Real Weddings | Rachael + Clay | June 9, 2018

Fresh blooms, popped champagne, a quaint chapel and a hyped reception — there was nothing but love bursting out of every room of The Laurel this past summer. Exactly two years before Rachael and Clay got married they went on their very first date and as Rachael describes it, “the rest is history.”

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Their gorgeous wedding day was full of so many touching details. Rachael was kind enough to share the inspiration behind their special day which, in our opinion, was practically perfect in every way. Enjoy!

From Rachael:

When planning our wedding, it was most important to me and Clay that all of our friends and family would be there and it would be a night that we would remember for the rest of our lives! We wanted our wedding to be a reflection of our relationship and who we are.

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When we talked about where we wanted to get married, a venue where we could have our ceremony and reception was at the top of our list. We wanted to still have that church feel, so when we saw the Laurel and their chapel it seemed like the perfect fit! After we had our first meeting there we just knew it was perfect.

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The Chapel helped us keep the traditional aspect of our wedding while not having it in a church. A family friend of Clay’s also let us borrow their beautiful wooden cross which became the perfect backdrop.

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We loved how bright and airy The Laurel was but that it also had richness at the same time. It was so easy to envision our wedding at the Laurel. Everyone was so welcoming and helpful from the first meeting to the big day! It was definitely an easy decision and the perfect fit for our wedding. 

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I loved having all of my bridesmaids and flower girls with me all day getting our hair and makeup done. We had a blast hanging out, listening to music and getting ready together. There was one point where we popped a bottle of champagne to cheers and I wanted my flower girls to feel like one of the big girls. The Laurel stepped in and brought them some sparkling grape juice; that was one of the sweetest moments and they were so excited! After we all got dressed we had a little dance party before it was go time!

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At first we weren’t sure if we wanted to have a first look or save that for the actual ceremony. We were nervous but excited at the same time. We are so happy we decided to have one. Being able to see each other in private before the ceremony was really special and helped calm our nerves.

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Since Clay went to Texas A&M, he and all of his Aggie friends and family did the War Hymn [at our reception]. After that, before my Chi Omega song, Shades, my brother decided to start an impromptu Arkansas Hog call. It was so funny and everyone loved bringing a little of the Arkansas and Texas A&M rivalry fun to the reception. During Shades it was so special to have both of my photographers there as well. Our awesome videographer got the whole song on video since our photographers were with us!  

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The Laurel made our wedding perfect in so many ways! From the moment I met Tzahhia she was there to answer any of my questions and offer suggestions! She made our entire wedding run so smoothly and become the wedding of our dreams. We wish we could do it all over again!

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Thank you Rachael and Clay for sharing your amazing day with us. We wish you only the best in all the days ahead!

Jo Johnson PhotoA and L Floral Design

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