Today's Made to Marry post is a little different in that while we didn't design the wedding gown, through the process of doing the wedding gown alterations and multiple looks for Lauren O'Malley's mom, Kalli, and grandmother, I feel like I made friends for life.
I made the last-minute decision to head to Round Top for the wedding at Kalli's request and I'm so glad that I did. While I was able to help with some heat-related wedding dress issues (don't ask, haha!), the best part was that I got to see Windy Knoll and the beautiful venue that they have created to not only celebrate Lauren in Jake's wedding but now anyone can get married in this idyllic setting! When I say it's spectacular, it's an understatement. The attention to detail is beyond. If you are looking to get married in the country without sacrificing a bit of luxury, this is your place.
I asked Lauren to tell us a little bit about her story and how Weddings at Windy Knoll came to be! Lauren and Jake have quite a story of their own. That they even had a wedding is a miracle in itself. They were even featured on Good Morning America! Make sure you have a tissue handy!
Side note: every vendor who worked on this wedding was a dream. Head to the end of the post for a list of credits. I can't begin to recommend this talented crew enough.
Tell us about Weddings at Windy Knoll!
Weddings at Windy Knoll is a family-owned and operated small business in Round Top, Texas. Our inaugural wedding was last October 2019 where you designed and created the Mother of the Bride gowns and a lovely outfit for the grandmother of the bride! Additionally, you & your team provided incredible alterations to the bridal gown, even coming to the wedding to provide last-minute alterations when the bride had a weather-related fashion emergency! After all that, as a family, we feel connected to you and absolutely adore the entire team.
Natalie Dawley of Two Be Wed, Lauren, Jake, & David
We are in the beginning stages of launching our business, which began as nothing more than a mother’s dream to throw an over-the-top wedding for her daughter at the family ranch. Our motto is, a mother’s love can move mountains...and build wedding venues! After we built this incredible barn for our family wedding, we realized we needed to share what we had created! Windy Knoll, our family ranch, is a magical place in Round Top and is just the most romantic getaway. We love sharing our ranch and wedding barn with other families and brides and grooms looking to start the next chapter in their lives.
We also love being able to host fundraisers and gatherings for some of our favorite nonprofits and businesses! It’s been a learning process, and the wedding industry is one of the most fun to learn about and enter! All of our colleagues in the industry have been so welcoming and kind, maybe it’s just the love inherent in weddings that makes this the most fun field to enter!
What can people do to support small businesses?
Things are tough for everyone right now, including small businesses. I think the easiest way to support small businesses is by leaving positive reviews of their services! Another is trying new small businesses often, and sharing your experience with your friends.
What is the story behind your venue, how did it come to fruition?
I got engaged in October 2017 and wanted to get married at my mom and stepdad’s beautiful ranch in Round Top. We planned on tenting the reception space, but it was expensive and my parents were worried about the slight chance of bad weather. My mother, Kalli, loves to create joy for others and always goes above and beyond for me. She surprised me with the construction of the wedding barn to commemorate my marriage, and it turned out so stunning that we just HAD to share her creation with other brides and grooms. Now, we get to run this wedding venue as a mom & daughter team...with tons of help from our husbands!
Where did the name come from?
We named our business Weddings at Windy Knoll because we didn’t want to detract from the focus of this place - our family ranch, Windy Knoll. It’s the heart of the business and we love getting to share this place with other families. Of course, we host all kinds of events!
What is your most-used emoji?
Hmm... probably 💓 or 🦋
What was the worst haircut you ever had?
The one I gave myself at 7 years old - taught me not to get a lollipop in my hair - ha!
Who was your childhood actor/actress crush?
Johnny Depp from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies!
What’s the most embarrassing fashion trend you used to rock?
Tough to say! It usually takes me years to realize that I rocked an embarrassing fashion trend…the one I regret the most is straightening my hair. I love letting my curls live now!
You have your own late-night talk show, whom do you invite as your first guest?
Ellen Degeneres - of course! Love her kindness and zest for life.
If a movie was made of your life, what genre would it be, who would play you?
One of those Lifetime movie dramas- for sure. My husband says Ellie Kemp could play me!
You have to sing karaoke, what song do you pick?
Literally anything by Taylor Swift.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
When wedding planning, I was told to pick two or three things I couldn’t live without, then let the rest not be so stressful! The other best piece of advice was from my mom, who advised me to steer clear of boys my first semester of law school to focus on school! So when I met my husband, he wooed me with class notes instead of flowers. It was a win, win.
When you die, what do you want to be remembered for?
Being kind and welcoming to all.
What would the title of your autobiography be?
Something I said to my mom my first night as a patient at MD Anderson Cancer Center a few years ago: “If I’m going to have a pity party, there should at least be snacks!”
What was the worst job you ever had?
The one with the boss who seemed to come straight out of the TV Show “The Office.”
Which band/artist-dead or alive would play at your funeral?
Taylor Swift! Ha!
What’s your favorite place of all the places you’ve traveled that feels like home and is not where you currently live?
Spain! The first time I was there and breathed it in, it felt like home. It’s still my favorite place to visit.
What’s one thing we don’t know about you?
In high school, I competed in ballroom dancing. It was fun and the outfits were fabulous.
If you could hang out with any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
Leslie Knope from Parks & Recreation! I love her positivity, joy, and commitment to her friends.
If you could choose any person from history to be your imaginary friend, who would it be and why?
Oprah Winfrey, because I’d certainly become a better person having her in my ear all the time!
What is your favorite curse word
While I have been known to say the “s” word, I think I most say “seriously?!” in a high-pitched voice when upset - and almost every time, it triggers Siri on my iPhone! My friends tease me for talking to Siri when upset.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I’m actually an attorney by day, so starting this little family-run business turning our ranch into a wedding venue with my mom has been a dream!
What is your greatest fear?
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Realizing that what we have and who we are is already enough. Well, that and lots and lots of flowers and pretty dresses 💐
Photography & Styling: Josh & Dana Fernandez | @danafernandezphoto
Wedding Venue: Windy Knoll | @weddingsatwindyknoll
Planning & Design:Natalie of Two Be Wed | @twobewed
Floral Design: Mibellarosa | @mibellarosa
Cake & Cookies: Becca Cakes | @beccacakeshtx
Groom's Cake: Cakes by Gina | @cakesbyginahou
Makeup and Hair: Hey Lovely | @heylovelymakeup
Gown Boutique: Now & Forever Bridal Boutique | @nowandforeverbridalbtq
Gown Designer: Hayley Paige | @misshayleypaige
Gown Alterations & Stylist: David Peck | @shopdavidpeck
Mother of the Bride Looks: David Peck | @shopdavidpeck
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | @bellabridesmaids
Paper, Calligraphy, and Paper Butterflies:Nib and Pixel | @nibandpixel
Rentals: Aztec Events & Tents | @aztecusa
Band: Drywater Brand | @drywaterband
Catering: A Fare Extraordinaire| @afehouston
Photobooth Backdrop: Revelry Goods | @revelrygoods
Lighting & Photobooth: Unique Style Productions | @uniquestylep
Horse Carriage: Heritage Builders
Strings: Divsi Strings | @divisistrings
Videography: Reverent | @reverentweddingfilms