wrong with those!"
Ashley and Clay shared a private first look inside their venue, the Hotel Adolphus. "We fell in love with the timeless, classic beauty of the property," the bride says. "It's the oldest hotel in Dallas and has a rich history. It's even reported to be haunted!" The grand architecture and hand-painted details throughout the hotel lent plenty of charm to the couple's portraits.
The ceremony was held in the hotel's ballroom, where tall flower arrangements flanked the fabric-draped altar. Clay's two nieces served as the couple's flower girls, wearing pink and white dresses and adorable flower crowns. "Our younger flower girl, Leighton, didn't toss petals out of her basket, but instead picked up the flower petals after her older sister, Kinley, threw them along the aisle," Ashley says. "They both received a round of applause after they finished."
A string quartet performed "At Last" by Etta James while the bride walked down the aisle with her father. Instead of penning their own vows, Ashley and Clay decided to create a ceremony based on bits and pieces of others they found online. One of the bride's favorite parts of the proceedings was a reading from the novel Captain Corelli's Mandolin that read, "Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes then subsides."
In keeping with their champagne color palette, Ashley and Clay had escort cards arranged on a table decorated with glittering linens. Inside, the ballroom was transformed with round and rectangular tables, all topped with patterned linens and a mix of high and low floral centerpieces.
Bright mixes of garden roses, ranunculus, Queen Anne's lace, and greenery popped against metallic tablecloths. Gold laser-cut table numbers were anchored inside the centerpieces. Their head table stood out from the rest thanks to an array of crystal candelabras. Guests sipped champagne and hibiscus signature cocktails while enjoying a selection of delicious entrees.
A live painter was on hand to capture the entire evening.
Since champagne and cake are Ashley's two favorite things, both had a prominent place in the reception. The couple's five-tier dessert featured layers of white chocolate cake with either champagne-raspberry filling or Grand Marnier cream with strawberries. To make their bubbly theme even clearer, Ashley and Clay decided on a traditional champagne tower for their party. "I wasn't sure if this was something that would actually work in real life, but it turned out gorgeous and not a single drop was spilled," the bride says.
The newlyweds shared their first dance to Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" and then stuck around the reception after all of their friends and family left to enjoy one last day as bride and groom. "It was so nice to spend the last moments of our wedding by ourselves in such an intimate and romantic environment," says Ashley.
Venue & Catering: Adolphus Hotel || Wedding Coordinator: Meredith Commender of Significant Events of Texas || Bride's Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham || Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Hair & Makeup: Beauty & the Blush || Groom's Attire: J.Crew || Florist: STEMS of Dallas || Invitations & Paper Goods: Southern Fried Paper || Music: Revolution4; The Project Band || Cake: Dallas Affaires Cake Co. || Rentals: M&M Event Rental || Défor: Prashe Decor; La Tavola || Lighting: Beyond || Photographer: Shaun Menary Photography
Looking for more Texas wedding inspiration? Then check out another couple's Austin celebration in the video below.