Photography by Alixann Loosle Photography
Since Sam and Lexie first bonded over their mutual love of the Lone Star State while working in Washington, D.C., it only made sense for this sweet couple to celebrate the start of their marriage with an elegant affair in Dallas, Texas. From glowing tea lights to gorgeous, flowy, long-sleeved bridesmaid gowns, their day was filled with the most romantic, ethereal details. And in a true show of selflessness, Lexie has some amazing tips for making your wedding just as much about your guests as it is about you as a couple. Be sure to read all the way through for Sam and Lexie’s hilarious proposal story—it’s proof that a fabulous engagement can still start off with the words, “Yeah. Ok…”!
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? We chose to get married in the Dallas Texas LDS Temple because of our faith. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that marriages performed in temples are sacred and bind a husband and wife for eternity. Throughout our lives, we dreamed of going one day to a temple with the one we love to make promises with God and each other. We specifically chose the Dallas Temple because Sam’s uncle could officiate the wedding. It made our day even more special to have the ceremony performed by a beloved family member. To top it off, we two native Texans couldn’t imagine a better place than the Lone Star State to tie the knot.
Your ceremony in three words. Sweet, simple, sacred
How did you go about planning your ceremony? The LDS temple marriage follows a standard pattern. Our ceremony began with words from the officiator, Sam’s uncle. We then made simple vows to one another and to God, and ended things by kissing one another, exchanging rings, and hugging all those present.
Though Lexie and Sam went for a classic and timeless look, they included elements that brought a bit of whimsical, vintage-inspired flair to everything. Lexie completed her bridal look with a beautiful jeweled crown, and her bridesmaids wore romantic long-sleeved gowns in a dusty shade of blue. Don’t they look so dreamy, all together?
How would you describe your reception? We loved all of the details of the wedding! We really wanted our wedding to be natural, classic, and a real party for all of our guests.
Why did you choose this location for your reception? Union Station: The venue provided an incredible backdrop for our event. After walking into Union Station for the first time, we thought, “we could do absolutely nothing to this space, and it still would be a beautiful wedding reception.” It’s tall arched ceilings, historical charm, and grand windows with views of downtown completely won us over. Though Union Station is unbelievable, it’s design is simple enough to complement any wedding style. We also loved the fact that the whole space was ours for the night. There was plenty of room for our 300+ guests to move around and enjoy the night. We used the smaller front room for a mock-tail hour, and side rooms for the food stations and a children’s room. It made our reception feel so special, because we weren’t running into other weddings or feeling cramped.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We wanted our wedding to reflect our personal style. We wanted things to be classic, with whimsical twists. We wanted everyone to feel comfortable and for things to feel natural and effortless.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The best advice I received was to relax and enjoy the day!
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? The biggest advice I have for brides-to-be is to let go and enjoy your day! To make this possible, think through as many details as possible before the day of. Luckily, I had a superstar of a mom and a seasoned wedding planner who thought through everything well in advance. Because those details were taken care of, I was really able to enjoy every minute of the wedding we had taken months and months to plan. Along with that, make sure to take in all of the wonderful details of your wedding. Spare a moment to really look at the florals, table settings, and design elements. Eat the food and drink the drinks. It was really special for me to experience every detail we had worked so hard to plan. Another piece of advice I would give, is to really think about the guests attending your wedding. It’s easy to get caught up in florals and china patterns, but if you want you wedding to be memorable—make it fun! We provided a well-stocked children’s room with baby-sitters, to allow parents to enjoy the evening. We made Texas-themed gift bags for all of our out-of-town guests and took the bridal party to a Rangers game a few days before the wedding (since all of my bridesmaids flew in from Utah just for the wedding and had never been to Texas before). By taking care of the details beforehand and by thinking about our guests during the planning process, we were able to really enjoy the whole wedding experience with all of the people we love!
Says bride Lexie, “While we did have a large cake (that was nearly entirely fake!), we also put smaller one-layer cakes on each of the tables that guests could eat from. Since we anticipated left over cake, we also provided cake boxes for guests to take home extra cake.”
To add a little playful flair, Lexie and Sam hired caricature artists who drew darling portraits for all their guests. Says Lexie, ” we learned later that the kids and families absolutely loved it. One little cousin got herself four different caricatures!”
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? It’s hard to narrow it down to just one. We loved all of the personal moments–when Sam’s brother sang for us, Sam’s groomsmen dance, and our private last dance together once everyone left the reception space for the send off. We also loved dancing the night away with all of our friends and family!
What was your first dance song? Our first dance song was Annie’s Song by John Denver. I danced with my dad to Landslide by Fleetwood Mac, and Sam danced with his mom to Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder. Something both Sam and I cared about was the music. We both LOVE to dance and really wanted our wedding to be a party to remember. However, I had been to weddings where there was a stark contrast between the classy service and the dirty booty-popping music played at the reception. To avoid this mood switch, we chose to play all retro music throughout the reception. While we dated, Sam and I bonded over our love the 60s, 70s, and 80s music our parents played on our family road trips. We felt like the retro music would get people dancing, without making our grandparents feel uncomfortable. The music did not disappoint. Once the dancing began, it became quite the party. We even had my 85-year-old grandma can-can kicking on the dance floor! We got tons of compliments from both old and young guests. Some people even wanted the link to our playlist! Working with Jim was a breeze. His online system allowed us to easily handpick all of the songs we wanted and create the dance party of our dreams.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? This is the story Sam wrote that we had in a basket next to the sign-in book at the wedding.
It all began when Sam noticed Lexie in a political science class, he introduced himself, and she promptly forgot about him. A few months later in April 2016, both moved out to Washington, D.C. as interns in the BYU Washington Seminar program. They became friends over their mutual love for the great state of Texas. They remained so for a few months until Sam carefully devised a plan to exit the “friend zone”. While playing ping pong one night, Sam bet Lexie that the loser of the game would pay for the other’s dinner one night in town. Sam conveniently lost and took Lexie out for her favorite meal, chicken strips.
After what he calls their first date (the details are contested), Sam hatched a plan to take advantage of their unique situation before she returned to Provo and other suitors. They played tennis, went to the National Zoo, attended an Orioles-Rangers game, and ate more chicken strips than either cares to admit. On Lexie’s last night in D.C., he took her to ride bikes around the National Mall. As the sun set over the Tidal Basin, he asked her which of the memorials was her favorite. “The Jefferson,” she replied, and off they rode to the Jefferson Memorial. In sight of the White House and the Washington Monument, they kissed for the first time.
Nearly a month later, they met up in Provo. They learned more about each other as he watched chick-flicks and she attended basketball games. Some of the most memorable experiences included several of Luke’s concerts, trips up to the Elmer’s cabin and the Prier’s house, watching Lost, and helping each other (competing) in an African Geography and a Middle Eastern Politics class at BYU. He quickly learned that she was much more than just a pretty face, and she learned just the opposite (see Sam’s biceps).
Sam got the OK to propose to Lexie while at Macaroni Grill in late January. Lexie gave Sam a few guidelines for the proposal which he tried to follow to little avail. The primary requirement was that the proposal be a surprise, because Lexie gets anxious when she knows a big moment or decision is coming. All was going smoothly until she sniffed out the proposal plan before picking him up to “go snowshoeing.” Tears were shed (hers), the surprise was ruined, and he had to improvise. The snowshoeing plans scrapped, they zoomed up Provo canyon to the Prier’s house in Heber City, followed the trail of rose petals to the balcony, where the box sat with the ring inside. After taking out a few mementos and slips of paper with “things I love about you” written on them, Sam asked Lexie to marry him. He took “Yeah. OK.” as good enough, and they began planning their wedding!