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MEMORABLE WEDDINGS –
Kathleen and Matt


The happy pair pose on a wooden settee on their glorious day.

The happy pair pose on a wooden settee on their glorious day.

Text by Melanie Saxton Photos by Garza Photo + Design

Aggie sweethearts Kathleen Cooke and Matt Crook met through a mutual friend the summer of 2010. Kathleen attended Jersey Village High School, and Matt attended Banquete High School. They both majored in communications and minored in business at Texas A&M University.

Kathleen is an account executive with KBTX Media. Matt is a customer technical service manager at Cameron. Their exquisite Nov. 5, 2016 wedding and reception at the historic Welcome Hall in Industry, Texas included unique DIY touches, breathtaking scenery, and perfect weather.

 

Meeting And Courtship

Kathleen and her future matron of honor, Courtney, arrived at a pool party and became best friends with Matt and his friend Dylan (who would later become the couple’s best man and the beau of Kathleen’s sister, Caroline). The group swam, cooked dinner, danced the night away and later began a Thursday “Jersey Shore Night” tradition. Kathleen was impressed with Matt’s quiet confidence and enjoyed riding in his little Chrysler two-seater on their first date at Outback Steakhouse in College Station. They became an “official” couple at Kathleen’s Ring Dunk at Ptarmigan’s Pub in Bryan on May 1, 2011 and danced to Wade Bowen’s Who I Am, which would become the first song they would dance to at their wedding.

 

Proposal

In November 2015 the couple took a five- day road trip to Las Vegas with several stops along the way. They hiked Devil’s Bridge in Sedona and the South Rim Trail of the Grand Canyon. Kathleen soaked up the natural beauty of Page, Arizona while Matt dug around in his backpack for a ring box hidden inside a sock. He knelt behind her on one knee and called her name, and surprised her as she turned by asking if she would marry him. She immediately said YES! Giddy from excitement, they called their families. Kathleen discovered everyone had known all along, for Matt had asked her father’s blessing prior to the trip. They continued onward to Antelope Canyon, Zion National Park and Las Vegas. “I couldn’t have planned a more perfect proposal if I tried!” says Kathleen.

 

Engagement

The couple hunted in South Texas, skydived in Rosharon with friend Dylan and Kathleen’s mother, grandmother and Caroline, and later celebrated Caroline’s graduation from A&M. Kathleen, Caroline, their mother and their aunt flew to New York to visit soon-to-be matron of honor Courtney and her husband, Logan, and enjoyed front row seating at Good Morning America.

Kathleen and Matt took trips to Lake Travis and attended a barbecue bridal shower in Bellville. September bachelor and bachelorette parties were held the same weekend in Port Aransas and Austin, and Matt’s family hosted a Mexican-themed shower in Corpus Christi. During an eight-week countdown to the wedding, the couple focused on DIY décor.

 

The Wedding

The small town, rustic chic atmosphere of Welcome Hall was perfect amidst the acreage and stunning views. The couple arranged for The Original Trolley Company in Sugar Land to shuttle guests to and from the venue.

Floral and décor: Vows were exchanged on a woven grass rug under a large oak tree. A simple wooden cross hung above the couple, and antique iron fencing adorned with philodendrons created the altar. Aisles were lined with million star gypsophila tied with tulle. Bouquets of small and large white roses, rice flowers, cushion poms, ranunculus, snap dragons, silver dollar and spiral eucalyptus were hand-tied. Boutonnieres were composed of white roses, silver dollar eucalyptus and greenery.

Attire: The bride wore an ivory lace Da Vinci sleeveless halter mermaid gown with a sweetheart neckline, empire waist, sweeping train and French bustle. A 10-foot cathedral veil designed by family friend called “Mawmaw” and gold bejeweled Badgley Mischka shoes completed the ensemble. Her late grandmother’s pearl necklace was wrapped around the bouquet stem and served as her “something old” and “something borrowed.” The bride’s “something new” was a simple diamond necklace. Her “something blue” was the garter bow.

Bridesmaids wore custom-tailored silver dresses of various styles and Kendra Scott ear studs gifted by the bride. The groom’s steel twilight gray tuxedo featured a satin steel gray striped vest and white undershirt, tie and kerchief. The groomsmen wore the same tuxedo and gray ties. Ushers wore white shirts, steel gray ties, striped vests and matching trousers.

Bridal party: Chaplain Larry Todd incorporated faith and fun throughout the ceremony. The bride’s mother, Kim Cooke, and her father and stepmother, Corbin and Eleanor Cooke, joined parents of the groom, Matthew and Ruth Crook, in witnessing the union of their children. Caroline Cooke served as maid of honor, Courtney Ledbetter served as matron of honor and Kaitlyn Padgett served as bridesmaid. The groom’s nieces, Avery, Emery, Amoreé and Raylen, served as flower girls. The house party included Lainey Crook-Taylor, Clarissa Crook, Elisha McLeod and Amanda Molina.

Dylan Lorenz served as best man. Grooms­men included brothers of the groom Evan Crook and Caleb Crook. Nephews of the groom, Devrin and Sully, served as ring bearers. Lee Taylor, Corey Nava, Chris Gonzalez, Harrison Jones, Logan Ledbetter and Roy Eckhardt served as ushers. Jarrad and Elisha McLeod read scriptures.

Top wedding moments: The bride’s father said, “We got this, honey, let’s go!” as they walked out of the front doors of the hall toward the altar. Kathleen felt love from family and friends, both in person and in heaven, as a yellow butterfly perched on the wedding tree and flew between and around her and her groom. The sand ceremony, symbolizing the joining of their lives and families, went as planned until the groom, either nervous or impatient, poured the remainder of his sand in one fell swoop, prompting the bride to do the same as everyone laughed. Joe Teich­man, the couple’s friend, played acoustic guitar throughout the ceremony and reception.

 

The Reception

The hall had soaring ceilings and large shuttered windows propped open for the occasion, and an outdoor pavilion for a barbecue buffet.

Floral and décor: A large custom “The Crooks Est. 2016” sign greeted guests and is now a keepsake in the couple’s home, along with a 22-inch solid square wood sign with a laser cut C that served as the guest book. The bride made whitewashed signs for the gift and memory tables and the popcorn, wine and beer bars. Two large sofas with personalized throw pillows were placed under oak trees for outdoor seating, and an old white trunk was filled with crayons and coloring books created by the bride to occupy the children in attendance.

Ruscus and silver dollar eucalyptus centerpieces adorned white-covered tables with coordinating white wooden chairs. Candles added to the tabletop ambiance and created a romantic feel on the stage. Café lights, greenery and white flowers were wrapped on hoops and floated from the ceiling above the tables. Wooden swings hung over the dance floor engraved with “The Crooks,” “Jeremiah 29:11,” “Kat & Matt,” “Whoop!!!,” “Kathleen & Matt” and “Matthew 19:20.” They were later given to the couple’s parents and grandparents to place in their yards for future grandchildren to swing on.

The cakes: A three-tiered yellow cake with white buttercream icing, a one-layer Miller Lite bottle cap groom’s cake, and a six-foot multiple-tiered stand filled with brownies, cookies, cake balls, cupcakes and cheese­cake shots provided ample dessert.

Top reception moments: The perfect pair danced to Wade Bowen’s Who I Am. Father and daughter danced to Grace Vanderwaal’s Beautiful Thing and Men Without Hats’ Safety Dance. Mother and son danced to Miranda Lambert’s The House That Built Me. Friends and family formed a huge circle around the couple and belted out Garth Brooks’ Friends in Low Places and enjoyed glow sticks, light-up glasses, maracas and tambourines. Fireball shots in test tubes were served. Guests were treated to 300 personalized koozies and matchboxes customized with the couple’s engagement picture, the date and their love and thanks to everyone.

The exit: First the couple danced out of the hall to a lineup of sparklers for guests who had to leave early, and later had a “real” send off in the bride’s father’s 1974 red convertible Corvette after dancing privately to Florida Georgia Line’s Holy.

 

The Honeymoon

The newlyweds enjoyed a second-story rooftop suite at The Beach in Tulum, Mexico, complete with a sunbathing bed and jacuzzi. During a tequila tasting they met couples from France, Colombia and Washington, D.C., and also dined on fresh quail, octopus and Italian cuisine. Highlights included visiting the Mayan ruins, swimming in the cenotes (stunning underground caves), and delight in spotting sea turtles.

 

A unique sign, “The Crooks Est. 2016” marked the happy occasion.

A unique sign, “The Crooks Est. 2016” marked the happy occasion.

 

Bridesmaids arrange the bride’s stunning cathedral veil, which draped a full 10 feet.

Bridesmaids arrange the bride’s stunning cathedral veil, which draped a full 10 feet.

 

As they were getting ready, bridesmaids joined the bride for a fun pose in a vintage tub.

As they were getting ready, bridesmaids joined the bride for a fun pose in a vintage tub.

 

Anticipation at the altar: an emotional bride meets her enthusiastic groom to exchange vows.

Anticipation at the altar: an emotional bride meets her enthusiastic groom to exchange vows.

 

Simple flower bouquets and white folding chairs created a delightful contrast against the green grass and country setting.

Simple flower bouquets and white folding chairs created a delightful contrast against the green grass and country setting.

 

First dance: the bride and groom swayed under romantic cafe lights suspended from rafters.

First dance: the bride and groom swayed under romantic cafe lights suspended from rafters. Later, friends and family surrounded the couple and sang Garth Brooks’ Friends in Low Places.

 

The bride and her bridesmaids joined the guests for fun on the dance floor.

The bride and her bridesmaids joined the guests for fun on the dance floor.

 

The groom and his mother enjoy their dance to Miranda Lambert’s The House That Built Me.

The groom and his mother enjoy their dance to Miranda Lambert’s The House That Built Me.

 

A large cross suspended from a tree branch seems to float above the altar.

A large cross suspended from a tree branch seems to float above the altar.

 

A guitarist serenades guests as they await the bride’s grand entrance.

A guitarist serenades guests as they await the bride’s grand entrance.

 

The sand ceremony required patience and precision, which challenged the eager groom.

The sand ceremony required patience and precision, which challenged the eager groom.

 

A yellow cake, adorned with eucalyptus sprigs and white buttercream icing, rose three tiers.

A yellow cake, adorned with eucalyptus sprigs and white buttercream icing, rose three tiers.

 

Beaming bridesmaids assisted in serving fireball shots.

Beaming bridesmaids assisted in serving fireball shots.

 

The newlyweds got a sparkler send-off as they made their exit from the reception.

The newlyweds got a sparkler send-off as they made their exit from the reception.

 

“Cooke to Crook” — a playful wooden sign announced the bride’s name change.

“Cooke to Crook” — a playful wooden sign announced the bride’s name change.

 

The loving couple shared a quiet sunset moment.

The loving couple
shared a quiet sunset moment.


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