A Fort Worth Wedding at Hotel Drover
Bonnie and Walker’s Fort Worth Hotel Drover wedding weekend was so much fun! They laughed just as much as they cried, which made their wedding full of the emotional moments that they’ll never forget. They shared every moment side by side and rarely left each other’s sight. It was the sweetest thing to witness the way they love one another.
They were very intentional with their wedding design. They chose the western theme to honor the legacy of both families. It all came together so beautifully, and the western motif couldn’t have been better displayed anywhere in the country than it was right in the middle of the Fort Worth Texas stockyards.
Keep reading for insight into the love story of Bonnie and Walker, as well as the design and planning of the unforgettable weekend.
Plus, enjoy all the beautiful images by the talented Shannon Skloss Photography.
Leslee: How did you two meet and fall in love?
Bonnie: Walker and I met playing for the same club lacrosse team when we were both in high school. He went to my rival high school. We floated around the same mutual friend groups for years, went to prom in the same group of people (with different dates), he even tried to ask me out a few times – and it wasn’t until we both moved to Dallas proper around the same time frame in May of 2021 that we finally dated. I knew immediately he was the one I’d been waiting for, and he would say the same.
Leslee: What did you love about your venue, The Drover Hotel, and your wedding design?
Bonnie: We loved our venue and the western touches of our wedding design so much. Everything was just perfect. When we started out with the wedding planning process, I wanted to do something a bit different and incorporate our family history somehow. My family on my mom’s side has been very involved in rodeo for generations, while Walker’s family on his father’s side are ranchers. Especially with my grandmother Mitzi still being alive and unable to attend (she’s in an advanced nursing home for dementia), honoring her life and her heritage was so important to me. She performed as a trick rider in the Stockyards as a rodeo star, and having a wedding theme that tied in western themes – I just knew she would have loved all of it and it made me feel closer to her and my family that has passed on. There has been a lot of death in my family so we are smaller, whereas Walker’s is a much larger family, and the wedding theme helped me feel like I was able to share a piece of our family too.
This article is about our Riley family history. Tad Lucas was my great-grandmother, and Mitzi Lucas Riley her daughter was my grandmother.
I also spoke with Rachel and Megan of Gold Dust Event Co, the talented planners who designed and coordinated this incredible wedding. Here’s some insight into the design work:
Leslee: What were the most personalized and unique aspects of the design you created for Bonnie + Walker?
Gold Dust Event Co: Bonnie & Walker both have deep family roots in the rodeo circuit and grandparents in the Rodeo Hall of Fame. Their ties to the culture was the reason they chose the Drover for their wedding day. The Hotel was perfectly designed to reflect a western elegance vibe. Bonnie and Walker wanted to have a traditional and elegant wedding, but to bring in aspects of cowboy culture. Bringing in these fun details in their invitation, menus, assigned seating, dance floor, custom branded hides and place settings really merged the beauty with the fun cowboy chic details.
Leslee: How did you make Bonnie + Walker’s vision come to life so beautifully?
Gold Dust Event Co: Lots and lots of brainstorming, obsessing, lost sleep and scrolling the interwebs for the most unqiue ways to merge a cowboy aesthitic with a timeless, girly look. I slept with linen swatches on my night stand for months and would walk by and second guess myself on if they were the perfect fit. I played around with some graphic design just to get the thoughts and visions out of my brain to share with Bonnie and other vendors. We truly want each of our clients to have the most personalized day and for their dreams of their “most important day” to fully come to life! The number one reason everything was able to come to fruition is because our clients fully trusted the design process, and we 100 percent couldn’t have done it with out all the amazing vendors we had on board.
Now, back to Bonnie for a question I always love to ask every bride after the big day.
Leslee: What are your favorite memories of your wedding?
Bonnie: My favorite memories of the wedding day are spending time close to Walker. I’m so grateful that we prioritized sticking by each other the entire day and night. We had SO much fun seeing our family and friends, but I’m glad we didn’t let anyone pull us away from one another.
Leslee: What would you say to couples who aren’t sure about hiring a videographer?
Bonnie: I feel like I will remember the day so much more clearly because we have someone who captured what the day authentically felt like, and that is priceless.
And the same question for the wedding planners!
Gold Dust Event Co: That your wedding day is the biggest whirl wind (whether you’ve had some cocktails or not) and the day literally flies by. We inform them that there are parts that will be fuzzy, guests you might not see and that your nerves get the best of you (especially during the ceremony), and remembering every detail is impossible. We want for them to be able to look back on their day and to share their memories with others. Having a video guarantees to keep those memories throughout the years.
Thank you so much to Bonnie and Gold Dust for answering my questions and giving us a look into the thoughts, plans, and feelings surrounding this unforgettable weekend. I feel so honored to have been chosen to capture such a carefully designed experience, and most importantly, to document the first day of Bonnie and Walker’s marriage. May their lives be full of love and laughter!
Big thanks to the team that made it happen!
Design and Planning: @goldusteventco
Venue and accommodations: Hotel Drover, Autograph Collection
Photography: Shannon Skloss
Cinematography: Leslee Layton
Hair and Makeup: Meagan Starr
Entertainment: Dart Collective
Stationery: Paper Planet Designs
Cake: Creme de la Creme Cake Company
Rentals: Nuage Designs Shag Carpet Props Top Tier Event Rentals
Photobooth and lighting: @harryphotodotcom
Dance floor: Inkredible Dance Floors
Social Media: @thellyedit
Dog handler: @weddingsbydfl
Music licensed through MusicBed
“She helped me throughout the entire engagement, even when I had questions that didn't have to do with videography! I worried about NOTHING my wedding day because she spent time laying out the day and made sure it was flawless, making sure I felt confident in everything! Most importantly, I felt like I came out of the engagement and wedding day with a new friend. If "infinite stars" was a choice, I would choose it - but I guess I'll settle with 5!!!”
"Not only is Leslee a joy to work with, she is extremely professional, and one of the kindest people I know!"
"I've got nothing but compliments on the video, and I have nothing but compliments about her professionalism and kindness! She is the absolute sweetest person you will ever meet, and constantly strives to make your day perfect and meet your needs. I SO HIGHLY recommend Leslee for your videographer!”
"After one "get to know you" phone call, we were already good friends and I knew she'd do a great job!"
"On my wedding day, I was worried it may be awkward having someone I don't know in the room while I was getting ready, but it was the complete opposite of that. She fit right in and was actually a really calming presence to have around. When we got our video, I watched it immediately over and over again and couldn't stop crying. It was so beautifully put together. We got SO many compliments on it. My brother didn't even cry when his own children were born and he teared up watching our wedding video!! That's how good Leslee is!”
"I don't even have the words to say how amazing Leslee is!"
“She is insanely talented and was able to create a film that highlighted all of our favorite moments throughout the day and included all of our favorite people. I am so grateful that we chose Leslee as our videographer, and I couldn't recommend her enough. She has such a warm and calming presence and was so so sweet to work with.”
"After seeing our film and working with Leslee it was truly like she had known us for years"