Every couple wants their wedding to be a special event that family and guests, and especially they themselves, will remember for a lifetime. That sentiment prompted Andrew Chambers and Courtney Turner (Ladue ‘01) to plan their June 2007 wedding at the majestic Possum Kingdom Lake. One of Texas’ largest lakes, it’s located two hours west of Dallas. Guests came from all across the country for the destination wedding.
Courtney and Andrew met in February 2003 during the second semester of their sophomore year at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The couple dated for almost four years. In December 2006, they went to Chicago for a weekend getaway, and when they got to the hotel room, Andrew proposed…with Champagne, chocolates and a room covered in rose petals. “He had coordinated the surprise with the hotel staff,” explains Courtney, whose grandfather, Harold Dielmann, is mayor of Creve Coeur.
A June wedding was planned at the lake, where Andrew had vacationed since he was a child. Nestled in the foothills of the Palo Pinto mountains in Texas, Possum Kingdom is a 20,000-acre lake celebrated for its clear blue waters. With a 310-mile shoreline, the oasis is surrounded by beautiful cliffs and rolling hillsides. Some of the best fishing, skiing, sailing and scuba diving in the state of Texas can be found there.
The wedding planning went well, Courtney says. “The only hard part was making sure everything fit within our budget,” she adds. “We used a lot of creative means to do that, like we actually made our own invitations.” She came up with an idea and found paper and ribbons through an online company and vellum from Michael’s. For the cake, she went to A&J Bakery in Dallas. The couple designed the cake themselves in the shape of a multi-tiered box with brown ribbon at the bases. The florist added flowers and rose petals around the base.
The bride’s gown and bridesmaid dresses came from J. Crew. “I ordered them online two days after we got engaged, and that was it!” Courtney says. Her dress was a simple, ivory V-neck gown, with a classic A-line design. The bridesmaid dresses were of the same cut but shorter than the bridal gown and made from chocolate brown chiffon. The flower girl wore an ivory dress with a chocolate brown sash. The bridesmaids’ flowers were powder blue hydrangeas. The bride carried the same bloom in white, interspersed with blue accents.
The outdoor wedding took place at 7 p.m. at The Cliffs Resort, overlooking the lake 200 feet below. Andrew’s pastor from Fort Worth officiated. The reception started immediately afterward, with local disc jockeys spinning music for the 150 guests. “We were all dancing,” Courtney recalls. “Everybody was having a good time. It wasn’t all outlined as at some weddings, and I’m an ‘outlining’ kind of planner, but we very much went with the flow.”
The reception flowed between an indoor room and outdoor tent, which had tables and seating overlooking the lake. The fun lasted until 11:30 p.m., after which the celebration continued in the hotel. Some guests returned to Dallas, others stayed the weekend at the resort, enjoying The Cliffs’ golf course and other amenities the day after the wedding.
The services of photographer Nancy Cole was a wedding gift from one of the couple’s friends, who flew her in from Vail, Colo. During the festivities Cole pulled her and Andrew aside at sunset to take photographs of them under the colorful sky. “We had done our formal photos before the wedding, and this was one of the only ones after the ceremony,” she explains. “It was such a nice moment to have—to be outside of all that was happening.”