It's not often that I share an entire story about how a couple met, but reading Matt & Carson's story had me feeling like I was reading a movie script - it reads like a blockbuster romance and the beautiful images by Magnolia Rouge fave CHARLA STOREY - with beautiful bohemian styling by GRIT & GOLD WEDDINGS, have me convinced someone needs to start writing the script!
It was Matt's British accent that first caught Carson's attention when she found herself standing behind him whilst checking in for a flight to Los Angeles. She explains, "I heard him joking with some of his mates and very quickly picked up on the fact that he was both British and an absolute babe. I’m not going to say that I decided to lay on my moves solely because he reminded me of Harry Potter, but it is possible that the accent had something to do with it. I was clearly still half asleep and/or delirious though, because my life-altering first line to my future husband was a very cool, very eloquent “I like your shoes. Obviously, I wasn’t on my A-game, but regardless, it worked! After chatting for a while, the two of us boarded our flight and headed to our separate seats. While I was bummed that I wasn’t sat next to Matt, I did end up sitting next to one of his friends, and being a girl-on-a-mission, it didn’t take long for me to secure a spot on the guest list for the band’s concert in Los Angeles that evening. I mean, opportunity only knocks for so long—especially if that opportunity is a babe of a Brit who tours for a living and just happens to be in the same city as you for one night only. After the show, Matt and I met up at the venue’s rooftop bar. There, the two of us sat on our own, away from everyone else, drank overpriced Stella and really got to know each other for the first time. The way we immediately clicked was honestly like nothing I’d ever (or have ever since) experienced before, and I’m not one to hyperbolize things like this. It really felt like we were best friends right off the bat. I was captivated by everything he said and vice versa. We loved the same things, we had the same sense of humor and we were both equally as upset to say goodbye to each other at the end of the night. For the next four years, Matt and I were friends. Just friends, no pretenses. That being said, the two of us spoke via email and on the phone constantly and never missed and opportunity to meet up when things worked out with his touring and my traveling schedule. We told each other what we were up to, what new music to listen to, what was getting on our nerves and entertained each other with funny stories that had happened to us on different sides of the world. It wasn’t until spring of 2013, that Matt and I decided to really make our relationship official and he made the move to America so that we could be together.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: It was January 3rd. Matt and I had just spent Christmas and New Years at my parent’s house in Dallas and we were halfway through our 24-hour drive back to Los Angeles (where we set up shop after becoming a couple). It was just about sunset and I was in my sweatpants, sprawled out, looking really attractive in the passenger seat when we pulled up to The View Hotel—the only hotel that overlooks the entirety of Monument Valley, Utah—our pit stop for the night. Matt told me to head to the overlook, and that he’d be with me in a second. Walking over and seeing the landscape, I was immediately taken aback by the magnificence of those massive red-orange rocks juxtaposed against the purple and pink hues fading across the sky. The lighting was perfect, the setting was perfect, his engagement plan was superb.
Matt walked up to me and stood with his back to the view. He held both of my hands and told me that he had a question to ask. At this point, I definitely knew what this was all about (anyone would!), but I really tried as hard as I could to keep calm and not blurt out anything, so that he could have the chance to say what he wanted to say. Obviously, when asked if I’d spend the rest of my life with him, I said yes. The next morning we watched the sunrise over monument valley before heading west to Las Vegas for a night of “We just got engaged” celebrations!
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR WEDDING? Vista West Ranch was the first venue Matt and I looked at in-person and when we walked in, it was an immediate YES. The grounds are gorgeous, the two areas designated for the wedding party to get ready in were perfect AND there was a beer garden … enough said. We also loved that the venue price (which seemed high at first) included all of our tables and chairs, the bartenders, the DJ, the fire pits and so many other add-ons, which took a lot of work off of our plate, planning-wise.
The main priority we had going into the wedding planning and style choice, was that we really wanted the day to be care-free and fun for everyone. I didn’t want anything to be too stuffy or uncomfortable because it would be so unlike both my personal style and my relationship with Matt. This is what probably led us toward the vintage/rustic/bohemian vibe (can I even call it that?) we ended up with on the day. Also, I’d be 100% lying if I said I didn’t find inspiration from weddings styled by Free People.
TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: I didn’t! I designed my own wedding dress, based on one that I had fallen in love with online, but couldn’t justify shelling out $2,000 for. As a wedding gift, one of my mom’s friends (who is an incredible seamstress) created the dress for me. In total, it cost me maybe $75 for the materials. So… money well spent!
ANY DIY ELEMENTS? Big time. Another reason we went this route style-wise, is because it was honestly pretty simple to DIY. In the early planning stages, I enlisted my grandparents to collect various tin cans, which we rusted, filled with live succulents and affixed with vintage labels, that I had printed out from online. Meanwhile, my parents collected glass bottles and jars which would have otherwise been recycled, and we used them in our centerpieces and as decor aand because Matt and I had no idea what to expect, the ceremony was just as exciting for us as anyone else. Also, because our wedding was small we didn’t feel uncomfortable or embarrassed by unscripted, candid moments. I just wish we had paid for a videographer so that we could re-watch it!
One of the only things Matt and I did have a hand in during the ceremony was our vows. Separately, we wrote our own vows and they made such a difference. The things we said to each other round the venue. My dad chopped down a tree in our front yard and we recycled the slices of cedar to add height to our dessert table and my grandmother provided boxes and boxes full of vintage china, teacups, porcelain trinkets and even a creamer shaped like a cow, that we dispersed between the tables to add a bit of vintage flavor. It was really a game of “what can we utilize that we already have?” to firstly save money, but to also have an awesome looking wedding, unlike anyone elswere so honest and true and untraditional, and so US. I loved being able to express to Matt how much I love and appreciate him in front of all of our closest family and friends. It was so empowering for our relationship.
FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: The ceremony and the vows. Hands down. Matt and I chose my uncle—who we’re both very close with—to officiate our wedding and we decided it would be best if neither of us heard his speech before the ceremony, just so that it’d be a surprise for everyone. He ended up bringing the house down with laughs and tears; it was an incredible ceremony. Because there were so many jokes and personal stories, and because Matt and I had no idea what to expect, the ceremony was just as exciting for us as anyone else. Also, because our wedding was small we didn’t feel uncomfortable or embarrassed by unscripted, candid moments. I just wish we had paid for a videographer so that we could re-watch it!
One of the only things Matt and I did have a hand in during the ceremony was our vows. Separately, we wrote our own vows and they made such a difference. The things we said to each other were so honest and true and untraditional, and so US. I loved being able to express to Matt how much I love and appreciate him in front of all of our closest family and friends. It was so empowering for our relationship.