A Houston Wedding Inspired by Slim Aarons and Palm Beach


When Brandaise “Brandi” Armstrong thought about the look and feel of her wedding at a private club in Houston, she imagined herself jumping into a Slim Aarons photograph. The club itself evoked the 1960s, so she and fiancé Bryant Reckling ran with the idea. 

“It really felt like we were stepping back in time to 1960s’ Palm Beach,” Brandi says. “I wanted our guests to feel like they were in a scene from a Slim Aarons photo.”

To do that, Brandi and Bryant sought out Allison Butcher of Keely Thorne Events to bring the vision to life. Using green, yellow, and coral, the planning team transformed the club into a 1960s party, complete with custom tweed linens and a raw bar filled with local Gulf Coast seafood. The couple further personalized it by including a yellow-and-white “Brandaisy’s Bar” serving elderflower spritz and an elaborate groom’s cake that recreated a photo of the couple’s travels in Australia. But for all the fun and games—like dancing on stage with their parents—one of the most memorable moments came from the reverend who officiated the ceremony. 

“It was the best piece of advice I received during the whole process,” Brandi says. “Remember this is just the wedding; the real fun starts the next day when you are married to your life partner.”

Read on for all the details of Brandi and Bryant’s Slim Aarons-inspired wedding, planned by Keely Thorne Events and photographed by Kristen Kilpatrick

The couple hosted guests for a casual welcome party inspired by their Texas location.

Papellerie designed the invitations, which quickly set the tone of the celebration: Palm Beach in the 1960s. 

Brandi got ready with her girl squad, which included her bridesmaids, mother, and grandmother, along with bubbles, personalized water bottles, and mylar Mrs. balloons. 

“I knew it was the one when every time I imagined walking down the aisle to Bryant, it was the gown that I was in,” Brandi says of her Oscar de la Renta dress. 

Before the ceremony, Brandi would add a veil to her look, handmade for her by her grandmother. She also wore a “something blue,” an opal pin from her great-grandmother that was pinned to the back of her gown, and as her “something borrowed,” she carried her mother-in-law’s wedding handkerchief.

She included a pop of color with her floral-print shoes from the collaboration between Tabitha Simmons and Johanna Ortiz.

Brandi’s bridesmaids all wore dusty rose-colored dresses from Australian designer Shona Joy, another nod to the couple’s time living Down Under. 

Brandi says the guest list “hands down” was the toughest part of the planning process. The final guest count tallied 373.

The ceremony took place in front of the clubhouse with the property’s old trees serving as a natural backdrop. 

I was so excited to finally be married to Bryant, I began jumping up and down on the altar.

After walking down the aisle alongside her father, Brandi exchanged traditional vows with Bryant, who wore a white dinner jacket and a sage green bow tie. “I was so excited to finally be married to Bryant, I began jumping up and down on the altar,” Brandi says. “I still think just how excited and happy I am that I got to marry him.”

Brandi and Bryant met through Greek life at Texas Christian University. After seeing each other socially for a few weeks, the pair went on an official date to the movies. “After that, we were boyfriend and girlfriend,” Brandi says.

Cocktail hour took place by the pool, where divans lined up like cabanas along with the patio for guests to sit while sipping drinks. The couple had two signature bars, a tequila and cigar bar in honor of Bryant and “Brandaisy’s Bar” serving elderflower spritz. 

The reception décor is where the Palm Beach inspiration really took center stage. Tables were covered in a custom tweed tablecloth that incorporated the green, yellow, and coral color scheme. Low arrangements held white orchids, and pops of yellow added to the charm. 

Brandi and Bryant co-own True Craft Market and Catering, so the menu was certainly a priority. In addition to the raw bar featuring Murder Point oysters and shrimp cocktail, the couple served beef tenderloin, jalapeno cheese grits, and green beans almondine. According to Bryant, Brandi also “insisted upon” a bread bar, which no one could blame her for! It included baguettes plus cheeses and spreads.

The couple took their first spin on the dance floor to “Just to Be Close to You” by The Commodores. “I just wanted to make sure the dancing never stopped,” Brandi says of their band, Big Beyond.

They also passed out milkshakes as snacks on the dance floor. 

A favorite memory? “After the bouquet toss, Bryant and I danced to ‘Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)’ and it was so fun to have all of our friends singing along with us,” Brandi says. Later, the couple jumped into a vintage car decked out with The Recklings—in true 1960s fashion.

 

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