Margaret and Chris are proof, yet again, that Tinder relationships can work out—even if the app has nothing to do with it! “We matched in late 2014 but never met up. We both deleted and downloaded the app a few times before we matched again and finally met in person,” she says. The pair met up at a dive bar in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, and the next thing they knew it was 4 a.m. and the bar's lights were coming on. “We didn’t want it to be over,” says the bride, and after that, they were inseparable. “It was really a whirlwind. We said ‘I love you’ after maybe a week! Our friends thought we were out of our minds, but we both knew.”
A year and a half later, the pair were vacationing in Maine with friends and had barely had a moment alone all week. “Chris gets up to see the sunrise every morning when we’re in Maine, and that trip was no different—except that instead of sleeping through it, the screen door slammed and I got up,” Margaret remembers. “I saw Chris on the lawn, with the most beautiful sunrise behind him, so I went over to say good morning. He hugged me and suddenly blurted out, ‘Will you marry me?’ I was so surprised (and barely awake!) that it didn’t sink in, so all I said was ‘Sure!’” she laughs. A few days later, back in New York City, where they live, Chris gave Margaret her engagement ring, and they quickly got to planning a wedding for just six months later, on March 4, 2017.
While their ideas came from all different directions (Miss Havisham meets Copacabana meets Saturday Night Fever), what resulted was a glam, romantic, and perfectly quirky wedding in Austin, Texas. Planned by the Whitt Experience and photographed by Amber Vickery Photography, Chris and Margaret’s wedding will have you wondering whether you can sneak palm fronds into your own decor. (We say go for it!)
For their invitation suite, the couple perfectly mixed their palm-frond motif, art deco fonts, and pops of color that made it feel totally modern.
Instead of a diamond, Margaret’s engagement ring features an asymmetrical blue stone set in yellow gold.
Margaret had an incredibly easy custom-dress experience. “I showed my seamstress a picture of a dress I’d seen online, and two weeks later, when I thought I was going in to get measured, the dress was already made and was nearly perfect,” she says. The design: a silk-crepe gown with ruffled fabric draping down the front, a subtle knee-high slit, and a halter neckline accented with strands of antique pearls. "The pearls were my grandmother's," says the bride. “She passed away two weeks before the wedding, and having something of hers with me on our wedding day was really special."
For her accessories, Margaret wore a pair of white satin Jimmy Choo sandals. She says, “I’ve had these shoes longer than I’ve known Chris!” She also wore two meaningful pieces: Her earrings were a gift from her dad, and the veil was borrowed from a friend. As a final touch, the bride added a sprawling bouquet of garden roses, trailing greenery, and berries.
Chris wore a classic black tuxedo with a plain-front shirt. “We both had our brothers stand up as our best men, each wearing tuxes that matched Chris’s,” says the bride.
“We’d wanted to get married in my childhood church, but of course our wedding date was in the middle of Lent,” Margaret says. Instead, they chose the Central Christian Church, a gorgeous spot that was perfect for their ceremony. The pair exchanged traditional vows but opted to have a friend officiate instead of a priest. “He wrote the ceremony for us, and it was so unique,” she says.
The bride’s father chose the music for the ceremony, from Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze” and Charpentier’s “Te Deum” to “La Rejouissance” by Handel for the recessional.
“We really wanted a venue that was more unique and modern than a traditional ballroom,” Margaret says. “Fair Market is essentially a big tin box, so while it took a bit of imagining, it ended up being perfect.”
Minimalistic square escort cards were placed on a table topped with candlesticks and flowers.
Margaret and Chris filled the space with round and rectangular tables, finishing all with burnt-orange linens and gold metal chairs. The long tables were set beneath elevated arrangements of palm fronds, ferns, and vines accented with orange orchids.
Low centerpieces mixed dusty cream, lavender, and peach roses with more greenery. Each place setting featured a textured gold charger, gold-striped plates, and gilded flatware—and a palm-accented menu, of course.
“The food and the dance party were where we really put our stamp on things,” says the bride. Cocktail hour featured peppadew peppers stuffed with sausage and feta and a food station serving fresh oysters from the island in Maine where the couple got engaged. For dinner, the caterer made Margaret’s famous kale salad, with dried apricots and Marcona almonds, followed by halibut and flank steak with chimichurri sauce.
For dessert, the couple served a gluten-free Mexican vanilla wedding cake with Italian cream and chocolate, as well as mini pavlovas, brownies, Italian cream cupcakes, and mini key lime tarts. And later in the evening, they surprised everyone with chicken fingers from Raising Cain’s and Chris’s favorite treat: Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches!
Instead of a traditional wedding band, Chris and Margaret turned to a band they’d seen play in New York, the Yacht Rock Revue, which played smooth ‘70s and ‘80s hits by the likes of Hall & Oates and Kenny Loggins. The couple celebrated with a killer dance party—and even passed out captain’s hats to get the theme across!
Chris and Margaret may have one of our favorite getaway cars: a vintage El Camino decked out with blankets, pillows, and a garland of roses. “Driving through a sea of sparklers surrounded by everyone we love was pretty tremendous,” Margaret says. When the newlyweds got to their hotel after the party, Margaret found one last surprise: Chris had set up a record player, their favorite records, and all the fixings for an old-fashioned (their favorite drink). “We made cocktails, ate leftovers from our caterer, listened to records, and watched all of the Snapchat stories from our wedding day,” she says. “I think we went to bed at 5 a.m., and I woke up at 8 to the sound of Chris watching the videos again. We had so much fun, we couldn’t stop reliving it!”
Ceremony Venue: Central Christian Church
Reception Venue: Fair Market
Planner: Gina Whittington, the Whitt Experience
Flowers: Gypsy Floral
Bride's Dress: Coutures By Laura
Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Hair: Brooke Michie, Lyric Salon
Makeup: Mandy Morrison
Engagement Ring: Gabriella Kiss
Bride's Wedding Band: By George Austin
Groom's Wedding Band: Tiny Sparkle Studio
Paper Products: Bonne Nouvelle
Ceremony Music: Lake Austin Strings
Reception Music: Yacht Rock Revue
Cake: The Cake Plate
Lighting: Ilios Lighting
Rentals: Whim Hospitality, Marquee Rents, Townsley Designs, BBJ Linen, La Tavola Linen
Transportation: Transportation Consultants
Photography: Amber Vickery Photography