Both Nara Jenkins and Travis Smart showed up to separate friends’ pool parties on Labor Day in 2014. Turns out, their respective parties were at the same pool. The pair hit it off talking all afternoon. They went on their first date the next evening, and as they say, the rest is history.
Fast forward to March 2019, Nara and Travis stood at the altar of a light-filled, E. Fay Jones-designed chapel in Fort Worth, Texas, to say “I do.” Their entire day reflected important parts of their life, from giving their guests tastes of Texas fare, to including nods to Nara’s Scottish heritage during the ceremony. The color palette was inspired by their favorite vacation together to the Pacific Northwest, and the day wouldn’t be complete without Travis’ beloved old-fashioned—they even hosted the reception at the nearby distillery for TX Whiskey!
Read on for all the details of the couple’s Texas-inspired wedding, planned by Ashley Mason of Saunter Weddings and photographed by Charla Storey.
Nara and Travis were thankful to have planner Ashley Mason put together all the moving parts of the day, like the invitations. “We would have been lost without her,” she says.
“I went to an Enzoani trunk show and while I did not pick this one up to try on, the bridal boutique was insistent that I give it a shot,” Nara says of her lace mermaid gown. “It fit like a glove.”
The easiest part of wedding planning? Picking their bridesmaids and groomsmen! Nara’s bridesmaids wore a mix of Pacific Northwest-inspired colors like navy, pale pink, and gray.
Linda Whitten of Wedfully Yours Events designed the couple’s arrangements, which include the bouquets filled with pampas and bunny tail grasses.
How does a Texas groom dream of getting ready for his wedding? With all his groomsmen getting fresh cuts at the barbershop and watching March Madness. He later slipped into a velvet tuxedo with a brown velvet bow tie.
The groomsmen also dressed in chic black tuxes, which made for a fun contrast against the rustic brewery where the reception took place.
“Reading our own vows was probably the hardest thing to do but we are so glad we did it,” Nara says. “The whole crowd was fully engaged and, luckily, Travis had a joke to help ease the mood as most people were teary-eyed during the majority of the words we spoke.”
Nara and Travis chose their venue after stumbling upon the work of the architect, E. Fay Jones, earlier in their relationship and falling in love with it. They felt that exchanging vows at the Marty Leonard Chapel was meant to be. “We love the architecture and the natural light,” the bride adds.
Reading our own vows was probably the hardest thing to do but we are so glad we did it.
“They were very special and brought tears to many of our guests’ eyes,” Nara says of writing their own vows. “They were straight from the heart.” The couple also took part in a handfasting ceremony to honor Nara’s Scottish heritage.
As the newlyweds exited the church, a bagpiper performed traditional music as another nod to the bride’s Scottish ancestry.
The party then transitioned to the nearby Firestone and Robertson Distillery, which produces TX Whiskey, for the reception. As much as Nara and Travis liked to bring the feel of the Pacific Northwest to the day, they were sure to have plenty of Texas touches, right down to the “booze, dancing, and great music.” To kick off the party, they served a tasting of four different IPA beers, Deep Eddy vodka cocktails, and, of course, old-fashioneds with TX whiskey.
Seat assignments were displayed on black table signs, which sat in front of a fireplace accented with ferns and fresh-cut wood for a fittingly glam-meets-rustic vibe.
For dinner, the 150 guests sat at long, banquet-style tables covered with black accents: black chairs, black plates, black flatware, and even black place cards. The rest of the room was decked out in greenery, hanging from the rafters of the industrial space and surrounding the massive stone hearth.
Nara and Travis knew they wanted a serious party, so they hired both a live band from Big City Productions and a DJ from LeForce Entertainment. But the most special song that played during the celebration was Jon Langston’s “Forever Girl,” for the couple's first dance. “On our first anniversary, Travis played this song, and we danced in the kitchen of Travis’s parent’s lake house,” the bride says. “We danced to that song again as husband and wife.”
After a meal of “Fort Worth staples” catered by a local restaurant, Reata, the couple cut into a chic, two-tier cake with the most petite arrangement of wild grasses, all designed by Cake-Aholics.
Then, it was back to the dance floor—with the bride in a second, Meghan Markle-inspired reception gown. “Shout out to Dominic Nagella from LeForce,” Nara says of their DJ. “He killed it and had our guests dancing all night!
Ceremony Venue Marty Leonard Chapel
Reception Venue Firestone & Robertson Distilling
Planner Ashley Mason of Saunter Weddings
Officiant Matthew DeBlanc
Bridal Gown Blue by Enzoani
Jewelry Untamed Pearls
Hair & Makeup Natalia Issa
Groom’s & Groomsmen Attire The Black Tux
Engagement Ring Grissom’s Fine Jewelry
Wedding Bands Diamonds Direct
Floral Design Wedfully Yours Events
Music Big City Productions; LeForce Entertainment
Rentals Taylor’s Rental
Transportation Echo Transportation
Accommodations Ashton Hotel
Videography Paul Hall
Photography Charla Storey