Lauren Zammerilla and Chart Westcott’s love story was truly made in Texas—and they proved it with their wedding after party decor. But before we get to the day they said “I do,” their journey to the altar deserves some attention first.
Lauren attended medical school in Pennsylvania but moved to Dallas to start her plastic surgery residency. Shortly after moving, she and Chart met at a Christmas party for a young professionals group. “Although it was a leap of faith leaving my hometown and moving to a city where I did not know anyone, I always believed that God places you right where you need to be,” Lauren says. “This turned out to be true.”
Meeting during the Christmas season is romantic in and of itself, considering it’s Lauren’s favorite time of year, but Chart added to the fervor by taking Lauren on a stroll through Highland Park Village at the end of their first date. With the buildings illuminated by Christmas lights, Chart swept Lauren into Royal Blue Grocery, grabbed a bouquet of flowers, and gave her a kiss to seal the deal.
With such a memorable first date, it comes as no surprise Chart’s proposal (which came exactly a year later) was of equal grandeur. Lauren’s family traditionally goes to dinner followed by midnight mass every Christmas Eve. Although Lauren had moved to Dallas, her family came to town to keep the tradition alive. To make their stay even more memorable, Lauren and Chart planned a Christmas light carriage ride to initiate the evening’s festivities—or so Lauren thought.
In the midst of the carriage ride, they pulled up to a gazebo filled with candles, flowers and a photo of Lauren and Chart. Getting down on one knee, Chart popped the question in front of both of their families.
“After I finally could catch my breath and say ‘Yes,’ the carriages took us back to Highland Park Village, where we had our first date, and the night ended with midnight mass as a newly engaged couple,” Lauren says. “It was truly the perfect Christmas.”
If Lauren hadn’t already experienced love at first sight with Chart, she did when she picked out her dress. With her “most trusted fashion advisor” (better known as Mom) in tow, Lauren went the Bridal Salon at Neiman Marcus for her scheduled appointment. “The first gown I stepped into was a stunning Isabelle Armstrong silk gazar ball gown with [an] elegant draped bow skirt. The designer was able to customize the gown with a V-neck illusion neckline, making the gown a complete reflection of my style,” Lauren says. “The dress was elegant and timeless with the perfect flow for twirling the night away.”
Lauren and Chart wed on May 26, 2018, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in a day filled with romantic, Southern elegance from start to finish. Beginning with the invitation suite before the day even began and carrying the look all the way through reception decor, every element of their wedding was tied together with cream, gold, and powder blue. “We wanted our wedding to have the feel of a grand Southern ball,” Lauren says. “But in a welcoming and delicate way.”
They started the celebration with a first look in the same gazebo in which Chart proposed, and after they said “I do,” headed to the Ritz-Carlton for a reception where each detail was an intentional showcase of their combined tastes. “The menu was a reflection of our favorite foods and flavors, as the Ritz provided an elevated American cuisine with a distinctly Texas touch …” Lauren says. “Jordan Kahn Orchestra had everyone on the dance floor all night, which was a reflection of the energy we possess as a couple, [and] the design of the cakes reflected each of us perfectly: mine tiered with flowers and ribbon and Chart’s, a giant Texas steak.”
The couple also gave their guests an after party to remember. During their engagement, Lauren and Chart went on a date to the State Fair of Texas. As they sat on the Texas Star Ferris Wheel, a lightbulb went off: They would surprise their guests with a State Fair-themed after party. “The theme of ‘romantic elegance with a Texas touch’ ran throughout our entire wedding day, as we had a lot of out-of-town guests and wanted everyone to have a memorable Texas experience,” Lauren says. “What better way [to show] our guests what Texas is about than by surprising them with the State Fair?”
And in true Texas style, they went big before they went home. A neon Big Tex stilt walker welcomed everyone to the party, which was complete with all their favorite fair foods, including corn dogs, funnel cakes, spiked Lonestar Lemonade, and of course, Pokey-O’s State Fair cookie sandwiches. “Guests enjoyed spinning a giant illuminated red and white carnival wheel and celebrating our ‘Love Story Made in Texas,’” Lauren says.
Then, when it was finally time to go home, the couple exited to sparklers and rode away in the night as Mr. and Dr. Chart Westcott.
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Shaun Menary Photography
Bridal Gown Designer
Bridal Gown Retailer
Gariani Custom Menswear
Bridesmaids' Dresses Designer
Bridesmaids' Dresses Retailer
Culwell & Son Dallas
Flower Girl Dress Designer
Flower Girl Dress Retailer
The Detail Department
Emily Clarke Events