Kate Van Amburgh knew there was something special about Jere Thompson on their first date. Sitting across the table from him at The Spotted Pig in New York’s West Village, she was surprised at how easy it felt being with him. “It was so natural,” she remembers. “It felt like I had known him for so long.”
Problem was, Jere lived in Midland, Texas, nearly 2,000 miles away. Both originally from Dallas, the pair met through mutual friends at Javier’s restaurant while home for Easter in 2013. When Jere visited Manhattan on business two weeks later, he asked Kate out for a fateful date. “I was loving New York,” Kate says, “but I remember looking at him and thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, I would move to Midland for this guy.’”
She didn’t pack her bags just yet, but Kate and Jere began dating long distance. Kate found Jere to be smart, thoughtful, and goofy—someone she could be herself around. After a year, she relocated to Dallas. Though it was considerably closer to Midland, the Big Apple would always have a special place in their hearts. “We fell in love in New York,” she says.
So in late January 2015, when bad weather derailed a special weekend trip to Big Bend, Jere knew just where to go for Plan B. After a romantic New York evening, Jere and Kate went for a morning jog in Central Park that ended with Jere down on one knee. Knowing Kate would want to celebrate with family, Jere had them on a flight home to Dallas that afternoon—where he shocked her again with a surprise engagement party.
Planning was soon underway. Kate tapped Jackson Durham to handle event design and florals and DFW Events to coordinate. As for her vision, Kate had a specific inspiration in mind: “Have you seen the movie ‘Sabrina?’ That party in the backyard? I wanted that—the lights and just how elegant and classic it was.”
They secured a date at the Dallas Country Club eight months later. When it came to the details, Kate’s team of experts culled ideas and the bride, with the help of her mother, made quick decisions. “I’m a person that knows right away what I want,” she says. “It doesn’t take me a long time to make a decision.” True to form, Kate bought the very first gown she tried on—an ivory silk radzimir stunner by Oscar de la Renta.
On September 26, 2015, with a piece of her mother’s wedding dress sewn to the inside of her gown, Kate walked down the aisle of Highland Park Presbyterian Church in front of more than 600 guests. “I was afraid that I was going to be so nervous,” she says. “But when Jere and I finally saw each other, I was so calm.”
The reception was like something out of a cinematographer’s dream. The Jackson Durham team constructed a tented ballroom over the club’s pool, where Kate and Jere had their first dance as man and wife to Van Morrison’s “Bright Side of the Road.” Blue and white ginger jars served as accents, and guests were treated to late-night snacks from Whataburger. Describing it as a “dream come true,” Kate’s only complaint was how quickly the night flew by: “It was like someone clapped their hands and it was over.”
But rather than wishing to relive her big day, Kate was too busy being excited for the future—which included a two-week European honeymoon and a move to Midland to be a family for the first time.
“There was a lot to look forward to,” Kate says. “It was really just the beginning of Jere and me.”
“I was loving New York,” Kate says, “but I remember looking at him and thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, I would move to Midland for this guy.’”
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