Sara Mulkey and David Hanss’ Down-Home Ranch Wedding

Sara Mulkey wasn’t even sure she wanted a wedding. Make no mistake: When David Hanss, her boyfriend of three years, surprised her with a proposal on the balcony of his Houston home, she was absolutely sure she wanted to marry him. But the big, grand affair? She could do without it. Something small and simple—perhaps even in her parents’ backyard—would suffice.

But things snowballed, as things often do with weddings. Before they knew it, they had a guest list of 200 family members and close friends, most of whom would be traveling in for the event. Small and simple went out the window.

“It’s one of those things—when you have more people, you think, ‘Well everybody’s going to be traveling, so we need to make it fun. So we need to get a band. So now it’s going to be a little bit more, so I need to get a nice dress,’” Sara says.

They suddenly found themselves in need of a venue. Luckily, Sara had an idea: Clark Gardens, a place she’d gone to often growing up in Weatherford and had always thought would be perfect for a wedding. She and David decided on a date—in the fall, David’s favorite season—and let that dictate the theme. Since she admits she’s not the most creative, Sara filled a Pinterest board with inspiration photos and let Bumble Bee Occasions take care of the rest. “I didn’t even see the pumpkins or anything until that day,” she says. “I just gave them an idea of what I wanted and they pleasantly surprised me.”

As laid-back of a bride as she was, Sara did have a few non-negotiables. First, she wanted to be comfortable. “I picked a dress that I liked that was kind of classic and would be timeless in a way, but was also really, really comfortable,” she says. Her other priority was to make sure her guests had a blast.

“We wanted the reception to be really fun, so we decided to spend more of our money on the band and on the alcohol,” she says. “And we wanted to make sure we had a good photographer to capture it all.”

On October 25, 2014, Sara and David said “I do” in front of 150 guests. The wedding was a true family affair. David’s brother-in-law, singer-songwriter Shad Blair, performed “If I Needed You” by Townes Van Zandt as Sara walked down the aisle. David’s brother Stephen’s speech—which featured an audio recording of 3-year-old David finding out he was going to be a big brother—was one of Sara’s favorite moments of the day. In what’s become a family tradition, David’s mother made their cake, baking and freezing the tiers at home, then assembling and icing it from her hotel room. The embroidered topper was handmade by David’s sister. “The cake was really special to us,” Sara says. “And it was really good!”

Guests danced into the night to the sounds of Trey and the Tritones, and as they departed, they received jars of jalapeno jam that Sara and David made from scratch. It was those kind of personal touches that kept the event, despite its size, feeling intimate and personal. And though it was more than she originally envisioned for her wedding day, Sara couldn’t have been happier with the results.

“It snowballed, but in a good way,” she says. “I’m really glad it turned out the way that it did.”

Jessica Jones


  • Ceremony & Reception Site

    Clark Gardens (Weatherford, TX)

  • Photogapher

    Amy Zumwalt Photography

  • Bridal Gown Designer

    Maggie Sottero

  • Bridal Gown Retailer

    Weddings by Debbie

  • Hair

    BB63 Salon

  • Groom's Attire

    Jos. A. Bank

  • Bridesmaids Dresses Retailer


  • Flower Girl Dress Retailer


  • Flowers

    Bumble Bee Occasions

  • Cake

    Mother of the groom

  • Caterer

    Bumble Bee Occasions

  • Band

    Trey and the Tritones

  • Lighting

    Clark Gardens

  • Videographer

    Tyler + Lindsey

  • Wedding Rentals

    Bumble Bee Occasions

  • Wedding Planner & Designer

    Bumble Bee Occasions

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