Black Tie Wedding

Old World Meets New

Jessica & Chris

mission san Jose bridal party walking through field

The Story

In 2015, two of their mutual friends got engaged and decided Chris needed help getting a date to the wedding. A week later Chris and Jessica had been set up for their first date, dinner and Christmas lights. Shortly after that, they both realized how quickly and hard they had fallen for each other they were smitten.

The Proposal

Their proposal was also featured on San Antonio Weddings. While Jessica was visiting Chris at the end of a three month work exchange in New Zealand, the couple hiked 7 hours and Chris asked Jessica to be his wife atop Roy’s Peak on the South Island. They continued their trip onto Fiji to celebrate their engagement at Tokoriki, a private island resort.

San Antonio weddings stationary and invitations
wedding day perfume San Antonio weddings

The Inspiration

The theme for their wedding day was a ‘black tie’, with an emphasis on the juxtaposition of old-world and modern styles. Another top priority throughout the planning process was the guest experience. The bride has always had a taste for the finer things in life and wanted to forgo some traditional wedding elements to make it fit them as a couple and to keep it fun. Chris and Jessica knew a destination wedding would give their guests a weekend to remember, but they truly wanted to spoil their guests from start to finish as a small token of their appreciation for attending. The couple lovingly referred to their guests as “our favorite people” and wanted to show that. After all, these were the people that dropped everything during a global pandemic to travel several states and surround the couple on their wedding day. By incorporating San Antonio and Texas culture the bride was able to show guests why they chose this destination.

A Pre-Wedding Fiesta

The night before the wedding, 45 guests partied atop The St. A Sky Terrace at the couple’s Welcome Fiesta. The dress code was “Fiesta Formal”, many men dawning bolo ties, and women in bright colored gowns. Jessica wore a cherry red Jay Godfrey ensemble with a detachable train and artisan earrings from the San Antonio based Treasure Jewels. Chris wore a 3 piece navy suit that he paired with cowboy boots and the official silk tie of Fiesta 2020. The night included terracotta accents, papel picado, hand potted cacti, floral arrangements in Topo Chico bottles and a spread of TexMex complete with a margarita, sangria, and Mexican beer bar . As favors, guests choose from a variety of handmade Talavera shot glasses.


San Antonio weddings cookies saying we do
big black bow on the back of wedding dress in San Antonio weddings
bridal portrait while she is putting on makeup

All in the Details

For the wedding day, the couple truly met and exceeded every expectation of a black tie event from start to finish. The couple had formal engagement photos, their save the dates included vintage stamps and a monogram wax seal that would be used throughout their wedding day as well. Their monogram echoed the “old-world meets modern” vibe. Designed by the bride’s sister, it included a script B surrounded by a C and J which formed a hexagon. This hexagon motif would be carried throughout the wedding design, from floral, to cookies, to ring boxes and beyond. Their invitations were a bespoke set which included velvet ribbon accents, the same monogram wax seal, vintage stamps that represented the couple and custom hand drawings the bride commissioned her sister and Matron of Honor to make.

A combination of classic script and serif fonts, deckled edge paper, right justification and black gave the classic paper suite a modern twist. Day-of fashion was one of the most enjoyable parts of wedding planning. The wedding party would put their own spin on ‘black tie’. Bridesmaids wore a fitted Katie May gown with a plunging V in the back which mimicked the back of Jessica’s gown. They paired the gown with each of their favorite pearls or gold hoops and finished the look with white florals that included anemone and protea for a twist. On their wedding day, the groom wore a custom, notch lapel Jos. A Banks tuxedo complete with their wedding date embroidered inside. He paired the classic look with a velvet bow tie and slippers, gold cufflinks the bride gave him that were engraved with their monogram, a succulent and white ranunculus boutonniere, and a pocket square embroidered Jessica and her mother. These monogrammed pocket squares were worn in lieu of boutonnieres by the fathers, ushers, groomsmen and ring bearer as well.

The bride enhanced her Justin Alexander mermaid gown with a bespoke cape and bow that her mother made. In 2010, the bride, her mother, and godmother searched through the garment district of London to find French silk tulle that would be used for her sister’s cathedral length veil. Fast forward 10 years, the bride reached out to the store and purchased the same exact tulle for her own wedding. It was sewn into a 16 foot long detachable cape with beaded shoulder details and a matching belt. For the reception, the bride took the ‘black tie’ theme literally and dawned an asymmetric black bow over her French bustled gown, which matched the one on the flower girl dress her mother made. Black suede Prada block heels, diamond hoops her groom gifted her, and an antique diamond pinky ring that belonged to the bride’s great-great aunt completed her bridal ensemble.

couple at the alter in San Antonio wedding

The Reception

Instead of a classic reception feel, the bride wanted the intimate gathering to feel like the best dinner party and dance party their guests had ever attended. After cruising through the riverwalk, guests arrived by boat and ascended the stone stairs to the courtyard of the SWSA. Here they were greeted by Mariachi Jazmin, a surprise Jessica planned for her groom, as well as waiters in white tuxedo jackets passing hors d’oeuvres, monogrammed napkins, and signature cocktails cleverly named after their occupations. Painted acrylic signage titled “Our favorite people” showed guests their seating assignments. This style of painted acrylic signs was used throughout the evening. Inside guests were greeted by a photo area complete with a boxwood wall and “Better Together” neon sign and fresh florals.

She envisioned one long table with the couple in the middle, so guests felt open to converse and everyone had the best seat in the house. Every ledge and table glowed with soft candlelight. The table was packed with gold and white pillar candles, black tapers, geometric hexagons, and tower, compotes, and terrariums overflowing with white florals. Each place setting included matching black and gold china and chargers, modern matte gold silverware and champagne coupes. Custom place cards included velum, hand-drawn gold calligraphy and the couples monogram wax seal. Atop the pacesetting were custom menus, adorned with a drawing of the chandeliers inside the SWSA done by the bride’s sister. Continuing the feel of intimacy, the bride created a lounge with the historic pews of the Southwest School of Art that were centered around a marble coffee table and a custom mantle. The mantle was adorned with black and white wedding photos from their parents, grandparents, Godparents and bride’s sister. The entire area was filled with floral arrangements, geometric hexagons and easels that displayed the couples engagement pictures.

A live band played each dance, including the couples song in French, La Vie en Rose, and the father of the bride’s favorite song, Old time Rock’n’Roll, before welcoming everyone to the dancefloor. Guests danced the night away and were given a San Antonio favorite, Whataburgers and Chicken Biscuits, as a late night snack. They got to pick custom cookies as a favor at the end of the night. The cookies had everything from their monogram, to the state of Texas, to the alamo, to hand paintings of the Rose Window and doors of Mission San Jose where the couple was married. The final surprise Jessica had for her groom was a private last dance to one of his favorite songs. During cocktail hour the couple toured the interior of the reception alone. The last dance and this tour ended up being intimate moments for them that they will always cherish.

whataburger at a wedding reception in San Antonio
Live band playing at a San Antonio wedding

Final Thoughts

The bride has a passion for party planning and hosting, so from beginning to end planned the entire event herself. Jessica is known at work and among her friends and family for her attention to detail and that was the part of wedding planning she enjoyed the most; working in countless details to make everything more personal and unique. Jessica sought to find vendors that could take her detailed requests and bring them to life. But the thing she valued most from them, was her ability to trust them from afar. Due to Covid-19, during their 14 month engagement the bride only made two trips to San Antonio to wedding plan and did everything else from St. Louis where they live.

The couple looked for vendors that could deliver a black-tie level of excellence as well as vendors that were local to both San Antonio and Saint Louis. Freesia designs took the brides vision of one long, candle-lit and elaborately covered dinner table and brought it to life. It was even better in person! The day-of florals they created were classic but the succulents and king proteas added visual interest. The team was a dream to work with. Their day-of coordinator Marla, of Event Gal SA, made sure the night went smoothly and the bride could enjoy herself.

groomsmen saying cheers with their assorted alcoholic beverages


  • Bridal Salon
    Olivia Grace Bridal
  • Bridesmaid Dresses
    Bella Bridesmaids
  • Calligraphy
    Calligraphy for Life's Celebrations
  • Ceremony Venue
    Mission San Jose
  • Coordinator
    Event Gal SA
  • Desserts
    Kristen's Cookies
  • Floral
    Freesia Designs
  • Invitations & Suite
    La Rue Louise
  • Makeup
    Love, Lipstick and Lashes
  • Photographer/ Videographer
    Birdeye Media
  • Reception Venue
    Southwest School of Art
  • Rentals
    My Rustic Rentals

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