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The Dynamic Duo

Two Design Experts, One World Champion’s Dream Come True

Photography by: Mint To Be Photography / Written by: Rachel Coon
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The Dynamic Duo

For some, it might be intimidating to plan and design a wedding for a world champion. But for Celeste Wall of Annabella Events and Raemie Jones of Brigman Enterprises, it was fantastic.

The dynamic duo started working with Callie duPerier, the current National Finals Rodeo world champion barrel racer, and her fiancé Kaleb Apffel a year before their May 7 wedding. The bride- and groom-to-be had some ideas—for example, they would be married on her family’s ranch in Boerne—but mostly, Raemie and Celeste worked from a blank canvas. “It’s fun for us because we get to create,” says Celeste, who’s been a wedding planner for 15 years. She and Raemie, who’s also been in the wedding business 16 years, got to know the couple—who they are and what they wanted—and began creating a vision.

“A lot of the ideas and inspiration come in the dark of night, taking basic elements and then magnifying them by 10,000,” Celeste explains. The designers spent hours and hours, days and days, weeks and weeks customizing the wedding to Callie and Kaleb. The couple wanted rustic elegance and the bride’s favorite is the sunflower, so the design duo went with that. “We pared out the mundane and used only the best elements for the event and possibly what the clients and their guests wouldn’t expect or imagine. We always make sure there is an element of surprise in every event we do,” says Celeste, who’s worked with Raemie for more than a decade.

Callie and Kaleb’s wedding was certainly a big event, but not because of numbers (325 guests attended) or cost—because of logistics. Ninety percent of guests came from out of town, and per the bride’s parents’ request, none of the logistics were to be seen the day of the wedding. So Celeste and Raemie figured out how to get hundreds of guests from point A to B while not allowing one bus, one car, one trashcan, one extension cord to be seen. “It took a lot of hard work and a dedicated cast and crew,” Celeste says. “And meticulous planning—down to the minute, literally,” Raemie adds, noting that they had a four-page timeline and an eight-page vendor instruction list.

About 125 vendors and staff were involved in the seven-day setup and on the day of. The ceremony site was constructed specifically for the wedding—a large patio with sweeping views of the ranch’s 1,500 acres and a large wooden cross also made just for the wedding. Guests sat on church pews and mahogany chairs, and the bridesmaids arrived by a mule-drawn buckboard while the bride and her father arrived in a vintage turquoise pickup truck.

The ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception each took place at a unique location on the ranch about three-quarters of a mile to a mile apart. So guests were transported by personal vehicles or by the five buses, 20 golf carts, and 22 valets that were on-site that day—all of which had to be out of sight by the time each event was underway.

Cocktail hour was held outside in a circle of old wooden wagons, rough wooden railings, and wooden barrels and tables were adorned with Callie’s beloved sunflowers. The party enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and live music from a fiddler and guitarist, and when the dinner triangle was rung, guests walked to the big barn for dinner and dancing.

Inside were three expansive rooms divided by wide-open sliding doors and decorated with elaborate floral centerpieces and charming details such as antlers and burlap. The trophy room featured a large wooden bar and lounge furniture while the center room hosted the couple’s head table and the final room—82 feet long with 28-foot ceilings—hosted the guests’ tables and dance floor. The main reception room was so cavernous, Celeste, Raemie, and their team had to install soundproofing on the walls to soften the acoustics.

From the huge lighted hashtag with three-foot-tall letters displayed on the side of the barn to an indoor sparkler send-off that Celeste and Raemie had to orchestrate at the last-minute due to severe winds outside, the design duo created an event the bride says was “more than a dream come true.” And that’s what makes it all worth it. “The smile on the bride’s face,” Celeste says.

Between Celeste’s attention to every last detail and Raemie’s big-picture vision, the team works. “It’s a true balance based in friendship,” says Celeste. “And it survives because we have each other’s back and neither one of us is afraid to roll our sleeves up and work.”

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