When Shelbi and Hunter first met, it was while she was diving for third base during a slowpitch baseball game! “He was playing shortstop, and I was on the opposite team. A shot was hit to right field, and I rounded second base and ran to third. He cut the ball off and tried to throw me out when I dove into third, and the umpire called me safe. We still argue to this day about if I was actually safe or out, but I was definitely safe! Two weeks later, he picked up on our team and fell madly in love!” That moment Shelbi hit third inspired Hunter’s cute groom’s cake!
After their meet-cute, says Shelbi, these two knew “immediately that our relationship was different from any other. Five months later, he proposed, and I didn’t hesitate to say yes! It’s amazing how things just kind of fall into place when you wait on God’s timing.”
As they planned their day, Shelbi and Hunter focused on keeping things intimate, fun, and personal. One of the special things they did for guests was to thank them in a truly unique way. Says Shelbi, “Each table had a letter that incorporated a paragraph we wrote to each individual person telling them why we thought our relationship with them was so significant and how grateful we were for them to be there to celebrate this day with us.” Faith being central to them both, they incorporated bible verses throughout the décor, and the ceremony itself was extremely meaningful (get the details from Shelbi below).
More about their celebration (including their unique father-daughter dance and those amazing LED cowboy hats!) from our sweet bride:
Tell us about your outfits! How did you choose your gown?
“Hunter wore a tuxedo, along with all the groomsmen. He also wore a David Yurman bracelet that I had gotten him as a gift and cufflinks that I had specially made with our wedding date on them. All the groomsmen also had special cufflinks that signify something fun Hunter loves to do with each of them! They were kind of corny, but that’s what made them so fun!
As far as my dress, I had a picture in mind of what I wanted. I went to three bridal stores in Dallas before going to Bridal Boutique in Lewisville, Texas. When I put on a dress by Lea-Ann Belter, I knew it had many details that I had envisioned for my big day, but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. My bridal stylist, Danielle, called the dress designer and asked if she would make it exactly how I wanted it. To my surprise, she said YES! I was ecstatic! I had her cut the bow off the back, add pearls down the train, and put a pleated slit into the right side of the dress. It was the most perfect dress, and it was so “me”!! She actually ended up making it into a dress in their line, now called Arden!”
Why did you decide to get married where you did?
“Hunter and I only went to one other venue before deciding on The Covered Bridge. There was something about the atmosphere and the people that we loved. Della and her husband Keith were so kind throughout the whole showing of the venue. There was a godly presence in that place, and the second we walked to the car, Hunter said, “This is it!” I agreed. Plus, everything about the venue was such a mix between my family and his. A little bit country and a little bit modern. We loved it! We prayed about it and the next day decided to sign with their venue.
Tell us about your day!
“Everything about our day was absolutely perfect!! We wanted to make sure that everyone knew the purpose of our marriage. We wanted it to be intimate, personal, and fun simultaneously! So one of the big things we incorporated were bible verses. We put different verses everywhere. For example, our flower petal boxes we gave the guests to open for recession had “Song of Solomon 3:4,” our welcome sign had “Ruth 1:12”, and multiple hidden gems throughout the wedding had some sort of bible verse on them! Even our guest book sign said, “Because Jesus turned water into wine, please highlight your favorite bible verse and sign our wine corks!” with the bible verse John 2:1-11. This was the best because we had saved all our wine corks throughout our relationship (clearly, we love wine) and had a bible made just for our wedding!
Additionally, all of our stationery and invitations were made by Erin Kimbell, and she did the most perfect job of setting the tone for our wedding. She was so detailed, and it really made a difference! Plus, she is one of the kindest souls! We loved all of our vendors!!
During our getting ready process, Hunter made a video for all girls to watch. It was a slideshow of pictures and videos of me and each of my bridesmaids, Hunter and myself. He also had my mom make a video expressing her excitement for us, and she was crying, of course! Then, he came on and said he couldn’t wait to marry me and wanted to pray for us. So everyone in the room prayed over me with him on the screen. It was such an intentional and sweet moment.
Another big detail of our wedding was the letters we wrote at each table. We wanted everyone to know how important they were to us and that they weren’t just there to be invited to another party. Each table had a letter that incorporated a paragraph we wrote to each individual person telling them why we thought our relationship with them was so significant and how grateful we were for them to be there to celebrate this day with us. If you were invited to our wedding, that clearly meant something to us! Everyone was in tears, and I can’t tell you how many people came up to us and hugged us just to tell us they had never felt so loved or appreciated. That meant the world to us!
Lastly, our ceremony was everything we dreamt of! We didn’t do a first look because we wanted the intimacy in the moment, which was definitely a game changer. I feel like we couldn’t stop crying, haha! My brother walked me down the aisle, and when I said to him, “keep me from falling,” he said, “I can’t because I’m trying not to cry.” We both saw Hunter, who was probably in tears before we even started walking!
Hunter and I wrote our own vows, which were so personal and meaningful! At the end of the ceremony, before kissing the bride, Hunter’s grandfather was brought to the front to pray for us. Our immediate family and bridal party were invited to lay hands on us as he prayed. This moment is a moment I will never forget as his grandfather anointed me in the Holy Spirit. I told him not long before the wedding about an opportunity I had to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, and it fell through. So, him doing this during our ceremony was a special and very unexpected moment. Everyone up there was bawling. Looking back at the pictures, everyone’s hands in the crowd also reach forward, and I start crying all over again because it was so special!”
What was your first dance song?
“‘Unchained Melody’ by The Righteous Brothers. Most of our wedding songs were 50s-60s themed—it was perfect!”
One detail you couldn’t live without?
“It’s so hard to pick just one! But if I had to choose, we spent our last song dancing by ourselves, and it was a chance to soak everything in. The day goes by so quickly. It’s sad! So, having that moment only to ourselves was the absolute best. We danced to ILYSB by LANY because it was the first song we became obsessed with together. Hunter actually had ILYSB engraved in my engagement ring. It’s really sweet!
Just kidding! I can’t pick just one! We invited all the fathers and daughters to dance with us when we had our father-daughter dance! Most of my bridesmaids’ dads were at the wedding, and each played a significant role in my life growing up. I never had a relationship with my real dad, so my brother walked me down the aisle. He’s my best friend, and I couldn’t imagine anyone else handing me off. Though I waltzed with my brother at the wedding for my “father-daughter dance,” I also danced with Pete, someone I look to as a father figure.
When I was in the military, I met Pete and his family, and they became my family away from home. He has played the role of a father ever since, and I am forever grateful! I wanted to dedicate this moment to him and to all the fathers and daughters because I knew each of the men on the dance floor played a bigger role in my life than they probably realized, whether that was Pete, my bridesmaids’ fathers, or any of Hunter’s family!”
What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding day?
“Definitely intentionality. Though the wedding was clearly about us, we wanted everyone to know it was also about them. We wanted to radiate with the love we have for each other but also the love we have for the people around us. We really and truly love our people and just wanted to make sure that was known on our day!”
What was the funniest moment of your day?
“I don’t know if we had a funniest moment because we had so many good and funny moments! So to name a few, during my brother’s speech, he told the crowd all my secrets from our childhood. Everyone was cracking up.
Our bridal party each had an entrance planned! They did so good, and they were so funny! After they all entered, they formed a tunnel for us to run through! It was pretty awesome, I must say! Lastly, not that this was a funny moment, but I have never seen my mom have so much fun! We have a picture of her during our sparkler exit with two sparklers in her hands and an LED cowboy hat screaming! It’s probably the funniest picture I have ever seen!”
What was your something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue?
“Something old was my David Yurman bracelet on my left wrist that my mom had gotten for me after the military. I had two of something new! My shoes were gifted to me by Hunter, and my bridesmaid, Meghan, gave me that morning with a bracelet that also doubled as something blue. It was beautiful and such a thoughtful gift! Something borrowed came from two people. It was my diamond necklace. The diamond came from a friend’s parents who have been married for over 25 years! The dainty chain came from one of my bridesmaids, Paige. She and her husband have been married now for three years! My something blue, besides the bracelet that was gifted to me, was my sister’s bib wrapped around my bouquet. This was special because it was a dedication to her. Not many people know, but my sister passed away as a baby. This was a way that I knew she would be present on our special day!”
Three words that best describe your partner.
“Hunter is selfless, compassionate, and loving. And of course handsome!!!”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“We went to Saint Lucia. It was absolutely wonderful! The best part was all the relationships we built while we were there. The islanders were so kind and loved their home. Pouring Jesus into everyone around was such a special time and opportunity. We are already planning on going back!”
Any tips for couples getting married?
“Enjoy the season you’re in! It’s easy to get caught up in all the details of planning a wedding, but just remember it’s about two people becoming one! Everything will fall into place, so don’t let it stress you out. On the day of, be sure to take moments for just you two. Otherwise, the whole day will pass you by, and you will be sad you didn’t have those moments to yourself.”
Shelbi + Hunter’s Ft. Worth Wedding Vendors
wedding gown: Customized Lea-Ann Belter Arden via Bridal Boutique Lewisville | photography: Amanda Lane Photography | coordination: CM Promotions | venue: Covered Bridge Venue | video: Reverent Wedding Films | florals: Justine’s Flowers | hair + makeup: Annika at Etoilly Artistry | calligraphy + invitations: Lupine Letters | shoes: Jimmy Choo, Milky Aisle, and Vans | necklace + rings: Southlake Jewelers | earrings: Lindsay Marie Design | bridesmaid dresses: Bella Bridesmaids | groom’s attire: Mister Tuxedo Dallas | entertainment: Royal Dukes Band | rentals + linens: Posh Couture Rentals | staging + floors: Lawson Rentals | catering: Heart to Heart Catering | cake: Creme de la Creme Cake Company