It’ll happen when you least expect it—at least that’s how it unfolded for Claire Goodson. After spending the day at a job interview, one of her mother’s friends “randomly” texted her and asked if she wanted to grab a drink. “Little did I know what this drink would lead to: She told me there was someone I needed to meet—a cute, tall boy named Travis [Terry] whose mom was one of her best friends,” Claire says. “My mom had met and knew his mom as well, which meant a lot to me, as she had passed away just a month before this.”
Claire and Travis went on a blind date to to Neighborhood Services, but really started hanging out after their second date, when they arranged for their dogs to meet at Mutts Canine Cantina.
Claire’s love for animals does not stop with her pooches. She also has an affinity for horses, which Travis tied seamlessly into his proposal. The couple was spending the days leading up to Christmas at his ranch, along with Travis’ parents. Two days before Christmas, Travis asked Claire to ride her horse, Willie, from the barn up to the house so his parents could see him. “My mom had set money aside for me to buy this horse after she passed away,” Claire says. “So the horse is very, very special to me.”
To set the proposal up, Travis drove Claire down to the barn to get Willie ready for riding then left the gates open so Claire could get back to the house. All the pastures at the ranch are labeled with different names, which Travis used to his advantage. As Willie and Claire got to the first gate, she saw a sign that read “Will.” When Claire saw this first clue, she thought to herself, “Oh how nice, they named his pasture for Willie.” But when she got to the second gate and saw the second clue that read “you,” she knew something was happening.
“It is about a mile from the first two gates to the house, and it took Willie and I about an hour, so in that long time period I started to question if that is what I really saw,” Claire says. “I almost convinced myself that I imagined it! We finally got to the last gate at the house that said ‘marry,’ and there was Travis holding the last sign that said ‘me?’ I rode up to him and he got down on a knee and asked me to marry him.”
After such a memorable proposal, getting married at the ranch—their favorite place—was an easy decision for Claire and Travis. However, Claire says that along with including ranch-inspired decor into their day, she also wanted to incorporate details like ginger jars and white flowers.
On September 8, 2018, Claire and Travis said “I do.” Claire knew she wanted to pay tribute to her mother on her wedding day, so she asked her stepfather and mom’s best friends to release live butterflies when she and Travis shared their first kiss as husband and wife. “My mom loved butterflies and they always reminded her of her faith. It seemed every time she was having a bad day or something wasn’t going well, a butterfly would either cross her path or land on her …” Claire says. “I looked out to the crowd and saw a sea of monarch butterflies taking flight. It was beautiful and very meaningful.”
The personal touches did not stop here. From her head to her toes, Claire paid special attention to her wedding day attire. Nardos Imam of Nardos Design created a gown for her that was adjustable for each passing moment. During the ceremony, Claire donned a large, tulle skirt, but then removed it for her first dance. After that, she took off the cap sleeves, and the dress effortlessly transformed into a strapless gown. And before the night was over, she changed into a completely separate “getaway dress,” which she put on a little earlier than expected to make dancing easier.
And it’s a good thing dancing was easy, because Claire says that was her most favorite part of the evening. “The best was when Travis’ dad got on stage with me and danced—no one had ever seen him do that before,” Claire says. “Makes me laugh to think about it. Then Travis and my dad got on stage and we all boogied. It was so much fun.”
From start to finish, Claire and Travis put on a real party. You want it? They probably had it. During cocktail hour, the couple gave their guests a putting course, a cigar bar, a bourbon bar, and a regular bar, which served as a focal point in the center of the room. They also brought in Pete’s Dueling Pianos, a photo booth, and Steel City Pops. Claire and Travis also sealed their dance floor with a logo that matched Claire’s boots.
After this reception, the couple’s exit had to be of equal grandeur. Leaving in a helicopter, Travis and Claire made a quick and personal getaway back home. “It was an incredible feeling to have a quiet moment with Travis, flying back into Dallas, after the most fun night of our lives. It feels really surreal to even think about.”
Sarah Kate Photography
Bridal Gown Designer
Culwell and Son
Bridesmaids' Dresses Designer
Culwell and Son
Bungalow Paper and Design
Steel City Pops
Mathes and Co. Events
Mathes and Co. Events