Eliza Caldwell and Craig Bachhuber’s meet-cute happened Eliza’s first weekend living in Dallas, when they were introduced at her welcome party. They hit it off immediately. Eliza, who went to the University of Alabama, works in commercial real estate, and Craig, who went to Oklahoma State, works in oil and gas. “Very Texas,” Eliza says. The couple are dedicated football fans, so football season always brings out the “whose team is better” arguments. “Obviously, I always win,” she says.
One Thanksgiving, the couple decided to go to Paris to visit Eliza’s best friend who’d just moved there. While they were exploring the city together on their first night, Craig was on the lookout for a quiet, romantic spot to pop the question. He got down on one knee by the Seine, right in front of Notre Dame. “Afterwards, we asked a French couple to take our picture, and they refused!” remembers Eliza. “We died laughing.”
Eliza initially wanted to wear her mother’s wedding dress, but when she got it out of storage, she discovered it had deteriorated with age. Fortunately, the veil had survived, so she was able to make that her “something borrowed.” Her bridal gown was by Romona Keveza: the moment she walked into Warron Barrón, she knew it was the one. As a petite bride, she wanted a gown that wouldn’t completely engulf her, and this one fit like a glove. “It felt like I was wearing the dress, instead of vice-versa,” she says.
The bride’s family estate in Chattanooga, Tennessee, called Ashland Farms, was the natural choice for Eliza and Craig’s end-of-summer nuptials. Because the scenic venue speaks for itself, Eliza planned to keep the colors and décor neutral. Bridesmaids dresses would be a soft blush pink and the bouquets kept white. She would incorporate Magnolia leaves wherever she could, along with blue-and-white ginger jars for that “something blue.”
On September 30, they married near a lovely pond in the back of the estate. Eliza remembers walking arm-in-arm with her dad to the pond. “It was a chance to really soak everything in,” she says. The ceremony itself was family affair: Eliza’s aunt, who is a reverend and close to both Eliza and Craig, officiated, which made it feel very intimate. “She even threw in some OU jokes, which no one else would have gotten away with!”
After the ceremony, guests headed over to the hedge gardens for cocktail hour. “It felt like a big garden party,” says Eliza. The couple had friends fly in from all over the country and they wanted them to feel comfortable exploring the estate, so they set up bars and food stations in different areas. Eliza surprised Craig with a “Craig’s Corner” bar, decked out with Oklahoma State paraphernalia. “He was shocked and still talks about it to this day,” she says. A mini putting green adjoined it, a big hit with all the young ones.
A self-proclaimed “Dead Head,” Eliza’s dad raised her on Grateful Dead albums. It was only natural that for their father-daughter dance they swayed to “If I Had the World to Give.” To top off the night, her dad gave a speech that got the tears flowing. “Family is everything to us,” she says. “He made a point that the wedding was about two families turning into one.”
Once everyone was finished eating and mingling, the band fired up and everyone was on the dance floor for the rest of the night.
Eliza’s dad raised her on Grateful Dead albums. It was only natural that for their father-daughter dance they swayed to “If I Had the World to Give.”
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