On a mid-pandemic camping trip across America, Maia + Stephen fell in love with the breathtaking desert beauty of West Texas and Big Bend National Park. As they sat and watched the sunset at Sotol Vista, Stephen knew this was where he wanted to ask Maia to marry him and—a year later in that exact spot—he did!!
Since these two have such a romantic history with the West Texas desert landscape, it only made sense to tie the knot there as well. They knew it would be a bit of a trek for their guests (Maia’s whole family lives in the UK!!), but it was absolutely worth it.
“Outlaw Chic” was the theme they embraced—perfect for the dreamy, dusty scenery at rustic yet modern venue Willow House. From there, Maia + Stephen put their heads together with planners and event designers from Elaine Events and created a celebration full of unique touches and desert-inspired design moments.
Let’s take a look at Kaitlin Rodgers Photo’s stunning shots of the day!
Maia + Stephen’s embossed leather cover custom vow booklets were a perfect fit for the vibe!
Maia knew for sure that she wanted something unconventional for her wedding day look. When she stopped by Unbridaled in Austin, TX to try on some gowns, designer Varca Bridal was having a trunk show. The “Vivienne” dress with its stunning rose graphic and full-skirt strapless silhouette was the first dress Maia spotted and tried on!
Get into some of our fave bridal boot options if you feel like you might not be a strappy heels kind of bride.
Love the way this sparkly bridal party palette picks up on the muted rose tones in Maia’s gown!
Project Artistry created Maia’s gentle wavy hairstyle and neutral glam makeup look.
This white and blush bridal bouquet was only one of many gorgeous floral creations Lavender & Lilly Floral added to Maia + Stephen’s day.
Stephen’s maroon and ochre three piece suit was the work of bespoke menswear creators Bykowski Tailor & Garb.
Obsessed with the dreamy way this dress moves.
Time to celebrate! Why not take a shot during your first look??
Outlaw Chic: ✔️
So into this eclectic, carpeted statement aisle.
A picture-perfect Western guest book idea: grab an instant film camera like the Fujifilm INSTAX Mini Maia + Stephen used and have your guests place the photos they snap in an embossed leather photo album (like this one from Etsy!).
Stephen - it’s so hard to pick one, every moment felt truly amazing. But if forced I’d have to pick two: first, my Best Man gave probably the funniest speech I’d ever heard during dinner, opening that we’d chosen to drag everyone out to the desert just so I could wear a silly cowboy hat. The other moment came while Maia was saying her vows, which were so beautiful and heartfelt, and during that time she took that same silly hat from my head to block her eyes from the sun. She looked so cute and confident in the hat that the moment just resonated for me.
Maia - It has to be walking down the aisle, seeing everyone who had come from wide and far to celebrate with us and Stephen standing up there with his silly little hat and the Chisos mountains as the backdrop. It was also so special to me because my dad was able to walk me down, after throwing his back out the day before - looked like he might not be able to for a hot minute. We were lucky as Stephen’s sister is a surgeon and was able to call in a prescription. He asked as we walked down what song it was and I told him Heroes by David Bowie on the cello. I had picked it for him since we both love Bowie and he played the cello when he was younger.
If you’re looking for a unique and meaningful ceremony idea, how about a Lighting of the Tiki Bowl!! Stephen explains this quirky touch as “a tongue-in-cheek nod to the unity candle types of ceremonies and a throwback to our first date where I surprised Maia with a flaming tiki bowl upon her arrival.”
Introduce a strong filtering function so that the only people at the wedding are people who genuinely want to be there. For us, that was pretty simple: Terlingua is extremely remote so only the dedicated few will make the trip. Although, just to discourage those few on the fence types, we did also note that we were having our wedding during snake season…
Processional: "Heroes" by David Bowie (instrumental version by Unconventional Cello)
Recessional: "Heroes" by David Bowie (original version)
One of our fave details from the day? Stephen MADE the wedding cake!! “Maia and I also had a sticky toffee pudding cook-off the night I first met her family,” Stephen says. “Maia won through nefarious means but that inspired me to make our sticky toffee pudding wedding cake – which I’m pleased to have heard was a big hit!”
Take a look through our collection of embroidered wedding dresses or our list of our fave black wedding dresses if you want to capture some of Maia’s moody, graphic vibes in your own wedding day look.
Obsessed with Willow House’s fusion of sharp, modern architecture and the natural desert landscape.
A Sunset Reception
Congratulations, Maia + Stephen! Your wonderful West Texas wedding was a total desert dream come true! Best wishes from GWS!!
photography: Kaitlin Rodgers Photo // venue name: Willow House, Terlingua, Texas, USA // event design: Elaine Events // planning: Elaine Events // florals: Lavender and Lily Floral // wedding dress: Varca Bridal // wedding dress boutique: Unbridaled Austin // bride's ring: Margot Wolf Jewlery // hair stylist: Project Artistry // makeup artist: Project Artistry // groom attire: Bykowski Tailor and Garb // groom's ring: Margot Wolf Jewlery // catering: Easy Wind Marfa // cake: Made by the Groom // tabletop rentals: Marquee // furniture rentals: High Desert Marfa // linen rentals: High Desert Marfa // music: DJ Ivan Ent // lighting: Marquee // hats: Coup de Tete