The Nuptials Of Marie Brown and Ryan Mays
By Caroline Bolano Photography by David Sixt
Although their families have been close friends for several generations, it was their own unique sense of humor that attracted the couple to each other when Marie Brown, daughter of Marline and Clint Lawson, decided to ask out Ryan Mays, son of Mark and Patti Mays, three years ago. After only three months of dinner dates, the couple knew in their hearts that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. After three years of dating, Ryan popped the question after a hike to the top of a volcano in Costa Rica. Following a nine-month engagement, the couple married in the company of all their closest family and friends on June 17.
The rehearsal dinner was held at Hotel Emma in San Antonio for 110 guests who were surrounded by beautiful fuchsia arrangements of bougainvillea and cactus designed by florist Danny Cuellar.
The elegant South Texas-themed wedding ceremony was held at The Mays’ Family Ranch in Spring Branch, Texas, planned by Elegant Events’ Maureen Riebel. The open-air ceremony took place at sunset on top of a cliff overlooking the Guadalupe River with around 600 guests in attendance. An extravagant 15-foot tall floral and cactus arch served as the altar for the ceremony. Don Strange Events catered the affair with elegant food stations strewn throughout the reception.
The bride had 14 attendants with bridesmaids Aline Copp, Sarah Brown, Hannah Smith, Mimi Brown, Maggie Mays, Abby Spalding, Alex Watt, Lindsay Marsh, Lili Jamail, Elle Florescu, Amy Doggett, Kelly Jameson, Elizabeth Douglass and Andrea Leigh Brown Brooks as the Matron of Honor. The groom had 14 attendants as well, with groomsmen Daniel Mays, Andrew Mays, Matthew Mays, Zachry Brown, Carter Brown, Clay Holshouser, Rett McSween, Jack Kingman, Robert Foster, Terry Andersen, Evan Dalton, William Schreiber, Walker Graham and Patrick Mays as the Best Man.
The bride’s Vera Wang dress was accessorized with heirloom jewelry from her great grandmother, Marjorie Zachry, consisting of floral diamond earrings and bracelet. She also wore a sapphire ring that her mother had given her.
The black-tie reception was held at the ranch at the base of the Guadalupe River. The theme of the reception was prickly pear cactus with an all-white color scheme with accents of sage green and blush, creating an elegant Hill Country vibe. The florals, designed by Pattie Beebe with the Elegant Bee in Boerne, consisted of a variety of white flowers paired with deer antlers and prickly pear cactus. The ceiling was covered with lights and was illuminated with three large antler chandeliers.
Dinner was served at buffet stations consisting of various southern comfort foods and game meats, thanks to Don Strange Catering of San Antonio. Some of the food highlights included prickly pear margaritas, nilgai antelope fired tenders, fired quail, cabrito, cheese grits, donut holes with rum, coffee and Kahlua milkshakes.
The bride’s cake was made by Who Made the Cake in Houston and was six feet tall with amaretto and vanilla. Each tier was a different flavor and decorated with sugar paste flowers. Crazy Cakes, located in Austin, made the groom’s cake with immense detail. It was fit for a true South Texan, with a Hill Country-themed diorama scene with a rattlesnake, quail, horned toad, cactus, and scorpion.
Jessie’s Girls, a band from Atlanta, did an amazing job entertaining guests and played at the reception for four straight hours. One of the couple’s favorite memories from the reception was bringing their two Vizsla dogs, Beau and Belle, out to the dance floor. The band ended the night playing Purple Rain and the couple danced and sung in a group huddle with the families.
After the reception, Whataburger honey butter chicken biscuits were handed out on the wedding party bus back to Hotel Emma where some guests kept the party going with an after party at the hotel bar.
The couple’s next stop is Tanzania and Seychelles for their honeymoon, a perfect destination for the newlyweds since they both share a love for Africa and being active, so both safari and the beach were ideal. They enjoy traveling and crave adventure, so they’ve created their own travel bucket list to fulfill throughout the future. The couple resides in New York City where Marie is an art appraiser and Ryan is an investment banker.