In Texas, it’s not surprising to hear that a relationship revolves around a football schedule. And for Melissa Grimmett and Thomas Yoste, the love for their alma maters would inform their entire wedding day.
Melissa and Thomas’ long-distance college romance between Austin, Texas, and Oxford, Mississippi, started with a blind date. They were both home from college on summer break and a friend set them up. A week and a half later, the pair went back to their respective campuses in a relationship. “Honestly, he was just very easy to talk to and made me laugh,” says Melissa. “After 10 days, we didn’t want to stop seeing each other.”
They planned dates around football games (“The relationship revolved around who was playing who,” Melissa says) and made time for countless hours of phone calls and FaceTime. When they were both home over the holiday break, they realized things were serious, but Melissa had one more year before graduating. Luckily, Thomas moved back to Dallas to take a job, which made the road trip much shorter.
After two-and-a-half years of dating, Thomas asked Melissa to marry him in the capital building in Austin, where her friends were waiting in the wings to snap photos. That night, Thomas surprised Melissa with a party with 50 friends and family.
With The White Sparrow Barn booked, it was time to find a planner to execute Melissa and Thomas’ wish for a Texas affair with Mississippi influences. “My mom and I bought every wedding magazine you could possibly find,” Melissa says. They found Wendy Kay, owner of Birds of a Feather Events, and gave her a few ideas: a spring wedding, natural arrangements of Texas wildflowers, and a vibe reminiscent of an elegant home. After their initial meeting, the mother-daughter duo knew they had completed their perfect planning trifecta with Wendy. “My mom and I both had ideas, but we didn’t know how to make it come to reality,” Melissa says. “Wendy did.”
One of those ideas came from an image Melissa’s mom painted of a bluebonnet. “I said, ‘That’s exactly what I’ve been wanting to capture—watercolor tones that mix white and dark navy,’ ” she explains. The couple used the design on their invitations, escort-card display, and labels. Wendy pulled linens and china that would complement the motif, and florist Maxine Owens designed organic arrangements to mimic Texas wildflowers.
Thomas’ Southern heritage, which dates back to the 1800s, also got the appropriate nods with a biscuit bar, an Ole Miss groom’s cake, and the venue, which was built with reclaimed wood from Mississippi. But the most significant Southern contribution may have been the beautiful day. According to an old wives’ tale, burying a bottle of whiskey the year before the wedding ensures sunny skies—Melissa was sure to comply. So on a beautiful Saturday in May, the couple married under two towering oak trees, with family from both sides—and teams—coming together as one.
The White Sparrow Barn
Apryl Ann Photography
Bridal Gown Designer
Sachin & Babi
Bridal Gown Retailer
Hair & Makeup
Beauty & the Blush Artistry
JoS. A. Bank
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Designer
Jenny Yoo Collection
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Retailer
JoS. A. Bank
Flower Girl’s Dress Retailer
Max Owens Design
Designed by the mother of the bride
Sugar Bee Sweets
Marc Roberts Videography
Top Tier Event Rentals
Wendy Kay, Birds of a Feather Events