How to Have A Wedding YOUR Way
by Allison Rhodes
Brittany Warren’s wedding goals were clear: culturally welcome her fiancé Brandon Fisher’s New Orleans family while retaining a soupcon of her own Texas background, all while honoring her fiancé’s mother who passed away in 2000. “I wanted them to feel welcomed,” she says. “None of them had really been to Texas, and I didn’t want them to think we were all about cowboys and Indians. I didn’t sacrifice what I wanted. This is the one day I can be selfish.”
With a traditional wedding in mind, Brittany chose a fall wedding at The Greenbranch, an ideal outdoor venue located just east of Bryan/College Station. With a beautiful gazebo view of a waterfall, lake, bridge, trees, and exotic animals, the venue accommodated Brittany and Brandon’s 165 guests easily.
There were some geographic considerations to consider. The ceremony took place across a bridge Brittany somehow had to cross. Allergies nixed a horse-drawn carriage. It was Brittany’s mom who suggested a cousin’s ownership interest in a luxury rental car business in Houston might offer up an elegant solution: she drove up in a 2012 Maserati Quattro Porte driven by her father. Equal rights meant that when Brandon found out about the Maserati, he pulled up in a friend’s 2012 yellow Corvette. Besides, it’s always good luck to embark on marriage in perfect symmetry.
The unique bridge crossing solution wasn’t the only singular selection Brittany made for her wedding. Instead of having traditional flowers, she had broach bouquet created because she wanted something that would be a “forever keepsake.” Nine months searching yielded earrings and broaches for the creative process. It took longer after a bag of 72 earrings and broaches went missing; it still cannot be found today. Minor speed bump overcome, she shopped: Charming Charlie’s, Charlotte Russe, Macy’s, Dilliard’s.
Interestingly, this was a wedding that no one thought would ever happen. Brandon Fisher and Brittany Warren met at a backyard barbeque in May 2006. It was not love at first sight. “We did not get along,” say Brittany candidly. “He thought I was…difficult.” The idea they might be compatible emerged while playing pool with mutual friends. It seems they had more in common than they thought. A few dates followed, but it was a massive tree branch falling on Brittany’s car at a concert in the Woodlands that made them realize they were a couple that could get through anything together: besides busting the back windshield and crashing the concert date, the branch busted surprise plans involving an Astro’s game the next day.
Fast-forward three years to dinner at Cracker Barrel when Brandon popped the question. “I didn’t know it was coming,” Brittany says. Brandon and Brittany were on their way to the Prenatal Clinic’s annual “You’re The Tops” event where her mom, Katheryne Warren, was among the women being honored. The annual fundraiser both recognizes top volunteers as “You’re the Tops,” while funding the clinic’s mission ensuring every mother-to-be and her unborn child receive the prenatal care they need for a safe, healthy birth and baby.
So when Brandon rose to speak, Brittany thought it would be about her mom … “I really love this family. Brittany, will you marry me?”
It is crystal clear when Brittany comments that both she and Brandon are very family orientated people. That he asked her to marry him in front of her family means a great deal.
Brittany’s response? Surprise at how much her fiancé wanted to be involved in wedding planning. “Groomzilla,” she says succinctly. The requests continued. “He became so vocal I was shocked,” she recalls. “I thought he would just show up.” Balance continued to rein.
Brandon describes the wedding planning process as, “A little bit fun, but a little stressful at first.” His main request was the food, because he wanted his New Orleans background to show, and not to have everything about Texas. At the end of the reception the bride and groom practiced a useful New Orleans tradition called “The Second Line” that signals the end of a great party. Brandon and Brittany danced during the last song, Grazing in the Grass, with personally made parasols while their family and friends danced and waved handkerchiefs stitched with Brandon and Brittany’s name and wedding date.
Honoring Brandon’s late mother included reserving a seat in her honor at the front of the ceremony and Brandon’s dad and godmother holding her portrait as they walked down the aisle. Brandon’s dad also held her picture at the reception. It was important to Brittany to show Brandon that even though his mother was not present at the wedding, she was there in spirit. Marriage photos of both sets of parents joined Brandon and Brittany’s engagement picture on display at the reception.
The bride’s summary review? Brittany says that while she loved every bit of her wedding, two moments stand out. One was when she first saw the aisle she would enter as Brittany Warren, and leave as Mrs. Brandon Fisher – a fairy tale paisley path of flower petals sculpted on the grass by Debbie Brooks. The second was when she first viewed her reception décor. “Everything was displayed so gorgeously,” is her summation.
It is a rare bride with no regrets. Brittany says it’s because she planned her wedding the way she wanted. She stayed calm until 24 hours before the big day, when she gives herself the label “Bridezilla.” She was late to the wedding by about 15 or 20 minutes, because she was making sure everything was in place and ready to go. “I wanted everything to be perfect,” she says. “I didn’t let go of the reins and was there for everything.”
As for Brandon, he says he loved his wedding, but his worst memory was… “the final bill.”
Brittany’s advice to other brides to be includes: use a videographer. Looking back, she wishes she had added this amenity so she could watch everything, all the while pointing out her photographer, Jim Greenlee, did a fantastic job. “Know what you want and go for it,” says Brittany, “all the way and don’t sacrifice or alternate what you want.” Carry a wedding binder everywhere; never leave the house without it. You never know when you might find something you love.
Maybe even while playing pool with friends.