by Sarah Bennett
A down-home wedding was just the thing for these high school sweethearts.
Text by Sarah Bennett
To hear Will Labadie tell it, you might get visions of Steve Martin’s “bride burger and groom burger” scene in Father of the Bride when he describes the concept for his October wedding to Lizzie Colton. “I’ve always idealized having a wedding in your backyard and grilling afterward, and I think Lizzie sort of wanted the same thing—something low key,” he explains. But the Highland Park High School graduates knew their families would want to invite plenty of people, so a wedding at home wasn’t in the cards.
The couple—who had just moved to Houston for Will to pursue a PhD in economics—didn’t have much time to shop around for a venue, so when they found Dallas Heritage Village, it was perfect. “We had been there 10 minutes when we decided, ‘Yes, this is where we’re going to get married,’” Lizzie recalls. “We wanted something fun that we could dress up.” Other musts on their list included a chapel and an onsite venue for both the ceremony and reception—Heritage Village met all the requirements.
Amanda Connolly of After Yes was just the person to help with those dressing-up details, too. “She has an eye for all that stuff,” Lizzie says. “If I’m given too many options, it stresses me out.” Among Lizzie’s favorite details were the vintage china for the reception and the floral archway for the ceremony inside the chapel. “I never saw it until I walked in,” she says. “It took my breath away.” The special day also included family touches, like Lizzie’s grandmother’s brooch pinned to the back of her dress—the same one her sister had worn at her wedding. “It’s crazy how perfectly it went with the dress,” Lizzie says. “That brooch was special.”
A comfortable wedding fit the bill for the couple who met through mutual friends their junior year of high school. Will remembers flirting with Lizzie and passing notes in math class—the same subject Lizzie now teaches in Houston ISD. “She was just very fun and easy to talk to,” he says. Luckily, Lizzie instantly felt the same: “We realized early on that we both really cared for each other.”
Once they were together, being apart was never an option. The couple went on to attend the University of North Texas, where Will would propose a few years down the road. Right outside their apartment was a Frenchy’s Lawn & Tree truck—a Denton institution with readily available advertisement space—so Will took the opportunity to position “Lizzie Colton, meet me at the square” on the truck just so. When Lizzie saw the sign, she knew what was happening. “It was everything I could have imagined,” she says. “I couldn’t even believe it.”
It was a feeling that would come up again just over a year later as she climbed into the getaway car with Will. “We looked back, and both our dads were chasing after us, and our whole family was behind us,” she says. “I just burst into tears. I felt so much love not only from Will, but from our entire family.” A movie-perfect moment, indeed.