John + Mikale had the definition of a Texan wedding. How so? Well, when a wedding includes a Blue Bell ice cream bar, the A&M Aggie Barn as the groom’s cake, and bluebonnets + sweet tea as wedding favors, that pretty much leads you to one word: “TEXAS.”
We interviewed Mikale to find out how she pulled off this perfect, Texan wedding. All the answers below are in her own words, and the photos are thanks to Walt Jurek Photography.
Q1: How did you and John meet?
Funny story actually–most people say you find true love when you least expect it… Well, that was definitely true for us. It was 100% random and I never imagined I’d meet my Prince Charming at Chick-fil-A.
I was meeting up with a childhood friend I reconnected with a few days before the start of my senior year of high school. She worked at Chick-fil-A and told me to meet her at work and wait until she got off her shift so we could ride together to go to the movies–that sounded like a good plan to me! I arrived at the location fresh from a cross-country meet earlier in the day, and went inside so I could grab a bite before the movies. I ordered and sat at a table by myself when out of the corner of my eye I noticed this guy who rushed to the back where the cooks were in the kitchen. It somewhat alarmed me in way you think something caught fire, but everything seemed fine so I didn’t think much of it other than the fact I thought that guy was in some awkward rush.
My friend got off her shift and we were headed to the movies when she told me that the same guy who rushed to the back came to tell her that this super cute chick was sitting at a table by herself. I remember thinking to myself… “Any guy who runs in the back to tell my friend, (and he, at the time, didn’t know she was my friend) that I was cute when I didn’t look so cute, might be someone I need to get to know.” A few days went by, and being the day and age of technology at our fingertips, he found me on Facebook and messaged me to ask me out on a date–literally, a blind date.
I was nervous since it was an online dating sort of gig–but it turns out this Chick-fil-A employee was a true Texas gentleman. He arrived in what I call his white stallion (it was a white Chevy truck), western jeans, and a pressed, button-up shirt to take me on our date. I thought after the date I stood zero chance, though I had a good feeling this was the kind of guy I wanted to marry.
Nearly seven years later, we are a perfect pair. He told me before our wedding he knew he wanted to marry me from the moment he saw me–I was his dream girl: blue eyes and blonde, curly hair? Check. He refers to the moment we first “met” as a scene from a movie. As I was leaving Chick-fil-A with my friend, he said he felt like Zac Brown Band’s lyrics were playing in his head: “Don’t be falling in love as she’s walking away.”
Q2: How did he propose?
Oh gosh–being a Plain Jane kind of girl–it was easy to surprise me. We had been dating for about five years at this point and we both knew we wanted marriage–but we both kind of figured we wanted to get started on our goals and ambitions of our young life first, which was to graduate from Texas A&M and start our careers… or so I thought.
I graduated early from college by six months and ended up moving back in with my mom and dad on a whim to take a job back in The Woodlands. John was still finishing up college, and I was experiencing so many new young adult life experiences alone that it was a tough time for us–but we trekked through. After he graduated from college and was in the process of moving back home, he came into town for the weekend. I was thrilled! Leading up to his graduation he had finals so he was busy and we didn’t have a chance to visit with each other over the weekends like we would have preferred. He called this dinner our “congratulations” to one another for graduating and starting our next phase in life. Honestly, I was just down for a date night with my man. Looking back I should have guessed something was up, because I recall my best friend (and maid of honor) wanting me to have a girls at-home mani-pedi party with her before the date, and my mom making sure I wore a dress to the dinner–but I honestly thought nothing of it.
The day of the proposal I was doing what I always do with my spare time–another DIY project, which included staining, and I ruined my perfectly polished nails. I got ready for the evening and he picked me up in that same white stallion from when we first met. The date just felt like ‘home…’ the familiar same-old us, and nothing led me to believe I was about to get engaged. We ate dinner at The Woodlands Waterway and took a sunset walk by the actual Waterway so I could show him the local buildings since my job was in the commercial real estate industry–sounds normal, right? I remember rattling on about this-and-that building, and when I didn’t hear the “Uh huh” response or notice a nod, I turned around to him reaching for my hand. He grabbed both of my hands to stop me from my rambling conversation with myself, said something sweet & romantic about our life and future together, and got down on one knee–insert shocked face here.
I said YES of course! Let me tell you, I was beyond blown away by his planning. I never cry, and I cried. He had planned for a secret photographer to capture our very moment of being engaged, he got my best friend to make sure my nails were done so the ring would look extra nice on my dainty finger, and he spent the last six months before he graduated designing a custom ring. I’m simplistic–a band with a tiny diamond would have satisfied me beyond belief, so you can imagine when he slipped this perfectly crafted and thought-out ring on my finger, I nearly fell over thinking he robbed a bank to pay for something so incredible.
That’s who he is though, the person who would do anything to make me happy and keep me smiling, and he wanted this ring to be a reminder everyday of his love and, well, of him working so hard to pay for this beauty! He wanted others to see the kind of man he was by providing for his future wife–so kudos to him! The evening concluded with fireworks–it was like a dream and we met up with my best friend and parents who were in on the whole thing. I recalled thinking and feeling like I was watching my life play out in some movie. I also laugh looking back because after realizing what had just happened I asked him if he asked for my dad’s hand in marriage. If not, I was going to be upset! But like everything else this was planned for and of course he got my father’s approval.
John + Mikale got engaged on June 6, 2015, and planned their wedding for 18 months. They booked THE SPRINGS in The Woodlands (South Hall), and got married on April 8, 2017.
Q3: Why did you choose THE SPRINGS?
It felt like home–casual, yet beautiful in its own natural way, and that’s who we are. We wanted our wedding to be a celebration–relaxed, not stiff. Plus, my country man wanted nature, and that’s exactly what he got. It also helped that the staff was so easy to work with.
Q4: What are some of the best memories from your wedding day?
We loved the intimacy we provided and created for our family and friends…
writing our own vows…
the first dance lyrics actually meant something to us… “I’ll love you one day past forever, but that’s as far as it goes…”
the surprise, shake-up, non-traditional, break-out father//daughter dance was a blast…
the Aggie Century Tree unity ceremony…
the Blue Bell bar…
plus the queso fountain and the Chick-fil-A nuggets.
The best part, though, was just having that feeling of bliss and happiness.
Q5: What is your best advice for future couples planning a wedding?
Relax, don’t stress–it all comes together. The day is ultimately about marrying the person of your dreams and celebrating the love between the two of you. Something will go wrong, it always does, but it’s how you let it roll off your back.
Q6: What would you tell others about touring different venues?
Be organized and ask all the questions you have, plus take notes. Then, follow up if you are still unsure about anything.
Some of the one-of-a-kind features of John + Mikale’s wedding:
Aggie Barn for a groom’s cake.
Bluebonnets + sweet tea as favors.
Signature drinks (Texas favorites): Margaritas + Sangria.
Aggie Towels for guests to wave at the send off.
Dog treats to incorporate our furry friend.
A cookie bar with their favorite cookie: white chocolate chip macadamia nut.
A Texas-shaped wood cut-out as the “guest book.”
“My whole heart for my whole life” placed with vinyl on the staircase.
All bridesmaids wore monogrammed boots.
The wedding programs doubled as fans for the outdoor ceremony.
A father//daughter first look.
A family heirloom birdcage veil with a brooch bouquet made of inherited brooches, plus a few new ones.
A Model-A getaway vehicle from the groom’s family.
A bouquet toss where the bride’s bouquet breaks off into four bouquets so more ladies get the chance to catch it!
John + Mikale’s Vendors
Photographer: Walt Jurek Photography
Coordinator: AMB Events
Hair & Makeup Artist: Sunny Hair & Makeup
Florist: HEB Blooms
Cake, Drink Station, + Queso Fountain: Carol’s Catering Service
Dress: Marry Go Round Bridal