So tell us, how did you meet the love of your life?

When they say you'll find love when you're not even looking for it, they're not joking! One hot August day during our freshman year of college, I had been running late to make the bus, and as I hurriedly (and very sweat-ily) took the last seat on the bus, I had no clue that I'd just sat next to the man I'd one day marry! We started chatting on the long bus ride from Austin to DFW, and by the end of it had exchanged phone numbers. While we had really only ever been friends during the next four years of college, we both knew (everyone else did too) that we really wanted to be together as more than just friends. After only long talk about our futures, in a stairwell after my sister's wedding, we decided to take the plunge and began officially dating in February of 2016. 

When did you know they were the one?

Once, early on, Jeremy Ray said he knew I was the one when he realized he could love a girl other than his mother. And that the conversation in the stairwell solidified that it was me he wanted to spend the rest of his days loving. I was slow to realize it, and as cliche as it sounds, one day I just realized that the type of man I had asked God to someday put in my life - someone sweet, someone patient, someone kind...someone very, very, patient - was  because that's what I saw in Jeremy Ray, and it just clicked that HE was my someone. 

Tell us the story of the proposal!

OH MAN! I HAD NO IDEA IT WAS HAPPENING UNTIL IT WAS HAPPENING AND, OH MAN, IT WAS GOOD! Despite knowing we both wanted to be married one day, I was not very forth coming with opinions of how exactly I had wanted to be proposed to or even what kind of ring I wanted. All I had really ever mentioned was that I wanted Jeremy Ray to please say truthful, kind words and to make sure I had my nails painted. (and after the fact, Jeremy said that one time I had mentioned that if he was ever inclined to propose and wanted to tie the ring on a baby turtle that would be okay too- re: wanting a very very patient man) The day of the proposal, I had been under the impression that we were going to holiday karaoke with friends. So, after work, I stopped at my sister's house to shower and change. To the distress of my sisters (who knew I was NOT going to karaoke), I went ahead and took off my nail polish too. Being late is a talent of mine, and that day was no different. The single silver lining was that I ended up in stand-still traffic while driving to Jeremy's, which gave me the chance to re-paint my nails (real safe, Jamie). Despite knowing we were going to be running late, I was feeling pretty pale considering it was mid-winter. So, I decided to stop at the local grocery store for some self-tanner. I had called Jeremy Ray on my way home, but did not mention that I was going to make a pit stop. From Jeremy Ray’s point of view at this moment, he made a drink to calm his nerves, and then waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. He finally decided to check my location to be sure I hadn’t been in an accident, and then realized his soon to be fiancé was at the dang grocery store (“for who knows what!?” - Jeremy Ray). Knowing I was already running late, I burst through the door with hollers of “DON’T WORRY! I JUST NEED TO CHANGE! AND PUT ON MY MAKE UP! AND DO MY HAIR! I’LL BE QUICK THOUGH!”. In my hustle and bustle of being late, I hadn’t immediately noticed the candle lit hallway, the abundance of rose petals, or the soft sound of one of our favorite songs in the background. Thinking I had walked into the wrong house, I called out for Jeremy Ray as I made my way towards the living room. Standing amongst rose filled vases and even more rose petals and candles, Jeremy Ray took me into his arms. He said kind, truthful words. And then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. And then I died of happiness. Just kidding. But I did hyperventilate and then had to lay on the floor because I really just couldn’t believe everything that just happened. Luckily, I managed to say yes through all the happy, ugly tears I cried.

How long was your engagement? What went into deciding your wedding's date and location?

We had known we weren’t wanting a very long engagement, and hoped to be married within about a year of our engagement. And then COVID happened. Which really made a lot of days hard when it came to wedding planning. Deciding to invite our original 300+ guest list or just keep it to immediate family; having venues we were considering being married at shut down; not knowing if someone important (or even just one of us) wouldn’t make it due to contracting the virus- all of the 2020/2021 brides understand that while there is not necessarily a good time to plan/have a wedding, doing it in the midst of a pandemic is definitely the worst possible time to have had to do it. In the end, we decided we would plan our day the way we hoped for, inviting those we loved, and leave the fruition of our wedding day in God’s hands. Which really seemed to work for the best considering that all our decisions after just that one seemed to fall into place and make sense. We hadn’t had much preference of where to get married, but when we walked into The Morgan Creek Barn, I just knew it would be our place. It’s dark wood, large chandeliers, and strings of twinkle lights stole our hearts. They had a Saturday in January of 2021 available, and so we took it as a sign that that was just when it was supposed to be.

How would you describe your personal style?  What was most important to you when you were planning your bridal look?

I have always been pretty simple, and that was carried through to all the details of our wedding, including what I wanted in a dress. I love classic styles and just wanted a dress that made me feel like me. I’ve always preferred long sleeves and knew I had wanted a style with an open back. I hadn’t much thought about lace, but only because I know it can easily be very ornate and overdone, and that just wasn’t me. It was important I had a dress that of course made me feel good, but also I needed it to let me do the things that make me feel good- like dancing the night away and running around to hug everyone.

How did you find Wear Your Love?

I had tried on a few dresses at local bridal shops, but none of them really made me feel the feels that people talk about. I was scrolling though Instagram one evening, and just happened to see one of the other Wear Your Love dresses and thought it could work so that’s how it started. Once I saw the Cleo, every other dress I looked at was mentally compared to it. I loved everything about it- literally it’s like I had this general thought of what I wanted and BOOM- there it was! Just perfect and waiting for me.

Which dress did you choose, and did you request any custom aspects?

I chose the Cleo to wear on our wedding day. It was the most beautiful dress I had seen, and it had every detail I knew I wanted, and others that I hadn’t realized were just as important. Looking at it on the model, I knew it could work, that it could be “the dress”. Nervous about not trying it on beforehand, however, I went ahead and ordered the fabric swatches. Once the fabric swatches arrived, and I saw the intricate beauty of the lace and felt how soft the fabric was- I was done for. Within a few days, I went over to my sister’s house so where we took all my measurements in the bathroom, and then the rest was history.

What went through your mind when the Wear Your Love box arrived at your doorstep and you tried on your dress for the first time?

When it arrived, I was still hesitant about the sizing and the fabric, and my decision. I was the only one home when it came in, and while it might be customary to have a crowd when you’re trying on your dress, I was just too excited to wait. Opening the box, my heart pounded as I lifted out the soft lace and looked at this dress that would be the dress I wore to walk down the aisle to marry the love of my life. I slid the sleeves gingerly up my arms, adjusted the waist, and standing there in front of the full-length mirror of our bathroom, I cried a million more happy tears because it was everything I had hoped for!

Did your wedding have a theme or style?

I didn’t really think we had a true theme or style. We kept things simple for the most part. I guess it’s what some would considered rustic chic. The bridesmaids wore long black chiffon dresses, and the groomsmen were in slate gray. We had overflowing pots of baby’s breath, with small white roses and/or carnations to accent them. Our ceremony was outside under a pavilion with large wood columns and the reception took place below the glow of those sweet twinkle lights inside the white barn. 

How involved was your partner in the wedding planning? Did your families help? Did you hire a coordinator, planner, or event stylist?

Jeremy Ray is patient and simple. He said he was happy to have whatever kind of day made me happy. When things got overwhelming, he was always there with a hug, a kiss, and a solution to whatever worried decision I faced. We had a day of coordinator, who was an absolute God-send, but the rest of the details we handled ourselves. We ordered bulk flowers from a wholesale store, and I made my bouquet as well as the ones for my bridesmaids. My mom and mother-in-law put together the vases of baby’s breath that lined the aisle, as well as the table centerpieces, and even made the boys’ boutonnieres. My dad cut and sanded stumps of old cotton wood trees from our farm back home for us to use as décor throughout the venue. All of the signs and other details we had were afternoon projects with our little Circuit machine that we completed one by one as the days passed. Jeremy Ray and his best man also took the time to make the donut wall that we had on our dessert table. My sister and sister-in-law did everyone’s hair, and the company my sister works for did the bridal party makeup. The venue was already beautiful so it didn’t need much, and really, we just wanted it to be a day filled with love. We are lucky enough to have photos of not only our parents, but our grandparents on their wedding days, and so it was a special treat to get to display those. Having both been so well loved, it was also important to Jeremy Ray and myself that we had a spot to share the faces of those who had to watch our day from heaven. Overall, things really did just come together with the help of everyone we love.

Let's show your wedding venue some love! What is the name of your venue, and why did you choose it for your special day?

We got married at The Morgan Creek Barn by The Milestone in Aubrey, Texas. The white barn sits on an open field that looks so pretty against the Texas sunset sky. The outdoor ceremony site is jaw-dropping with its large wood columns and wood mantel against a backdrop of trees. The inside of the barn is almost more than words can say with its vaulted ceiling and gorgeous chandelier. Even in the midst of a cold January day, we were able to have that Texas sunset because of the massive window that’s held between the opened barn doors.

Tell us about your wedding playlist! What song did you walk down the aisle to? Did you have a first dance song that was meaningful to you?

We really owe a billion thanks to our DJ. Not only did we book him in the final two weeks of our wedding planning process, but we definitely did not provide a lot of information about what kind of music we preferred. He did a great job, and even had the brilliant suggestion that we do the table photo race where we (the bride and groom) run from table to table, stopping just long enough for our photographer to snap a picture of us with each group, before the song was over. Even though this might sound chaotic, we now have a picture with every person that was able to come celebrate our wedding and made for precious memories. Our first dance was an oldie, but a goodie, and a song that Jeremy Ray sings to me often- ‘Forever and Ever, Amen’ by Randy Travis. It was the perfect pick to start the evening, letting us two step and spin and sing to one another like we were the only two in the room. More meaningful for us was the chance to have our last dance- a time where at the end of the night everyone else cleared out, leaving us to reflect on the day we had and soak up the last bits of joy and love together. For this dance, we chose ‘Wherever You Take Me’ by Quiet Company. Our videographer used it as the initial background song for our wedding film, and every time we watch it, I can’t help but cry more happy tears thinking about the day as a whole, but also those final moments and how I wished the day would never end. 

What was your favorite moment of the day?

The whole day was literally my favorite moment of the day. Honestly. It’s like people tell you “Oh, it’s the best day ever!” BUT IT REALLY WAS THE BEST DAY EVER! No one thinks to tell you that you feel more beautiful than you’ve ever felt, and you get to hug so many of your favorite people, and most importantly, THE WHOLE DAY you get to just kiss and hug your new husband as many times as you want and then some because you’re married and on your wedding day, excessive PDA is totally okay. In my heart though, my favorite moment was seeing Jeremy Ray at the end of the aisle. He’s been my best friend and the love of my life for so long. I know people look at the bride while she walks down the aisle, but I was looking at him and only cared that HE was looking at me. Seeing him there was all of my wildest dreams coming true. Everyone should be as well loved as I am by Jeremy Ray, and marrying him was the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

Who was involved in your special day? We would love to shout out your photographer, favorite vendors, and anyone else who made your day magical. 

Venue- The Morgan Creek Barn by The Milestone @themilestoneaubrey + @waltersweddingestates Shout out to our Day-Of Coordinator Mrs. Crystal and Venue Manager Mrs. Randi! Photography- Mrs. Kylee @photographybykylee Literally the most wonderful photographer in the universe! Videography- Raymond Watson @tenelevenfilmphotogrphy + @walkertexasraymond Holy Cow, I cry every time I watch our video because he did so dang amazing! Cookies- @sweeneyscookies Donuts- @ShipleysDonuts Cake, Cupcake, & Flowers- @SamsClub Hair- Annie Patton @hairbyannpat & K’Lin Pierce Paneral @k.raehair Makeup- Brite Beauty Dress- Wear Your Love @Wearyourlovexo Obviously the most glorious dressmakers in all the land!

Do you have any advice or helpful tips for others planning a wedding?

If you’re a bride in the midst of this crazy pandemic world (or really at any point in time), just make the decisions that make you happy. It’s okay to stress and worry and cry and not know what decision is best, but marrying the love of your life is a happy thing - make the day a happy day and no matter what it will be okay.

What has been the best part so far about being married?

I think that the best part of being married so far has been the comfort of knowing that whatever the future holds, I am well loved and get to spend my days loving someone who loves me. Plus, you know- the whole earlier bit about getting to kiss and hug the love of your life as much as you want because Y’ALL ARE GOSH DANG MARRIED!! 

Jamie is wearing The Cleo with white lining and a full 24 inch train.

Rachel Ferreira