A Bride and Groom Embark on a New Life Together With a Wedding Inspired By Family History

While Bonnie Blocker and Walker Nelson were well-versed in faceoffs and cross-checks as varsity lacrosse players in Flower Mound, they didn’t actually check each other out or have any meaningful face time until after graduation. “He asked me out a few times over those years, but I didn’t say yes until we had both moved to Dallas,” says Bonnie.

One date at Aw Shucks, and they were smitten. A year later, Walker popped the question with a treasured heirloom from Bonnie’s mother. “It’s an old mine-cut diamond that my great aunt won in a poker game, according to family legend,” says Bonnie.

When it came to picking a wedding location, Fort Worth’s Hotel Drover was a no-brainer. Long before Bonnie picked up a lacrosse stick, roping and riding were part of her vernacular. “My family history is deeply rooted in cowboy culture, so the Stockyards were perfect,” she explains. Her grandmother and great-grandmother, Mitzi Lucas Riley and Tad Lucas, even have their own stars on the Fort Worth Stockyards’ Texas Trail of Fame. And while the couple leaned more into fancy than farm fresh, Bonnie says they made room for one special guest star. “The live longhorn was such a big hit for our guests,” she says.

How the West was Won

Maintaining a just-right balance of rustic and refined was the work of Rachel Grossman of Gold Dust Event Co. “Bonnie has such rich ties to the Stockyards, so I wanted to help her bring in a bunch of cowboy elements while keeping the event traditional and girly,” she says. To that end, Rachel set signage adorned in Garth Brooks lyrics among pretty petals. She offset the longhorn out front with a garden party in the back. A wall clad in longhorn skulls also featured delicate bouquets and stylish stationery. Dinner tables included loads of different natural textures, including wood, cowhides, and rattan, mixed with dainty dishware, colorful arrangements, and romantic candlelight. The pièce de résistance, though, was the custom color-blocked dance floor. “That was a labor of love,” says Rachel. “That room is very brown, and the dance floor allowed us to get this incredible distribution of color and fun without going overboard.”

Take the Bull by the Horns

Cacti, blooms, and longhorn skulls converged on a wall that did double duty as a table-assignment location and after-dinner photo backdrop.


Aisle Moment

Florist Hailey Kahn focused on creating concentrated moments along the length of the garden aisle. “We had peony moments, forsythia moments, delphinium moments, and moments where they all blended,” she explains. “Everything comes together in the disconnected arch, which perfectly framed Bonnie and Walker.”

Guests: 175

Signature Cocktail: Spicy jalapeño margaritas and Bluebonnet margaritas (“I’m not sure what’s in the Bluebonnet—it’s a mystery only Hotel Drover knows—but I love them,” says Bonnie.) 

Late-Night Snack: Churros

Party Favors: Hand fans and custom matchbooks

First Dance: “Carried Away” by George Strait


  • Ceremony/Reception Site

    Hotel Drover

  • Photographer

    Shannon Skloss Photography

  • Bridal Gown Designer

    Reem Acra

  • Bridal Gown Retailer

    The Bridal Salon at Neiman Marcus

  • Hair & Makeup

    Starr Beauty Co

  • Groom’s Attire

    Men's Warehouse

  • Bridesmaids’ Dresses Designer


  • Groomsmen’s Attire

    Men’s Wearhouse

  • Flowers

    Venus & Co. Flowers

  • Stationery

    Paper Planet

  • Cake

    Crème de la Crème Cake Company

  • Catering

    Hotel Drover

  • Music

    Bishop String Quartet (ceremony); Dart Collective (reception)

  • Lighting, Gobo, Photobooth

    Harry Photo

  • Videographer

    Leslee Layton Films

  • Wedding Rentals

    May I Serve U; Nüage Designs; Shag Carpet; Top Tier Event Rentals

  • Wedding Planner/Designer:

    Gold Dust Event Co.

  • Dance Floor Vinyl

    Inkredible Dance Floors

  • Content Creator

    Kelly Redmond

  • Longhorn

    Lonesome Longhorn

  • Printer

    Williams Sign Company

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