The first few times Matthew Garcia asked Lisa Veigel out, she kindly declined. The two met while volunteering together in the children's ministry at church, and while they had instant rapport, Lisa wasn't sure she was ready for a date.
That was until Matthew won her over with his "sweet smile, kindness, and sincerity" following the loss of her grandfather. He brought her a card, stuffed with gift cards, so she could grab dinner easily throughout the week.
"It was so thoughtful," says Lisa. "I remember looking at him differently that day."
The next time he asked her out, he was met with a yes. Fast-forward to Valentine's Day 2017 and Matthew had another question for Lisa — and this time, he only had to ask once. After a low-key Tex-Mex dinner, Matthew, a grad student at Dallas Baptist University, casually mentioned that he needed to drop an assignment off at school. Lisa had her suspicions but shrugged them off.
Once on campus, Matthew led Lisa to the "Divine Servant" statue, which depicts Jesus washing his disciple Peter's feet. He read the portion of the Bible in which the scene occurs, explaining the significance of the statue and how he'd hoped to lovingly and selflessly care for Lisa, as his wife, in the same way. He got down on one knee, and this time, Lisa said yes the first time.
"It was a private and perfect moment," she says.
Hoping for a fall wedding, the couple began planning right away. They envisioned a "rustic, brunch wedding." An Ohio native, Lisa wanted a small, intimate gathering with family and friends. She wanted it to feel casual, like a backyard wedding, with rustic elements featured throughout.
When they came across Mudhen Meat and Greens in the Dallas Farmers Market, they knew they'd found their place. A popular brunch destination, the restaurant had never hosted a wedding before. But Lisa and Matthew saw potential in the restaurant's beautiful outdoor garden. With its popular brunch menu and rustic aesthetic, it checked all of their other boxes, too.
With the venue secured, Lisa spent the months leading up to the October 28 wedding making sure every detail was perfect.
"I loved getting to make the vision come to life through special elements and touches," she says. "My friend and I made the invitations, and I made the programs. I found burlap streamers to use for our horse and carriage sendoff and rustic picture frames to use on our memory tables."
While it was a lot of work, it paid off. With a navy and plum color palette and decor featuring mason jars, burlap, twine and tin, every detail evoked the couple's vision. The bride's brother walked her down the aisle, and the groom's father and a close friend performed the intimate ceremony.
"More than any other detail, we wanted our ceremony to be meaningful and to start our marriage focused on our shared faith and, not only the commitment we were making to each other, but to God," says Lisa.
Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a mix of mimosas, coffee, and pastries, while the bridal party took photos. Then the new Mr. and Mrs. shared their first dance, and everyone sat down for family-style feast of pancakes, migas, shrimp and grits (the overwhelming favorite), and other Southern specialties. Kids played cornhole, and the bride and groom enjoyed time with family and friends.
"It was really special to have the people we love most together in one place," says Lisa. "We know it will never quite happen like that again. We didn't take for granted a single person who made the trip to celebrate with us."
Wedding and Reception Venue: Mudhen Meat and Greens
Photography: JoJo Pangilinan Photographers
Bridal Gown and Bridesmaid Dresses: David's Bridal
Groom and Groomsmen Suits: The Black Tux
Groom and Groomsmen Ties: J.Crew
Cake: Mudhen Meat and Greens
Florals: Raynor Bearden of Mudhen Meat and Greens
Hair: Erica Hollingsworth of Osgood O'Neil Salon
Make-up: Mona Damavandi