Real Weddings || Courtney + Matt Spuza || First Anniversary

A year ago, on a gorgeous February evening, any Texan listening close enough could hear the distant sound of a joyful crowd belting Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing!” at the top of their lungs. Moments later, the happiest newlyweds departed through a pathway shining with sparklers — eager to begin their beautiful, married life.

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Today, on their first anniversary, Courtney and Matt Spuza are still grinning ear to ear as they relive their favorite memories from The Laurel. Enjoy!

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From Courtney:

Matt and I met at a charity event — I was working and he was speaking — in November 2014. I helped him get mic'd up (he says it was love at first mic — I swear it was my red lipstick). We dated long distance for about 10 months after I took a job in Chicago, and a few months after I came back to Dallas he popped the question.

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When planning our wedding, our vision was to create a day where all of our guests got to enjoy great food and spend time talking and dancing in a comfortable, inviting space. We didn't want anything too stuffy.

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The Laurel has such a warmth about it — you feel right at home from the moment you start getting ready. The fireplaces really bring the indoor/outdoor spaces to life and it’s hard not to feel comfortable throughout the venue.

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Getting ready at the Laurel was a dream! The Magnolia Suite is such a beautiful space with lovely natural light. It was the perfect setting to spend the morning of our wedding with some of my best friends, both of our moms and my sweet baby niece.

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Since I knew better than to schedule our wedding during college football season, the guys were able to enjoy the morning in the Pecan Suite, taking advantage of the ice cold refreshments and built-in speaker system. Matt is a Notre Dame alum and bleeds blue and gold so I surprised him with a Fighting Irish helmet — however he was not allowed to wear it during the ceremony and reception.

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Two of our favorite moments happened towards the end of the reception. Our DJ played “Don't Stop Believing” by Journey as the final reception song when everyone was still on the dance floor. Everyone dancing gathered around Matt and me and belted out the lyrics. It was AMAZING.

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Afterwards Matt and I got to have our "Final Dance" — just us. It was such a sweet and romantic moment.

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With Matt using a power wheelchair, our exit was the thing I felt most unsure about when I started planning our wedding. My mother in-law found an accessible trolley, which was such a fun and unique way to leave our reception.

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From hearing our names being chanted as we finished up our last dance to running under the canopy of sparklers — our exit was the perfect ending to an amazing celebration!

February 4, 2017 was certainly a day to remember. Thank you, Courtney, for sharing your sweet memories with us! We wish you and Matt a very happy first anniversary and all the best in the years to come.

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