Jennifer Goldberg and Jonathan Birnbrey’s All-Night Ritz-Carlton Celebration

Friends first. That’s how it went for Jennifer Goldberg and Jonathan Birnbrey, who met in their co-ed dorm freshman year at the University of Texas. They studied together, went to date parties together, always just as friends. “Until our senior year, and something just clicked, and I realized he was The One,” Jenny says.

Jon’s proposal was a surprise. The couple’s June 2, 2012, wedding was a night to remember.

Different brides value different things, and where planning was concerned, Jenny’s thoughts went right to the entertainment. “The weekend we got engaged, the first thing that came to mind was The Spazmatics. That was our favorite Austin band, and Jon and I thought it would be so cool to surprise our friends,” she says. “We wanted a beautiful ceremony, and then we wanted people to let loose and have a great time.” And though lots of couples say that, Jenny and Jon meant it.

The ceremony started at 7:30 p.m. The party went until 3 the next morning.

The bride brought in party planner extraordinaire Todd Fiscus to execute her vision. For the ceremony, Jenny wanted a soft, elegant, romantic feel—nothing too trendy. For the reception—which included not one band, but two—she wanted friends and family to hit the dance floor and bop till they dropped.

On that early-summer evening at the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas, more than 400 guests looked on as Jenny and Jon exchanged vows under a chuppah festooned with white flowers and crystals. And then the real action began. While revelers enjoyed the cocktail hour, Fiscus and his team transformed the ballroom space into party central, with the chuppah split into three stages for cake presentation; a mix of round, square, and rectangular tables set with white flowers and crystal candelabras; and a custom gold and ivory marbled dance floor with a Plexiglas top and a full bar—“so people never had a reason to leave,” Jenny says.

The wild and wonderful celebration with dinner and dancing also incorporated 60 types of flowers, approximately 2,000 feet of hanging crystal, a costume change for the bride, foot massages for the ladies, and a late-night snack of Fletcher’s corny dogs. It seemed that no festive stone was left unturned.

“We wanted to have the best night of our lives and stay up late having fun,” Jenny says. Isn’t that what friends are for?

—Allison Hatfield

"We wanted to have the best night of our lives and stay up late having fun."


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