Real Weddings: McKenzie Reese and John Mitchell
The Hill Country was alive with the sound of wedding bells.
They say it only takes a spark. In the case of McKenzie Reese and John Mitchell, a dumb line at a crawfish boil did the trick.
Because just six months after meeting at Adair’s Saloon in Deep Ellum, the 25-year-old actress and 33-year-old cinematographer were engaged and planning a grand black-tie affair.
And then they changed their minds.
Not about getting married, but after selecting a wedding date and booking a downtown venue, “We realized that although it would be beautiful and fantastic, it just didn’t feel like us. We are very casual and felt that if someone who didn’t know us saw our wedding there, they would have no idea who we are. That’s not us at all; we wear only jeans,” McKenzie says.
Instead of the modern elegance of a formal space, the couple decided they wanted to re-create the informal intimacy of the big Sunday dinners they host at their home each week. They just wanted to hang out with friends, be down-to-earth in denim and boots, and celebrate their union on their own laid-back terms. And that’s exactly what they did.
The setting moved from downtown Dallas to Three Points Ranch, just outside Marble Falls. Without being too precious, the rolling Hill Country property proved the perfect blank-canvas location McKenzie and John were looking for.
Their March 19, 2011, ceremony took place in the early evening, outside in a spot called Buck Knoll, a natural hillside covered in scrubby trees and sotol cacti. In front of a rustic altar of decaying tree trunks stuffed with sunflowers, daisies, forsythia branches, heather, and delphinium, John and McKenzie exchanged vows they’d written themselves.
Afterward, guests ate dinner under trees strung with white lights, candles, and vintage bird cages. Long tables covered in oatmeal linen, burlap, and lace were set with colorful mismatched vintage china and bouquets of peonies, hydrangea, and hyacinth in milk glass vases. Once bellies were full, the party really got started in an adjacent open-air bar with the boot-scooting country-rock of Two Tons of Steel.
As one friend says about the event, “Their wedding day transpired how all weddings should: a day full of laughter, dancing, and drinking, when two funny, quirky, creative, kind, generous, free-spirited, and fun-to-the-10th-power people who are totally, madly in love get hitched surrounded by their closest family and friends.”
Ceremony Site: Three Points Ranch
Photographer/Studio: Two Pair Photography
Bridal Gown Designer: Monique Lhuillier; Melissa Sweet
Bridal Gown Retailer: Neiman Marcus; Priscilla of Boston
Hair & Makeup: Maitee Miles
Groom’s Attire: J.Crew, Luskey’s, vintage boots and tie
Bridesmaids Dresses Designer: Joanna August
Bridesmaids Dresses Retailer: Bella Bridesmaid
Flowers: Bows and Arrows
Reception Site: Three Points Ranch
Cake: Bakerman’s (Austin)
Caterer: Graze (Austin)
Band and/or DJ: Two Tons of Steel; Ryan Kelly
Wedding Rentals: Posh
Wedding Planner: Mathes and Co.
Wedding Designer: Cowboys and Indians Styling