Executive editor Ryan Conner met her husband Doug in Dallas when she was an intern for D Magazine. They were introduced at a mutual friend’s birthday party, but it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. “We didn’t really like each other at first,” she says. “Okay, not really at all. But over the next year or so, we became friends and that turned into a mutual crush.” Doug proposed at The Driskill Hotel in Austin, and they married on May 30, 2009, with a ballroom reception to follow at the Adolphus Hotel. She hired A Stylish Soiree to design and plan her big day, which resulted in a traditional service and reception with pops of peonies and a spring color palette that still looks fresh today.
Ryan remembers the morning of the wedding fondly. “The moments before walking down the aisle were made so much more relaxing by being surrounded by my wedding party, friends I’ve had for many, many years! I really wasn’t all that nervous in the hours leading up to the ceremony,” she says. “Doug and I chose not to see each other until the chapel doors opened. Her bridesmaids’ looks were current and complemented the floral. “Strapless dresses were the trend nine years ago, so my ‘maids wore gold gowns to accent the pink peonies. I chose an all white bouquet, and we wrapped my grandmother’s blue rosary around the bouquet as a tribute to her.”
Ryan and Doug married at the Church of the Incarnation, Doug’s childhood church. “This is when I started to feel the nerves: right before the doors opened. I was so afraid I would trip or pass our or forget to say what I was supposed to say. But having my dad walk me down the aisle eased my fears a bit.” As for her gown? “Vera Wang made my dress. I love that it is v-neck because it still looks current. It has an asymmetrical ruffle that goes from one shoulder down the skirt.” Choosing the dress was tougher than anticipated. “I am a pretty quick decision maker, but the dress was tough. I also fell in love with a body hugging Romona Keveza, but my good friend Mel kept reminding me that I can wear an evening look at any time—this was a special day. Go for more drama! I wore my mother-in-law’s veil that her mother made for her. I am always a fan of incorporating family heirlooms.”
Once the ceremony was over, it was time to party. But first, Ryan and Doug spent a few moments together, just the two of them. “Finally, a moment with my groom. The Adolphus has a private room where Doug and I got to enjoy our first meal as husband and wife before we entered the reception. That way, we were fed and could spend more time visiting with our guests. But truth be told, we were both too excited to eat,” she says. “We enjoyed our first dance and even incorporated a few spins.”
Throwing a fun party was one of Ryan and Doug’s top priorities. “Friends and family flew in from all over the United States, so we wanted to show them a good time. We hired band TOP and yes, we all got on stage. I believe this was a ‘Proud Mary’ moment. Thank goodness I had my girls in gold to be my backup dancers,” she says.
At the end of the night, the two rode off from their ballroom reception in a carriage. “The night went by in a flash. I was so sad when it ended because I wanted to spend more time with all of my family and friends in one room. Those are the memories I remember —being with my favorite people and marrying my favorite person. And now we get to share our photos with our two daughters and they love seeing their parents and relatives having so much fun,” she says.