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Two Texas Christian University grads enlist the help of a family member to make their big day unique, complete with sentimental songs, his and hers cocktails, and plenty of subtle hints to the Lone Star state.

The blushing bride in her Oscar de la Renta Chantilly lace gown.

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Madeline’s navy Manolo Blahnik heels added a pop of color to her bridal look.

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The bride and groom’s wedding rings atop the formal invitations.

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The bride’s bouquet was filled with fragrant blue hydrangeas, gardenias and roses.

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The five-tier wedding cake from Who Made The Cake

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Papellerie helped create a custom monogram for the newlyweds.

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Madeline Pierce admits that meeting Grant Hortenstine while they were classmates at Texas Christian University came down to three key things: persistence, confidence and photos from her stint in Europe. “Grant assisted my roommate in moving furniture into our apartment,” recalls Madeline, who was living at home in Arkansas at the time. “Grant saw photos of me, and much to [his] confident personality, he let himself into my room, where he saw concert posters and photos from my time in Europe. According to Grant, this was the moment he was hooked.” Several months later, Madeline, a pediatric nurse at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and Grant, an industrial tenant rep broker at Avison Young, finally met for their first date: lunch at Lily’s Bistro in Fort Worth.

Two years later, Grant proposed on a snowy February day in Fort Worth, claiming he had booked a photo session for a Christmas card photo in front of Frog Fountain, a TCU landmark. Madeline wasn’t fooled, but graciously braved the cold. Shortly after the romantic winter proposal, the two began planning the big day. For the spring wedding, the duo looked to planner Beth Rice and Grant’s aunt, Elizabeth Swift of Swift + Company. “I really tried to come up with different elements that Madeline and Grant would both love,” says Elizabeth of the palette of soft blues, whites and metallics, and a floral arch with white and blue hydrangeas, magnolias, gardenias and roses. “I didn’t hold back on offering them anything. It needed to be something that reflected who they are as a couple.”

Special touches were woven throughout, including Madeline’s Oscar de la Renta Chantilly lace gown; branded monogram invitations and napkins by Papellerie; signature his and hers cocktails, a Maddie-rita and a Call Me Old-Fashioned; a commissioned live painting done during the couple’s first dance; and Grant’s custom-made quilled ostrich boots with red piping by M.L. Leddy Boots. Madeline even surprised Grant with a rendition of their favorite song, “Let’s Go Outside” by The String Cheese Incident, played by their reception band, Memphis Train Revue of Austin. For the menu, they chose the theme of “a Texas send-off before our Italian honeymoon” (a nod to their two-week trip through Tuscany and Capri), with beef tenderloin, a grits bar, flatbread, pasta and a strawberry chicken salad. 

“The wedding was all so us from the music and the cigar station to the live painting and the food,” adds Grant. “Everything screamed Maddie and Grant. The whole weekend could not have gone better, and we thank Elizabeth for that. She knows us so well and helped make the event so personal.”

THE LIST
Ceremony
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
Reception & Catering River Oaks Country Club
Wedding Planner Beth Rice, Keely Thorne Events
Bridal Gown Oscar de la Renta, Casa de Novia Bridal Couture
Bride’s Shoes Manolo Blahnik
Florals Swift + Company
Invitations Papellerie
Cake Who Made The Cake
Entertainment Memphis Train Revue
Videographer Bear Hands Media