Now that the pair was in the same zip code, Hunter began planning a memorable proposal. He knew Abbey was taking part in the study abroad program to Great Britain the summer before her senior year. Knowing this, his brother talked him into buying a plane ticket to London.
Toward the end of their trip, Abbey’s friends talked her into dressing up for a visit to Kensington Palace, a scenic spot in London they hadn’t visited yet. As they walked to the palace, the sun was setting casting a romantic glow over the hilltop. Unbeknownst to her, Hunter was hiding nearby and snuck behind Abbey. When she turned around to see Hunter – whom she had not seen in five weeks – she was stunned and everything froze. He dropped to one knee and asked her to marry him. She excitedly said yes.
Another surprise was waiting as her parents and his parents secretly traveled to London. The group celebrated the couple’s engagement in Great Britain marking the beginning of the rest of their lives.
One thing was certain as wedding planning commenced: Abbey and Hunter wanted to get married as soon as possible. Abbey had always dreamed of having her wedding reception at her childhood home in Edmond. To pull her dream wedding off, Abbey enlisted the help of Robyn Martin of The Wedding Belle.
After much searching, Abbey fell in love with a stunning wedding gown at JJ Kelly Bridal Salon. She loved the sweetheart neckline, diamond-bedazzled belt and delicate lace. Most of all – she knew it was a dress her future husband would love.
To add to the already-beautiful backdrop of Abbey’s childhood home, she and Martin teamed up with George Catechis and Ashley Gardner of The Fleuriste. Abbey knew she wanted pastel pink peonies among other soft, muted colors. Once the floral team showed Abbey a mockup, she put her full trust in their creativity.
On the morning of the wedding, Abbey’s friends came to her house for a day of pampering. Instead of being nervous, the bride-to-be was running through a mental checklist. The emotions truly hit when they arrived to Faith Bible Church and her parents entered the room to see her. Ever the daddy’s girl, she enjoyed this special moment.
Hunter was a bit nervous on the morning of the wedding. He isn’t someone who likes to be the center of attention, but at the same time, was elated to be marrying Abbey. Before the ceremony, the couple exchanged letters and talked on opposite sides of a pillar, which helped calm their nerves.
When Abbey clutched her father’s arm and the doors opened at the church, she was overcome with determination and excitement. Abbey recalls only seeing Hunter as she walked down the aisle, while Hunter calls the experience surreal. One thing was certain: Hunter knew he had made the best decision of his life.
Following the nuptials, the newlyweds traveled to Abbey’s parent’s house for the reception. The couple was excited to see what the back yard looked like. Abbey had seen the tent being constructed days earlier and couldn’t wait to see what all the talented vendors pulled off. Before they were announced at the reception, Abbey and Hunter descended from the stairs and as they did, they gazed out in awe at the scene before them.
Pops of flower arrangements in pinks and purples hung from the canopy of trees on wooden swings with dramatic twigs and dazzling chandeliers. The oversized tent housed dozens of tables with more vivacious flower arrangements full of soft colors. A beautiful chandelier and twinkle lights made the flowers and gold plates sparkle atop each table.
Cheever’s catered a delicious assortment of hors d’oeuvres that tasted as wonderful as they looked. Mishelle Handy Cakes created a delectable, classic-looking confection that consisted of four layers with each tier a different flavor. Hunter’s cake was red velvet and adorned with a wooden duck to show his love for hunting.
Guests were each given a personal succulent as a parting gift. Each plant featured a handwritten tag from Abbey to add a personal flair for all of the couple’s most cherished people in their lives.
Before the couple left for the evening, caterers passed out chicken and waffles for all to enjoy. Guests saw Abbey and Hunter off by blowing bubbles. The couple was glowing as they walked through all of the smiling faces to their life ahead. Over the next 10 days, they relaxed during their honeymoon in Turks and Caicos.
Abbey and Hunter have made their home in Dallas while Hunter is in chiropractic school. They have been enjoying married life with one another savoring all the moments they have together.
Looking back, Hunter is so happy he took that empty seat next to Abbey. A seat that was waiting just for him.