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MEMORABLE WEDDINGS
Abbey & Corwin


The bride’s classic beauty is captured in a wedding day portrait.

The bride’s classic beauty is captured in a wedding day portrait.

photography by Chris Bailey

Sweethearts Abbey Matteson and Corwin Ames met through mutual friends. Their budding romance was complicated by long distance, but they navigated college and careers… and celebrated with the wedding of their dreams!

FIRST DATE

In March 2008, Abbey’s best college friend and potluck roommate, Laura Swope Butler, invited a group to a Pat Green concert at the Houston Rodeo. Laura was dating (and later married) Ben, who brought along his own friends — including Corwin — who asked Abbey if she’d like to walk around the fair grounds and the old Astrodome. Finding their way through a random door, they arrived at The Hideout and danced the rest of the night away, leaving their friends to wonder where they were.

After this unofficial first date they saw each other at parties during the rest of the semester, but lived in different cities the following summer. Corwin held an internship in Houston, and Abbey was studying abroad. This meant the “official” start of their relationship began the fall of the next school year.

After Corwin called several times to coordinate a mutually available time, which seemed difficult to set up, “My mom (and Laura!) warned me that if I kept saying no due to other commitments, Corwin would move on,” Abbey recalls. Eventually they found a date that worked and dined at Musashino, a sushi restaurant in Austin. While ordering entrees, Corwin asked if Abbey had eaten “real” sushi before. “I’ve had tempura, rolls… that’s sushi,” she thought, not realizing he had ordered sashimi (slices of raw fish on rice). “I acted cool, but I can admit now that most of the meal probably ended up in my napkin!”

 COURTSHIP & PROPOSAL

The courtship lasted about four and a half years. Abbey and Corwin attended sorority and fraternity functions, went to many Texas football games (including OU weekend on their one-year anniversary) and enjoyed Fiesta events in San Antonio. They especially loved walking the peaceful and well-lit grounds of the Texas Capitol at night. During the last two years of their courtship Abbey lived in Dallas and Corwin lived in Fort Worth, and the couple had lots of fun exploring the restaurants and museums in each city.

During Abbey’s last semester of graduate school, she completed two big tests right before spring break. To celebrate, Corwin asked her to join his family on a trip to Cibolo Creek Ranch in West Texas (outside Marfa). They enjoyed a Humvee tour and expansive views of Big Bend skies through telescopes. While there, Abbey, Corwin, and his younger brother Asa went on an ATV tour, which covered them completely in dust. They returned to relax by the pool, then planned to take an easy hike before dinner.

“I went to my room and fell asleep, and didn’t wake up until very late,” says Abbey, who rushed to get ready for the hike. She did her hair, but not her makeup. “Right there — not putting on makeup — that’s a sign I did not know what was coming,” she says.

Corwin mentioned that Asa was still napping, so the hike would include just the two of them. They took pictures of wildlife and some “selfies,” then approached the peak of the hike trail. In a  special moment, Corwin got down on one knee and proposed. Until then, Abbey wasn’t aware that Corwin was giving her a family ring, and that she would be the fourth person to wear it along with his mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. “The fact that Corwin’s mother was willing to give up her ring was really meaningful to me. And luckily, it was exactly what I wanted,” says Abbey.

At that precise spot the hotel staff had hidden a basket of appetizers and champagne (with champagne glasses they would later use at the reception). After enjoying the wonder of the moment, they hiked back to the hotel for dinner with Corwin’s family, after which Abbey made a flurry of phone calls to family and friends.

They were engaged for 12 months while Abbey, with the help from both families, planned the wedding. By this time she had graduated from University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, and received a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from University of Texas at Dallas, which prepared her for her position as a speech therapist for Austin Independent School District. Corwin graduated from University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering, and currently is a petroleum engineer for Lonquist & Co.

THE WEDDING

Abbey wanted a fairly traditional wedding, formal but not stuffy — and with special twists. Her paper goods were personalized to her taste, and instead of a typical ecru invitation with black font, she envisioned tan lettering with a wood bellyband and green reception card shaped to mimic a save-the-date card.

Style: The bride’s favorite color combination of green, whites and tans/browns was incorporated throughout, along with some natural elements including vast amounts of greenery and floral arrangements, as well as long wooden tables in the ballroom.

Attire: The bride wore a strapless all-lace French alencon gown designed by Ines Di Santo with a freshwater pearl and crystal sash by Lazaro. Her chapel-length veil was also by Ines Di Santo, designed with alencon lace on the edge that touched the floor. Strappy beige “Glotopline” sandals by Stuart Weitzman completed the ensemble.

The bridesmaids wore strapless plum floor-length chiffon gowns by Monique Lhuillier and neutral shoes of their own choice. While the groom and groomsmen enjoyed a day-of party at the Bayou Club, Abbey and her bridesmaids prepared for the wedding at her parents’ home — a comfortable, relaxed environment that included television and music.

The groom wore a custom tuxedo by Joey Satel Custom Clothier of San Antonio with a black bow tie and custom tux shirt. The groomsmen also wore tuxes. Before the ceremony the bride gave her groom Mariquita Masterson cuff links and studs, and he gave her earrings. Bridesmaids were gifted personalized mint julep cups. Groomsmen were gifted geodes inspired by Corwin’s long history in geology and the energy industry.

Floral Decor: The bridal bouquet was hand-tied with fresh white freesias, orchids, and hypericum berries embellished with a lace handkerchief from the bride’s maternal grandmother and a locket belonging to her paternal grandmother. The bridesmaid bouquets were hand-tied with white tulips. Boutonnieres were of white freesia with hypericum berries.

Throughout the church and reception appeared fresh white freesias, roses, spray roses, orchids, and hypericum berries, along with white snaps, hydrangeas, quicks and roses, white stocks, blush spray roses, vendela, white tulips, camellia, and magnolia leaves. Boxwood stands with lanterns appeared down the hallway leading to the reception and were placed in front of the band.

The Cake: White scrollwork adorned five tiers of butter cake with buttercream icing and raspberry filling. Flowers were placed between each layer including white hydrangeas, roses, spray roses, and hypericum berries.

The groom’s cake was flavored in Mexican chocolate with chocolate buttercream filling and icing, with the addition of crushed pecans on the bottom tier and chocolate dipped strawberries with crushed pecans on top. In a nod to the groom’s southern roots and love of hunting, antlers, magnolia leaves and greenery were placed around the cake.

The Wedding Party: Parents of the bride, James “Paul” and Nancy Matteson, and parents of the groom, Gene III and Logan Ames, proudly watched their children say their vows. “I felt so much love when walking down the aisle,” says Abbey, who had her father by her side. The groom’s cousins were the acolytes for the ceremony and the bride’s aunt and groom’s grandfather read the scriptures. As the Reverend Laurens “Larry” Hall officiated, the couple felt surrounded by love with families and friends sitting in the pews of St. John the Divine.

Maids of Honor included the bride’s older sister Melissa and younger sister Emily. Bridesmaids Caroline Arnold, Morgan Braly, Laura Swope Butler, Evie Crabb, Haley Lyons Gilliam, Jenny Kean, and Kate Look stood by the bride’s side.

The groom’s brother Asa served as best man. Groomsmen included C.J. Browning and Will Jones (both cousins of the groom), and Ben Butler, Perry Cunningham, Michael Doherty, Lawson Jessee, and Clay Samford.

Ushers included Tom Clifford, Chase Pipkin, Michael Walton, and Chris Weyand.

Behind the Scenes:  The rehearsal dinner was at Brennan’s of Houston. “The same place where Corwin asked my dad for permission to marry me,” says Abbey. Since a wedding is usually focused on the bride, she found ways to incorporate Corwin’s interests at the River Oaks Country Club reception, including his love of coffee. He was surprised with a coffee bar (and custom coffee sleeves), and guests also enjoyed organic teas, spiked coffee, and a variety of coffee shop drinks such as espressos and lattes, paired with kolaches that were brought out at the end of the night. All of the food stations were inspired by his favorite cuisines: American, Asian, Italian, Grecian, and Mexican. A gift bag was made for hotel guests — the bride’s favorite nut mix and delicious Nam’s Bits cookies, along with two UT Tower water bottles.

The couple danced to “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne and had practiced beforehand, but the band’s version was a little faster. Improvisation was involved, but they enjoyed the upbeat song.

The bride and her father danced to “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. They had taken dance lessons previously and showed off their new skills.

Many of the guests were UT fans, and family and friends stepped onto the dance floor with their horns up as the UT fight song erupted. After the band returned from their break, confetti shooters surprised guests and got them back on the dance floor.

As the guests left the reception in preparation for the exit toss (with rose petals), the bride and groom stayed back and danced to Hunter Hayes’ “Wanted” —  just the two of them in a special moment remembered vividly by the bride. As the couple left the reception, Abbey was surprised at the Bentley that awaited them.

The Honeymoon:  The couple spent their honeymoon in Jamaica at the Cliffs in Negril, Round Hill in Montego Bay.

Abbey poses with her maid of honor and bridesmaids.

Abbey poses with her maid of honor and bridesmaids.

The bride’s bouquet was wrapped in a lace handkerchief from her maternal grandmother, and adorned with a locket belonging to her paternal grandmother.

The bride’s bouquet was wrapped in a lace handkerchief from her maternal grandmother, and adorned with a locket belonging to her paternal grandmother.

A handsome lineup: Corwin with his best man, groomsmen and ushers.

A handsome lineup: Corwin with his best man, groomsmen and ushers.

A “surprise” coffee bar delighted the groom.

A “surprise” coffee bar delighted the groom.

Mother and daughter spend precious moments together as Abbey gets dressed for the ceremony.

Mother and daughter spend precious moments together as Abbey gets dressed for the ceremony.

The bride’s strapless all-lace French alencon gown.

The bride’s strapless all-lace French alencon gown.

The groom relaxes before the ceremony.

The groom relaxes before the ceremony.

Abbey prepared for the wedding ceremony at her parents’ home in a relaxed environment.

Abbey prepared for the wedding ceremony at her parents’ home in a relaxed environment.

Two bridesmaids help Abbey into her bridal sandals.

Two bridesmaids help Abbey into her bridal sandals.

The bride wore strappy beige Glotopline sandals by Stuart Weitzman.

The bride wore strappy beige Glotopline sandals by Stuart Weitzman.

The five-tier wedding butter cake had raspberry filling and buttercream icing.

The five-tier wedding butter cake had raspberry filling and buttercream icing.

The groom’s cake was surrounded by magnolia leaves and greenery and decorated with his initials.

The groom’s cake was surrounded by magnolia leaves and greenery and decorated with his initials.

The father of the bride escorts his daughter down the aisle. • Guests were treated to custom candied favors.

The father of the bride escorts his daughter down the aisle. • Guests were treated to custom candied favors.

Custom coffee sleeves were provided for the coffee shop beverages.

Custom coffee sleeves were provided for the coffee shop beverages.

Guests were treated to custom candied favors.

Guests were treated to custom candied favors.

A photo scrapbook commemorated the celebration.

A photo scrapbook commemorated the celebration.

Towering centerpieces adorned long wooden tables in the ballroom.

Towering centerpieces adorned long wooden tables in the ballroom.

In a private moment, the couple danced to “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes.

In a private moment, the couple danced to “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes.

The couple’s reception included elegant floral decor and comfortable seating for guests.

The couple’s reception included elegant floral decor and comfortable seating for guests.

Confetti flew as the UT fight song erupted.

Confetti flew as the UT fight song erupted.

The newlyweds danced to “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne.

The newlyweds danced to “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne.

The live band made guests flock to the dance floor.

The live band made guests flock to the dance floor.

The proud father of the bride gives his daughter a kiss.

The proud father of the bride gives his daughter a kiss.

The couple leave the reception and head toward a waiting Bentley.

The couple leave the reception and head toward a waiting Bentley.

Off to a new life together!

Off to a new life together!


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