Michelle and Brenna first met on a dating website. Neither were necessarily looking for their forever love since Brenna had just gone through a divorce and Michelle a break-up. However, after their compatibility rating came in at 98% so they starting talking and became friends. “I thought we couldn’t possibly have that much in common,” said Brenna. “But after talking for a few weeks, we realized we very much did.”
For their first date, Michelle picked Brenna up from work and they went to Jimmy John’s. It was love at first lunch when they ordered the exact same sandwich.
Michelle proposed to Brenna three months after their first date. She put tea light candles on the bed spelling out ‘MARRY ME.’ “I thought the bed was on fire when I walked into the bedroom and she was kneeling on the floor,” joked Brenna.
On October 13th, 2018, the couple married at Eagle Nest Hidden Lake Resort in Garrison, Texas in front of 75 friends and family. They picked the venue because it fit their $10,000 budget and the owners were accepting. “Our first choice turned us down because we are a same-sex couple,” explained Brenna. “There was some heartache in the process of planning our wedding, but it was worth it.”
The ceremony straddled the line between unconventional and traditional. They said their vows under the canopy of a pergola overlooking a valley of autumn trees with no additional decor needed to enhance the beauty of the backdrop. Michelle and Brenna kept their ceremony low-key and intimate by electing not to have ushers or a large wedding party. Michelle had her “Man of Honor” and Brenna her “Best Woman” while their nieces served as flower girls. The mayor of their town is a longtime friend of Michelle’s and he honored them by officiating.
They wrote the ceremony together, but kept their vows secret. “We were filled with tears as we read them to one another,” said Brenna. “I loved that Michelle added some Harry Potter verbiage in her vows that made me laugh and relax.”
They went with a rustic theme to honor their small town Texas home with wood, lace and burlap making an appearance in most of the decor. Their color palette was designed to emphasize the beauty of the gorgeous fall weather and colors with navy, marsala, gold and blush.
For the reception, they focused on a lot of little details to enhance the guest experience. They spent their planning power on the decor, a photo slideshow, a sparkler send off, a perfectly curated playlist, and a delicious fajita bar. Their budget was conservative, so they brought in a lot of DIY elements. “It was very important for me that it felt more luxurious than what we paid for everything,” said Brenna.
Brenna found her gown at Ventura’s Bridal Fashions in Houston, Texas. She chose Ventura’s because they boast a large collection of ready-to-try plus size dresses. “My attendant was also plus size, so that made for a more comfortable experience,” added Brenna.
“I snagged my dress from the clearance rack at $999 and found my belt for $125. The dress, to me, looked and felt like it was worth at least three times what I paid for it and it was exactly what I wanted. I even cried when I saw myself in it, and I am not a super emotional woman.”
It was all worth it when Brenna walked out and saw the look of love and surprise on Michelle’s face.
Brenna’s biggest advice to other members of the Big Bride Club is to plan to go over budget, but do not go into debt! And do not settle on a dress you do not love!
“I tried on multiple dresses in multiple stores - I even bought one online that I thought I would love, but none of them made me feel beautiful. I was settling,” said Brenna. “When I finally found the dress, I did know, and it raised my confidence that day more than anything else possibly could have.”