You can’t tell Hannah Ray and Clint Chaffin’s love story without the Dallas Arboretum. The pair met while working at a commercial real estate company here in town and were quick to feel a connection. After knowing each other for two months, they started spending time together, and for their first official date shared a picnic at the Dallas Arboretum’s Cool Thursday Concert Series. As coworkers, they hesitated to let their relationship develop but finally gave into fate. “Our attraction to each other was undeniable,” Hannah says. “We decided to just go for it.”
When Clint decided it was time to take the next step, he again turned to the Arboretum. The couple made plans to meet friends on the Fourth of July for a patriotic picnic at the Arboretum. “We were walking through the gardens and arrived at the Crape Myrtle Allee and starting walking down the row underneath the blossoms,” Hannah says. “About the time I realized our friends were no longer with us, Clint had taken me underneath all of the beautiful trees and popped the question.”
The surprises didn’t stop there. After she said yes, Hannah and Clint made their way to their favorite date spot where all their friends and family were waiting to celebrate the engagement.
On May 19, 2018, Hannah and Clint said “I do” at Highland Park United Methodist Church, followed with a reception at the Belo Mansion. The reception site in-and-of-itself served as an inspiration when the couple was planning their nuptials—Hannah used florals specifically to complement the space. “I have always loved flowers and knew they would be one of the most important aspects of the decor for me,” she says. “With the help of Garden Gate Floral, they were really able to capture my vision of a beautiful medley of soft colors and unique flowers.”
But the floral design was not the only detail of the celebration decor that was given special attention. The cake was inspired by both Hannah’s wedding dress and the invitations. And when looking for that perfect dress, Hannah had narrowed the selection down to a couple of choices, but having trouble picking the final gown, she called on her father to hear his input. “When he saw me in the dress I ended up wearing, he immediately said ‘that is the one,’ ” Hannah says. “With tears in everyone’s eyes, I said yes to the dress! It was such a special moment that I will remember forever.”
After Hannah donned the very dress that brought everyone to tears, she and Clint exchanged vows, and the long awaited reception at the Belo Mansion got underway. Hannah reminisced that the party was exactly the night they had envisioned. “Between our amazing band, the surrounding lights, and the fun photo booth nearby, everyone was enjoying the moment,” Hannah says. “Our band played so many crowd favorites, but I think everyone hit the dance floor when a Brooks & Dunn classic ‘Neon Moon’ was played.”
The night wasn’t short of personal touches. Along with the special attention to the flowers, cake, and invitations, Hannah surprised Clint, an avid golfer, with a groom cake that fit him to a tee. Playing off that groom cake, they gave guests golf balls and tees that could serve as a keepsake from the day.
“The whole day was so very special to us, but just sharing the moment with our family meant so much to us,” Hannah says. “There had been so much planning going into the wedding and to just enjoy that night with them meant the world to us.”
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